Are there any clues in the film or novelization describing Khan's future plans if he had defeated Kirk in The Wrath of Khan?

Secondary question: what would Khan's plans have been had he followed the advice of his lieutenant Joachim to avoid confrontation after capturing the Reliant at Ceti Alpha VI (prior to stealing the Genesis device)?

How long could a rogue Federation ship survive before being tracked down? It's a big galaxy.

  • Probably should be separate questions, but the secondary question is probably subjective unless there are already examples someone can cite Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 15:09
  • There was a novelisation?!
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 16:02
  • 1
    @Richard - Yes - in fact I only learned that there was a novelization from you in this post: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/94365/… :)
    – RobertF
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of any direct mentions in the film, but we can make a reasonable deduction based on Khan's past. From the ST:TOS episode "Space Seed":

KIRK: [looking at a library picture of Khan on viewscreen] Name: Khan Noonien Singh.

SPOCK: From 1992 through 1996, absolute ruler of more than a quarter of your world, from Asia through the Middle East.

McCOY: The last of the tyrants to be overthrown.

SCOTT: I must confess, gentlemen. I've always held a sneaking admiration for this one.

KIRK: He was the best of the tyrants and the most dangerous. They were supermen in a sense. Stronger, braver, certainly more ambitious, more daring.

Khan is nothing if not ambitious and egotistical. It seems probable he would try to find a suitable inhabited planet, take over as its ruler, and start building an interstellar empire to rival the Federation.

We can further assume that Joachim's advice would have been to slip away and get on with the empire-building, and leave the confrontation with Kirk for a later time when Khan held a greater advantage.

("Space Seed" was aired in 1967. Obviously, the 1992-1996 time frame for Khan to rule a quarter of the Earth has come and gone.)

  • I imagine Khan could subjugate pre-warp worlds outside of the Federation boundaries even with only the Reliant and its small crew. Khan could also resort to piracy and steal more vessels, especially if he wanted to build an interstellar empire. Finding a base of operations beyond the Federation boundaries would help avoid entanglements with Star Fleet.
    – RobertF
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 15:53
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    @RobertF: Ideally, Khan might want to rule a world with higher technology, so he could build a more effective fleet for any conflict with the Federation and others. (There's the Colonel Kurtz option, where you go somewhere remote, set yourself up as god-king, and forget about civilization, but that doesn't seem like Khan's style.) Either way, Reliant's data banks would give him plenty of information on which to base his strategy. Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 16:50
  • @RoyalCanadianBandit - regarding your final note in parantheses, we already know that Star Trek diverged from OUR timeline following events in WWII. Therefore, the 90's were quite different according to ST history.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 18:56

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