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    Star Trek - The Original Movies


    Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry first suggested the idea of a Star Trek feature film in 1969. When the original television series was cancelled, he lobbied to continue the franchise through a film. The success of the series in syndication convinced the studio to begin work on a feature film in 1975. A series of writers attempted to craft a suitably epic screenplay, but the attempts did not satisfy Paramount, so the studio scrapped the project in 1977. Paramount instead planned to return the franchise to its roots with a new television series (Phase II). The massive worldwide box office success of Star Wars in mid-1977 sent Hollywood studios to their vaults in search of similar sci-fi properties that could be adapted or re-launched to the big screen. Following the huge opening of Columbia's Close Encounters of the Third Kind in late December 1977, production of Phase II was cancelled in favour of making a Star Trek film.

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)star_trek_the_motion_picture.jpg

    A massive energy cloud from deep space heads toward Earth, leaving destruction in its wake, and the Enterprise must intercept it to determine what lies within, and what its intent might be.

    The movie borrows many elements from ‘The Changeling’ of the original series and ‘One of Our Planets Is Missing’ from the animated series. Principal photography commenced on August 7, 1978 with director Robert Wise helming the feature. The production encountered difficulties and slipped behind schedule, with effects team Robert Abel and Associates proving unable to handle the film's large amount of effects work. Douglas Trumbull was hired and given a blank check to complete the effects work in time and location; the final cut of the film was completed just in time for the film's premiere. The film introduced an upgrade to the technology and Starship designs, making for a dramatic visual departure from the original series. Many of the set elements created for Phase II were adapted and enhanced for use in the first feature films. It received mixed reviews from critics; while it grossed $139 million the price tag had climbed to about $45 million due to costly effects work and delays.

    Click/Tap the poster image to view the movie in detail

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)star_trek_II_the_wrath_of_khan.jpg

    Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), whom Kirk thwarted in his attempt to seize control of the Enterprise fifteen years earlier (‘Space Seed’), seeks his revenge on the Admiral and lays a cunning and sinister trap.

    The Motion Picture's gross was considered disappointing, but it was enough for Paramount to back a sequel with a reduced budget. After Roddenberry pitched a film in which the crew of the Enterprise goes back in time to ensure the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he was kicked upstairs to a ceremonial role while Paramount brought in television producer Harve Bennett to craft a better and cheaper film than the first. After watching all the television episodes, Bennett decided that the character Khan Noonien Singh was the perfect villain for the new film. Director Nicholas Meyer finished a complete screenplay in just twelve days and did everything possible within budget to make The Wrath of Khan.  Upon release, the reception of The Wrath of Khan was highly positive; Entertainment Weekly's Mark Bernadin called The Wrath of Khan ‘the film that, by most accounts, saved Star Trek as we know it’.

    Both the first and second films have television versions with additional footage and alternate takes that affect the storyline. Especially notable in The Wrath of Khan is footage establishing that a crew member who acts courageously and dies during an attack on the Enterprise is Scotty's nephew.

    Click/Tap the poster image to view the movie in detail

    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)star_trek_III_the_search_for_spock.jpg

    The plot picks up shortly after the conclusion of the previous film. When McCoy begins acting irrationally, Kirk learns that Spock, in his final moments, transferred his katra, his living spirit, to the doctor. To save McCoy from emotional ruin, Kirk and crew steal the Enterprise and violate the quarantine of the Genesis Planet to retrieve Spock, his body regenerated by the rapidly dying planet itself, in the hope that body and soul can be re-joined. However, bent on obtaining the secret of Genesis for themselves, a renegade Klingon (Christopher Lloyd) and his crew interfere, with deadly consequences.

    Meyer declined to return for the next film, so directing duties were given to cast member Leonard Nimoy. Paramount gave Bennett the green light to write Star Trek III the day after The Wrath of Khan opened. The producer penned a resurrection story for Spock that built on threads from the previous film and the original series episode ‘Amok Time’.

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    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)star_trek_IV_the_voyage_home.jpg

    While returning to stand court-martial for their actions in rescuing Spock, Kirk and crew learn that Earth is under siege by a giant probe that is transmitting a destructive signal, attempting to communicate with the now-extinct species of humpback whales. To save the planet, the crew must time-travel back to the late 20th century to obtain a mating pair of these whales, and a marine biologist (Catherine Hicks) to care for them.

    Nimoy returned as director for this film. Nimoy and Bennett wanted a film with a lighter tone that did not have a classic antagonist. They decided on a time travel story with the Enterprise crew returning to their past to retrieve something to save their present, namely humpback whales. After having been dissatisfied with the script written by Daniel Petrie Jr., Paramount hired Meyer to rewrite the screenplay with Bennett's help. Meyer drew upon his own time travel story Time After Time for elements of the screenplay. Star William Shatner was promised his turn as director for Star Trek V, and Nicholas Meyer returned as director/co-writer for Star Trek VI.

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    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)star_trek_V_the_final_frontier.jpg

    Spock's half-brother (Laurence Luckinbill) believes he is summoned by God and hijacks the brand-new (and problem-ridden) Enterprise-A to take it through the Great Barrier, at the centre of the Milky Way, beyond which he believes his maker waits for him. Meanwhile, a young and arrogant Klingon captain (Todd Bryant), seeking glory in what he views as an opportunity to avenge his people of the deaths of their crewmen on Genesis, sets his sights on Kirk.

    This is the only film in the franchise directed by William Shatner.

    Click/Tap the poster image to view the movie in detail






    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)star_trek_VI_the_undiscovered_country.jpg

    When Qo'noS' moon Praxis, the Klingon Empire's chief energy source, is devastated by an explosion, caused by over-mining, the catastrophe also contaminating Qo'noS' atmosphere, the Klingons make peace overtures to the Federation. While on the way to Earth for a peace summit, the Klingon Chancellor (David Warner) is assassinated by Enterprise crewmen, and Kirk is held accountable by the Chancellor's Chief of Staff (Christopher Plummer). Spock attempts to prove Kirk's innocence, but in doing so, uncovers a massive conspiracy against the peace process with participants from both sides.

    This film is a send-off to the original series cast. One Next Generation cast member, Michael Dorn, appears as the grandfather of the character he plays on the later television series, Worf. It is the second and last Star Trek film directed by Nicholas Meyer and last screenplay co-authored by Leonard Nimoy.

    Click/Tap the poster image to view the movie in detail



    The principle cast members are shown below - click/tap on the images for more details on the actors

    william_shatner_james_t_kirk.png     deforest_kelley_leonard_mcoy.png     james_doohan_montgomery_scott.png     leonard_nimoy_spock.png

    nichelle_nichols_nyota_uhura.png     walter_koenig_pavel_chekov.png     george_takei_hikaru_sulu.png     majel_barrett_christine_chapel.png


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