The UK’s EnvironmentalGraffiti.com, one of the top 3 environmental sites worldwide, has nominated Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as one of the Greatest Environmental Movies of All Time. Other nominees include the dystopian Soylent Green and the Al Gore global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The site states that the literal ‘save the whales’ plotline was “the most believable of the Star Trek films.”
In addition to being the most successful Trek film, STIV is certainly the one with the most topical message. The film was made shortly before the 1986 moratorium on most whaling. At the time, it seemed mandatory for Volkswagens to have a ‘Save the Whales’ bumper sticker.
New Star Trek to be topical?
Of course The Original Series often took on subjects of its day such as racism and the Vietnam War. In addition to STIV, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was also topical in that it dealt with the fall of the Soviet Union (with Klingons standing in for the Soviets). It is not known if the new Star Trek film currently in production will deal with issues of today, but co-writer Alex Kurtzman did drop a hint. In June Kurtzman told MTV
[Roddenberry] created a side of ‘Star Trek’ as a response to the Cold War. In a way, he made a fantasy of finding a way for everyone to come together — and that has managed to stick through all the versions of ‘Star Trek.’
The world’s changed, but it also hasn’t. We live in a world where it’s about ultra-paranoia of others, and that is as it was back when Roddenberry invented ‘Trek.’ In a way, it’s more timely now than ever to be doing this. … There was paranoia about the Cold War. That was their version of terrorism. We’re living in a very parallel environment right now.
More on the nominees for Top Environment Film at EnvironmentalGraffiti.com