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Star Trek – The Pandora Principle by Carolyn Clowes (Review)

This August, to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness on DVD and blu ray, we’re taking a look at the Star Trek movies featuring the original cast. Movie reviews are every Tuesday and Thursday.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the movies with tie-ins around (and related to) the films. We’ll be doing one of these every week day. This is one such article.

It’s amazing to think how much tie-in material the character of Saavik has generated, considering that she only appeared in three Star Trek films. There are regular characters who have never attracted the same degree of attention as Saavik. There’s probably a reason for this. After all, Saavik was introduced as an important character in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. There’s even some speculation that she might have been originally intended as a replacement for Spock, had Leonard Nimoy decided not to return to the franchise. As such, she was introduced as a surprisingly developed character with a background rife with storytelling potential.

It’s a bit of a disappointment, then, that she was first re-cast as Robin Curtis in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and then she was quietly shuffled off-stage at the start of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, never to be seen again. Perhaps that squandered potential is at the root of the fascination with Saavik. The Pandora Principle, the only Star Trek novel from author Carolyn Clowes, offers us an origin and a history for the character, building off hints and character attributes that were never even mentioned on-screen.

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