What is the final frontier for Trekkies? Outside of meeting the entire cast or riding on the Enterprise, it would probably be luxuriating in a marathon of all five big-screen flicks. Thousands got their chance Sept. 7 when Paramount staged a 44-city, one-day screening of the film series. If you missed it, don’t despair: Through the miracle of home video, I re-created the experience in the comfort of my home, compiling this viewer’s log:
Hours 1-2: Star Trek—The Motion Picture
The crew is reunited in a high-tech edition of the series: Uhura’s hair is a red Afro; McCoy has a beard; Kirk and Scotty are slim. The colorful TV uniforms have been replaced by gray leisure suits. The plot, about the godlike V’Ger heading for earth, is the same as for the TV episode ”The Changeling.” A lot of talk, not much action. Chekov burns his hand and screams. Spock cries.
Hours 3-4: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Ricardo Montalban reprises his villain role from the TV installment ”Space Seed” in a Moby Dick-inspired story about obsessive revenge and mid-life crisis. Kirk meets his son, Spock meets his maker, and Chekov has a bug placed in his ear and screams. Uhura’s hair is now black and straight, Scotty is starting to lose his battle of the bulge, and the uniforms are red. Kirstie Alley is sexy as Lieutenant Saavik.
Hours 5-6: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Kirk & Co. try to revive Spock. In a parody of Star Wars, McCoy goes to an intergalactic bar; Kirk’s son is randomly killed; and the Enterprise blows up. Judith Anderson plays a Vulcan priestess, Christopher Lloyd a Klingon who destroys error-prone underlings. Uhura’s hair is curly. Scotty, getting bigger. My eyes are bloodshot. Did Chekov scream in this one? How and why did Kirstie Alley turn into the less-sexy Robin Curtis?
Hours 7-8: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
The movie is about finding whales in the 20th century. Kirk and Spock introduce their Laurel and Hardy act, aided by Catherine Hicks as a marine biologist. Chekov falls off an aircraft carrier and screams. Kirk gets court-martialed. Spock accepts his human half. Uhura’s hair is straight again.
Hours 9-10: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
A Vulcan cult leader (Laurence Luckinbill) searches for God as he cures people’s ”emotional pain.” Shatner directs. He must have been tired. I sure am. Everyone looks aged, especially Uhura, who’s now silver-haired and seems attracted to Scotty the whale. Kirk and Spock perfect their Stan & Ollie act. Hey! Kirk and Spock are both captains, aren’t they? So who’s in charge here? What’s that? He’s dead, Jim? The engines can’t take it anymore? The Vulcan mind meld? (Again?) Omigosh — live long and prosper, everyone, and for pity’s sake, beam me up.