Boldly Going Pt III (Star Trek III: the Search for Spock, 1984)

ST_the_Search_For_Spock_PosterSo, as Leonard Nimoy grew older, he had a desire to direct.  He set forth to get the option to direct the third film, and bring Spock back to the family.

Now, the Wrath of Khan ended with Spock sacrificing himself to save the crew of the Enterprise. They shot his casket to a nearby lifeless planet with the Genesis project.

Back on Earth, they discover that McCoy is… not himself.  It is discovered that Spock actually transferred his soul into the body of Bones.  The crew of the Enterprise steal their ship to head to the Genesis Planet and see what became of Spock’s body.

Meanwhile, Klingon Commander Kruge is convinced that Project Genesis was a federation weapon with the aims of destroying the Klingon Empire and he is determined to get ahold of the weapon.

Mr. Saavik and David are exploring the planet surface, noticing many anomalies. But then they discover a Vulcan child. They realize this is the body of Spock…and he is aging rapidly.  The source of this is that he is connected to the planet itself, and the planet is coming apart at the seams.

It is interesting that while Klingon’s were always a threat, other than their brief appearance in the motion picture, this film is the one that sets them up as a bigger focus of hate for Kirk. Christopher Lloyd is great as our main villain, Commander Kruge.  I am always amused that when they got movie budgets, the franchise remade the Klingon race.  This has lead to all sorts of retcons (the most fun being the Deep Space 9 Tribble episode where Worf basically tells Sisko that the Klingon’s do not talk about it).

This one aims to be a bit smaller in scale, but it is exciting and a solid feature film debut for Nimoy as a director. DeForest Kelley is really entertaining as Bones, who is struggling with the second person occupying his body.

I feel bad for Nichelle Nichols, because at first she has a decent sized presence, but then she disappears after they take the Enterprise and shows up “at the rendezvous point” on Vulcan at the end.

I always remembered the Search for Spock as being a bit weaker than it actually is. And it certainly got treated as such with the old adage that the even numbered films are “the good ones”.  But this is entertaining, and has some neat moments. And also begins the Star Trek trope of “We gotta blow up or crash the Enterprise!” But I like this entry.

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