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Lessons J.J. Abrams's 'Star Trek' Could Learn From Past 'Trek' Films

Kris King Kris King
5/8/2009 9:50am EDT

Lesson 2: Feature a strong, charismatic villain that shouts literature.
Reason: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee. - Khan… and Captain Ahab
The major drawback for The Motion Picture was that the bad guy was a 200 year old NASA satellite that couldn't quote Melville. Star Trek II remedies that problem by looking back to the series and digging up Khan Noonien Singh, a 20th century super genius warlord hell-bent on killing Kirk for abandoning him on a remote planet. He hijacks a ship, blows up some things, and proves that he had nothing better to do on Ceti Alpha V except read Moby Dick a few dozen times.

Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country ~ © Paramount Pictures

Star Trek VI follows this lesson closely. Like Khan, Klingon General Chang also torments Kirk with his mastery of Human literature-"Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war!" *bew bew BOOM*-which is really just a cool thing to shout from the bridge of a starship. With Khan covering Melville, and Chang taking Shakespeare, perhaps Nero, the Romulan villain from Abrams' Star Trek played by Eric Bana, will shout Sun Tzu. Then again, "All war is based on deception!" doesn't really work that well while firing photon torpedoes.

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