Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Go To

For characters who debuted in Star Trek: The Original Series, see Characters.Star Trek The Original Series

    open/close all folders 

Enterprise Crew

    Commander Willard Decker
Played by: Stephen Collins

The new captain of the Enterprise. He gets demoted to the rank of commander after Kirk comes aboard and takes over.

  • All There in the Manual: He's the son of Commodore Matt Decker from the TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine".
  • The Artifact: Originally created for the aborted Star Trek: Phase II TV series, to be a replacement Kirk should William Shatner decide to leave the series at some point. The concept for the character would be refitted into Cmdr Riker for TNG.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Along with Ilia and V'Ger.
  • Commander Contrarian: Justified. Decker does know the refit Enterprise better than Kirk. Countermanding an order from Kirk actually saves the ship from face-planting in an asteroid. Less justified later, as he makes some suggestions that can at best be excused as understandably irrational from a guy who just lost his girlfriend.

    Lieutenant Ilia
Played by: Persis Khambatta

A Deltan officer who has a troubled romantic history with Will Decker, but still has feelings for him.

  • All There in the Manual: Sex with a Deltan is said to be so mind-blowing that other species simply can't handle it, hence the oath of celibacy.
  • The Artifact: Ilia was also intended to be a new character on Phase II, and screen tests of Persis Khambatta in a '60's-era miniskirt uniform are extant. Many concepts for the character would resurface as Deanna Troi in TNG.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Decker, Ilia, and V'Ger, though there is some ambiguity.
  • Bald Women: Just look at her picture.
  • Deadpan Snarker: At least according to the background information that Gene Roddenberry wrote for the character's species. He described the race as having an extremely developed sense of humor with a delivery so dry that they seem very cold and aloof to outsiders. Most other races don't ever realize when a Deltan is making fun of them, which probably explains the Breathless Non Sequitur she delivers to Kirk:
    Ilia: My oath of celibacy is on record, Captain.
  • Informed Attractiveness: We're not saying that Persis Khambatta isn't attractive, but Ilia is one of a select group of Trek characters with less hair than Picard, and yet several male crew members get all goofy around her.note  The novelization explains this as her race releasing pheromones whenever they're around unfamiliar malesnote  — so sometimes it's not just because of her attractiveness; they just can't help their reactions.
    • One of those obviously goofified men is Sulu; although gay actor George Takei always played Sulu as straight, this leads into questions about Ilia's pheromone effect on gay men or on Lesbians, something that obviously couldn't be dealt with at the time.
  • Machine Monotone: Both before and after she literally becomes a machine.
  • Mauve Shirt: We get a few scenes of her, establishing that she and Decker had a thing, and then V'Ger zaps her out of existence. Then it uses her appearance as a probe.

    Commander Sonak

Played by: Egyptian actor Jon Rashad Kamal, more properly Sultanzade Rashad Kamal Bey Effendi

A Vulcan science officer who is appointed when Starfleet can't get (initially) Spock.

Other Characters


A vast and powerful entity headed toward Earth with mysterious purpose.

  • Abnormal Ammo: V'ger's weaponry neatly erases you and stores a record of you in its memory banks.
  • Anti-Villain: Cuts a swath of mayhem on its trip towards Earth, and basically holds the Federation at gunpoint until it gets what it wants. When it finally does join with its creators however, it leaves in peace.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Along with Ilia and Decker.
  • Big Dumb Object: Which is odd, considering V'Ger is probably the biggest repository of information in the galaxy.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Spock theorizes V'Ger is trying to do this.
  • Earth All Along: In a way that is very similar to NOMAD from the second season TOS episode "The Changeling".
  • Eldritch Starship: A massive, mysterious, insanely powerful, techno-organic vessel hiding inside a gigantic energy cloud is as close as Trek has ever gotten to this trope.
  • Fantastic Racism: Despite having absorbed all manner of life and knoweldge in its journey across the universe, it never realizes carbon-based lifeforms are actually alive until it gets to Earth.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The machine race that fixed it up probably didn't intend any harm. They just saw it as helping a fellow sentient get home and fulfil its mission.
  • Karma Houdini: It destroyed entire galaxies on its way home, judging by Spock's comments, but is allowed to ascend and go on its merry way to... wherever. In fairness, with something that powerful, there's not much that can be done to stop it.
  • Planet Spaceship: V'ger is so unfathomably large that even small parts of it fill up the entire screen when compared to the Enterprise. In the original release, the ship itself is never seen in its entirety, which adds to the sense of enormity. The remastered version shows the ship in all its glory, being the size of a small moon roughly in the shape of a cylinder with spikes ringing its center section.
  • Powerful and Helpless: V'ger has knowledge that spans the universe and is in many ways, one of the most powerful beings ever seen in the Trek franchise. And none of it matters to V'ger because it has reached its limits and needs to find a way to evolve into something greater. It even throws an impotent tantrum when Kirk refuses to acquiesce to its demands.
  • Thank the Maker: To the point that it almost comes across as a "Well Done, Son!" Guy.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: