From Klingon-spoken wedding vows to ‘live long and prosper’ tattoos, it’s impossible to ignore the lasting and fervent adoration that fans of the Star Trek franchise continue to exude.
With eight generations of the television series and 13 films under its belt (12 of which have landed on Stan), the franchise has gone from strength to strength, revamping and rebooting over time to give fresh flavour and perspective.
The Star Trek cinematic universe continues to live long and prosper. Get your fill of the iconic films now on Stan.
But when it comes to the cinematic offerings, there are definitely films that stand above the rest in terms of quality, impact and sentimental value. These five films are the ones we recognise to stand the test of time — and warp speed.
Almost universally recognised as the best of the Star Trek cinematic offerings, The Wrath of Khan took the initial Star Trek cinematic offering and breathed life into it, packing it out with more of a storyline, real consequences and a villain that harked back to one lone episode in the first series.
Another sequel that hit the mark, Star Trek: Into Darkness also featured iconic villain Khan as the main antagonist — perhaps demonstrating that the strongest villains are the ones with the most personal of motivations.
Numbers-wise it’s the twelfth instalment in the filmic universe and the second from J.J. Abrams, but beyond that it holds sentimental value as the last time Leonard Nimoy portrayed Spock before his death in 2015. Live long and prosper, Leonard.
J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek universe was encircled by its fair share of doubt before its release in 2009, but spot-on casting and vivid special effects helped it make its mark within the franchise’s epic history.
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto were powerful replacements for William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as Captain Kirk and Spock, respectively, and with a 94% approval rating it is still currently the highest rating Star Trek film on Rotten Tomatoes.
The second instalment of the Next Generation films, Star Trek: First Contact saw the new crew (led by Shakespeare-trained Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard) come into their own.
It held the title of highest-rated Star Trek film until the 2009 reboot, and for good reason: First Contact simultaneously paid respect to the originals while making it clear that it was ready to break out on its own. And it’s a good thing it did.
Though it certainly didn’t make its cinematic mark on critics, the first Star Trek film will always hold a nostalgic place in the hearts of original Trekkies. Created ten years after the end of the original series, it featured a host of familiar faces and paved the way for Star Trek to reach the silver screen.
While it may not be the flashiest in the franchise’s history, it’s the film you can thank for boldly taking the crew where no Star Trek characters had gone before.
So throw up a Vulcan salute and check them all out now, on Stan.