Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country ****

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“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” was the final film to feature the original series cast as the main crew. A few of them would show up in a cameo to pass the series on to “The Next Generation” crew in the next movie. Their swan song is this film and it is one of the best.

The whole movie takes the form of a political thriller crossed with a space opera. The plot involves the Klingons, who have been dependable villains throughout this series. Their home world has experienced a catastrophic event that has doomed their kind in a matter of years. This forces them to engage in peace talks with the Federation or else simply go extinct. Anyone who knows Klingons knows that this is a massive blow to their pride and anyone who knows this series also knows that Klingon’s murdered Captain Kirk’s son in “Star Trek III”.

As peace talks commence on board the Enterprise, someone in the crew takes it upon themselves to attack the Klingon’s ship. They also beam aboard their ship and murder some of their crew as well as key members who were pushing for peace. This sends the crew of the Enterprise in to a race against time to figure out who carried out these attacks and why.

I don’t think that I am spoiling anything my saying that the main villain of this film is a Klingon known as General Chang, played deliciously by Christopher Plummer. He believes that there can be no peace. His performance includes referencing Hamlet and even goes so far as proclaiming that you have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read it in original Klingon.

The last act of the film culminates in one of the most exciting space battles this series has ever seen. What makes it so intense is that the characters all have a lot riding on the outcome. It is not just staged to show off special effects like in later Trek films.

The series was also riding on the outcome of this film. After the disaster that was “Star Trek V”, the creators decided that they had to do justice to the original crew by putting them in a much better film. The result, like I said, is one of the best in the franchise.

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