Study Guide

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

We love the ending to this, and not just because it has that great "space, the final frontier" line delivered by Nimoy instead of Shatner for the first time ever.

Happy endings are par for the course in Hollywood, and this one is pretty happy…all things considered. The Enterprise is safe, Khan is dead (so very, very dead) and there's even a brand new planet that may or may not bring Spock back to life. (Spoiler alert: it does.)

But at the same time, it's much more melancholy than we usually expect: tinged with the sense of getting older and of Kirk finally having to pay the piper for all those tunes he's called over the years.

That gives Star Trek II a somewhat more literary ending than we usually expect from Hollywood: something a little more thoughtful than normal, and with some subtleties and nuances that leave us with more to think about than just who Kirk is going to shoot/pummel/sleep with in Star Trek III.

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