HitFix ranks the franchise in time for 'Star Trek Into Darkness'
1. "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982)
There are many reasons this is considered the best of the entire franchise, and almost all of them are accidents. This wasn't even originally supposed to be released in theaters after the failure of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," and the property was handed off to a producer the studio didn't have any faith in. He's the one who suggested that Khan be used as the bad guy, and in that one notion, they managed to create a film about the way the decisions of brash young Kirk come back to haunt the older and wiser crew. By embracing their ages and tying this into the larger continuity of the show, they created a real sense of weight to what happens, and it builds to an emotional punch that flattened audiences in '82. Plus… look at Montalban's chest!