STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE > Synopsis
In 2271 an unknown, cloud-like entity descends upon
several Klingon vessels and destroys them. Having monitored the
surprise attack, Federation space station Epsilon IX is still unable
to prevent itself from becoming the next victim of this vast,
mysterious energy cloud.
Meanwhile, on Vulcan, Spock is preparing to undergo the rite of
Kolinahr—the achievement of total Vulcan logic—and the purging of all
remaining emotion. Just then Spock's human half stirs in response to
the cloud entity, interrupting his meditation and forcing the Vulcan
masters to withdraw Spock's admission to their ranks.
On Earth, the U.S.S. Enterprise is readying to investigate the cloud
entity. Admiral Nogura is persuaded by Admiral James T. Kirk to hand
over command of the newly refit Starship Enterprise to him,
superseding the vessel's present captain, Will Decker, who is unhappy
with this new situation. Arriving on board the Enterprise, Kirk
requests that Dr. Leonard McCoy, retired now, be recalled into service
as the starship's doctor. An unchanged, blustery Dr. McCoy comes
aboard and replaces Dr. Christine Chapel, who steps down out of
respect. Also on board is a Deltan navigator, Ilia, who in the past
was romantically involved with Will Decker.
In a tragic accident, two crew members are killed in a transporter
malfunction—one of which was the new Vulcan science officer, Sonak.
The accident behind them, Kirk gathers much of the crew together to
deliver a mission briefing, stressing the enormous power of the entity
they are faced with. After a relatively uneventful departure from
Earth's drydock facilities, the U.S.S. Enterprise is suddenly faced
with a giant wormhole and Kirk, unfamiliar with the design of the new
vessel, almost allows the wormhole to destroy the ship. The U.S.S.
Enterprise escapes, however, and is hailed by a courier vessel bearing
Kirk's new science officer. Overcome with joy at seeing Spock, Kirk is
soon confronted with a cold, withdrawn stranger.
The starship eventually encounters the cloud-like being, yet the
entity proves to be too strong, damaging the U.S.S. Enterprise on all
levels and leaving the starship stricken. When Spock attempts to
communicate with the cloud by sending messages of non-aggression, a
probe is triggered and sent from the center of the cloud. The crew can
only watch helplessly as the probe accesses the U.S.S. Enterprise's
consoles and computers, accumulating data from all parts of the ship.
In his attempt to stop the violation, Spock is attacked, whereupon the
probe vanishes with Ilia.
The U.S.S. Enterprise is then seized by a tractor beam and pulled
inside the cloud to a large chamber. Another probe, in the form of
Ilia, appears and tells them that it has been sent by "V'Ger" to study
the carbon-based units that "infest" the starship. Furthermore, the
crew learns that V'Ger is on its way to Earth to join with its
In an attempt to establish contact with V'Ger, Kirk trades on Decker's
past association with Ilia and assigns Decker to work with the probe.
The Ilia-probe tells him that the carbon-units will be patterned for
Deciding that the best method of gathering more data about V'Ger is
directly from the source, Spock dons a thrust suit and leaves the
ship. His incredible visual journey to the center of the cloud
culminates when Spock sees images of everything that V'Ger has
experienced. Spock tries to mind-meld with the life-form, but is
short-circuited and barely makes it back to the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Taken to sickbay, Spock informs Kirk that his mind-meld did allow him
to learn that V'Ger is lonely and seeking to learn why it was created.
Furthermore, it is learned that a machine planet built the cloud and
craft that house V'Ger.
V'Ger arrives at Earth and signals its Creator. When there is no
response, V'Ger blasts energy bolts at the planet in an attempt to rid
it of all its carbon infestations. Forced to act, Kirk tells V'Ger he
knows why the Creator has not answered. The Ilia-probe, interested by
Kirk's remark, says it will cease its attack when Kirk explains. But
Kirk replies he will answer to no one but V'Ger itself. With some
trepidation, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Decker are lead by the Ilia-probe
outside the ship to the "brain" of V'Ger. At the center of the
chamber, the Starfleet officers are surprised to discover that V'Ger
is in reality a twentieth century Earth robot space probe. In fact, a
mounted plaque looks as though it reads "Voyager VI."
Kirk and his crew discover that the probe disappeared into a black
hole and emerged at the other end, crash landing on a planet inhabited
by living machines. After repairing the probe, the machines then
followed its programming—observe and transmit readings to NASA. Spock
deduces that these living machines interpreted those long-ago orders
as "Learn all that is learnable and return that information to the
When the U.S.S. Enterprise transmits old Voyager codes, the V'Ger
transmits all of its information. Then, unexpectedly, V'Ger insists
that the Creator come in person to finish the sequence. When he
realizes that V'Ger wants to physically merge with its Creator, Will
Decker volunteers. Decker and Ilia join together and merge into a
glowing, non-corporeal entity, which disappears.
The U.S.S. Enterprise crew humbly realize that a new life form has
just been created. The experience has left Spock more at peace with
himself and he decides not to return to Vulcan. Kirk has command of
his beloved U.S.S. Enterprise and McCoy is back in charge of sickbay.
Having witnessed events suggesting that "the human adventure is just
beginning," Kirk commands the starship out to space for a real
shakedown cruise and future missions.