The Most Misunderstood Star Trek Movie Gets Beautiful Release Fans Need To Own

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

star trek iii

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock has always been the most misunderstood of Trek films: some fans hate it, some love it, and most fall somewhere into the territory of “it wasn’t as good as The Wrath of Khan.” However, the truth is that the third Trek film is actually a misunderstood masterpiece that completes an amazing trilogy of character development situated around Spock. Fortunately, you’ll be able to see what we mean in perfect clarity: Star Trek III is getting a 4K Blu-Ray SteelBook set to commemorate the film’s 40th anniversary, and you can beam it up from retailers on May 28.

Khan Changed Things

Let’s jump right into the discussion quicker than Captain Kirk jumping on a Klingon: why is Star Trek III: The Search for Spock so misunderstood? While most fans won’t admit it to themselves, the truth is that most audiences fell in love with how The Wrath of Khan changed the traditional Star Trek formula. Instead of being focused on discovery, exploration, and peaceful coexistence with others, the sequel was an action film grudge match between Admiral Kirk and Khan Noonien Singh, one of his greatest foes from The Original Series.

Star Trek III Reset Things

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Interestingly, the production of The Wrath of Khan was driven by two primary factors: the need to make a sequel that was both cheaper and more exciting than the first film, which harsher critics had nicknamed Star Trek: The Motionless Picture. The film was a success and changed the course of the franchise for the better, but when Star Trek III came out, it returned the series to its roots by giving us a tale revolving around scientific discovery and the unbreakable bonds of true friendship.

Star Trek III Is A Treasure

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However, because that’s not as thrilling as watching intergalactic navy battles, many fans thought Star Trek III was a bit boring, and this (along with the sheer trainwreck that was William Shatner’s Star Trek V) cemented the old idea that only the even-numbered Trek films were any good. However, we think The Search for Spock is great because of all its quiet character moments. Who doesn’t love Sulu playing pirate and Scotty playing saboteur as the entire original crew puts their lives and careers on the line to save Spock?

The End Of A Spock Trilogy

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Speaking of Spock, he’s the main reason we consider Star Trek III to be a misunderstood masterpiece: the film effectively caps off an amazing arc for the Vulcan that began back in The Motion Picture. In the first film, he withdrew from a ritual to embrace pure logic to seek out V’Ger, an entity that only his half-human side could truly understand. He then dies in The Wrath of Khan making a purely logical choice (“the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”) and is reborn as the Vulcan who would later chide Valeris that “Logic is only the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”

The Upcoming Steelbook

In short, Leonard Nimoy is bringing so much depth to Spock in Star Trek III that it can be difficult to chart his character growth when you first watch the film. Thankfully, the upcoming SteelBook set will allow you to watch this character arc in 4K Ultra HD, and it comes with a spare Blu-Ray disc you can give to someone who doesn’t have it (the needs of the many and all that). Best of all is the breathtaking SteelBook design that prominently features Spock’s face and some iconic scenes from the film that transform this into as much of a work of art as a misunderstood masterpiece.

As a Star Trek fan, you might be a bit like Kivas Fajo and need to be surrounded by “the most toys.” In that case, be sure to snag this Star Trek III SteelBook when it releases on May 28.

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