Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan Originally Had A Different Title, Even Made It To A Poster

By Josh Tyler | Updated

When Star Trek II began its marketing campaign back in 1982 it appeared with the title of Star Trek II: The Vengeance of Khan. They even put the name on a poster…

Star Trek II: The Vengeance Of Khan

Though many of you have never seen that original title you’ve definitely heard the tagline that goes with it, which remains in the Wrath of Khan movie trailers. The tagline “At the end of space, lies the beginning of vengeance” remained part of the movie’s marketing material after the title change.

Here’s the trailer with the vengeance tagline still in it…

So why did they change it? The third Star Wars movie was due to be released and around the time they started marketing Star Trek II, the film’s PR team learned that that movie was going to be called Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi.

Wanting to avoid any association with that title and thinking that “Vengeance” and “Revenge” were too similar, Star Trek II: The Vengeance of Khan was changed to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Later, after Wrath of Khan was already a thing, Star Wars changed its title to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi when George Lucas decided “revenge” wasn’t a very Jedi concept.

Khan
Khan Noonien Singh in Wrath of Khan

Both moves were, as it turns out, the right ones. Wrath is a better word than Vengeance and Jedi aren’t supposed to be into revenge.