Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

1982 film directed by Nicholas Meyer

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Paramount Pictures, 1982) is the second feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. In the film, the crew of the USS Enterprise deal with a threat posed by The Original Series character Khan Noonien Singh, back from exile and out for revenge.

—James T. Kirk
I don't believe in a no-win scenario.
—James T. Kirk
I have been, and always shall be, your friend. Live long and prosper!
Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most.... human.
—James T. Kirk
Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space.
—Khan Noonien Singh
From Hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
Directed by Nicholas Meyer. Written by Jack B. Sowards
At the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance.

Khan Noonien Singh


James T. Kirk

  • [eulogizing Spock] 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.... [voice breaks] human.


Leonard McCoy: This is not about age. It's about you flying a god-damn computer console when you want to be out there hopping galaxies!
James T. Kirk: Spare me your emotions and poetry, please. We all have our assigned duties.
McCoy: Oh! You're hiding! Hiding behind rules and regulations.
Kirk: Who am I hiding from?
McCoy: From yourself, Admiral.
Kirk: Don't mince words, Bones. What do you really think?
McCoy: Jim, I'm your doctor and I'm your friend. Get back your command. Get it back before you turn into part of this collection.

[Commander Chekov and Captain Terrell have been trapped by a group of people inside containers marked as from the long-lost SS Botany Bay. Their leader opens his mask]
Pavel Chekov: Khan!
Khan Noonien Singh: [to Terrell] I don't know you. [to Chekov] But you— I never forget a face. Mister Chekov, isn't it? I never thought to see your face again.
Clark Terrell: Chekov, who is this man?
Chekov: A criminal, Captain. A product of late 20th century genetic engineering.
Terrell: What do you want with us? Sir, I demand to be re—
Khan: You are in a position to demand nothing, sir. I, on the other hand, am in a position to grant nothing. What you see is all that remains of the ship's company and crew of the Botany Bay, marooned here fifteen years ago by Captain James T. Kirk.
Terrell: Listen, you men and women. You have a—
Khan: Captain! Captain. Save your strength, Captain. These people had sworn to live and die at my command two hundred years before you were born! Do you mean he [refers to Chekov] never told you the tale — to amuse your captain, no? — never told you how the Enterprise picked up the Botany Bay, lost in space from the year 1996, myself and the ship's company in cryogenic freeze?
Terrell: I've never even met Admiral Kirk.
Khan: Admiral? Admiral! Admiral. Never told you how "Admiral" Kirk sent 70 of us into exile in this barren sand heap, with only the contents of these cargo bays to sustain us.
Chekov: You lie! On Ceti Alpha V there was life! A fair chance—
Khan: This is Ceti Alpha V! [calms down] Ceti Alpha VI exploded six months after we were left here. The shock shifted the orbit of this planet, and everything was laid waste. "Admiral" Kirk never bothered to check on our progress. It was only the fact of my genetically-engineered intellect that allowed us to survive. On Earth — two hundred years ago — I was a prince with power over millions.
Chekov: Captain Kirk was your host. You repaid his hospitality by trying to steal his ship and murder him!

Spock: As a teacher on a training mission I am content to command the Enterprise. If we are to go on actual duty, it is clear that the senior officer on board must assume command.
James T. Kirk: It may be nothing. Garbled communications. You take the ship.
Spock: Jim, you proceed from a false assumption. I am a Vulcan. I have no ego to bruise.
Kirk: You're about to remind me that logic alone dictates your actions.
Spock: I would not remind you of that which you know so well. If I may be so bold, it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material.
Kirk: I would not presume to debate you.
Spock: That is wise. In any case, were I to invoke logic, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Kirk: Or the one.
Spock: You're my superior officer. You are also my friend. I have been and always shall be yours.

James T. Kirk: Khan!
Khan Noonien Singh: You still remember, Admiral. I cannot help but be touched. I, of course, remember you.
Kirk: What is the meaning of this attack? And where's the crew of the Reliant?
Khan: Surely I have made my meaning plain. I mean to avenge myself upon you, Admiral. I deprived your ship of power and when I swing around, I mean to deprive you of your life. But I wanted you to know first who it was who had beaten you.

Leonard McCoy: Go? Where are we going?
James T. Kirk: Where they went.
McCoy: Suppose they went nowhere?
Kirk: Then this'll be your big chance to get away from it all.

James T. Kirk: Khan, you bloodsucker! You're gonna have to do your own dirty work now! Do you hear me? Do you?
Khan Noonien Singh: Kirk! You're still alive, my old friend?
Kirk: Still, old friend! You've managed to kill just about everyone else, but like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target!
Khan: Perhaps I no longer need to try, Admiral. [Genesis device vanishes in a transporter beam]
David Marcus: Oh, no! Let go! He can't take it!
Kirk: Khan! Khan, you've got Genesis, but you don't have me! You were going to kill me, Khan. You're going to have to come down here! You're going to have to come down here!
Khan: I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you, and I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her: marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet, buried alive. Buried alive!
Kirk: [shouting] KHAAAAAN!!! KHAAAAAN!!!

Carol Marcus: Please tell me what you're feeling.
James T. Kirk: There's a man out there I haven't seen in fifteen years. He's trying to kill me. You show me a son that'd be happy to help him. My son. My life that could have been but wasn't. What am I feeling? Old, worn out.

Joachim: We're all with you, sir, but consider this. We are free. We have a ship and the means to go where we will. We have escaped permanent exile on Ceti Alpha V. You have proved your superior intellect and defeated the plans of Admiral Kirk. You do not need to defeat him again.
Khan Noonien Singh: He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round Perdition's flames before I give him up!

Saavik: [to Kirk] On the test, sir. Will you tell me what you did? I would really like to know.
Leonard McCoy: Lieutenant, you are looking at the only Star Fleet cadet who ever beat the no-win scenario.
Saavik: How?
James T. Kirk: I reprogrammed the simulation so that it was possible to save the ship.
Saavik: What?
David Marcus: He cheated!
Kirk: I changed the conditions of the test! I got a commendation for original thinking. I don't like to lose.
Saavik: Then you've never faced that situation, faced death.
Kirk: I don't believe in a no-win scenario.

James T. Kirk: This is Admiral Kirk. We tried it once your way, Khan. Are you game for a rematch? Khan, I'm laughing at the superior intellect!
Khan Noonien Singh: Full impulse power.
Joachim: No, sir! You have Genesis! You can have whatever you—
Khan: Full power, damn you!

Leonard McCoy: Are you out of your Vulcan mind? No human can tolerate the radiation that's in there!
Spock: As you are so fond of observing, Doctor, I am not human.
McCoy: You're not going in there!
Spock: Perhaps you're right. What is Mr. Scott's condition?
McCoy: Well, I don't think that he—
Spock: [nerve pinches McCoy] I'm sorry, Doctor. I have no time to discuss this logically. [places his hand on McCoy's face] Remember.

James T. Kirk: Spock!
Spock: Ship, out of danger?
Kirk: Yes.
Spock: Don't grieve, Admiral. It's logical. The needs of the many outweigh—
Kirk: The needs of the few?
Spock: —or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?
Kirk: Spock!
Spock: I have been, and always shall be, your friend. Live long and prosper! [slumps and dies]
Kirk: No!

David Marcus: Lieutenant Saavik was right. You never have faced death.
James T. Kirk: No, not like this. I haven't faced death. I've cheated death. I've tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing—
David: You knew enough to tell Saavik that how we face death is at least as important as how we face life.
Kirk: Just words.
David: But good words! That's where ideas begin. Maybe you should listen to them. I was wrong about you, and I'm sorry.
Kirk: Is that what you came here to say?
David: Mainly. And also that I'm proud — very proud — to be your son.

Leonard McCoy: Are you okay, Jim? How do you feel?
James T. Kirk: Young. I feel young!

Main cast

Cast of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Actor Role
William Shatner James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy Captain Spock
DeForest Kelley Dr. Leonard McCoy
James Doohan Montgomery Scott
George Takei Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig Pavel Chekov
Nichelle Nichols Commander Uhura
Bibi Besch Dr. Carol Marcus
Merritt Butrick Dr. David Marcus
Paul Winfield Captain Clark Terrell
Kirstie Alley Lieutenant Saavik
Ricardo Montalban Khan Noonien Singh
Judson Scott Joachim (uncredited)


  • I’ve always wanted to make a movie with submarines and destroyers and people torpedoing each other—a sort of case of arrested development—but I thought, ‘Oh, OK, this is about the Navy. I know how to do this. … And Khan, because I’d seen that episode ‘Space Seed,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, that guy must be pretty angry by now.'
  Creator     Gene Roddenberry  (1921–1991)  
  Television series     Star Trek  (1966–1969) · The Animated Series  (1973–1974) · The Next Generation  (1987–1994) · Deep Space Nine  (1993–1999) · Voyager  (1995–2001) · Enterprise  (2001–2005) · Discovery  (2017–) · Picard  (2020–) · Lower Decks  (2020–) · Prodigy  (2021–) · Strange New Worlds  (2022–)
  Feature films     The Original Series     The Motion Picture  (1979) · The Wrath of Khan  (1982) · The Search for Spock  (1984) · The Voyage Home  (1986) · The Final Frontier  (1989) · The Undiscovered Country  (1991)  
  The Next Generation     Generations  (1994) · First Contact  (1996) · Insurrection  (1998) · Nemesis  (2002)  
  Reboot series     Star Trek  (2009) · Into Darkness  (2013) · Beyond  (2016)  
  Video games     Borg  (1996) · Klingon Academy  (2000)  
  Proverbs     Klingon · Vulcan  
  Other     Star Trek franchise · Last words in Star Trek media · Jean-Luc Picard· Phase II