For more than a few Star Trek fans, the first cinematic outing featuring the crew of the Starship Enterprise is something they would rather forget. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is an outcast of the Trek family. Many prefer to pretend it doesn’t even exist and consider Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as the true beginning of the film franchise.
The recent release of the remastered “Director’s Edition” of the film in 4K UHD on Paramount+ provides an opportunity to revisit this venture. While it has not been magically transformed into an all-time masterpiece, it no longer deserves to be jettisoned into the wormhole of irrelevance.
To fully appreciate the film, one must understand the context surrounding it – the rocky road to getting it made and how it paved the way for future installments on both the big and small screens. The drama behind the scenes more than matched what was shown on the screen when the movie premiered just ahead of Christmas 1979.