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Trivia / Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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  • B-Team Sequel: Nicholas Meyer didn't return for this film, believing that Spock should stay dead and confessing that he had no idea how to do a resurrection story.
  • Creator Backlash: Gene Roddenberry wasn't a fan of any of the movies, but he was especially not happy about the Enterprise being destroyed. He even purposefully leaked his copy of the script to fans in hopes of drumming up protests, but all it raised was ire of Paramount execs once they found it was him who leaked the spoiler.
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  • Creator-Chosen Casting: Leonard Nimoy cast Christopher Lloyd based on his performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  • Deleted Scene: A scene scripted to feature the Enterprise crew carrying Spock up the stairs to Mount Seleya. In this scene, credited actress Katherine Blum – as the Vulcan child – released herself from her father and went to Spock, performed the Vulcan salute, and said "Live long and prosper, Spock".
    George Takei: We shot three nights, very expensive, with hundreds of extras on location at Occidental College. After the Bird of Prey lands, the crew comes down the ramp bearing Spock's body. Then, there's a fleeting glimpse of all the Vulcans. The next scene shows us entering the temple with Dame Judith Anderson. This was a sequence of pageantry, of spectacle, of color, and an opportunity to present this awesome society we call the Vulcan civilization–the religious hierarchy, the aristocrats, the merchant classes, all the gold and silver vestal virgins. I was absolutely aghast when I saw that the sequence was cut out. I'm told that the front office wanted to maintain the relentless pace. The sequence did have an elegiac quality to it, but it was stunning and very highly paced, visually.
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  • Directed by Cast Member: Leonard Nimoy, marking the first time a cast member directed a Star Trek production, paving the way for future cast members like Jonathan Frakes (who directed First Contact and Insurrection). Same can be said for William Shatner (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), but people tend to ignore that one.note  In his book I Am Spock, Nimoy mentions that DeForest Kelley kept swearing up and down that, in the scenes where McCoy converses with an unconscious Spock, Nimoy was trying to direct him through the movement and flutter of his eyelids.
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  • Fake Russian: In letter, but not in spirit. Chekov actually speaks Russian for the first time. Though Walter Koenig was born in America, his parents are Russian immigrants who emigrated from Lithuania.
  • First Appearance: The Klingon Bird-of-Prey, one of the most ubiquitous starship classes in the franchise, makes its grand introduction here. The Excelsior and Oberth classes also debut and become standard fixtures during the TNG era.
  • The Other Darrin: Kirstie Alley loved playing Saavik (she apparently wore the ears home a number of times) and wanted to return, but apparently failed to communicate this clearly to her agent, who demanded a higher fee for her to play Saavik than Paramount was willing to pay. Paramount switched in Robin Curtis instead.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: At age 87, and after an acting break of 14 years, Dame Judith Anderson accepted the role of T'Lar—a Vulcan high priestess who restores Spock's katra to his body—at her nephew's urging.
  • Spared by the Cut: There was some debate as to who would get killed off at the end, Saavik or David Marcus. Ultimately they chose to have David make a Heroic Sacrifice to atone for the damage he had done with the Genesis Project and also to balance out the return of Spock.
  • Throw It In: Kirk stumbling off the chair after being told David was murdered was entirely accidental, but Leonard Nimoy felt it suited the scene, and left it in.
    • To be quite exact: Shatner stumbled on a previous take, whereupon the two convened and decided that the scene should include such a gesture. The recorded take was then staged, leading to the movie we now know.
    • The official Klingon language was forced to include some complex structural rules entirely because Christopher Lloyd screwed up one of his lines and it got left in the film. However, Marc Okrand realized that the mistake Lloyd made actually made sense because it was basically a contraction of what would have been excessively formal if spoken in English. That, and Okrand knew the production was pressed for time and doing another take would have gotten him angry glares.
  • Troubled Production: Filming was largely trouble-free, aside from an initial misunderstanding that caused Paramount to refuse to let Leonard Nimoy direct the film (a condition of his returning as Spock) until Nimoy cleared things up. That is, until the slight matter of the soundstage containing the Genesis Planet set catching fire, causing significant damage to the set and putting filming behind. Fortunately, between the set elements being easily replaceable and Nimoy's efficient directing style, the production quickly recovered and finished on-time.
  • What Could Have Been: See the page.
  • Working Title: Return to Genesis, and at one point, In Search of... Spock.