Study Guide

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Competition

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The universe is a competitive place, and if you want to survive, you need to excel.

Sometimes that means competing against your own capabilities and finding ways to exceed them. Sometimes, it means beating the other guy to the punch. But as deadly as it is, the conflict in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is essentially a competition…which you may notice by the dialogue that periodically refers to it as a "game" rather than a battle to the death.

Kirk and Khan are fighting to come out on top, while Saavik—and by extension, the rest of the trainees—are competing against their own limitations, and seeing if they can get past them.

Questions About Competition

  1. Why would Kirk think about his battle with Khan as a game? What does that say about his character?
  2. How does Spock view the competition with Khan and its larger implications for his friend Kirk?
  3. Who is Saavik competing against? Who is David Marcus competing against?
  4. Does Khan view this all as a grand competition? Why or why not?

Chew on This

The characters must compete against each other to come out on top.

The real competition is internal, as the characters face themselves and strive to be better than they were before.

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