MOST AWESOME, MOST AWFUL – STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER MOST AWESOME, MOST AWFUL – STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER
Go climb a rock. Thus opens Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, with William Shatner, star and director of the film, donning the slogan... MOST AWESOME, MOST AWFUL – STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

Go climb a rock.

Thus opens Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, with William Shatner, star and director of the film, donning the slogan and dashing, perhaps, the hopes of the fan base that so desperately wanted to have an equally thrilling and satisfying adventure as the one presented in The Voyage Home. But is this fair? Is STV as weak an addition to the franchise as many believe it to be? Are there redeeming qualities to the film and some pure, quality, Star Trek awesomeness that a fan can cling to? Or rather, is it true that Shatner’s ego and directorial inexperience caused this to be the most awful entry of them all?

AWESOME!!

The pretitle sequence: After the greatness of STIV, the expectations were very high for the fans of the series and the general public who were brought back into the Star Trek fold. The opening sequence of V, presents a very stylized introduction to the film and its villain.  We are introduced to Sybok; a mystically powered, emotional, Vulcan who is on a quest to steal a starship. Oh, snap!!

AWFUL!!

Concept: In general, the film exemplifies a fairly poor execution of a high-concept script. The trials and tribulations regarding the script revisions and conflicts between producer, director, studio, cast and crew, are well-documented. The major issues the aforementioned had were basically with the concept of the villain, his quest and the religious connotations of the adventure. Nimoy and Kelley had major issues with Shatner’s original concept that had Bones and Spock betraying Kirk. Roddenberry reportedly had a problem with the religious aspects of the script. Shatner’s initial outline had the “God” character transform into the “Devil” and attempt to bring the crew down to “Hell.” Angels and demons were in the original draft which eventually turned into 6 rock monsters, which eventually turned into some Stonehenge-y type rock formations.

The search for Sha Ka Ree at the center of the galaxy and the “God” who is contained therein became the shift in focus of the story. So, instead of a search for religious enlightenment and becoming one with the creator-V’Ger style, Sybok’s quest became one for knowledge with some religious undertones. Harve Bennett, the recently deceased Star Trek producer, who once commented that STV almost ended the franchise, had these among his remarks at the top of the shooting script:

Because the galaxy is finite, however, it has a center. It is unlikely that by the time of this tale, this central area, distant and dangerous, will have been explored. Nor can anyone say for sure what we may find there.

The idea is very true to Star Trek’s spirit of exploration and the unknown, and as a matter of fact, the end revelation of the trapped malevolent entity has been done more than a few times in the series and films. Repetition is not necessarily a bad thing, but the truth is, it’s been done better.

AWFUL!!

Fuck this shit…

The story may have worked if executed properly, but the proper execution was the issue. In addition, Shatner’s inability to direct action made the camera generally static in most scenes; giving the film a look more akin to television than cinema. One gets the feeling of watching a long TV episode, rather than a film, as a result.

AWESOME!!

Of course Kirk would be involved in a sport like rock climbing!

Why Star Trek V is actually worth watching

…and of course, Bones and Spock don’t get it

AWFUL!!

Just about anything comedic involving Sulu and Chekov qualifies. The helmsman and navigator of flagship of the Federation get lost in the woods and try to fake their way out of it by blowing into a communicator.  Later on, the two are shown trailing the female, Klingon, body-builder chick; apparently scoping out her ass.  WTF?

AWESOME!!

“Plan B, for barricade…” Great, exciting moment involving a narrow escape from the Klingons with some nice chemistry and back-and-forth in the shuttle craft. Solid, cinematic, Trek moment.

Actually, this would be my first attempt…

AWFUL!!

KLINGONS: A JOKE AND NEVER REALLY A THREAT TO THE CREW OR ITS MISSION. COMPARE/CONTRAST TREKKIES: WHAT TYPE OF KLINGON DO WE LIKE IN OUR STAR TREK MOVIES?

HAIRBAND DOUCHEBAG KLINGON, WASHED UP, FAT, DRUNKEN KLINGON AND STARRY-EYED GROUPIE KLINGON?

SOPHISTICATED, BADASS, SHAKESPEARE SPEWING KLINGON?

…I WILL BLOW YOU OUT OF THE STARS

OR MOTHERFUCKING CHRISTOPHER LLOYD?

AWFUL!!

ANYTHING UHURA:

Nobody needs to see that…

…or that!

AWESOME!!

Sybok: Laurence Luckinbill  gives a committed, passionate, performance as Spock’s half-brother.  He portrays the enigmatic fanatic as having equal parts purpose and madness to him.  When Sybok is on-screen, he steals the show.

Funny Quotes Contact Dmca...

…fear cannot stop you

AWESOME!!

BONES KILLS HIS DAD: Some very nice character moments for McCoy during the insightful look into his past with his father.  It makes the good doctor exist as more than snide window dressing and comic relief.

This is who they are, didn’t you know?  No…no I didn’t.

AWESOME!!

Kirk’s rejection of Sybok’s con job:

I WANT MY PAIN, I NEED MY PAIN!!

CLASSIC KIRK.

AWFUL!!

An easy betrayal: After 30 years of the trials and tribulations suffered and hero-isms employed, the crew immediately decide to betray the Captain and their shipmates.  Is it brainwashing?  In the examples we see in the conference room with the Big Three, it doesn’t appear to be so.  Bones CHOOSES to not join Sybok, even after his “pain” is relieved and Kirk just chooses not to participate.  Conversely, it can be assumed that Sulu, Chekov and Uhura CHOOSE to follow Sybok when he does the same for them.  Bullshit!  They would never willingly betray the Captain.

AWESOME!!

OK,  so a little slapstick goes a long way.  Although many may disagree, I always laugh when Scotty cracks hid head against the support beam after breaking Kirk and company out of the brig. Maybe it’s the timing, coupled with Scotty’s line and a good sound effect.

AWFUL!!

Recycled music: We heard it in TMP and at the time, weekly, on The Next Generation.  It smacked of poor effort, time, inspiration and judgement to use it in another classic Trek film.

AWESOME!!

SHOOT HIM!!! Kirk issues an order. Spock will not comply. Exciting, tense, dramatic and dense with conflict.

Found on fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net

AWFUL!!

Kirk’s reaction to Spock’s defiance:

I aught to knock you on your damn ass

C’mon now.

AWESOME!!

Maybe life is a dream…

Upon breaching The Great Barriers, we hear the Trek fanfare and the camera pans down from Kirk to the conference room plaque that has the immortal phrase: “To Boldly Go…” This moment captures some of the wonder of exploration and whimsy that is sorely lacking in most of the film.

 


 

AWFUL!!

9

AWESOME!!   
9

Well, there we have it, a TIE! I never really know how these things are going to work out. As with previous editions,  I re-watch the film and make a list of key scenes and their merits, or lack thereof. In the case of STV,  it can be said to be equal parts awesome and awful.

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SawyerSolo

  • sawyersolo

    Haha, no I meant that plummer/montalban comparison…. Yeah, I like most of 6

  • Stalkeye

    Oops. Hah-hah!

    Both performances were excellent IMO.

  • Oh I understand.

  • I think so too.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Angry Orchard helps writers block, So I have been told. Never touch the stuff myself 😉

  • Stalkeye

    MY nearest liquor store doesn’t carry it so i had to settle for Shock Top Lemon Shady. (0=

  • Zed

    Not completely. I would have liked more focus on voyaging into the unknown and less on the Big Twist, which is lame anyway. Instead of some vague barrier at the galactic core (that does nothing to either ship…), just have the region be unexplored, and some foreboding Vulcan mythology explaining why. Save the ship takeover for the third act, since as you pointed out, it’s the least plausible plot point. Sybok inadvertently frees the Evil Entity from its ancient prison and sacrifices himself, along with the Klingon ship, to destroy it and save the galaxy. Kirk beams the remaining Klingons onto the Enterprise at the last minute because he’s such a swell guy. End with some verbal bro hugs as they set a course for home. One campfire scene is enough.

  • sawyersolo

    I’m with you, man… Would’ve worked…

  • sawyersolo

    Hey, thanks! I tend to have more time in the summer months, so yeah, I’ve been meaning to get back into it… things look great here

  • Stalkeye

    Not only that, but the publishing system is very convenient and not to mention the Senior content management (Dan, Abe and of course Puck) are very helpful. I’m more than happy to contribute whenever I can.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Prometheus was maybe the best looking film I have seen, but I was pretty bored by it. At least Star Trek V had me entertained.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Underrated? Really? I always thought it gets its just praise.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I can dig it

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I will have to dissagree

  • sawyersolo

    Good, strong, follow up to khan with Lloyd as a great villain, if nothing else, this film shows the bond and friendship between the big three, more so than wok, bc we see real love and loyalty for Spock from Kirk and McCoy… But yeah I’ve heard people shit on three a lot

  • Tarmac492.1

    I dont get that. Great drama and heartbreak in it–real loss. The destruction of the Enterprise falling to the planet like an arrow to a funeral pyre. Great stuff, I thought. Would you be interested in doing an article on 3? I would be happy to read that.

  • sawyersolo

    I could do that

  • ErnestRister

    It’s a famous quote from the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chang is a quoting fool.

  • Tarmac492.1

    cool. Never too many cool articles to read.

  • sawyersolo

    Kirk has to wait for the translation bc Chang is speaking in Klingons, no? Did know that relates to cmc, tho… Interesting

  • sawyersolo

    Think Chang was using it coversationally the in the dialogue

  • Abe

    Great article but I have to disagree with that the soundtrack is awful. I think Goldsmith’s work was the highlight of the entire project.

  • Abe

    I actually think Star Trek VI might be the best of all the TOS cast movies. For the first time ever we get to see how Kirk and crew fit into the wider scope of the entire Star Trek universe.

  • Abe

    Shatner tried to pull a George Lucas and make V closer to what was originally intended for the special edition DVD release. Paramount said no.

  • Abe

    I’ve seen a few instances of that too, but they don’t ever touch on Nemesis. Which was so awful it created NuTrek.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Shatner should be able to do as he pleases

  • Balls, that ending is great.

  • No. Better made, yes, smarter, not at all.

  • I also agree that the bad in this movie is even-heighted by the good. It’s not a bad movie, just not as well made as it should had been, and part of the reason for that was the constant cutting off of the original budget while it was being filmed.

    For thematic ambition alone and the fact it always feels like proper Star Trek (despite some lame attempts at light humor), i rate this superior than any of the Abrams movies he made under that title.

  • Two wrongs do not make a right.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    The ending was ridiculously stupid!

  • No.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Smarter? There was nothing “smart” about Star Trek V. It was totally nonsense. JJ made a better, “smarter” movie…

  • Stalkeye

    IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-I don’t think so. 😛

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Yep

  • gorgarwilleatyou1

    If only the Shat had got his rock monsters….

  • Stalkeye

  • Stalkeye

    However, I do like this quote from one of the YT Viewers;
    “I can envision DeForrest Kelley, James Doohan, sitting at a campfire. Leonard Nimoy comes up. ” What kept you ? “. ” Business, you know. Life “. ” Sit down & roast a marshmellow with us. “.

  • gorgarwilleatyou1

    Totally agree great soundtrack. I remember having it on tape when i was in college, great soundtrack even that poppy song at the end…

  • sawyersolo

    No

  • Thanks for helping my argument.

  • Stalkeye

    Why, sure.