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Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country

Ghostmojo

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POSTS: 1826

Report this May. 23 2011, 1:02 pm

Since we are dissecting the TOS-based films I really think we should spend some time discussing what was really a classic piece of Trek in the final outing for the original cast. Not without its occasional hiccough (especially the director's cut version) I still think this was a fine story as well-paced and energetic as TWOK had been. The tension starts with the opening music which is really effective and it just builds from there.


Discuss...

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this May. 23 2011, 1:46 pm

The first ST movie I saw in a theater. Loved it. Loved Iman as Martia (a bit character, but so what). Can you really ever have too many Klingons? I thought it was a good send off for the crew.


However, I never understood why Valeris (supposed to have been Saavik) would want to be a part of the conspiracy. I understand the whole afraid of change thing, but why her? All the other conspirators (Chang, Cartwright, etc. ) made sense. 


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

Ghostmojo

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Report this May. 23 2011, 1:57 pm

Yes, Valeris was something of a mystery. Her actions were not ... logical.


And yet she was a terrific character. Kim Cattrall had originally auditioned for Saavik several years earlier, so it must have seemed like final justification to get the female Vulcan role. She said she wouldn't do it if she had to be Saavik (since she would be the 3rd actress inhabiting the role) this time around, and anyway Roddenberry didn't want a well-liked character suddenly turning bad - so the new Vulcanian lady was a newbie altogether.


I think Valeris was the most interesting of all the Vulcans after Spock and Sarek. She had more style than Saavik who was likeable but very neutral. Valeris had obvious humour and an almost childlike delight in seeing the boundaries being broken. You can see that she relishes the chances to deviate from the norm - often with Spock's encouragement (or at least not his admonishment).


And of course Kim Cattrall is quite gorgeous and looked stunning in Vulcan mode. It was a pity the way her character went, although we get a feeling things are not quite as they should be with the way she keeps popping up all the time in the most unlikely of places.


In a way, perhaps she was questioning her own logic - following on from Spock's example? She certainly was a highly mischievous, tongue-in-cheek, and very dry-witted Vulcan and remains one of my favourite irregular characters.


to boldy go where no man has gone before

Ghostmojo

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Report this May. 23 2011, 2:05 pm

I do love this film but it is always interesting assessing the inconsistencies isn't it? Here are a few:


Why would the possible break-up (or certainly lessening) of the Klingon Empire as a major threat - and the possibility of normalising relations with them lead innevitably to:


(a) deconstruction of frontier bases (wouldn't you want to keep some just in case)?


(b) the dimunition of Star Fleet (aren't there still other threats around besides the hordes of Kronos)?


(c) the elimination of the Neutral Zone (Klingon NZ wasn't the only one - what about Romulan NZ which was in a different part of space)?


Also, there is strangely accommodating attitude towards the Romulan ambassador Nanclus; who seems to be allowed access to inner sanctum UFP discussions about how to deal with this new situation. There he is egging them on to have a go at the wobbly Klingon edifice whilst they are weak and distracted (as you might expect); but one has to ask why on earth would you allow an equally distrustful race like the Romulans into your private conferences?


to boldy go where no man has gone before

Treknoir

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Report this May. 23 2011, 2:26 pm

Quote: Ghostmojo @ May. 23 2011, 1:57 pm

>

>Yes, Valeris was something of a mystery. Her actions were not ... logical.

>And yet she was a terrific character. Kim Cattrall had originally auditioned for Saavik several years earlier, so it must have seemed like final justification to get the female Vulcan role. She said she wouldn't do it if she had to be Saavik (since she would be the 3rd actress inhabiting the role) this time around, and anyway Roddenberry didn't want a well-liked character suddenly turning bad - so the new Vulcanian lady was a newbie altogether.

>I think Valeris was the most interesting of all the Vulcans after Spock and Sarek. She had more style than Saavik who was likeable but very neutral. Valeris had obvious humour and an almost childlike delight in seeing the boundaries being broken. You can see that she relishes the chances to deviate from the norm - often with Spock's encouragement (or at least not his admonishment).

>And of course Kim Cattrall is quite gorgeous and looked stunning in Vulcan mode. It was a pity the way her character went, although we get a feeling things are not quite as they should be with the way she keeps popping up all the time in the most unlikely of places.

>In a way, perhaps she was questioning her own logic - following on from Spock's example? She certainly was a highly mischievous, tongue-in-cheek, and very dry-witted Vulcan and remains one of my favourite irregular characters.

>


I disagree. I did not care for Valeris. I also did not care for Saavik (dodging tomatoes). Matter of fact, I don't care for most female Vulcans with significant roles on ST to date. Except T'Pau. I liked her portrayal(s) and the backstory behind T'Pau.


BOT


I admit it has been a while since I saw the film, but her motivation for joining the conspiracy seemed very thin. Unless one wants to tie it into the eventual ENT portrayal of Vulcans as xenophobic and just barely emotionally controlled. 


You also make a good point about Nanclus. I mean, really?


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

Ghostmojo

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POSTS: 1826

Report this May. 23 2011, 2:48 pm

One dodgy insert appears in the Director's Cut which is different from the theatrical version. There is a scene where one Major Wess(t?) demonstrates a plan for rescuing Kirk and McCoy with the decidedly un-23rd century looking clip board and big paper diagrams (what - no holograms?!!!). This is at the point after they have been arrested - but BEFORE they go on trial (on Kronos). The problem with this scene, is you can clearly see information on these paper diagrams with the words Rura Penthe and plans of planets and moons orbits etc. This is before they have even gone on trial and been sentenced ...

Vorta_the_point

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POSTS: 624

Report this May. 23 2011, 2:54 pm

Quote: Ghostmojo @ May. 23 2011, 2:05 pm

>

>I do love this film but it is always interesting assessing the inconsistencies isn't it? Here are a few:

>Why would the possible break-up (or certainly lessening) of the Klingon Empire as a major threat - and the possibility of normalising relations with them lead innevitably to:

>(a) deconstruction of frontier bases (wouldn't you want to keep some just in case)?

>(b) the dimunition of Star Fleet (aren't there still other threats around besides the hordes of Kronos)?

>(c) the elimination of the Neutral Zone (Klingon NZ wasn't the only one - what about Romulan NZ which was in a different part of space)?

>Also, there is strangely accommodating attitude towards the Romulan ambassador Nanclus; who seems to be allowed access to inner sanctum UFP discussions about how to deal with this new situation. There he is egging them on to have a go at the wobbly Klingon edifice whilst they are weak and distracted (as you might expect); but one has to ask why on earth would you allow an equally distrustful race like the Romulans into your private conferences?

>


I think as far as the deconstruction of frontier bases and the Klingon/Federation neutral zone, if the Klingon Empire became full allies (or even Federation members) then the military measures against them would naturally cease to be; the Federation would never keep military installations in place against a member or ally, it would only raise tensions and be counter-productive to any peace accords. I'd also suggest that the dissolution of the Neutral Zone the characters referred to in the film was only supposed to represent the Klingon one rather than all of them.


Regarding Starfleet's down-sizing, it could be that the level it was operating at to cope with the tensions between the Klingons and Romulans consumed a greater amount of Federation resources that would be desirable for the maintenance of the rest of the Federation, and so with one of those threats gone, it may be that some of the resources needed to maintain it would be allocated away from Starfleet.


As for Nanclus, I would perhaps suggest that as the Klingon issue was potentially a major Alpha Quadrant power-shifter, the Federation simply wanted to liaise with the Romulans as fully as possible on the matter to ease the traditional Romulan paranoia and hopefully prevent any other problems or tensions between them from occuring whilst the Klingon incident was still ongoing.

2takesfrakes

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POSTS: 3683

Report this May. 23 2011, 3:54 pm

Nick Meyer had too much control, on this one.
As a result, it became about what HE likes and
not what the product's about. Same thing happened
with Nimoy's VOYAGE HOME and Shatner's FINAL FRONTIER.


In STAR TREK II, for as much as Meyer changed, he didn't have
total control over the project. It was more of a collaborative
effort, especially with Harve Bennett. That pairing worked well.


In this case, Meyer's fondness for The Bard, Sherlock Holmes
and political history all mixed very unevenly and without any
kind of censorship, I don't think. Just wrote it and if Denny
Martin didn't have a better idea, then it went in, raw. So what?


KelisThePoet

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POSTS: 636

Report this May. 25 2011, 12:07 am

What exactly is the Federation relationship with the Romulans in the 23rd century?  In the original series, the Romulans seem to be a hostile power with which the Federation enjoys an unstable, Cold-War-like truce, not altogether unlike the uneasy truce the Federation maintains with the Klingons.  But whereas the Klingon truce always seems on the brink of implosion, I get the impression that the Federation and Romulan forces have been staring each other down while living with each other for a longer time, and the Romulans aren't presented as being as hostile or unsympathetic as the Klingons.


Then, in the movies, I can't remember any major references to the Romulans until we find out in V that they negotiated some agreement with the Klingons and Federation for the joint development of a planetary settlement.  So based on all that, it doesn't seem out of the question that a Romulan ambassador would have some limited presence and influence within the Federation.  Even the Klingons have an ambassador within the Federation.  The 24th century relationship between the Federation and Romulans, in which all friendly ties seem to have been cut, need not have been the situation throughout the 23rd century.  In fact, perhaps the actions of Ambassador Nanclus, combined with the new alliance between the Federation and the Klingons, is at least a partial explanation for how 24th century Federation-Romulan relations became so frosty.


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

Matthias Russell

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Report this May. 25 2011, 5:50 am

In the movies, we see Romulan diplomats, in the shows we see Romulan soldiers.  Often we see a society's soldiers and diplomats not playing the same game or following the same ideals in their relations with outsiders.

Vger23

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POSTS: 6799

Report this May. 25 2011, 7:13 am

So, I have to say that I was never more disappointed in a Star Trek film than I was with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when I first saw it (at the time). I was very happy that it got good reviews and that so many fans seemed to like it that I think I altered my opinion of it for a while, thinking that surely I must be missing something, and I kind of forced myself to like it more and consider it a “classic.” But, the reality is, I just don’t dig on this movie like most other people do. I still find it to be a good flick, but it’s not anywhere near my “top 3,” and it just doesn’t get me as excited as most of the other TOS outings.


 


THE GOOD:


1.       This is a nice way to send the crew off with a bang. Showing the first seeds of peace with the Klingon Empire that we had come to know in Star Trek: The Next Generation was also a good way of tying those two eras together.


2.       The theme of prejudice and fear, while handled without TOS’s usual finesse and subtlety, was still very reminiscent of some of the better Trek episodes.


3.       There was a nice character arc for Kirk in this movie, as the theme of his anger over the death of David Marcus is given full closure. I thought that was an excellent touch, and I’m glad they wove that into the story.


4.       Having Kirk and McCoy together for a good chunk of this film was definitely cool. TVH had Kirk and Spock together primarily, so it was nice to see this pair get some “buddy time.” I thought the interaction between the two of them during the central part of the film was some of the best stuff in the movie.


5.       The assassination sequence was expertly done, and is one of my favorite scenes in the film franchise. Tons of tension and suspense, the dreadful feeling that the peace process is now compromised, the zero-gee stuff…brilliant all around.


6.       The soundtrack was a risk for a Trek film, but I think it fits here. It’s certainly VERY different than anything we have heard before (or since) in Star Trek.


7.       Having the USS Excelsior and Captain Sulu as important parts of the plot was a great decision. I actually hoped for more of Sulu and crew, and we got that in the “Flashback” Voyager episode.


THE BAD:


1.       This movie felt too “bargain basement” even for me. The gratuitous re-use of TNG sets often takes me right out of the story, particularly main engineering, where you can see the TNG-era “Okuda Grams” on the wall panels. The officer’s mess is the TNG observation lounge, and I can’t watch the film without feeling like they’re just eating dinner on the Enterprise-D.


2.       The script was rushed, and it shows. There are plot holes all over the place in this movie. The one thing I can NEVER get past is the lack of using the ship’s scanning equipment! Wouldn’t simple forensic analysis of the ship’s torpedo tubes indicate that the Enterprise wasn’t the ship that fired? Wouldn’t the external sensors have recorded a torpedo being launched at Kronos One? How could sensitive internal scanners and tricorders not locate Klingon blood and bloody uniforms more quickly?


3.       Another gaping hole in the script is the absolute ridiculousness of having the Enterprise escort the High Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, a mortal enemy for over 70 years, with nothing but a Starfleet Captain and his crew to tend to diplomacy. Now, I don’t care how good of a starship commander James T. Kirk is…you don’t send a military captain to entertain the highest political official of your oldest enemy en route to one of the most historic events in galactic history. Kirk said it best, “A full ambassador would be better equipped.” How is this viewed to be realistic or logical??


4.       I really don’t like the portrayal of the Klingons in this film. I fully admit that the Klingons are as diverse a species as any other, but I’ve never seen regal, aristocratic, Shakespeare-quoting Klingons in my life…and I’m okay if I never see them again.


5.       I agree with what was said earlier that Nick Meyer, while I love him for his part in reviving Trek, was a bit of a self-indulgent egotist with this film. The over-use of Shakespeare and use of literary quoting was not done organically like it was in TWOK or, to a lesser extent, TVH. Even the title of “The Undiscovered Country” was an (admitted) over-indulgence.


6.       I found much of the cast interactions / dialogue / scripting to be too “tounge-in cheek” or done in the “winking at the camera” style in this movie, rather than the earnest drama that made TWOK, TSFS, and the observation lounge scenes in TFF so successful. For a movie that carried the potential dramatic weight that TUC did, it just felt bogus and inappropriate.


7.       General Chang is probably my least-favorite Trek movie villain. Also, how does a Klingon General hold the simultaneous positions of Chief-of-Staff, Empire District Attorney, and Bird of Prey captain?


8.       The “inconsistencies” that were pointed out earlier bother me a lot in this film as well. Specifically, since when is Starfleet defined by it’s Cold-War conflict with the Klingon Empire? It felt like an artificial way of generating “fear of the unknown” by playing this up, but it was not consistent at all with what we’ve come to know about Starfleet and the UFP.  “Would you be willing to give up Starfleet?” WHAT?? “Mothballing the Starfleet...” HUH?


Overall, I’m glad that they created a story that would serve as an official send-off for the original classic cast. As much as I enjoyed TFF, that movie was not designed to serve as an official send-off, and it’s a good thing that they did it. But, the story and script are just too flimsy for me to be excited about. I still find it to be a superior film to some of the weaker TNG entries, but ultimately Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a middle-tier film in my world.

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this May. 25 2011, 8:42 am

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 25 2011, 5:50 am

>

>In the movies, we see Romulan diplomats, in the shows we see Romulan soldiers.  Often we see a society's soldiers and diplomats not playing the same game or following the same ideals in their relations with outsiders.

>


Good point.


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this May. 25 2011, 8:50 am

Quote: Vger23 @ May. 25 2011, 7:13 am

>

class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;">THE BAD:

class="MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in; text-indent: -0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2;"> 

class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in; text-indent: -0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2;">2.       The script was rushed, and it shows. There are plot holes all over the place in this movie. The one thing I can NEVER get past is the lack of using the ship’s scanning equipment! Wouldn’t simple forensic analysis of the ship’s torpedo tubes indicate that the Enterprise wasn’t the ship that fired? Wouldn’t the external sensors have recorded a torpedo being launched at Kronos One? How could sensitive internal scanners and tricorders not locate Klingon blood and bloody uniforms more quickly?

class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in; text-indent: -0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2;">3.       Another gaping hole in the script is the absolute ridiculousness of having the Enterprise escort the High Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, a mortal enemy for over 70 years, with nothing but a Starfleet Captain and his crew to tend to diplomacy. Now, I don’t care how good of a starship commander James T. Kirk is…you don’t send a military captain to entertain the highest political official of your oldest enemy en route to one of the most historic events in galactic history. Kirk said it best, “A full ambassador would be better equipped.” How is this viewed to be realistic or logical??

>


Good points.


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

Matthias Russell

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POSTS: 7705

Report this May. 25 2011, 11:07 am

I hadn't considered the negative points Vger brought up before.  There are a lot more holes to this film than I ever considered before.  I know the Shakesphere quoting Klingons aways bothered me.  I don't understand why humans emphasize Shakephere so much, let alone an alien race.


All and all, I think it was a good movie in that it had appeal even to non-Trek fans and well expressed fear of change and the future.  The social points are still relevant.


I also agree that the TNG sets annoyed me but the special effects were great.  I remember being in awe when the Excelsior is hit with a shock wave and the floating orbs of blood. 


The movie also kept a good pace and the sign off WAS very moving.  I never tire of ST VI, myself.  It has its head scratchers same as every trek movie but I can't help but get into it when its on.  The VAN novels also help in developing some background in Klingon politicas and Gorkon.


Ghostmojo

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POSTS: 1826

Report this May. 26 2011, 3:17 pm

I was a little disappointed that Sulu was captaining the Excelsior. He should have had a different ship. I recognise considerable time has passed since the events of STIII-TSFS but weren't we supposed to dislike and ridicule that particular ship? The great experiment that Scotty easily short-fused. And it was/is an ugly brute.


Also he should have been on the Enterprise bridge one final time for the crew sign off. His former helm seat was noticeably (no doubt) intentionally vacant. It would have been nicer to have seen him say his farewells there and then head for the turbo-lift on his way to the transporter room and his own ship.

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