Star Trek: The Motion Picture 4k Director's Edition Remaster Reveals New Images

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On Monday, Paramount+ revealed new images from its upcoming 4k Ultra HD Star Trek: The Motion Picture Director's Edition remaster. One shows the refitted USS Enterprise, while the other offers a top-down view of an office complex orbiting Earth. You can see both below. Remember that the remastering process uses Dolby Vision's high dynamic range (HDR) service to adjust coloring, but those adjustments don't always come through in digital stills. In other words, we won't be able to appreciate these scenes fully until we can see the film in motion on a 4k resolution screen. For an idea of what that might look like, check out the first look at the remastered Director's Edition, released by Paramount+ shortly after the project's announcement. 

Oscar-winning director Robert Wise directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture but was not satisfied with the film's theatrical cut, completed on a tight, unmovable deadline. The Director's Edition allowed Wise to achieve his vision, returning abandoned elements and special effects shots when Paramount released it on VHS and DVD in 2001. The Director's Edition didn't receive a Blu-ray re-release, making this 4k restoration the first time it's available in anything other than standard definition. 

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(Photo: Paramount+)

Wise died in 2005 at age 91. Three of his colleagues who worked with him during the film's original production are heading the Star Trek: The Motion Picture 4k Director's Edition restoration. The team includes producer David C. Fein, restoration supervisor Mike Matessino, and visual effects supervisor Daren R. Dochterman.

In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, "The USS Enterprise boldly debuted on the big screen with the cast of the original Star Trek series, including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and James Doohan. When an unidentified alien intruder destroys three powerful Klingon cruisers, Captain James T. Kirk returns to the helm of a newly transformed USS. Enterprise to take command. This is the original theatrical cut of the acclaimed adventure and features Jerry Goldsmith's rousing iconic overture."

While not involved in this restoration, acclaimed visual effects artist Douglas Trumball worked on the original film. When it returned to theaters for its 40th anniversary in 2019, ComicBook.com spoke to Trumball about the creative vision for Star Trek's first film.

"I think that everybody was on the same boat in that respect because there was a definite desire to elevate Star Trek to higher territory and epic territory," he said. "And that's why it's named Star Trek: The Motion Picture, not just Star Trek something else. They wanted to make sure it was differentiated from the television episodic series. That was why, I think, they hired Robert Wise, because he had done The Sound of Music and West Side Story, really important films that were epic in nature. And I think that's what they wanted for Star Trek."

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(Photo: Paramount+)

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture 4k Director's Edition premieres exclusively on Paramount+ in 2022. Star Trek: The Motion Picture's theatrical cut is part of the Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection 4k UHD set. The set is on sale now.