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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

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When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk resumes command of the overhauled USS Enterprise in order to intercept it.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Gene Roddenberry (based on Star Trek created by), Harold Livingston (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3,557 ( 1,075)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Shatner ... Capt. James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
James Doohan ... Scotty
George Takei ... Sulu
Majel Barrett ... Dr. Chapel
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Persis Khambatta ... Ilia
Stephen Collins ... Decker
Grace Lee Whitney ... Janice Rand
Mark Lenard ... Klingon Captain
Billy Van Zandt ... Alien Boy
Roger Aaron Brown ... Epsilon Technician
Gary Faga Gary Faga ... Airlock Technician
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Storyline

A massive alien spacecraft of enormous power destroys three powerful Klingon cruisers, entering Federation space. Admiral James T. Kirk is ordered to take command of the USS Enterprise for the first time since her historic five-year mission. The Epsilon IX space station alerts the Federation, but they are also destroyed by the alien spacecraft. The only starship in range is the Enterprise, after undergoing a major overhaul at Spacedock on Earth. Kirk rounds up the rest of his crew, and acquires some new members, and sets off to intercept the alien spacecraft. However, it has been three years since Kirk last commanded the Enterprise - is he up to the task of saving Earth? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The human adventure is just beginning See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Startrek.com

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Klingon

Release Date:

8 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,926,421, 9 December 1979, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$82,258,456

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$139,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX (director's cut)| Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Wise and Jon Povill, the Associate Producer, the released film was essentially a rough cut that no one had seen in its entirety before shipping. Wise completed the final cut a day before the premiere. See more »

Goofs

In several shots of the Enterprise, travel pods and various other exterior shots, there are lights on surfaces that have no apparent light source being shone upon impossible angles to be lit from a source from the object. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Klingon captain: [giving an order in Klingon] Tactical...
See more »

Crazy Credits

End title: "The human adventure is just beginning." See more »

Alternate Versions

On November 6, 2001, the Director's Edition supervised by Robert Wise was released on DVD and widescreen 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 viewscreen 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 speak 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 film's opening. 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 starfield cuts away to a blank title card showing the text. In the Director's Edition, the starfield was extended by a few seconds to allow the text, colored bright gold, to fade into the picture.
  • The ending 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, the 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 starfield, rather than the blank screen in the original version.
  • 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 9 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 Edition 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.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from 'Star Trek: The television Series'
Written by Alexander Courage and Gene Roddenberry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Who is 'VGER'?
5 March 2000 | by whitepeSee all my reviews

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the first film in the Star Trek series, the most successful series in movie history. After all, the fact that a movie series can hold the public's interest for 21 years (and nine films) and that the whole Star Trek concept is alive and well after over 30 years says something about the genius of Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's creator.

People seem to cricitize this film heavily. Some of the criticisms of the film that I have heard in my discussions with people include phrases such as "frightfully boring," "way too long," and "chronically lacking in action." However, if that is all you saw in the film, then you clearly missed out on the film's beauty. This film is not about guns, explosions, blood, or machismo. It is about the philosophical relationship between logic and emotion.

The film is masterfully directed by Robert Wise, the academy award winning director of "The Sound of Music." The film reunites the original cast of the Star Trek series with a few new faces ... Stephen Collins as "Capt. Decker" and Persis Khambata as "Lt. Ilia". It also recaps the events that have transpired in each original series character since the television series in the late 60's with a sensitivity to newcomers to the Star Trek universe. It effectively introduces newcomers to Star Trek without insulting the intelligence of those of us who are thoroughly familiar with Star Trek.

The plot features an intelligent, logical entity that calls itself VGER. VGER is an innocent entity with one mission ... "learn all that is learnable... transmit that information to the creator." VGER in its incredible journey has in essence gained knowledge that spans the very essence of the universe. VGER now has set a course for Earth in an attempt to share its knowledge with its creator. VGER believes that its creator is on Earth.

VGER becomes a threat to life on Earth when its destroys three Klignon vessels and a Federation space station with incredible destructive power. To counter this threat, Admiral Kirk takes command of the Enterprise and leads the Enterprise in an intriguing battle with this alien entity.

While battling this alien entity, Admiral Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew learn about the relationship between human logic and emotion. They explore philosophical issues such as "Is this all that I am?" and "Is there nothing more?". I believe Spock summarizes the quest for answers to these questions by his statement about two-thirds of the way into the film that indicates that "logic alone is not enough". They eventually learn to appreciate the unique attributes that make us human ... "our weaknesses ... and the drive that compels us to overcome them."

In conclusion, this film has a great plot, great special effects, and excellent music and cinematography. Definitely see it if you are truly interested in taking a philosophical journey into the essence of what makes us human.


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