Study Guide

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Old Age

Old Age

Back in 1966, the crew of the Enterprise was young, full of juice and rarin' to go. Not anymore.

We never get Kirk's actual age here, but William Shatner had turned fifty, and we can speculate that his character is about the same age. It can be hard for anyone to get older and realize that they've lost things on the way that they're never going to get back.

In a lot of ways, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is all about the realities of old age—how it affects us, and ways we can hold it at bay with a little humility and wisdom.

Questions About Old Age

  1. How does the movie contrast Kirk's advancing age with the younger man he used to be?
  2. Why is Kirk's age the important factor here? How is Kirk's reaction to his aging more significant than other characters'?
  3. Does the film think that advancing age grants you new wisdom, or does it adhere to Kirk's notion that it's something to be avoided?
  4. How is advancing age contrasted with death in this movie?

Chew on This

Advancing age is ultimately shown as a blessing in this film.

Old age is viewed as a detriment that we will all eventually succumb to.

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