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.
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.
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 IMSDb.com, 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.
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.
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.
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!) "
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.