Nearly 21% Of Star Trek Fans Said This Was Their Favorite Movie In The Franchise

(Welcome to Survey Says, a feature where we conduct a movie-related survey for a random group of people and explain why they're completely right, completely wrong, or somewhere in-between.)

It has been six years since a new "Star Trek" film has been released. You could fire up Paramount+ right now and consume plenty of recent television series to transport you to the final frontier, but in terms of big screen motion picture stories of Starfleet, we have nothing definitive on the horizon. There was talk of a Quentin Tarantino film, and a script from "Star Trek: Discovery" writer Kalinda Vazquez is underway. But who knows what will actually get made?

In the meantime, let's reflect on the thirteen "Star Trek" films that we have gotten since 1979. We conducted a poll to see which "Star Trek" movie that fans consider to be the pinnacle of a series that boldly goes where no man has gone before.

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Unsurprisingly, the film in the series that received the most votes was "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," garnering almost 21% of the votes cast. Director Nicolas Meyer, directing his first of three "Star Trek" pictures, pivoted away from the science and discovery-based tropes that the series was known for and made a tight, tense thriller. He reinvigorated the series by essentially telling a naval ship standoff story that replaced boats with spaceships. 

"The Wrath of Khan" was a direct response to Robert Wise's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." Dubbed by many as "The Motionless Picture," the heady, more abstract side of science-fiction that film was going for was a far cry from the "Star Wars" phenomenon the films were trying to cash in on. "The Wrath of Khan" satisfied those pulpier demands perfectly, and since then, this film has been what most every other "Star Trek" film has been chasing.

For the other films featuring the original series cast, Meyers' two other films in the franchise, "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," received almost 16% and just over 10% of the vote, respectively. "The Motion Picture," my personal favorite film of the franchise, managed a respectable nudge over 12% of the vote (we are a small but passionate group). As for "The Search for Spock" and "The Final Frontier" ... sorry, but your reputations proceed you.

How Did Next Gen and Kelvin Stack Up?

The "Star Trek: The Next Generation" cast did not have as many bites at the apple as the originals did for film, four entires instead of six, and their batting average was not as good either. Only "Star Trek: First Contact," the second "Next Gen" film, made a dent in the voting with a healthy 14% of the vote. Their translation to film never was as smooth, as contemporary action cinema of the 1990s was nowhere close to what made "The Next Generation" the great show that it was. If this were a poll of the worst films of the series, I imagine "Star Trek: Nemesis" would make quite a run for first place.

As for the Kelvin timeline (AKA the J.J. Abrams reboot series), the 2009 "Star Trek" also received 14% of the vote, though it does have the distinction of being 0.18% higher. The reboot presented a much needed shot in the arm to the franchise, and it looked like it was to be smooth sailing from there. Then "Stark Trek Into Darkness" showed up, a film that would rival "Star Trek: Nemesis" for worst of the series, and squandered interest in the rebooted franchise. That's a real shame because "Star Trek Beyond," which received about 12.5% of the vote, deserved so much better than it got at the time and perfectly course corrected from the previous film's mistakes. That percentage is certainly higher than I thought it would be, but I am glad people seem to be finding the film.

While "The Wrath of Khan" takes the win, it was not a runaway favorite by any means. Over half the films received a decent number of votes. That shows the strength of the "Star Trek" film series overall. So many people can have a different favorite film, and none of them seem like that crazy a choice. Okay, if their favorite was "The Final Frontier," maybe you can raise an eyebrow.

Almost all of the "Star Trek" movies are streaming on Paramount+ right now.