TNG: “Encounter at Farpoint”

Date: February 22, 2020

Season 1, Episode 1 (Parts 1 & 2)

Setting the Stage: After a week of watching Star Trek movies, I find myself with a new crew and a double episode, fascinating. I started around 1:30 pm on Friday, but there were a lot of breaks to be had. I’m back to watching on Netflix. For the first episode, I’m given the option to skip the intro, but I won’t since I’ve never seen it and I will watch an intro exactly once per season. I notice that the introductory words now say “to go where no one has gone before” and am glad we have moved to the 1980’s. Today’s writing music is a mix of random instrumental tracks, as played by my iTunes on shuffle.

Favorite Quote or Scene:

Data: I shall endeavor to function adequately, sir.

Riker: Yes. When the captain suggested you, I looked up your record.

Data: Yes, sir. A wise procedure, sir, always.

Riker: Then your rank of Lieutenant Commander is honorary?

Data: No, sir. Starfleet class of ’78. Honors in probability mechanics and exobiology.

Riker: Your file says that you’re a…

Data: Machine, correct, sir. Does that trouble you?

Riker: To be honest, yes, a little.

Data: Understood, sir. Prejudice is very human.

A conversation between Riker and Data in the Holodeck

Quick Summary with my Impressions: We open with Captain Picard, who is new-ish to the ship and explains that he’ll be getting a new first officer and some other key positions. There are now three chairs on the bridge: one for the first officer, one for the ship’s counselor, and one for the captain (in the middle, of course) and some nifty new uniforms. There’s also a Klingon on the bridge! As the Enterprise (new ship, who dis?) forges ahead to Farpoint station, something resembling a Tholian web blocks their path and a being named “Q” beams aboard unannounced. Dressed as a pirate, and then a World War II era soldier (and several other costume changes later), Q tells the crew to leave; they are savage humans and have gone too far. Picard tries to explain humans may have been savage in the past, but they’ve gotten over that. I mean, hellllllo there’s a Klingon in Starfleet what more proof do you need?! Q doesn’t believe them and freezes Torres, who is thankfully restored in sickbay.

Data, Picard, and Troi stand over a frozen Torres

Picard decides to try and catch them by surprise so he orders Worf to stay on the bridge (the Klingon in him is NOT happy, the Starfleet officer in him knows his orders) while he and some others move to another part of the ship that will detach from the saucer, fascinating. Apparently on this ship there are family members, so it makes sense for Picard to only put himself and a few of his officers in danger. Picard, Yar, Data, and Troi are put on trial by Q, but Picard argues they should be able to demonstrate they are not like their ancestors.

We move to Farpoint station, which is likely the beginning of Part 2, where we meet Riker, Dr. Crusher, and her son Wesley. Strange things are afoot here, and the Enterprise is determined to find out what before making an alliance with the folks on planet. Another new item here is that their Starfleet badges act as both communicators and their GPS coordinates, I’m sure this will free up their hands and be a plot device from here on out. Picard wants to test Riker and orders him to manually attach the part of the ship they detached earlier, and you know that’s not SOP when even the android raises his eyebrows at that order. We get a surprise cameo from an older-than-dirt McCoy, who is still as crotchety as ever and has achieved the rank of admiral.

Old, old, old man McCoy and Data

The landing party is now called the “away team”, which I like, and Picard does not go, which also makes a boatload of sense. In fact, all of those on the away team make much more of a logical choice, and I have no idea why Spock never commented on the illogical choice of McCoy and Kirk coming along, but I digress. Here they do an awesome job with the music; soft when Dr. Crusher and Picard first lock eyes, childlike wonder when Wesley is given permission to peruse the bridge, and back to action when there’s an unknown ship approaching. That unknown ship looks strangely like the underbelly of Farpoint station and it starts shooting at the old city where the aliens are located, interesting. Turns out Farpoint station is actually just one of a mated pair of giant space jellyfish who can manipulate matter. The Enterprise helps the jellyfish reunite, solves the mystery of Farpoint station, and gets Q to agree that they aren’t as young and savage as they appear, but Q threatens to return.

I am glad to see more a more diverse bridge. A Klingon, two women (one who is only half human, oh my), an android, and some Starfleet officers of various backgrounds walk onto a bridge and it gives me hope. That hope is quickly dashed, unfortunately.

Wesley, Yar, La Forge, Riker, Picard, Dr. Crusher, Worf, Troi, and Data

I am not fond of the security chief, Tasha Yar, I hope she gets better over time because I would love to see her kicking ass and taking names. It took a while for me to understand what Diana Troi’s character was supposed to be, and I’m also not impressed. I hope she has better showings in later episodes, because at least her character and background are very interesting. Picard is like the wise teacher you once had that makes you think about what to say before you say it, or a beloved Uncle who values your input. Riker is a young man with a lot to prove, but he seems honest and genuinely motivated to excel at his position. Dr. Crusher is amazing and I think I’m going to like her much more than I did McCoy. While McCoy had some excellent lines and gave amazing snark, Beverly Crusher does all that, is a single mom, and doesn’t appear to have a racist bone in her body. Wesley Crusher is absolutely going to be that meddlesome kid, sigh. Geordi La Forge is an awesome step forward in that his character has two things, he’s black and visually impaired, and I’m super stoked to see how amazing of a crew member he’s going to be. Above all, I think I’m going to really like Data and I’m sure none of you are surprised.

I’m excited to see the ensemble cast and hope that their future outings are much more promising. I notice some things are similar to The Original Series or some of the movies (like Troi and Riker give me serious Decker and Ilya vibes), and other things are trying to be different in order to distinguish themselves from the prior series. This doesn’t really remind me of anything else pop culture-wise at the moment, but I’ll report back if something clicks later. I suppose with 7 total seasons, the episodes have to get better – right? Now that we’re back to a TV Series, I’m back to my nonsense ratings. As this was the first episode, I’ve got to go with a rating of 5 tomatoes of various shapes, sizes, and ripeness.

TA Out!

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Date: February 21, 2020

Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:00 pm on Feb 20, 2020 via Amazon Prime. It snowed today, so we were all bundled up on the couch to watch the final movie before I begin The Next Generation. By “we”, I mean the husband, Tempura, and Professor Zoom. Everyone else was, well, elsewhere. Funny enough, since I’m a day ahead, I’ll be starting the two-part episode “Encounter at Farpoint” on Friday, which is the same day that the Farpoint Convention begins. Tonight’s musical accompaniment is some Medieval Fantasy music.

Luis-style Summary: Sulu is captain of the Excelsior which gets hit by a huge shock wave of energy as the Klingon Moon Praxis explodes. At a classified Starfleet meeting, we find out that the Klingon Empire is dying and Spock has tried to achieve peace by volunteering Kirk and the Enterprise on a diplomatic mission to ferry the Klingon Chancellor through Federation space. Some agree that it’s time for peace and others, like Kirk, think the Klingons are not to be trusted. They did, after all, kill his son.

The excelsior about to be hit by the energy wave

There’s a new helmsman with Sulu gone and her name is Valeris and she’s a Vulcan. The Klingons come over for dinner and it’s a disaster. After the Klingon delegation leaves, and everyone is sufficiently hung over from the Romulan ale, there is a large surge of radiation and the Enterprise “fires” on the Klingon ship. The Klingons lose gravity and some men in Federation suits start killing the Klingons. Kirk surrenders when the Klingons think that they have betrayed them, but the Chancellor dies. Kirk and McCoy are arrested, charged, and found guilty of assassination, but death is commuted and instead they are sent to a penal colony. The crew comes up with a theory of who actually killed the Klingons and begin to look for the gravity boots.

Klingon blood floating everywhere

On the penal colony,Kirk and McCoy make “friends”, find out that someone wants Kirk dead, and that the shapeshifter has an escape plan. After about 23 years of walking through the snow, we find out the “escape” is a set up around the same time that Spock arrives to beam them up (in the middle of the villain about to tell us who the real bad guy is, damn it Scotty). In a shocking twist, Valeris turns out to be one of the bad guys. She is working with Admiral Cartwright, General Chang, and the Romulan ambassador and they plan to assassinate the Federation President, oh no! The prototype Bird of Prey that can fire without dropping its cloak causes some issues, but Sulu arrives in the nick of time and they destroy the hell out of the ship and its crew. Kirk and crew arrive at the summit just in time to save everyone. Kirk gives a very Kirk-style speech and everyone claps… the end.

TL;DR: The Klingon Empire is dying. This apparently means it’s a good time to discuss peace between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. Shocking as it is (heavy sarcasm), those who do not wish for things to change sabotage the peace envoy and summit but are stopped by Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise.

Favorite quotes:

Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.

Spock laying down some logic and wisdom in a one-two punch

Guess who is coming to dinner

Chekov being snarky about the Klingons coming to dinner

Uhura: You are Crewman Dax?

Dax: Yes, Commander. What is the problem?

Chekov: Perhaps you know Russian epic of Cinderella? If the shoe fits, wear it!

Spock: Mister Chekov…

Spock is pointing to Dax’s webbed feet which won’t fit into a gravity boot

Chekov being snarky about the Klingons coming to dinner
Dax's webbed feet next to the gravity boot

My Thoughts and Impressions: I’ll start with the good. I loved that there was a murder mystery for part of the movie. The crew is clearly turning over every rock to try and find clues that support their hypothesis. Chekov finds some blood, Valeris finds a boot, and Scotty finds the uniforms. I was also super happy to see Kurtwood Smith (who plays Red Forman on That 70’s Show, you dumb ass), Kim Cattrall (Samantha from Sex & the City), and a baby faced Christian Slater (who has been in a million things that I have loved). Of course there are the big names, but I’m a 90’s kid so there (sticks tongue out). I thought it was interesting that it took us 5 seasons and 6 movies to find out you cannot shoot an unauthorized phaser inside of a starship without sounding the alarm… truly fascinating. I also really liked when Spock said he would tell them “Go to hell” and how the credits with the main crew’s signatures was also well done.

I also liked the plot twist of Valeris being part of the “bad guys” and the irony that is the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans all working together – which is what they were trying to prevent through all of the assassinations, right? SO much irony, I love it. There’s also an interesting callback to when it was Kirk vs. Kirk in “Whom Gods Destroy” during the “escape” scene. We also see the daughter of the Chancellor take her father’s place, and it’s awesome to see that the Klingons don’t care about the sex of their warriors, as long as they can do the job. I’m not sure if this will hold true later on, but we’ve seen several female Klingons and all of them have held their own.

What I didn’t like I could probably write a doctoral thesis on, but I wouldn’t want to translate it into Klingon. There was so much damn Shakespeare and not just in this movie, but throughout the entire show and other movies. If you want it to influence your stuff, fine, but I feel like they really hit us over the head with it in this movie. McCoy was another problem in this film. While he is usually sarcastic and curmudgeonly, he did not know how to read the room. When you are on trial for the assassination of the topmost Klingon, you probably shouldn’t be cracking jokes. They just seemed forced and not completely in character, because McCoy usually knows when he needs to be serious. I was also pretty shocked by the reaction of the crew to the Klingon visitors both before and after dinner. I did not expect them to be so intolerant of another culture, especially since we see so many non-humans on the Enterprise throughout the movies.

Movie rating: In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 6.5, but this is only because I rate it higher than The Motion Picture, which came in at warp 6. I really need to be more consistent with my ratings, whoops.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Date: February 20, 2020

Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:00 pm on Feb 19, 2020 via Amazon Prime. Thankfully Prime has sorted out its issue and we did not have to rent this one. Zoom decided my lap was the place to be, which was very difficult when trying to take notes on my laptop during the movie. This was the one movie I required the husband to be present for since he has consistently talked about how awful this one was, and I wanted someone to suffer through it with me. Tonight’s musical accompaniment is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker soundtrack.

Luis-style Summary: We open to a planet in the neutral zone with an unknown Vulcan with weird mind tricks and a weird bald guy. After the credits, we get up close and personal with Kirk’s butt and several minutes of he-man Kirk climbing a mountain where Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are enjoying shore leave. Back on Nimbus III (the planet in the NZ) it looks like we’ve entered the Cantina on Mos Eisley (hey, it’s been a while since I’ve made a Star Wars reference!) where the Vulcan and some of his followers (he totally used Jedi mind tricks) take the Romulan, Klingon, and Federation representatives hostage.

The Klingon,  Romulan, and Terran representatives on Nimbus III
A Klingon, a Romulan, and a Terran walk into a bar on Nimbus III, stop me if you’ve heard this one… from

On the “new” Enterprise, back from its latest cruise, Uhura and Scotty have an adorable moment before a red alert is called, Sulu and Chekov are lost, and McCoy, Spock, and Kirk are found after Kirk “forgets” his communicator. They are being sent to Nimbus III in order to rescue the hostages. Also en route are some Klingons, one of which is a very ambitious Kirk-hater. Spock knows the Vulcan, his name is Sybock, and he’s apparently one who values emotions over logic. Chekov gets to act as Captain while Spock and Kirk sneak to the planet, and Uhuha gets to dance naked and distract the lookout party. After 10 years of fight sequence later, the Enterprise landing party realizes they’ve been tricked. Kirk enables emergency landing plan “B” , which allows them to escape the Klingons but they wind up handing over the ship to Sybock and his followers. Sybock is apparently Spock’s half-brother and has crazy mind powers. He takes over Sulu and Uhura, and tries to take over Spock, Kirk, and McCoy but is unable to do so. His mission is to go look for Sha Ka Ree in the center of the universe and find “God”. The female Klingon is VERY good at English and Kirk thinks the Federation is on the way to provide assistance.

The Blues Brother are "on a mission from God"

They break through the barrier and encounter the planet at the center of galaxy and Kirk is given command of the ship back. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sybock take the shuttle down to the ship and everyone is so enamored with the planet that no one is paying attention to the incoming Klingon vessel. Stones emerge from the planet’s surface, as does a light with a speaking voice that sounds almost like Donald Sutherland. We find out the barrier was there to keep the entity in, not to keep others out. Sybock realizes his mistake and joins with the entity as Kirk orders a torpedo. Scotty then beams up Spock and McCoy, but the Klingons fire. The Klingons beam Kirk aboard, the Klingon captain apologies to Kirk, and Spock is introduced as the new gunner of the Klingon vessel. Everyone is so happy to be alive that they begin to get along, temporarily at least.

Dr. Evil says we're "getting along"

TL;DR: Spock’s half-brother is “on a mission from God” and kidnaps everyone in order to commandeer the Enterprise and visit the center of the galaxy, only to find out “God” is an alien.

Favorite quotes:

Kirk: ‘All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’

McCoy: Melville.

Spock: John Masefield.

McCoy: Are you sure about that?

Spock: I am well versed in the classics, Doctor

McCoy: Then how come you don’t know ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat?’

McCoy asking the hard questions.
Spock and “camping out”

Kirk: Excuse me. I’d just like to ask a question. What does God need with a starship?

“God”: Bring the ship closer.

Kirk: I said ‘What does God need with a starship?’

Kirk asking the hard questions.

My Thoughts and Impressions: The whole opening sequence leaves me confused, in fact that will a be a theme for this post. When they are camping, the roasting marshmallow bit is adorable. 30 minutes into the movie, however, I still have no idea what the fuck is going on. Why is the Enterprise being sent out with a skeleton crew and a busted ship – you could put Kirk on another damn ship if you really needed his experience. I get that they’re trying to explain why the Enterprise is always being sent out, but this one still doesn’t make any damn sense. Didn’t we go to the center of the universe in the Animated Series?

Okay, all of that aside I do like the bit about the Klingon captain who was trying to make a name for himself, and that they spoke only Klingon until they needed to speak English to others… that makes sense at least. I also liked the uniforms in this movie, they were very flattering on the crew and made everyone look sharp. But that’s the end of the list of things that make sense.

What’s up with the rocket boots that show up only twice? What’s up with Uhura and Scotty, why show them flirting if you aren’t going to do anything about it? WHY ON EARTH DID WE NEED NAKED UHURA DANCE? I mean if she wanted to, you go lady! She did look like she had fun, but seriously? Why doesn’t Spock tell us it’s his brother sooner? It seems like Kirk and crew give up the ship a little too easily (except for Scotty, the jailbreak scene was fun too) and then decide to go exploring for God just for funsises. I get their 5-year mission was to explore new things, but this seemed much more to satisfy Kirk’s curiosity rather than advance the Federation somehow. How do they get through the “impenetrable barrier” with literally no fanfare or explanation, and then the Klingons just happen to bust in too? Why do we never get an explanation for Sybock and his mind magic? Will this reappear later? Will this be a random thing that never gets mentioned again?

So I totally get that Shatner directed this movie, but he made it all about Kirk at every turn. When Nimoy directed III although Spock’s name is in the title, Spock is not on screen very much and it’s about how the other characters are dealing with loss and processing their grief, and possibly seeing if there’s a chance to save their friend and first officer. Shatner, on the other hand, makes this the Captain Kirk double story hour, reminiscent to a few Original Series episodes that were all about Kirk. Yeah, we get you’re all accomplished and stuff, but it’s your crew that makes you better. Sigh.

I’m also wicked pissed with Kirk saying how he “lost a brother once” but was lucky and got him back. Hello, did you forget that you lost your actual flesh-and-blood brother? Hey, I’m all for chosen families, my chosen family is mostly geographically closer than those I am related to by blood. However, that’s the second slap in the face to your brother. Anyone remember the time in Star Trek II where Kirk tells his son that he’s never known loss? I mean, you aren’t going to tell your only son about his uncle? For shame!

Movie rating: . In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 3, and it’s only so high because of the camping scene and a few other good one liners.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Date: February 19, 2020

Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:00 pm on Feb 18, 2020 via Amazon Prime… but we had to rent it. Of the six original Trek movies, somehow IV (which was on Prime yesterday) was no longer available and we were only able to rent it, sigh. Husband and I ate Honey Balsamic Pork (it was a crock-pot night) with couscous and corn, and it was delicious. The cats were around in spurts, but Zoom was totally asleep on the blanket at the edge of the couch. He was a very tired pupperino.

This will be the last Star Trek movie I was not alive for, as I was born in December 1986.

Tonight’s musical accompaniment is Harry Potter inspired, with Winter at Hogwarts, mostly because it’s supposed to snow tomorrow.

Luis-style Summary: On Earth the Klingon ambassador is a little dramatic about Kirk’s actions in the previous movie and Sarek shows up to the hearing at the Federation to speak on his behalf. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are actually being charged for once, ironically Spock is not due to his being mostly dead for a good part of the movie. There’s an alien probe on approach every other ship in its path loses power. Kirk and crew take the stolen Klingon vessel back to face the music but before they can get there, the probe is approaching Earth and trying to communicate with – wait for it – humpback whales (that are no longer there because they are extinct). Apparently we’re going on a time heist for… whales?!

Humpback whale and baby whale

After a weird ass dream sequence, Kirk divides everyone into teams in order to solve the different problems. Spock mind melds with one of the whales and Kirk is beside himself with embarrassment, but of course meets a woman, Gillian. Scotty and McCoy are having fun with their acting challenge while Sulu makes friends in order to commandeer a helicopter. Uhura and Chekov find the nuclear naval ship, Uhura gets beamed back safely but Chekov gets caught by the authorities and insert hilarious Russian comedy scene because it’s the Cold War. Chekov has an accident during his escape, so McCoy, Gillian, and Kirk pose as doctors to help him out. Gillian jumps Kirk as he is being beamed back onto the ship in order to go to the future and save the whales, which are also beamed onto the ship in dramatic fashion. They get back to their own time, but are in the path of the probe and lose power. They land in the water, abandon ship, and release the whales. The whales and probe communicate and suddenly the probe goes back to whence it came. The council meets to discuss the fate of the Enterprise crew, every charge gets dropped except for one sp Kirk is “demoted” to Captain, which is what he wanted anyway. Sarek and Spock have the most Vulcan Hallmark moment ever, and it’s adorable.

Spock and Sarek

TL;DR: An ancient intelligence made contact with whales and sends a probe to find out why they stopped communicating. The probe is destroying everything, including Earth, so the crew of the Enterprise time travels in their stolen Klingon vessel in order to save life on Earth.

Favorite quotes:

Chekov: Cloaking device now available on all flight modes.

Kirk: I’m impressed, it’s a lot of effort for a short voyage.

Chekov: We are in an enemy wessel, sir. I didn’t wish to be shot down on the way to our own funeral.

Kirk: Most prudent.

Chekov will all of my favorite lines.
Uhura and Chekov are slowly becoming my favorites.
As an Italian, I approve of this scene wholeheartedly.

Policeman #1: How’s the patient, Doctor?

Kirk: He’s gonna make it!

Policeman #2: He? He went in with a she.

Kirk: One little mistake.

Kirk with the good timing on this one.

My Thoughts and Impressions: There are a lot of problems with this movie, but I don’t focus on that much because it made me laugh. Between the scenes mentioned above and “everybody remember where we parked”, I worked out some laughing muscles I haven’t used in a while. Spock trying to “curse” and Scotty trying to speak to the computer are both quite funny. I’m reminded of a scene in 3rd Rock From the Sun where Dick Solomon tries to use a computer, and I bet it was a nod to Scotty. It’s too bad Kirk didn’t have access to the guy from Down Periscope who could speak in whale, but then we wouldn’t have had the need to travel back to 1986. I also find it (cough cough) fascinating (sorry, not sorry) that the actress that plays the Mom on 7th Heaven is in this film when we just had the Dad in The Motion Picture. I’ll say it again: there’s always a blonde for Kirk, but now apparently a headband for Spock, instead of a hat. I’m also kicking myself for not realizing that it’s not just blondes that Kirk is attracted to but ones who are damn smart to boot. I was also super excited to see a female Captain (from the Saratoga) and she’s a woman of color, double score!

McCoy is extra crotchety in this one, especially given the state of the hospital and its “medieval medicine”, but he does some elderly lady a solid and fixes her kidneys. As my father is currently doing dialysis three times a week and is in need of a kidney, that part really hit home. Consider checking the box to be an organ donor for when you no longer need yours or checking to see if you’re a match to be a living kidney donor. Thanks for coming to my surprise TED Talk on organ donation in the midst of a Trek review.

Thinking about what was happening in the late 1980’s makes this movie quite the political and even an environmentally friendly one. Trek once again blazes ahead in the social commentary, but then takes a few steps back with some of the problems I will highlight below. They also did a great job of framing a story around the time frame they were in at the time of the shooting, so they could get away with the “pop culture of the time” without having to go crazy because they could just go to San Fransisco and take shots of the normal outside world.

Now for the problems in this movie. How did NO ONE come across the ship in the park or run into it?! I mean you could SEE the impressions in the grass! The whale to probe scene at the end takes a few minutes longer than it needed to, especially with no translation by Spock. When Chekov is making his run for it, they are playing very Russian-like music and it’s a bit reminiscent of “Shore Leave” when they had the horrific Irish music playing when the Irish-based character was on screen. There’s also not much to the plot as it’s essentially just a time-heist, which at the time was probably one of the first and I will admit is quite well done. I don’t usually like time travel because it messes everything up. I also have a lot of questions, as I usually do. Why does Saavik stay on Vulcan? How does Scotty magically know how to be a whiz at the keyboard when he couldn’t recognize it wasn’t voice activated 2.3 seconds earlier? Also, why on EARTH does he just give away the secrets of transparent aluminum? I mean, I thought we weren’t supposed to mess with the time line, but we can just ignore all that now? Suuuuuuure.

Movie rating: . In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 8.5.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Date: February 18, 2020

Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 6:30 pm on Feb 17, 2020 via Amazon Prime. Husband and I ate Chinese food while Tempura (ironically) kept trying to eat my chicken. Zoom was in his pen with his frozen pumpkin-filled Kong and after we finished eating he slept, in between us. Tonight’s musical accompaniment is something random I pulled up on YouTube about the Chronicles of Narnia.

Luis-style Summary: The Klingons purchase data on the Genesis project and head to the Genesis planet. As the Enterprise is docking, there’s a breach in Spock’s quarters and it’s McCoy acting weird as fuck. Scotty gets assigned to the Excelsior and is salty about it. Sarek is mad at Kirk for not returning to Vulcan, but then realize that Spock mind-melded with McCoy before he died and that’s why McCoy is acting so strange. Dr. David Marcus and Saavic are near the Genesis planet and beam down after getting a life form reading and find Spock’s casket empty. Kirk asks the Commander of Starfleet to try to save Spock, he says no, so Kirk says “fuck it, I’ma do it anyway”, as do Chekov, Sulu, and McCoy. Uhura beams them aboard the Enterprise, while being a bad ass, and promises to meet them later. There’s a sort-of dramatic exit, and some sabotage by Scotty, but they get away and head toward the Genesis planet. Back on the Genesis planet, they come across a cold, crying boy who is totally baby Groot, I mean baby Spock.

I am Groot.
I am Groot.

Suddenly the Klingons arrive and blow up the Grissom, stranding baby Spock, Saavic, and David. The planet is aging, as is Spock, at an accelerated rate and this means Genesis was a failure. The Enterprise arrives, shots are exchanged, and Kirk “surrenders” by setting the destruct sequence to blow up the Klingons who boarded. The Enterprise crew beams down to the planet and David has been murdered. Kruge gets kicked in the face and into the lava down below. It’s a very Hans Gruber from Die Hard moment.

Hans Gruber falling

Kirk busts out some Klingon, they steal the Klingon ship, and rendezvous with Uhura and Sarek on Vulcan. The try to reinstate Spock’s consciousness from McCoy into Spock’s body. Once Spock is back in his body he starts to remember.

TL;DR: Genesis revitalized Spock’s body, Spock transferred his essence into McCoy before dying, Kirk and crew break every rule and own some Klingons in order to reconnect Spock’s body and mind.

Favorite quotes:

Kruge: Fire!

(Gunner fires and the Grissom is destroyed)

Kruge: I wanted prisoners!

Klingon Gunner #1: A lucky shot, sir.

(Kruge vaporizes the gunner)

Kruge: Animal!

Do not displease the Lord Commander!
Kruge points a gun at the crew member that displeased him

Maltz: Wait! You said you would kill me!

Kirk: I lied.

Poor Klingon, no honorable death for you today.

Spock: The ship. Out of danger?

Kirk: You saved the ship, you saved us all. Don’t you remember?

Spock: Jim, your name is Jim.

Kirk: Yes.

Spock remembering bits and pieces.

My Thoughts and Impressions: I was not prepared for Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon, but he was fantastic. I grew up watching Lloyd in movies like Angels in the Outfield and Back to the Future. I like McCoy MUCH better in the movies, even though he’s still a racist and that’s never excusable, but here he seems to be more playful. While McCoy has Spock in his mind, he tries to do the Vulcan neck pinch and it’s hysterical. Also, you spot some Tribbles in the bar scene, which is a nice nod to the TV show and maybe also a nod to how much they hate Klingons, hmmmmm. I enjoyed finding out more about the Klingons and hearing their language, but it didn’t make sense when they transitioned to English sometimes. This was a very solid squeal movie in that it felt like no time had passed from The Wrath of Khan, when it fact all of the actors were now several years older in real life. There are some things that are weird like Kirk repeating “You Klingon bastard, you killed my son”, and Saavic being so nonchalant about pon farr when it was supposed to be a super secret Vulcan secret. Also, Sarek is supposed to be some all important ambassador, can’t he just ask the Federation to let Kirk get his son’s body? I did not like this version of Saavic and found her performance to be underwhelming, give me more Uhura! I found it interesting that when Spock was brought back to himself and was giving a “once over” to his crew, the reaction Uhura gives him. I’m totally on the “Spock and Uhura had a thing” bandwagon, and you can’t change my mind.

The two prior movies gave us a different Kirk from the TV series, one that was a little more willing to break the rules rather than follow or bend slightly. This Kirk, however, is a drastic change as he goes straight to rule-breaking after his commanding officer tells him “no”. He seems to have a blind spot where Spock is concerned and decides that Spock’s life is always worth the risk. The fact that Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, and Scotty also feel the same is a reflection on both Kirk and Spock being great leaders to their crew and inspiring loyalty no matter the cost. If McCoy was in his right mind, I’m sure he would have come along anyway, but he didn’t really have a choice which is why I leave him off the first list.

One thing I am certainly glad about is the ineffectiveness of the Genesis machine, as that could have opened a much bigger can of words. While terraforming and creating life is interesting as hell, I think the possibility of that technology in the “wrong” hands is far scarier than anything I want to actively think about.

Movie rating: . In comparison to the other movies and my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 7.