Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country can be found here.

The assassination of Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) of the Klingon High Council, while on his way to Earth on a peace mission to seek aid for the dying Klingon planet, is blamed on Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner) and Dr Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley). Consequently, they are sentenced to life on Rura Penthe, a gulag (penal colony) on a frozen asteroid. Knowing that he never gave an order for the Enterprise to fire on Gorkon's ship, Kirk effects his and McCoy's escape in order to prove that the Enterprise is innocent and to prevent another assassination attempt upon the new Klingon peace ambassador, Azetbur (Rosanna DeSoto), daughter of Chancellor Gorkon.

All but one of the main crew members of the USS Enterprise return. Besides Captain Kirk and Dr McCoy, there is Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy) (now a special envoy), chief engineer Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott (James Doohan), communications officer Lt Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), and Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), now captain of the USS Excelsior. Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) puts in an appearance as a communications officer under Sulu's command. Only Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) is missing. Spock's father Sarek (Mark Lenard) reappears as a Vulcan ambassador. Kirk's son David (Merritt Butrick) (who died in The Search for Spock) returns, but only in name and picture. This film also introduces Michael Dorn as an unnamed Klingon defense attorney. Dorn will go on to play Worf in movies involving the crew of future Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).

In the year 2293 A.D. (6 years after the events in the previous movie)

An explosion on Praxis, the moon that provides the Klingon Empire with most of their energy, results in their planet, Kronos, having an estimated 50 years before the ozone layer is completely depleted. In his report to Starfleet Command on Earth, Spock also says that the explosion of Praxis has caused a deadly pollution of Kronos' ozone layer. Consequently, the Klingons want to make peace with the Federation in order to ask for aid, since most of their monetary economy has been tied up in their massive military expenditures.

Kirk was on a diplomatic mission, and a fight between the two ships could have sparked an inter-galactic war. Kirk probably felt that surrendering was the best option to keep the peace talks on track, while buying time to resolve the mystery.

There are several possibilities. One possibility is that Martia (Iman) as Kirk still has Martia eyes (watch closely during the fight scene and also note the eyes of the Kirk on the right versus the real Kirk on the left). Second, Because the real Kirk called him an idiot. Kirk has a long and infamous reputation for standing up to authority figures, though he probably hasn't insulted many of them as openly as he would a brutish Klingon. The warden, knowing of Kirk's general demeanor throughout Federation history and his hatred for their race, instantly deduced that the Kirk to the left was the real one. Another possibility is that Martia being a shape shifter and likely a fact known to the Warden, didn't have shackles, as made clear by the overhead shot immediately after the vaporizing. The Warden was instructed to kill all witnesses and set the conditions for Martia to assist in the charade under the false pretense of a full pardon. Shooting Martia first was the logical choice, assuring that the truth would never come to light.

US President Richard Nixon (in office from 1969 to 1974) was known for his firm anti-communist politics. When Communist states China and the Soviet Union broke up their alliance in the 1960s, Nixon perceived this as a perfect opportunity to gain an advantage in the Cold War against the Soviets by improving relations with China. The visit was controversial, because China was at that time considered to be an enemy state. Paradoxically, this made President Nixon the appropriate person to visit Communist China, because he was clearly an antagonist to their government. Had it been a more moderate politician, then this person could have been blamed for having too much sympathy for the Chinese, or of not serving the United States' best interest in negotiations. Spock alludes to this fact, because Kirk is the most famous Klingon adversary in the Federation, so they know that he will not let the Klingons off the hook easily during negotiations. They can safely send him to eliminate all suspicions of fraternizing with an enemy. It is also another reference to the Cold War, of which there are many in this film. Spock is jokingly attributing the phrase to his own Vulcan culture -- a running joke throughout the movie with different characters. For instance, Chancellor Gorkon claimed Shakespeare must be read in its "original Klingon," Chekov claims that Cinderella is a "Russian epic," and Spock also refers to Sherlock Holmes as an ancestor.

How does the movie end?

The Enterprise speeds toward Camp Khitomer where the peace conference has already begun. The Klingon warship, piloted by Commander Chang (Christopher Plummer), begins to fire on the Enterprise but, because the prototype Bird of Prey is able to fire while remaining cloaked, the Enterprise is unable to accurately return fire...until Spock and Uhura get the idea to use the equipment they are carrying for detecting gaseous anomalies to detect the emissions from the Bird of Prey's 'tailpipe.' With the Excelsior helping to distract the Bird of Prey, Spock and McCoy modify a torpedo to carry the equipment, which homes in on the Bird of Prey's exhaust and reveals its position long enough for the Enterprise and the Excelsior to destroy it. Meanwhile on Khitomer, a sniper (who is actually Colonel West disguised as a Klingon) is seen assembling his rifle and aiming it at the Federation president (Kurtwood Smith). Crews from the Enterprise and the Excelsior beam down just in time to stop the sniper, Kirk knocking the President to the floor and Scotty shooting the sniper. When Azelbur asks what is going on, Kirk explains, 'Your father called the future 'the undiscovered country'. People can be very frightened of change.' Azelbur replies, 'You have restored my father's faith,' to which Kirk adds, '...and you have restored my son's...' After a round of applause, the Starfleet crews return to their respective ships, and Kirk thanks Sulu for his aid. Uhura announces that she's just received orders from Starfleet Command telling the Enterprise to return to spacedock to be decommissioned. As the look of disbelief passes across everyone's faces, Spock says, 'If I were human, I would tell them, Go to hell.' When Chekov asks for their course heading, Kirk replies, 'Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.' Kirk then enters into the log that this is 'the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command' and that a new crew will take over the Enterprise and continue 'to boldly go where no man...no one...has gone before.' The Enterprise then goes to warp and disappears. As the credits begin to roll, the signatures of each of the main crew members of the Enterprise appear one-by-one.

Yes. Star TrekVI: The Undiscovered Country, a novelization of the movie by American science fiction writer J.M. Dillard (pen name for Jeanne Kalogridis), was released in 1992.

So far, there are 12. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was preceded by Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), all of which feature the original series crew and the Enterprise captained by James T Kirk. Star Trek: Generations (1994) begins with Kirk, Scotty and Chekov aboard the new Enterprise B before jumping to the timeline of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) where Kirk unites with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) who commands the Enterprise D. The other Star Trek movies featuring Picard as captain include: Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) harken to an alternate reality which began when the circumstances of Kirk's birth changed.

The network TV versions not included there are three main versions available. First of all there's the old Theatrical Version. Later on an Extended Version was created that features several new scenes, e.g. Federation President's office scene. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.. There's also a Special Edition that features a slightly changed cut. A detailed comparison with pictures can be found here.

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