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On 'Star Trek's 50th anniversary, ranking the 'Star Trek' movies of the '80s

8

September

Star Trek is 50 (Fifty!) years old today?!? True enough, the first episode of the TV series aired on Sept. 8, 1966.

You can argue all you want about the original series vs. The Next Generation and Kirk vs. Picard. The best Star Trek MOVIES were in the ’80s. Here’s my completely unscientific but deeply held belief in how they should be ranked.

6. THE FINAL FRONTIER (1989): Spock’s half-brother hijacks the Enterprise to visit God, and there’s a Row Your Boat sing-along. Life may be a dream, but this movie is a nightmare.

5. THE MOTION PICTURE (1979): Yes, let's grandfather this one in, because it gave birth to all that followed. The villain — an energy cloud? — fizzles, but stellar special effects (by Trek standards) save the debut movie in the franchise.

4. THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984): Okay, so Spock’s not dead — spoiler alert — because he was buried on the Genesis planet. But now Bones is going insane. And “Doc Brown” from Back to the Future is a Klingon commander?!? Should have been called The Search for a Script.

3. THE VOYAGE HOME (1986): Also known as “the whale movie.” Kirk must save Earth by saving those cuddly creatures from the sea (and save us from all the colorful metaphors too). Trek, to me, always scores huge points for plots involving time travel, especially traveling back in time on Earth. (Anyone remember this immortal line: “Edith Keeler must die”?)

2. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (1991): Ever wonder how or why the Federation and Klingons forged an alliance? Find out in the last voyage of the original Enterprise crew. (Yes, it's a 1991 movie, but I'm going to allow it since it's the final movie of the old cast.) I challenge you to fight back the tears in the final moments and credits.

1. THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982): The late Ricardo Montalban set the standard for all movie villains as the revenge-blinded Khan set on getting even with Kirk for stranding him decades ago on a dying planet. “Kirk, you’re still alive, my old friend.”

[Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2016 11:32am]

    

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