Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon in Lithia, Florida, on Thursday, July 7, 2022. It is a hot, humid summer day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 88°F (31°C) under mostly cloudy conditions. With the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 5 MPH (8 KM/H) and humidity at 73%, the heat index is 108°F (38°C). Today, we can expect thunderstorms to pass through the area. The high will be 93°F (34°C). Tonight, thunderstorms are expected to stick around. The low will be 76°F (24°C).
As I mentioned yesterday, Paramount Home Media Distribution (Paramount Global’s division for Blu-ray and DVDs) will release all six Star Trek movies with the cast of the original 1966-1969 TV series, starting with 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture and concluding with 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in a 15-disc set that will include 4K and 2K Blu-ray discs, as well as a code for digital copies – which I can only access through Vudu. (I would have preferred Movies Anywhere, but Paramount is not a ”partner” studio of that site.)
Here is the relevant part of Paramount Home Media Distribution’s announcement (which tends to highlight the pricey Limited Edition Collector’s set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition), per Blu-ray.com:
Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection
This comprehensive 15-disc collection includes the first six big-screen adventures featuring the original series crew in 4K Blu-ray with Dolby Vision and HDR-10. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture—The Director’s Edition also includes Dolby Atmos). Both Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country are making their 4K Blu-ray debuts. The set also includes access to hours of new and legacy bonus content. Below is a breakdown of disc contents:
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray
- Additional Blu-ray with bonus content
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Theatrical Cut) – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray – Includes Director’s Cut
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – 4K Blu-ray & Blu-ray – Includes Director’s Cut
I thought long and hard before heading to Amazon and pre-ordering the box set; at $125.99, Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection is not the priciest compilation of movies I’ve ever bought – that prize goes to the Best Buy-exclusive Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, of which I have two sets and cost me roughly $500 in total. It’s also not the set with the most discs – the Skywalker Sagaboasts 27 discs, and if Buena Vista Home Entertainment had included DVDs in the mix, that would have been a 36-disc set.
Last year I bought Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection set, which offered only the first four films and did not include the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture because the restoration team working on that version was still working on it in 2021. It did have the theatrical version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and even though that’s not my favorite film in the series, I wanted to see how it looked in 4K Ultra-High Definition. The set also includes two versions of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (which is my favorite in the series), so that’s why I decided to get that compilation even though I knew a bigger, more expensive set was in the works.
While I wish Paramount had held off on releasing the 4-film set last fall and just waited till The Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country were upgraded to 4K this year, I suppose the studio wanted to (a) have something to sell for Star Trek’s Emerald Anniversary, and (b) to test the waters with a four-film set before investing in making a 6-movie one. With the growing popularity of streaming services and a decline in physical media sales, Paramount wanted to see if there were still enough fans who wanted a physical release. It might seem like a shady tactic to get people to “double-dip,” but it makes sense from a business perspective.
Would I have been better off – financially and shelf-space-wise – just getting the Director’s Edition, Star Trek V, and Star Trek VI as individual releases? The option for that exists, too, but I decided to get the box set. Whether that was a wise decision, I have no idea. I just felt it was the best decision as far as storage/display considerations go.
The new 4K/2K Blu-ray sets will go to warp speed on Tuesday, September 6, just in time for the 56th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series.