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STAR TREK 3 / The Search for Spock (1984)

Picking up where the sequel left off, Part III of the adventure features the Enterprise crew returning to the port for some essential repairs, only to discover the ship is to be scrapped.  Meanwhile, Dr. McCoy is not acting himself, and Capt. Kirk is forced to steal back his old ship, flying across space to save a friend in need.

The cast includes: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Mark Lenard, Merritt Butrick, Judith Anderson, Robin Curtis, Christopher Lloyd, and John Larroquette.

Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) was the director. Screenplay by Harve Bennett.

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"The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many."

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In order to try to save both Spock and McCoy's sanity, Admiral Kirk disobeys direct Starfleet orders by stealing back the old Enterprise, scheduled for dismantling, and with his old crew return to the forbidden planet, Genesis, to find Spock.

After Admiral Kirk talks to Dr. McCoy, who is acting strangely, and finds out from Sarek (Mark Lenard), that Spock had mind-melded with Dr. McCoy, giving him his Contra, before dying, (at the end of Star Trek 2), Kirk and his loyal crew plan to steal the Enterprise with the goal of taking Spock's body and Dr. McCoy back to the planet, Vulcan, where Spock's Contra can be transferred from Dr. McCoy, back into Spock's body.

Kirk: "You're suffering from a Vulcan mind-meld, doctor".
Dr. McCoy: "That green-blooded son of a bitch! It's his revenge for all the arguments he lost."

Knowing that they would be kissing their careers good-bye, Kirk and the others successfully steal the ship, and go to the very unstable planet, Genesis, where the man-made process of creating life was experimented with, (Star Trek 2:The Wrath of Khan). The project was a failure, as it created an unregulated, unstable life cycle that will ultimately destroy the planet.

After the crew steals the Enterprise, Captain Kirk comments: "Gentlemen, your work today has been outstanding and I intend to recommend you all for promotion... in whatever fleet we end up serving."

Meanwhile, another federation science vessel, who was still studying the unstable planet, had sent Dr. David Marcus (Merritt Butrick), Kirk's son, and a female Vulcan officer, Lieutenant Saavik (Robin Curtis), down to the planet's surface to investigate a life form reading. They find that cells from Spock's body had regenerated in this volatile environment into a Vulcan boy, void of a contra, who is growing at an accelerated rate. Before they can beam him up, the dastardly Klingons, led by Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) arrive and destroy the science vessel, stranding the three of them on the planet.

It seems that the Klingons are interested in learning the secrets of Genesis, in order to use it as a weapon against their enemies, which would be to them just an act of self-preservation. They go down to the planet and capture David, Saavik and the Vulcan boy. Then, Kirk and the Enterprise crew arrive to find this big messy situation. In his strategy, James Kirk eventually defeats the nasty Klingons by sly trickery, but not before personal tragedy for Kirk occurs.

After defeating the Klingons, Kirk, Saavik, the Vulcan man and crew limp back to the planet Vulcan in the Klingons Bird of Prey, hoping to restore both McCoy and Mr. Spock.

The fine direction, by Nimoy, does a great job of blending the action, dramatic dialog, and humor of the inspired screenplay, by Harve Bennett, creating a "rock-solid" Star Trek science fiction story, an exciting space adventure, that catches the spirit of the previous adventure, "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan," as it continues from where that film left off.

William Shatner, as Admiral Kirk, gives us one of his best performances as a man under stress from all sides, who suffers personal and career losses, but fulfills his original self- directed mission: to attempt to save Spock and McCoy, two men who are close to him.

Mark Lenard once again gives a steady performance of Ambassador Sarek, Spock's father, who logically convinces Admiral Kirk to go back to Genesis, rescue Spock's body, and return to Vulcan with Dr. McCoy in tow, in an attempt to save both men, despite all the hard obstacles that stand in Kirk's way.

Christopher Lloyd, as the dastardly Kruge, gives us an enjoyable, hammy performance, as a mean and cruel villain, uniquely found in Star Trek stories.

DeForest Kelley does a great job as a man tormented by a Vulcan's Contra, which is part of Spock's soul. Also, Kelley once again shows his considerable talent in delivering one-liners. (1) As he was talking to an alien: "Yes, Genesis! How can you be deaf with ears like that?!" (2) As Kirk wonders, "What have I just done?". Dr. McCoy answers: "What you had to do. What you always do: turn death into a fighting chance to live."

James Doohan (Scotty), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), George Takei (Sulu), and Walter Koenig (Chekov) also do an excellent job in portraying their characters, and all have great line delivery in this clever script, in both funny and poignant moments.

Scotty comments about his success of disabling the new starship so it couldn't chase them: "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain!"

Robin Curtis, as Lieutenant Sarek is very convincing as a Vulcan science officer, who helps the young Vulcan boy that she and Dr. Marcus found on Genesis to survive in dangerous situations on the planet.

Dame Judith Anderson, an award -winning, knighted actress, gives dignity and a sense of awe to her role as the high Vulcan Priestess, T'Lar. This marvelous, 87 year old actress adds believability to the storyline, and drama to the moment, when Spock finally returns to Vulcan.

Special Effects and set designs make the story convincing, adding much to the action of the screenplay. My favorite set designs are on the planet, Vulcan, Starfleet headquarters, and on the planet, Genesis.

People who love Star Trek and great science fiction, will definitely enjoy this 2nd installment of the Spock story.

If you enjoyed Star Trek 3: In Search for Spock,
you may like STAR TREK 4: THE VOYAGE HOME.
and/or STAR TREK 6: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY.