As I am watching this movie in the middle of the night, one thought struck me. If you take the previous movie Wrath of Khan, this movie and the next movie The Voyage Home and watch them in a row, it feels like one movie, a la Lord of the Rings. This could literally be a Star Trek trilogy. The events of The Wrath of Khan lead to the events of The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home begins immediately after this film.
Released in the summer of 1984, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock begins with the USS Enterprise returning to spacedock on Earth after the events of The Wrath of Khan.
The ship is battered, but functional and because of the political fallout of the new Genesis planet created in the Mutara system, Starfleet orders the crew not to discuss the mission and that travel would be restricted to the system by Starfleet itself. While Spock and the crew try to adjust to not having Spock on the ship, someone breaks into Spock’s quarters.
It turns out that Dr. McCoy has not taken Spock’s death well and has been sitting in the Vulcan’s quarters talking to himself in Spock’s voice, chiding Kirk for leaving him behind. Kirk takes McCoy to get help.
To add insult to injury, the crew is being re-assigned and the ship itself is scheduled to be decommissioned in favor of the new Excelsior class ship. Scotty is assigned to oversee engineering on the Excelsior, a prospect he does not look forward to.
Kirk invites the remaining commend crew to his home for a drink in remembrance of Spock. During the celebration, Spock’s father Sarek arrives and demands to speak with Kirk alone. Apparently, in the event of the eminent physical death of a Vulcan, they can transfer their essence or katra to another vulcan if the body can be saved.
Meanwhile, a cargo ship is waiting for a rendezvous with a mysterious ship in order to deliver stolen data. The ship turns out to be a Klingon Bird of Prey which promptly destroys the cargo ship after receiving the data.
The Klingons led by Commander Kruge see the Genesis planet and the technology used to create it as a threat to their existence if used as a weapon and the possibility of expanded Federation colonies along the Neutral Zone. Kruge sets a course for the Genesis planet.
The USS Grissom is scanning the planet and Lt Saavik detects a lifeform reading coming from the planet below in the location of Spock’s casket. She beams down to the planet with Kirk’s son and Genesis device scientist David Marcus and they discover a small child who they determine to be Spock. Spock’s physical body was regenerated by the planet, but in doing so, has connected him to the planet and its rapid aging.
Kirk, meanwhile, investigates the events that led to Spock’s death and determines that he transferred his katra to McCoy before entering the radiation chamber.
So Dr. McCoy has been carrying around Spock’s soul in his mind and he’s starting to go a little nutty. He attempts to charter a ship to take him to Genesis and he is arrested by Starfleet security and taken to a mental hospital.
Why isn’t this working?
After being rejected by Starfleet, Kirk and crew decide to do something desperate. They steal the Enterprise, break out McCoy and disable the Excelsior to prevent them from being followed.
Uhura’s resting bitch face while she sticks your condescending butt in the closet.
So here’s when things get a little weird, but only if you know anything about Vulcans. See pre-pubescent Vulcans make a transition to puberty called Pon Farr. This basically means that their emotions get amplified and they get aroused. Unfortunately, the only way to relieve this affliction is for the male to mate. As Spock is going through this hard-core, so is the planet.
Makes you wonder what Saavik and young Spock were doing while David was searching for the Klingon landing party.
Enterprise, using mostly automated systems and a crew of 5 reach the planet and discover that the Grissom has been destroyed and Saavik, Spock and David are being held captive by Kruge. Kirk decides that he’s not about to get caught with his pants down again, so he strikes first. After battling the Klingon’s to a stalemate, Kruge decides to murder one of the hostages to force Kirk to surrender.
After David sacrifices his life trying to fight one of the Klingons, Kirk decides to surrender the Enterprise. Still not accepting a no-win scenario, he initiates the self-destruct sequence. Kruge sends over his entire crew to take the ship with the exception of himself and the transporter operator. You can see what happens below.
Kirk and his crew make it to the planet and free the hostages.
Kruge beams down to the planet to confront Kirk. After he beams the rest of the crew aboard, they proceed to have one of the most ridiculous fights I have ever seen on-screen.
Kirk beams to the Klingon ship and they escape as the planet explodes. The crew returns to Vulcan so that they can put Spock’s soul back into his body.
Spock returns and starts to slowly remember his friends. Happy endings all around, I guess.
This isn’t one of my favorite Star Trek films, but it works at trying to move the overall story along. There are some good moments that redeem some of the weaknesses of the first film, so I would recommend giving it a watch.