James T. Kirk made more than a few enemies during his time aboard the Enterprise, but the most menacing (and eloquent) may well have been Ricardo Montalban's Khan-a superhuman conqueror exiled by Kirk in the original Star Trek series. Fifteen years later, Khan's thirst for vengeance is palpable and his pecs are impeccable. It's up to Kirk, Spock, Sulu and the rest of the crew (including a Vulcan Kirstie Alley) to protect the galaxy from this latter day Captain Ahab, or else spend the rest of their days shouting "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!"
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Top 10 Fun Facts
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan earned nearly $80 million at the U.S. box office, making it the 6th highest grossing movie of the year behind blockbusters such as E.T., Tootsie and Porky's. Maybe a shorter title would have helped?
- The film was originally called Star Trek II: The Undiscovered Country, but Khan's wrath won out. "The Undiscovered Country" would eventually be discovered in Star Trek VI.
- Although the Academy overlooked his performance in Wrath of Khan, William Shatner did take home the Saturn Award for Best Actor.
- Sporting pointy ears and a Vulcan's lack of emotion, Kirstie Alley made her very first film appearance aboard the Enterprise. We all gotta start somewhere.
- If Khan's men seem vaguely familiar to you, it's because they were all Chippendales dancers in the '80s. Busted.
- Looking to save money, Paramount executives vetoed some redesigned props, including fancy new phasers and communicators. Instead, many props and sets were recycled from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1982, that was considered stingy. Today we call it "going green."
- In another cost-saving measure, the barren surface of Ceti Alpha V was recreated on Paramount's stage 8-as opposed to renting a spacecraft and sending the cast and crew to the Ceti Alpha system.
- Continuity crazies: when Scotty's nephew Peter Preston perishes in Khan's attack on the Enterprise, he leaves behind a smear of blood on Captain Kirk's lapel. A little later, the smear is smaller and lower down on the lapel. Shoddy Romulan dry cleaners...
- The shot of the casket in the lush forests of the Genesis planet was actually filmed in an overgrown corner of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Either the crew employed the use of a smoke machine to add atmosphere or it was really, really foggy that day.
- Test audiences were so dismayed by the film's dark ending that a final, more hopeful scene was tacked on to leave more wiggle-room for another sequel. Why didn't they think of that for Soylent Green?