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The Search for Spock at 30: A Retrospective June 1, 2014

by Steve Vivona , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM) , trackback

Star Trek III The Search For Spock poster

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the theatrical release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,  the highly anticipated follow-up to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  The film, which marked Leonard Nimoy’s feature film directorial debut,  was a critical and financial success and pushed the Star Trek format in new directions, ultimately being the middle film in what is sometimes referred to as “The Genesis Trilogy”, which culminated in the release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986. TrekMovie is marking the anniversary with a retrospective from guest author Steve Vivona, who tells us why he loves this film, and gives a sense of what it was like to be a sci-fi and Star Trek fan in the early 80’s.

I’ll always remember June 1, 1984 as the day I became a Star Trek fan.

We all know that was the day Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was released, and while it is hardly the high watermark of the film series, I believe it occupies a special place in every Trek fan’s heart (and if it doesn’t it should). It certainly does in mine.

Yes, it has some plot holes you could drive a truck through (not nearly as bad as say, The Undiscovered Country), and its title is a dead giveaway for its resolution, but for me, Trek III is the first of the films that really focuses on the familial bond between our intrepid crew. They throw their careers away, risk their very lives on the vague promise they can restore their dear friend to life.

I was born in 1970, and I’d say it’s a safe bet most people of my generation came to love Trek through endless airings of the Original Series in syndication. My Dad, who always had a sci-fi bent, loved classic films like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, and 2001. On television, he watched The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Naturally, he gravitated to Star Trek with its intelligent and thought provoking brand of science fiction.

He stayed with it in syndication, and I can vividly remember him watching it and encouraging me to do likewise. Here’s the problem: by my recollection (and it’s murky at best) every time it was on there (seemingly) was some woeful third season episode being screened. One that springs to mind is the “way too on the nose” Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.

The other problem is that (for better or worse) I am a child of George Lucas. Star Wars blasted into my nascent consciousness at the tender age of seven, took hold, and never let go. To me, this was science fiction, not the cheesy sets of Star Trek. Star Wars dominated my life for the next six years. Each new movie brought breathless anticipation, and the wait for each was interminable.

Thanks to Star Wars, Trek got a new lease on life. A proposed 13-episode series entitled Phase II was scrapped in favor of a big budget feature film, with a big-name director and state of the art special effects. When Star Trek: The Motion Picture hit the dollar theater Dad insisted we go and nine-year old me….promptly fell asleep.

Obviously, I was still unmoved toward TrekStar Wars was all consuming for me: the toys, the comics, the novels, the cards. I devoured all of it. I was an enormous comic fan and felt compelled to buy some of Marvel’s Trek comics, and again, nothing.

Around 1982 something began to change. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was released, and again Dad took me to see it at the dollar theater. I came out thinking, “That wasn’t so bad.” Mind you, I was still wrapped up in the fervor emanating from a galaxy far, far away, but Return of the Jedi was still a year away.

A few months later, WPIX-TV, which aired Star Trek in the New York area, screened “Space Seed”, the episode that begat Khan Noonien Singh, the villain of Star Trek II. Dad suggested I watch it in order to better understand the events of that film. I did. Again, “It wasn’t so bad.” I was becoming more than a bit intrigued.

Around that time, my family finally took the cable tv plunge, and when Trek II arrived on HBO sometime in 1983 I watched it every day it was on. It was compulsory viewing. And yet, I still wasn’t watching TOS. I can’t quite put my finger on why. To some degree, I think the look of it hampered my acceptance of it, much the same way the look of classic Doctor Who did (and still does to an extent). I’m not proud of that, but in my defense, I was 12, and Star Wars looked amazing.

Return of the Jedi came and went, and my enthusiasm for Star Wars began to abate somewhat. To this day, I still love SW but it has taken a back seat to Trek.

In 1983, our main conduit for science fiction news and gossip was Starlog Magazine. Through it, I learned a new Star Trek film was on the horizon, and that Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy would direct. I was excited, and what cemented that excitement was a special that aired late in 1983 entitled Star Trek Memories, hosted by Nimoy.

An obvious promotional tie-in for Trek III, Star Trek Memories was like “Spock for Dummies,” and it saw Nimoy recounting the various iconic moments that shaped the Spock character during the Original Series (ones we can all recite verbatim now). He teased Trek III brilliantly, whetting my appetite for the new film while simultaneously piquing my curiosity for what came before. When the special re-aired early in 1984 I taped it with my new VCR and watched it constantly.

Around this time WPIX aired Star Trek late at night and possibly on the weekend at the dinner hour. Of the latter, I cannot be sure, but I vividly remember not being able to make it to 11:00 or midnight to start watching Trek. Having a VCR and the ability to time shift recordings changed all that.

My excitement for Trek III was reaching its crescendo in the spring of 1984. A few photos were released and Starlog gave us a few crumbs to gnaw on. I started taping (and saving) every episode of TOS. The first episode I ever taped was The Enterprise Incident. Ironically enough my collection started in the third season. I had to suffer through about a month’s worth of Trek at its lousiest before I got to the good stuff.

I was in such a froth to see Trek III that I outlined a plan for my friends and I to see it opening day. A friend’s mother drove the four of us to the theater, but not before I got my hands on the official movie magazine featuring Leonard Nimoy as Spock dead center on the cover, newly resurrected and wearing his Vulcan robes. I proceeded to spoil the ending for all my friends, as if there was any doubt.

Unknown

So how was it?

Star Trek III is flawed, to be sure. As a friend recently pointed out, why does Kirk need to return to Genesis with Spock’s body? What’s the point of that? Once it’s established that Spock’s katra resides in McCoy that should be all that is needed to deposit Spock’s essence in the Hall of Ancient Thought. Sarek cannot know that Spock’s body has been regenerated on Genesis, nor can Kirk.

I remember reading Vonda McIntyre’s excellent novelization of Trek III, and I vividly recall that the movie does not pick up until about 100 pages into the book, so it’s possible I am not remembering some detail that explains this seeming hole.

Star Trek III

Star Trek III is no Star Trek II, but it provides some of my favorite moments of the film series: Kirk and Co. steal the Enterprise accompanied by James Horner’s rousing score, the gradual injection of humor in just the right spots setting the stage for the all-out fun of Trek IV, the depiction of that bond I mentioned previously as evidenced by every member of the cast having their moment in the sun, my favorite being, “Don’t call me Tiny.”

As a director, Nimoy inherently knows how to pace a film. He steps back and allows these actors who have lived in the skins of their characters for nearly 20 years something of a free hand to express themselves the way they should. He carefully and gently guides William Shatner through one of the most poignant scenes of his storied career: Kirk’s reaction to the death of his son.

Thanks to the seeds planted by Producer Harve Bennett, in concert with Nimoy, Spock’s return to life is neither contrived (by sci-fi standards) nor silly. No “Obi Wan shimmer” here. It is obvious that while the grand mysteries of life and death have not been solved by Vulcan mysticism, they have a better handle on them than we do. It is a happy coincidence, however, that they happen to have a ceremony meant to reunite body and soul in case of…you know….unexpected bodily resurrection.

Trek III marked a return to prominence for the Klingons, and a offers a characterization that would be adopted for subsequent films and The Next Generation. Christopher Lloyd blows the doors off as Kruge, an obsessed Klingon captain who is more than a match for Kirk. Robin Curtis does her best trying to fill Kirstie Alley’s shoes as Saavik, but she brings little dimension to the role. She’s become a great ambassador for Trek though, and I applaud her for that.

With the release of Star Trek III, I began consuming as much Trek ephemera as I possibly could and none more so than DC’s excellent comic series that began eight months prior to Trek III’s release. Writer Mike Barr did an amazing job weaving his story into and out of the film, setting the stage for the incredible “Mirror Universe Saga” which in my opinion is the finest Trek comic storyline ever.

Star Trek III is also famous for being the first budget priced video cassette released at that price point ($29.95) when it debuted on home video. Paramount had already experimented with cassettes priced to buy, but only after they had been priced for rental for several months. That meant I could get my grubby little hands on the actual VHS! I remember pre-ordering it at my local video shop, picking it up sometime in February of 1985 and sitting through a lengthy dinner at a restaurant with my parents before I could go home and watch it (twice). Paramount continued this trend with other high profile releases such as Beverly Hills Cop and Star Trek IV.

Star Trek III was definitely a hit, ensuring yet another sequel and a return to the director’s chair for Leonard Nimoy. Does it suffer from the odd-numbered slump? I suppose if you measure it against immediate predecessor and successor Trek II and Trek IV, it does. It’s a film whose existence is predicated on the need to resurrect a beloved character that had an amazing send-off and a subsequent change of heart. Is anyone really annoyed at the fact Spock came back and the manner in which he did? Pick nits all you want. It was wonderful.

It’s the film that proved Nimoy could direct. It’s the film that showed us what was at the heart of Trek: the friendship of these amazing characters. It’s a brisk, rousing adventure with an uplifting score (no offense to maestro Jerry Goldsmith but James Horner is the right man for this job). It’s a film with heavy themes punctuated with humor and levity at exactly the right moment every time. It’s the film that made me love Star Trek.

 

Here, in 4 parts, is the “Star Trek Memories” special mentioned earlier:

And as an added bonus,  we also have the spoilerific theatrical trailer that made producer Harve Bennett blow a gasket:

 

Comments

1. Dswynne - June 1, 2014

In hindsight, I think that TSFS is ‘Trek’s version of Star Wars’ EBS. You had the heroes in a dark place (lost a ship, the death of Kirk’s son David, the tarnishing of one’s career, etc.), and there is that spark of hope, when Spock returned from the dead. As a fan we can only guess as to what will happen next, when the sequel would come out. Thus, I definitely think that TSFS is an underrated film in the franchise.

2. Dswynne - June 1, 2014

Oh, I meant ESB. Typing on the screen of an iPad can be a bit hard, thanks to having big hands…

3. Elias Javalis - June 1, 2014

I ve got the Theatrical Poster (Bob Peak art) framed – its really something!!

4. Optimistic Doodle - June 1, 2014

…and the Adventure continues…

That’s exactly how ST3 ought to leave us.
So, writers & director, time to kick ass like no ass has before ;-)

5. Carnage - June 1, 2014

I kind of enjoyed this so called “Genesis Trilogy”. I liked how TSFS was the set up for the 4th movie. I know the cast for JJ’s star trek were all initially signed for 3 pictures, so I don’t know if it’s cost prohibitive now to plan for a 4th and 5th movie, but I wouldn’t mind seeing another trilogy within this new alternate reality of Trek.

6. Neil - June 1, 2014

Two quick corrections. Star Trek II was the first sell through VHS.

Also, the reason why Sarek knows Spock’s body is on Genesis is because the movie was re-ordered in post-production. The opening scene was supposed to be the Grissom arriving at Genesis (that’s the reason we get the stardate in the middle of the movie!).

7. Thorny - June 1, 2014

Steve… you have to watch the previous movie to find Kirk’s motive in going back to Genesis….

“Captain’s log, stardate 8141.6. Starship Enterprise departing for Ceti Alpha Five to pick up the crew of the U.S.S. Reliant. All is well. And yet I can’t help wondering about the friend I leave behind. ‘There are always possibilities’ Spock said. And if Genesis is indeed ‘Life from death’, I must return to this place again.”

Kirk, epilogue of “Star Trek II”

That’s why he goes back to Genesis.

8. Buzz Cagney - June 1, 2014

An interesting and enjoyable read.
I remember as if it was yesterday sitting down in the cinema to await the start of the movie and saying to my friend ‘at last’ ! It had been a long wait since TWoK.
I don’t remember being disappointed. In fact there was much in there that was new and enjoyable. New ships and space-stations that definitely marked a step forward for Trek.
30 years- where does time go!

9. CmdrR - June 1, 2014

23rd Century sportswear looks uncomfortable.

This is the heavy one of the three. Oddly so, since Spock DIES in II. I also never felt great about Christopher Lloyd’s 2-D characterization or learning that the Enterprise was 20 years old… or having the hot Vulcan-on-Vulcan MILF sex scene left out… (look it up, people)

Anyhoo —
Hooray for: Space Dock, The Excelsior, Traswarp Fail, Vulcan Nymphs, ‘Splodin’ starships, and more…

10. Vultan - June 1, 2014

I really like this movie. Sure, like you wrote, it’s no TWOK, but I still have a fondness for it. Mostly because of Nimoy’s direction and James Horner’s score. They manage to do a lot with very little.

Take the stealing the enterprise scene for example. It’s epic… and we’re essentially watching a very large car back out of a garage!

Happy Anniversary, TSFS!

11. surak1701 - June 1, 2014

TSFS is dear to me, as it’s the Star Trek story that got me into the world in the first place, back when I was a teen. Saw it in a cinema in the small town I grew up in, and it really turned me around to what Trek could do. I still rank it as my personal favourite of all the movies, despite its flaws. It has so many great moments – the galvanising romp that is the stealing of the Enterprise; Kirk and crew going rogue; Christopher Lloyd’s awesome Kruge, so unrecognisable from his more famed Doc Brown persona; Kirk being emotionally gutted from the murder of his son, and the fiery trail made by the shell of the plunging Enterprise. And DeForest Kelley being brilliant. And… don’t call me Tiny.

12. Miko - June 1, 2014

Trek !!! Rules

I hope the new trek 3 plays homages to TSFS.
If but one segment, the stealing of the enterprise! Perhaps a spin on the original could be that the Klingons have captured the ship and have it stored in one of their space docks above their home world. Kirk and his crew must risk everything in an futile desperate act to escape the clutches of the klingons. Not only must they steal back their vessel from a heavily gaurded fortress, but fight their way through the orbiting birds of prey that receive this message..(in Klingon, but subtitled for the audience) “Someone is stealing the enterprise!”

13. Iconoclastmom - June 1, 2014

The Wrath of Khan, The Search For Spock, and The Voyage Home were the best TOS films!

14. K - June 1, 2014

What is the “Hall of Ancient Thought?” Is that mentioned in the movie? Even if the movie wasn’t reordered ( poster above), Kirk would have taken virtually any shred of a chance to save Spock — that’s what Kirk does in any life or death situation — almost all the time. Agree that Christopher Lloyd’s Kruge is awesome, would also give Mark Lenard credit for laying out the more, guttural, aggressive Klingon persona as the TMP Klingon Commander.

15. Red Dead Ryan - June 1, 2014

“The Search For Spock” is a great Trek movie. Just as good as “The Wrath Of Khan”. It works on so many levels, and really adds more emotional depth to the characters, especially Kirk, who isn’t himself without Spock by his side. William Shatner gave his last great performance as Kirk in this movie. He really nailed it.

The movie really hit home how close the crew were to each other, and how far they’d go to save one of their own. Loyalty, friendship, and the high cost that comes along with it. There can be no victory without sacrifice, as we had seen in TWOK, when Spock gave himself for the Enterprise and it’s crew. We see David do the same thing this time, to protect Saavik and a regenerated Spock. Kirk blows up the Enterprise with about a half-dozen Klingons on board — turning certain death into a fighting chance to live.

The film introduced many new elements that would show up in later movies and series, like Spacedock, the Oberth- and Excelsior-class starships, as well as the Klingon Bird-of-Prey.

The music by James Horner — who also composed the score for TWOK — was superb, and really helped bring in a TOS feel in a way that the other TOS-films didn’t have, TWOK included.

16. TrekMadeMeFat - June 1, 2014

30 years! Wow!

I’m so old.

17. They call me Stasiu - June 1, 2014

At this time, a grade school classmate introduced me to Star Trek (and Doctor Who) over my passion for Star Wars. So this is the movie that anchors my Trek fandom, and puts me in the minority of being a Robin Curtis fan.
Boy those magazine and novelization covers bring back memories. Time to dig them out of the closet again!

18. Steve Vivona - June 1, 2014

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Hall_of_Ancient_Thought

19. Trekfan'80's. - June 1, 2014

I loved ST II, III and IV, I was an ’80’s kid yes it was a great time to be a Sci-fi fan. It was such a shock when Spock died, their wasn’t a sound in the movie theater and some crying, II and III had such great action and suspense and loved the soundtrack, they just don’t make em like that anymore.

20. Corylea - June 1, 2014

While it’s true that much of Season 3 was substandard, “The Enterprise Incident” was one of the best episodes they ever made!

And yes, I love “The Search for Spock.” I enjoyed Mr. Nimoy’s description, in his autobiography, about how his time at “Mission Impossible” had informed this story, where each member of the team has a contribution to make to the mission of stealing the Enterprise.

21. Cygnus-X1 - June 1, 2014

Enjoyed the article!

The one big plot hole in STIII is that Kruge has no reason to go down to the Genesis Planet other than to have a mano-a-mano fisticuffs with Kirk. I haven’t watched STVI in a while, though, and I’m wondering what plot holes Steve was referring to in that one.

My induction into Trek was actually somewhat similar to Steve’s, though I’m a bit younger. Like Steve, I was first a Star Wars fan. TMP put me to sleep. I watched TWOK over and over again (my Dad had videotaped it off HBO). I remember seeing STIII in the theater when I was a kid and having a great time. And the TOS TV series didn’t click for me until I was 16. I stayed home sick for a week with gastroenteritis and there was a TOS marathon on that week. I got to watching it and, for whatever reason, these episodes that I’d never gotten into when I’d seen them before were suddenly very appealing. And from then on I devoured TOS and TNG.

One thing that still puzzles me is why the most repeated episodes tended to be the worst ones. There were many episodes—and many of the best ones—which I’d never seen on TV despite watching TOS whenever I’d catch it on. And yet, I’d see Spock’s Brain every other week it seemed. It seemed like only a small portion of the series was ever on TV.

STIII has some classic scenes, for sure. The Bones comedic moments get me every time. I agree with 1. Dswynne – June 1, 2014 that, tonally, STIII feels the most like SW:TESB. Unlike, ESB, however, STIII is not the best in the series of 6 TOS movies, but it does tend to get overlooked and be underrated. It’s flat in places and anticlimactic, but on the whole STIII has held up quite well over time. In fact, it’s such an enjoyable movie that I’m going to have to watch it again right now.

22. Son of Captain Garth - June 1, 2014

#20 Corylea: I was fond of Elaan of Troyus, which I think was season 3. That Which Survives was also season 3 and there were a number of other good episodes–Spock’s Brain not being one of them. Throughout the season, though, if you notice, the photography’s a little more ambitious, and for a show that had its budget cut, there are a surprising number of practical sets that were built. The look of the show improved a bit, but the writing slid, due mostly, I think, to Freddie Fryburger’s sensibilities. I think he injected too much silliness, and then endings were often eye-rollers.

23. Steve Vivona - June 1, 2014

#21 Cygnus X-1 Re: Trek VI (which I also love) one hole or at least ridiculous plot contrivance that immediately springs to mind is the Meridian Patch. Seriously? The Klingons never notice this patch velcro’d to Kirk’s shoulder after his arrest, his trial and his internment? And it’s pretty convenient that on Rura Penthe they don’t issue prisoner uniforms so Kirk and Bones can conveniently keep their uniforms (with said patch).

How did Valeris record Kirk recording his personal log? Since when do alarm claxons go off when someone fires a phaser aboard a starship? Uhura’s mashed up Klingon is good enough to pass muster?

24. Bart - June 1, 2014

I loved Trek III. I loved the little moments of humor in it, especially for the supporting cast. I think after that, even in IV, their humor seemed more comic relief, which cheapened their characters for me.

If you’ve never read Vonda McIntyre’s Trek II and III novels, I can’t recommend them enough. There is so much more to the novels than was ever shown in the movies.

25. dswynne - June 1, 2014

@21 (Cygnus-X1): Kruge beaming down to the planet is not a plot hole.

“A plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that creates a paradox in the story that cannot be reconciled with any explanation”

(Taken from Wikipedia)

Kruge was a megalomaniac, pure and simple. This was set up when he murdered his lover after she had acquired the information on the Genesis Device, he killed one of his officers for accidentally destroying the USS Grissom, and he purposely confronted Kirk so that he could kill him personally (due to being humiliated by Kirk, when the Enterprise self-destruct) while ignoring the fact that the planet Genesis was being destroyed around them. That’s being consistent in character. Now, you may not like his character for not being textured, but the character Kruge is no a “plothole”.

26. SImon - June 1, 2014

@#2 – not because of big hands. It’s for iOS having a lousy text input.

No issue with my big hands and Kindle or Surface Pro.

27. Silvereyes - June 1, 2014

There’s one line from this movie that I always found to be very eloquent of the relationship between Bones and Kirk…

Kirk: Bones, what have I done?
Bones: You did what you always do, turn death into a fighting chance to live.

Epic.

28. C Zenko - June 1, 2014

This has always been my favorite Star Trek film. To me it made our favorite characters into heros by doing the right thing for their friend even at great personal cost. I think this is the film that made me a Star Trek fan. I would have been 9 or 10 when I seen it, and when I did, I left Star Wars behind. I hope Bob Orci can make me love his film.

29. C Zenko - June 1, 2014

Don’t get me wrong, I like Star Wars, but I am a fan of Star Trek.

30. Ashley - June 1, 2014

This is one of my favourite Star Trek films. <3

31. Alfred Hitchkick - June 2, 2014

The Search for Spock shows the big friendship between the main characters, it shows Klingons, Space-Fights, has a SciFi-Background (Genesis) and it is a thoughtful movie about friendship and loss (Kirks son and the Enterprise). After all Spock seems to remember Kirk again and rises his eye-brow. For me this emotional movie was even better than ST II! I know, the most people think different, but well, that´s the way it is.

32. Dr C - June 2, 2014

Happy birthday STIII! It’s the same age as me! I agree that it’s no TWOK, but I think that TSFS is a great Original Series story and introduces so many now-familiar Trek elements.

As for TUC, if I can defend some of the plot holes (STVI was the first Trek film I saw at the cinema so it’s quite dear to me!)

The Merdian patch: Spock’s instinct told him that if Kirk beamed over to the Qo’nos One then shenanigans may ensue (so he thought he best keep tabs on the Captain)

The lack of Rura Penthe prison uniforms: the Klingons thought it was impossible to escape from (typical Klingon overconfidence of the era) so why would they care what their prisoners wore? Or, it could be a ‘this is to remind you of your former life; what you have lost’ thing so that’s why we’re letting you keep your own clothes.

Finally, Valeris’ recording of Kirk’s log: his cabin door was open (unprofessional much?) while he was recording the personal log. So, Valeris came down to talk to Kirk (as we see in the film) and she either (i) had a recording device on her and thought ‘ooh, juicy – this’ll come in handy later!’ or, she later went back up to the bridge, hacked into the internal sensors and downloaded the audio to her ipod and emailed it to (presumably) General Chang or some other shady Klingon so-and-so.

No paradoxes here I hope!

LLAP =^=

33. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

25. dswynne – June 1, 2014

@21 (Cygnus-X1): Kruge beaming down to the planet is not a plot hole.

“A plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that creates a paradox in the story that cannot be reconciled with any explanation”

The rest of that definition is…

These include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

I suppose plot contrivance might be a more appropriate term for why Kruge beams down to the planet, but I think of it as a plot hole for the following reason:

It’s not that Kruge is megalomaniacal, it’s that he wants to be powerful by being the sole possessor of Genesis. Up to the point when he beams down to the planet to have a mano-a-mano with Kirk, Kruge’s one consistent motivation throughout the story is that he is bent on acquiring Genesis. His goal is for himself, and only himself, to have the power of Genesis. This goal is what motivates all of Kruge’s actions up to that point, including killing his lover after she’s seen the Genesis info. Even during Kruge’s mano-a-mano scene with Kirk, he lifts Kirk up by the neck and demands, “Give me Genesis!” As far as Kruge is concerned within the story, his primary concern is acquiring Genesis.

When Kirk communicates to Kruge from the planet surface and begins trying to negotiate with him—beam the crew up from the rapidly deteriorating planet in exchange for Kirk’s knowledge of Genesis (which Kirk tells Kruge that he has)—a Kruge consistent with his motivation in the story up to that point would have done one of the following:

(1) Beam Kirk alone up to the bird of prey. Tell him if he doesn’t hand over his knowledge of Genesis, his crew will either be left on the planet to die or Kruge will target and kill them from his ship in orbit; or,

(2) Beam Kirk and his crew up to the bird of prey. The Klingons have disruptors, the Enterprise crew have no weapons. Kruge then tells Kirk: Give me Genesis or I’ll execute your crew one at a time, or beam them back down to the planet to die one at a time to die.

I suppose you could say that Kruge fails to take full advantage of his negotiating position vis-a-vis Kirk because his character is stupid, but that’s too easy and would also be inconsistent with the Kruge of the story up to that point. Until the moment that he throws his whole plan out the window to beam down alone to the planet and fight Kirk to the death amidst the calamity down there, Kruge had been consistently cold and calculating—not smart enough to outwit Kirk, but not a complete idiot, either. Kruge hasn’t been a berserk, blood-thirsty, suicidal or unpredictable character up to that point. His every action has been in aid of acquiring Genesis for himself and himself alone. He killed his lover because she’d seen the Genesis-related info and he wanted no one else to know about it.

Whenever I watch STIII, I’m taken out of the movie by Kruge’s decision to beam down to the planet alone to fight Kirk instead of simply beaming Kirk up to torture or threaten him aboard the bird of prey where Kruge has the upper hand instead of down on the chaotic planet.

So, I call Kruge beaming down to the planet a plot hole because it’s inconsistent with and somewhat contradicts the motivation and behavior of the character up to that point. One might also call it a plot contrivance in that the act of beaming down to the planet serves the purpose of contriving a mano-a-mano fisticuffs scenario between the story’s hero and the story’s villain more than it serves the motivation of the Kruge character with respect to the story’s internal logic.

34. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

23. Steve Vivona – June 1, 2014

Yeah, I see what you mean about those little contrivances in STVI that seem all too convenient and inconsistent with the presupposed logic of the world in which the story is set.

35. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

31. Dr C – June 2, 2014

The lack of Rura Penthe prison uniforms: the Klingons thought it was impossible to escape from (typical Klingon overconfidence of the era) so why would they care what their prisoners wore?

Well, even if viridium patches were rare technology at that point in time (it’s the first time we’d ever seen one in Trek), letting prisoners keep what they’re wearing seems like it’s inviting a lot of trouble and hassle for the prison staff. As tiny as devices are today, we can only imagine the sort of things a prisoner might have stashed away in his clothing that could make loads of trouble for the prison staff later on. Much easier to make the prisoners wear uniforms, as in typical prisons on Earth.

Finally, Valeris’ recording of Kirk’s log: his cabin door was open (unprofessional much?) while he was recording the personal log. So, Valeris came down to talk to Kirk (as we see in the film) and she either (i) had a recording device on her and thought ‘ooh, juicy – this’ll come in handy later!’

You kind of sold me on this one, though. Valeris getting ahold of Kirk’s log recording is really just a matter of espionage, which is not so hard to believe of a trained agent on a mission of subversion, which is what Valeris was.

36. StelArian - June 2, 2014

“May the wind be at your back”! :)

37. Shran - June 2, 2014

I simply love ST III.

It is just a great story about friends who take care for each other.

And I love the James Horner – Score.

38. Edward - June 2, 2014

Star Trek III, fo rme, is a film of loss and dealing with it. I find it incredibly humbling watching the characters we know so well dealing with it.

It’s almost painful to watch Kirk at times with Sarek at the start of the film – goodness, even Mark Leonard’s performance is stella in that scene where he almost breaks into emotion, questioning his actions towards Spock and – finally – you realise how much his son meant to him.

Sarek dealing with the loss of his son. Kirk on the loss of his friend, the crew losing the Enterprise – as many have quoted Bones’ legendary line now to Kirk asking “What have I done?” – “What you had to do, what you always do, turn death into a fighting chance to live…”

Let’s not forget the emotional punch to the stomach that is David’s death. Introduced in Wrath of Khan, you think David is now to be around for a bit with Savvik, yet he gives his life to save her and the younger bodied Spock.

His murder, carried out via audio for the Enterprise Bridge to hear, is gutterall and ruthless. Almost Kligon like. Kruge probably thought David died a warriors death but on the bridge we see another father deal with the loss of HIS son…….Klingon bastard, you killed my SON.

On the commentary on the DVD Nimoy says he doesn’t know if Shatner deliberately missteps as he falls back and misses his Cpatains chair…one thinks (I refuse to use “hopes”) that Bill really did mean to do it – it is SO emotional.

Klingon bastard, you KILLED my son.

The one time that Kirk missteps, loses his balance, almost loses control of his world when his son is taken from him. The range of emotions – people slag off Bill for not being a good actor and I say look at this scene and the Spock/Kirk scene in Engineering in Wrath and you will see Shatner being a great actor – Kirk goes through – shock, horror, anger….

Klingon BASTARD, you killed my son…you, Klingon BASTARD!

The cut away to Jimmy Doohan is priceless too – and it’s here I think Nimoy’s direction pays dividends because he knew to trust his actors. Scotty’s look is heartrendering as he looks towards his Captain at this moment.

By destroying the ship, it is yet more loss – of another character in the story who gives it’s life to save others. Horner’s music here is deleriously beautiful escalating higher in pitch in melody as the plans are set for self destruct.

Oh, and didn’t the model look fabulous as it exploded? I must have stretched my vhs tape watching it frame by frame so many times as the saucer disintegrated and then finally exploded.

One wonders, as well, if McCoy had not been relieved of Spock’s katra, would he have gone mad…would Bones have been lost too? As he is warned, there is no guarantee for his safety “I choose the danger” – another giving their life for another.

So much emotion in a sci-fi film culminates in that final scene. Two friends. Kirk and Spock. You can literally see Kirk willing his friend to remember him, to remember himself. Again, the directgion from Nimoy and the editing drag it out for maximum emotional oomph….you think he will remember, then he falters, then you lose hope, then finally…..

“Your name is Jim…”

Wrath Of Khan is Shakespearian, The Undiscovered Country is a top notch thriller but Search For Spock is about the meaning of life and death and all there is to be….human.

….oh, for JJ and Bad Robot to have given us any of what I have written above….

39. star trackie - June 2, 2014

Can you imagine the field day, the red matter, “Magic Blood” complainers, would have had bashing this movie back in the day with it’s magic “protomatter”! lol Thank God there was no internet back then!

I pretty much enjoy Trek 3, aside from the keystone cops brig break out and that ridiculous sputtering of the Excelsior. Talk about BAD comedy…and people bash Trek 5?? lol Not to mention it stops the whole movie in it’s tracks…serious Trek, funny Trek, back to serious Trek. But it was Leonard’s first effort and there were, as it seems to be in all Trek movies, some truly some great moments. Gotta take the good with the bad, so I cut him some slack for being new at the job.

40. Mad Mann - June 2, 2014

Yes, ST III is the most under-rated and overlooked of all the Trek films. I don’t need to restate what others have already, but I have appreciated it more as I got older.

One thing I really like about it is how much it took from the TV series, probably more than any other Trek movie. Other than the 7 crew and Enterprise, we get Sarek, tribbles, Klingons (the “We are Klingons” line is straight from Day of the Dove), Vulcan ritual very much like the Amok Time episode (even a similar Vulcan high priestess and similar shapes), the destruct code sequence taken from “Let that be your last battlefield” episode, and cloaking devices. Even the Klingon bird-of-prey is similar to the Romulan bird-of-prey from TOS (yeah, due to the fact it was planned to be Romulan at first).

I think that Harve Bennet was smart to pull Khan from TOS for STII, saw how well that worked, and then decided to pull more from TOS for the third. I’m just bummed that the later Trek films chose to avoid TOS references, especially ST VI which is so different it’s like it was from a different universe.

41. dswynne - June 2, 2014

@32 (Cygnus-X1): But Kruge motivation has been consistent throughout the story. We can both agree that Kruge wants the Genesis Plans. Where the disagreement lies is that you feel that Kruge should have be a bit more calculating, rather than engage in an action scene where the hero (Kirk) fights the villain (Kruge). And I think that you prefer a more nuanced approach towards a resolution to the story, rather than engage in “action schlock”. And I understand your point on this because I felt the same way with how Star Trek: Insurrection was resolved between Picard and Ruafo. However, the difference for me, between TSFS and INS, is that I wanted Kirk to kick Kruge’s butt, due to the fact that Kruge had no redeeming traits by the time the last act rolled in. I didn’t see either Picard or Ruafo being the type of characters that would do what Kirk and Kruge did.

42. Jed - June 2, 2014

ST3 is in many ways the Empire Strikes back of Star trek, but at its heart
ST3 has real depth and drama, TESB on the other hand has cardboard characterization and a Muppet for one of its central character!

Popular opinion does not support my view (yes, I am looking at you Empire’s best 300 movies of all time Poll) however we are all entitled to our opinion!

43. Perry - June 2, 2014

I always liked ST-III. Yes, it wasn’t as good as Wrath of Khan, but none of them are! (ST-II remains my favorite of all of the films.). But ST-III made the best use of all of the characters, particularly during the stealing of the Enterprise, and gave each of them an important role in the story.

Yeah, there were plot holes, as there are in all of the movies. The biggest issue for me isn’t a plot hole, just an inconsistency, and it’s not the fault of ST-III so much as it is ST-IV: The interior of the Klingon bird of prey is COMPLETELY different between the two movies, for no good reason. I do like the look of it in ST-IV much better, but it’s always bothered me that it changed so much with no explanation.

44. kmart - June 2, 2014

To correct the SW/ST 70s history bit. TREK had a feature film well into development, which was cancelled in may 77 just before SW came out because paramount realized they had blown it by not getting there first. Then, after SW hit, p2 happened … only to be cancelled during development.

I’ve always found SFS to be a downer, with huge dumb story holes, effect-determines-cause plotting, a lot of questionable visual choices by Nimoy, and the very troubling ILM-ification of the TREK universe with building big blimp hangars in space instead of doing it properly. Having said that, I think there are nice quiet moment in the early going and tremendous work from De, just outstanding. Shat’s CU with Morrow is great too, almost makes up for the KLINGON BASTARDS misstep which is just godawful bad, generating tons of laughter in theaters opening day.

Easily the biggest missed opportunity of all the films for me.
I like TMP TWOK TFF, I do not like the Nimoy films, and TUC (which is Nimoy influenced) is just barely watchable despite character assassination on the principals.

45. Phil - June 2, 2014

I could never get to excited about TSFS. Setting aside for the moment that I’m one of a tiny handful of people, if the decision had been mine, who would have left Spock dead, they telegraphed more then enough information at the end of WOK that Spock wasn’t going to stay dead. So, everyone knew exactly what they were getting when the opening credits rolled, that Spock was returning. We also figured out pretty quickly how that would happen, and the whole thing was pretty anti-climatic.

The production staff did the best they could with the very limited material they had. To that end, while it could have been worse, it could have been much, much better if they didn’t have to worry about resurrecting Spock.

46. Buzz Cagney - June 2, 2014

#38 at least we didn’t see a massive great blob of protomatter as we did with the daft RedMatter. This incredibly powerful material, that Spock only needed a small glob of but still felt he needed to take a bloody great load along. He could have kept all he really needed in a test tube!
No, protomatter sounds smart and conceivable. RedMatter, well, it doesn’t really matter. Its a nonsense and a plot device that clearly needed little thought. Whereas protomatter appears to have been conceived of sensibly and reasonably.

47. PaulB - June 2, 2014

#37 Edward — Beautifully written! You just described TSFS perfectly.

48. crazydaystrom - June 2, 2014

37. Edward
“….oh, for JJ and Bad Robot to have given us any of what I have written above….”

IMO they did, Edward. The Kelvin sequence in ST’09 with George Kirk’s sacrifice of his life for his wife, child and crewmates is one of the most touching and for me memorable scenes ever in all the Treks. And for that reason one of my favorites of all.

I’d hoped for more of that kind of emotional tide to ride with STiD but nothing in that film came close for me. Not Pike’s death. Not Kirk’s “death”. And certainly not Spock’s Khan scream. The latter two I found distracting enough to take me out of the the film as opposed to drawing me further in, as it ideally should have.

49. dscott - June 2, 2014

I loved TSFS, but it was a second blow to the face for me… I mean my gut wrenched when they destroyed the Enterprise. I was like… first they kill my Spock, now they’re killing my Enterprise, ahhhhh!!!!

Great article BTW, thanks!!

50. crazydaystrom - June 2, 2014

TSFS is a Trek that I liked when it was first released but I was disappointed that it wasn’t as good as TWOK, IMO. There are a lot of things that I do love about the film though. That movie has one of my three favorite Star Trek scenes. Favorites because of the emotional weight they have-

In TSFS-
When after stealing the Enterprise Chekov, Sulu and Scottie say (wildly paraphrasing here) “We’re going with you and McCoy, Captain, to help no matter what the risks to our careers might be.”

In Amok Time –
The scene with Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the turbo lift when Spock acknowledges the Bones is one of his closest friends. And McCoy’s reaction to that- “I would be honored, sir.”

And in ST’09 –
The Kelvin scene with George Kirk ultimate sacrifice.

Of all the many Star Trek scenes that I love so much in all the Treks, those three I love the most. Expressions of love, loyalty and sacrifice. They get me every time and there’s usually a tear or two (or more). I guess I’m just an old softy.

51. Admiral Kent - June 2, 2014

I love STIII and find it underrated….but the one thing that ALWAYS bothered me was that Carol Marcus was excised from the series. Made no sense that they claimed they couldn’t figure out how to have her in the film. Though, interestingly, an early draft of The Undiscovered Country had her and Kirk together in his apartment at the beginning.

52. Admiral Kent - June 2, 2014

Oh, yeah…and I still have that official STIII movie magazine.

53. trekwho - June 2, 2014

I am so glad the plot hole was mentioned in this article about why they had to go back to Genesis at all. That never made sense to me but I thought I was missing something.

54. Legate Damar - June 2, 2014

Star Trek III is the first Trek movie I saw. In retrospect, I probably should have watched Wrath of Khan first, but whatever. Search For Spock is far from my favorite Trekk movie, but it is still pretty good. Christopher Lloyd made a good Klingon.

55. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

40. dswynne – June 2, 2014

And I think that you prefer a more nuanced approach towards a resolution to the story, rather than engage in “action schlock”… However, the difference for me, between TSFS and INS, is that I wanted Kirk to kick Kruge’s butt, due to the fact that Kruge had no redeeming traits by the time the last act rolled in.

Hehe, well that’s a good point. And I’m pretty sure that’s why Harve Bennett had Kruge beam down to fight Kirk at that point in the movie—to give the audience the payoff that we all wanted.

I don’t mind that Kruge met his end at the hands (foot, actually) of Kirk. I just mind that Kruge suddenly beaming down to the planet to wrestle with Kirk stands out as contrived in order to achieve that particular finale despite being inconsistent with the Kruge character’s behavior up to that point.

Like I said, if you’re Kruge it’s so much easier to just remain seated and beam Kirk up to you so that you can slap him around, threaten him or beat the information out of him—you have the upper hand and every tactic at your disposal. Kruge arbitrarily giving up his entire tactical advantage at that moment to beam down to the planet and wrestle Kirk for the information makes me ask, Uhh…if Kruge wants Genesis so badly, why did he just give up his best means of getting it?

However, I still remember my reaction in the theater when I was a kid to those three kicks by Kirk, the final one sending Kruge plummeting to his well-earned demise—I LOVED it! As an action scene and mano-a-mano showdown between the hero and the villain, I have no complaints about the scene. It just would have been better if Kruge had ended up grappling with Kirk because he had no better choice, as opposed to giving up his enormous tactical advantage and best chance of getting Genesis and achieving what has been his goal throughout the story in order to have a fist-fight with Kirk for our benefit.

56. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

46. crazydaystrom – June 2, 2014

The Kelvin sequence in ST’09 with George Kirk’s sacrifice of his life for his wife, child and crewmates is one of the most touching and for me memorable scenes ever in all the Treks.

It was a very effective scene in terms of evoking your sympathy and getting us emotionally involved at the beginning of the movie, but that scene also sticks out has having been shamelessly put in just for that purpose. The sympathy and tear-jerking—the whole emotional impact of that scene—is totally irrelevant to the rest of the story.

If instead of that tear-jerking scene we’d just learned via dialogue later on that Jame’s Kirk’s father had been killed right as his son was being born, it would not have affected the rest of the story one bit. Whereas the emotion that we feel when Spock dies and when David is killed and Kirk is devastated are totally integrated into their respective stories when they occur and consequential to their stories in real time. You can’t splice out the Spock or David death scenes without significantly changing the stories, but you could easily leave the George Kirk death scene out and none would be the wiser.

Incidentally, the Pike death scene in STID is also inconsequential—it doesn’t really affect Kirk’s actions throughout the rest of the story, other than to re-promote to Captain him almost immediately after he’d been demoted, thereby undoing the one potential lesson that Kirk might have learned in that story.

57. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

49. Admiral Kent – June 2, 2014

I love STIII and find it underrated….but the one thing that ALWAYS bothered me was that Carol Marcus was excised from the series. Made no sense that they claimed they couldn’t figure out how to have her in the film.

Interesting point. I always did find her noticeably absent in STIII, given that David is in the story. Though, it seems like the story of STIII would have to have been somewhat different in order to include Carol Marcus without her seeming like an unnecessary character who’d been shoe-horned in.

58. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

50. Admiral Kent – June 2, 2014

Oh, yeah…and I still have that official STIII movie magazine.

Awesome. I still have the Entertainment Weekly from the run-up to ST:Generations which ranks all of the Trek movies and episodes of all the series up to that point—TOS, TNG, DS9. Such high hopes for Generations, alas….

59. Bill Roberts - June 2, 2014

I think TSFS should be the subject of a good fan “conspiracy theory.” Something along the lines of the fact that Kirk knew far more about the Genesis Planet than he ever public acknowledged and deliberately arranged for Spock’s tube to soft land on the Genesis surface in the secret hope that Spock would regenerate.

The fact that he would not be allowed to go back to Genesis and that Spock had implanted his consciousness in McCoy were the unexpected kinks in Kirk’s plan. When forbidden to return, Kirk expected the Grissom to find Spock alive, but when McCoy came down with Spock-itis, he had to act.

Just a thought.

60. Admiral Kent - June 2, 2014

56. Yup…I have that one too! ;)

61. Michael Hall - June 2, 2014

Still remember the nerdgasm I had when I saw that first magazine with stills depicting the U.S.S. Grissom, the Bird-of-Prey, and the Enterprise and Excelsior in Spacedock. If I hadn’t had the money to purchase it on the spot, no bank or 7-11 would have been safe; I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to walk the streets without adult supervision in those days. :-)

In truth it’s not a great film, or even a great Trek film. But it certainly has a lot of indelible moments for the faithful.

62. B Kramer - June 2, 2014

15 rdr: “Shatner gave his last great performance as Kirk in this movie.” Where did I hear this before? Oh yeah, the Grand Banishment guy.

Nice article steve. Lloved the yin-yang concept at end: The needs of the many now became the needs of the one – Spock.

Loyalty is a big theme in ST. Spock did the same for Pike in “The Menagerie”.

[Vulcan temple area – sunrise]

(A gong is sounded and the High Priestess, Sarek and McCoy emerge)

McCOY: I’m all right, Jim.

KIRK: What about Spock?

SAREK: Only time will answer. …Kirk. I thank you. What you have done is…

KIRK: What I have done, …I had to do.

SAREK: But at what cost? Your ship. Your son.

KIRK: If I hadn’t tried, …the cost would have been my soul.

(Spock in a long, white, hooded robe is escorted from the temple. He turns and looks at each of the crew, finally Kirk)

SPOCK: My father says you have been my friend. …You came back for me.

KIRK: You would have done the same for me.

SPOCK: Why would you do this?

KIRK: Because the needs of the one …outweigh the needs of the many.

SPOCK: I have been …and ever shall be …your friend.

KIRK: Yes! Yes, Spock.

SPOCK: The ship. …Out of danger?

KIRK: You saved the ship, …You saved us all. Don’t you remember?

SPOCK: Jim, …your name is Jim.

KIRK: Yes.

(as Spock turns, McCoy taps his head and the crew gather round)

…AND THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES…

63. Viking - June 2, 2014

Scotty, to Riker (ST:TNG – Relics): “Laddie, every woman has her charm. You just have to know where to look for it.”

And to quote Stan Lee (among others): ‘Nuff said.

64. Tim Handrahan - June 2, 2014

This film is special to me because it shows the depth of emotion between the characters: The scene on bridge when Kirk tells them they do not have to do this and one by one they seize the gauntlet. Kirk turning Spock over to reveal his face as the Spock we know. The destruction of the Enterprise. Bones telling Spock that he missed him.

65. Lostrod - June 2, 2014

I remember making the mistake of buying the official movie magazine and being totally spoiled by David’s death …

66. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 2, 2014

Awesome movie. STIII

I watched it again on the free Epix weekend.
Thanks Epix! I think I am cancelling my Cinemax and going with you guys.

Great Shaner moments, too! Kudos to Christopher Llyod!

BTW. Anceint Aliens is saying Gordon Cooper 1st partitioned the UN to start a bureau on ETs. Are they trying to say Cooper basically tried to start Star Fleet?

67. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 2, 2014

Oh Yeah!

Star Trek III The Search for Spock is probably my favorite Trek poster, too.

Keep on Trekkin’, Mr. Nimoy! You deserve all the praise!

68. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 2, 2014

59. Bill Roberts

Nice

69. crazydaystrom - June 2, 2014

56. Cygnus-X1
“46. crazydaystrom –
….
It was a very effective scene in terms of evoking your sympathy and getting us emotionally involved at the beginning of the movie, but that scene also sticks out has having been shamelessly put in just for that purpose. The sympathy and tear-jerking—the whole emotional impact of that scene—is totally irrelevant to the rest of the story.

Yes my heart strings were being tugged, perhaps shamelessly as you said. But be that as it may, I loved it! And irrelevant? Hmmm. Can’t agree with you there. Kirk’s father’s death was touched on two or three times later in the film and was important in explaining some of his motivations in the story at some key moments as well as explaining significant differences between NuKirk and Kirk prime.

I have issues with JJ Trek but the Kelvin scene is not one of them, at all. I do think it’s a shame Wynona Kirk has been treated as if she no longer exists though. Something I hope will be addressed next time around BOB!

70. richpit - June 2, 2014

I’ve never, before this article, heard the term “Genesis trilogy”. I guess I’m sheltered.

71. dswynne - June 2, 2014

@55 (Cygnus-X1): Okay, agree on Kruge appearance on the planet being “contrived” from a story mechanics aspect. If anything, Klingons have traditionally been depicted a cunning when going against a foe, since they were suppose to be the stand-in for the Soviet Union. I think someone here pointed out the fact that Mark Leonard’s depiction of Klingons in TMP is what began the change of the nature of the Klingons, from “cold warriors” to “space vikings” (as seen in TNG ever since). If there is one thing I could criticize Gene Roddenberry on, is how he arbitrarily did a “retcon” on not only how the Klingons act, but also their behavior. Yes, I understand GR’s desire to make the Klingons more “alien”, but I always believed that the strength of a good story is consistency. But, that’s all water under the bridge at this point…

72. dswynne - June 2, 2014

@45 (Phil): I wonder if had Spock remained dead, would the Saavik character take his place? Meaning, Kirk would become mentor to Saavik, thinking that Spock would have wanted him to be there for her, the way Spock was there for Kirk.

73. Cygnus-X1 - June 2, 2014

71. dswynne – June 2, 2014

I’ll have to watch TMP again to see what you mean. That movie doesn’t stay with me so well. The Klingons in the TOS TV series were more toned down in their demeanor and obviously in their appearance, but they were always into the glory of war from the very beginning, which seems consistent enough with the “space vikings” depiction. In fact, from the first appearance of Klingons in Errand of Mercy, the Klingon leader laments not having been able to do battle with Kirk:
“A shame, Captain. It would have been glorious!”

74. AJ - June 2, 2014

I loved STIII in the theaters.

I had never seen “Taxi,” and I remember at every screening I went to, my fellow viewers all burst out laughing when Christopher Lloyd is revealed as the Klingon commending Valkris’s theft of the Genesis data. I had no idea why, and only managed to catch “Taxi” after seeing him again as the iconic Doc Brown in BOTF. I finally got the joke. I guess. I really enjoyed his nutjob Kirk-obsessed Klingon character, and his little dog, Fifi Rebozo.

I read a few years ago that Lloyd pretty much has no idea why he was ever cast as Kruge, but maybe it got him Doc Brown in the end.

Thank you for the retrospective!

75. Son of Captain Garth - June 2, 2014

Just a few disconnected thoughts, reflecting on a few of these posts:
1. STIII cost me a ton of money when in came out back in the summer of 1984. First, I rode my bike to the theater and watched it at least two times a week for the entire 6 weeks it was there. Next, I bought the magazines. Then, I bought the Enterprise model 4 times, built it and then blew it up. Luckily, the Summer Olympics would later help me make a financial recovery due to the fact that virtually every meal I had at McDonald’s would be free.
2. I found the Klingons during the TNG era of TV very tiresome and one-dimensional. They evinced this pathetically store-bought macho persona, frequently causing them to do things that were counterintuitive to any reasonable military tactics or discipline and the constant prattling about honor was window dressing. They were watered down Spartans.
3. I had such a bad crush on Robin Curtis during that whole STIII summer.

76. Alt-Spock - June 2, 2014

I never really understood the “curse” of the odd-numbered movie; I think ST III was great on the whole.

In fact I’d go so far as to say the ST II-III-IV trilogy is the best sci-fi trilogy of all time. Even over the original SWs. Yeah I said it!

77. Edward - June 3, 2014

@ 47 PaulB – thanks!!

@ 48 Crazydaystrom – I agree, the early scene on the Kelvin is emotionally brilliant – I disagree with those who say it doesn’t reasonate throughout the rest of the film. It was also a star making few minutes for The Man Who Would Be Thor (c) & TM Edward 2014….

For me, that scene is what the rest of what JJ should and could and should have delivered but as with all JJ “stuff” he over cooks his plots and I lose interest…..I’m looking at you MI3 and Alias

But this isn’t another JJ bashing thread – will always have others for that.

I think, fo rme, the emotional reasonance in Trek III comes from our understanding and knowing of these characters for so long and that they then weave into the film/plot these dilemma’s that they must face and resolve – and accept even – loss of a loved one or a ship and risking it all because it’s the right thing to do.

That first scene in JJ’s 2009 Trek doesn’t do that – instead it sets up an impossible scenario that you are immediately emotionally forced to deal with – I think it works because of the music and editing as much as anything else.

This thread has also reminded me actually just how brilliant Trek is – especially the movies – for dealing with it’s characters and their emotional lives – some real key moments in the films centre around loss or a character struggling to come to terms with events….

Engineering and Spock’s death in Wrath
David’s death in Seartch for Spock
McCoys father’s death in final Frontier

Hell, even Picard’s distress at hearing his brother’s family have been killed in Generations…..not forgetting his own demons needing resolution in First Contact “The line must be drawn….here!!”

I was a child of Star Wars being 4 back in 1977 when the first film came out. As an adult, I recognise that I am now more akin to Trek.

78. Aurore - June 3, 2014

That was an interesting read.

Many thanks for the retrospective.

79. Perry - June 3, 2014

Regarding Christopher Lloyd as Kruge… Back in 1984, on Rodney Dangerfield’s 9th Annual Young Comedians Special, there was an impressionist named Maurice LaMarche who did a great impression of Lloyd playing Kruge as his “Taxi” character Reverend Jim.

Here’s a link to a video of it: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/012036c88b/maurice-lamarche-the-9th-annual-young-comedians-special-from-classicstandupfan

The Trek part comes at about 1:20.

I always found it hilarious.

80. Disinvited - June 3, 2014

Maurice LaMarche went on to bigger fame as the voice of Brain in PINKY AND THE BRAIN and Calculon in FUTURAMA.

81. Cygnus-X1 - June 3, 2014

79. Perry – June 3, 2014

Thanks for that clip. That is pretty funny.

I think that Christopher Lloyd did the best that he could with the Kruge role and certainly made that character believable, but he didn’t come in particularly well suited for it in terms of his look, voice and associated roles. However, I do commend whoever made that casting decision for being willing to go outside the box of typical bad-guy actors. Though, for all I know the credit goes to Lloyd’s agent for doing a favor for the casting director.

82. Zirclet - June 3, 2014

Really liked this as a youngster, but now that I’m a grown-ass man I truly wish Nimoy has scored Edward James Olmos as Kruge, his (according to Memory Alpha) first choice. Robin Curtis bothered me then and still does now. Olmos and Alley would have helped elevate the legacy of this one, IMO.

83. LogicalLeopard - June 3, 2014

I first saw this movie as a child, like many of the original movies. I was six when it was released, and probably saw it 3-4 years later on television. I loved me some Star Trek then, and still do now. But what really torpedoed (no pun intended) the movie for me was the whole thing with Spock’s resurrection. I remembered thinking how cool it was that the microbes on the outside of the torpedo casing evolved, and then wondering how Spock was resurrected YOUNGER than he was. Not evolved. Not a whole planet of Spocks running around, but it made him younger. What happened to his body? Did it kind of shrink into a child? Did it disintegrate, leaving one cell that developed into Spock? I don’t remember if I wondered how he continued to grow without eating or how he automatically stopped at the age he was when he died (I think I figured the latter had to do with the perfectly timed transporter that got him away from the planet at the age he was roughly when he died). But yeah, I never got that. So, although there were other nice parts of the movie, like the stealing of the Enterprise and the unexpected destruction, that stuck out like a sore thumb. So, you can imagine my ire when people get all bent out of shape at a physically altered Khan as not making sense, when this is probably one of the most fantastic nonsense moments in Trek movie history, and no one talks about it.

84. Mad Mann - June 3, 2014

Here’s a thought: What if Kor, played by John Colicos, replaced Kruge in STIII?

To me, it makes the movie so much awesomer.

85. LogicalLeopard - June 3, 2014

77. Edward

That first scene in JJ’s 2009 Trek doesn’t do that – instead it sets up an impossible scenario that you are immediately emotionally forced to deal with – I think it works because of the music and editing as much as anything else.
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Mmnnnn…..I dunno. I have to take a step back, and say that I think the scene works because it is relatable. That’s why it worked for me, and I think that’s why it worked for many people. Anyone who has had a child can just imagine what it would be like if they knew they wouldn’t be around for the child’s life after the next few minutes. That hit me like a punch in the stomach. Compared with Kirk’s scene….well, I dunno, you get sucked into the scene because you hear the baby crying and see it, and can imagine the scenario. People are present for the birth of their children, but not usually the death of their children, so it’s not as relatable. The emotionality of the scene is completely dictated by Shatner, whose acting draws you into imagining what it would feel like. The falling off the chair is brilliant. It’s not fair for me to say which one was more powerful, because I saw the first as a child and the second as a new father.

I’d like to add to your list of emotional Trek moments the Spock/Sarek scene that Sybok revealed. To me, it’s more emotional than the McCoy scene, as ironic as that sounds. Spock cries, like most human babies do, and at the point of their first introduction, when Spock is doing nothing but being himself in his rawest form, Sarek judges him and says, “So human.” It’s easy to forget that Sarek and Spock hadn’t been on speaking terms for years prior to TOS, but it’s absolutely devastating to think that the seeds of their discontent started at BIRTH. Most people who have problems with their kids, at LEAST they like them when they’re babies. Not so here. Speaks to a lot of Spocks overachievement. And his failure to embrace his humanity for so long.

86. LogicalLeopard - June 3, 2014

56. Cygnus-X1 – June 2, 2014
46. crazydaystrom – June 2, 2014

It was a very effective scene in terms of evoking your sympathy and getting us emotionally involved at the beginning of the movie, but that scene also sticks out has having been shamelessly put in just for that purpose. The sympathy and tear-jerking—the whole emotional impact of that scene—is totally irrelevant to the rest of the story.
********************************************

Shamelessly put in for that purpose? Uhm…..couldn’t you say that about any emotional scene? It was VERY relevant to the rest of the story. It established that one person could be positioned to act in a certain manner to save many others. Pike broke that down to him to get Kirk into Starfleet, and it also set the tone for what kind of person Kirk would be. One person positioned to save lives. He did it on a ship scale when he notified Pike before they dropped out of warp around Vulcan, and did it on a big scale by defeating Nero. It echoed into the next movie, with Kirk saying, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, I only know what I can do.”
**********************************************

If instead of that tear-jerking scene we’d just learned via dialogue later on that Jame’s Kirk’s father had been killed right as his son was being born, it would not have affected the rest of the story one bit. Whereas the emotion that we feel when Spock dies and when David is killed and Kirk is devastated are totally integrated into their respective stories when they occur and consequential to their stories in real time. You can’t splice out the Spock or David death scenes without significantly changing the stories, but you could easily leave the George Kirk death scene out and none would be the wiser.
********************************************

If anything, the David Marcus and Spock death scenes was designed to be emotional. If Spock lives at the end of TWOK, what does it change? Nothing. Khan is defeated, the day is saved, the end. But in real life, Nimoy wanted out, and they wrote him out in a beautiful way designed to be emotional. As for David Marcus, how does his death change anything? Did Kirk need a reason to hate Klingons besides hating Klingons? David is essentially a stranger to Kirk, he knew him for how long, the few months that passed between TWOK and TSFS? Hey, I get that it’s his son regardless, but does the story change if Spock is killed or Saavik is killed or nobody is killed? Kirk is still going to rescue whoever needs rescuing and stop the Klingons.
*************************************

Incidentally, the Pike death scene in STID is also inconsequential—it doesn’t really affect Kirk’s actions throughout the rest of the story, other than to re-promote to Captain him almost immediately after he’d been demoted, thereby undoing the one potential lesson that Kirk might have learned in that story.

**********************************

Inconsequential? Eh, I dunno about that. If say, Kirk never lost his captaincy and he was at the meeting with Spock when Khan attacked, would he have been so gung ho? It made it personal for him, where he volunteered. And it almost blinded him to ignore his ethics and carry out Marcus’s orders. If Pike hadn’t have died, I think he would have questioned Marcus’s plan from the beginning, and Marcus would have sent someone else. Pike’s death had an effect on Kirk’s actions, and he said as such. I don’t think he was as mad at the people killed at the Kelvin Monument as he was that Khan killed his friend, his mentor, and the guy who stuck his neck out for him immediately and believed in him when he didn’t believe in himself.

87. Edward - June 3, 2014

@ Logicalleopard – yes, nice one! Another scene I had overlooked.

David has to die…he gives his life saving Spock who is most likely to be stabbed. Again, a human saving Vulcan lives (Savvik too).

It’s really only after David’s death that Kirk realises he isn’t going to be able to bluff his way round Kruge and takes him deadly seriously.

88. TUP - June 3, 2014

I know this film doesnt get a lot of love. It’s difficult to really think of on it’s own. You need TWOK for sure and it helps to have TVH too.

But there is so much good in this film. its possible that this is William Shatner’s best performance as Kirk. He was very good in TSFS also but if he was ever asked to submit a clip for an award, it would be when David is killed. Haunting.

His reaction watching the Enterprise burn up was what every Trek fan needed to hear. And McCoy’s response was the reassurance we needed to hear that what Kirk did was exactly what Kirk *would* and *should* do.

A film that barely had Spock in it, and yet it was very good. It was cowboy Kirk at his finest. Whereas the original series was about a Captain on the frontier, away from “head office” and making decisions for that reason, this is Kirk, surrounded by superiors and politics and doing exactly what we’d expect and want him to do.

When Janeway refers to the days of Kirk and how they’d all be thrown in jail if they acted like that and she describes it with a romantic spin, this film embodies what she was describing.

89. Kevin DeBeck - June 3, 2014

The first time I saw this was the day after I got out of school for the summer–it was the end of my 6th grade year! I also remember being “traumatized” by watching the destruction of the Enterprise, and saddened by the death of David. Lately I’ve been re-watching the scene where they steal the Enterprise just to hear the music–it’s too bad James Horner didn’t do another Trek movie after this one. Search for Spock isn’t my all time favorite, but I think it stand up better than most people give it credit for. And, realizing this came out 30 year ago? Damn, I’m old.

90. Cygnus-X1 - June 3, 2014

83. LogicalLeopard – June 3, 2014

Did it disintegrate, leaving one cell that developed into Spock?

Yup.

I think I figured the latter had to do with the perfectly timed transporter that got him away from the planet at the age he was roughly when he died.

Yup.

You got it. Either Spock’s body decayed and only one of its cells cloned into a new Spock which was then transported off the planet and therefore stopped growing at an accelerated right when Spock had grown roughly to the age he was when he died, or…

Spock’s resurrection was a consequence of the mysterious process referred to in TWOK as “The Genesis Effect”.

It’s not clear whether TOS transporters were able to save the patterns in the pattern buffer as readily as TNG transporters could, but if they could then Spock could have been brought back from a saved transporter pattern. They obviously had to bring him back somehow, and using the Genesis concept to do so was as good an idea as any, though you’re right that the convenient timing and contrivance of it all sticks out.

91. McNermick - June 3, 2014

I’m curious if anyone else remembers that the version of Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek Memories that we’ve all seen is really a re-cut of an earlier version which was made to promote “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”. In much the same way that “The Menagerie” contains most of the footage of “The Cage”, the two version of Memories are virtually identical, with some tightening of some moments. The biggest thing missing from the later version is Leonard interviewing movie-goers who had just seen “Star Trek II” and asking them if Spock really died or not. I still have my audio recording of this version of the special so there is physical proof of its existance. But honestly, does anyone else know this … or even care? Just wondering …

92. B Kramer - June 3, 2014

Speaking of Spocks, they had lunch yesterday and it was Jrs’ B-day:

https://twitter.com/TheRealNimoy/status/473543084064899072

93. Disinvited - June 3, 2014

#89. Cygnus-X1 – June 3, 2014

“It’s not clear whether TOS transporters were able to save the patterns in the pattern buffer as readily as TNG transporters could.” — Cygnus-X1

Ultimately, irrelevant as Kirk destroyed the only transporters around that might have held Spock’s pre-resurrection patterns.

However, I would point out that for argument’s sake that THE ENEMY WITHIN would go wanting for a better explanation as for how the transporter could produce two apparently physically identical living beings, each alive without it.

And wasn’t it in THE DAY OF THE DOVE, where Kirk warned the Enterprise somehow Klingons were beaming up with his landing party and they delayed the Klingon members rematerialization even though the transporter dematerialized all of them at the same time?

94. Cygnus-X1 - June 3, 2014

91. Disinvited – June 3, 2014

Uh…Oh, yeah.

95. Jim, London - June 3, 2014

Effects wise it was very impressive – the Spacedock was a fantastic piece of work by ILM

96. Captain Smirk - June 3, 2014

I remember when my dad and I saw this theatrically.We though “Wrath of Khan” was awesome, so expectations were high for this, the final voyage of the starship Enterprise.

When it was over, we left the theater in silence. Then he said, “Well, that stunk.”

97. Steve Vivona - June 3, 2014

One thing I neglected to mention in the piece in terms of plot holes is the fact that Kirk seems genuinely stunned that Spock is alive when informed by Saavik. Why the necessity to return his body to Vulcan? Is he just doing the honorable thing, acceding to Sarek’s wishes? Even if it was reordered in post (and that’s news to me) they should’ve covered it somehow. As it stands there is no way Kirk or Sarek could know. Kirk could hope that Genesis might regenerate Spock but his log entry at the end of TWOK doesn’t indicate a sense of urgency to return (although he certainly possesses one in TSFS even before he meets with Sarek).

98. Steve Gennarelli - June 3, 2014

Funny how 30 years have changed things so much.

Back then “Starlog” magazine and even “Fantastic Films” and “Cinefantastique” had these magnificent previews of all the “Trek” films. A few photos made a hardcore “Trek” fan like me foam at the mouth at the possibility of a new “Star Trek” feature.

I know I’m in the minority but I also prefer “Trek III” over “TWOK”.
III has more of an epic feel to it. We know that for Kirk to find Spock and to meld him in some way with McCoy is such a long shot. Nimoy and Bennett bring us a story that builds to such a rewarding crescendo. We have Kirk at his best. On an exploding planet, finishing off the much younger and bigger Kruge.

De Kelley as McCoy brings so much to this movie. It’s his best performance of the film series to. The little business he has with the alien and the Security Guard in the bar is brilliant. The scene he has with Spock alone on the Klingon ship is the kind of little scene we’ll likely never again see in a “Star Trek” movie or show, but we can keep hoping can’t we ?

Like the late, great Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel said when this film came out, I was more than ready for “Star Trek 3 and a half” when this film ended..but of course, ….the Adventure Continues.

I think this movie is so perfect…Trek IV and VI would have some great moments but I’d put III right up there with them and 2 in the pantheon of great Trek Movies. I am a fan of the Abrams films, as I think both paid homage to the series and were very respectful of the history of Trek.

99. navamske - June 3, 2014

“I had never seen ‘Taxi,’ and I remember at every screening I went to, my fellow viewers all burst out laughing when Christopher Lloyd is revealed as the Klingon commending Valkris’s theft of the Genesis data. I had no idea why, and only managed to catch ‘Taxi’ after seeing him again as the iconic Doc Brown in BOTF.”

A possibly interesting piece of trivia: Kruge and Valkris were characters who were connected but didn’t actually have any scenes together (i.e., it’s doubtful the two actors were on the same set at the same time — à la Shatner and Montalban’s filming their over-the-viewscreen conversation in TWOK four months apart). But Cathie Shirriff, who played Valkris, also appeared in an episode of “Taxi” as an ex-girlfriend of Lloyd’s Jim Ignatowski. I wonder if the casting directors knew this — if not, it was a hell of a coincidence. Apropos of what I say above, it’s entirely possible that while filming his half of the conversation, Lloyd had no idea who would be playing Valkris.

On another note, I’ve never understood why Spock’s actions at the end of TWOK were deemed a sacrifice — wasn’t he toast whether he went into the reactor room or not? You know, if you don’t go into the reactor room, you get blowed up and become part of the Genesis planet along with the Enterprise and every living thing aboard it.

100. Check the Circuit - June 3, 2014

Hey Steve…

If you’re interested in revisiting those old Marvel Star Trek comic books, have I got a deal for you! :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Complete-Series-of-Marvel-Comics-Star-Trek-1-18-Apr-1980-Feb-1982-/171324926330?pt=US_Comic_Books&hash=item27e3c2e97a

101. Gary Neumann - June 3, 2014

Great movie!

102. Cygnus-X1 - June 3, 2014

95. Steve Vivona – June 3, 2014

The plot hole with Spock’s katra is that in the beginning of the movie Sarek acts like katric restoration is standard procedure, scolding Kirk for not being responsible about restoring Spock’s katra to his body. However, at the end of the movie, the Vulcan priestess on Mt. Seleya says that the katric restoration process “has not been done since ages past, and then only in legend.”

So, is katric restoration routine procedure or highly unusual bordering on impossible?

Another, smaller plot hole is that the Klingon boarding party doesn’t really need cooperation from the Enterprise transporters, and hence there was no reason that they should have fallen into Kirk’s self-destruct trap, other than politeness and respect for Kirk and his “gallant crew”. Being that the bird-of-prey transporter system had transported Kruge & co. to the surface of the Genesis Planet (where there is no counterpart transporter device to reintegrate the Klingons) earlier in the movie, the boarding party should likewise have been able to transport to any desired area of the Enterprise. Hence, they didn’t really need to wait for Kirk to activate the Enterprise transporter and pull the ol’ switcheroo on on them.

103. Ryan - June 3, 2014

Funny, seeing people lament all the plotholes of Star Trek 3 pretty much gives them no reason to be as hard on Into Darkness….. It’s called a movie people! Enjoy it lol Don’t over-analyze every plot hole, just see what u can get out of the performances of the actors, the action sequences, and soundtrack, etc.

104. Son of Captain Garth - June 3, 2014

Cygnus: I may be remembering this incorrectly–and I’m sure there’ll be many who will point this out if I am–but wasn’t Sarek scolding Kirk for not taking Spock’s katra to Vulcan? Wasn’t it to be restored to some hall of souls or something at Mount Seleya–kinda like saving an .mp3 file to a hard drive? I don’t remember Sarek saying anything about going to Genesis. That was McCoy’s idea, even though he had no way of knowing that Spock’s coffin had been found–let alone empty.

105. Dr Beckett - June 4, 2014

I tend to ignore the plot holes ;) Trek III, to me, will always be one of my all time favorites.

106. Steve Vivona - June 4, 2014

Son of Captain Garth, yes the point was to “upload” Spock’s katra to the Hall of Ancient Thought. Fal-tor-pan is the refusion, which has not been done since ages past. It implies that a stored consciousness can be reunited with a body. I would imagine that Spock was the first true resurrected body they had ever been confronted with. Maybe (and this is nothing but wild speculation) they could use fal-tor-pan to unite a consciousness with someone who had experienced brain death. I know I’m reading way too much into this, but sometimes these little details take you out of the story. It doesn’t hamper my love of the film.

107. The Keeper - June 4, 2014

A time when Star Trek actually had meaning and purpose…then the profiteering parade of the spins offs and later reimages began and all was diminished there after.

108. thebiggfrogg - June 4, 2014

What a difference 3 years makes. I was born in 1967, so I was part of the ‘syndication generation’ that devoured Trek in my youth, by the time Star Wars hit I was already a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie (though by 1977 I added Star Wars to the mix–no mixed feelings or conflict). Sadly, my Dad was not into sci-fi the same way. Inevitably Trek played opposite the football game in the 1970s 4 channel universe. I always hated when Trek would be upcoming, and I was on the verge of getting to watch when the bloody football game would start playing with their time outs and go into overtime (overtime into my Trek!) I hate football to this day (‘cept when the Pack is in it to the playoffs and SuperBowl, then I give it a watch to keep up my ‘Scony bona fides).

109. thebiggfrogg - June 4, 2014

BTW, loved the nods to all the Trek ‘family’ in ST III. Though the TOS second-tier crew never made it a truly ensemble piece it was nice to see them get their moment in the sun (particularly Uhura and Sulu, badasses both!)

110. Cygnus-X1 - June 4, 2014

101. Son of Captain Garth – June 3, 2014
103. Steve Vivona – June 4, 2014

Let’s have a look at the pertinent dialogue. (I’m a glutton for this sort of analysis, as you can tell.)

SAREK: Why did you leave him on Genesis? Spock trusted you, and you denied him his future!

KIRK: I saw no future.

SAREK: Only his body was in death, Kirk. And you were the last one to be with him.

KIRK: Yes, I was.

SAREK: Then, you must know that you should have come with him to Vulcan.

…He asked you to bring him to us, and to bring that which he gave you — his katra, his living spirit.

[And later…]

SAREK: You must bring them [Bones & Spock] to Mt. Seleya on Vulcan, only there can they both find peace.

If you’re sitting in the audience of the movie, the above dialogue is what you know. Intriguing as it sounds, there’s nothing about the Hall of Ancient Thought in this or in any of the other movies (or the TV series). And, even if the Hall of Ancient Thought were canon, Sarek’s dialogue would be at least ambiguous in saying that BOTH Spock’s body and katra were supposed to be returned to Vulcan.

Unless the only need for Spock’s body to be brought to Vulcan (in addition to his katra) were for some other, associated purpose—like an associated burial ritual to accompany a katric “uploading” ceremony, then Sarek’s dialogue can only be interpreted as describing the katric restoration process which we are finally shown at the end of the movie.

But, again, there’s nothing in the movie about needing Spock’s body for any other purpose nor anything implying another procedure (such as an “uploading”) involving Spock’s katra. So, we must assume that Sarek, at the beginning of the movie, was referring to the katric restoration process shown at the end of the movie. And therefore, there’s a contradiction between the priestess and Sarek in how normal they each imply the katric restoration to be. Sarek implies that it’s routine, and scolds Kirk for not doing what he was supposed to do. But the priestess says that it’s so rare that they don’t even really know if it’s ever been done before.

111. Cygnus-X1 - June 4, 2014

I just watched the movie again last night, and one more nitpick that I had was that the scene at the very end—where Spock recognizes “Jim…your name is Jim!” and then the rest of the gang all run over to put their hands on Spock and smile at him as the sun goes down—was pretty cheesy. I know they had to end the movie happily some how, but Spock shouldn’t be so excited about remembering Kirk and the reaction by the rest of the gang comes across as obviously staged. I think that a more subdued, characteristically Vulcan reaction from the newly re-born Vulcan accompanied by a characteristically sardonic-but-good-natured quip by Bones would have played better as a final scene, especially when followed by…

…And the adventure continues…

112. TUP - June 4, 2014

The idea was never to restore Spock to a living being.

Sarek was angry Kirk didnt take Spock’s body back to Vulcan per custom (presumably). Separate of that, Sarek assumed Spock mindmelded with kirk and wanted to “upload” his consciousness into their hall of spirits or whatever the heck it was.

It was only when they discovered that Genesis had regenerated Spock’s body that they realised they could re-combine his body and mind into one.

To be honest, if they tried that today, I’d probably savage it as hokey. But it works in TSFS.

113. Mark - June 4, 2014

Great Star Trek news.

114. Cygnus-X1 - June 4, 2014

112. TUP – June 4, 2014

That may have been the intention in Harve Bennett’s mind, but it doesn’t come across that way in the movie. There’s no mention of an “uploading” procedure or ceremony. The only procedure involving katra that’s mentioned or alluded to in the movie is the one at the end.

115. TUP - June 4, 2014

No I dont believe thats true. Sarek implores Kirk that they must return to Vulcan. I dont think he even mentions Spock’s body at that point. I havent seen the film in awhile so I cant quote it but I am certain Sarek says they must put Spock’s katra to rest, not rejoin it to his body.

116. TUP - June 4, 2014

I think Sarek’s words in referring to “them” ie. McCoy and Spock was not meaning Spock’s physical body but his living spirit. Same with “why did you leave him on genesis” because he also refers to “that which he gave you”, meaning his Katra.

Ofcourse that doesnt explain why Kirk immediately decided he had to go get Spock’s body which he should have presumed would be decimated anyway, No one would have assumed Spock’s body soft-landed unless its canon that Sarek was aware that David & Savik found the torpedo and presumably explained that to Kirk off-screen. In that sense, Kirk was going to retrive a dead body.

But that raises other questions such as why Kirk blastes Spock’s body off in the first place. Even when watching WOK I was confused by that in the sense, they were returning to Earth anyway why wouldnt he take hos body back for proper burial?

It also means that Kirk violated a pretty big order for no reason other than to retrieve a dead body which, if Starfleet was inclined and surely they would be at Sarek’s insistance, Savik’s ship could have taken care of.

I consider it more of them trying to make the best of a convoluted situation. I’d rant and rave about it in modern films but Im okay with it in TSFS.

117. Cygnus-X1 - June 4, 2014

115. TUP – June 4, 2014

I posted the pertinent dialogue in #110. I think the implication is pretty clear. Have a look.

118. TUP - June 4, 2014

Cygnus – I read what you posted and I still think you can take from Sarek that he didnt mean “they” as in Spock’s body and McCoy. He meant they as in McCoy and Spock’s katra.

119. Captain, USS Northstar - June 4, 2014

Where does 30 years go? Amazing to think that much time has passed, but like a fine wine, STIII: TSFS ages beautifully and improves with the passage of time.

When I was younger, I enjoyed the movie but thought it was a little slow. Now, with the perspective of age, I see how it brought together all of the best elements of TOS. As one person commented above, Shatner is at his best in this movie (and IMO, ST IV) — heck, they are ALL at their best. Each character has a moment, a line, something memorable.

As a first time director, Nimoy hit it out of the park. I wish the same success for Mr. Orci!

The best thing about ST III — it left the audience wanting more, and they knew more was on the way. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary with nuTrek III, I hope for the same!

Thanks for the article and the trip down memory lane.

120. Vultan - June 4, 2014

Fun fact: In an episode of Taxi, Christopher Lloyd’s character Reverend Jim mentions how much he enjoyed Star Trek. But he had a problem with the Romulans.

121. Disinvited - June 4, 2014

# 116. TUP – June 4, 2014, #117. Cygnus-X1 – June 4, 2014

From the final draft script:

http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/Trek/Star_Trek_III.htm

SAREK
Forgive me. It is not here. I
assumed he had mind-melded with
you. It is the Vulcan way when
the body’s end is near.

KIRK
But he couldn’t touch me…! We
were separated!

KIRK
Bones!…

SAREK
One alive, one not. Yet both in
pain.

KIRK
What must I do?

SAREK
You must bring them to Mount
Selaya — on Vulcan. Only there
is the passage possible. Only
there can both find peace…

It seems clear Sarek knows Spock’s body is dead and his focus is on the katra when he says ” One alive, one not. Yet both in pain.”

And also seems clear the “them” he wants brought to Mt. Selaya is “the both in pain”. Unless you can explain how Spock’s dead body’s “in pain”, I just don’t think it had anything to do with that line.

Now as for why Kirk goes to Genesis. It seems obvious that he now knows from his investigation with Sarek that the entity that asked him “Why did you leave me on Genesis?” wasn’t just a McCoy overcome with grief but the Spock/McCoy entity. So, Kirk went there to retrieve whatever part of Spock was left there for the Selaya pilgrimage. If it was his duty as best friend to see that that katra gets there then he was going to be darn certain every bit retrievable was going to make it.

Also in the exchange with Morrow, Kirk makes it clear to Morrow that he is going to Genesis for Spock’s soul – not his body. Morrow denies Kirk because he thinks he’s making a fool of himself over Vulcan Mysticism.

What I find odd about the exchange is that I think Kirk would have had a better shot of getting the trip approved if he had had Sarek make a body retrieval request. I mean it is a fairly standard military procedure in my lifetime to retrieve remains interred at battle sites for families, often for religious reasons. I’m surprised the once Admiral Kirk seems oblivious to this.

122. Sxottlan - June 5, 2014

I’ve always enjoyed this film and thought it under-rated. TWOK is indeed dark, but TSFS was plenty shocking with the fate of David and the Enterprise. I should revisit this film after all this time, see if I can watch it with some fresh eyes.

A fantastic score by James Horner. One of his best.

And one forgets until reading this thread about how much of Trek lore was introduced in this film: the Excelsior, the BOP, the Oberth-Class, space dock, Mt. Seleya etc.

123. P Technobabble - June 5, 2014

I always enjoyed this movie specifically because of the TOS cast — their story and their performances. I didn’t mind any of the plot holes, I just went along for the ride.
What I didn’t care for were the scenes with David and Saavik… I just didn’t get into those characters… at all. And I don’t have anyone specific in mind, but I’d have preferred a different actor to play Kruge. I just couldn’t get past Loyd’s “Rev. Jim” voice — it was just too recognizable.
Highlights for me were:
Kirk finds Bones in Spock’s quarters.
Mind meld with Sarek.
Stealing the Enterprise.
Kirk’s battle with Kruge.
Spock’s recognition of Kirk at the end.

124. TUP - June 5, 2014

Disinvited – thank you. That is clear as day. Sarek was talking about McCoy and the katra, not Spock’s body.

And yes, McCoy’s plea of “why did you leave me on genesis” was the line I was trying to remember as the reason Kirk felt he had to go there.

Also, you make a good point. Had Sarek asked that Kirk be allowed to return to Genesis, surely Starfleet would have allowed it. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was that off-limits. Because if Sarek had the stroke, why not send a Vulcan ship? Ofcourse, Kirk being Kirk, he felt it was *his* responsibility. Period.

Im not sure how i’d feel about Kirk’s son, in a modern film, being sort of a physically weak, emotional mama’s boy scientist, but it was certainly an interesting way to go. In away it was showing how David would turn out without Kirk’s influence (though in Star Trek, we got a completely different take on how Kirk turned out without his father’s influence, the difference being David didnt know his father was a legendary Captain). I liked both David and Savik especially because they were supporting characters that weren’t pushed down our throats as “stars”. Savik especially felt like she became a part of the Trek universe and its very unfortunate they didnt use that character in TUC.

125. Curious Cadet - June 5, 2014

@39. star trackie,
“Can you imagine the field day, the red matter, “Magic Blood” complainers, would have had bashing this movie back in the day with it’s magic “protomatter”!”

This argument is getting old. VERY OLD. First of all, fans did complain about that since they walked out of the theaters, and have been ever since.

Second — bad movie contrivances foisted on less sophisticated audiences in 1984 are NO excuse to continue making the same mistakes in modern movies. We should expect better and we should be getting it from “Mr. Fringe Science” Orci.

—————————-

@83. LogicalLeopard,
” you can imagine my ire when people get all bent out of shape at a physically altered Khan as not making sense, when this is probably one of the most fantastic nonsense moments in Trek movie history, and no one talks about it.”

EVERYONE talks about it — all the time!!! This idea that fans who complain about the NUMEROUS unnecessary faults of STID find zero fault with the pre-Abrams films is RIDICULOUS. This same tired argument comes up every time somebody legitimately complains about the avoidable problems of STID to silence them, and defend Bad Robot, and it’s wrong. Orci has 4 decades of Star Trek films, much of which contains plot holes and bad science, to learn from and prevent making the same mistakes going forward. Yet, that actually seems to be part of his formula, despite what he says publicly, to intentionally continue to make the same errors of the previous films and TV series. And if that’s true, I would respect him a lot more if he would just come out and say it, rather than try to defend his choices as legitimate, and somehow better than what came before.

126. TUP - June 5, 2014

Yeah so the excuse for Orci et al writing a terrible Trek movie is “uh well, there were bad trek movies in the 80’s” ??? Thats a terrible excuse.

Saw X-Men. Now thats how you write a time travel movie that connects two “generations”. I hope Orci watched it too. Unfortunately, he already blew it with his version of time travel whereby nothing you do in the past matters because it doesnt change the future we know. No consequences = no caring.

127. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

# 39. star trackie – June 2, 2014

“Can you imagine the field day, the red matter, “Magic Blood” complainers, would have had bashing this movie back in the day with it’s magic “protomatter”! lol Thank God there was no internet back then!” — star trackie

Your call for imagination is in reality showing a surprising lack of it. Lacking an internet didn’t provide an obstacle for fan communication and exchange of ideas.

I assume you are aware that fans organized a LETTER writing campaign to get NBC to renew in both season 2 and 3? Fans had lots of outlets for their gripes. The closest to what you see here played out in the letters to the editor pages of magazines such as STARLOG but we also had an interBBS email exchange using late night phone modems between systems.

http://archive.org/stream/starlog_magazine-087/087_djvu.txt

At first, I was going to just cleanup the primitive OCR and just post the numerous letters to the editor to give you a feel for fans of 1984, but no matter how I tried to edit it down the single post would have ovewhelmed this thread even though each are on topic as to this film’s 30 years.

So I’ve hatched a new strategy, I will try to post letters from that issue that address things current fans have brought up.

128. Keachick (Rose) - June 5, 2014

One of the standout issue for me about TSFS is the fight between Kruge and Kirk on a dying planet. It is not the fight itself and I’ve always loved that line by Kirk, “I’ve had…enough…of you!”

It is the fact that they would even be able to go fisticuffs or anything else where there would have been so much heat and poisonous gases spewing out. If I’m not mistaken, without wearing any kind of protective gear (which the four of them were not), they should have all died within minutes from asphyxiation from the noxious gases. But here you have a long scene showing Kruge and Kirk duking it out…

Has anyone actually been close to a genuine volcanic eruption (which is what this Genesis planet was undergoing)? Well, I have been – sort of and that was slightly more than 200kms away. In 1995, in the middle of the North Island, NZ, Mt Ruapehu erupted big time and the cloud extended over much of the island, including Auckland. We did not smokey ash. In fact, we did not see much that was different at all, except if you owned a dark coloured car and left it outside. It got covered in very fine white particles – different looking from frost or snow. Schools were closed and everyone who did not have to go outside were asked to remain indoors. People wore masks. Those who suffered from any respiratory conditions like asthma (me) were told not to go outside – period.

Of course, I had a toddler and a 4 month old baby and lived in a small 2-bedroom apartment with better half. Better half did the outside stuff and said that it was not good even for him wearing a mask…

Perhaps this is unusual. Perhaps Kayla Lacovino may be able to discuss this and those scenes in Star Trek III.

129. LogicalLeopard - June 5, 2014

87. Edward – June 3, 2014
@ Logicalleopard – yes, nice one! Another scene I had overlooked.

David has to die…he gives his life saving Spock who is most likely to be stabbed. Again, a human saving Vulcan lives (Savvik too).

It’s really only after David’s death that Kirk realises he isn’t going to be able to bluff his way round Kruge and takes him deadly seriously.
******************************

I can see your point. But I think he would have taken him deadly seriously as well if Kruge would have killed Saavik.

130. LogicalLeopard - June 5, 2014

90. Cygnus-X1 – June 3, 2014
83. LogicalLeopard – June 3, 2014

Did it disintegrate, leaving one cell that developed into Spock?

Yup.
********************************

That’s kind of unbelievable, that ONE cell would be left, instead of at least several thousand.
************************************

You got it. Either Spock’s body decayed and only one of its cells cloned into a new Spock which was then transported off the planet and therefore stopped growing at an accelerated right when Spock had grown roughly to the age he was when he died, or…

Spock’s resurrection was a consequence of the mysterious process referred to in TWOK as “The Genesis Effect”.

*****************************

Which I put it all under the “Genesis effect” but that’s a LOT foggier than “Magic Blood” where at least you can kind of get an understanding of how it would work.
*************************

It’s not clear whether TOS transporters were able to save the patterns in the pattern buffer as readily as TNG transporters could, but if they could then Spock could have been brought back from a saved transporter pattern. They obviously had to bring him back somehow, and using the Genesis concept to do so was as good an idea as any, though you’re right that the convenient timing and contrivance of it all sticks out.

*****************************

Yeah, transporter save would have been worse by far, because there’d be no reason for ANY Vulcans to EVER die if that was the case. I think where the Genesis effect shot itself in the foot was with the microbes. It was a cool scene, but it immediately makes you wonder why the germs on Spock’s body didn’t hyperevolve and eat him, and how he himself was resurrected. Would have been much better if they left that out, AND the Spock growing older part out, and simply have the Genesis Effect wake up his “not so long dead” flesh. They could say it was due to not only the Genesis effect, but the radiation that saturated Spocks body before he died in a way that couldn’t be replicated. Of course, having adult Spock throughout would have made all the scenes on the planet kind of boring, with a mute Spock blundering about. But really, they probably should have just changed that whole plot around.

131. TUP - June 5, 2014

Killing Saavik wouldn’t have had the emotional impact of killing Kirk’s son. Its what prompted him to concoct the plan to lure the Klingons to the Enterprise and blow it up. He made a crazy desperate, destructive move because he was angry and grieving and desperate.

132. LogicalLeopard - June 5, 2014

125. Curious Cadet – June 5, 2014

@83. LogicalLeopard,
” you can imagine my ire when people get all bent out of shape at a physically altered Khan as not making sense, when this is probably one of the most fantastic nonsense moments in Trek movie history, and no one talks about it.”

EVERYONE talks about it — all the time!!! This idea that fans who complain about the NUMEROUS unnecessary faults of STID find zero fault with the pre-Abrams films is RIDICULOUS. This same tired argument comes up every time somebody legitimately complains about the avoidable problems of STID to silence them, and defend Bad Robot, and it’s wrong. Orci has 4 decades of Star Trek films, much of which contains plot holes and bad science, to learn from and prevent making the same mistakes going forward. Yet, that actually seems to be part of his formula, despite what he says publicly, to intentionally continue to make the same errors of the previous films and TV series. And if that’s true, I would respect him a lot more if he would just come out and say it, rather than try to defend his choices as legitimate, and somehow better than what came before.
*****************

Sorry, I was six when this movie came out, so I don’t remember the reaction afterward in the theatres. But as far as message boards like this, I hardly ever hear people refer to it, other than myself. My point isn’t that the new braintrust is allowed to make mistakes because the old ones did, my point is that I don’t think many people treated much larger mistakes with the same vehemence that they do STID. Did people say Star Trek was dead when STIII came out? Probably not many. And do the people who pan STID pan STIII in a similar fashion? I haven’t heard it. So really, they need to examine WHY that is, and that would help put everything in perspective. That’s what I’m trying to say.

133. Keachick (Rose) - June 5, 2014

#120 – Yes, that is how I understood Sarek’s comments. Nobody for a minute, assumed that Spock’s body would have regenerated. The body was DEAD.

Leaving dead bodies behind seems to be the way of things in Star Trek, even when there is an opportunity to bring them back for proper memorial and burial. The same happened in Generations with James T Kirk’s body. Picard just left him there. None of Star Trek canon records that Starfleet’s regulations allow for such occurrences, unless such is specified in that person’s Will. There has been no dialogue that explains that leaving to body in a tube or on an alien planet has been considered OK by the person before death.

In both cases (ie STIII and STVII), leaving the respective bodies behind was inappropriate.

134. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

# 124. TUP – June 5, 2014

“Because if Sarek had the stroke, why not send a Vulcan ship?” — TUP

First what a fan of 30 years ago had to say via October 1984’s STARLOG 87:

“… I suppose the best way to describe my thoughts about Star Trek III is confused. Although I enjoyed the film, found the characters interesting and fun to watch, I am horrified at the transformation of the Star Trek universe that writer Harve Bennett has thrust upon us. The destruction of the U.S.S. Enterprise is not only unbearable to watch again, but it was a cheap, useless, unimaginative way of the vessel meeting its end.

Admiral James T. Kirk would never destroy the Enterprise, and then for just the sake of killing only six Klingons! Why couldn’t Kirk, Scott and the others stand in the transporter room and fire on the Klingons as they began to materialize? Why couldn’t Kirk and the others have stolen or hired another ship? Why couldn’t Kirk have had the primary hull ejected? Why couldn’t he shut off the life support system so the Klingons would suffocate? There could have been a dozen other methods to deal with the invaders, but no, a cheap and useless way for the famous starship to go had to be created, simply to get an audience to see the movie. Without the Enterprise, the Star Trek universe is a shambles, and nothing, but nothing can replace such a beautiful symbol of good, power and hope.

Steve McKinnon
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada”

Now, my turn: recall that McCoy already tried to hire a ship and look where he ended up. Still, we can’t deny Kruge was illegally and successfully at Genesis with his ship so the movie does have the problem that it presents it as possible for other ships to get there, i.e. there’s no compelling reason that it has to be Enterprise.

Kirk even acknowledges this:

” KIRK
As surely as if it[Spock’s soul] were my own!
(deeply)
Harry, give me back the
Enterprise! With Scotty’s help…

MORROW
No, Jim! Enterprise would never
stand the pounding.

KIRK
Then I’ll find a ship — I’ll hire
a ship.

MORROW
Out of the question! The Council
has ordered that no one but the
science team goes to Genesis!”

The only compelling reason for stealing the E is that Kirk, for some reason, thought time was of the essence, but his response to Morrow’s last quote clearly indicated he thought a delay to present his arguments to The Council was acceptable. The only thing I can come up with is McCoy hadn’t been arrested yet, and that event changed everything, which is why they had to steal the E for a quick getaway after a jailbreak.

Still it seems obvious Kirk knows Saavik is at Genesis. Would it have been that much trouble to contact her as the resident science investigator there most familiar with a katra and ask if she found any evidence of a part of Spock’s “soul” hanging around before deciding to go there?

Also I am rewatching it, and it seems very odd that even before Torg gets to blurt out to Kruge there are life signs on the planet, we, the audience, can hear Saavik’s unscrambled attempts to contact Grissom coming from the Klingon ship’s speakers before she switches to emergency frequency. Kruge seems oblivious to it and doesn’t relent from his bead on Torg until Torg tells him there are life signs on the planet?

135. Keachick (Rose) - June 5, 2014

CygnusX1 – “Incidentally, the Pike death scene in STID is also inconsequential—it doesn’t really affect Kirk’s actions throughout the rest of the story, other than to re-promote to Captain him almost immediately after he’d been demoted, thereby undoing the one potential lesson that Kirk might have learned in that story.”

You just have to be kidding here, playing Devil’s Advocate or something?

Pike’s death does really affect Kirk’s later actions? Of course, Pike’s death does. In fact, his death and Kirk actually seeing for himself who was responsible is the raison d’etre. In actuality, Pike’s death and Kirk being there was probably the most important scene in the whole movie. It predicated much of how Kirk was to feel and behave from then on.

First, Kirk’s grief (which has four stages to it) made him to want avenge Pike’s murder by doing just as Admiral Marcus commands him – Kill him. Later, when Spock realizes the illegality of Marcus’s orders, appeals to Kirk’s own moral centre and knowledge of SF protocols, Kirk no longer wants to kill Harrison (as he knows him at this stage), but to bring this killer back to stand trial. Kirk never wavers from the second resolution – to bring this murderer back to answer for his crimes.

#86 – Exactly!

136. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

#132. LogicalLeopard – June 5, 2014

” Did people say Star Trek was dead when STIII came out?” — LogicalLeopard

Well, one did say “…the Star Trek universe is a shambles…” in large circulation publication such as October 1984′s STARLOG 87:

“. . . Gods, am I mad! ! David Marcus was killed off. What brilliant person wrote that into the script? Why even introduce new people, if they only end up as “shark bait?” Wouldn’t it have served as well to have David hurt badly, and for Kirk to know that he almost lost his son? It just seems that the Star Trek films have become a celebration of death, rather than life and the discovery of new life.

Lisa Gudino
Sacramento, CA
—————————————-
. . . One thing I disliked was the killing of Kirk’s son, David. It does prove that David can face death, unlike his father; but it was a senseless point to make. David and Saavik were two very good characters to introduce into the Star Trek realm; more characters should have been introduced to eventually replace the current crew. For all the respect and admiration I have for the present characters, they can only last for several more movies.

Arthur Ramos, Jr.
Lake Hiawatha, NJ
—————————————-
. . . We enjoyed the movie. We tried to look past its faults but we simply could not. The movie’s overall feel was dismal and cheerless.

First, we were very disturbed with the resurrection of Spock’s body. If the effect of the Genesis Wave is unstable, then Spock’s body would, obviously, be unstable. Merely taking him off the Genesis Planet would not change that. He would still be aging rapidly as his body was resurrected by the Genesis Wave. If he were joined with the Genesis Planet, as was indicated in the film, he would have died when the planet died. If it were at all possible to stablize his body, then it should
have been adequately explained in the film.

Second, the Klingons seemed to be tacked on to the plot to give Kirk an adversary which wasn’t Starfleet. We were under the impression that they were there to provide action, blood, guts and gore for the audience, and to destroy David Marcus and the Enterprise. They were not integral to the main plot of searching for Spock.

As for the Enterprise’s destruction, we feel it was merely a publicity stunt. The manner in which Kirk reacted when she was destroyed seemed out of character. That was not the reaction of the Kirk we saw in the series and the other two movies. Even when they were going to put the Enterprise in moth balls, his only response was, “Can we get another ship?” The Enterprise was his home for more than 10 years. We remember when he would have killed to get her back.

Another major flaw was Robin Curtis’ portrayal of Saavik. We found her Saavik to be bland, boring, and as exciting as wallpaper paste. Except for the eagerness she showed in helping Spock go through pon farr, she had no emotion or emotional depth whatsoever. All Vulcans we have seen had emotional depth; a person lacking that would be very boring. The Saavik in The Wrath of Khan was shown to be controlling her emotions. This aspect of her character, plus her unease in dealing with humans, made her extremely interesting. In The Search for Spock, unfortunately, those characteristics were missing. This Saavik was merely a washed-out ghost of the Saavik we liked and admired in Khan.

Marlyn Walt

Wenty Larsen
Provo, UT
—————————————-
. . .This film is destined to be immortalized in future editions of The Golden Turkey A wards. Leonard Nimoy’s follow-up to his autobiography, I Am Not Spock, should be entitled I Am Not a Director, Nimoy’s amateurishly stilted direction smothered what could have been a fun movie.

I hated how the filmmakers decided to have David (Merritt Butrick) conveniently “sacrifice” himself; this stupid soap opera touch eliminated the possibility for an interesting relationship developing between Kirk and son David. All that would have been necessary to save David and the Enterprise was a little creativity, a commodity the predictable mess of a storyline was sorely lacking. I guess writer Harve Bennett thought he gave Nichelle (Uhura) Nichols, George (Sulu) Takei and Walter (Chekov) Koenig important parts this time around — each five or six whole lines! The tribbles had almost as much dialogue.

Cosmo K. Sprigg
Alameda, CA
————————“

137. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

# 133. Keachick (Rose) – June 5, 2014

“Leaving dead bodies behind seems to be the way of things in Star Trek, even when there is an opportunity to bring them back for proper memorial and burial.” — Keachick (Rose)

You are telling me? At least Spock got a coffin and Kirk was buried, poor David was just left lying there.

138. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

121. Disinvited – June 4, 2014

It seems clear Sarek knows Spock’s body is dead and his focus is on the katra when he says ” One alive, one not. Yet both in pain.”

Yes, but he says that AFTER he has realized that Spock’s katra is in McCoy and AFTER his initial comment scolding Kirk for leaving Spock’s body on Genesis Planet.

You’re conflating two different issues.

Sarek’s initial dialogue to Kirk, which I posted, shows that Sarek assumed that Kirk would have brought BOTH Spock’s body AND Spock’s katra (presumed temporarily residing within Kirk) to Vulcan. The movie shows only reason and purpose that Sarek would have had in mind for assuming Spock’s body AND katra would be brought to Vulcan—prior, that is, to Sarek’s learning that McCoy was carrying Spock’s katra and being driven mad by it. When Sarek realizes that McCoy has the katra, he then says the dialogue that you cited. Sarek then means for McCoy and Spock (both bodies) to be brought to Vulcan, so that the katra can be removed from McCoy’s body and put back into Spock’s.

But, none of that changes the implications of the dialogue that I cited.

By his dialogue to Kirk, Sarek leads us to believe that the katra restoration procedure is routine. The whole bit about Bones is totally irrelevant to that point.

139. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

In other words, whether Sarek means for Spock’s katra do be removed from Kirk as he implies firstly and restored to Spock’s body; or whether Sarek means for Spock’s katra to be removed from McCoy as he later implies and be restored to Spock’s body, is a totally irrelevant point.

Sarek implies the whole katra restoration procedure to be routine. That is the only point that I was making. Whether it involves Kirk or Bones is irrelevant.

140. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

130. LogicalLeopard – June 5, 2014

Actually, when I watched it again, David describes it as the Genesis effect could have caused his [Spock’s] cells to regenerate.

So, it’s not really a new Spock cloned from a single cell. It’s every cell in Spock’s body being “regenerated” or reborn from the old cells. This is no less fantastical, but it does explain why the planet wasn’t overrun with Spocks.

Which I put it all under the “Genesis effect” but that’s a LOT foggier than “Magic Blood” where at least you can kind of get an understanding of how it would work.

No, pretty much the same as Magic Blood. Both magical things that raise people from the dead. The difference is that the Genesis Effect was a consequence of the whole premise, theme and plot of TWOK. Whereas Magic Blood wasn’t necessarily entailed in the Khan character as originally written, and the new Khan didn’t have to have magic blood, either. The writers just chose to give him magic blood; it wasn’t related to a greater theme, premise or storyline.

141. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

For all the dissatisfaction about Robin Curtis’s portrayal of Saavik in STIII, I think that she did a fine job portraying the Vulcan privateer Tallera in the TNG Season 7 two-parter, Gambit.

142. Dunsel Report - June 5, 2014

Question: Did Star Trek III invent the late-1980s “body swap comedy” ??

143. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

#138. Cygnus-X1 – June 5, 2014

Thanks for sticking with me as now I see the valid foundation you are building this on.

I don’t think that the only possible interpretation is retrieving a body for a refusion. I already mentioned the retrieval of remains for other ritualistic death ceremonies is common. It might be needed to play some role in the Katric passage ceremony of which Sarek referred.

Also, I still think an alternate case could be made that Sarek was refering to the result of Kirk not completing the katric passage correctly as Spock instructed his trusted friend to do. I can see Vulcans as describing the results of disastrous katric passages as “leaving the dead where they lie.”

144. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

#142. Dunsel Report – June 5, 2014

No. Spock didn’t swap bodies with McCoy. If anything it was closer to the quite common lore of possession.

You’d be on stronger footing with the last episode of the first series with Dr. Janice Lester, TURNABOUT INTRUDER

145. Keachick (Rose) - June 5, 2014

“Which I put it all under the “Genesis effect” but that’s a LOT foggier than “Magic Blood” where at least you can kind of get an understanding of how it would work.”

Correct. The Genesis Effect had Spock become a child or when Saavik meets him a young teen about to undergo his first pon farr. Are we to conclude that the older Spock’s dead body decayed and started off again as embryo quickly growing youth status, and you think that makes more sense than what a genetically engineered blood of a human might do? Really?

This so-called “magic blood” made a lot more sense in its application. Anyway, Khan had what Dr McCoy described as superblood, which was the obvious result of him being genetically engineered and had the effect of allowing a person to remain in cryostasis for any time period and be brought back to being a fully functional person. This blood has been modified to be able to maintain various functions that would otherwise very slowly begin decay/actrification. Neither the tribble or Kirk became younger versions of themselves.

Bear in mind that bringing a person or animal out of cryostasis has not been possible so far…

There is a frog in Canada which freezes in the winter and re-emerges once the warmth of spring comes about. They have found that this particular frog has an organic form of anti-freeze in its blood.

146. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

143. Disinvited – June 5, 2014

At the beginning, Sarek assumes that the katra is in Kirk. Sarek then scolds Kirk for leaving Spock’s body on Vulcan and that Kirk should have gone with Spock’s body to Vulcan. The only referenced purpose for what Kirk should have done is that the katra would be removed from Kirk and put…somewhere

Let us assume (even though it’s never mentioned in the movie) that Sarek means, at the beginning of the movie, for Spock’s katra to be removed from Kirk and put into the Hall of Ancient Thought on Vulcan and for Spock’s body to be interred also on Vulcan in an associated ceremony. Why would this plan change simply because the katra was later found to be in Bones instead of in Kirk?

If the routine custom implied by Sarek really were for the katra to be put into the Hall of Ancient Thought, this custom would not have changed simply because Bones were the carrier of the katra instead of Kirk. The ceremony would simply proceed as normal, with the katra being removed from Bones and then put into the Hall of Ancient Thought. Spock’s body would be likewise interred regardless of who happened to carry his katra to Vulcan—Bones or Kirk.

But, again, this is not what happens. What happens is that the priestess does the restoration ceremony and puts the katra back into Spock, which is what we must assume that Sarek was referring to at the beginning of the movie when he scolded Kirk for leaving Spock’s body on Genesis.

Sometime between the filming of the beginning and the end of the movie, Harve Bennett and/or Leonard Nimoy decided to have the priestess state that the restoration procedure was extremely rare if not a myth. I don’t know why they decided to have the priestess say that, but they did. And it conflicts with what Sarek says at the beginning of the movie.

147. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

CORRECTION:

At the beginning, Sarek assumes that the katra is in Kirk. Sarek then scolds Kirk for leaving Spock’s body on *GENESIS*.

148. Wes - June 5, 2014

So, are we celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek V as well? (June 1989) I want to see a write up!

149. Brian Drew - June 5, 2014

146 – Cygnus

It conflicts because you’re assuming that somehow Sarek knew Spock was alive and planned for the refusion all along.

If Harve Bennett had written a scene right before or right after the first meeting with Sarek where they learn that Spock’s body had been regenerated, then the notion of going to Genesis to get him and bring him and McCoy to Vulcan makes perfect sense. But no such scene is ever written, as far as we know. No one knows Spock has been resurrected until the Enterprise returns to Genesis. It’s certainly more dramatic to do the reveal later, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And also – if it was a simple matter of retrieving his corpse to bring him home, then the Grissom could’ve handled it without much fuss.

150. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

149. Brian Drew – June 5, 2014

It conflicts because you’re assuming that somehow Sarek knew Spock was alive and planned for the refusion all along.

You’re right.

I assumed that because Sarek seems to imply it. Let’s look at some more dialogue:

KIRK: McCoy!

SAREK: One alive, one not. Yet both in pain.

KIRK: What must I do?

SAREK: You must bring them to Mt. Seleya on Vulcan. Only there can they both find peace.

KIRK: What you ask…is difficult.

SAREK: You will find a way, Kirk. If you honor them both, you must.

KIRK: I will.

So, if Sarek presumes Spock’s body to be dead, then why must Kirk retrieve it from Genesis and bring it to Mt. Seleya in order for Spock and Bones to “find peace?” What does Spock’s lifeless corpse have to do with his katra finding peace if his katra was supposed to be going into the Hall of Ancient Thought? If Bones is to “find peace” by having the Spock’s katra removed from his body, and the recovery of Spock’s body from Genesis is necessary for Spock to “find peace,” the implication is that the katra is going out of Bones and into Spock. But, as you point out, that can’t be the implication, because Sarek doesn’t know that Spock’s body has regenerated and is now viable. The dialogue in this movie pertaining to the whole Bones/Spock/katra storyline seems almost intentionally confusing.

Why can’t Kirk just bring Bones to Genesis?

Kirk steals the Enterprise and basically ends, not only his own career, but the careers of his crew, just to fetch a lifeless corpse for a funeral burial?

You’re right that Sarek has no way of knowing that Spock’s body has regenerated, and given that fact it makes sense that the normal procedure would be for the katra to be put into the Hall of Ancient thought, even though there’s no mention of it in the movie, and that therefore the final scene in which the katra is put back into Spock should not be what Sarek was referring to at the beginning, but rather a new procedure, given the new factor of Spock’s regenerated body having been found after Sarek’s dialogue.

But, damn…what a confusing storyline that is. We’re never told (1) why it’s important that Spock’s body be brought back to Vulcan; or (2) what’s normally supposed to be done with Spock’s katra. Harve Bennett really dropped the ball there.

151. Cygnus-X1 - June 5, 2014

149. Brian Drew – June 5, 2014

And also – if it was a simple matter of retrieving his corpse to bring him home, then the Grissom could’ve handled it without much fuss.

I don’t understand what you mean here.

The very next scene that takes place after the dialogue that I cited above is Kirk talking to his C.O. asking for permission to go to Genesis to retrieve Spock’s body.

So, given that Sarek has no reason to think that Spock’s body is alive, the only assumption left to us is that Spock’s body is necessary for whatever procedure is going to be done to remove Spock’s katra from McCoy—that’s why it’s all so confusing.

The dialogue and the events all point to Spock’s body being necessary for the katra transfer procedure, and when we finally see the katra procedure at the end of the movie it involves the katra being put back into Spock. So, retroactively, we assume that Spock’s body was retrieved for this very procedure that we are witnessing.

But, actually, this is not the case. Spock’s living body just happened to be a bonus that no one was expecting, so they figured why not try putting Spock’s katra back into his body instead of where ever it was originally supposed to go.

152. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

#149. Brian Drew – June 5, 2014

“And also – if it was a simple matter of retrieving his corpse to bring him home, then the Grissom could’ve handled it without much fuss.” — Brian Drew

Agreed. Military protocols. Probably could have dispatched a shuttle with it on board to rendezvous with Ambassador Sarek’s ship.

153. Disinvited - June 5, 2014

#151. Cygnus-X1 – June 5, 2014

In this exchange with Morrow, Kirk makes it very very clear that he wants to go to Genesis for Spock’s soul — not his body. Most likely because the katric link was too hastily set up by Spock. Sarek makes it very clear that the standard procedure part about telling McCoy what to do was omitted. One thing is clear in II, Spock’s katra didn’t just jump into McCoy the moment Spock melded “Remember”. Sarek informs us via Kirk in III Spock didn’t do a standard katra prep ritual. He omitted some steps. Spock found a way, but it wasn’t “by the book.” This is why I conclude Kirk is returning to Genesis to make sure McCoy, indeed, had sucked up all of Spock’s katra bits. And to do that, he can’t just retrieve the body even if it is needed for some ritual or another; he has to bring the vacuum (McCoy) to be certain that what ever katric energies set loose by this not quite kosher procedure Spock initiated is retrieved.

” MORROW
Now wait a minute! This business
about Spock and McCoy… Honestly,
I have never understood Vulcan
mysticism — I’m sorry! But part
of me doesn’t want you to make a
fool of yourself… Understand?

KIRK
Harry, you don’t have to believe!
I’m not even sure I believe. But
if there’s even a chance that
Spock has an eternal soul — then
that is my responsibility.

MORROW
Yours…?!

KIRK
As surely as if it were my own!
(deeply)
Harry, give me back the
Enterprise! With Scotty’s help…

MORROW
No, Jim! Enterprise would never
stand the pounding.

KIRK
Then I’ll find a ship — I’ll hire
a ship.”

154. Phil - June 5, 2014

@133. Well, if we are going to split hairs, Picard dug Kirk out from under the bridge, carried him up to the top of that stone hill, then carried up the rocks to cover him up. Then he left him there….we think.

It struck me as an odd scene, as Picard never seemed to me like a manual labor kinda guy. Then again, the entire movie is filled with this nonsense. And another fantastical plot device, but that’s a different debate.

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120226101044/memoryalpha/en/images/3/3a/Picard_burying_Kirk.jpg

155. Keachick (Rose) - June 6, 2014

#146 – “Sometime between the filming of the beginning and the end of the movie, Harve Bennett and/or Leonard Nimoy decided to have the priestess state that the restoration procedure was extremely rare if not a myth. I don’t know why they decided to have the priestess say that, but they did. And it conflicts with what Sarek says at the beginning of the movie.”

No, it does not conflict with what Sarek said at the beginning. Sarek, along with everyone else, believed that Spock’s body was in a state of death. What Sarek wanted was to give Spock’s dead body a place among his Vulcan ancestors and have his katra placed in the Katric Archive along with others. When they later found this young Spock alive, minus a katra, it was then that the priestess spoke about the possibility of restoration and that it was very rare and dangerous, especially given that a human held the katra.

The reason they went to Genesis in the first place was to reunite the soul/katra with the body and return both to where they might finally “rest”, as per Sarek’s initial understanding and request.

I agree that it would have made more sense had SF ordered the Grissom – ie Saavik retrieve the body and return it to Vulcan, but obviously things played out differently.

I had no trouble understanding what the story told, particularly if you believe that there is a spiritual side that can survive the physical death of the body it was a part of. This is not new –

Tibetan Buddhism states that the spirit/consciousness can remain around the body for up to 40+ days. It is said that Christ did not ascend until 40 days after the crucifixion. At the moment, many Maori are seeking the repatriation of heads taken from NZ shores more than 100/150 years ago. These tattooed heads sit in museums and private collections around the world, but the tribes say that the spirits cannot rest until all the heads are returned and given proper burial.

I think that Starfleet is doing what Navy tradition has dictated – Burial at Sea. However, that notion probably would not and does not sit well with many, given the newer technologies. When the Navies did that, the ships were at sea for many months, quarters were cramped, there was little or no power, let alone refrigeration and rotting bodies posed a serious health hazard. In these circumstances, burial at sea was by far the best option.

156. Disinvited - June 6, 2014

The question that I have is if the focus of Kirk’s mission was to retrieve a dead body from Genesis, as some assert, why did he leave all those other dead bodies on the planet? I mean, come on, he couldn’t have Saavik at least try to beam the bodies up while while the other three were trying to figure out how to fly the thing? I mean, not even retrieve David?

157. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 6, 2014

156. Disinvited

I think he must have seen the departed falling into the chasms as Genesis destroyed itself.

There was a lot to explore with Genesis. Almost as extreme a plot device as the Red Matter.

Eh, Bob’O?

158. Disinvited - June 6, 2014

One thing that always puzzled me about Genesis: The planet was already formed and teaming with plant life when Spock’s body landed on it and regenerated somehow. How is it anyway possible that this rejuvenation would only occur in dead cells? Why wouldn’t anyone on the planet alive or dead, while it was obviously still in flux, experience rejuvenation? Or at least, Saavik and David who next to Spock’s body spent the longest time planetside? Leaving David’s dead body on Genesis may have been the biggest missed opportunity to turn death into life of Kirk’s career

159. LogicalLeopard - June 6, 2014

131. TUP – June 5, 2014
Killing Saavik wouldn’t have had the emotional impact of killing Kirk’s son. Its what prompted him to concoct the plan to lure the Klingons to the Enterprise and blow it up. He made a crazy desperate, destructive move because he was angry and grieving and desperate.
**************************

It wouldn’t have had the emotional impact, but I was responding to the comment that David’s death was necessary to prove to Kirk that Kruge was deadly serious. It only takes one death to prove that he’s deadly serious, and that didn’t have to be David.

As far as what you’re saying, would Kirk have blown up the Enterprise if Saavik died? If that’s what was necessary to survive. It may be crazy and desperate, but wouldn’t he be crazy and desperate to keep Spock and David, and his crew alive anyway?

160. TUP - June 6, 2014

#159: In today’s Trek universe, blowing up the Enterprise would amount to a cool scene. Back then, that was shocking (aside from Paramount including the shot in the trailer).

My favourite Kirk moments are when he’s portrayed as a master tactician and you get that sense in this scene. He’s emotionally stripped, collapsing on the floor and practically sobbing, but angry as well. And then he collects himself, thinks for a moment and the plan is hatched.

To me its combination desperate move to save them and best revenge he can think of, to kill Kruge’s crew and hurt him emotionally.

It was actually emotionally flat to kill David in that manner and without knowing why (Im sure others do, but I dont), you get the sense the writers didnt want a Kirk off-spring running around that they had to write for moving forward. It just happened to suddenly. It did fit that Kirk’s son would sacrifice himself for Kirk’s best friend but it was sudden.

161. LogicalLeopard - June 6, 2014

136. Disinvited – June 5, 2014
#132. LogicalLeopard – June 5, 2014

” Did people say Star Trek was dead when STIII came out?” — LogicalLeopard

Well, one did say “…the Star Trek universe is a shambles…” in large circulation publication such as October 1984′s STARLOG 87:
**************************

Thanks for the flashback! Much appreciated. I think maybe the chief difference is the modern day tone. People may have disagreed back then, but they didn’t spaz out and foam at the mouth like they seem to do concerning nu-Trek. Although that last guy, Cosmo Sprigg (love the name!) could CERTAINLY find a place in forums like this *LOL* I’m kind of fascinated by Maryln Watt’s (Or Wenty Larsen’s) statement, “All Vulcans we have seen had emotional depth.” Makes me wonder about the blowback regarding ENT’s Vulcan portrayals.

162. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 6, 2014

My ST50 day dream…

Perhaps the Red Matter IS still spreading across the AU galaxy creating world destroying time wave distortions, and it’s up to the Enterprise and Kirk specifically, to stop the destruction.

Act I

Spock Prime appears again, ailing greatly. He explains that this Universe, and possibly all time will destroy itself – because of time distortions that are ripping across the universe – created by a still present Red Matter wave front.

Kirk’s physical matter (having been in close proximity to original the Nero incursion, and special properties from Khan’s blood transfusion) makes him the only person in the universe capable of surviving a Trans-warp-teleportation through the remaining red matter wave front, (which is now, ironically, close to destroying the AU Romulan home world) to stop Spock from initiating his original plan to save the Romulus home world.

Act 2

The Enterprise has to be in ‘direct line of sight’ of the wave front for Kirk to make the transport. After an extreme battle with many Klingon Battle Cruisers, and deadly Romulan Warbirds, Kirk, Spock and McCoy must use all there resources to get their way through for Kirk to have one shot at saving his Crew, the Enterprise(s), Earth(s), Galaxy(s), Trek Universe(s), and as Spock would calculate – ALL OF TIME ITSELF!!!

Act 3
Kirk makes it through the powerful red-matter-transwarp-beam to appear in the original Star Trek universe. In the final Act, Pine’s-Kirk works briefly with Shatner’s-Kirk and crew (In full CGI rejuvenated Star Trek VI style) to turn back from their retirement mission, and go on one more mission, to help stop the Nero event – and save EVERYTHING!

Act 4
A big starship battle over the Romulan home worlds erupts onscreen as our Kirks and crews fight to stop even more Romulans and Klingons from disrupting their plan to save all – Life, the Universe, and Everything!

163. LogicalLeopard - June 6, 2014

148. Wes – June 5, 2014
So, are we celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek V as well? (June 1989) I want to see a write up!

*****************************

That’s one of my favorites! I hate that people tend to malign it, it had some great moments.

164. Sara - June 6, 2014

TSFS is my favorite Star Trek movie. It combined plenty of action with thoughtful character moments for all the series regulars and the guest stars, as well as delightful moments of humor along the way.

I think the actors, as directed by Leonard Nimoy, all had good scenes and delivered uniformly fine performances, with special appreciation for Mark Lenard’s subtle, nuanced, but powerful performance as the grieving Sarek.

It seems to me all the Star Trek movies have had large plot holes; what endears TSFS to me are the characters and their friendship and caring for each other and for Spock.

Leonard Nimoy really seems to have respected these actors and their characters and allowed them to shine in this movie, something I still appreciate about this movie.

165. SoonerDave - June 6, 2014

I guess I’m not getting the supposed plot holes in TSFS: Kirk vows to go back to Genesis, because he notes at the end of TWOK that it is “life from death.” It’s like an ellipsis to rationalize him going back…for whatever reason. And he didn’t *take* Spock’s body “back to Genesis,” he goes to Genesis to *get* Spock’s body.

Sarek’s reaction, however the film was originally sequenced, is understandable because he has no idea where Spock’s katra is, and refuses to accept it went into Vulcan Oblivion. The only person he knows that might have any idea, and thus any hope for an explanation, is Kirk.

Sure enough, the video shows Spock having DropBoxed his katra into McCoy, and we know McCoy isn’t right, and presumably getting it *out* of McCoy is a…non-standard procedure. If Kirk is predisposed to go back to Genesis on some crazy notion Spock might have a physical body, and he just happens to have the IP address of Spock’s Katra, why not give it a shot and reunite everyone?

Kruge going to the Genesis surface is understandable because he’s itching to get “the secret of Genesis” and he knows Kirk is the big cheese over it. Once he learns the rest of his crew is dead, he’s got nothing to lose. And the Wile E Coyote “over the cliff” demise he endures is priceless – just wish they’d figured out a way to add the slide whistle effect :).

Granted, some plot stretches, but “glaring plot holes?” Meh. I know Nimoy was not happy with the way the shaking, quaking Genesis set looked on film, and I have to agree – it looked like…well, a movie set. There were only fleeting moments where it sold me as a true exterior planet surface. Whether that’s lighting, or some technical aspect of filming/cinematography, or heck, just budgetary limits, I don’t know.

I also read that Nimoy wanted to make Spock’s bodily return to Vulcan a much bigger production, with them carrying his body up that long staircase a huge event with lots of extras lining the way, but Paramount wouldn’t provide the budget. And I think he also said he didn’ tlike the flat ending with them all standing in a circle against basically a blank background supposedly after his firmware had been uploaded.

While I love Christopher Lloyd, his Kruge character was a little too cartoonish for me. But that’s a nitpick. That it allowed Lloyd to fulfill his “Reverend Jim” character’s (of Taxi fame) wish that “he could have been on Star Trek” was a great side-story. Not everyone knows that the “I do not deserve to live” sidekick was John Larroquette later of Night Court fame.

TSFS was a very nice, stylishly made movie. For his first effort, I thought Nimoy pulled off a tremendous success. Even if it had its glitches, it is held in pretty high regard by most Trek fans I’ve ever heard talking about it…

166. Tom - June 6, 2014

#162 TrekMadeMeWonder

Love it!! Hopefully Bob can take something away from this

167. Cygnus-X1 - June 6, 2014

153. Disinvited – June 5, 2014

In this exchange with Morrow, Kirk makes it very very clear that he wants to go to Genesis for Spock’s soul — not his body. Most likely because the katric link was too hastily set up by Spock.

Well, you’re going way off-script now.

“But if there’s even a chance that Spock has an eternal soul — then that is my responsibility,” could have meant that Spock’s eternal soul would be emotionally disturbed or dissatisfied not able to peacefully rest or whatever if the whole burial ritual weren’t performed correctly.

I mean, I suppose what you’re saying is possible, given the ambiguity of the whole katra storyline. But, Kirk isn’t necessarily saying that Spock’s soul is on Genesis, but that he owes it to Spock to see to it that the whole death ritual is done correctly. There’s absolutely nothing in the movie about Spock’s lifeless corpse somehow still being connected to his katra in Bones. All we know is that Sarek implies that, normally, Spock would have imparted instructions along with the katra, telling the carrier to bring the katra (and, I guess, the body) to Mt. Seleya — that’s it.

We’re never told where the dead body is normally supposed to go nor where the katra is normally supposed to go. All we know is that, when Kirk & the gang show up on Vulcan with Spock’s living body and his katra inside Bones, it’s decided to put Spock’s katra back into his body. It’s a mystery why Bennett and Nimoy didn’t just include an extra sentence in Sarek’s dialogue, explaining to Kirk what’s normally done with the katra and body of the deceased.

Anyway, it’s good that we got into this whole katra business, because it’s made me aware of the fact that it never sat well with me while watching this movie. And now I know why.

168. Cygnus-X1 - June 6, 2014

156. Disinvited – June 6, 2014

I mean, come on, he couldn’t have Saavik at least try to beam the bodies up while while the other three were trying to figure out how to fly the thing? I mean, not even retrieve David?

Maybe they did beam up David, but never showed it. There’s a dozen other things that they never showed us but should have.

158. Disinvited – June 6, 2014

How is it anyway possible that this rejuvenation would only occur in dead cells? Why wouldn’t anyone on the planet alive or dead, while it was obviously still in flux, experience rejuvenation?

Maybe they did but weren’t on the planet long enough for it to be very noticeable.

Leaving David’s dead body on Genesis may have been the biggest missed opportunity to turn death into life of Kirk’s career.

Well, the planet was destroying itself. So leaving David’s corpse there would not have brought it back to life. At best the body would have regenerated only to get sucked under the planet’s churning, molten surface and destroyed shortly thereafter.

169. TUP - June 6, 2014

I dont know…I still come back to the line (as someone helpfully pointed out) that McCoy (in Spock’s voice) asked Kirk why he left him on Genesis.

That alone seems to be what compelled Kirk to go to Genesis. And he was surprised when Saavic told him Spock was alive. So he went there not expecting to find that. Im not sure he expected to find his corpse either since David speculated that the changing conditions of the planet unexpectedly allowed Spock’s burial torpedo to soft land (the expectation would have been Spock would burn up in the atmosphere I assume).

So “something” pulled Kirk to Genesis. He just isnt sure what.

The biggest plot hole is that they blasted Spock out into space at the end of TWOK.

To the person who wrote the time travel plot for the next movie, I say good for you. Creative and exactly what fans want and deserve for the anniversary. Coupled with the fact the principle actores are not signed for additional movies (right?), they should book end their “trilogy” by “correcting” the timeline.

If technology has advanced enough where by Shatner can appear de-aged (and not to his 60’s look, just Generations level), then do it. Then again, if they can CGI the entire cast in 60’s look, then that would be even cooler, but whatever. A newly retired Kirk, days before “christianing the Enterprise-B”, appearing would be tremendous especially if it ends with Spock telling him to make sure EB installs its tractor beams before they launch.

170. Cygnus-X1 - June 6, 2014

160. TUP – June 6, 2014

It was actually emotionally flat to kill David in that manner and without knowing why (Im sure others do, but I dont), you get the sense the writers didnt want a Kirk off-spring running around that they had to write for moving forward. It just happened to suddenly. It did fit that Kirk’s son would sacrifice himself for Kirk’s best friend but it was sudden.

I agree. That scene and the arbitrariness of it seems too capricious a reason to kill off a character of that stature. Kirk has barely even gotten to refuse Kruge’s request for Genesis when the impatient Kruge just decides to be evil and kill someone to show Kirk that he means business.

171. Cygnus-X1 - June 6, 2014

165. SoonerDave – June 6, 2014

we know McCoy isn’t right, and presumably getting it *out* of McCoy is a…non-standard procedure

No. When scolding Kirk, Sarek implies that it is a standard procedure. Sarek presumes that Spock put his katra into Kirk, and is scolding Kirk for not following standard procedure and going to Vulcan with Spock’s body.

Once he learns the rest of his crew is dead, he’s got nothing to lose.

Sure he does. He’s got his best chance at getting the Genesis info to lose, and in fact, he loses it! And the rest of his crew wasn’t dead. John Larroquette was still alive. Kruge had the upper hand being on his ship with his henchman and weapons against an unarmed Kirk who doesn’t know his way around the Klingon ship. Instead of beaming Kirk up to the ship to shake him down for the info, Kruge gives up all of his tactical advantages and beams down to the planet alone and unarmed to have a fist-fight with Kirk (and the rest of Kirk’s crew was just a few paces away to help out, in case things hadn’t gone so well for Kirk).

172. Disinvited - June 6, 2014

#171. Cygnus-X1 – June 6, 2014

“(and the rest of Kirk’s crew was just a few paces away to help out, in case things hadn’t gone so well for Kirk)” — Cygnus-X1

Actually, no. Kruge had separated them from Kirk with an “Over there, All but Kirk.” and had Maltz beam up the prisoners.

I recall when first seeing this, I thought the rejuvenated Spock was heading for death by Kruge’s weapon. Not comprehending Kruge’s order Spock hadn’t moved. Then when I thought Kruge mistook him for the killed crewman’s dead body and was ignoring him, Kirk points him out. I thought “There’s no way out. Kruge has to kill Spock.” But no, this Klingon nutter holsters his weapon and starts a fistfight with Kirk!

I was expecting that Kirk was calculatng that Spock’s body would generate some distraction in its convulsions that would lead to him getting the upperhand on Kruge. But that’s not how it played out.

173. Phil - June 6, 2014

@162. One persons day dream is another persons nighmare. Of SyFy movie of the week – take your pick

174. Keachick (Rose) - June 6, 2014

Ambiguous to you, CygnusX1, but not to me!

My biggest problem has to do with why Kirk did not know something about Vulcan ritual as regards death and what needs to happen for a Vulcan when dead. The same situation applies to Kirk, or at least Dr McCoy, not knowing about pon farr and the effect it can have on a Vulcan if or when they enter into it (ref: Amok Time).

These are not plot holes per se, but do indicate a certain ignorance and stupidity on the part of the writers in how they have this character, Spock, behave.

175. TUP - June 6, 2014

I dont consider their lack of knowledge of Vulcan customs to be a plot hole. As pointed out, they didnt know about Pon Farr either. Spock obviously kept that stuff to himself.

In the 60’s Trek universe, Spock was the first Vulcan in Starfleet and there was not a lot of Vulcan infusion into the Earth/human culture. By the movies, that had changed a little but obviously not a lot.

Enterprise retconned that (to the detriment of the Trek Universe). I didnt mind T’Pol being in Enterprise or the idea the Vulcan’s were holding humans back but portraying that as much more secretive and “not around” would have been more interesting.

Anyway…point being, should Kirk have known their customs? As a Captain on the frontier maybe but no one ever accused Kirk was being a diplomat. As much as you’d think two best friends would explore one another’s cultures, I could just as easily believe Kirk and Spock didnt really care about what made them different, only about what made them friends.

As for the fist fight, didnt Kruge have his weapon drawn on Kirk and a large rock erupted out of the ground beneath him, knocking the weapon from his hand?

176. Cygnus-X1 - June 6, 2014

172. Disinvited – June 6, 2014

Actually, no. Kruge had separated them from Kirk with an “Over there, All but Kirk.” and had Maltz beam up the prisoners.

Right, right…I recalled that I was hitting send, but wasn’t entirely sure.

Anyway, Kruge does the opposite of what a smart Kruge would do, which would have been to leave “all but Kirk” down on the dying planet and beam up Kirk to shake him down for the Genesis info. Or, beam them all up to the ship, and then beam them down one at a time until Kirk cooperates. Though, with only Malz for assistance, beaming up only Kirk would’ve been the safest bet.

177. Cygnus-X1 - June 6, 2014

175. TUP – June 6, 2014

As for the fist fight, didnt Kruge have his weapon drawn on Kirk and a large rock erupted out of the ground beneath him, knocking the weapon from his hand?

That’s right. But, still, Kruge should have stayed on his ship and beamed up Kirk.

“Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.”

178. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 6, 2014

166. Tom

Thanks, Tom.

But I posted it in the wrong article.

Do you think Bob is really reading ALL of Trekmovie? I’m not so sure.

179. Tom - June 6, 2014

178 TrekMadeMeWonder

Hopefully he peruses other articles. If not you can always post it in the other one. TUP added a nice touch to your ST50 story

169 TUP

nice touch if they use a pre christening Generations scene with the nod to Spock checking on the tractor beams.

180. T'Cal - June 7, 2014

Kruge, while obsessed, was written as one of the best Klingon commanders in the franchise. Intelligent, tactically adept, confident without being arrogant. He held true to his culture’s code of honor without spewing the word everytime he meets someone.

181. Steve Vivona - June 7, 2014

The shooting script dated Oct. 1983 and written by Harve Bennett does include the Grissom’s location of Spock’s tube as the first scene and that news is included in Kirk’s introductory log entry as he notes he is “troubled” by the news. However, the discovery of a life form on Genesis does not come until later. Kirk never hears of Spock’s regeneration until Saavik tells him. It is Saavik, after the rescue of Spock, who explains to Kirk that the Katra ritual is meant to deposit Spock’s consciousness in the Hall of Ancient Thought. She also mentions fal-tor-pan but echoing T’Lar’s comments it is a ritual that is the shrouded in legend. Vonda McIntyre expands on some of this in the novel, but it’s clear from the script that Kirk and Co. are returning to Genesis to retrieve a corpse.

182. Cygnus-X1 - June 7, 2014

181. Steve Vivona – June 7, 2014

It is Saavik, after the rescue of Spock, who explains to Kirk that the Katra ritual is meant to deposit Spock’s consciousness in the Hall of Ancient Thought. She also mentions fal-tor-pan but echoing T’Lar’s comments it is a ritual that is the shrouded in legend.

Thanks for that info. It was the removal of that bit of dialogue by Saavik that caused the confusion and ambiguity. I’d love to know why they nixed it when it’s extremely relevant to the search for Spock.

But, really, Kirk should have asked Sarek about it at the beginning.

KIRK: OK, Sarek, you know I love you and Spock and I’m totally down for whatever plan you have in mind, but could you just tell me very briefly why I have to steal a ship and ruin the careers of myself and my crew to retrieve Spock’s corpse from Genesis? What are they going to do with it on Mt. Seleya?

SAREK: Do as I say!

KIRK: AHH! OK, jeez! I was just curious.

183. Disinvited - June 7, 2014

# 177. Cygnus-X1 – June 6, 2014, #175. TUP – June 6, 2014

The point was that was the impression (right or wrong) I recall being left with when first seeing it.

The script neither says he holsters it nor that it was knocked out of his hand. In a scene not in the film it indicates Kruge searches for “his phase” but no clues given as to when exactly he lost possession of it.

In rewatching it on disc, Kruge holds his weapon high in his left hand pointing it at Kirk and the others, but after he gives Maltz the order to beam up the prisoners when the camera cuts back to him after the beam out and he tell Kirk “Genesis. I want it!”, the weapon can no longer be seen as before and both arms are lowered. This is the point where I assumed he holstered his weapon. Slo mo through the rest of it gives no on film indication of the weapon flying out of his hands.

That Genesis provided the distraction that I fully expected a transforming Spock to have done is clear and Kirk took full advantage.of it, but any clear indication of when things went flying away from Kruge in the movie just isn’t on film. It could be as you say, it could have been Kirk knocking it away or it could have been knocked out of the holster in the tumbling or any other number of possibilities. It is just left ambiguous.

184. Disinvited - June 7, 2014

#182. Cygnus-X1 – June 7, 2014

I have the Special Edition and on the second disc Nimoy in 2002 says that for him as director everything that was not of Spock’s body was transferred into McCoy. He likened McCoy’s situation to “possession” as explored since Dybbuk.

185. Jack - June 7, 2014

I’d always wished that Trek VI had one quick scene in the transporter room before they beamed aboard the Klingon ship.

Kirk, exhausted and hungover, waits on the pad for Bones in Transporter room. Spock enters, grabs emerg med kit off wall, pulls out hypo spray.

Spock: “This may help.” Is it for the effects of the Romulan Ale?

and injects Kirk in the neck, Kirk winces (not typical with a hypo spray) and looks slightly surprised at Spock. McCoy enterswith his own medkit, gets onto pad with Kirk. McCoy doesn’t see the shot. All happens very quickly.

A quick line or two… Maybe one of the lines from the bridge earlier… maybe McCoy grumbles something about Romulan ale. Whatever. They beam out.

——
So, instead of the patch, which sits on Kirk’s shoulder the whole time, through arrest, trial and prison… and which Spock bizarrely had on hand on the bridge… Kirk’s been injected with some sort of transponder…

Sorry, not too well-developed, thought of this while watching the film 23 years ago…

186. Jack - June 7, 2014

BTW, needing Spock’s (dead) body for the ceremony/transfer makes as much sense as any of it. Sarek assumed Kirk held Spock’s katra and didn’t understand why Kirk would not have brought Spock’s body to Vulcan…

And I agree that Kruge beaming down isn’t necessarily a plot hole. He’s an assho*e. He’s making sure Kirk gives him Genesis and his ego is at risk too — after all, Kirk’s killed nearly his entire crew… What’s the alternative? Beam an armed Kirk aboard?

187. Keachick (Rose) - June 7, 2014

#175 – I already said that not having knowledge of another’s customs is not a plot hole.

“As much as you’d think two best friends would explore one another’s cultures, I could just as easily believe Kirk and Spock didnt really care about what made them different, only about what made them friends.”

Surely it is the discussion of one beliefs, culture etc with another is how we learn what makes us alike as much as what makes us different. I guess it is also a matter of how friendship as opposed to being a colleague or having a pleasant acquaintanceship is defined.

Anyway, these issues are not even about friendship, especially when it comes to pon farr. As we have been told, pon farr can be a very difficult time for a Vulcan where he (not sure about females) loses himself and no longer has much, if any, control of his emotions and actions. He can become extremely irrational and highly aggressive. In that state, Spock could be lethal and potentially put many in danger by his omission. Yet he tells no one, not even Dr McCoy about the (remote) possibility that he might undergo pon farr (because it is a normal part of the Vulcan physiology) and that safeguards need to put in place etc. and that going back to Vulcan NEEDS to happen.

This is what I call illogical, irresponsible, self-centred and unacceptable for this to happen within a futuristic Star Trek universe. So much for the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few or the one.

Pon farr would not present such a problem for those living on Vulcan or part of a Vulcan crew where nothing need be said about the state of pon farr, because there would be safeguards put in place and that, more than likely, anyone about to enter that state, would not be doing a tour of duty during that time. However, Spock chose not to live on Vulcan or work on a vulcan ship. Therefore, he had a duty of care to disclose this knowledge of his makeup to the person who had the specific responsibility for the physical and mental welfare of not only Spock but the entire crew, namely the Chief Medical Officer, Dr McCoy. He did not do that.

Similar could be said about Spock’s lack of disclosure about what needs to happen if he dies, something that surely his close friend, Captain Kirk, would need to aware of, for one. Anyway, wouldn’t it be regulations for all SF members to make Wills where such would be specified and be part of their personal records? I would have thought so…

Not good writing…

Interestingly, these two illogical and immature scenarios had nothing to do with anyone associated with Bad Robot. At the time, the owner of BR was still in diapers and those *hack* writers were not even a twinkle in their mamas’ eyes…hmmm

188. Disinvited - June 7, 2014

#187. Keachick (Rose) – June 7, 2014

“Interestingly, these two illogical and immature scenarios had nothing to do with anyone associated with Bad Robot. At the time, the owner of BR was still in diapers and those *hack* writers were not even a twinkle in their mamas’ eyes…hmmm” — Keachick (Rose)

The idea of Spock’s katra death dealing didn’t get invented until 1983. JJ Abrams was born June 27, 1966. For him to be in diapers for both scenarios, as your paragraph hints, you’d have to keep the poor man in diapers well into his teen years.

With friends like you, who needs haters? ;-)

But seriously, I am unaware of any military organization that Starfleet might have been modeled after that requires all its member to have wills?

Also pon farr is just Vulcan for sex, and I am personally unaware of any male friendships that involve laying bare all one’s sexual pecadillos. In some things, a gentleman must be discreet, even if not all men practice such discretion.

189. Disinvited - June 8, 2014

Literally, a blast from the past:

http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/14208830/

“HOLLYWOOD (AP) -“Star Trek” star William Shatner joined firefighters to battle a “solid sheet” of flame that raced through Paramount Studios, destroying vintage movie sets and damaging stages where the TV shows “Cheers” and “Happy Days” are shot.

Flames at the 50-acre studio Thursday afternoon shot 90 feet into the air and swept over six acres, demolishing the 56-year-old “New York Street” set where the movies “Going My Way” and “Bells of St. Mary’s” were filmed. “There was solid fire from building to building, a solid sheet, just like a tornado,” said David Pondella, chief of set lighting at Paramount. “It was roaring.” All that remained of the outdoor sets were 30-foot- high telephone posts that had supported building facades.

Damage was estimated “in the millions,” Fire Inspector Ed Reed said. Earl Lestz, vice president of studio operations for Paramount, said that while “New York Street” was “priceless,” damage to the sound stages was “minor.” One Paramount employee told arson investigators that he saw smoke and then flames coming from a facade called the Tatoo” Shop on “McFadden Street,” said Patrick Patterson, a city Fire Department spokesman, adding that the fire was under investigation.

Firefighters rushed to Sound Stage 15, where an expensive set depicting the Vulcan planet for “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” had just been completed, Paterson said. The set features 40-foot- high “rocks” made of polyurethane, which is highly toxic when it burns. However, a sprinkler system went off in the stage, which did not catch fire but suffered water damage, said Michael D. Eisner, president and chief operating officer of Paramount Pictures Corp. “We came within about 30 seconds of losing the set,” said Shatner, who plays Captain Kirk in the movie. Shatner said he had to man fire hoses outside the set until more help arrived. Lestz said shooting of the film would begin on schedule next week.

Two firefighters received electrical shocks, possibly from downed power lines, but they were checked at the scene and released, Reed said. No other injuries were reported.

The fire broke out at 4:02 p.m. and was doused with the help of 150 firefighters and helicopters at 6:27 p.m., Reed said. The blaze turned four streets of outdoor sets and two set storage buildings to rubble. It also damaged three sound stages, Reed said “It was like a 500-foot-by-500-foot bonfire,” he said. “It created a tremendous amount of heat.”

The “New York Street” set had also been the filming location for parts of “Chinatown,” “Day of the Locust,” “Love American Style,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” the two “Godfather” movies, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” all the Jerry Lewis movies and the opening sequences for “Laverne and ‘Shirley,” Eisner said. The fire also destroyed “Boston Street,” “Church Street” and “McFadden Street,” fire department spokesman Henry Amparan said. Five television shows — “Happy Days,” “Cheers” and the new series “Mr. Smith,” “Family Ties” and “Webster” — are filmed on Sound Stage 15, Eisner said. The TV shows “Mannix” and “Mission: Impossible” were filmed in part on the ruined sets, Pondella said.

Billowing black smoke spread to the neighboring Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, where dozens of stars are buried, including Rudolph Valentino,| Douglas Fairbanks Sr., PaulMuni, Tyrone Power, Adolph Menjou, Marlon Davies and Harry Conn.

Among other major films made at Paramount were the Bob Hope; features “Beau James” and “Seven Little Foys,” the Alan Ladd shows “This Gun for Hire” and “The Glass Key,” and “Grease” and “Pocketful of Miracles.” President Reagan made several Westerns for Paramount, but those sets no longer exist.”

190. Curious Cadet - June 8, 2014

@188. Disinvited,
“With friends like you, who needs haters?”

Bi-polar anyone?

Seriously there are some posts I don’t even bother to read anymore because they are so inane, rude, and emotionally biased. There was this fellow whose initials I believe were M and J that fell into that category as well … I’m honestly even bewildered that people even try to correct them, when their reality has all the convictions of of the insane. Even when presented with stark reality they press on with their distorted perception of events as if sheer willpower is enough to split the universe into a reality where it’s so.

191. Keachick (Rose) - June 8, 2014

#188 – Please read my post #187 again.

No, JJ Abrams was about 17 and the writers only 10, when TSFS came out. My point was – that notions like Pon Farr and the secrecy surrounding this condition (which it is) came about long before JJ and the team could even walk or talk.

“I am personally unaware of any male friendships that involve laying bare all one’s sexual pecadillos.”

What has that got to do with the drastic effects that pon farr can have on the Vulcan male. This is not about “laying bare all one’s sexual pecadillos”. This is about protecting innocent bystanders as well as the person himself who is undergoing pon farr. Nurse Chapel had very hot soup thrown in her face, violent behaviour which is totally out of character for Spock when he is not in pon farr. Had Dr McCoy not intervened, Spock would have killed his friend, Jim Kirk.

These are no small “sexual pecadillos”. In fact, they are not even specifically sexual in nature. It deals with the reality that high levels of testosterone can not only be responsible for greater sexual desire and performance, but also greater aggressive, violent tendencies and action. Spock, by not revealing to the ship’s doctor (who is bound by confidentiality) about this aspect of Vulcan makeup, he put himself and the rest of the crew in danger. This is not about whether Spock really prefers to be on top or gets turned by the two of them wrestling in a mudbath…

Get it, everyone?

Actually, the biggest irony of all is that pon farr is anything but secret, despite all the waffle spoken by Spock and T’Pau, along with all the “thee”s and “thy’s. Given Spock’s erratic behaviour on the Enterprise, it would not taken long for most of the crew to realize that something major/big was up with Spock (no kidding).. Human curiosity would impel them to find out more… Our logical Vulcan Spock did think that one through, either…LOL

It is humans who are quieter and more secretive about their sex. The couple just get on with it and some time later she might bear a tiny offspring or not. Not so with Vulcans!

192. Keachick (Rose) - June 8, 2014

“But seriously, I am unaware of any military organization that Starfleet might have been modeled after that requires all its member to have wills?”

And isn’t that a silly oversight among present day organizations?

For D-Day, my better half watched Band of Brothers, which is supposed to be a fairly accurate dramatized representation of Easy Company 101st Airborne (paratroopers) and their participation in fighting in Europe against Nazi Germany. In it, all the servicemen who were about to go into battle were told to get their affairs in order and have their wills done. They showed a military officer associated with the legal division insist and help soldier make out proper wills and sign in*urance forms that, in the event of their deaths, would ensure that the soldier’s family received US$10,000. That was then. I doubt that little has changed since then.

My husband’s late partner had to have a will while she was in the NZ Air Force.

193. Cygnus-X1 - June 8, 2014

Pursuant to this illuminating and productive discussion (well, much of it, anyway), I am revising my initial complaints about the movie.

The katra-confusion isn’t technically a hole in the plot, but rather a hole in the dialogue. Key information regarding the katra and its associated ceremonies was omitted from the script…(the reason why remains a mystery)…and the resulting confusing seems like a plot hole but is actually a lack of clarity and exposition—and one that has always bothered me while watching STIII. There isn’t actually any contradiction about the katra and its associated ceremonies, just missing exposition about them.

The OK Corral Kruge problem is probably better characterized as a conspicuous contrivance than a plot hole. Though, technically, Kruge deciding toward the end of the story to switch from his hitherto cold, calculating approach to being a hot-head and suddenly beaming down to the self-destructing, unstable planet to shake down Kirk for Genesis, instead of simply beaming Kirk up to his ship where the Klingons would be in control of the situation might qualify as a plot hole in that it seems an inconsistency in the Kruge character’s behavior, in the manner that he acts on his motive throughout the story. Kruge suddenly appearing down on the Genesis planet for no good reason, other than to set up the final duel between the hero and the bad guy, has always bothered me while watching the movie. A better way of setting up the Kirk/Kruge final showdown could have been found.

A better way of killing off David could also certainly have been found. A character that important, who was prominently featured in the previous movie as well as in STIII, should have had a more satisfying and/or meaningful death.

Depending on your taste, you might characterize the plot of STIII as either: (1) poetically symmetrical vis-a-vis TWOK — both movies are driven by villains trying to get the power of Genesis but are mirror-opposites with regard to Spock’s role in the stories and the consequences for the good guys that flow from Spock’s role, i.e. Spock sacrifices himself (and dies) for the good guys in TWOK, whereas the search for Spock entails the good guys sacrificing themselves (and one of them dying) for Spock in STIII; or,

(2) simply derivative of the plot of TWOK, i.e. a rehash of the villain seeks Genesis device, mayhem ensues storyline.

I’m not sure which characterization seems more apropos to me; I think I see it both ways.

There are some excellent performances in the movie — Shatner and De Kelley, as has been mentioned by many people here. The movie has a good emotional range, from very effective comedy at the beginning to very effective tragedy at the climax, and is also well paced — no shortage of action, but neither a shortage of pensive drama. And the effort at developing the good of the many theme is noble, though the ambiguity about the katra and why Kirk has to sacrifice himself and his crew to go to Genesis for Spock’s corpse diminishes the impact of the theme for me.

All in all, I find STIII an enjoyable and meaningful movie.

While the story is certainly flawed in key respects, it has held up quite well over the past 30 years on the whole. I pretty much enjoy this movie as much now as I did when it first came out. Though, given its shortcomings, it makes sense that STIII is generally ranked by fans as 3rd or 4th among the TOS movies. TWOK and STIV taking first and second place respectively, I’m not sure whether I’d give the bronze to STIII or to STVI. I’ll have to watch STVI again soon in order to compare them.

194. Disinvited - June 8, 2014

#193. Cygnus-X1 – June 8, 2014

Yes, its been a fun ride. I have to agree with your conclusions.

On the STIII Special Collector’s Edition’s second disc, the pyrotechnics and movie moving set pieces guy in charge of the Genesis stage effects said it was so much trouble to reset the set in the event of needing a retake that they used 20 cameras simultaneously shooting from various angles just to have to avoid having to do so for a technical glitch,

Makes me wonder when the real fire hit the sets and the surrounding grounds that no one in the production thought to grab one of those cameras and capture some real walls of flame that could be used for the movie?

I hope that that missing dialogue was filmed but excised because of some technical glitch that can be easily remedied now. Here’s hoping Nimoy’s interested in a Director’s Cut and Paramount willing to pony up.

195. Cygnus-X1 - June 8, 2014

194. Disinvited – June 8, 2014

it was so much trouble to reset the set in the event of needing a retake that they used 20 cameras simultaneously shooting from various angles just to have to avoid having to do so for a technical glitch,

Wow.

Ah, the days before CGI, ay? The effects and production values of STIII hold up pretty well, as far as I’m concerned. Someone here said that the moving rocks on the self-destructing Genesis Planet look fake and take him out of the movie, but I have no such complaints. Many if not all of the “real” effects from STIII look better to me than today’s CGI. And the “real” film goes right along with that. It’s just a more organic, palpable, “real-looking” movie than you get with digital cameras and digital effects. One notable exception that comes to mind is Ceti eel coming out of Chekov’s ear in TWOK, which has not held up well over time. But, that’s a different movie. ;-)

196. TUP - June 9, 2014

I still dont think its a plot hole that Kirk didnt know of a Vulcan death ritual. Does Spock seem like the type that would explain all that to his friends? The history we were shown on screen shows their friendship being much less deep than that until the movies. They were friends but the type of close friends you have at work.

They all went their separate ways after their missions ended. The movies brought them together as more than just friendly colleagues.

Regardless, the real plot hole is why Kirk blasted Spock’s body off into space in the first damn place. There was no reason to do so other than Meyer’s love of naval customs (which made Trek A LOT better but in this case hamstringed the writers of Trek III).

Had Spock’s body disintergrated, we would have no Trek III. Had Kirk brought Spock’s body back to Earth for funeral or for the intent of returning his body to his family.

197. Disinvited - June 9, 2014

#196. TUP – June 9, 2014

“…the real plot hole is why Kirk blasted Spock’s body off into space in the first damn place.” – TUP

At the time of first seeing it, I assumed it was because his body was so radioactive that storing it on the ship or sending it planetside would would pose a danger. But then they hover as close to it as possible during the burial ceremony and just let it contaminate the freshly minted planet.

198. LogicalLeopard - June 9, 2014

196. TUP – June 9, 2014
I still dont think its a plot hole that Kirk didnt know of a Vulcan death ritual. Does Spock seem like the type that would explain all that to his friends? The history we were shown on screen shows their friendship being much less deep than that until the movies. They were friends but the type of close friends you have at work.

***************************

Nope, not a plothole at all. Kirk had no idea about Pon Farr, as I believe you said earlier, and neither did Bones. Vulcans were pretty isolated at the time. One could say that given the secretive culture, Kirk should have at least called Sarek and asked how he wanted the body disposed, but grief can understandably cloud that sort of thought process. Since Spock was a longtime member of the Enterprise, they buried him at..er…space.

***************************
Regardless, the real plot hole is why Kirk blasted Spock’s body off into space in the first damn place. There was no reason to do so other than Meyer’s love of naval customs (which made Trek A LOT better but in this case hamstringed the writers of Trek III).

***************************

The big reason is that other than the Genesis device, there’s not really a sensible way of resurrecting Spock. Killing Spock in the first place hamstringed the writers of Trek III. I’m not sure why they killed him in the first place. Could not Nimoy have agreed to a Spock retirement, or I dunno, going off to complete the Kohlinar, or something? Pass the torch to Kristie Allie and be done with it. No need to kill the character, even if it’s one of the best scenes in Trek ever.

TSFS could have been fixed in three easy steps, in my opinion.

1) As cool as it was, no evolved bacteria on the torpedo shell. Why? Because if the Genesis planet will evolve bacteria into a complex organism, it would take any cells that happened to still be living in Spock’s body and transform them ALL into an entire race of whatever Vulcans will evolve into in a few billion years.

2) As cool as it was, no regressed age and growing Spock. Why? Because it doesn’t make sense that Spock’s body did a Benjamin Button and became alive, regressed in age, and then started moving forward. And it also doesn’t make sense that only one cell survived, was resurrected, and began to mature at a expanded rate without even eating. Just have full grown, resurrected Spock, whose mind is a blank slate.

3) Explain in a quick, throwaway line of hypothetical dialogue that the resurrection of Spock’s body is due to a freak interaction between the radiation in Spock’s body that killed him, and the initial burst of the Genesis effect on the planet. Due to Spock’s hybrid biology, the deadly radiation, and the unknown effects of the Genesis effect on that specific planet, such a resurrection could probably never be replicated. That way, if you kill of any other cast members, people won’t say, “Just take him/her to the Genesis planet!”

199. TUP - June 9, 2014

I agree with that. That would have been a simpler and more effective way of doing it.

200. Cygnus-X1 - June 9, 2014

198. LogicalLeopard – June 9, 2014
196. TUP – June 9, 2014

I don’t know if you guys are writing in response to my last post, but to sum up:

(1) When Sarek was telling Kirk (at the beginning of the movie) to go to Genesis Planet for Spock’s body, Kirk should have asked why, being that the trip would entail stealing a ship and very likely ending the careers of himself and his crew, if not also going to prison. “Briefly, why do we need the corpse?” The issue is not whether Kirk should have known about Vulcan customs prior to Sarek coming to see him at the beginning of STIII, but that Sarek never really explains the purpose of the mission, and Kirk never asks, leaving the audience confused about the plot.

(2) Regarding Spock’s cells “regenerating” via the Genesis Effect, there WERE evolved microorganisms which had been transported to the planet on the surface of the torpedo. When David and Saavik first find the torpedo, there are foot-long creatures all over it which they recognize as evolved microorganisms which had been on the torpedo casing. As for the bacteria in and on Spock’s body, presumably his regenerating cells would have killed them in direct proportion to their growth, just as happens in a normal, living human body. In other words, yes the bacteria would be growing at an accelerated rate, but so would Spock’s leukocytes, which would be killing the bacteria at a proportionally accelerated rate.

201. Disinvited - June 9, 2014

#198. LogicalLeopard – June 9, 2014

“As cool as it was, no regressed age and growing Spock. Why? Because it doesn’t make sense that Spock’s body did a Benjamin Button and became alive, regressed in age, and then started moving forward. And it also doesn’t make sense that only one cell survived, was resurrected, and began to mature at a expanded rate without even eating. Just have full grown, resurrected Spock, whose mind is a blank slate.” — LogicalLeopard

I think the de-aging/re-aging was introduced solely to keep the fans on the edge of their seats as to whether they were going to go with one of these new actors to portray Spock and free Nimoy of it. Like you, I didn’t like it. Yep, they should have just KISS as in your 3). Maybe at the most have his coffin hit by lightning as an homage to Frankenstein and to start his rejuvenated heart.

As for why no eating: You have too remember as explained in the Genesis rfp and in the Regula I cave, the Genesis torpedo was designed to transform a lifeless planetary body or moon into instant habitable environments seeded with complex lifeforms both plant and animal on its surface. With Genesis, the chicken literally comes before the egg.

Assuming Spock’s irradiated cells and DNA somehow got swept up in that formative wave, it’s plausible that it could have rejuvenated him. It’s the introduction of rapidly evolving microbes to the exposition that muddies and confuses things when they want Spock to de-age and re-age. Introducing that, Spock’s body should have been evolving and the line should have been “If we don’t get this body away from the residual Genesis energies feeding its changes, you won’t have any chance of restoring your First Officer to anything remotely resembling anything Vulcan or human.” I suppose it at the very least could have been used to free Nimoy from having to do the ears thing. And having Spock thrust into a more evolved body would have been something novel but ultimately beyond the fx capabilities of that era. Might have been fascinating to have him go through physical rehab to learn how to use the new darn thing.

202. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 10, 2014

Does it make sense that Genesis destroyed the planet, but Spock did not terminate when the planet blew up?

Also, where the hell did the Genesis planet come from in the 1st place?
Genesis never had the capability of building a world. Was it the phase II moon that hey used? Again it seemed like a remote possibility, but then again so was the device. Perhaps it was the Transwarp Genesis Torpedo powered by Spock’s Red Matter that permitted all of this to happen.

They should have just kept Spock’s aged body in the tube, but just unconscious. But then that takes us away a bit from the drama.

203. TUP - June 10, 2014

I believe Genesis formed due to the genesis device exploding in the nebula. The implication being that all the building blocks of a world existed in the nebula and were brought together by Gensis.

Also, as for the reason Kirk didnt inquire more detail from Sarek, two explanations: 1) Sarek went into a detailed explanation off-screen. 2) Kirk had mind-melded with Sarek and knew “why”.

204. Disinvited - June 10, 2014

#202. TrekMadeMeWonder – June 10, 2014, #203. TUP – June 10, 2014

You have to keep in mind planets form out of nebulas all the time, naturally, on a much less accelerated time scale.. We also know David used the device to introduce protomatter which most likely acted as a the seed for the matter to clump into a planet and its unstable properties along with the genesis wave sped the process up in some fashion. I’d estimate that once it achieved a class M mass capable of holding an atmosphere and sustaining life, Genesis took care of the rest.

205. Disinvited - June 10, 2014

One thing in regards to pon farr that has always bugged me, I figured McCoy in the Prime universe should have been a far more revered figure by Vulcans because he showed them a way that the kali fee doesn’t have to end in irredeemable death. That should have introduced a sexual revolution in their society at the very least in regards to arranged marriages.

206. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 10, 2014

Interesting.

To that end, ILM did do a remarkable job putting that all together onscreen.

However, I never read the novelization. I wonder if this was included in the treatment.

207. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

#205 – Vulcans clearly have two sides to their natures, which they work at keeping pretty much apart within their own psyches and especially when it comes to encounters with outworlders. The peaceful, logical, methodical Vulcan is the preferred personna, which they work hard at maintaining, through meditation and other practices like undergoing the Kolinahr. However, the other side of their natures – the very aggressive and irrational elements including the sexual/procreative instincts and desires (Vulcan testosterone?), must also be recognized and lived out, simply for them to survive as a species.

Spock is in a very peculiar position of having these two distinct Vulcan natures along with a human one, which is constantly seeking integration.

Survival is often the fight between life and death and when the male is in the state of Pon Farr, the idea of dying or killing is part of that other side that requires being played out, as much as satisfying the intense need to mate and procreate. Logically, they would consider Dr McCoy’s solution to Kali Fee good, but on another level, not good at all!

208. Dom - June 10, 2014

TSFS holds an odd place in my Trek heart. It’s a solid entry in the series, but, for all the enormous events (the death of David, the loss of the Enterprise and Spock’s rebirth) it’s very low-key. I missed STII because the cinema was full so it’s also I good thing that I saw STIII on VHS after STII (the reverse of how ROTJ and TESB played with Star Wars!)

Christopher Lloyd seems miscast (the original choice of Edward James Olmos would have suited the role better and it led to the whole barbarian notion of the Klingons in future Treks.

Robin Curtis is disappointing as Saavik, especially given her lively real-life personality which shows the half-Romulan character of STII could have been built on. STIII’s Saavik led to subsequent portrayals of Vulcans as emotionless and boring.

What would I have preferred as a Trekkie, knowing more of Trek lore? I’d have liked to see the mirror universe Enterprise attack the Federation, have Kirk battle his equivalent and McCoy save the day because his mind (embedded with Spick’s katra) turns the alt-Spock into an ally who remains with the crew. That way, Spock could have ‘returned’ but not been resurrected.

209. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

In other words, you would have preferred to see a different movie from TSFS, all except that Spock died and McCoy has his katra, which then somehow gets joined with bad mirror universe Spock’s katra, turning this mirror universe Spock into good Spock. That is not the Search for Spock story but it might have been a better narrative overall – maybe.

You are 32 years too late…

210. TUP - June 11, 2014

I dont think the fandom would have stood for Spock not really being Spock,.

Although Kirk battling Kirk would have been a good follow-up on TWOK. After Kirk fought and defeated his greatest enemy, who could possibly pose a challenge to him? Himself ofcourse. Plus, the fact Kirk would have been emotionally drained from the events of TWOK would have added to everything. If Mirror Kirk kills David, it would have been dramatic and emotional.

211. Keachick (Rose) - June 11, 2014

Fortunately, this alternative mirror universe story never got made. What we have TSFS, for better or worse.

212. Cygnus-X1 - June 11, 2014

203. TUP – June 10, 2014

Also, as for the reason Kirk didnt inquire more detail from Sarek, two explanations: 1) Sarek went into a detailed explanation off-screen. 2) Kirk had mind-melded with Sarek and knew “why”.

Well, hey, why didn’t they just do the whole story off-screen?

Yeah, just show the characters doing whatever and we’ll assume it all makes sense when complemented with missing, off-screen dialogue. I hear there’s a whole off-screen Star Trek movie that never came out, but it’s awesome!! And it has no plot holes!! ;-)

213. Disinvited - June 13, 2014

#192. Keachick (Rose) – June 8, 2014

I can tell you that my father was in the action of the war that was not a war, The Korean War. He saw plenty of enemy fire and returned same. In his effects, there was no will from that time nor any indication in his military records of such a requirement. We talked plenty about his service and the only mention he made of being required to do something was the outrage he had over having to sign the Sen. McCarthy inspired “loyalty oath” while taking enemy fire.

214. Keachick (Rose) - June 13, 2014

“the only mention he made of being required to do something was the outrage he had over having to sign the Sen. McCarthy inspired “loyalty oath” while taking enemy fire.”

Crikey – how “loyal” do you have to be?

I guess it is up to whoever is charge of a particular regiment at the time as to whether making wills is given due thought and attention. There appears, from what I have read also, that there is no legal requirement within the US military to make a will, but I have read that the US military does provide servicemen with legal counsel/aid in this respect.

215. Damian - June 14, 2014

I remember my grandmother taking me to see this in 1984. I was almost 10 at the time so don’t remember a whole lot from that. I was not yet a Trekkie and didn’t give it much thought at the time. It would be 2 more years before I was a Trekkie when I finally watched TMP. I remember my parents buying me the first 3 films on VHS after I became a Trekkie (TVH was still in the theater at the time).

That wasn’t cheap either. I remember them being 29.95 (TMP was actually 39.95). Amazing to think now that you can buy a Blu-Ray for the fraction of that. I actually still do have the first 6 movies on VHS in their original release boxes.

Star Trek III was in the upper ranks of the films. It may not be the best overall Star Trek film, but it had some of the best moments. The stealing of the Enterprise, McCoys moment in the Klingon infirmary with the unconscious Spock, and of course the destruction of the Enterprise.

It fits perfectly between TWOK and TVH. It provided the consequences of what happened in TWOK. And TVH provided a much needed relief from the events of the prior two films with it’s lighthearted, yet serious story, and unlike TFF, humor that works.

216. Disinvited - June 15, 2014

FWIW, the first time STARLOG mentions the phrase “Star Trek is dead.” in Issue 24 in an editorial on their success:

http://archive.org/stream/starlog_magazine-024/024_djvu.txt

Kerry O’Quinn said it happened 6 years after the series’ cancellation in 1975 when they were trying to launch the magazine.

217. Xplodin_Nacelle - June 18, 2014

I love Trek III. However, I still cringe when The Big E blows. I wish it could’ve been saved, & maybe temporarily abandoned, after the bridge module blew, & took out the klingons. Then @ the end of
The Voyage Home we find out that the ship the crew gets assigned to is the original ENT refurbished, yet again!!!

That would’ve been my wish on how to wrap up the trilogy.

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