Connect with us
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Image: Paramount Pictures

Film

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Ended the Original Crew’s Run in Style

On the verge of peace. On the brink of war.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country turns 30…

Early on in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Kirk, and Mr. Spock are talking about the Klingons when Spock tells Kirk: “There is an old Vulcan proverb: only Nixon could go to China.” 

It’s a joke – a fantastic one, in fact – but it also doubles as the main thing that the movie is about. And because the movie’s Klingons believe that Shakespeare was written in “the original Klingon”- showing that the Klingons and the Federation aren’t too different after all. 

In Spock’s analogy, Kirk is Richard Nixon, the uber-hawk, the Federation is the United States, and the Klingons are China, the longtime enemy who it takes such a hawk to make a push for lasting peace. Nixon, of course,  was not a Vulcan, though he’d have been a lot more honest if he had been. 

Directed by Nicholas Meyer, in his first turn on a Trek film since Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the 1991 film was very much an allegory for the end of the Cold War, which had taken place in real life just a couple of years earlier. 

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Image: Paramount Pictures

Following a tragic event on a Klingon planet that’s a clear allegory for the Chernobyl explosion, the Klingons are at least prepared to make peace with the federation. 

But it’s not without complications. Kirk, for instance, still hates the Klingons, blaming them for the death of his son, David, in the previous film. The villain, a hard-line Klingon called General Chang (Christopher Plummer), wants to keep the war going- consider him an analog to the guys who attempted a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. 

It ends with an unambiguous nod to the end of the original Trek crew’s adventures, and a clear sign that the Trek movie series would soon begin to feature the Next Generation cast. And that would be the case, starting three years later with 1994′ Star Trek: Generations, in which Shatner’s Captain Kirk returned but none of his cremates joined him. 

Star Trek VI
Image: Paramount Pictures

The Undiscovered Country also has the melancholy distinction of being the last Trek project made during the lifetime of original series creator Gene Roddenberry, who died just after viewing the film. 

The sixth film was another example, from the original crew’s era, of the even-numbered films always being better than the odd ones. But it also represented a fine sendoff for the crew, after a nearly 25-year run across multiple media. 

Watch Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Now Streaming

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist and film critic based in the Philadelphia area. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle and a Rotten Tomatoes-listed critic since 2008, and his work has appeared in New York Press, Philly Voice, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tablet, The Times of Israel, and RogerEbert.com. In 2009, he became the first American journalist to interview both a sitting FCC chairman and a sitting host of "Jeopardy" on the same day.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook

Trending

Vesper poster Vesper poster

Vesper: Sci-Fi That Thinks Big With Limited Means

Culture

Anti-War Anti-War

Three Bestselling Anti-War Novels, Three A-List Film Adaptations…Three Flops:  Castle Keep, Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five

Culture

Unforgiven movie review Unforgiven movie review

Unforgiven Ushered the Western into its Afterlife 

Culture

Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies

A Full List Of Upcoming Marvel Studios Film And TV Releases

Culture

Robocop 1987 Robocop 1987

RoboCop is a Social Satire That Gets More Relevant With Age

Film

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Comics

Nope Nope

Jordan Peele’s Nope Explained: A Spectacle of “Bad Miracles”

Film

Alex's War (2022) Alex's War (2022)

Alex’s War, a Documentary Study of Alex Jones, Misses the Big Picture 

Film

Signs movie review Signs movie review

M. Night Shyamalan Signs Finds Comfort at the End of the World

Film

All Out 2022 Predictions All Out 2022 Predictions

Way Too Early Predictions for All Out 2022

Wrestling

Biography: WWE Legends’ Look at Goldberg is One of the Best Wrestling Documentaries Ever 

TV

Detective vs Sleuths Detective vs Sleuths

Detective vs. Sleuths: Buckle Up for a Bumpy Ride

Culture

Incredible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Fan Film Takes The Franchise Into R-Rated Territory

Culture

The Gray Man movie review The Gray Man movie review

Netflix’s The Gray Man is its Most Expensive and Emptiest Star Vehicle

Culture

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop 1987 Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop 1987

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop is an Anti-Fascist Classic 

Film

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022: A Full Recap

Culture

Connect