Countdown To New Trailer: Look Back To TMP Trailer

As first reported here on, on Friday November 14th the first theatrical trailer for JJ Abrams Star Trek hits theaters in front of the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Over the next week and a half, TrekMovie will countdown to the big event each day by taking a look back at the previous Trek movie trailers, starting today with Star Trek The Motion Picture from 1979.

The human adventure is just beginning
Theatrical trailer for Star Trek: TMP from the summer of 1979.

Although it does not use the "music video" style editing prevalent in today’s movie advertisements, this trailer was typical for its day (for example see trailers for Star Wars and Moonraker). The somewhat cerebral nature of the trailer is inline with the more 2001-like approach of the film itself. Like the new Star Trek movie, the trailer appears aimed at a general movie audience with its mentions of a ‘huge starship’ and ‘300 years into the future.’ It also does its best to play up the romance as well as the action in the film (prominently featuring the very brief appearance of the Klingons). All in all a pretty good trailer for its time.


Teaser Trailer
Star Trek The Motion Picture also got an earlier ‘teaser’ trailer (which was not as common back in those days).

Teaser Comments
This first teaser featuring a narration by Orson Welles (who also narrated all the TV spots) seems much more geared for the built-in Trek fans. It has a simple message ‘the Star Trek gang is all back together for a new movie and we spruced up the uniforms and the ship.’ Although it was early on, it did show a good amount of the new effects for the Enterprise. Like with the theatrical, it doesn’t use music from the TOS series or from Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the film (probably because it wasn’t ready). This shares some commonalities with the Star Trek 2009 trailer that came out in January, as it shows off the ‘new’ Enterprise and announces Star Trek is coming back, but doesn’t really say anything about the film itself.

Directors Edition Trailer
In 2001 Star Trek TMP director Robert Wise oversaw the development of a ‘Directors Edition’ DVD, which got its own trailer (which was shown in some theaters).

Although this trailer did feature some of the new effects, it also gives you a sense of how a more modern sensibility would approach making a trailer for the original film.


Thanks to Youtubers LeSpock, ShipHunter and OpatkyHomeVideo


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I am really starting to think Koerner’s big E will be featured in the new film.


It’s hard to think how bad early movie trailers actually were. Still, it’s interesting to see them.

#1…Oh god I hope Not.

Anyway Anthony ,I wanted to know If the Trailer Will be Posted on the Official site on the Same Day.? Not that I’d Mind checking out the New Bond movie, It looks Awesome. Just curious.

Glad the trailers have improved in our time. Although it’s nice to see what they used to be.

It’s ironic that Wells’ War of the Worlds had an anniversary last Friday.

The kid with a mullet and a shuttlecraft pickup truck in Trekkies, turned out to be quite the CGI genius, didn’t he?

I wonder if Paramount will re-release all the Trek films on the big screen one day? That is something i would love to see, TMP is before my time as is TWOk and TSFP and VH! I would dearly love to see them all on the big screen. And I honestly think it would be a cash cow for Paramount, particularly TWOK.

LOL. James T. Palin. :D

Wow, it takes me back.

I saw all of the Trek films in theaters on opening day.

Can i just say that i know most of us were peeved that Paramount decided to push the movie back.

BUT… Isn’t it so much worthwhile that the first new movie since 2002 is actually premiering nearly 30 years after The Motion Picture premiered.

Okay… TMP was Xmas 09 but still… thats 30 years on what has been the Star Trek Movie Franchise.


Sorry i meant that it was Xmas 79 when TMP premiered

I remember first seeing this movie when I was eight or nine years old and thinking it was the most boring thing ever. Now I’m a much more thoughtful 25 year old, and, having recently watched the Director’s Cut, I love this movie. I place it right behind TWOK and The Undiscovered Country on my list.

“Spock, transmit now!”

Can we really say that the trailers were “bad” back then? They were appropriate for the time, and I’m certain that in the 70’s that was… exciting.

On a different note, my birthday conveniently is on the 7th, so I’m going to see James Bond with some friends (although I wouldn’t go if it weren’t for the trailer ). I won’t tell them the truth though.

Is it my imagination or does the narrator sound like he’s doing a bad Rod Serling imitation?


I would be first in line to see TWOK on the big screen.

For many years I pledged to myself that I would not watch this movie again. But I’m glad I broke that promise when I heard about the Director’s Cut. The last two or three times I’ve seen it, I’ve liked it more and more. It’s still not a great film but there are some nice subtle character moments – like Kirk’s nervousness before getting the ship to warp for the first time. And you seriously cannot deny the productions values here. I also recommend the commentary on It pointed out alot of things in the movie I hadn’t noticed because I had previously been bored by its pacing.
Funny that the DE trailer did not include any dialogue.

I’ve seen TWOK on the big screen! As a midnight movie! It was heaven.

#7 If the re-release them then they should get a refurbish like Star Wars. maybe upgrade some of the effects a bit.

I still have the ST: TMP Happy Meal boxes.

I remember seeing TWOK, and freaking out when the bugs went into Chekov’s ear.

#17 TMP is an awful movie and way too long. By far the worst Trek movie ever made. This includes V and insurrection.

Just get to the STVI trailer with the old show and film images and Christopher Plummer’s narration. That one would do well today as well.

Please let us know who put that one together. Brilliant.

I sat through TMP thinking, “Man, that ship looks way different. Why does Kirk look older. Why is Spock so grumpy. Man, this cloud thing is HUGE! Why did that guy touch that thing and now he’s glowing?” Of course, I was like 10 years old.


Have you seen the Director’s Cut?
It might change your mind. Did for me anyway.

When I first saw TMP, I was 14 on opening day, and absolutely in awe of the FX and the “supersized” ships and characters.

It took me a long time to begin to appreciate the film, especially after reading for years that it had been rushed to the cinemas.

The Director’s Cut really does it justice.

I recall the excitement; the pent up emotion; all building with this trailer. It was the culmination of years of fandom, of looking through the latest poorly copied and stapled Lincoln Enterprises flyer selling Star Fleet patches and tribbles. And suffering through the inglorious medium of the animated series. Eventually, though, I remember standing thick with an eager mob in the lobby of a ONE SCREEN theater that winter of 1979. We had our tickets. The doors to the theater opened. We rushed in, in our quick, nerdy fashion and sat in the best seats would could find. The movie started. New-look Klingons! Big bad ass D7 battle cruisers zapped into nothingness. And then….And then….man what a disappointment. Kirk was all… pissy. Spock was all…pissy, McCoy was, well…pissy. Those endless flybys. And wasn’t this just a big Nomad episode? How could Star Trek on the big screen so miss it? We filed out glumly. The trailer had promised so much. The movie delivered so little.

In those days before ubiquitous entertainment coverage who knew there would be another Star Trek movie in the works? What a surprise to see another trailer a few years later. It was with some skepticism we went to a MULTIPLEX to see the next installment. But the trailer? C’mon, it had Khan! And he turned all silver-haired and angry. And pumped! Thank God they saved Star Trek.

Looking back now I can see the value that TMP brought. The great theme song. The more fulfilled Klingon culture. That gorgeous Enterprise. Even a Spock at peace with his dueling nature. But that evening of 1979 brought a disappointment that we all tried to rationalize away. The promise of this trailer brought it all back.

Has anyone check across the GREAT POND to see if the trailer for the new film is attached to the Bond picture there? I think that movie opend up there last week?

I love TMP Director’s Cut. It’s pretty good.

The most things I remember about TWOK was seeing the guy from Fantasy Island all mean. I remember thinking the music for Khan is really cool. I really liked the end battle in the Nebula. I really thought it was cool when Spock was “dead”, yet we heard his voice talking from space at the end of the movie.

#2 — You must be very young:)

’70’s movie trailers are not “early” ones, and they are considerably less cheesy than many from even earlier decades.

I love TMP, always have. I never found it boring, though it’s definitely slow. even as a kid I could appreciate the quiet mystery of the film, and I remember being full of excitement at the suspense.

The director’s cut is even better still!

I’m not entirely sure when I first saw TMP. I would’ve been five years old when it was in the theatres. But I do know how much I fell in love with the Enterprise. *sigh* :)


I’ve checked all over the internet and I haven’t found it so I’m assuming no.

“….I’m sorry..”

“Dat you levt Delda 4? Or dachu didin’ even say goodbye?”


I’ve seen them all, opening day. For TMP, I cut out on my afternoon classes in high school… the only time I ever did that.

Love the old trailers, it’s like a peek into a past world. Thanks for posting them!

I seen all the movies on opening day. In fact i seen the Wrath of Khan 10 times at the movie theater. Remember. Vcrs were just coming out and we did not have one yet at that time so i would save my money and see twok. I liked the motion picture but l love the tmp directors edition. Ill be there on the first midnight showing of Start Trek 11.

Orson Welles’ TV spots were better written than the trailers.

#7 – I’ve heard stories that there have been efforts to re-release all the Trek movies in a marathon format in select cities, but each effort has ultimately been quashed by Paramount for various reasons. I recall some of the narrative on the TMP Director’s Cut indicate they pushed hard to get Paramount to release the revised version to theaters, but Paramount refused.

I think Trek has been behind the proverbial Paramount eight-ball for the performance of the movies compared to expectations, starting with TMP, and each successive set of subsequent leadership has simply followed suit with the predecessor’s notions about Trek.

It took some fresh leadership to get Trek out of mothballs, and to get the $$$$ backing and production values it has always desperately needed, but never had – outside the first film. Always will wonder how the exposition of theatrical Trek might have been different if Wrath of Khan had been made as the “comeback” movie, with TMP’s original resources – alas…we’ll never know.

Most of us all know the story about how TMP barely made it to theaters, started as a revived TV series, etc, so in that view the fact that TMP ever saw the light of a theater is a bit of a miracle. I remember being absolutely dazzled by the music (and started to learn how to discern different composers over the years as a result, learning to love Jerry Goldsmith’s work, and learning to loathe James Horner’s perpetual retreads…but I digress)

These trailers rock, and take me back 30 years to a theater in Oklahoma City (long since defunct) where the lines for Trek ran down the block….great memories….


Riker- Deanna


These trailers look pretty good to me. Instead of slam-bang quick cuts, explosive music and dialogue sound bytes, there is a stateliness to these that lets you get a sense of the movie.

Maybe that’s what dates them.

Or……its just you and your inability to let go of the past…..

I loved the trailers og Tmp. orson Wells did a fantastic job of getting the imagination going. I love the remastered promo and had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen. Would Love to see the remastered Tmp on the big screen. It would be so kool to see all the movies on the big screen. Just like it was so Kool to see the remastered Tos menagerie Parts 1 and 2 on the big screen.That was a lot of fun.

As Quantum of Solace has opened in England, we probably would have known by now that the Trek trailer made it’s premiere there by now.

I’ve always liked the TMP trailer and I hope that the JJ Abrams will be similar. Though I know it’s not going to happen.

I was 8 years old when my dad took me to see TMP at a drive in in 1979. All I remember was the klingon attack at the beginning and waking up to see the end credits as we drove away. I slept through the whole movie but today I really enjoy the director’s edition. My wife still has yet to see the whole movie. She’s always asleep by the time Scotty takes Kirk to the Enterprise. I always bet her $20 if she can make it through the whole movie. I still have that $20

41 Or……its just you and your inability to let go of the past…..

You were able to deduce that about me solely from my statement that I like the style of these trailers. How perceptive of you! You must be the real Mr. Spock.



I have also deduced that you are hard to offend. And I am more of a Teal’c than a Spock, but you probably don’t who the hell Im talking about!


I remember seeing TMP when it opened. And while there some moments of pure awesome….overall the movie left me with a “that’s it?” kinda feel.

I think the second time I saw it, I was falling asleep during the V’Ger flyby.
But in the end, and all this time, only TWOK has ever been able to compete with it for number one for me. Over the years, it has become my favorite Trek movie because it felt the most Trek like, and was also the only time Trek really felt “real”.

While most people compared it to “Changeling” I remember feeling like it was closer to “Corbomite Maneuver” in that you had this big thing and the whole “what is it?” vibe as they try to figure it out.

I saw the movie, the first time, with my little brother, I was 12 at the time, and I’ll never forget the first time they went to warp. When Kirk gave the command….not expecting anything, I turned to my brother to say something and there was this trippy noise and my brothers face lit up and he’s like “WOW!” I turned just in time to see the rainbow streaks disappear into the white flash.

Needless to say I didn’t turn away from the screen after that.

Oddly enough, talking to an old buddy who’s about the same age yesterday about the new movie. He hasn’t seen any of the new pix so when describing them to him, I had to let him know to let go of his preconcieved notions of what Trek is. Just as he had to do when TMP came out.

I for one was not that thrilled with all the changes to…well everything…in TMP. It took me years to really like the movie Enterprise because my favorite was (and still is) the original. Ditto for costumes, bridge, transporter room, phasers, communicators, you get the idea.

Regardless of whatever is said on screen, TMP was basically a reboot. Because there’s just no real way that kind of massive change could occur like that. So I was mixed on it….it was new…but not what I was familiar with and loved. Naturally over time, I got used to it.

Now as an adult, I’m in a better place to prime myself for the changes. Ultimately, I’m looking at this in the same way I did TMP. It will be new and it will require getting used to. But there’ll be a freshness to it, as there was with TMP and part of the fun will be discovering this new Trek world.

I agree, the original trailers feel more epic. But then it was an epic event.

A very big deal at the time. The return of Star Trek! Not everything we wanted, but a better movie today with the Directors Edition. I’m looking forward to the Blu-Ray release.

It’s possible that they could return to a theater. Back when the trailer for Trek 6 was going to be released, there was a marathon of the first 5 films all across the country on one evening. It was the first time I since the 70s that TMP was on the big screen. Was born in 1969 and have gone to the first showing of every one of the films. (Yes, my mom called me in sick to school so I could do it, even back in 1979 for the first one!)