Star Trek: The Motion Picture #1-3
April 18, 2011
The human adventure is just beginning... wake me up when it gets somewhere.
Linkara: My friends, today is an occasion we will always remember. Today is the day where we christen this ship. This ship will be our protection and our ally, not just a collection of bulkheads and circuits. It's just as much a part of the team as any person. We treat it with respect, we take care of it, and it will always bring us home. (holds up a bottle of champagne) I christen this ship... COMICRON 1!
Iron Liz: I thought you had settled on "Vigilant".
Linkara: I decided I liked "Comicron" better, and the "1" part gives it the idea that it's the primary ship or the main ship in a fleet, and I'm not against having a fleet someday.
Harvey: Yeah, but I thought "Vigilant" was the name that the people voted for.
Linkara: Yes, but it's not their ship, now, is it?
Iron Liz: (irritably) Linkara!
Linkara: (exasperated) Okay, fine! Look, this thing has a scout ship in its hangar bay. We will call that ship "Vigilant", okay?
Iron Liz: That's fair.
Linkara: Now, then... (holds up champagne bottle) I dub thee... "COMICRON 1"!
(He hits the wall of the ship with the champagne bottle, but it doesn't break. He tries again, but again, it doesn't break. He then keeps hitting the bottle on the wall repeatedly, all to no avail)
Iron Liz: (to Harvey) I get the feeling this is gonna take a while.
Harvey: That what was I thinking. Wanna hit up some booze?
Iron Liz: (smiling) Hey, lead the way! (they leave)
Linkara: (still trying to break the bottle) BREAK, DAMN YOU!!
(The theme song plays, followed by the episode's title, which is accompanied by the theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture playing)
Linkara: (wearing a yellow Starfleet shirt) Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Over the course of this show, we've taken a look at several Star Trek comics.
(A montage of shots of past Star Trek comics are shown)
Linkara (v/o): We've looked at a comic that ripped off lines from Star Trek II. We've gone to the bizarre crossover of Star Trek and the X-Men – and yes, I know about the crossover with The Next Generation; we'll get to that eventually. And of course, we've seen the terrible version of the awesome Ensign Munro in the adaptation of Star Trek: Elite Force.
Linkara: But there is another kind of Star Trek comic we haven't looked at yet: the movie adaptations! Now, I'm a huge Star Trek fan. (looks down at his shirt) Duh. But even I just don't like the first movie.
(Footage of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Of course, it has its fans, but I'm not one of them. IT'S SLOW. Painfully slow. Even if we forgave the five-minute duty pass along the Enterprise – yes, we get it, you spent a lot of money on this thing – the dialogue is stilted, the characters are boring, the story isn't well-developed, and the massive budget poured into the special effects actually makes me scratch my head at points because I'm trying to figure out what the hell I'm looking at. However, the premise for Star Trek: The Motion Picture is not a bad one. Perhaps it could be more successfully done as a comic book as opposed to a movie.
Linkara: Marvel's run of Star Trek comics began with a three-part adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and I was venturing through a Half-Price Bookstore about two years ago when I found this: (holds up what he found) a DVD collecting all the movie adaptations at the time, as well as the complete run of Marvel Star Trek comics.
(A closeup of the DVD cover is shown)
Linkara (v/o): If you can find it, I highly recommend it. You get a lot of value for the price, and frankly, I'm a huge supporter of digital comic distribution, be it through the Internet or through compilations like this.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up DVD again) "Star Trek: The Motion Picture #1", "2" and "3".
(Cut to closeups of the three covers, one after the other)
Linkara (v/o): Because we're zipping through three comics today, we're not gonna look at the covers. I will say, though, that all three are excellent, the first evoking a movie poster and the small details it provides, along with giant floating heads. The second is a scene from the comic itself, and the third is an action shot showing the Enterprise swooping in to save the day.
(The first comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open to... a random splash page with another form of a movie poster. Great, that was... very necessary. By the way, I freely admit that this is a nitpicky point, but yes, the comic is called "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". Yes, it's called that because that's what the movie is called, but it just seems rather goofy to have a comic book called "The Motion Picture" when you clearly see that the pictures are not in motion. No, I don't know what else they could've called it, but it just bugs me. (the comic proper begins) Anyway, we open IN SPAAAAAACE! Well, no, duh, it's Star Trek.
Narrator: In the beginning, there was darkness... Then, God said, "Let there be light!"
(Cut to the opening of The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy)
Narrator: This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
(Cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Three Klingon battle cruisers approach a giant cloud in space and fire on it... just because. However, the torpedoes do nothing, and the ship, in turn, is vaporized.
Narrator: ...and the light was good!
Linkara: Yes, I'm sure the Klingons made note of how good that light was right before it fried them.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to Vulcan, where Spock is finishing up the Kolinahr rituals, which will finally purge him of all remaining emotions.
Vulcan priestess: You have labored long, Spock. Now, receive from us this symbol of total logic!
Linkara: Yeah, the symbol of total logic! I... (stops himself) Wait, symbols only have meaning to us because we ascribed feelings and emotions towards them. What exactly is a (makes "finger quotes") "symbol of total logic"? A blank circle?
Linkara (v/o): Spock suddenly looks away, and another Vulcan says that they felt the same far-off presence that he's feeling right now... which I actually think helps cover up kind of a plot hole in the movie.
(Cut to footage of the corresponding scene in the movie)
Linkara (v/o): In the movie, Spock does his little ritual, and it's only him that feels the presence, which is weird since why the hell would he be the only one that senses it?
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): However, this creates the larger plot hole that if all Vulcans are feeling this presence, why the hell isn't anybody doing anything about it? Anyway, the priestess says that Spock hasn't completely removed himself from his emotions, and he must seek his answers elsewhere.
Narrator: Expressionless, the tall Vulcan waits as the three masters leave. Then, a faint troubled line creases his brow...
(Linkara is now wearing his red Starfleet uniform, as opposed to yellow the last time we saw him)
Linkara: (looking up in thought; thinking) Wait, did I leave the oven on before I left? Oh, crap...
Linkara (v/o): We cut to San Francisco and Starfleet headquarters, where Kirk is meeting his replacement for Spock: Commander Sonak. Kirk is an admiral now and has spent some time at Starfleet Headquarters basically doing a desk job. But he's taking command of his ship again for the coming crisis. He flies off with Scotty to the orbiting Enterprise. Scotty of course is telling him how he cannot break the laws of physics.
Scotty: Admiral, we've jus' spen' eighteen months refi'in' the Enterprise. Ye jus' canna expec' t' have 'er ready in twelve hours!
Kirk: Mr. Scott, an alien object of unbelievable power is less than three days away from this planet. The only starship within interception range is the Enterprise.
Linkara: Let me get this straight: Earth is evidently the center and headquarters of the entire federation, but the Enterprise is the only ship that's close by?
Linkara (v/o): You know, I'm pretty sure you guys have shipyards over Mars. I'm just saying this is kind of poor planning on your part.
(Cut to footage of the movie showing this scene)
Linkara (v/o): As I said in the introduction, this sequence was a several-minute-long beauty pass showing off the ship.
(Cut to a matching panel in the comic)
Linkara (v/o): In the comic, it's one panel. Thank God for that. Unfortunately, we're also subjected to narration captions that tell us how a character is feeling, instead of letting the art and story do that for us.
Narrator: Then, all at once, Kirk sees it, and a thousand unnamable emotions swell up within him. The awe, the wonder, the romance, the obsession fills his heart once again. After all too many tiring days of paper-filled drudgery, he is becoming once more fully alive.
Linkara: As opposed to the three-eighths alive he was at a minute ago, apparently.
Linkara (v/o): On the bridge, Kirk is told that Captain Decker hasn't been informed about the change of orders, and he goes off to see him. We get an added scene here that I don't remember being in the movie that... well, if it was in the original script, it didn't need to be here, since all it does is have the characters tell each other, "Wow, Kirk wanted his ship back!" and "Decker's gonna be pissed!" In engineering, we meet the guy who's supposed to be in charge of the Enterprise. This is Will Decker, son of Commodore Decker from the classic series episode The Doomsday Machine.
(Cut to a clip of that episode of the original Star Trek)
Decker: There was, but not anymore!
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, that's the one. I bring this up because, for those of you who have never seen The Motion Picture, he's one of the main characters.
(Cut to shots of the movie)
Linkara (v/o): In the late '70s, there was an attempt to create another Star Trek television series called Phase II, and Decker was going to be one of the new characters for the show, along with another character we'll meet named Ilia. However, while the project was scrapped, the success of Star Wars showed Paramount that there was viability for a Star Trek film. So the planned first episode of Phase II was adapted into the movie.
Linkara: Yes, I'll admit it: Star Wars saved Star Trek.
Linkara (v/o): Kirk informs Decker of the change in command.
Kirk: I'm replacing you as Captain of the Enterprise.
Decker: You, personally, are assuming command?
Linkara: (confused) No, he's indirectly assuming command. What do you think??
Linkara (v/o): Decker grumbles about how Kirk is stealing his command and how Kirk doesn't know the new Enterprise as well as he thinks he does. However, they're interrupted by an emergency call from the transporter room. Commander Sonak and someone else can't materialize due to the transporter futzing up, and the patterns fade away.
Kirk: Starfleet... do you have them?
Starfleet: E-Enterprise... what we got back... didn't live long...
Linkara: (as Starfleet) But it was delicious.
Narrator: But, for more than an hour, the giant starship is shrouded in respectful silence...
Linkara (v/o): But enough of that silent crap; it's 4 in the morning, and it's time to show the crews the Klingons getting blown up by the cloud. Said cloud is now two days away, and the Enterprise is the only thing that can stop it.
Kirk: We assume that there is a vessel of some type at the heart of the cloud.
Linkara: (holding up index finger, confused) Uh, pardon me, but how do you know that? I mean, all we know is that a big cloud is coming, and it blew up some Klingons. It could be a life-form, for all you know. I'm just saying, they're making a huge leap in logic.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, they get contacted by station Epsilon IX, which is also directly in the path of the cloud. Did nobody else notice the huge-ass cloud heading for Earth until now? I'm just saying, it seems like they'd have a bit more warning than this. Epsilon IX is vaporized, and Kirk orders them to get ready to head out. Now it's time for Lieutenant Ilia to report. Ilia, as I said, was another character meant for Phase II. She and Decker used to have a relationship, but that's not the real shocking bit. Here's what the ship navigator has to say completely out of the blue...
Ilia: Captain, my oath of celibacy is on record.
(Linkara is now seen wearing another Starfleet uniform, this one a mix of black and red)
Linkara: Now, since I am a huge nerd... (looks down at his new uniform) Duh... I can tell you that it's because her species is called "Deltan", which means they're really big on screwing and in fact have pheromones that make people want to have sex with them. However, I'm sure that no one who originally saw this in the theater knew that, so thanks for including a big "what the hell?", movie! (smiles)
Linkara (v/o): Kirk is called to the transporter room because someone refuses to use the transporter. It's, of course, McCoy, who... (he stops abruptly as he sees what McCoy looks like) Uh, what the hell is he wearing? I mean, the Unabomber beard is bad enough, but what's with the disco medallion? Are we sure McCoy didn't wander onto the wrong set? He looks like he's supposed to be an extra in Saturday Night Fever.
Kirk: Bones, there's a 'thing' out there--
McCoy: Why is any object we don't understand called a 'thing'?
Linkara: (as McCoy) Why not a Fluffer Nutter or a Googly Moogly?
Kirk: Please, Bones... I need you... badly...
Linkara (v/o): Wow! I think I'll just let this image speak for itself. (Kirk is taking McCoy by the hand)
Narrator: Leonard McCoy hesitates before taking Kirk's extended hand. But, when he does, it is the long handclasp of two old reunited friends...
Linkara: Or of two guys who don't know how to quit each other.
Linkara (v/o): And so, the Enterprise sets off to save the world.
Narrator: There is thunder and majesty as the great starship swoops forward, leaving behind its drydock home of the past two years.
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, we could just have the image itself be majestic, but why not tell us it's majestic, in case the reader is stupid? The ship goes to warp, but of course everything goes screwy right away. I don't even want to try to untangle the pseudoscience in all of this, but apparently, they enter a wormhole, and an asteroid starts coming towards them. Unfortunately, multi-modal reflection sorting had not been invented yet, so equal amounts of technobabble won't save them. Now, if this was just serious danger, that'd be fine, but for some reason, the movie decided that they hadn't used any special effects in a while...
(Cut to footage of the matching scene in the movie, which is very trippy, with distorted imagery)
Linkara (v/o): ...so everything got reeeeal trippy for the movie version, complete with Atari graphics.
Linkara: I'm going to try to recreate the effect of this for your own enjoyment.
(Suddenly, the room is bathed in red light, and Linkara moves in distorted slow motion, all in an attempt to recreate the infamous moment in the movie)
Linkara: (as Kirk) Time to impact? (as Ilia) Twenty seconds. (as Kirk) Mr. Chekov, stand by on phasers. (as Decker) No! ...Belay that phaser order! ...Arm photon torpedoes. (as Chekov) Photon torpedoes... armed. (as Decker) Fire torpedoes! (as Chekov) Torpedoes away!
(There is an explosion and the red light disappears, returning the room to normal)
Linkara: (normal) Yeah, I was a little kid when I first watched this, and I'm just as confused by it now as I was then.
Linkara (v/o): Kirk calls Decker to meet him in his quarters. And suddenly, it makes sense why captains have their own offices in future Trek series; if you had to have a private meeting with your officers in your bedroom in the old days. Kirk wants to know why his order was countermanded, and Decker explains that the redesign of the Enterprise cut off power to the phasers and that Kirk didn't know that since he hasn't actually bothered studying how the ship has changed since he was in command. Decker makes it clear that his lack of knowledge is a threat to the mission, and Kirk replies...
Kirk: I trust you will... nursemaid me through these difficulties...
Linkara (v/o): Ewww! Decker and Ilia meet outside... What, was she just waiting out there for him? ...and have character development that means nothing in the greater scheme of things. McCoy, in the meanwhile, that he's competing with Decker for command, and his obsession to be Captain of the Enterprise is blinding him. Still, no time to see Kirk's reaction, since it's time for Spock to come on board now, ending the first issue. Spock resumes his duties as the science officer, and with his help, they work out the design issues with the Enterprise's engines. Later, Kirk and McCoy question him about why he's suddenly returned, and he talks about how he failed the Kolinahr and how he hopes that the alien intelligence from the cloud, a pattern of pure logic, could help him accomplish his goals.
McCoy: My God, Spock, even if you achieve perfect logic, you'll pay a price. It's given your planet peace, but no art, no music, no poetry...
Linkara: (looking visibly uncomfortable) While that's the kind of conclusion that I would make, the fact is, we've seen Vulcan music, which probably means they have art and poetry, too. So... yeah, McCoy's talking out of his ass.
(Cut to a matching scene of the movie)
Linkara (v/o): This is changed from the movie, where the point of this scene was to hint that Spock might betray the crew to get the perfect logic he seeks, but that's never brought up here.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, they arrive at the cloud – and are almost immediately attacked by it. The ship is hit and its new shields hold, but Chekov is blasted and his hand burned. Fortunately, Ilia's species has magic healing powers that handle it... which isn't even foreshadowing or anything; it's just pointless. Spock manages to figure out that the cloud has been trying to communicate with them and manages to transmit a reply that halts the attack. The Enterprise flies into the cloud. Better turn off the high beams. And here, we really fix some problems from the movie.
(Cut to a clip of the movie showing the Enterprise going through the cloud)
Linkara (v/o): In the movie, this was, like, two or three minutes' worth of special effects shots mixed with reaction shots of the crew. Now, it's all well and good if what we had to look at actually was something vast and impressive, and I'm sure the special effects were meant to be. But, for me, at least, this sequence was absolutely nonsensical. We've been told repeatedly that inside of the cloud is a ship that's flying towards Earth. Okay, fine, but let me ask you guys: does this look like a ship to anybody? Yeah, maybe it's just so alien to us that we don't get it, but they never say that; we're just supposed to know that this is a ship.
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Instead, in the comic, we've just got two shots: one that actually looks like a structure – a very psychedelic, Dr. Seuss kind of structure, but a structure nonetheless – aaaand a kaleidoscope. Anyway, some kind of energy light thing appears, and some security officers try their phasers at it. Instead, the energy light thing zaps one of them.
Linkara: Further evidence for why Ensign Munro and the Hazard Team needed to be invented.
Linkara (v/o): The energy thing is a probe, and it starts scanning the Enterprise's information banks about Starfleet's strengths and defenses. Spock, being the logical and emotionless Vulcan with genius-level I.Q., instantly thinks of smashing the computer console with his bare hands to stop the probe.
(Cut to a clip of Patton)
Patton: (looking out through a pair of binoculars) You magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOK!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, that goes about as well as you'd expect, with it simply electrocuting Spock and then deciding to vaporize Ilia, and then just disappears for no reason. Decker is understandably pissed, but there's no time for that now, as the ship is grabbed by a tractor beam. They're pulled deeper into the ship, and the bridge crew starts speculating why they haven't been destroyed.
Kirk: (narrating) Captain's Log, stardate 7413.9. We have been swallowed up by something situated within the invading space-energy cloud that defies all possible description.
Linkara: (as Kirk) I decided to make this log entry for anyone who may have started reading this comic from the middle instead of the beginning.
Linkara (v/o): Also, I find it rather laughable that he's making a log entry about something that he says defies description when we can see all around the ship right now and I can describe it for you if I so chose. So, yeah, that was pointless. The tractor beam is released, but the way they came has been closed. The intruder alert is triggered, and Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a security team head down to where the intruder is to investigate. They find an exact duplicate of Ilia, except she's got a big, glowing neck jewel. She identifies herself as a probe sent by "V'Ger" to record the activities of the carbon-based units infecting the Enterprise.
Kirk: Why is this V'Ger traveling toward our world?
Ilia-like probe: To find the Creator...
Linkara: "The Creator"? Peter O'Toole?
Linkara (v/o): She says that V'Ger wants to join with the Creator, and they take her to sick bay to examine her. A thorough examination shows that she is indeed a Cylon agent, with all of her organic components replicated by similar forms of machines. However, she recognizes Decker and calls him by name.
Spock: Interesting, not "Decker-unit"?
Linkara: Yeah, that would have been interesting... if she had referred to any of the other people as "Kirk-unit" or "Spock-unit" before this point in the comic. I'm serious! In the comic, Spock just pulls this out of his ass!
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, they think that if Ilia's memories were duplicated along with her body, they may be able to reach her, so Decker is assigned to work with her. Ilia then jumps through a wall – maybe V'Ger the Kool-Aid Man – and she's told that Decker will work with her. Spock says he's uneasy about this being their only source of information, then, for no reason at all, issue 2 ends with Spock nerve-pinching a guy so he can take a spacesuit out.
(Cut to a matching clip in the movie)
Linkara (v/o): And yes, his random decision to nerve-pinch a guy that looks like Jeff Foxworthy and steal a thruster suit was in the movie, too, and it made about as much sense there as here.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Issue 3 begins with Decker walking Ilia around, who says that carbon units have slowed the Enterprise's evolution and reveals that V'Ger's plan is to convert all the lifeforms aboard the ship into data storage...
(Cut to a clip of Power Rangers In Space)
Linkara (v/o): ...no doubt so they can be turned into data cards to fight the Power Rangers next season.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, Spock takes the thruster suit out and starts transmitting to the Enterprise what he plans. Kirk decides to go after him on his own. Unfortunately, as soon as he goes out, he's attacked by a swarm of pyramids!
Linkara: Pyramids?! Damn it all, V'Ger is clearly responsible for the evil that is (holds up and shakes fist) ANCIENT EGYPT!
(Cut to a shot of the Egyptian pyramids, while John Williams' "Star Wars Imperial March" plays; cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Spock shoots the tiny pyramids, and the Captain demands to know what the hell Spock is doing. He says he's seeking answers, but Kirk fears that he's doing it for his own ends. The two start floating around and come across some wire frame renderings that V'Ger has been working on in 3D Studio Max. These are crystallized data storage containing the Klingon ships, the Epsilon IX station, and Ilia herself. Kirk wonders where the crew is, but Spock speculates that the entire ship is V'Ger. Then, in another demonstration of brilliance from our science officer, he sees a representation of the jewel on Ilia's neck and says this...
Spock: I have no choice, Captain--I must attempt to mind meld with it!
(Cut to a clip of Doctor Who, showing a Cyberman)
Cyberman: There is... logic... in what he says.
(Cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): You know, you could've just scanned it first or tried to access it remotely. For that matter, how the hell do you even know that's something you can mind meld with? For all you know, that might be V'Ger's equivalent of a bug zapper. Furthermore, I thought the idea behind touching someone's face in a mind meld was to create actual physical contact with something to create a stronger psychic link. Does touching it actually help matters when you're wearing gloves? Anyway, it goes as well as anything else has so far. You know, we've really got to question the competency of our heroes. The Captain is obsessed with taking back a single starship, the First Officer is pissing and moaning because someone more experienced is taking over the mission, the science officer likes to touch shiny things without considering the consequences, and their doctor is the Unabomber.
Linkara: (now wearing yet another Starfleet uniform) Let's face it, people: we are all screwed.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, we immediately cut to sick bay, where Spock is recovering from the mind meld. Spock explains some of the images he saw and that V'Ger is in fact a living machine.
Spock: I saw V'Ger's planet--a planet populated by living machines...
(Cut to a clip of the opening of the Transformers cartoon series)
Singers: Transformers! More than meets the eye!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Spock further explains that V'Ger has traveled the universe and has seen much, but in that travel, it hasn't discovered the answers for its questions.
Spock: 'Is this all I am? Is there not more?'
Linkara: In other words, V'Ger got bored and started getting existential.
Linkara (v/o): The ship arrives in Earth orbit, and the Ilia probe states that V'Ger's mission was to learn all that is learnable and then deliver that data to the Creator. With the cloud in orbit, it transmits a binary code over radio waves to the planet, attempting to signal its Creator. When the Creator fails to answer, it sends out devices that will detonate in half an hour and annihilate all life on Earth. Ilia says it's because the carbon units are obviously interfering with the Creator's inability to respond, revealing that it only thinks that machine life is true life.
Linkara: Great, it was the Decepticons that got their hands on V'Ger.
Linkara (v/o): Kirk tries his best to reason with the probe, but Spock says they have to treat it like a child... which means absolutely nothing here. All he does is bluff it by saying that they know why the Creator hasn't responded, but will only reveal that information if the devices are withdrawn. Spock once again makes a huge leap in deduction and says that obviously, V'Ger is run from a "central brain complex". How do you know that? It's an assumption, not something obvious! I suppose he could've gotten it from the mind meld, but he says "obviously", meaning he was deducing it. Kirk says the information can't be disclosed to the probe; it has to be done directly to V'Ger. The ship is brought further into V'Ger, and Kirk sends a message to Scotty, saying to prepare to execute an order that would self-destruct the ship, hopefully taking V'Ger with them if they can't reason with it. Spock starts crying for V'Ger – yes, I'm serious – saying that V'Ger is just like he was when came on board: empty, incomplete, and that logic and knowledge aren't enough for it.
Linkara: This is something that bugs me in science-fiction when it comes to robotic lifeforms that are reportedly (throws up arms) "emotionless". Curiosity and desire are emotions! Wanting something you do not possess is an emotion! V'Ger already has more than knowledge and logic!
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Spock reiterates that V'Ger seeks its Creator to achieve more than it is. They arrive at the central chamber of V'Ger, and Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Decker and Ilia leave the ship and go to it. V'Ger, it turns out, is an old Earth probe. Its name is derived from the lettering on the probe, many of which have been covered over with dust. Its true name is Voyager Six, a probe designed to collect data and transmit it back to Earth. It fell through a black hole – just roll with it – and emerged on the far end of the galaxy, where the machine life found it and took its programming literally: acquire all possible data and send it back to Earth. They upgraded it into a structure that could fulfill such a function... Pretty impressive that it amassed all data in the universe in a mere 200 years... and it gained so much knowledge that it evolved into a life-form. Kirk calls the Enterprise and has them dig up the old NASA transmission codes for Voyager Six and tells V'Ger that they are the Creator. V'Ger doesn't believe them at first, but then they send the code. However, V'Ger deliberately melts away its own antenna leads so it can't transmit the data it acquired. Spock explains that V'Ger did it to bring the Creator here, so it can physically touch and join with the Creator.
Linkara: (grinning suggestively) And instantly, an entire new fetish was born!
Linkara (v/o): McCoy points out that it can't really do that, but Decker goes in and figures he can key in the code directly, becoming the one who joins with V'Ger. Kirk tries to stop him, but Ilia knocks him away, and he states that this is right for him because... uh...
(Cut to a clip of an episode of the original Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine, showing Decker's sacrifice against the titular weapon)
Linkara (v/o): Well, his dad sacrificed himself against an unstoppable super weapon, so... like father, like son.
(Cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): So Decker vanishes into a big stream of light, and V'Ger evolves itself into the point where it transcends our universe into other dimensions. The Enterprise itself emerges from the light, none the worse for wear. And so, our comic ends with its own little wrap-up, the crew wondering what they just beheld. Uhura reports that– WHOA!! I never noticed this before, but Uhura is rocking a mega 'fro! Anyway, Starfleet wants a status and injury report.
Kirk: Report three casualties...no, not casualties. List them as missing.
Linkara: Well, except for that one security guy; he was pretty dead last time I checked.
Linkara (v/o): Spock says that there's no need for him to return to Vulcan, since somehow his character got its resolution. I don't know, I'm not sure how that happened. Anyway, Kirk orders them to warp away.
Mr. Sulu: Heading, sir?
Kirk: Out there. Thataway.
Linkara: (as a crew member, holding up index finger with uncertainty) Uh, sir, that course takes us directly into the sun. (normal again) So, we began this look at the adaptation with a simple question: is this better than the movie it's based on?
Linkara (v/o): In some ways, yes, because it doesn't go on and on forever with special effect shots. The pacing is a lot better. Its failings, however, are the failings that the movie has in its own story. The concept is still awesome, but there's no real character resolution. Kirk never really apologizes for being a dick about wanting the Enterprise back, Spock just apparently decides that seeing a machine merge with a human resolves his issues, and Decker just spontaneously decides he wants to merge with a living machine. If they were going to go that route with his character, what I would have done is not have him fight Kirk at all. Instead, have him be restless with his normal life, that he wants to be a part of something greater than him alone. Or have some sadness about him that would make him excited to explore new levels of existence as part of V'Ger.
Linkara: Overall, it's not that bad, though there's still a lot wrong with it, both in the movie and in the comic. I still recommend, though, that if you want to see some old Star Trek comics, (holds up Star Trek DVD) find the DVD. And let me know if you want me to try this again with any of the other movie adaptations. (puts down DVD, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll, to the tune of the theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which, incidentally, would later be used as the theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation))
If you're wondering why I kept changing uniforms, it's just to show how much better all the other Trek uniforms are compared to the first movie's uniforms.
Thanks everyone for name suggestions and votes for the ship name!
NOOOOO! Belaaay thaaat phaaaaseeeer oooorder!
(Stinger: A clip of the movie is shown of Ilia)
Ilia: My oath of celibacy is on record, Captain.