The Wrath of the Empire Strikes Khan Back

I’ve been thinking lately about two films: you can probably guess the them from the title. Anyway, they’re both widely regarded to be the high watermark in their respective franchises, Star Trek and Star Wars respectively. I started thinking about whether there was any reason for this. What do the two films have in common? The more I thought, the more incredibly tenuous links I came up with. Here are just a few of them. It’s creepy, I’m telling you! 

1. Both feature character/s in training

The trainee crew of the Enterprise, especially that midshipman dude, Preston I think his name is, and young Luke Skywalker being mentored by a wise old figure (Yoda and Scotty)

2. Revelations about fatherhood

Luke discovers who his father is and Kirk discovers that he IS a father.

3. Both feature torture scenes

Han Solo is lowered into some chemistry set / electrical switchboard thing and Tyrell and Chekhov have “creatures in our bodies!”

4. Both are film number 2.

Speaks for itself really.

5. Both films had directors who were taking a big step up

Nicholas Meyer had never handled a project as big as Wrath of Khan (as great a film as Time After Time is, it wasn’t on the same level) and Irvin Kershner was coming straight off TV movies and Eyes of Laura Mars.

6. Characters end up inside an asteroid in both films

Kirk and the crew are marooned inside Regula and Han, Leia and the others end up hiding inside a big rock in space.

7. Both have endings tinged with sadness.

Empire is famous for its down ending. Likewise with Wrath of Khan, it’s not exactly a medal ceremony at the end!

8. Both feature big time sacrifices

Spock condemns himself to death to save the Enterprise while Luke throws Han risks his own death by going out to look for Luke on Hoth.

9. Both feature arguments about whether good is the most important thing to be thinking about at a given time.

Yoda wants to cook while Luke just wants to go see Yoda! Kirk wants to know what the food situation is while everyone else wants to talk about how they’re trapped and are going to die.

10. Both feature a long, drawn out about or scream.

“Nooooooooooo.  Nooooo!!!”


11. Both are set in space

OK, I’m reaching now, but there’s got to be more. Help me think of some more similarities.

I’m going to show this to the respective Star Wars and Star Trek groups I belong to and, in order to make sure nobody thinks I’m showing any favouritism through my choice of lead image, I’ve stuck Avon from Blake’s 7 there instead. Nobody can complain about that, surely.

Thanks for reading


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