Say it with us... Khaaaaaaan!!
Everyone's favorite Trek villain made his presence felt at Star Trek: Mission New York on Friday. First, professors and StarTrek.com guest bloggers Maria Jose and John Tenuto hosted the panel Thriving on Limitations: Behind the Scenes of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. As photos from the production flashed on the screen, the Tenutos shared anecdotes about the Trek classic.
Among the revelations:
Khan's opening weekend gross of $14.3 million was, at the time, the most-lucrative... ever. It was even bigger than that of The Empire Strikes Back.
Star Trek II, before the cameras rolled, was meant to be a TV movie of the week. Paperwork confirms that assertion. It then became a theatrical release.
Director Nicholas Meyer was 35 years old when he got involved with the film. He thought of Trek as Horatio Hornblower in space.
Meyer whipped the Trek II script into shape in 10 days. The pre-production schedule was just two months.
65% of Khan was shot on the same set and the late composer James Horner made a cameo in Star Trek II.
Mission New York's first day ended in the evening with the world premiere screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- Director's Cut 4K. Prior to the screening, Meyer sat for a Q&A, revealing some fascinating tidbits about the shoot.
"I'd never seen it," he said of TOS. "I missed it."
Word spread early that Spock was likely to die in the film. That did not go over well with some fans. "I was getting a lot of letters from you people," he said. "'If Spock dies, you die.'"
One Trek II mystery remains unsolved. "I don't know why Khan has one glove," he said "I'm more interested in why you think he has one glove."
"I feel fortunate," he said, "that this is a movie so many people feel so passionate about."
Meyer shot Spock's death scene. Everyone was in tears... except Meyer. "I thought, 'What am I missing here?'" he recalled. "I lost a couple of edit battles," he acknowledged. "But in what you're about to see, I put them back in."
And, of course, it's common knowledge that Meyer is now a member of the Star Trek: Discovery writing team. He could only fleetingly address the upcoming show. It was, Meyer confirmed, executive producer Bryan Fuller who brought him into the fold. "I was surprised because no one had asked me back for anything before. So I was surprised, I was touched and I was intrigued. It's Bryan's show. I'm just a cog in the wheel."