“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and Minding the Gaps of Life

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Enterprise feels like a house with all the children gone. No, more empty even then that. The death of Spock is like an open wound. It seem that I have left the most noblest part of myself back there on that newborn planet.

One of my favorite moments in this film is actually in the opening credits at the beginning of a film. This was a time when most films, instead of jumping right into the action, ramped up the spectacle by featuring the primary actors, writers, composers, directors, and so on in very large text. After a flashback recap, the viewer is greeted with the opening credits as normal, but then something unique happens. After seeing “Starring William Shatner,” you instinctively expect to see Leonard Nimoy’s name, as is the case for both of the previous two movies. But this time, after Shatner’s name disappears, there is… nothing. For an noticeably long time nothing appears — just a gap — before proceeding to DeForest Kelley’s name. The audience, still reeling from the death of Spock, is forced right off the bat into a moment where the character’s absence is noticed.

Such then is life, where opportunities come up, one after another, to notice when something is missing. And that’s the genius of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the darkest and most underrated of the Original Series films. Continue reading