Previously in Big Liars in Little Poster Town, we have seen the major flaw on the poster of the film that gave Star Trek new life. Effectively, The Wrath of Khan was a Genesis torpedo for the franchise, despite having the major mistake on the poster.
It’s now 1984. The Star Trek licence has indeed been given new life. A further sequel was a definite following the success of Khan- in fact they had been given 2 further sequels to play with. The problem was where do they go from here.
It was decided early on that Spock must return, hence the useful mind-meld on McCoy in an otherwise impractical situation. Long negotiations with Leonard Nimoy ended with him agreeing to resume playing Spock, in return for the role of director for the next 2 films and story writer for the fourth Trek film. The Search for Spock had begun. So you would think, after the mistake on the poster of Khan, that the next time around they would get it right and produce a poster which was truthful. And they did, to an extent.
Third Example: STAR TREK III : The Search for Spock
As you can see, the artist did get it right this time. The USS Enterprise does indeed have a battle with a Klingon Bird of Prey. Briefly. In fact, the actual fight lasts about 2 minutes. It’s nowhere near as exciting as this poster makes it out to be. The two ships just fire off a couple of photon torpedoes at each other. That’s it.
So, where’s the rest of the fight as illustrated on this poster? Where’s all that damage the Bird of Prey is causing to the hull of the Enterprise? Well, this actually happened in The Wrath of Khan. That exact damage is caused by the USS Reliant, not a Bird of Prey. It’s clear that the artist was told that there would be a battle, so he based the poster on the previous battle from Khan, replacing the Reliant (yes, the Reliant misses out again) with a Bird of Prey. If I was the artist who illustrated this, then actually went to see this film, I would be so disappointed.
I know you’re probably thinking to yourself that this may be a small mistake; the ships are right, shut up Martin. It’s just that the battle is quite insignificant in this film, that’s my major bugbear here. Just think of what we could of had instead of it. Why didn’t we have an illustration of the fight between Kirk and Kruge. Or even have a picture of that Klingon who gets vaporised. Or David and Saavik being held hostage at D’k tahg (Klingon knife) point.
All this action and drama is missed off the poster, and I can’t help feel that it may have deterred people away from seeing it. The reason I feel this is because the poster insinuates a great battle like that in the previous film. In other words, yet another long ship battle. Why would people want to see that again, when the previous film did it so well? Of course, the film actually kept its originality and was a very different film to Khan. This is what Trek needed, not the same thing over and over again.
The Search for Spock was a box office smash, but it received mixed reviews. It wasn’t as highly acclaimed as its predecessor, but to call it a bad film is unfair. It is a good film, with some great moments. It could also be argued that The Search for Spock is one of the best odd-numbered Trek movies around- not including the recent Star Trek, which is number XI.
The Star Trek movies continued on and Star Trek was on the verge of its golden era. Luckily, the producers finally saw sense following this film, and the Star Trek film posters which succeeded this were accurate and without flaw. Although this is the last Star Trek film we will feature in this series, our adventure continues….