Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

 
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Release date: June 1, 1984

Based on: Star Trek (television series created by Gene Roddenberry)

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Starring: William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Merritt Butrick, Christopher Lloyd

Budget: $16 million

Box office: $87 million

 

Risking their careers, the crew of the Enterprise return to the Genesis planet in search of Spock.

Though it’s not the best film in the series, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a good tale of the lengths Kirk is willing to go in order to get his friend back despite no certainties doing so would actually work. Throughout the film, the audience sees him go against orders and face Klingons who are willing to kill anyone who gets in the way of their goals while at the same time giving the rest of his crew the chance to back out of the mission should they so choose. Further, the film demonstrates the sacrifices Kirk is willing to make for success when it’s his friend on the line.

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Additionally, the film features the Klingons pretty well, succeeding in continuing their portrayal as a conflict-dominated culture that wants to use the capabilities of Genesis to dominate every other species in uncontested war across the galaxies. It’s gives audiences an interesting dichotomy between them and other races where the latter are more inclined to create and make new things which can be compared to the Klingons’ desire to destroy and ravage anything they can. Lloyd also makes for a great Klingon with his voice perfectly meshing with how they are characterized. He winds up stealing every scene he’s in, too. This complements how much of a fascinating villain Kruge is with plenty of depth in his actions than other Klingons had previously displayed.

Still, the film isn’t perfect. Despite it being good, it is an exhibition of Nimoy’s lack of directorial experience. Much of the film seems as if it would have been perfect for a television audience. It definitely feels paced for the small screen although the stakes were fully cinematic.  Further, some of the routes it takes give the sense of either not belonging or going in odd directions and it peaks far too early. The crew leaving Starfleet in the middle of the film could be its best moment and yet, there is still about an hour left.

Definitely not the greatest, but by far from the worst. It’s an enjoyable film several times over.

Awards

Won

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA - Saturn Awards

  • Best DVD Collection (As part of the "Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection")

Nominated

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA - Saturn Awards

  • Best Science Fiction Film
  • Best Actor (William Shatner)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Judith Anderson)
  • Best Director
  • Best Costumes
  • Best Special Effects

Hugo Awards

  • Best Dramatic Presentation