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Even in uncertain times with high unemployment, Kirk would risk getting fired for Spock

  • Jul 17, 2009
Out of all the Star Trek movies, this one aged the worst.  I still love the story and adventure and it's arguablly the finest of the original "odd numbered" movies.  However I can't look at this movie and think of a movie thats ahead of the game anymore.

Picking up right after The Wrath of Khan, The Enterprise is limping home after nearly being destroyed and with Spock gone, things don't feel quite right.  Upon reaching home, they see the new Spacedock facility and the Federations new baby, the USS Excelsior with a new warp drive system that can put the Enterprise to shame.  While hearing about shore leave for the crew's bravery, everything is dashed when a sniffy Admiral tells Kirk that the crew is being reassigned and the Enterprise will not be refurbished.  The Genesis Planet ,which was created in the previous movie has become a hotbed of controversy and only a science team is allowed to study it which means Kirk cannot recover Spock's body and reunite it with his soul which is now trapped in Dr. McCoy's body and is driving McCoy insane.  Kirk vows that he will do whatever it takes to rescue Spock.

This is the first of the Star Trek movies that really does open up Star Trek.  While the old TV show always kept the universe open, it was finicky about showing things due to a dinky budget.  This is the first time we see more Starfleet ships, Klingon ships, larger sets and different costumes.  This was an epic movie and it does still hold up.  Krik taking on a Klingon pirate ship led by the nastiest Klingon ever in Christopher Lloyd is still cool.

The movie really soars with it's story of sacrifice.  Kirk and his crew go to just about any measure they can to get the Enterprise out of the spacedock and escape to the Genesis planet and save Spock, even if it means their careers or their lives.  Kirk's son even gets into the mix to help his dad try and save Spock.  When all is said and done, Kirk is almost like Job.

Where the movie stumbles now is how dated the movie got.  When the movie opened originally, there was very little Star Trek and the second movie ended in a very epic way of all of the crew members, SPOCK, died to save the ship.  That was a huge deal.  Two years later, they decide to make a movie about Spock being brought back.   Well lets face it, You can't have classic Star Trek without Spock.  Yeah Chekov and Sulu could be gone and you might not notice, but NOT SPOCK.  The idea that Spock comes back one movie later is that story that has lingered on and on and on in moviedom and is always going to stain this movie sadly.  Spock comes to an end in the greatest way a character can die and he's back just like in a Marvel Comic. 

Also with as much as I love Christopher Lloyds character, he does get the thankless job of following up Khan, the series most infamous villians and when you look at it another way, he's a Klingon.  Trek in the future gives us a bazillion Klingon characters, and he becomes just another name to add to that list.

The other dating factor are the sets.  Big ugly lighting on a lot of the spaceship sets with the most horibbly antiquated looking Atari computers you ever saw to run a 23rd Century spaceship.  Wrath of Khan had one shot of one of these computers but this movie has several and they are ugly and blocky looking.  I'm not expecting touch screens and the newest Unix system but seriosly, they can do better.  Star Trek The Motion Picture did a far better job with computer displays then this movie does and that was five years before.

Star Trek III is certainly worth seeing and it does break ground where no Trek did break before but it's shortcomings are hard to ignore.  Yes it's a gip in a way to see Spock brought back, but as the classic Mad Magazine issue pointed out, "He'll be back in Star Trek III, it's the logical thing to do."
Science team exploring the Genesis planet Kirk at Spocks old station Christopher Lloyd as Commander Kruge Kirk with McCoy going insane James Sikking, Excelsior Captain Vulcan ceremony at Mt. Seleya

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October 21, 2010
Never even thought about this one opening up the Universe like you pointed out, well done.
July 17, 2009
I haven't seen this in years, but do remember Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon. He was great (but agree Khan was a tough act to follow). Great Review!
July 17, 2009
It's the one that really gets overlooked too. Definetly needs to be seen again.
More Star Trek III: The Search for ... reviews
review by . August 26, 2010
The final scene of The Wrath of Khan is the first scene of The Search for Spock. That emotional death and funeral with concluded the second film would resonate throughout the third. The movie picks up almost immediately where the last left off. The Enterprise is limping home with a skeleton crew, badly damaged in its clash with Khan and Reliant. But when they get there, Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew find their enquiries about the Genesis Project ignored and their request to return …
Quick Tip by . May 16, 2010
Kirk and crew risk everything to save Spock. Great adventure but nothing really substantial otherwise. Better then average.
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2009
Fun and action filled quest for Kirk to rescue Spock's Body from a dying planet. Undoes Wrath of Khans epic ending and the sets are ugly.
review by . May 18, 2009
The Search for Spock Blu-ray
Unlike the Blu-ray edition of The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, the third installment of the Star Trek films really comes to life on Blu-ray.  Along with all of the other discs, it has been digitally remastered and has Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound.  Star Trek III was probably the most difficult of the first three films to make, having introduced new ships and new effects to the film industry, and despite the fact that visual effects back then now seem rather "primitive", the …
review by . September 11, 2009
Quickly following the events of "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan," "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock" takes the filmgoer on a highly unusual "rescue" mission. This go-round finds Kirk, McCoy, and the rest of the crew (minus Spock, who sacrificed himself to save the others) returning to the friendly confines of the Federation for rest and, unbeknownst to them, the decommissioning of their beloved Enterprise.     Meanwhile, the Federation starship Grissom is studying the newly …
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 motion picture released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the third feature based on the Star Trek science fiction franchise. After the death of Spock (Leonard Nimoy) during the events of The Wrath of Khan, the crew of the USS Enterprise returns to Earth. When James T. Kirk (William Shatner) learns that Spock's essence or katra is held in the mind of Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Kirk and company steal the Enterprise in order to return Spock's body to his home planet; the crew must contend with hostile Klingons bent on stealing the secrets of a powerful terraforming device.

After positive critical and commercial reaction to The Wrath of Khan, Paramount commissioned a new film. Leonard Nimoy took over directing duties.

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