Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan — Movie Review

Dear Star Trek Fans,

I have a review you’re sure to like. Ricardo Montalban gives an all-star performance in this Star Trek movie. This is no doubt one of the greatest Star Trek movies.

The movie begins in the 23rd Century. The Enterprise is on a training mission to Gamma Hydra, section 14, coordinates 22-87-4. The Enterprise is approaching the Klingon Neutral Zone.


Khan – The Genetically Engineered Renegade from Earth’s Past

The ship receives a distress call from The Kobayashi Maru out of Altair VI Gama Hydra, section 10—in the neutral zone. Lieutenant Saavik orders, “Mr. Sulu, plot an intercept course.”

The Enterprise enters the Klingon Neutral Zone. Mr. Spock states, “We are now in violation of treaty.”  Three Klingon Cruisers fast approach.

Admiral Kirk enters the bridge. “Prayer, Lieutenant Saavik. The Klingons don’t take prisoners.  Mr. Spock orders, “Trainees to the briefing room.”

James T. Kirk took the Kobayashi Maru test three times when he was a cadet at the academy. The day of Lieutenant Saavik’s test, Admiral Kirk is celebrating his birthday. Also at the time of the test, Mr. Spock is captain of the Enterprise.

The movie switches to the Starship Reliant. The Reliant is on an orbital approach to Ceti Alpha VI, in connection with Project Genesis. Captain Terrell and First Officer Pavel Chekov are searching for a lifeless planet. They are looking for a test planet for the Genesis Experiment. They pick up a minor energy flux reading on one dynoscanner.

Chekov said, “It could be a particle of preanimate matter caught in the matrix.”

Captain Terrell ordered, “Contact Dr. Marcus on the comm-pic.”

After obtaining Dr. Carol Marcus’ approval, Captain Terrell and First Officer Pavel Chekov  beam down to Ceti Alpha VI. They discover a wasteland planet. They also discover the crew of the SS Botany Bay. The Reliant’s crew attempts to contact Captain Terrell on the planet—without success.

Captain Terrell and Chekov are captured by Khan and his renegade crew. They are in the Botany Bay. Khan remembers Pavel Chekov.

Khan is a product of late 20th century genetic engineering. He and his crew are over 200 years old. They were exiled from Earth in 1996 – while in cryogenic freeze within the Botany Bay.

Khan and Crew in Botany Bay

Khan and Crew in Botany Bay with Captives

Captain James T. Kirk marooned the Botany Bay and 70 crew members on the planet 15 years ago—on Ceti Alpha V.

“Ceti Alpha V had life!” Chekov insisted while being held captive in the Botany Bay by Khan and his crew.

“This is Ceti Alpha V!” Khan shouted angrily. “Ceti Alpha VI exploded six months after we were left here. The shock wave shifted the orbit of Ceti Alpha V. Everything was laid waste. Admiral Kirk never bothered to check on our progress. It was only due to the fact of my superior intellect that we were able to survive. I was a prince on Earth, 200 years ago. I had millions under my command…You thought this was Ceti Alpha VI. You didn’t expect to find me.”

Captain Terrell and Chekov are introduced to Ceti Alpha V’s only remaining indigenous life form. Khan places a baby creature in each of their heads. “The creatures enter through the ears. They wrap around the cerebral cortex. These babies killed twenty of my crew, including my beloved wife.”

The movie switches to the Enterprise and an inspection by Admiral Kirk. During the inspection, Chekov is on board the Reliant. He calls Regula 1. “Dr. Marcus, Reliant will be there in three days. Please be ready to turn over all materials on Project Genesis—to be tested on Ceti Alpha VI. Starfleet Command gave the order—the General’s staff. Admiral Kirk gave the order.”

During the inspection, Admiral Kirk gets an urgent comm-pic from Space Lab Regula 1. Dr. Carol Marcus wants an explanation for the order. The transmission is jammed at the source. Dr. Marcus is concerned and orders her crew to hide.

Admiral Kirk assumes command of the Enterprise. Kirk announces, “By orders of Starfleet Command, I’m assuming command of the enterprise. Plot a course for Space Laboratory Regula 1. Warp five, Mr. Sulu.”

The movie switches to Khan. Against his crews advice, he plans his revenge on Admiral Kirk. “I’ll chase him ‘round the moons of Nibia and ‘round the Antares maelstrom and ‘round perdition’s flames before I give him up.”

Commander Uhura tries to contact Regula 1 without success.  Kirk explains Project Genesis to Spock and McCoy.

Captain Kirk

Captain Kirk Making Rapid Fire Decisions in Wrath Of Khan

Soon, the Reliant is closing fast on the Enterprise. Khan said, “There’s an old Klingon Proverb—revenge is a dish best served cold.”  Khan attacks the Enterprise.

After the successful attack, Jim Kirk learns that Khan is commanding the Reliant. Khan seeks revenge against Kirk. He blames Kirk for the death of his wife.

Kirk puts Reliant’s prefix number, 16309, into the Enterprises’ computer and lowers Reliant’s shields.  Kirk attacks Khan.

After the battle, Kirk orders, “Best speed to Regula 1.”

Later, the Enterprise arrives at Regula 1. Khan was already there and killed part of the crew while searching for Genesis. Kirk and crew beam into the core of the planet and rescue Dr. Marcus and her son. While there, Kirk, McCoy, and Saavik get a glimpse of Genesis.

Back on board the Enterprise, Kirk and Mr. Spock devise a plan. They flee to the Mutara Nebula.  When Khan’s pilot slows rather than following the Enterprise into the magnetic space cloud, Kirk says, “I’m laughing at the superior intellect!”

Khan yells, “Full Power!”  The Reliant follows the Enterprise into the Mutara Nebula. Inside the space cloud, Kirk uses his experience to outwit the inexperienced Khan and defeats him.

Khan Cursing James T. Kirk while dying

Khan Cursing James T. Kirk while dying!

While dying, Khan engages the Genesis Bomb. While the Genesis Wave is building to detonation, he says, “To the last, I will grapple with thee. From hell’s heart, I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

While the Enterprise futilely attempts to escape, Mr. Spock quietly leaves the bridge and rushes to engineering. Before Spock goes into the radiation chamber to make repairs to the warp drive, he gives his Katra to McCoy-using mind transference. “Remember.”

Spock restores the power. Mains are back on line. “Go Sulu!” Kirk orders.

The Genesis bomb explodes as the Enterprise is warping away.

Spock dies in the chamber from radiation poisoning while Kirk helplessly looks on.

At Spock’s funeral, his body is sent down to the new Genesis planet. We see the vast vegetation that has formed and is growing. It is a beautiful new planet. We also see Mr. Spock’s Mark VI Casket within the vegetation.

The Enterprise leaves the planet and travels to Ceti Alpha V to pick up the crew of the USS Reliant that Khan marooned there.

This is an outstanding movie. As always, the actors give all star performances. The ending is a heart breaker. I hope you’ve enjoyed my review of Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan.

May good fortune guide your path,

J.A. Ireland




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