Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

I was just a kid the last time I watched Star Trek V. My dad had bought/rented/pirated the movie and I remember exactly the way the living room looked when it was on. I remember the rusty red sofa he was sitting on and I remember the way the lights came through our pale curtains. I remember the way the Romulan woman looked in her shiny silver outfit and the marshmallow Spock prepared to roast as he, Kirk, and McCoy sat around the campfire. At one point though, as Kirk, Spock and McCoy brought the shuttle down to Nimbus III, I got scared. I hid behind the sofa and peeked out over my dad's shoulder. From there I watched as a bunch of dusty Sybok-entranced settlers climbed up a dune toward a woman. She was waving feathery fans and singing and dancing. It was Uhura. I stared at her in awe. The way she moved, the way she sounded, her level of confidence--in a moment of clarity I understood that this is what "sexy" was. As a kid, I'd heard the word, "sexy" tossed around on TV and at the parties I went to with my parents. I had a vague idea of its meaning but it wasn't until I watched Uhura that the word had any substance in my mind. She was sexy.

As an adult, this scene seems pretty tame--maybe even a little silly. The whole movie is a little like that. More than anything else, The Final Frontier feels just like a rompy episode of The Original Series. There's a surprising adventure, some comedy, a strange planet (make that two) and a big idea. The familiar themes of friendship, loyalty, and exploration are here along with a ton of heart. And, in addition to harking back to Star Trek's old tropes, there are plenty of interesting turns here. One of my favorite scenes (and one of the most surprising) is the quiet, simple scene between Sybok and the big three that all leads up to Kirk's speech about pain.

I'm so glad I got to watch this one again. It's a sweet, simple movie about some best friends going on a crazy adventure. No one had to die or crash the Enterprise or save the world for me to love it. I just wanted to see my old TV friends again. And, as an adult, I can much better appreciate the movie and all its nuances--including Uhura's sexy fan dance.


  1. Ah yes. The fan dance. I remember seeing this movie in the theater with my dad. More truthfully, I remember seeing Uhura doing her sexy fan dance while sitting in a movie theater with my dad. I also was kind of shocked by it, but more that an "old" lady could be so damn hot. It's the only thing I really remember about this movie.

  2. The last time I saw this movie was in the summer of 1988 -- so, basically, when it came out. It wasn't until today, aaaaaaallllll the way here in the far future of 2017, that I got the urge to watch it again. (Mainly 'cause it's on Hulu, so I can.)

    I'm taking a break from it at the mo', but...maaaaaaaaan, it's not as bad as it's said to be. It ain't great, but it ain't poopies, either. Like you said: it's friends on an adventure. The camp fire stuff is great, the little battle in Paradise City is fun, Uhura dances, Kirk makes shit up, Bones is grumpy... It's just a good time.

    Goooooood tiiiiiime.


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