Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is returning to theaters and so is the debate around the film

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is coming back to theaters and it's time to ask the same old question...
On the set of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
On the set of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock / Sunset Boulevard/GettyImages

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is returning to the cinemas in the UK for the film's 40th anniversary. This is according to Empire, who makes no other mention of the film airing elsewhere. So we're not sure yet if the film will end up being re-released in the United States or elsewhere. What we do know is that the return of the film will bring back a major question that surrounds this film; Is it good?

There's an old theory that every even number film in the Star Trek film canon is good and every odd number is bad. This means the first film, Star Trek The Motion Picture, the third film, The Search for Spock, and the fifth film, the Final Frontier are all deemed bad. Some believe this only is attributed to the original film franchise, as the pattern doesn't maintain past them.

The seventh film in the franchise, Generations, is more liked than not, but still has plenty of critics. The eighth film, First Contact, is beloved, while the ninth (Inserecttion) and the tenth (Nemesis) completely upend the pattern.

The Kelvin film franchise, which features the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteen films in the franchise, inverse the trend. While I'm a fan to some degree of all three, Star Trek 2009 and Beyond are seen as "good" by the majority of the fandom, well Into Darkness seems to be more disliked than not.

So clearly, every other rule doesn't truly hold any water. Still, that doesn't mean Search for Spock is good, or bad. The film does undo the events of The Wrath of Khan, which hurts its standings, but it does bring Leonard Nimoy and Spock back to the franchise, which you'd think would help. Until you realize that Nimoy is only really present at the end of the film.

His return also undercuts what should be the vocal point of the film, if not the film's identifing water mark, the death of James Kirks' son, David Marcus. Yet, Kirk is overjoyed with emotion when he sees Spock back, so much so that one has to wonder if he just forgot that his son was murdered.

It was an underwhelming decision and one that felt like it just cluttered up the films concept.

These are just some of the issues with the film, there are far more that we can go through. So we can't say the film is good because it's not. We also can't say it's bad, either. As far as Star Trek films, there are far worse and even more tragically, far more boring. Star Trek III suffers from almost too much going on, and trying to focus on too many aspects at once (including the life and death of the planet Genesis). So if anything, we'd say the film is the most disappointing in the franchise's history.

Still worth a watch, but do so knowing that it's a bit messy and could've been better laid out.