Class of 1989: “What Does God Need with a Starship?” – The Friendship, Fake Prophet, and Compromise of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was judged pretty harshly by critics and audiences alike when it was released on June 9th, 1989. This was the follow-up to The Voyage Home, one of the most successful Star Trek movies in franchise history, it opened two weeks before Batman took over the box office, and even though The Final Frontier concludes on a meeting with “God,” the finale never quite feels as epic as earlier installments.

But, the passage of time is a funny thing. And Star Trek IV, which was such a favorite of mine back in the day, now feels dated. In contrast, I’ve come to appreciate The Final Frontier more and more with every viewing. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned just how magical and wonderfully flawed moviemaking really is. Even though Star Trek V may not live up to its predecessors, namely Wrath of Khan,
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