Star Trek—The Motion Picture is the film that fans demanded and yet almost didn’t happen. It’s troubled production is legendary and nearly trainwrecked multiple times. The final result was a compromised edit and missing some special effects completed after the drop-dead deadline. That it got released at all was a miracle.
But as with many Star Trek firsts it missed the mark in many ways. Like Star Trek’s original pilot, “The Cage”, which was sometimes characterized as “too cerebral”, so too was Star Trek—The Motion Picture by both fans and detractors. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey it lingers on its images of spaceships, and bizarre space phenomenon, playing up their verisimilitude. It’s arguably the most scientifically rigorous production of the entire franchise, complete with a NASA science advisor who wrote detailed memos about wormholes, warp drive, and spray-and-wear clothing.
But despite all this brainpower it’s sometimes downright dumb. It’s certainly not as full of plot holes as The Wrath of Khan, or outright dumb as The Final Frontier. You can tell some thought was put into a lot of it.
A number of really dumb things happen in this smart movie. Here are 14 standouts.
Screenwriter, writer, videogame industry with scars to show for it. He was a game designer/writer on the Sega Genesis/SNES "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — Crossroads of Time" game, as well as Dreamcast "Ecco the Dolphin, Defender of the Future" where Tom Baker read words he wrote.