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

Trivia

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).
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (18)
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.
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.
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.
The computer simulation of Genesis transforming a dead planet into a habitable 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' 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.
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.
When Khan shows Chekov and Reliant Captain Terrell the Ceti eels 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).
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).
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 pureblood 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 Peters' injured body; and she is emotionally moved by Kirk's eulogy.
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).
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".
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.
Many of the actors playing Khan's henchmen were Chippendale dancers at the time of filming.
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."
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.
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".
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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 commands "all stop" and requests the photon torpedoes be preloaded for a 3 dimensional attack vector at close range: "Z-minus 10,000 meters." In the Cartesian coordinate system, the Z-axis measures above or below the horizontal plane. A vector in this sense implies a solution like firing a torpedo in 3D space - underwater or in deep space.
Often considered by most fans to be the best Star Trek film featuring the original cast while Star Trek: First Contact (1996) is often cited as the best Next Generation Star Trek film.
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.
One of Admiral Kirk's antiques is a Commodore PET computer.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Only Star Trek movie with the original series cast in which no Klingons make an actual appearance. The Kobyashi Maru Test depicted the simulated image of Klingon Battle Cruisers, and other passing references are made to the Klingons as well.
Based on the Stardates given in this film and at his birth in Star Trek (2009), here Kirk is celebrating his 52nd birthday.
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.
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 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.
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.
65% of the film was shot on the same set.
The "No Smoking Is Permitted 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.
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.
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".
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 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.
George Takei initially declined to appear in this film. William Shatner called Takei and convinced him to reconsider.
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.
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.
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 (who stretches his "medicinal uses" privileges) 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.
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.
The shot of the three Klingon ships in the Simulator room is from the opening sequence of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
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).
The computer ship diagram when the shields are being raised are actually from the aborted 1978 Star Trek: Phase II TV show.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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


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.
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.
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).
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.
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 Enterprise..."
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.
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.
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 moving starfield during the title sequence was filmed by putting the camera in the center of the floor of a local planetarium, aimed up.
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.
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).
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.
Khan's muscular chest seen throughout the film is actually Ricardo Montalban's real chest and not a prosthetic as is often reported.
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.
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.
The word SNAVE appears under NCC 1864 RELIANT in the final computer generated tactical display around Regula. Snave is the nickname of the CG star field programmer, Stephen McAllister.
Originally subtitled "The Undiscovered Country", but that subtitle eventually went to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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".
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!'"
The VHS box showed Enterprise firing phasers at the Regula research station, but this never happened at any point in the movie.
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.
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.
According to Kirstie Alley, she slept with her Vulcan ears on at home during production.
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).
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).
Khan is never once addressed by his full name: Khan Noonien Singh.
A draft script had Khan defeating Kirk in a swordfight.
DeForest Kelley was dissatisfied with an earlier version of the script to the point that he considered not taking part.
It has often been noted that Chekov was not depicted in the original Star Trek: Space Seed (1967), and therefore was never shown first meeting Khan. But it is often overlooked that Sulu was not in that episode either, and surprisingly no controversy is made of that fact.
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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Star Trek "technobabble" seen on a Regula space station wall: Kmrt. ("K-Mart")
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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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The book that Spock gives Kirk for his birthday is "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens.
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A scene was shot in which Kirk introduces Saavik to David and an attraction between them is implied. This scene was deleted.
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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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The Reliant's Prefix code is 16309.

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.

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.
During the three-day filming of Spock's death sequence, no visitors were allowed on the set.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The shot of Spock's coffin on the Genesis Planet was a last-minute addition, filmed in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.

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