Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is the last of the Star Trek movies starring the original crew of the Enterprise and it turns out to be a decent farewell for this cast. When the Klingon Empire is on the verge of destruction they have no other solution than to start peace talk. Captain Kirk and his crew get the honor of escorting Chancellor Gorkon and his entourage through Federation space. Thing don’t go as planned as the Enterprise fires at the Klingon ship and two unidentified persons enter it and try to assassinate the chancellor. Kirk and Bones get blamed and put on trial. The rest of the crew of the Enterprise must do anything to prove their innocence.
Star Trek VI starts off with Sulu having command of his own ship. Glad to see somebody of the original crew has something that resembled a career. Now I’m being sarcastic as Spock has also been busy getting forward in life. He is one of the people behind the attempt to negotiate peace with the Klingons now that there planet is slowly dying. He suggests Kirk as the right person to escort the Klingon chancellor which gives Shatner a chance to really act for once as the Klingons were responsible for killing his son. The movie then sets out quite a few plotlines; an assassination, a prison escape, a whodunnit and the main plot about the peace talks which clearly refer to the Cold War between Russia and the US. This made it feel like a grander film than usual in the series.
One point of criticism on The Final Frontier was the quality of the special effects. In The Undiscovered Country the people of ILM were responsible for the effects and it shows. The opening sequence in which Sulu’s ship goes through a blast is pretty neat and we even get some CGI as Klingon blood floats in a gravity-less environment. Of course by today’s standards the CGI would’ve looked 10.000 times better but still, this was 1991 and the whole CGI-revolution hadn’t even begun.
Story-wise this installment enters some unexplored territories. No single alien which threatens a planet but rather an elaborate story about politics and a conspiracy which is presented as a whodunnit that is not really that hard to solve. But it was a nice addition to the story that is fairly rich. The movie is full of references to earlier movies and even the TV-series. The cast still has the same chemistry which is what makes these movies come alive. In this film there are once more some roles by people who would make it big later in their careers. There’s Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City as Lieutenant Valeris and Christian Slater in a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it cameo as an Excelsior Communications Officer.
I liked this movie, it didn’t bring anything new to the franchise but it’s a solid entry and a nice farewell to these characters which have been together for 25 years and became kind of my friends over the course of the 6 films. It was a fun run even if not every adventure was very good.