(written from a Production point of view)
"The battle for peace has begun."
An interstellar cataclysm cripples the Klingon Empire's homeworld, leading to their Chancellor seeking peace with the Federation. But covert acts attempt to thwart the peace process with the assassination of the Klingon Chancellor. With Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy as the prime suspects, the Starships Enterprise-A and Excelsior must attempt to uncover the truth before the conspirators can plunge the Federation and Klingon Empire into fullscale war!
- 1 Summary
- 2 Log entries
- 3 Memorable quotes
- 4 Background information
- 5 Awards and honors
- 6 Links and references
An explosion erupts, creating a massive subspace shock wave.
- "Stardate 9521.6, Captain's log, USS Excelsior, Hikaru Sulu commanding. After three years, I have concluded my first assignment as master of this vessel, cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies in Beta Quadrant. We're heading home under full impulse power. I'm pleased to report that ship and crew have functioned well."
Suddenly, red alert klaxons sound on the bridge as the subspace shockwave reaches the Excelsior, throwing Sulu and his crew to the deck. Sulu orders helmsman Lojur to turn Excelsior into the wave and the ship clears the disturbance. At his post, Valtane locates the origin of the shockwave – Praxis, a Klingon moon, which Sulu notes is the Empire's key energy production facility. Sulu orders communications officer Janice Rand to hail the moon and offer their assistance, then asks Valtane for more data. Valtane, perplexed, says that he can confirm Praxis's location... but not its existence. An image appears on the viewscreen: Praxis, or rather barely half of it, ripped in two by some catastrophe, to the disbelieving horror of Sulu and the rest of the bridge crew. Rand reports that she has intercepted a message from Praxis and puts it up: the viewscreen is filled with the grisly image of a Klingon officer, standing on a deck heaving beneath his feet and surrounded by flames, shouting desperately at the pickup. The message abruptly cuts off and is replaced by an official transmission from Klingon Brigadier General Kerla, speaking for the Klingon High Command. Kerla explains that there has been an "incident" on Praxis, but that everything is under control and Federation assistance is not required, warning the Excelsior to obey treaty stipulations and remain outside the Neutral Zone.
Rand asks Sulu if they should notify Starfleet and Sulu simply replies: "Are you kidding?!"
Act I – The Mission and Catastrophe
Two months later on Earth, the senior crew of the USS Enterprise-A assembles for a meeting at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco. The commander in chief of Starfleet opens the meeting, bluntly stating that the Klingon Empire has only fifty years of life left in it. Federation Special Envoy Spock announces that the destruction of Praxis has polluted the Klingon homeworld's ozone so badly that the planet has only fifty years remaining without diverting resources from its significant military expenditures. At the behest of Vulcan ambassador Sarek, Spock has opened a dialogue with Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, who wishes to end all hostilities between the Empire and Starfleet, proposing the dismantling of all starbases in and around the Neutral Zone. Admiral Cartwright vehemently objects, saying the Klingons must not be offered safe haven in Federation space, suggesting Starfleet use military force in order to dictate terms from a superior position. Captain Kirk agrees that giving the Klingons free reign in Federation space is a "terrifying idea." However, Spock counters, arguing that they must act now to support the Gorkon initiative before conservative elements in the Klingon Empire can seize control and try to fight to the death.
Spock has volunteered the Enterprise and its crew to welcome Gorkon and his aides aboard and escort their ship to a peace meeting on Earth. Kirk protests that he is hardly the man for the job but is overruled and commanded to extend full diplomatic courtesy. Verbally sending the Enterprise on its way, the C-in-C thanks the assembled Starfleet officers and reminds them the meeting they've just had is classified, dismissing them too.
At that point, Kirk is left alone with Spock, who reminds him of an old Vulcan proverb that "only Nixon could go to China." Kirk is angry that Spock would volunteer the Enterprise without consulting him. Spock states that his father – though Kirk knows that Spock's father is the Vulcan ambassador – requested he open the negotiations with the Klingons. Kirk is furious at Spock for having to treat the Klingon "animals" like honored guests after what they did to his son; Spock knows how he feels about the Klingons, but reminds Kirk they are dying. Kirk snaps, "Let them die!" Upon Spock's somewhat startled reaction, Kirk asks Spock if he has realized that the Enterprise crew is due to stand down in just three months time, saying that they have all done "our bit for king and country" and Kirk says that Spock should have trusted him. They stand in the conference hall in silence, looking at each other from opposite ends of the long conference table.
Soon after, Captain Kirk and party are ferried to the Earth Spacedock aboard SD-103 and board the Enterprise. Upon arriving at the bridge, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy meet Lieutenant Valeris, a young Vulcan female and the first Vulcan to graduate at the top of her class at Starfleet Academy, who is volunteering as helmsman. "Let's get this over with. Departure stations," Kirk announces to his crew. After an awkward moment when Kirk orders Valeris to depart spacedock at one quarter impulse power when Regulations specify thrusters only, the Enterprise departs Spacedock and the Sol system to rendezvous with Gorkon's battle cruiser, Kronos One.
- "Captain's log, stardate 9522.6. I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I can 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?"
Valeris then interrupts Kirk in his quarters. She informs him that the Enterprise is almost upon arrival at the rendezvous point. Valeris then tells Kirk how much of an honor it is to serve with him. Kirk tells her she piloted well out of spacedock and Valeris tells him she has always wanted to try it.
Later, Valeris discusses logic and philosophy with Spock in his quarters in terms of their current mission. Spock says history is replete with turning points and she must have faith that the universe will ultimately unfold as it should. When Valeris begins to ask if that is logical, Spock points out a simple fact that has taken him a lifetime to learn; logic is only the beginning of wisdom and not the end. Spock is soon going to retire, with this being his last voyage on the Enterprise as a member of the crew and he intends for Valeris to replace him. Valeris states that she could only succeed Spock. Upon this, an announcement is made through the ship's intercom that all hands are to report to duty stations as a Klingon battlecruiser has arrived off the Enterprise's port bow.
Upon rendezvous with Gorkon, Captain Kirk reluctantly, but formally, invites the Chancellor and his staff to have dinner aboard the Enterprise at 1930 hours as guests of the Federation. Valeris then suggests opening up the supply of Romulan ale that is aboard, thinking it may help the evening progress more smoothly. Kirk compliments her thinking and leaves the bridge. "Guess who's coming to dinner?", Commander Chekov quietly says.
Later, in the transporter room, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scott are on hand to greet Gorkon and his party. All behave cordially on the surface. Gorkon introduces his daughter, Azetbur, his military adviser, Brigadier General Kerla, and General Chang, his chief of staff. While Gorkon is dignified and gracious, offering Spock his sincere gratitude for his actions towards peace, Chang, who has an especially smug, obnoxious demeanor, tells Kirk that he has so wanted to meet the great Captain Kirk, "warrior to warrior" out of admiration. "Right," Kirk coldly replies. He leads the Klingon delegation out of the room, thinking they might enjoy a brief tour of the vessel.
Shortly afterward, both Kirk and Gorkon's staff dine together. Gorkon gives a toast to "the undiscovered country – the future". Spock recognizes the line from Hamlet, specifically from act III, scene I, and Gorkon tells Spock that one has never read Shakespeare properly until reading the text in "the original Klingon". McCoy diplomatically offers a toast to Gorkon, calling him "one of the architects of our future." The dinner proceeds with surface pleasantries gradually melting to reveal angry hostility. In particular, Chekov says the Federation believes all worlds have the sovereign claim to inalienable Human rights and Azetbur points out that this statement is racist and that the Federation is little better than a homo sapiens only club, "present company excepted, of course," Chang adds. Chang tells Kirk that they all need breathing room, which Kirk points out is the same thing Hitler said in 1938, which offends Chang. Thinly masking his disappointment, Gorkon simply quips that they have a long way to go.
As the Klingons prepare to leave, Kirk sarcastically jokes that they must do this again sometime. Gorkon says he knows Kirk doesn't trust him, and offers that "if there is to be a brave, new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it." Chang walks up to Kirk before leaving, telling him "parting is such sweet sorrow," and steps onto the transporter platform while Kirk shakes his head. Once the Klingons are safely beamed off the ship, the entire senior staff relaxes, observing that the Klingons exhibited poor manners; Spock notes that they were little better. "I'm going to sleep this off. Please let me know if there's some other way we can screw up tonight," Kirk says before leaving. McCoy announces he is going to find a pot of black coffee. Spock raises his eyebrow.
- "The Enterprise hosted Chancellor Gorkon and party to dinner last night. Our manners weren't exactly Emily Post. Oh, note to the galley, Romulan ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions."
Lying down to sleep, and nursing a terrible hangover, Kirk is summoned to the bridge by Spock. Sensors are picking up an enormous amount of neutron radiation which appears to be emanating from Enterprise (which an equally hungover Chekov painfully jokes that it is only the size of his head). A photon torpedo shoots out and strikes Kronos One. The entire bridge crew immediately jump into action, as a second photon torpedo knocks out the gravity. Kirk asks Scotty if Enterprise actually fired and Scotty denies it as according to the inventory the ship still has her entire complement of torpedoes.
As the Klingons begin floating helplessly about, a transporter beam engages and two men in Starfleet uniforms with closed helmets and gravity boots begin walking through the corridors, shooting every Klingon they come in contact with, including Gorkon.
When auxiliary gravity is restored on Kronos One, Gorkon is discovered, mortally wounded. A furious Chang accuses Kirk of defiling the peace they're striving to work for, and saying that he'll blow them out of the stars. Kirk denies that they fired, although the ship's data banks say they did according to Spock. Kirk orders that the Enterprise surrender, much to the surprise of the bridge crew. He prepares to board Kronos One leaving Spock in command – where he'll be able to get Kirk out of trouble. Spock subtly slaps a small black patch on Kirk's back. McCoy decides to go too in case they need a doctor. "Uhura, tell them we're coming and tell them we're unarmed!", Kirk says.
When they materialize on Kronos One, Kerla asks if Kirk has "lost his mind". Kirk and McCoy insist they genuinely do not know what has happened and that they only want to help. Kerla reluctantly allows them to follow him to Gorkon, who is badly wounded. Chang tells him about the torpedoes, the gravity, and the assassins. McCoy tries to save Gorkon but fails due to his lack of knowledge of Klingon anatomy. Before dying, Gorkon reaches up to Kirk, grasping the back of his head and begs him not to let it end this way. General Chang has Kirk and McCoy arrested for murder under article 184 of Interstellar Law.
Act II – The Trial and Spock's Investigation
On the Enterprise Uhura relays the news of their arrest. Spock then formally assumes command of the ship and begins a full-scale investigation. When Chekov asks what will happen if they cannot piece together what happened, Spock says then "in that case, Mr. Chekov, it resides in the purview of the diplomats."
On Earth, the Klingon Ambassador is speaking with the Federation President in his office in Paris, defending his government's decision to arrest Kirk and McCoy for the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon. The president has ordered a full-scale investigation too, but the Klingon ambassador says that by the articles of interstellar law Kirk and McCoy must stand trial in a Klingon court. Sarek and Romulan ambassador Nanclus concur. The commander-in-chief, Admiral Cartwright, and Colonel West enters. They propose a plan they call Operation Retrieve, to rescue Kirk and McCoy, West states that they could go in and get Kirk and McCoy in less than 24 hours with acceptable losses in manpower and equipment. The president asks what would happen then if they precipitate a full scale war and West frankly states "Then Mr. President, we can clean their chronometers." Nanclus tells the president that the Klingons are vulnerable and there would never be a better time to strike them. Cartwright says that the longer they wait, the less accessible the hostages become. The president then dismisses everyone saying he'll keep all this in mind. Everyone except for Sarek leaves the president alone. At the door, the C in C stops and reminds the president that Kirk and McCoy have literally saved the planet. The president knows this and tells the C in C that they are now going to save it again… by standing trial.
Uhura receives a message from Starfleet Command ordering them to return to Earth immediately. Both she and Chekov agree they cannot abandon the captain and Dr. McCoy. Valeris tells the both of them how 400 years ago on the planet Earth, when workers felt threatened by automation, they flung their wooden shoes called sabots into the machines to stop them, thus coining the word "sabotage." Uhura comes up with a response that Enterprise's backup systems are all inoperative. "Excellent. I-I-I mean, too bad," Chekov says.
Azetbur, now Klingon Chancellor, communicates with the President. She says in one week she will attend a peace conference at a neutral, secret site on the condition that they will not extradite Kirk and McCoy and that the Federation will make no attempts at a military extraction. If they do so, the Klingons will consider it an act of war.
After ending the transmission to the Federation President, Azetbur's advisors (including Kerla) suggest attacking the Federation now while they still can. The warriors prefer to fight and die. Azetbur stands up to them, saying that war is obsolete, as they are in danger of becoming, and the peace process must go forward. She says, with resolve, that Kirk alone will pay for her father's death. Chang states that her father was killed for what he wanted.
Spock's investigation is proceeding. The computer says that Enterprise fired and the torpedo inventory says they didn't, so they'll have to inspect each torpedo visually. Spock states that someone was responsible for firing the torpedoes or making the false entry in the data banks; either way, the person or people responsible are aboard Enterprise.
The trial now begins, with Chang as prosecutor and Colonel Worf as Kirk and McCoy's defense attorney. In a Klingon trial on Qo'noS, the prosecution and defense question witnesses at the same time. The first witness says the murderers were wearing magnetic boots, a fact which, while viewing the trial back on the bridge of the Enterprise gets Spock to thinking. Chang then begins questioning McCoy beginning with McCoy's current medical status, to which McCoy jokes stating "other than a touch of arthritis, I'd say, pretty good!" Chang tries to impugn McCoy's medical competence and questions whether he really tried his best to save Gorkon. McCoy says he desperately tried to save Gorkon as he was the last best hope for peace. The judge then excuses him.
Chang then turns to Kirk and calls him "the architect of this tragic affair." Chang accuses Kirk of plotting to kill Gorkon as revenge for the death of his son, a charge Kirk denies. Worf objects, stating Kirk has not been identified as the assassin. Chang enters into the record an excerpt from Kirk's personal log:
- "I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I have never been able to forgive them for the death of my boy."
Kirk admits that he did indeed say this. Chang uses a number of examples from Kirk's record to show that it's possible he arranged for Gorkon's murder, such as his demotion from admiral to captain for insubordination. Kirk is maneuvered into stating that of course he is responsible for the actions of every member of his crew. The judge finds both guilty as charged, which carries a death penalty. Worf argues that the bulk of the evidence against his clients is circumstantial and begs the court to consider this upon sentencing. The judge agrees then commutes their death sentences to life without parole on the penal asteroid of Rura Penthe, known throughout the galaxy as the aliens' graveyard.
On Excelsior, where Sulu and his crew have also been watching the trial, the captain directs that a message be sent to Enterprise, telling them that Sulu and the crew of Excelsior stand ready to assist them.
- "A Bird-of-Prey cannot fire when she's cloaked!"
Spock puts Valeris in charge of a search for two pairs of gravity boots, which must be somewhere on board.
Kirk and McCoy are taken from Qo'noS, along with a group of other prisoners, to the frozen wasteland of Rura Penthe, an appropriately harsh place protected only by a magnetic shield. On arrival at the prison, they are greeted by the warden, who warns them that escape is quite impossible, and that anyone who is disobedient or fails to work hard enough will be punished via exile from prison to the surface; something which is graphically demonstrated when a naked prisoner is dragged out and thrown into the snowy wastes, where he rapidly freezes to death. Inside the prison, Kirk almost immediately has an altercation with a large alien, but is rescued by an exotic looking woman, Martia.
In the galley, Spock and Valeris observe the search going on. When Chekov asks Valeris why the assassins didn't simply vaporize the boots, she pulls a phaser out from a weapons locker and vaporizes a nearby pot. The alarm goes off and she deactivates it, explaining to Chekov that you cannot fire an unauthorized phaser set to vaporize aboard a starship. Scotty and Uhura come in wanting to know who triggered the alarm by firing the phaser. They continue to stall for time by claiming malfunctioning equipment. Uhura reminds Spock that they have lost all contact with Kirk and McCoy. Spock notes this but says that if he knows Kirk well, by this time he is deep into planning his escape.
Meanwhile, Kirk is engaged in hand-to-hand combat with another alien, and is surprised when he wins. Kirk informs McCoy and Martia that he was lucky the brute had knees. Martia tells Kirk that that was not his knee, noting that not all species have their genitals in the same place. Martia offers to help Kirk and McCoy escape. That night in their bunks, Kirk admits he'd gotten so used to hating Klingons that it never even occurred to him to take Gorkon at his word. Martia comes in, gives Kirk a big kiss and tells him where to meet her to plan an escape.
Act III – The Rescue and Revelation
Aboard Excelsior, Sulu's officer tells him that Starfleet wants to know what has happened to the Enterprise. Sulu states that he nor the Excelsior personnel know anything about the Enterprise and dismisses the officer. Now Sulu is getting really worried.
In the transporter room, Chekov finds some small dried remains on the transporter platform and takes a sample of it to Spock, who discovers that it is Klingon blood, which must have been floating through the Klingon ship and got tracked back to Enterprise by the assassins walking through it. Spock notes this as the first piece of evidence to corroborate their theory and therefore expands the search to include all uniforms aboard ship. Valeris eventually finds the magnetic boots; however, they are in the locker of a crewman whose feet are shaped differently from Humans'; the boots couldn't possibly be his much to Chekov's surprise.
Kirk and McCoy get into a lift for mining duty and discover that Martia is a shapeshifter. She changes bodies several times in the course of leading them out of the range of the magnetic shield. Uhura and Spock have noted Kirk's exit from the beaming shield as well. Spock orders the ship to Rura Penthe. It seems that what he put on Kirk's back was a viridium patch which enabled him to track the captain.
The Enterprise passes into Klingon space and gets the attention of a Klingon listening post. If they responded while useing the universal translator, the sentries would pick it up. In badly broken Klingon, Uhura identifies her ship as a freighter, IKS Ursva, headed to Rura Penthe to deliver supplies and "things". The Klingons at the listening post are fooled and end up making a Klingon joke, in which the Klingon and the Enterprise crew forcibly laugh at.
As Martia produces warm clothes and other supplies and lights a flare for heat, Kirk realizes that Martia is setting him and McCoy up to be killed. She's spoken previously of a huge reward to the person who gets them, and the flare is a dead giveaway. Martia changes into a duplicate Kirk and they fight, rolling all over the snow before being stopped by a jackal mastiff, Klingon guards, and the warden. Kirk and Martia (still appearing as Kirk) stand next to each other. Kirk convinces the warden to shoot Martia, since they don't want any witnesses. Kirk then asks who wanted them killed. Just before the warden can identify the culprit, Kirk and McCoy are beamed out of the cave – with Kirk swearing the whole way up.
Materializing on the transporter pad, Kirk asks Spock if he couldn't have waited just two more seconds, as the warden was about to explain the whole thing. When Chekov sheepishly asks if they want to go back, McCoy answers "Absolutely not!" Kirk adds, "It's cold." Chang finds out about this from the commandant and prepares to intercept the Enterprise.
Sitting in the Enterprise's officers' mess, Scott discovers two sets of uniforms with Klingon blood on them. Scott runs up to Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Chekov in a corridor and they subsequently find Yeomen Burke and Samno, both dead, killed by a phaser stun at close range. They were the ones on guard in the transporter room when Gorkon and party first beamed aboard the Enterprise. To lure out the assassin, an announcement is made over the ship's intercom ordering the court reporter to sickbay and that statements will be taken from Burke and Samno, as if they are merely injured. Someone walks into the darkened sickbay with phaser in hand – it is revealed to be Valeris. Valeris is stunned to see Kirk and her mentor Spock in the bio-beds instead of the dead crewmen. Hurt and angry over her betrayal, Spock challenges Valeris to shoot him (while Kirk prefers she didn't), and violently slaps the phaser out of her hand. McCoy emerges from the shadows and informs her that the operation is over.
On the bridge, Valeris denies firing and says that Kirk has no proof to back it up. But Kirk does. He reminds her that his personal log was used as evidence against him at the trial; she must have recorded him talking on his personal log that night Valeris was standing outside his doorway. Valeris dodges the accusation by accusing Kirk and the entire ship of betraying Starfleet. When McCoy calls her on it and asks her what she thinks she's been doing, she says she's been working to save Starfleet. She doesn't believe Klingons can ever be trusted, and reminds Kirk that they killed his son and how he said to "let them die" rather than help, and Kirk can't help but feel ashamed that he made such a statement. She reveals that some Klingons conspired with Starfleet officers to kill their own Chancellor – how trustworthy can they be? McCoy ponders the concept of peace between the Klingons and Federation being so unacceptable to members of both sides that they worked together to prevent it (while implying the irony that the conspiracy actually proves that Humans and Klingons actually can coexist and work together). Kirk demands the names of her co-conspirators, and Valeris claims she does not remember. "A lie?", Spock asks. "A choice," she replies.
Spock slowly walks up to Valeris near the viewscreen and forces her into a mind meld, discovering that the conspirators include Admiral Cartwright, General Chang, and the Romulan Ambassador, Nanclus. Kirk asks where the peace conference will be held, so Spock looks further into her mind to the point it causes her physical pain, but Valeris ultimately does not know where the peace conference is. The Enterprise contacts the Excelsior and Sulu tells Kirk that the conference will be held at Camp Khitomer, beginning later that day.
Act IV – Realizations and Confrontations
Later, in Spock's quarters, Kirk admits that he couldn't get past the death of his son and that it took Gorkon's death to get him to realize how prejudiced he was. Spock admits he was prejudiced by Valeris's accomplishments as a Vulcan and speculates that he and Kirk – with their inflexible thinking – are obsolete. "Come on, I need you," Kirk tells his Vulcan friend.
The Khitomer conference begins, as Enterprise races into orbit about the planet. If Chang's ship is there, it's cloaked. Tension mounts on board the ship as they get ever closer to transporter range. With just over 40 seconds to go, Chang contacts Kirk and begins quoting Shakespeare:
- "Once more unto the breach, dear friends."
again as the Bird-of-Prey begins firing on Enterprise. Excelsior is racing to Khitomer at maximum warp. "She'll fly apart," helmsman Lojur warns. "Fly her apart then!", Sulu exclaims.
On Khitomer, Azetbur's speech has begun and a Klingon stands up and walks out carrying a briefcase. Admiral Cartwright nervously watches, sweat dripping down his face.
In space, the circuits for auxiliary power on Enterprise are destroyed, but during the battle Spock realizes that the Bird-of-Prey is still going to vent ionized gas, or plasma exhaust; Uhura suggests using the equipment they have on-board to catalog gaseous anomalies as a guidance system. Spock asks McCoy to help him "perform surgery" on a photon torpedo to enable it to do so. "Fascinating!", the physician says. Enterprise continues to suffer heavy damage, but before she can be crippled, Sulu arrives with Excelsior, taking some of the pressure off of Enterprise as Chang has to divide his attacks between opponents. However, Chang has merely been slowed down: with his ability to fire while cloaked, Chang is still running circles around both ships.
At Khitomer, the Klingon who left has found a vantage point on an upper level and is cutting a small hole in one of the glass panes to aim a weapon at the President.
Chang relentlessly fires Shakespeare quotations such as:
- "I am constant as the northern star…"
and continues firing torpedoes, weakening Enterprise's shields to the point that it takes a direct hit on the ventral-port side of the saucer section that ruptures the hull. Spock and McCoy complete their modifications to the photon torpedo, and with a great deal of satisfaction, Kirk gives the order to fire. It homes in on the cloaked Bird-of-Prey and lands a direct hit, but not before Chang gives his last Shakespeare quote from Hamlet:
- "To be or not to be."
Enterprise and Excelsior then target the location of the explosion, unleashing a barrage of torpedoes that destroy Chang's now decloaked (and shield-less) ship.
The Enterprise crew beam down just in time for Kirk to knock the president out of the way of the would-be assassin's phaser rifle blast. He identifies himself to the dazed president. Cartwright orders them arrested and Spock retorts "Arrest yourself!" displaying a handcuffed Valeris. McCoy says that they have a full confession just as the Klingon assassin is about to shoot Valeris. At that moment, Scott kicks in the door to the assassin's hiding place, and shoots him just before he can kill Valeris. He falls through the glass pane to the floor. The Commander In Chief and Colonel Worf rush to the body and find out that it's not a Klingon; it's Colonel West. Cartwright takes advantage of the ruckus and tries to flee but is thwarted when Sulu, armed and accompanied by two security guards, transports from Excelsior and holds him there.
A confused and angry Azetbur demands to know what is going on. Kirk tells her this is all about the future and that history has not ended quite yet. Thinking of Gorkon's reference to the future as "the undiscovered country", Kirk notes that people can be very frightened of change. Azetbur tells Kirk he's restored her father's faith and Kirk tells her she's restored his son's. At that moment, the room breaks out into applause as the remaining Enterprise officers (including Sulu) walk up and join Kirk on the platform.
Later, Enterprise and Excelsior rendezvous above Khitomer, Kirk and crew reenter the bridge and exchange pleasantries with Captain Sulu. "Nice to see you in action one more time, Captain Kirk. Take care," Sulu says as Excelsior moves away from the Enterprise, departed Khitomer. "By God, that's a big ship," McCoy says. "Not so big as her captain, I think," Scott adds. Chekov said, "So… this is good-bye.".
"I think it's about time we got underway ourselves," Kirk mentions. Uhura then tells Kirk that they've received direct orders from Starfleet Command to return Enterprise to Spacedock for its decommissioning. The crew look around at each other, emotional that their time together as a crew is now coming to an end.
Spock contemplates that for a moment and then remarks, "If I were Human, I believe my response would be 'Go to Hell.' If I were Human." When Chekov asks for a course heading, Kirk tells him "Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning."
Uhura steps over near Scott and everyone watches as Enterprise heads off toward the stars.
- "Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man – where no one – has gone before."
And when the Enterprise entered the star, it flashes out to the end credits.
- Sulu: "Stardate 9521.6, Captain's log, USS Excelsior, Hikaru Sulu commanding. After three years, I have concluded my first assignment as master of this vessel, cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies in Beta Quadrant. We're heading home under full impulse power. I'm pleased to report that ship and crew have functioned well."
- Kirk: "Captain's log, stardate 9522.6. I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I can 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?"
- Kirk: "The Enterprise hosted Chancellor Gorkon and party to dinner last night; our manners weren't exactly Emily Post. Oh, note to the galley: Romulan ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions."
- Kirk:" Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew; to them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man – where no one – has gone before."
"I thought I would assume a pleasing shape." (Act II, Scene II)
- - Martia, to Kirk
"The undiscovered country." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Gorkon, toasting
"To be, or not to be." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang's last words
"Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!" (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
"I am constant as the northern star." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
King Henry IV, Part II
"Have we not heard the chimes at midnight?" (Act III, Scene II)
- - Chang, to Kirk
King Henry V
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
"The game's afoot." (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang
The Merchant of Venice
"Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?" (Act III, Scene I)
- - Chang, paraphrasing
"Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings." (Act III, Scene II)
- - Chang, at Kirk's trial
Romeo and Juliet
"Parting is such sweet sorrow." (Act II, Scene II)
- - Chang, to Kirk
"Our revels now are ended." (Act IV, Scene I)
- - Chang
"Do we report this, sir?"
"Are you kidding?"
- - Rand and Sulu, after Praxis explodes
"I must protest. To offer Klingons safe haven within Federation space is suicide. Klingons would become the alien trash of the galaxy."
- - Cartwright, on the proposed peace treaty with the Klingons
"I don't know whether to congratulate you or not, Jim."
- - Cartwright and McCoy, to Kirk on his diplomatic mission with Gorkon
"There is an old Vulcan proverb. Only Nixon could go to China."
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Don't believe them! Don't trust them!"
"Let them die!"
- - Kirk and Spock, on the Klingons
"You must be very proud."
"I don't believe so, sir."
"She's a Vulcan all right."
- - Kirk, Valeris and McCoy
"I've never trusted Klingons and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy."
- - Kirk, recording his personal log
"History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant."
- - Spock, to Valeris
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end."
- - Spock
"Guess who's coming to dinner?"
- - Chekov, after the Klingons accept Kirk's invitation
"I offer a toast. The undiscovered country … The future."
- - Gorkon
"In space, all warriors are cold warriors."
- - Chang, to Kirk
"Human rights. Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a homo sapiens only club."
- - Azetbur, at dinner
"We need breathing room."
"Earth, Hitler, 1938."
"I beg your pardon."
- - Chang and Kirk
"If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it."
- - Gorkon, to Kirk
"Did you see the way they ate?!"
"Terrible table manners!"
"I doubt that our own behavior will distinguish us in the annals of diplomacy."
- - Uhura, Chekov and Spock
"Valeris, do you know anything about a radiation surge?"
"Only the size of my head."
"I know what you mean."
- - Kirk, Valeris and Chekov, as Kirk and Chekov suffer a terrible hangover
"We come in peace and you BLATANTLY defile that peace! And for that, I shall blow you out of the stars!"
"We haven't fired!"
"Captain, according to our databanks we have. Twice."
- - Chang, to Kirk, Kirk's response and Spock's shocking revelation
"Don't let it end this way, Captain."
- - Gorkon's last words to Kirk
"This president is not above the law."
- - Federation President, to the Klingon Ambassador
"Then, quite frankly, Mister President, we can clean their chronometers."
- - Colonel West, on attacking the Klingons
"Sir… Those men have literally saved this planet."
"Yes, Bill, I know that. And now they're going to save it again. By standing trial."
- - Commander-in-Chief and Federation President, on Kirk and McCoy
"I'll bet that Klingon bitch killed her father!"
- - Scott, suspecting Azetbur killed Gorkon
"Doctor McCoy, would you be so good as to tell me your current medical status?"
"Aside from a touch of arthritis, I'd say pretty good!"
- - Chang and McCoy, during the trial
"James Tiberius Kirk… What would your favorite author say, Captain? Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings. Tell us your sad story Kirk, Tell us how you planned to take revenge for the death of your son."
"That's not true."
"Objection! Captain Kirk has not been identified as the assassin!"
- - Chang, Kirk, Colonel Worf, and Klingon Judge
"Do you deny being demoted by these charges?! Don't wait for the translation!! Answer me now!!"
"I cannot deny it."
"You were demoted?"
"On occasion, I have disobeyed orders."
- - Chang and Kirk
"An ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
- - Spock quotes Sherlock Holmes
"This is the gulag Rura Penthe. There is no stockade. No guard tower. No electronic frontier. Only a magnetic shield prevents beaming. Punishment means exile from prison to the surface. On the surface, nothing can survive. Work well, and you will be treated well. Work badly, and you will die."
- - Rura Penthe Commandant, the welcome speech that Kirk, McCoy, and the other new prisoners receive upon arriving on Rura Penthe, an homage to the speech made by Colonel Saito to the British POWs from The Bridge on the River Kwai
"If my surmise is correct, those boots will cling to the killers' necks like a pair of Tiberian bats."
- - Spock, on finding the gravity boots
"I'm Martia. You're Kirk and McCoy, I presume."
"How did you know that?"
"We don't get many presidential assassins."
- - Martia, introducing herself to Kirk and McCoy on Rura Penthe
"I was lucky that thing had knees."
"That was not his knee. Not everybody keeps their genitals in the same place, Captain."
- - Kirk and Martia, after he beats the horned alien prisoner in a fight
"What is it with you, anyway?"
"Still think we're finished?"
"More than ever."
- - McCoy and Kirk, after Kirk kisses Martia
"Perhaps you know Russian epic of Cinderella? If the shoe fits, wear it!"
- - Chekov, to Crewman Dax
"Mr. Scott, start your engines."
"Aye, aye sir."
- - Spock and Scott
"Leave me. I'm finished."
"No! Bones, I'm wearing a viridium patch on my back. Spock slapped it there just before we went on Gorkon's ship."
"Why, that cunning little Vulcan."
- - McCoy and Kirk
"An accident wasn't good enough."
"Good enough for one. Two would've looked suspicious. Killed while attempting escape … now that's convincing for both."
- - Kirk and Martia, as she transforms into Kirk
"I can't believe I kissed you."
"Must have been your lifelong ambition."
- - Kirk and Martia, after she transforms into Kirk
"Isn't it about time you became something else?"
"I like it here."
- - Kirk and Martia, transformed as Kirk
"Kill him! He's the one!"
"Not me, you idiot! HIM!"
- - Martia, transformed as Kirk, and the real Kirk
"Who? Who wanted us killed?"
"Since you're all going to die, anyway, why not tell you? His name is…!"
- - Kirk and Rura Penthe Commandant, as Kirk and McCoy are beamed aboard the Enterprise
"Couldn't you have waited just two more seconds!?"
"He was just about to explain the whole thing!"
"You want to go back!?"
- - Kirk, Spock, Chekov, and McCoy, right after Kirk and McCoy are beamed to the Enterprise before learning who ordered their assassination
"First rule of assassination. Kill the assassins."
- - Kirk, on seeing the bodies of Burke and Samno
"You have betrayed the Federation. All of you."
"And what have you been doing?"
- - Valeris and McCoy
"Then we're dead."
"I've been dead before."
- - Scott and Spock
"Thank you, Captain Sulu."
"Don't mention it, Captain Kirk."
- - Kirk giving his thanks to Sulu after he provides him with the location of the peace conference
"You were right. It was arrogant presumption on my part that got us into this… situation. You and the Doctor might have been killed."
"The night is young."
- - Spock and Kirk
"You're a great one for logic. I'm a great one for rushing in where angels fear to tread."
- - Kirk, to Spock
"Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness?"
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Do you want to know something? Everybody's Human."
"I find that remark… insulting."
- - Kirk and Spock
"Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing it does not necessarily follow that we must do that thing."
- - Federation President, at the peace conference
"I can see you, Kirk."
"Can you see me? Oh, now be honest, Captain, warrior to warrior. You do prefer it this way, don't you, as it was meant to be? No peace in our time. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends."
- - Chang and Kirk, over the intercoms at Khitomer
"Come on. Come on!"
"She'll fly apart."
"Fly her apart, then!"
- - Sulu and Lojur, as the Excelsior heads for Khitomer
"Doctor, would you care to assist me in performing surgery on a torpedo?"
- - Spock and McCoy
"I'd give real money if he'd shut up."
- - McCoy to Spock, about Chang's endless Shakespeare quotes
"We've got a heartbeat!"
- - McCoy, as the torpedo is activated
"Where's that damn torpedo?"
"It's ready, Jim. Lock and load!"
- - Kirk and McCoy, as the torpedo is loaded
"Some people think the future means the end of history. Well, we haven't run out of history quite yet."
- - Kirk, to Azetbur
"You've restored my father's faith."
"And you've restored my son's."
- - Azetbur and Kirk, before the peace conference erupts in applause
"Once again we've saved civilization as we know it."
"And the good news is, they're not going to prosecute."
- - Kirk, on the bridge, and McCoy's response
"Nice to see you in action one more time, Captain Kirk. Take care."
- - Sulu, saying farewell to his former commanding officer
"So… this is goodbye."
- - Chekov
"Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We're to be put back into Spacedock immediately. To be decommissioned."
"If I were Human, I believe my response would be: Go to hell! If I were Human."
- - Uhura and Spock
"Course heading, Captain?"
"Second star to the right. And straight on 'til morning."
- - Chekov and Kirk, with Kirk quoting James Barrie's Peter Pan
- This is the second of two Star Trek productions (the other being Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) between 1986 and 2005 to be produced without any involvement from Rick Berman.
- Although this is the final Star Trek film to feature the entire Star Trek: The Original Series cast together, only Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and DeForest Kelley (McCoy) make their final official Star Trek appearances in this film (Kelley's appearance as an admiral in TNG: "Encounter At Farpoint" the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had occurred four years previously). James Doohan (Scotty) would appear in TNG: "Relics", and then with William Shatner (James T. Kirk), and Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) in Star Trek Generations. George Takei (Hikaru Sulu) appeared in VOY: "Flashback" and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) appeared in TNG: "Unification I" , "Unification II", Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness.
- Chronologically, McCoy, Spock and Scotty appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation long after the events of this film.
- This movie is the first canon instance of Sulu's first name, Hikaru (Japanese for "shining"), being stated. Prior to the film, it was commonly used in the novels (and reportedly approved by Gene Roddenberry and George Takei (citation needed • edit)), but had never been made official.
- This is currently the only Star Trek movie shot in Super 35 format instead of anamorphic. (citation needed • edit)
- The film was nominated for two Academy Awards. It was nominated for "Makeup" and "Sound Effects Editing." It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation" and five Saturn Awards, winning for "Best Science Fiction Film."
- Leonard Nimoy co-wrote the story for this final outing of the TOS cast. Likewise, the final outing of the TNG cast (Star Trek Nemesis) was co-written by one of its cast members, Brent Spiner.
- The film confirms Kirk's middle name, which had previously been established in the animated series episode "Bem" as "Tiberius," for the first time in live action production.
- Finally, just before the closing titles roll, the signatures of the seven main cast members from The Original Series are displayed one by one, writing themselves on the starfield.
- Rene Auberjonois' role as Colonel West was cut from the theatrical release, as Gene Roddenberry was uncomfortable with ideas that were presented in his scenes. (citation needed • edit) The scenes were later restored for the VHS, LaserDisc, and DVD release, but the BluRay release contains the theatrical cut. Auberjonois later played Constable Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- West wore an admiral's rank insignia, which was incorrect. The naval equivalent of colonel is captain. While the notion of a Starfleet Marine Corps had been discussed and seen in fan writings and some older role-playing games, West's rank of colonel was the first ever on-screen hint of Army/Marine-like ranks in Starfleet and would be the only one until the MACOs were introduced on Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Michael Dorn only found out he had a role in this film as Worf's grandfather when Nicholas Meyer and Herman Zimmerman were walking past the soundstages for Star Trek: The Next Generation and informed him about it. 
- The only actors, aside from the original cast, to appear in both this film and in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand) and Mark Lenard. In both films, Whitney appeared as Janice Rand, whereas Lenard appeared as Sarek in The Undiscovered Country and a Klingon captain in The Motion Picture. This was the penultimate appearance of Rand, who went on to appear in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Flashback". She is a lieutenant jg in this film, although "Flashback" incorrectly depicts her as a lieutenant commander at the time of the film's setting. Some of the comics set around the time of Sulu taking command of Excelsior not only support her lieutenant commander rank, but imply that she was also the Excelsior's first officer.
- Rand was supposed to be the character that wakes up Sulu to inform him that Starfleet was looking for the Enterprise instead of Christian Slater's character. Slater was a huge fan of the show and his mother – Mary Jo Slater, the movie's casting director – petitioned heavily to get him a part. (citation needed • edit)
- Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn and Kurtwood Smith would later star together in the Deep Space Nine fifth season episode "Things Past", where Auberjonois plays Odo, Dorn plays Worf and Smith plays Thrax.
- This is Rene Auberjonois and John Schuck's fourth film together. The first was MASH, followed by Brewster McCloud, and McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
- Merritt Butrick appears posthumously as David Marcus, via a photo in Kirk's quarters.
Story and production
- The Undiscovered Country was almost never made as a Star Trek film, not only due to the dismal box office receipts of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but also for an unbroken string of, for Paramount Pictures, disappointing yet very expensive movie releases as well, leaving the studio deeply in the red, only aggravated by a worldwide recession. However as seen on the Star Trek VI DVD set and also according to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, Paramount, specifically its president Frank Mancuso, Sr. – who had been intimately involved with Star Trek ever since Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – , did not really want to end the Original Crew run on The Final Frontier low note, especially with the 25th Anniversary coming up, and wanted one more film, but found himself seriously hampered by the strictest of budget limitation: under NO conceivable circumstance was a potential new movie to exceed the budget of The Final Frontier, not even by one dollar. It was at this point that Harve Bennett proposed his Starfleet Academy prequel, featuring a brand new, and thus far cheaper, cast, and was green lighted by Mancuso to go into pre-production, and proceeded as such, until Gene Roddenberry vehemently objected, and with him the fanbase and the secondary cast. But it was only when the (at the time) head of Paramount Communications (formerly Gulf+Western, owner of Paramount Pictures), Martin Davis, found out about the Academy concept and furiously demanding an Original Crew movie be made, that Bennett's project was scrapped on the spot. Because nobody had thought of informing the highest boss, nearly eighteen months of valuable pre-production time had been lost. Because he wanted to do the prequel, and Mancuso no longer dared to continue, Harve Bennett left Star Trek after a decade with the franchise. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 347-348; Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, pp. 24-30)
- Earlier, a revised draft of Bennett's script featured a scene in which Kirk flashed back to his days at Starfleet Academy, allowing William Shatner and others to reprise their Original Crew roles as cameos – Bennett's effort to appease Roddenberry's (et al.) criticisms, before his project was scrapped altogether. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 343-345)
- Thoroughly chastized by his boss Davis, Mancuso subsequently turned to Leonard Nimoy in May 1990 to get a completely new movie, featuring the entire Original Crew, started. It was during this meeting that Nimoy suggested the contemporary real world Gorbachev/Perestroika/Glasnost events as an allegory for the Federation and the Klingon Empire as basic story line, which was enthusiastically embraced by Mancuso. Informed that Bennett had gone, Nimoy requested to return Nicholas Meyer into the fold as co-writer and director, which was also embraced by Mancuso. In the early summer Nimoy and Meyer had an extended meeting at his holiday address in Cape Cod where they essentially hammered out the details as eventually featured in the movie, though they became seriously hampered by studio politics through trying to burden the pair with the woefully inadequate dilettante Konner/Rosenthal "writing" duo. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 349-363) As the upper studio echelons were at the time, for the aforementioned reasons, embroiled in a tumultuous and very messy power struggle, derisively called the "The Studio Shuffle" in the contemporary press, the executive sponsors, Sid Ganis and Teddy Zee, of the Konner/Rosenthal duo were a short time later kicked out, and so were they, without having made a single noteworthy contribution whatsoever – according to both Nimoy and Meyer, what little they did turn in, immediately and literally trashed by (other) executives upon reading, was blatant plagiarism of their own story outlines. Yet Nimoy and Meyer (their relationship having actually become strained because of executives playing the one against the other in this matter, as it only became later apparent to both men) were too premature in their relief of being rid of the interloping duo, as the latter, near the end of the production, started legal procedures against both men for writing credits, partially succeeding, and nearly stripping Nimoy of any and all creative credit. (see below) Incidentally, Paramount veteran of 31 years Mancuso was also gone less than a month after he had approached Nimoy. 
- When Nimoy was reaching out to Meyer, the latter was working in London, UK, working as writer/director on the MGM movie Company Business (featuring Kurtwood Smith, he to subsequently play the President of the United Federation of Planets in The Undiscovered Country), which ironically, had a similar glasnost theme. However, Meyer felt that the producers had "butchered" the film, and being vocal about it, it had at the time led in the industry grapevine to the rumor that it was this that led him to recycling the theme in The Undiscovered Country. For the remainder of the year Nimoy and Meyer, now reinforced by scriptwriter Denny Martin Flinn (he actually wanted, as it was Meyer who brought him in), communicated with each other by phone, fax and the early email, which however, made them susceptible to the studio politics as played by Ganis and Zee. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, pp. 28, 30; ) Incidentally, before Nimoy even contacted Meyer at his holiday address, Meyer had already been informed by Davis and Mancuso, when the latter two were in London, that a "thirty million dollars" sixth Star Trek movie was green-lighted. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 354-358, )
- When the Klingons return to their ship after the dinner on the Enterprise, Chang speaks a Klingon phrase into his communicator (without English subtitles). Chang says "daHmacheH" which, in English, means "Ready to return now." During the dinner, Azetbur says a unsubtitled Klingon phrase that, when translated to English, means "Daddy" or "Father."
- Originally, a prologue was planned for the movie, in which it was established that, before they all got the call to reassemble: Kirk was in a revitalized relationship with Carol Marcus; McCoy was making a nuisance of himself by showing up drunk at medical celebrity events (as he despises the hypocrisy of it all); Spock's status was "classified;" Uhura had become a radio show hostess; Scotty was working as an engineering professor; Chekov was competing as a not altogether successful chess grandmaster (losing to Betazoids – which was another attempt to tie in the Original Crew franchise with that of Star Trek: The Next Generation); and Sulu was working as a taxi driver on some backwater alien colony. A fully worked-out prologue sequence, approved for shooting, had already been scripted by Co-Script Writer Flinn. Last-minute mandatory budget limitations, however, forced the creative production team, much against their grain, to scrap the entire prologue sequence, leaving only the introductory Original Crew scene at Starfleet Command instead. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 26; Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 376-378)
- An early storyboard draft featured HMS Bounty in spacedock being disassembled by Starfleet engineers, under the supervision of Professor of Engineering Scott, before he got the call to meet up with his fellow former crew-members. This actually was part of the above-mentioned planned prologue of the movie.
- It was originally intended for the Vulcan traitor to be Lt. Saavik, but the role was instead assigned to Lt. Valeris as a new character. According to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, this change was vehemently resisted by Gene Roddenberry, who felt that Saavik was too popular a character to be handled this way. Meyer (thoroughly fed up with the disruptive and incessant interlopings of Roddenberry, ever since he came aboard Star Trek, a decade earlier), could not care less what Roddenberry's thoughts on the matter were, rightfully claiming that the character was his creation, not Roddenberry's, and proceeded as planned. Yet, Meyer wanted only Kirstie Alley to reprise the role, but as she was at the peak of her popularity with Cheers at the time and her asking price was far too high. Only when Alley turned out to be unavailable, was it then decided to change the character, instead of casting yet another actress for the same part. Kim Cattrall initially refused the role as she was under the false impression that she had to portray Saavik, but jumped at the opportunity when she learned that that was not to be the case, as she considered Saavik "just a girl", whereas Valeris was a woman. Ironically, Cattrall had auditioned for the role of Saavik for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. To her big disappointment, Robin Curtis had never been considered to reprise the role of Saavik for this film. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 31; Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 374-375) Other stories say that Kirstie Alley refused Nicholas Meyer's requests that she reprise the role, as she was uncomfortable about her weight, and that she did not want to look overweight onscreen in the form-fitting uniforms. (citation needed • edit)
- Many of General Chang's quotes and the subtitle, "The Undiscovered Country," come from Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, by William Shakespeare. Chang also quotes or paraphrases Richard II, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV, Part II, Henry V, and The Tempest.
- Chang's demand, "Don't wait for the translation! Answer me now!" is a reference to Adlai Stevenson's similar demand of Soviet Union representative Valerian Zorin at the United Nations during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. (Star Trek Encyclopedia)
- Nichelle Nichols objected to the scene in which the crew desperately searches through old printed Klingonese translation dictionaries in order to speak the language without the standard universal translator being used. It seemed more logical to her that Uhura, being the ship's chief communications officer, would know the language of the Federation's main enemy, or at least have the appropriate information in the computer. However, director Meyer bluntly overruled her. Chekov can be heard explaining at the beginning of the scene that "a universal translator would be recognized". (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Special Edition) DVD-special feature, "text commentary") In the alternate reality of Star Trek Into Darkness, Uhura — who may have had a different education from that of the Prime Uhura — does speak Klingonese (or as she and Captain Kirk refer to it, "Klingon").
- Uhura originally had a line "Would you let your daughter marry one?" (that is, a Klingon), but the line had to be cut because Nichols absolutely refused to say it. Chekov's line "Guess who's coming to dinner?" was also originally Uhura's, but Nichols considered it also to be racist and declined to say it. The line was moved to Chekov. It was a reference to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, the first major film to deal with interracial marriage, in which Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Sidney Poitier starred. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 365-366; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Special Edition) DVD-special feature, "text commentary")
- The perceived racism toward the Klingons was of great concern to Roddenberry as well, as he felt there was no place for it in his Star Trek universe, but his considerations were entirely ignored by both Meyer and Nimoy. Aghast, he then summoned a meeting, even though Roddenberry had no formal say in the movie whatsoever. Complete with heavy legal representation, a very charged meeting followed between the two sides, which quickly turned into a shouting match as Meyer finally unleashed his years of pent up frustration with Roddenberry in full. In later years Meyer came to regret his behavior. "He was not well, and maybe there were more tactful ways of dealing with it, because at the end of the day, I was going to go out and make the movie. I didn't have to take him on. Not my finest hour.", a rueful Meyer recounted in 2011. Roddenberry died a few months later. (; Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 366-367)
- In December 1990 a finalized script draft was turned in to the studio, and this version was approved to go into production. Meyer, finished in London, relocates to Los Angels later that month. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 30)
- However, less than a month later in early January 1991, the original, immovable studio budget restriction decree reared its ugly head in full force, as David Kirkpatrick, who had replaced Teddy Zee as the Paramount Motion Picture Group President in another round of "The Studio Shuffle", demanded a detailed budget breakdown for the script as submitted. Somewhat falsely reassured by the remarks Davis and Mancuso made to him in London the previous spring, Meyer came back with a total figure of US$40 million dollar. Kirkpatrick's reply was short and to the point; It would not do. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, pp. 33-35)
- A desperate scramble among the creative staff ensued to trim as much as possible of the budget as possible; the entire prologue was (albeit painfully) scrapped, scenes were trimmed, all planned set construction for new starship interiors was abandoned (though a new Kronos One corridor set did get build ultimately), the planned live-action shoots in Alaska for the Rura Penthe scenes were scrapped as were plans for new studio models and other visual effects elements. Starship sets were to be entirely recycled from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was concurrently in production, but was slated for its summer hiatus, when filming of The Undiscovered Country was planned to start, and only existing studio models were to be used. Major cast and crew even agreed to deferred payment of (part of) their wages. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, pp. 35-36)
- Co-Producer Steven-Charles Jaffe, a former Trekkie, was so desperate to see the film come to fruition that he even went as far to suggest dropping Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as the visual effects vendor for the movie, instead going for a cheaper company. However the Associates and Ferren visual effects debacle for the previous movie was still very much fresh on the minds of his colleagues, and no one was willing to go that far. However, the planned 110 visual effects cuts were whittled down to just 51. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 35)
- With an absolute, rock-bottom downward revised budget of US$30 million dollar Meyer returned to Kirkpatrick & co. and vigorously and emotionally made a case for it. Kirkpatrick strictly adhered to the US$25 million dollar the previous movie had originally been budgeted at, but was willing to up the budget with US$2.5 million to the total that movie had actually cost, but not a penny more. Moved to tears, Meyer knew that the movie could not be made for that amount and continued to make a passionate plea for it. After Kirkpatrick had deliberated with his colleagues, the verdict came back: The movie was canceled. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 368-371)
- Yet, a few weeks later, with all activity on the movie halted and production crews sent home, Meyer received a call from interim Paramount Pictures President Stanley R. Jaffe (not related to producer Jaffe), standing in for the released Mancuso, who had heard that the production was in trouble. Informed by Meyer that he could not make the movie as he was shy of US$2.5 million dollars, Jaffe succinctly retorted, "Okay, you've got it," effectively canceling Kirkpatrick's cancellation decision. Instead, it became Kirkpatrick who got "canceled" in April as a result of yet another round in "The Studio Shuffle". (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 371, 393)
- One of the major reasons Meyer could not budge from his budget was that there was one of the most expensive sets that absolutely had to be built, and that there was no way around it: the refit-Enterprise bridge set. The original set had a few months earlier been temporarily stored on the outside studio parking lot, in order to make room for other sets. A freak weather event completely wrecked the set beyond salvation, save for some parts such as the two turbolifts. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Special Edition) DVD-special feature, "text commentary") However, once rebuilt, the set had to do double duty as the USS Excelsior bridge as well by means of reshuffling the variable wall panels, as the original, more cavernous Excelsior bridge set had already been struck years earlier, shortly after its use in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Ironically, the Excelsior bridge scenes were shot first, before it became the Enterprise bridge. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Special Edition) DVD-special feature, "text commentary") Aside from his intimate familiarity with The Next Generation sets (which he had helped design and built), it was one of the most overriding reasons why Production Designer Herman Zimmerman was brought in, as he was the one who had been responsible for the bridge redesign as featured in The Final Frontier. In the process, it has also explained why The Next Generation's USS Enterprise-D received a new battle bridge, as it had been the (heavily re-dressed) original refit-bridge that had stood in for it in the early seasons of the series. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 35)
- Trimming down the visual effects cuts to 51 turned out to be too ambitious, as 30 of the originally jettisoned effects sequences had to be produced by ILM and inserted after all, in order to make the movie "cut" well. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 35)
- While the studio had no budget from new studio models, one was actually constructed as something of a labor of love by ILM staffers John Goodson and Bill George, the SD-103-type. The script had a scene featured which both men felt needed embellishment, and so, of their own volition, they constructed the model. (Cinefex, issue 49, p. 48) The model went on to later become the Sydney-class. It has made The Undiscovered Country the feature in which the fewest new Star Trek starship designs were featured. George incidentally turned out to be a stickler for detail; As he was aware that the Excelsior now a new and smaller bridge, he made the effort to replace the originally larger bridge module on the Excelsior-class filming model with a smaller one, in order to reflect the change. (American Cinematographer, January 1992, pp. 58-59)
- Reportedly, William Shatner was champing at the bit to assume the director's role for the movie in order to redeem himself for The Final Frontier, but as writer Flinn had dryly noted, "It's amazing what three million dollars will accomplish." As Shatner had, already since Star Trek: The Original Series days, entered into a mutual "favored-nation clause" covenant with Nimoy which stipulated that, simply put, what the one got so did the other, this meant that Nimoy was to receive the same remuneration for his portrayal of Spock alone – and thereby discounting his writer's fee. However, it was also the reason why Nimoy, already being two for one in director's chores, declined the original offer by Mancuso to direct the movie himself, instead opting for Meyer. It is not only for Star Trek that star cast salaries had habitually inflated exponentially with each sequel, and it had been one of the overriding reasons why Bennett's "Academy"-project was green-lighted originally, but also one of the reasons why Meyer could not give in any further to the budget demands of Kirkpatrick. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 244, 350; Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 30)
- On the Special Edition release of Star Trek VI, it was revealed that Brock Peters' scene in the council chamber had to be shot in numerous takes, as he was very uncomfortable with the racial undertones in his lines that the Federation take the opportunity to "bring them to their knees", which was itself, a reference to another film in which that line was said about African Americans.
- Also on the DVD (and in his memoir Star Trek Movie Memories), William Shatner stated that he was unhappy with the final cut of his interchange with Spock in the Council Chamber, as he felt that it made Kirk seem too cynical and bitter. He originally had done the scene in one take, adding a dismissive wave after his comment to "Let them die!" which was subsequently edited out of the final movie despite Meyer promising Shatner that he wouldn't do that, according to Shatner.
- The dinner scene in the officers' mess as scripted was originally longer, and filled with a bit more build up and escalating comments between the Federation and Klingon crews. The scene was originally to build almost to blows, when Gorkon says the line "It seems we have a long way to go."
- The first scene at Rura Penthe was heavily influenced by The Bridge On the River Kwai, where the commandant of the POW camp gives a similar speech to the new British prisoners.
- According to Denny Martin Flinn in a 2003 audio commentary for The Undiscovered Country, Martia's alien language exclamation "Fendo pompsky" became a popular gag among the crew. Used in place of certain expletives, the line was even embroidered on the inside of the production crew jackets.
- The romantic comedy Frankie and Johnny was filming at nearby soundstages on the Paramount Pictures lot during production. Director Garry Marshall arranged for William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley to appear in full Star Trek costume and makeup, out of camera shot, behind a door in one scene, to elicit genuine surprise from star Al Pacino when he opened it. 
- The poster artwork for the film was designed by John Alvin, who took over from previous Trek poster artist Bob Peak. Alvin was asked to design the poster in the style of Peak's.
- Co-producer Ralph Winter provided the movie with a remarkable coda. Though understandably proud of what he and the creative team had achieved, he had second thoughts on Bennett's abandoned "Academy"-project, reasoning in hindsight that it would have instituted a long-term studio strategy for a sustainable Star Trek live-action production line, as opposed to the somewhat chaotic, spur-of-the-moment planning as hitherto employed. "With a long term plan you could milk this forever," Winter mused. (Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 35) As it so happened, Winter got his wish sooner than even he could have foreseen, as David Kirkpatrick's immediate studio successor turned out to be Brandon Tartikoff. Brought in at the tail-end of the production of The Undiscovered Country, Brandikoff was yet to leave his mark on Star Trek by exactly doing that, what Winter had imagined.
Sets, props, and costumes
- General Chang's eyepatch had the Klingon crest painted on the heads of each rivet. The makeup artist painted them on for fun and they were never intended to be seen. (citation needed • edit)
- Filming took place during the break between the fourth and fifth seasons of The Next Generation. Most of the Enterprise-A sets were redresses of USS Enterprise-D sets:
- Kirk and Spock's quarters (Data's quarters, which were originally Kirk's quarters from Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
- Transporter room (Enterprise-D transporter room)
- Sickbay (Enterprise-D sickbay)
- Laboratory (Beverly Crusher's office)
- Officers' mess hall (the dining room, redress of Enterprise-D observation lounge)
- Engineering (clear redress of the Enterprise-D engineering; they simply replaced the display graphics and repainted some surfaces)
- Corridors (retouched with more metallic appearance)
- Galley (redress of Counsellor Troi's Office, later the USS Sutherland bridge)
- Captain Kirk's quarters featured two different maps of the Milky Way galaxy created for early TNG episodes (TNG: "Conspiracy", "The Emissary")
- Captain Sulu's coffee table was a bit more than a cute addition to the Excelsior bridge. Beneath it was the support for an apparatus used to shake the whole bridge set during the Praxis explosion. As a side note, you may also notice the coffee cup that broke had no markings on it like the one Sulu was drinking from moments earlier. It was such a nice cup, the prop department didn't want it damaged. A similar table, likely for the same reason, can also be seen on the Enterprise bridge as well, between the captain's chair and the helm/nav console. (citation needed • edit)
- Pfaltzgraff made the china used in the film, and sold 3,000 sets of reproductions. The company logo can be seen at the bottom of the aforementioned broken cup. 
- The office of the Federation President is a redress of Ten Forward. A viewscreen is located in place of the art ornament behind the bar counter, and the walls are painted with some shade of brown. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 502)) The doors for the set accidentally retained the TNG style insignia during filming, and this can clearly be seen in the film.
- One of the models of the original USS Enterprise in Kirk's quarters was built by writer Ronald D. Moore when he was eleven.
- The book used by Uhura while frantically searching for a linguistic reference of the Klingon language while entering Klingon territory is actually the 1951 catalog for the "Alloy Steel Products Company, Inc.". (citation needed • edit) Interestingly, the title of the modified book states Introduction to Klingon Grammer, in which "grammer" should be spelled as "grammar".
- Several props and costumes from this movie were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a Rura Penthe miner's mask , a Vulcan Khitomer attendee's costume , a Klingon court attendee lot , a Klingon canteen , and a Klingon uniform lot, partially worn by Scott Leva.  Also sold off was a desk lamp, which was featured during the Starfleet staff meeting. It was designed by F.A. Porsche and labeled as model "Jazz". 
- Gene Roddenberry saw the movie two days before he died. According to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories (1995, p. 394), Roddenberry, after seeing the film, gave thumbs up all around, and then went back and phoned his lawyer, Leonard Maizlish, angrily demanding a full quarter-hour of the film's more militaristic moments be removed from the film, but Gene died before his lawyer could present his demands to the studio.
- Originally, director Nicholas Meyer wanted to bring back composer James Horner, whom he worked with on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to score The Undiscovered Country. However, Horner turned the offer down, saying his "career had moved past Star Trek." Meyer then offered the film to composer Jerry Goldsmith, but he turned it down, citing the poor results of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which he had also worked on. The film eventually went to composer Cliff Eidelman. According to the liner notes for the soundtrack album, Meyer's original concept for the score was to adapt Gustav Holst's The Planets, but getting the rights to the music proved too expensive. (Eidelman's score therefore pays homage to Holst, most notably in the opening credits where the score bears a close resemblance to "Mars," the first movement from The Planets.) An excerpt from The Planets was used a few years later in the trailer for Star Trek Generations. Eidelman was picked because of his extensive knowledge of Holst's "The Planets", having written his master's thesis on the complete suite.
- This movie and Star Trek: The Motion Picture are the only Star Trek films released before the alternate reality films not to use the opening fanfare from the "Theme from Star Trek" in the main title music.
- According to William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories, the original story credits for the film were to be "Story by Leonard Nimoy and Nicholas Meyer, Screenplay by Denny Martin Flynn" as nothing from the original submission by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal were used in the final film. According to Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, Konner and Rosenthal went to the Writers Guild of America for arbitration as they felt they should deserve story credit. The WGA spoke to Nimoy and he showed them his notes where he had initially come up with the story idea for the film and they initially sided with Nimoy. However Konner and Rosenthal appealed again and eventually the WGA changed the credits to "Story by Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal, screenplay by Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flynn," leaving Nimoy out of the credits. An incensed Nimoy contacted his lawyer and said if this weren't resolved by the end of the upcoming weekend, he would immediately sue Paramount and the WGA over the matter. Nimoy's lawyer reportedly worked non-stop over the weekend, working with Meyer's attorney, with Konner and Rosenthal's attorney, until finally coming up with a credit which was acceptable to all: "Story by Leonard Nimoy and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal, Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer & Denny Martin Flynn."
- The galley scene was quickly written into the movie just to demonstrate that you can't fire a phaser (set to kill) on board the ship without triggering an alarm. (This raises the question as to why a phaser locker is in the galley. The answer could be found as early as "The Corbomite Maneuver". While the Enterprise is being towed by Balok's ship, Yeoman Janice Rand brings hot coffee to the bridge. Dr. McCoy asks her how she made coffee when the "power was out" in the galley. Her pragmatic answer was, "I used a hand phaser and zap – hot coffee.")
- The blue food at the dinner scene was so disgusting that actors had to be bribed to eat it. Each actor was offered twenty dollars for every bite. Shatner did it, and won $240, before throwing up. (According to Leonard Nimoy, it was chunks of squid treated with blue food coloring.) Reportedly, Shatner was the only member of the cast able to swallow any of it, and the first time Shatner ate the colored squid, he turned and looked right at Nick Meyer and said, "Where's my twenty?" Meyer called "cut!" and pulled out the twenty and gave it to Shatner. (William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories)
- Spock attributes the quote "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" to an ancestor. This quote (and numerous variations) derives from the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Fans, noting the similarities between the characters of Spock and Holmes, have long speculated that Spock might be a descendant (on the side of his Human mother, Amanda Grayson) either of the fictional Holmes or the historical Doyle; the first such speculation is found in a Ruth Berman article in Spockanalia in 1966. (citation needed • edit) Writer/director Nicholas Meyer, a Holmes fan, wrote the well-received Sherlock Holmes novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and adapted it into an Academy Award-nominated screenplay.
- During the search of all uniforms on board the Enterprise, a crewman takes off the cover of a power conduit. When he moves to put the cover down, you can see production markings on the back.
- At the dining room, you can see paintings of many dignitaries, including Surak, founder of Vulcan philosophy and American President Abraham Lincoln. The Enterprise crew met recreations of both of them in TOS: "The Savage Curtain". Another painting is of an unnamed Andorian dignitary.
- After the first day of shooting, someone noticed that Valeris's jacket was trimmed in gray, not red, to match her red turtleneck undergarment. Since re-filming would have been too expensive, it was quickly decided to just let it pass. (citation needed • edit)
- During the Battle at Khitomer, Uhura mentions that the Enterprise is carrying equipment to study gaseous anomalies. In the beginning of the film, Sulu states that the Excelsior is also on a mission to study gaseous anomalies. It is not clear whether this is done intentionally, as the Enterprise's mission is strictly escort duty for the Chancellor's ship.
- According to George Takei's autobiography To the Stars, early drafts did feature the Excelsior discovering the Bird-of-Prey's weakness and using their gaseous anomaly equipment to find it. According to Takei, William Shatner asked that the scene be re-written, arguing that Captain Kirk would never need anyone to come charging to his rescue. The second edition of the Star Trek Chronology states that the study was a long-term one and that Enterprise, as well as several other Federation ships, had been outfitted with such equipment.
- The sets for the Excelsior and Enterprise-A bridges were redresses of the same set, which were made up of modules to be rearranged, as needed.
- In the final shot of the Enterprise bridge crew, the helmsman's chair is left empty, symbolizing that Sulu is not present.
- In the credits at the end of the movie, Uhura is misspelled "Uhuru."
- The final scene also has the characters standing in a staged lineup. The producers wanted it known that it was the last movie.
- The final captain's log was actually shot on the bridge of the Enterprise. This, however, was the last scene shot. Instead of using a dubbed log, they recorded it live. (citation needed • edit)
- The Khitomer hall was represented by the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, located in southern California.
- The footage of the Enterprise-A in spacedock is actually modified footage from Star Trek IV (budgetary constraints, as well as the disappearance of the spacedock interior miniature from ILM's archives, dictated its use). This marks the second time that footage shot for a previous film was re-used for a second time (the other being the Genesis sequence from Star Trek II, which also appeared in Star Trek III and Star Trek IV).
- The Bird-of-Prey explosion from this film was later used in Star Trek Generations.
- For some unknown reason, the art on the label for the special features disc of some editions of the Special Collector's Edition features an upside-down close-up image of the Enterprise-B while still in drydock from the film Star Trek Generations; Paramount Home Entertainment later corrected this problem by reissuing it as a silver labeled DVD. A similar error occurs on the HD and Blu-ray editions of the film, with the Enterprise-B on the back cover.
- During the dinner scene, Kirk says that having Romulan ale is "One of the advantages of being a thousand light years from Federation Headquarters." Given that 78 years later, a faster and more advanced USS Voyager would expect to take seventy years to travel seventy thousand light years, one may infer that it would take far longer than a year for the Enterprise to reach the rendezvous point with Kronos One.
- A scene in the script and novelization took place on Excelsior just after Sulu's conversation with Kirk, where Valtane was to have told Sulu, "Do you realize you've just committed treason, sir?" Sulu was supposed to reply something along the lines of "I always hoped that if I ever had to choose between betraying my country or betraying my friend, I'd have the courage to betray my country." This exchange remained in the novelization.
- The events of this film were later revisited in VOY: "Flashback", in which it is established that Tuvok served as an ensign aboard the Excelsior. External footage of the Excelsior and the Praxis explosion wave were reused directly from the film, but all other scenes were specially re-shot, partly to include Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ, who had not appeared in the film originally, but also because the movie's actors had aged significantly since the film was shot, meaning new footage of the actors filmed for the episode would not have matched any of the reused movie footage.
- As with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this film shows Spock having full command of the Enterprise. In fact, this is the only film in which Spock actually gives Kirk orders.
- Spock references the events of this film during TNG: "Unification II", citing his guilt over ordering Kirk to be a negotiator in the Klingon peace talks and the consequences that followed.
- After TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy" and TAS: "The Survivor", this marks the third time that a shapeshifter has assumed the form of Captain Kirk.
- A similarly extended, establishing prologue was later envisioned for the subsequent movie, Star Trek Generations, but it too, though partially filmed, was scrapped for budgetary reasons, as well as for running-time considerations.
- NBC, Star Trek's former network, fittingly premiered Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on November 6, 1994, a good 12 days in advance of Star Trek Generations's nationwide release. It was the first time any kind of Star Trek was seen on The Peacock Network since Star Trek: The Animated Series in 1973.
In Star Trek VI, during his trial, Bones says that he has been the ship's surgeon for 27 years. He took the post from Mark Piper at some point in 2265, after "Where No Man Has Gone Before", or in early 2266, before "The Corbomite Maneuver". This statement establishes a time frame for the film from 2292 to 2293.
The film ends with the last voyage of the ship and crew. The prologue of Star Trek Generations is set more precisely in 2293, or 78 years before 2371. In the prologue, a news reporter and Scotty talk with Kirk about how he has settled down into his retirement, suggesting that the retirement from the previous film is still a very recent thing for him.
- 5th draft script: 28 December 1990
- Start of principal photography: 11 April 1991
- End of principal photography: 2 July 1991
- Screening for Gene Roddenberry (2 days before his death): 22 October 1991
- Hollywood, California premiere: 3 December 1991
- US theatrical premiere: 6 December 1991
- CD soundtrack: 10 December 1991
- Comic adaptation: 1991
- Australia theatrical premiere: 1 January 1992
- Novelization: 1992
- UK theatrical premiere: 14 February 1992
- Japan theatrical premiere: 28 February 1992
- Germany theatrical premiere: 5 March 1992
- Hungary theatrical premiere: 1 May 1992
- Netherlands theatrical premiere: 5 June 1992
- Spain theatrical premiere: 19 June 1992
- US LaserDisc: 25 June 1992
- France theatrical premiere: 22 July 1992
- Japan LaserDisc: 10 February 1993
- VHS: 25 August 1993
- UK network television premiere: 7 January 1995 on BBC1
- UK LaserDisc: 1996
- France LaserDisc: 1996
- Widescreen VHS: 2 April 1997
- Region 1 DVD: 26 January 1999
- Special Edition Region 1 DVD: 27 January 2004
- Special Edition Region 2 DVD: 1 March 2004
- iTunes Store: 2006
- Blu-Ray: September 2009
- Aspect ratios. The film was originally filmed and edited in Super 35 (4-perf) with a negative aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It was composed for multiple aspect ratios (meaning that all the important action had to be centered in a fairly small part of the frame). Every release is a reduction (croppings) from the original, never-released full frame using so-called "soft mattes". For theatrical release, the master was reduced to the usual 2.39:1 aspect ratio used for anamorphic 35mm projection (all the other Trek movies were filmed in this ratio, using anamorphic lenses instead of Super 35). A 2.20:1 version was also prepared for 70mm release (the same was done with all the previous Trek films). The film has never been commercially available in either theatrical aspect ratio, until the recent Blu-ray release. The non-widescreen television broadcasts and VHS releases were reduced to the 1.33:1 aspect ratio traditional for television, using the original 1.33:1 print, thus easing up the matte on the top and bottom, but cropping some of the sides. Early widescreen VHS and laserdisc transfers and the first DVD release were reduced to yet another ratio, 2.00:1, and then centered high on the screen with space at the bottom for subtitles, letterboxed within a 4:3 master. The Special Edition DVD release was reduced to the same 2.00:1 ratio, but letterboxed within a 16:9 master. Which portion of the full frame is used varies from shot to shot, rather than being a purely mechanical reduction – and the choices are made differently in each release, including the two 2.00:1 releases. Apparently the 2.00:1 is the director's preferred aspect ratio. However, for the May 2009 Blu-ray release, the film was made available in its original theatrical ratio of 2.39:1 for the first time, with the director's approval.
- Extra scenes and edits. Until 2009, the theatrical cut had never been released commercially in English. The original 1992 home video release added back in the "Operation Retrieve" scenes (originally, the scene in the president's office ended with the line "This president is not above the law"), the scene between Spock, Scotty and Valeris directly before the trial, and the unmasking of Colonel West on Khitomer (just a few shots are added: Colonel Worf touching West's blood and saying "This is not Klingon blood" between Cartwright trying to escape and Sulu stopping him, the actual unmasking and the C-in-C and Worf looking at each other directly after). These scenes remained in all subsequent commercial releases until 2009. The 2003 Special Edition DVD release added in glimpses of Cartwright, Chang and Nanclus during Spock and Valeris' mind meld and slight alternate takes during her interrogation on the bridge. The original cut, albeit with the 2.00:1 aspect ratio, was present on the 1993 dubbed German VHS release. It was also released on iTunes, cut at 2.00:1 (640x320). The various releases of the movie on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in 2009 featured the original theatrical cut in its original aspect ratio.
- The end credits had a different format for the theatrical version. It featured the Starfleet Insignia at the top and the screen split between a white background and dark lettering and the other side with a dark background with white lettering.
- Star Trek VI was adapted into novelization by Jeanne M. Dillard.
- A comics adaptation was written by Peter David and drawn by Gordon Purcell and Arne Starr.
- A novel and comic sequel to the events of this film, The Ashes of Eden, written by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, depicts a plot created by a Klingon-Romulan alliance, staged in Chal, a homeworld populated by a race of genetically-engineered Klingon-Romulans. Kirk is called there by a native of the planet, Teilani, to help her people with this crisis.
- The conference at Khitomer was explored again in the non-canon Star Trek novel Assignment: Eternity.
- While it was mentioned in the film that the crew was standing down, it wasn't directly stated that the entire Enterprise senior staff was retiring so it's been generally believed that most of the crew were simply stepping down and retiring from active ship duty. To that end, several novels have postulated that only Kirk, Spock, and Scott actually fully retired and then Spock became part of the diplomatic corps and became an ambassador.
- The novel Provenance of Shadows established that McCoy started doing research at Starfleet Medical and other novels have had McCoy as Chief of Starfleet Medical as well. "Encounter at Farpoint" clearly establishes that McCoy was an admiral at that point in time.
- According to the novel The Star to Every Wandering, at the time of Star Trek Generations, Chekov was working a ground assignment on Earth waiting for an executive officer position to open up. It's likely he was assigned to Excelsior as executive officer shortly thereafter (according to the non-canon novel The Sundered, he took the post of executive officer on the Excelsior), eventually commanding two starships on his own before becoming an admiral.
- In the movie, Uhura said she was supposed to be chairing a seminar at the Academy, and The Lost Era novels established that she was going to do that very thing when she was recruited for Starfleet Intelligence and eventually rising to become an admiral and head of Intelligence by 2360 at the latest.
- The Starfleet Corps of Engineers novels have established that Montgomery Scott eventually became the head of the Corps of Engineers and other books established Scott as having helped to design and work on building the USS Enterprise-E. In fact, the novel Ship of the Line, which dealt with the actual launch of the Enterprise-E, established that Scott was acting chief engineer for the ship's shakedown cruise with Geordi La Forge as his first assistant chief.
Awards and honors
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country received the following awards and honors.
|1992||Academy Awards||Makeup||Michael M. Mills, Edward French, Richard Snell||Nominated|
|Sound Effects Editing||George Watters II, F. Hudson Miller|
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation||Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flinn, Story by Leonard Nimoy and Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, Directed by Nicholas Meyer|
|1993||Saturn Awards||Best Make-Up||Michael M. Mills, Edward French|
|Best Costumes||Dodie Shepard|
|Best Writing||Nicholas Meyer, Denny Martin Flinn|
|Best Supporting Actress||Kim Cattrall|
|Best Science Fiction Film||-||Won|
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- Process Compositing by
- Soundtrack Album available on
- Music by Alexander Courage
- Color by
- Filmed with
- Special Thanks to
- Alaska Film Commission
- Alaska Helicopter Company
- Dave Archer Studios
- Durand International
- Uncredited co-stars
- David Keith Anderson as Enterprise-A crewmember
- Rene Auberjonois as Colonel West
- Lena Banks as Federation president's assistant
- Robert Bruce as Klingon officer
- Max Cervantes as Daz
- Barron Christian as Klingon assistant to Commandant
- Dragon Dronet as Klingon spectator
- Andre Dukes as Klingon Rura Penthe guard
- Douglas Dunning as Klingon
- Joe Durrenberger as Klingon officer
- Farrel as Klingon General
- Mark Gonzaga as Vulcan delegate
- Trent Christopher Ganino as Klingon judge
- Clay Hodges as Klingon officer
- Ampy Koran as
- Tony Lawson as Klingon
- Beau Lotterman as Romulan delegate
- Daryl F. Mallett as Rura Penthe prisoner
- James Mapes as Zelonite official
- Patrick Michael as Enterprise-A crewman
- Claude Nemeth as Klingon Rura Penthe guard
- Dennis Ott as Knee Jerk Alien
- Douglas Price as
- Denise Lynne Roberts as Enterprise-A crewmember
- Richard Sarstedt as Romulan delegate
- Eric A. Stillwell as Klingon spectator
- Roma Lee Tracy as silver tube amazette alien dignitary
- Guy Vardaman as Klingon officer
- J.D. Walters as Klingon
- Clint Zehner as Rura Penthe prisoner
- Unknown actors as
- Five Klingon Kronos One crewmen
- Three Klingon Rura Penthe guards
- Klingon judge
- Romulan delegate
- Romulan delegate
- Romulan delegate
- Tellarite delegate
- Tellarite delegate
- Tellarite delegate
- Zelonite ambassador
- Zelonite official
- Female USS Excelsior security officer
- Male USS Excelsior security officer
- Uncredited stunt performers
- Greg Gault as stunt double for David Warner
- Dennis Madalone as a Klingon officer
- Charlie Skeen as
- Patrick Michael as stand-in for Leonard Nimoy
- Joycelyn Robinson as stand-in for Iman
- Lita Stevens
- Kenny Studer
- Jim Thompson
- Marty Valinsky
- Philip Weyland as stand-in for William Shatner
- Uncredited production staff
- David Abbott – Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Aaron Albucher – Assistant Production Accountant
- Dave Archer – Artwork Provider: Paintings
- Margaret Bessara – Prosthetic Makeup Artist: David Warner, Kurtwood Smith, and Robert Easton
- Tom Boyd – Musician: Oboe
- Barney Burman – Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Rob Burman – Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Mary Burton – Makeup Artist: Iman
- Cogswell Video Services, Inc. – Visual Effects Unit Video Assist Company
- Danna Edwards – Costumer
- Robert Fletcher – Costumes Design
- Christopher Gilman and Dilligent Dwarves Effects Lab – Prop and Wardrobe Creator and Provider
- Kristin R. Glover – Camera Operator
- Nancy J. Hvasta Leonardi – Assistant Makeup Artist
- Jeff Kleeman – Development and Production Executive for Paramount Pictures
- Norman Ludwin – Musician: Bass
- Iain McCaig – ILM Storyboard Artist
- Mike McCarty (for Dilligent Dwarves Effects Lab) – FX artist: Ran parts for Klingon costumes
- Steve Neill – Special Makeup Effects Artist
- Scott Schneider – Model Maker
- Marlene Stoller – Hair Artist
- Rick Stratton – Makeup Artist
- Todd Tucker – Special Make-Up Effects Artist
- Danny Valencia – Hair Stylist
- Karen Westerfield – Prosthetic Makeup Artist
- Philip Weyland – Dialogue Coach
19th century; 1938; 2223; 2266; 2290; 2343; 24-hour clock; abduction; accident; act; act of war; Adam and Eve Expelled from Paradise; address; admiral; admiration; advocate; aft; agenda; aide-de-camp; alarm; alien; Alpha Quadrant; ambassador; ambition; amount; anatomy; ancestor; annals; answer; architect; arrest; arthritis; article; artificial gravity; ash; assassin; assassination; automation; attack; author; auxiliary circuit; auxiliary gravity; auxiliary power; back; back-up system; battle cruiser, Klingon; battle stations; beaming; beaming shield; bearing; behavior; Beta Quadrant; Beta Quadrant sector; black; blood; "bloody"; boat; boatswain's whistle; "Bones"; bow; bridge; brigadier; Brotherhood of Aliens; bug; Burke; Camp Khitomer; capital; cardiac arrest; career; chairing; chameloid; chain of command; Chancellor of the Klingon High Council; Chang's Bird-of-Prey; charge; chief of staff; chimes; China; choice; Christ, Jesus; chronometer; Cinderella; circuit A; circumstantial evidence; citizen; citizenship; civilization; client; cloaking device, Klingon; close range; club; coat; Code Blue; coffee; cold warrior; colleague; colonel; commander in chief; commandant; communications station; commutation; computer; comrade; Concise History of the Klingon Empire, A; condolences; conference; confession; confiscation; conspiracy; control tower; conversation; Coon, G.L.; coordinates; course; court; court recorder; creature; crew quarters; crewman; crime; damage report; data; data banks; daughter; Davis; day; death; death sentence; decommissioning; deflector shield; degree; demotion; departure stations; depiction; dialogue; dilithium; dinner; diplomacy; diplomat; diplomatic corps; diplomatic function; dockmaster; doctor; Earth; Earth Cold War; Earth year; echo bar; economy; Efrosian; electronic frontier; energy production facility; engine room; Enterprise-A, USS; epic; error; evening; evidence; Excelsior-class; Excelsior, USS; excerpt; exile; existence; exoneration; exploration; exploration program; explosion; extradition; extremist; eyepatch; fact; faith; father; Federation; Federation headquarters; Federation President; Federation-Klingon Cold War; Federation space; feeling; feet; first officer; flag of truce; flare; forgery; France; free will; freighter; friend; fuel; full ambassador; future; galley; gang; Garden of Eden; gas; gavel; general; generation; genitals; graveyard; gravitational field; gravity; gravity boot; ground; guard tower; guest; guilt; gulag; hailing frequency; Hamlet; hand; handcuffs; head; hearing; heart; heartbeat; helm; helmsman; Henry IV, Part I; Henry IV, Part II; Hitler, Adolf; Holmes, Sherlock; hostage; hostility; hour; Human (homo sapiens); Human rights; idea; idealism/idealist; idiot; "If you eliminate the impossible..."; ignorance; impulse power; information; insubordination; intercept course; interstellar law; Introduction to Klingon Grammer; jackal mastiff; joke; judgment; Julius Caesar; K't'inga-class; key; kiss; Khitomer; Khitomer Accords; Khitomer Conference; Khitomer conspiracy; kill setting; king; Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Klingon Empire; Klingons; Klingon High Command; Klingon frontier; Klingon history; Klingon Neutral Zone; Klingon Defense Force uniforms; Klingon space; Klingonese; knee; Kobayashi Maru scenario; Kronos One; laughter; level; Lincoln, Abraham; linguistic legerdemain; light; light year; listening post; listing; livelihood; location; logic; lunatic; lying (lie); machine; madam; magnetic boots (gravity boots); Marcus, David; master; medical tricorder; meeting; Megazoid; Merchant of Venice, The; meteor shower; midnight;Milky Way Galaxy; military advisor; military budget (budget); military operation; mine; mission; mission of peace; model; money; month; moon; mooring; morning; Morska; mothballing; motive; multiple choice; murderer; mythology; name; NAR; neck; negotiation; neutral zone; neutron radiation; news; night; Nixon, Richard M.; Northern Star; obedience;objection; officers' mess; Okrand; Okrand's Unabridged Klingon Dictionary; olive branch; Operation Retrieve; opportunist; order; oxygen; ozone; pair; pardon; Paris; parole; patricide; peace; peace conference; peace summit; peace talks; peace treaty; penal asteroid; penal colony; permission; personal log; Pfaltzgraff; phaser; photon torpedo; physics; piano; place; plasma (ionized gas); plasma exhaust; plate; pollution; port (facility); port (side of ship); port gate; Post, Emily; pot; Praxis; prejudice; president; prison; prisoner; progress; problem; prototype; proverb; pulse; punishment; Qo'noS; question; quarters; rank; reality; refuse; rendezvous; report; reprieve; resource; result; retirement; revenge; reward; risk; Romulan; Romulan ale; Romulan government; Romulan border; rose; rudder; Rura Penthe; Russian; sabot; sabotage; Saboteurs; safety precaution; Salak; Samno; San Francisco; saucer; scene; science station; scientific program; Scots language; screaming; SD-103; SD-103 type; second; secret; sector; Sector 70; seminar; sensor; sentence; service record; Shakespeare, William; ship's bell; ship's surgeon; shoe; shouting; show trial; sickbay; silent running; size; slave; smell: smoking; sniper rifle; son; sorrow; space station; Spacedock; special envoy; species; speculation; Spoken Languages of the Klingon Empire; sponsor; starbase; starboard; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Command Intelligence Database; Starfleet Headquarters; Starfleet regulations; state dinner; statement; stern; stockade; story; stun setting; subspace; subspace channel; subspace message; subspace transmission; subspace shock wave; suicide; surface; surgeon; surgery; surrender; table; table manners; tail pipe; targ; tear; tear duct; Tempest, The; terrorism; territory; theory; thing; thousand; thruster; Tiberian bat; tickling; toast; torpedo bay; torpedo launcher; torpedo room; tour; translation; transporter pad; transporter range; transporter room; trash; trial; truth; universal translator; universe; Ursva; value; vessel; viridium patch; volunteer; Vulcan; mind meld; walking; warp drive; warrior; weapons locker; web; week; wisdom; Wise, D.; witness; wood; word; worker; wound; year; Z-axis; Zelonite
"a lot"; "a touch of"; "above the law"; "all right"; "all things being equal"; "are you kidding"; "as you know": "as you wish"; "at best"; "at ease"; "at hand"; "at last"; "at once"; "at the moment"; "back off"; "back to square one"; "bear that in mind"; "bless you"; "brave new world"; "by the time"; "come now"; "come on"; "coming through"; "damn it"; "dining on ashes"; "done our bit"; "face-to-face"; "for God's sake"; "for heaven's sake"; "for the record"; "good morning"; "heart of the matter"; "hellhole"; "holding a grudge"; "how on earth"; "I beg your pardon"; "I do not understand"; "I don't know"; "I see"; "in any case"; "in charge"; "in defiance of"; "in dispute"; "in return"; "in that case"; "in the clear"; "in the meantime"; "ladies and gentlemen"; "lost your mind"; "my God"; "nature abhors a vacuum"; "no way"; "now hear this"; "of course"; "of course not"; "oh my God"; "old story"; "on board"; "on occasion"; "on the double"; "on trial"; "out of control"; "out of the question"; "out of the way"; "report back"; "rushing in where angels fear to tread"; "speak for yourself"; "standby"; "sweet Jesus"; "take my word"; "tell me"; "thank God"; "thank you"; "that figures"; "top brass"; "top of the line"; "very well"; "what the hell"; "who knows"; "you know"
Library computer references
- Starship Mission Assignments: Ahwahnee, USS; Challenger, USS; Constellation, USS; Eagle, USS; Emden, USS; Endeavour, USS; Helin, USS; John Muir, USS; Kongo, USS; Korolev, USS; Lantree, USS; Oberth, USS; Potemkin, USS; Republic, USS; Scovill, USS; Sector 22858; Springfield, USS; Starbase 24; Starship Mission Assignments; Whorfin, USS
- Operation Retrieve star chart: Alpha Bayard; Alpha Beaird; Alpha Cooper; Alpha Crum; Alpha Glover; Alpha Johnson; Alpha McCusker; Alpha Meyers; Alpha Saunders; Alpha Suhr; Apperson's Asteroid; Arnold's Planet; Baber Nebula; Barnes Nebula; Barnett's Star; Bergman's Planet; Beta Christenberry; Beta Cook; Beta Flinn; Beta Friedlich; Beta Garretson; Beta Gonzales; Beta Lingard; Beta Michaels; Beta Penthe; Beta Penthe I; Beta Penthe II; Beta Penthe III; Beta Penthe IV; Beta Penthe V; Beta Penthe VII; Beta Penthe system; Beta Schwartz; Beta Sternbach; Breton's Planet; Brookshire's Planet; Buckley's Planet; Cantamessa's Star; Cole's Star; Constitution-class; Cybulski's Planet; Delta Hart; Downer's Star; Excelsior-class; Farrar's World; Foster Nebula; Frazee's Nova; Friedlich Nebula; Gamma Fitzgerald; Gauger Star; Gullory Nebula; Harstedt's Planet; Hershman's Star; Hodges Nebula; Jaffeworld; Latonaworld; Meyer's Star; Molly's Star; Moreyworld; Narita's Planet; Nimoy's Star; Nollman's Planet; Nuzzo Station; Operation Retrieve star chart locations; Okrand Colony; Rao-Beyers; Rooseworld; Sasgen's Star; Sector 21166; Sigma Trotti; Stevens Nebula; Theta Gentle; Theta Hulett; Wenselworld; Winter's Nova; Wise Nebula; Zimmerman's Star
- Federation star chart ("The Explored Galaxy"): Aldebaran; Alfa 177; Alpha Carinae; Alpha Centauri; Alpha Majoris; Altair VI; Andor; Ariannus; Arret; Babel; Benecia; Berengaria VII; Beta Aurigae; Beta Geminorum; Beta Lyrae; Beta Niobe; Beta Portolan; Camus II; Canopus III; Capella; Daran V; Delta Vega; Deneb; Eminiar; Fabrini; First Federation; Gamma Canaris N; Gamma Trianguli; Holberg 917G; Ingraham B; Janus VI; Kling; Kzin; Lactra VII; Makus III; Marcos XII; Manark IV; Memory Alpha; Mudd; Omega IV; Omega Cygni; Organia; Orion; Pallas 14; Phylos; Pollux IV; Psi 2000; Pyris VII; Regulus; Remus; Rigel; Romulus; Sarpeid; Sirius; Talos; Tau Ceti; Theta III; Tholian Assembly; Vulcan
Arc; Bayard, D.; Brookshire, R.; Cantemessa, G.; Downer, J.; Flinn, D.M.; Garretson, K.; Glover, K.; Hulett, D.; Jaffe, S.C.; Michaels, M.; Morey, R.; Narita, H.; Rodis, N.; Sector 21185; Sector 21290; Sector 21399; Sector 21803; Sector 21835; Sector 21837; Sector 22849; Sector 22956; Sector 23006; Tathwell, D.; Thomas, C.; Wise, D.; Zimmerman, H.
- Hitler quoted as saying "we need breathing room"
- Beginning of a seventy-plus year-long period of what Spock describes as "unrelenting hostilities" with the Klingons
- A Klingon sergeant kills David Marcus
- Excelsior begins three-year exploratory tour in the Beta Quadrant
- Praxis explodes
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at Wikipedia
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country script at Star Trek Minutiae
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
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