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 IIIis 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.
Hard to believe the film is 30, but it was released when I was 2, so I guess that makes sense…
As an avid Star Trek fan, it is not my favorite — and certainly my least favorite in The Genesis Trilogy — but it’s not terrible. My favorite Star Trek film is still Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and this film is not even my second favorite. Undiscovered Country is probably my second favorite and I don’t agree that it has more plot holes than this film. However, I do agree that this film really did focus in on a great element of Star Trek, and that is indeed the familial element the crew had. Sure that was present in the previous film, but in this film it was certainly in sharper focus. And it did give us the best moment in William Shatner’s career when as Captain Kirk her reacted to his son’s death.
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.
The other great thing is that Nimoy knew that these actors knew their characters and gave them some room to act. The result was a good one as far as characters and directing goes.
Ultimately for me, the story and script were not great which is what brings the film down a little. However, the acting, the directing, and the heart in the film make up for it and do indeed make it pretty great Trek.