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Josh Steinberg

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I don't think he filmed enough footage to make a worthwhile director's cut, unfortunately. A lot of the stuff he wanted to do never went before cameras.

That’s what I was saying earlier, as well. The looming writer’s strike forced them into production with a script that needed another draft, and budgetary cutbacks further limited what they were able to film. The disc editions included deleted scenes that more or less represent the entirety of unused material, and it’s not substantial. Unless someone cracks time travel to give Shatner et al the chance to go back to 1988/89 to write and shoot more footage, the material simply doesn’t exist to completely retool the film. Updating the special effects would not alter the film’s content in any substantive way.

For instance: the ending was originally intended to have Kirk chased by lava rock men as Sybok dealt with “God”. But when the rock man costume malfunctioned on set, they reworked the ending on the spot, and didn’t shoot what was scripted. That means that there is no live action element for that planned sequence for a new effect to be added to. The material just doesn’t exist.
 

Brian Husar

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I don't think he filmed enough footage to make a worthwhile director's cut, unfortunately. A lot of the stuff he wanted to do never went before cameras.
True, from what I heard the ending was supposed to have this big epic battle, and it was cancelled once the budget was slashed.
 

Josh Steinberg

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True, from what I heard the ending was supposed to have this big epic battle, and it was cancelled once the budget was slashed.

If you’ve ever read Shatner’s “Star Trek Movie Memories” book, he goes into a lot of detail about the production shortcomings. It was death by a thousand cuts - the script wasn’t what it needed to be, and then the effects budget wasn’t there, and then the stuff they did spend their money on wound up not working when they arrived in set. Truly a “this deal keeps getting worse all the time” scenario (to steal a line from another franchise’s Episode V).

If memory serves, in the script, Kirk was to be chased by six rock men that formed onscreen from lava rising out of the ground. That got cut down to three before they ever left writing, and then when it came time to budget the film, that turned into one, and then when they got to the location, that one costume malfunctioned, so six rock men turned into none before a single frame of film was even shot for the ending.

Unfortunately that’s not something a director’s cut can fix.

I sort of like what they wound up with - the wailing sounds of “God” that are heard as Kirk flees are disturbing, and we know that “God” can incinerate him with lightning. Seeing Kirk running and trying to take shelter, with Shatner’s performance selling that Kirk believes this is finally the end, works for me better than a special effect would have.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I was just looking for my copy of that last night - I think it’s been lost in a move unfortunately. I did find Chekov’s Enterprise, though.
 

Sam Favate

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I don't think he filmed enough footage to make a worthwhile director's cut, unfortunately. A lot of the stuff he wanted to do never went before cameras.
That was my sense of it too. But I think this idea of a director’s cut gave Shatner grand visions of a budget big enough to have a special effects extravaganza that would somehow boost the film in fans’ estimation.
 

Brian Husar

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I sort of like what they wound up with - the wailing sounds of “God” that are heard as Kirk flees are disturbing, and we know that “God” can incinerate him with lightning. Seeing Kirk running and trying to take shelter, with Shatner’s performance selling that Kirk believes this is finally the end, works for me better than a special effect would have.
Agreed, watched it last night and that was very powerful. The effects in the film are a big result of ILM being too busy, the stop motion looks exactly like stop motion. But I still like the sequence when they cross over.
 

dpippel

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Unless someone cracks time travel to give Shatner et al the chance to go back to 1988/89 to write and shoot more footage, the material simply doesn’t exist to completely retool the film.
Maybe he could also pick up a couple of extra whales while he's there. ;)
 

Blimpoy06

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This is the book published when the movie was in theaters.
71SUp133m-L.jpg
 

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