Star Trek: The Motion Picture Director’s Edition 4K refit continues.
December 7 marked 42 years since Star Trek: The Motion Picture premiered. While fans disagree about ST:TMP’s merits as a Star Trek movie, everyone agrees Paramount’s insistence on a December 7, 1979 release date hurt the film. The story of how director Robert Wise carried a print of the movie so fresh it was wet to its world premiere in Washington, D.C. is famous.
Paramount eventually gave Wise, a true Hollywood great, the opportunity to properly finish the project. The 2001 “Director’s Edition” of ST:TMP, with tighter pacing, more character moments, and improved effects, turned “a very good but flawed picture into—yes, a genre classic,” according to Variety. (It was the tipping point that caused yours truly to break down and finally buy a DVD player, back in those earliest 21st-century days.)
Now, Paramount is restoring the Director’s Edition for our current, ultra high-definition, 4K era. Producer David C. Fein, restoration supervisor Mike Matessino, and visual effects supervisor Daren R. Dochterman have been hard at work prepping this latest iteration of the Enterprise’s first trek to the silver screen. And if new images Paramount released yesterday are any indication, the end product is going to be glorious.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture will look fantastic in 4K
Earlier this week, David Fein updated his StarTrek.com article about the ST:TMP restoration project to include even more new images from the project. They promise to make good in a whole new way on the film’s original marketing tagline, “There Is No Comparison.”
Here are the new images that most impressed me, as posted to Twitter by the folks at TrekCore.com, with side-by-side comparisons to the shots’ 2001 version.
V’Ger’s probe, which ultimately kills and replaces Lt. Ilia, now looks larger and brighter than it did in the 2001 Director’s Edition. It’s lightning “tentacle” looks even more menacing, like a fiery claw grasping at the Enterprise. And details like the lounge windows on the aft side of the primary hull are more illuminated.
More light now streams from the “island” on which our heroes will encounter V’Ger itself, making the structure’s shape easier to discern. And the Enterprise shines brighter than before, as well. Notice how we can now see the lines of the plates comprising the ship’s hull.
Adding a reflection of the Enterprise to the travel pod window was one of the Director’s Edition’s most brilliant touches. Two decades later, Fein and the restoration team have enhanced the reflection even further. Captain Kirk said it to confuse Norman in “I, Mudd,” but it’s true—the Enterprise is a beautiful lady, and we love her!
Be sure to check out all the new images from Star Trek: The Motion Picture Director’s Edition 4K remastering, and look for the project to make its debut on Paramount+ sometime in early 2022 before moving to physical media.
How exciting that, 42 years later after it first premiered and 21 years after it was first restored, this particular, important chapter of the human adventure is still just beginning!