26 Years Later: Star Trek V Beams Into Theaters

26 Years Later: Star Trek V Beams Into Theaters

It was June 9, 1989, or 26 years ago today, that Star Trek V: The Final Frontier debuted on screens across the country. Directed by William Shatner, the movie remains as polarizing as ever -- even all these years later. In it, Sybok, an emotional Vulcan, and his followers take hostages on Nimbus III, the so-called Planet of Galactic Peace. Sybok aims to locate God, and his strategy is basic: snatch hostages on Nimbus III, reel in a starship and commandeer it to fulfill his destiny. That ship is the Enteprise, of course, and Kirk and especially Spock -- Sybok's half-brother -- harbor other ideas about Sybok's quest to breach the Great Barrier.

The Final Frontier is widely regarded as the least successful TOS feature. Despite a genuinely daring and thought-provoking premise -- searching for God -- the general perception was, is and will likely forever be that the film just doesn't work. Too much around the central premise doesn't play as intended. Nothing operational on the Enterprise? Scotty bumping into things? "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" sung around a campfire? Cringe-worthy lines like "On the contrary, gravity is the foremost thing on my mind" or "Please, captain, not in front of the Klingons," didn't help, nor did lackluster visual effects.

Here are some questions to ponder, lines to remember and factoids to absorb...

-- First, was the search for God too big an idea for even Star Trek to tackle?

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