Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hi-Def Revelations: Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

Back in 2014 I finally retired my twenty year old picture tube TV and bought a hi-def set— some ten years or so after the rest of the world did so. Hey, don't judge. I was waiting to see if all this hi-def jazz was just a passing fad or if it was going to catch on. I ain't no early adopter!

Anyway, the past few months I've been rewatching a lot of my favorite movies on blu-ray in glorious 1080p resolution, and it's been, pardon the pun, eye opening. I'm seeing all kinds of things I never noticed before when I watched films in low-def, like a common peasant. 

For example, here's a high-def detail for you: I'm starting to suspect that Yoda was not just a little person in elaborate prosthetic makeup as I used to think, but actually some sort of Muppet. Who knew?


Anyway, on to tonight's Hi-Def Revelation. I recently watched the new blu-ray release of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. It contains both the theatrical version and the Director's Cut, which includes several additional minutes of footage.

I noticed something odd this time around during the opening scene. Is… is that a NO SMOKING sign there on the bridge, just behind Dr. McCoy?

Yes. Yes it is. There it is again, just to the left of Spock (you may have to zoom in to read it). 

Huh. People generally don't put up signs unless they're needed, so I guess this means that Starfleet officers puffing away while on duty must have been a real problem on the Enterprise.

I'd have thought that in the bright and shiny world of the 23rd Century, a filthy, disgusting habit like smoking would have fallen out of favor long ago.

So who was lightin' up butts on the bridge? I doubt it was Captain Kirk— he needs all the lung power he can get to do that move where he jumps up and kicks an alien in side while falling on his back. There's no way it's Spock, and as a doctor, I would hope McCoy would know better.

Sulu seemed too health conscious to smoke, and Uhura would probably worry about what cigarettes would do to her skin. Chekov, maybe. Although he'd have to be careful to keep a lit cig away from his toupee.

That leaves Scotty. I could definitely see him as a smoker. He certainly had no problem with alcohol, as he was alway getting sh*tfaced drunk in every other episode. Definitely Scotty.

As Spock would say, "Deliberately inhaling heated carcinogenic vapors is not logical!"

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