Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Prequel Confirmed

A scripted podcast acting as a prequel to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is on the way from writer/director Nicholas Meyer.

By Michileen Martin | Published

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Ricardo Montalban died from congestive heart failure in 2009, and as far as we know Benedict Cumberbatch–who played the new timeline’s version of Khan in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness–isn’t returning to the role on the big screen anytime soon. But neither of those facts is stopping Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan‘s director and co-writer Nicholas Meyer from bringing fans a prequel. As TrekMovie reported on Thursday, Meyer is creating the scripted podcast Star Trek: Khan — Ceti Alpha V which will explore what happened on the titular planet in the years between Trek’s original series, and what many still consider to be the best Star Trek film.

Nicholas Meyer made a surprise appearance to Paramount‘s Star Trek Day 2022 event to announce the upcoming Star Trek: Khan. There is no release date for the podcast yet but–with a lot fewer production demands than a TV show or film–we’d expect a 2023 release date is realistic. The podcast’s story will examine what happens to Khan and his followers after the Enterprise drops them off on Ceti Alpha V at the end of the original series’ Season 1 episode “Spaced Seed,” and their unexpected visit from Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Captail Terrell (Paul Winfield) in Star Trek II not quite 20 years later. Other Trek notables such as Alex Kurtzman, Trevor Roth, Aaron Baiers, and Rod Roddenberry will be executive producers on the project. There’s no word yet on voice talent. Considering he’s already played a younger version of Khan, it would be wonderful if Meyer managed to net Cumberbatch to voice the character.

star trek khan
Ricardo Montalban, Walter Koenig, and Paul Winfield in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Star Trek‘s Khan Noonien Singh is introduced in “Space Seed” as a genetically engineered warlord cryogenically frozen in the early 21st century and awakened three centuries later–along with Khan’s followers–by the Enterprise crew. When Khan tries and fails to take over the Enterprise, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) deposits Khan, his followers, and his new lover Lieutenant Marla McGivers (Madlyn Rhue)–a Starfleet historian obsessed with the warlord–on the inhospitable but survivable Ceti Alpha V. But between the years of “Space Seed” and Star Trek II, a catastrophic change overcomes Ceti Alpha V, rendering it a near lifeless desert wasteland. Most of Khan’s followers, including his wife McGivers, don’t survive. By the time Chekov and Terrell unwittingly give Khan the chance to escape the planet, what was once an eagerness to conquer Ceti Alpha V has been replaced by an unquenchable thirst for revenge on Kirk.

Star Trek: Khan — Ceti Alpha V offers the intriguing opportunity to show exactly how the villain became the man we see in Star Trek II. We’ll presumably get to see more of the romance between Khan and Marla, as well as find out exactly how these superhumans were laid low by the challenges of the planet. Speaking of which, it also potentially could answer some big questions. Exactly how did Ceti Alpha VI explode? How did Khan and his followers survive such a cataclysmic event? And–perhaps one of most often asked questions by fans ever since Star Trek II hit theaters–how did Khan recognize Chekov when “Space Seed” was in Season 1 and Walter Koenig didn’t join the cast until Season 2?