Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Collectors Edition)

Theatrical Release: December 7, 1979
DVD Release: November 6, 2001
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Collectors Edition)


Back when the first Star Trek feature was released in December 1979, the Trek franchise was still relatively modest, consisting of the original TV series, an animated cartoon series from 1973-74, and a burgeoning fan network around the world. Series creator Gene Roddenberry had conceived a second TV series, but after the success of Star Wars the project was upgraded into this lavish feature film, which reunited the original series cast aboard a beautifully redesigned starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Under the direction of Robert Wise (best known for West Side Story), the film proved to be a mixed blessing for Trek fans, who heatedly debated its merits; but it was, of course, a phenomenal hit. Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) leads his crew into the vast structures surrounding V’Ger, an all-powerful being that is cutting a destructive course through Starfleet space. With his new First Officer (Stephen Collins), the bald and beautiful Lieutenant Ilia (played by the late Persis Khambatta) and his returning veteran crew, Kirk must decipher the secret of V’Ger’s true purpose and restore the safety of the galaxy. The story is rather overblown and derivative of plots from the original series, and avid Trekkies greeted the film’s bland costumes with derisive laughter. But as a feast for the eyes, this is an adventure worthy of big-screen trekkin’. Douglas Trumbull’s visual effects are astonishing, and Jerry Goldmith’s score is regarded as one of the prolific composer’s very best (with its main theme later used for Star Trek: The Next Generation). And, fortunately for Star Trek fans, the expanded 143-minute version (originally shown for the film’s network TV premiere) is generally considered an improvement over the original theatrical release.

Dove Review

This is a film which almost received our Dove Seal! If not for a character saying, “Da_n him” about another character, it would have received our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. Dove does not, however, award our Seal when a curse is spoken against someone else.

It has been some ten years and the crew of the starship Enterprise are reunited. Mr. Spock has returned from Vulcan where he has unsuccessfully attempted to rid himself of the last of his human emotions. Captain Kirk is now Admiral Kirk although he enjoys the opportunity when it comes to command the Enterprise again on a journey that demands his experience. Kirk and crew must content with V’Ger, a powerful vessel which is on a destructive course with earth and no one is sure why.

The special effects are great but the language prevents us from awarding our Dove Seal to this picture.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: A couple are interested in each other but only give each other longing looks.
Language: H-3; D-5 (Including one "D**n him")
Violence: A spaceship is hit with a beam and destroyed; a commander dies; a character's arm is burned; a character is struck by a beam and cries out in pain.
Drugs: None
Nudity: A woman's bare shoulders are seen and a woman wears a short skirt.
Other: A theme of desiring to know one's creator and a discussion about it.


Company: Paramount
Writer: Gene Roddenberry and Alan Dean Foster
Director: Robert Wise
Producer: Jon Povill
Genre: Science-Fiction
Runtime: 136 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter