Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Trivia: Early storyline development used essentially the setup for the Star Wars films only the villain was on the side of the rebellion. David was a (villainous, initially) version of Luke and it was a plot twist that Kirk is his father. The Genesis device was a planet-destroying weapon a la the Death Star, Khan lurked in the shadows dressed in a cloak and used psychic powers like the Emperor, and Spock would have died in the middle and at the end speak from beyond the grave like Obi Wan Kenobi.

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: Before the final script, Kirk and Khan were planned to have an extremely elaborate fight scene featuring swords, whips, and fireballs. Producer Robert Sallin has said "We had some characters that had electricity coming out of their fingertips. I was very, very concerned."

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: This movie is basically a retelling of another story. When the camera first pans the shelves of the Botany Bay it stops and centers on one book on the shelf in particular.....Moby Dick. That is what this movie is about. Khan is Ahab, The Enterprise is Moby Dick. At one point in the book the whale is circling Ahab's ship on the ocean. At one point in the movie the Enterprise is circling the Reliant (Khan's ship) in the Motara Nebula. Ahab had a scar up one entire side of his body given to him by an encounter with the Whale. At the end of the movie Khan has a burn mark/scar up one side of his body as well. Not to mention that Khan quotes from Moby Dick throughout the movie. The last quote he utters is one that Ahab uttered "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

Trivia: Early script drafts featured Khan gaining psychic powers with the ability to create illusions in the minds of others. One draft even replaced Khan entirely with an original villain who better suited such fantastical mental powers. By the time Nicholas Meyer wrote the shooting script, Khan was reinstated as the villain and the psychic angle was dropped.

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: As the shuttle with Kirk and company approaches the Enterprise in Space dock, Sulu says "I'm delighted. Any chance to go aboard the Enterprise..." According to, there was a full dialog between Kirk and Sulu in the original script. The rest of Sulu's line was "however briefly, is always a chance for nostalgia." Kirk also told Sulu the he had cut the orders for Sulu to Captain the Excelsior.

Movie Nut

Trivia: Broke the record for highest grossing opening weekend at the time, earning $14 million in three days.

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: When the crew is pulling up the grates to lower the photon torpedo into its launch track, you can see a crewman in a red jacket in the background. The way he is fidgeting, he is obviously an extra that didn't know what to do after "Action" was yelled. Though, I guess we could be charitable and say he was a green ensign unsure of what to do at Red Alert.

Grumpy Scot

Trivia: Every shot of the Enterprise that doesn't also contain another element exclusive to this film (such as the Reliant, Space Station Regula I, the Mutara Nebula, et al.) is stock footage from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Yes, all of them. Every last one! If it's a solitary shot of the Enterprise floating through space, it's re-used footage.

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: It's been noted that the villain Khan represents the book 'Moby Dick'. In addition, the heroes of the film represent 'A Tale of Two Cities', the Charles Dickens tome Spock gives to Kirk as a gift. Like the character Sydney Carton, Spock makes a noble sacrifice, and at the end Kirk quotes, "It is a far, far better thing I do now..." Star Trek II is essentially "Moby Dick Vs. A Tale of Two Cities (in Space!) "

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: Prop master Joe Longo, a Ricardo Montalban and Fantasy Island fan, modified a small toy robot, painted a tux on it and used a poster to give it Tattoo's face. When Montalban first pulled into the studio parking lot, Longo sent the mechanical Tattoo toddling out to his car. Every day of the production after that, "Tattoo" arrived in the passenger seat of Montalban's car, came to the set with him, and went home every night to play around the actor's swimming pool.

Jean G

Trivia: This film was supposed to be called "The Vengeance of Khan". They changed the title because of the rumor that "Return of the Jedi" was going to be called "Revenge of the Jedi" and released the following year.

Dr Wilson

Trivia: For many years, the UCLA library has held a tape for a black and white 1982 sci-fi film titled "Pisces Project." That is a code name: it is in fact an early rough cut version of 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' featuring many deleted scenes that cannot be seen anywhere else. It's been sitting there since possibly the 1980s. It is available for public viewing via appointment, but the tape is prohibited from leaving the building.

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: Kirk and Khan both mention that Khan was marooned on Ceti Alpha V fifteen years earlier. This movie was released fifteen years after "Space Seed" aired on television.

Cubs Fan Premium member

Trivia: Composer James Horner has a cameo as an Enterprise Crewman running down a corridor during preparation for the final battle, just before the torpedoes are launched into the launch bay.

Trivia: On the original movie poster and certain DVD releases, it shows the Enterprise firing on Space Station Regula One, when no such scene exists in the movie.


Trivia: The death of Spock was leaked out very early on in the production of this show (they suspected Roddenberry as he was very against it). When they were planning the training scenario at the beginning of the movie, it was originally going to be about halfway through the movie. They decided, however, to move it to the beginning so we would assume it was real. They then decided to 'kill' Spock off right there at the beginning (along with the rest of the bridge crew). That way, those watching the show for the first time who were told that Spock would die, would assume (after it was revealed that the beginning was a training scenario) that Spock was only going to pretend to die. That way, even though they were told that Spock died in the movie, they were still surprised when he actually did.

Garlonuss Premium member

Trivia: Saavik was originally written to be a male character, which would explain why her name begins with 'S' when traditionally female Vulcan names start with 'T'.

TonyPH Premium member

Trivia: The individual shots that involve the Enterprise moving out of the space dock are identical to shots used in the first film.

Trivia: In the Genesis cave, Bones responds to Saavik's question with "You are looking at the only Starfleet cadet who ever beat the No-Win Scenario." This is later expanded on in the novel "The Kobiyashi Maru", where Kirk, Bones, Sulu, Chekov, and Scotty are adrift in a shuttle craft, and Kirk tells his story of how he won. He asked that it be kept secret because "if anyone tries this again, Starfleet will know where they got the idea." They were going to expel him for this, but gave him the commendation because they wanted commanders who could think on their feet.

Movie Nut

Continuity mistake: When Khan's number one officer is dying in the arms of Khan, they exchange a word or two before the first officer dies quite dramatically with his eyes open. Khan then fully embraces the corpse and looks up to the viewer screen and vows to get even with Kirk. However, the "corpse", whose eyes are open, closes them upon Khan's embrace. (01:29:05)

More mistakes in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Saavik: You lied!
Spock: I exaggerated.

More quotes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Question: When Khan speaks to Kirk, he tells him that he wants revenge for the death of his wife. Who was Khan's wife?

Answer: Lt. Marla McGivers was the crew member.

Answer: This is a reference to the TV show episode that this movie is a distant sequel to. In that episode, one of Kirk's crew falls in love with Khan and helps him take over the ship. When Khan is exiled to the planet, she chooses to go with him. So it would be that after the catastrophic events of one of the planets in that system exploding and causing all sorts of damage to their new planet, she was killed there and Khan blames Kirk for it.

Quantom X Premium member

More questions & answers from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.