As you might have noticed we’ve had our share of technical glitches over the past 24-hours, but, as Gomez Addams would say, we’re feeling much better now. Getting back to content here’s a little list to wind up the Star Trek mania which has griped the site over the past fortnight.
Ah Star Trek the franchise that’s given us Tribbles, Klingons, and a ship named Enterprise. The new relaunch of the series, Star Trek, is the twelfth official film of the franchise which has had it’s share of ups and downs. Let’s take a look at the seven best films which taught us that space really is the finally frontier. We begin with…
McCoy: “Spock, you haven’t changed a bit. You’re just as warm and sociable as ever.”
Spock: “Nor have you, doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.”
Say what you want about the first film it has its heart in the right place. Yes it’s overlong, it has too many characters, and the reveal of the identity of V’ger at the end is more than a little anti-climatic. Even with these flaws to the film’s plot it gets the characters right and gives us many fine moments in the return of a franchise.
Kirk: “Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no one has gone before.”
Everyone knows that the even numbered Star Trek films are almost always better than the odd. This formula holds true, though Undiscovered Country isn’t as good as some of the others. However we are given an actually mystery (did the Enterprise fire on the Klingon ship?) and a timely end of the Cold War storyline that fit well with the times. And if that whole Klingon prison planet subplot is too silly, at least it’s fun.
Picard: “I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We’ve made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And *I* will make them pay for what they’ve done.”
You might be surprised this film didn’t rate higher, and at one time it would have, but although the film is still very good it hasn’t held-up for me as well as some of the other films higher on the list. First Contact is the best of the STNG films, and the only one you’ll see mentioned here. In terms of story, drama, action, and humor the film hits most of the right notes and gives Data and Picard an adversary worthy of them, the Borg Queen (though, to be honest, I liked the Borg as a race better as a collective conscious without a queen). Add in some fun moments with Troi and Riker dealing with an unhelpful historic figure (played by James Cromwell) and you have the makings of a very good film.
James Doohan: “It’s the greatest feeling in the world… To walk out on stage and to feel that love which just pours right out at you. And it’s just fans.”
Trekkies. The term can be affectionate or derogatory, and this documentary shows us ample examples of both. The 1997 film, hosted by Denise “Tasha Yar” Crosby, takes a hard look at the level of fandom Star Trek, the actors who have exprienced it first hand, and the follows who are eerily similar to those Shatner was talking about in that old SNL skit. However the film never looks down on the fans, or belittles them, as it celebrates their joy for the franchise with them. That makes all the difference which earns it it’s spot on the list.
Scotty: “Hello computer!”
Joe: “Just use the keyboard.”
Scotty: “Keyboard. How quaint!”
The one with the whales. Of all the Star Trek films this is the most lighthearted and fun-filled with some great moments (who could forget nuclear wessels or Spock swimming with Gracie?). The film breathes some life, and joy, back into the franchise after The Search for Spock, finds ways to tie-up some loose ends from the previous films, and gives Kirk and his crew a final scene that works as well, or better, than any of the other films. And, aside from being fun, it’s actually got a nice ecological message which is handled with enough care as to not beat you over the head with it.
You may have thought this was going to be number one on the list (now don’t peek!) and the film certainly deserves a high spot. Aside from the return of Khan Noonian Singh (played terrifically by Ricardo Montalban) we get the Genesis Project, some tense action scenes, the first mention of the Kobyashi Maru, those nasty brain slugs, and the death of Mr. Spock. This is the standard by which all the other Trek movies are judged, and rightly so.
1. Galaxy Quest
Guy: “I’m not even supposed to be here. I’m just ‘Crewman Number Six.’ I’m expendable. I’m the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is. I’ve gotta get outta here.”
I love this film, to an admittedly psychotic extent, but I’m not ashamed to admit that. Did I loose you? Give me a chance to win you back. Not only is this the best film on this list, although it’s not officially tied to the franchise, it’s also, without doubt, the best Star Trek film on the list. The film captures all aspects both in-front and behind-the-cameras of a thinly-veiled Star Trek franchise and puts the actors out of their element when aliens mistake them for the characters they once played on TV. And, oh my God, does hilarity ensue! From beginning to end this one has it all. Great casting, a strong script, and just the right touch of nostalgia provide a comedy perfect for fans of the original series. This was one of the very first DVD’s I ever bought and remains one of my favorite comedies of all-time. And you won’t ever convince me otherwise. Never give up, never surrender!