Star Trek: Khan Noonien Singh's Last Words Are Deeper Than You Think

Khan with a bloody face

Classic Star Trek villain Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán) has had a long-lasting legacy that continues into the current canon. Decades after he died in one of the best Star Trek films , "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," the Federation is still profoundly affected by his misdeeds. This is in part because he pushes for genetic engineering, but it's also a testament to how charismatic he was as a character. After being an episodic villain in "Star Trek: The Original Series," he returned to wreak havoc on Admiral Kirk (William Shatner). Khan's quest for vengeance leads to his demise, but not before his famous last words.

"No! No! You can't get away ..." Khan says to the Enterprise as it flies away. "From Hell's heart ... I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath ... at thee." Star Trek has long leaned into taking inspiration from modern-day classics, and that is where Khan's final words come from. He is reciting "Moby-Dick," the Herman Melville epic about Captain Ahab's quest to destroy the titular whale. This ending is fitting for the film, as Ahab and Khan were both vengeful captains in their own right. While Ahab quested to kill his literal white whale, Khan went after his metaphorical one. Kirk was always the foe that got away. But Khan's farewell is about more than surface-level connections.

Khan is an epic figure

Like Captain Ahab, Khan is such a larger-than-life character that he has stood the test of time. "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" focuses on the repercussions of Khan's effect on the world through the eyes of his descendant, La'an Noonien Singh (Christina Chong). Khan's devotion to genetically augmenting the human race defines him, and he never changes his mind. Similarly, Ahab is as vitriolic as he was when he first started hunting the whale. He fails to kill Moby-Dick and watches it destroy his ship and most of his men. Even so, he uses his final moments to curse the whale. He understands his fate, but wouldn't change anything. This is also the place that we leave Khan at the end of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

After sustaining injuries on his ship, he shows no remorse for what he did. His actions directly cause Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) death and reaffirm he was only ever interested in world domination. He dies, cursing Kirk while he himself is the one who caused his downfall. He dies as he lived, full of hate. The tragedy of it all is that he could have turned back at any moment. But like Ahab, his fate was to be drowned by his own revenge.

Memory Alpha

Khan Noonien Singh (alternate reality)

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Khan Noonien Singh (or simply Khan ) was the most prominent of the genetically-engineered Human Augments of the late- 20th century Eugenics Wars period on Earth . Many Augments were genocidal tyrants who conquered and killed in the name of order, with Khan and his kind being frozen in cryogenic sleep.

In the 23rd century , Khan was revived by Admiral Alexander Marcus to design weapons and ships to prepare for war against the Klingon Empire . He was given a new identity, that of John Harrison , an English Starfleet commander . Khan, however, rebelled, and after believing his crew had been killed, he began a one-man campaign against Starfleet. His crew of augments remained frozen and Khan struggled to save them during his campaign. After gaining his revenge on Admiral Marcus, he was later stopped by the crew of the USS Enterprise and returned to cryogenic sleep with his crew.

  • 1.1 20th century origins
  • 1.2 21st century temporal changes
  • 1.3 23rd century return
  • 2 Memorable quotes
  • 3.1 Background information
  • 3.2 Apocrypha
  • 3.3 Reception
  • 3.4 External link

Biography [ ]

20th century origins [ ].

Khan Noonien Singh, 1996

One of the few historic pictures of Khan from the 1990s

Records of the period, including Khan's origins, are vague. Khan was born, or created in 1959 . ( Star Trek Into Darkness ) He was the product of a selective breeding or genetic engineering program called Project Khan , based on the eugenic philosophy that held improving the capabilities of a man improved the entire Human race. Augments produced by the program possessed physical strength and analytical capabilities considerably superior to ordinary Humans, and were created from a variety of Earth's ethnic groups. Khan's background was suspected by McGivers to be Sikh , from the northern region of India . ( PIC : " Farewell "; TOS : " Space Seed ")

Khan lived up to the axiom coined by one of his creators, "superior ability breeds superior ambition". By 1993 , a wave of the genetic "supermen," including Khan, had simultaneously assumed control of more than forty of Earth's nations. From 1992 to 1996 , Khan was absolute ruler of more than one-quarter of Earth's population, including regions of Asia and the Middle East . Considered "the best of tyrants "; Khan's reign was considered the most benevolent. His regime was free of much of the problems that plagued Earth history of that era – as Khan was never known for engaging in massacres, genocide or wars of aggression. However, the citizens of his regime enjoyed little freedom. Khan had little, if any, respect for individual liberty, which was also a key issue for Earth history. As such, personal initiative and financial investment were low, and scientific progress suffered as a result.

Khan asleep aboard the Botany Bay

Khan aboard the Botany Bay

In the mid- 1990s , the Augment tyrants began warring among themselves. Other nations joined in, to force them from power , in a series of struggles that became known as the Eugenics Wars . Eventually, most of the tyrants were defeated and their territory recaptured, but up to ninety "supermen" were never accounted for.

Khan escaped the wars and their consequences along with eighty-four followers, who swore to live and die at his command. He saw his best option in a risky, self-imposed exile. In 1996 , he took control of a DY-100-class interplanetary sleeper ship he christened SS Botany Bay , named for the site of the Australian penal colony . Set on a course outbound from the solar system but with no apparent destination in mind, Khan and his people remained in suspended animation for Botany Bay 's centuries-long sublight journey. ( TOS : " Space Seed "; Star Trek Into Darkness )

21st century temporal changes [ ]

Khan Noonien Singh, child

Khan as a child in 2022

Due to the changes caused in the timeline as a result of various Temporal Wars , the original events concerning the rise of Singh were pushed back, and events reinserted themselves at a later date in the timeline. According to Romulan temporal agent Sera , in a revised 2022 timeline, " And all this was supposed to happen back in 1992, and I've been trapped here for 30 years trying to get my shot at [Khan]. "

The Khan of this era lived in Toronto , Ontario , Canada , at the Noonien-Singh Institute for Cultural Advancement .

As a child in the revised timeline, he witnessed La'an Noonien-Singh shoot and wound Sera, his would-be assassin . La'an entered Khan's room and found her infamous ancestor cowering behind his bed. When Khan asked if she was going to kill him, she looked at the gun and sat it on the desk next to the bed. La'an assured him that she would not hurt him, as she proceeded to wipe Romulan blood from his face. Curious, La'an asked if he was alone, or if there were others like him. Khan gestured to a photograph on the wall of himself and six other children. He then asked if she was going to take him away. La'an told him that it may not make sense to him, then or maybe ever, but he was where he needed to be. She walked to the entrance of the room, activated the temporal transporter device in front of Khan, and returned to her own time period.

Khan’s legacy in the altered timeline was a history of torture, genocide, and his descendants.

In an alternate timeline , which was created from the revised timeline, Sera successfully assassinated Khan by blowing up a nearby fusion reactor (also destroying Toronto ) after a Federation Department of Temporal Investigations agent was shot and failed to protect Khan. As a result, a dark future for Humanity emerged in which Earth was nearly uninhabitable, Starfleet and Federation never formed, and the Romulan Star Empire was the dominant force of the region.

This timeline was averted after Khan's descendant, La'an, encountered the temporal agent aboard the USS Enterprise who directed her to return to the past, and with the help of James Kirk , from the, now, alternate timeline. The two time traveled to the past and La'an stopped Khan's assassination and restored the timeline to as she knew it. ( SNW : " Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow ")

23rd century return [ ]

Khan's false identity

Khan's false ID "John Harrison"

Following the destruction of Vulcan in 2258 , Admiral Alexander Marcus of Section 31 initiated a program to militarize Starfleet and began searching the galaxy for weapons to be used in the war with the Klingon Empire that he now believed was inevitable. Soon after, he discovered the SS Botany Bay adrift.

Despite knowing Khan's history, Marcus decided to bring him out of cryogenic suspension, believing his savagery and superior intellect would be prime assets to his cause. Having his voice and physical appearance heavily altered, Khan was reawakened and recruited under the identity of Section 31 agent, "John Harrison". Marcus forced Khan into working with him by threatening to kill his fellow Augments, and set him to work designing weapons and ships for Starfleet, including the Dreadnought -class USS Vengeance .

Disgruntled, Khan tried to smuggle his crew away in advanced long-range torpedoes but was discovered and forced to flee alone. Believing Marcus had killed his crew, he coerced Section 31 agent Thomas Harewood into betraying Starfleet by offering a blood transfusion for Harewood's terminally-ill daughter . Harewood agreed, and Khan replaced his Starfleet Academy ring with a bomb .

After his daughter was cured with a vial of Khan's blood and its regenerative platelets , Harewood went to work at his office in the Kelvin Memorial Archive in London , where he dropped the false Starfleet ring into a glass of water, igniting the bomb and destroying the facility. In the midst of the chaos, Khan used the opportunity to inspect a salvaged terminal to gain the confiscated formula for transwarp beaming .

Khan piloting Federation Jumpship 208

Harrison piloting Jumpship 208

Before he set off the explosion, Harewood sent Marcus a message, explaining he had been threatened by Khan. Knowing that Marcus would call an emergency meeting in the light of the bombing, Khan rigged a combat efficient jumpship with a portable transwarp beaming device and headed to the Daystrom Conference Room . As the conference was underway, Khan appeared and laid waste to the conference, killing Admiral Pike , Captain Abbott and many other high ranking Starfleet officers. James T. Kirk disabled the jumpship , but Khan beamed himself away before it crashed. He arrived in the one place Starfleet could not go: Qo'noS , the Klingon homeworld.

Khan on Kronos

"John Harrison" reveals himself on Qo'noS

Undeterred, Kirk was granted permission by Marcus to travel to Qo'noS and fire 72 experimental photon torpedoes on Khan's location. However, at the behest of his crew, Kirk chose to defy his orders and opted to arrest Khan instead. While Kirk led an away team with Spock , Uhura , and Hendorff , acting captain Sulu transmitted a message to Khan, warning him to surrender or be destroyed by the newly designed shipboard torpedoes.

Suspecting the newly designed torpedoes were the very torpedoes he smuggled his crew into, Khan sought out the away team to confirm. Khan found Kirk, Spock, and Uhura being attacked by a Klingon patrol and single-handedly killed dozens of Klingons . Confronting the landing party , Khan asked how many torpedoes the USS Enterprise had on board. Spock informed him of the count, which corresponded exactly to the number of his former crew members which were still in stasis. Khan then surrendered to the landing party. Kirk, angry that his mentor's murderer had saved them, punched Khan repeatedly but was unable to render him unconscious.

Khan in Custody

Khan in custody

From the brig , Leonard McCoy took a blood sample to analyze the secret behind Khan's superhuman strength and abilities and injected it into a dead tribble . Khan refused to answer Kirk's questions; he instead gave him coordinates to the spacedock near Jupiter where the Vengeance was constructed, and suggested he open one of the experimental torpedoes.

Kirk gave the coordinates for the absent Montgomery Scott to investigate, while McCoy and Marcus's daughter Carol opened up a torpedo and discovered a cryogenically frozen man within and realized that he was 300 years old. Khan finally explained who he was to Kirk, and revealed that the torpedoes contained his fellow surviving Augments as part of a cover-up.

Marcus appeared in the Vengeance and demanded Kirk hand over Khan. Kirk refused, and the Enterprise warped back to Earth with the intent of putting Khan on trial, which would certainly expose Marcus in the conspiracy. As Khan predicted, Vengeance caught up in subspace and fired on the Enterprise as it arrived outside Earth.

Kirk and Khan in thruster suits

Kirk and Khan team up

Marcus beamed his daughter over to the Vengeance and prepared to destroy the Enterprise but Scott, who had snuck aboard the Vengeance at its spacedock, deactivated its weapons. Kirk and Khan donned thruster suits to fly over and commandeer the Vengeance .

Meanwhile, Spock consulted his older counterpart from another timeline regarding whether he ever encountered Khan Noonien Singh : the old Spock responded he had, that he was dangerous, and that it had required a great sacrifice to stop him. Kirk had also grown suspicious of Khan and advised Scott to stun him after they had taken over the bridge of the Vengeance .

When they arrived on the bridge, Scott stunned Khan while Kirk admonished Marcus for compromising the Federation. However, Scott's phaser stun only temporarily subdued Khan, who quickly recovered and flung himself at Scott and Kirk, overpowered them, then stomping upon Carol's leg. Khan then used his bare hands to crush Marcus's skull, extracting revenge on his once tormentor.

Khan then sat in the command chair and ordered Spock to hand over the torpedoes or he would kill Kirk and resume bombarding the Enterprise . Spock obliged, and Khan beamed Kirk, Scott and Carol back into the Enterprise 's brig, but reneged on the deal. Spock, having predicted Khan's betrayal, had ordered McCoy to remove the stasis pods and detonated the torpedoes after they were beamed over, crippling the Vengeance before she could destroy the Enterprise . Khan cried out in anguish at the apparent loss of his crew.

Khan sets Vengeance on collision course

Khan sets the Vengeance on a course with the heart of Starfleet

The damage sustained caused both ships to be drawn by Earth's gravitational pull. To prevent the ship crashing into western North America, Kirk sacrificed himself reactivating the ship's warp core . Khan, on the other hand, directed the Vengeance on a crash course for Starfleet Headquarters , though the computer could not guarantee that Khan would make it.

The Vengeance slammed into the old prison on Alcatraz Island, careened across San Francisco Bay , and then plowed into several buildings, demolishing several skyscrapers. When the Vengeance crashed into the city, Khan leapt off the bridge and posed as a shocked survivor. Spock beamed down to execute Khan and avenge Kirk's death, pursuing him onto automated flying barges. In the Enterprise 's medbay , McCoy had just examined Kirk's body when the dead tribble on his desk came back to life.

Khan in cryo tube

Khan in stasis following his defeat

The fight took the two combatants on to two automated barges. Spock had the advantage of creativity, and extensive knowledge of martial arts, but Khan had the superior advantages of superhuman strength, speed, thought and durability. Spock attempted to subdue Khan with a nerve pinch but Khan managed to overcome the pain.

As Khan attempted to use his bare hands to crush Spock's skull, Spock managed to counter it with a mind meld . Near the end of the melee, with Spock again in Khan's cranial crushing lock, Uhura beamed down and fired several stun shots to distract Khan. Spock tore a piece of metal from the barge and broke Khan's arm. Spock started repeatedly pummeling Khan, coming very close to killing him, Fortunately, Uhura revealed Khan's blood could save Kirk, and Spock just knocked him out.

After his blood was used to revive Kirk, Khan was placed back in suspended animation with his crew from the Botany Bay . ( Star Trek Into Darkness )

The geneticist Arik Soong believed Augments like Khan could be created without exhibiting his more vicious, psychopathic or megalomaniacal instincts. Soong's "children", created from Augment embryos stolen in 2134 , failed to live up to the hopes of their "father". Soong believed Khan and the Botany Bay to be nothing more than a myth, although his "children" believed differently. ( ENT : " Borderland ", " The Augments ")

Memorable quotes [ ]

" I can save her. " " What did you say? " " Your daughter, I can save her. "

" Captain, are you going to punch me again, over and over, until your arm weakens? Clearly you want to. "

" John Harrison was a fiction created the moment I was awoken by your Admiral Marcus to help him advance his cause. A smoke screen to conceal my true identity. My name… is Khan . "

" Why would a Starfleet Admiral ask a three-hundred year-old frozen man for help? " " Because I am better. " " At what? " " Everything. "

" Alexander Marcus needed to respond to an uncivilized threat in a civilized time, and for that, he needed a warrior's mind – my mind – to design weapons and warships. " " You are suggesting the Admiral violated every regulation he vowed to uphold, simply because he wanted to exploit your intellect. " " He wanted to exploit my savagery! Intellect alone is useless in a fight, Mr. Spock. You, you can't even break a rule; how can you be expected to break bone? "

" My crew… is my family, Kirk. Is there anything you would not do… for your family?"

" You… You should have let me sleep! "

Appendices [ ]

Background information [ ].

Bringing back Khan Noonien Singh was discussed before the release of Star Trek ; on the film's audio commentary , it is stated the filmmakers considered having a shot of the SS Botany Bay after the credits, but opted out in case they decided not to use the character. Director J.J. Abrams said, " It'll be fun to hear what Alex and Bob are thinking about Khan. The fun of this timeline is arguing that different stories, with the same characters, could be equally if not more compelling than what's been told before […] Certain people are destined to cross paths and come together, and Khan is out there… even if he doesn't have the same issues. " [1]

Co-writer Damon Lindelof said the jumping-off point for the sequel's story was deciding whether Khan would be the villain, and he, Kurtzman and Orci weighed the pros and cons of using the character. [2] Abrams commented that, in comparison to Nero from Star Trek , the writers wanted "a much more nuanced and complex villain" for Into Darkness . ( Cinefex , No. 134, p. 72) Due to the massive popularity of how Khan had been represented before, however, "there was a good year of debate," explained Alex Kurtzman, over whether to include Khan in the upcoming movie. With a laugh, Orci phrased this issue, " To Khan or not to Khan. " Kurtzman observed, " The choice to play in that sandbox is really complicated because when a character was as beloved as Khan, you really have to have a reason to do it. " [3] During the debate, Lindelof wanted to use Khan, while Orci was against this option.

The filmmakers found a compromise by developing a story that would not entail Khan, and then determining if he could be "reverse engineered" into it. [4] Stated Kurtzman, " If we could take that [tale] and then incorporate Khan into the mix in a way that felt reverent and appropriate for that story, we would do it. Without that standard, we wouldn't […] We all loved the 'Space Seed' back story, the idea that he was a man who loved his crew as his family – that was the understandable and relatable agenda. And then we built outward from there. " [5] Eventually, Orci felt " the details became too juicy to avoid. Genetic super man from a time that understood war and savagery, etc. Once we had a basic structure that did not necessarily necessitate him, we were able to tailor the script itself to details and inspirations that he brought. " [6] Lindelof added the story-line avoided " The audience [knowing] something the bridge crew did not, which was 'Whatever you do, don’t wake that dude up.' So we didn't want to put the bridge crew behind the audience in terms of what they knew about Trek . " [7]

Khan's undercover name was inspired by his name in an early draft of the script for " Space Seed ", John Ericssen. Orci said, " We shot the movie using the name Ericsenn [sic] but decided it would give it away[,] so we cheated the name Harrison into everyone's mouth! " [8] According to John Eaves , the character's production code-name was April , another character Orci said he had considered as a villain. [9] [10] Once they chose to bring Khan into their film, the screenwriters were not necessarily eager to additionally incorporate a moment when the character's name is shouted in anger, as happens in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , because they considered it vital that such a reaction be a natural and realistic one. [11]

Khan was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch . Before he was cast, Abrams approached Benicio del Toro for the role. [12] There were some complaints, particuarly from the Sikh community, over casting a white actor for a role of a Indian Sikh. [13] [14] [15] Orci said they shied away from casting an Asian actor as Khan because " it became uncomfortable for me to support demonizing anyone of color, particularly any one of middle eastern descent or anyone evoking that. One of the points of the movie is that we must be careful about the villain within US, not some other race. " He also stated the "true essence" of Khan's character was "that he was a genetically engineered superman," "not where he was from or the color of his skin." [16] In response to a question asking whether Khan's appearance was "cosmetically altered to avoid detection," Orci said that the theory was an "interesting idea. Could be." [17] Also, in answer to a question about Khan's change in features, Orci stated, " Uhm… one of his abilities is that he is a shape shifter? " [18]

Cumberbatch commented the role was "daunting because of the legacy involved and the amount of speculation about [Khan] possibly being the villain." ( Empire issue 289, p. 23) Lindelof said of writing for Cumberbatch that " when you can get [a] monologue to come out of [his] mouth, does the 'writing' even matter? I mean, seriously, I made that guy say 'Milk, milk lemonade, and this is where the fudge is made' and it scared the living shit out of me. " [19]

Cumberbatch was cast two weeks before filming. Mary L. Mastro , head of the film's hair department, wanted Khan to have black hair to contrast with the blond Kirk. She recalled, " JJ called a meeting with the creators involved in what he was going to look like and [Cumberbatch] walks into the room with super-short blond hair. My mouth dropped open, like, 'Oh, great.' " The schedule was altered slightly to give more time to determine Cumberbatch's appearance in the film. [20] The filmmakers considered giving Cumberbatch a shoulder-length wig, but Abrams felt he looked better without it. ( Star Trek Into Darkness iTunes enhanced commentary) Costume Designer Michael Kaplan wanted Khan to be "dapper," giving him " a number of very long, elegant coats. It's nice, even in the distance, to be able to recognise a character right away. He's pretty high fashion-looking. "

Cumberbatch trained one-to-one with his stunt double, Martin De Boer , learning basic martial arts. De Boer described Cumberbatch as "'very receptive to learning. I've had actors who want to be an action star but don't want to put in the work, and he was the opposite, he said, "'I want to train as much as I can.' He was very committed. Besides working with us, he was working with his personal trainer five, six days a week; he really got in shape." De Boer said that, because of Khan's strength, Cumberbatch "wanted to have more static and powerful movements. That strength changes the rules of the martial arts we use. You don't have to do five punches, you just have to use a couple of moves and he takes out the guy already." [21]

Bad Robot Productions went to great lengths to hide Khan's identity, even screening the space jump scene to the press with life sign readouts displayed as "Harrison" and Spock's lines referring to Khan overdubbed to refer to Harrison. Bryan Burk defended the strategy, stating, " Even if you don't even know who Khan is, you know that you're watching a film where for forty-five minutes or an hour of the movie you are ahead of the characters. So you're just kind of waiting for them to catch up with what you already know, that he is not who he says he is. " [22] Cumberbatch said the secrecy was fine for him, though Alice Eve did tease him, saying, " The lies, Benedict, the lies! " Recalling times when he had sneaked into screenings to see the audience's reaction to Khan revealing himself, Cumberbatch remarked that "to have that moment – that's worth any amount of subterfuge or holding back on reveals." ( Empire issue 289, p. 23)

The creative staff were ultimately very pleased with how Khan is depicted in Into Darkness . " Ultimately, I think we felt that we found a reason and a way to do it that was all of the things we needed it to be, and yet really different, " voiced Kurtzman. "I think the mistake that we could have made, that we didn't want to make, was to do a version of what Ricardo Montalban had done so brilliantly, and then fall short of that […] There are things about Khan that are very familiar, and there are things that are entirely different, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. " [23]

However, Abrams voiced regret over keeping Khan's identity a secret. " The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront 'This is who it is.' It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that's what the thing was, " he said. He added that hiding Khan's presence was mandated by the studio, who did not want to alienate non- Star Trek fans with the impression they had to learn about who Khan was to enjoy the film. Abrams agreed with that notion but " wonder[ed] if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it. " [24] Responding to Burk's comment that it might have hurt the film if the audience knew Harrison was Khan before Kirk did, Abrams added "the truth is it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in that regard." [25]

When asked if Cumberbatch could reprise the role, Lindelof replied, " To answer that question would be to determine whether or not he actually survives this movie, but if he survives this movie, we would be incredibly stupid to not use him again. " [26] As to whether Khan's blood could disrupt dramatic tension in the next film, Orci said they "figured there are so many horrible ways to die in space that no medicine could save you from that we would be okay." [27]

In the Star Trek Encyclopedia  (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 411), the authors considered it possible that the red matter -created black hole caused differences in the past from the Prime Timeline. On page 414 of volume 1, this is the information on the Khan of " Space Seed " and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan :

  • Brilliant, charismatic, and extremely aggressive, Khan was a genetically engineered human who attempted to gain control of the entire planet Earth in the 1990s during the Eugenics Wars. From 1992 to 1996, Khan was absolute ruler of more than a quarter of Earth, from South Asia through the Middle East. He was the last of the tyrants to be overthrown. Khan escaped in 1996 aboard the sleeper ship S.S. Botany Bay .

On the following page, this is the information on the Khan of Star Trek: Into Darkness:

  • In the Kelvin Timeline, Khan Noonien Singh was the brilliant, ruthless leader of a group of genetically engineered humans, or Augments, who nearly conquered Earth during the 20th-century Eugenics Wars. Khan attempted to commit genocide of those whom he deemed inferior, that is, most of Earth's population. Khan and his people were condemned as criminals, placed into cryogenic sleep in cryo tubes , and exiled aboard a ship sent into space.

Apocrypha [ ]

Cumberbatch also portrayed Khan/Harrison in three "Disruptions" videos to promote the film, in which he analyzes Kirk, Spock, and Uhura's weaknesses and declares he will threaten them. [28]

According to his biography on the Star Trek movie app, "John Harrison" was born in 2228 in Dover , Great Britain , Earth to Richard and Sara Harrison. Harrison was one of nine survivors of the attack on the colony on Tarsus IV in 2246 , and both of his parents were killed in the attack. He graduated from the London School of Economics in 2250 .

After graduating, he was appointed associate researcher, Starfleet Data Archive (London), East Annex in 2255. He was tasked with collection, organization and analysis of declassified data received from Starfleet-commissioned starships and from Federation member states.

The 2013 virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals uses two cards showing Khan: #105, titled Commander J. Harrison, and card #111, titled Human Augment Khan.

Khan's reconstructive surgery

Khan, undergoing reconstructive surgery

The comic book series Star Trek: Khan begins after Khan's capture and him being brought to trial before the Federation Court and establishing his history subsequent to the divergence of the timeline but prior to his encounter with the Enterprise . The Section 31 starship USS Vanguard discovered the Botany Bay drifting in space and take custody of Khan. Quickly using their databanks to determine his identity prior to awakening him, Admiral Marcus orders that Khan's face and voice be reconstructed from their Indian origins to a more northern European origin and has his memory blocked with the intent of convincing Khan that he is John Harrison, a Starfleet researcher in London's Kelvin Memorial Archive who lost his memories in an accident during a failed mission to Qo'noS.

He is given the task of helping advise Section 31 on possible enhancements to Starfleet weapon, shield and propulsion technology (which is to be incorporated aboard the USS Vengeance ) as well as taking on a mission to destroy Praxis with the help of a portable transporter he designed and built. The mission is a success (explaining the destroyed moon seen in orbit of the Klingon homeworld in the film), but in the process, Khan rediscovers his memories of his true identity.

Discovering that his crew is being held in the London facility and forging transmissions from Marcus, Khan is able to load his crew into the long-range torpedoes with the intent of stealing a starship with them aboard, but before departing, Khan invades Marcus' home and demanded to know the truth before planning to kill him. The admiral, planning for Khan's rediscovery, has him targeted by a jumpship outside the window, forcing Khan to flee. His plan, now circumvented, forces him to coerce Thomas Harewood into destroying the London facility and set the events of the film into motion.

Star Trek: Khan also establishes that he was originally an ordinary Indian boy named Noonien Singh and was an orphan living in an impoverished New Delhi slum. In 1972, he was captured, along with other impoverished children, and taken to a research facility to be a test subject for genetic engineering experiments. In August 1985, as a young man, he escaped from the research facility, along with the other genetically engineered test subjects, and began a rebellion. He later gives himself the title of "Khan", out of admiration for historical Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan , naming himself "Khan Noonien Singh".

By the end of series however, doubt is cast about how much of the events depicted in Khan's backstory is in fact truthful. Given the fact that his backstory is mostly only conveyed through what Khan tells the Court, Kirk points out that it is entirely within Khan's best interests to paint an overall sympathetic story of himself rather than simply disclosing a factual retelling of his actual past. Khan was then placed back into stasis, with Kirk noting that despite everything, Khan had managed to get exactly what he wanted.

In the second issue of the Star Trek: Ongoing story arc The Khitomer Conflict , it was established that Khan and the other Augments were stored at a top-secret facility on an asteroid , with the location of the facility highly classified to the point that even Kirk himself didn't know where they were held.

Female Khan IDW

Khan's female counterpart

Like the rest of the characters in the parallel universe of Parallel Lives, Part 1 and Part 2 , he has a female counterpart ( β ).

Khan As A Red Lantern

Khan as a Red Lantern

Khan returned in the comic crossover mini-series Star Trek - Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds , where he serves as one of the primary antagonists. In 2262 , the Red Lantern Atrocitus needed to find a source of rage to recharge his Power Ring and his journey lead to him to discover the asteroid facility where Khan and the other Augments were locked away. He then broke into the facility and begun freeing them, including Khan. However, Khan overpowered the alien and knocked him out while also taking possession of his ring. Before he could slay his foe, he was confronted by Green Lanterns Kilowog , Guy Gardner and John Stewart . After Gardner revealed that the ring was loyal only to Atrocitus, Khan crushed the alien with his foot and he became the ring's new bearer, using his rage to easily defeat his new foes. After explaining his new appearance to his troops, Khan led his men to seize control of the USS Bryant where he once again encountered Kirk and Spock. Though Hal Jordan tried to fight Khan, the Augment managed to best him as well, but his boasting left him open to an attack from the other Lanterns and a photon torpedo barrage from the Enterprise . Defeated, Khan used his ring to recharge the Bryant and make his escape. Making his way to Qo'noS, Khan overthrew Orange Lantern Larfleeze and bargained with the Klingon High Council to aid him in attaining the power of the planet Oa and use it to conquer the Federation. Using his ring to supercharge the Klingon warships, Khan followed Kirk to Oa, only for the captain to be chosen by a Green Lantern Power Ring before the Augment could slay his foe. As the fighting intensified, the Augments were all defeated, depriving Khan of his power. Though he attempted to goad Kirk into slaying him, Kirk stuck to his morals and simply knocked Khan out and returned him to prison while Khan's ring was seized by the Enterprise crew for study.

Reception [ ]

Entertainment Weekly saw parallels between the new Khan and figures such as Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein , as both men were allied with the US before turning on them. [29] Simon Pegg commented " Iraq had nothing proven to do with 9/11 , and yet Bush used that as an excuse to start a war with those people. You can always see the Klingons as like Iraq and John Harrison the proxy for Osama bin Laden. " [30]

Lindelof further acknowledged the terrorism parallels in an interview with StarTrek.com , as Khan's 72 torpedoes reminded them of the notion of 72 virgins in paradise. Lindelof responded " Of course it is a coincidence, because that is a number taken from canon. It was pointed out to us at the scripting phase – the 72 virgins – and that actually gave us pause, because we didn't want people drawing that comparison… but there it is. " [31]

The New Yorker also saw parallels between the debate to execute or arrest Khan with that of the issue of targeted killing . [32]

External link [ ]

  • Khan Noonien Singh (Kelvin timeline) at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • 1 Abdullah bin al-Hussein
  • 2 Battle of Wolf 359
  • 3 Borg cube
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  • User reviews

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Kirstie Alley, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, and Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon. With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon. With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon.

  • Nicholas Meyer
  • Gene Roddenberry
  • Jack B. Sowards
  • Harve Bennett
  • William Shatner
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • DeForest Kelley
  • 460 User reviews
  • 136 Critic reviews
  • 68 Metascore
  • 3 wins & 9 nominations

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Celebrating 50 Years

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  • Trivia In the Blu-ray special feature "The Captain's Log", Ricardo Montalban says that once he committed to this film, he realized that he had trouble getting back into the character Khan. After years of playing Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island (1977) , he found that he was "stuck" in that character. He requested a tape of Space Seed (1967) from Paramount Studios, and proceeded to watch it repeatedly. By the third or fourth watching, he had recaptured the essence of Khan's character.
  • Goofs Chekov and Khan recall having met each other. Although Chekov was not a bridge officer when Khan came on the Enterprise in Space Seed (1967) , it should be remembered that when Khan first took over Enterprise, he started with the engineering deck. Chekov was engineering ensign at the time, and mounted resistance against Khan, according to the movie's novelization. Surprisingly, Sulu was also absent from Space Seed, a point which no one ever brings up.

Kirk : We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human.

  • Crazy credits After the opening credits: "In the 23rd century..."
  • Expanded conversation between Kirk and McCoy in Kirk's apartment about his birthday gift, the glasses. Also, McCoy now says "For most patients your age, I'd usually administer Retinax Five." This is an alternate take, since in the theatrical version, he says "recommend" instead of "administer" (Seen in ABC-TV version).
  • Conversation between Kirk and Midshipman Preston in the Enterprise's engine room, with Scotty revealing that Preston is his nephew. Also, the take at the scene's ending with Kirk addressing Scotty and McCoy asking "Admiral, what about the rest of the inspection?" is different from the one seen in the theatrical version. Kirk's dialogue is also slightly different (Seen in ABC-TV version).
  • The scene where Chekov informs Dr. Marcus and her team about their new orders via compic has been expanded. Carol Marcus now asks "Who gave the order", and the mind controlled Chekov dances around the answer a little before David says, "Pin him down, mother." (Seen in ABC-TV version).
  • The scene where the scientists at Regula One argue about Starfleet Command's order is a different take, and has been expanded in the ending to show Carol Marcus ordering everyone to pack their things up so they can depart before the Reliant arrives (Seen in ABC-TV version).
  • McCoy and Spock's argument about Genesis in Kirk's cabin has been slightly expanded. They discuss what might happen if Genesis fell into the wrong hands, and whose hands are the right ones. Kirk attempts to break the two up, but Spock cuts him off with a comeback to McCoy (Seen in ABC-TV version).
  • Preston's death in Sickbay has been expanded. Preston now says "Aye" and dies in close-up (instead of in the medium shot with Preston's back to the camera and the others visible around the table seen in the theatrical version) Scotty asks why Khan wants revenge. McCoy's line, "I'm sorry, Scotty" now comes in the middle of the scene, instead of in the ending. After Spock informs Kirk via intercom that impulse power is restored, McCoy and Kirk speak a little longer, and Kirk says they only survived because he knew something Khan didn't about starships (Seen in ABC-TV version).
  • An added shot of Kirk, Spock and Saavik climbing a ladder between decks has been added, in which Kirk says "That young man, he's my son," and Spock replies, "Fascinating." Also, the music in the scene has been looped to account for this added shot, but it loops at an earlier point than in the ABC-TV version. This makes the music flow better, instead of repeating the same bit of music twice in succession. For the 2016 Director's Cut Blu-Ray edition, the shot is included but the dialogue is omitted.
  • An extension occurs as the Enterprise approaches the Mutara Nebula. Saavik wonders if the Reliant will follow them in, and Spock states that he must remember to teach her about the human ego. The music is looped at a different point than in the ABC-TV version to accommodate this extension, and it is thus much less distracting.
  • Connections Edited from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  • Soundtracks Theme From Star Trek (TV Series) Music by Alexander Courage

User reviews 460

  • Mar 31, 2000
  • When Spock and Saavik converse early in the film, what (modern earth) language do they actually speak?
  • Why is the actor Judson Scott, who played a substantial role as Joachim in this film, not listed in the closing credits?
  • How did Khan and crew actually take over the Reliant? One minute they're shoving eels down Chekov and Terrell's ears - the next they're on the bridge of the Reliant sporting trophy uniforms and in command of the ship.
  • June 4, 1982 (United States)
  • United States
  • Star Trek II
  • Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Paramount Pictures
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $11,200,000 (estimated)
  • $79,707,906
  • $14,347,221
  • Jun 6, 1982
  • $79,821,685

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 53 minutes
  • Dolby Surround 7.1

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Kirstie Alley, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, and Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

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40 years later, Star Trek will finally solve a classic Khan mystery

What happened on Ceti Alpha V after the Enterprise left?

khan on star trek

Khan is back! After several years of speculation and rumor , a prequel series all about the Star Trek villain's exile on Ceti Alpha V is finally happening. But the format might not be what fans expected. Here’s what to know about what to expect from the Wrath of Khan prequel series, and how it's poised to answer a burning Trekkie question four decades in the making.

On Star Trek Day 2022, Nicholas Meyer — director of The Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country , and consulting producer on Discovery Season 1 — made a surprise announcement: The infamous Star Trek supervillain Khan Noonien Singh will finally get his own series. But it will happen in the form of a limited-run scripted podcast.

According to Paramount:

“The scripted podcast will examine what happened in the years after Captain Kirk left Khan on the untamed world of Ceti Alpha V and tells the story of Khan and his followers prior to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. ”

What does this all mean? Let’s dive in.

The logo for Star Trek: Khan

Khan: Ceti Alpha V timeline, explained

In between the Star Trek episode “Space Seed,” and the return of Khan in The Wrath of Khan , 18 years pass. So in theory, the new Khan series will explore the time between 2267 and 2285. The large question the series will answer is: what exactly happened during that time ?

But that question also leads to several other smaller questions fans have had for years. Such as:

  • When did Khan’s wife pass away?
  • Where did his younger followers come from?
  • Why didn’t Starfleet send another ship to check on Khan?
  • How could the Reliant have confused Ceti Alpha VI for Ceti Alpha V?
  • How did Khan get that sweet necklace? (Okay maybe this question doesn’t need to be answered.)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Nicholas Meyer attends "Star Trek" Day on September 08, 2022...

Nicholas Meyer onstage for “Star Trek Day,” announcing Star Trek: Khan.

Star Trek: Khan , explained

According to Paramount, the series will be produced by Alex Kurtzman, Aaron Baiers, Trevor Roth, and Rod Roddenberry . However, sole writing credit seems to be going to Nicholas Meyer, the visionary behind The Wrath of Khan . Back when rumors of a Khan miniseries first started circulating in 2017, Meyer wrote to Inverse jokingly saying “I khannot possibly comment” on the existence of the concept, which pretty much confirmed it was in development. But now, what’s great is that it seems that Meyer will get to write what is basically a radio play entirely on his own.

As Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman put it:

“Nick made the definitive ‘Trek’ movie when he made ‘Wrath,’ and we’ve all been standing in its shadow since. Forty years have offered him a lot of perspective on these extraordinary characters and the way they’ve impacted generations of fans. Now he’s come up with something as surprising, gripping and emotional as the original, and it’s a real honor to be able to let him tell the next chapter in this story exactly the way he wants to.”

Star Trek has never done this before. An in-canon scripted podcast is officially a new venture for the franchise. Although the official Trek podcast, The Pod Directive — hosted by Tawny Newsome and Paul F. Tompkins — has been around since 2020, a scripted fictional podcast is bold new territory for the final frontier.

Do we know the Star Trek: Khan release date and cast?

Khan Space Seed

Khan in “Space Seed.”

So, when do we get to hear Khaaaaaan? Well, right now, there’s no release date. The Pod Directive will return in early 2023, but we’re just going to have to wait a little longer for Khan . There’s also no voice cast, yet. Ricardo Montalbán, who played Khan in “Space Seed” and The Wrath , passed away in 2009. Benedict Cumberbatch played the alternate Khan in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness , but it feels unlikely he’d voice the character for this project.

At this point, we don’t know. But when it comes to Khan, Trek fans can wait. It’s already been 40 years. What’s a few more months?

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Who is Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek?

Star Trek is a 60-year saga known for its gorgeous starships and equally gorgeous heroes but Khan Noonien Singh is the series' most important villain.

The galaxy far, far away has Darth Vader, the Emperor, Grand Admiral Thrawn and a host of other iconic baddies. Yet, Star Trek and the galaxy right, right here isn't as focused on individual villains that way. However, if the universe created by Gene Roddenberry has a single, identifiable villain it's a 20th Century human who found himself in the future. Khan Noonien Singh is an important villain in Star Trek , and those who don't already know his story are in for an incredible adventure. The character has a long history in the nearly 60-year-old saga, and he remains important to its past and future.

Originally appearing in the Star Trek: The Original Series Season 1 episode, "Space Seed," the character was conceived as a Viking-style character. Roddenberry, however, wanted to subvert the audience expectations of the 1960s by changing that background. The character was named Khan Noonien Singh, in part because Roddenberry hoped a similarly-named acquaintance from World War II would see it and seek him out. (Alas, he never did.) The character was conceived as an actor of West Asian heritage, but the only actor they could convincingly cast to play the futuristic super man was Ricardo Montalban. In 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, Benedict Cumberbatch was cast to play Khan Noonien Singh, despite him looking more "Viking" than West Asian. While "Space Seed" is an iconic Star Trek: TOS episode, it wasn't until his return in 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan written and directed by Nicholas Meyer. Not only did this revitalize the character, but the film reenergized the entire Star Trek franchise after The Motion Picture failed to spark joy in the hearts of Trekkers.

RELATED: This Star Trek: TOS Character Would Fit Perfectly In Strange New Worlds

Who Is Khan Noonien Singh In the Star Trek Canon?

The "Space Seed" episode revealed two things about the Star Trek universe. It revealed the "Eugenics Wars," which involved Khan Noonien Singh. Khan, among others, were genetically engineered to be "perfect" humans. The episode also revealed that as a result of these wars the "records" of that time were mostly lost to Starfleet. Still, Spock told Captain Kirk Kahn ascended into power in 1992 and was defeated in 1996 (30 years from the show's real-world present-day). Khan and 96 of his fellow genetic augments were put into a kind of stasis and sent off into space, where they drifted until the USS Enterprise found the vessel and awakened them. A historian on the Enterprise, Marla McGivers, was charmed by Khan and, almost, helped him take over the ship. Once Kirk and company retook the vessel, he allowed Khan, McGivers and his people to settle on Ceti Alpha V to build a new life for themselves.

In the beginning of The Wrath of Khan , Pavel Chekov (a character not added to The Original Series until Season 2) landed on what they believed was Ceti Alpha VI. They soon found Khan and what remained of his people, because the planet had "shifted" its orbit after a cataclysm. Kahn captured Chekov's ship, the USS Reliant, and used it to take possession of the Genesis Device. Created by Kirk's former partner Carol Marcus and Kirk's son David, it could take a lifeless world and make it teeming with life in hours. Khan wanted to use it as a weapon, but he also wanted to visit vengeance on Kirk. At the end of the film, he's defeated and famously quotes Moby Dick before he uses the Genesis Device to destroy his own ship. "From Hell's heart I stab at thee," he says, "for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."

In Strange New Worlds Season 2, Khan's descendant, La'an Noonien Singh , was sent back in time to the early 21st Century to stop a cataclysm. In Star Trek: Voyager , the crew was sent back to 1996, but instead of a Eugenics War-ravaged landscape, they found the dawn of the internet age. This was established as the "fault" of another time-travel accident. When La'an arrived in her past, she encountered Sera, a Romulan agent from the "Temporal Wars." She was sent back to 1992 to kill Khan in order to prevent the Federation and Starfleet from ever existing. Yet, because of the other time-shenanigans, Khan wasn't born until the 21st Century. "Time pushes back," she told La'an, implying that "canon events" aren't just limited to the Spider-Verse.

RELATED: Kevin Feige's Secret Ingredient in the MCU Came From Star Trek's 'Worst' Movie

Why Khan Noonien Singh Is So Important to Star Trek Fans and Storytellers

Khan Noonien Singh remains important to the larger Star Trek story because of what he represents about the universe's past. The Eugenics Wars, now set in the mid-21st Century also coincided with "World War III," the cataclysm from which Star Trek 's ideal future emerged. In Star Trek: First Contact , the crew of the USS Enterprise-E are sent back to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes the first warp-drive flight, causing the Vulcans to visit Earth. Khan represents the personification of the worst of humanity. Notions of superiority, violence and authoritarianism are the main impediments, Roddenberry believed, to the idyllic future humanity was capable of achieving.

His many returns, from "Space Seed" in Star Trek: The Original Series to The Wrath of Khan are a warning that these human foibles, like Star Wars ' Palpatine , will somehow return if people aren't careful. Yet, Khan didn't just help create the universe in the narrative. After The Motion Picture , fans hoped for a return to the type of storytelling Star Trek: TOS was known for. Nicholas Meyer delivered a film that felt a bit like an episode of the show on a grander scale. Yet, it also kicked off a run of four more movies that helped cement Star Trek as an enduring franchise. Fans were enamored by the film and its sequels. Even when he's not present, he influences the story. Star Trek: Picard Season 3 thematically echoed the "trilogy" that started with The Wrath of Khan through Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home .

Khan is a genetically altered super man who was so cruel, violent and despotic he almost destroyed the planet. Yet, like most real-world villains, the actual Khan was charming, seemingly measured. Ricardo Montalban infused the character with gravitas and even humor, along with his impressive bare chest (which was not a prosthetic in the movie). If the heroes of Star Trek represent the best of humanity, Khan represents the worst of it. Heroes are defined by their villains, and any hero that can take out a guy like Khan Noonien Singh is an impressive one indeed.

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Nicholas Meyer Gives Update On ‘Star Trek: Khan – Ceti Alpha V’ And Why Making It An Audio Drama Is “Perfect”

khan on star trek

| November 25, 2023 | By: Aaron Bossig 84 comments so far

On Star Trek Day last year, Wrath of Khan writer/director Nicholas Meyer officially announced that his “Ceti Alpha V” project exploring the exile of Khan Noonien Singh was finally happening, with the surprise twist it was being transformed into a scripted podcast for Paramount+. Things have been mostly silent regarding Star Trek: Khan – Ceti Alpha V since then, but Meyer just gave a status update, along with his hopes that a successful podcast might eventually lead back to a filmed version of Khan’s story covering the span of time between being marooned by Captain Kirk at the end of “Space Seed” in Star Trek: The Original Series and his escape in Star Trek II .

Khan audio drama may lead to the screen… but there’s no timetable

Nick Meyer sat down with Larry “Dr. Trek” Nemecek for a special  “open house” celebrating the 8th anniversary of his Portal 47 subscription service . They discussed various aspects of Meyer’s career, including his work on Star Trek II , Star Trek IV and Star Trek VI , and he also talked a bit about how Ceti Alpha V would play out. Originally, the project was written as a three-part miniseries , with the podcast version widening the scope slightly. Making it clear the project was still alive and well, Meyers explained:

“It’s now being worked as a radio play: nine or ten half-hour episodes. I guess the thinking is, if it is successful, then we go back to making it something on film.”

Pressed to give specifics on what kind of production values could be expected for a Star Trek audio drama, or even who would be considered for casting, Meyer declined to speculate, although he did confirm that yes, the project was still on track. Carefully, he cautioned that some behind-the-scenes issues had to be worked out before proceeding with casting, seeking musical talent, and so on. His protective words to Portal 47 were:

“This is a show, all I can tell you about it, and I have no wish to be indiscreet, that has a kitchen filled with cooks.”

Acknowledging that the series has been retooled and that the timetable has slipped, especially after the twin Hollywood strikes that delayed everything, Meyer was frank, telling Nemecek:

“Whatever timeline we had went out the window some months ago.”

khan on star trek

Official announcement title graphic from Paramount+

Why radio play format is “perfect”

Although Ceti Alpha V is now being developed as a scripted audio drama podcast, Nick Meyer hesitated to call the project a “podcast,” preferring “radio play.” Meyer has a particular fondness for the format going back to when he directed several radio plays in his college days. When asked if he felt  Ceti Alpha V would be diminished as a result of it being a radio play, Meyer was quick to counter that he felt the format was ideal. On Portal 47, he elaborated:

“I really love radio plays, and I’ll tell you why I think they’re cool… I believe that all great artistic media, with one arguable exception, rely for their success on something that they leave out. Paintings do not move. Music possesses no intellectual content. Words are just code on a page… It is the imaginary contribution of the audience… that puts this all together.”

Calling the work a “radio play” compares the upcoming scripted podcast to the pre-television era of entertainment, when stories would be performed by actors and enhanced by music and audio special effects to make up for the absence of visuals. Fans of audio performances sometimes refer to it as “theatre of the mind,” and it is this ability of the audience to fill in the missing visuals that Meyer wants to use:

“When I’m looking for a movie, I’m looking for what I want to leave out. Radio is perfect because it’s all your imagination. Imagination is perfect because it doesn’t need to be trained.”

khan on star trek

Nicholas Meyer announcing his Ceti Alpha V project at the Star Trek Day 2022 event in Los Angeles

The history of this project goes back to when Nicholas Meyer was brought in as a consulting producer for the first season of Star Trek: Discovery . At the Star Trek Day event in 2022, he explained how Ceti Alpha V had evolved over the years:

“Alex Kurtzman made an interesting suggestion to me. He said, ‘I wonder what happened during those 15 years’ that Khan was marooned or exiled or transplanted, take your pick, to Ceti Alpha V, which was at the time of flourishing planet. I thought that was a really cool idea. I wound up writing three one-hour episodes for a Star Trek television show that for reasons beyond Alex or my control hasn’t been made until now. So it’s going to be a podcast. It’s going to start life as a podcast. I will take those scripts, adapt them, expand them, and as with all writing, get a chance to make them better. So I hope you’ll all tune in for them.”

There have been a number of Star Trek audio productions in the past, but they have primarily been done as audiobooks or were recordings of live performances . Last year, Simon and Schuster Audio released the original audio drama Star Trek: Picard: No Man’s Land . Ceti Alpha V would be the first official scripted Star Trek podcast; scripted podcasts are growing , some even attracting high-profile talent like Batman: The Audio Adventures ‘ large cast that includes Brent Spiner .

During Meyer’s time on Portal 47, there was no discussion regarding how the podcast would fit into Star Trek canon. Trek showrunners have long held that any event that appears in a TV show or movie is considered canon, while stories from novels and comic books are not. It is unclear where officially produced podcasts would fall under that distinction.

Khan’s story in exile has been told before, most recently in IDW’s 2020 comic book mini-series Star Trek: Khan – Ruling in Hell .

khan on star trek

The story of Ceti Alpha V has been touched before, but never by the man who wrote Star Trek II.

The full video with Meyer was livestreamed to subscribers of Portal 47 , a live/online monthly package of features spotlighting and hosting the often unheralded backstage creators of Trek from author/host, speaker and behind-the-scenes archivist Larry Nemecek.

This is another developing story so stay tuned for the next update on Ceti Alpha V .

UPDATE: Watch full Meyer interview 

The full interview has now been released on Nemecek’s Trekland YouTube page.

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See Spock Get A Message From Captain Pike In Preview Of ‘Star Trek: Defiant’ #10

Wrath of Khan screenplay completed in 12 days.

Khan audio production completed in 12 years?

But years can seem like days!

Seriously, I am looking forward to this and I hope it will be available on Audible.

Ha, nicely played, sir.

And I’m looking forward to it, too. Sounds like a fun idea.

Khan’s screenplay was cut and pasted by Meyer in 12 days.

I hope so cause I wanna listen to it on my way to work and back

As an avid listener to BBC Radio 4, and scripted podcasts like “Alan Partridge: From the Outhouse”, I welcome this being a fully-fledged radio play!

Truly hope this happens and hope it bursts the door open for more Star Trek audio plays.

By the way Nicholas Meyers narration of and his book The View From the Bridge is great.

I’m interested in our Starfleet heroes; spending time with Khan and his followers without Starfleet present sounds depressing.

It would be interesting to go back and forth between KHAN and Starfleet, and eventually find out what caused the latter the disregard or forget about Ceti Alpha V.

I have always been under the impression that Kirk purposely buried the report on Khan, et al. because he knew what a threat he could pose to the galaxy if released from Cetus Alpha V. The line he says to Terrell in WOK, “I know what he blames me for,” alluded to that, has been my thinking all these years. So Starfleet may have never known he was there at all…

Sorry, but that would be kind of stupid. If nobody knows there’s a dangerous threat on Ceti Alpha V it’s only a matter of time until somebody stumbles across it by accident, and likely unprepared.

There’s a conceit like this in FEDERATION, where we find out Kirk and co cover up Z. Cochrane’s existence, only to have it bite them in the ass in a big way a couple months later.

The problem with that is there were too many people on the enterprise who knew about it.

I assume it was just the same thing that Captain Freeman is always complaining about. Starfleet does a bad job of checking in on planets after their initial contact. Even in Space Seed, Spock suggested that they wait a century before checking on Khan.

Yeah that’s a great point which LDS pointed out again when it visited Ornara in season 3. That was the former drug addicts the Enterprise D encountered nearly 20 years ago. They actually turned out fine but the fact no one bothered to see how they were doing could’ve been disastrous for that planet and it could’ve torn itself apart.

I do think on one hand, it’s pretty realistic that Starfleet isn’t doing a lot of follow up when you have thousands of ships in the fleet and making first contacts with so many planets; especially the vast distances many are in that and too far or isolated that starships haven’t been back to for years or ever. Same time, some of the more ‘problematic’ ones should at least be flagged or checked on. It’s odd they don’t have any system in place to do that with even by the 24th century.

Honestly I’m curious what the story is going to be here. Khan had no enemies or anything like that while exiled. Sure he had climate issues and such but that doesn’t necessarily sound fun. Having said that, I have faith in Meyer to turn out a good story. Specifically I would love to know how Khan blames Kirk for the death of his wife.

I always thought it was just because Kirk left them there.

Sure I guess that’s true. But honestly the only story I can see here is a climate story when the planet goes out of orbit and becomes inhabitable.

As Jack says, I always figured it was just because Kirk left them on the planet.

Yuppers. I know. I’m just saying a classic story has a protagonist and antagonist. I don’t see both here. But like I said, I trust Meyer to turn out a good story :)

Miss you btw!

No enemies that we know of, officially. It’s been a while since I read it, but I seem to remember the Greg Cox book depicting Khan’s people descending into infighting.

Kirk left him on Ceti Alpha V where Khan encountered the Ceti bug that he eventually used on Chekov and Tyrell.

I believe he says that it killed many of his crew “including his beloved wife” as he introduces the bug to them.

He also blames Kirk because “nobody bothered to check on their progress”.

I’m down for it, because it seems like it could be a worthy side story. It’s not something you can build a franchise up with… but could be like Andor is to Star Wars… an interesting and very specific corner of the universe that can be told differently. Where you can play with varying ideas of what Star Trek is. Rather than a mainstream series / movie.

Rather let’s take some from cues from Star Trek into Darkness and blame Section 31 instead.

They deliberately deleted certain details of Kirk’s encounter with Khan, knowing that Khan and his followers may be weaponised.

Then the fact that Ceti Alpha VI exploded without anyone from Starfleet noticing that… Surely the Reliant’s navigational charts couldn’t have been so out of synch to mistake an entire planet for another?

All this smells of a massive cover-up from within Starfleet ;)

Ah, but I hate Section 31 and wish they left it with DS9…

How does s31 work it so Chekov doesn’t recognize the name of the star system they are in or its importance till he reads ‘botany bay’ on the seatbelt? Prosaic as it must have been, Sowards’ original story supposedly actually had Chekov reading up on Khan before they meet up on the planet. That DOES sort of trash the big reveal though.

It’s just the kind of minutiae I’m willing to overlook and not need a specific explanation of. sure.. he knew Khan, but doesn’t remember the name of the ship.

Oh my gosh me too. I hate what Discovery did with S31 and As much as I like Michelle Yeoh I wish that movie would not happen!

You’re definitely on to something here, and I think that is a more than plausible explanation.

Not only the navigational charts would make no sense, where were is all the debris of a planet that blew up? That should be everywhere but oddly not even a chunk of the planet floating anywhere.

Maybe a black hole just swallowed it up. ;)

I’m sure some will complain, but considering how successful the Darth Vader synthesized voice was on Obi-Wan Kenobi, I would love to hear a version of this with a Ricardo Montalban voice. He really cannot be equaled. Even Benedict Cumberbatch failed.

Cumberbatch sounded like an A.I. chatbot if it went evil.

Cumberbatch was the most racist casting ever.

Many things make that movie suck, but that casting is at the top of the list.

I’m genuinely surprised that this isn’t discussed more. The way they whitewashed the character was galling.

Agreed. And the entire Khan debacle is why JJ Abrams should stay faaaaaar away from doing Star Trek ever again. This was a guy, I know it’s crazy to imagine this now, that many fans were truly excited for to be making Star Trek because they oddly believed he was a huge TOS fan and if anyone could get stay true to canon, it was him. Instead he took one of Trek’s most iconic characters, one of the very few even non fans may have heard of and just took a huge dump on him. Just did not remotely care, simply wanted the name ‘Khan’ in the movie. And that’s literally all we got, his name, because that ‘character’ could’ve been anybody else…or it should have been.

It is still one of the most tone deaf castings in movie history a decade later.

Along with Chuck Connors as Geronimo.

Benico Del Toro or Javier Bardem wouldve been ‘excellent’ casting (unfortunately Bardem had signed up to play a similar character for Skyfall around the same time, and they wouldn’t pay BDT his asking price) Antonio Bandarus wouldve been good (but possibly too old) , and I wonder if even Johnny Depp would’ve considered it? (obviously too expensive and in demand back then, but it’d have been a change for him to be a villain and get pumped up etc, and he’s probably a ToS fan)

Alternatively once they couldn’t get a suitable actor they couldve simply changed ‘Khan’ to a random augment (Joachim?) and had Cumberbatch play that. and then the big reveal he’s been trying to free Khan who’d be hidden away in a s31 secret base (we’d see CGI 1966 Montalban as Khan at the end in a cryopod)..but then maybe that would’ve all been too ‘deep dive’ for audiences idk

My first thought when I read this was “Oh, I hope they get Benedict Cumberbatch to voice Khan again….joking, of course.

Well, let’s face it, Cumberbatch was cast in large part because he was the flavor of the month at the time. It’s not like there aren’t a ton of great voice actors they could use for this particular project.

But we’ll never know if actors like James Earl Jones and Ricardo Montalban can’t be equaled if we don’t give other actors a bloody chance to work at it. Emphasis on work. You know? Earning a living. Getting ahead. Having a career. A human career that we as fans can follow and support.

The one thing I’m glad about, is they didn’t try to have him match Montalban. There was no good way to do that after casting Cumberbatch. As much as I disagree with how that character was written and portrayed in that film, it would have been a bigger disaster to have someone try to imitate. I prefer to let Montalban’s performance stand on its own. Vader’s voice is its own thing.. it was always a voice over. But for an audio book / podcast / radio play.. I’m just not sure how I’ll feel hearing his voice because it might be a distraction? but I have to admit, if there is a reason to do it, maybe that’s the only format it could work in.

I love how everyone is concerned with Vader’s voice when only David Prowse brought Vader his stature, his height, his might and awesomeness. Not Hayden who wasn’t tall enough or imposing. Yes James Earl brought the finishing touches. He was the voice.

The man in the suit is not much concern because it’s still… a man in a suit.

Eh…sounds good.

If not LIVE ACTION, then an animated movie or mini-series would have been welcome ( think of some the animation studios producing work for Netflix and suchlike ).

A missed opprtunity methinks.

It was originally written as a miniseries, but that plan died when Discovery went into a nosedive and Meyer and the rest of the original writers got ousted.

This is Ceti Alpha V!

Six months in it’s going to get a bit monotonous, no?

I’m curious if the recent retcon of Khan (hah!) will play into this at all.

Sandblasted white, maybe?

Yikes I hope not. I was more referring to the fact that Khan was now born in 2014 or so rather than the 1990’s.

I have to repeat what is one of my favorite lines from all of Star Trek: “And this was all supposed to happen in 1992!” If you’re not a real Trekkie, you just won’t get that one. The way the Romulan assassin is in the middle of a rant when she gets to that, shrieking by that point, just makes it more perfect.

(I think my all time favorite line is from T’Ana: “Hey! Migleemo! Read the f***in’ SIGN!”)

Lest you be mistaken, I do not only know the newer versions of Trek.

Same. The writers failed to understand that this wasn’t needed. Star Trek’s History is not our history. It’s a fictional world, and doesn’t need to be shoehorned into ours.

Altman and Gross did a book on the history of the Bond films and I was fascinated to read Meyer’s account of his involvement on TOMORROW NEVER DIES. He was part of a writer’s room, but then delivered pages that took the idea in a direction nobody else could stomach, and when he defended it on the grounds that ‘you pay me to deliver genius,’ ms. Broccoli really cut him down to size and sent him packing. I have to say, I loved his idea — that the villain was going to orchestrate a war between China and India with the main goal being to reduce overpopulation in the world, and that he apparently succeeds in winning Bond to this cause as a humanitarian effort. It’s actually not too far from part of a Bond idea I’ve been writing on sporadically for the last year and a half (not that I think I’ll have a chance to present it.)

What’s weird is that Meyer’s premise about overpopulation would never play in today’s political climate. Even given that we have more people than ever before, and no real understanding of our planet’s carrying capacity, the fears about overpopulation seem to have been replaced by those about demographics, where there won’t be enough consumers and taxpayers to support us old folks and keep civilization running.

Wow, you’re totally right. Of course that might make it work better for a Bond villain, because it wouldn’t seem a popular or trendy choice so much as a far-thinking necessary one.

Meyer’s conceit is that the guy would do the usual trying to kill Bond 11 different ways before saying, that was all a test to see if you were good enough to become my guy in trying to save the world, and Bond would seem to go along with it for a time while I guess eventually routing the guy from within the organization, a la LICENCE TO KILL.

Bond films try to stay apolitical (outside of LIVING DAYLIGHT’s fling with taliban-esque forces, something Rambo also fell prey to back when certain seemingly lost causes had a romantic feel to them), but if this baddie was today trying to say we should be limiting the consumers and taxpayers to make sure this brand of civilization does NOT continue, that might make for a bold-ass statement.

My Bond story, such as it is, makes introducing a new Bond a feature and exists in pieces, where I’ve got, in my humble opinion, an amazing first 12 pages (pre-title-sequence and first scenes) that could work as a period piece or contemporary (just by varying the gadgets, like aerial mines for period and programmable drones a la INSURRECTION if contemporary), two different possible finales (one inspired by the novel DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER’s train climax, a sequence that in my mind would absolutely require the ‘007 theme’ — as opposed to ‘The James Bond Theme’, a tune that hasn’t turned up in the films since an anemic version dribbled out in MOONRAKER) and the idea that the main antagonist would have a kind of Lord Summerisle / WICKER MAN presence, which would justify including something like the Blofeld ‘Disneyland of Death’ garden in the YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE novel, something Eon has been thinking about using for years but still hasn’t really gone there. I even manage to work in P aymaster Troop, who is mentioned once or twice in the novels as the office nuisance at BritIntel, mainly so I can have Bond make a throwaway line about how he never, in the office or the field, ever makes a point of wanting to mind his Ps and Qs.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so hooked by a notion that has no practical way forward, not since the early 90s when I felt compelled to come up with a pre-FIREFLY FIREFLY-esque universe, but that was back when I was still trying to make zero-budget films myself. I’ve never been into fanfiction, writing or reading, but I guess that is what this amounts to. Might just post it on a Bond fan site in partial form, because I can’t see any other way to get it noticed, and since the work thus far is something I feel strongly about, it differs from some of my other scripting tries, like TNG specs, where I wasn’t even all that personally attached to my own writing.

edit addon: apropos of nothing at all, I just read that JUGGERNAUT is finally coming out on blu-ray, which made me think back to the first time I heard the title as a teen, when I figured it ought to be the name of a Russ Meyer movie about big-breasted astronauts. Don’t know how that notion slipped through the cracks of history.

Well, it seems to me that the message of SKYFALL as enunciated by Madame Densch was in fact pretty damned political: those we entrust with our safety sometimes have to operate in some pretty dicey gray areas to get the job done, and we’d best leave them to it if we know what’s good for us. Which, I suppose, has the ring of truth about it, like all the best lies.

(And I know SKYFALL may not even count as Bond for you as you despise the Craig movies. I don’t, but I’m not a Bond-o-phile, so it’s not a big deal to me either way.)

The fact I don’t even remember her saying that gives some idea about how little regard I have for SKYFALL (along with NO TIME TO DIE and probably SPECTRE and CASINO, movies I will almost certainly never see again — and it isn’t just Craig, as I’d have VIEW TO A KILL and TOMORROW NEVER DIES on that list as well) but I have to concede that it sounds like you have a valid point.

As much as I’m anti-prequel these days, particularly with Star Trek, I’d make an exception for this to be done in live action. Mostly because Meyer is involved. I’ll take whatever we get, but to think this got shelved over the dreck that Secret Hideout is making is actually shocking.

“Whatever timeline we had went out the window some months ago.”

I wonder if he’s just referring to the strikes or if maybe this project is being re-assessed as part of the belt-tightening going on in the streaming world.

The strikes. Some re-assessment, sure, but if CA5 wasn’t alive he wouldn’t have talked publically about it.

That is awesome! The Star Wars franchise has had some phenomenal audio dramas, but the Star Trek universe has unfortunately few entries in the radio play genre, despite immense potential there. I’d love to finally have Star Trek break into the audio drama realm!

Nicholas Meyer is one of the nicest, most talented people I have ever met and I am so glad that he is doing more Star Trek.

this is never coming out…

“ Alex Kurtzman made an interesting suggestion to me. He said, ‘I wonder what happened during those 15 years’ that Khan was marooned or exiled or transplanted, take your pick, to Ceti Alpha V, which was at the time of flourishing planet.”

– this statement is why I don’t buy Kurtzman as being the Dave Filoni-esque uber fan to run the franchise. We already know the answer to that question via two pretty well-known books….sigh. This isn’t to say I’m not looking forward to seeing what Meyer has come up with but it’s annoying when people run around saying ‘oh I’m such a huge fan, put me in charge’

let’s be honest, 99% of the fanbase has never read those books or any other Trek books.

The vast majority of the fanbase only watches the shows and movies

I count myself as never read a Star Trek book in my life even though I been a fan since the 70s. I’ve only read one comic book series and that was the Picard Countdown comic book because I was so excited to know what was happening in the 24th century by that time.

The only books of interest to me in the early years of TOS on network and early syndication (having been a “fan” since before the airing of The Man Trap on NBC) were the Blish LOG books, just to refresh my teenage memory of the episodes I had already seen.

PS: Before The Man Trap? Yes, I was hooked from catching the promo ads before the premiere on NBC.

I’m currently rereading the Greg Cox novel To Reign in Hell (detailing the Ceti Alpha V years) and its really good, the IDW comic version is fun too.

That’s beta cannon. “pretty well known” trek books doesn’t mean much. There are entire live action shows and movies some people have never heard of.

The irony to your point is a lot of Star Wars fans have criticized Dave Filoni because he apparently ignores or just overwrites all the books and comics to fit his own stories too.

Lucasfilm’s fault for their marketing speak that all the Disney era tie in fiction is canon. When everyone knows the tv series and movies are not beholden to some comic, video game or book. I mean they didn’t care for the rules of the Star Wars universe going back to Force Awakens, why bother with canon. JJ didn’t care and Rian didn’t care. I think Dave actually does for the most part, he has reverence for George.

I am very curious about the radio play format, but I think this could well be a movie for streaming, following Section 31. (By the way, those two are the Trek projects from Alex that seemed to be stuck forever in development hell. S31 is now moving forward, in a new format. Here’s for Ceti Alpha V following suit!

Agreed. As with Sec 31, I wouldn’t be interested in a series about CAV, but a film would be just fine.

Terry Matalas actually explained in an interview he was originally suppose to be the one to make Ceti Alpha V as a show runner. But when they decided to do Picard, it was cancelled because they simply didn’t have the money for both. And it was not even a question which one the fanbase would be more excited for so that one got cut.

My guess that literally happened with Section 31 and was basically cancelled when SNW became a thing and they only had enough money to do one of them. The better, more popular idea just won out.

And it proves while we’re getting more Star Trek today, it’s not infinite either. It’s probably the same reason we’re not getting a Legacy show (yet) since SFA was already being developed and that’s probably much cheaper to make. But Section 31 is probably only happening as a TV movie because Yeoh has been pushing for it, but it’s better than nothing. And it gives both people who wanted more Georgiou (and the people who didn’t) a good compromise.

They really could take inspiration from Big Finish Production’s Doctor Who audio dramas and partner with them or someone similar to go all in on audio dramas/radio plays for Star Trek. Paramount could raise the profile by officially putting their stamp of approval on it and making the stories canon, although that wouldn’t necessarily be needed. I do think it would raise the profile of the productions, though.

They could be promoted through their socials. I listened to a series of audio dramas on SiriusXM a while back involving Marvel Comics and their Wastelanders interconnected stories. They were internally consistent with each other, so those stories were their own continuity. Paramount could do something similar with ST stories.

I think Department of Temporal Investigations would be a great topic for a series of audio dramas. With time travel, they have the option of not only new characters, but also visiting known characters who could guest for an episode or three.

I think a podcast is beneath him. I’d rather see the man who directed Time After Time, STII, STVI, and The Day After, writing and directing a Star Trek streaming movie or mini series.

It sounds like they don’t want him anywhere near live action Trek again. He was unceremoniously booted off Discovery after just one year (but yet Michelle Paradise, worst Trek show runner ever, manages to keep her job for three seasons) and he wrote a Trek movie two years ago and even pitched it to Paramount and they never called him back.

Fans have to accept while many still see Meyer as the darling of Star Trek the studio seems to think his days are far over.

And while a podcast isn’t exactly top tier filmmaking, you’re still going to be able to at least hear the story he directly wrote, the first since TUC. Just think of it more as an audiobook. Come to think of it, maybe they should consider making it into a novel as well.

Yes it’s quite unfortunate that the studio has chosen the flagrantly incompetents to head the franchise while the talented people are ostracized. Michelle Paradise being a prime example of in with the bad, out with the good. That’s what happens when TPTB are too cowardly to stand against the tide of social media hysterics and opt to please the screaming hordes instead.

That’s what happens when TPTB are too cowardly to stand against the tide of social media hysterics and opt to please the screaming hordes instead.

Sorry but that’s nonsense. There was never social media hysterics asking for Nick Meyer to be removed from Discovery. Nor was there ever social media hysterics asking for Michelle Paradise to work on the show. Actually, if TPTB were “opting to please the screaming hordes” as you claim, Paradise should have been fired years ago.

My post went over your head. Forget it.

has anybody ever heard her account of the experience? Could call it THIS SIDE OF PARADISE.

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‘star trek: strange new worlds’ showrunner confirms khan link.

Trek's most popular villain could be eventually making his way into the new Paramount+ series.

By James Hibberd

James Hibberd

Writer-at-Large

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Ricardo Montalban as KHAN in STAR TREK 2: WRATH OF KHAN, 1982.

The showrunner of Paramount+’s upcoming Star Trek :   Strange New Worlds confirmed fandom speculation that there’s a significant link to the franchise’s greatest villain in the new series.

Previously, actress Christina Chong was announced as playing a series regular named La’an Noonien-Singh in the show. Fans know Captain Kirk’s superhuman nemesis Khan was named Khan Noonien Singh. During the show’s Television Critics Association panel on Tuesday, co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman was asked if it’s fair to assume this new character is related to the infamous Khan.

“She’s related to Khan, for sure, and, uh, and the deal will unfold —” Goldsman said, before pausing. “We don’t want to bring folks into the show to be splashy. We want to dig deeply into characters that are part of our ensemble and then, obviously, we’re open. … But right now, what you see is what you get.”

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While that comment is a bit guarded, it hints that Khan will eventually make an appearance, just not until after the current cast is established (at the end of the first season finale, for instance, would be right in line with the sort of revelations that sister series Star Trek: Discovery has done previously).

Strange New Worlds is a direct prequel to the original Star Trek series , which first introduced the character, so the timeline roughly works.

Khan was played by a scenery chewing Ricardo Montalbán, most memorably in 1982’s Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan . The character was also played by Benedict Cumberbatch in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness .

Strange New Worlds follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) as he leads the U.S.S. Enterprise in the years before Captain Kirk. The show is billed as a return to the classic planet-of-the-week space exploration format of the original Star Trek series. It also stars Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers are co-showrunners of the CBS Studios series.

Strange New Worlds begins May 5 on Paramount+.

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Published Jun 5, 2022

Vengeance: A Tale of Two Khans

Revenge is a dish best served cold, but how did it turn out for the villainous Augment?

A Tale of Two Khans

StarTrek.com

Khan Noonien Singh is, arguably, Star Trek ’s greatest villain. He is a complex character whose intelligence, experience and strength made him a formidable and dangerous adversary for James T. Kirk. Khan’s mythos has proved enduring for Trek fans, who’ve seen this character arise across their screens in different decades and even timelines. This character is compelling not only because his engineered intellect and strength make him a threat to Trek ’s protagonists, but because his failing is one that’s easily reflected in our own character and choices. While Khan was compelled by his drive to conquer and gain superiority over others in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, “ Space Seed ,” it was his need for vengeance in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that cemented his place in Trek lore.

khan on star trek

On the surface, it could be argued that Khan’s complaint is not entirely without merit. He agreed to be left on a planet that, while difficult, could provide a way of life for him and his crew that would allow them to flourish, but would prevent them from exercising their militaristic and colonial ambition. As Khan recounts the story to first officer Chekov and Captain Terrell, a cosmological explosion caused planetary desolation six months after their arrival, which led to the deaths of several crew members -- including his wife. Neither Kirk nor Starfleet returned to confirm Khan’s viability or whether his planetary conditions had been altered. There is reason for this, given Starfleet’s reticence regarding genetic engineering, but it seems odd that a humanitarian organization such as the Federation would not have registered the potential harm to these people once Ceti Alpha VI had exploded. This began the process of Khan’s 15-year meditation on revenge and an obsession with seeking vengeance upon Kirk for what he’d lost.

In an essay originally published in 1625, Francis Bacon wrote that “revenge is a kind of wild justice.” If an initial wrong is an offense against law, Bacon argues that the need for revenge puts law aside altogether. This is especially the case with what he calls private revenge, which acts out of vindictive desire. Public revenge is an account of justice where a wrong committed is repaid in like manner/measure. However, Bacon prefaces both public and private by noting the harmful psychology of revenge in each instance. He writes that people meditate upon revenge in order to keep their wounds fresh, to prevent them from healing, to maintain the desire and need for retribution.

khan on star trek

This can be easily seen in Khan’s desire for vengeance. He’d kept his wounds fresh and made retaliation his singular object of desire. What’s more, on two separate occasions his first officer warns him of this and attempts to persuade him to leave that path. When Khan first captured the Reliant and later when he successfully stole the Genesis device, Khan’s second-in-command highlights that he’s now free. He has in fact beaten Kirk and proven his superiority over the Starfleet captain. Khan responds, “He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him.” The issue is that while Khan had a starship, he was not free. He was not free from his obsession and longing for revenge. He’d meditated for so long on his wounds that he couldn’t leave them behind or live without them. Ultimately, this obsession leads to his undoing. The thirst for vengeance is never satiated and so it begins to consume itself.

khan on star trek

It’s easy to see Khan’s desire for revenge be his own undoing; it’s often a villain’s fate. However, in the Kelvin timeline we are introduced to a troubling reversal. Here, Khan is not the only one bent on revenge. Kirk and Starfleet as a whole are at risk of succumbing to a need for vengeance and public protection. Admiral Marcus is obsessed with external threats to the Federation and is willing to sacrifice the Federation’s principles to preserve its structure. In doing so, he resuscitates Khan and holds his crew hostage to manipulate him into doing the admiral’s bidding. In response, Khan attacks Section 31 and later the command council, killing Captain Pike in the process. Khan is once more seeking revenge for his crew and attempting to gain power for his own ends. However, the loss of his mentor lures Kirk to seek revenge. It clouds his judgment and allows him to also be manipulated by Marcus. Kirk’s obsession with avenging Pike’s death and the war declared on Starfleet by Khan brings him close to sacrificing his principles and his friendships.

khan on star trek

Here, the potential fallout of what Bacon called public revenge is also explored. A public wrong has been done, but both on a personal and institutional level, the desire for vengeance causes the implosion of the individuals obsessed with it. Kirk nearly gives up his Federation and Starfleet values, along with his friendship with Scotty, and as Spock points out, his moral foundation. Marcus gives up what the Federation stands for in his need to violently respond to the Klingons he considered aggressors. Khan’s desire for vengeance against all Federation principles and persons results in the loss of those he held most dear. Once more, revenge consumed itself.

In a diary entry written in September 1947, Gandhi wrote, “Anger breeds revenge and the spirit of revenge is today responsible for all the horrible happenings here and elsewhere… Let not future generations say that we lost the sweet bread of freedom because we could not digest it.” In the Prime Universe, Khan had gained his freedom (albeit through violent means), but his obsession with revenge prevented him from digesting that bread. In the end, for Khan, and for Marcus in the Kelvin timeline, revenge was not wild justice, but the abrogation of laws, principles and sanity. The stories of the two Khans show that it’s not just our enemies that can be consumed with a desire for revenge. We, too, must guard against its corrupting tendencies.

Timothy Harvie is Associate Professor of philosophy and ethics at St. Mary's University in Calgary, Canada.  His interests lie primarily in philosophical theology, political philosophy, environmental and animal philosophies, and ideas of the role of hope in society.  He is a lifelong Star Trek fan. http://www.stmu.ca/dr-timothy-harvie/

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Star Trek: The Legacy of Khan, Explained

Khan's legacy of genetic engineering lingers in the fearful minds of Starfleet higher-ups, but why is it still such a pervasive part of Star Trek?

Star Trek used Khan Noonien-Singh (Ricardo Montalban) to introduce genetic engineering into the franchise, much to the detriment of those who’ve come after him. They are seen as dangerous because Khan’s ambitions of world domination made him a threat to Starfleet officers. They are seen as untrustworthy because Khan tried to use the kindness of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) to make submissive followers out of the Enterprise crew. They are banned from Starfleet because officers fear someone like Khan having access to Federation resources or secrets .

In Deep Space Nine , this judgment doesn’t take into account that genetic alterations sometimes happen to a child too young to refuse them. In Strange New Worlds , it didn’t consider genetic enhancements as a part of cultural practices. In Prodigy , no one imagines how such negative stereotypes could harm a genetically engineered teenager. All anyone seems to focus on is that making genetic alterations is bad, regardless of the circumstances. In some ways, it’s unfair to those whose genetically-altering experiences might have been out of their hands. In other ways, though, the fear is well-founded for anyone who remembers the Eugenics Wars and Khan’s part in them.

RELATED: Star Trek: Untangling The Problematic Morality Surrounding Holographic Lifeforms

Who Was Khan Noonien-Singh?

Self-improvement is never a bad thing, and Star Trek has always emphasized its importance as part of the pursuit to leave old human atrocities behind. However, there’s a big difference between being the best version of one’s self and using science to be better than others. During the late 20th century, scientists implemented Project Khan to create and study genetically enhanced humans. It resulted in individuals known as Augments who possessed senses, strength, and intellect far beyond that of most of their non-enhanced peers. The Original Series showed fans the tip of this terrifying iceberg when Khan tried to take over the Enterprise in season 1, episode 24, “Space Seed.”

He proved to be cunning and highly intelligent, but he was also manipulative and controlling with a nasty temper. When the Enterprise found Khan’s ship floating in space, they had no idea who they’d stumbled across until it was much too late. They later discovered Khan to be the same genetically-enhanced tyrant who ruled over the lands from Asia to the Middle East during the Eugenics War. He took Lt. Marla McGivers’ (Madlyn Rhue) obsession with powerful warmongerers of the past, and used it to bully her into helping him gain control of the ship. Khan’s deceptive, honey-like charm eventually turned into arrogant cruelty when he threatened to kill the Enterprise crew if they didn’t cooperate with him and his fellow Augments.

Why Is Starfleet Still So Afraid?

Luckily, Captain Kirk and crew lived up to their reputation as creative thinkers in tricky situations. When Khan stood by while an Augment named Joaquin (Mark Tobin) repeatedly struck Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) in the face, it was just further motivation for the crew. They managed to wrestle control of the ship back from Khan and his followers, who were later sentenced to isolation on the uninhabited Ceti Alpha V. This seed they planted would later sprout the crop of catastrophe that reared its devastating head in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan . Augments came too close to regaining power for Starfleet’s comfort, and it left them even more paranoid about genetically enhanced individuals.

During the Eugenics War from January 2, 1992, to June 7, 1996, Augments became obsessed with their individual power and began fighting each other. It was the only thing stopping them from collectively obtaining galactic control. This war, as well as Khan's incident, are what spring to the minds of most Starfleet officers when they hear about genetic alterations. They’re afraid that Augments will one day come back for domination in a way that can’t be stopped. More than that, though, they fear the tendency of scientists to unthinkingly apply their skills toward creating monsters while trying to improve people.

Genetically Modified Star Trek characters

This fear led to a Federation ban on any genetically enhanced individuals working in Starfleet. However, this only stopped genetically enhanced applicants from being honest. In Deep Space Nine , Dr. Julian Bashir revealed that his parents had him genetically enhanced as a child in season 5, episode 16, “Doctor Bashir, I Presume.” Amsha (Fadwa El Guindi) and Richard (Brian George) Bashir thought they were giving him a fair chance to make up for the ways he’d been struggling in school. Instead, they left him with a dark secret that almost got him thrown in prison once Starfleet found out.

Una Chin-Riley/Number One (Rebecca Romijn) had a similar experience on Strange New Worlds when Starfleet discovered her Illyrian heritage . This race of beings was known for using genetic engineering to make themselves adapt to their planets, rather than the other way around. Season 1, episode 3, “Ghosts of Illyria” revealed Una’s species, and she was later arrested for it in season 1, episode 10, “A Quality of Mercy.” She’s currently on trial in season 2, and fans are on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what will happen to her next. It’s ironic, since fellow crewmember La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) is a direct descendant of Khan and even carries his last name. But she’s had an easier career than someone whose only connection to the Augment is their experience with genetic alterations.

Dal R’El (Brett Gray) probably has the saddest history when it comes to being genetically enhanced. He’s a human hybrid with 26 different alien variants making up his genetic coding. Like Una and Bashir, he didn’t choose that for himself. Unlike them, though, he was still very young when his secret came out, and it left him vulnerable to the manipulations of an overzealous geneticist in Star Trek: Prodigy . Dr. Jago (Amy Hill) played on Dal’s insecurities in season 1, episode 15, “Masquerade” to implant a chip that would activate his enhanced genes. Only the swift actions of his crew and friends saved Dal from becoming the worst version of himself.

A common theme with many genetically enhanced individuals is their lack of choice. Another one is that Starfleet is more interested in using them to set an example than they are in understanding their stories.

Khan left a strong impression on Star Trek fans. They’ve spent years gushing over everything from his personality to his handsome appearance. Starfleet remembers him and other Augments with much less love, and for good reason. Khan represents aspects of humanity that the Federation has spent a long time desperately trying to hide. They want to forget about the Eugenics War and the Augments who started it. They want time to be the pillow between their hopeful present and their dark past

However, history is repeated when it is not understood, and when the lessons it can teach are swept under the rug. One day, Starfleet will have no choice but to let go of the past and stop allowing it to punish good people. When that day comes, Star Trek will enter a whole new phase of how it treats genetically enhanced individuals – hopefully for the better.

MORE: Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars, Explained

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Going boldly … the cast of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

‘KHAAAAN!’: why Wrath of Khan remains the greatest Star Trek movie, 40 years on

A gloriously evil villain, big-screen shocks, mind-control space slugs! The film photon torpedoed everything that went before, leaving a legacy that has yet to be bettered

W hen JJ Abrams began rebooting Star Trek with a fresh cast and crew of the Enterprise in 2009, many hardcore Trekkers complained that the new movies lacked the Apollo-era optimism and vision of space adventure as one giant cosmic morality tale that, in their view, had made the long-running saga stand out from its peers. Gone were slow-paced allegories playing on contemporary western culture, its triumphs and its horrors. In were hectic space battles, time travel, a strange obsession with motorbikes and plenty of fisticuffs.

What many of these critics failed to notice, was that this dichotomy between Star Trek as blockbuster space opera and thinking-man’s sci-fi had been going on for at least three decades before Abrams even got his hand on the Enterprise’s tiller. And to this day, the series’ greatest movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only succeeded because it broke all the rules expected from an episode of Gene Roddenberry’s creation.

Worthy adversary … Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The Nicholas Meyer-directed 1982 film, which celebrates 40 years since its UK release this year, was a low budget follow-up to 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That film lifted a storyline straight out of the 1960s original series: something about a nefarious energy cloud later revealed as an ancient human space probe refitted by aliens that has subsequently achieved sentience and turned on Earth. The plot was so nebulous that even Spock struggled to work out what was going on. It duly picked up middling reviews and was a box-office disappointment for studio Paramount, largely due to its gargantuan (for the time) $44m shooting budget.

Out went Roddenberry (as producer) and in came Meyer to write and direct the project, with a much more frugal $12m budget. As well as including some juicy sci-fi stylings such as the Genesis terraforming program, Meyer, who knew nothing about Star Trek, spotted early on that the sequel needed an antagonist for William Shatner’s Admiral James T Kirk to face off against if it was to achieve the right level of big screen theatricality. The perfect solution was to bring back Ricardo Montalbán’s Khan Noonien Singh from the 1967 TV episode Space Seed, about a group of dangerous superhumans encountered by the crew of the Enterprise, who are left stranded by Kirk on an uninhabited but fertile planet.

At the time this is intended to be a merciful decision by the captain, an alternative to being sent to a penal colony for their crimes. But of course, we swiftly find out in Wrath of Khan that the supposedly perfect world picked by Kirk turned out to be in an unstable region of space, and that most of Khan’s people ended up dead or starving when a neighbouring planet subsequently exploded. Oops.

Cue a Melvillian battle between the two men as Khan takes out 15 years of frustration on his nemesis. Montalbán chews scenery like it’s an Ikea showroom made out of prime steak, yet crucially never slips too far into the realms of pantomime. The veteran Mexican actor remains a terrifying, vengeful force of nature, rage personified, throughout.

At the end of each episode of the original series, there was usually the sense that the Enterprise could fully reset, with danger averted and normal duties resumed. By contrast, the events of Wrath of Khan are so horrific that they can never be forgotten, and the level of threat seems to have been suddenly upped to warp factor 9.9.

The enemy inside … Clark Terrell (Paul Winfield) and Chekov under the influence of mind control space slugs.

Walter Koenig’s Chekov, along with newcomer Clark Terrell (captain of the USS Reliant) are mind-controlled by Khan using hideous space slugs that are painfully, and bloodily lodged inside their ears! Spock dies of radiation poisoning trying to restart the Enterprise’s warp engine! Khan himself is left to die once again after being summarily outwitted by his supposed inferiors. Where The Motion Picture was mildly intriguing, Wrath of Khan represents blood-pumping, big screen shock tactics on an epic scale.

Thirty years later, Abrams tried to recapture its magic with an effective remake, Star Trek Into Darkness. But even with Benedict Cumberbatch as a younger version of Khan (who crucially never got marooned by Kirk in the new timeline, so was really just a boring, big-headed eugenics experiment in human form) most of the original’s bloodthirsty lust for life and death failed to re-manifest.

Into Darkness was once voted hardcore fans’ least favourite Star Trek movie , a nadir for anyone who loved the original series’ more intellectual, cosmic musings. Yet it was all based on a movie that had to destroy everything that went before it, everything that fans expected from a Star Trek episode, just to keep the Enterprise from crashing down to earth for ever.

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'Wrath of Khan': Ricardo Montalbán on 'Star Trek's Iconic Villain and His Workout Transformation (Flashback)

Montalban playing in Khan in 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.'

The actor explained to ET in 1982 how he got into shape to face off against Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew.

Among Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ’s enduring legacy, which already boasts the introduction of the Kobayashi Maru, as well as Captain Kirk ( William Shatner ) and Mr. Spock’s ( Leonard Nimoy ) powerful goodbye scene, is Ricardo Montalbán’s iconic performance as Khan Noonien Singh. 

To celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary, ET is looking back at Montalbán’s in-depth interview leading up to The Wrath of Khan ’s premiere on June 4, 1982. 

One question on everyone’s mind at the time was a bit superficial, but nevertheless imperative following Montalbán's appearance in the movie’s trailer and posters. Are those your real muscles? And if so: how did you get in shape?

“Before I did Khan , I started to do a lot of push ups,” Montalbán said with a laugh, confirming those pectorals on the big screen were the real deal. “Because, after all, [Khan] was supposed to be a physically strong man.”

Montalbán had the unique distinction of reprising the character over 15 years after he guest starred on the original series. In the season one episode, “Space Seed,” Kirk and crew encounter Khan, a genetically engineered human who’s been in suspended animation following a world war on Earth nearly 200 years ago. With enhanced strength and intellect, Khan seeks to take over the Enterprise and revive more of his superhuman peers. But his attempt is foiled. Instead, Kirk sends Khan and company to an uninhabited planet where they could fulfill their destructive ambitions, without bringing harm and chaos to the Federation in the process. 

“I venture to say I received more fan mail from that episode than anything I've ever done in my life,” Montalbán shared. 

By the time producer Harve Bennett came calling about literally reviving Khan for Star Trek ’s second film, Montalbán had become a household name from his role as Mr. Rourke on Fantasy Island . Already many seasons into the hit TV series, Montalbán felt confident and comfortable as the show’s lead character. And when the moment came to step back into Gene Roddenberry’s universe, he discovered maybe he had become a little too comfortable. 

“When you play the same character for so many years, I get to know him so well that it becomes a little bit of a part of you, as you become a part of it,” Montalbán explained. “And when I first started to articulate the dialogue of Khan, and I was alone at home in my room and study, and the first time I say the words out loud I heard Mr. Rourke. And I couldn't get away from him and I didn't know what to do.”

“I asked Bennett, the producer of [ The Wrath of Khan ], to send me a tape of the original show I had done… He may be older and more bitter, but nevertheless, I have to discover his fingerprints,” he continued. “And so I saw the show. I ran it several times. And about the fourth or fifth time I began to remember what I did then. The thoughts came back to me. And it was really quite remarkable… Then, I picked up the script and all of a sudden there was Khan. And I think I eradicated Mr. Rourke.”

Following the mixed reception of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, producers went back to basics for the next installment in terms of story, tone and antagonist. As Kirk endures the woes of a midlife crisis, Khan reenters the fold and is dead set on revenge. In Star Trek Into Darkness , Spock later warns his Kelvin timeline counterpart ( Zachary Quinto ) that "Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced." 

“A saint doesn't know that he's a saint. He does saintly things. And people around him say he's a saint,” Montalbán said, adding that likewise, “An evil man or a villain, I don't think he thinks of himself as being evil.”

Khan’s multifaceted nature and rich backstory is still paying off dividends. On Star Trek: Strange New Worlds , the character's DNA literally runs high. The Enterprise's chief of security, La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), is a descendent of Khan. Over on Star Trek: Picard , the season 2 finale hinted Dr. Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) aided Khan's creation as a young scientist.

Alongside the Borg Queen and Gul Dukat, Khan continues to be heralded as one of Star Trek 's best villains, which is a legacy that can be attributed to Montalbán's thoughtful approach to creating a three-dimensional antagonist.

“When I played Khan… I had to give him some human qualities. Something of goodness,” Montalbán explained. “And I imbued Khan with a very sincere and a very beautiful love of his wife, who died. And that great love now turned into great hate for Admiral Kirk, who he blames for the death of his wife… Because if you play everything good-good, and everything bad-bad, then it's a caricature. There's no such thing. We all have a balance.”

Still, there was the age-old acting dilemma of finding the right tone. Even for an established film actor, having previously starred alongside movie icons like Clark Gable ( Across the Wide Missouri ) and Lana Turner ( Madame X ), Montalbán felt challenged by translating Khan for the cinema.

“Playing this character presented great difficulty. If I played him safely… I'm afraid the character would have been not a worthy antagonist to Admiral Kirk,” Montalbán said. “The only way I could do it then was to play it not safely but daringly. And really play it as fully as I could, because after all, [ Star Trek ] is a fantasy thing.”

Maximum warp to 2021, Jerry O'Connell told ET at Paramount+'s 2nd Annual "Star Trek Day" Celebration that he wants to follow in Benedict Cumberbatch 's footsteps by playing the infamous tyrant one day (even though he's already in the family as the voice of Ransom on Lower Decks ). 

The actor revealed, "Huge props to Ricardo Montalbán, who did amazing work not only in the original series but in [ Star Trek II ] as well, [but] I want a shot to play Khan at some point."

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan streams on Paramount+. 

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Khan's Botany Bay Ship In Star Trek Has A Grim Real-World Namesake

Ricardo Montalban, Star Trek: The Original Series

"Star Trek" has always loved a deep-cut starship name. In the original series, the U.S.S. Farragut borrowed a name from a Civil War-era Union Navy officer. In "Star Trek: Lower Decks," every California Class ship is named after a different city in the West Coast state, from Redding to Riverside. Figures ranging from Ursula K. Le Guin to Thomas Edison to Elmer Fudd have all gotten the starship name treatment, but one of the earliest named starships in the series had a much less admirable origin story.

The S.S. Botany Bay made its first appearance in the "Star Trek: The Original Series" episode "Space Seed," which introduced viewers to the  infamous villain Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban). Viewers with a keen sense of geography may have realized they were due to meet a baddie before Khan ever appeared, though, because Botany Bay holds a uniquely horrifying place in history.

The real-life Botany Bay is a place in Sydney, Australia, that has become representative of one of Imperial Britain's most creatively terrible leadership decisions. Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay in 1770 and pretty much immediately decided it — and Australia at large — would make for a good penal colony. According to the Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education , over 160,000 convicted criminals were sent to the area from the time of its discovery to 1850. Many convicts were lost to sickness and poor conditions, while local Aboriginal populations also suffered greatly from the abhorrent actions of British colonialists.

Bad (space) seeds

While Botany Bay wasn't actually the central hub for criminals being relocated to Australia (that ended up being Sydney Cove ), the name of Cook's first choice is still synonymous with the penal colony in public imagination today. With this nasty bit of history in mind, it seems likely that series creator Gene Roddenberry and "Space Seed" writers Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber wanted to give viewers a clue to Khan and his augment colleagues' true natures before the episode itself revealed its twist. The Enterprise crew initially finds the Botany Bay floating in space and assumes whoever's on board must need help. After beaming down, they find Earth villain Khan and other genetically modified individuals in stasis aboard the ship.

The S.S. Botany Bay, fans eventually learned, was launched in 1996 after Khan's defeat in the Eugenics War. Ironically, at the end of "Space Seed," Captain Kirk (William Shatner) chooses not to send Khan to a penal colony of his own. Instead, the Federation sends the tyrant to Ceti Alpha V, an uninhabited planet with rough survival conditions. This, too, seems like a nod to Australia's Botany Bay, albeit one that doesn't acknowledge the pre-existing Indigenous peoples who were disrupted by British rule. Of course, the Botany Bay would return once more down the line, this time in the franchise high point "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

Hilariously, footage of the Botany Bay also pops up in the season 2 episode "The Ultimate Computer," though it's meant to be standing in as the Starfleet freighter Woden the second time around. In "Star Trek" canon, the Botany Bay is now abandoned on Ceti Alpha V, a piece of refuse left behind by unruly visitors years ago.

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Not released yet. But yeah, art is set. I had to remake the title from scratch… pic.twitter.com/bLWYd7IakK — Matt Ferguson (@Cakes_Comics) November 25, 2023

Following an original Khan poster design by artist Florey (which sold out quickly in November), Ferguson has worked to restore the theatrical  Star Trek II one-sheet for release in a new pair of Vice Press prints — even going as far as remaking the title treatment from scratch for the project.

The ‘standard’ Vice Press print of  Star Trek II’s  one-sheet poster will be available for a limited time — with sales open from February 1 through February 7 — and a short-run reflective foil variant will be limited to a total number of 300 prints. Each will measure 24″ x 36″ and sales will begin at 6PM (GMT) / 1PM (ET) / 10AM (PT) on February 1.

khan on star trek

While  Khan is the February focus, Ferguson and Vice Press are already moving well down the theatrical line on the other  Star Trek film releases. Ferguson commented on Twitter that the company has “great scans” of the  Star Trek IV  original poster,  though he’s faced challenges with  Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

The artist noted that  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was “a lost cause” for a while due to lack of original resources, but through a great deal of effort is approaching a satisfactory update to the original  Star Trek VI key art poster.

I’m so happy to be able to do this to preserve the artwork as best as I can. Lots of research, purchases of one sheets, scanning, colour correcting, cleaning up and painting. Combining the best elements of multiple sources. It will all be released soon through Vice Press. — Matt Ferguson (@Cakes_Comics) November 24, 2023
Somewhere. But the estate doesn’t have it and the scans at the studio that I’ve got access to aren’t the best. So I see it as my duty do try and get them to a place where they can be preserved before they are lost. — Matt Ferguson (@Cakes_Comics) November 24, 2023

As a reminder, the new  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan poster releases will launch at the Vice Press website this Thursday, February 1, at 6PM (GMT) / 1PM (ET) / 10AM (PT) on February 1.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Its Human Aspects

  • The Wrath of Khan exemplifies the best of Star Trek with its perfect mix of action, suspense, emotion, and humor.
  • The passing of time is the real villain of the film, as the Enterprise crew must reckon with their past to define their legacy.
  • The death of Spock is a heartbreaking moment that represents the sacrifices made to preserve the future and deepens Kirk's humanity.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the Citizen Kane of Trek films. Few Trekkies would argue that it is the best film in the entire franchise. While the saga has been uneven, The Wrath of Khan exemplifies the best of what Trek can be. It features just the right mix of action, suspense, emotion, and humor that made The Original Series so beloved in the first place. Of course, The Wrath of Khan is best known for its titular villain, played memorably by Ricardo Montalbán . However, the real villain of the 1982 sequel isn’t Khan himself. It’s the passing of time. The Wrath of Khan was released over a decade after The Original Series was taken off-air. The Enterprise crew had grown and evolved. Campy misadventures were a fun premise for a television show, but if Star Trek was to survive as a movie franchise, it needed to start taking itself more seriously.

1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture didn’t acknowledge the jump forward in the timeline. By the end of the film, Kirk ( William Shatner ), Spock ( Leonard Nimoy ), and the rest of the crew were already back to their old ways. When Nicholas Meyer was brought in by Paramount Pictures to direct the sequel, he realized that Trek worked best when it focused on its humanity. Meyer referred to Star Trek as a “ human allegory in space format .” The Enterprise crew are forced to reckon with their past to define their legacy.

Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan

With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon.

Release Date 1982-06-04

Director Nicholas Meyer

Cast Walter Koenig, William Shatner, George Takei, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan

Runtime 113

Genres Sci-Fi, Thriller, Action, Adventure

'The Wrath of Khan' Complicates the Differences Between Kirk and Khan

Like Trek itself, Kirk has matured since the days when he was dealing with Tribbles . Now a Starfleet Admiral, Kirk spends his birthday alone, left to contemplate the direction that his life is headed. Kirk had brawled with aliens, fought in space battles, and traveled across the universe, but here he’s dealing with a very relatable midlife crisis. After everything that he has done, what has Kirk’s life amounted to? This was Meyer’s way of both honoring and deepening the text of The Original Series . Kirk’s past comes to literally haunt him when his old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, returns to seek vengeance.

When Khan first appeared in The Original Series episode “Space Seed,” he suffered the same fate as most of Trek ’s “villains-of-the-week.” After his genocidal campaign is thwarted by the crew of the Enterprise , Khan is exiled into deep space. The show rarely explored the aftermath of these sorts of conflicts. Defeating Khan was just another “win” for Kirk to put on his record. However, Meyer recognized that the situation was more complex. Khan was too dangerous to be left to his own devices, and Kirk’s solution to the problem didn’t surface until 15 years later. During his imprisonment on Alpha Ceta V, Khan is left to think about just one thing: revenge.

The human conflict that has always driven Star Trek is the clash between logic and emotion. Kirk generally relies on his instincts, whereas Spock approaches things logically. This theme is brought up early on in The Wrath of Khan when Spock coaches his students through a “no-win scenario.” Although it’s a lesson that they need to understand to graduate from Starfleet, it's one that Kirk has yet to learn for himself. When he finds himself outmatched by Khan’s vessel Reliant , Kirk is placed in a situation where he has to accept that some sacrifices are necessary.

Kirk puts himself in harm’s way in defiance of Khan. What makes Kirk and Khan's relationship so human is how they differ as leaders. Khan believes in supremacy, but Kirk is defined by his empathy. It's the fundamental clash between fascism and the optimism that Star Trek has always had about the future. Khan clings to the past, but Kirk realizes that leadership is about learning from his mistakes. Kirk has to admit his faults to his ex-lover, Carol Marcus ( Bibi Besch ), and his son, David ( Meritt Buttrick ). When McCoy jokes about Kirk’s completion of the Kobayashi Maru scenario at Starfleet Academy, Kirk reveals to David that he cheated on the test. He never has to go through that “no-win scenario.” It was Meyer’s way of showing that Kirk’s confidence and charisma are built on a somewhat shaky premise.

'Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan' Deepens the Humanity of These Characters

The Wrath of Khan continues to explore Kirk’s human faults by developing the relationship between Carol and David. Although this was Carol’s first appearance in Star Trek canon, she was one of Kirk’s many romantic flings in his youth. He never would have thought about reconnecting with her before, but as an older man, Kirk realizes that he denied himself the chance to have a normal family. The Enterprise crew has always been his family, and as he soon learns, they won’t be there forever.

The death of Spock was more than just a shocking moment meant to stir up controversy. It represented conceits that would have to be made to preserve the future that Gene Roddenberry had intended. Kirk’s tearful farewell to Spock isn’t heartbreaking just because we’re watching a beloved character die. It showed that there are some things that we can never return to. Even when Kirk tells McCoy that he feels “young” at the very end, he has now accepted the burden of fatherhood. It’s only after Spock’s death that Kirk can become the type of man that David can confidently say he is proud of.

This was something that the other Star Trek films never focused on. Spock could be resurrected, Kirk could return to being a captain, and peace could be bridged with the Klingons. The characters never had to experience the same consequences. Although The Wrath of Khan ends with the same signature sign-off, it's after the characters mourn the loss of the crewmate that Kirk referred to as “the most human.”

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is now available to stream on Max in the U.S.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Its Human Aspects

All The Star Trek Movies, Ranked

This is my definitive list.

William Shatner screaming as Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

There are so many Star Trek movies to enjoy -- 13, to be exact, and soon we’ll have 14 when Michelle Yeoh’s Section 31 movie is available for those with a Paramount+ subscription -- but which among them are the best of the best? That’s what I’m tasked with deciding here today, and I can certainly say there are some I like more than others. 

Opinion, by its nature, is subjective. I’m not sure I’ve seen any Star Trek fan with an identical top list of movies online, but I will say I enjoy most every Trek series I’ve watched. Therefore I wouldn’t expect this lineup to be too controversial, but I’ve been surprised before. Let’s dive in, and boldly go and make a definitive ruling on where each Star Trek series belongs. 

13. Star Trek: Generations (1994)

It’s a shame that Star Trek: Generations is near-universally panned as the worst of the Star Trek movies. Seeing Patrick Stewart ’s Jean-Luc Picard and William Shatner ’s James T. Kirk team up should unquestionably be the greatest thing that ever happened to the franchise. Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t quite all that, and what should’ve been a great introduction to The Next Generation crew making the transition from television to movies is a sloppy movie that delivered one of the most controversial moments in the sci-fi series’ history.

The movie killed off Captain Kirk by having him fall from a collapsing catwalk. I get that death comes for anyone in unexpected ways but in a scripted movie? They could’ve done better even if William Shatner had his reasons for how it was done. Still, the unique time travel elements and story has given this movie its fair share of fans over the years, so I’d say it’s still worth a watch. It wouldn’t be my first, second, or even 12th choice though, hence its rating on the list. 

Watch Star Trek: Generations On Max

12. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

William Shatner has undoubtedly played a big part in Star Trek ’s early success. While his acting work as Captain Kirk will live on for decades, the same can’t be said for his directing. That may sound harsh to say, but when Shatner himself admitted directing Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was a mistake , it’s kind of hard not to agree with him.   

I don’t think it’s unfair to say Star Trek V: The FInal Frontier is the worst of the TOS movies, especially after the streak of movies that came before it. With that said, had it not been for this movie, we wouldn’t have gotten the subplot in Strange New Worlds with Spock running into his half-brother Sybok’s lover Angel , who I do hope we’ll see at a later date. 

Watch Star Trek V: The Final Frontier On Max

11. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Star Trek: Nemesis was, in many ways, a failure. The movie did not perform at the box office like previous movies and ultimately encouraged Paramount to go in another direction with its franchise. Critics panned the movie, and even the cast of The Next Generation was not a fan of the final project. In fact, it was why actress Marina Sirtis was grateful for Star Trek: Picard Season 3 years later, as she felt the cast was robbed of a proper send-off.  

The Next Generation crew dealing with a clone of Picard in control of the Reman people, played by a young Tom Hardy , sounds awesome. In execution, the whole thing fell flat. Even the memorable parts have aged poorly. Data, for example, was resurrected in Picard , killed, and then resurrected again. In fairness, Star Trek fans were glad to see him back in the mix again, but if they’re thrilled about a retcon to something established in Star Trek: Nemesis , it may speak to their overall enjoyment of the movie as a whole. 

Watch Star Trek: Nemesis On Max

10. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

A lot of the older generation would rank Star Trek: The Motion Picture a lot higher than I have, and I think it's a matter of experience. Those who lived through the cancellation of the original series, only to see it return to the big screen after success in syndication? It was a huge coup for a new fandom, and the beginning of great things to come. 

I’m of the mind that Star Trek: The Motion Picture has gotten a bad rap as it aged, and suffered from being the first movie in the franchise ever made. There’s no way for younger generations to understand just how awesome it was to see the Enterprise from front to back. I still can appreciate it, but even the brutality of the transporter accident can’t stop me from glancing at the time on my phone while watching.  

Watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture On Max

9. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

If there was a list of sins a Star Trek movie could commit to gain the ire of the fandom, Star Trek Into Darkness created perhaps the biggest. Trying to recreate a storyline involving Khan, the most notable villain of TOS , was going to set a high bar. 

Of course, these are the feelings of someone who is a true blue Star Trek fan. The mass audience reception to Star Trek Into Darkness was pretty good, and people were all about Benedict Cumberbatch as a villain. Even so, it wasn’t worthy of comparison to Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan , which is hard to ignore. 

Watch Star Trek Into Darkness On Paramount+

8. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

Star Trek: Insurrection had the impossible task of following up First Contact , which proved to be a huge challenge. Additionally, Paramount was interested in switching up the tone to something lighter than the previous movie, so the challenge to deliver to producers and audiences was high. 

Insurrection feels like a long episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That's not a terrible thing, but when it comes to movies, the bar should be a bit higher than what audiences can already view on television. Frankly, Insurrection doesn't prove to be more entertaining than the best of TNG . 

Watch Star Trek: Insurrection On Max

7. Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)

Similar to Star Trek: Insurrection , The Search For Spock had the insurmountable challenge of following up the greatest movie to date. Perhaps even worse, the third TOS movie had to reverse the heart-wrenching death of Spock in a way that didn't upset audiences. 

I think it's fair to say the latter goal was a success, but is rescuing Spock's spirit from Bones' mind as thrilling as a face-off with Khan? It is not, but it's still a decent movie, and one worthy of its middling status in this ranking. 

Watch Star Trek III: The Search For Spock On Max

6. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

In hindsight, maybe Nicholas Meyer should've helmed all the Star Trek TOS movies. One can't help but wonder what these movies might've looked like had he kept runnings things post Wrath Of Khan . 

The Undiscovered Country , I think is a look at what could have been, and it's pretty damn promising. Of course, having big stars like Kim Cattrall and Christopher Plummer only bolster the enjoyment of a movie that feels like a return to form for the classic Enterprise crew, right before sending them off into the sunset. 

Watch Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country On Max

5. Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Star Trek Beyond is the newest film in the franchise, as Hollywood struggles to try and make a fourth installment in the Kelvin timeline. Fortunately, if there's never another one, the third movie is a delightful send-off to the Kelvin crew and all they accomplished, after Star Trek Into Darkness left a sour taste in my mouth, Beyond is the perfect palette cleanser. 

If there is any part of Star Trek Beyond that isn’t enjoyable, it’s that the entire crew doesn’t spend a ton of time together. Instead, they’re sectioned off with their own respective storylines, which worked well for the actors and their increased fame. Unfortunately, it feels like if they had found time to do more scenes with the entire ensemble, this might’ve been the best movie of the Kelvin timeline. 

Watch Star Trek Beyond On Paramount+

4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

The whale one? Yes, the whale one. It's always fun when a Star Trek project travels back to our present timeline, if only to remind us how strange our world would be to them, and how strange they'd be to us. 

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is funny, wholesome, and a good time all at once. It's not the best TOS film, but it's pretty high up there in comparison to everything else that was released. 

Watch Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home On Max

3. Star Trek (2009)

J.J. Abrams ’ 2009 re-imagining of Star Trek isn’t just a great movie, it could be the most significant film in the history of the franchise. The Next Generation crew’s set of movies didn’t perform quite as well as the TOS movies, and Enterprise was the last Trek series in five years leading up to this film. Had this re-imagining of Star Trek in another timeline flopped, the franchise might’ve died. 

Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and the more action-driven narratives of the movie bled into the new generation of Star Trek shows. While there are critics of the modern style of storytelling and increased action, the fact that there are plenty of upcoming Trek shows in the pipeline and people still clamoring for a fourth installment of the Kelvin movies. 

Watch Star Trek On Paramount+

2. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Star Trek: The Next Generation didn’t have as much success critically or financially as the TOS movies, but it still managed to make one of the best movies the franchise has ever delivered. First Contact is required viewing for any Star Trek fan, especially those who wish to see the origin of how the story of mankind’s massive leap into space exploration came to be. 

The success of the movie solidified Jonathan Frakes status as a reputed director, and he’s gone on to play a big part in directing episodes of Star Trek ’s new era. This is a movie that I would say is so good, it appeals to even the non- Star Trek fans despite being heavily entrenched in the lore of The Next Generation . For that reason, it’s ranked among the very best. 

Watch Star Trek: First Contact On Max

1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

I spent far too many years having not seen Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan , but after seeing it for the first time , I can see the hype. I don’t think there’s any real dispute this is the best film in the franchise, as much as I love First Contact . Seeing James T. Kirk in the Captain’s chair in a battle of wits against a former villain from the series is not only captivating, it’s “fascinating,” as Spock would say.

Speaking of Spock, it's his noble sacrifice that lays out the entire theme of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. A dark ending, to be sure, though of course, we all know Spock didn't stay dead! This, plus the fantastic showdown between Kirk and Khan make this the definitive best Star Trek movie, hands down. 

Watch Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan On Max

Currently, the Star Trek movies are available to stream either over on Max or Paramount+. It’s really convenient for anyone who wants to make their own ranking list of the movies, though I’d like to think no one can do it better than I just did. 

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Mick Joest

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.

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Screen Rant

J.j. abrams' star trek made a big change to carol marcus & no one noticed.

Star Trek Into Darkness rewrote Carol Marcus' backstory from what was seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and it may be permanent going forward.

  • Star Trek Into Darkness made a significant change to the character of Dr. Carol Marcus that went unnoticed and can be retconned into the Prime timeline.
  • Carol Marcus was originally introduced as a Federation scientist in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but in Star Trek Into Darkness she was portrayed as a Starfleet Officer.
  • The backstory introduced in Star Trek Into Darkness for Carol Marcus could potentially become canon in both the Prime and Kelvin timelines, which may be explored in Strange New Worlds.

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness made a big change to the character of Dr. Carol Marcus that largely went unnoticed and be retconned into Star Trek 's Prime timeline. Carol was played by Alice Eve in Star Trek Into Darkness , and the young scientist became the center of controversy thanks to a scene where she stripped to her underwear and was ogled by Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine). Carol was younger and more sexualized in 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness , but this isn't the change that went unremarked upon.

Dr. Carol Marcus (played by Bibi Besch) was originally introduced in 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as a scientist working for the United Federation of Planets. Based out of the Regula I space station, Carol and her son, David Marcus (Merritt Butick) developed Project Genesis and its result, the Genesis Device , a revolutionary terraforming technology that could bring dead planets back to life. Carol was also the former lover of Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), who is David's father. After The Wrath of Khan , Carol wasn't seen again in Star Trek canon - until J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness brought in the younger Carol in the alternate Kelvin timeline.

Star Trek Into Darkness Ending & Problems Explained

J.j. abrams' star trek into darkness made carol marcus a starfleet officer, bibi besch's carol was a federation scientist in star trek ii: the wrath of khan.

When Carol Marcus debuted in Star Trek Into Darknes s, she was a Starfleet Officer wearing the blue uniform of the Life Sciences division. Indeed, Carol was also the daughter of Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller), the head of Starfleet who secretly ran its black ops agency, Section 31. Carol concealed her last name and clandestinely boarded the USS Enterprise under her mother's maiden name, Wallace. Although she lied about her identity, Carol was definitely part of Starfleet since, at the end of Star Trek Into Darkness, she was in dress uniform during Captain Kirk's speech before Dr. Marcus formally joined the crew of the USS Enterprise.

However, when Carol was first introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , there was no indication Dr. Marcus was ever a Starfleet Officer; Carol was specifically a Federation scientist. Granted, it's possible Carol Marcus in The Wrath of Khan was a member of Starfleet in her youth, and that would explain how she met James T. Kirk. Then again, there are myriad ways Kirk could have met Carol in his early days when he was a Lieutenant stationed on the USS Farragut, or even before. If Carol was part of Starfleet, it tracks that she resigned her commission to pursue a different career, especially if her goal was to prevent David from becoming enamored with Starfleet like his father.

Alexander Marcus was very likely part of Starfleet in 2233 when Nero's (Eric Bana) time travel incursion resulted in the destruction of the USS Kelvin and created the alternate Kelvin timeline in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009).

Strange New Worlds Could Make Carol Marcus More Like J.J. Abrams’ Version

Carol marcus' starfleet career could become star trek prime universe canon.

Star Trek Into Darkness' backstory for Carol Marcus could become canon in both the Prime and Kelvin timelines , which Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3 may confirm. Carol's arrival in Strange New Worlds was teased by Lt. James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley) in "Subspace Rhapsody," Star Trek 's first-ever musical episode, when James confessed to Lt. La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) that he has an "on-again/off-again" pregnant girlfriend named Carol. This is the groundwork for the fractured relationship between Admiral Kirk and Carol Marcus in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan .

Strange New Worlds may introduce Carol Marcus as she was in Star Trek Into Darkness: a Starfleet Officer who is the daughter of Admiral Alexander Marcus. Thus, the change J.J. Abrams made to Carol in Star Trek Into Darkness would become Dr. Marcus' official backstory in both realities , although Carol and Kirk did not have a romantic relationship in the Kelvin timeline. Ironically, even if she is pregnant, Carol Marcus being part of Starfleet if she appears in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3 would make her life in the Prime timeline a lot closer to her Kelvin counterpart's than Lt. James T. Kirk's life is to Captain Kirk's in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movies.

Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds are available to stream on Paramount+.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is streaming on Max.

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COMMENTS

  1. Khan Noonien Singh

    Khan Noonien Singh is a fictional character in the Star Trek science fiction franchise, who first appeared as the main antagonist in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode " Space Seed " (1967), and was portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán, who reprised his role in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

  2. Khan Noonien Singh

    Former absolute ruler of more than one-quarter of Earth, from Asia to the Middle East Status: Deceased ( 2285) Born: Mid- 20th century, Earth ( original timeline) Early 21st century, Earth ( temporal altered timeline) Died: March 2285, USS Reliant bridge Other Relative (s): Ronu Noonien-Singh ( descendant) Manu Noonien-Singh (descendant)

  3. Star Trek's Khan Noonien Singh Strange New Worlds & TOS History Explained

    Published Jun 28, 2023 Khan Noonien Singh is the greatest enemy Kirk's Enterprise ever faced in Star Trek: The Original Series, and Strange New Worlds seeds his return. WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, season 2, episode 2, "Ad Astra per Aspera."

  4. Why Khan Noonien Singh Casts A Shadow Over The Entire Star Trek

    Movies Why Khan Noonien Singh Casts A Shadow Over The Entire Star Trek Universe Paramount By Witney Seibold / Aug. 12, 2023 8:00 pm EST According to its own mythology, the utopia of "Star...

  5. "Star Trek" Space Seed (TV Episode 1967)

    Space Seed (1967) Ricardo Montalban: Khan Showing all 33 items Jump to: Photos (23) Quotes (10) Photos Quotes Dr. McCoy : [lying in sickbay, Khan surprises McCoy and holds a knife to his throat, then pauses] Well, either choke me or cut my throat. Make up your mind. Khan Noonien Singh : English... I thought I dreamed hearing it. Where am I?

  6. Star Trek: Khan Noonien Singh's Last Words Are Deeper Than You ...

    Star Trek has long leaned into taking inspiration from modern-day classics, and that is where Khan's final words come from. He is reciting "Moby-Dick," the Herman Melville epic about Captain Ahab ...

  7. Khan Noonien Singh (alternate reality)

    22nd & 23rd century TOS & TAS Khan Noonien Singh (alternate reality) Marital Status: to design weapons and ships to prepare for war against the . He was given a new identity, that of . Khan, however, rebelled, and after believing his crew had been killed, he began a one-man campaign against Starfleet.

  8. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Reveals Unexpected Khan Connection

    Khan Noonien-Singh is widely considered to be Star Trek 's best villain. Introduced in The Original Series episode "Space Seed," Khan (as played by Ricardo Montalbán) would go on to be the...

  9. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    6 Videos 99+ Photos Action Adventure Sci-Fi With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon. Director Nicholas Meyer Writers Gene Roddenberry Jack B. Sowards Harve Bennett Stars William Shatner Leonard Nimoy DeForest Kelley

  10. 40 years later, Star Trek will finally solve a classic Khan mystery

    On Star Trek Day 2022, Nicholas Meyer — director of The Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country, and consulting producer on Discovery Season 1 — made a surprise announcement: The infamous...

  11. Every Khan Family Member In Star Trek

    Khan first appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series season 1, episode 22, "Space Seed," when Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the USS Enterprise found Khan's ship floating in space. The genetically enhanced Khan had been a powerful tyrant on Earth during the late 20th century.

  12. Who is Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek?

    Khan Noonien Singh remains important to the larger Star Trek story because of what he represents about the universe's past. The Eugenics Wars, now set in the mid-21st Century also coincided with "World War III," the cataclysm from which Star Trek's ideal future emerged.In Star Trek: First Contact, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E are sent back to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes the first ...

  13. Nicholas Meyer Gives Update On 'Star Trek: Khan

    On Star Trek Day last year, Wrath of Khan writer/director Nicholas Meyer officially announced that his "Ceti Alpha V" project exploring the exile of Khan Noonien Singh was finally...

  14. 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Showrunner Confirms Khan Link

    Khan was played by a scenery chewing Ricardo Montalbán, most memorably in 1982's Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. The character was also played by Benedict Cumberbatch in 2013's Star Trek Into ...

  15. Vengeance: A Tale of Two Khans

    Khan Noonien Singh is, arguably, Star Trek 's greatest villain. He is a complex character whose intelligence, experience and strength made him a formidable and dangerous adversary for James T. Kirk. Khan's mythos has proved enduring for Trek fans, who've seen this character arise across their screens in different decades and even timelines.

  16. Strange New Worlds Finally Corrects One of Star Trek's Biggest Mistakes

    At the end of the latest episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, La'an Noonien-Singh makes a shocking discovery. Hurled back to 21st-century Toronto, alongside James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley), to ...

  17. Star Trek: The Legacy of Khan, Explained

    Star Trek used Khan Noonien-Singh (Ricardo Montalban) to introduce genetic engineering into the franchise, much to the detriment of those who've come after him. They are seen as dangerous ...

  18. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Nicholas Meyer and based on the television series Star Trek. It is the second film in the Star Trek film series following Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and is a sequel to the original series episode "Space Seed" (1967).

  19. 'KHAAAAN!': why Wrath of Khan remains the greatest Star Trek movie, 40

    W hen JJ Abrams began rebooting Star Trek with a fresh cast and crew of the Enterprise in 2009, many hardcore Trekkers complained that the new movies lacked the Apollo-era optimism and vision of ...

  20. Star Trek: Khan

    Star Trek: Khan is a five-issue comic book prequel and sequel to the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness by IDW Publishing. It follows Khan Noonien Singh, explaining his past and how he came to have a change in facial appearance and serve Admiral Alexander Marcus. Plot

  21. 'Wrath of Khan': Ricardo Montalbán on Reprising 'Star Trek's Villain

    Among Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan's enduring legacy, which already boasts the introduction of the Kobayashi Maru, as well as Captain Kirk ( William Shatner) and Mr. Spock's ( Leonard...

  22. Picard & Strange New Worlds Are Telling Khan's Origin Story Without Him

    Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 2's Finale - "Farewell". Khan (Ricardo Montalbán) is receiving a renewed focus in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Picard even hinted at telling the supervillain's origin. In Strange New Worlds, Khan's legacy continues in the form of his descendant, La'an Noonien Singh (Christina Chong), who serves as the Security Chief of the USS ...

  23. Khan's Botany Bay Ship In Star Trek Has A Grim Real-World ...

    Star Trek fans with a keen sense of geography may have realized Khan was trouble from the start, given where his spaceship, the S.S. Botany Bay, gets its name.

  24. Vice Press Unveils 'Remastered' STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN One

    Following an original Khan poster design by artist Florey (which sold out quickly in November), Ferguson has worked to restore the theatrical Star Trek II one-sheet for release in a new pair of Vice Press prints — even going as far as remaking the title treatment from scratch for the project.. The 'standard' Vice Press print of Star Trek II's one-sheet poster will be available for a ...

  25. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Its Human Aspects

    The Wrath of Khan exemplifies the best of Star Trek with its perfect mix of action, suspense, emotion, and humor.; The passing of time is the real villain of the film, as the Enterprise crew must ...

  26. All The Star Trek Movies, Ranked

    7. Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) Similar to Star Trek: Insurrection, The Search For Spock had the insurmountable challenge of following up the greatest movie to date. Perhaps even ...

  27. J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Made A Big Change To Carol Marcus & No One Noticed

    Summary. Star Trek Into Darkness made a significant change to the character of Dr. Carol Marcus that went unnoticed and can be retconned into the Prime timeline. Carol Marcus was originally introduced as a Federation scientist in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but in Star Trek Into Darkness she was portrayed as a Starfleet Officer.