During the shooting of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the prop department had a problem: They kept running out of jewelry for Khan. His signature Starfleet necklace, the one with the Starfleet symbol surrounded by the broken circle, kept getting stolen.
The item in question is the one hanging above Ricardo Montalban’s bulging chest in the picture below…
According to Inglorious Treksperts, the prop department kept having to make new ones, over and over again, as the item in question repeatedly disappeared off the set.
Why did people in the crew keep stealing it? Of course, no one knows for sure, but aside from the fact that it’s pretty awesome looking, some people theorize that those that were on the set watching Ricardo Montalban’s performance knew they were watching history in the making.
These days, it’s no big deal to just go get one right off Etsy where there are hundreds of replicas of Khan’s famous necklace. Back then, handmade props like that were a lot harder to come by.
Ricardo’s Khan is one of the great iconic villains in the history of cinema. And apparently, it was obvious from the very start that what he was doing could end up being iconic. Even people watching him perform on set knew what was happening. Anyone who saw him, chest bulging and eyes screaming vengeance, wanted a piece of what they knew would be something the world would remember forever.