Star Trek II

Wednesday | June 5th, 2013


135 digits of pi

What’s great about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the wealth of material it provides for all future Star Trek shows and movies (Kobayashi Maru) while also being the first movie to tie back to the original series—by character poaching (Khan).


The Wrath of Khan is full of little oddities that don’t come up very often in any Star Trek, like answer who does the floors (above), the janitor, that’s who. While the two titan darlings of Starfleet are yammering about their rich-boy shit, this lowly pleb is mopping the floor.

The Star Trek universe tells us preaches constantly about the utopian equality of the future, but it’s really just a show about officers nearly bringing the race to extinction. DS9 got away from this a little when Sisko would visit his father, the chef with the tiny restaurant. But there is only one janitor in all of “visual” Star Trek, and there he is. “Hey, prole, when you’re done headquarter, get out there and mop all the bases to.”


So the officers jet out into space and meet another ship. Khan says it best, “We are one big happy Starfleet!” He’s digging quite well, at the Starfleet bullshit without the script writers intending that to be the case. The two crews, though, and their two bridges. One dark and authoritarian, the other bright and … ragtag? I can’t help but read more psychology into this than there actually is. If Khan wasn’t so crazy (like he could at least be reasoned with in the end of Space Seed when Kirk offers to dump him and his ragtag soldiers on a “harsh” planet. Instead of taking the first chance to kill Kirk and take his ship, Khan just says he “up to the challenge.” (Call this bad writing) If, if Khan wasn’t sticking space slugs into Chekov’s head, you might actually route for the guy because his vengeance and reasons for hating Kirk seem pretty just.


After being ambushed and a bunch of other action Kirk kicks back and eats an apple inside this moon (above). I distinctly remember this part from when I was a kid. Who eats an apple in the future? And Kirk is pretty cocky here talking with Kirstie Alley about his philosophy of the Kobayashi Maru—all of which is lifted from this scene and sprinkled in the Cadet Kirk at Starfleet part of Star Trek XI (the reboot), including the cocky apple eating.


A bunch more action scenes later of the Enterprise getting its ass handed back, in space, scenes and action sorely missed from Star Trek I, and one ship foolishly follows the other into a storm/space cloud/nebula where the following systems don’t function properly:

  • shields – used to protect the ship from damage
  • sensors – used to know where shit is so you don’t damage your ship
  • auto-targeting – useful to hit shit that’s coming at you
  • the viewscreen – the only way to see outside of your ship

The above picture is one of the best scenes because not only do you get a sense of space as a 3D plain, we get to see how they can’t find each other to keep killing. It also really articulates Spock’s analysis of Khan’s battle strategy, specifically that he strategizes on a 2D plain and this is how Kirk is finally able to hurt Khan and kill most (all?) of his people.


This is supposed to be the love scene. Kirk would say, ‘I was gonna kiss Spock, cradle his burned and dying flesh in my arms and howl to warn the dead that a warrior was coming, but there was glass in my way and Scotty was watching.’

If you watched enough of TOS, you know Kirk and Spock were secretly in love with each other. There’s proof.


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