The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 58.0°F | Light Rain

Star Trek VI is a triumphant return for the Enterprise and her crew

STAR TREK VI:

THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY

Directed by Nicholas Meyer.

Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

and DeForest Kelley.

At the Loews Charles.

By REUVEN M. LERNER

WHAT IS LEFT FOR THE CREW OF the Enterprise to do? Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy have saved themselves, Earth and the United Federation of Planets countless times from dozens of evil characters and races; does Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country offer anything new?

Luckily for Star Trek fans, the answer to that question is "yes." While it has its weaknesses, Star Trek VI is exactly what a good Star Trek film should be, with a reasonable balance of aliens, character interaction, on-screen moralizing, special effects and one-liners.

Star Trek VI is set at the beginning of the end of the Klingon Empire, which has been fighting the Federation for many years. After the moon Praxis explodes, wreaking havoc with their atmosphere, the Klingons decide that they are unable to continue their war with the Federation, and offer to make peace with the Federation. Kirk and the Enterprise crew are chosen to escort Chancellor Gorkon, who heads the Klingon peace mission, into Federation space. Someone doesn't want the war to end, though, and almost the entire movie is spent searching for the mission's saboteurs.

Anyone who has watched Star Trek: The Next Generation on television knows that the peace mission eventually succeeds, and that the Federation and Klingons eventually stop fighting. Star Trek VI details the beginning of the process that led to this peace, paving the way for cooperation between two galactic superpowers.

Interplay between the characters is a high point of the film. These actors have worked together for 25 years, and it shows -- there is an ease and flexibility to their work that almost makes the film seem more like real life than actors working on a set. Some parts of the plot seem a bit contrived, put there only in order to give each of the main characters a chance to show off their talents, but Star Trek VI holds together rather well, even giving Spock a chance to play Sherlock Holmes in an interstellar whodunnit.

From starships exploding to frozen wastelands to shape-changing aliens, the film was visually compelling. Perhaps the special effects were typical of modern science fiction movies, but the fact that so many other films have similar effects did not take away from their breathtaking impact in the theater.

The film's greatest flaw is at the beginning, when Praxis explodes and the Federation discusses the Klingon peace mission's arrival. While Star Trek fans who are familiar with the characters and settings might be able to follow the quickly unfolding sequence of events, newcomers may feel somewhat lost until the Klingons arrive. This is not the most exciting or important part of the movie, however,

so non-addicts shouldn't worry that they might not understand the plot.

Star Trek VI is an exciting film, one that nearly makes up for its immediate predecessor. The worst part of watching it was knowing that this would be the last time we see these characters together; according to Paramount, this is the Enterprise's final adventure under Kirk's command. Fans of all ages might be sad to see them go, but at least they went out on the right foot. Bravo!