ByJonathan Bird, writer at
Jonathan Bird

Well, the time is nearly upon us. It’s nearly the 50th year anniversary of Star Trek and to commemorate this momentous occasion I asked members of to provide me with the top 6 Star Trek films ever created. The results are listed below:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The undisputed champion 30 years running, The Wrath of Khan remains the seminal Star Trek film of all time. Kirk is at the height of his powers. He has a villain who is his equal. At stake is the most dangerous technology in Federation history, with moral implications worthy of a classic McCoy-Spock debate. Moreover, the film gives depth where even the TV series often didn't. Kirk's infinite affairs with his galactic girlfriends at one point produced a son - one with a complicated opinion of his father. Kirk's cowboy-style problem solving in years past catches up to him in the form of Khan. Finally, even while it was later reversed, the most compelling, pivotal, and emotional death in Trek history make The Wrath of Khan the best Star Trek film of all time.

Star Trek: 2009

A Hail Mary reboot of the franchise that still tried (if unsuccessfully) to be faithful to it’s heritage - and it worked. Kirk and Spock were cool again, the Enterprise was once again the star-ship everyone wanted to fly, and Star Trek was about doing things rather than saying things for the first time in a long time. While some fringe criticisms that this was an action film dressed in Roddenberry drag are not entirely unwarranted, J.J. Abrams's take on Trek breathed some much needed vitality - and public interest - into the franchise. And if nothing else, Karl Urban's version on Dr. McCoy is a treat that cannot be missed. Honestly the second best Star Trek movie (not story) ever released.

Star Trek: First Contact

Picard versus the Borg on the big screen, with bonus Starfleet origin stories. While it may represent the moment Star Trek jumped the shark, it also was the first, last, and only time the Next Generation crew shone brightly on the big screen. The villain was dangerous, the stakes were high, and every character had a moment of competence and character growth. Plus, the battles were cool, and we finally got some rock & roll into the Trek universe. If you'd never seen a NextGen episode before, you could still enjoy this movie on its merits. There is no higher franchise compliment.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek always had its comedic episodes but ‘the one with the whales’ is perhaps the favorite film of non-Trekkies that's enjoyed by hard-core Klingon-quotes, as well. The Voyage Home is the exact opposite of The Motion Picture, as the Enterprise is almost entirely absent, and the crew spends most of its time in 1986 San Francisco, rather than the eye-candy future. Strip Star Trek of all the trappings of Star Trek, and you're just left with the people, and that's a good thing. While Voyage Home played the show's premise for a few laughs and some enviro-preachiness, it's still well worth your time.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

A murder mystery in space where all of the classic Trek characters are in character, have something to do, and ultimately save a galaxy on the brink of war? And the bad guy is a Shakespeare-quoting Klingon played by Christopher Plummer? Yeah, I can work with that. The dialogue is a bit cheesy, and the mystery a bit un-mysterious, but this one hits all its marks and treats the franchise with respect. It was a more than satisfactory way to send out the original Enterprise crew, although why we couldn't get at least a TV miniseries of Captain Sulu's time aboard the USS Excelsior I'll never know. All in all, a worthy apology for Star Trek V.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

Finally, Team Kirk gets to fight the Klingons on the big screen, and our antagonist is a ridged-forehead version Doc Brown from Back to the Future. The film's entire plot is about undoing everything that happened in Star Trek II, including un-killing Spock - who, despite being one of the two most popular Star Trek characters, is almost entirely absent from the film - then unmaking Planet Genesis and un-introducing Kirk's son. Even destroying the USS Enterprise can't disguise the fact that the entire film is one giant retraction. Having said that, it is still somehow one of the most memorable of the Star Trek films, so they have that going for them.


“Let’s see what’s out there.” From the list of 6 Star Trek movies I have created, which of them is your most favorite film?


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