At the end of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, after Decker and Ilia "join" together somehow, is it stated what happens to them afterwards or the 300million km long ship? Was there any crew ?

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    The novel The Return provides more information on the further fate of V'ger. In the 15+ years since I've read it, I've forgotten if it simply features V'ger, or if it gives any concrete information on the events immediately following the movie.
    – chepner
    Jan 30, 2014 at 18:54
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    I believe that is it revealed that the "Other" V'ger encountered were the Borg. I don't remember the fate of V'ger, only that clone-Kirk gets busy with the Borg queen on a holodeck.
    – circusdei
    Jan 30, 2014 at 19:10
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    It gets transported to the delta quadrant where.. oh wait, wrong V'ger...
    – user11521
    Jan 30, 2014 at 19:59
  • @Michael Yeah, it's about Star Trek, it's about Voyager, yet tagging it star-trek-voyager would be wrong.
    – SQB
    Jan 31, 2014 at 7:58
  • You caused my brain to dredge up the Cracked Magazine satire of this scene...
    – Spencer
    Apr 18, 2023 at 18:46

4 Answers 4


It is not stated in the film; they simply leave, after first subjecting the audience to a poorly-executed attempt to duplicate the flashing lights scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey (Paramount actually sued the original special effects company for TMP, I believe, over the poor quality of their effects).

In the screenplay (published in Star Trek: Phase II), however, it is explicitly stated that V'Ger, newly improved by joining with Decker, passes through an inter-dimensional portal to continue its mission to "know everything." I am unsure as to why that was not filmed; possibly due to the aforementioned special effects issues, possibly due to expense, possibly due to the film already taking too long to shoot.

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    +1 for "poorly-executed attempt to duplicate the flashing lights scene" Jan 30, 2014 at 14:59
  • Remember, the screenplay in Phase II was for the original pilot for Phase II, not the final version intended for film. There were differences.
    – Tango
    Jan 30, 2014 at 15:18
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    Not quite. The story that TMP was based on, In Thy Image, was written by Alan Dean Foster as an episode for the abandoned Phase II concept. It was so good it was adopted as the pilot episode, then later as the basis of the feature film. The screenplay was written by Gene Roddenberry and Harold Livingstone - the final draft was mostly Livingstone's - as stated by Richard in his answer. That Harry Livingstone absolutely hated Gene Roddenberry after dealing with his constant re-writes may also have contributed to several scenes from the screenplay not making the final film. Jan 31, 2014 at 7:56

I think this bit of dialogue pretty strongly suggested that V'Ger needed to join with a human so it could depart our universe for "other dimensions, higher levels of being":

SPOCK: Perhaps not. Captain, V'Ger must evolve. Its knowledge has reached the limits of this universe and it must evolve. What it requires of its God, Doctor is the answer to its question, 'Is there nothing more?'

McCOY: What more is there than the universe, Spock?

DECKER: Other dimensions, higher levels of beings.

SPOCK: The existence of which cannot be proved logically, therefore V'Ger is incapable of believing in them.

KIRK: What V'Ger needs in order to evolve is a human quality. Our capacity to leap beyond logic.

DECKER: And joining with its Creator might accomplish that.


The shooting script for Star Trek : The Motion Picture (as written by Gene Roddenberry & Harold Livingstone) makes it pretty clear that at the end of the film, V'Ger has travelled into another dimension;

Kirk, Spock and McCoy stand transfixed another instant. Around them, V'ger seems to be TRANSFORMING INTO BRILLIANT, LOVELY PATTERNS. They all turn and race into the complex in the direction of their vessel.

EXT. EARTH ORBIT - AN ENERGY BOLTS : It too seems to be flowering into loveliness, brilliant, graceful patterns as they seem to slip through to another dimension, vanishing.

EXT. V'GER - FULL SHOT : The "FLOWERING" EFFECT now spreading outward, V'ger's massive shape becoming a spiraling pattern of twisting, graceful shapes and brilliant colors - a transcendence into another dimension.

And then all of that is left is a shimmering, jewel-like point of light -- and then it too fades -- and reveals there in the blue-black of space, the U.S.S. Enterprise

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    If McCoy's spandex disco outfit and gold necklace didn't date Star Trek: The Motion Picture to the 1970s, then the theme of transcending time and space through good lovin' certainly does. :)
    – RobertF
    Jul 14, 2015 at 15:24

I think McCoy states after joining with the Sagan et al. designed NASA satellite, V'GER, and Commander Will Decker is that they just witnessed a new species being born.

I guess this new species is half-man half-machine and the result of evolution. Although, most species evolve at a much slower rate instead of deciding to meld with each other as in this awesome Star Trek motion picture movie.

Also, it would of been better if Shatner's hair did not look like that guy's from Dynasty. :D

It was also funny that V'GER only 'spoke' in binary, zeros and ones, and that the Star Trek team had a tough time communicating in this type of machine language since their technology had advanced way past this. I guess they could not have used Java, or whatever language will be used 260 years from now, to interface with the machine code of V'GER.

I really liked this movie. It was long, but had a massive amount of fascinating eye-candy to look at. The scene where Spock floats through the interior of the alien craft is amazing with the blue trailing lights. I did not know they were sued by the makers of 2001:A Space Odyssey for that scene. It was also very quirky that the leading lady, the main sex symbol, had a shaved head.

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    Welcome to Stack Exchange. Try to stick to the topic when answering question and avoid too many personal statements.
    – Valorum
    Jan 30, 2014 at 19:40
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    I don't think the issue was that they didn't know what binary was, rather they weren't familiar with the specific code used by NASA to communicate with the old Voyager probe--Kirk tells Uhura "we want the old NASA code signal that instructs the probe to transmit its data", later Decker says "That's what it's been signalling, its readiness to transmit its information" and Kirk responds "And there's no one on Earth who could recognize the old signal and send a response."
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 30, 2014 at 19:40
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    @richard Right, sorry about that. lol. I had too much fun going off topic. I can save my carpal tunnelled wrists from typing so much anyway. Also, Hynosifl - I think you are correct that they needed a specific NASA code. I do remember mention of binary code though. In the film they had to pop-open parts of the actual hardware to try and do this because of some type of interface issue. Also, Voyager is actually loaded full of binary codes for aliens to try and understand you know.... :D far-out.
    – user_loser
    Jan 30, 2014 at 19:50

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