What happened to Star Trek III: TSFS?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Captain Nebula, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 12, 2010
    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.
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain
    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
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    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.
    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.
    I didn't really notice, but then David's always been a bit of a nonentity to me.
    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.
  4. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

    Oct 15, 2008
    Stompin' on Tokyo
    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.
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    Perhaps there was a new interpretation of the character by the actor and a different director, since they now knew David's ultimate fate.
  6. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 7, 2013
    And in TSFS he knew and appreciated his father better then in TWOK, perhaps that's changed him.
  7. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    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.
  8. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    SB-31, Daran V
    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.
  9. GameOn

    GameOn Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 27, 2012
    The lighting in Star Trek 2 kept things dark and moody but in Star Trek 3 its bright and flat making everything look cheap.
  10. BDJ

    BDJ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 2, 2010
    Lovely little shire known as Cave City
    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.
  11. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Oct 14, 2004
    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: Aug 15, 2013
  12. neoworx

    neoworx Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Aug 10, 2010
    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.
  13. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 15, 2009
    I really do not know . . .
    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.
  14. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Oct 14, 2004

    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.
  15. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

    Oct 15, 2008
    Stompin' on Tokyo
    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.
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 26, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    Of all the Trek films, there are only four that I could watch over and over again without getting tired of them: STII, STIII, STIV, and Star Trek (2009). And if I had to choose just one of those four, I'd choose STIII.
  17. xvicente

    xvicente Captain Captain

    Jan 16, 2013
    has something happened?
  18. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 30, 2010
    I can't agree about ST2009, but ST2, ST3, and ST4 are the original trilogy of the Star Trek universe. I agree they are the best 3 star trek movies, taken as a whole. I never get tired of them either. Star Trek 2 is the most serious, Star Trek 4 is the most light hearted, and Star Trek 3 is the most well rounded IMO. It has a great balance of fun and drama. Star Trek 2, having the more skilled director, definitely feels the most "cinematic" though.
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Sep 10, 2012
    USS Berlin
    Because of several and parallel related Trek Tech threads, I rewatched parts of ST III.

    IMHO, the film is a mixed bag. - SPOILER / SPOILING ALERT -

    It has great VFX cinematography and the whole "Escape from Frisco" sequence is a ST milestone: fast paced, excellently edited with witty dialogue and memorable lines (which I like to quote up to this day). I never get tired of seeing it.

    Where the film sucks is the entire Klingon storyline which has more plot holes than ST VI (which I nevertheless enjoy watching because it has many of the elements that made the "Escape from Frisco" sequence so great).

    Their and in particular Kruge's portrayal was grotesque and goofy.
    • He kills Valkris for no good reason, especially since she is apparently devoted and loyal to him.
    • He kills his gunner for screwing up and almost shot Torg as if he had an abundance of crew members.
    • He desperately wants to learn the secrets of Genesis but doesn't mind killing the very scientist who has the answers he's looking for (or is he really that stupid assuming that Kirk has all the answers?) - Kill first and ask questions later? :wtf:
    • He thinks he can take over a Federation starship with full crew with only a handful of people (who's piloting the Klingon Bird of Prey next?)
    • And most of all: What did he actually expect Kirk to do when he ordered him several times "to hand over Genesis". Kirk didn't even flash a data device or anything like that as bait. Did Kruge expect Kirk to pull the Genesis Device out of his pocket Stanley Ipkiss (The Mask) style?!? :rofl:
    He could have learned a couple of lessons from Kirk's previous antagonist Khan: First let me see and evaluate the data and then I decide what to do next. As a follow-up antagonist the character of Kruge was a dismal failure, IMO.

    And the whole thing with Spock's soul (despite many great moments revolving around "Dr. McSpock") was pitiful mumbojumbo. As an automaton repairing the Enterprise's main energizer in ST II I would have bought the concept. But this Spock automaton apparently had empathy and memories which I think belongs to the soul. Better not to try to make sense of it and rather let it be forgotten.

    And I almost forgot: So Dr. Carol Marcus, concerned about microscopic lifeforms in ST II, was essentially a fraud and the whole Genesis stuff was a hoax because they used unstable matter? Here the subsequent movie obviously created a twist at the expense of previously introduced characters and what the screenplay writers had tried to establish in ST II. :ack:

    The film had good entertainment value, but nothing more and nothing less, IMHO.

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    I always felt that the production design of TSFS was intentionally closer to the style of TOS. Brighter sets, more colorful sets, the artificial studio landscapes, all that. The fight between Kirk and Kruge felt so 60s, it only lacked the Amok Time fight music.