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Star Trek: The Motion Picture- Director’s Edition 4K UHD Review

‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture- Director’s Edition’ gets a new edition. 

In the first Star Trek movie, James T. Kirk reclaims the Captain’s chair in the newly refitted (but not yet finished) Enterprise to investigate an unknown destructive alien force that is headed towards Earth. Chekov, Scotty, Sulu, Nurse Chapel, Uhura are among the Enterprise crew and, yes, Spock and McCoy eventually join the crew as well. New crew members include the demoted Captain Decker and Ilia the Deltan navigator who both play a pivotal role in the story. Can the crew of the Enterprise get to the heart of the life threatening mystery? Does it have something to do with Earth’s past? All is revealed.

Of all the Star Trek movies that exist, ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ may best represent Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek’s ideals. On top of that, it certainly takes advantage of the big screen experience by giving viewers a Trek they hadn’t seen on TV before. With all of that said though, that doesn’t equate to it being a sci-fi classic (let alone one of the best Trek movies).

Running 136 minutes now, director Robert Wise’s ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ often plays like a cross between ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Star Wars.’ Sure, writer Harold Livingston crafts a thoughtful sci-fi Trek story about humans and machines, existence, creation, evolution, and technology, but it’s often overshadowed by visual effects spectacles by Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra. There’s an almost overindulgent focus on the effects whether it be the endless Enterprise docking sequence or the wormhole sequence. 

Perhaps the most puzzling aspect here is the treatment of the characters (both in terms of writing and acting). William Shatner as Kirk is initially very cold, stiff, and a bit of a jerk. McCoy has nothing to do in this movie as do most of the original TOS crew. Only Spock (Leonard Nimoy) has an engaging arc here as he starts off the story by attempting to purge all emotions. Naturally, that arc changes. His arrival on the Enterprise also helps liven up matters. The 2 new characters Ilia (Persis Khambatta) and Decker (Stephen Collins) also strangely have more significant roles than the rest of the cast (although both deliver solid performances).

The real MVP here is without question Jerry Goldsmith. Not only does his score make the movie seem grander and more exciting than it is, but it’s so good it went on to become the theme of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation.’

Note: This review is for the 2-disc 4K release. A 3-disc 4K release is also available.


Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p. How does it look? This new print is scanned from the original camera negative in 4K and the result is the best the film has ever looked. The image clarity and colors are worthy of a chef’s kiss.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? Even better than the video quality is the audio quality. This Atmos track is among the best home video audio tracks of the years. From Jerry Goldsmith’s score to the warp speed sound effect, this track soars. 

* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* 2 commentaries. One new one by David C. Fein, Mike Matessino and Daren Dochterman (who worked on this new release) and one archival track by Robert Wise, Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra, Jerry Goldsmith and Stephen Collins.
* Text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda.
* New extras- 3 deleted scenes, effects tests, costume tests, computer display graphics and the whopping 8 part documentary ‘The Human Adventure’ on The Director’s Edition featuring a host of interviews and production material.
* Legacy Features- Theatrical trailer, 8 TV spots, 3 storyboards, 11 deleted scenes from the 1983 TV version, 7 additional scenes from the 1979 theatrical version, and the 8 part ‘The Star Trek Universe’ which contains the bonus features ‘Phase 2: The Lost Enterprise,’ ‘A Bold New Enterprise,’ ‘Redirecting The Future,’ ‘The Longest Trek: Writing The Motion Picture,’ ‘Special Star Trek Reunion,’ ‘Starfleet Academy Scisec Brief 101: Mystery Behind V’Ger,’ ‘The New Frontier: Resurrecting Star Trek’ and ‘Maiden Voyage: Making Star Trek The Motion Picture.’


September 5, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , ,


  1. It’s nice to see the classic Star Trek films getting 4K Blu-ray releases. Now I wonder if Star Trek: First Contact will have its own 4K Blu-ray release.

    Comment by carlocarrasco | September 5, 2022 | Reply

    • I imagine the TNG era films will be next in line for 4K releases.

      Comment by nicklyons1 | September 6, 2022 | Reply

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