Jim, There is a Historic Opportunity Here
The time has finally come for me to complete the original series of Star Trek movies. It’s been a fairly decent run thus far. Though I’ve really only found two of the movies to be fairly disappointing, I still don’t think I’ve seen one of these movies capable of making me understand how a Trekkie could possibly consider this series to be superior to Star Wars. Even the best ones I’ve seen so far pale in comparison to the best Star Wars movies, in my opinion. But they still have one movie left, and that movie is Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, written by Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flinn, directed by Nicholas Meyer, and starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Kim Cattrall, Christopher Plummer, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, David Warner, Rosanna DeSoto, Iman, Brock Peters, and Michael Dorn.
One of the Klingon moons explodes, throwing the Klingon Empire into turmoil and causing them to call the United Federation of Planets and suggest that they enter into some peace negotiations. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) recommends Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) to escort the Klingon Chancellor, Gorkon (David Warner), to the negotiations. Kirk resents the assignment, still harboring a lot of resentment for the Klingons because they killed his son. After a tense meal with the Klingon’s on board the Enterprise, the Enterprise appears to inexplicably fire upon the Klingon ship and, while the gravity is down, two Enterprise crew members beam on board and kill most of the Klingons, including Gorkon. The Enterprise is blamed and Kirk, along with Doctor Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), is sentenced to life imprisonment on a mining planet. Kirk and McCoy have to try to survive imprisonment while Spock and the Enterprise crew try to find out what happened to clear their names.
I wasn’t really feeling this movie, but I suppose I’d relent as far as to say that it was an acceptable sendoff for the original Enterprise crew. It just felt so uneventful. I guess there were technically a lot of things happening, what with the peace negotiations, the framing of Kirk, the attempted assassination, etc., but I’m also not that interested in watching interstellar politics. I found it mostly boring and did not inspire me to give it too much attention. I think one of the things that kept annoying me is that they wouldn’t stop quoting Shakespeare. That stuff barely keeps me interested when it’s an actual Shakespeare play! And they just do it way too much. I get it, you all like Shakespeare, and we’ve all cumulatively agreed to not pay attention to how the Klingon’s would get that interested in Shakespeare, but you can knock it off already. And then, when they got bored of that, they started quoting Peter Pan, which is basically the same thing, I guess. And when they end their movie with Kirk telling them to fly toward the “second star to the right and straight on till morning” made me think that it was their intention to have Star Trek VII take place in Neverland. They’ve done more ridiculous things in the TV show. But, best I could tell, I had not misplaced another movie, so they may not have made that movie. Some of the non-classical quotes were also irritating. The biggest one for me was when Spock decided that whoever they were looking for (the two killers) were still on board the Enterprise. Yeah, they would logically still be on board the Enterprise … IF they didn’t teleport off already, as they’ve proven themselves able to do. I also got annoyed at the end when they said they wanted to decommission the Enterprise again at the end of the movie. Why does Starfleet have such a hard-on for getting rid of their most effective vessel?! This is the second time they’ve tried that in these movies. And after they said they wanted to decommission it, it got destroyed, and then they STILL rebuilt it! Make up your mind!
This was the best looking Star Trek movie that I’ve seen until the J.J. Abrams joints. It looked really good. It started off really well too with that giant energy wave thing that looked great, even though it was very, very pink. I guess I didn’t like it because I didn’t really see the point of it. I understand that the Klingons needed some reason to talk peace with the Federation, but they didn’t really need something so elaborate. The action was decent enough when it happened, but I got to thinking that the shields are nowhere near as effective as they should’ve been. They announce that the shields are in the process of weakening, but then they show the hull and there’s physical damage on it. So the shields when only slightly depreciated are only really good enough to keep out 10% of incoming damage? And after that, I thought that it was cute that the movie ended with the signatures of the main crew before the credits began. It’s a nice little finishing touch.
The cast still brings it to the best of their ability, but the bulk of them are showing their age at this point. I guess I can’t really blame them for that. Not everyone can age as gracefully as I have. I did feel like it didn’t really fit the character of Kirk to have him mutter some insult about one of the Klingon’s resembling Hitler under his breath without having the balls to repeat it when he was called on it. I also thought it was a little over the top for DeForest Kelley to jump up on the Klingon and straddle him as he pounded on his chest to revive him. I don’t know if I could call it cliché since I don’t know if this movie was one of the first to do it or not, so I’ll just say it was a little much. I also thought Iman was good in the role of Martia, but mostly because she was hot. It was a little strange that she still talked in her own voice in all the different forms she took until she took the form of Kirk, but I didn’t care that much. Then I got really confused because Michael Dorn plays Colonel Worf in this movie, the Klingon that defends Kirk and McCoy at the trial. This didn’t seem to make any sense chronologically for me since the same actor plays a Klingon with the same name hundreds of years later in The Next Generation, but they had already finished airing The Next Generation by the time this movie came out. I guess they just never had the opportunity to explain it. Had they mentioned it in this movie, it would’ve been predicting the future. And TNG was already done, so they couldn’t mention it there. Maybe just not worth the trouble.
Though I found myself somewhat bored with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, I felt as if it was an acceptable way to send off the series. The story was a little boring and based mostly around interstellar politics, but the action and the performances were all good, and the story did succeed at what it wanted to do by closing out the original series with a nice little bow. I wouldn’t recommend this movie on its own, but I would recommend the whole set of the original series movies. They’re more good than bad, and overall worth watching. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country gets “Once more unto the breach, dear friends” out of “Let them die!”
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