Could Star Trek V be salvaged

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Jolantru, May 29, 2009.

  1. Jolantru

    Jolantru Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 11, 2009
    I was going back and rewatching some of the Trek movies, and sat through Star Trek V, which in my opinion is the worst of the movie series. Rewatching it, the whole movie comes off as a really bad B-flick, with substandard special effects and horrible script writing.

    However at the heart of the movie, I thought there was a good idea, but just poorly executed.

    What didn't work:

    The most painstaking part of this movie is how bad the special effects are. The way they show the shuttle bay landing sequence, it looks worse than the old series effects shots. Moreover most of the shots of the Enterprise, the ship looks dead. There's one particular shot where the Enterprise is shown against the moon, and you can clearly see it's just a backdrop plate.

    Cornball scenes, like the Enterprise campout. What should have been a humorous scene, just comes off as rediculously bad acting.

    The woman who plays the Romulan council. Could they have possibly found a worse actress to play her? In addition there's nothing about her that looks Romulan. They cover up her ears, and she wears this long flowing dress that makes her more look like Princess Leah than a Romulan.

    What did work:

    I thought the premise of the movie was very compelling. A Vulcan who rejected the teachings of Logic and embraced emotion, wanting to search for his creator. That part is very much a part of Star Trek.

    Sybok was a well crafted character and I thought well played by Laurence Luckenbil.

    I would love to see some sort of cut with Star Trek V, to get rid of most of the corny scenes, and updated special effects, to see if it was more compelling.
  2. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
    All it needs is some fire-breathing rock-men at the end for Kirk to fight, that would solve all the problems with the rest of the movie.
  3. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Apr 18, 2009
    Gamma Hydra Section 10
    I never found the Enterprise falling apart very funny either. The level of malfuction was almost as bad the Iconian computer virus that destroyed the Yamato.

    Oh well its not like you can refuse a direct order from Admiral Harve Bennett.
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  4. Jolantru

    Jolantru Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 11, 2009
    The Enterprise falling apart was one of the corny parts I was thinking about. It's one thing for a new ship to have problems, but quite another for a brand new ship to be held together with shoe strings and bailing wire.

    The ship issues were handled much better in Star Trek:TPM, where it was shown that the ship was only having problems due to the fact that it was not scheduled to be launched for several more weeks.
  5. perigee

    perigee Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 29, 2008
    Still too much ballast, IMO. Sybok wasn't just "A Vulcan who rejected the teachings of Logic and embraced emotion." He was a happy kidnapper, brainwasher and terrorist. He took the Enterprise at point of gun (with ten guys apparently packed like a clown car in an undersized shuttle with no resistance). He disregarded the lives and safety of others in order to chase his half-baked ideas. I don't care if he's Santa's brother - and he may as well have been, with his happy bowlfull of jelly - he was a villian that was robbed of gravitas.

    I'd sooner have seen a brilliant, calculating Vulcan madman, or a Vulcan embracing his emotions, or a Vulcan who for some reason or another decided to embrace the entirely illogical and unscientific concept of theism rather than an amateur attempt art mashing them all up together.

    Which is actually, kind of the root of my disdain. What, exactly, was Sybok, in terms of the story? Simply a long-winded method of getting us over to the "Why does God need a starship" guy. He was, when all is said and done, merely a taxi driver to take you to a practically unrelated ending.

    For a guy who was supposed to be so religious, he didn't do much theistic preaching - he wasn't Jim Jones. In fact, he was very much a humanist. If he was willing to kidnap a diplomatic mission and then commandeer a Federation starship to get there, he'd have to be a real fanatic... but they didn't show that.

    For a Vulcan, he was pretty naive - if God doesn't need a starship, he doesn't need a planet either. If he created the universe, then he obviously wasn't native to it. If he's going to kick his feet up on some out-of-the-way place, the God Dimension seems to be a better bet for privacy. Human pre-teens get this in Sunday school. Space-capable super-geniuses should probably be able to suss that out by their mid-nineties.

    Unless you feel that the entire crew should have been locked up in a loony bin, Sybok's "let me have your pain" bit wasn't going to change a single starfllet officer into a mutineer - but he apparently turned the whole damned crew by putting some bactine on their mental owies.

    To me, Sybok is at the very center of what was wrong with the film. If they hadn't decided in concrete how the film was going to end, they could have made something useful out of him - instead, he was a plot device used to play out all the "Character Development" Trek fans slaver for and to pull the movie to it's pre-determined, very Roddenberrian conclusion.
  6. Islander

    Islander Commodore Commodore

    May 13, 2009
    In a remote corner of your sick mind
    It's not as much of Sybok than God overall. You can evaluate theological values from an analytic point of view, a cultural thing, but not a spiritual one. Not in Trek anyway. That's what completely throws it off. It definitely would be better with CGI improvements and re-mastering, but ultimately still fails as the plot just cannot work for me. Sybok alone is fine, and even the idea of an "underdog" as a villain is great. But you have to take God out of this equation.
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Aug 3, 2003
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    You basically sum it well. At the heart of STV is a good story, but it's just buried under a lot of stuff that could have been fixed with a deft rewrite. I also agree the f/x are substandard. It's kinda like "Spock's Brain" and a lot of early TNG episodes.

    Beyond reshooting the f/x sequences I don't think any amount of editing could help this.

    On the flip side while there were a lot of embarassing characeter moments there were also some decent ones as well. Just not enough of them.
  8. Jolantru

    Jolantru Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 11, 2009
    I don't think you have to do that. Searching for a "creator" or the origins of life is very much apart of Star Trek. Showing Sybok as some kind of revolutionary, much like the 60's radicals was also very much Star Trek.

    I agree with Perigree that they didn't delve deeply enough. He's very much like the Weather Underground of the 60's and they didn't explore that angle enough, as much as a mad man.
  9. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 5, 2005
    Oh it could be vastly improved...and easily, too.

    Number One: ditch the humor.

    TVH was the most popular ST movie and some thought it was because of the humor.
    Fair enough. But in that movie, it was natural to the story and *good*.

    TFF is not a humorous story, but it's as if they took a good serious script, and literally tacked-on jokes for the sake of "insert humor" (because humor worked in TVH, right???). Bad bad idea. Plus, the jokes weren't even that good to begin with.

    Removing all the attempt at funny really improves TFF.

    Number Two: the visual effects.

    I can live with it. Since when have poor effects ruined good ST? The AMT model kit of the Constellation doesn't ruin one of the best eps ever. So I can live with TFF effects as-is, if the story and script are good enough. There are other problems that would improve the movie if corrected, moreso than fixing the special effects.
  10. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 16, 2006
    Yeah, I got an idea.

    Give that glorious old bastard a shot at editing it together the way he REALLY envisaged it and you might have a far more impressive film. I rarely if ever say anybody owes anybody anything but after what Shatner and Co did for Paramount by kicking as much ass as they did 66-69...they could at least spring a couple mill out of the BILLIONS Trek has made them to let one of...IF NOT THE... key guy responsible for those assload of zeroes in the profit margin to do his film justice. ESPECIALLY with all the shit the guy has taken for a film that suffered through so much backstabbing and studio manipulation and moneygrubbing as TFF.
  11. Anticitizen

    Anticitizen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 16, 2008
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    I hope I don't start a religious flamewar, but I'd like to say that religion and logic or reason rarely lie together well. There are tenets of belief that millions of people on this planet hold dear that make as little sense.
  12. Ben

    Ben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 10, 2005
    I just rewatched this movie recently and actually had no problems with it at all. I always loved the "going to find God in the center of the galaxy, but instead finding something... else" plot. The main criticisms I tend to hear about this are just nit-picky. And the campout scenes are fun.
  13. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 3, 2001
    The interesting thing is that it seems the writers forgot the Enterprise was malfunctioning about midway through the movie.

    In fairness, much of religion involves having faith. You can't prove it, but you just have to believe.

    As for Sybok, maybe "God" explained to him why "He" needed a starship. But, who cares? It presented the greatest line in Star Trek history! :p
  14. Johnhead99

    Johnhead99 Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 9, 2008
    I will have to watch this again, but I have always considered the Motion Picture the worst of the bunch. It was sooooo slow.
  15. Lightinspire

    Lightinspire Lieutenant Commander

    Nov 14, 2008
    Charleston, WV
    It would have been great if Paramount would have left the script alone and let Shatner have the budget they originally told him he could have. They hired another writer to put in all the stupid scenes and jokes and cut his budget after filming started so that explains the bad or cheap looking effects. His original script was very good. Jay from BringBackKirk has been doing a re-write restoring it back to the original script and effects. I'd love to know when it will be finished.
  16. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 28, 2004
    The film really only needed 3 things to work:

    1. Fix up the effects. MAJORLY

    2. Get rid of the jokes at the expense of the characters.

    3. Have a more satisfying ending. Have the ending Shatner wanted, where the "god" creature turns into the devil.

    That would bring it up on par with any of the TOS odd numbered movies IMO.
  17. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    New York City
    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Special Collector's Edition - 1989 (2003) review

    He has a point but they never did a director's cut including with the Blu-ray Motion Picture Collection.
    Will Shatner do a STV:TFF Director's Cut in 2014 or so when they put out the next edition of Trek films out on Blu-ray?
  18. Lightinspire

    Lightinspire Lieutenant Commander

    Nov 14, 2008
    Charleston, WV
    Also remember there was also a studio workers strike or some kind of strike going on at the time so that affected the work. They had to get non-union workers who knew virtually nothing about the motion picture business to do a lot of the work out on location in the desert. Lots of things out of Shatner's control affected the movie so he is not to get the entire blame. Yes, money and tweaks would have saved this film and saved it royally.
  19. Basill

    Basill Captain Captain

    Oct 30, 2004
    I just read the book and fill in some of the imagery with scenes from the movie. That is my "salvage."
  20. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2005
    Well, not actually. The only actual mission-critical thing that wasn't working was the transporter, and very clearly that was a touch-and-go case which might be reasonably expected to be working by the time they reached Nimbus III. In any case they had an acceptable alternate way to rescue the party through the shuttlecraft.

    It's awkward when the turbolift doors don't open smoothly and the ship's log recorder is all twitchy, but you don't need them for that sort of rescue mission. You need warp drive, sensors, shields, photon torpedoes, and these were all just fine. Phasers would probably come in handy too, but I don't think we get any word about ship's phasers.