According to that same article what Shatner had envisaged for the story was considerably different than what finally made it to print, Shatner's story could have been a relevant social commentary, instead it was butchered into 90 hours of SCi Fi mush.
If something is not broken, don't fix it, if it is broken, don't leave it.
Oh Hell NO to ARC........One Ring to Rule Them all........
STV comes from an idea that Roddenberry was bouncing around since TOS season 1: To have the crew meet the literal unambiguous Judeo-Christian God (for a self-styled secular humanist, he had some weird religious hangups he tried to use Star Trek to work through). Exactly what he wanted to happen then varies based on who's telling the story, and ranges from questionable but respectable to hilarious blasphemy.
At some point in production, though, somebody realized that what they were doing never ended well - even a serious, reverent treatment of the Christian mythos had to walk some very fine lines, and there was no way having God and Captain Kirk sharing the screen was going to be serious and reverent. And just in case nobody had this conversation on their own, the whole Last Temptation of Christ (a serious and reverent movie that crossed those fine lines in a runaway train on fire) fiasco would have played out in the middle of it.
My main objection is with your categorization of the movie as being inspired by Roddenberry. I concede that the God-theme or Star Trek trope is an overused device, first used in "Where no Man has Gone Before," and present in Star Trek the Motion Picture. As one reviewer puts it:
"How many times does Kirk best a false God-like entity in the classic series? When you consider the premises of 'The Apple,' 'Where No Man Has Gone Before,' 'The Squire of Gothos,' 'Return of the Archons,' 'Who Mourns for Adonis?', or 'For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky' the answer is A LOT."
However, Regardless of whether the Shat was inspired by these concepts does not mean that Roddenberry advocated for these themes in this movie. In fact evidence points to the contrary. Again from Wikipedia:
"Not everyone was happy with the story. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry objected to the characters' search for God in general, and more particularly, the idea of a God as portrayed by Western religion. One of Roddenberry's employees suggested some of his employer's animosity towards the story stemmed back to Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Roddenberry had wanted to approach that film with similar ideas that investigated the nature of God but was rejected by Paramount"
Without buying these books, it is difficult to properly assess their content. But I don't think it is unnatural to assume that Shatner as producer, director and co-writer of five is defensive of his concept. Again, I can't say this definitively, but lets speculate and look at this quote from another interview:
"My one-line idea was 'Star Trek goes in search of God.' Then I ran into flak .'Whose god? What god? We're not gonna alienate people.' Then someone came up with the idea, 'Well, what happens if it's an alien who thinks he's God' 'Then humanity thinks he's the devil by rejecting that he's God.' In order to get that movie made, I agreed to it, and that was a compromise. The difference between making a compromise and being political, or standing on your standards, where do you do that?"
So was the script edited or put through a wringer? Perhaps. Is that what doomed the movie? I would argue, not. Hevach is then spot on when he recognizes "At some point in production, though, somebody realized that what they were doing never ended well." Essentially I agree that there is something so troubling about the premise, that no amount of editing or money could have saved the film.
Executive Producer Robert Winters seems to confirm some of these ideas in his interview about Star Trek V:
" We had fun and felt good about IV, that wasn't the case on V. I think on V we were smoking our own press releases. We made the mistake of searching for god. That is what the first movie did. What did we think we were going to find? What did we expect? We were focused and we wrote a good script. Larry Luckinbill (Sybok) was terrific. There were a lot of good things about it. I think we were, not delusional, but we almost killed the franchise.
And, unfortunately I almost killed the franchise in terms of the visual effects. We felt like we got taken advantage of by ILM and so we shopped to go to other places. We found a guy in New York, Bran Ferren, who had a pretty good approach to doing the effects, but ultimately they were horrible. And the combination of a story that was not working, it just wasn't commercial, the effects were terrible -- we almost killed the franchise, it almost died."
"I don't agree that Paramount short-changed the movie. They didn't give [Shatner] as much money for the story that he wanted to tell, but remember Star Trek II was done for $12 Million, and III was done for just under $16 Million, and IV came in a million under budget at $21 Million -- I have a letter at home from the president of the studio that shows that. And I think we did the fifth movie at around or just under $30 Million, so it was more. But what he wanted to do was a big grander thing. But I don?t think more money would have made the movie better."
well st V wasnt a complete fail, the kirk one lining question, "what does god need with a starship?" was mega .
still it was interesting in a way while the plot was as terrible as a person failing to beat their way out of a wet paper bag, i would say that it did explore some aspects of the crew that were not really known, why mccoy is so driven and on rails most time not far from flying off the tracks, or as he was talking to himself "You'll have a great time, Bones. You'll enjoy your shore leave. You'll be able to relax. You call this relaxing? I'm a nervous wreck. If I'm not careful I might end up talking to myself."
Spock's pain of his past, "Yes. I lost a brother once. But I was lucky, I got him back.".
Joined STO late 2010. Bought starter pack LoR & LTS 2013.
Proud owner of a Targ pup to a federation character. T5 Miranda FTW! Hope to see Miranda Class made a T5 ship.
As I recall "God" said that he needed a starship to get off that planet because someone or something imprisoned him there several millennia ago or something. I wonder if it as Q lol?
Common on now you read the book too. The Q did imprison him there. They also created the great barrier to keep out sevaral other bad omnipotent beings. The entity that fed off of War. (TOS: Day of the Dove) Also the Entity from TOS: And the Children shall lead. Are some of the beings that the Q had to deal with and Ban from the Galaxy.
Now ol Bill did write and I believe direct this film. He is why it failed. Have you ever read his Star trek novels? Now we love you Bill but there are things that you should leave to the professionals. I listened to the DVD commentary of this movie and his wife also had a big part in the making of this film. Someone that also had no previous experence in making a movie. I put it the same league as the TNG episodes that Johnathon Frakes (Riker) wrote and Directed.
Now ol Bill did write and I believe direct this film. He is why it failed. Have you ever read his Star trek novels?
No, but I did read the first of his TekWar novels. A drug that comes on a computer chip? Really, Bill? The only parts of that I found readable were the parts that came from his obvious ghostwriter, Ron Goulart (including one bit where the detectives go undercover, using the names of the main characters in Goulart's graphic novel StarHawks). However, even Goulart's help wasn't enough to make me read it a second time, or pick up any of the numerous sequels.
"You're as crazy as the people on Twitter!" - Samuel L. Jackson
My biggest problem with STV, besides Shatners ego being larger than the budget, remains to this day the whole 'We need Jim Kirk' line.
The Enterprise was a mess, and that impacted on the misison. Surely, better to send Captain B with a WORKING STARSHIP.
Frankly it doesn't matter how 'heroic' or 'legendary' the Captain is, he's not much good in a broken ship and boy did it show. A working ship could probably have simply swept in and beamed the hostages out instead of sending an away team (oddly comprised of quite a few members of the senior staff) that failed to acheive anything useful.
And what the hell was the Excelsior doing whilst this was going on?!
The main story of Star Trek V was BAD. But the things it touched on and covered were infact quite good.
Though one thing always stuck in my mind. How did Kirk go from 'meh klingons' to "I hate klingons and it's printed on my underwear' in episode 6?
Sorry that was seriously lost in translation.
I seem to recall something in the novelization about Carol Marcus being seriously injured in a Klingon attack, which sort of rekindled his hatred. Been a couple decades since I read that though. Update: found a sentence about it at Memory Beta:
In 2293, early in the year, Marcus was critically wounded during a Klingon attack upon the Federation colony world of Kudao; a weapons-test for General Chang's prototype Bird-of-Prey capable of firing while cloaked.
In any case I think the implication is that quite a bit of time passed between Star Treks V and VI, after all the Enterprise senior staff went from just getting a new starship in V to being about to retire in VI. Lots more could have happened in that time period to make him renew his hatred of Klingons.
I've never considered STV to be one of the better ST movies, but it's actually not bad. I thought the actor who played Sybock was very good, and made an otherwise stock character fully fleshed out. I wasn't surprised that he died in the end, but I was disappointed; I would've liked to have seen more of him, especially as to how he and Spock got along.
Special effects were definitely sub-par.
Overall, I found STV to be better than I, III, X (Nemesis) and XII (Into Darkness).