September 8, 1966, marked an important date not only in Sci-Fi history but the history of pop culture as a whole. That was the original air date of Gene Roddenberry’s groundbreaking space western television series Star Trek. Though the series faced onset popularity issues, the show’s fan base grew in both size and dedication after the series went into syndication in American media markets. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and several others made up the cast of the original series whose popularity transformed this from a television series to a bonafide media giant. From video games to books to conventions, Star Trek’s popularity invaded all types of media, including cinema.
Below is a list of the top ten Star Trek films of all time.
10. Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Though this film was not well regarded by fans or critics, it does include a fateful meeting between the two storied starship captains of Star Trek lore. Patrick Stewart’s Jean Luc Picard meets William Shatner’s James T. Kirk in a film that spans between the first two generations of Star Trek.
9. Star Trek Beyond (2016)
This most recent installment of the Star Trek films had J.J Abrams serve only in a producer capacity, as Justin Lin took the helm for this film.
8. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
This was the final film before The Next Generation‘s film series began, serving as a type of sendoff to the original cast of the Starship Enterprise.
7. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Despite it being the fourth film in the original film series, The Voyage Home rounds out a pseudo-trilogy beginning with the Wrath of Khan.
6. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
This sequel to the J.J Abrams Star Trek reboot gave new life to the franchise with the addition of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. Old characters reimagined seems to be a running theme in the Abrams film universe.
5. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
The film that started it all may not have been entirely well received by critics or fans, but its importance as the kindling that started the film franchise fire cannot be overstated.
4. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
The second installment of “The Next Generation” films, First Contact shines as a sequel worthy of praise. Patrick Stewart battles the Borg collective in what is lauded as groundbreakingly original cinema.
3. Star Trek (2009)
The J.J Abrams reboot of the storied franchise made headlines when it was announced, being panned as an unnecessary cash grab amidst an industry struggling to find new source material. Abrams quickly quieted critics after its release, as fans highly tout this reboot for its action and plot. This was the first Star Trek film to feature new actors in old roles.
2. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Though the third installment of the original movie series is not as critically acclaimed as its predecessor, it stands on its own as a character-driven action/drama.
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Though this was not the first film that spawned from the television series, this sequel is well regarded for its titular villain, Khan Noonien Singh. His prowess as a recurring thorn in the side of the Starship Enterprise crew is echoed through cinematic history with William Shatner’s famously delivered “KHAAAAAAAAAN!”