Star Trek: The Motion Picture sets a course for a 4K cinematic final frontier

The starship Enterprise heads off into deep space in Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is getting a limited theatrical re-release in the UK. (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is unexpectedly being re-released in UK cinemas – and it's all down to the movie's forthcoming 4K Ultra HD (UHD) and Blu-ray release.

The sci-fi movie, which earned three Academy Award nominations following its original December 1979 launch, will be available to watch in cinemas across the UK for a limited time starting Friday, August 19. Trekkies will be able to watch the film in all its meticulously remastered glory, then, very soon.

To coincide with the Star Trek: The Motion Picture's theatrical re-release and the launch of its latest Limited Edition, TechRadar can exclusively reveal a 4K image from the movie's latest high definition cut, which shows the starship Enterprise leaving Earth to head out on another voyage among the stars. Check out the 4K image below:

The starship Enterprise leaves Earth in Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek: The Motion Picture will be available to own in 4K for the first time. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a ground-breaking Star Trek production, becoming the first film in the legendary franchise and helping to pave the way for the long-running series to make the leap from television to the big screen. Despite receiving a lukewarm reception from fans and critics at the time, Star Trek: The Motion Picture went on to become the fourth highest grossing film of the year.

Since its pioneering turn at the box office, a further 12 Star Trek movies have made their way into cinemas, with 2016's Star Trek Beyond the latest entry in the series. A fourth installment in Star Trek's Kelvin timeline has been in development for some time, too, but there's no word on when or if it'll begin filming.

Meanwhile, Star Trek: The Motion Picture will also be available to own in 4K UHD and Blu-ray from Monday, September 5. The physical copies – officially titled Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Director's Edition: The Complete Adventure – will come packed with numerous cuts of the film, as well as tons of bonus footage, features, and other memorabilia.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Director's Edition will include three 4K UHD-specific bonus features, such as audio and text commentaries, as well as exclusive collectibles, a booklet of behind-the-scenes images, stickers, and more. Additionally, the Blu-ray Disc will come packed with over 15 special and legacy features, five of which are new for the Blu-ray release.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture's latest restoration project comes courtesy of producer David C Fein and post-production supervisor Mike Matessino, who worked alongside director Robert Wise on the original film's updated visuals for its DVD release in November 2001.

Now, the pair have revisited Star Trek: The Motion Picture once more, assembling a team of special effects experts to deliver a movie with 4K UHD visuals with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) and its soundtrack upgraded using Dolby Atmos. VFX supervisor Daren R Dochterman, who worked as a concept artist and illustrator on other notable films, such as Tron: Legacy and Star Trek: Voyager, led production on the movie's updated VFX, utilizing Paramount Archives' resources to painstakingly update its visuals over a six-month period.

Ahead of Star Trek Day, which occurs annually on September 8, Paramount have also revealed that Star Trek: The Motion Picture Collection – a comprehensive 15-disc collection of the franchise's first six films – will be available to own in 4K UHD on September 5. Meanwhile, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Director's Cut will also return to cinemas on September 2 for its 40th anniversary.

For more Star Trek-based content, find out why we think Star Trek: Picard season 2 didn't deliver on the hype. Alternatively, read up on how Star Trek's TV offerings are showing there's more than one way to build a shared universe.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.