Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
You would think that developing an entire movie for the purpose of bringing a beloved character back would be dull and drawn out. Having just watched it a few days ago, it turns out however that it wasn’t as boring as I remembered it.
Genesis is back…and surprise surprise, another evil somebody (Christopher Lloyd) wants it.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was released in 1984, directed by Leonard Nimoy, and took place almost right after the events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Kirk is still sore over the loss of one of his best friends and the Enterprise is limping home, having rescued the Reliant’s crew from Ceti Alpha V and dropped off the Genesis scientists to where they needed to be.
Limping or not, she’s still easy on the eyes.
The movie begins with the introduction of Christopher Lloyd as Klingon Commander Kruge who commands a Klingon Bird of Prey: crew compliment about a dozen officers and crew. His goal: to steal the secrets of the Genesis device in order to control unimaginable power. He succeeds in obtaining some information about it which leads him to the Genesis planet itself.
Genesis? That’s nothing. I had a DeLorean once that could travel through time!
In the meantime, the USS Grissom is on orbit of the Genesis planet, conducting their own science mission with the help of David Marcus (Kirk’s son) and Saavik. They detect a life form reading from Spock’s torpedo tube and go down to investigate. In a surprising twist, they find it empty.
Robin Curtis takes the place of Kirstie Alley in playing the role of Saavik.
On the Enterprise, things aren’t going well. Doctor McCoy is acting very odd and after docking with space dock they find out that the Enterprise is due to be decommissioned for being old and worn out.
Narrator: “We’ve replaced Doctor McCoy’s regular decaf coffee with Super Strength Mocha Latte Espresso. Let’s see if he notices…”
The crew get their first glimpse of a new, experimental vessel called the Excelsior. Spoiler: Sulu ends up being the master of this vessel in Star Trek VI.
Sarek, Spock’s father, pays Kirk a visit and chastises him for not bringing Spock’s body to Vulcan where he and his katra (soul) can be laid to rest. Kirk learns from Sarek that Vulcans are able to meld with another before death and transfer their katra to someone else, ensuring that all their knowledge and wisdom would not be lost. Sarek soon discovers that Kirk was unaware of this and both seek to find out if Spock did meld with another shortly before his death.
The Vulcan Mind Meld: Side effects may include headache, nausea, and insanity.
Doctor McCoy, it turns out, was the one Spock melded with and Kirk goes on a quest to get back to the Genesis planet to get Spock’s body. McCoy attempts to do so himself by booking a space flight but quickly learns that the Genesis Planet is forbidden and quarantined.
Easter Egg: The bar McCoy walks into features Tribbles for the second time in the franchise, if you don’t count the animated series.
McCoy: Yes! Genesis! How can you be deaf with ears like that!?
McCoy ends up getting arrested for talking about a forbidden subject. Trying to perform the Vulcan nerve pinch on security didn’t help matters either.
Kirk attempts to get there through official means but unfortunately Starfleet nixes his plan. In true Kirk fashion he chooses to disobey orders and go anyway, bringing Scotty, McCoy, Sulu, and Chekov along for the ride. They end up having to steal the Enterprise out of space dock and become fugitives in the process.
Don’t call Sulu tiny.
When Uhura tells you to get in the closet…you get in the closet.
The chase between the Excelsior and the Enterprise begins.
Of course, they made the mistake of giving Scotty free reign of the engine room hours ago.
What every Captain wants to hear from the computer when they ask for a status on the transwarp drive.
While the Enterprise makes its way to the Genesis planet to retrieve Spock’s body, Commander Kruge destroys the Grissom and begins hunting David and Saavik. The duo stumbles upon a small Vulcan boy who they suspect is Spock and is aging with the unstable planet around them. They theorize that the Genesis Wave managed to reanimate Spock’s body and make him young again, but unfortunately is still tied to the aging planet somehow.
It doesn’t take long for the Klingons, who are trained warriors, to find a couple of scientists. They end up taking them hostage just as the Enterprise enters the system.
Regardless if the planet is unstable and blowing up around them, Commander Kruge will do anything to get his hands on the Genesis project’s secrets.
The Enterprise and the Klingon Bird of Prey fight, though it quickly becomes one-sided as the Enterprise is “bypassed like a Christmas tree” in order to run everything from one location. Keep in mind, they only had five people running an entire starship. After a brief stalemate, the Klingons execute one of the hostages.
Torpedo shots never get old.
Christopher Lloyd is going to be pissed when he finds out that his second in command neglected to pay the insurance premium for that year.
More torpedoes. If you ever considered purchasing stock in the companies that make these matter / anti-matter death tubes, now would be the time to do it.
Scotty: “Prepare to return fire? Are ye daft? Did the exploding console indicate anything to you?”
Kirk, in a rage over the death of his son, knows that he’s outnumbered and a sitting duck. He lets the Enterprise be boarded by most of the Klingon vessel’s crew compliment, though not before engaging the auto-destruct and beaming him and his crew to the Genesis planet below. Like the death of Spock, this scene struck deep into the hearts of Trekkies everywhere as they watched their beloved Enterprise explode into pieces and burn up like a comet as it shot across the Genesis planet’s atmosphere. This movie officially marked the death of the NCC-1701. May it rest in peace.
If you ever want to blow up the Enterprise, pay attention to this part of the movie!
Under normal circumstances, killing half a dozen Klingon soldiers by blowing up your ship might be a bit overkill.
*Sniff* *Teardrop* *Sniff Sniff* *Teardrop*
*Sniff* *Teardrop* *Howl* *Teardrop* *Sniff* *Teardrop* *Blow Nose* *Sniff Sniff Sniff* *Teardrop* *Cry Uncontrollably*
Kirk: “My god Bones, what have I done?” McCoy: “You blew up the ship, what do you think you did!?”
Kirk and company begin to realize that the planet is so unstable that it may blow at any minute. His only hope now is to find Spock and the remaining hostages and find a way to get onto the Klingon ship. He manages to bait Commander Kruge down to the surface, who at gunpoint, transports all but Spock, Kirk, and himself up to the ship. There, the final battle between Christopher Lloyd and William Shatner takes shape.
Chekov: “Guys! Guys! Is that…?”
Sulu: “Yes, Chekov…it’s Christopher Lloyd. Go ask him for his autograph!”
Kirk’s expression only proves that Klingons don’t take showers.
Fan fiction writers everywhere were miffed when they found out who ended up winning this fight.
Kirk ends up winning (who knew?) and repeats the Klingon phrase he heard Kruge use to transport Kirk’s crew up just before the fight. Kirk and a half dead Spock beam out and manage to get the Bird of Prey’s engines up and running before the planet explodes in a fiery haze.
Marty isn’t going to be able to save him from this.
Kirk: “Scotty, now would be a good time.”
Chekov: “I don’t think this thing HAS a rinse cycle.”
They finally get Spock to Vulcan and through a bunch of gongs and Vulcanese babble they manage to get Spock’s thoughts out of McCoy and back into Spock. The movie ends with Spock remembering bits and pieces of who he is and how his life played out. It was a bit of a stretch but I’ve seen Sci-fi do worse.
Hardcore Vulcans can do two mind melds at once.
Spock’s back, more or less. Find out what happens to him in Star Trek IV.
Overall, the movie was not as good as Star Trek II but those who are unwilling to let go what happened to Spock may want to watch it anyway. Of course, you may just want to see what happens when you turn Christopher Lloyd into a Klingon. In either case, it’s worth a watch if you’re set on watching the movies in order.