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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Poster

Goofs

Continuity 

After David Marcus says, "We can't just sit here," Admiral Kirk puts on his glasses and checks his watch, saying, "Oh, yes we can." In the very next shot, the glasses are gone.
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Anachronisms 

Early-'80s EXIT sign hanging outside Kirk's apartment door.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Spock and Saavik are speaking Vulcan, their mouths are speaking English.
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When Scotty and McCoy are yelling at Spock not to open the main energizer, Scotty's and McCoy's mouths are not moving in sync with the words being spoken.
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When the debris falls on Joachim.
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Character error 

In engineering, Kirk asks Midshipman Preston if he realizes how much ribbing Kirk has taken in the officer's mess. Starfleet uses naval terminology, and naval officers do not eat in a mess, they eat in a wardroom.
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When Khan first meets Terrell and Chekov, he tells them that "200 years ago on Earth, I was a prince," and "these people have sworn to live and die at my command 200 years ago." The movie, however, is set in the year 2285, and Khan started his explanation by saying that the Botany Bay launched in 1996 -- three hundred years ago.
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When Khan encountered the Enterprise Crew in the original Space Seed, Pavel Chekov was not a member of the bridge crew or cast of the first season. But when Khan found Capt Terrell and Chekov, after his slow recollection of the Botany Bay, Khan says Chekov's name.
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When Kirk and Spock leave the bridge to view the Genesis proposal with McCoy, Kirk gives the conn to Saavik. As Sulu was the senior officer, command should have been given to him.
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Continuity 

Khan had been marooned on Ceti Alpha V 15 years earlier, Ceti Alpha 6 had since blown up altering the orbit of Ceti A V making it uninhabitable. Since the crew of the Reliant thought they were orbiting Ceti Alpha VI and planets are numbered by their sequence from the star they would have been orbiting what was Ceti Alpha VII 15 years ago as Ceti Alpha V would still be the fifth planet from Ceti Alpha.
During the docking with the Enterprise, shuttle control gives them permission to dock at the torpedo launching bay. Instead, the shuttle is clearly shown to dock near main engineering. In addition, Kirk and Co. clearly board the ship through the torpedo bay. The shuttlepod docking sequence, as well as additional visuals of Enterprise in and departing from drydock, are reused footage from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
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Several monitors on the bridge of the USS Reliant show ship diagrams that don't match the actual shape of the ship as we see it elsewhere in the movie - a result of the bridge set being used for both the Reliant and the Enterprise. Indeed, at least one of the diagrams is for a third design.
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When Chekov and Terrell explore Ceti Alpha V, earphones can clearly be seen through the visors of their spacesuit helmets. When they enter the shelter they discovered and take off their helmets, the earphones are gone.
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The position of the chest flap on Admiral Kirk's uniform changes from being flipped open between the moment McCoy and Scotty hold him back to almost closed when he approaches the radiation-filled chamber a few steps away.
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In the nebula, Kirk orders full stop, and then - Z-minus 10,000 meters. The overhead shot shows the Enterprise descending. About 30 seconds later the Enterprise is seen ascending behind the Reliant.
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David Marcus says that he encoded the Genesis torpedo with a four minute countdown. But when Khan activates the Genesis device it begins counting down from 999 at a rate of about 2 each second, which makes it approximately eight minutes until detonation.
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Khan has a warning torpedo fired at the Enterprise. After the torpedo explodes we see David and Carol Marcus, and McCoy, in the sickbay reacting to the explosion. Only six seconds pass (of movie time as well as "real" time) before the turbolift doors open on the bridge with David as a passenger. In the Director's Edition DVD, restored footage allowed a longer period of time between Khan's "warning shot" and David's appearance on the Bridge a moment later.
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During the first battle, the blasts from the Enterprise's phasers hit the blue dome at the rear of Reliant and it explodes. In an aft shot of Reliant moments later there is a slight shot of the dome still intact, though not brightly lit.
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During the hunt in the nebula, the ships are not visible on the view screen to each other until they are practically on top of one another. Yet, after the Genesis device is activated, as the Enterprise tries to escape, the view screens range is much greater.
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The footage of the Enterprise leaving dry dock shows an arboretum on the port side of the ship. This is absent from the ship for the rest of the film, as the dry dock footage was reused from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
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The Enterprise is en route to to Regula I while trying to raise them on communications channels. The shot of the operations center at Regula I shows no one there, yet when the Enterprise arrives and the boarding party searches, there are bodies strewn about and one hanging by the legs.
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When the away team beams down to Regula One, there is a clear view of Captain Terrell and Commander Chekov showing nothing under their belts. But moments later, after the fight between Kirk and David Marcus, they suddenly have phasers in their hands. Captain Terrell even has a second phaser tucked into the left side of his belt.
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Miscellaneous 

Saavik would not have needed to call up the information for the Kobayashi Maru test. Since the test is called 'Kobayashi Maru', she would have looked it up in her studies of the scenario. The test seems to be well known at the academy.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Chekov and Khan recall having met each other. Although Chekov was not a bridge officer when Khan came on the Enterprise in Star Trek: Space Seed, it should be remembered that when Khan first took over Enterprise, he started with the engineering deck. Chekov was engineering ensign at the time, and mounted resistance against Khan, according to the movie's novelization. Surprisingly, Sulu was also absent from Space Seed, a point which no one ever brings up.
Saavik, a female, is referred to as "Mr. Saavik". In the Trek universe, Starfleet Officers are referred to as Mister, regardless of sex or gender.
Kirk seems to order "Phasers starboard," and the Enterprise turns to starboard, then opens fire with the port phasers. In fact, Kirk says "evasive starboard," which is confirmed by the novel and screenplay (the DVD subtitles are in error). When Kirk says, "Fire!" THEN the port phasers are shown firing.
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During many scenes of the Reliant in space, stars are visible through the Reliant's dark warp engines. Most noticeable when the ship flies past the camera after Kirk says "We don't have a few minutes!" This is seen as a goof, but is actually a limitation of the blue screen shots movie makers faced in the seventies and eighties.
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Saavik expresses her surprise that Spock lied, yet when she quotes Rule 15 so that she could accompany the Admiral to the Station, Kirk replies, "There's no such rule." It's more likely Kirk is lying.
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In Star Trek: Space Seed, Khan was marooned on Ceti Alpha V with a few dozen of his followers, all of whom were about his same age (roughly their mid-thirties). Now in the movie, set fifteen years later, Khan has aged, but he's surrounded by followers who are all appear to be in their twenties; they're too young to have been the disciples with him in the original episode, but too old to have been born on the planet. However, this is possibly a sign of their augmented, genetic aging process.
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In an overhead shot of Space Station Regula 1 over a moon (directly after the Enterprise departs from drydock), Regula 1 is noticeably transparent; craters can be easily seen through the station. This is seen as a goof, but is actually a limitation of the blue screen shots movie makers faced in the seventies and eighties.
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Plot holes 

When the Genesis device was activated, the Enterprise should have used the transporter. As established in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold, the transporter can be set to disperse the atoms and thus render the object essentially non-existent. Alternatively, it could have been left in the pattern buffer where its pattern would degrade and no longer be possible to reintegrate.
After Carol Marcus calls the Enterprise to determine why Admiral Kirk was allegedly taking Genesis, Kirk contacts Starfleet, then tells Spock that Starfleet has ordered them to go to Regula I because the Enterprise is the "only ship in the quadrant."

But Starfleet knew that Reliant was close to Regula I and working closely with the science station. Starfleet should have tried to contact Reliant first. And when Reliant failed to respond, Starfleet should have warned Kirk.

Instead, Kirk is surprised by Reliant's presence near Regula I.
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Reliant is apparently having a very difficult time finding a test planet free of life on which to test Genesis. If finding just a test planet for it is difficult, it would be a nearly useless device when they need to find enough actual planets for practical use.
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The presentation reel of the deployment of the Genesis Device demonstrates terraforming the surface of an existing planet, yet when the device is deployed at the end of the film, it eventually creates an entire planet and its atmosphere from the nebula. It is never explained how it is capable of doing this.
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The date at the beginning of this movie is given as Stardate 8130.4. When Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are viewing Dr. Marcus' proposal for the Genesis Project, the stardate given for the proposal is Stardate 7130.4, to which Kirk mentions the proposal was made a year ago. The first Stardate given at the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is Stardate 7411.4 (by the computer at the Epsilon IX Space Station), and that movie was to have taken place approximately 14 years before this movie (2285). The erroneous Stardates would imply that the first movie took place sometime after Dr. Marcus' proposal to Starfleet and would've been less than a year ago, which is not the case.
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After Kirk hears the jammed transmission from Carol Marcus, Spock tells him they are 12 hours away from Regula at present speed. Immediately afterward, they view the Project Genesis video and are attacked by Khan in the stolen Reliant. The warp drive is damaged in the battle, yet they manage to get to Regula a short time later anyway.
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At the very start of the film it is supposed to be a training mission, yet many of the key positions are manned by veterans, not trainees.
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Kirk discreetly tells Sulu to lock phasers on target, so that Khan won't here the order. However, Spock was able to tell Kirk that Reliant was locking her phasers on target. Joachim already showed proficiency monitoring Enterprise's technical activity, so he should have been able to tell they were being targeted.
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The Botany Bay survivors would have no way of knowing that anyone had beamed down.
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How Khan and his followers could possibly know that Ceti Alpha V had exploded is never determined. Even if they had rudimentary astrological observation systems with them, the explosion of a planet (unless it was on the same side of the solar system's star) would be unobservable. If it was observable from Ceti Alpha VI, then why it would have been close enough to shift the other planet's orbit without destroying it,is never explained.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Chekov steps out of the Botany Bay into a blinding sandstorm and sees the robed survivors, their robes are resting still - there is no wind around them.
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Wires are visible attached to Chekov's uniform when Khan lifts him up with one hand. If the viewer plays close attention, the wire(s) can be seen for a brief moment in the reverse POV shot (the left corner of Chekov's suit once Khan has lifted him to the highest point).
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In the computer image of the Genesis probe approaching the planet, the camera is about to collide with a mountain when a narrow canyon blinks into existence to let it through. During a talk at SIGGRAPH shortly after the movie's release, one of the animators of the clip showed the clip and explained that (at one hour/frame being rendered on a VAX 11/780), they'd rendered every 64th frame of their fractal landscape, checked for obvious issues, then rendered every 32nd frame that was not already rendered. They continued down to every 16th, 8th, 4th, and then every remaining frame. It was only at that point that they discovered that four frames were inside a mountain, and they didn't have the time to rerender with a different trajectory or a different initial landscape, so they papered over the mistake with the magically-appearing valley.
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In one shot on the Reliant bridge, when the turbolift doors are open, a ship diagram for the Enterprise can be seen inside the lift. This is because the same set was used for both bridges.
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Shortly after the Enterprise and Reliant enter the Nebula, there is an overhead shot of the Enterprise with Reliant down below in the distance. During this shot, the rear tip of the Enterprise's starboard nacelle disappears for a brief moment.
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In the wide-screen director's cut edition, while the crew of the Enterprise scrambles to prepare for battle with the Reliant after the away team beams up from the Genesis Cave, a male African-Amercian crew member in the torpedo bay is seen opening the circular airlock doors with one hand and speaking to others off-screen revealing the light-weight of the prop.
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The Reliant chooses a planet in the Ceti Alpha system and yet no one acknowledges the stranding of Khan there a little over 2 decades earlier. The computer, whose memory should be infallible does not note the events of decades earlier when it scans the system in advance of the Genesis test.
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When Bones is startled by bumping into a dead crewperson's dangling hand, the hand moves in response.
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There is a "No Smoking" sign on the bridge of the Kobayashi Maru simulator. This clearly appears onscreen during the early part of the scene. Gene Roddenberry had them removed but not until some footage had already been filmed. According to director Nicholas Meyer in the DVD commentary, Roddenberry felt that smoking would not be part of the 23rd century.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Scotty is playing the bagpipes at Spock's funeral, the drones are pointed to the side and the bag is not inflated, and his fingers are not moving on the chanter.
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When Kirk is lowering the dead scientists in the Regula Lab, he has a rope going around his waist but yet you can hear a squeaky pulley. The rope is only making contact with Kirk and the platform edge. The rope rubbing on the platform would not make the sound of a squeaky pulley.
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Continuity 

When Scotty's nephew, Peter Preston, dies, he leaves a blood mark on the flap of Kirk's jacket. When you see Kirk on the bridge of the Enterprise, the blood mark is lower on the flap and considerably smaller.
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When Spock is dying, McCoy jumps from being in front of Kirk to being behind him between shots.
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As McCoy and Scotty are preventing Kirk from entering the irradiated chamber with Spock ("You'll flood the whole compartment!"), when the camera is on Kirk from the front, they're facing in the same direction as Kirk, but when the shot switches to a POV behind Kirk, they're both facing the other way.
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If one looks carefully at the torpedo bay during the funeral scene, one can tell that the funeral scene actually takes place in the port side torpedo bay, which was destroyed in the battle in the Mutara Nebula.
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Scotty's position behind Kirk during Spock's funeral.
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Coat flap on Kirk's jacket during Spock's death scene.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Saavik, a Vulcan, is clearly crying at Spock's funeral. However, promotional materials explain that Saavik is part Romulan, and thus would not have perfect Vulcan emotional control.
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When the dying Khan leans forward, the wound on his chest "crinkles" visibly, and resembles a glued-on rubber prosthetic. However, his wound seems to be fresh and/or infected - causing the skin to swell. If this wound is now compressed by the surrounding skin/muscle tissue, it will wrinkle as seen on screen. The production insists that no prosthetic was used.
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Plot holes 

When the Federation vessel USS Reliant arrives in the Ceti Alpha system to survey what they believe to be a completely lifeless planet intended to serve as a test body for Project Genesis, several problems should have been noted: there was one less planet in the Ceti Alpha system than the Reliant's charts indicate, as later revealed by Khan. Ceti Alpha VI exploded not long after he and his followers were exiled there, something that Reliant should have detected on arrival in the star system; the Reliant goes into orbit around a planet they have designated Ceti Alpha VI without detecting they are in fact in orbit around the fifth planet, which is in a closer orbit to the central star than the now-destroyed Ceti Alpha V; it's highly unlikely that the Federation would not have restricted access to the Ceti Alpha system, considering how dangerous the marooned Khan and his acolytes are.
When the USS Reliant arrives in the Ceti Alpha system to hunt for a body to act as a test body for the Genesis project, there should have been several problems noted. The first is that there was one less body in orbit around Ceti Alpha as it is revealed by Khan that Ceti Alpha VI exploded not long after they were left there and should have been detected on arrival. Secondly, the survey ship goes into orbit around a planet they have designated Ceti Alpha VI without detecting they are in fact in orbit around the fifth planet, which is in a closer orbit to the central star than the original Ceti Alpha V one. It would also be very unusual for an alert or ban not to be placed on that system with such a dangerous person marooned there.
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When Spock enters the radiation chamber, the door rotates. This would allow radioactively contaminated gas to escape into the compartment. However, the design of the rotating door makes matters worse, in that it is not broken up into three or four sections of 120 or 90 degrees respectively, but is divided in half, with a fluted outer edge. This allows large gaps to be created between each side of the door and the walls of the chamber, further increasing the outflow of radiation. There is no indication given of any pressure differential in the chamber atmosphere compare to that of the engine compartment to prevent this from happening.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Khan's first mate Joachim is mortally wounded, he dies with his eyes open. Khan swears to avenge him and hugs him fiercely to his chest - and the actor blinks.
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During the Enterprise's final appearance on camera in the film, stars can be seen through it.
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When the Ceti eel is leaving Chekov's head via his ear, the worm is in fact leaving from a point on his head somewhere above the ear hole.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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