A Look Into the History of Making the Film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Star Trek: Mission Convention in New York offered a history lesson into the making of the commercially successful film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with some photos from the set. The photos were given thanks to the University of Iowa Library and permission from the director himself, Nicholas Meyer.
Provided by StarTrekHistory.com, the panel offered a slideshow going behind the scenes into how Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was made. Moderated by professors John Tenuto and Maria Jose Tenuto, they offered a glimpse into the life on set of one of the best Star Trek films ever made. With more than 100 photos, the panel showed the hard work and fun times that director Nicholas Meyer had on set with the cast and crew. The presentation offered some trivial knowledge and some interesting facts on the making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Some of the photographs also showcase some rare insight into the movie, which was shot with a limited budget and time.
Filmed in 1981, we learned that Meyer completed the script in 10 days due to pressure from Paramount. Since it’s release a year later in 1982, the film grossed $14 million in its first weekend, which was considered to be the largest grossing weekend at the time. The panel also discussed the friendship formed between Meyer and Ricardo Montalban, who played villain Khan Noonien Singh. In some of the photos, we got to see Ricardo and the director on set as Ricardo returned to the role he played 15 years earlier in the original series. Audiences also familiarized themselves with the men responsible for photography and costumes, Gayne Rescher and Robert Fletcher. The photos revealed that some of the Starfleet’s costumes were inspired by the film Prisoner of Zenda. We also got to learn about the makeup that was given by Werner Keppler and his team.
Photos revealed that the film’s music was also the first one for the late James Horner, who was brought into the project after Meyer listened to samples of different music from new music directors. The panel also went deep into the stunt work for the film and it’s first usage of CGI. The slideshow even made note of some scenes that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film. One of them was the baby rumored to be Khan’s but turned out to be the son of one of his followers. The scene was revealed to be cut because it went too dark for the film. Even some of the fight scenes like the one between Captain Kirk and his son were cut short due to a limited budget. Even the scene where Bones gives Kirk a birthday present didn’t make it into the theatrical version.
We also got to learn about the young cadets in the film. Being that this was Kirstie Allie’s first film role, the panelists revealed that she was a fan of the original series prior to being cast in the role as Saavik. Even Nicholas Guest was shown to have made an appearance in the film as a cadet despite not getting a big role. Lastly, the panel also went into the famed final scene where Spock’s funeral was performed, revealing the set design used for one of the last scenes in the film.
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