Given how so few director’s cuts are improvements, or all that different, and given how the second or third versions of movies of Blu-ray often don’t add anything you need, it’s understandable why you’d look at the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray with some suspicion. But while this Blu-ray may not be worth getting if you own the previous editions (though it might be), for those who don’t own this classic Star Trek movie on Blu-ray, this is clearly the edition to get.
For starters, the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray has both the original version of the movie, and the slightly longer Director’s Cut. And like most Director’s Cuts, the one for Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan doesn’t add a whole lot. Three minutes, to be exact. Granted, one bit does give some weigh to the proceedings, but most of these added moments don’t make this version as different from the theatrical cut as, say, the Director’s Cut of Blade Runner is from the original version of that film. Though, it should be noted, they don’t ruin the movie, either.
That said, both versions of the movie on the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray have been digitally remastered, and thus look better than any 1982 movie has any right to. This is especially true for the Director’s Cut, which has never been seen in high-def or on Blu-ray before.
What the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray does add is a new featurette called “The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath Of Khan.” In it, director Nicholas Meyer, producer Robert S. Sallin, and others spend nearly a half-hour talking about how this movie came together. But while it is interesting, what it lacks, sadly, is any new interviews with the cast.
Aside from “The Genesis Effect,” though, the extras on the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray are all the same as the ones on the previous Blu-ray. But they are, for the most part, rather impressive. There are two different commentaries — one by Meyer and a second that pairs Meyer with Star Trek: Enterprise producer Manny Coto — both of which are rather informative in how this movie was made.
There’s also a text commentary by Star Trek experts Michael and Denise Okuda for the Director’s Cut, along with the “Library Computer,” which gives you the option to read up on the people, technology, ships, and other topics relevant to the scene from the theatrical cut that you’re watching. Both also provide a nice counterpoint to the commentaries, since they’re more about the Star Trek universe and less about how the movie was made.
The Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray also has a full complement of making-of featurettes, including an interesting one on the visual effects, a look at composer James Horner, and vintage interviews with stars William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly, and Ricardo Montalban, the latter of whom is also honored by his own “Farewell” featurette. They’ve even included the original storyboards.
There’s also a trio of featurettes on “The Star Trek Universe,” including the self-explanatory “Collecting Star Trek‘s Movie Relics” as well as a look at the people who write the Star Trek novels, the latter of which is especially cool since movie Blu-rays usually don’t acknowledge their films’ expanded universes.
Best of all, the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray includes the original trailer, which should be included on every movie Blu-ray, but usually isn’t (I’m looking at you, Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
While the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray is packed with extras, there’s one thing I wish they had included, though I’m not surprised that they didn’t. Given how much this movie inspired Star Trek Into Darkness, it would’ve been cool if some of the people involved in the latter movie — such as director J.J. Abrams, the cast, or the screenwriters — had been a part of “The Genesis Effect” or, even cooler, had done their own commentary on the movie.
Ultimately, if you already own Star Trek II The Wrath on Blu-ray, there may not be enough new on the Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan Director’s Cut Blu-ray to warrant buying this as a replacement. But if you’re a Star Trek fan, and you don’t have this movie on Blu-ray yet, you should really pick this version up. Or stop calling yourself “a Star Trek fan.”