#700 – Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

I ranked my favorite Star Trek movies but realized I hadn’t watched a lot of them for a long time. I am watching them again in chronological order and sharing some of my thoughts after a fresh viewing. Maybe some of the movies will have a chance to move up my list after watching them again.

Last week I watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This week I watched Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek 3

On my original list The Search for Spock came in at number eight. It’s definitely not my favorite but my appreciation for the original crew’s movies has grown. Ever since I started watching the original series I have a better understanding the NCC-1701’s crew and their relationships. Armed with that deeper understanding, I was able to enjoy The Search for Spock for its relationships even if its story was a little lacking.

Here are some thoughts I had while watching The Search for Spock

Sacrifice

Sacrifice was as theme in The Wrath of Khan as well as The Search for Spock. In The Wrath of Khan Spock sacrificed his life to save the Enterprise. In The Search for Spock Kirk and crew sacrifice their careers and futures in order to save Spock. Sacrifice is an integral part of deep and authentic relationships. In the sermon at my church this past weekend I heard this quote: “you can give without loving but you can’t love without giving.” Kirk and Spock’s friendship defined their lives and added strength to each of them. That kind of life-defining friendship only comes when both parties are willing to give of themselves. Kirk told Sarek that if he hadn’t sacrificed for Spock he would have lost his soul. If we’re not willing to give of ourselves in relationships then we’re in danger of suffering the same fate.

Resurrection

“But if there’s even a chance that Spock has an eternal soul then it’s my responsibility.”

For all of their logic the Vulcans are one of the most spiritual cultures in the Star Trek universe. Humanity didn’t have any spirituality in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future but the Vulcans more than made up for that lack. Vulcans had priestesses, ceremonies and apparently an eternal soul. If Spock hadn’t transferred his katra to McCoy before dying it doesn’t seem like he would have experienced an afterlife. Since he did, though, we get a great picture of the resurrection we’ll have in Christ. When Christ returns we won’t be disembodied spirits floating through the new heaven and the new earth. According to 1 Corinthians 15 we’ll have imperishable and glorious new bodies. And we won’t even have to put up with Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon to get them.

Rules

“Don’t quote rules to me. I’m talking about loyalty and sacrifice.”

We really like it when our heroes break rules for the greater good. Kirk breaks a lot of rules in stealing the Enterprise to rescue Spock. Jesus broke all sorts of rules to heal people and set them free. In general I really like following rules; I still live my life to avoid getting called to the principal’s office. And for the most part rules are good and we should follow them. However, we shouldn’t allow legalism to keep us from following after Jesus and spreading the kingdom of God. We can’t fall into the same sins as the Pharisees, though, and allow our desire to maintain a holy appearance to keep us from meeting people in their brokenness.

While I better appreciated the relationships in my most recent viewing of The Search for Spock, I can’t say that it’s going to move up my list. I still think Christopher Lloyd makes a better taxi driver or time traveler and the movie just isn’t that exciting. But in terms of showing the lengths to which friends will go for each other The Search for Spock is a ringing success.

What are your thoughts about Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

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6 Responses to “#700 – Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”

  1. Kruge actually ranks very high on my list of favorite Klingons, but, that quibble aside, I enjoyed your post a lot! I wish ST III had made the necessity of getting Spock’s body back a little clearer – it’s not clear the Grissom ever relayed the news of the discovery of Spock’s tube back to Earth — but it’s a very solid movie in terms of character and themes, as you show.

    • The Next Generation really fleshed out the Klingons so much better than the original series or the first 5 movies. Maybe I would have liked Kruge better had I seen him before I saw Worf, Gowron or Kurn. Also, coming off Khan, Kruge was lacking as an adversary. Thanks for the comment as always, Mike!

  2. How can God know for certain that he is not part of a simulation?

    A computer with infinite memory and speed should be able to simulate anything, including an all powerful god.

    If the Matrix really does exist, how can God know that he isn’t just another piece of it?

    I’ve been wondering about this for years now and I would love to hear a Christian nerds thoughts on this idea.

    • I’ve never really thought about that. I’d imagine that if we were trapped in a simulation that God would still be outside that simulation attempting to reach us.

  3. […] week I watched Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. This week I watched Star Trek IV: The Voyage […]

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