Star Trek III: the Search for Spock — screenplay, structure, story

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

Theoretical structure:

Duration: 95 minutes

  • Act I: 0 – 25 minutes
    • Introduce Kirk: 0 – 10 minutes
    • Introduce Kruge: 10 – 15 minutes
    • Establish conflict: 15 – 20 minutes
    • Plot Point I: 20 – 25 minutes
  • Act II: 25 – 75 minutes
    • Conflict: 25 – 70 minutes
    • Plot Point II: 70 – 75 minutes
  • Act III: 75 – 95 minutes
    • Conflict resolution: 75 – 90 minutes
    • Ending: 90 – 95 minutes

Actual structure:

Act I (5 – 73 minutes)

Introduce Kirk (5 – 7 minutes)

After the opening credits, Kirk is introduced as the Enterprise captain, who’s uneasy after Spock’s death. He and his son David are inspecting the Genesis planet created during Spock’s death. A part of him feels missing with Spock’s absence. The Enterprise is sailing home to Earth dock for a refit following a battle.

Introduce Kruge (8 – 10 minutes)

Kruge is a Klingon commander in charge of a Warbird who’s acquired information on Project Genesis, which created the Genesis planet.

Establish conflict (59 –  71 minutes)

Kirk approaches Genesis in the Enterprise, when Kruge has already arrived. Kruge reveals his presence, and they engage in battle. Kruge’s Warbird has deprived Kirk’s Enterprise of power. They confer through video. Kirk accuses Kruge of committing an act of war by being at Genesis, an artificial planet of ambiguous political status. Kirk demands Kruge surrenders. Kruge accuses Starfleet of preparing for war by creating Genesis with a powerful terraforming device. Kruge’s soldiers on Genesis reveal Spock’s presence there to Kirk, and kill Kirk’s son, David. Kirk surrenders to Kruge and prepares for evacuation of the Enterprise. As the Klingons prepare to board Enterprise, Kirk activates the Enterprise destruct sequence and transport-beams to Genesis.

Plot Point I (71 – 73 minutes)

Kruge realises the Enterprise has been timed for destruction when its too late for his soldiers to evacuate. On Genesis, Kirk watches the Enterprise descend.

Act II (73 – 80 minutes)

Conflict (73 – 79 minutes)

Kirk finds Spock on Genesis and kills his Klingon hostage. With the leftover communicator, Kirk taunts Kruge, telling him the Enterprise’s destruction was an accident, but that they can only escape by being transported to the Warbird. Kruge believes Spock’s rapid-ageing is the Genesis secret, and transports Kirk’s crew to the Warbird, but not Kirk. Genesis is exponentially destroying itself. Kruge and Kirk fight on the fiery surface.

Plot Point II (79 – 80 minutes)

Kirk and Kruge’s fight moves to a ledge, where Kirk throws Kruge into lava.

Act III (80 – 95 minutes)

Conflict resolution (80 – 82 minutes)

Kirk escapes Genesis with Spock in Kruge’s warbird.

Ending (82 – 95 minutes)

Kirk takes Spock to Vulcan, where they reunite.

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Author: alexsigsworth

Generic true believer Marvelite, etc.

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