New York Times - 12/08/1979
In STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, the original crew of the Starship Enterprise from the 1960s TV show is reunited in this dramatic, full-length science fiction epic. Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), formerly a captain, is called upon to collect his old crewmates in order to save humanity from a giant, hostile alien vessel steadily approaching Earth and destroying everything in its path. The complex alien life-forms apparently possess such an advanced intelligence that even the brilliant Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) fails to comprehend the massive structure that contains them. There is tension on the ship, as well as in the universe, as Commander Willard Decker (Stephen Collins), the Enterprise's new captain, is relegated to being Kirk's assistant. In addition, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley), the lovable, crotchety doctor who is constantly at odds with Spock, must be tricked away from his life of relaxation to serve on a voyage he wants no part of. It's not long before the Enterprise is taken over by the alien entity, and navigator Ilia (Persis Khambatta) is abducted. When she is returned to the Enterprise, she informs Kirk that unless the entity is united with its creator, it will destroy the Earth. With excellent special effects and witty nods to the old series, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE set a new standard in sci-fi films--and paved the way for a host of excellent sequels.
Space Exploration |
Space Opera |
Star Trek |
Estimated budget: $42 million; shot in Metrocolor in a widescreen process.
Reportedly, the film's special effects technicians were fired during production and replaced with new crew members. This caused the film's projected release date to be postponed for nearly a year.
The film premiered as part of a benefit for the National Space Club, with the debut performance taking place at the Kennedy Center on December 6, 1979. The following day the film was released nationally.