Note: Three versions of this film exist. The film was originally released in theaters in 1979. The film was first shown on broadcast network television in 1983 and included 12 minutes of additional footage. This version was subsequently released on VHS as the "Special Longer Version." In 2001, a Director's Edition of the film was released on DVD and VHS. The Director's Edition included some additional dialogue not shown in the 1979 theatrical version, and some dialogue was cut out from the 1979 theatrical version. The 2001 Director's Edition is four minutes longer than the 1979 theatrical version. The dialogue from both prior versions that was not included in the main feature of the 2001 Director's Edition was included as deleted scenes on the "Bonus Features" disc. In the quotes that follow, the differences in dialogue are noted when they were not identical in all three versions.
Spock, this child is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. Now, what do you suggest we do? Spank it?
Well, Jim, I hear Chapel's an M.D. now. Well I'm going to need a top nurse... not a doctor who will argue every little diagnosis with me. And they probably redesigned the whole sick bay, too! I know engineers—they love to change things.
Montgomery Scott: The crew haven't had near enough transition time with all the new equipment. And the engines—they're not even tested at warp power. And an untried captain.
James T. Kirk: Two-and-a-half years as chief of Starfleet Operations may have made me a little stale, but I wouldn't exactly consider myself ... untried. (Scott looks to Kirk in surprise) They gave her back to me, Scotty.
Montgomery Scott: Gave her back sir? I doubt it were that easy with Nogura.
James T. Kirk: (attempting a scottish accent) Ye Right. (both men chuckle)
Montgomery Scott: Well any man who could manage such a feat I would nea dare disappoint...she'll launch on time Sir...and she'll be ready. (lays a fatherly hand on Kirks arm)
Hikaru Sulu: He wanted her back. He got her.
Alien Ensign: And Captain Decker? He's been with this ship every minute of her refitting.
Uhura: Ensign, the possibilities of our returning from this mission in one piece may have just doubled.
2001 Director's Edition only.
Willard Decker: Admiral, this is an almost totally new Enterprise. You don't know her a tenth as well as I do.
James T. Kirk: That's why you're staying aboard. I'm sorry, Will.
Willard Decker: No, Admiral, I don't think you're sorry. Not one damn bit. I remember when you recommended me for this command. You told me how envious you were and how much you hoped you'd find a way to get a starship command again. Well, sir, it looks like you found a way.
James T. Kirk: Report to the bridge, Commander, immediately.
Willard Decker: Aye, sir.
Commander Branch: Enterprise, the cloud is definitely a power field of some kind. Measures— my God— over 82 AUs in diameter. Must be something incredible inside there generating it. We're transmitting linguacode friendship messages on all frequencies. No response.
"82 AUs" in 1979 theatrical version and 1983 television version, "two AUs" in 2001 Director's Edition.
James T. Kirk: Yeoman?
Yeoman: Yes, sir?
James T. Kirk: What was the problem down there?
Yeoman: He insisted we go first, sir. Said something about first seeing how it scrambled our molecules.
James T. Kirk: [to Rand] Has a familiar ring, doesn't it? Starfleet, this is Captain Kirk. Beam that officer up now.
Preceding dialogue in 2001 Director's Edition. Following dialogue included in all versions of the film.
James T. Kirk: Well, for a man who swore he'd never return to Starfleet—
Leonard McCoy: Just a moment, Captain, sir. I'll explain what happened. Your revered Admiral Nogura invoked a little-known, seldom-used reserve activation clause. In simpler language, Captain, they drafted me!
James T. Kirk: They didn't!
Leonard McCoy: This was your idea. This was your idea, wasn't it?
James T. Kirk: Bones, there's a thing out there.
Leonard McCoy: Why is any object we don't understand always called a thing?
James T. Kirk: Headed this way. I need you. Damn it, Bones, I need you. Badly!
James T. Kirk: Well, Bones, do the new medical facilities meet with your approval?
Leonard McCoy: They do not. It's like working in a damn computer center.
James T. Kirk: All right, explanation. Why was my phaser order countermanded?
Willard Decker: Sir, the Enterprise, redesigned, increases phaser power by channeling it through the main engines. When they went into anti-matter imbalance, the phasers were automatically cut-off.
James T. Kirk: (crestfallen) Then you acted properly, of course.
Willard Decker: Thank you, sir. I'm sorry if I embarrassed you.
James T. Kirk: You saved the ship.
Willard Decker: I'm aware of that, sir.
James T. Kirk: (getting angry) Stop...competing with me, Decker.
Leonard McCoy: Spock, you haven't changed a bit. You're just as warm and sociable as ever.
Spock: Nor have you, doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.
Uhura: It could hold a crew of tens of thousands.
Leonard McCoy: Or a crew of a thousand ten miles tall.
1983 television version
James T. Kirk: Spock, did we just see the beginning of a new life-form?
Spock: Yes, Captain. We witnessed a birth. Possibly a next step in our evolution.
James T. Kirk: I wonder.
Leonard McCoy: Well, it's been a long time since I delivered a baby. And I hope we got this one off to a good start.
James T. Kirk: I hope so too. I think we gave it the ability to create its own sense of purpose... out of our own human weaknesses... and the drive that compels us to overcome them.
Leonard McCoy: And a lot of foolish human emotions. Right, Mr. Spock?
Spock: Quite true, Doctor. Unfortunately, It will have to deal with them as well.