Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Poster

Alternate Versions

On 6 November 2001, a Director's Edition supervised by Robert Wise was released on DVD and wide-screen VHS, running 136 minutes. The material added to the film consists of the following:
  • The landscape of Vulcan was changed to include a yellowish sky and new landscape featuring massive statues. All other footage was tinted gold.

  • The matte painting of the Golden Gate Bridge in the scene where Kirk arrives at Starfleet Headquarters was replaced by a new CGI scene that shows Kirk's shuttle arriving at Starfleet. It is actually slightly longer than the original version.

  • The matte painting of Starfleet Command was improved with CGI effects, including an original series shuttle launched in the background.

  • In a close-up shot when Kirk first sees the new Enterprise from his shuttle, image of the ship was superimposed over Kirk's face as a reflection in the shuttle's window.

  • After Kirk leaves the bridge a short conversation between Sulu, Uhura and an alien officer was inserted.

  • A newly shot scene with a female officer on the transporter room informing Kirk that Dr. McCoy "refused to step into the platform" was inserted before the Doctor beams up.

  • A new CGI shot of the Earth is shown on the view screen when the Enterprise leaves the planet.

  • A new CGI effect showing one of the Enterprise's nacelles was inserted into the window when Kirk, Spock and McCoy talk on the observation deck.

  • A new CGI shot was inserted which shows V'Ger's second energy torpedo vanishing before it could strike the Enterprise.

  • The energy probe that invades the bridge now approaches in a CGI exterior shot.

  • A new CGI shot shows the V'Ger vessel entering Earth orbit.

  • The scene in which Chekov burns his hand is much longer and shows Lt. Ilia healing him with her empathic powers instead of Nurse Chapel.

  • The walk to V'Ger was totally redone. There is now a walkway that materializes out of thin air, compared to the endless "field" in the original version.

  • The Enterprise's voyage to the center of V'Ger is slightly extended. It has a scene of Spock sharing a tear "for V'Ger" and Scotty ordered to self-destruct the ship if the landing party is unsuccessful.

  • The small black "empty matte" in the window when Decker and Ilia confront each other in the recreation deck was replaced with a CGI shot of the V'Ger cloud interior.

  • The final V'Ger explosion was slightly extended. The shot from the original version remained intact, but a new element of the vessel imploding its energy for the explosion was added.

  • New opening titles were commissioned for the opening of the film. The opening titles now have a slight fading effect and are now seen over a background of stars. The text is colored a bright gold, compared to the original version's white.

  • The explosion in the wormhole was redone. There is now an exterior shot of the asteroid exploding and the wormhole disintegrating. Additionally, the viewfinder in the next shot is enhanced to show sparks and debris.

  • The final message to the audience, "The human adventure is just beginning", was altered. In the original version, the star field cuts away to a blank title card showing the text. In the Director's Edition, the star field was extended by a few seconds to allow the text, colored bright gold, to fade into the picture.

  • The end credits were slightly altered. The text, as with the opening titles and the final "human adventure" text, was changed color, from white to a bright gold. Additionally, the music was slightly extended to add new Director's Edition credits.

  • An all-new sound mix was commissioned, keeping the music and dialog intact, and adding new effects for almost all scenes. For example, Enterprise Computer voice alarms are now replaced with klaxon sirens, the lightning effects have new echoes, and a blend of Enterprise bridge sound effects from the original Star Trek series, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country have been added into the background of scenes taking place on the bridge. The new mix is in Dolby 5.1 EX Surround.

  • The footage from 1979 was digitally restored and remastered, and combined with the new CGI elements.

  • The opening overture has been restored to its full length. It is also played over a CGI star field, rather than the blank screen in the original.

  • A slight dialog alteration was made: In the 1979 and 1983 versions, the V'Ger cloud is said to be "over 82 AUs in diameter" which equals 7.626 billion miles across- much too large for the Enterprise to realistically travel to the heart of the cloud at sub-warp speeds within a reasonable length of time. For the Director's Edition, the Epsilon commander's dialog was altered so that the cloud is now said to be a (somewhat) more reasonable "over 2 AUs", or 186 million miles.

  • The producers of the Director's Cut submitted the film for re-rating by the MPAA, hoping for a PG rating rather than the original G rating which they believed carried a negative association; the basis for the higher rating was the intensified soundtrack. Oddly, when the original theatrical version was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2009, it carried no MPAA rating.

In addition to the digitally enhanced landscape during the Vulcan scene, the 2001 Director's Edition used a different take of the close-up of Spock as the High Master initiates the mind meld than the one in the original theatrical version. For some reason, this alternate take was also used in the 2009 Blu-ray of the otherwise theatrical cut.
Some scenes from the theatrical cut were also slightly edited for the Director's Edition. Details are:
  • Some of the Klingon vessel footage at the beginning of the film is trimmed. Specifically, when the Klingon captain is sitting in his chair, and when the Klingon captain asks for a visual.

  • In the same scene, a large amount of footage in the Epsilon 9 station is cut, mostly of the computer relaying voice information.

  • After the transporter accident, Kirk's line of "Oh, my God" is cut.

  • Some of the briefing footage is trimmed. Notably, after Epsilon 9's destruction, Kirk now says "Viewer off" only once instead of twice.

  • Decker's reaction to Ilia's presence aboard the ship is trimmed by 1 second.

  • A shot of an Enterprise instrument powering down is cut and replaced with a shortened version of a scene where Ilia and Decker exchange glances and smile.

  • Some of the wormhole explosion reaction shots have been trimmed/cut; notably, Chekov's line "We're out of it" is removed.

  • The shot of Kirk leaving for the Bridge as the Enterprise enters the V'Ger cloud is trimmed.

  • After Chekov burns his hand, some footage is re-arranged, cut or replaced.

  • When the energy torpedo powers down, Sulu's remark "The new screens held" is removed.

  • A large amount of shots of V'Ger's interior are trimmed for pacing.

  • After Ilia's capture by V'Ger, some footage relating to the Enterprise's being held by a tractor beam is trimmed/cut.

  • When Spock arms his thruster pack, the computer's relaying of instructions on how to use it is removed.

  • Spock's sickbay scene is slightly trimmed.

  • When the vessel approaches Earth, some footage is trimmed/cut. Also, some footage of Kirk reasoning with the probe is cut.

  • A shot of the Ilia-probe turning her head near V'Ger is trimmed.

Network TV and pan-and-scan home video versions run 143 minutes. Here is the added footage:
  • Decker asks Sulu to take Ilia "in hand". He then gives her a brief explanation of the computer. Ilia reminds Sulu of her celibacy oath, and Decker tells Ilia "the captain didn't mean anything personally", and Ilia says she'd never take advantage of a sexually immature species.

  • After the wormhole, and after Decker, Bones, and Kirk depart for quarters, there is another short Sulu/Ilia exchange about current speed and current heading. Ilia then confirms it. Both these scenes were apparently shot to provide a sense of romance between the two, but were cut to clear up Decker's same relation.

  • Rather than Kirk saying, "Make your point, Doctor" when discussing the obsession with the Enterprise, there is one brief exchange, and McCoy gives his line in a medium shot, rather than a shot of the two standing side-by-side.

  • During the attack on the Enterprise, the ship actually gets hit by an extra energy torpedo. We hear it, and the lighting also suggests it, but we never see it. Some minor scene extensions are added. There is also an alternate take of Spock's analysis.

  • There is a short scene in which Spock reveals the frequency of V'Ger's transmission. This appears in the Director's Edition.

  • Decker takes over Chekov after his hand is burned, and a female crew member takes over for him. Decker goes to help Spock, and we return to the theatrical footage of the second (or third) energy torpedo being fired.

  • Chekov returns to his post after a humorous exchange from Bones, and Spock reveals that V'Ger emits more radiation than the Sun.

  • The famous footage of Kirk shadowing Spock during the space walk sequence is included.

  • There is an alternate take when Nurse Chapel gives the Ilia-probe Ilia's headband.

  • The Ilia-probe mentions the creator is "on the third planet". She then removes the headbands, and asks why two carbon units have entered V'Ger. Bones replies that they wish to contact it. Decker asks if V'Ger has a problem with that, and Ilia says no. V'Ger will find out their purpose. Bones says it is to survive, and Ilia says it's V'Ger's purpose as well to survive. Decker implies that V'Ger's purpose was to find and join with the creator, and Ilia replies that is how V'Ger will survive.

  • Bones says V'Ger says its creator is a machine, to which Decker replies "We all create God in our own image".

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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