Saturday, March 04, 2006

Star Trek movie contributions

We had an interesting discussion at work that led me to naming off the contributions each Star Trek movie made to the franchise (at least as I saw it).

ST 1: The Motion Picture
    It gave us what became the iconic theme for post TOS Star Trek.
    New starship architecture in the upgraded Enterprise.
    The Klingon theme music, which also endured throughout the franchise.
    Klingons that weren't just guys in greasepaint.
    The reason why some people might not want to use the transporter.
    Great views of the Klingon battlecruiser, including the interior.

ST 2: The Wrath of Khan
IMO, the best of the movies. It had humor, it had action, and it even brought a tear to the most hardened Vulcan-wannabe geeks. It is full of classic lines that have become part of not just geek culture but common parlance.

It's contributions:

    More starship architecture (the Miranda Class as seen in the Reliant).
    Ship-to-ship combat that was more than just some flashes and everyone on the bridge leaning one way then the other.
    The Kobiyashi Maru Scenario.
    Acknowledgement of a Z-axis in space.

ST 3: The Search for Plot
Even though the movie wasn't good, there were still a lot of elements that could be appreciated:
    Starship architecture: The Excelsior Class, which continued to appear in the franchise.
    The reason why you don't try to run a 400-man starship with 7 people and the computers.
    Federation starships have self-destructs.
    The Enterprise is destroyed for the first time.
    Lots of spoken and written Klingon. Even though we hear it in TMP, this is the movie that really sparks interest in the Klingon language.
    Another iconic ship: the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, probably the most used adversary vessel in the franchise.

ST 4: Save the Whales
It's a comedy! It's an environmental moral story! It helps establish the even-odd movie rule. OK, it's a fun movie, but doesn't add a lot to the franchise. It does have some great lines, like the Kirk-Spock banter about "colorful metaphors", Scotty's "hello computer" and Chekov's "vhere do you keep your nuclear wessels?"
It added:
    Anyone with a warp ship and a brainiac science guy can do time-travel.
    Real world science: Transparent aluminum.

ST 5: The Search for God

ST 6: The Undiscovered Country
This movie was a good end to the original crew. It didn't add a lot to the franchise, but it was a solid entry.

ST 7: Generations
This movie wasn't horrible... it's probably the best of the odd numbered movies. But it seems stupid to have the most "heroic" character of the franchise fall to his death. Ironically, Kirk's final words was probably Shatner's best acting.
    Confirms that the saucer section of the 1701-D can land on a planet. Once.
    Data's emotion chip.

ST 8: First Contact
This is a close contender with WoK for the best Trek movie. Great space combat, Picard going Ahab, Data getting to deal with emotions, Worf kicking ass... Ar! Ar! Ar!
What did it add?

    Starship architecture: NCC 1701-E
    Starfleet finally figured out that keeping more than 1 ship in the sector is a good idea.
    The holo-doc is used on more than just Voyager.
    The Vulcan's of the First Contact era had crappy sensors.
    Yes, you can still do time-travel.

ST 9: Insurrection
Ummm. Maybe I've been typing this piece for too long now, but this movie seems pretty forgettable.

ST 10: Nemesis
Probably the weakest of the even movies. I don't remember it adding anything either.

I'll update this if I remember anything. And folks can always remind me in comments.

Most pictures were found here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see another friend of the klingons.

check out for an original Klingon Simm. :)

10:12 AM  

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