Treknobabble #27: Star Trek Movie Taglines

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

After writing the Star Trek haiku and koan, I thought it might be fun to think of possible tag lines for the next movie. I did some research first to make sure that I didn’t come up with a tag line that had already been used. With ten movies, a lot of generic tag lines have been used up already. Conveniently, IMDb provides all the tag lines.

Some of the tag lines used for the foreign posters were foreign to me. See how many of the following you recognize:

The Motion Picture

  • The Human Adventure is Just Beginning.
  • There is no comparison.
  • Not owning it would be illogical (DVD release).

The Wrath of Khan

  • At the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance.
  • In space, a battle is about to begin. A battle between good and evil. A battle between justice and vengeance. A battle between the Starship Enterprise and the wrath of Khan. For some it will be their first mission, for others it will be their last.
  • Beyond the darkness…beyond the human evolution…is Khan. A genetically superior tyrant. Exiled to a barren planet; banished by a Starship Commander he is destined to destroy. Left for dead, Khan has survived.

The Search for Spock

  • Join the search.
  • A dying planet. A fight for life.
  • Kirk must battle the Klingons to protect the Genesis Planet and save a friend’s life.
  • The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

The Voyage Home

  • Beaming down to Earth December 12 1986.
  • They travelled back where 23rd century man had never gone before. To a mad, crazy, outrageous time. 1986.
  • How on Earth can they save the future?
  • The key to saving the future, can be found only in the past.

The Final Frontier

  • The Enterprise is back. This time, have they gone too far?
  • Why Are They Putting Seatbelts In Theatres This Summer?
  • The greatest Enterprise of all is adventure.
  • What does God need with a starship?
  • Adventure and Imagination Will Meet At the Final Frontier.

The Undiscovered Country

  • The battle for peace has begun.
  • The crew of the starship Enterprise fights not to win battles, but to end them forever.
  • On the verge of peace. On the brink of war.

Generations

  • Boldly Go.
  • Two captains. One destiny.
  • The torch of adventure is about to be passed.

First Contact

  • Resistance is Futile.
  • Planet Earth. Population 9 billion. None human.
  • You Will Be Assimilated.
  • There is no thrill like First Contact.
  • The battle to save the future has begun.
  • Population 9 billion. All Borg.

Insurrection

  • The Battle For Paradise Has Begun.
  • Eternity Awaits Beyond The Final Frontier.
  • Eternity Is Closer Than You Think.
  • Six Hundred Lives… One Directive.
  • Meet the new face of evil.
  • The future of the galaxy, and the survival of a race, depend on an act of rebellion.
  • Join the rebellion.
  • Get Warped.
  • On December 11th, Stand to fight. Hold your ground. Join the rebellion.
  • Defend Forever.

Nemesis

  • A Generation’s Final Journey… Begins.
  • This December, a generation’s final journey begins.
  • For Every Good in the Universe, There is an Evil.
  • A Generation’s Final Journey Begins.
  • On December 13th, the battle for Earth begins.

I need to make a comment about one of the tag lines at the expense of William Shatner. I actually have the poster with the tag line, thanks to a cousin who worked as an usher when the movie was released. The tag line is for The Final Frontier (the one that Shatner directed): Why Are They Putting Seatbelts In Theatres This Summer? I remember reading one critic’s answer to the tag line: To keep the audience from leaving. Ouch!

In reading through these tag lines and having read things about the upcoming movie, I think some of The Voyage Home tag lines could be used for First Contact and the upcoming movie. Namely, “How on Earth can they save the future?” and “The key to saving the future, can be found only in the past.”

Here are some tag lines I thought of that people have already used for other things. I realize that I may have heard some of these sayings in passing:

  • No time like the past.
  • Everything old is new again.
  • Everything has a beginning.

Here’s a pick-up line that popped into my head. Don’t know who originated it, but I heard it from somewhere. I thought it was semi-clever:

  • Set phasers to stunning!

Without further ado, here are my completely original tag lines for the next Star Trek movie:

  • Kirk. Spock. McCoy. Scotty. Uhura. Sulu. Chekov.
  • To preserve the future, we must head to the past…
  • The future has never looked this good.
  • If you think you’ve seen the future, look again.
  • See how the future began…
  • Witness the Birth of the Future.


  • “Not owning it would be illogical.”
    -One of the funniest taglines ever. The best taglines are always somewhat stupid or corny.

    “Resistance is Futile.”
    – Probably the best one. The Borg are one of the best sci-fi concepts and have one of the best sci-fi names up there with ones like jedi and terminator.

    “Set phasers to stunning!”
    -Would only work at a trek convention and only if pick up lines actually worked.

    “See how the future began…”
    -Your best one and so obviously suitable I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw it on the poster.

    The taglines for the first gen movies are some of the worst I’ve ever read for any movie ever. That’s especially surprising because old taglines are usually really good (before people seemed to realize how corny taglines are and tried to make them not corny; ultimately making them suck more).

  • “Kirk. Spock. McCoy. Scotty. Uhura. Sulu. Chekov.”

    I like this one, although it probably alienates any sort of new audience they may or may not be wanting to reach out to. Your other suggestions could just as well fit Star Trek Enterprise, which tried, and was horrible.

    I like the pick-up line. Reminds me of a cheap joke in a cheap sitcom though. Did you ever see the episode of Joey where Brent Spiner guested? There was some jokes on the expense of the nerdy trekkie in that, actually some of the best episodes of the show featured Michaels nerdy friends, all of whom of course were trekkies and virgins.

  • Reed Farrington

    The first tag line I thought of was “Witness the Birth of the Future” which I thought was pretty good. Interesting what ones you guys liked. I was hoping people would submit some of their ideas.

    I actually videotaped the Brent Spiner sequences in that Joey episode, Henrik. I didn’t know other Joey episodes had trekkie references. Now I’ll have to get the Joey DVDs. :-)

    I was thinking of compiling a list of Star Trek references used in movies and television for a Treknobabble post. But I think I stretched the envelope too far already with my haiku and koan post.

  • My Tagline:

    STAR TREK

    “You’ve never seen it like this.”

    I think that one may be corn with cheese on it chilled to perfection.

  • Reed Farrington

    Henrik made me think that I should have looked into the tag lines for the television series Enterprise:

    – Before Janeway…and Picard…before Spock…and Kirk…the Star Trek saga began.

    – Meet Kirk’s Childhood Hero

    – Back to Where It All Began

    – The final frontier has a new beginning.

    – For decades man has dreamed of going beyond his galaxy… this fall we will.

    – The Star Trek Saga Begins

    – A new era of discovery is about to begin.

    – The first trek into the unknown

    – Before Janeway… Before Sisko… Before Picard… Before Kirk, there was… Enterprise

    – Where the new adventure begins…

    – Forget what you think you know, it won’t help you here (Season 3 Tagline)

    I noticed that the television series Heroes used the tag line “The Future is Coming…”

  • “- Meet Kirk’s Childhood Hero”

    By far the best one, but I don’t for one second believe that anybody would look up to Archer.

  • Charles C

    Johnathan Archer was an adequate commander but he was lacking, in my opinion, so I agree with Henrik on that. If you go into the ST:TAS Robert April was one of the early captains of the Enterprise. Someone who Kirk looked up to but his real idol was the man he succeeded in commanding the starship. Christopher Pike! I would like to see that saga brought to life and maybe a possible remake of that episode if these new characters hit it off… but that vision will never happen since all the episodes are iconic and will never be updated that drastically. Talos IV will remain as is but the Pike storyline could be explored

  • Reed Farrington

    Yes, Archer never seemed like a leader to me as well. Perhaps he wasn’t given enough speeches. The second to last episode had Archer giving a speech that alluded to the forming of the Federation, but I don’t think the speech was very strong.

    I like Scott Bakula as an actor, but maybe Archer was just too uptight and straight-laced even though he lightened up around Trip and T’Pol, eventually. Apparently, in real-life as the veteran actor, Bakula did provide leadership on the set.

    Christopher Pike had a 17 issue comic book series, Star Trek: Early Voyages, published by Marvel.

    I always liked Jeffrey Hunter’s portrayal of Christopher Pike in The Cage. But I am of the opinion that had Jeffrey Hunter continued to play Pike in a Star Trek television series, Star Trek would probably not have the iconic status it has now. From published reports, it was Hunter’s wife who thought Star Trek wasn’t a serious enough vehicle for his talents and caused him to reject the offer to make the second pilot for Star Trek.

    It’s interesting that Roddenberry decided to create a whole new character rather than have Shatner play Christopher Pike.

  • “Six Hundred Lives… One Directive.”

    If I may defend Insurrection alittle bit, I think this tagline sums up what I like about it, and why it feels much more like Star Trek than any of the other TNG films. All the rebellion nonsense I could give a shit about (though I suspect maybe people who grew up with Star Trek have a much stronger bond with The Federation than somebody like me? Anyway, seems pretty cheesy), and the eternity angle is pretty standard sci-fi wacko stuff, but the one or two scenes that are about the rights of living things, and the importance of the prime directive I think are good, and should have been the basis for the film more. As it stands, of course they have to go the easy route and allude to topical situations that happen to take place on earth in the years sorrounding the release of the film, I guess Rick Berman felt it was needed to have some scenes of people running from robotflies and comedy with Worf growing warts, Data feeling beards that aren’t there etc. Oh, and the obligatory sex scene as well.

    I will say too, that I love the singing-scene. That is so weird and oddball and out of place with the entire stereotype of a universe like the one the film depicts, that it very much works. A british tar… Indeed Jean-Luc. It has the best comedy of the film as well, when Picard asks Worf if he knows Gilbert & Sullivan and he answers he hasn’t met all the crew yet. Not exactly stellar stuff, but good enough for a film.

    I think Insurrection has too much of a bad rap. Even the effects are quite killer. The hummingbird scene is beautiful… There is alot to like about the film, and it has at its core, the most Star Trekkian themes of all the films, so just look past the tame plot and enjoy the little things, while thinking about the big things.

  • Reed Farrington

    It’s strange how Henrik’s “love” for TNG blinds him to the reality of how bad Insurrection is.

    (I’ll admit my love for TOS blinds me to the fact of how awful Star Trek V: The Final Frontier really is.)

  • That’s not true Reed. Did you read my snide remarks about the action scenes, the comic relief and the sex scene? Insurrection is not that good of a movie, but I think compared to the rest of the TNG films, it’s the best, and I don’t understand how some people would claim First Contact to be really good, but Insurrection to be shit. First Contact seems like a pisspoor sci-fi film to me, the only good moments coming from lines from Picard like “Plenty of letters left in the alphabet”. It’s just a tame action movie in space. At least Insurrection has a real debate somewhere inside it, behind all the glossy action and lame comedy and stupid tacky emotional content.

  • As a follow-up, I just saw a tag line on a Star Trek advertisement at a theatre: The Future Begins. (I assume it’s a tag line and not a sub-title.)

  • Wait a minute… Reed, you went to a theatre?

  • Goon

    I bet someone sent him a no strings attached coupon for free popcorn.

  • bill

    Another tag line from an ad in Variety for Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn was

    “Somewhere in the deepest, darkest reaches of the Universe a battle is about to begin. A battle between good and evil, between a warrior and a madman.”

  • trynda1701

    The version I remember from the UK TV ads went like this…

    “Somewhere in the darkest reaches of the Universe, a battle is about to begin. A battle between good and evil, between a warrior and a madman. A battle between the awesome power of the Starship Enterprise, and the Wrath of Khan!”

    The announcer then finished with “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, at a cinema near you from Sunday!”