Before the return of Khan, before the Borg Queen, in fact before many of the most beloved series of the franchise premiered, there was 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. While thankfully it’s not as maligned as the laughably terrible Star Trek V, its name will inevitably come up in discussions of the least loved Trek films. That may change soon, however. Paramount just released the trailer for the 4K restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition, and the new version just might change some minds.
The trailer for the remastered Star Trek film offers a number of surprising visuals, including remastered and upgraded special effects. Scenes like those with Leonard Nimoy’s Spock on Vulcan, with Spock traveling into the stellar cloud in a space suit, and the Enterprise bridge infiltrated by an energy beam look much different in the remastered version. In particular, the high definition visuals make the starships look absolutely stunning. You can watch the trailer below.
The 4k remastering of Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition was announced back in September. Director Robert Wise first oversaw the making of The Director’s Edition in 2001, but sadly he passed away four years later. For the 4K remaster — marking the first time the film has been presented in high definition — filmmakers who worked closely with Wise like David C. Fein, Mike Matessino, and Daren R. Dochterman were recruited. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the remastered version of the film will premiere on Paramount+ on Tuesday, April 5. A Blu-ray of the film will be released some time in September.
When Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released, it was panned by both critics and audiences. Unlike many of the most beloved Trek films, the first movie was long, slowly paced, and lacked anything like the beloved antagonists that made entries like The Wrath of Khan and First Contact so memorable. The antagonist of The Motion Picture was the massive stellar cloud V’Ger. For the follow-up, the new writer Nicholas Meyer was tapped to give fans a charismatic villain and a lot more action. As a result Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan remains one the most often picked favorites of the film series.
Interestingly, it seems like the fan re-evaluation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture may have already begun. When the upcoming remaster was first announced, The Motion Picture‘s Rotten Tomatoes critic score was at 41%. Of all the films in the Trek franchise, the only ones with lower RT critic scores were Star Trek V and Star Trek: Nemesis. Since then, the first Star Trek film has seen some movement — up to 44%. No, that’s still not a good score, but for a 43-year-old film to have any movement at all on RT is a little rare. It’s even more impressive when you consider that in contrast, Star Trek V is still at 22%, and Nemesis has actually gone down from 39% to 38%. We wouldn’t be surprised to see The Motion Picture possibly even get itself out of that green splat when the remastered version comes out in April.