Film & Water #188 – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Commentary

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Rob and fellow network all-stars Shag and Chris are joined by returning guest Corey Moosa to provide a commentary track f0r STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN!

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31 responses to “Film & Water #188 – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Commentary

  1. guys checkov is some sort of time paradox after sort of dying sort of not in Spectre of the gun (which WAS actual time travel) bare with me this is goofy but just may work
    1. Ok so Checkov is boncing around in his dead/not dead state starting in 1881
    2 he’s the reason it always felt like trek future had A soviet union we dont,
    3 kahn remembers checkov becuase he briefly felt another timeline
    4 the reason no one mentions Checov on the cartoon is cuz M’RES and arex ARE Checkov split into male and female
    5 Most important CHeckov is the reason they play draw poker on TNG rather than texas hold em!
    thank you for coming to my TED TALK

  2. The Genesis cave apple scene is one of my all time favorite movie scenes. It still makes the hair in back of my neck stand up when he flips out his communicator. That is the one defining Kirk moment for me. Great job on the episode

  3. If I ever needed evidence that Picard really is infinitely better than Kirk, you supposed Kirk-lovers gave it to me when you pointed out that Picard would have asked how he was supposed to have wronged Khan and tried to make amends.

    Sure, Khan would have rejected any such offer and Picard would still have had to give Khan the beat down, but there’s really no excuse for not trying the diplomatic attempt first.

    1. Everyone seems to forget Khan was a depsoed, exiled dictator of his time, and he tried to murder Kirk and take over his ship AFTER he was treated very hosptiably, I might add! I think that gives Kirk a pass on playing nice with the guy. As Picard said about the Borg “The line must be drawn HERE!”.


      1. Letting him settle on a planet with his group was the diplomatic solution, and I know it’s not anyone’s fault that the star blew up, but the olive branch burned with the rest of the planet.

        1. I blame Starfleet for not checking up on them, not Kirk. They couldn’t possibly keep track of every planet they flew past on that five year mission. There has to be thousands of Starfleet personell who are supposed to follow up on these things.

        1. What the what?!?! I respect that you are entitled to an opinion, but again, what the what?!?

          Okay Mark, we are hashing this out in-person this weekend. Be ready to explain yourself, cause we’re going at it, and I’m bringing my ripped Kirk shirt!

          1. You gotta figure the Ceti Alpha system is way out on the fringes of Federation space. It would not only explain why no one went out to check on Khan and his kin, but also why NO ONE NOTICED THE SYSTEM WAS MISSING AN ENTIRE PLANET!!!

  4. Fun commentary guys! I got to watch a classic sci-fi movie and pretend I had friends watching it with me! You each owe me $4 for your share of the pizza. My dad took my brother, sister and I to see Wrath of Khan in the theater. We were all familiar with the tv series, but my dad was the die hard fan. I remember being sad when Spock died, because it made my father sad. (It’s hard to remember that back then fictional deaths actually stuck. When a favorite character died, they stayed dead. We couldn’t know for certain Spock would be back)
    A few things about the movie itself. Captain Tyrell likely had his phaser set to maximum. The effect of phasers can be wildly different. In Search for Spock, Kirk shoots a Klingon with a phaser blast and sends him flying backwards. In Undiscovered Country phasers shoot holes through the Klingons causing bloodyvv by wounds, and later, two crewmen are killed by close range stun phasers.
    As for the crew manually loading the torpedo tubes, I’ve long figured this was due to the damage suffered by the Enterprise. Spock mentions numerous systems are down, so it’s possible the automated torpedo launchers were considered a lower priority to life support, engines, shields etc.
    Thank you Rob for mentioning that of course, Chekhov was a crew member during Space Seed. Just because we didn’t see him, doesn’t mean he wasn’t there. I don’t know why this has been a sticking point for so many fans, for so many years.

    1. Many years ago, I saw a recording a play done at a convention, called “Wrath Side Story,” which mashed together ST2 and West Side Story. I believe it’s on YouTube these days. One of my favorite bits is when Chekhov explains to Terrell why he’s so terrified: “Sir! I met this maniac fifteen years ago, and I WASN’T EVEN THERE!”

  5. All right, Rob, if you’re crazy, I am too. I could have sworn in earlier versions there was a bird flying through there and I don’t see it now. Did they take it out?

  6. Since it caused the most visceral reaction of the movie, I want to delve into the medical aspects of the Celtic Eel Ear scene. Readers of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.
    As a junior doctor, I did an Ear, Nose & Throat job (may be known as otolaryngology to my American friends). One day I was called down to ED to see a man who had been mountain biking through a wood when a moth had flown into his ear canal. It was still alive and twitching to try to get itself out. I have never, in my whole career, seen a patient more freaked out. This man was climbing the walls as the moth wriggled around in his ear. It was my job to pull out the moth in a patient who was so distressed he couldn’t keep still for an instant. In the end, we managed it but – spoiler alert – moths don’t come out in one piece. I think of this man whenever I watch the Ceti Eel scenes.

    As far as I know, moths don’t tend to make it as far as the brain. The anatomy of the ear & temporal bone is really complicated, but in order to get to the brain, the eel would probably need to cut through the ear drum, and gnaw it’s way through a thin plate of bone called the tegmen to get into the middle cranial fossa – presumably that’s why it needs those nasty little pincers! In damaging the skull so much, the Ceti Eel could well cause damage to the balance organ in the ear and would almost certainly cause cerebrospinal fluid to leak out of the ear. Lots of pain, lots of mess, probably a massive loss of balance – I consider this to be body horror of the highest order.

    1. Total truth.

      Now, thanks to y’all, I am planning a June 4th watch party!!

      One of the FWPodcast best episodes of all time.

      I can only assume my invitation got lost in the mail. I blame COVID.

  7. This was so much fun to listen to. I’ve watched STII so many times I didn’t even have it on for the first listen of this podcast – I could picture every scene anyways.

    Speaking of the prefix codes, I don’t get the issue with these. We know that computer control and set guidance for a ship (Spock does this in The Menagerie), and as Kirk explains it “the code is what prevents someone from doing what they’re doing.”

    So if some cunning Orion pirate comes across the Enterprise, and those pirates happen to know:

    a) The right frequency to remote access the Enterprise computer controls
    b) The right commands to input for a Constitution refit ship

    They have to put in a code. I imagine you can’t just “hack the code”, as the computer would likely lock out failed attempts. But this Orion pirate paid good money to get these codes, and voila – he tells the Enterprise computer to lower shields…then Chekov hits the override button to tell the computer to stop, since he’s trained to know how the ship works. They then shut down the avenue of communication after going to red alter, and the commanding officer changes their prefix code or locks out the computer.

    The prefix code sounds to me like a completely reasonable thing to exist. If you have some ships in Spacedock, and you need to remote activate them, they pull up the prefix code in the Starfleet database and communicate with the ship. This also stands to reason that one of the first things Scotty does in Star Trek III when they’re stealing the Enterprise is to change the prefix codes.

    I feel like this scene was to demonstrate that the Augments were not all they thought they were. They could figure out how to fly and fix the Reliant, but their mastery over the nuances of the Miranda class starship operations was limited. This is then echoed later in the film with Khan’s deficiency in space combat – he was a master strategist on Earth, but he lacked any experience in space! Both of these scenes demonstrated that pure strength and intellect were no match for experience – and experience is something we gain as we age, tying into the overall theme of the film.

    Kirk aged and learned, encountered mistakes and regrets. Khan, in his arrogance, learned far less in his exile and also fixated on his thirst for vengeance. He did not grow as a person – he shrank.

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