The "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" Quiz

Michael Poteet

About This Quiz

Have you "learned all that is learnable" about the Enterprise's first trek to the silver screen? Here's your chance to prove it!

Which Starfleet outpost monitors the Klingons’ ill-fated attack on V’Ger?

Epsilon 9’s commanding officer, Branch, was played by David Gautreaux, who had been cast to play Vulcan science officer Xon in the never-produced “Star Trek Phase II” TV series.

What is the name of the Klingon cruiser leading the attack on V’Ger?

The ship’s name is heard in the film’s theatrical release, as an Epsilon IX computer translates the Klingons’ transmission. It was dropped from the 2001 Director’s Edition.

Where is Spock when first seen in the film?

The appearance of Vulcan was changed for the 2001 Director’s Edition to eliminate the moon from Vulcan’s sky (in the original series episode “The Man Trap,” Spock told Uhura, “Vulcan has no moon.”)

What mental and philosophical discipline is Spock pursuing on Vulcan?

Kolinhar is the discipline through which Vulcans fully shed and renounce all emotion.

What prevents Spock from achieving kolinahr?

The Vulcan priestess’ mind meld with Spock reveals that he has sensed V’Ger calling to him from space, and the contact “stirs [his] human half.”

As the film begins, who is captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise?

In Gene Roddenberry’s novelization of the film, Captain Will Decker is established to be the son of Commodore Matt Decker, who perished in the original series episode “The Doomsday Machine.”

Admiral Kirk recommended Commander Sonak serve in which capacity aboard the Enterprise?

Sonak never has the chance to serve as science officer; he is one of two crewmembers killed in a transporter malfunction. Roddenberry’s novel reveals the other was Vice Admiral Lori Ciana, to whom Kirk had been romantically attached.

Which former Enterprise yeoman serves as transporter chief aboard the refit Enterprise?

Grace Lee Whitney made the first of an eventual four Star Trek movie appearances as Janice Rand (the others were in Star Trek III, Star Trek IV and Star Trek VI). She also reprised the role in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager (“Flashback”).

What is the home planet of Lieutenant Ilia, the Enterprise’s new navigator?

Years before, Decker was stationed on Delta IV, where he fell in love with Ilia. He left without saying goodbye. Decker and Ilia’s romantic dynamic would serve as the template for Riker and Troi’s relationship in Star Trek: The Next Generation—a romance that ended much more happily!

Why does Decker countermand Kirk’s phaser order when the Enterprise is experiencing the wormhole effect?

In Roddenberry’s novel, Kirk is chagrined that Starfleet did not accept his recommendation against this change in the phasers’ design. The incident highlights his need to rely on Decker for knowledge of the refit vessel.

According to Scotty, how long did the redesign and refit of the Enterprise take?

In the real world, a decade passed between the last first-run broadcast of live-action Star Trek (“Turnabout Intruder,” June 3, 1969—just over a month before men first walked on the moon) and the premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Which of the following does Dr. McCoy not complain about upon his return to the Enterprise?

True to form, McCoy also complains about the transporters: A crewmember who beams up before him reports McCoy “said something about seeing how it first scrambled our molecules.”

Who is the last member of Kirk’s Enterprise crew to rejoin the ship on its mission to intercept V’Ger?

Spock catches up to the Enterprise in a long-range courier shuttle christened the Surak, in honor of the father of Vulcan’s logical philosophy (as established in the original series episode, “The Savage Curtain”).

What disturbing sight does the Enterprise crew witness while assembled on the recreation deck?

The “rec deck” scene was designed to show off the size of the refit Enterprise. Hundreds of long-time Star Trek fans (including such famous fans as David Gerrold and Bjo Trimble) portrayed the Enterprise crew.

What distinctive Deltan trait briefly disrupts Chekov’s and Sulu’s composure while in Ilia’s presence?

Although the fact is not made entirely explicit in the finished film, we do see evidence of Ilia’s arousing effect on the men when Chekov grins broadly as she enters the bridge and when Sulu (in an extended cut) fumbles while showing her helm controls. We also hear Ilia tell Kirk, in all versions of the film, that her “oath of celibacy is on record.”

Whose pain does Ilia ease after he or she is burned?

The scene of Ilia using empathy to ease Chekov’s pain was cut from the theatrical version but restored in 1983 for a television broadcast. Ilia’s heightened empathy suggests further that she was a template for Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Counselor Troi.

What form does V’Ger’s probe first take when it boards the Enterprise?

The column of light “zaps” Ilia, which (we later learn) “patterns” her “for data storage,” and allowing V’Ger to send another (or perhaps the same) probe in the navigator’s corporeal form.

Who replaces Ilia as navigator after Ilia is killed?

Marcy Lafferty played Chief DiFalco. She was married to William Shatner at the time. The couple divorced in 1994.

Where does V’Ger’s Ilia probe first appear aboard the Enterprise?

Sonic showers would be mentioned in later Star Trek. In “The Game” (The Next Generation), Wesley Crusher’s sonic shower was reprogrammed to cover him in mud as a prank. Also, the sonic showers aboard Deep Space 9 were known to malfunction.

How does the Ilia probe refer to human beings?

McCoy must explain the terminology to Ensign Perez (which doesn’t speak too highly of Starfleet Academy’s biology curriculum!). The probe regards only machines as true life forms.

How does the Ilia probe demonstrate superior physical strength?

The Ilia probe was not the first super-strong android seen in Star Trek (compare Ruk in the original series episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”), nor would it be the last (in Data’s first appearance, “Encounter at Farpoint,” he single-handedly lifts Wesley Crusher out of a stream on the holodeck).

In the film, how does Decker try and awaken Ilia’s memories within the Ilia probe?

It’s not clear what the object of the game is, but McCoy praises Decker for using “audio-visual association.” Roddenberry’s novelization strongly suggests Decker and the probe have sexual intercourse, as well.

For which of the following was Persis Khambatta best known before she played Lieutenant Ilia?

After her modeling and beauty pageant careers, Khambatta starred in Bollywood films prior to being cast as Ilia. In 1980 she was the first Indian citizen to present an Academy Award. She died of a heart attack in 1998, at only 49 years of age.

What drastic action does Spock take to try and make contact with V’Ger?

An elaborate sequence in which Kirk followed Spock, only to be attacked by a crystalline “sensor swarm” at V’Ger’s “memory wall,” was storyboarded and partially filmed, but never completed.

Spock sees several images while inside V’Ger. With which one does he mind meld?

Spock surmises the device “must have some special significance.” The meld floods Spock’s mind with images and causes him to cry out in pain.

What object does Dr. Chapel use to try and awaken Ilia’s memories within the Ilia probe?

The scene with the headband as cut from the theatrical release but restored with the 1983 “Special Longer Version.”

After his mind meld with V’Ger, Spock at one point compares V'Ger to what?

As V’Ger rocks the Enterprise, McCoy wryly observes, “Your child is having a tantrum, Mr. Spock. What do you suggest we do? Spank it?”

In the “Special Longer Version” of The Motion Picture, Kirk tells Scotty to prepare to execute Starfleet Order 2005. What does this order call for?

When an assistant engineer asks Scott whether the Enterprise will, in its self-destruction, take the intruder with it, Scott replies, “When that much matter and antimatter come together, oh, yes, we will indeed.”

What is the “secret identity” of V’Ger, only revealed near the film’s conclusion?

V’Ger left Earth, in Star Trek’s history, as NASA’s Voyager 6. In reality, NASA only launched two Voyager probes. In 2013 and 2014, scientists debated whether Voyager 1 had yet left the solar system to enter interstellar space; at some point, however, it has or will become the first human-made object to do so.

How does V’Ger gain what it needs to transcend this dimension of existence?

Had the “Phase II” television series been produced, Decker and Ilia would have continued as weekly characters. As things stood, both characters could be “written out” at the end of The Motion Picture, in a special effects spectacular as V’Ger transcends our reality.

How many days would it take the Enterprise to reach Vulcan at the end of the film?

Scott offers to return Spock to Vulcan, but Spock declines, saying his task there is complete. In an alternate, more humorous take improvised by Nimoy but unused, Spock says that if Dr. McCoy is remaining aboard the ship, his own presence is required.

What ship's course heading does Kirk order at the end of the film?

Kirk would quote Peter Pan’s flight directions later in the franchise, near the end of Star Trek VI.

What was Star Trek: The Motion Picture’s tagline, seen onscreen at the end of the film?

The Motion Picture is one of only three Star Trek films to end with on-screen text (apart from the end credits). The others are Star Trek III (“...And the Adventure Continues…”) and Star Trek VI (which ends with the cast members literally “signing off,” one by one).

What accomplished Hollywood director directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture?

Although best known for directing West Side Story and The Sound of Music, Wise also directed the science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still. He edited director Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane—and Welles provided voiceovers for Star Trek: The Motion Picture television commercials.

What acclaimed Hollywood composer scored Star Trek: The Motion Picture?

Gene Roddenberry so admired Goldsmith’s “Main Title,” he had it combined with Alexander Courage’s fanfare from the original series to create the theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Goldsmith scored four more Star Trek movies (Star Trek V, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis), and composed the theme for Star Trek: Voyager.

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