Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols directed by Leonard Nimoy Movie Review

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Walter Koenig and James Doohan in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Spock's Forbidden Planet

Following the death of Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew saunter home on the battle damaged Enterprise uneasy about leaving his departed friend on the newly formed Genesis planet where his son David (Merritt Butrick) and Saavik (Robin Curtis) have remained to monitor the evolving planet. With the Enterprise going to be tossed into storage Kirk receives a visit from Spock's father who says that not only must his son's body be returned to Vulcan but also his soul which has been passed on to McCoy (Deforest Kelley) explaining his recent strange behaviour. So with the remaining crew Kirk steals the Enterprise and heads for the Genesis planet where not only do they discover something very strange happening but also have a run in with the Klingons and Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) who is after Genesis for himself.

After what seems like an even worse first movie "The Wrath of Khan" saved the Star Trek franchise but also created a bit of a rod for its own back because it was better than expected and meant future movies had a lot to live up to. So when they came back with "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" it almost seemed like mission impossible especially as having killed off Spock they had not only removed a key character but also a key ingredient, the banter between Spock and Kirk. Yet in the end Leonard Nimoy himself, having stepped behind the camera to direct almost pulls off that mission impossible to deliver a movie as good as "The Wrath of Khan".

Christopher Lloyd in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Now there is a lot which is good about "The Search for Spock", the action scenes whilst short are snappy and deliver the excitement which is needed especially during the scene where Kirk and his crew steal the Enterprise. Then there is the story and alongside the action we have a variety of elements, from McCoy having inherited Spock's soul, the surprise on Genesis that they discover, the relationship between Kirk and the rest of the crew built upon and a lot more. Like with "The Wrath of Khan" it manages to deliver a storyline which appeals to fans of Star Trek but still entertaining for those not up on their Star Trek facts. Ironically the outcome of "The Search for Spock" was never really in question as the original Star Trek without Spock would be incomplete.

But "The Search for Spock" is not with out its issues and one of those is that this third movie struggles with its budgetary limitations. The scenes on Genesis whilst having that false look which the original series had when it comes to sets being built on a sound stage it looked weak and too old fashioned. The other issue is some of the acting and unfortunately with Kirstie Alley reportedly trying to negotiate a larger salary she was replaced by Robin Curtis who sadly lacks the charisma of Alley making Saavik even more emotionless than the average Vulcan.

What this all boils down to is that "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" is an impressive follow up to "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" which whilst not quite as good is a cleverly worked movie. It does suffer from some issues such as pacing in places as well as budget issues but it works again for Star Trek and non Star Trek fans.