Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan Redux - Fan VFX Replacement Showcase

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(Updated: December 05, 2022)
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8.8
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9.0
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10.0
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8.0
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7.0
Star Trek II Wrath of Khan is considered by most critics and fans the best of the original movie franchise (though my personal preference is Trek III ). It has a top notch story, solid performances and some incredible VFX Model Work by ILM. Yes, it is a medium budget movie, that re-used footage from TMP, but for me, that was never a distraction, as it all fell within the realm of acceptable visual continuity. For at the end of day, the original Wrath of Khan is a great looking movie.

So the concept of swapping out as many of the original VFX shots (with some audio work too) as possible with CGI, I found both surprising and exciting.

And having just finished watching Wraith's KHAN REDUX, I can say, as a Great Experiment, it was, as a certain Vulcan might describe it, a "FACSINATING" viewing experience.

Conceptually, I found it very interesting to see certain "what if" shots (Reliant launching from Space Dock) or classic shots from different angles or hearing previously cut lines of dialogue.

Unfortunately, the use of a myriad of fan VFX to create these changes significantly impacted my experience both narratively and entertainment-wise. The lack of a Consistent Visual Continuity continually broke my suspension of disbelief. As some VFX is borderline Studio Professional Grade, while others are far less polished. Some shots of the Enterprise are highly detailed, others are under rendered. In other instances, new CGI shots like Regula One poorly resemble their model counterparts. Additionally, the cutting back and forth from a CGI shot to practical model one in a single scene only reinforced for me how good the ILM work is, and how it has a texture and weight that is lacking in many of the new fan created shots. Also, the Frame Rate issue of many of the new shots I found to be very jarring and distracting at times.

This is not meant to be a negative review. As a technical experiment, an alternative viewing experience, this is very cool and creative. The amount of time and hard work that went into assembling and polishing it is very apparent throughout. Wraith is to be commended for his vision, passion and skill.

But as an actual movie experience, it does not entirely succeed for me, and only makes me appreciate the ILM mastery of the original even more.

Still, well worth checking out.
Good stuff. :)



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9.4
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
This edit is a delight. I have seen this movie countless times by now, so the opportunity to watch it again with a fresh coat of paint was a wonderful gift.

However, I'd warn my fellow nerds that such extreme familiarity can also hurt the experience, as certain additions might feel strange or jarring because you are so used to the brisk pace of the original film. There are also certain minor additions, such as the new introduction of the Reliant, that feel wholely unnecessary, and there are one or two VFX additions that are demonstrably worse than what was first created back in the early 1980s.

That said, I don't think the intention of this edit was necessarily to craft the "best" version of this film, but rather to give a showcase to the dozens of fan-made VFX done over the years. In that respect, I think Wrath of Khan Redux is a complete success. And it will no doubt be used as the jumping off point for further fan edits that might chip away at some of the more awkward or superfluous additions to create an even more refined version of what is still the greatest Star Trek film to date.

I cannot recommend this edit enough to fans of Star Trek. It was clearly made with love and affection. The final battle in the nebula is the true stand-out here. My jaw was on the floor for a lot of it. Again, being able to see something so familar with fresh eyes is such a gift.

My sincere thanks to Wrath and all involved. Excellent work!

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Overall rating
 
9.6
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
Great Time and Effort putting this together. Only a few small Issues, but otherwise, a great Edit.
Issue 1 - Reliant Leaving Spacedock. Since they were working for the Genisys Project for a while, they should be just on course to a new destination (No biggie, but just thought it was odd)
Issue 2 - Reliant arriving on Ceti Alpha VI.....but really V. Mutara Sector is in another area. Ceti Alpha V is in Sector 25712, Alpha Quadrant according to Memory Alpha, while the Mutara Nebula is in the Mutara Sector in the Beta Quadrant.
----Should have kept the full Engineering Inspection bit where Scotty's Nephew stats that if Kirk can't see that......he's as blind as a Tiberian Bat. LOL
Issue 3 - 1st Attack on Enterprise, you see the Enterprise in space prior to Khan communicating to Kirk with damage to the Torpedo Area, then after Enterprise draws Reliant away, the damaged area is no longer damaged.
Issue 4 - 1:32:44 and 1:35:33 - Loud Beep

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Overall rating
 
7.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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7.0
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9.0
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7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
I love Wraith's editing methodology - he does his research and takes notes so it's baffling to me some of the mistakes that made their way into the final cut of this fascinating fanedit. As others have pointed out, there's three loud BEEPS at 1:21:21, 1:32:44 and 1:35:33. Wraith also made some strange choices, for example when Kirk gives the order: "Z-minus 10,000 meters." when Spock notes that Khan has two-dimensional thinking. In his version the Enterprise goes... up? A decision that makes the final space battle confusing.

This isn't just a straight up replacement of the VFX though, Wraith also made a few creative decisions, like adding sound effects or dialog back in, or adding music cues to music-less scenes. Some of these changes work better than others.

Overall this was an interesting experiment. Some of the new visual effects don't work at all and look like something out of Babylon 5 while others are magnificent and breath taking. I haven't watched the theatrical version which only replaces the recycled shots but I'm sure purists will appreciate that one more. I'm still grateful Wraith created this as it's a nice template for anyone wanting to create their own "perfect" version of ST:TWOK. It is what it is: a Fan VFX Replacement Showcase.
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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
"The Wrath of Khan" was the first Star Trek I ever saw and it remains one of my favourite films, but I still thought that certain bits and pieces in both official versions could be improved on. What Wraith has done far exceeds anything I had imagined, the near perfect film (to borrow a phrase) is now that bit more polished, the new CGI scenes (amazing what length these fans go to) blended in seamlessly with the existing aesthetic, unlike the official "enhancements" featured in a certain sci-fi franchise of a similar era!

The mere replacement of the recycled footage from The Motion Picture would have been sufficient reason for me to consider this my go-to version, with all the other tweaks (some little and others large) making it so that I think going back to the original would feel like a retrograde step. Thanks again Wraith, both for having the idea to make the edit and for letting me help out in some small way.

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Top 50 Reviewer 77 reviews
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