January 29, 2014

Star Trek: TOS Feature Films

Warning: nerd alert! You may not want to read further of you are normal :)

Since last year I have been discovering Star Trek. I had resisted it for a surprisingly long time, but if you have any idea of how I hate to hear something being referenced and not being able to get it, you know that I had zero chances to not watch it, because references to it are EVERYWHERE! So I decided to start, and to start at the beginning. I was at first scared of the amount of stuff being shot within the franchise, but I've decided that I can just go chronologically and then stop when I'm not enjoying it anymore. Well, needless to say, I haven't stopped yet :)

In December I finished TOS, watched TAS and the six films that feature the original cast. I'm already in the second season of TNG, but I've decided to go back to the films and review them for The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

The only thing I can say about this film is that you should totally skip it if you can! While some nasty formless thing approaches Earth and threatens its existence, the old crew of Enterprise makes concentrated and tragical faces while watching the abundant display of then-cool special effects. Meanwhile, everybody have some weird psychological conflicts, and Spock is straight crazy. Everything is VERY SLOW, the plot is absent, and the ending is of the WTF kind.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Now this is a very different story! I love Khan's story from the original series, and having him in play again is a great idea! Khan is a genetically engineered tyrant, whom Kirk has left on a lifeless planet with his accomplices, and now HE IS NOT HAPPY with Kirk and the whole situation and wants revenge!! There is also the Genesis project capsule which can create new life while killing the old one, mind control eels that enter people's heads through ears, the famous three-dimensional space thinking and what not. Also, the end... You need to watch it to know what I'm talking about.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

The Search for Spock takes off immediately after the events of the previous film, and it's difficult to describe the plot without spoilers. So I'll just say that it's very funny at times, and at times sad, and totally gripping at all times! I watched it immediately after The Wrath of Khan, because the suspense was too much for me :) Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. Films II, III and IV form a trilogy, and should be watched as as such.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

After the events of The Search for Spock, the crew is left with a ramshackle Klingon ship and a prospective trial after coming back to Earth. However, Earth has other problems than to judge our insubordinate friends. An unknown and hostile object is approaching, which wants to contact whales who by the way have been extinct for many years. So apparently the only possible solution is... you knew it! to go to the past and bring some whales! I really loved all the scenes in the past, they are very funny! The crew looks really awkward in "our time" and produces a lot of unbelievable UFO stories. Also, whales! I love whales! I think I liked this film even more than The Wrath of Khan.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

After the awesomeness of the previous three films this one fell flat for me. The crew is sent to stifle a rebellion on some far-away planet and instead gets captured by non other than Spock's bad-reputed brother who needs a ship to find some divine planet where supposedly God resides. I'm not a fan of all the religious themes in Star Trek, and this plot left me indifferent.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

This film is my coeval! Apart from that and maybe also Spock playing Sherlock Holmes, the film is short of being amazing, but it's still much better than the fifth one. The plot revolves around a prospective peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, which somebody tries to jeopardize by killing the ambassador. Naturally, Kirk is accused and now has to prove his innocence while surviving on a prison camp planet. I liked how the film is finished with all the crew retiring and musing about the next generations coming after them. And TNG really is coming :)
Overall, I would put them in the following order according to their awesomeness (from the best to the worst):
  1. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  3. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  4. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  5. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  6. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Have you watched them? What do you think? :)


  1. Star Trek movies!! Yay!! We are also doing the TOS intro here for my 13yo daughter, who wants to see the reboot movies and is not allowed until she has at least watched TOS and the Wrath of Khan. *evil grin*

    My opinions: I and V are utterly skippable and bad. II is great, III OK and a must-watch, and IV is hilarious. (I love to quote Chekhov. "Now would be a good time.") VI is also quite good, and funny.

    So how are you liking the original series? We are having a good time watching them, although the plots centered around dopey girls are generally pretty awful. Argh, the 60s.

    1. I really enjoyed some of TOS episodes, especially the funny ones (tribbles!!). McCoy and Spock are the best. I'm not really a fan of Kirk with all his women, but he is usually OK as well. The treatment of women is horrible, of course. In this sense, TNG is much better, as female characters are much more interesting there. Let's see if it gets even better in the further seasons:)

      I think you are totally right to start introducing Star Trek to your daughter with TOS! It is sometimes simplistic and naive, but it's classic and fun :) Moreover, going back to it after getting used to more refined special effects of the later series may be disappointing. BTW, are you watching the remastered version? What they have done to make TOS look fresher is awesome!

    2. Yes, we are watching the remastered ones on Netflix. They are pretty nice! Though sometimes I feel like they went a bit overboard (I do feel like the Doomsday device should look more like the doofy production that it was), for the most part it's not too much.

    3. Well, as this was the first time I saw TOS, I don't have any nostalgia for the old special effects, so it's totally OK with me :) I also watched the production movie where they explained how they did all this, and it's amazing!

  2. :) Glad you're enjoying them. I was thinking of starting all over from the beginning sometime soon, too. But I'm in the middle of watching Doctor Who straight-through at the moment, and I haven't seen most of THEM. So, I need to focus. Hope you continue to enjoy!

    1. There is something in binge-watching all the seasons from the beginning, right? :) Although I could never see the merits of Dr Who... Maybe I should try again some day :)

  3. Hurrah, another Trekkie!! :) I've seen most of TOS, TNG, Into Darkness, and these films I-IV. In fact, I just saw Voyage Home recently, and agree it was better than Wrath of Khan. My favorite so far is Search for Spock, especially because of Lt. Saavik, one of the better female characters. :)

    1. Saavik is great! Especially considering what an insignificant role women usually play in TOS

  4. Let's embrace all the nerdiness. In the end of the last year I also decided to start watching all the episodes of the original Star Trek from the beginning, but now there has been a little pause, it's a good reminder to resume :)

    1. I make pauses now and then when I'm busy or watching something else... I think it's even better that way, at least you don't get tired :)

  5. So now you are to face the most difficult question: Kirk or Picard? In the end there can only be one...
    I should totally try the franchise! Like you I would start in chronological order.

    1. Picard, of course!!!! He is just sooo much more cute and reasonable! :))


Share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...