To Boldly Sew is a recap
of DS9 episodes of Star Trek, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the universe. All screenshots come from trekcore.com.
In this installment, we discuss: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is your narrator’s first time watching this movie in its entirety. I am broadly familiar with the characters of the original series, but I haven’t watched much of it. I’ve seen parts of this movie but this is my first time watching it from beginning to end. Let us begin.
The captions inform us that someone named Saavik is narrating the Captain’s Log entry. Here is Saavik.
Saavik is a female Vulcan played by Kirstie Alley, seen here wearing the standard Starfleet uniforms for this movie. Bright red ribbed turtleneck under darker red jacket, plenty of shiny bits to make her look official and important. After the pajamas of the last movie (see here for details) it’s somewhat refreshing to see some formality and structure to these.
Saavik enters into the Captain’s Log that the Enterprise is on a training mission.
Also aboard is Spock, who is studying a blue globe on screen.
His uniform has a white turtleneck. I’m beginning to think there may be some significance to the colors of the turtlenecks.
Saavik tells Sulu, who is at the helm, to navigate around the Neutral Zone as they head toward their destination. Uhura says there’s a distress signal.
Uhura has a gray turtleneck and a gray shoulder strap where Saavik’s was red. Yep, definitely these colors are significant.
There are also some other people on board with red turtlenecks, and one who has sort of beige shoulders and no jacket.
Saavik orders the distress signal on screen and they learn that a ship called the Kobayashi Maru is in distress – in the Neutral Zone. The signal is breaking up.
Saavik asks for data on the Kobayashi Maru. The computer says it’s a third class neutronic fuel carrier with a crew of 81 and 300 passengers. Not sure I’d want to be a passenger on a fuel carrier but I guess if there’s no other way to go….
She tells Sulu to plot an intercept course. Sulu points out that the ship is in the Neutral Zone and they’re not supposed to enter that space. She says she’s aware of her responsibilities.
2 minutes to intercept. Now entering the Neutral Zone. The computer starts alarming immediately. Spock says they’ve broken a treaty by entering the Neutral Zone. Saavik says be prepared to beam aboard survivors from the Kobayashi Maru.
Uhura says she’s lost the Kobayashi Maru’s signal.
Computer says the sensors show 3 Klingon cruisers closing fast. On screen.
Battle stations, red alert. Saavik says to tell the Klingons they’re on a rescue mission, but Uhura says they’re jamming the frequencies. Klingons are on an attack course and closing.
Saavik realizes they’re in over their heads and orders Sulu to get them out. Before he can, though, the Klingons fire torpedoes. There’s an explosion and Sulu goes flying. Saavik calls engineering to demand a damage report and prepare to return fire.
Bones runs to Sulu. More explosions.
Shields are collapsing. Lots of explosions. Fire all phasers. Spock says there’s no power to weapons. There’s another explosion and Spock collapses. Saavik gives the order to abandon ship.
We hear Kirk’s voice saying to open it. A door opens and Kirk appears in the middle of bright light.
Saavik asks if he has any suggestions. He says prayers as Klingons don’t take prisoners. Lights come on. Spock gets up. “Trainees to the Briefing Room,” he says, and they all depart except Bones, Saavik, Sulu, Uhura, and Kirk.
Kirk has the same uniform as Spock, with white turtleneck. He has a different insignia on his shoulder strap, however. Kirk’s looks to be in the shape of a cross, while Spock’s is a more complex symbol.
Bones, lounging on the ground, asks what Kirk thinks of his performance. Kirk says he’s not a drama critic. He asks Saavik if she will stay with the sinking ship.
Saavik asks for permission to speak candidly. Granted. She says she doesn’t think it was a fair test since there was no way to win. He says any commander may face a no-win situation. She admits this did not occur to her. He says she has something new to think about.
Bones asks if it wouldn’t be easier to put an experienced crew on the ship. Kirk says galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young, and leaves. Uhura wonders what that’s supposed to mean.
Kirk leaves and walks down a corridor and is surprised when Spock appears unexpectedly. Kirk says “aren’t you supposed to be dead?” Spock admits he’s curious about what grade his cadets will receive. Kirk points out they destroyed the simulator room and Spock. Spock says the Kobayashi Maru scenario frequently wreaks havoc with the room and the students. He points out that Kirk had to take the test three times and his final situation was unique.
Kirk has a book, for which he thanks Spock. Spock says he knows Kirk’s fondness for antiques. Kirk has to hold it a distance to read the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, and wonders if there’s a meaning in it. Spock says no meaning except “Happy Birthday,” surely the best of times. Kirk doesn’t seem happy but before they can talk further a PA announcement calls for Spock and says a shuttle is leaving in 15 minutes. Spock says he’s going to the Enterprise to check in before the inspection. He asks where Kirk is going. Home.
Kirk is dressed casually in his living quarters.
He has tall windows looking out over what I’m guessing is San Francisco Bay. There are a few old model ships on the wall and what looks to be some old guns on another wall. The decor, including the chairs we see and the diamond-shaped shelves, basically screams 1970s to me. I can’t tell if the floor is carpeted or not – maybe.
The door chimes. Bones has a gift for Kirk and says Happy Birthday.
Bones takes off a coat so I suppose he’s been outdoors. Underneath, he’s also wearing a jacket, in khaki, over a blue turtleneck. Kirk has what might be a smoking jacket or a short bathrobe on, in dark maroon, over a purplish shirt with a turtleneck collar. I guess turtlenecks are popular. Necks get cold in the future.
The gift is Romulan Ale. Kirk points out that it’s illegal, but Bones says he only uses it for medicinal purposes. 2283 is the year. Takes a while to ferment. Bones takes the bottle and gives another small package to Kirk. It’s reading glasses. Bones says he normally recommends Retinax V, but Kirk is allergic to it.
A better view of Kirk’s shirt as he studies the glasses. Not a turtleneck, but a high collar nonetheless, with some interesting detailing.
They drink the ale. It seems strong. Kirk says he doesn’t know what to say. Thank you? He seems sad.
Bones asks why they’re treating his birthday like a funeral. Kirk says he doesn’t want to be lectured. Bones says Kirk wants to hop galaxies. He says Kirk is hiding from himself behind rules and regulations.
They sit by the fire and drink.
The fireplace manages to look old and new at the same time. It looks like it might be burning real wood, but the curved tiles around it give it a more modern look. We can also see that Bones is wearing khaki pants and perhaps leather shoes, while Kirk is wearing some dark pants, perhaps black.
Kirk asks Bones what he thinks. Bones says he’s Kirk’s doctor and his friend and he should get back his command before he turns into part of his collection and really grows old.
Chekov updates a log. He’s the first officer on the Starship Reliant on orbital approach to Ceti Alpha VI in connection with project Genesis. They’re searching for a lifeless planet to satisfy the requirements for Project Genesis.
The Captain, Terrell orders a standard orbit.
Chekov has the gray version of the uniform, with a gray turtleneck, while Captain Terrell has the white. There’s also some detailing on Terrell’s sleeve – a white band with what seems to be gold stitching near the cuff.
Terrell asks if there’s any change in the surface scan of the planet. No. Limited atmosphere dominated by craylon gas, sand, and high velocity winds. Incapable of supporting life.
Chekov asks if it has to be completely lifeless. The captain asks for details. Chekov says they found a minor energy flux reading on one dynoscanner. Terrell suggests maybe the scanner is damaged. Chekov says maybe it’s a particle of preanimate matter caught in the matrix. The captain says to talk to Dr. Marcus, maybe they can transplant it.
A space station thingie, next to a moon, with some bright colors in the background.
Chekov & the captain talk via video screen to a woman, Dr. Carol Marcus.
Dr. Marcus is wearing mostly white so we know she’s a scientist. It’s not clear if the things on her chest are just a decorative patch or if it has some sort of function. Her sleeves are tan and her hair is in fluffy blonde curls.
The captain explains the issue. She says there can’t be so much as a microbe or the show’s off and tells them to go look closer. They agree.
The woman leaves her working area with a blond curly haired guy, who says not to have kittens and that genesis is going to work and she’ll be remembered with Newton, Einstein, and Surak. He asks if she wants to play bridge.
Curly haired guy is named David and we learn via this conversation that he’s her son. He has a similar white outfit, but with short sleeves so he can show off his buff arms. Or maybe she’s just cold, it’s not clear.
He confesses that he’s nervous about working with Starfleet because what they’re working with could be turned into a weapon, and cites an “overgrown boy scout” she used to hang around with. She says Jim Kirk was many things but never a boy scout.
Chekov and Terrell beam down in spacesuits to the surface. It’s very windy with blowing orange winds and rocks.
The spacesuits consist of form-fitting pants, bulky jackets, and bulky helmets. Everything looks orange.
Terrell is skeptical that this is the right spot but the tricorder is beeping, so they walk around following its signal past some rock formations. Chekov thinks the tricorder is broken because there’s nothing there but rocks. It starts beeping faster as they climb a hill. They see something that looks like cargo carriers. They walk over to investigate.
They open the door, the tricorder beeping faster and faster, and step inside the carrier. They immediately remove their helmets despite not having checked to make sure it’s safe to breathe, and see evidence of someone living there. Food, pots and pans, sleeping arrangements.
On closer inspection, it seems as though the spacesuits are really just bulky sweaters with extra plastic boxes around the torso. You can see the ribbing of the sweaters. The captain’s is brown with red stripes and Chekov’s is brown with beige or tan stripes.
There’s a checkers game that appears to have been abandoned mid-game.
Terrell wonders if there’s been a crash and the travelers were taking shelter there, but if that’s the case then where is the ship?
Chekov finds what looks like a clear plastic container with sand inside. The sand is bubbling. Terrell wonders what it is. There’s some old books on a shelf like King Lear and Moby Dick, and what looks like a seatbelt labeled SS Botany Bay. The name means something to Chekov who says “oh no” and that they have to leave now. He urges Terrell to leave, who doesn’t know why.
They put on their suits and go back out into the dust, where they find a group of creatures staring at them.
Back on the Reliant the remaining officers are attempting to contact Captain Terrell, who is not responding. They decide to give them more time.
The one guy has a blue turtleneck and the other guy is wearing a tan turtleneck and seems to have a tan patch on the front of his jacket, for reasons which are unclear to me, or maybe his jacket is open? I’m guessing the tan guy is in charge since he’s watching the other guy do all the work.
Back on the surface, Terrell and Chekov are surrounded by people.
These people have clearly lived outside of civilization for a while now, as we can tell by the fact that they mostly seem to have not seen a bar of soap or a bottle of conditioner in some time. They’re all wearing a variety of clothing, some of which is torn and tattered. Many of them have headbands also.
They’ve moved back inside the cargo carrier and watch as one person who seems to be their leader removes sparkly gloves and then a cloth wrapped around his face and then some metal eye coverings.
I kind of dig this look, definitely plays up the edge of civilization, post apocalyptic kind of thing. But then he takes off the metal eye coverings and the turban.
Old guy but clearly in decent shape for one living out in the middle of nowhere. Unlike his followers, his face is fairly clean and his hair looks good. He’s wearing some sort of blue and gray scarf.
Chekov knows who he is – Khan. Khan walks over to Terrell and says he doesn’t know him. Then he looks at Chekov and says he never forgets a face. Mr. Chekov, isn’t it. Chekov says nothing.
Terrell asks who he is. Chekov says he’s a criminal and a product of late 20th century genetic engineering. Terrell asks what he wants. Khan says they are in a position to demand nothing and he is in a position to grant nothing.
He says he and this group is what remains of the ship’s crew of the Botany Bay, marooned there 15 years prior by Kirk. Terrell starts to protest. Khan says to save his strength as these people had sworn to live and die at his command 200 years before he was born. He seems surprised Chekov hasn’t told him the tale.
Khan explains that the Enterprise picked up the Botany Bay, which had been marooned in space from the year 1996, with himself and the ship’s company in cryogenic freeze. Terrell says he’s never met Admiral Kirk. Khan seems surprised he’s an admiral now. He says that Kirk marooned himself and 70 people there with only the contents of the cargo bay to survive.
Chekov says that’s a lie, there was life and plenty of chances for survival on Ceti Alpha V. Khan says this is Ceti Alpha V. Ceti Alpha VI exploded 6 months after they arrived. The shock shifted the orbit of Ceti Alpha V and destroyed everything on the planet. Kirk never checked on them, and only Khan’s superior genetically engineered intellect allowed them to survive.
On earth, 200 years prior, Khan was a prince with power over a million people. Chekov says that Kirk was his host and Khan repaid his hospitality by trying to steal his ship and murder him. Khan seems confused for a moment, then realizes that they thought this was Ceti Alpha VI and didn’t expect to find him. He demands to know why they are there.
He lifts Chekov into the air by the convenient handle on his spacesuit and asks why he’s there. Chekov doesn’t answer.
Yep, that’s just a plastic box around Chekov’s torso to count as a spacesuit.
Khan throws off his jacket revealing his shiny bare chest and prepares to introduce them to Ceti Alpha V’s only remaining indigenous life form. He goes over to the clear plastic container that Chekov and Terrel had studied earlier.
Yes, we have to talk about the shiny bare chest. This wins the award for best costume in the movie, hands down. I’m done. This article is finished.
Okay, not really. Let’s talk about the rest of Khan’s clothes, minimal though they may be. He’s got some sort of necklace that seems to be made out of leather cords, forming a large semi-circle with something inside. The Starfleet logo? The letter A? Not sure. The remains of his sweater, which covers his shoulders, the lower half of his torso, and part of his arms, looks like something knitted in the vein of Chekov and Terrell’s outfits. The costume department on this movie was a big fan of ribbed knitting, as this concept appears a lot. Maybe it was filmed in the winter. Maybe they got a discount on yarn.
Anyway, Khan also has a shiny black glove on one hand. Is this where Michael Jackson got the idea, or did Jackson get the idea from him? Food for thought.
Khan uses a two pronged fork to reach down and reveal a sort of armadillo thing with pincers. The creature growls as it bites at the fork. Khan says it killed 20 of his people including his wife. Terrell is clearly terrified and sweating like crazy. Khan takes a piece off the creature and puts it in a bowl and then another piece and explains the creature doesn’t kill instantly and didn’t kill them all at once.
Their young enter through the ears and wrap around the cerebral cortex, rendering the victim susceptible to suggestion, then as they grow madness and death follows. His followers force Terrell and Chekov to their knees and he passes the babies to their men. They put the creatures into their helmets and then put the helmets on and hold them down as they scream and the little creatures climb into their ears. I’m not going to share the images because they’re kind of mildly disturbing.
Khan asks again why they’re there and where to find Kirk.
Kirk is reading with his glasses on while aboard the shuttle as they approach the enterprise. A voice comes over the intercom saying he’s cleared for docking. Sulu is flying along with Uhura and Bones and he says they are on final approach.
Kirk gets up so he can appreciatively study the ship as they fly past it. He says he hates inspections, but Sulu is delighted to have a chance to go aboard the enterprise.
Sulu looks especially excited to be there, but the others are more subdued and Bones looks grumpy as always.
Dramatic music plays as they fly past the ship and move toward the docking port. Kirk says he’s glad to have Sulu at the helm for 3 weeks because he doesn’t think these kids can steer.
On board the ship a woman plays a whistle and all the crew assembled snaps to attention.
Some are wearing red uniforms and some of the crew is wearing white. I’m guessing the people with red turtlenecks are cadets or trainees, and the two women with green turtlenecks are medical personnel.
Spock and Saavik are also there. Spock orders them to open the airlock and Kirk and company step on board.
Kirk passes his book to Uhura as he comes on, and he says hello to Spock who says he’s doing well. He stops at another crew member who introduces himself as Peter Preston, engineer’s mate, SIR. First training voyage.
The engineering team is wearing spacesuit type outfits that look a lot more thought out than the ones we saw Chekov and Terrell wearing. These also seem to be repurposed from the last movie, where we saw Scotty wearing a similar design.
Kirk says he’ll start with the engine room. Spock says he’ll see him on the bridge and dismisses the company.
Spock then walks back to Saavik and, in Vulcan, she says that Kirk is never what she expects. Spock asks what surprises her. She says that he’s so human. Nobody’s perfect, Spock replies.
Kirk strolls around engineering and wipes a cloth over a console, much to Scotty’s amusement. The crew are standing at attention. Kirk asks if they can handle a minor training cruise. Scotty says just give the word. Kirk says the word is given, and steps onto a single person elevator thing and vanishes, much to the surprise of Bones.
Lights come on all over the outside of the ship as they prepare to depart. Kirk and Bones come onto the bridge just as they are given the ok to depart from Starfleet. The crew continues their normal operations and then Spock gives the go ahead to clear all moorings. He then asks if Saavik has piloted a starship out of spacedock.
She says no. He says to take her out. She seems reluctant but agrees and takes the captain’s chair. Kirk and Bones are clearly terrified. Bones asks if Kirk would like a tranquilizer. Kirk shakes his head but looks terrified.
They move ahead at quarter impulse power to triumphant sounding music, out of the dock. Lots of sweeping shots.
Sulu says they are free and clear to navigate. Saavik asks for a course heading. Spock turns toward Kirk, who says “captain’s discretion,” so Spock tells Sulu to indulge himself. Sulu grins. The ship heads off.
Back on the space station with Dr. Marcus, she and the curly haired guy are working on a computer thing, commenting that it’s pretty much used up all its memory and they can’t cram any more data in.
Another person says that there’s a comm-pic coming in on hyperchannel from the starship Reliant, so they get it on screen and it’s Chekov, who says he’s on the Reliant, calling Regula 1. He tells Dr. Marcus they will be there in 3 days. Why are they en route, she asks. They weren’t supposed to see them for 3 more months. Has something happened?
Chekov grins and says nothing has happened, Ceti Alpha VI has checked out. She is still confused. He says they have new orders and all materials of Project Genesis will be transferred to the Reliant for immediate testing on Ceti Alpha VI. There’s a lot of protest to this plan amongst the team members. Dr. Marcus says this is highly irregular; Chekov just smiles and shrugs and says he has his orders.
We see a few other scientist people in this shot – one guy with especially large arm muscles has eschewed the idea of a shirt beneath his white science-y outfit while the guy next to him has pretty long and bulky sleeves, and a woman in the background has orangey brown short sleeves with white trim. It appears the white part functions like a lab coat and the sleeves are a personal choice that varies widely between people.
Curly haired guy asks who gave the orders. Chekov seems to hesitate for a moment and then resumes smiling and says Admiral James T. Kirk. Curly haired guy is pissed. Dr. Marcus cuts him off and says that no unauthorized personnel will be allowed to have access to their materials. Chekov keeps smiling and says he’s sorry she feels that way but the orders are confirmed and please deliver Genesis on their arrival. Then he ends the call.
We see that Chekov is on the ship and Khan is standing over him. As the call ends, Chekov drops the smile. He tells Khan that Genesis will probably contact Kirk to confirm the order. Khan just smiles and nods.
Back on the Enterprise, Kirk enters the elevator and Saavik asks him to hold it, then runs in before the door closes. She is wearing what looks almost like a karate uniform and has her hair down.
It’s never explained why she’s wearing this shirt instead of her usual uniform. It looks enough like a martial arts robe that I thought she might be planning to work out or spar, although I guess it also could just be a casual outfit. She never explains, though, and after this we don’t see it again.
Kirk asks about the hair and she tells him it’s regulation. He says nothing.
She asks if she can speak. He says self-expression isn’t one of her problems and observes she is bothered by her performance on the Kobayashi Maru. She says she failed to resolve the situation. He says there isn’t a correct solution, and it’s just a test of character.
She asks if she can ask how he solved it. He grins and says she can ask, and when she’s confused, admits it was a joke. She confesses to not understand humor as it isn’t logical. The elevator stops and she exits, revealing a grumpy Bones, who demands to know who’s been holding up the elevator.
Bones also asks if Saavik changed her hair. Kirk claims he did not notice. Uhura calls on the intercom. She says there’s an urgent comm-pic call from Dr. Carol Marcus on Regula I. He says he’ll take it in his quarters. Bones comments that “it never rains but it pours,” and Kirk says that physicians should know the dangers of opening old wounds. Kirk exits.
In his quarters, Kirk is trying to talk to Dr. Marcus, but the signal is not good.
Dr. Marcus demands to know why he’s taking Genesis. He asks who is taking Genesis. She says she can see him but not hear him. She keeps asking if he gave the order and that she’s not letting them have Genesis. He keeps asking who’s taking Genesis. There’s a lot of static. He asks Uhura what’s going on and she says the transmission is being jammed at the source. He tells her to contact Starfleet command.
Back on Regula I everyone is arguing. Carol tries to calm everyone down. David the curly haired guy, says that scientists are the pawns of the military. Carol says that Starfleet has kept the peace for 100 years and she won’t subscribe to that interpretation.
Someone asks what to do about the Reliant, which is on the way.
Back on the Enterprise, Kirk goes to see Spock, who is wearing some black robes and…meditating or something.
Those of you who joined me for the previous movie might remember that Spock’s black robes were the best outfit of that film, and this one gets a close second to Khan. It doesn’t win, however, because Spock doesn’t seem to have bothered to take off his white turtleneck – we can still see the collar and cuffs – and we don’t see much details of the robe or whatever it is that he’s wearing. Dark colors still look really good on him, though, so it’s awarded second place, at least for now.
Kirk tells him what just happened with Dr. Marcus, and says they have been ordered to investigate. Spock says Regula I is a research laboratory. Kirk says he told Starfleet all they have is a boatload of children. But they’re the only ship in the quadrant. He wonders how the cadets will respond under pressure.
Spock says the ship is his, but Kirk refuses and says just get him to Regula I. Spock says he’s fine commanding for a training mission but the senior officer should take command in a real situation. Kirk says that it was a garbled transmission so maybe it’s nothing. Spock assures him he has no ego to bruise since he’s a Vulcan.
Spock also says that Kirk should not have accepted a promotion to Admiral as captaining a starship is his first and best destiny. Kirk says he will not presume to debate Spock. Spock says this is wise, and also logic dictates the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Kirk finishes with “or the one.” Spock says he’s a superior officer and also his friend and he has been and shall always be his friend.
Kirk comes onto the bridge and asks them to put him on speaker. He says an emergency situation has arisen and now he’s assuming command and to plot a new course to Regula I. He tells Scotty they’ll be engaging warp engines. Scotty agrees.
Sulu at the helm and Saavik in the captain’s chair are ready to go. Kirk apologizes to the cadets for making them do this and tells Sulu to take them to Warp 5. “So much for a little training exercise,” Sulu comments.
On the reliant, Khan and his people are ready to intercept the enterprise while Chekov and Terrell stand by, clearly under the sway of the weird brain worm things.
I guess Khan is feeling cold as he’s taken one of the official Starfleet jackets and thrown it over his shoulders, as has one of his people, a woman with a long skirt standing behind him. The rest of them are wearing the same post-apocalyptic fashions as they were on the planet.
One of Khan’s men who was sitting at the helm stands up and asks to speak. Khan gives the OK. He says that they’re all with Khan but they are free and have a ship and the means to go wherever, and they’ve escaped the planet. Khan has already beaten Kirk and doesn’t need to do it again.
Khan says he will chase Kirk all over before he gives him up.
Uhura calls for Regula I to respond but gets no answer. It’s not jammed, she’s just not getting anything. Spock says there are two possibilities – they are either unwilling or unable to respond. The Enterprise will arrive in 12 hours and 43 minutes.
Kirk wonders what she meant by giving up Genesis. Spock says he might answer that question if he knew what Genesis was beyond the biblical reference. Kirk tells Uhura to tell McCoy to join them in his quarters and tells Saavik she has the conn.
Bones arrives in Kirk’s quarters. He says sick bay is ready and he wants to know what’s going on. Spock also looks at Kirk.
Kirk tells the computer to display a summary of the Genesis program. He is then prompted for a retina scan. He gives his name and then his eye is scanned. He’s approved.
We then see this information and logo on a blue screen that reminds me of the FBI warning that used to appear before all the VHS tapes I rented.
Dr. Marcus appears on the screen explaining the project. Genesis is life from lifelessness. A process where molecular structure is reorganized into life-generating matter of equal mass.
They did stage 1 in a lab and stage 2 will be done underground. Stage 3 will involve the process on a planetary scale. They intend to introduce the device into a lifeless space body like a moon. The device will instantaneously introduce a genesis effect and reorganize matter into life. There’s a cool animation showing a moon transforming into a planet with water and stuff.
She says this is only the beginning of what Genesis is capable of and when they consider the issues of food supply the usefulness is clear. The video ends.
Spock and Bones take it in with some shock. Spock asks if they’ve proceeded with the experiments. Kirk says the tape was made a year ago so he assumes they’re on stage 2 now. Bones wonders if they’re smart enough to use this and wonders what would happen if it was used where life already exists.
Spock says it would destroy that life in favor of its new matrix. Bones is appalled. Spock says he wasn’t commenting on the moral status of the project. Bones says that never mind the earth being created in 6 days, they can do it in 6 minutes.
Before they can continue their argument, there’s a call from the bridge. Saavik says there’s a vessel in the area closing fast. It’s the Reliant.
Kirk and the others return to the bridge to dramatic music as Kirk orders they try the emergency channels. The Reliant comes on screen.
Khan slows to one half impulse power and says “let’s be friends.”
Saavik starts to quote a regulation at Kirk but Spock says he’s well aware so she stops. Kirk wonders if the comm system has failed.
Khan’s people notice that the Enterprise is requesting communications. Khan says “let them eat static.” The Enterprise approaches without shields. Khan quotes a Klingon proverb about dishes served cold and says it’s very cold in space.
On the Enterprise, Kirk says it’s damn peculiar and raises them to yellow alert. Uhura says she’s getting a message that the chambers coil is overloading their comms system. Spock is scanning and sees the coil emissions are normal.
On the Reliant, they notice the Enterprise hasn’t raised shields. Khan orders theirs raised.
Spock notices this. Khan orders them to lock phasers. Spock notices this. Kirk orders shields up.
The Reliant fires. The Enterprise is rocked.
In engineering some guys fall over as explosions happen.
Everyone on the bridge is thrown over. There is chaos in the engine room as people rush through doors before they close and other people complain they can’t breathe. Some climb on elevators, some on ladders.
Sulu says he can’t get power. Kirk calls Scotty, who has put on a face mask that I assume is helping him breathe. Scotty says the main energizer is out. Kirk says to try auxiliary power. Scotty wearily says “Aye-aye.”
Kirk asks for a damage report. He and Spock study a green diagram of the ship on one of the wall screens and see some red lights blinking. Spock concludes they knew exactly where to hit them. Kirk wonders who hit them and why.
Spock says they can’t escape on aux power. They look on the screen and see too late the beams of phasers heading their way. Another hit.
The bridge is on fire. Scotty has nothing but the batteries. He says they can have aux power in a few minutes. Kirk says they don’t have a few minutes.
Kirk demands phaser power, but Spock doesn’t think it’ll be enough to get through the Reliant’s shields. Uhura says they’re getting a message from the commander of the Reliant to discuss terms of their surrender.
Kirk says to put it on screen while they still have time.
Khan appears on screen. Kirk is shocked to see him and recognizes him.
Somewhere along the line Kirk’s jacket opened up. I guess this shows that he is disheveled.
Khan says he’s touched that Kirk remembers him, and of course he remembers him.
Kirk demands to know where the crew of the Reliant is and what is the meaning of the attack. Khan says he’s made his meaning plain – he means to avenge himself on him. He’s deprived the ship of power and when he swings around he will deprive him of his life but he wanted Kirk to know who it was.
Kirk says that he will come aboard if that’s what Khan wants, but spare the crew. Khan says he’ll agree if he also gives him all data and material on Genesis. Kirk pretends not to know what it is. Khan says not to insult him. Kirk asks for time to get the data from the computers. Khan gives him 60 seconds.
Kirk tells the crew to clear the bridge. They hesitate but depart. Spock moves to stand near Kirk and notes that at least they know Khan doesn’t have Genesis. Kirk says to keep nodding as though he’s still giving orders. He tells Saavik to show the Reliant’s command console. The prefix code? It’s all we’ve got.
Saavik has the chart. Khan interrupts. Kirk says they’re finding the data. He begs for time saying the computer is inoperative. Kirk takes out his glasses and tells Khan it’s coming through. Spock appears and gives Reliant’s prefix number. Saavik doesn’t know what’s going on.
Spock and Kirk explain that each ship has its own combination code to prevent an enemy from doing what they’re attempting. Kirk pushes the buttons and says they’re telling the Reliant to lower its shields. Assuming, Spock adds, that Khan hasn’t changed the code, since he’s quite intelligent.
Kirk turns away and asks how they know he’ll keep his word. Khan says he’s given them no word and they have no choice. Kirk quietly tells Sulu to lock phasers and tells Khan they’re sending the transmission now. “Now, Mr. Spock.” Spock puts in the code.
On the Reliant, Khan’s guy notices the shields are dropping. Khan tells him to raise them. He can’t! Khan is astonished. Before he can figure out what’s going on, Kirk orders them to fire.
There’s a bunch of explosions. Khan demands that they fire back. His guy says they can’t because their ship is damaged and so is the warp drive – they have to withdraw. Khan refuses.
Enterprise flies closely over the Reliant. Khan’s man says the Enterprise can wait, they’re not going anywhere.
Sulu says that Kirk did it but Kirk says that he did nothing except get caught with his breeches down, and tells Saavik she can go on quoting regulations.
Kirk prepares to leave the bridge and go check out the rest of the ship but Scotty comes onto the bridge carrying an engineering crewman who’s been badly burned. They all gasp in alarm. Spock closes his eyes.
In sick bay, many people are in beds and with blankets on.
There are also some people sitting on the floor so I’m guessing that they haven’t found beds for all the injured yet? We see a couple of medical personnel here wearing white over green turtlenecks so it seems green is the color of medical stuff in this movie, which is weird to me, I always feel like it ought to be blue for some reason.
Scotty looks tired and worn out himself as Bones works on one of the young ones. It’s the young guy from before, Peter Preston. He tries to sit up and asks Kirk if the word is given. Kirk says it is. Warp speed. He says Aye, and then falls back down. Bones pulls the blanket over his head.
Near sobbing, Scotty says that Preston stayed at his post when the trainees ran.
Spock calls on the intercom to say they have aux power and they can resume impulse power. Kirk says to resume course for Regula I.
Sulu says they’re approaching Regula and Space Lab Regula I. Uhura calls them. But there’s no one there. The lab we saw before is empty.
Spock reports that the sensors and scanners are still down so they have no way of knowing what’s going on inside Regula I. There’s a planetoid nearby. Kirk asks about it.
Spock says Regula is Class D and has some unremarkable ores. They both agree that the Reliant could be hiding behind that.
Kirk calls Scotty and asks if they can use the transporters. Barely. Kirk prepares to go. He asks Bones if he can spare a medical person to go with him as there may be injured there. Bones wants to go himself. Saavik quotes a regulation saying that flag officers should not go into hazardous areas without armed escort. Kirk disputes this regulation but then relents and allows her to accompany them.
Spock says be careful. Bones says they will.
They beam to Regula I wearing what looks like winter coats.
The coats are in the same red color as the rest of their uniforms, but without any color differentiating between them. At first I thought Kirk had more fluff in his jacket, but on closer inspection it just looks like his collar has been popped up.
Saavik says there are indeterminate life forms. Kirk orders phasers on stun. They spread out, exploring the lab. Separately, they walk down corridors past computers and tubes and other science equipment. Bones is briefly startled by what seems to be a rat.
Then he finds a body hanging from the ceiling.
They then find others. They were hung up by their ankles around the main lab area we saw earlier. Bones figures they haven’t been dead long as rigor hasn’t set in yet.
Saavik has found something – a box with some buttons on the front. Kirk breaks the glass and the box and finds two people inside.
Uhura has been continuing to call Regula. Saavik responds and says they’re fine and please stand by.
Chekov and Terrell were inside the box.
They both seem to have kind of stunned expressions, and their jackets are opened, so we know they’ve been through things.
Chekovs says they found Khan on Ceti Alpha V and they have creatures in their bodies to control their minds. No one seems to do anything about the mind control creatures or even register that this was said.
Kirk asks where the Genesis materials were and Terrell says Khan couldn’t find them – even the data banks were empty. Erased? He tortured those people but no one would say anything. He went wild and slit throats and wanted to destroy the place, but he had to get back to the Reliant to blow Kirk to bits.
Saavik asks where Reliant’s crew is. Dead? Marooned on Ceti Alpha V. Terrell says Khan is mad and blames Kirk for the death of his wife. Kirk says he knows what Khan blames him for. He notes the escape pods are in place.
They visit the transporter room. Chekov says he doesn’t think Khan went there as he spent most of his time torturing people for information. Kirk notes the unit is on which means no one remained to turn it on.
Saavik notes that the last coordinates entered are for deep inside Regula, which is lifeless. Kirk remembers that stage 2 of Genesis would be conducted underground. He calls Spock and asks for a damage report. Spock says the situation is grave and they won’t have main power for six days. Auxilliary power is down for probably 2 days so they can’t even beam Kirk and the others back.
Khan is listening to the transmission.
For some reason listening in requires him to wear this metal bracelet, which we later see is connected by wires to the ship’s computer. There’s a person behind him wearing a purple shirt and his minion with the nice hair is standing by.
Kirk tells Spock that if they don’t hear from him in an hour to restore power and go back to Starfleet command. Uhura protests, saying they won’t leave him behind. Kirk says if they don’t hear from him there won’t be anyone behind.
Kirk prepares to go. Go where? Bones asks. Wherever they went. What if they went nowhere? Then this will be your big chance to get away from it all. Bones doesn’t seem happy about this but doesn’t protest and all five of them vanish via the transporter.
They appear inside a room with some equipment.
At first I thought blue and red things were Coke and Pepsi vending machines, but no. Probably just tubes of air or something.
There’s a gray box in front of them with something shiny inside.
It’s Genesis, Bones concludes.
Saavik hears something and then David the curly haired guy appears from nowhere to slash a knife at Kirk. Another scientist dude tells everyone to put their phasers down. Curly haired guy keeps attacking Kirk. Kirk dodges and eventually defeats him and asks where Dr. Marcus is. The guy says he’s Dr. Marcus.
Carol Marcus runs in at that moment and yells “Jim!” Kirk asks her if the curly haired guy is David. David says that Kirk killed everyone they left behind. Carol doesn’t believe him and says of course (Kirk) didn’t. She says David is making things harder.
Captain Terrell says it’s harder than she thinks. He and Chekov have taken out phasers. The Captain has a wrist unit and reveals that Khan has been listening the whole time. David goes to attack Terrell but Terrell fires, disintegrating someone else.
Khan asks what’s the delay. Terrell says there’s no delay, go ahead and beam up Genesis.
Khan says that first they have to kill Kirk. Terrell hesitates. Chekov is sweating. Terrell says he’s trying to obey, but…
Then Terrell screams and falls down to his knees. Kirk moves to help him but Terrell points the phaser at him. Khan keeps saying to kill Kirk. Terrell points the phaser at himself and disintegrates.
Chekov starts screaming as the creature in his brain attacks him and he collapses, unconscious. They see the creature climb out of his ear. Kirk shoots it and it burns away.
He finds the wrist unit Terrell was using and talks to Khan. He says Khan is a bloodsucker and will have to do his own dirty work now.
Khan seems shocked by what happened. He doesn’t say anything for a minute and then seems surprised that Kirk is alive and calls him an old friend. Kirk says he keeps missing the target. Khan leans back in his chair and says maybe he doesn’t need to try.
Before anyone can do anything else, Khan beams away the genesis machine. Kirk tells him he doesn’t have him and Khan is going to have to come down there if he wants to kill him.
Khan says he’s done worse than kill him – he’s hurt him and he wants to keep hurting him. He says he will leave Kirk as Kirk left him and her, marooned in the center of a dead planet, buried alive. Kirk is enraged and yells “Khan!” a couple of times.
Saavik tries to call the Enterprise but isn’t getting a response since all channels are jammed. Bones says that the Enterprise’s orders were to leave. Kirk has taken off his jacket.
As expected, he has on a white turtleneck and a red vest underneath, and his black pants have a dark red stripe running down the sides, as do Saavik’s, though it looks like Bones has a white stripe.
David has tan pants and a tan and white shirt with kind of a diagonal color block. It’s not clear if the tan oval on the white part and the white oval on the tan part are supposed to serve a function or if they’re just decorative. It looks like he either has a tan belt or a tan waistband build into his pants, and some sort of buckle as well.
Carol has blue pants and a dark green shirt. The whole thing looks very polyester
Carol says she doesn’t know what’s going on or who Khan is. Kirk says it’s a long story. David says they have plenty of time. Kirk asks if there’s food. Bones is appalled he’s thinking of food but Kirk says the first order of business is survival. Carol says there’s food in the Genesis cave to last a lifetime.
Bones thought the cave they were in was Genesis. She says it took Starfleet 10 months to tunnel out the area where they’re sitting – what they did in the cave they did in a day. She tells David to show McCoy and Saavik their idea of food.
David is reluctant but walks off, and Saavik and McCoy follow.
Kirk tells Carol he stayed away and why didn’t she tell him. She wonders how he could ask that. He had his world and she had hers and she wanted David in hers. She puts on her jacket and says he’s a lot like Kirk in many ways.
The jacket is khaki with a long belt that she doesn’t bother to fasten. It would kind of look like a trench coat, but it’s shorter, and there’s stitching on the chest.
Carol asks Kirk to tell her what he’s feeling. He says there’s a man he hasn’t seen in 15 years who’s trying to kill him and she’s shown him a son that would be happy to help that man kill Kirk. His son. His life that could have been and wasn’t. He’s feeling old, worn out.
Carol says she’ll show him something that will make him feel young. She holds out a hand and he takes it.
On the Reliant, Khan’s dude says that impulse power is restored. Khan says this is more than a match for Enterprise.
Kirk and Carol walk hand in hand down the corridor, apparently leaving the still sleeping Chekov behind. They come into a cave that’s filled with grass and trees and water and sunlight.
She admits the matrix formed in a day and the life forms came later at a substantially accelerated rate.
In space, the Reliant is approaching Regula I. They don’t see the Enterprise.
Saavik asks Kirk about the Kobayashi Maru and wants to know what he did. Bones says he’s the only cadet who ever beat the scenario. Kirk says he reprogrammed the simulation. David says he cheated. Kirk says he changed the parameters and got a commendation for original thinking. Saavik asks if he faced that situation – faced death. He just says he doesn’t believe in a no win scenario.
He takes his communicator and calls Spock, saying it’s been 2 hours, is he ready? Spock replies that they’re right on schedule – give them the coordinates and they’ll beam them aboard. Kirk says again he doesn’t like to lose.
A moment later they all appear in the transporter room and Kirk quotes the regulation to Saavik that if transmissions are being monitored…she finishes: “no uncoded messages on an open channel.” She says that Spock has lied. He says he exaggerated.
Saavik and Bones change from their winter coats into uniform jackets (it appears Kirk has left his behind) and we see Kirk button his up properly, confirming that for some reason it fastens near the shoulders.
The three hurry through the corridor. Kirk starts to take the elevator but Spock says they don’t work below deck C. What does work? Partial main power – best they could do in 2 hours.
Kirk appears on the bridge and orders battle stations. They see on the screen that the reliant and the Enterprise are on opposite sides of the moon. Spock points out that the Reliant is faster and can outgun them but there’s a nebula nearby. Kirk asks if Scotty can get them there. He says not to give them too many bumps. Kirk says no promises.
Saavik points out that the nebula has a lot of discharge so their tactical display won’t work well, visuals won’t function, and shields will be useless. Spock says this is sauce for the goose and the odds will be even.
The Enterprise corridors are busy with people running around. We get a montage of people working on something in engineering and lots of people running around. The Enterprise heads toward the nebula.
Khan has spotted the Enterprise and notes they’re not as wounded as he thought. They follow the enterprise to the nebula, which is purplish blue and flashing with lightning. Khan’s dude says that if they go in there they’ll lose them. “Explain it to them,” Khan says, and they fire on the Enterprise.
Good shot here of Khan and his people. One guy in the upper right is also trying to show off his chest muscles, though not as impressively as Khan. In front of him, a man leans casually on the railing with a huge metal belt and buckle. The man off to the left is going for the ripped jeans look, but for his whole outfit. The women have kind of frizzy hair but then men all appear to have spent significant time on theirs.
David comes on to the bridge as they reach the nebula.
Khan’s pilot slows their approach and says their shields would be useless inside the nebula, and Spock sees this action. Kirk orders Uhura to patch him in to the Reliant. He talks directly to Khan, saying they tried it once his way and asks if he is game for a rematch?
Khan is astonished that Kirk is alive and orders full impulse power. His pilot refuses, pointing out they have Genesis and he can do whatever he wants. Khan grabs him by the shirt and yells “full power, damn you,” then runs forward to do it himself.
Kirk says that at least Khan is consistent. Spock reports they are entering the nebula.
The ship shakes and lights go out. Kirk orders emergency lights, which seem about as bright as regular lights. The ship proceeds. Lightning flashes.
The same thing happens to Khan’s ship. He orders the tactical display, but it doesn’t work. He then orders shields up but that doesn’t work either. The helmsman says he’s reducing speed. At first Khan seems like he’s going to argue about this, too but then he nods.
Both ships move through the nebula. Now Enterprise is behind the Reliant. They can barely see it but the phaser targeting system isn’t working so Sulu has to just guess at his aim. They narrowly miss the Reliant, which is enough to piss off Khan, who orders the aft torpedoes fired.
All is quiet and still on the Enterprise as they see the Reliant ahead and lots of flashing lights. The display is not working. Then they see the Reliant right in front of them. Kirk orders evasive maneuvers starboard but it’s too late and they’re hit. He orders them to fire right back. Lots of explosions on both sides and people are thrown around.
A piece of the ceiling falls on Khan’s bridge and he moves it with his bare hands.
These chest muscles aren’t just for show, they work.
Kirk asks Scotty what’s going on and Scotty says they have to take the mains off line. The radiation…he faints. Bones is there to catch him.
Khan tries to help his helmsman, Joachim, who says “yours is superior,” and then dies. Khan promises to avenge him.
Chekov arrives on the bridge and asks if Kirk needs another hand. Kirk says to man the weapons console.
Spock reports that Khan has broken off but Kirk thinks he’ll be back. Spock says that Khan is intelligent but not experienced and he has 2 dimensional thinking. Kirk orders them to stop and stand by with torpedoes.
The nebula swirls around them.
Khan also sees nothing but static on his screen. The ships move in beside each other. Chekov is ready with the torpedoes. They see the Reliant. Kirk orders “fire” multiple times.
Lots of explosions on the Reliant. Screaming, people thrown around. The bridge is burning and smoking. Outside, things are sparking.
Kirk says to tell the Reliant to prepare to be boarded.
On the Reliant, Khan is badly burned on half his face and one arm.
His crew seems to be dead. He struggles across the bridge and opens a section of the Genesis machine.
“No Kirk,” he says, “the game’s not over.” He manages to do something on the Genesis despite his obvious injuries. He turns some dials. “To the last I will grapple with thee,” he says, and turns the knob again.
The Genesis device is activated and it says “COMMIT” in red letters.
On the Enterprise, Spock notices a weird energy signature coming from the Reliant and doesn’t know what it is, but David says it’s the Genesis wave and they’re on a build up to detonation. How soon? He says they built in a four minute delay.
Kirk tries to call Scotty and says they need warp speed in 3 minutes or they’re dead. Scotty doesn’t answer.
Spock leaves the bridge and starts crawling through the corridors. He climbs down a ladder into engineering.
Bones stops him before he can go in and says no human can tolerate the radiation that’s in there. “As you are so fond of observing, doctor, I am not human,” Spock replies. Bones still tries to stop him. Spock asks about Scott’s condition and then when the doctor considers his response, Spock does the Vulcan neck thing and renders him unconscious.
He touches Bones’ cheeks with his fingers and says “remember” and then takes Scotty’s gloves and walks past them both.
There’s a sign saying not to enter with warning labels on the door. Spock ignores them and puts on the gloves. Scotty realizes what’s going on and runs to stop him, yelling for Spock to get out of there. Spcok ignores him.
On the bridge, Kirk asks how much time they have. 2 minutes, 10 seconds. He demands the engine room tell him what’s happening.
Bones has also recovered and is yelling for Spock to stop.
He and Scotty are yelling but Spock picks up a big metal thing, releasing light and smoke. He reaches inside and more lights flash.
It’s been 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and they’re only 4,000 kilometers from the Reliant.
Khan, still alive, watches the Enterprise and says “No you can’t get away. From hell’s heart I stab at thee. For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
Spock puts the lid back on the metal tube and someone on the bridge tells Kirk the mains are back online. Kirk thanks Scotty and orders them to warp. Sulu punches it. The reliant Explodes.
Carol comes on the bridge and Kirk tells her to look at the explosion behind them. It looks like a giant star. Kirk thanks Scotty and is surprised to hear Bones say to come down quickly. Kirk then notices Spock is not on the bridge.
He tells Saavik she’s in charge and runs through the corridors.
He tries to run into the area where Spock is but Bones and Scotty stop him, along with help from another random guy.
The random other guy is careful to stay off camera so we only see his head.
They say he’ll flood the whole compartment with radiation. Kirk says he’ll die. Scotty says he’s dead already. Kirk stops struggling, and the third random guy ducks out, still staying off camera. Bones says it’s too late.
Kirk walks more sedately to the clear wall. He pushes the intercom and yells for Spock, who is on the other side of the room, leaning against a wall. Spock gets to his feet, straightens his uniform, and walks slowly to the wall. He leans against it.
Hoarsely, he asks if the ship is out of danger. Kirk says yes. Spock says don’t grieve, it’s illogical and the needs of the many outweigh…
the needs of the few, Kirk finishes…
or the one, Spock adds. He says he never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What does Kirk think of his solution?
Spock slides down to the floor to sit and says he has been and always will be his friend and puts his hand against the wall in the Vulcan salute. He says live long and prosper and the theme plays quietly as kirk puts his hand up. Then Spock collapses, dead.
No, says Kirk, and collapses next to him, stunned.
Spock’s coffin is in the cargo bay. Kirk says they are assembled to pay respects to their honored dead. There’s a Starfleet flag on the coffin and someone removes it.
The engineers have some funky shoes, man. The rest of the crew has simple black boots, but the engineers seem to have insisted on funky cuffs on the tops of their boots.
Kirk says that in the midst of their sorrow this death takes place in the shadow of a new world that Spock gave his life to protect. Spock did not regret his actions. Kirk says that he will say that of all the souls he encountered in his travels, Spock’s was the most…human. He is clearly on the edge of tears during the speech. Saavik also has tears in her eyes.
Scotty plays Amazing Grace on the bagpipe and the coffin slides away from them and out into space. An orchestral version plays as the coffin is shot off into space, and a glowing light in the distance.
In his quarters, Kirk takes his glasses to read a book, notices that the lens is broken, and tries to read it without, holding it at a distance.
David knocks on the door and comes in. Kirk says he should be on the bridge. David wants to talk.
He says Saavik was right, that Kirk has not faced death. Kirk is quiet a moment and then says no, not like this. He hasn’t faced death, he’s cheated death. He’s tricked his way out of death and patted himself on the back. David says that he knew enough to tell Saavik that how they face death is not as important as how they face life and maybe Kirk should listen to that.
He then says he was wrong about Kirk and he’s sorry. Kirk asks if that’s why he came. Mainly. He goes to leave, then stops and says he’s proud to be Kirk’s son.
Kirk steps forward and then they hesitantly embrace, and then more confidently.
Captain’s log: enterprise is heading to Ceti Alpha V to get the crew of the Reliant. All is well but he wonders about the friend he left behind. Spock said there were always possibilities and if genesis is life from death he must return to this place. He, Bones, and Carol watch the new planet from the bridge.
Bones says he’s not dead as long as they remember him. “It’s a far far better thing I do in life than I have ever done before, a far better resting place I go to than I have ever known,” quotes Kirk. He says it’s something Spock was trying to tell him on his birthday.
Bones asks how he feels. Young.
We zoom in on the new planet and see trees and stuff. Water. Mist.
And Spock’s coffin.
- Overall I found this movie much more entertaining than The Motion Picture. The costumes are better. The story is better. There’s far less padding.
- Khan’s best line: “Let them eat static.” I hope to one day use this line, I just need to find a good situation.
- Another thing this movie does better than the last one: allows Chekov to do something. Sulu, Uhura, and Scotty are still pretty much just background characters who could have been replaced with anyone, but Chekov gets to do something for a bit. I’m not sure he had any lines in the last movie.
- I haven’t seen much of the original Star Trek series, so I was completely unaware of Khan’s backstory going into this, or the episode in which he makes his debut. The movie does a good job of balancing the exposition, making it totally accessible for the casual viewer. I’m sure there are still plenty of little Easter eggs that I didn’t catch that more serious fans would.
- For me, the best part of any original Star Trek is the banter between Spock, Bones, and Kirk, and this movie definitely indulges them in that respect.
- It’s been slightly over a year since I watched The Motion Picture. Perhaps I’ll watch something else in less than another year. Or perhaps not.