Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Corrected entry: Certainly there must be some regulation about how to deal with personnel who have been under the control of the enemy. So unnecessary for Terell to have died and Khan to have discovered the location of Genesis, not to mention the death of another scientist.


Correction: I fail to see what you mean here. Kirk and crew didn't know Chekov or Captain Terell had the Ceti Eel's inside their heads until it was too late. And Terell turned the weapon on himself and took his own life in order to resist the Ceti eel making him shoot his allies. And also, by what you said, you expect a Scientific Military operation like Star Fleet to have regulations about how to handle people under mind control?

Quantom X Premium member

Chekov told them they put "creatures" into their bodies to control them. That should have been enough to convince them they could still be under the influence of their previous captor, Khan. But, then if Khan did not find Genesis, that would have changed the whole storyline.

Again, how would Starfleet know to have something in place to mean, if a person mentions creatures being put in their bodies for torture, that they might be mind controlled? It wouldn't be logical to jump to those conclusions.

Quantom X Premium member

Corrected entry: Khan has the ultimate weapon on his ship. Certainly Kirk must have known he would use it. Why not destroy the Reliant before Khan got the chance to destroy both ships?


Correction: Far too much speculation on this. Kirk was under stress of the situation and they also just inflicted heavy damage to the Reliant's bridge. As you saw, Khan was almost dead from that, and moments after activating the Genesis he in fact did die from his wounds before it detonated. Kirk didn't know that Khan survived the attack. And not guessing that Khan might use the device is just an error in human judgment. Not a mistake, and not really stupidity either.

Quantom X Premium member

Well, they had to have a way of killing off and bringing back Spock, and as plots go, coming back by the use of the Genesis planet, was not a bad idea. But given Khan's homicidal tendencies from the Original Series, and how other enemies, such as the Romulans would blow up their ships, it would seem prudent to put as much space as possible between ships, and being unable to do so, remove the threat altogether.

Which is exactly what they did. The Enterprise was badly damaged, and Khan was out for blood. The reason they didn't jump to warp speed sooner was the system was damaged with Scotty working to try and fix it. They went into the cloud to level the playing field between the two ships and for Kirk to be able to outsmart Khan and get the upper hand. Khan was not going to stop until he saw Kirk and his ship destroyed, and the Enterprise had no way of escape before they would be destroyed. Once they were able to get the literal drop on the reliant in that nebula, Kirk himself had a moment of pride staying there to show off to Khan that he won, that he had best him. That and to survey if they did actually defeat the Reliant or would it start going after them again. By this time, Scotty was then close to finishing the repairs on the warp drive, and they then detected that Khan activated the device. Kirk was full of adrenaline and rivalry with Khan. How they handled the situation and only turning to run when their sensors picked up the Genesis being activated, was human. Was natural. And lucky for them, Scotty was then able to get the warp drive fixed. But before that point, it wasn't fixed, so they had no reason to even try to put distance between them and a ship that could easily overtake and destroy them.

Quantom X Premium member

Correction: Kirk underestimated how nuts Khan had become and didn't anticipate that he would destroy himself and what's left of his own people out of spite. Kirk arrogantly thought he still understood Khan's motivations. Note he dismissively cuts off Terrell with "I know what he blames me for" when he tries to explain, but Kirk doesn't even know what happened to Ceti Alpha V and what Khan had been through, and because of this he leaves himself wide open for Khan's final move.

TonyPH Premium member

Corrected entry: When searching for life-forms on Ceti Alpha 5, they only detect some minor signal, some proto-life that may be transplantable. They never explain how they did not detect Khan and his followers marooned on the planet.

Correction: Khan and his followers was exactly what they were detecting. They mention that it was a weak reading, because Khan and the other augments were practically the only life on the entire planet. They only speculated that it might be a particle of preanimate matter caught in the matrix, but that was only speculation. It was Khan and his crew the whole time.

Garlonuss Premium member

Corrected entry: In the final battle with Reliant, Spock states that Khan, while brilliant, demonstrates that his thinking is two-dimensional, prompting Kirk to have Sulu take the ship "down" below Reliant's flight path, only to come "up" behind it later, allowing Khan's dramatic defeat. The problem here is that Khan isn't from the 19th century, he's from the late 20th century, where air combat is common, as is combat in 3 dimensions under water. Even if Khan fought most or even all of his battles on land, he is a genius, and would certainly have knowledge of aerial combat, even if not direct experience with it. Not to mention there's no way Reliant never had to maneuver in 3 dimensions while he was on it. To suggest he could not think in such a manner is absurd. (01:29:45)

Correction: Having knowledge of air combat and having experience with air combat are two completely different things. In all of their encounters they are fighting on the same plane. Spock is making a valid observation; he isn't saying that Khan 'could not' think in three dimensions, he is saying that Khan is demonstrating two-dimensional thinking.

BocaDavie Premium member

Corrected entry: Towards the end of the movie, when the Enterprise and Reliant are in the nebula, Spock observes that Khan is plagued by 'two dimensional thinking,' i.e. he's using the Reliant as if on a flat surface, rather than in three dimensional space. Kirk then orders Sulu to set a course of "Z minus 10,000" and we see the Enterprise descending, with Reliant visible below her. Moments later, the Enterprise appears behind the Reliant, rising up from below in direct contradiction to the previous shot as well as the order Kirk gave.

Correction: That is not what happened, very few films are shown in real time. Kirk gave the order, and we see Enterprise descend. This begins a search pattern focusing on Z rather than X & Y. We don't hear the rest of Kirk's orders, just like we didn't hear any of his earlier orders regarding the previous search pattern. Eventually during the search Enterprise comes up behind Reliant.


Corrected entry: In the scene in the small cave inside Regula, Savik tries and fails to communicate with the Enterprise, then says that all frequencies are "still being jammed." However, a short time later when Kirk contacts Spock from the Genesis cave, his signal goes through.

Correction: Long distance communications are jammed. Savik is unaware that the Enterprise is nearby and waiting in silence until the signal from Kirk.

Corrected entry: Just after Spock has entered the reactor chamber you can hear Scotty yell "KIRK, GET OUT OF THERE! KIIIIRK" before he yells "SPOCK". (01:36:00 - 01:37:00)


Correction: He yells out "Spock, get out of there! Spock!" It is slightly muffled as he is shouting it through the wall but he is definitely saying "Spock" and not "Kirk"

Corrected entry: On Ceti, Khan states that Kirk never checked on their progress - and there is no reason or film evidence to doubt it. Later, Bones starts to inform Kirk that Khan blames Kirk for the death (of his wife), but Kirk interrupts and says, "I know what he blames me for". How?

Correction: Kirk is furious over Khan's attack, and feeling guilty over both the cadets he got killed by ignoring regs and never checking on Khan's people. He doesn't want to hear any more about it, he just wants to move on and resolve the situation. Further, as Marla McGivers is nowhere in sight, he's probably already figured out she's at the top of Khan's 'why I hate Kirk list'.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: During the final battle with the Reliant, Spock points out that Khan's flaw is his "two dimensional thinking". Why then, does the Enterprise have to move "up" on the Z-axis, to come up behind Reliant and be on the same plane before she can fire? Surely starships can fire weapons in three dimensions? It has nothing to do with "seeing" Reliant on the viewscreen either, since the viewer is a composite of sensor readings, not a window.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Correction: They're too far apart, so they can't see each other; the Mutara nebula restricts sensor range massively, so all they can do is search and hope that they get close enough to spot the other. Spock's observation is that Khan's inexperience is leading him to only search in two dimensions, when the ships are actually separated vertically. Kirk therefore orders the Enterprise to move along the z-axis to get back within sensor range of the Reliant, closing on the smaller ship from a direction that Khan would be unlikely to anticipate.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: In almost all of the outer space shots the stars in the distant background "twinkle". When looking into space from earth stars appear to twinkle because of the distortion caused by the atmosphere; when viewed from space all of the stars should have a consistent glow - no twinkling.

BocaDavie Premium member

Correction: Thats not entirely correct. The Mutara Nebula features heavily and is cloud like, and clearly stretches far beyond what is visible, this alone can account for the twinkling stars.


Corrected entry: During the first battle between "Enterprise" and "Reliant", the Enterprise destroys the dome above the impulse engines on Reliant's saucer-section. This dome is then shown to be undamaged in the very next exterior shot of Reliant as it moves away from camera.

Correction: The center section of the dome is smashed, leaving some of the "glass" intact around the edges. The shot of the Reliant leaving only shows a side view of the vessel and a very tiny section of the glass dome that stayed in place along the port side. They never show the dome fully intact.

BocaDavie Premium member

Corrected entry: After Kahn reveals himself to Kirk and company, he gives sixty seconds to gather the information that he wants on Genesis. From that declaration to the actual "Time's Up." is just over two minutes even though it would appear that he was using some device to do the actual timing (he appears to be shutting off a stopwatch or something when he says that their time is up). On the Director's Edition, the time index is about a minute and 40 seconds later than the original release. (00:52:25 - 00:53:30)

Garlonuss Premium member

Correction: They don't show Khan setting any kind of timer; he's just looking at a clock to time the minute. Then his second in command starts a conversation with him, followed by Kirk talking to him. It's likely that with the distractions he forgot which minute he started his countdown on, or just decided to let Kirk have the extra minute after pleading for the extra time. Character choice/mistake.

BocaDavie Premium member

Corrected entry: After sending David and the others into the other room, Kirk has a nice and private talk with Carol. They should have been even more discreet. Chekov is still right there and is quite awake because he is holding a bandage of some sort to his ear the whole time. Just a short time earlier, in fact, you can hear McCoy saying "He's coming around," and then he hands Chekov the bandage. And even if Kirk had forgotten that Chekhov was there, he would have said something. They are friends and Chekhov would not want to embarrass his friend by listening in on a private conversation.

Garlonuss Premium member

Correction: Yes, but they still had the conversation. They might have assumed Chekhov is loopy on painkillers. Chekhov is several feet behind them and has damage to one of his ears as well, he might not have heard a thing. It might be a socially awkward situation, but couldn't really be called a mistake.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: The simulation of the "Genesis Effect" is shown on a relatively small planetoid, and other than the initial fireball, there is not much 'drama' about the explosive aspects of the effect. However, when the Genesis Device explodes aboard the Reliant at the end of the film, the resultant explosion looks to be violent enough to dwarf and completely destroy even a small sized solar system. At full warp speed, the Enterprise barely escapes, and even that is at great distance from 'ground zero'('space zero'?). This sure does not resemble the gentle, 'friendly' effect shown on the demonstration tape! If Kahn hadn't interfered with the plans, how is it reasonably possible that the crew of the Reliant was going to detonate the device and get away safely?

Correction: The Genesis Device takes existing matter and restructures it according to its matrix. The device was intended to be released on a planetoid or small moon where there would be plenty of available matter. Instead, it was detonated within a nebula where the matter was not concentrated, so the effects were much more widespread. In any case, there is nothing to indicate Reliant would have been the ship to activate the Genesis device, its mission was only to find a suitable planet to use. The scientists might have used a probe or some other remote testing device. Finally, the Enterprise makes a slim escape only because it only went to warp moments before detonation. Had it been able to use the full four minutes the Genesis device allots, it would have gotten away in more than sufficient time.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Joachim is telling Kahn why they can't return fire on the Enterprise, it's because "They've damaged the photon control and the warp drive. We must withdraw." Notice how his eyes aren't looking at Khan until he says "We must withdraw." indicating that he's reading his lines from an off-screen cue card.

Correction: Alternatively, he is looking at the damage readouts to give the correct information. Once he has read the displayed information, he turns to his captain and gives his advice/opinion.

Soylent Purple

Corrected entry: After Khan starts the Genesis device, things look hopeless because the Enterprise doesn't have warp capability repaired yet. They are unable to beam over and stop the device. Spock saves the day by sacrificing his life to get the warp drive repaired. Why doesn't the crew of the Enterprise destroy the Reliant (with the Genesis device) with a photon torpedo instead of trying to escape?

Correction: A torpedo might have detonated the Genesis device. Would you try to disarm an activated nuke by blasting it with a shotgun?

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: After Spock's coffin is shot from the Enterprise toward the Genesis planet, the scene moves down to the planet. The camera meanders through the jungles until it eventually reaches Spock's coffin. In one of the jungle shots, a highway (cars and all) is visible in the lower left hand corner of the screen.

Correction: That's actually a stream, not a freeway. The "cars" are ripples in the water.

Corrected entry: After the insect crawls out of Chekov's ear and Khan beams up Genesis, Admiral Kirk says to Khan, "you have Genesis, but you don't have me. You were going to kill me. You're going to have to come down here". Khan beamed up Genesis, so why didn't he beam up Kirk who was only a few feet away? I know he said, "perhaps I no longer need to try. I've done worse than kill you: I've hurt you" which indicates that Khan accepted his failure to kill Kirk: it was not premeditated to leave him there. Further, if he didn't want to kill him, why did he try later in the movie? (00:15:20)

Correction: Khan isn't "accepting his failure" to kill Kirk, he's simply found an alternative that he considers to be even more poetic, that of marooning Kirk, just as Kirk marooned him after their first encounter. As revenge, this is much more satisfying than simply killing his enemy, which is very swift, leaving Kirk behind with plenty of time to contemplate the fact that Khan beat him. Later, once he learns that Kirk has escaped, Khan reverts to the idea of simply killing him.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Khan says he doesn't know Terrell, but remembers Chekov. Chekov wasn't a part of the crew at the time of "Space Seed", when Khan was first introduced.

Correction: This has been submitted and corrected in the past. Chekov was not part of the bridge crew during this episode, but it's entirely possible that he was part of the Enterprise crew in some other capacity.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Correct. And one time in an interview, the actor playing Chekov likes to tell the story that he was just part of the crew and met Khan coming out of the bathroom.

Quantom X Premium member

Corrected entry: Kirk's birthday visit from McCoy in his personal quarters overlooking San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is soundtracked by an audible foghorn, though there's no fog. Atmospheric as though this may be, I know for a fact [as a resident of this place] that no foghorn will sound when there's no fog and the sky's full of stars.

tedloveslisa Premium member

Correction: This film is set in the 23rd century. There is no way to know it was a fog horn. It could merely be a similar sounding alert for something else. With the technology available, fog would hardly impair the ability to detect what is around them.

More mistakes in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

[Spock has just been severely irradiated while saving the ship, and is dying.]
Spock: Do not grieve, Admiral - it is logical: the needs of the many outweigh
Kirk: The needs of the few...
Spock: Or the one.

More quotes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Trivia: As the shuttle with Kirk and company approaches the Enterprise in Space dock, Sulu says "I'm delighted. Any chance to go aboard the Enterprise..." According to, there was a full dialog between Kirk and Sulu in the original script. The rest of Sulu's line was "however briefly, is always a chance for nostalgia." Kirk also told Sulu the he had cut the orders for Sulu to Captain the Excelsior.

Movie Nut

More trivia for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Question: This isn't technically a mistake per se, but it involves Spock's funeral. Several Enterprise crewmembers are killed during the battle with Khan, and yet only Spock gets a funeral. Perhaps there was a smaller memorial for the others, and Spock got a full funeral due to his status as captain, but why is Kirk only sending Spock's body to the Genesis planet? I imagine he sent only Spocks's body there since in ST3 there aren't dozens of little regenerated human babies crawling around down there.


Chosen answer: I imagine there was a memorial service for everyone killed. Starfleet's policy on corpses is probably to return them to Starfleet HQ where their families can collect them for whatever services or ceremonies they want unless the crewman had left instructions specifying otherwise. There's no telling why Kirk sent Spock's body to Genesis. Based on Sarek's reactions in ST3 he almost certainly went against Spock's wishes, unless of course, Spock left no recorded instructions and Kirk did what he thought would please Spock based on his being highest ranking officer and Spock's closest friend. It also seems very out of character for Spock to just assume that whoever he transferred his katra to would be able to handle it and carry out his wishes (McCoy certainly couldn't!). Ultimately it seems we have to chalk it up to a plot device to base the sequel on.

Grumpy Scot

According to the novelization, Kirk's intentions were to send Spock's remains into the Genesis sun. Lieutenant Saavik altered the trajectory of the torpedo beforehand, due to Spock's desire to see the Genesis effect for himself. The torpedo casing was expected to incinerate when entering the atmosphere. As pointed out by David Marcus in STIII when the pod was detected on the scanners, the gravitational fields were in flux at the time, and the pod had obviously soft-landed on the surface.

More questions & answers from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

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