Taglines: At the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance.
It is the 23rd century. Admiral James T. Kirk is an instructor at Starfleet Academy and feeling old; the prospect of attending his ship, the USS Enterprise–now a training ship–on a two-week cadet cruise does not make him feel any younger. But the training cruise becomes a deadly serious mission when his nemesis Khan Noonien Singh–infamous conqueror from late 20th century Earth–appears after years of exile.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the second film based on Star Trek, and is a sequel to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). The plot features Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise facing off against the genetically engineered tyrant Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), a character who first appeared in the 1967 Star Trek television series episode “Space Seed”.
When Khan escapes from a 15-year exile to exact revenge on Kirk, the crew of the Enterprise must stop him from acquiring a powerful terraforming device named Genesis. This film is the beginning of a story arc that continues with the 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and concludes with 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Khan later revealed that the planet Ceti Alpha VI exploded, and shifted the orbit of the fifth planet as a Mars-like haven. He begins capturing Project Genesis, a top secret device holding the power of creation itself, and schemes the utter destruction of Kirk.
About the Story
In the year 2285, Admiral James T. Kirk oversees a simulator session of Captain Spock’s trainees. In the simulation, Lieutenant Saavik commands the starship USS Enterprise on a rescue mission to save the crew of the damaged ship Kobayashi Maru. When the Enterprise enters the Klingon Neutral Zone to reach the ship it is attacked by Klingon cruisers and critically damaged. The simulation is a no-win scenario designed to test the character of Starfleet officers. Later, Dr. McCoy joins Kirk on his birthday; seeing Kirk in low spirits, the doctor advises Kirk to get a new command and not grow old behind a desk.
Meanwhile, the USS Reliant is on a mission to search for a lifeless planet for testing of the Genesis Device, a technology designed to reorganize matter to create habitable worlds for colonization. Reliant officers Commander Pavel Chekov and Captain Clark Terrell beam down to the surface of a possible candidate planet, which they believe to be Ceti Alpha VI; once there, they are captured by genetically engineered tyrant Khan Noonien Singh.
The Enterprise discovered Khan’s ship adrift in space 15 years previously; Kirk exiled Khan and his fellow supermen from 20th-century Earth to Ceti Alpha V after they attempted to take over the Enterprise. After they were marooned, Ceti Alpha VI exploded, shifting the orbit of Ceti Alpha V and destroying its ecosystem. Khan blames Kirk for the death of his wife and plans revenge. He implants Chekov and Terrell with indigenous creatures that enter the ears of their victims and render them susceptible to mind control, and uses the officers to capture the Reliant. Learning of Genesis, Khan attacks space station Regula I where the device is being developed by Kirk’s former lover, Dr. Carol Marcus, and their son, David.
The Enterprise embarks on a three-week training voyage. Kirk assumes command after the ship receives a distress call from Regula I. En route, the Enterprise is ambushed and crippled by the Reliant, leading to the deaths and injuries of many trainees. Khan hails the Enterprise and offers to spare Kirk’s crew if they relinquish all material related to Genesis. Kirk stalls for time and uses the Reliant’s prefix code to remotely lower its shields, allowing the Enterprise to counter-attack.
Khan is forced to retreat and effect repairs, while the Enterprise limps to Regula I. Kirk, McCoy, and Saavik beam to the station and find Terrell and Chekov alive, along with slaughtered members of Marcus’s team. They soon find Carol and David hiding deep inside the planetoid of Regula. Khan, having used Terrell and Chekov as spies, orders them to kill Kirk; Terrell resists the eel’s influence and kills himself while Chekov collapses as the eel leaves his body. Khan then transports Genesis aboard the Reliant.
Though Khan believes his foe stranded on Regula I, Kirk and Spock use a coded message to arrange a rendezvous. Kirk directs the Enterprise into the nearby Mutara Nebula; static discharges inside the nebula render shields useless and compromise targeting systems, making the Enterprise and the Reliant evenly matched. Spock notes however that Khan’s tactics are two-dimensional, indicating inexperience in space combat, which Kirk then exploits to critically disable the Reliant.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Kirstie Alley, Merritt Butrick
Screenplay by: Gene Roddenberry
Production Design by: Joseph R. Jennings
Cinematography by: Gayne Rescher
Film Editing by: William Paul Dornisch
Costume Design by: Robert Fletcher
Set Decoration by: Charles Graffeo
Art Direction by: Michael Minor
Music by: James Horner
MPAA Rating: PG for violence and language.
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 4, 1982