Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Dir: Leonard Nimoy
This continues on the three-film story arc from ‘Wrath of Khan’, but things get a little weirder!
After the events of the previous film, the crew of the Enterprise have left Spock’s body on the Genesis test planet, returned to Earth and discovered that their batter ship is to be decomissioned, and that they’re all forbidden from mentioning the Genesis experiment as it has become a difficult political issue, meanwhile Kirk’s son David and Lietenant Saavik have gone to the surface to look at strange life readings. When Dr. McCoy now back on Earth starts acting very strangely, Kirk realises that, before his death, Spock managed to do a very Vulcan thing and put his consciousness into McCoy, which really needs to be returned with his body for a tradional burial on Vulcan. However, Spock’s body has other plans, as does Klingon Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd).
It doesn’t say ‘starring Leonard Nimoy’ in the opening credits, as he is meant to be dead and gone, nicely avoiding spoiling the reveal. Nimoy being off-screen for the majority of the film allowed him to focus on a new challenge, that of directing. He did a pretty good job, and though this isn’t quite as thrilling as ‘Khan’, it does follow that film well, leading Nimoy to direct the next (and my fathers very favourite which is why I have already seen it) ‘Star Trek: The Voyage Home’.
Though the plot gets a little strange with the elements of Spock’s mind being in McCoy, what helps make that work in my opinion is that the tone of Bones’ voice is nicely similar to that of Spock, which works well for the brief bits where he is channelling Spock’s consciousness that he doesn’t realise is in his head.
The role that stands out most in this film is that of the villain. Christopher Lloyd really does make a great Klingon! It was his skills as a villain in other things that led him to be cast in the role, and though none of his other Klingon crew stand out much in their slightly comical performances, his really does.
I now just have to wonder which parts of this might (much like half the plot of ‘Khan’) get incorporated in to the next J. J. Abrams produced film? Though he himself is unlikely to return to direct, as Mr Abrams is setting a course for another space-set franchise by directing Star Wars Episode 7!