20 Things You Didn't Know About Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)

Everything you need to know about the making of the sequel to Star Trek's most popular film.

Star Trek III Spock

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock was an almost guaranteed film, as The Wrath of Khan was a huge success (for the breakdown of that film, please check out our earlier lists here.) Narratively, the third Star Trek film needed to address a rather large Spock-shaped hole in proceedings.

Rather than try to dodge the topic, the writers decided to face it head-on, putting Spock's name in the title of the film. They also hired Leonard Nimoy as director, with the rest of the cast starting proceedings a little unsure of how that process would go.

The film had to address the Genesis Planet, the battering that the Enterprise took, Spock's Mind-Meld with McCoy, Kirk's relationship with his son, David, and much more. While the Wrath of Khan had been a relatively tight film, there were several loose threads still dangling to be picked up in the sequel.

Harve Bennett, produced on Wrath Of Khan, was commissioned and began work on the script. He had to deal with a new director, a star who refused to return, a complicated story, and a fire on the set. All in a day's work on Star Trek.

20. Who's A Good Boy?

Star Trek III Spock

Commander Kruge is, above all things, a lover of wildlife. He shows this by attempting to give one of the giant microbes on the Genesis Planet a hug - only for it to swiftly try and kill him. However, his faithful dog remains by his side for most of the film.

While it's unclear if Fifi Robozo, as the model was named by the crew, was meant to be a Targ, it was definitely meant to be the captain's mascot. It was and was always intended to be, a disgusting creature. The mouth was operated by spring -oaded jaws, with Ken Ralston's hand working the mechanics. Three other operators were hidden from view to move the rest of the model.

Clumps of torn wigs were stuck to it using spray adhesive, while it was sprayed with water just before filming to give it a slimier, more menacing feel. One part of the model that specifically did not move were the ears. The crew felt that it would make this fearsome animal cute and opted to leave them static.

Even the dead Fifi had the last laugh though. A separate corpse model was created for its rather pathetic death scene, but Ralston opted to simply use the same model again.

Robozo may not have been pretty, but he sure did get his screen time.


Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick