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The Final Frontier, According To One Producer

Harve Bennett was no stranger to making “Star Trek” features by the time “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” came along since he joined the film franchise as a producer on 1982’s “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Despite shepherding three “Star Trek” movies before “Star Trek V,” Bennett found his experience no match for the clout William Shatner earned as the star of the classic TV-turned-film series. As such, the storyline — where Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy) Vulcan half-brother, Sybok (Laurence Luckebill), takes hostages in a ploy to use the Enterprise in his search for God — stayed intact.

“He wanted to do it, so after much aggravation, I said, ‘All right, we’re going to go find God, but we’re going to make it the best trip we possibly can!'” Bennett told Star Trek Explorer. He thought the film, which was Shatner’s feature directorial debut, was a good trip but not a strong “Star Trek” story. “It was doomed by its premise,” Bennett said. “I learned long ago, if it ain’t in the premise, it ain’t there, but Bill felt if we worked hard enough and dazzled them with enough stuff, we could do it, and I don’t think we pulled that off … I think a faulty premise results in a flawed picture.”

Despite a solid tally for “Star Trek V” at the worldwide box office — it earned $70.2 million against a $30 million budget — it wasn’t enough for Shatner to return to the director’s chair for the next “Star Trek” film. Instead, 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” was directed by Nicholas Meyer.

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