REVIEW: “Star Trek: The Compendium” Blu-ray Set

STID_BR_DVD_RetailRelease Date: September 9, 2014
Blu-ray Disc • 4 Discs
Paramount Pictures

Video / Audio
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Bonus Features
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Packaging
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The Compendium is a (mostly) complete set of all material produced for the two JJ Abrams Star Trek films -- and it should have been released a year ago, when Paramount was focused on things like the one-off "Meteor Edition" of Into Darkness, rather than offering fans a truly substantial home media release.

While the 2009 film was released as a comprehensive 'special edition' years ago, Trek fans were forced to purchase -- at minimum -- three separate copies of Star Trek Into Darkness if they wanted to get their hands on all the behind-the-scenes bonus material created for last year's film, much to just about everyone's dismay.

This new Compendium set does a fairly good job of rounding up all the disparate features put out in 2013, and presents them in one all-encompassing new Blu-ray release.

.   .   .

The Packaging

The Compendium comes in a matte-finish, DigiPack-style cardboard book that doesn't offer much in the way of design past the embossed front cover. There's no interior or back-cover artwork, and the set should probably have come with at least a slipcover to protect the casing.

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Additionally, this book is about 1cm taller than standard plastic Blu-ray cases, which means you'll need to account for the extra height in your storage plans.

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Aside from Ultraviolet / iTunes Digital Copy codes for each movie, there's no additional physical material included with this release.

.   .   .

The Discs

Paramount has put together a four-disc release which pulls together all material from 2009's Star Trek three-disc special edition Blu-ray set along with the myriad features distributed across retailers for the 2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray release. Aside from the new disc artwork, the 2009 discs are completely identical to the original release -- right down to the commercial for Fringe, which has been off the air for nearly two years.

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But for Star Trek Into Darkness, the Compendium set includes both the iTunes enhanced commentary -- presented here as a 'branching' playback option on disc -- and most of the elusive Into Darkness deleted scenes relegated to the XBOX Video release have been included as well, here on disc for the first time.

Check out our previous Into Darkness media reviews, covering all these features:

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.   .   .

What's New?

The biggest addition to the Into Darkness release is the long-awaited, shifting-aspect-ratio IMAX version of the film, previously only available in 720p as an iTunes-exclusive video download. Several scenes in the film were shot with large-format IMAX cameras, which ended up being cropped to a standard 1.78:1 aspect ratio for all other media releases.

We've selected a number of examples from the approximately thirty minutes of IMAX footage included in this release; while some shots simply appear to have been cropped for the theatrical release, others are reframed to center the action within the reduced frame height.

Theatrical Version vs. IMAX Version

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In addition, Paramount has also included several theatrical trailers, two new featurettes, and a full-length gag reel not available on any previously-released Blu-ray release -- perhaps an attempt to sweeten the purchase a bit more for fans debating whether or not this new release is one to add to their collections.

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Fitting the Future (5:03)

This new feature focuses on costume designer Michael Kaplan's work dressing the principle and extras cast for the second outing of the rebooted Enterprise.

Much of the focus is aimed at the difficult creation of the color-coded Starfleet wetsuits seen at the beginning of the film, but time is also given to the new spacesuits worn by Khan and Kirk when they space-jump from the Enterprise, the blue-and-black uniforms of the Vengeance crew, and the various looks worn by Benedict Cumberbatch throughout the movie.

. . .

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Property of Starfleet (4:53)

Andy Siegel, the Star Trek films' prop master, leads a whirlwind tour of several Into Darkness props, including the newly-designed tricorder, Khan's portable transporter unit (inspired by a frequently-used vacuum cleaner), Spock's volcano 'ice cube' machine, Khan's giant gun used on Kronos, Klingon disruptors, and the enormous Section 31 photon torpedo device.

The cast and crew speak at length about the realism and practicality of having physical props in such a futuristic environment, and how keeping things 'grounded' allows the audience (and actors) to connect with the world of the 23rd Century.

. . .

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Gag Reel (5:48)

This lengthy blooper video covers on-set goofing around from all aspects of the shoot, from fight scene mishaps to prop malfunctions to loads of laughing, dancing, and general foolishness from just about all of the cast and crew. While somewhat standard gag reel fare, this one is without any 'set up' bloopers or practical jokes, like the "Neutron Cream" prank seen in the "Safety First" Best Buy featurette.

.   .   .

What's Missing?

Perhaps the most controversial "missing piece" to this collection is the exclusion of the 3D IMAX edition of Star Trek Into Darkness. While the 3D market may represent a small portion of overall consumer purchases, this version of the movie is one that should be available for those 3D aficionados who which to experience the most immersive version of the film possible.

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There are also a few other bits still left out for unknown reasons, including:

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If you haven't purchased either film on Blu-ray yet, there's no debating that Star Trek: The Compendium is the ultimate release to add to your home collection.

If you already have one of the other releases, you'll need to decide if the additional Into Darkness features (now totaling over two hours, plus the nearly three-hour commentary track) -- or the exceptional IMAX edition of the film -- is incentive enough to upgrade your existing Blu-ray set. Be sure to check out the $5 rebate program good towards the purchase of this release.

Finally, we have confirmed that The Compendium is going to be a North America-only release, at least for the foreseeable future. Like other Paramount releases, however, this is a region-free set, so international shoppers can feel free to import the Blu-ray set from either of the Amazon links below.

Order Star Trek:
The Compendium
on Blu-ray today!


Order Star Trek Into Darkness on 3D Blu-ray today!



  • Chris915

    It’s strange looking at the frames uncropped… since it’s been so long since I’ve seen an almost fullscreen widescreen movie.

    I’m still not sure I’ll spend money on this, I have both movies already and that’s all I really care about.

  • Andy Perkins

    Already ordered and should be shipping in the next few days, cant wait :)

  • Adrian Dinca

    I have the Limited Phaser Edition of the Into Darkness in 3D. What I’d like to know is what 3D version this is. Is it the “standard” 3D version or the IMAX 3D version. Does anyone know this or can I check it somehow?

    • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

      This is NOT a 3D release.

      • Adrian

        I know this is not a 3D release. What I can’t find in this or previous reviews of Star Trek Into Darkness is which 3D versions (US Releases) contain the IMAX 3D version. I can only find info saying the German 3D release contains the IMAX 3D version, but no words about the US releases. Hence my question: which US releases contain the 3D IMAX version? I have the Limited Phaser 3D version, which 3D version is this, The standaard 3D version (letterboxed) or IMAX version? Is there a way to check which 3D version is on the US 3D releases? Thank you in advance for your reply!

        • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

          The IMAX 3D version of the film has not been released anywhere yet. The standard (theatrical) 3D release is all that has been put out on home media, including the German release — early reports that the German release would be IMAX 3D were proved incorrect.

          • Adrian Dinca

            Thanks for clarifying this, so we can expect the next release to be the 3D IMAX version…

          • SpaceCadet

            Not necessarily. These home media companies don’t always release their material in logical order.

          • DaMac

            3D at home is a niche market, it might never be released.

          • Adrian Dinca

            That would be too bad. I saw this movie in IMAX 3D and it totally rocked! It would be nice to be able to match the full frame in 3D at home.

  • OphidianJaguar

    Meh, I personally prefer steel books, so Ill stay with my individual copies. Those scenes shot in IMAX make it tempting. But we all know Paramount will release another version for the 50th, then the third movie is out in 2016 and we know they will release it individually and probably a trilogy box set and even a 13 movie box set. It never ends.

    What I would really like are for the 6 TOS and 4 TNG movies to get the proper HD treatment the way TOS and TNG on blu-ray have. When going from DVD to blu-ray, you really miss those amazing looking new visuals from TMP Directors Cut and the things taken out from TUC. When you do shitty transfers it shows, case in point the 6 original movies and Enterprise on blu-ray. TNG is acceptable on blu-ray but its really Nemesis that looks the best, the others need some work. They need to go back to the negative and clean those movies up, so many dark spots and dirt on the film, Enterprise leaving space dock in TMP, Klingon ship landing on Vulcan in ST3, etc. But I’m sure the compositing and HD CG would be a pain and expensive. It would still probably be a smaller undertaking when looking at TOS and TNG HD projects combined. The movies look sad in their current HD blu-ray state. They really need to be cleaned up, colour corrected.

    • kadajawi

      Exactly. Especially TMP looks quite horrible. And give me TMP: DC…

      • Bjoernar Dohm

        And the director’s cut of “The Wrath of Khan”!

  • CoolGeek

    I wont be getting this.I have the ’09 film on blu already and i have the regular blu ray of Into Darkness.Sure i would have liked some more added content, but i dont really care too much for special features anymore.I just want the film to watch again and again.

  • Jon

    You forgot to add an actual Star Trek movie to the “What’s missing?” section.

    And now I’ll proceed to duck my head to try to avoid the proverbial flying vegetables hurled my way… :)

    • Claire Brsk

      It always amazes me how much haters like to spread their petty hatred to ruin the day of the fans who actually enjoy Star Trek and who come to Trek sites to share their love.
      What do you get by coming to any Trek-related article just to insult the latest incarnation of Trek? Does that make you feel superior somehow? Does that make you think the incarnation of Trek you prefer is somehow better just because you’re sh***ing on another incarnation of Trek which other people prefer?

      All that haters accomplish is to prove they are not true Trek fans. No true Trek fan would constantly go against the concept of accepting diversity in different forms.
      If you can’t stand that there’s various different incarnations of Trek, then maybe you don’t belong in this fandom.

  • Platitude

    Those IMAX scenes are awfully tempting…I just wish the rebate had been more than five bucks.

  • mikk

    Is it a region free release or is it only playable on region a trek core?

  • mikk

    Ignore that just read it

  • DaMac

    Really amazed at how much better the IMAX framing is. Worth a purchase for that alone.

  • Rémi

    Hi, is this region free?

    • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

      As our review reads, “Finally, we have confirmed that The Compendium is going to be a North America-only release, at least for the foreseeable future. Like other Paramount releases, however, this is a region-free set, so international shoppers can feel free to import the Blu-ray set from either of the Amazon links below.”

      • Rémi

        Sorry I haven’t read all the article, thanks ^^

  • Christopher Roberts

    By the time Paramount are done, I’ll have never owned so many different versions of a film, which…
    [leans forward and whispers confidentially]
    …I didn’t really like.

    • CoolGeek

      Who the hell buys a movie that they ” didnt really like? ”.That sounds idiotic! And you bought multiple versions? Seriously dude.

      I loved the movie and just bought the regular blu ray.

      • archer9234

        Some people can’t skip a movie in a series. Like I gladly skipped TNG R S2 cause of its mess. And I didn’t buy Amazing Spider-Man 1. I didn’t want another origin story in barley a decade. And I won’t buy multiple copies of Star Trek 09. My friend could NEVER be missing something. It’s basically OCD. There are people that even buy all the versions like single disc, two disc, 4 disc 20 disc issues of one film. Just because they want everything.

      • DaMac

        If you love Star Trek and own everything else Star Trek including 28 seasons of television and 11 movies, you’re probably not going to skip the newest film, even if you didn’t really like it that much.

  • OneBuckFilms

    This is already pre-ordered, and my existing SKUs will be traded in for store credit at Amoeba Records this weekend.
    From what I can see, aside from a couple of minor omissions and the lack of a 3D version of Into Darkness, this is largely what should have been released in the first place.
    I would like to thank Paramount for paying attention to what was wanted, and attempting a correction as best they could.
    I’m curious as to how the packaging will be in person, certainly looks visually good (I like that minimal style). :)

  • pittrek

    Region free? OK, that’s good, maybe I’ll buy it!

  • Andyperkins

    Received my copy yesterday, those IMAX sequences are jaw dropping really glad I upgraded

  • OneBuckFilms

    Mine shipped from BestBuy. Good times. :)

  • Edward

    I live in the UK and have bought this and can confirm if anyone is a little worried still – it IS Region Free. Quite why we are YET again being denied Trek blu rays I don’t know….we haven’t had any of the TNG stand alone “movie episodes” since BOBW sadly either. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t got any ties to Trek is it? Oh wait…….Stewart, Sirtis, Cumbersnatch, Pegg…..a character called Scotty…….wake up Paramount!

    The IMAX scenes look awesome in HD and to see Saldana and the Kligons dancing in the gag reel was so funny *whispers* can I have the next Trek film performed as a musical?!

  • scarecroe

    For missing deleted scenes, there’s also the one where Khan is being showered down in his cell that JJ showed on Conan.

    • scarecroe
    • http://www.trekcore.com/ TrekCoreStaff

      That wasn’t actually filmed for the movie; Abrams filmed that for the Conan appearance.

  • Jonathan Hine

    Here we go again… No complete deleted scenes nor featurettes from XBOX edition? Besides all those retailer exclusives I had to buy, I’ll stick to the great fan made 4 DVD set I got from ecrater.co.uk. Besides XBox stuf it also featuress Press kit clips and Film 4 and Sky Movies tv specials no one even mentions here.

  • MIKK89

    Own this (Stops needing to take it to UK CEX branch) and received it the same day as I got Amazon UKs STAR TREK I-X LCE.
    Completely Impressed with this set.