Star Trek: The Motion Picture is not exactly the most beloved film in the Star Trek franchise. It’s slow-paced. It feels kind of sterile. The uniforms look just awful. But I recently found out about the director’s cut, and I have to say it’s a huge improvement.
Granted, the movie still has its problems. Among other things, those uniforms still look awful. But at least I felt like I was watching Star Trek and not a bad rip-off of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And the movie was thought-provoking in the way that Star Trek—and in fact all of science fiction—ought to be.
The movie’s antagonist is a vast, near-unknowable alien intelligence, an intelligence which has come in search of its Creator, and which is threatening to wipe out all life on Earth if the Creator’s identity is not revealed. Speaking of this vast, alien intelligence, Mr. Spock explains:
It only knows that it needs, Commander. But like so many of us, it does not know what.
If I may get a little personal for a moment, I’ve been feeling a bit discouraged lately. Discouraged about what? My writing journey? My career? My personal relationships? Take your pick! I just feel like something is missing. I need something, and frustratingly I don’t even know what that something is.
But after watching the director’s cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I’ve decided that’s okay. That’s part of life. We all go through this at some point or another. This need for something—and the frustration of not even knowing what it is we need—is such a universal experience that even the most alien of alien intelligences may feel the same way sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I find that to be a comforting thought.
P.S.: Well, it’s a comforting thought until some alien intelligence decides to take out its frustration on us Earthlings.