Allow me, once again, to take you to the world of cinema history.
The year is 1982. The Star Trek franchise is in a make or break situation. The Original Series has been gone for 13 years, and the plans for a follow up series is 1978 were altered to become Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was dull and actionless but earned them enough money for another sequel. One last chance. That last chance was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
All the hopes for the franchise was pinned on this film. The cast and crew needed this film to be a success. Paramount needed people to watch this film. Yet the poster that they released to advertise Star Trek II, showed an entirely different film.
Second Example: STAR TREK II : The Wrath of Khan
There is a major flaw in this poster. Look at the USS Enterprise. Its there just above the title of the poster. The Enterprise is firing on a space station, which we learn to be research station, Regula I. People who saw this would get their hopes up, as they anticipated watching a space fight… which never happened. The Enterprise never even raised its shields against the space station. It had no need to, as it was a scientific laboratory, not a bastion of war.
There was a space fight in the film, however, and once of the best ones in film history. I of course refer to USS Enterprise versus the hijacked USS Reliant fight. Which begs to ask the question, why did they not just draw the Reliant in the first place instead of Regula I? They could have had the Reliant fighting back as well, to make it look even more action packed. But they didn’t. Maybe the artist and the producers thought that a fight with a space station would look exciting. If that’s the case, why didn’t they tell the writers that, or save that idea for another time. As it goes, I’m glad they didn’t include this scene in the film, but cant help but wonder that Star Trek V would have benefited so much from a scene like this.
You may think there is a second mistake in the poster, which may not be as obvious at the first. Indeed if you look at the poster. There’s Khan in the centre, then there’s Kirk behind the Enterprise. Who’s behind him? Why of course, its Mr Spock. But who’s behind him? Shouldnt that be Lt Saavik, as played by Kirstie Alley? Yes, it should be, and indeed is, but it doesn’t really look like her. It looks like Robin Curtis who played Lt Saavik in Star Trek III and IV. But that cant be Robin Curtis, as this poster was made in 1982, and she made her first appearance as Saavik in 1984. So its just a coincidence, or the artist was Isaac Mendez….
Regardless of battle that never happened, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a huge success. It gave life to the franchise, allowed many more sequels to follow on and gave inspiration to many. In fact, you can find references to this film in many places nowadays, be it on film, TV or in literature. It is without a doubt that this film also helped Paramount consider giving Trek a new series, but not one with Kirk and his band. For they would continue their successes on the silver screen. I just hope that I look as good as Kirk did in this film when I’m in my fifties.