Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
July 23, 2012
The movie is about a crew in a stolen alien vessel going back in time to rescue some whales so they can talk to an alien probe. Why wasn't this a comic book FIRST?
(Open in Holokara standing in the open door of the closet, looking at two Star Trek shirts, one green and one red)
Holokara: (sighs) Of course they had to adapt the movie where no one wears a proper uniform. What the hell is Kirk even wearing in this– (stops abruptly as he turns to see he's on camera) Oh! Hey, everybody, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. We're talking about Star Trek again! (smiles) I can just tell that many of you have clicked onto another website. For those of you who are still here, let's talk about the original series for a minute.
(Footage of the original Star Trek series is shown)
Holokara (v/o): (dramatically) Star Trek broke new ground! Star Trek confronted social issues that others never dared to! Star Trek was really important to our society!
Holokara: (now sitting in the futon, waving dismissively) Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all heard that before, but let's break that down a little bit, shall we?
Holokara (v/o): Yes, Star Trek did do some very important things on TV that helped break some cultural barriers. Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, said that at the end of the first season, she was considering leaving the show, but Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., himself contacted her and told her how important it was to see an African-American woman treated as an equal alongside a crew of predominantly white individuals. She inspired Whoopi Goldberg and even Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. Star Trek is also responsible for what is attributed as the first interracial kiss on television, between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner. We'll forgive for a moment that the kiss was non-consensual for both parties, and it appeared in an episode that one could argue was more than a little goofy and more than a touch stupid, but hey, I'll still give it to them.
Holokara: Now, let me ask you a question: why was the original series so good? Was it because it was "edgy"? That it "broke new ground"? That it "dared do what no one else dared to do"? Hell, no! The original series was good because it told good stories with good characters and explored interesting science-fiction and philosophical concepts.
Holokara (v/o): Something is not "good" because it's "groundbreaking". It's not good because it's "edgy" or "hot" or "trendy" or whatever the hell buzzword you want to attach to it. I bring all this up not because I deny that these can apply to the original series. I bring this up because it's not the reason the show was good. However, a lot of modern Treks latter days had this misconception that Star Trek was at its best when it was doing "message shows". A message show is where a specific message or theme is attempting to be conveyed to the audience: this thing is bad, this other thing is good, support this, hate that, etc., etc. If you asked me to name one, I would actually have a very hard time picking out an episode of the original series and calling it a "message show". Some of them I could probably argue is kind of vaguely a message, like "Peace is the better alternative to war" or "Nazism is bad," but a clear-cut "you are being preached a message and you will accept it" kind of message show? Not really.
(Footage of Bele from one episode of the show "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield" is shwon)
Holokara (v/o): Hell, the one that a lot of documentaries like to cite about Star Trek combating racism is an episode called "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield"...
(Editor's note: "Correction: Let THAT Be Your Last Battlefield")
Holokara (v/o): ...and this clip in particular...
Bele: It is obvious to the most simpleminded that Lokai is of an inferior breed.
Spock: The obvious visual evidence, Commissioner, is that he is of the same breed as yourself.
Bele: I am black on the right side!
Kirk: I fail to see the significant difference.
Bele: Lokai is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side.
Holokara (v/o): The thing is, though, that episode isn't about racism. In fact, the oppressed individual is quite plainly portrayed as a terrorist and criminal who tries to subvert others into fighting for a cause they have no stake or understanding of. The oppressor is certainly racist, yes, but the episode is more about how hatred and fighting in general eventually destroy everything.
Holokara: Where I'm going with all of this is that a (makes "finger quotes") "message show" is very, very hard to pull off without making yourself look like a jackass. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, AKA Star Trek IV: Save the Whales pulls it off. Let's dig into (holds up comic adaption of the movie) the comic adaptation and talk about why.
(Title sequence plays; title card has the main title theme from Star Trek IV playing in the background. Cut to more footage of the movie)
Holokara (v/o): So, why the spiel about the original series instead of talking about the movie's history or how I feel about the movie? Well, the production's history was already covered once again by fellow reviewer SF Debris, and you should be watching him by now if you aren't already. My feelings on the movie, though? It's probably the only film in the franchise that I feel the most indifferent about. It's certainly not bad, not at all, but the thing is that when I watch Star Trek, I kind of want to see people in the future actually hanging out in the future. As a result, my favorite scenes in the movie are actually all the stuff happening in the 23rd Century. Again, it's not that the stuff set in 1980s San Francisco is bad, just that it's not really what I want to see. Still, the film deserves props. Until the 2009 film, Star Trek IV was the highest grossing movie of them all and did a lot to help ensure the survival of the franchise.
(Cut to a closeup of the cover of the concurrent comic book adaptation of the movie)
Holokara (v/o): And of course, there was a comic adaptation. Once again, it was by DC, which held the license until the adaptation of Star Trek: First Contact. The cover is... blah, in my opinion. I admit, I like how they integrated the logo the way they did; it really makes it stand out, but the drawings of the actors look kind of off, like adding unnecessary lines and curves to their faces, and the texture seems kind of rough. Uhura looks okay, though. The other thing that bugs me, though, is that the other visuals, aside from Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Uhura, are the Golden Gate Bridge, which admittedly is part of a memorable visual from the film; a badly-drawn Klingon Bird of Prey; and random computer monitors partially obscured by the logo. I don't get it.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Holokara (v/o): Like all the movie comics, we start with an unnecessary splash page somehow linked to the film. The Klingon Bird of Prey once again looks slightly off, and we have this weird beam of light that's toppling over cities, along with a huge tidal wave. I love the randomness of Kirk, Spock and McCoy's heads on top. It's like they're all just looking to each other and going, "Oh, crap! W-We didn't do it!" We truly open on the USS Saratoga, which is probably investigating why there's this weird ranch dressing running through space like that.
Saratoga Captain: Science officer, what do you make of it?
Science officer: It appears to be a probe, Captain, from an intelligence unknown to us.
Holokara: Isn't it kind of obvious that the intelligence behind it would be unknown to you? Otherwise, wouldn't you have just said, "It's from this or that species"? (shrugs)
Holokara (v/o): They try to hail it, but it seems to ignore them. It's heading towards the solar system.
Holokara: Aw, great, we got another V'ger on our hands. You'd think that those machine people that keep rebuilding our probes would just leave a message on them that said, (pretends to write message) "Quit throwing your garbage at our planet, meat bags!"
Holokara (v/o): The probe is approaching rapidly, and the closer it gets, the more power from the ship is drained. Also, there's this sound effect that it seems to be emitting: "MRAAAWWWKKKK!" Perhaps this probe was made by chicken people. And as the probe passes, we get our first good look at it... which is also the first major change from the movie.
(Cut to a clip of the movie)
Holokara (v/o): In the movie, the alien probe looked like a giant Ho Ho, but with a round lava lamp sticking out of it.
(Cut back to the comic)
Holokara (v/o): In the comic, it just seems to be this giant, kind of cylindrical beam of light. I'm guessing they just didn't have access to the special effects that would be used for the movie, though I'm curious if this is what the probe was supposed to look like in the original script. Also, I'm guessing the "MRAAAWWWKKKK!" sound is supposed to be the whale song's transmission, but the comic is seriously lacking something really cool from the film.
(The movie's version of the probe is shown again, making a "whoomp-whoomp" sound. Cut back to the comic again)
Holokara (v/o): Maybe it's because I really love and appreciate sound design in movies, but that "whoomp-whoomp" sound the probe makes really does give it a sense of size and power. Anyway, we cut to Earth, where Ambassador Sarek is waiting outside the Federation Council's chambers. Inside the chamber, the Klingon ambassador is getting the audience up to speed on Star Trek III– erm, I mean, is getting all pissed off because Kirk destroyed a Klingon ship while they were working on Genesis, which is now more common knowledge.
Klingon ambassador: And behold the image of the quintessential devil in these matters-- James T. Kirk, renegade and terrorist!
Holokara: (making "finger quotes") "Renegade and terrorist"? Kirk made out with your girlfriend once, didn't he?
Ambassador: Not only is he responsible for the murder of a Klingon crew and the theft of a Klingon vessel... but even as the Federation spoke of peace, Kirk was secretly developing not only the Genesis Torpedo... but the euphemistically-titled "Genesis Planet"--a secret base from which to launch the annihilation of the Klingon people!
Holokara: (as ambassador) Also, Kirk put mind-control drugs in our water and made our foreheads bumpy! He's secretly hiding Genesis in Area 51!
Ambassador: Mr. President, we demand the extradition of Kirk! We demand justice!
Holokara: (as ambassador) And together, we can be justice!
Holokara (v/o): Sarek enters and deconstructs the Klingon Ambassador's arguments, pointing that Kruge and his crew are responsible for destroying the USS Grissom and murdering Kirk's son.
Ambassador: Vulcans are well-known as the intellectual puppets of the Federation!
Holokara: (as ambassador) How dare you try to be intellectual and smart! You're nothing more than a Muppet!
Holokara (v/o): The Federation president explains that the council's deliberations are over and that Sarek is only here to put his views on the record. Erm, if the deliberations are already over, then why was the Klingon ambassador making his case against Kirk? Isn't that the kind of thing you want to talk about before the deliberations? Anyhoo, the president says that Kirk and his crew have been charged with nine violations of Starfleet regulations, but that isn't good enough for the ambassador, who storms out, proclaiming that there will no peace with the Klingons as long as Kirk lives.
Holokara: Now, there's an interesting form of diplomacy: you'll only have peace with us if you execute this one guy.
Holokara (v/o): We cut to Vulcan, where Kirk narrates that they've been there for three months, learning about the Klingon Bird of Prey and making sure to take the time to paint the name "HMS Bounty" on its hull. McCoy must have been really bored that day, although this must be hell for him. He barely got along with Spock in the original series, and now he's on a planet full of Vulcans. Anyway, the crew decides that it's time to return home and face the music about what happened in the last movie. And yet again, DC Comics decides to show how much they can't help but reboot their universes.
(Cut briefly to the cover of another Star Trek comic: "The Mirror Universe Saga")
Holokara (v/o): I own a trade paperback of a Star Trek comic storyline that takes place right after Star Trek III. At the end of that storyline, Kirk and crew got command of the Excelsior, while Spock gets command of the science vessel.
Holokara: DC Comics: Making our stories convoluted since 1937.
Holokara (v/o): And in a crappy bit of editing, we see this line starting to be spoken by Sulu...
Sulu: Bad enough to be court-martialled and spend the rest of our lives mining borite...
Holokara (v/o): ...and then the line is finished by Dr. McCoy.
McCoy: ...but to come home to this flea trap...
Holokara (v/o): Or maybe Dr. McCoy is some kind of shapeshifter. Who knows?
Kirk: We could learn a thing or two from this "flea trap," Doctor. It has a cloaking device that's second to none.
Holokara: (as Kirk) We should probably take it back to the Federation for study so our ships can have such a useful device. I certainly hope we don't sign any really stupid treaties that would prevent us from having cloaking devices on our ships, because that would just be insane. (nods, slowly at first, then more quickly, with a crazed smile on his face)
Holokara (v/o): Lieutenant Saavik is staying behind for reasons not given in the movie, but she hands over a deposition for Kirk to give to the Federation council.
Kirk: Don't concern yourself, Saavik; your leave has been granted for good and proper cause.
Holokara: (holding up index finger) One, Kirk is not really in a position to authorize anyone to take a leave time. (holds up two fingers) Two, at least give us a bullcrap reason why she's not coming along if you're not gonna talk about (becomes upset) the real reason!
(Concurrent footage of the movie is shown)
Holokara (v/o): The scene for the explanation got cut in the movie, but basically, what happened was that when Spock and Saavik did their Pon Farr fun on the Genesis planet, Saavik got pregnant with Spock's child.
(Cut back to the comic)
Holokara (v/o) But enough of that! Time to watch Spock taking intelligence tests.
Computer screen: WHO SAID: LOGIC IS THE CEMENT OF OUR CIVILIZATION AS WE ASCEND FROM CHAOS, USING REASON AS OUR GUIDE?
Holokara: (as Spock, flustered) Uh, bank! No, no, I need a lifeline! Uh... Should I answer in the form of a question?! (clutches at his head) OH, GOD, THIS IS TOO MUCH PRESSURE! (runs off)
Computer screen: WHAT WAS KIRI-KIN-THA'S FIRST LAW OF METAPHYSICS?
Spock: Nothing that is unreal may exist.
Holokara: Oh, yeah? Say that to Mr. Computer from last week. My nightmares disagree!
Computer screen: HOW DO YOU FEEL?
(A snippet of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It" plays in the background)
R.E.M.: (singing) I feel fine...
Holokara (v/o): Spock is confused by the question since his reeducation had been in the Vulcan way, which emphasizes logic and knowledge instead of any kind of emotional attachment. His mother walks in and explains that the computer knows he's half-human, so it's asking him for that reason. Once he's able to comprehend and answer the question, then he'll truly have been fully restored to the Spock we know and love. Back at Starfleet headquarters, the hearing about Kirk and company has been put on hold because of the approach of the probe. Admiral Cartwright, who will have a slightly bigger role in the sixth movie, explains that the probe is neutralizing anything that comes close to it, to the point that Starbase is unable to open up its doors to let the Excelsior and the Intrepid out to face it. The probe, still looking like a big cylinder of that's squawking in space, finally reaches Earth and... just sits there. However, it starts to have an impact on the Earth's oceans, with an effect noticeable even at Starfleet headquarters.
Admiral Cartwright: What the devil? Where did this fog spring up from?
(Holokara is about to answer, but he is interrupted by the sound of a siren and fog rolling in, like in a Silent Hill comic review)
Holokara: (annoyed) Oh, knock it off! It's aliens doing it, not the demonic presence of Silent Hill! (beat) Oh, right, UFO landings.
Holokara (v/o): On the bridge of the Bounty, the crew engages in its final preparations before the ship lifts off.
Sulu: Guidance is functional, sir. I've accessed the federation memory banks, and onboard computer will interface.
Kirk: Good work, Sulu.
Holokara: (as Kirk) We may want to do an IMDB search if we decide to play "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" on the way home.
Holokara (v/o): In the engine room, Scotty is... leaning over like this for no reason.
Holokara: (as Scotty, imitating his leaning over) I heard some of the Vulcans saying it was good for your back. Gotta say it is actually working wonders.
Holokara (v/o): Saavik says her farewells and leaves.
Spock: Permission to come aboard, Admiral.
Kirk: Permission granted, Spock...but my name is Jim... remember?
Holokara: I thought his name was Earl.
Holokara (v/o): After the ship takes off, we cut back to Earth. The probe seems to be vaporizing the oceans and turning them into cloud cover, with 93.2% of the planet now engulfed in clouds. The squawking is now audible across the world, considering the sound effect here.
Cartwright: Sarek... is there no answer we can give this probe?
Sarek: It is difficult to answer if one does not understand the question.
Holokara: (looking fearful as he pretends to write something) "What... do... you... get... if... you... multiply... six... by... nine?"
Holokara (v/o): On board the Bounty, they're surprised that they haven't been met by any escort, and the communication channels are confused and overlapping.
Spock: Perhaps my assistance may be of use.
Holokara (v/o): And immediately after he says that, McCoy walks up to him and asks if he's busy. Were the panels put in the wrong order or something? He just said he was gonna try to help Uhura. Anyway, McCoy asks him the big question: What was it like dying and coming back to life?
Spock: Discussion of the subject without a common frame of reference is impossible.
McCoy: You mean I have to die to discuss your insights on death?
Holokara: (as McCoy, shrugging) Well, all right, if you insist.
(A clip of an episode of the original show is played, showing McCoy getting impaled by a knight's lance)
Holokara: (as McCoy, pretending to get hurt) OH, SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP, THE PAIN! (as Spock) And now you have my frame of reference, Doctor.
Holokara (v/o): By the way, that's bullcrap! The entire idea behind asking the question is to translate the experience to someone who doesn't have the same frame of reference, and if that's not possible, simply state, "I couldn't put it into words," or something like that. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any need to discuss it all. Anyway, they pick up the distress signals from various ships, as well as the one coming from Earth, which talks about the probe's transmissions that are causing torrential global rain. Uhura says they can pick up the probe's transmissions and put it on speakers.
(Holokara is heard listening on the probe's "whoomp-whoomp" sounds)
Holokara: My God! It's dubstep!
Holokara (v/o): Spock deduces that the transmission is from a "great intelligence".
Spock: Furthermore, if such power wished to destroy us, it would have.
Holokara: Uh, what the hell do you call (makes "finger quotes") "vaporizing the oceans" and "draining all your power"? Seems pretty intent on destroying us, dude!
McCoy: Oh? You think this is its way of saying "Hi" to us Earthlings?
Spock: There are other intelligent life forms on Earth, Doctor. Only human arrogance would assume the message was meant for man.
Holokara: (as Spock) Clearly, this message intended for dung beetles.
Holokara (v/o): SF Debris broke this down in his review of the film, and it bears repeating here: it's not human arrogance to presume that one intelligent species would attempt to contact the only other species that is capable of actually receiving or responding to it! Clearly, the signal is being transmitted in some kind of manner that can be detected by technological equipment. Whales don't have frickin' radios! And if it was only meant to be received by whales, why didn't the probe shove a speaker into the oceans and transmit that way?! I'll let you watch his review for a more complex breakdown of this, but the point is that aliens sending a probe to talk to whales is really friggin' stupid, especially since there's no way for the whales' songs to actually reach the aliens. The reason, however, why we can forgive something so stupid, is because the rest of the story is enjoyable and good. That's the thing about fiction: our suspension of disbelief can accept really idiotic, nonsensical plot points here and there as long as the majority of it stands up to being good. For example, this is personal preference talking, but I actually really like the movie...
(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching...)
Holokara (v/o): ...It Conquered the World, even though, when you break it down, it doesn't make a lot of sense, and the monster in the movie looks absolutely silly and stupid. However, the acting is good, and the philosophical discussions in it are really enjoyable.
Dr. Paul Nelson: He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature... and because of it, the greatest in the universe.
Tom Servo: (softly) Great hair.
Holokara (v/o): I can forgive its obvious flaws for that.
(Back to the comic again)
Holokara (v/o): Anyway, the crew has reasoned that the transmission is being sent into Earth's oceans... How it's being sent is not explained, but whatever. ...so it might be meant for sea life. After checking how the sound would work if it was being sent through water and then correlate with the federation database, they figure that the sound is a modified version of humpback whale songs. Unfortunately, in the Star Trek universe, humpback whales have been extinct since the late 21st century.
Holokara: (holding up fist) Damn you, Ecco the Dolphin! You were able to save your mutant flying dolphins of the future, but not the humpbacks!
Holokara (v/o): Kirk thinks they should trying blowing it the hell up, but Spock points out that no ship can get close enough to do so. As such, we go to the next rational alternative...
McCoy: Jim, you're going to travel back in time, pick up some whales, and hope they can tell this probe what to do with itself?
(Cut to the obligatory clip of Doctor Who)
Cyber Leader: There is... logic... in what he says.
(Cut back to the comic)
Holokara (v/o): Kirk instructs Scotty to start figuring out where they're gonna put the whales, while Spock works on the computations necessary for time travel. This is... just something they can do.
(Cut to footage of an episode of the original series)
Holokara (v/o): Seriously, there was a TOS episode where they pulled this kind of crap.
Kirk: (narrating) Using the lightspeed breakaway factor, the Enterprise moved back through time to the 21st century.
(Back to the comic again)
Holokara (v/o): They send a transmission to Starfleet, but unlike the movie, it's badly garbled, so I don't know what this is actually going to accomplish, other than confuse the hell out of them when all they can really make out is "attempt time travel". I have a feeling that when they come back, there's gonna be more than just nine violations that they're charged with. Anyway, long story short, they use their made-up science to slingshot around the sun at warp speed. Or rather, this giant egg yolk.
(Footage of the movie is shown)
Holokara (v/o): In the movie, the time traveling was a very confusing two minutes and twenty seconds, wherein we see (speaks more slowly, as though confused) people's claymation heads and a... weird whale thing right there... I'd just say it was the '70s and that would be the end of the discussion, but this was 1986.
(Cut back to the comic)
Holokara (v/o): Speaking of, 1986 is the year the crew have arrived in. They start searching for whale songs and pick them up in San Francisco, though I should point out that if they can pinpoint whale songs that precisely, they should be able to detect them anywhere on the planet, but whatever. In addition, they realize that even in 1986, the world would be able to detect them, so they cloak the ship. However, there's a new problem: traveling through time has burnt out the ship's dilithium crystals, so they only have a day's use left. Spock suggests that they use multi-modal reflection sorting by way of nuclear fission reactors from the time period and blah, blah, blah. They fly down towards the city– Wait, why isn't the ship cloaked? Seriously, it's not even like it's transparent or anything, so like the reader can see, but people in the comic couldn't? Look at that! I think someone's gonna notice that! Oh, and speaking of that'll get you noticed, Kirk orders them to land in Golden Gate Park. According to Wikipedia, it's the third most visited park in the United States. Even if it's above the ground, if someone tosses a Frisbee or a football or something and hits the ship, chances are, somebody's gonna find it! And unlike the movie, they don't even land at night. Look at that, it's the middle of the day! Why does nobody find the ship?! Anyway, Spock covers his ears with a headband – this was the '80s after all – and they split into teams. Uhura and Chekov will go get the technobabble from the fission reactor, Kirk and Spock will find the whales, and McCoy, Scotty and Sulu will acquire the tank they need to house the whales. And here's where we get to the other thing that makes this movie work: the humor and the fun of it.
Kirk: Everyone remember where we parked.
Holokara: Yeah, and since it's in broad daylight, everyone does know where you're parked!
Holokara (v/o): In the city, they realize they're gonna need money, and they try to cross a busy street.
Irate driver: WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING, YOU DUMB ASS!
Kirk: And a... a... a double dumb ass on* you!
- NOTE: Kirk actually says, "...to you", not "...on you".
Holokara: (confused) Ha... ha... ha...? (shrugs)
Holokara (v/o): Look, don't get me wrong, this was funny in the movie, but they added in Kirk's stuttering right there. Kind of hurts the comedic impact.
Spock: Admiral, your use of profanity--
Kirk: It's simply the way they talk, Spock.
Holokara: (as Kirk) Profanity would reach its apex in the advent of critics who review things on the Internet, where not using it was considered strange.
Holokara (v/o): They enter a pawn shop and Kirk decides to sell the glasses he got from Dr. McCoy back in Star Trek II.
Spock: Admiral, those were a birthday present from Dr. McCoy.
Kirk: And they will be again, Spock; that's the beauty of it.
(Cut to a clip of the game Metal Gear 3, showing the message "Time Paradox")
Colonel Campbell: You've created a time paradox!
(Back to the comic again)
Holokara (v/o): They split the money and separate. Kirk spots an ad for the whales on a bus and they decide to try riding the bus to get there. They climb on... and then climb off again.
Spock: Admiral, is the term "exact change" another form of profanity?
Holokara: (amused) Heh, different from the movie, but still funny. Kudos.
Holokara (v/o): Chekov and Uhura have located a nuclear wessel to obtain the technobabble particles they need...
(Cut to a concurrent clip in the movie)
Holokara (v/o): ...which sadly skips the scene of Chekov going around asking where the nuclear wessels are to people on the street! I retract my kudos.
(Cut back to the comic)
Holokara (v/o): Kirk and Spock arrive at the Cetacean Institute, where there are two humpback whales, and a tour guide named Dr. Gillian Taylor leads them around. Kirk thinks they're in luck since it's a male and female whale and they can easily beam them up. Unfortunately, this story is operating under the pretense that whales are sapient, and so Spock jumps into the tank to mind-meld with them and get their permission before they take them to the 23rd century. Gillian throws them out for that little stunt and, lo and behold, Spock was able to communicate with them. Gillian, meanwhile, is sad about having to send the two whales back to the ocean, but unfortunately, the Institute can't afford to feed them or continue to take care of them. She walks off in a huff when she talks to another guy, but he's got some dastardly scheme that she's not going to like! And my God, what nefariously evil thing does he have planned?!
Holokara: (glumly, his head resting on his hand) He's going to let them back into the ocean early. Both the movie and the comic want me to be pissed about it, but it's not really that big a deal, quite frankly. It just means that Gillian can't say goodbye to them, not that they'd understand her anyway.
Holokara (v/o): As Gillian is driving, she comes across Kirk and Spock walking back to the park and offers them a lift. When Spock points out that he knows that one of the whales is pregnant, Kirk says he thinks he can help her and the whales and offers to take her out to dinner. We cut to PlexiCorp, where the future is plastics. Scotty and McCoy have decided, "Screw the space-time continuum," and are offering the plastics company the patent on a technology called transparent aluminum, since they need it for the tank. And of course, one of the many great jokes of the movie is cut down. In this version, Scotty just picks up the mouse and says...
Holokara (v/o): ...without the rest of the spiel.
Holokara: Although, considering this was the same year as "Captain Electron", and that comic thought modems created maps, I'm actually shocked that speaking into the computer didn't work.
Holokara (v/o): By the by, I notice Sulu's not with them. He was supposed to have a brief subplot in Movie 2, but it was cut from it because the child actor was having difficulties. This does make me wonder why they didn't include it in this version. They've already added little bits here and there that aren't essential to the story. Anyway, after dropping off Spock, and wasting the ship's power by having him beam onto the ship, Kirk and Gillian go to an Italian restaurant. After a bit of banter, Gillian finally wants to know what Kirk's deal is, and he spills the beans.
Kirk: I'm from the 23rd century. I've been sent here to bring two humpback whales to...repopulate the species.
Holokara: Okay, I didn't add that pause. That was in the movie, too. And I don't get why he felt the need to pause there. Was he about to explain that it's not so much about repopulation as much as it is some weird-ass alien probe that wants to have a chitchat with some whales?
Holokara (v/o): Learning that the whales are supposed to be shipped out noon tomorrow, Kirk rushes them out of the restaurant. Meanwhile, Chekov and Uhura beam onto the nuclear wessel, ironically named the USS Enterprise. They start collecting their technobabble, and I can't help but notice that someone very hastily painted on the words: "REACTOR ROOM – Authorized Personnel Only". Oh, wait, now it's on a sign hanging above them. It took only two panels to screw up the continuity. That's gotta be a record. Anyway, Kirk is dropped off at the park, Gillian of course not really believing his story... buuut in this version, Kirk kind of makes out with her, and I think Kirk has some kind of mind control in his ChapStick or something. So that, plus the light of him beaming back onto the ship – yep, keep using up that power you don't have to waste – gets her to start thinking about it. Kirk is distressed about how they've been so lucky up until this point and they could lose the whales, since Gillian's unwilling to give them the frequency of their radio tags.
Spock: In that event, the probabilities are that our mission would fail.
Kirk: Our mission?! God damn it, Spock, you're talking about the lives of every human on Earth! You're half-human, haven't you got any feelings about that?
Spock: I... I do not understand.
Holokara: Aw, crap, he's not gonna start singing, is he?
Holokara (v/o): Chekov and Uhura finish up, but the ship's personnel are onto them.
Uhura: (softly) Uhura to Mr. Scott... Come in, Scotty...
Scotty: Aye, lass, I hear you. My power's minimal, so I'll have t'bring you in one at a time...
Holokara: (dripping sarcasm) Gee! I wonder why that is! (slaps himself on the head softly)
Holokara (v/o): To make a long story short, Chekov is taken by the military and after he attempts to escape, he falls and injures his head. The next day, Gillian discovers that the whales were taken away during the night and naturally overreacts, slapping the guy and driving off to the park to try to find Kirk. Gillian is beamed aboard the Bird of Prey after she bumps into the cloaked vessel... Again, why the hell did nobody think of that? ...and the two get each other up to speed. Uhura locates where Chekov is taken, and McCoy is frightened beyond belief about it.
McCoy: Jim, you've got to let me go! Don't leave him in the hands of 20th century medicine!
Holokara: (as McCoy) He'll get transferred to some medical drama on CBS or something, and then there will be shenanigans! Do you hear me, Jim?! SHENANIGANS!
Holokara (v/o): Spock, indicating that his character is growing and does have feelings, says that they have to rescue him, despite it not being the logical thing to do. Anyway, they [Kirk, McCoy and Gillian] sneak into the hospital and locate him, realizing he's in a security ward under guard. They manage to get in by having Gillian pretend to be an urgent patient and come in right when they're performing surgery on Chekov. McCoy intercedes, despite their objections.
Surgeon: This is my patient, and I'm performing the operation!
McCoy: Operation? My God, man, do you plan to carve him open like a turkey?
Holokara: (as McCoy) You've got to remove the wrenched ankle!
Surgeon: A simple evacuation of the expanding epidural hematome will relieve the pressure!
McCoy: Drilling holes in his head is not the answer! His artery must be repaired!
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Scrubs)
Dr. Cox: (to J.D.) Say, that was some real Nancy Drew stuff there... Nancy. I mean, absolutely irrelevant as far as medicine goes, but damn amusing.
(Back to the comic again)
Holokara (v/o): Finally pulling his phaser, Kirk shoves the doctors into a closet, and they use the 23rd century tech to fix the bump on Chekov's head. After a brief chase, the group are [sic] transported back to the Bird of Prey, Gillian managing to get on board, too, despite Kirk's objection. To make a long story short, they intercept the whales before they can be attacked by a whaling vessel, giving the whalers a nice pants-crapping moment as the Bird of Prey decloaks right in front of them... though they apparently felt the need in the comic to show the harpoon of the ship get tractor-beamed instead of just hitting their vessel. Well, that sure was necessary. They beam up the whales and punch it to 88 miles per hour to return to the 23rd century.
Holokara: (stroking his chin and looking up in thought) Huh, I can't help but feel that we forgot something...
Chekov: Sir, I have no control! We've lost all power!
Holokara: Ohhhh, right, the, uh, big power-draining probe... thingy. Whoops.
Holokara (v/o): And within a single panel, they're about to crash into the Golden Gate Bridge. Ah, nothing like compressing because we have less than ten pages left in the comic. Instead, though, they crash into the water and escape, though Kirk stays behind to do the big hero thing of getting the whales out into the water. The whales sing, tell the probe the football scores or whatever the hell it wanted, and it leaves, no doubt heading off to some other planet to try to communicate with an extinct species of gophers or something. Some time later, the crew stands before the Federation Council so they can finally face judgment for what happened. However, because of the whole saving-the-world thing, punishment is reduced to a demotion for Admiral Kirk to the rank of Captain. And because he has yet again saved the world, he's to be given command of a new starship. This is all met with this sound effect...
Holokara (v/o): Gillian is off on a science vessel to catch up on the last 300 years. Be sure to tell her all about the planet-destroying weapon you guys were working on; she'll love that. And Sarek says farewell to his son. Spock asks him to relay a message to his mother, that he feels fine. Thus, Spock finally has a character arc in a movie that doesn't involve dying or getting through being a teenager. The crew speculates about what ship they're going to get, and on a gorgeous two-page spread, we see them arriving at the USS Enterprise-A. Though, if I may be a critic here, all of those ships around it look awfully close. Look, starbases are not garages; you can't just cram everything in and hope it doesn't knock into anything. And so, our comic ends with the Enterprise-A taking off for two more journeys, one of them really good, while the other really is not.
Holokara: (holding up comic) This comic... (hesitates slightly) I hate to say it, but it kind of sucks.
(Footage of the movie is shown)
Holokara (v/o): The thing about the movie is that, despite the fact that I feel indifferent towards it on an emotional level, it's still a good movie. It's a lot of fun, with great humor that plays to the strengths of the various characters, and all the jokes feel natural. In addition, it manages to pull off a decent environmental message, despite some stupidity and plot.
(Now cut to shots of the comic)
Holokara (v/o): Unfortunately, it doesn't translate well into the comic. A lot of the jokes ended up being cut or changed, with only one or two jokes that were equally as good as the original and the others... not so much. The ending really feels rushed, while the beginning takes its time, adding in a lot of, you know, minor scene bits that did not need to be there that weren't in the original movie. To the comic's credit, however, there are a lot of bits that were adapted very well, and as I said, I really did like the two-page spread reveal of the Enterprise.
Holokara: Still, whether you agree with me or not, the next time we look at a Star Trek movie comic... (hesitates slightly) that will be something else entirely. In the meantime, though, come back next week for the 200th episode. (gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
"Thar be whales in this comic!"
Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Minovax 7 did not possess the capacity for time travel, so when the probe arrived wanting to speak with an extinct species of hummingbird, their planet was destroyed.
(Cut to black briefly)
Linkara (v/o): Journey log: Week 3.
(Linkara is seen walking around Washington, D.C., and its landmarks)
Linkara (v/o): Okay, I think I need to buy a damn compass! Despite the setbacks caused by these little detours, I still feel like I'm accomplishing a lot. Living out in the wilderness and broken lands without civilization around you, you need to get your act together, think on your feet. After all, you have to fend for yourself. Admittedly, I can communicate with Comicron 1 and get food or shelter if I need to, but luckily, it hasn't come to that yet. In my travels, I take care to not forget that there is evil afoot, and that must be dealt with.
(Corporate Commander is seen standing around, with a black censor square over his face)
Corporate Commander: Corporate Commander here! For some reason, my face is censored because I sort of look like someone–
Linkara: (running up to him; quickly) I AM A MAN! (punches him as he runs past)
Corporate Commander: (clutching at his face in pain) My face! (groans inaudibly)
(Linkara continues walking along, approaching a White Castle)
Linkara (v/o) And being out in the wilderness like this, naturally, I must live off the land, however it may provide.
(He goes inside the White Castle and has lunch)
Linkara (v/o): I've run into the native peoples, too, and they have taught me much about their ways and customs.
(It turns out he is sitting with Brad Jones, who looks toward him as he eats an onion ring)
Brad: You're gonna eat that?
(Linkara doesn't answer; he just stares ahead. Brad reaches out and takes one of Linkara's fries to eat. Later, Linkara continues his wandering)
Linkara (v/o): I swear to God, if I end up in Texas next week, I'm gonna take my chances and just teleport to Canada, because really, this is getting silly!
(Stinger: A clip of Star Trek IV is shown, showing Kirk and McCoy dressed as surgeons tending to Dr. Taylor, who lies on a gurney in distress, while addressing some policemen)
McCoy: Damn it, do you want an acute case on your hands? This woman has immediate postprandial, upper-abdominal distention. Now, out of the way! Get out of the way!
(Kirk and McCoy wheel her into the operating room)
Kirk: What did you say she had?