The popular television series boldly goes to the big screen for the first time in director Robert Wise‘s wildly ambitious sci-fi action-adventure epic. Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) now works in San Francisco as Chief of Starfleet Operations while the starship Enterprise undergoes a major rehaul under the supervision of the proud but inexperienced Captain Willard Decker (Stephen Collins); after an alien force hidden in a massive cloud of energy destroys three Klingon warships and a Starfleet monitoring station while en route to Earth, Kirk assumes command of his old ship and blasts off with his crew to investigate. Their mission, made even more challenging by the competitive rift between Kirk and Decker and a newfangled Enterprise that has a few kinks to work out, brings them face to face (or, in Spock’s case, mind to mind) with V’Ger, a living machine with ties to the Voyager 6, a long-lost 20th century Earth space probe. After the “Star Trek” series was canceled in 1969, creator Gene Roddenberry approached Paramount about continuing the franchise with a film; the show’s success in syndication convinced the studio to commence with development in 1975, though it was scrapped in 1977 after a series of dissatisfying script drafts. The lucrative box office earned by “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” inspired Paramount to resurrect the project after Steven Spielberg’s film demonstrated that there’s money to be made in sci-fi cinema that isn’t “Star Wars.”