“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is a science-fiction film that was released in 1979, directed by Robert Wise and produced by Gene Roddenberry. It is the first feature film based on the original “Star Trek” television series, which aired from 1966 to 1969. It began the journey to the big screen via development for a continuation series, named “Star Trek: Phase II”.
The movie brought back the original cast, including William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. The plot centers around an alien entity that is heading towards Earth, and the crew must race to intercept it before it destroys the planet.
“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was a major departure from the television series in terms of its scope, special effects, and budget. It was made with a budget of $46 million, which was a significant amount of money for a film at the time, and it used state-of-the-art visual effects to create the alien entity and the various space scenes.
The film received mixed reviews from critics and fans, with some praising its ambitious storytelling and impressive visuals, while others criticized its slow pace and lack of action. However, it was a commercial success, grossing over $139 million worldwide and spawning a series of sequels.
Two of my favorite designs in the Trek universe come from this film. The wonderful greys and earthtones Starfleet uniforms. Also, the refit Enterprise is phenomenal, and I still love the slow fly-around tour of the new exterior. I was searching for an affordable, simple model of this version of the Enterprise today, which inspired this post. No luck in my search, but I’ll keep an eye out.
“Star Trek Phase II” was a proposed television series that was intended to be a continuation of the original “Star Trek” television series. It was planned to be produced in the late 1970s and would have featured the original cast members reprising their roles.
The series was initially developed by Paramount Pictures as a response to the success of “Star Wars” in 1977. The plan was to launch a new “Star Trek” series as part of the new wave of science-fiction programming that was becoming popular at the time.
However, the project was eventually shelved in favor of producing “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which was released in 1979. Many of the ideas and concepts that were developed for “Star Trek Phase II” were later incorporated into the first Star Trek film.
Some of the original scripts that were written for “Star Trek Phase II” were later adapted into episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which premiered in 1987. The first episode of “The Next Generation,” titled “Encounter at Farpoint,” was based on a script that was originally written for “Star Trek Phase II.”
While “Star Trek Phase II” never came to fruition as a television series, its development paved the way for the continued success of the “Star Trek” franchise in the decades that followed, including multiple television series and films.