The Making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan — Review

Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review, No. 15, June 1983, p. 13.

Asherman, Allan. The Making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Pocket Books, NY, October 1982. 223 p. $7.95, paper. ISBN 0-671- 46182-6.

Even if you thought you liked the movie, this book could change your mind. Star Trek II, as science fiction, made only minimal sense (“science” was not the movie’s strength). Asherman, in interviews with the executive producer, producer, and director, reveals why: none of them claim to know anything about science fiction. In fact, most of those responsible for the movie’s script and production knew nothing about the TV series before working on the film. Asherman repeatedly compares the film to Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, and the Horatio Hornblower saga–but never anything as tacky as “science fiction.”

This book appears to be assembled from studio press releases, biographical sketches, and publicity photos, so it should come as no surprise it is copyright by Paramount Pictures Corporation. A couple dozen end notes do nothing more than provide irritating distractions. Gene Roddenberry’s name is brought up twice, but why he might be important is never addressed. Industrial Light & Magic is cited for its special effects work — without ever mentioning owner George Lucas or Star Wars. The film’s superb computer graphics — created by Los Alamos National Lab and U.C. San Francisco’s Computer Graphics Lab — are completely ignored. Unless Paramount gives you a copy, don’t bother with this book-length advertisement. — Lawrence I. Charters

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