- Arrival at Spacedock.
- The moment that tall, darkly shadowed figure appears at Kirk's door, throws back his hood—and it's Sarek. Moment of Awesome for Spock's dad, and an Oh, Crap! one for Kirk.
- Pretty much the entire Stealing the Enterprise sequence.
- "Warning: secure space doors." Kirk: win. Scotty: win. Enterprise: win. Excelsior: not so much.
- Right when the Enterprise is about to warp to Genesis, Excelsior captain Styles gives Kirk an ultimatum: "Kirk, you do this, you'll never sit in the captain's chair again". Kirk's response?: "Warp speed". Kirk was willing to end his very career right then and there (effectively resigning from Starfleet) to save his best friend.
- Once again, Shatner proves He Really Can Act. You see that he knows exactly what this will likely cost him, that moment where he decides that Spock is more important to him than everything his life had stood for up until that point.
- Those chugging noises... [giggle] when the Excelsior's transwarp drive malfunctions.
- "I... have HAD... enough of YOU!"
- Double awesome not often remembered: Kirk attempted to pull Kruge to safety despite him having Kirk's son executed less than an hour earlier. Kruge instead chose to be a dick, and an incompetent dick at that—he couldn't even Take Kirk With Him properly despite the entire planet collapsing beneath their feet. Manliness, thy name is Kirk, and we ALL... have HAD... enough of YOU, Kruge!
- The duel with the Klingon Bird-of-Prey.
- The fact that Kirk notices the cloaking distortion and anticipates and fires the instant they decloak before they can get a shot off. Yeah the automation gives out and leads to his loss but Kirk's battle instincts are still on point even though he likely hasn't fought against a Klingon ship in years. If Enterprise were fully crewed it would have won easily.
- Kruge calling Kirk on a bluff, the only time it's been seen in any Kirk-era story.
- The original Enterprise, in her last moments, takes down half a dozen Klingons with it.Torg: My lord, the ship appears to be deserted.
Kruge: How can that be? They're hiding!
Torg: Yes, sir. The ship appears to be run by computer. It is the only thing that is speaking.
Kruge: Speaking? Let me hear it.
Enterprise computer: [Torg holds his communicator to it] 9...8...7...6...5...
Kruge: GET OUT! GET OUT OF THERE! GET OUT!
Enterprise computer: 2...1...
[the Enterprise bridge explodes]
- Sarek:T'Lar: What you seek has not been done since ages past—and then, only in legend. Your request is not logical.
Sarek: Forgive me, T'Lar. My logic is... uncertain, where my son is concerned.
- Kirk and Sarek after the re-fusion ceremony:Sarek: Kirk, I thank you. What you have done is...
Kirk: What I have done... I had to do.
Sarek: But at what cost? Your ship. Your son.
Kirk: If I hadn't tried, the cost would have been my soul.
- Spock when his Katra is restored.
- "The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many."
- "Don't call me 'Tiny'."
- Let's not forget how he easily dispatched the much bigger guard, or how he casually blasted away at the control panel with a delighted look on his face.
- This one deserves a CMOA on a meta level as well, since George Takei was opposed to the scene where Sulu is called 'Tiny'. It wasn't until he saw the finished print that he finally admitted that the scene was one of Sulu's finest moments.
- Uhura's part in the plan—she takes a posting at an out of the way transporter station, paired with an obnoxious young officer, then, when Kirk and company enter, she pulls a phaser on "Mr. Adventure" and makes him get in the closet.Mr. Adventure: Well what are we gonna do about it?
Uhura: I'm not gonna do anything about it. You are going to sit in the closet.
- Like the above instance with George Takei, Nichelle Nichols was initially upset at how little she had in the script until she actually read the part and loved what she got to do with that little.
- Given the time and circumstances in which the original TV show existed, Uhura was intrinsically awesome just by being an indispensable crew member on the bridge who happened to be a black woman. Whoopi Goldberg cites seeing Uhura on TV as a life-changing moment for her—and that was undoubtedly echoed in the minds of millions of other young people at the time. Giving her a bad-ass action moment here may have been long overdue, but it comes as no surprise that she's more than capable of handling herself.
- According to the novelization, once she'd beamed Kirk and Co. aboard, she immediately transported herself off, fled to Earth with Starfleet Security half-a-heartbeat behind, showed up at the gate to the Vulcan Embassy, and got Sarek to grant her asylum status before she could be captured and taken back.
- Also in the novelization, she makes it about 3 steps into the embassy when Starfleet Security catches her. Sarek immediately appears and tells them to let her go or he will turn this into a full-blown diplomatic disaster, since the embassy is outside their jurisdiction. He tells them to go through diplomatic channels to request extradition, knowing that he and Uhura will be on a ship to Vulcan within the hour.
- The Reveal of the Excelsior. Her first time out of the gate might've been an Epic Fail, but she would go on to be a vital part of the Trek Verse, not to mention being the progenitor of one of Starfleet's most prolifically produced ship classes.
- Scotty getting promoted to the rank of Captain of Engineering. Sure, other non-command division people in the various series eventually became captains, but they all did it by getting command of a starship. Scotty is instead promoted because he's just that badass of an engineer.
- Missed in the fact that, as the more established character, we the audience care more about how Kirk reacts to it, but David's death is his Dying Moment of Awesome - Kruge has ordered one of the hostages, David, Saavik, and Spock, to be killed to "prove his intentions." David sees the Klingon approach Saavik, knife ready for the killing blow, and he attacks the Klingon. He - a scientist with no combat training - is hopelessly outmatched against a Klingon warrior, but he proves beyond a doubt that he's James Kirk's son by putting his life on the line to save others (and it works, since Kruge had ordered one hostage killed and that "he didn't care which", so he definitely saved Saavik's life then and there.)
- Leonard Nimoy deserves a nod for convincing Dame Judith Anderson, who is regarded as one of the greatest stage actors of the 20th century, to appear as T'Lar, the Vulcan high priestess.
- Immediately on the heels of Kruge's execution of the ship's gunner whose "lucky shot" destroyed the USS Grissom, when Kruge had told him to only target the engines so he could take prisoners, his first officer, Torg, speaks up. Kruge still has his disruptor out and whirls on Torg, warning him that if he says the wrong thing, he'll end up as the gunner. As coolly as a Vulcan, Torg simply reports that he is picking up the life signs of Saavik, David, and Spock on the Genesis Planet, theorizing (correctly) that they're the prisoners he seeks. While you'd expect Klingons to respond to a casual execution like this, given that its frequency among them earned a trope of its own, it's still taking some balls of solid neutronium to not even bat an eyelash.
- In the book, as sad and sympathetic Kirk is, he also tries to get back with Carol now that theyre both alone (him having lost Spock, her lover being amongst the scientists Khan killed). She reads him the riot act, asking if hes so self obsessed he thought shed just be waiting for him.
Awesome / Star Trek III: The Search for Spock