Tuesday, April 2, 2013

100 Greatest Moments: Movies Edition

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the Star Trek magazine special's greatest moments from the franchise as they reflect each of the series:

26) David Marcus dies (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) 
The son of Kirk is murdered by Klingons.  It comes up again three films later. (#97)

25) McCoy relives his father's death (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) 
Crucial to the arc of Spock's half-brother running around trying to find God is his ability to attract followers by relieving their pain.  He does so by making them confront it.  McCoy wanted to spare his father pain, too, but couldn't know that the illness afflicting him would be cured soon after. (#96)

24) pink Klingon blood (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) 
The magazine doesn't seem to know why the Klingons have pink blood in this movie, but it's because the ratings board would have gone crazy otherwise. (#93)

23) Data dies (Star Trek Nemesis) 
Most of the reason why this is rated so low is that most fans don't respect the movie in which it happens.  I do.  But as I've said before, I'm not here to quibble. (#91)

22) Worf gets a zit (Star Trek: Insurrection) 
One of the wacky side effects of defending a planet with a functional fountain of youth is this moment. (#90)

21) Spock mind melds with V'ger (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) 
One of Spock's many mind melds embraced by the magazine.  It's the turning point of the whole movie, naturally. (#65)

20) Zephram Cochrane greets the Vulcan (Star Trek: First Contact) 
The end of the movie has the biggest surprise, because until this point fans didn't know how humans and Vulcans met.  Ended up serving as the basis for an entire series, plus the secret origin of the Mirror Universe. (#64)

19) George Kirk dies (Star Trek) 
One of the best moments of the 2009 reboot came early on, when we meet Kirk's heretofore unseen father and the circumstances of his death in the diverging timeline. (#62)

18) Riker stuns Zephram Cochrane (Star Trek: First Contact) 
Cochrane was just one of the many reasons this film proved instantly memorable, and this is just one of the many ways he helped make it that way. I'm sure it wasn't because Riker was getting revenge for that whole drunk episode with Troi.  Noooo (#60)

17) "What does God need with a starship?" (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) 
Kirk asks this question.  McCoy counters with "You don't ask the Almighty for his I.D."  But Kirk is right. (#53)

16) orbital skydive (Star Trek) 
In a movie filled with action, this one of the best action moments. (#46)

15) Decker merges with the Ilia probe (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) 
Those two people you don't remember from the original series?  Neither makes it out of the movie alive.  But they help the evolved probe fulfill its mission (and incidentally not destroy Earth).  Rampant speculation through the years has it V'ger was modified by the Borg.  Although that would imply that the Collective either had equally mechanical origins ("Have you seen John Connor?  We're supposed to go out on a date.") or that the darn probe screwed everything up (which is what fans have been saying about this movie). (#43)

14) destruction of the Enterprise-D (Star Trek Generations) 
Saucer section goes sledding!  Calvin was at the helm. (#41)

13) Kirk cheated in the Kobayashi Maru test (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) 
An increasingly crucial element of franchise lore is established. (#35)

12) Kirk meets Picard (Star Trek Generations) 
Everyone thought it would be more epic. (#26)

11) Spock and the punk (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) 
You know the punk.  The one with the boom box.  The one everyone cheers to see receive the Vulcan nerve pinch.  Colorful metaphors not required. (#25)

10) Data switches off the emotion chip (Star Trek: First Contact) 
The fact that Data is an android was a heavy emphasis of his appearances in the movies.  This is still the best moment concerning that part of his character. (#20)

9) destruction of the Enterprise (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) 
It was talking to the Klingons.  Or maybe just counting down to a self-destruct.  Or it could have been Marvin. (#18)

8) ready room confrontation (Star Trek: First Contact) 
My personal favorite moment from this or any other Star Trek movie, Picard and Lily clash over what to do about the Borg.  The magazine cleverly points out that although Khan brought up Ahab first, it was Picard who learned the lesson. (#17)

7) battle of Mutara Nebula (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) 
Other than the Battle of Wolf 359, this is the most famous ship fight in franchise lore. (#15)

6) Kirk meets McCoy (Star Trek) 
The best moment in the reboot was our and Kirk's introduction to McCoy.  Everyone knows it. (#14)

5) Data is tempted by the Borg Queen (Star Trek: First Contact) 
As in the series, the android somehow still gets around more than anyone else (besides Riker). (#13)

4) Khaaaaaan! (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) 
This is the utterance everyone knows.  The funny thing is that it's all part of a bluff, so the passion everyone remembers so fondly is just another Corbomite maneuver. (#12)

3) eels in the ears (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) 
Creepy crawly. (#8)

2) Spock mind melds with Gracie (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) 
In which he discovers she's pregnant, which is the least of what puts Gillian in a near-constant tizzy. (#6)

1) Spock dies (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
A moment so memorable that the film that follows it builds the entire first and final act around reprising it.  And even without that, would anyone dispute this as the greatest moment in the film series if not the entire franchise?  I thought not. (#1)


  1. The eels in the ears were creepy. Still gives me shivers to this day. I find that Wrath of Khan was my favorite of all. When Spock died, I actually cried. Great list of memorable moments in Star Trek.

    1. Spock's death is probably the only other one besides E.T.'s that provokes that kind of response from me.

  2. A nice commentary on the list Tony. Too bad #25 led to the awful Final Frontier.

    1. It's funny that unlike every other retrospective the magazine refrained from making judgments on the franchise in a negative capacity. But yeah, for the record people generally don't like the fifth movie.


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