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Star Trek's Khan Is Returning To The Franchise In A New Story Set Before Star Trek II

Despite the sheer number of villains who have appeared throughout the many installations of the "Star Trek" franchise, there's no doubt that the greatest antagonist the series has ever seen is Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán) — the malevolent superhuman who made his debut in the classic "Star Trek" episode "Space Seed." After suffering defeat at the hands of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise, Khan would later return to enact his vengeance in the film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," which would infamously lead to the death of series staple Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

The immense devastation that Khan wreaked throughout "The Wrath of Khan" catapulted the character to the very top of the "Star Trek" rogues' gallery, and more than 40 years later, he remains the most well-known villain in the entire franchise – and one of the most iconic antagonists in science fiction history. Indeed, Khan is so popular that he was even brought back to the franchise through 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness," where he was played by Benedict Cumberbatch and given a completely new backstory.

Now, it seems like Khan will be returning to the franchise once again through "Star Trek's" first ever scripted podcast; in a brand new story that will explore his 15 years of exile on the Ceti Alpha V.

The original Khan is returning in a new scripted podcast

Longtime fans of "Star Trek" will remember that, following Khan's defeat in "Space Seed," Captain Kirk exiled the villain to Ceti Alpha V with the majority of his followers – where he would spend the next 15 years biding his time before the events of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Now, a new scripted podcast from "Wrath of Khan" director Nicholas Meyer will explore exactly what happened during those years of exile.

"Nick made the definitive 'Trek' movie when he made 'Wrath,' and we've all been standing in its shadow since," said producer Alex Kurtzman in a September 2022 press release. "Now he's come up with something as surprising, gripping and emotional as the original, and it's a real honor to be able to let him tell the next chapter in this story exactly the way he wants to" (via Gizmodo).

The podcast, titled "Star Trek: Khan – Ceti Alpha V," is set to arrive sometime in early 2023, though as of right now we still don't have a concrete release date for this exciting new project; nor do we know who will be voicing the titular villain (via IGN). We do know that the podcast will tell the story of exactly what Khan and his followers were up to during their lengthy exile on Ceti Alpha, and Kurtzman's comments make it clear that this prequel story will be well worth the time of anybody who tunes in. In any case, the return of Khan to the franchise should be something that every longtime "Star Trek" fan ought to be excited for.