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The Good Parts: Star Trek V – The Final Frontier

Star Trek V Poster

Anticipating Friday’s release of J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek, we’re paying homage to Star Trek this week. One of the worst moments in the franchise’s history is Star Trek V, directed by William Shatner. Following the successful Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V was a dismal failure. The story was poorly conceived and the effects were just terrible. Was it all bad? No. In fact a good writer could have made a huge improvement over the script. I re-watched the film searching for a few shining moments. Here is what I found:

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Jerry Goldsmith Returns
After skipping three films, Jerry Goldsmith returned as the composer to the Star Trek films. The score for Star Trek V in my opinion has one of the better arrangements out of all the Trek films. The opening theme played over the sequence of Kirk climbing the mountain really sets the mood of the film.

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The Humor
I’m sure the writers found it difficult to match the humor from Star Trek IV. The story for that film permitted the cast to show off their comedy skills. With Star Trek V, they managed to produce a few memorable moments. A really good scene is Sulu and Chekov lost in the woods. In a conversation with Uhura, the guys are embarrassed to admit that they are lost in wood pretending to be stuck in a snowstorm.

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Kirk, Spock, and McCoy Relationship
Star Trek V, was very successful showing the bond between Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy. The previous films had small moments between Kirk and Spock, or Kirk and McCoy, never all three. The campfire scene reminds you of the friendship between them. Too bad the film ruins this by having Spock and McCoy go against their Captain, and side with Sybok. During the campfire scene I really enjoy Kirk discussing that he knew he wouldn’t die falling off the mountain because he wasn’t alone. Kirk belief that when he dies he will be alone. This left a really great opportunity for the writers of Star Trek Generations to follow through with this when they killed off Kirk. Too bad they screwed that up too!

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The Go Climb A Rock Shirt
The trailer for the
J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek shows a young out-of-control Kirk. Flash forward to an older Kirk, and we still find him taking risks. The opening of the film shows Kirk climbing a mountain “because it is there.” The shirt “Go Climb a Rock”  adds to the character development.

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Paradise City Assault
Kirk leads a rescue party via shuttlecraft to the Nimbus III settlement. Meanwhile, Checkov impersonates the captain stalling Sybok so Kirk can initiate a ground assault on horseback.

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Spock’s Birth
Sybok attempts to persuade Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to join his search for “Sean Connery” I mean “Sha Ka Ree” by reliving hurtful moments from their past. Sybok asks Spock to remember his birth when a  young Sarek shows disappointment that Spock is “So Human.”

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Reminding Us About Star Trek’s Mission
Kirk refuses to follow Sybok’s quest to find God, until he remembers Starfleet’s mission, “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.” The scene is a good reminder of the true meaning of Gene Roddenberry’s vision, exploring. Something Star Trek sometimes got away from.

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Kirk’s Klingon Hatred
Kirk is confronted by a Klingon Bird of Prey
left alone on the planet. Kirk who believes that he is going to die, still makes it clear his disgust of the Klingon race. Of course, in the end we discover that with the help of Korg, the Klingons are forced to beam Kirk off of the planet.


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