What was this original plan in which Khan going to the Klingon homeworld made good sense to Khan and Marcus both, though? It seems that the only reason for Khan to go there is to act as an excuse for a war - so if he's doing what Marcus wants, he should be trying to start a war. Sure, he guns down a lot of Klingons, but that's after
he parts ways with Marcus...
Once the new torps are in play, Khan gambles on Kirk taking him in and not killing him. When Kirk confirms the number of torps, it confirms Khan's theory that Marcus has sold him out.
Yes, Khan asks how many torps. If the count is any less
than 72, he has failed in his own personal plan of rescuing all of his disciples. If it's more
than 72, the weapons might not be the ones he designed, but some other random ordnance. But if it's exactly
72, they must be the cryocapsules - and only two people could have arranged for the cryocapsules to be shipped to Khan that way. One is Marcus, in control of everything (at least in his own opinion). The other is Khan, but only if he has cunningly planned for every step of this operation from the very start...
...And if he has, this cannot be the original plan of Marcus, because any plan that involves 72 "long range torpedoes" being fired at Qo'noS will involve Khan's death and thus isn't something Marcus could sell to Khan. So, what's going on?
Originally, I thought this was a Marcus scheme:
- Khan revolts and escapes
- Marcus decides to kill two birds with one stone, and tells Kirk to threaten Khan with 72 long range torpedoes
- Khan will get the hint that these torpedoes in fact are execution devices for Khan's followers, devised as such by the nefarious Marcus, and so he will either surrender or be directly responsible for getting his own followers killed
But then I actually saw the movie, and Khan takes credit for placing the stiffs in the torps. So it must be Khan who organizes the whole thing of Kirk transporting them to Klingon space and into safety, while Marcus is kept in the dark. It must be a long term plan, then: Khan must convince Marcus to build/refit a starship that has launch facilities for exactly 72 torps, then build the fake torps, then convince Marcus to give a go-ahead to a plan that involves a gullible captain taking that ship and the "torps" to a location where Khan can acquire them.
So, again, what is
that plan? What sort of bull did Khan feed to Marcus here? There are two plans that both seem to make sense, but don't.
1) A renegade Khan is a good excuse for sending the gullible captain to start the war. But Marcus won't accept a plan that involves Khan going renegade for real, and Marcus in turn knows that Khan won't accept a plan that involves the superagent pretending to go renegade and then serving as a target for weapons of mass destruction.
2) Sending the gullible captain to start the war is straightforward - but doesn't work unless there's a decoy there to lure him into attacking. So why install the weapons in the ship of a gullible captain? Why not install them aboard the Vengeance
, which will fire them and then successfully escape? Starfleet will be blamed for the first shots anyway, but at least this way Starfleet wouldn't be one ship short.
I guess there could be a clever third option that the writers wanted to suggest, but I'm just not seeing it.