Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Forty Years

Yesterday, Star Trek fans celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the first Star Trek movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

For those of us alive back it was terribly exciting to finally get Star Trek on the screen again, after a ten-year absence from first-run television. In my case, I became a fan in 1971 or 72, and had always felt that I had “just missed” all the fun. Little did I know that so much more was to come.

For those Trek fans who sat in the theater on that opening night (and yes, I was there), when the lights went down and the USS Enterprise came on the screen, it was a magical moment.

David C. Fein, producer of the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, posted a thank you to all of those, including the fans, associated with the movie. It is published below:

“Forty years ago today, we took a revolutionary step into the future. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released. It was not merely a revival of a television show, but the natural progression from an “in-your-home” adventure to the epic grandeur of the big screen. The Motion Picture continued Gene Roddenberry‘s vision of a future that looked well beyond “us,” and asked questions about who we are as human beings, (or “carbon units” as the film would portray), and into what makes each of us unique and not merely a machine.

“More than a “motion picture,” it’s a message that Star Trek – which had inspired millions with its intelligence and optimistic view of the future – is important, and would launch an ongoing franchise that would continue to inspire: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, animated episodes, shorts, and, of course, twelve more feature films. All are gifts for the passionate and loving fans who embrace Gene Roddenberry’s vision, and who introduced their children to this future…and then their children’s children. The stories, set far into the future, are perhaps even more timeless and relevant to our world of today.

“Bringing together some of the most talented artists in film history, Star Trek: The Motion Picture reassembled the original cast – William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett – while introducing Persis Khambatta, for the unique first big-screen adventure. Director Robert Wise, Producer Gene Roddenberry, Visual Effects legends Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra, Art Director Harold Michelson and Composer Jerry Goldsmith and their crews brought their unequaled artistry to a picture with a scope that has perhaps never been exceeded in the history of the franchise.

“It was a cultural and financial success (still the second highest grossing of the feature films in adjusted dollars) and proved Star Trek is more than a concept, theory, speculation, television series, or movie…it is a part of the best of who we are and who we aspire to be.

“On this day, I celebrate and say THANK YOU to everyone who stepped on board this production, and to those filmmakers and the fans who invested their heart and soul into this endearing and enduring franchise. With Spock’s line, “We’ve witnessed a birth, possibly the next step of our evolution…” it’s clear that now, even after forty years…The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning.”

What do you think? Chat with other fans in the at The Trek BBS.




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