Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock
January 17, 2012
(The review opens with a recap of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Clips from the movie are seen throughout the intro. It is in the style of the 1960's Batman series. This will happen for the duration of Star Trek month. The Critic talks as the original Batman announcer, recapping only the even-numbered, and "good", Star Trek movies.)
NC (as the 60s Batman announcer): Last time in the good Star Trek movie, OH, NO! Khan escaped from his prison? A new toy called Genesis that creates life in two seconds but still can't create a good Sonic game in years. (The cover of the Sonic the Hedgehog '06 game is seen) Kirstie Alley as a Vulcan? She does well, but, that's just plain weird. Revenge is sought after and Shatner says Khan's name like he's passing a kidney stone.
NC (announcer): What's this? Spock is sacrificing himself for the crew? It appears this Vulcan wants out of this franchise. Will he be sucked back by the fact that he's the most marketable character? Stay tuned! Same Star Trek time, same Star Trek channel!
(Batman segues into the Star Trek Month opening title. NC is seen in his room.)
NC: In continuing Star Trek Month, we look at Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
NC (voiceover): So we open up with a recap of the last movie and we discover a rather effective way to save money on your opening credits. Just play your previous movie backwards. (The opening credits to Star Trek II and III play side by side for a comparison) Yeah! Who needs big special effects when you can simply push the Rewind button on your last film? We then cut to Kirk, who is still shaken by the loss of his Vulcan buddy.
Kirk: With most of our battle damage repaired, we’re almost home. Yet I feel uneasy, and I wonder why.
NC (voiceover): Well, it’s either the bean burrito that might be giving you indigestion or the fact that your BEST FRIEND JUST DIED! I don’t know, maybe it’s the burrito!
Kirk: (to Trainee Foster) A hero’s welcome is what you’d like? Well, God knows there should be.
NC (voiceover): We then cut to elsewhere in space where a Klingon, played by Christopher Lloyd, is gathering info on the Genesis project.
(In the Bird-of-Prey bridge, we see Commander Kruge (Lloyd) reaching a hand down to pet his large lizard-like creature)
NC (voiceover): And apparently, he buys his animals from Gozer’s Pet Shop and Aquarium.
(The monster dog is seen growling)
NC (voiceover): That thing is so cute, I’m gonna name him Ballsack. Hello, Ballsack! How ya doing? And apparently, he’s so important to the story that he even gets his own scene!
Kruge: (to Maltz (another Klingon), pointing to the monster dog and speaking in Klingonese) Feed him!
Maltz: (in Klingonese) Yes, my lord. (He stares at the monster dog in a bit of fear)
NC (voiceover): Yeah, wasn’t that vitally important? I couldn’t see the story moving forward unless we knew that Ballsack got fed. It’s the crux of the movie.
(Cut to Valkris on the bridge of the Merchantman)
Valkris: (in Klingonese) Transmission completed. You will find it useful.
Kruge: (in Klingonese) Then you have seen it?
Valkris: (in Klingonese) I have, my lord.
Kruge: (in Klingonese) Unfortunate.
Valkris: (in Klingonese) Understood.
Kruge: (in Klingonese, to other Klingons) Thrusters.
Valkris: (in Klingonese) Success, my lord.
Kruge: (in Klingonese) You will be remembered with honor. (to his crew) Fire!
(The Bird-of-Prey fires at the Merchantman)
NC (voiceover): Boy, she’s sure taking that whole “Got to kill you!” thing pretty well. Not even a plea or an escape plan or a...”Darn!” She just fully accepts it! You know, if only more people were accepting of death.
(Before we see NC about to speak some more, a subtitle “Incoming Cameo” appears under him and he sighs, rubbing his forehead)
NC: Oh, God. This is probably what we've been waiting for, okay. Put it on screen.
(TV static to Sci-Fi Guy making his appearance)
Sci-Fi Guy: (waves hello) Hi, Critic.
NC: Sci-Fi Guy?
Sci-Fi Guy: Yeah! Wh—…Who’d you think it was gonna be?
NC: Uhh, no one. I thought it was gonna be Linkar—…Anyway, what’s up?
Sci-Fi Guy: Well, I got that copy of Star Trek V that you wanted.
NC: Oh, that’s right! I don’t have a copy of it because I only try to own good movies.
Sci-Fi Guy: Yeah, well, you know, being a sci-fi nerd, it’s kind of required by law that I own everything Star Trek, even the really bad stuff like the Christmas special. (He shudders)
NC: There’s a Christmas special?
Sci-Fi Guy: Yeah, it’s only legally viewable in Amsterdam. So, uh, you want the movie?
NC: Oh, sure, upload it to my computer.
Sci-Fi Guy: (types offscreen) There you go. Let me tell you, your review of this I’m sure is gonna be just as funny as mine.
NC: (starts to speak but then stops) …You’re planning on reviewing it, too?
Sci-Fi Guy: Well…yeah, it’s kind of my shtick.
NC: (glares a bit) Unfortunate.
Sci-Fi Guy: (points) I know what that means, and I’m totally cool with it. I mean, I’d totally love to die on your behalf.
NC: Indeed. (points offscreen) Thrusters.
Sci-Fi Guy: (gets giddy) I think it’s so awesome that you’re gonna kill me like this. I mean, I can hardly wait. Just…zap me to oblivion!
NC: You will be remembered with honor. (points offscreen again) FIRE—!
Sci-Fi Guy: (interrupts) Oh, wait, wait, wait. Uh, before you do that, I am transferring my life savings into your bank account. Hell, I’m not gonna need it anymore.
NC: Oh! …Well…thank you. That’s very kind of you. (He chuckles before pointing offscreen again) FIRE—!
Sci-Fi Guy: (interrupts again) Oh, also, I should just let you know that I had all of my family members sign up to be your personal slaves after my passing. Anything else I can do for you, you know…(He holds up a squeegee washer and a small towel in his hands)…wash your windows, shine your shoes?
NC: Oh, no, thank you. You've done more than enough, Sci-Fi Guy. God, your understanding of this situation is unbelievable!
Sci-Fi Guy: Well, I know it’s for a good cause. And, hey, just…(He gives a thumbs up) Good luck to you, man.
NC: You, too, my friend. You, too—
Sci-Fi Guy: Fire!
(A fiery explosion occurs on the Critic)
Sci-Fi Guy: Ha!
(Back to the movie)
NC (voiceover): So the Enterprise returns to the space dock when Chekov suddenly discovers a human life form in Spock’s quarters.
Kirk: I’m on my way.
(Kirk approaches Spock’s quarters broken into, and two security guards just stand there with their guns raised)
NC (voiceover): Lord knows the security team doesn't go in first. (He sarcastically speaks in a frightened tone) It’s too scary! They’re only dressed for in case a 1940's football game breaks out!
(Kirk goes in and grabs for a figure hidden in the shadows to reveal himself)
NC (voiceover): But it turns out it’s Doctor McCoy, who is actually convinced that he himself is Spock.
McCoy: (speaks in Spock’s voice) Help me, Jim. Take me home.
Kirk: Bones, we are. We are home.
McCoy: (speaks in Spock’s voice) Then perhaps it’s not too late.
NC (voiceover; as McCoy): You can still stop me from saying yes to Transformers 3!
Kirk: Uhura, get the medics down here!
(Cut to the Bird-of-Prey bridge)
Kirk: (on viewscreen) As developed by Doctors Carol and David Marcus. Genesis, simply put, is life from lifelessness.
NC (voiceover): Oh, my God, is that John Larroquette? It is! John Larroquette is a Klingon on Star Trek!
NC: (has a surprised look on his face, then thinks for a moment) …I surprisingly have little material for that.
NC (voiceover): John Larroquette as a Klingon—What the hell am I supposed to do with John Larroquette as a Klingon?! I mean, it’s strange enough to notice, but doesn’t really lead its way to many comedic possibilities! I’m kind of stuck!
NC: Um…here’s a tribble in Night Court.
(And in the Night Court footage, a tribble is Photoshopped into the lower right corner of the screen)
Dan Fielding (from Night Court): Oh, I’m hurt! Oh, I’m offended!
NC: What do you want? It’s the best I can work with.
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Kirk is visited by Spock’s father, who isn't too happy.
Sarek: Why did you leave him on Genesis? Spock trusted you, and you denied him his future.
NC: Well, he wanted out of the franchise. (He shrugs)
Kirk: He made no request of me.
Sarek: He would not have spoken of it openly. Bring that which he gave you, his katra, his living spirit.
Kirk: Then how was—
Sarek: Kirk, I must have your thoughts.
NC (voiceover): So he does a mind meld with Kirk, but doesn't find the answers he’s looking for.
(During the mind meld, we get overlaid clips of Kirk’s past romances from Star Trek: The Original Series)
NC (voiceover; as Sarek): Oh, God! Look at all the green-skinned whores! Is this all your mind is filled with? (as Kirk) The thoughts need a hobby.
Sarek: (finishes the mind meld) It is not here.
NC (voiceover): So if the mind of Spock isn't in Kirk, then where is it? Well, how about in the mind of the guy WHO THINKS HE’S SPOCK?! But no, that’d be too obvious. We need clarification of this by going over to the nicely shot and edited security camera footage!
(In the security camera footage, we see Spock transfer his katra into McCoy with a mind meld)
Spock (in the video footage): Remember.
(An image of a light bulb appears next to Kirk with a “Ding!”)
NC (voiceover): So McCoy finds he’s of two minds on everything, but he figures a good old journey to the bar would shut up those voices in his head.
(As McCoy sits at a booth, he looks over to two people playing a dual game with joysticks in which two animated bi-planes displayed in vector graphics attack each other in mid-air)
NC (voiceover): Oh, yeah, fuck Call of Duty. THESE are the games of the future! Take a look, it’s like seeing what will come!
Alien: (approaches McCoy) To your planet, welcome. I here am new. I name not important. You seek I. Message received.
NC (voiceover; as McCoy): Are you…hitting on me?
McCoy: How much and how soon?
Alien: How much is where?
McCoy: It’s Genesis.
NC (voiceover): You know, maybe you could say your lines a little easier if you stopped imitating the voice of Stitch! (An image of said character appears briefly)
McCoy: It’s Genesis.
NC: (imitates the alien in Stitch’s voice) Genesis?! Gasheeba!
Civilian Agent: Could I offer you a ride home, Doctor McCoy?
McCoy: Where’s the logic in offering me a ride home, you idiot? If I wanted a ride home, would I be trying to charter a space flight?!
NC (voiceover): Oh, I think he just farted. You know, I think this guy’s butt is where his mouth should be. I’m not entirely sure.
Civilian Agent: (to McCoy) Federation Security, sir. You’re going to get a nice, long rest, Doctor.
NC (voiceover): But Kirk and Sulu go to break him out as they try to get him to the Genesis—
NC (voiceover): —planet, which has just become forbidden.
(At the prisoner outer office, a guard yawns)
Sulu: Keeping you busy?
Guard #1: (stands up) Don’t get smart, Tiny.
(A second guard walks into McCoy’s cell, and Kirk punches the second guard; Sulu picks the first guard up and throws him to the ground before destroying the communications console with his gun and joining Kirk and McCoy)
Sulu: (to Guard #1) Don’t call me Tiny.
NC (voiceover; as Sulu): Anytime you want to use the word “tiny,” just use the word “Takei” instead.
(In the Enterprise turbolift, Kirk speaks into his communicator)
Kirk: The Kobayashi Maru has set sail for the promised land.
NC (voiceover): So a good chunk of the gang steal the Enterprise with Starfleet not far behind.
Chekov: Commander, Starfleet on emergency channel. He orders you to surrender this wessel (“vessel”).
NC (voiceover; as Kirk): Well, I have no idea what a wessel is, so I can’t surrender it.
Captain Styles: Kirk! If you do this, you’ll never sit in the Captain’s chair again.
NC: Well, technically, his contract has him for three more movies, so that’s very unlikely.
(The Enterprise takes off at warp speed)
Styles: Prepare for warp speed! Standby transwarp speed!
(The U.S.S. Excelsior braces for warp speed, but then it slows down to a halt, with a cartoon sound effect of a car engine stalling. The “Wah-wah” music is heard before NC makes a goofy shrug. On the Enterprise bridge, Scott hands McCoy some small pieces)
Scott: Here, Doctor, souvenirs from one’s surgeon to another. I took it out of her main transwarp computer drive.
NC: Ah, yes, and the over-the-top cartoony vehicle sound effect?
Scott (voiceover by NC): Well, that was just for laughs.
NC (voiceover): We then cut to the Genesis—
NC (voiceover): —planet, as Kirk’s son David and…NOT Kirstie Alley look over their Commodore 64 graphics and notice that a life form is down there. So they head down there to check it out.
(David and Lieutenant Saavik find footprints in the snow)
Elmer Fudd (from What’s Opera, Doc): (audio) Wabbit twacks!
NC (voiceover): After traveling for a while, they finally come across the life form—which makes no sense; wouldn't they just beam to his exact location?—and they see that the life form is in fact a younger version of Spock, with no memories and no means of speech, kind of like Courtney Love after a few drinks. But then the evil Klingons come in to ruin the day.
Kruge: (in Klingonese, to his crew) Gunner: Target engine only.
(The Bird-of-Prey fires at the U.S.S. Grissom, destroying it)
Kruge: (in Klingonese) I wanted prisoners!
NC (voiceover; as Kruge): Now who are we gonna eat?
(Kruge shoots at the gunner, vaporizing him)
Torg: If it’s prisoners you want, there are life signs on the planet. Perhaps the very scientists you seek.
NC (voiceover): So the Klingons beam themselves down to the planet where the others are. Several…miles…away from where the others are! You know, the logic behind teleporters doesn't make much sense. And here’s a fun little development: It turns out Spock is going through Pon farr, which Star Trek history suggests that Spock has to mate with something in order to survive.
George Takei (on 3rd Rock From The Sun): Oh, my!
NC (voiceover): Well, this can only mean one sizzling conclusion.
(Sexy music plays as Saavik and Young Spock join their hands together)
NC: (in a deep sexy voice) Oh, yeah. Time to do the “Spocker.” (He does the Vulcan salute)
(Saavik rubs her index and middle fingers down the back of Young Spock’s hand)
NC: Oh, yeah! Rub those fingers! Caress those thumbnails! Mmm!
(Young Spock does the same thing to the back of Saavik’s hand)
NC: Oh, yeah, touch those knuckles! Rub them all over!
(Young Spock continues to rub the back of Saavik’s fingers and hand)
NC: Now rub the inside of her wrist, and gently work your way around to—you know, this isn't very sexy.
NC (voiceover): I mean, is this really all we see? This is Star Trek! We've seen Kirk make out with God knows how many ladies, and yet for Spock, we get sort of this half-assed E.T. sex? I’m sorry, I thought we’d get something more steamy!
(Spock continues his slow finger rubbing on the back of Saavik’s hand)
NC: Uh, Spock…when a pretty lady asks you to finger her, this isn't what she means.
(Cut to the next day with Saavik and Young Spock having fallen asleep)
Klingon Sergeant: (in Klingonese, grabs for Saavik) Get up!
NC (voiceover): But the Klingon cock blockers come in and ruin the…oh, let’s face it. They didn't ruin anything.
Kruge: I've come a long way for the power of Genesis.
Kruge: And what do I find? A weakling human…a Vulcan boy…and a woman.
NC: (as Kruge) Sounds like the beginning of a joke at a sci-fi con.
Torg: (on the Bird-of-Prey bridge) Federation starship approaching.
Kruge: Bring me up.
NC (voiceover): So Lloyd goes back up to his ship and gets ready for battle.
(On the Enterprise bridge, Kirk points out to something above the planet’s surface)
Kirk: There. That distortion. See it?
Sulu: Yes, sir. It’s getting larger as we close in.
Kruge: (in Klingonese) Gunner: Target engine only—Understood?
NC (voiceover): Do you ever notice, by the way, that all his Klingon pronunciation is very similar to a cat puking up?
(Several clips of Kruge’s Klingonese pronouncing are shown, followed by the sound of NC mocking Kruge’s speaking by gagging. The Enterprise fires at the Bird-of-Prey, causing explosions inside its bridge)
Chekov: Sir, the shield’s non-responsive.
Scott: The automaton system’s overloaded. I didn’t expect to take us into combat, you know.
NC (voiceover): Oh, yeah, because STEALING A STARSHIP and being hunted down by the entire Federation would EVER put you in a situation where you need to defend yourself! So the Klingons fire at them, they fire at the Klingons, both are unable to use their weapons, and they find themselves at a stalemate.
NC: And this leads to probably one of the most senseless, disturbing yet emotional death scenes that has ever come out of any Star Trek film. (Beat, then spreads his arms in sadness) BALLSACK!
(We see that the monster dog was killed during the battle and held in Kruge’s arms)
NC (voiceover): NOOOOO!
(A clip of the monster dog dying during the battle is shown)
Kirk: Precautionary, Mister Chekov.
(NC slumps deep into his chair, then pauses in disbelief)
NC: (reacts overdramatically) Screenwriting bastards, you killed my Ballsack. Oh…you screenwriting bastards! You killed my Ballsack! Oh! You…murdered and maimed a totally pointless character! Oh! Oh, and Kirk’s son…
NC (voiceover): …gets killed as a means to force him to surrender. It’s very tragic, but…
NC: You screenwriting BASTARDS! YOU KILLED MY BALLSACK! (He shrieks the next line in a high voice) YOU KILLED MY BALLSACK! Oh!
NC (voiceover): Nobody told me this was gonna be like Marley and Me in space!
NC: (sits back up in his chair, still sad) I’m sorry, I…I need a minute to recover from this. Here’s some…products whoring themselves out for your pleasure. (The screen starts to fade to black; he whispers) Screenwriting bastards, you killed my Ballsack. (The screen is now black) Oh, my Ballsack!
(After the commercial break, NC lifts his head up and takes a deep breath through his nose to regain his composure)
NC: Okay. I think I’m fine. I think I’ve recovered. (He clears his throat) So, as you can imagine, nothing can top the…dramatic explosion that was…(His voice cracks in sadness) the death of dear Ballsack. (Beat) They…reached the height of dramatic tension, people. There’s no way they’re gonna top it. (Beat) The best we get is the blowing up of the Starship…
NC (voiceover): …Enterprise as soon as the Klingons get on board and our heroes watch from the planet.
NC: (sarcastically sobs) Oooh! BUT WILL IT BRING BACK BALLSACK?!
NC (voiceover): Actually, the blowing up of the Enterprise is pretty epic, and they give it a lot of weight, too. I especially like the buildup when Lloyd puts together what the self-destruct countdown means.
Torg: The ship appears to be deserted.
Kruge: How can that be? They’re hiding.
Torg: But the bridge seems to be run by computer.
Kruge: Let me hear.
Computer Voice: Nine…eight…seven… six…five…
(NC puts in an equation next to Kruge as if Kruge is thinking of what's about to happen; it contains an image of the Enterprise, plus the number 59, equaling the clip of Tweety Bird going “BOOM!”)
Kruge: GET OUT! GET OUT OF THERE!
(Explosions rip through the Enterprise; Its crew on Genesis watch the fireball streak through the planet’s atmosphere)
Kirk: My God, Bones. What have I done?
McCoy: What you had to do. What you always do. Turn death into a fighting chance to live.
NC: Could sum up his whole career with that line.
NC (voiceover): So they (the Enterprise crew) find Spock and Not-Kirstie-Alley and try to save them. However, they’re still without a ship, and the planet’s about to blow. So he (Kirk) makes a deal with Lloyd.
Kirk: I have what you want. I have the secret of Genesis.
Kirk: You’re gonna have to bring us up there to get it.
(Kruge is beamed down onto the planet)
NC (voiceover; as Kruge): Bite my pointy aquatread tire head!
Kruge: (aims his gun at the crew) Drop all weapons! (Kirk does so; he then speaks into his communicator in Klingonese) Maltz—activate beam!
NC (voiceover): So he beams most of the team aboard but leaves himself, Kirk and Spock on the planet.
Kirk: You fool, look around you! The planet’s destroying itself!
Kruge: Yes. Exhilarating, isn’t it!
Kirk: If we don’t help each other, we’ll die here!
Kruge: Perfect! Then that’s the way it shall be!
(Suddenly, a huge rock erupts out of the ground and throws Kruge onto Kirk, and they grapple)
NC (voiceover; as Kruge): A-whoop! Okay! Sorry, I wasn’t meaning to attack you, but then the ground raised up and, well, I decided to own it.
(As Kirk and Kruge attack each other, Kirk lifts a foot to kick him; Kruge catches the foot and makes Kirk flip over acrobatically)
NC (voiceover): Uh, yeah. I think all the straps on Shatner’s girdle would break if he pulled that stunt off!
(Kruge chokes Kirk with both hands before Kirk knees him in the groin)
NC: (winces) Oooh, all four of his balls!
(Kruge reacts in pain and falls, grabbing onto the edge of a cliff)
Doc Brown (from Back to the Future): (sped up audio) One point twenty-one jiggawatts!
NC (voiceover): So he (Kirk) hangs him off a cliff and finally does him in.
Kirk: (repeatedly kicks Kruge in the face) I…have had…enough of you!
(Kruge falls toward the red-hot lava below)
Charlie Wilcox (from Suburban Commando): (audio) I was frozen tod—!
(Kruge makes an impact with the lava)
NC (voiceover): They take control of the Klingon ship and take Spock home to the planet of Vulcan. There, on a Siegfried and Roy stage, they talk about making the transition from McCoy’s mind back into Spock’s.
Priestess: What you seek has not been done since ages past, and then, only in legend. Your request is not logical.
Sarek: Forgive me, T’lar. My logic is uncertain where my son is concerned.
NC (voiceover): Well, I guess the all-logic-based society says logic only holds weight SOME of the time, and they decide to do the transition. Spock wakes up okay and walks around in a robe from a (overdramatically speaks like William Shatner) spaaaaa.
Spock: (to Kirk) I have been…and ever shall be…your friend.
Spock: The ship. …Out of danger?
Kirk: You saved the ship.
NC: (as Kirk) I blew it up later, but, eh.
Spock: Jim…your name is Jim.
NC (voiceover): So Spock gets his memory back, Takei cops a feel, and we’re not so subtly told the adventure continues (the subtitle “…And the Adventure Continues…” appears onscreen), for the franchise outweighs the needs of not kicking a dead horse.
NC: So that’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and honestly…I don’t think it’s that bad.
(Clips from the movie play again as the Critic gives his final thoughts)
NC (voiceover): I mean, okay, it’s not as good as some of the others and it does drag at times, but it’s still got some big death scenes, some strong moments and it does feel very operatic at times. I think the major thing missing is that it needed a villain along the lines of Khan to really complete it, and even though Lloyd is a lot of fun—he’s a pretty good bad guy—the character is just sort of a one-note nut. I think a really strong rivalry would have made it a lot more epic. Overall, though, I think it’s still pretty good. I can see how others may find it boring, but I think the strong stuff still stands out. It’s not the best, but it’s got enough good moments.
NC: And just as the adventure continues, so does Star Trek Month. I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to. (He raises his arms and then flies offscreen)
Channel Awesome Tagline—Alien: Genesis?!
(The following title card is shown with the image of the monster dog: “In loving memory of Ballsack; You were a good boy”)