ST09 Trailer Countdown: A Look At The Search For Spock Trailer

The new Star Trek trailer arrives next Friday. While we wait, we continue our journey through Trek’s past, today TrekMovie travels back to 1984 to look at the cinematic trailer for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.


The final voyage of the Starship Enterprise
Theatrical trailer for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

This trailer presents Star Trek as much more mythological than the previous trailers, which is appropriate as that is what Leonard Nimoy states was the intention of the film itself. The narration discusses their sacrifices and what the crew represents. Compared with TWOK, the Star Trek III trailer is much more about the crew of the Enterprise and their mission rather than the villain, although it does highlight the action/battle angle quite a bit. The trailer spoils that this is the last voyage of the starship Enterprise, and even shows some of the destruction. The logo at the end is reminiscent of the Superman-style lettering.

The Star Trek III DVD features this theatrical trailer, with no TV commercials or teaser trailer. 

UK Trailer
There was also an alternative trailer in the UK which doesn’t give away the destruction of the Enterprise.


Where have you heard that voice?
Interestingly, the narrator of the trailer is also the narrator of many of the Buena Vista read-along books on tape or record, including Star Trek III.

Part 1

Part 2

Thanks to YouTubers WackeyEarthling, TvFilmMedia audiofun818


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Underrated movie! Love the stealing of the Enterprise!

I never really liked the trailer for ST III. It gave too much away.

Oddly enough, Nimoy didn’t quite understand the fans’ reaction to the destruction of the Enterprise.

Somehow, he never got the memo on the Enterprise being a character as much as Kirk and Spock.

Hopefully, the STXI trailer doesn’t make the same mistake. I never did like the way David Marcus died. It was almost as bad as the way Tasha Yar died, or even Kirk himself.

To be brutally honest……..I think TWOK+TSFS, watched as a back-to-back double bill, is probably the best 3.5 hours of TREK (in the movie series) ever produced!

There, I’ve said it and I make no apologies!

First Trek movie I saw in the theater. Was hooked instantly. Saw every sequel since then on opening night.

Wow, I’ve never seen this trailer before, and I can’t believe they spoiled the fact that the Enterprise is destroyed in the trailer. It’s the freakin Enterprise, it could have been one of the biggest “OH MY GOD” moments ever if it had been kept a secret.

I guess it makes you think that the crew dies, too, so at least you had to go see it to see that they’re all OK.

#6 me too once I saw it I was completly hooked.

I would be freaking pissed if I had seen that before I saw the movie. Totally giving away that the Enterprise blows up. Good grief.

I think STIII was the second-closest to being like a TOS episode, probably because of Leonard Nimoy’s influence. I think his direction was just right, because he went for the characters. There was plenty of wham-bam stuff, but the characters, the camaraderie, the willingness to sacrifice is what Nimoy focused on. The story was a perfect continuation of TWOK, and watching them back-to-back actually works pretty well (overlooking a few minor discontinuities). William Shatner was superb, and never looked more comfortable in the role of Kirk. On the down side, the “Saavik/David scenes” left me flat. They didn’t have any chemistry together, and they should have. I also thought the “pon far” scene was rather uninteresting.
Altogether, it’s a decent film and has taken a little more criticism than it really deserves, IMO.

My God, Bones, what have I done?

Absolutely adoring the lack of a secrecy fetish in this trailer.

The Big E blowing up has to be one of the biggest WOW moments in the history of Star Trek! To this day whenever I watch the movie I still think to myself OMG they just blew up the Enterprise!

And Kirk’s son, David being killed by the Klingons has to be one of the Klingons has to be one of the most vulnerable moments for Kirk. The pure heartache and dispair at losing a son he had only just barely begun to know.

11 – Turned Death into a fighting chance to live.

12, 13 – The destruction of the Enterprise lost a lot of it’s impact when the trailer spoiled the surprise.

I think Harve Bennet said something to that effect on the Special Edition DVD.

I actually cried when the Enterprise bridge exploded.

I watched II and III for the first time back to back. Due to that first impression, I tend to view them as one long movie. Star Trek III is hoot. I never understood why people would bang on about the odd number curse when I always thought this was an entertaining film.

10 – I’m very glad you found the pon farr scene uninteresting. I would be a little freaked out by anyone saying “that scene where Saavik has sex with a mentally vacant 14 year old was awesome!”

just saying.

More seriously, I am also one of those whose first theater-trek was TSFS and I’m glad this movie seems to be getting marginally more respect then it used to when it was just thought of as an ugly middle child between TWOK’s boldness and TVH’s humor.

A great movie, but if I was a Trek fan back then and had seen this trailer, I would have been PISSED to see them show the Enterprise destruction scene. As I was when I saw the Generations trailer ARGH!!!!

Classic. Makes me go =)

I wish Kirstie Alley would have stuck around, though.

I can’t wait for the new trailer.

I want to see what kind of goodies ILM has cooked up for us this time.

Yeah, baby.

For a solid film like ‘Search’ was, the trailer has always seemed like a hashup. We get an idea about what happens in the film, and a few mildly intriguing moments from its run… but it feels somehow ‘tired.’

I always get a message from this that is not ‘you have GOT to see this movie!’… but, rather, ‘oh, well, it’s another Star Trek movie.’ To me, it’s the weakest of the trailers of all the 10 films, with lousy voiceover, lousy copy, and adequate use of the Horner score.

Too bad; ‘Search’ isn’t my favorite by any means, but it has no obvious flaws to me; rather, it is just a solid, reliable, engaging Trek film.

But the trailer? Well, I await tomorrow’s offering — one of my favorites!

I remember seeing the trailer. And back then I thought it was a gimmick, that it was another starship that was going to blow up. So it did catch me by surprise when it actually happened. I just didn’t think they would do it.

I remember practically crying when I saw the E in flames in that trailer. We had all seen Kirk, Spock, and assorted others croak then come back, plus we’d heard Spock was coming back to life… so his death was small potatoes. But… the E! Noooooo!

Also — God bless the Reverend Jim. I wish they had looked harder to cast that roll. Lloyd looks like Trek’s Jar Jar Binks.

I too saw III on opening day, as I have every Star Trek movie since 1979. I’m honestly glad to see that someone else came away with the impression that they killed a main character in Star Trek when the ship was blown up. I saw the ad and was aghast! It seems very odd that 1984 was so long ago now. . . .

calling this series the ‘STO9’ trailer countdown is very confusing! the new film is ST11! they are not commonly identified by their year of release.

I wasn’t too heartbroken when the Enterprise went up. I was more concerned about Spock coming back. I knew they could always get another ship. The TV series Enterprise had changed so much, I was kind of indifferent about it.

I read somwhere that Roddenberry was furious about that trailer, as he indeed intended the E’s destruction to be a big surprise. Seems in those days the production crew didn’t have much influence on marketing. I guess its different today. At least I hope so.

#26, I think the film should be just “Star Trek”

No bloody I…II…III..IV…….etc.

…and the pain of seeing the Enterprise go down in flames

Captain Robert April (#3),

Where have you heard that Leonard Nimoy didn’t understand the importance of the Enterprise’s destruction? He’s gone on record publicly stating that he was very upset that Paramount decided to give that information away in the trailer precisely because he knew how much impact it would have. I’ve heard him say it myself at conventions. I’d love to know your source for that bit of information, because it directly contradicts everything I’ve ever heard or read about that scene’s inclusion in the trailer.

Secondly, viewing the trailer again brought back a funny memory. Way back in 1983, Walter Koenig was the guest at one of the first Creation Conventions held here in Pittsburgh. Shooting had just wrapped on TSFS, and during his stage appearance I asked him if the rumors were true that the Enterprise was going to be destroyed in the film. Mr. Koenig looked at me with pity in his eyes, then got down on his knees, turned his eyes to the heavens, and said “May God strike us all dead if we ever had the audacity to destroy the Enterprise.”

A few months later, I saw the trailer and sat in stunned disbelief as the Enterprise was blown to bits. I shook my fist at the screen and yelled “Walter Koenig lied to me!!!” This brought some hearty guffaws from the audience and my friends teased me mercilessly. I was so angry that I honestly can’t even remember which movie the trailer was attached to, but I do remember seething in my seat the entire time, furious that I had been so dramatically deceived.

Ah, the lessons of childhood. By the way, some of my friends still, to this day, use Koenig’s response when I question the veracity of something. I’ll have to thank him for that if I ever meet him again (grumble, grumble).

I’ve seen every Trek film in the cinema. Must say that I am so glad that I never saw the trailer for TSFS before going to an advance screening of the movie. It would have spoiled everything for me. I still remember how my jaw literally fell open when the Enterprise was destroyed.

In all honesty I am glad that Abrams is not giving anything away for the new movie. Hope it continues with the contents of the trailer.

I don’t Hate STV. Don’t love it, but It had it’s moments.

TMP I recently watched the Directors cut, but even without it, I still dugg it.

When it comes to STIII I Have to agree with Ballz on this. The Best of the Odd numbered Trek Movies.

and yes, I do mean SO FAR………………..

Even though i love the film i try avoid it alot these days as when tv ever shows a Star Trek film its always this one and i’ve seen it too many times so i’ll only watch it when i’m in the mood for it now but a fave scene of mine is the stealing of the Enterprise.

“The word sir?”

“the word is no but i am therefore going anyway”

Such an under-rated film! The destruction of the Enterprise should go down in history as one of the iconic moments of cinema. It’s just as powerful as ‘Luke, I am your father’. Cannot believe they blew that in the trailer.

I never saw the trailer for this, and didn’t see it at the cinema. Watched it on my Grandad’s VHS taped off the TV right after watching ST:II, so I got the full impact of the unexpected destruction of the Enterprise. I WAS GUTTED.

Classic film. I remember thinking how aggressive and mean the Klingon Bird-of-Prey looked, how sleek and sexy the Excelsior looked. The ‘stealing the Enterprise’ scene is absolutely fantastic!

Shatner actually does some reasonable acting in this, and you really feel for the character. He loses his son and his ship within the space an hour. Really get the rage when he’s kicking Kruge in the face…


That bit makes me howl with laughter every time – even when Kirk is raging mad with revenge and bloodlust, you still get those Shatnerific pauses!

The only things I wish were slightly different about ST:III – it’s kind of implied that Saavik ‘helps’ Spock through his Pon Farr, but a lot of it is lost. That should have been clarified – added an emotional dimension to Saavik’s character.

And there’s a bit of a continuity error – when Kruge is watching the Genesis presentation, it’s Kirk presenting it. In ST:II, it was Carol Marcus. Picky, picky, I know.

#5 Harry Ballz, I’ll go further than that, put TWOK, TSFS, and TVH together as a Star Trek trilogy, and watch them back to back, absolutely awesome. What a voyage.


On the official Star Trek Site it is called “Star Trek The Movie”


I love Star Trek III – Best scene is the stealing of the enterprise “May the Wind be at our back” the star trek family was never so good as in II, III and IV.

About the Pon Farr scene…if you look the DVD with comments you know that they just had … sex.

I always wondered about that too. The only thing that occurred to me was that Kirk had to make a report to his superiors about the Khan incident and rather than just tack on her recording, he plagarised her presentation.

My take on it. Others may differ.

STIII is an interesting Trek film. It has a bunch of great moments in which the sum do not add up to a great movie. A good movie but not great.

Basically any of the scenes with Saavik and David on the Genesis planet are painful to watch. All the scenes with the original cast rocked.

‘Jim. Your name is Jim.’ plus the raised eyebrow at the end always get me.

…and the adventure continues….


ST:II, III, IV and VI – watched back to back, makes a fantastic 4-part saga.


Yeah, I kind of presumed they did, I just wish it made it a bit clearer in the film. I’m not talking about seeing them at it in the bushes, but a little more clarity would have helped.


As good an explanation as any! I’ll go with that.


I hardly think that Kirk doing the Genesis presentation was a continuity error. I always thought that perhaps Carol convinced Kirk to re-do the presentation to add a bit of legitimacy to the project.

Or rather, as #38 points out, it was Kirk making a report to his superiors. Since it has become a top secret military project, having civilian Carol Marcus doing the presentation would be a bit inconsistent, don’ t you think?

In reality, it was probably the quickest way to establish that the Klingons knew that Kirk was involved.

i thought this movie looked great!
the new klingon ship, the awesome space station, seeing vulcan homeworld. really great looking and expensive looking film. it was the last good one…they really dropped in quality and budget after this


There are several explanations that we can come up with in hindsight. My point is that I felt it was a particularly weak plot element, especially given the fact that a different character presented virtually exactly the same presentation in the previous film.

If, as #38 pointed out, it was actually Kirk’s report to Starfleet Command on the Khan incident, it shouldn’t have been almost verbatim for Carol Marcus’s original presentation. It would have been more a report on why the Reliant was destroyed (along with the Regula 1 station, presumably) with a loss of all hands except Chekov, why the Enterprise got such a walloping and most importantly, what had happened to the Genesis project. I personally thought it could have been done better.

This is my only pedantic (and I know it is pedantic) observation in what I otherwise consider one of my favourite Trek films.

Apart from Saavik. I thought both Kirsty Alley in ST:II and Robin Curtis in ST:III and IV did OK, but I’d prefer it if the character was played by the same actress across all films. And it should have been Saavik instead of Valeris in ST:VI – played by the same actress.

Now, I have only one question.

WHERE THE HECK did all that extra battle damage on the Enterprise come from? Even as a toddler watching this movie constantly on VHS I noticed that a lot of the battle markings didn’t belong there.

Oh, and the commentary track is a great one if you have yet to own the collector’s edition. As #15 said, Harve Bennet actually recounts the reactions of the crew when the trailer department came out with their preview for the movie. “We almost cried.”

My favorite moment in the commentary is when Leonard talks about Michael Eisner (Head of Paramount at the time) and how they were at a party just after the screening. MIchael is talking to one guy and Leonard is talking to another with their backs to each other. Leonard over hears Michael’s conversation where the person he’s talking to asks “How did it come to Leonard directing the picture?” and Michael says, without knowing that Mr. Nimoy is right behind him answers “He told me he was going to direct the movie or I could go f*** myself!” lol. The later ruler of Disney ladies and gentlemen!

Strange…I’ve never seen THIS trailer. I’ve got another, longer trailer which I’ve taken for the one and only trailer…

All hail the greatest of the odd-numbered TREK movies!

Terry Pratchett was a guest at a UK convention where TSFS was screened in the main hall in about 1989. He gave a very endearing little speech at the closing ceremony where he said how wonderful it had been to meet all the fans and get to know them, and how sorry he now was that he’d laughed when the Enterprise blew up.

in my own humble opinion STWOK was the best of the original crew, but the only film to come close to it was First Contact, it had the humor and fun of startrek, but still managed to have a gritty human side to it.

As others have noted, this was Shatner’s best film outing as Kirk, all of the hero with a lot of emotional depth. Despite the highly predictable outcome — certainly they wouldn’t go searching for Spock if the idea wasn’t to find him — a solid, fun romp.

I got a little scared at the end when the movie title came zooming on the screen. I thought it might be a trailer for Xanadu :(