Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Director’s Edition

Nov 07 2008

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When I first watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture, my parents warned me that it was long.

Now, I grew up on the original Star Trek series. I loved it. I was willing to put up with a lot. But boy was that movie long.

I recently got the chance to watch the newly remastered and re-edited version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The original director partnered with a special effects company to restore some of the effects that were rushed out at the time.

Now, many of these restorations/special editions are attempts to improve the effects; make it look like what the director always wanted. In this case, the director and the SFX company were both very clear on one point: that all the effects had to look like they had been produced in 1979. They should look like excellent 1979 effects, but nothing modern.

They also edited down some of the longer shots. Thankfully.

And the result is a very, very strong film. While watching it, I couldn’t even tell what had been changed (and I have a good eye for special effects). Even the long shots of V’ger, the alien craft, were now majestic, but I couldn’t tell what had been cut out.

The plot has always been an interesting one; Kirk struggling with command again after a long absence, the crew settling into its old habits, perplexed discussions about the incomprehensibly vast V’ger, and the steady drip of discoveries about it. It’s like one of the better original Trek episodes. Nothing mind-bending, but definitely an entertaining and edifying use of your time.

Kudos to everyone involved!

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