Talk:Star Trek: The Motion Picture

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Featured articleStar Trek: The Motion Picture is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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March 28, 2009Peer reviewReviewed
May 30, 2009Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article


Misleading plot summary in the intro[edit]

The current intro states that "a mysterious and immensely powerful cloud called called V'Ger approaches Earth, destroying everything in its path". But V'Ger is not the cloud, it's the alien spacecraft within the cloud. The sentence as is implies that a cloud is destroying things when the cloud does nothing at all. The359 (Talk) 08:48, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

I think it's fine as it is, but if anything should be changed in the intro, perhaps call it an "entity", and remove its name. A lot of the film goes on with V'Ger having an ambiguous nature. Characters know that an "intruder" is on its way to Earth, it resembles a cloud, and the Enterprise crew operate on a belief that there is a vessel inside. The alien spacecraft, the name "V'Ger", and what V'Ger actually identifies isn't revealed until much later on. RobWill80 (talk) 11:36, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Witholding plot details isn't our operating status, see WP:SPOILER. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 15:08, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
True, but I don't think it is withholding information. It is mentioned further down, after all. I think the name isn't necessary here, and the text flows better without it. A large part of the film goes by without the entity being referred to by name, and when "V'Ger" is first mentioned, the crew aren't sure what exactly the term identifies. Alone in that intro sentence, the name itself doesn't actually explain anything. It doesn't really bother me though. Simply a suggestion. RobWill80 (talk) 15:34, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
But it is factually wrong to claim that the cloud is powerful, that it is called V'Ger, or that it is destroying anything. All of this is because of the ship within the cloud. The359 (Talk) 18:32, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I never said you were wrong. If you read what I said, the Enterprise crew aren't sure what V'Ger is for much of the film. That's why I suggest calling it an "entity". RobWill80 (talk) 23:27, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The cloud and everything in it are all part of V'Ger, which has now become far more than just an old NASA space probe. 2.221.229.192 (talk) 06:58, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

If it’s the cloud and everything in it, that should still be made clear. You guys seem familiar with the franchise and therefore, you may be able to interpret incorrect information more easily. As someone who hasn’t seen the movie, looking at the text originally provided in regards to the plot, I would absolutely think that the entity is a cloud and that is who the enemy is. It would definitely warp my perception of who the villain really is. Cool879 (talk) 08:34, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Audio Sample[edit]

Has anybody with the know-how thought about putting up a sample of the soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith? Considering it is one of the most recognizable movie/television themes in history and this was its first usage, that might be something to consider. - Jg2904 (Talk) 15:25, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

It's possible, but there isn't much critical commentary in this article to justify it—that is, there's no reviews specifically singling out Goldsmith's score, which makes it's fair use rationale here rather weak. That said, it may be a an audio sample is perfect for another location. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 15:38, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a sample of a track with the Blaster Beam then? After all, The Motion Picture was the debut of that instrument, which was later used in Battle Beyond the Stars, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, 2010, Forbidden World, and Meteor. Just a thought. (Talk) 16:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Meteor was released on 19 October 1979, and therefore its use of the Blaster Beam was heard by movie audiences six weeks before TMP was released. MrNeutronSF (talk) 09:56, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Effects in Director's Edition rendered at 480i standard definition[edit]

I'd like to point out that it's technically speaking not correct that the new CGI effects for the Director's Edition were rendered at "480i standard definition"; and the quoted - not very professional - source is even more wrong, naming a non-existant 420i format. There is however a native PAL/SECAM version of the Director's Edition, meaning that the effects have at least also been rendered at 576i. I suggest removing the "480i" part and leaving in the "standard definition", which makes the claim correct at any rate. Nobody of us can say what technical format the effects were rendered in anyway. Matzeachmann (talk) 07:25, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree! Good idea! Simple and accurate. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 16:15, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I've removed the source entirely. The whole "They didn't release TMP director's because the effects were at SD" makes sense, but it's one of those unverified claims along the lines of "Shatner tried to do a directors cut of STV and Paramount didn't give him the money"—I've really only seen it in DVD review sites, aka not that great sources. They didn't release a directors cut for STII or VI either, so I don't think it can necessarily be relied on to be the issue (not to mention I'm doubting any effects company worth their salt would have done master renders at standard-definition and interlaced.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:10, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed! Matzeachmann (talk) 22:11, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Overture Claim[edit]

The article claims that this and The Black Hole (both 1979) were the last films to have an overture until Dancer in the Dark in 2000. The source for this (item 115) seems to be the DVD commentary. This claim covers a lot of films, and I don't think it can be true - the Wikipedia page listing films with overtures gives 1984 (1984) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) as having used them - can this be put down to an inaccurate commentary and removed please? P19981 (talk) 10:30, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, considering there's no verified source for 1984 or The Nightmare before Christmas, I'd rather keep it for now. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 23:16, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
The Wikipedia page for Overtures in Film does list about a dozen during the 1980s and 90s, including the several soundtracks scored by John Williams. Is there a clearer understanding of why this claim is being allowed to stand? Mikeymo1741 (talk) 17:27, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
If you're talking about List of films with overtures, nothing there is referenced, and I find some of the entries highly suspect (I know The Lost World didn't have an overture when I watched it first-run.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:41, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

Props and Models Section Needs Work[edit]

The mention of Ralph McQuarrie and Ken Adam's work on the ship design for the aborted The Planet of the Titans film seems odd given that these ideas were scrapped, and their inclusion in a Trek episode a decade later seems to be merely trivia.

The paragraph detailing Richard Taylor and Andrew Probert's redesign of the ship is also inaccurate, in spite of the sources cited.

1. The "television movie model" is more accurately described as the "Phase 2 series model".

2., It was not "Joe Jenning's" model. The ship was redesigned by original Enterprise designer Matt Jefferies for Phase II (Also, the name is Joe Jennings, so the possessive should be Joe Jennings').

3. Jefferies had largely redesigned the ship for the aborted Phase 2 series, and the blueprints for that design have been reproduced in several places, notably the book Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, 1997 by Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. It was Jefferies who changed the ship's proportions, including widening the engineering hull, adding the weapons mount to the base of "neck", tapering and sweeping back the nacelle struts, changing the cross section of the nacelles, and adding external docking ports, It IS true that Taylor and Probert refined the Jefferies design, notably the art deco detailing, changing the new Jefferies weapons mount into a twin-launcher torpedo deck, and refining the ship's lines and changing details (notably on the nacelles), but a side-by-side comparison of the Jefferies design and the final film design makes clear that Jefferies is insufficiently credited here.

4. Neither Taylor nor Probert are responsible for the "elaborate wiring system for the model's lights" so that doesn't belong under "design" .

5. Probert didn't add the"separating saucer" element, as that concept had been around for years before. He DID, however, design how it would work and added the landing details.

Given the above I suggest this section needs a solid overhaul. I will undertake this myself (with citation, naturally) in future if no one else does, but I wanted to raise the topic here in Talk first and solicit feedback. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrNeutronSF (talkcontribs) 09:58, 27 September 2014 (UTC) MrNeutronSF (talk) 09:47, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE: AS above, I have corrected this section and revised and added citations to support it. I believe it is far more accurate than before and corrects many commonly repeated bur factual errors about the design and construction of the models/

Early Development[edit]

I deleted the figure of 400,000 letters in favor of naming the space shuttle Enterprise because that number comes out of a Star Trek book and is contradicted even by Star Trek fan sites, some of which list the number as low as 10.000–40,000[1]

I deleted a reference to director Philip Kaufman "having impressive science fiction credits" because he didn't and doesn't. The only science fiction film he made was the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and that was after the events discussed here.

I reorganized this section to be more accurate chronologically, and added new citations to replace or reinforce the plethora of Sackett &Roddenberry ones, plus added details on the the production design from two books about the artists who worked on Planet of the Titans.

References

Deletion of Remastered Material[edit]

The film's focus and narrative were enhanced by the film's remastering. I believe it was of interest that a film that was critically a failure when rushed into theaters, was improved years later by craftsmen and the support of fans. The deletion of much of the text that explains this is, in my opinion, a mistake. Is that neutral enough for you? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.74.210.13 (talk) 17:34, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

There are at least 2 kinds of people out there. People that have seen the Directors cut and acknowledge that the original process for creating the film was flawed, and that the Director's cut addressed and corrected much of what was wrong with the film as originally released. The other kind are ignorant little toadies that hate Star Trek, and/or the Motion Picture and will resist any notion that a picture, once released, can be improved later and be a genuine source of inspiration, and will remove from Wikipedia anything that does not fit into their narrow world view. There, i said it- go on and ban me for flagrant nastiness. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:A0B0:1E70:E469:3702:ACAC:71E3 (talk) 22:38, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise - relevant source material[edit]

I've been doing some research on this article, The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise, and found some interesting relevant source material discussing how it helped to motivate Gene Roddenberry to work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Hopefully others may find this helpful to perhaps take a glance and incorporate into this article, here.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 00:32, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Inconstant claim[edit]

The lead in claims "The box office success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind convinced Paramount that science fiction films other than Star Wars could do well at the box office, so the studio cancelled production of Phase II "

Further on we are told "On November 11, just two and a half weeks before production on Phase II was due to start, the studio announced that the television series had been cancelled in favor of a new feature film."

The problem is that Close Encounters of the Third Kind didn't debut in theaters until November 16 at a minimum. So how could Paramount know anything about how well Close Encounters of the Third Kind did some five days before it even hit theaters?--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:07, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

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Most expensive film?[edit]

I heard that the film was the most expensive film of all time at the time it was produced. Is that true? If so, that should be included in the article. Charlotte Allison (Morriswa) (talk) 02:23, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

This appears to be untrue. Superman is reported to have cost at least a few million more. And this is assuming we're talking about amounts uncorrected for inflation. Mawazi (talk) 06:52, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Actually the cost for Superman includes scenes shot for Superman II. As much of the two films were shot together. So ST:TMP cost more on a single picture basis. SonOfThornhill (talk) 14:26, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

I saw the same thing and was just about to make a discussion about this. Both this page and the Superman (1978) page credit themselves as being the most expensive film ever made. However, Stark Trek came out after Superman did and Superman had a higher budget. It does say on Superman’s page that there is some citation needed, but it’s still a bit jarring to see such a contradiction especially when Superman is referenced in Stark Trek’s page because it makes it all that the more noticeable. Cool879 (talk) 08:39, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

User:Cool879: I don't see where this article asserts TMP was the most expensive film made. The only comparison to Superman is their opening grosses, unless I'm missing something. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 14:42, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Honestly not too sure how to reply to comments so hopefully this works when I click respond because I don’t know how to edit these either, but in response to @Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs, this article asserts itself as having the most expensive budget at the time in the “Reception” section stating: “ The Motion Picture's budget of $45 million,[3] including costs incurred during Phase II production,[182] was the largest for any film made within the United States up to that time.” Cool879 (talk) 06:48, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Well that clearly did not work. I tried using colons as suggested to make indentations, however I’m unsure of how that would even work because there are multiple “main” messages. How does Wikipedia know which thread I want to reply to?

But anyway, @Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs, I forgot to mention that what I meant by seeing such a jarring contradiction, is I mean that since Superman is referenced in Star Trek: TMP, the fact that they’re both referenced as having the highest budget when it could only be one or the other, was quite noticeable to me when I decided to read both their pages, not that there were any noticeable comparisons made about each other on either page (sorry if this doesn’t make sense). Also, @SonOfThornhill, please see my quote above. The budget includes costs from Phase II production, so it’s unfair to claim that ST:TMP cost more on a single picture basis because that’s simply untrue.

One last thing, sorry if this is confusing and I know I should be putting these responses towards each individual thread, not combining them and making this wall of text, but I’m still very new at this and the “Talk” section is one of the more confusing parts of Wikipedia for me at the moment. So again I apologize if I’m making this “Talk” section messier than it needs to be. Cool879 (talk) 07:05, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Hey Cool, if you want to ping someone you can either link directly to their name (as in [[User:David Fuchs]]) or use the {{ping}} template. Anyhow, I think one major point to bring up is that this article isn't calling itself the most expensive film ever made. It's saying it's the most expensive film made in the continental US. Superman, leaving aside the questions of what costs should be attributed to filming its sequel, had at least some international scenes, so right there that is a distinguishing claim (the reference used in this article for the claim itself notes that The Motion Picture only ranks as the thirdmost expensive film in total, and given the timeframe of the article it's probably not including costs for the in-production Superman either way.) In short: I don't think this is an issue. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 14:01, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

It is mentioned all over (if one cares to look) that Paramount wanted to make a movie, then a TV show, and then wanted to make a blockbuster movie out of the Star Trek concept they owned. Poor Gene spent money to create a movie, then a TV show, and then a movie again, because the studio could not make up it's damn mind. Finally when they made Star Trek the Motion Picture ALL COSTS of the original film development, and the TV show that never happened were tacked onto the final movie. Whether you think this is fair or not is your own business, but what is deemed the total cost of STTMP is not really the cost of just the movie. And Gene got blamed for it. Damn shame. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:A0B0:1E70:E469:3702:ACAC:71E3 (talk) 22:52, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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TMP Dating[edit]

What date should we use for The Motion Picture: 2271 or 2273? 73.204.73.223 (talk) 18:28, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

The official site gives the date as 2271, but that doesn't mean it's worth including. The date doesn't factor into any part of the film (and is never stated in the film itself.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:16, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
For all intents and purposes, lets use the former as the date since it is used in the official site. 73.204.73.223 (talk) 19:26, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

3-5 million dollars for Roddenberry to develop a script?[edit]

I have much difficulty reconciling this dollar figure with the fact that the initial budget for the entire film was in the high single digit to low double digit millions. Why would Roddenberry be 'allocated' such a hefty sum for developing a single script? Mawazi (talk) 05:23, 9 August 2020 (UTC)