Movie posters used to be simple and dignified, until marketing departments realized that the more sensational the poster, the more ticket-buyers. It's like the cover of a comic book: You might see an image of Batman riddled with bullets and dead, but that never takes place in the actual story itself. Star Trek has been one of the guiltiest parties in sensationalizing its posters with odd artwork and strange taglines (perhaps second only to the James Bond movie posters), and we've collected them for you all in one spot in the list below.
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Okay, it's not false advertising to call it a motion picture, is it? There were indeed pictures in motion in this movie. But, this was part of the trend of calling things "The Movie" or "The Motion Picture." Did marketing people think they needed a title like this so as not to confuse people? Just ask the folks behind Superman: The Movie.The problem with this poster, other than featuring a triumvirate of Kirk, Spock, and the bald chick from the movie is the tagling "The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning." How is that true? Did we think it had come to an end?
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - No problems with the title, Khan did have a lot of wrath. No, our problem is with the whole "At the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance" line. How were they at the end of the universe? Plus, the poster shows the Enterprise firing on the Regula I space station, what the hell is up with that? "To hell with science, Spock! Blow that research station to pieces!"
- Star Trek III: The Search For Spock - The tagline for this poster is "Join The Search." Uh, how do we do that? By buying a movie ticket? Actually, our main problem with this movie is the title. When did they go searching for Spock? They put the guy's dead body into a torpedo tube and shot it onto the newly formed Genesis planet, for the love of god. They kind of knew where he was. Granted, they later find the tube empty, but it's not like there was a massive galaxy-wide search for him.
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - Just look at this artwork... is that supposed to be Captain Kirk or Chekov right next to Spock? Plus, did Spock decide to go extra-heavy on the eyeliner that day? Plus, check out the text on the seldom seen Australian version of the poster: "They traveled back where 23rd century man had never gone before, to a more crazy, outrageous time: 1986." Yeah, you know, the Dark Ages had nothing on 1986.
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - Check this out "On June 9, Adventure And Imagination Will Meet At The Final Frontier." Really? How did that end up happening? Unless by "imagination" they meant horrible directing, acting, and writing. Ouch. Now, just when you thought things couldn't get worse for this movie... have you seen the teaser poster? It says "Why Are They Putting Seatbelts In Theaters This Summer?" Yes, because of Star Trek V. It's almost been 20 years, but we still want our money back. Maybe even more so, now.
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - "The Battle For Peace Has Begun," was it really a battle for peace? You could probably argue that it was. However, we only remember the Bird of Prey firing shots at the Enterprise, not the Battlecruiser. Maybe they needed something to spice it up a bit. We think General Chang's ominous eyepatch was probably enough. Why overdo it?
- Star Trek Generations - Granted, it's hard to find a problem with this poster. "Boldly Go" ain't a bad tagline, so what are we supposed to say? "Um... the Enterprise never flew through a giant Starfleet symbol!" Although on the alternate poster the "Two Captains. One Destiny" line is a bit odd. What was that shared destiny, exactly?
- Star Trek: First Contact - It's hard to figure out why the artists on these posters always make it seem like the faces are beaming in. Ever since Star Trek: The Motion Picture, it's like they have to be depicted as teleporting onto the poster itself. Bizarre. Anyhow, this poster features the Enterprise racing away from an army of Borg... and into the teleporting faces. Plus, is the Borg Queen winking at us? We're just not sure what's going on here, although resistance was definitely not futile.
- Star Trek: Insurrection - The problem with the tagline on this poster ("The Battle For Paradise Has Begun") is that it's a direct ripoff of the one for The Undiscovered Country ("The Battle For Peace Has Begun"), which was only two movies prior. Did they just phone it in that day? Other than that, we actually kind of like Adhar's craggy face staring down at the Enterprise. It's just too bad the movie was a bit of a letdown.
- Star Trek: Nemesis - Someone please explain to us how "A Generation's Final Journey Begins" works out here. Do they mean the Remans? The crew of the Enterprise who is beginning to go their separate ways? Picard, since he never had a son? Maybe all of the above... or maybe they meant people who would pay to go see more of these, yikes. The marketing people sure loved to have these posters signifying the beginning of something.
- Star Trek - J.J. Abrams' film has had several teaser posters put out so far, with some of them even claiming "Stardate 12.25.08" at the bottom. However, now that it's been bumped to the Summer of 2009, those have all become a paper trail of false advertisements. It's gotten to the point that we've stopped trusting the posters altogether. What's next? Trailers that lie to us as well? Oh... wait.