When it comes to science fiction franchises that have captured the imagination of millions of fans worldwide, few are as beloved as Star Trek. The iconic series has spawned a massive universe of movies, TV shows, books, and comics that explore the final frontier in all its glory.
But where did it all begin? What was the first new Star Trek movie that kicked off this thrilling journey through space and time?
The answer to that question is “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which was released in 1979. This groundbreaking film marked the return of the original cast from the classic TV series, including William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, and DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy.
The plot of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” centers around an enormous alien entity known as V’ger that is on a collision course with Earth. The crew of the USS Enterprise is tasked with intercepting V’ger and finding a way to communicate with it before it destroys everything in its path.
Aside from the aforementioned trio of Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” also featured other fan-favorite characters from the original series like Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Sulu (George Takei), Chekov (Walter Koenig), and Scotty (James Doohan). Joining them were new characters like navigator Ilia (Persis Khambatta) and Willard Decker (Stephen Collins), who takes over as captain of the Enterprise.
Upon its release, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. While some praised its stunning special effects and epic scope, others found it slow-paced and overly cerebral compared to the action-packed adventures of the TV series.
Despite these mixed reviews, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was a commercial success, grossing over $139 million worldwide and paving the way for a slew of sequels and spin-offs.
Over four decades later, the Star Trek franchise is still going strong, with new movies and TV shows being produced on a regular basis. But it all started with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which set the tone for the epic space adventures that would follow.
Whether you’re a die-hard Trekkie or a casual sci-fi fan, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is an essential part of pop culture history that continues to captivate audiences to this day.