Star Trek: the Motion Picture — screenplay, structure, story

Theoretical structure

Duration: 126 minutes
Act I: 0 – 35 minutes
Introduce protagonist and antagonist: 0 – 15 minutes
Establish conflict: 15 – 30 minutes
Plot Point I: 30 – 35 minutes
Act II: 35 – 100 minutes
Synthesis between protagonist and antagonist: 35 – 95 minutes
Plot Point II: 95 – 100 minutes
Act III: 100 – 126 minutes
Conflict resolution: 100 – 125 minutes
Ending: 125 – 126 minutes

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"Screenplay, Structure, Story", in-which single dramas are analysed for their pace and narrative.

Theoretical structure

  • Duration: 126 minutes
    • Act I: 0 – 35 minutes
      • Introduce protagonist and antagonist: 0 – 15 minutes
      • Establish conflict: 15 – 30 minutes
      • Plot Point I: 30 – 35 minutes
    • Act II: 35 – 100 minutes
      • Synthesis between protagonist and antagonist: 35 – 95 minutes
      • Plot Point II: 95 – 100 minutes
    • Act III: 100 – 126 minutes
      • Conflict resolution: 100 – 125 minutes
      • Ending: 125 – 126 minutes

Act I (minutes 0 – 54)

Introduce protagonist and antagonist (minutes 0 – 12)

Antagonist: V’Ger (first seen at minute 4)

Protagonist: James Kirk (first seen at minute 12)

Establish conflict (minutes 12 – 15)

Kirk tells Scott “An alien object of unbelievable destructive power is less than three days away from this planet. The only starship in interception range is the Enterprise” at minute 15.

Plot Point I (minutes 15 – 54)

The Enterprise arrives at the V’Ger cloud at minute 54:36.

Act II (minutes 54 – 114)

Synthesis between protagonist and antagonist (minutes 54 – 112)

The conflict between Kirk and V’Ger takes place from minutes 54 to :

  • Kirk commands the Enterprise scan V’Ger and transit to the object within.
  • V’Ger sends a probe, which penetrates the bridge and destroys Ilia.
  • V’Ger pulls the Enterprise into it with a tractor beam, and closes its aperture, trapping the Enterprise.
  • Freed from V’Ger’s tractor beam, Ilia beams back on board the Enterprise as a spokesperson for V’Ger, stating V’Ger’s mission to travel to Earth and finds its creator.
  • Ilia investigates the Enterprise and why it needs carbon based lifeforms to function.
  • Decker asks Ilia to help them make contact with V’Ger.
  • Spock leaves the Enterprise to go inside V’Ger.
  • Kirk commands Chekov to fix on Spock and follow him.
  • Spock thrusts into V’Ger and sees a 3D construction of V’Ger’s journey. V’Ger sends a probe and shows Spock its history.
  • Spock returns from V’Ger and is taken back to the Enterprise by Kirk.
  • Spock explains to Kirk that V’Ger can’t understand the difference between machines and organisms.
  • V’Ger sheds itself of the cloud and approaches Earth.
  • Spock detects V’Ger’s signal to be radio.
  • Earth’s defence systems deactivate.
  • V’Ger dispatches probes around Earth.
  • Spock explains that V’Ger is like a child.
  • V’Ger blocks Starfleet’s transmissions to Enterprise.
  • V’Ger offers to lower hostilities if a Human’s submitted to it for study.
  • Enterprise enters the heart of V’Ger.
  • The Enterprise approaches the core of V’Ger.
  • Kirk and crew disembark the Enterprise and journey to V’Ger.

Plot Point II (minutes 112 – 114)

  • Enterprise crew arrive at V’Ger and discover it to be Voyager 6. Kirk’s defeated V’Ger’s attempts to stop him, and achieved his own goal of discovering what V’Ger is.

Act III (minutes 114 – 126)

Conflict resolution (114 – 124)

  • Kirk deduces that V’Ger is the combination of Voyager 6 with the living machines, which is now completing its mission of learning all that can be learned and beaming it back to Earth.
  • Kirk instructs communications officer Uhura to find the NASA transmission frequency to communicate with Voyager 6.
  • Kirk tells Ilia that Humans are the creator.
  • Decker further deduces that Voyager 6 refused to return transmissions to prompt Humans to come to it in person.
  • Enterprise crew discuss Voyager 6’s philosophy – it wants to achieve ultimate sentience, but cannot logically comprehend the existence of higher dimensions. Decker volunteers to merge with Voyager 6 to help it understand more than what’s logical.
  • Once merged with the Human Decker, V’Ger begins to disintegrate as it transcends existence.

Ending (minutes 124 – 126)

  • V’Ger disintegrated, the Enterprise sails away back to Earth as the crew consider the implications of what they’ve just seen.
  • Starfleet instruct Kirk to give a report on what just happened, as Kirk decides to take the Enterprise back to Earth.
  • The Enterprise sails on to its next mission…

Author: alexsigsworth

Generic true believer Marvelite, etc.

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