My unused subtitle for “Of Vulcans and God Things” was “The Synchronicities of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.” As the article goes on to explain, “God Thing” references Gene Roddenberry’s 1975 treatment for a Star Trek movie, in which he returned to the original series’ oft-used false-god motif. Many elements of those original episodes as well as the God Thing treatment, with added Vulcan themes, influenced both of these films. The excerpt below is the opening of the article (originally published in 2009).

Of Vulcans and God Things

Reduced in rank to captain, Kirk takes command of an unfamiliar Enterprise in need of a shakedown cruise but first has to face an unusual adversary: a dogmatic foe searching for the Creator and wreaking havoc along the way. After dealing with some personal conflicts, including his foe’s unexpected link to Spock, Kirk saves the day (albeit with help from those around him) and can now look forward to continuing adventures aboard a new Enterprise. Quick—does that describe Star Trek: The Motion Picture, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, or Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, turning twenty? It’s a trick question, of course; the two films, especially if one watches them back to back, are remarkably similar in structure. . . .

Cover and excerpt copyright CBS Studios.
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