Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Paramount Pictures, 1991; see also 1991 in film) is the sixth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. It is often referred to as ST6:TUC or TUC. It is the last of the films based solely on the original series cast and presents their final mission together.

Table of contents
1 Synopsis
2 Themes
3 Notes


In the wake of the destruction of the moon of the Klingon homeworld, the Klingon economy is thrown into turmoil, and their empire sues for peace with the Federation. Starfleet chooses to send the Enterprise to meet with the Klingon chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) to open negotiations, a decision that doesn't sit well with Captain Kirk (William Shatner).

During the negotiations, Gorkon is assassinated and Kirk and Dr. McCoy are accused and taken to the Klingon homeworld for trial. Mr. Spock and the rest of the crew must rescue them, find the real murderer, and save the peace process from collapse.


TUC is a metaphor for the fall of communism in eastern Europe circa 1990. The Federation and Klingons have been engaged in a cold war for decades (since the episode "Errand of Mercy" in the original TV series) and some players on both sides are reluctant to see the situation change.

TUC shares a theme of rising above one's own prejudices, needs or desires with the earlier films, as Kirk must put aside his dislike of the Klingons and become the warrior who fights for peace. This role is easier for Spock, whose people's culture is essentially peaceful. However, Kirk's character seems too darkly drawn, as he's spent much of his career working for peaceful and moderate solutions to the problems he encounters. This undercuts some of the film's drama.


The film was directed by Nicholas Meyer, who also directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and is considered by many to be a return to the movie series' previous form, in the wake of its widely-disliked predecessor, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Reportedly, The Undiscovered Country was a working title for TWOK.

The film is also a sort of prologue to Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which the Klingons and Federation are allies. Michael Dorn, who plays Lt. Worf in TNG, plays Worf's grandfather here, a lawyer who defends Kirk and McCoy in court.

Supposedly, the character of Valeris (Kim Cattrall) was originally supposed to be that of Saavik (played by Kirstie Alley in TWOK), but was changed when Alley was unavailable, [[Gene Roddenberry] requested Saavik's removal, and given the fan dislike of Alley being replaced by Robin Curtis in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. Gene Roddenberry had also requested the removal of Saavik as he thought she was too well liked to be turned "evil."

The next film in the series is Star Trek: Generations.