In what is meant to commemorate the 55th-anniversary airing of the very first Star Trek episode, which premiered on September 8, 1966, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment will release the first four movies in the Star Trek franchise on Ultra 4k Blu-ray.
With the new Ultra 4k remasters, taken from the film’s original elements, Trekkies will be able to see the original cast along with all the action presented in Dolby Vision and HDR-10 for optimal picture quality.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the first of the four newly remastered Star Trek movies. The highly anticipated movie brought back the cast from the original series and saw Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov take on a massive energy cloud from deep space.
This cloud leaves destruction in its wake and is heading towards Earth, and it is up to the Enterprise crew to intercept the cloud, figure what, if anything, lies within, and then determine what the cloud is all about.
Though highly anticipated, critics and fans were not pleased with the results for this Star Trek movie. Though the movie did make a little money at the box office grabbing $139 million on its $45 million budget, the film is routinely considered one of the worst in the franchise.
With Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan we go from one of the worst to what many consider the best of the bunch. The original cast is back for a second time and this time they face an old foe. Ricardo Montalbán returns as Khan, Kirk’s enemy from 15 years prior who had attempted to take over the Enterprise in the Original Series episode Space Seed.
This time, Khan is back hell-bent on revenge as the crew of the Enterprise, specifically Kirk, must try to stop Khan from getting his hands on Genesis, a device with the capability of modifying all aspects of a planet.
What’s interesting about this second of the Star Trek movies is that series creator Gene Roddenberry had first pitched a sequel that would have had the crew of the Enterprise going back in time to prevent the John F. Kennedy assassination. Paramount executives immediately rejected the idea and then removed Roddenberry from any development of the sequel. They also felt that he was the main reason the first film did so poorly.
The Wrath of Kahn was made on a shoestring budget, using many props and sets from the past as well as effects footage and costumes. The result from the $12 million budget was a big win at the box office as the second film brought home nearly $100 million. This film was also the first in a three-film arc centered around Spock.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock begins almost immediately after the second Star Trek movie ends. Kirk notices Bones acting quite irrationally from his norm. What Kirk finally realizes is that in Spock’s final moments of life, he transferred his living spirit (or Katra) to Bones.
In order to save Bones, Kirk and his crew first steal the Enterprise then, violating the quarantine of the Genesis planet, attempt to retrieve Spock as his body has regenerated on the planet, which itself is dying.
If that is not enough for the Enterprise, a renegade Klingon and his crew are on hand to make life even more difficult.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home finds Kirk and crew back home on Earth ready to stand trial for court-martials for their actions in rescuing Spock. While awaiting their fate, they learn that Earth is in mortal danger from an alien probe that is emitting destructive signals. When they figure out that the signals are trying to communicate with the now-extinct humpback whales, Kirk and company must travel back in time to the late 20th Century to bring back a pair of humpback whales so they can communicate with the aliens.
This Star Trek movie concluded the three-story arc, wrapping up Spock’s death and resurrection. The Voyage Home was also another well-liked film in the franchise, this one directed by Leonard Nimoy (his second in the franchise), and it performed well at the box office, bringing home $133 million on a $21 million budget.
The cast from the Original Series would make two more Star Trek movies following The Voyage Home. William Shatner would handle the directing duties for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Nicholas Meyer, who directed the popular Wrath of Kahn, returned for the final film from the Original Series stars, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
This 4k Ultra HD remaster is a welcome sight for any fan’s collection. The first four films will be available in one box set on September 7, 2021.