star trek viParamount Pictures
1991
PG

“Captain’s log, stardate 9522.6: I’ve never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I could never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion, and I’d like to believe him, but how on earth can history get past people like me?”

After an explosion on their moon, the Klingons have an estimated 50 years before their ozone layer is completely depleted, and they all die. They have only one choice – to make peace with the Federation, which will mean an end to 70 years of conflict. Captain James T. Kirk and crew are called upon to help in the negotiations because of their “experience” with the Klingon race. Peace talks don’t quite go to plan, and eventually Kirk and McCoy are tried and convicted of assassination, and sent to Rura Penthe, a snowy hard-labor prison camp. Will they manage to escape? And will there ever be peace with the Klingons?

After the massive brain fart that was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (a movie so dismal that Gene Roddenberry himself denounced it as part of the Star Trek cannon), how does one go about making a follow-up?  For a while, it didn’t seem likely that there would be another sequel, despite not having much of a feeling of closure with The Final Frontier.  Obviously, a sequel did happen, but you must understand that this was a decline of sorts of the Trek franchise at the time.  Burnout.  To give you a perspective of the time, I was ensconced firmly in my Senior year at High School, and producing paintings and sketches of the Enterprise in art class was still a thing for me.  So when I happened to see the teaser trailer for Star Trek VI the summer before, made me squee pretty hard.  They used the phrase “One Last Adventure”, which lent a bit of melancholy to the whole thing; but, it was a new Star Trek movie.  And it couldn’t be any worse than the last one, right?  Right?

Happily, I must say that Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was not only better than Star Trek V, but managed to get back to Star Trek IV levels of enjoyability.  This mainly has to do with William Shatner’s name being nowhere near either the writing or directing credits.  No, instead we have the return of Nicholas Meyer, who directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and co-wrote parts II, IV and this one.  You know, all the good ones in the series?

Also, the story itself, rather than involving finding God and discovering our feelings, helps to somewhat answer the question that’s been on the minds of fanboys everywhere since Star Trek The Next Generation premiered in 1987: “When exactly did the Klingons begin to make peace with the Federation?”  Here, you get some glimpse into the beginnings of the peace processes, and what happens when certain parties on both sides don’t want peace.

Overall, Star Trek VI manages to bring back the fantastic story telling that made Wrath Of Khan and The Voyage Home so popular among the fans.  Everything gels together, and the twists and turns keeps one on the edge of the seat.  Nothing drags, the dialogue is snappy, there are some great scenes (the dinner party scene especially), and the little touches that moves the characters on with their lives brings a sense of fullness here.  Also, Red Foreman is the Federation President!

I watched this in the theater twice.  The second time I drug my sister along with, as she was kinda miffed that I wouldn’t say whether Kirk dies in this movie, as the previews showed a quick teaser image of that.  I own this, both on VHS and DVD.  I also made a digital copy just in case something happened to the DVD.  Yeah, you might say I like this movie.  Highly recommended.