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For Stefan, reflections of Star Trek and Star Trek the Motion Picture


JoeinAR
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On Friday December 7th, 1979 a group of my college friends and I went to the local theatre to see the new film Star Trek the Motion Picture. It was a very exciting night. The showing we went to was sold out and the anticipation was extremely high. The crowd was a typical college crowd. After all Fayetteville Arkansas is home to the states largest university. I can look in my minds eye and still see us a the kids we were. My friends and I were sophomores, a bunch of 19 and 20 year olds. But the crowd overall was from every class, geeks, football players, and throw in some adult sci fi nuts and sci fi freaks. We had been waiting a long time for this. A long time. Allow me to digress for a moment.

Back when I was six years old a television show premiered on NBC called Star Trek. I instantly loved it. It became, along with Lost In Space one of tv's must watched programs. For the next three years it was my friend. I saw most episodes but there were some I missed. It wasn't until 1974 that I finally saw all the episodes, one called The Devil in the Dark, 7 years after it originally aired. On June 3rd 1969 the finale episode of Star Trek was aired, The Turnabout Intruder. I remember TV Guide saying that William Shatner's talents are showcased in that episode. It was a bad episode, not the best way to go out. It would be over 10 years before another live cast version of Star Trek would be seen again.

And that brings me back to the anticipation. For 10 years Star Trek existed as re-runs and what could/should/might have been. Yes there was a season of animated Star Trek. It was pretty good as cartoons go. But it wasn't the same.

Then in 1977 there was a small film called Star Wars. It ended up making a large fortune for 20th Century Fox. That got Paramount thinking and looking into what it had and decided that they could revive the original series, but somewhere in the game they decided that a movie made more sense.

The internet back in those days was something called Starlog and word that the new Star Trek movie was coming was making the rounds. We saw glimpses of the newly redesigned Enterprise. Exciting times I tell you.

The on one fall night in 1979 we went to the movies to see something, I do not remember what, it doesn't matter, what matters is that there was a preview for Star Trek the Motion Picture. It was an OMG moment before this text mainstay was ever conceived.

Finally the night arrived. We were in the middle of final exams, but it was the weekend and a night out with dinner and a movie was the perfect way to unwind. We were starved for Star Trek, starved I tell you. 79 episodes and #80 about to start. We snagged seats in the middle with our popcorn and Coke A Cola, There really was a buzz in the air.

The theatre manager came out and asked everyone to move to the middle and then told us the film was about to begin. He stated it featured and Overture, uncommon in 1979.

Our theatre featured the latest and greatest sound at the time and this heavenly music filled the air. Then the now iconic Star Trek font filled the screen. For the next 2 hours and 12 minutes I in heaven. I think I cried a few tears when Scotty and Jerry reintroduced Captain Kirk to his starship. I know I laughed as did the rest of the college audience when McCoy said his rant about engineers and how they loved to change things. We were attending a engineering university after all. It was a natural.

I was in a state of bliss. When it was over most of the audience applauded. I loved it. It was a movie experience, not a movie to be reviewed at least not then. I remember my friends felt mostly the same way. On our way out we had several discussions with other "fans". Some were less than thrilled. There was that group that wanted a less cerebral more shoot um up film. That was a fair thought. We'd get that later. First things first we went to the mall and got the new soundtrack LP. We would wear that one out, literally.

That was over 30 years ago. The movie is still a treasure to me. I know it's heavily flawed, but that's okay. Perfection would arrive with the the Borg in the Next Generation. But Star Trek the Motion Picture gave us so much, and it's still giving. It gave Star Trek back to the world. The world is a better place with Star Trek. My world is a better place with Star Trek.

Footnote: Stefan has been asking me to recount this for awhile. Thanks for your interest. You are the best.

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Neat.

It's never a movie I pull out because I'm looking for a great story or great acting. But, kinda like you said, when you're looking for that "movie experience", this is the movie to see.

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Beautifully written old man. You should do more of this stuff. Sort of help record some of these moments of cinema.

My world is a better place with Star Trek.

I practically think of every Star Trek crew, even up to Voyager's crew as extended family. And as flawed as it got at times, the franchise is my go to comfort food. Rain or shine, sick or well, watching Star Trek lifts my spirits.

So what impact would you say Star Trek has had on YOUR world?

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In the winter of 68 I was watching the Immunity Syndrome, great episode by the way, when our house caught on fire. The power went out and the house was almost immediately filled with smoke. My dad quickly got the fire out after getting my mom and I out. It was one of those very scary moments in a child's life. We stayed at my grandparent's house for a week while repairs were made and the smoke removed.

For me Blume, Star Trek is there in my life from my earliest memories, through tough times, and through the best times in all the different versions.

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In the winter of 68 I was watching the Immunity Syndrome, great episode by the way, when our house caught on fire. The power went out and the house was almost immediately filled with smoke. My dad quickly got the fire out after getting my mom and I out. It was one of those very scary moments in a child's life. We stayed at my grandparent's house for a week while repairs were made and the smoke removed.

For me Blume, Star Trek is there in my life from my earliest memories, through tough times, and through the best times in all the different versions.

Hmmm. See this is what confuses me. Star Trek seemed to embed itself more deeply in the individual, yet Star Wars raked in all the cash. I never quite understood why. At that time Star Trek The Motion Picture had everything going for it. Granted the movie was received mixed reaction. But then Khan came out, really good cinema, and it just hovered around the same cash as TMP.

I can't figure it out.

Also Joey, have you watched The Captains?

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I love the original series. I've only seen a few of the movies, and they were pretty good. Never seen anything without William Shatner as the captain.

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In the winter of 68 I was watching the Immunity Syndrome, great episode by the way, when our house caught on fire. The power went out and the house was almost immediately filled with smoke. My dad quickly got the fire out after getting my mom and I out. It was one of those very scary moments in a child's life. We stayed at my grandparent's house for a week while repairs were made and the smoke removed.

For me Blume, Star Trek is there in my life from my earliest memories, through tough times, and through the best times in all the different versions.

Hmmm. See this is what confuses me. Star Trek seemed to embed itself more deeply in the individual, yet Star Wars raked in all the cash. I never quite understood why. At that time Star Trek The Motion Picture had everything going for it. Granted the movie was received mixed reaction. But then Khan came out, really good cinema, and it just hovered around the same cash as TMP.

I can't figure it out.

Star Wars has much broader appeal than Star Trek. The Hero's Journey etc. It's themes cast a significantly wider net.

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Star wars is more pedestrian in its core.

Joe, thank you. I can only imagine how the Enterprise scene must have played in 79 for a Trekkie. Going from a cheap, rather crude model to the beautifully sculpted lines and stunning detail of the movie version.

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You're saying that SW lacks imagination? That compared to ST it is dull?

I know a few mil who would say it's the other way round, but let's not derail Joey's well intentioned thread.

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The funny thing about Star Trek films is that, no matter how badly made, they are still more enjoyable. There is something endearing about them. And that is something SW hasn't got. I've come to realise this just a few years ago. Before that, it was just that "poor man's version of SW".

Karol

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The funny thing about Star Trek films is that, no matter how badly made, they are still more enjoyable. There is something endearing about them. And that is something SW hasn't got. I've come to realise this just a few years ago. Before that, it was just that "poor man's version of SW".

Karol

True. The 5th Star Trek and the 5th Star Wars film are both bad films. But The Final Frontier is a far better viewing experience.

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I'm sorry Bloodball. that is the second Star Wars film. Only if you ahve been brainwashed by Lucas will you think differently. The 5th film is AOTC. A complete borefest. The Final Frontier is extremely flawed but watchable. because of it. It also has a much better score.

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50% of Star wars is dull.

So halfway through TESB you lose interest? ;)

Honestly though, I have only a passing interest in either franchise anyway. In fact that's a lie - I'm very much looking forward to the next Trek movie. I'll never say that again about anything related to Star Wars.

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Lee, I agree. I'm not much of a SW fan. I could care less about it actually. But I am more than a passing fan of ST as you already know. I too can hardly wait for the next movie. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing ST 2009 in theatres. Wonderful actually.

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Can we please leave Star Wars out of my thread. It's only relevant to the point that it's boxoffice success put the ball in motion for Star Treks return.

Stefan, the first sight of the Enterprise was a glorious thing.

The original design was still there, but now she was so much more. She had acheived design perfection. Always a character within the show, now she was dressed to the nines, ready to step out. Her successors would never be quite as beautiful.

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Beautifully written old man. You should do more of this stuff. Sort of help record some of these moments of cinema.

:up:

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Good read, Joey.

I just like good science fiction, and there isn't very much that I thumb my nose at and say I hates it very loudly or for very long. Eventually, I come around.

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Her successors would never be quite as beautiful.

Picard's D comes closest.

she was a fine ship who went before her time.
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I'm kinda glad they've stopped with the Enterprise-E. Could you imagine if they had one more?

Evil Saboteurs: We're gonna blow the F up!

Captain Picard: Helmsman, plot a course and get the F out of here!

Romulans: Our plans have been F'd.

Ok, they were funnier in my head.

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