The Wrath of Khan’s smooth and sculpted chest, more like it.
You may have heard, thanks to our yakkety podcast, that Sean and I completed the Starfleet Academy Experience this past weekend at the Canada Museum of Aviation and Space. It’s a really cool exhibit in Ottawa until September 5th – after that, it could be in a museum near you!
We spent the day training to be Starfleet cadets. We majored in science, navigation, communications, and more. Everything was very interactive – we learned Klingon, plotted our ship’s course, selected safe planets to land on, shot phasers, and even got teleported. It was a grand day and loads of fun (our Twitter account @AssholeMovies was witness to it). But it got Sean in a Star Trek kind of mood, which is what inspired him to force me to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan against my will.
I admit, ever since watching For The Love of Spock, I’ve been a little curious about the original series. The new movies are surprisingly tolerable to me, so why not? The original television series was cancelled in 1969. The first movie, with the same cast and characters, was in theatres in 1979, a full decade later. The Wrath of Khan followed in 1982: by then, Shatner was 50 years old. The movie is quite jokey about his age, his creaky old dotage actually, his need for reading glasses and a retirement plan but they went on to make 6 of these, chasing the series into star date 1991 (Shatner would also appear in Generations with Patrick Stewart in 1994). So yes, the Enterprise crew had aged. So had their enemies. Ricardo Montalban played villainous Khan in an earlier television episode (Space Seed) and was asked back for The Wrath of Khan. And he is the owner of that smooth and sculpted chest that kept me so enthralled. For the record, Montalban was in his early sixties when this movie was in production. It didn’t quite match the face that went along with it. Was the chest perhaps a prosthetic?
Montalban says no. He claimed that lots of push-ups did the trick. The costumers gladly put him in a plunging deep-V neckline to show it off. Khan was buff. Many of his henchmen were Chippendale dancers, so for a 60+ gentleman to flaunt his broad, oddly hairless chest among them took some doing. Good on you, Mr. Montalban. I salute your beautiful chest.