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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Year: 1979
Studio: Paramount
Director: Robert Wise
Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Writer: Alan Dean Foster/Harold Livingston
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Persis Khambatta

The cynical (or realistic) will say this film was hurriedly greenlit in the wake of the Star Wars juggernaut two years earlier, Paramount executives realising what a goldmine they were potentially sitting on.

So with all the talk about J J Abrams' 2009 reboot, it's worth remembering that this film was a reboot of the long running TV series that had by then petered out. The five year mission (changed in the voiceover for later series and versions when the revenue potential was fully realised) to explore strange new worlds had ended and Kirk was now an Admiral.

It was a different beast from Star Wars, perhaps on purpose. While still big on spectacle and pizzazz, I remember the story being a little more cerebral, especially with the climactic twist, which I really liked. I won't spoil it here, but there haven't been many instances of man's ingenuity coming home to roost this cool.

Kirk is called back to captain the enterprise after a huge alien craft is discovered headed for Earth, destroying everything in its path. With the usual crew behind him, he's tasked with intercepting and stopping it.

Not a lot about the plot itself is worth remembering, but the premise behind the alien craft is strong and despite effects that are forever a product of their time (a fate Star Wars avoided), it's an auspicious bow for the continuation of a pop culture phenomenon.

It also further cemented some of the best special effects talents in the industry like Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra.

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