Star Trek: The Motion Picture Gets Stunning 4K Version, See The Difference

The first Star Trek movie is getting a big makeover!

By Michileen Martin | Updated

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There’s a pretty good chance that without the first six Star Trek movies that reunited the crew of the 1960s series and introduced Gene Roddenberry’s concepts to younger audiences, Trek wouldn’t be enjoying the media empire it has today. Just in time for this year’s Star Trek Day, we’re learning that the very first of the Trek films is getting a massive makeover.

On Wednesday, the Paramount Plus Star Trek Twitter account revealed that the Director’s Cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture would be restored with the help of David C. Fein, Mike Matessino, and Daren R. Dochterman — all of whom had worked closely with the late Robert Wise who directed the film. The announcement came with a brief shot giving an example of what the finished product would look like compared to what the film looks like now. As you can see on the video below, the difference before and after the screen wipe is stunning.

According to Collider‘s report on the restoration, Star Trek: The Motion Picture will receive the 4K Ultra HD treatment, and this version of the film will be available exclusively on Paramount Plus. A release date for the restored version of the film hasn’t been revealed just yet. As noted earlier, rather than the theatrical version of the film released in 1979, the restored edition will be the Director’s Cut which was overseen by Wise four years before his passing.

It will be interesting to see how both fans and potential Paramount Plus subscribers react to the news of the restoration. All on its own, a makeover of Star Trek: The Motion Picture isn’t bound to draw in too many new subscribers, particularly considering it’s one of the most maligned films of the franchise. With a 41% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the only films of the franchise more critically panned are 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis with 39% and the William Shatner directed Star Trek V with 22%. Not to mention that a 41% rating for a film from 1979 is just a tad bit more embarrassing, since older films tend to get relatively gentle treatment on Rotten Tomatoes simply because fewer reviews are available online to aggregate.

Between the events of Star Trek: The Animated Series and those of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) completes the Enterprise’s five year mission and has a promotion to admiral waiting for him. He recommends William Decker (Stephen Collins) to take over as Enterprise captain, but life behind a desk doesn’t suit Kirk. So when a massive stellar cloud referred to as the Intruder approaches Earth, Kirk uses the opportunity muscle back the reins of his old ship.

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Fittingly, the week of Star Trek Day has brought with it plenty of intriguing developments about the beloved franchise. The online game store made a bunch of otherwise abandoned Star Trek games available for purchase and playable on modern systems. Paramount Plus revealed the release date of Discovery‘s fourth season: Thursday, November 18, 2021. A new trailer dropped for Picard‘s second season, and we got an introduction video for the cast of next year’s Strange New Worlds, including Celia Rose Gooding succeeding Nichelle Nicholas as Lt. Uhura.