"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" producer Robert Sallin shares some photos and images from his personal archives, including some of the concept drawings for the ear creature.
Robert Sallin had a successful career as a director of television commercials under his belt when he signed on with Paramount to produce "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." His experience in commercials helped him immensely when it came to keeping the production on a tight budget and steering the direction for the film's special effects. While the new film "Star Trek Into Darkness" takes quite a few detours, it is full of homages to the earlier work.
This cast and crew photo on set from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" features William Shatner (Captain Kirk) and Ricardo Montalban (Khan) seated in the center of the front row. Spock's sarcophagus is in front while Shatner holds up a photo of Leonard Nimoy. Producer Robert Sallin is seated next to Montalban.
The nightmare-inducing earwig-like creature from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" came from Sallin. He stepped outside to pick up his newspaper in the morning and saw a slug. That slug became the inspiration for the Ceti Eel that Khan places into Chekov and Terrell's ears. This concept drawing by Ken Ralston at Industrial Light & Magic was one of more than a dozen different ideas for the look of the eel.
"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" producer Robert Sallin didn't care for the initial concept of Khan's mind-control creature attaching to the victim's neck or back, so he came up with an alternate idea. Visual-effects artist Ken Ralston at Industrial Light & Magic came up with more than a dozen concept drawings for the eel. This is concept No. 11.
This concept drawing for the Ceti Eel in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" wasn't used for the final production. It is one of more than a dozen drawings created by Ken Ralston at Industrial Light & Magic. Producer Robert Sallin got the idea for the creature after seeing a slug on his walkway one morning.
This concept drawing of the Ceti Eel mind-control creature from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is the design that was used for the film. The nightmare-inducing eel enters into its victim's ear. Khan used it to control Chekov and Captain Terrell in order to take command of their ship. Producer Robert Sallin particularly enjoyed hearing a woman in the audience at a screening announce, "That's the grossest thing I've ever seen!"
The Ceti Eel creature from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" took control of its victims by entering into their ears. Producer Robert Sallin came up with the concept. Filming was done with a plastic model on Walker Koenig's (Chekov) actual face. The shot of the Ceti Eel actually entering his ear was done at Industrial Light & Magic with an oversize model of Chekov's ear.
Robert Sallin's duties as producer of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" involved a lot of hands-on work with the film, including finding a director and overseeing special effects. His previous experience as a director of more than 2,000 commercials came in handy with keeping the production on a tight budget. This is is his Paramount Studios ID card.
"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" ends with Spock's body being shot in a sarcophagus to the surface of the Genesis Planet. Producer Robert Sallin decided to film the Genesis planet on location at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. "We physically wrapped ivy and put in ferns where there were no ferns," he says. "We made it look like another place. I had a wind machine brought up."
Robert Sallin, producer of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," tried to keep the film's script secret, but word got out about the plan for Spock's death. Fans were incredibly upset. The outcry may have helped lead to Leonard Nimoy's decision to return to the franchise for the next movie. Sallin kept this clipping from a Wall Street Journal article about the fan reaction. He even received an anonymous death threat from a misguided fan.