Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Poster


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  • He might have been carrying a small device that activated the transporter. The crew, or Scotty specifically, could have also programmed the transporter to detect any crew approaching the ship and set it to automatically beam them aboard. As to any non-Bounty crewmember approaching the ship being unexpectedly beamed aboard, it's not farfetched to think the transporter could ID them with the ship's obvious external cameras. Edit

  • Think about the acceleration process: we've seen that the Bird-of-Prey is a very fast ship and can accelerate at almost unheard of speeds BUT it still needs some time -- like most of the ships in the series -- to get up to it's highest warp factor. Even the Enterprise needs a few minutes to build up enough velocity to reach it's highest speed -- a warp core is a very delicate and sophisticated piece of machinery and the process of building up that velocity is probably just as delicate. While Sulu is at the bridge controls stepping on the proverbial gas pedal, Scotty would be down in the engineering bay watching all the monitoring equipment associated with acceleration and making fine adjustments to insure that the warp core wouldn't overload and melt down or malfunction in another way. Sulu and Scotty have to work as a precision team to keep that process running smoothly and safely. Edit

  • We don't know how advanced the technology used by the alien race that communicated with the whales actually is. It's obviously very much so if the probe can travel such a great distance and produce a signal that renders ships and starbases powerless and ionizes Earth's oceans. It's not a stretch to imagine that their listening tech is also advanced enough to hear clear across a vast distance. When the beings who sent the probe lost contact, they simply wanted a closer look at Earth to find out what happened, so they sent the probe.

    Another theory is that they might have sent other probes to Earth previously that may not have been detected up to the 21st Century when the whales became extinct. Edit

  • In 1986 tensions were high between the United States and the then-Soviet Union (USSR), who were engaged in a longstanding period of diplomacy known as the Cold War. The two world superpowers were in a heated race to see who could dominate the world with their respective forms of government, the USA was a democratic republic while the USSR was a communist bloc. Nuclear weapons were also a large factor and an "arms race" was taking place to see who could build the largest and most powerful military.

    Because Chekov is Russian and was speaking English with a noticeable accent and because he was born long after the Soviet Union disbanded and peace had reigned on Earth for hundreds of years, he and Uhura didn't realize they were in a time period where Russian people who came to the United States, even legally, were thought of as spies. So naturally the cop was very leery about a Russian man asking about military vehicles like "nuclear wessels" and their location.

    In 1989 the Soviet Union, under the leadership of then-premiere Mikhail Gorbachev, began to disband and let the countries they'd controlled for 70 years (Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Cuba and many others), become independent. Edit

  • An alien vessel armed with a destructive space probe begins to circle the Earth, and no one can figure out the meaning of the strange sounds emanating from it. After a little adjusting, Vulcan science officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) recognizes the sounds as being the calls of humpback whales, which no longer exist on Earth, having been hunted to extinction. As the destruction of the Earth grows more and more imminent, Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) decides to take the Bounty back to 20th century Earth, locate two humpback whales, and bring them back to the 23rd century. They enlist the help of Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), assistant director of the Sausalito (California) Cetacean Institute, which houses the only two humpback whales in captivity, but the whales are due to be released in the open Alaska waters in less than 24 hours, leaving precious little time to build an enclosure big enough to hold the whales and thousands of tons of water, to obtain high-energy photons from the reactor of a nuclear vessel with which to repair their damaged dilithium crystals, and to get back to the 23rd century in time to save the planet. Edit

  • The entire crew returns in some capacity. Besides Kirk and Spock, there's Dr Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan), communications officer Lt Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), first officer Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), helmsman Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Vulcan Lt Saavik {Robin Curtis), Dr Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett), and Janice Rand (now a commander) (Grace Lee Whitney). Spock's father Sarek (Mark Lenard) and his mother Amanda (Jane Wyatt) also put in an appearance. Edit

  • The film opens in 2286 A.D., about three months after they rescued Spock from the Genesis planet and brought him to Vulcan. However, Kirk and his officers are forced to travel back in time, with the majority of the story taking place in the year 1986 A.D., the same year that the film itself was released. Edit

  • Ultimately, the film does not reveal exactly why the probe came to Earth or why its transmissions were so dangerous, though likely answers are given. If one assumes that the characters are correct, then the probe came to Earth to investigate the disappearance of humpback whales and it had no idea that its transmissions were causing trouble. The message was "its way of saying hello," and not a hostile action. A common misconception is that the probe was intentionally causing the destruction as humanity's punishment for driving the whales to extinction, but this would not explain why it is still broadcasting in the whale "language" or why it would be satisfied by the appearance of two whales from a different time period. Since the probe leaves after a few short moments of conversation with the whales, it can be deduced that it simply wanted to know where the whales went and was planning on broadcasting its message until something answered it. As a result, the species that sent the probe can now communicate with them again. Edit

  • No, they used very detailed animatronics for George and Gracie and stock footage for a few other scenes. No live whales were used in the movie's production. Edit

  • No, they are very much alive and since the release of this movie their numbers have increased due to worldwide whaling restrictions, though they are somewhat endangered. Edit

  • When a blood vessel (a large vein or artery, as McCoy points out to the 20th Century doctor) in the brain ruptures or is otherwise damaged, usually due to trauma, and leaking blood starts to build up between the brain's covering (dura mater) and the skull, it is known as an epidural hematoma. It is a serious condition because the buildup of blood can increase pressure on the brain. The 1986 doctor was about to drill a hole in Chekov's head to relieve the pressure, as might have occurred in a 1986 surgical practice called trepanning, but McCoy knew it wasn't necessary with the future technology he possessed and took care of Chekov himself. As McCoy tells the 1986 doctor, it's more important to repair the damaged artery in Chekov's head than to simply drill into his skull. The device that McCoy uses probably repairs damaged tissue and maybe even cleared up the leaking blood from the hematoma itself.

    The artery that McCoy was talking about is the middle meningeal artery, which is located near where the jaw is socketed into the skull. McCoy says that it had torn, causing Chekov's condition. If you listen closely, the 20th Century doctor asks McCoy "What's your degree in, dentistry?", indicating he knows what McCoy is talking about but also that he doesn't understand what McCoy can do with the little device he has. McCoy fires back with his own diagnosis and treatment, their brief bickering making for a great bit of writing in the script. Edit

  • There are two possibilities. One is that he was addressing Admiral Kirk. Another is because he was still a bit out of it after the procedure. Even after his head was healed that quickly, it might still take some time to recover fully. As it turns out, it only took a few minutes before he was back at his post on the Bird of Prey, doing his job as before. Edit

  • Fighting problems with thrusters and acceleration control, the Bounty makes it back around the sun and into the 23rd century, landing the Klingon Bird-of-Prey on the water near the Golden Gate Bridge. As the warship begins to sink, Kirk is forced to swim underwater to release the hatch that opens the tank, letting the whales loose into the sea. As the crew watches from the wing of the sinking warbird, the whales reply to the probe, which begins to retract, and the spaceship flies away. The skies clear, electronic devices come back online, and the crew of the Enterprise has once again saved the Earth from destruction. In the final scene, Kirk is demoted from admiral to captain for disobeying a direct order in The Search for Spock, but all other charges are dropped. Kirk is once again assigned the command of a new ship, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A, a duplicate of the previous model. Edit

  • Yes. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, a novelization of the movie by American science fiction writer Vonda N. McIntyre, was released in 1986. Edit

  • So far, there are 13. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was preceded by Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) (1982), and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) (1984). It was followed by Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) (1989), and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) (1991), all of which featured the Enterprise captained by James T Kirk. Star Trek: Generations (1994) (1994) unites Kirk's crew with the crew of the Enterprise captained by Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). The other Star Trek movies featuring Picard as captain include: Star Trek: First Contact (1996) (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) (2002). Star Trek (2009) (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016) (2016) harken to an alternate reality in which Kirk was just beginning his career with Starfleet Academy. Edit

  • The so-called European Version features a new prologue that summarizes the events of the previous two movies. The US version doesn't include these scenes. Edit



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