Star Trek fans celebrate “First Contact Day” on April 5th each year. This year is extra special as Paramount has a special treat for everyone. Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition will be made available in 4K Ultra HD on Paramount+. We were able to see the newest restoration at a special event on the Paramount lot, and it is nothing short of magnificent.
As fans of the franchise know, the original theatrical release of the film was rushed and many of the effects shots were not even completed. In 2001, original director Robert Wise worked with producer David C. Fein and preservationist Mike Matessino to execute his original vision of the film with different edits and completed special effects. This new version was applauded by fans but was only available in DVD quality. Now, Mr. Wise’s vision is available in 4K with high dynamic range and an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack. With this new digital negative, the director’s edition can now be the definitive edition.
Unlike some later films in the series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is not an action-adventure film in space. It is a cerebral sci-fi story with astonishing visuals and a legendary score. This is all the more reason why the film should be seen with the best image and sound as possible. The film famously takes its time. As you rewatch it, you can appreciate all the visual details that make V’Ger so compelling. You can also be transported by Jerry Goldsmith’s legendary score which is a symphony of intrigue and optimism.
The combination of Wise’s vision with modern technology allows you to appreciate the film in new ways. The scope of the situation is clear as the Enterprise gets closer to the threat. Kirk’s camaraderie with his crew through subtle glances and emotion hits home even more knowing that so many of them are now gone. The score’s optimistic spirit of adventure that meshes with V’ger’s mechanical tones comes to life in Atmos. These are just a few of the highlights of getting a chance to re-appreciate the movie. While it will be available at home, do not let yourself get distracted by other devices. This is a film that must be savored.
You can watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition on Paramount+. It will also have a two day theatrical release on May 22 and May 25. Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 8 at FathomEvents.com. The restored film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in September.