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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 14 2013, 06:55 AM   #1
Captain Nebula
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What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

I just re-watched Star Trek Wrath of Khan over the weekend and they did such a great job on that movie. They are like only 3, maybe 4 scenes in the whole movie that isn't a battle, someone in danger, or anticipation of future peril. The special effects are great, the settings are great, and the bridge looks awesome.

Now I'm watching Star Trek III.

What happened?

All the screens on the bridge have the old TV schematics for the Enterprise and Commodore 64 style graphics. After seeing the sweet graphics on the bridge in Wrath, it's just glaring.

Saavik, of course, is a different actress. I wish they would have just made her a different character. And somehow she's now a Command Officer (the white undershirt), but still a Lieutenant.

The guy that played David is acting completely different than he did in Wrath.

The story is great and the outer space special effects are much better than Star Trek V, but a bunch of things are standing out as being low-budget or just counter to the previous movie.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:27 AM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

DOes it really matter if a few things aren't quite right, you've said it was a great story at the end of the day the rest is window dressing.

A great story can overcome poor FX etc.. But great effects etc... can not over come a bad story
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Old August 14 2013, 08:29 AM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
I just re-watched Star Trek Wrath of Khan over the weekend and they did such a great job on that movie. They are like only 3, maybe 4 scenes in the whole movie that isn't a battle, someone in danger, or anticipation of future peril. The special effects are great, the settings are great, and the bridge looks awesome.

Now I'm watching Star Trek III.

What happened?

All the screens on the bridge have the old TV schematics for the Enterprise and Commodore 64 style graphics. After seeing the sweet graphics on the bridge in Wrath, it's just glaring.
Although the ones in III are more noticable, many of the bridge graphics in Wrath of Khan were also for the wrong Enterprise. The first three films used Franz Joseph's schematics from the old Technical Manual and Booklet of General Plans - take a look when Spock says "He knew exactly where he hit us" - there are crew quarters in the blinking area where engineering should be.

The Excelsior's wireframe graphics may look naff now, but when I first saw it as a little kid, I was awed at the big black touch-screen wall panel with no buttons.
Saavik, of course, is a different actress. I wish they would have just made her a different character. And somehow she's now a Command Officer (the white undershirt), but still a Lieutenant.
I figure since she'd done the Kobayashi Maru and then proved herself under fire in a real crisis, they graduated her and stuck her on the Grissom.
The guy that played David is acting completely different than he did in Wrath.
I didn't really notice, but then David's always been a bit of a nonentity to me.
The story is great and the outer space special effects are much better than Star Trek V, but a bunch of things are standing out as being low-budget or just counter to the previous movie.
Perhaps due to Nimoy's directorial inexperience. II was virtually a bottle show, but in III we saw a lot more of Starfleet and Earth, we got 2 new Starfleet ships and a space station, a new baddie ship, the Genesis planet set and a trip to Vulcan thrown in too. So I imagine the budget was stretched pretty thin (only Into Darkness I think has as much varied stuff happening, and that had an insanely huge budget)

I personally LOVE STIII, moreso even than II. It's got a sense of fun and adventure about it, wheras II was all about Khan's vengeance and Kirk's midlife crisis.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:37 PM   #4
Gojira
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Trek III is one of my all time favorites and it is highly underrated. I never noticed the change in the graphics on the bridge. Now I have to watch the two so I can see the difference.
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Old August 14 2013, 09:10 PM   #5
Melakon
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
The guy that played David is acting completely different than he did in Wrath.
Perhaps there was a new interpretation of the character by the actor and a different director, since they now knew David's ultimate fate.
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Old August 14 2013, 09:29 PM   #6
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

And in TSFS he knew and appreciated his father better then in TWOK, perhaps that's changed him.
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Old August 14 2013, 10:31 PM   #7
Hober Mallow
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

TSFS always felt more like a TV movie to me than a feature. The fact that I first saw it on network TV may possibly have something to do with that perception.
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Old August 14 2013, 11:03 PM   #8
Mysterion
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

You mean mean aside from systematically un-doing all the great story-points of STII?

STIII and STIV are essentially just reset buttons in response to STII. Unecessarily so. The less said about STV the better. Fortunately, STVI doesn't suck.
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Old August 14 2013, 11:18 PM   #9
GameOn
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

The lighting in Star Trek 2 kept things dark and moody but in Star Trek 3 its bright and flat making everything look cheap.
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Old August 15 2013, 12:02 AM   #10
BDJ
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

I always took it as the bridge in TSFS was mostly "powered down" due to the automation system and the lack of a large crew to run Enterprise. I loved this movie! (Even Reverend Jim Kruge) The only thing I coulda used less of was the "rainbow warp effect". It worked so well dramatically in WoK and I guess they thought they had to re-use it again in TSFS. I very much agree that ST III is a very underrated entry into the Trek saga.
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Old August 15 2013, 01:38 AM   #11
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
TSFS always felt more like a TV movie to me than a feature. The fact that I first saw it on network TV may possibly have something to do with that perception.
It felt like TV opening day, believe me. And not in the good TFF 'like TOS but widescreen' way either.

I'm amazed at how many people consider it a fun adventure, because the second half of the movie is such an utter grind, between folks dying and ships going semi-kablooey and the Vulcan snoozefest finale ... and NONE of that even gets into the real problems of idiot plotting and such, or how Bennett essentially just recycles whole sequences from TWOK with different outcomes (midfilm battle, refit fires first ... instead of Kirk saying 'you're going to have to bring us up there' for genesis, he is saying 'you're going to have to come down here [or is it vice versa?]).

The cinematographer did what he could with occasional nice colored lighting, but Nimoy just wasn't good with moving the camera at all.

If not for all of Kelley's wonderful work, Shatner's "I hear you" and the alien in the bar, I might not even have re-bought this on blu-ray (then again, the sale price didn't exactly let me pick 5 out of 6 movies anyway.)

EDIT ADDON: I remember Ralph Winter in an issue of ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS explaining that the companies doing the monitor graphics on SFS did them essentially for free to get credit, so that probably contributes to the low-grade look. By way of comparison, that opening shot in TWOK where they pull out from a full-frame Enterprise wireframe ... .that was done using the same ultra-sophisticated megapriced Evans & Sutherland system Abel bought to use on TMP, so we're talking state of the state of the state of the art for the time. Plus a lot of TWOK's graphics (maybe not so many of SFS?) reused the shot-on-film graphics from TMP, which by virtue of not being done on the computer, did not suffer from the 'jaggies' that seemed so dated even in 1984 (i'm thinking of the Spock's casket graphic ... )

Last edited by trevanian; August 15 2013 at 01:42 AM. Reason: graphics mention
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Old August 15 2013, 03:15 PM   #12
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Wow. I saw an entirely different movie. Loved it then, love it now. Watching when it first came out gives one a totally different experience than someone watching it years later after so much Star Trek has been produced. TSFS gave Trek tons of stuff that would carry through for decades.
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Old August 15 2013, 03:27 PM   #13
CaptPapa
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

I definitely remember The Search For Spock as being underrated at the time. And as noted, I loved it then and love it now . . . and I appreciate it even more now too. In my humble opinion, subsequent films are the reason for my increased affection.
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Old August 15 2013, 05:22 PM   #14
trevanian
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

neoworx wrote: View Post
Wow. I saw an entirely different movie. Loved it then, love it now. Watching when it first came out gives one a totally different experience than someone watching it years later after so much Star Trek has been produced. TSFS gave Trek tons of stuff that would carry through for decades.

For me, that last part is the biggest problem. SFS represents the ILMization of TREK, with big terrestrial-minded blimp hangars in space replacing spaceframes that looked like they belonged out there.

on TWOK, ILM, with the (admittedly remarkable) exceptions of the too-cool starfields and the Genesis tape, was basically just hired-hands executing the concepts of others (and in the case of the Genesis cave paintings, maybe distorting that concept, since instead of a ton of lava bubbles that burst you just have the one that they're standing in.) The creative input from ILM just makes SFS seem like EXPLORERS and the SW films in style.
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Old August 16 2013, 02:14 AM   #15
Gojira
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Re: What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
TSFS always felt more like a TV movie to me than a feature. The fact that I first saw it on network TV may possibly have something to do with that perception.
I mentioned that very thing in another thread about TSFS feeling more like an episode or a TV movie, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. It is a great story.
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