According to my recollection there have been a total of twelve feature films in the Star Trek franchise. Beginning in 1979 to the present release 2013. That’s thirty-four years of boldly going where (at first it was ‘no man’ but became…) no one has gone before and I’m not even counting the tv show’s initial start in the 1966 that spawned countless spin offs!
And the crazy part is, I’ve scene every single one of them at the movie theaters. That is so messed up. I really am a scifi geek. But I blame my dad for that cause I was born a scifi geek, I was converted! That’s an entirely different post…
6. Star Trek III-- The Search for Spock
Wait, they actually killed off Kirk’s son? Spock isn’t dead any more. Yay!! The action was pretty good too.
5. Star Trek II-- The Wrath of Khan
It made me cry and showed how much they all cared for each other as friends. The pain, Kirk endured upon watching Spock die- like I said it made me cry.
4 .Star Trek IV-- the Voyage Home
A perennial favorite they are best friends and family all rolled into one. They know each other care for each other and have repartee all their own. And poor Spock, he’s half gone, half their because of the soul/brain transplant he’s just under gone- he’s hilarious as he tags along with Kirk just generally being himself- very straight faced yet backing every bit of Kirk’s play. At this point they’ve been together so long they’ve dropped pretty much all pretense of a military structure it’s like visiting old friends. Oh and did I mention the great environmental message that is the center of the story?
3. Star Trek VI-- The Undiscovered Country
Arguably the most introspective of the Star Trek movies to date it examines so many issues from resistance to change, to getting old and bigotry.
The last movie in the series for the original cast, it is the ultimate swan song. It was as if the writers, director, cast and producers knew it was time for them to move on and they did it in style including the personal signatures featured in the end credits.
In this film, the main crew members are old and grizzled on the verge of retirement. One has actually left in favor of his own command- Sulu.
In a surprise turn of events they are called to extend an olive branch of peace to a group of people whom they’ve considered their enemies for their entire career.
Instead of becoming sullen and morose and possibly melodramatic, the tone was humorous and respectful of the simmering anger that all the characters felt for having to ‘deal with each other under the circumstances.’
Though the serious were many a few of my funny tid bits from the movie perfectly frame and lesson the underlying bigotry that many of the crew feel towards their Klingon frienemies. For instance, two Federation guards, who by the way are instruments of a bigger conspiracy by the Klingons and Federation officers to keep up the Cold War, are discussing the appearance of the Klingon delegation on board the Enterprise.
One of them says, “Did you get a load of that smell?”
The other replies, “They all look alike.”
“Only Top of the Line Models can speak.”
I mean you can mine this movie for years regarding its examination of prejudice in society.
And then there were the quotes from Shakespeare along with Elizabethan in design uniforms all speaking to Kirk’s torturous choice between devil of serving a cause he does not believe or disobeying a group he has spent his entire defending.
From the examination of bigotry and fear of change to the use of great literature to hone the point that this is an eternal human condition is astounding.
The people around them are the most human and identifiable to the people we are like in contemporary American and/or human society…not to say all of contemporary human society is represented by American society…
Leonard Nimoy was an Executive Producer and contributor of the story development.
2. Star Trek-- 2009
I didn’t expect to like it at first. And then I saw it and it was action packed, updated, yet true to the heart of the series. The characters were young and full of passion. The story was engaging and deep. I was like- Yes J.J. and the gang- great job. Bring on more. And it helped that Spock and Kirk were kinda hot too. Never thought of them that way before. He also promised to readjust to the story line.
1. Star Trek: Into Darkness--2013
JJ Abrams swan song as director for the series, I think. I loved. In my opinion better than the first. Continues the story line whilst revisiting some of the stuff in the original cast’s movie series. And Khan played by Benedict Cumberbatch-- Dayum! Hot!
After the first viewing I stopped rooting for Kirk and the gang and switch sides. Team Khan! Oh wait did I say that out loud? Although not as popular as the first by many hardcore trekkies and in general in the American domestic box office, it was still good and worthy of praise.
The connections he made between the two, ‘farewells,’ (his and the original casts were so call. I’ve seen it referred to by meany fans on the net as ’Easter Eggs)
Some of them are Sulu in command… not quite like Undiscovered Country but reminiscent.
Surgery on a Torpedo between Spock and McCoy…. In ST:ID surgery on torpedo between Mccoy and Dr. Marcus and Mccoy and Spock.
There’s a shot of the Klingon Homeworld\, where Khan has taken refuge. Next to it, we see the Klingon moon, Praxis. It appears partially destroyed. (Despite the fact that in the original series, it was completely destroyed decades later due to over mining.)
I’m sure there are many more but those are the fun ones I can think of now, aside from bringing in the Khan story line but that was in the second movie of the original series but an Easter Egg nonetheless.
It was a great movie and Benedict, who portrays a modernized Sherlock Holmes on the BBC or PBS depending on where you watch it, hit it out the park with his ferocity, yet desired to protect his family.
I recommend you see it as soon as you can! And then whip out the DVD’s and play the original movies and see if you can pick out the connections.
Live Long and Prosper