Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Year: 1984

Production: Paramount

Director: Leonard Nimoy

Starring: the lead players from the Star Trek tv series, along with Robin Curtis, Merritt Butrick, Christopher Lloyd

Screenwriter: Harve Bennett

Novelization (1984) by Vonda N. McIntyre

105 minutes; Color


This was the 3rd movie series begun with Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and it follows directly on from the action of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) in which Spock died and the Genesis Planet was created. It transpires - the realization is slow - that Spock's body has been recreated (as a rapidly aging child) by the Genesis Planet, while his soul is sharing McCoy's mind, rendering McCoy schizophrenic. Kirk undertakes to get body and soul together and does so on Vulcan, first outwitting Klingon warlord Kruge (Lloyd). Spock is absent for most of the film, the resulting emptiness being palpable, but Nimoy made up for this by competently directing it. Only complete noncynics, however, could find other than laughable this saccharine soap opera (rather than space opera) in which Kirk loses his son and his ship, Spock is retrospectively canonized, and there is tear-jerking all round.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

The third and silliest of the Star Trek movies, Star Trek III is also in many ways the most interesting. A direct sequel to the previous outing, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) which saw the death of Spock (Nimoy), this film is structured around the absence of Nimoy's Spock, seen throughout the film in teasing glimpses, and culminates with his re-creation. What makes all this the more interesting is that the film is directed by Nimoy (not unsurprisingly with real conviction) and that the film's victim is the series nominal hero, Shatner's Kirk, who in the course of the film loses his ship, son and career that Spock might mysteriously be reborn. Circling around this pathological storyline is a subplot in which the series regulars take on the Klingons lead by Lloyd's Kruge, and numerous special effects.

The Overlook Film Encyclopedia - Science Fiction

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