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 III: The Search for Spock. This week I watched Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
I wish I could remember the order in which I watched the first six Star Trek movies. I definitely didn’t watch them in order but some part of me remembers watching The Voyage Home first.
The Voyage Home is one of the most beloved Star Trek movies among both fans and critics. It’s definitely a more lighthearted affair without a central villain or much violence. As a child I liked it because it had whales but, upon my most recent viewing, I appreciate it because of the relationships.
I’ve said it many times, but Star Trek is at its best when focusing on the relationships among the different crewmembers. Without an evil antagonist or photon-filled battles in space, The Voyage Home is able to spend even more time with the crew of the NCC-1701. We obviously get to see the relationship between Kirk and Spock, but we also get further development in the relationships of the other crewmembers.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The Voyage Home definitely has a message about the need for conservation and the responsibility humans have to care for the environment. While I’m not tying myself to any trees, I care about conservation. I don’t think we should kill endangered species and I think it would be wise to find alternative forms of energy. I’ve never understood why so many Christians are opposed to conservation and taking care of the environment. Since “liberals” support the environment then I guess that means evangelical Christians in America can’t support the environment. That’s dangerous rhetoric, which blinds us to God’s call to work and take care of the earth. God’s creation is good and it is his; we are simply stewards of it.
I love how Spock’s axiom, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one” gets flipped around in The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home. We love when Spock sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise. But, even though it’s not logical, we also love it when Kirk and crew sacrifice themselves for one person. And in The Voyage Home Spock shows his humanity in his assertion that they must rescue Chekov, even though he is only one person. Humanity is at its best when we realize that individual humans matter. It’s easy to ignore people when we group them together, either literally or just through stereotypes in our minds. However, if we can see the value that each individual person has, we’re more willing to make sacrifices for him or her, even if it isn’t the logical thing to do.
I loved the whales in The Voyage Home. I actually love whales period. They’re totally awesome. Humans feel a kinship with whales because, while they live in the ocean, they are mammals just like us. I love that while swimming through the oceans whales will propel themselves out of the water, just jumping around because they can. Even if no humans had ever seen a whale jump out of the water, they would have still done it because it’s what they do. I love that whales glorify God by simply being whales. A whale best glorifies God when it is at its whale-iest. And we best glorify God when we are most human, which means modeling the life and behavior of Jesus.
I originally listed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as my fourth favorite Star Trek movie. I still really like it and I don’t see it moving too far up or down on my list. It’s funny and shows that Star Trek can have as much heart as it does warp speed and aliens.
What are your thoughts about Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home?