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

Trivia

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In the DVD bonus feature "The Captain's Log", Ricardo Montalban says that once he committed to this film, he realized that he had trouble getting back into the character of Khan. After years of playing Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island (1977), he found that he was "stuck" in that character. He requested a tape of Star Trek: Space Seed (1967) from Paramount, and proceeded to watch it repeatedly. By the third or fourth watching, he had recaptured the essence of Khan's character.
Kirk and Khan never meet face to face during the movie. All of their interaction is through viewscreens or communicators. This was because Ricardo Montalban filmed his scenes separately from the main production in order to accommodate his schedule of filming Fantasy Island (1977).
It has been widely debated that Ricardo Montalban's chest was actually a prosthetic piece that he wore during the film. In the director's commentary in the special edition DVD, Nicholas Meyer is quoted as saying that it was, in fact, Montalban's actual chest and that he was a very muscular man who worked out. During publicity for the movie, during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Montalban explained that he was able to achieve the look seen in the film by doing push-ups. "A lot of push-ups."
When Sci Fi Channel aired this movie on television, Leonard Nimoy appeared on-screen during commercial breaks, explaining various memories and trivia about the film. One of the items was the character backstory of Lt. Saavik (Kirstie Alley), who was intended to have Romulan/Vulcan heritage, which would have made her more emotional than a pure blood Vulcan. Three hints at this remain in the final film: during the Kobayashi Maru simulation, she says to herself, "Damn!"; she gasps in shock when Scotty appears on the bridge with midshipman Prestons' injured body; and she is emotionally moved by Kirk's eulogy.
The computer simulation of Genesis transforming a dead planet into a habitable (and habitable planets into dead planets) one is the first complete computer-generated sequence ever used in a feature film. It is a direct brainchild of ex-Boeing engineer Loren Carpenter, whom after Boeing went on to join George Lucas' Lucas Arts' "Industrial Light and Magic," ILM. At Boeing in the late 1970s Carpenter discovered that Mandelbrot fractals could be used to create realistic mountain landscapes for computer animations of new aircraft designs, a previously intractable problem, and started a revolution in computer graphics and simulation.
Producer Harve Bennett viewed all the original Star Trek (1966) episodes and chose Star Trek: Space Seed (1967) as the best candidate for a sequel. Spock even remarks in the script that it would be interesting to return in a hundred years or so to see what type of civilization had grown there. This is the first time a movie was made as a sequel to a specific television show episode.
It is a Star Trek running gag that there is a Federation embargo against Romulan Ale, but this still doesn't prevent resourceful people like Dr. McCoy (using "medicinal" privileges as a loophole) from procuring some for Admiral Kirk as a birthday present, and many Star Trek captains and flag officers have, over the years in Star Trek canon, viewed it as something of a status symbol, much like Cuban cigars since the US embargo on Cuban goods after the Revolution of 1959.
When interviewed about the film in the mid 80s, James Doohan stated that he felt Ricardo Montalban should have been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. Subsequently, Doohan lamented that the Academy never really give those type of awards or nominations for such movies.
George Takei initially declined to appear in this film. William Shatner called Takei and convinced him to reconsider.
When Khan shows Chekov and Reliant Captain Terrell the Ceti eels (the only native inhabitants of this destroyed planet) for the first time, he tells that these eels were responsible for the deaths of 20 of his people, including his "beloved wife". Although he never mentions her name or goes into any more detail about her, it is very likely that his wife was in fact the former Lt. Marla McGivers, the Enterprise historian who was seduced by Khan and helps him commandeer the ship in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967).
Just after Kirk steps aboard, Scotty (James Doohan) says he "had a wee bout," but that McCoy pulled him through. Actually, this was a reference to Doohan's heart attack, which took place just before filming began.
Many of the actors playing Khan's henchmen were Chippendale dancers at the time of filming.
According to Nicholas Meyer in the DVD Commentary, in the moment when Kirk and Spock use the "Prefix Code" to sabotage the Reliant, William Shatner kept over-acting the line "Here it comes... now." According to Meyer, Shatner kept overselling the line, making it too obvious what was about to happen. Meyer kept doing the scene over and over again until Shatner got bored and he finally relaxed enough to say the line more casually.
Kirstie Alley was a fan of Star Trek (1966) as a child. Spock was her favorite character and she would fantasize about being his daughter. When she auditioned for Saavik, she did an impression of Leonard Nimoy's portrayal of Spock as she knew the character so well.
Kim Cattrall was Nicholas Meyer's first choice for the role of Saavik, but eventually proved unavailable. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), the sixth film of the series, Saavik was supposed to return as a major character and Cattrall was signed on. Cattrall, however, did not want to be the third actress to play the role of Saavik, and the character was changed to Vulcan officer Lieutenant Valeris.
One of Admiral Kirk's antiques is a Commodore PET computer.
In Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), all of the on-set displays were operated by looped film projectors behind the walls, because normal video monitors' refresh rate was different from the film frame rate, causing a visible flicker. Sets like the bridge had dozens of these projectors operating simultaneously, which were very noisy, and had to be manually synchronized with the camera. For this film, a new system was developed with monitors and videotape that ran at the same 24fps rate as the film, allowing quieter (and brighter) displays to be used on-set. This technology subsequently became a standard for Hollywood film production.
Producers went ahead with a script featuring Khan taking it for granted that Ricardo Montalban would be interested in or available for the film. Specifically, it was overlooked that Montalban at the time was busy starring on Fantasy Island (1977). Montalban was receptive when approached about reprising the role, and arrangements were made to film the movie so as not to conflict with Montalban's Fantasy Island scheduling.
The battle of wits between Kirk and Khan in the Mutara Nebula sequence was inspired by the battle between destroyer captain Robert Mitchum and U-boat commander Curd Jürgens in The Enemy Below (1957), which was was also the inspiration for Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966).
An oft-noted discrepancy in this film is that Chekov was not a member of the crew during the first season of Star Trek (1966) when Khan was first encountered in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967), yet Chekov and Khan recognize each other. Walter Koenig has surmised that perhaps Chekov was a member of the crew, but just happened to never be shown in the first season; he jokes that maybe an off-duty Chekov accidentally caused Khan to wait uncomfortably long to get to the men's room, leaving a particularly indelible impression.
The famous "Space, the final frontier" monologue is heard for the first time since the original Star Trek (1966) TV series, now narrated by Leonard Nimoy, however it has been changed slightly. Instead of saying, "...its five-year mission..." and "to seek out new life," it now says, "her ongoing mission..." and "to seek out new life forms".
In Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Chekov was burned on the hand; in this film, he has a Ceti eel crawl in his ear. Walter Koenig joked that this film should be called "Star Trek II: Chekov Screams Again".
First Star Trek movie to feature the "red tunic" uniforms, used in every Original Series-based movie thereafter, and used on several occasions on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
The closeups of the Ceti eels entering and exiting Chekov's ear were done using a huge rubber replica of Walter Koenig's ear. One morning, the effects crew discovered that the art department had left a true-to-scale Q-tip next to the giant ear.
Nicholas Meyer admits that Khan's familiarity with Chekov is a mistake, but defends this citing Arthur Conan Doyle who frequently had trivial errors in his Sherlock Holmes stories, but made no apologies for them.
The "No Smoking At Anytime On Bridge" sign from the first scene was removed in later bridge scenes when Gene Roddenberry complained that smoking would not exist in the future. The sign contains a grammatical error, which are fairly common on such signs aboard real ships.
Madlyn Rhue was to reprise her role as Marla McGivers from Star Trek: Space Seed (1967). But Rhue had suffered with multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair so the role was written out of the script by explaining she had died during the years of exile. Rhue did perform on television through 1996 despite her disability.
Although Gene Roddenberry created Starfleet in the original Star Trek (1966) with a military structure, he deliberately avoided getting very detailed on the nature of that structure (what he called "excessive militarism"). Director Nicholas Meyer, however, decided to further expand this part of the Star Trek mythos, making the uniforms and insignias more military in style, adding a ship's bell and boatswain's whistle, and writing the dialogue to be more accurate to actual naval protocol. These details have greatly influenced the films and spin-off series that followed.
The original subtitle was "Star Trek: The Genesis Project." That was changed to "Star Trek II," then "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country" and subsequently "The Vengeance of Khan." This was changed in deference to Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), then subtitled "Revenge of the Jedi", which was to be released near the same time. In the end both films' titles were changed.
One of the Reliant's crew, Commander Kyle, played by John Winston, was a recurring member of the Enterprise crew in the original Star Trek (1966) TV series.
Judson Scott's lack of screen credit for his very large part as Joachim (Khan's right-hand man) was the fault of his then-agent, who mistakenly opted to waive Scott's credit believing that that would allow them to negotiate better credit placement later.
During filming of some of Khan's scenes, the prop guys decided to have a little fun at Ricardo Montalban's expense. They created a small robot and attached to its head a cardboard cutout of the head of Hervé Villechaize - Montalban's pint-sized co-star from the TV series Fantasy Island (1977). Montalban was quite amused when he saw the prop on the set.
For this film Gene Roddenberry was given a consultant position and replaced as executive producer by Harve Bennett. Apparently, Paramount blamed the constant production delays and budget overruns for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) on Roddenberry's constant meddling and demanding script re-writes.
The shot of the three Klingon ships in the Simulator room is from the opening sequence of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
The "Genesis" sequence called for a long and massive explosion. ILM rented the Cow Palace in San Francisco for the effect. They covered the ceiling with a black cloth and placed the camera on the floor looking up at it. The explosion would occur directly above the camera so the fall-out would appear to rush directly towards the point of view. A special high-speed camera was constructed which ran at 2,500 frames per second. One of its components was a spinning prism, which bent the image onto the film as it rushed past, which increased exposure time without having to slow the frame rate.
In Star Trek: Space Seed (1967) approximately 80 genetically-engineered supermen were left behind on Ceti Alpha V by the Enterprise. By the time of this film, only 15 (including Khan) are left. 20 were killed by Ceti Eels, the rest through other means (presumably as a result of the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI).
Computer graphics programmer Loren Carpenter wanted the stars appearing behind the planet during the Project Genesis demo to be accurate relative to its location in space, yet contain constellations visible from Earth. He and Lucasfilm computer graphics research director Alvy Ray Smith (who later co-founded Pixar) chose the star Epsilon Indi. While a dozen light years from earth, the "Big Dipper" (comprised of the seven brightest stars in the constellation Ursa Major) is visible there and appears much like it does from Earth... except Earth's sun appears in the constellation as an "extra" star.
Nicholas Meyer originally hired John W. Morgan to score the film. Before he could even write any music however, the producers decided that Morgan wasn't experienced enough to work on the film, and fired him in favor of James Horner.
The time difference between Star Trek: Space Seed (1967). and The Wrath of Khan is 15 years both in release dates and the time gone by in the plot.
When Spock advises Kirk that Khan's moves "indicate two dimensional thinking", Spock is commenting that Khan is using tactics learned from playing two-dimensional chess. Khan, as a Sikh, was likely familiar with 2 D chess - which originated from his homeland. Kirk and Spock routinely played three-dimensional chess during Star Trek (1966): The Original Series. The key to 3-D chess was using an "attack board" to come up from below or above your opponent. Hence, Kirk gives the helm command "all stop" and "Z-minus 10,000 meters." In the Cartesian coordinate system, the Z-axis measures above or below the horizontal plane. The next scene show Enterprise moving in the Z-axis, not seen in other Star Trek movies.
There is a background prop in the Regula 1 Space Station; a machine that has a pair of red fluorescent tubes firing back and forth at each other. This machine reappears in the movie Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), in which William Shatner makes a cameo saying that his staff must work out what it does, since to think that its purpose is just to sit there blinking is absurd and infuriating. The light prop makes its way again on various occasions in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), such as Star Trek: The Next Generation: Datalore (1988).
This movie officially establishes the 23rd-century time line as the time period for Star Trek (1966) and for its movies. Prior to this movie, it had never been officially established which century the original series took place. According to Gene Roddenberry, the original series could've easily taken place between the 21st and 31st centuries, and Stardates were used to allow for this ambiguity in the time line.
The stars seen in the background of the Genesis simulation sequence are based on a 3-D model of the Milky Way, as seen from the perspective of a fictitious moon. In other words, if you were to travel to the point in space where the simulation programmers chose to place the moon, that is what the actual star configuration in the sky would look like.
When Spock and Saavik speak to each other in Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy and Kirstie Alley actually spoke in English and then the sound people - Including Marc Okrand, in his first association with Star Trek - created the Vulcan words to match the movements of the actors' mouths, which Nimoy and Alley later overdubbed.
Star Trek fans have speculated that Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch) could have been the "little blonde technician" Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) admitted to collaborating with to distract Kirk with a romance in the second pilot episode, Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966)
This is the only Star Trek original-series film in which a Federation starship fires phasers. In the other five, the Enterprise and other Federation ships exclusively use photon torpedoes.
The different colored turtlenecks worn by Starfleet officers indicate what division they belong to. White - Command; Gold - Engineering; Gray - Science; Light Green - Medical; Red - Cadets and Trainees; and Black - Enlisted.
Evans and Sutherland's "Digistar System" and "Picture System" were used to generate the star field images and tactical screens used on various ship displays. John E. Warnock, one of the "Picture System" designers, left Evans and Sutherland shortly after the film's production. He co-founded a software company that developed and marketed a programming language utilizing technology originally created for rendering the vector graphic-based displays. The company was Adobe, and the software was PostScript.
Nicholas Meyer has always insisted that the books in Khan's library were just titles he selected at random from a bookshelf. However, given the titles, plots, and the analogies in regards to Khan, this seems extremely unlikely. Two of the titles are "Moby Dick" and "Paradise Lost", both of which center on vengeance for someone harmed by a higher power. "King Lear" is the story of a man having to live with bad decisions.
Based on the Stardates given in this film and at his birth in Star Trek (2009), here Kirk is celebrating his 52nd birthday.
The model of the USS Reliant was purposely designed so that the warp engines hung below the fuselage so that audiences would not accidentally confuse it with the Enterprise. As the fundamental components of both ships are the same (saucer, warp engines, etc) it was seen as being an effective way to visually differentiate the two vessels, particularly during action sequences when both ships are in the same scene.
This film marks the first appearance of the Miranda class starship, namely the USS Reliant. The model was reused several times in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), as other vessels of the same class, or Soyuz class.
There are several books in the container that shelters Khan's followers on Ceti Alpha V. Two of the titles are "Moby Dick" and "King Lear", and a lot of Khan's lines are directly taken from those books. In particular, the final monologue of Khan is identical to the last words of Captain Ahab from Melville's book. Other titles visible are "The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri, an anthology of "Paradise Lost" and Paradise Regained" by John Milton, a single copy of "Paradise Lost," the Holy Bible, and one where the title is partially obscured called "Statute Regulating... Commerce". "Paradise Lost" had been memorably quoted in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967).
On Enterprise's first encounter with Reliant, Captain Kirk declares a yellow alert. Lieutenant Saavik immediately energizes the "defense fields," which are an entirely different system than the main deflector shields. No such "defense fields" are ever mentioned in any other Star Trek movie or TV series.
Saavik was the first female Vulcan in the "Star Trek" universe whose name began with "S". Previously, only male Vulcans had names that began with "S" (Spock, Sarek, Surak) while female Vulcans had name that began with "T" (T'Pau, T'Pring).
According to Kirstie Alley, she slept with her Vulcan ears on at home during production.
When Kirk and Saavik are in the turbolift, when the doors reopen (and McCoy gets in), the corridor outside appears shorter, giving the appearance that the lift really has moved to someplace else. In reality, a wall was moved into place while the doors were closed.
The scenic view of San Francisco through Kirk's apartment window is a painting, originally created for The Towering Inferno (1974). In front of the backdrop were placed a couple of models of futuristic skyscrapers, with working lights and elevators. Thus, if we assume that Kirk's apartment is in the same place as the tower in The Towering Inferno (1974), then his address is 655 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, on the 135th floor.
The baby Ceti eels were pulled along the actors' cheeks using a piece of string. They were made out of a stretchy rubber, allowing them to seem to crawl along, and covered with raspberry jelly to give them a slimy appearance.
Khan's right-hand man in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967) was named "Joaquin" (Mark Tobin), but in this film, he is named "Joachim" (Judson Scott). Director Nicholas Meyer attributes the change to a clerical error during script development.
The death of Spock was supposed to be final and irrevocable, in part because actor Leonard Nimoy wanted to appear in no more Star Trek projects. However, he enjoyed the experience of filming Star Trek II and asked if he could return.
The computer ship diagram when the shields are being raised are actually from the aborted 1978 Star Trek: Phase II TV show.
The stats for the Kobayashi Maru vessel as listed on the view screen during the no-win scenario, are as follows:
  • CLASSIFICATION: Class III Neutronic Fuel Carrier


  • REGISTRY: Amber, Tau Ceti IV


  • MASTER: Kojiro Vance


  • CREW: 81


  • PASSENGERS: 300


  • DEAD WEIGHT TONNAGE: 147,943 Megatonnes


  • CARGO CAPACITY: 97,000 Megatonnes


  • LENGTH: 237 meters


  • BEAM: 111 meters


  • HEIGHT: 70 meters


  • MAX CRUISE SPEED: Warp Factor 3


  • MAX EMERGENCY SPEED: Warp Factor 6


65% of the film was shot on the same set.
An early draft of the script had Dr. Janet Wallace (Sarah Marshall) from Star Trek: The Deadly Years (1967) as Kirk's long-lost lover in the role that eventually became Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch).
In addition to the footage of the Klingon vessels in the simulator scenes, other footage was lifted directly from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) primarily to keep costs down. These include: Kirk's shuttle docking with the Enterprise in advance of his inspection, scenes of the ship first being lighted before Saavik is told to clear all moorings, the ship pulling out of space dock, and the few seconds of footage of the saucer of Enterprise just before the scene cuts to Kirk in his quarters, about to read his book.
The moving starfield during the title sequence was filmed by putting the camera in the center of the floor of a local planetarium, aimed up.
Due to budget limitations, sets and props were re-used wherever possible. Space Station Regula 1 was the space station from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)... turned upside-down. Terrell and Chekov's environmental suits were also originally used in ST: TMP.
According to 'The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats', "The Wrath of Khan" can boast of the fastest camera speed on any feature motion picture. Industrial Light and Magic shot the giant explosion scene at 2500 frames per second at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Although it took only one second to film, it took up 104 seconds on-screen at 24fps speed.
Nicholas Meyer and Bibi Besch collaborated again on The Day After (1983), a film about nuclear war. After completing that film, Besch, having learned a great deal about nuclear warfare, stated that she should have approached the character of Dr. Carol Marcus very differently, as a scientist more wary of the Genesis Device's destructive power.
Just before the scene where Genesis is explained, there is a scene where Spock crosses the bridge and tells Kirk, "There are two explanations: they are unable to respond; they are unwilling to respond." As he crosses the bridge, he walks directly in front of the main viewscreen, where the stars are visible. On most films (even Star Trek films), this would require a chromakey (bluescreen or greenscreen) matte effect, so that the moving starfield could be added to the screen in post-production. However, in another of the cost-cutting measures on this film, the scene was done without any FX work: the "viewscreen" in this scene is actually a black cloth with miniature lights draped behind the screen opening. Unlike most bridge shots when the Enterprise is underway, the stars are quite motionless in this scene.
DeForest Kelley was dissatisfied with an earlier version of the script to the point that he considered not taking part.
According to Nicholas Meyer in the DVD Commentary, when Kirk and Spock are walking down the hallway at Starfleet Headquarters, William Shatner was not supposed to look at the maintenance man vacuuming in the hall. Meyer told him not to, but Shatner kept doing it anyways.
There was no comic book adaptation of this movie because at the time, nobody had a license to do a Star Trek comic; Marvel's license had expired before it went into production, and DC Comics didn't pick up the license until after this movie was released. An adaptation has been released now, though.
It is revealed in the Director's Edition DVD, Special Features disk 2 "Designing Khan" feature that the USS Reliant design sketch was sent to Harve Bennett for review. He signed off on it while looking at it upside-down, and calls it the upside-down Enterprise. This was not corrected because it gave some distinction for both ships that already looked so much alike belonging to the same fleet.
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When Paramount Video released its 1986 VHS set of the "Trek" trilogy franchise, one publicity shot on the box is of Kirk and Spock behind bars. Nowhere in the film is this scene shown.
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The main viewer display during the opening sequence indicates that the Kobayashi Maru's captain is Kojiro Vance and that the ship is registered out of the planet Amber (Tau Ceti IV).
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Originally subtitled "The Undiscovered Country", but that subtitle eventually went to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
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In the beginning when Kirk and Spock are talking in the hallway, the black building directory in background lists key Starfleet Command personnel including Admiral Gene Roddenberry (Also Joseph R. Jennings, Michael Minor, Lee Cole and other art department members).
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A draft script had Khan defeating Kirk in a swordfight.
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Saavik was originally intended to be a male Vulcan, but was changed later on to a female Vulcan/Romulan hybrid. Nicholas Meyer's rewrite wasn't thorough enough, though, and Saavik is referred to as "Mr." Saavik throughout the movie, especially during the launch sequence of the Enterprise. Although "Trek" fans and Naval buffs have pointed out in actual, nautical jargon: women are addressed as such. Being that the "true" lady is the vessel "herself".
Khan's muscular chest seen throughout the film is actually Ricardo Montalban's real chest and not a prosthetic as is often reported.
This was the first major, high-profile film with music by James Horner. Jerry Goldsmith wrote the score for this film's predecessor, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and the following quote by Horner likely references this fact: "I'm sure that I was influenced by Goldsmith's large orchestral scores when I started out, and that was because the people who employed me wanted that kind of sound. I wasn't in a position to say, 'Go To Hell!'"
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Khan is never once addressed by his full name: Khan Noonien Singh, which he was introduced as in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967).
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The Enterprise bridge set from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) was redressed for use as the Kobayashi Maru simulator, the Enterprise bridge, and the Reliant bridge. The circular set was built as a set of modular "wedges", which allowed them to be rearranged for a similar, but distinctive, look. Also, for the Reliant, the seat covers were changed, and the turbolift door was painted blue. In one shot, when the turbolift doors are open, a ship diagram for the Enterprise can be seen inside the lift.
In a deleted scene, Kirk introduces Saavik to David and they are attracted to each other.
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In the atrium scene at the beginning, where Spock gives Kirk a copy of "A Tale of Two Cities", a wide shot shows several plants in the room around them. This was accomplished with a foreground miniature -- a miniature set placed between the camera and the actors, making the space look larger and more decorated than it actually is.
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The exterior scenes on Ceti Alpha V were filmed on the same part of Paramount stage 8 where the set for Kirk's apartment was later built (the apartment set, however, was saved for re-use in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)). This part of the stage was later home to the Ten-Forward set on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and sickbay on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001).
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The propulsion module from the spaceship model used in Conquest of Space (1955) is part of the set decoration in Khan's cargo container home. It's a cagelike structure with four silver cylindrical tanks.
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Prior to being involved with the movie, Harve Bennett had never seen an episode of the Star Trek (1966) TV series. Paramount assigned the film to Bennett largely due to his background in television work.
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Composers often 'borrow' from their other works when writing new compositions. The James Horner score for "Star Trek: Wrath of Khan" is considered by many to borrow heavily from his score for Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). The resemblances are more than just stylistic.
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Ricardo Montalban said in promo interviews for the movie about how he realized early on in his career that a good villain does not see himself as villainous. He may do villainous things, but the character feels that he is doing them for righteous reasons. Likewise with heroes, Montalban said he always tried to find a flaw in the character because no one is completely good or completely evil.
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The novelization expands on the relationship between Saavik and Peter Preston. She helps Preston with his studies, and the young Peter has a crush on her. When Preston dies Saavik has a deep emotional reaction to his death, locking herself in a room and throwing a chair and crying. Preston is also revealed to be the nephew of Montgomery Scott, something which was cut from the original theatrical version of the film.
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The novel revealed that Chekov had the night watch on the Enterprise when Khan was on board and that Chekov had feelings for Marla McGivers. Marla was the love interest of Khan in his first appearance.
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Director Nicholas Meyer envisioned the film as the ultimate extension of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's idea of "Horatio Hornblower in space". Therefore, prior to filming he had the cast watch Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) for inspiration.
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Sulu's backstory of being promotable to Captain (leading to his eventual command of USS Excelsior by Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)) is edited from George Takei's line, "I'm delighted! Any chance to go aboard the Enterprise."
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At the time of the movie, both William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban were starring on ABC-TV series produced by Aaron Spelling. Shatner on T.J. Hooker (1982) and Montalban on Fantasy Island (1977).
Star Trek "technobabble" seen on walls throughout the Regula space station includes: Geoplastics, Gravitronics, Thermowave Multiplexer, JBK Sensors Synthostasis, Thermonics, Wave Matrix ETM Storage, and Bellus.
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The prop consoles used on the various ships all had working buttons which controlled the many tiny lights across them, which were dubbed 'honeycombs'. As the actors would take their places and the director would instruct them to light up their consoles for the take, the cast developed a tradition of all singing the chorus from the 1950's hit "Honeycomb".
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The film was better received than its predecessor by both Star Trek fans and professional film critics. It is still considered among the best in its franchise.
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Three prominent collaborators on the film died with four months of each other. Producer Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) died two days apart: Bennett on February 25, 2015 and Nimoy on February 27, 2015. Composer James Horner died nearly four months later in a plane crash, on June 22, 2015,
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On the back wall of the Reliant's bridge (and presumably the Enterprise's as well, since it was a slightly redecorated version of the same set), on either side of the turbolift doors, are some rectangular shapes with smaller rectangular impressions in them. These are shells for storing audio cassette tapes, painted white and attached to the wall. They are very visible during several scenes when Khan is talking and plotting.
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More Regula station gag technobabble: one console bears the legend "R XM", a reference to the sci-fi classic Rocketship X-M (1950).
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Another cost-saving measure on this film is that many of the "computer" consoles and other high-tech set dressings were rented from a Hollywood company called Modern Props. The more common approach would have been to have set designers create these by hand, for limited use, at a much higher cost.
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The VHS box showed Enterprise firing phasers at the Regula research station, but this never happened at any point in the movie.
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In an early version of the script, Sulu was the captain of the Reliant until the character of Captain Terrell was created. See also Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
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The barren desert surface of Ceti Alpha V was simulated on stage 8, the largest sound stage at Paramount's studio. The set was elevated 25 feet off the ground and covered in wooden mats, over which tons of colored sand and powder were dumped. A cyclorama was painted and wrapped around the set, while massive industrial fans created a sandstorm. The filming was uncomfortable for actors and crew alike. The spandex environmental suits Koenig and Winfield wore were unventilated, and the actors had to signal by microphone when they needed air. Filming equipment was wrapped in plastic to prevent mechanical troubles and everyone on set wore boots, masks, and coveralls as protection from flying sand.
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The phrase "to the last I grapple with thee; from Hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee." is taken from a Captain Ahab speech in the novel Moby-Dick (1851) by Herman Melville (1819-1891).
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Kirstie Alley was somewhat uncertain if other fans would accept a Vulcan female and she endeavored not to make the unemotional female character seem too much like "a bitch," by concentrating on the emotionality of Saavik's Romulan heritage, which accounts for her crying on screen at one point.
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The interior set for Khan's cargo container home was built on the same part of Paramount stage 8 where bridge sets for the Enterprise-D on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Voyager on Star Trek: Voyager (1995) were later housed.
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The software that generated the computer image of the Genesis probe approaching the planet placed mountains on the planet at random, and one of these happened to be right in the probe's path. Each frame took so long to create with the systems then available that when the problem was spotted, it was not considered reasonable to discard the seconds of footage already made. Hence a canyon was introduced.
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The Enterprise Torpedo Room and Spacelab transporter sets were originally parts of the Klingon bridge built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). In order to save money, shots of the Enterprise departing from dock, and in space, were taken from the first Star Trek movie. The Spacelab model is that of the orbiting space office turned upside down and with some cosmetic changes from the first Star Trek movie. This movie was produced by the Paramount Television division and released by the feature film division, in order to avoid the then-astronomical $43 million cost of the first feature film.
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Paul Winfield, Merritt Butrick and the uncredited Judson Scott (Joachim) all later appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), as did the second Saavik, Robin Curtis. In fact Butrick and Scott were in the same Season 1 episode, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Symbiosis (1988).
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Sega planned to release a video game adaptation for the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200 in 1983. However, the company was badly affected by the video game industry crash of 1983 and the game was cancelled before its intended release.
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Executive producer Harve Bennett was mostly a television producer before working for the film and a relative newcomer to Paramount Pictures. He was offered the role of producing film by executives Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Eisner, and Charles Bluhdorn. The first two were interested in having Bennett produce an improved sequel to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979). Bennett thought that film was boring and that he could easily produce something more interesting. Bluhdorn was mostly interested in having a tighter budget and asked if he Bennett could make the film on a budget less than 45 million dollars. Bennett answered that he could produce 5 films on a 45-million-dollars budget. He got the job.
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Writer and director Nicholas Meyer joined the film project after several drafts and scripts had already been completed and rejected. He asked the creative team to compile a list of the best elements of all previous versions to be considered for inclusion. "it could be a character, it could be a scene, it could be a plot, it could be a subplot, [...] it could be a line of dialogue".
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Both Star Trek fans and test audiences reacted negatively to Spock's death. So Paramount leaked the plans for the sequel that "Spock will live" again before the second film was actually released.
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The demonstration of the effects of the Genesis Device on a barren planet was to be presented by using traditional animation, but Paramount executives asked for something more impressive. The scene was shot using an entirely computer-generated sequence. The effects were produced by the Graphics Group division of Lucasfilm. This division would later become an independent company under the name Pixar.
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Composer James Horner was asked by producers to deliver a film score both modern and distinctive. "They did not want a John Williams score, per se."
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Composer James Horner was expressly told to not use any of Jerry Goldsmith's score from the original film. Instead Horner adapted the opening fanfare of Alexander Courage's Star Trek television theme.
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Many elements of the film score drew from James Horner's previous work. For example a rhythm that accompanies Khan's theme during the surprise attack borrows from an attack theme from "Wolfen" (1981). In turn, the theme in "Wolfen" had been been influenced by Jerry Goldsmith's film score for "Alien" (1979).
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William Shatner was reportedly hesitant about portraying a middle-aged version of himself, and believed that with proper makeup he could continue playing a younger Kirk. Bennett convinced Shatner that he could age gracefully like Spencer Tracy.
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The addition of Kirstie Alley to the cast was somewhat divisive to the film crew. Director Nicholas Mayer and actor Leonard Nimoy were impressed with her acting and felt she added to the film. Gene Roddenberry, on the other hand, though she failed to play a convincing alien. "I thought a few times too often she sounded like an American girl who had just laid down her tennis racket, and I think you have to build in those mysteries and those mysterious ways, especially when you have aliens."
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An early idea about Saavik had her have a crush on Kirk, but eventually turn her attentions to his son David. . "As many young women would, she would realize that the older man might not be obtainable, and look who's here as a very reasonable substitute." The scenes featuring the romantic hints were deleted.
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While the character of Saavik appeared in few of the sequels, she proved relatively popular with creators and fans of Star Trek spin-offs. She has appeared in licensed comics, novels, and games. These appearances expand on her background, flesh out the character and her relationships, and have her marry Spock.
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The film features a remarkably changed Khan. In his first appearance, Khan was depicted as a powerful but well-disciplined leader for his people. In the film, Khan is driven mainly by passion, having turned into an obsessively vengeful man.
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Star Trek "technobabble" seen on a Regula space station wall: Kmrt. ("K-Mart")
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On the back of the VHS box of the movie, there is a still of David Marcus on top of Capt. Kirk, holding a knife to him. This scene is not a part of the fight between Kirk and David in the film.
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The film takes place in March 2285.
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There is an Easter Egg on the tactical display that Kirk calls for after beaming up from the Genesis cavern. Two men worked on four of the computer-generated displays for this movie, including the tactical screen. They were Neil Harrington and Steve McAllister. On the tactical screen, the Enterprise is designated "2-LIEN-8". This is Neil backwards (for Neil Jon Harrington), and the number 82 for the release year of the movie. Steve McAllister's nickname was "Snave", and the Reliant was designated "9-Snave-6". 69 is for the year 1969 when McAllister began working for Evans And Sutherland. There has been speculation that there is significance to the name "Kojiro Vance" in the Kobayashi Maru scene, but Harrington has said that it was in the script and so appears that way on-screen.
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There is a "No Smoking" sign on the door of the simulator room during the Kobayashi Maru test. According to Michael Okuda, it was removed at the request of Gene Roddenberry, who did not see smoking as part of the human lifestyle in the future. However, a "No Smoking" sign can be seen in the Starfleet transporter room in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).
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Many of the wall panels and equipment on Regula I and in the Genesis underground space have a ridged texture to them. According to the "Designing Khan" DVD bonus, these were molded from the cardboard packing materials for fluorescent lighting tubes used in various areas of Paramount studios.
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Executive producer Harve Bennett had never seen any episode of "Star Trek: The Original Series" when asked to produce the second film. In order to better understand the source material, he proceeded to view all of them.
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Executive producer Harve Bennett wrote a first draft for the screenplay before hiring a screenwriter. His version was titled "The War of the Generations". According to a summary of it: "Kirk investigates a rebellion on a distant world and discovers that his son is the leader of the rebels. Khan is the mastermind behind the plot, and Kirk and son join forces to defeat the tyrant."
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By 1981, the idea was to kill Spock during the first act. The creative team was trying to reproduce the shocking twist of "Psycho" (1960), where apparent leading lady Janet Leigh dies early in the film. When this script was leaked and Star Trek fans reacted negatively, the death was moved to much later in the film.
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The rejected script by Samuel A. Peeples would introduce a storyline similar to the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". In the episode, two crew members of the Enterprise gain superpowers and display remarkable psychic powers. They are compared to new gods. In the rejected script of the film, Khan was replaced by two alien villains called Sojin and Moray. The duo would have godlike powers but misuse them. By mistake they would threaten the existence of planet Earth. The script was rejected because the script was considered too close to the "freak of the week" formula used in many Star Trek episodes.
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Nicholas Meyer wrote his version of the screenplay uncredited and for no pay before the deadline, surprising the actors and producers.
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According to Nicholas Meyer, one of his chief contributions to the film was to handle the storyline and characters with a "healthy disrespect". He felt that the characters had to become "more human and a little less wooden".
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In contrast to the Starfleet uniforms which were designed with a naval theme and were intended to represent military uniform, Khan and his group wore clothing from whatever material they could find. According to Designer Robert Fletcher: "My intention with Khan was to express the fact that they had been marooned on that planet with no technical infrastructure, so they had to cannibalize from the spaceship whatever they used or wore. Therefore, I tried to make it look as if they had dressed themselves out of pieces of upholstery and electrical equipment that composed the ship."
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The first film was made on a 46 million dollars budget. The second film was much cheaper, costing 11 million to produce. The initial intentions of Paramount was to make it cost less than 10 million dollars, but they agreed to a budget increase.
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For shots of the Enterprise and other ships, the camera system used was the Dykstraflex. It had been created in the 1970s and first used in the film "Star Wars" (1977).
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The Reliant was originally supposed to be a Constitution-class starship identical to the Enterprise, but it was felt audiences would have difficulty distinguishing between the two ships.
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In keeping with the nautical tone, director Nicholas Meyer wanted music evocative of seafaring and swashbuckling.
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In keeping with the theme of death and rebirth symbolized by Spock's sacrifice and the Genesis Device, director Nicholas Meyer wanted to call the film "The Undiscovered Country", in reference to Prince Hamlet's description of death in Hamlet (c. 1599-1602) by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), but the title was changed during editing without his knowledge.
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Nicholas Mayer had Kirk "waste away in the absence of" ... starship adventures. The theme of wasting away in the absence of stimuli was derived by the literary character Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) who has similar reactions when not facing new cases.
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Although the total gross of "The Wrath of Khan" was less than that of "The Motion Picture", it was more profitable due to its lower production cost.
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Though no concrete plans about Saavik existed at the time of the film's release, Star Trek fans have speculated that the female Vulcan was intended as a replacement for Spock. Spock was not initially going to appear in further films and Saavik is depicted manning the Enterprise's science station in the third film of the series.
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Nick Meyer made a concerted effort to embody realism and avoid overt sexuality in Kirstie Alley's depiction of Saavik, which was the actress' first film role. "She was getting advice from all sides, and the studio kept trying to make it more of a 'tits and ass' performance," recalled the director. "I said, 'No, no, no. That's real. You're in the Navy. You're a pro. Just do your job. You're good; you're at the top of your class there.'"
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Scenes deleted from Star Trek II included one wherein Spock made note to Kirk of Saavik's half-Romulan heritage. In another draft of the script, Spock and Saavik would converse in the Vulcan language and would included the revelation about her mixed ancestry. In the end, she was featured as another Vulcan and not a Romulan.
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For the role of Carol Marcus, director Nicholas Mayer wanted "a woman who was beautiful and looked like she could think; a woman who was attractive enough that you could see why Kirk would fall for her, and at the same time somebody who could keep up with him". He felt that Bibi Besch fit the part.
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Kirk's apartment as seen in the film was filled with antique collectibles. The production team wanted "to suggest that Kirk had too much time on his hands in retirement and had a real attachment to the past".
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Nicholas Mayer was aware that familiarity between Khan and Chekov posed a continuity problem, since the two had not met in the original series. Meyer acknowledged that he could have just as easily put Uhura on the Reliant and keep the consistency, but he preferred Chekov and referenced the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle frequently contradicted himself in his books about Sherlock Holmes, saying that the continuity doesn't matter, as long as he has the audience engrossed in and enjoying the story.
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The line "He's really not dead, as long as we remember him" by McCoy was an idea by Nicholas Mayer. He had come across an article about World War II diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who disappeared in 1945, and whose fate is a mystery. The article concerned the possibility of Raoul Wallenberg being alive and contained the phrase: "He's really not dead, as long as we remember him."
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This is the only TOS movie in which a Federation ship fires its phasers. All other films in the TOS series have the ships firing photon torpedoes. The next film in the series to have a ship fire its phasers was "Star Trek Generations" (1994).
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This film marks the first appearance in the Star Trek franchise of an isolation door in main engineering. It can be seen lowering during the "surprise attack" sequence following Khan's hijacking of the Reliant. That door later became the shuttlebay door on the Enterprise-D.
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During Spock's funeral while Scotty is playing the bagpipes, if you look very closely below the railing you will see his right hand on the pipe chanter and can make out his missing middle finger. James Doohan was very careful to hide his missing middle finger throughout the series. It is tough to see here and shown only briefly, but can be spotted if you look closely.
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After Kahn's crew take over command of the USS Reliant, several of the crew members, including a female opts officer, can be seen wearing part of the uniforms of the vessel's disposed official crew members.
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Following the film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), Gene Roddenberry wrote his own sequel. In his plot, the crew of the Enterprise travel back in time to set right a corrupted time line after Klingons use the Guardian of Forever to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His idea was rejected since Paramount executives distrusted Roddenberry. They blamed him for several problems in the production and reception of the first film.
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Scotty is only pretending to play the pipes in the scene, as they are not properly set up. The drones are collapsed on the pins. This would cause the drone pipes to sound horribly out of tune.
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Paul Winfield previously played Dr Martin Luther King, Jr in the TV mini series King. Dr King was a Star Trek viewer, and convinced Nichelle Nichols to stay with the series when she was intending to quit the show.
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The ongoing debacle of Khan recognising Chekov can easily be explained. Watching Space Seed, Khan recognises Marla McGivers when she enters the room he is in because he'd been reading the passenger manifest. This manifest could easily have told Khan the entire list of officers due to be assigned shortly thereafter as Chekov did come aboard Enterprise not long after this incident. This is the most logical (pardon the pun) explanation of Khan recognising Chekov on Ceti Alpha 5. Chekov would surely have been briefed on the incident with Khan when reporting on board being given the ship's previous service and exploits, leading to Chekov knowing who he is, despite never having met Khan.
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As duty section divisions are indicated by turtleneck color (White - Command; Gold - Engineering; Gray - Science; Red - Cadets and Trainees), it should be immediately apparent that Mr. Saavik is a trainee, rather than a fully-fledged captain, in the Kobayashi Maru scenario.
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Considering this was the first Star Trek film to use the maroon jacket & turtleneck "uniform" (which became the standard through the original series movies), it would have been apparent to no one who saw the movie upon its release that Saavik was anything but a full captain. The color-coded turtlenecks had never appeared on screen before.
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The 1981 draft of the script contained "a twelve-page face-to-face confrontation between Kirk and Khan."
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Writer and director Nicholas Meyer was offered the job relatively late in the project. Paramount executive Karen Moore recommended him due to him being the writer of best-selling novel "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" (1974) and director of the film "Time After Time" (1979). It was hoped he would resolve the scriptwriting problems of the film project as well as direct it. He was successful.
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To save money from the budget, the film crew reused sets, models and footage from the first Star Trek film, including footage of the Enterprise in spacedock. Other parts of the sets reused material from the abandoned television project "Star Trek: Phase II".
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Costume designer Robert Fletcher was asked to redesign existing costumes and create new ones. Director Nicholas Meyer did not like the Starfleet uniforms from either the television series or the first film and wanted them changed,but for budgetary reasons they could not be discarded entirely. Dark red uniforms were introduced and naval-inspired designs. They were used in all Star Trek films until 1996.
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Director Nicholas Meyer added a "no smoking" to the bridge of the Enterprise as he felt smoking and other 20th century habits were still likely to survive centuries in the future. The rest of the creative team disliked the idea. The sign appeared in the first shot of the film, but was removed for all others appearing in the final cut of the film.
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Paul Winfield was cast in the role of the captain of the Reliant. Nicholas Meyer was impressed with him when he saw the drama film "Sounder" (1973). Meyer reportedly looking for the opportunity to cast him in one of his films.
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The novelization of the film contains the information about Saavik being of Romulan descent.
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The novelization briefly introduces a subplot about Hikaru Sulu. He is mentioned to be promoted to captain, and going to get his own command soon. This was deleted from the film, but Sulu indeed get his own command later, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
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In one of the bridge screen displays, one can see the three nacelled Federation Dreadnought. This starship variant originated in the 1975 Star Trek Technical Manual by Franz Joseph. Fans will also recognize it from the Star Fleet gaming universe. Contrary to popular belief, its inclusion does not violate Gene Roddenberry's rule that warp engines should only appear in even numbers on starships. This rule did not actually appear until the Next Generation era where Roddenberry mentioned it to Andrew Probert. Even then, evidence indicates that it was only a suggestion, not a mandate, especially given the various starship designs that have warp power without visible pairs of nacelles (Ferengi, Klingon Bird of Prey, Cardassian ect.). The ST:TNG Technical Manual explains that nacelle pairs give optimal performance over single or triple nacelles.
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Screenwriter Jack B. Sowards' initial draft for the screenplay was substantially different than the final product. It was called "The Omega Syndrome" and involved the theft of the Federation's ultimate weapon, the "Omega system".
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The idea about the "Omega system", the ultimate weapon, was scrapped because of concerns that it would give an overly negative and depressing theme to the film. Art director Michael Minor suggested replacing it with a terraforming tool. His idea was accepted.
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During pre-production, screenwriter Samuel A. Peeples was invited to write his own script. He was known for writing the second pilot of "Star Trek: The Original Series", "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966). His script was rejected.
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An early draft of Nicholas Meyer's version of the screenplay included a baby among Khan's group. The baby would be killed with the others in the Genesis detonation.
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Nicholas Meyer described his vision of the film as "Horatio Hornblower in outer space", including elements of the novel series such as nautical references and a swashbuckling atmosphere. Gene Roddenberry disagreed with the script's naval texture and Khan's Captain Ahab undertones, but was mostly ignored by the creative team.
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The death scene of Spock was supposed to be a key moment of the film and the film crew were worried that it would be leaked out to the fans. No visitors were allowed on the set during its filming.
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Phaser damage was created using stop motion.
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The Ceti eel shots used several models, overseen by visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston, who had just finished creature design for "Return of the Jedi" (1983).
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Due to budget constrains, the film had to settle for a lesser known composer that would ask for less money. The names of Jerry Goldsmith and Miklós Rózsa were considered and rejected early. They were both "prohibitively expensive". James Horner was 28-year-old, obscure, and relatively cheap to hire. He was recommended by executive Joel Sill who felt Horner's music was far from generic film music.
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James Horner used synthesizers for ancillary effects; at the time, science fiction films were eschewing the synthesizer in favor of more traditional orchestras.
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The Reliant's Prefix code is 16309.
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The book that Spock gives Kirk for his birthday is "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens.
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The terraforming tool in the film was named the "Genesis Device" due to its "Biblical power". It is named in reference to the Book of Genesis and its chapters where a creator God shapes the world.
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The design of the Enterprise was changed to better fit with the nautical theme of the film, a ship's bell, boatswain's call, and more blinking lights and signage.
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The film is seen as using the theme of death and rebirth which derives from mythology. The theme of literal of figurative death and rebirth has been used in many other films.
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A brief romantic interest between Saavik and David Marcus is suggested in the novelization.
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Many of the special effects of the film were produced by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Additional optical effects were provided by Visual Concept Engineering (VCE), a small effects company headed by a former employee of ILM.
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Executive producer Harve Bennett thought that a main problem for the film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979) was that it lacked a real villain. He decided in having one of the villains of the series return and picked Khan Noonien Singh as the most interesting one.
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Craig Huxley performed his Blaster Beam, an instrument he invented, during recording. He also composed and performed electronic music for the Genesis Project video.
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Nicholas Meyer disliked the title "Wrath of Khan". The studio previously wanted the film named "Vengeance of Khan", but they changed it to avoid association with the upcoming film with revenge-themed title "Revenge of the Jedi". In turn this was film was renamed to "Return of the Jedi" (1983), so none of the two films used a revenge-themed title.
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The film's novelization by Vonda N. McIntyre became a paperback bestseller.
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The previous Star Trek film was promoted with the release of an associated toyline, but this was not the case for this film. Toys of Khan and Saavik were only released in the 1990s, while a full series of action figures was released in 2007 to mark the 25th anniversary of the film.
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One of the early ideas about Saavik was that she would be a medical doctor of both Vulcan and Romulan descent. The Vulcans and Romulans in Star Trek are two species of common origin, nearly identical appearance but very different cultures. The script for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan notes that, "Lt. Saavik is young and beautiful. She is half Vulcan and half Romulan. In appearance she is Vulcan with pointed ears, but her skin is fair and she has none of the expressionless facial immobility of a Vulcan."
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The scene where Saavik cries was improvised by the actress Kirstie Alley and somewhat controversial among the crew. William Shatner protested that the unemotional Vulcans "can't cry", but director director Nicholas Meyer liked the idea of having a first in the film.
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The film was partly inspired by the revenge-themed novel "Moby-Dick", but it was not the only Star Trek story to have this as a source. The episodes "Obsession" (1967) and "The Doomsday Machine" (1967) were also inspired by the novel.
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The minor character Jedda in the film, a Federation scientist, was fleshed out in the novelization. Partly because it included information given in the script of the film but never filmed. He was given the name Jedda Adzin-Dall, established as an alien of the Deltan species, and was given a love interest called Zinaida.
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Paramount would later use redressed sets from this movie for an underground lab in the 1985 pilot episode of MacGyver. Most visibly intact is the multi-level torpedo room and the torpedo launch tube door. (MacGyver is seen breaking glass to enter the torpedo room and later pulls open the torpedo launch tube door.)
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The film is one of the most violent films ever made.
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The most violent of all the Star Trek films.
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The only Star Trek film to be given the 15 rating in the United Kingdom.
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The neck ornament that Khan wears is out of place. It is the belt buckle from the new uniforms. Since this is the first time in a fair number of years that he has met Starfleet officers, he should not yet have this buckle. He would not have gotten it from his previous time on the Enterprise as that piece of the new uniform did not exist at that time.
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This film was the first Star Trek release to occur in the 1980s.
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People often point out that Khan recognizes Chekov despite his not being in TOS season 1, but fail to point out that in this movie, it is Chekov who first recognizes the SS Botany Bay, and then recognizes Khan once they are face to face. It is after this that Khan goes into his "I never forget a face" speech.
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Delays in producing a finished script plagued the production of the film. There were missed deadlines and special effects production had to begin without a script.
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The film was one of the first films to extensively use electronic images and computer graphics to speed production of shots. Computer graphics company Evans & Sutherland produced the vector graphics displays aboard the Enterprise and the fields of stars used in the opening credits.
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There was no comic book adaptation of the film until 2009, when one was published by IDW Publishing.
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Cameo 

James Horner: running down a corridor during the preparation for the final battle, just before the torpedoes are loaded into the launch bay.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

After reluctantly being convinced to appear in the first film, Leonard Nimoy initially had no interest in a second. Harve Bennett finally convinced Nimoy to sign onto the film with the offer of having a death scene.
Leonard Nimoy was persuaded to return as Spock when he was promised a death scene, an early draft of the script called for the death scene to take place at the beginning of the film. However, this information got out to the fans (possibly from Gene Roddenberry) who became highly upset. So the "Kobayashi Maru" scenario was invented to allow Spock to "die" in the opening as rumored and throw off the audience for the drama of Spock's actual death at the end of the film.
The script originally called for McCoy to say, "He's dead, Jim." at Spock's death. DeForest Kelley feared the line would draw unintentional laughs and insisted it be changed. In the film, it is Scotty who says, "Sir, he's dead already."
Leonard Nimoy did not know about the final shot of Spock's coffin on the surface of the Genesis planet. He first saw it at the premiere, and has said that his first thought was "I'm going to be getting a call from Paramount!"
Spock's mind meld with McCoy wasn't in Nicholas Meyer's original script, nor did he direct the scene. It was added after test audiences said they wished there was hope that Spock could be revived. When Paramount ordered the change, Meyer threatened to have his name taken off the film. However, according to Leonard Nimoy's autobiography I Am Spock, Harve Bennett approached him during the original filming of the scene and suggested doing a mind meld with Bones "as a thread we could pick up in a later film." In this account, it was Nimoy who suggested the single word "Remember..." He makes no mention of the studio ordering this change, nor of this being due to any audience test screenings. He does state that Paramount had concerns from the outset that audiences might not accept the death, and that Meyer had "reservations" about the scene, as he wanted Spock's death to be final.
According to Leonard Nimoy's autobiography, the glass chamber where Spock dies was effectively airtight; the crew had to slip hoses underneath to pump air into the chamber. The air compressor they used was so loud it had to be turned off when he or William Shatner delivered a line.
When Saavik (Kirstie Alley) cries during Spock's funeral, William Shatner asked Nicholas Meyer if he was going to "let her do that" since Vulcans are supposed to be unemotional. But Meyer supported Alley's choice to allow Saavik to show some emotion. It was later decided that Saavik is not fully Vulcan, so she would not have perfect control.
Often considered by most fans to be the best Star Trek (1966) film featuring the original cast while Star Trek: First Contact (1996) is often cited as the best Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) film. Both films deal with a character obsessed with revenge against a sworn enemy that has caused them great psychological and emotional harm. The difference is that while Jim Kirk was not responsible for what happened to Khan, the Borg were entirely at fault for what happened to Jean-Luc Picard. Another difference is that Jean-Luc realized his obsession and was able to defeat his enemy and save his crew, Khan did not and he and his crew subsequently died.
During the script-writing phase, it was thought that this would be the end of Star Trek, which is what led to the decision to kill off Mr. Spock.
The shot of Spock's coffin on the Genesis Planet was a last-minute addition, filmed in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
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William Shatner claims to have created the idea of Spock dying in the engine room, separated from Kirk by a sheet of glass and trying to touch hands. However, he says that unlike the movie, his idea was enhanced by the glass being more opaque, leaving Spock as simply a silhouette to Kirk.
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In a Starlog interview titled "The Man Who Killed Spock", after the movie was released, Harve Bennett said that: - 1. He wrote a scene where Chekov, on the Reliant, calls up data for the Ceti Alpha system, and remembers Khan and tells Terrell. That was written out and became the "you never told your captain the tale" sequence on the planet. - 2. The Ceti system was always a binary star system, hence the Alpha. The idea was for planets V and VI to have varying orbits similar to Neptune and Pluto where they would cross in and out of each other's orbits. Thus the confusion. "You thought this was Ceti Alpha VI." The unstable orbits caused the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI. Again, written out. - 3. Khan and Kirk were to have fought in the Genesis cave foyer. Khan and his supermen were to have had PSI powers similar to the Talosians from Star Trek: The Cage (1986), and Kirk beats them by simply not believing in it. Khan then beams out with the Genesis torpedo. - 4. Radiation causes blood vessels to burst and Spock was written to be covered in green blood. Leonard Nimoy objected, and the result was what you see.
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During the three-day filming of Spock's death sequence, no visitors were allowed on the set.
McCoy's line "He's really not dead, as long as we remember him" comes from an article written by Simon Wiesenthal about Raoul Wallenberg, a rescue worker who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees in the 1940s but was himself murdered at a young age. Director Nicholas Meyer saw the article one day during production and told DeForest Kelley to say it in character.
Knowing of Leonard Nimoy's reluctance to return for the film, and desire to put the role of Spock behind him, Harve Bennett felt that Spock's death would be a Win-Win Scenario for the actor. Bennett rationalized that either the film would be a failure, meaning the end of the series, or if successful, a third film would be able to go forward without Spock. Either way, it would have meant that Nimoy would have been finished with the role.
In a scene deleted from the original release, Scotty explains that Peter Preston (Ike Eisenmann), the young engineering cadet who dies during Khan's first attack, was his nephew. This was restored in the director's edition.
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Star Trek Redshirts are notorious for dying on landing party missions. Captain Terrell wears a red spacesuit when he lands on Ceti Alpha V, and he subsequently dies (kills himself) in the Genesis cavern.
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Joachim's death scene was originally intended for an alien called Moray, and the scene where Khan appears onscreen was intended for her husband Sojin. Sojin and Moray, in one draft of the script, were monsters who were exiled from another dimension and who were found on Ceti Alpha Five.
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During the funeral of Spock, character Montgomery Scott performs a bagpipe rendition of the hymn "Amazing Grace" (1779) by John Newton (c. 1725-1807). The idea for the scene was that of the actor portraying him, James Doohan.
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Early test screenings were done while visual effects work was still mostly incomplete. The scenes were filled in with early vfx work, or in many cases, simple storyboards. Audience feedback at this early stage was what convinced Harve Bennett to approach Leonard Nimoy about revising the ending to allow a potential return for Spock (Nimoy, for his part, had already been having second thoughts).
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Both Star Trek films "The Wrath of Khan" and Star Trek: First Contact (1996) include characters quoting Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick". Khan quotes it in "Wrath" during his death scene, and Picard quotes it in "Contact" when realizing his own obsessive hatred for the Borg, referring to Ahab's obsessive hatred for the whale. Also, John Masefield's poetry was mistook by McCoy for Melville (and corrected by Spock) in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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