Synopsis: The accidental destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis leads to a push for true peace with the Federation, as well as conspiracies aiming to maintain a now impossible status quo.
• The whole cast was more than game for Cold War mystery-thriller in space.
• Distinctly feminist at times in its depiction of a female Klingon High Chancellor, Azetbur (Rosanna DeSoto). This would be the first female Chancellor depicted, yet likely second chronologically. Along with Kirk, she was a moderating voice that helped to save whole civilizations from themselves.
• Christopher Plummer was brilliant as the pure of heart villain General Chang.
• Klingon High Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner), an intimidatingly wise warrior, was perhaps one of the most dynamic Klingons depicted up to that point.
• Not only were the Klingons depicted with great nuance, but also those in the Federation, especially Humans and Vulcans.
• The overall conspiracy to maintain that aggressive military posture played out brilliantly. Repeat viewings made the film especially remarkable in how the conspirators were found in both the Federation and Klingon Empire.
• Very much relevant to the time of the end of the Cold War, as the message of unity for a different and better future continues to be relevant.
• Can come off as racist against Klingons, even though the hate was more based off of war and more than a generation of habitual Cold War posturing.
“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.” — Capt. James Tiberius Kirk
“The undiscovered country” was perhaps the perfect title for this film. The Shakespeare line may directly translate to death, but like all things Shakespeare, may be read with great nuance. Both Chancellor Gorkon and General Chang loved the human scribe, but after the self-inflicted wound of Praxis, both certainly read the works in their own ways. An undiscovered country might also be read as a gateway to an as yet unknown future. Thus, Gorkon knew he was killing many of old ways to meet with a long time enemy, in a Cold War status, the Federation, but also was certainly aware the Federation was now in a position to destroy all the Klingons held true. It all led to his assassination, unsurprisingly, but his sacrifice was everything. His sacrifice allowed his daughter to rise to his status, and ultimately changed the minds of just the right people. They all might not have seen extent of their civilization saving pragmatism in life, but such a future was the hard fought undiscovered country.
Rotten Tomatoes — 81%