Greatest Movie Series
Franchises of All Time
The Star Trek Films:
(The Original Movies)





Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Star Trek Films (original)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) | Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) | Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) | Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) | Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek (2009) | Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

The Original Star Trek Movies - Part 3

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
d. Leonard Nimoy, 105 minutes

Film Plot Summary

This second sequel opened with a recap of the scene of Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) death, funeral, and ejection into space to orbit the newborn Genesis planet (and land on its surface); the damaged USS Enterprise returned to the spacedock for repairs, with Admiral Cmdr. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) "uneasy" and still mourning the loss of his friend ("the death of Spock is like an open wound").

A female spy named Valkris (Cathie Schirriff) "purchased the Genesis data" and transmitted it to ugly, menacing and treacherous Klingon Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) - who then proceeded to destroy Valkris' ship; Kruge feared the Genesis device was a new Federation weapon ("Great power to control, dominate...the secret of ultimate power") and proceeded to the planet ("We will act for the preservation of our race...We will seize the secret of this weapon").

As the Enterprise docked, Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) - found in Vulcan Spock's sealed quarters - was acting bizarrely, babbling, and appeared to be going insane - he was hospitalized upon arrival; the Enterprise crew was informed by Starfleet that the 20 year-old ship had been decommissioned, to be replaced by the superior USS Excelsoir (with transwarp speed capability), and the Genesis planet was declared forbidden and off-limits.

On the USS Grissom, Lieut. Saavik (Robin Curtis) and Dr. David Marcus (Merritt Butrick) arrived at the Genesis planet; a scan revealed a lifeform on the surface - Spock's metallic cylindrical casket; Spock's father Sarek (Mark Lenard) visited Kirk in his quarters and it was revealed through playback of video recordings of how McCoy was possessed of Spock's katra (or living spirit) through a mind-meld before his death; Kirk promised to return Spock's body and McCoy to Mount Seleya on his home planet Vulcan to restore them both to peace; Dr. Marcus and Lt. Saavik beamed to the surface of Genesis to explore, where they found Spock's empty coffin and burial robe, and a regenerated, crying 8-10 year old-Spock (without consciousness or spirit) who appeared to be aging rapidly.

Deliberately disobeying his superiors, Kirk and some of his crew released an unstable and detained McCoy from his psychiatric examination cell (after his arrest for trying to hire an illegal craft), beamed aboard the antiquated USS Enterprise, and hijacked the craft - refusing to surrender to Starbase orders; the ultra-modern USS Excelsoir was unable to pursue due to Scotty's tinkering with its transwarp drive; meanwhile, the USS Grissom came under enemy Kruge's Klingon Bird of Prey ship attack and was destroyed (without taking prisoners).

Dr. Marcus admitted to Lt. Saavik that he used "dangerously unpredictable" unstable "Proto-matter" elements in the Genesis device, threatening its longevity by accelerating evolution of the planet; the Klingons beamed to the surface and took Marcus, Saavik, and young Spock prisoner, and learned that "the Genesis experiment is a failure"; then the greenish Klingon Bird of Prey fired on the USS Enterprise that had arrived at the Genesis planet, and crippled it; Kruge demanded that the Enterprise surrender immediately or he would kill his hostages one-by-one.

Kirk's son David was the first to be killed (while defending Saavik), bringing Kirk's stunned and devastated reaction: "You Klingon bastard. You've killed my son!"; facing no other alternative, Kirk surrendered his vessel, but first set the ship's self-destruct mechanism as he beamed his crew to the Genesis planet's surface; the beamed-up, transported Klingon crew was destroyed in the spectacular USS Enterprise explosion, ending in a streak of fiery light in the sky (Kirk thought: "My God, Bones. What have I done?").

The Enterprise crew rescued Lt. Saavik and Adult-Spock (now rejuvenated after aging to adulthood), and Kirk convinced Kruge to beam everyone up to the Klingon Bird of Prey to escape the planet's self-destructing deterioration - yet Kirk remained on Genesis for a climactic one-on-one, hand-combat fight to the death against Kruge (Kirk push-kicked (three times) the Klingon to his death off a cliff into a molten lava lake while punctuating his words - "I - have had - enough of you").

As the planet violently exploded, the ex-Enterprise crew escaped in the Klingon spaceship and journeyed to Vulcan; there, a risky ritualistic refusion ceremony (fal-tor-pan) led by High Priestess T'Lar (Dame Judith Anderson) was held to reunite Spock's katra (in McCoy's body) with his own body; revived after the successful ritual, Spock was informed by Kirk why he was saved - risking Kirk's career, ship, and only son: "because the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many"; standing in front of Kirk, he began to remember his past and his old friend, telling Kirk: "Jim. Your name is Jim," followed by Kirk's simple reply: "Yes" as the film ended.

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

The third film of the original series. The second, third, and fourth films comprised a loose trilogy. No Academy Awards nominations.

With a production budget of $17 million, and box-office gross receipts of $76 million (domestic) and $87 million (worldwide).

Great Scene(s): The hijacking of the USS Enterprise, the destruction of the USS Enterprise, Kirk's hand-to-hand combat (fight to the death) with Klingon Captain Kruge.


Adm. Cmdr. James T. Kirk
(William Shatner)

Klingon Cmdr. Kruge
(Christopher Lloyd)

Valkris
(Cathie Schirriff)

Lieut. Saavik
(Robin Curtis)

Dr. David Marcus
(Merritt Butrick)

Vulcan Sarek
(Mark Lenard)

Dr. Leonard McCoy
(DeForest Kelley)

Young-Spock
(Stephen Manley)

High Priestess T'Lar
(Dame Judith Anderson)

Captain Spock
(Leonard Nimoy)

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