To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral James T. Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to San Francisco in 1986 to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it: humpback whales.


Leonard Nimoy


Gene Roddenberry (based on "Star Trek" created by), Leonard Nimoy (story) | 5 more credits »
4,215 ( 389)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
William Shatner ... Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Spock
DeForest Kelley ... McCoy
James Doohan ... Scotty
George Takei ... Sulu
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Jane Wyatt ... Amanda
Catherine Hicks ... Gillian
Mark Lenard ... Sarek
Robin Curtis ... Lt. Saavik
Robert Ellenstein ... Federation Council President
John Schuck ... Klingon Ambassador
Brock Peters ... Admiral Cartwright
Michael Snyder Michael Snyder ... Starfleet Communications Officer


The most acclaimed Star Trek adventure of all time with an important message. It is the 23rd century, and a mysterious alien probe is threatening Earth by evaporating the oceans and destroying the atmosphere. In their frantic attempt to save mankind, Admiral Kirk and his crew must time travel back to 1986 San Francisco where they find a world of punk, pizza and exact-change buses that are as alien to them as anything they have ever encountered in the far-off reaches of the galaxy. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy return as Kirk and Spock, along with the entire Star Trek crew. Written by Robert Lynch <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only the technology of the future, can save what's endangering the past. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


On planet Vulcan, Scotty informs Admiral Kirk that the reparations of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey are easy, but reading the Klingon language is difficult. This is a deliberate in-joke after James Doohan introduced the Klingon language for the first time in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). See more »


At the end of the movie, Kirk says "out of control and blind as a bat". In reality, bats are not blind at all. They use sonar and they use it very effectively and it is more efficient then human sight. See more »


Kirk: Our mission? Spock, you're talking about the end of every life on Earth! You're half human.
Kirk: Haven't you got any goddamn feelings about THAT?
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Crazy Credits

The ending credits play on top of photos and clips from the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian and Germany release summaries mentioned above (they are the same) also included music unique to the prologue. This prologue has not been included on any North American DVD release of the film. See more »


Theme From Star Trek (TV Series)
by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Fun Star Trek film is also the least "Trek" of all the films
16 January 2018 | by a_chinnSee all my reviews

This is likely the Star Trek film with the widest appeal, in that it's essentially a fish-out-of-water comedy with a little sci-fi thrown in. An unknown ship is approaching earth, broadcasting an indecipherable message, and destroying all planets in it's wake. The Enterprise crew figures out that the message is whale sounds, except that whales have been extinct for hundreds of years, so there's no one left to answer the ship. This leads our intrepid crew to slingshot around the sun to travel back in time in order to bring a whale to the future to save future earth. Once in modern day San Francisco (or 1980s San Francisco), the crew has a series of humorous encounters with cars, money, and punk rockers, while trying to secure a whale. It's all quite funny and entertaining, but it's not very "Trek." The characters are all still the characters we know and love, but the story is pretty much "Crocodile Dundee" "Coming to America" or "The Out-of-Towners" except with the Star Trek crew out of their element. But not to be too dismissive, it is a lot of fun and is never boring, which is more than can be said of most Star Trek films, which tend to be pretty hit-or-miss. The film also get bonus points for including my favorite Go-Go, Jane Wiedlin as an Alien Communications Officer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Finnish

Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Trek IV: The Adventure Continues See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,881,888, 30 November 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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