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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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3,294 ( 1,069)
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

Paramount was originally going to reboot Star Trek as a TV series called Star Trek Phase II on their own network. Leonard Nimoy refused to return as Spock as he was doing live theater, had legal disputes with Paramount, and wanted to distance himself from the character. David Gautreaux was cast as a new Vulcan character, Xon, to replace Nimoy. Paramount then scrapped the TV series and planned a movie, given the success of Star Wars. When Nimoy signed on again as Spock, Gautreaux was given the role of Commander Branch on the Epsilon 9 station. See more »

Goofs

When V'Ger's energy probe is on the Enterprise's bridge, there is a mismatch between the sides of the screen on each side of the probe e.g. the handrail near view screen does not match up - the left hand side of the rail is higher than the right hand side. 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, the 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 long 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 explosion of V'Ger 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 subwarp 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

Spoofed in The Lego Movie (2014) 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

 
A different kind of Star Trek
20 March 2007 | by The_Other_SnowmanSee all my reviews

I recently watched this movie for the first time in ten or fifteen years. When I was younger I thought this one was even worse than Star Trek V, because as bad as "The Final Frontier" was, at least it had some action and colour.

The version I just saw wasn't the new Director's Edition, just the old video, but I was still completely surprised by just about everything -- partly because I hadn't seen it in so long, and partly because it's so totally different from all the following Trek movies. I even kinda liked the silly space pajamas everyone wears.

After this, the movie series turned to action-oriented stories, a more militaristic look and feel, and infinitely less challenging concepts. True, the pacing of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" drags in parts, and the behavior of its stars is a little cold and stiff. But instead of treating us with space battles and phaser shootouts, it gives us long, loving shots of the newly revamped starship Enterprise, and instead of rather tawdry plots grounded in mundane reality, it takes us on a metaphysical voyage into an unknown, bizarre, and palpably huge alien device. The relationship of the three main characters has changed a little after several years apart, and they're each getting used to things all over again: Kirk has to deal with the unfamiliar new ship; Spock, after trying to purge his emotions, must confront his human half; and McCoy is "shanghaied" out of retirement for the trip. Decker and Ilia, the new characters, provide enough interest that they were virtually resurrected as Riker and Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The sense of scale is important. The cloud surrounding V'Ger is gigantic, and the ship at the heart of the cloud is a whole world to itself. The Enterprise must fly into the cloud and communicate with the ship, and it's the only time in any of the ten movies that the heroes actually confront something new and unknown. This was a staple of the original show, and some of the best episodes of the spin-off series. The subsequent films were content with setting their battles and chases in space, but "Star Trek I" actually wants to explore that space. The question at the centre of the film, posed by Spock, is "Is this all we are? Is there nothing more?" Kirk, Spock, and V'Ger are all searching for an answer to that question.

However, the thing that definitely drags the film down is the sound. The red alert blares every other minute, and mechanical computer voice-overs announce just about everything they possibly can. In the process of updating the ship, they've emphasized the computers and mechanics of the vessel in a way they never had before or since, and the effect is jarring and interesting at the same time. The Enterprise is much more of a physical ship traveling in space, and less of a device to facilitate storytelling.

The visual effects are amazing enough to warrant some digital cleaning, and the movie should be seen in widescreen, preferably on a large television.

It's too bad that this movie wasn't more of a success, because I would like to see more Star Trek in this style. After many years and many TV shows, I admit I've gotten a little tired of space battles.

UPDATE: I recently watched the Director's Edition DVD. The sound effects are fixed, and the film has been re-edited to tighten the pace ever so slightly. The changes made are not on the level of the Star Wars special editions, but they do make the movie more watchable. It's a little more coherent now, and I like it even more.


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