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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

General Info

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan logo
GenresScience Fiction, Adventure
Music ByJames Horner
TaglineAt the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance.
Edited ByWilliam P. Dornisch
Film NameStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
StarringWilliam Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, Paul Winfield, Kirstie Alley, Ricardo Montalban
Directed ByNicholas Meyer
Produced ByRobert Sallin
Budget in USD$11.2 million
Release Date1982-06-04
Running Time113 minutes
Screenplay ByHarve Bennett, Jack B. Sowards
Content RatingPG
Distributed ByParamount Pictures
Original TitleStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Box Office in USD$97 million
CinematographyGayne Rescher
Country of OriginUnited States
World Premiere Date1982-06-04
Production Company NameParamount Pictures
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a science fiction adventure film that occupies a prominent place in the Star Trek franchise. It was released in 1982. and is the second installment in the Star Trek film series. A revival of the villainous character Khan Noonien Singh, originally seen in 1967. in the TV show Space Seed, the plot revolves around Admiral James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise as they battle this genetically engineered tyrant. Khan, out to avenge his exile, proves to be a formidable foe, setting the stage for a battle of wits and guts. The film features explosive action sequences, emotional depth and deep thematic explorations of aging, death and sacrifice. It was praised for its engaging story and character development, as well as Ricardo Montalbán's memorable performance as Khan. The Wrath of Khan remains the high point of the Star Trek canon, cementing the enduring appeal of this beloved sci-fi universe.


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan presents a powerful humanistic story that highlights the struggle between revenge and reason, the restlessness of the human spirit, and explorations of aging and mortality. The film follows Captain James T. Kirk on his birthday as he embarks on a mid-life crisis and comes to terms with his past mistake, Khan Noonien Singh. Khan, a genetically enhanced human from the 20th century, seeks revenge against Kirk for banishing him and his crew to a deserted planet.
Khan's charming machinations are the catalyst for a great deal of character development, evident as the bond between Spock and Kirk grows stronger as they navigate the crisis. The story is complemented by a plot involving the life-changing technology Genesis, which brings out shades of moral ambiguity and ethical dilemmas.
With darker tones and higher stakes, The Wrath of Khan moves from the exploratory spirit of the original series to a more character-driven focus, with emotional beats that resonate with audiences. It propels the Star Trek saga with intense interpersonal drama, nerve-wracking action and a stream of philosophical musings, making it not only a milestone in the Star Trek franchise, but also a classic of the science fiction genre.



'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' "film" screenshots
'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' "film" screenshots
'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' "film" screenshots
'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' "film" screenshots
'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' "film" screenshots
'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' "film" screenshots


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan begins with a distress call from the starship Kobayashi Maru. Admiral James T. Kirk, who has moved into a teaching role at Starfleet Academy, oversees a simulation of the distress call the cadets are trying to rescue. Kirk advises Lt. Saavik, who fails the test, about no-win scenarios.
Meanwhile, Kirk's old ship, the USS Enterprise, is now commanded by Captain Spock, carrying a crew of some of the original crew. On Kirk's birthday, the ship sets sail to answer another distress call, this time a real one from Carol Marcus, Kirk's ex-lover who now oversees a life-creating project called Genesis. Genesis turns uninhabitable planets into life-supporting planets, but can also be used as a deadly weapon.
Upon reaching the site of the distress call, Kirk encounters his old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, who has escaped from the banished planet where Kirk trapped him years ago. Chan seeks revenge against Kirk and uses the Genesis project for destructive purposes.
Khan manages to overwhelm a company full of apprentices, but a last-ditch gamble allows Kirk and crew to escape and blow up the Genesis facility, taking Khan and his ship with them. The victory comes at a high cost, as Spock succumbs to radiation poisoning after correcting the ship's warp to escape.
His final dialogue with Kirk, in which Spock makes it clear that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, underscores the theme of self-sacrifice that is central to this film. In this way, Wrath of Khan successfully juxtaposes adventurous interstellar battles with deep human emotions and dilemmas.


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was set in an era ripe for innovative special effects and technological advancements. Famous television producer Harvey Bennett was appointed to oversee the production of the film. Known for his ability to keep tight budgets in check, Bennett's influence was instrumental in preventing production costs from spiraling out of control, as happened with the first film.
Much of the film was shot at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a special effects company in San Rafael, California. ILM was commissioned to create the film's space sequences and the Genesis effect, the rapid creation of a planet from dead mass. In particular, the Genesis effect represented one of the first cinematic uses of a fractal landscape, marking an important milestone in cinematic special effects.
Director Nicholas Meyer, who was also one of the authors of the film, contributed to its development. He wrote the script in just twelve days, and although he never saw the original series, his contribution united the film into a unique space opera that won the hearts of many. His strong humanistic approach helped shape the tone and direction of the film, including the central theme of aging and sacrifice.
The production set of the film was very dynamic and full of energy. Despite some teething problems, optimism was high among the cast and crew. Despite the lower budget and editing difficulties, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan managed to create a film that would not only revive the Star Trek franchise, but create a masterpiece that would stand the test of time.


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 1982 June 4 Released in US theaters by Paramount Pictures. Upon its initial release, the film opened in 1,621 theaters and grossed a whopping $14.3 million in its first week. These earnings made the film the highest-grossing film for two weeks in a row, which was widely publicized in promotional campaigns.
A major part of the film's commercial success can be attributed to its vigorous pre-release marketing campaigns, which poked fun at the mysterious and heated feud between Admiral Kirk and Khan. This strategic and enticing advertisement engaged the public eager to watch their favorite captain face off against his resurrected adversary. In celebration of the film's 10th anniversary, in 1991 Paramount has re-released the director's cut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In 2002, for its 20th anniversary, the film was remastered and released on DVD with additional content and special features. which provide a deeper foundation for the film's creation and its lasting legacy.
The film had a major influence on the Star Trek franchise. It established itself as one of the franchise's most beloved films, dispelling the darkness while still going deep into the franchise's roots of exploration and adventure.
To this day, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan continues to captivate audiences, reflecting its timeless appeal and success. It really cemented Star Trek's place in popular culture as a star in the vastness of space.


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan has been a critical and commercial success since its release in 1982. and has since earned one of, if not the best film in the entire Star Trek franchise. Critics praised the film for its strong character development, compelling plot, and Ricardo Montalbano's standout performance as the titular antagonist.
The Hollywood Reporter called it an "extraordinary tour de force", praising its tight direction, great performances and seamless special effects. Variety highlighted the play's emotional depth in its review, noting Spock's self-sacrifice and Kirk's existential crisis.
Audiences have responded positively to the mature themes, depth of the story and the chemistry of the characters. The Wrath of Khan was also praised for its philosophical questions that struck new and old fans alike. The film's captivating storyline and tense climax, albeit tinged with tragedy, have earned it praise from fans who consider it the highlight of the series.
The film grossed $97 million worldwide, making it a commercial success. It surpassed its predecessor and inspired optimism for the future of Star Trek, paving the way for even more films.
In retrospect, The Wrath of Khan's influence on the Star Trek universe is undeniable. It set the template for Star Trek's cinematic outings, firmly establishing a timeless appeal.

Cultural impact

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had a huge impact on global pop culture. The film's story and character development contributed greatly to the complex Star Trek universe and influenced subsequent series and films. The film's influential status is largely due to the layered conflict between the antagonist Khan and the protagonist Captain James T. Kirk, each of whom becomes an iconic figure in the franchise.
The critical slogan of the film "Khan, the bloodsucker. Now you'll have to do your dirty work!" voiced by Admiral Kirk has entered the pop culture lexicon. Captain Kirk's infamous "KHAAAN!" has also been referenced and parodied in a variety of mediums, from sitcoms to cartoons like The Simpsons.
Wrath of Chan also popularized the Kobayashi Maru scenario, a non-profit simulation used in Starfleet training exercises. The script has been philosophically interpreted as a metaphor for death and the human condition and has contributed greatly to academic discourse.
The stunning visual effects, for which he won a Saturn Award, also had a huge impact on the cinematic landscape. The use of miniatures, large-scale models and computer-generated imagery in films was revolutionary at the time.
Additionally, Leonard Nimoy's legendary character Mr. Spock ends in a touching scene from this film that still resonates with fans and showcases the franchise's powerful storytelling abilities.
In terms of merchandising, the film has given rise to a number of Khan-related memorabilia, from action figures to t-shirts. The witty dialogue, memorable characters and multi-layered story of The Wrath of Khan cemented its place in pop culture, and its influence can still be seen in many aspects of modern life.