9/15/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Search for Spock"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: MovieIII
Release Date: June 1, 1984
Written by: Harve Bennett
Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Premise
After Spock's death, Kirk and the crew are forced to break Starfleet regulations to find him alive on the Genesis planet, a planet of interest to the Klingons.

Review
Limping back home after their fierce battle with Khan, the crew of the Enterprise speeds up repairs and arrives just in time to find out that they aren't allowed to go back. Scotty is dejected to be told he will be transferred to the Excelsior, Kirk is devastated to find that the Enterprise is scheduled for decommission, and Bones is going crazy because Spock's katra is in his head. All-around bad times for all.

On top of all that, Doc Brown, reincarnated as a Klingon, has commissioned some random ship to gather information on the Genesis project. Which is bad news for the random ship because as soon as Doc Kruge finds out they know more than they're supposed to, he blows them out of space. And then moves on to the Genesis planet. On Earth, Sarek comes along and chides Kirk for not going to Vulcan before finding out that Spock did not, in fact, leave his katra with Kirk. They surmise that Crazy Bones has Spock's katra, and then look at the tapes to verify. On the Genesis planet, Starfleet has sent a science expedition consisting of David and Saavik. They and the ship they came on are the only people allowed on Genesis. The planet is restricted to anyone else. Especially the crew of the Enterprise.
Not that forbidden planets have ever stopped them before.
Meanwhile, Crazy Bones goes to a bar and tries to charter a civilian flight like Obi-Wan at the cantina. As half-Spock, he's determined to get back to Genesis and pick up Spock's newly regenerated body. Unfortunately, traveling to Genesis is so forbidden, that he gets put in the loony bin for suggesting it. Which is cool 'cause it allows Kirk to pull a prison break. Meanwhile, Scotty's on the Excelsior just chillin', ya know, sabotaging the engines and stuff. Then, after the prison break, he meets up with Kirk and the gang on the Enterprise. With a crew of five, they take the Enterprise out and when the Excelsior tries to chase after it, the engines completely break down.

Back on the Genesis planet, Kruge has arrived and destroyed the vessel that David and Saavik came on. Luckily, David and Saavik were down on the planet finding Spock. Spock has been regenerated as a young boy, but is growing older. Soon he'll need to undergo pon farr... and the only female vulcan around is Saavik. The little cougar. When Kruge finds that the three of them are down there, he sends a team to capture them. And that's when the Enterprise comes along and Kruge cloaks.
They just don't make cloaks like they used to.
The keen eye of Kirk spots the shimmer in space where Kruge cloak is and raises shields. Kruge decloaks and the two ships go at it. The Enterprise, however, is already badly damaged from the fight with Khan, so she succumbs easily. Luckily, Kruge's wants to take prisoners. Kirk doesn't give in that easily though. So, to give him a bit of motivation, Kruge has one of his men kill David on the planet surface. Devastated, Kirk appears to give in, and then sets the self destruct sequence. When Kruge's men beam over to take over the Enterprise, the crew beams down to the planet. The Klingons are slightly perplexed for a bit... and then the Enterprise explodes.

Down on the Genesis planet, Kirk and his crew look up to the sky to see the Enterprise burn up in the atmosphere. And then they go to find Saavik and Spock. After reuniting, getting rid of the Klingon guards, and having a moment for David, Kirk grabs one of the Klingon communicators and goads Krudge into coming down to the surface. So he does. Kruge beams down and commands everyone except Kirk and Spock to beam up to his ship. It's now a showdown between Kirk and Kruge.
A Kruge match, if you will.
Kruge insists that the Klingons need the Genesis technology, but Kirk points to the crumbling planet around them and says that the Genesis project is a failure - it doesn't work. He doesn't stop to think that maybe the Klingons want it for its destructive properties. In either case, he has a fist fight with Kruge for a bit and knocks him into the lava. He then asks to be beamed up and, out numbering the remaining Klingons on the Klingon ship, the Enterprise crew takes over and beams out of trouble and toward Vulcan.

On Vulcan, they hold a small ceremony with Spock and Bones where a priestess connects their two minds and transfers all of Spock's backup files from Bones' system into Spock's new hard drive. Afterward, there is a touching moment where Spock looks at his beloved crew and then stops at Kirk, saying that Sarek told him Kirk was his friend. When asked why he did what he did, Kirk says that the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Which is totally illogical, but Spock accepts it. As he walks away, he turns back and says something equally illogical. "I am, and always shall be, your friend." And so, Spock is found.

Overall Thoughts
The Search for Spock is the kind of movie that is only good as part of the series. It picks up directly where The Wrath of Khan leaves off and only serves as a tie-up for that while setting up the rest of the movie series. That being said, it's a very heartwarming and exciting story to those who follow it. It feels like The Search for Spock is Act II to The Wrath of Khan's Act I and The Voyage Home's Act III. There is a beginning, a middle and an end in those three movies that all come together to form a great through-line.