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Star Trek VI: The Undisovered Country Turns 20 – A Video Retrospective December 6, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM),History , trackback

20 years ago today the original Star Trek crew embarked on their final big screen adventure with the premiere of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on December 6, 1991. Today TrekMovie takes a look back with a retrospective of video interviews, features and promotional clips for STVI from 1991. So get into your wayback machines below.

 

Remembering Star Trek VI

1991 was a major year for Star Trek. It was the 25th anniversary of the franchise, which saw a new wave of interest in Trek with TV specials, marathons and new merchandise. Star Trek: The Next Generation entered its 4th season and had grown into a hit TV series. It was also a bittersweet time as 1991 also saw the passing of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

1991 is also the year Paramount chose to release the sixth (and final) feature film with the original Star Trek crew. After the critical and box-office disappointment of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1989 there was some talk about that being the final TOS film. Producer Harve Bennett proposed moving to a younger cast with a prequel set at Starfleet Academy (sound familiar?). But the studio felt the 25th anniversary should feature the original crew one last time. This disagreement led to the departure of Bennett from the franchise, with Leonard Nimoy moving in as executive producer and Ralph Winter moving up to full producer. Nimoy developed a cold-war allegory story with Star Trek II director Nick Meyer who also returned to helm the film.

The final result was a much more satisfying swan song for the original crew of the USS Enterprise. The film was much better received than Star Trek VI by both fans and general film audiences. It grossed around $75 million domestically which made it the 15th highest earner for the year (ahead of films like The Prince of Tides and JFK). The film was also well-received by critics. After previously panning Star Trek V, this new film led Roger Ebert to ask "Why on earth (or anywhere else) would Paramount want to retire this crew, which is as familiar and comforting as old family friends, and which does its job with the effortless grace of long familiarity? "

So today TrekMovie looks back at Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country with a video retrospective. Enjoy.

Trailers

Teaser

Theatrical

TV Commercial

Publicity

Entertainment Tonight STVI Cast interviews + behind the scenes + 25th anniversary

MTV feature on 25th anniversary and STVI, hosted by Marina Sirtis

Good Morning America behind the scenes on Star Trek VI

William Shatner on The Tonight Show promoting STVI

Current Affair feature on STVI

Fun Stuff

Direct TV commercial (2006) w/ STVI footage and new Shatner

Star Trek VI (as directed by JJ Abrams)…by wcleere

The Wrath of Sulu…by zOtasAki

Happy Anniversary to Star Trek VI!

 

POLL: Rating Star Trek VI

Want Khan to return for 2016 Star Trek movie?

View Results

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Comments

1. rm10019 - December 6, 2011

That teaser is still the best trailer Trek has ever done!

2. Horatio - December 6, 2011

Has it really been 20 years? Dang, i’m getting old….

3. Odkin - December 6, 2011

Wow – hard to believe everyone was getting bitchy at the time about the TOS cast all being old, yet Shatner and Nimoy were probably only 59 or so during filming.

Today, LIam Neesen is as old as they were and no one is shoving him off the stage. Harrison Ford is TEN YEARS OLDER than they were.

We lost 10 years of good TOS movies because the studio wanted to shove TNG down our throats.

4. guest - December 6, 2011

I call this my favorite of them all, it did have a few weak points and actors but it had all of MY favorite elements of Star Trek: a strong story, emotional attachment to all the main characters, proper effects, peppered humour and a longing for it not to end when the credits came up. The signatures at the end were the perfect good-bye (though they ruined that with generations).

5. rm10019 - December 6, 2011

4 – I love the signatures at the end as well, that moment with the soaring music is a gift to the fans.

6. Scooter - December 6, 2011

My oldest was 5 when STVI came out. Now he’s in his 3rd year of college and I have all this gray hair. My favorite movie with the original cast.

7. rm10019 - December 6, 2011

I arranged for a private birthday screening of this film for my brother at a local cinema. I had access to film prints through paramount and it was a wonderful day. All our friends attended and I’m so glad I could do that for him. He will be missed.

8. njdss4 - December 6, 2011

My favorite Trek movie. It had a great balance between action and storytelling. Seeing the 1701-A, Excelsior, and a BoP in a space battle at the end is also the greatest in Trek history, imo.

9. Phil - December 6, 2011

fire…fire….fire….fire….fire….

10. Danpaine - December 6, 2011

Great film. Loved it in the theater (a number of times).

Then went out on the streets of Manhattan, where I worked at the time, and bought a really crappy overpriced bootleg copy on VHS (1991, after all). Some guy had balanced a videocamera on his shoulder in the theater and sold the tape on the street.

Watched it over and over again anyway, despite the background noise and wobble.

11. RedShirtWalking - December 6, 2011

I recall seeing it on opening night and I also recall that the ending in theaters was not the same ending that wound up on home video.

12. Chain of Command - December 6, 2011

September of 1991 was the start of TNG’s fifth season. But, then again the 4th season ended in June of 91 so….

Sorry, I know, who cares. LOL

i can’t believe this movie is 20 years old. It still holds up pretty good visually and so does the story for that matter. I was in 9th grade when it came out. Saw it on opening night with my dad.

Now I’m old and a teacher???!!! Weird how fast time flies!

13. Dances With Klingons - December 6, 2011

I had just started working as a head projectionist, back when FILM STOCK was the norm for a theater, and I ran ST VI. I remember screening the movie the night before it opened and cried when the signatures of the cast appeared at the end. Now 20 years later I’M the one with graying hair and some ppl think I’m a grumpy person.

14. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - December 6, 2011

I seen this when I was in the Navy in Singapore. I remember the theater was full and the fans there very enthusiastic for the movie. The only Trek film I seen overseas. I seen it in singapore about 8 times. I was thre for 3 months as my ship was in dry dock. even after 7 weeks there was still good crowds there.

15. drapera - December 6, 2011

#1: CORRECT – This was and is the best Trek trailer ever! seeing the TV uniforms on the big screen just showed me how it could have worked back then, with some minor adjustments. Still has an emotional impact on me to this day.

16. Danpaine - December 6, 2011

The next one should have been the Generations that was SUPPOSED to be made – TNG’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise” on the big screen, with the TOS crew showing up instead.

Missed opportunities (sigh).

17. Kev -1 - December 6, 2011

Very nice compilation. Never saw the GMA piece. It’s too bad they went to TNG movies (which, arguably had little resemblance to TNG– except Insurrection). The original cast had at least one movie left in them, maybe more.

18. schnotty - December 6, 2011

I absolutely adore that teaser. It’s like a warm blanket.

19. Andy Matner - December 6, 2011

This is the date I offically became a Trekkie (late in the game I know)

20. Jimmy - December 6, 2011

Top 5:

1. Wrath of khan (obviously)
2. Star Trek (JJ Abrams)
3. Undiscovered Country
4. First Contact
5. Search for Spock

21. steve - December 6, 2011

Always loved this movie… For me this and TWOK have been tied.

22. Yammer - December 6, 2011

Great movie. Trek09 borrowed and repurposed a lot of Trek lore (which is why it feels so respectful, to me) and from TUC they took the notion that Spock has faith, faith in the universe — that things will turn out.

TUC might have been greater if Saavik was in it, thereby completing her arc.

And did those shots of nekkid Valeris ever come out? I ask purely out of my interest in Star Trek, yeh.

23. Norman Bates - December 6, 2011

Terrible terrible movie !!!

24. AdmiralKent - December 6, 2011

@16: I have always said that…they should’ve sat on that story until they could put it on the big screen. Would’ve been epic!

25. SoonerDave - December 6, 2011

One thing this movie demonstrated without question: Nicholas Meyer is one of the few directors/creative forces brought in from entirely “outside” the Trek “inner circle” that absolutely and unequivocally “got” Star Trek. He took the Horatio Hornblower to heart and made it work fabulously in both films he directed. He was interested in directing Trek III until they added in the Genesis planet sequence that made Spock’s “death” seem vague and unresolved, and it really put him at odds with Bennett et al.

There were a few weak elements of VI, but they were easily outdistanced by its successes. “Only Nixon could go to China” was an awesome Spock line, and if I’m not mistaken Meyer took credit for that line specifically. The composition of the scene with Kirk and Spock at opposite ends of the big conference table, at odds with each other, was fabulous.

It would have been awesome had they been able to get Kirstie Alley to reprise Saavik, which was the original intent of the Valeris character, but Alley was not interested/too expensive.

ILM did yeoman’s service with the FX, and the Klingon warships looked *great*. It was a far cry from the half-baked effects disaster that Bran Ferren’s group did for Trek V.

This was a fitting sendoff, and I think in retrospect that Meyer could easily have given us another fine TOS film given the chance. Alas. Next Gen, while fun, never caught the magic for me the way TOS did.

26. Shannon Nutt - December 6, 2011

How much do I love this movie? I saw it twice…on opening day! I wound up seeing it 11 times in the theater! I knew this was the last time I’d see the full original crew on screen, and I didn’t want to regret not seeing them as many times as I could.

Sure, there are flaws in the film (why does the Enterprise need a kitchen when they have replicators?), but I still loved it.

27. SoonerDave - December 6, 2011

@22

Re pix of Valeris – the “lore” I heard was that Nimoy got wind of what she was doing, became outraged, and went up to the studio/stage during one of her “film sessions” (presumably on the bridge set itself) and *personally* chewed out both her and her photographer buddy, confiscated what film he could, and destroyed it. I admired him greatly for that. Obviously, that’s anecdotal, can’t prove a word, but that’s what I heard when the Valeris rumors emerged.

28. VZX - December 6, 2011

Great article and look back, trekmovie, thank you!

I really like TUC, but I just can’t get past the scene when Uhuru can’t speak Klingon and has to use the books. I skip it every time I watch it. It just doesn’t make any sense!

Other than that, great movie.

29. SoonerDave - December 6, 2011

@28 Precisely the scene I try to ignore as well. Understood what they were trying to do, and it was even a relevant plot point, but it was easily the film’s most awkward and poorly executed scene. It just didn’t work, esp. with all the books – surely that stuff would have been on the computers even if they couldn’t use the dreaded universal translator.

30. MDSHiPMN - December 6, 2011

The farther away from the original cast we get, the worse Star Trek gets.

31. I'm Dead Jim! - December 6, 2011

I wish Nick Meyer could do one more with any crew!

32. MDSHiPMN - December 6, 2011

TWOK, TUC, FC, all great. But Star Trek? Doesn’t compare. It’s the standard popcorn flick we have all been fed repeatedly over the last 5 years. It is meant to appeal to the Transformers movie crowd not the TOS, TNG crowd.

It’s not about being ST. It’s is about throwing just enough in to please the people who will see it no matter what, then fill it with a bunch of unnecessary action scenes and cliffhangers.

And Pine does a FINE job, but that is not Kirk. It’s random bad-boy action hero 42,9786.

I’m still not pleased, but yes, I’ll give the next one a shot.

33. Simpleton - December 6, 2011

This was the 1st star trek film I saw. We had a family outing to the cinema. The girls went to see My Girl. I wanted to watch that with mummy (I was only 6). After that I couldn’t get enough of the old girl that is star trek. Drove my family spare with it.

34. DS9 Rocks - December 6, 2011

@16 Holy cow!! Yesterday’s Enterprise is easily my favorite TNG episode, and you just blew my mind! That would have been so unbelievably appropriate and SO much better than Generations. My head is spinning. Wow… what a missed opportunity indeed.

More specifically on the topic–I’ll come out and say it, ST VI was my favorite ST movie. Yes, ahead of Khan. I would probably place Khan in a tie with First Contact for second.

But again–@16–WOW!!! I may simply move to an alternate universe where that actually happened!

35. Odkin - December 6, 2011

Watching that “Wrath of Sulu” video is TORTURE.

36. Quatlo - December 6, 2011

Is that Christopher Plummer voicing trailer #1 above?

37. boxker - December 6, 2011

I loved that teaser trailer, I used to watch it over and over. I just started college when that movie came out., now it’s nearly time for my oldest to start college. How weird.

38. Phil - December 6, 2011

It’s one of my favorites, but some of the continuity gaps and writing disjoints are still painful to watch. It’s like they finished the script five minutes before the cameras started to roll, and no one proofread it.

Kind of like the way the script for Trek 12 seems to be shaping up.

39. Mike Thompson UK - December 6, 2011

So proud of this film, after V I could hold my head up high, wonderful.

40. PEB - December 6, 2011

This and Wrath of Khan for me are tied as the two best Trek films of all time. TUC was a little darker in tone and really worked without Harve (no disrespect). The teaser is just beautiful to watch and I think this film out of the others have such a special connection to me because it was the first Trek film that I saw in theaters. I was young, really young, but I had developed a really strong connection to Star Trek and my mom (being the other Trekie in the family) who had introduced me to Trek, took me to the theater so we could watch this one together. It is my best Star Trek memory and one of the top memories I have from childhood.

I mightve been a fan before TUC, but afterwards I was sold for life. BIG thanks to everyone involved in any form of Trek out there.

41. Mike Thompson UK - December 6, 2011

#16 & 34 Agree, missed opportunity

42. Khan 2.0 - December 6, 2011

@3

exactly – if everyone hadnt been obsessing over their age maybe they couldve done Star Trek VII with the original cast for 1993 or 94 (something along the lines of Shatners ‘Ashes of Eden’ maybe directed by N Meyer again), TNG couldve done another couple of years on tv (no need for any DS9 or VOY) and then introduced the TNG crew with the ‘Generations’ film in 1996 for the 30th anniversary (more Yesterdays Enterprise/All Good Things like than what was done)

then started the standalone TNG movies in 1998 (First Contact)

Shatner and Nimoy would have only been 65 if they had been in a final final film in 1996. the same age H Ford was in the last Indy!

43. Desstruxion - December 6, 2011

This was my favorite one of all. I liked the tie in to TNG with Col. Worf. Also, Excelsior and 1701A were and still are the two most graceful starships ever to grace the screen.

44. sean - December 6, 2011

Definitely one of my favorites, despite whatever flaws it may have. Even the goofy translation scene doesn’t bother me that much, I suppose I always fanwanked it away by assuming the Klingon at that particular border post spoke a dialect Uhura was unfamiliar with. Though JJ’s Trek09 certainly readdressed it by having her speak 3 different Romulan dialects.

45. Alice - December 6, 2011

We need to get Nick back and fix Trek!

46. Khan 2.0 - December 6, 2011

@16&24

agreed – they didnt even need to sit on Yesterdays Enterprise – they could have just done what TMP did and used elements of the episode for the film – not doing it verbatim but similar (e.g. TMP – with Doomsday Machine/The Changeling…TVH – Tomorrow is Yesterday/Assignment Earth…TFF – The Way to Eden) maybe the Ent D couldve come back to the 23rd century – ‘Tomorrows’ Enterprise?’

they could have released it in 94 or 1996 – thus allowing abit of time in order to come up with a decent script, build some anticipation for TNG on the big screen and also have given the TNG actors and writers etc a bit of a rest after 7 years to recharge..not thrown them into doing the movie immediately after the last ep. Plus 96 was Treks 30th anniversary – the perfect time for a crossover film. Also they could have got Meyer or Nimoy to direct the film (both had directed time travel movies) – apparently Nimoy was offered directing and appearing in the existing Generations but turned it down due to the script and lack of time.

It could have been an epic 2 hour crossover event movie – Star Trek VII/TNG The Motion Picture

47. T'Cal - December 6, 2011

Great film! I always figured if Paramount had enough faith in ST to make TUC after TFF, TNG still has a chance to return after the box office bomb, NEM. Here’s hoping!

48. dmduncan - December 6, 2011

The best of the original TOS movies, I do opine.

49. Trekkie626 - December 6, 2011

Love that Direct TV ad.

50. Winkie - December 6, 2011

@44

Fanwanked !!?

51. Cousin Itt - December 6, 2011

I was a promo producer in Tampa when this came out, and saw the main trailer the first time in a theater during a Trek retrospective celebrating the 25th Anniversary. They played it right between Treks II and III and it rocked the house.

My promos got a lot better after I saw that trailer.

52. somethoughts - December 6, 2011

This film made me like TOS

53. somethoughts - December 6, 2011

#16

That would have been pretty f’ing awesome.

54. MONGO - December 6, 2011

Mongo like this movie best. Mongo like Trek novel and this sort of like movie version of novel.

55. jas_montreal - December 6, 2011

Just one of those great Trek Movies. It was up there with Wrath of Khan.

56. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - December 6, 2011

#1 — agreed; love that trailer. Love how the last image on the 1701′s hull is the first real image of Kirk and Spock.

Also my wife’s favorite Trek movie, bar none. She’s a Trek fan in passing, but will always stop and watch this one when it’s on.

“We lost 10 years of good TOS movies because the studio wanted to shove TNG down our throats.” Arguable, but a good point nonetheless. Makes you wonder what could have been.

57. Christopher Roberts - December 6, 2011

My favourite Star Trek movie and the first one I actually saw in cinemas.

58. Adam C - December 6, 2011

Beautiful film i was 7 when it came out I think I went to see it at the cinema fairly certain I watched the movie multiple times every year since. I know the dialog off by heart can recall every scene off by heart, though it was a dark film this film will forever be very close to me.

RIP DeForest Kelley, James Doohan and all the other Star Trek Veterans we’ve lost.

59. kevin - December 6, 2011

@12 because facts are important! I’m glad someone noticed. sure from January to June TNG was in the 4th season, but in September of 1991 TNG entered it’s 5th season. As the article mentions the 25th anniversary brought in new fans…myself included. Star Trek 6 was the first Star Trek film I saw in the theaters and for that X-Mas in ’91 I got the first 5 films on VHS. Also the first-run episode of TNG’s “Disaster” a 5th season episode was when I began watching TNG weekly. it’s important to note TNG was in the 5th season also because they celebrated the 25th anniversary with the two part episode “Unification”

60. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - December 6, 2011

#16

I have often wondered what the hell they were thinking, not saving “Yesterday’s ENTERPRISE” to be the first crossover Trek film.

61. Christopher Roberts - December 6, 2011

…and how emotional is that teaser trailer? Haven’t seen it in a while. But gets to me every time, ever since I first saw it.

62. Lumpy - December 6, 2011

@28

That awkward scene existed to replace a longer more expensive scene that was cut due to cost (enterprise slipping into Klingon territory by hiding in an asteroid belt).

63. fansincesixtynine - December 6, 2011

I remember seeing this with my father, as we had seen all the previous movies. A great memory from my youth.

64. chancellorjake - December 6, 2011

This was the first Star Trek film that I saw in a movie theater. I wasn’t a Trekkie before this movie. It really holds a special place for me and is my second favorite film. The signatures at the the end still get me to this day. There was a point when I knew the film line for line.

65. PEB - December 6, 2011

#45

ugh…you and some might think so, but Trek doesnt need to be “fixed.”

66. SupremeDalekOnTheBridge - December 6, 2011

So how about TrekMovie give us a 10th Anniversary tribute for Enterprise that should’ve been done for September?

67. denny cranium - December 6, 2011

20 years ago?
I recall Harve Bennett pulled out due to the fact he felt it couldnt be made in 18 months.
It still holds up well-
Shatner did some great acting in this one. (is Nick Meyer the only director that can contain him?)
The scene at Starfleet between Kirk and Spock is some of the best Trek ever done.
Kirk: “Let them die!” I feel Shatner pulled off that scene brilliantly

68. John Trowbridge - December 6, 2011

I was a junior at Washington University in St. Louis at the time and saw it opening night with Syzygy, the science fiction club!

69. Thomas Jensen - December 6, 2011

@3 Right. The original cast had one more movie in them. Paramount rushed them out the door too soon.

70. Timncc1701 - December 6, 2011

Great job Anthony finding all of that youtube stuff! Hopefully the next film will come closer to the spirit of the original series/movies (well, the even numbered movies anyway). Please, no more of Scotty’s “little friend”/trek’s Jarjar Binks.

71. Basement Blogger - December 6, 2011

It’s also the 25th anniversary of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). ST iV is my favorite of all the Star Trek movies. Check out the official website’s story below.

http://www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-iv-at-25-best-ever-tos-film

72. Admiral Kirk - December 6, 2011

I didn’t know it was 20 yesterday, I pulled out my laserdisc of the film and watched it for a while. Great film.

73. Vultan - December 6, 2011

#71

Thanks for the link, BB.

Voyage Home is also one of my favorites, if not my favorite of all time (tough choice). Nothing against TUC, which I love, but VH seems to me to have the most original story of them all. I mean, c’mon, who would have ever dreamed at the end of TWOK that Kirk and crew would end up in a time-traveling Bird of Prey with a spaced-out reborn Spock and a couple of humpback whales? Plus, it spent all of ten seconds aboard a ship called Enterprise!

And it worked.

74. Gary Makin - December 6, 2011

The second best TOS movie, after TWOK.

Bob Orci and company should write something like this – a conspiracy story, that parallels reality.

75. Robert - December 6, 2011

#2: Yeah, know what you mean! Feels like just yesterday!

76. Commodore Adams - December 6, 2011

Still my favourite TOS movie with TWOK being second. Hell its my favourite Star Trek movie to this day. I love First Contact, I love the 2009 movie, but TUS is hands down the most high brow and fulfilling of all the movies. TWOK is great but its over hyped as the best TOS movie. Its not the best TOS movie! The story in TUC is far richer like a rich mahogany and more satisfying than TWOK. Its a conspiracy, where Federation citizens collaborate with Klingons and Romulans. Its so fulfilling.

77. Sebastian S. - December 6, 2011

It’s my second favorite ST TOS movie; right behind “Wrath of Khan.”
Saw on opening night, and went to see it at least three more times or so by my count. I still remember buying the laser video disc (hey; these were the ’90s, OK?) the day it came out as well…

ST VI did what ST has always done best; take a current problem/crisis (back then it was the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Chernobyl disaster) and dress it up in appropriately allegorical clothing.

The movie gave a LOT of bang for it’s relatively low budget, too; with exciting action pieces and the beautifully realized Rura Penthe ice planet. And the Enterprise A interiors never looked so sharp and snappy. The music by Cliff Eidelman was both haunting and beautiful; frosting on the cake…

Wow… has it been TWENTY years already?!?

78. Odkin - December 6, 2011

Two things stopped Undiscovered Country from being truly great;

1) Valeris should have been Saavik. That would have had emotional appeal. Valeris was a nobody out of nowhere, and poorly acted to boot.

2) The incongruous scenes: Uhura using books, a huge Kitchen facility, and the impossibility of an extensive manual search for a boot.

I don’t mind the Enterprise having a small kitchen – I suppose one of everything has to be prepared in order to be replicated. But I recall a ridiculous gigantic soup pot on the boil and a kitchen staff.

79. snoopytrek - December 6, 2011

My God, Jim…I can actually remember that ETonight segment and probably still have it on an old video tape!

Yeah, the first time I saw the teaser, I choked up…specially when they show Kirk and Spock from Where No Man and 5..

Jeanne Wolf..omg..i did not like that woman as an interviewer! Didnt she get the boot from ET when the producers decided to go with Mary Hart?

I recall the rumors that Kirk would die in this one. Hence the early interview with Jimmy Doohan saying it would def be the last one. Then after they recut, he would say there would be another one.

80. LT Bailey - December 6, 2011

#32 Midshipman

I happen to agree with you, that film while good was not great or it it was not great Star Trek. It was just an action film set in space that just happened to have Star Trek character names. But I guess this is the way the next generation (no pun) is going to view Star Trek from now on. Those of us who watch ST in first run as I did and grew up with the other films and TV series will always have that core group as our heroes.

ST-TUC will always rank as one the great films in the series. At least Kirk did not have to die at the end!

81. boborci - December 6, 2011

Great movie.

82. VZX - December 6, 2011

78: The kitchen scene never bothered me since they did not have replicators like TNG, but rather food “processors.” So, maybe there had to be a kitchen for back-up or something.

BUT: the Uhura/books scene is just horrible. IT was not funny (which was its sole purpose) and made Uhura look like an idiot! At least the Trek09 got that right about her: that a communications officer SHOULD be fluent in the Federation’s biggest enemy’s language. How could Uhura not know Klingon? And, to use books when they got computers! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Another scene that bothered me: Dr. McCoy helping Spock rig-up the tracking device on the torpedo. It’s not as cringe-worthy as the Uhura scene, but still kind of dumb to have a medical doctor help with the torpedo when there a hundred other people on board that could do it better.

83. VZX - December 6, 2011

Don’t get me wrong, I really like TUC, I love the last scene of Kirk on the bridge: “Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” Brings a tear to my eye. But there are some dumb things in the movie that are hard to get over.

84. Red Dead Ryan - December 6, 2011

I would say that TUC is a good Trek film, not a great one. Some great moments with Gorkon and Chang, a suspenseful battle scene at the end of the film, great music, and wonderful effects.

But I didn’t like the way the Enterprise A was lit. The model looked to much like a model. The white was way too bright and flat.

The story was a bit heavy-handed at times, and they could have toned down the Shakespeare references a bit.

And William Shatner looked really tired in this film. At this point, he was far beyond his prime as Kirk. Shatner was acting as himself.

85. NCM - December 6, 2011

That night, extended family joined us so we could all see the movie together, as we always did for Trek films. Our pockets were loaded with chocolate, our moods euphoric, and as we stepped outside, I realized how much our lives were about to change. We’d always gotten together on the dime to go camping, biking, etc. But as all knew, my husband and I had begun “work” on starting a family. “Wow!” I said, “I just realized…” My sister-in-law finished the sentence.

It was indeed our last pre-kid Trek together. The children never came the way we expected (they were late, hailed from the other side of the globe, and our first one kept us busier than the parents of six), but in 2009, they joined our 1991 reconvened group, and joined the ranks of new young fans. Fate willing, we’ll all be together for the next one.

86. Give me TOS, or Give me Death! - December 6, 2011

81. boborci

+1 Glad to see you like this one, hope the new movie will have a great plot about the characters developing into the team we see in ST:VI.

87. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - December 6, 2011

http://www.cracked.com/article_19576_6-pop-culture-visionaries-who-get-too-much-credit.html

Well, well, well! Look who is getting a little Star Trek credit! Wonder who that could be?

88. Dr. Cheis - December 6, 2011

Could have been the best Star Trek movie if not for the fact that too many of the lines feel like they’re staged so that we can get a nice piece of dialog as the crew retires (particularly when Spock pulls Dr. McCoy away while there are holes being blown in the hull and presumably multiple casualties so that he can hold stuff for him in a torpedo tube). Still among my favorites though.

89. Mike - December 6, 2011

I loved the way they ended the movie with the cast signing off. I was a fan of that cast since 9/8/66 and it brought a tear to my eye. I think it was a mistake to have part of the cast in Generations. With the exception of FC, the Berman Trek movie series were blahsville. I’ll give Berman credit for going a job with the TNG and DS9 TV series, but after Voyager and Enterprise, I was ready for an updated version of Trek. JJ & company delivered with Star Trek. I can’t wait for their next installment. I only wish we didn’t have to wait so long for it.

90. Jai1138 - December 6, 2011

Thanks for this, AP. It made my day. 20 years? Madness. Very strange I remember standing out in the cold at Toronto’s great Eglinton Theater for the first evening show with a clutch of friends — one of the last times we did that after the SW prequels and the digital download became a platform of choice. Interesting you mention JFK — Stone’s masterpiece shares VI’s basic premise, that kings are killed for daring change. Kirk’s words to Azetbur, likely written by Meyer, are sadly evocative of our current circumstance.

91. ST 6 Memories & Musings - December 6, 2011

While this was the last TOS cast movie, it was the first film that I did not see in 70mm. I do not know why our market (Washington DC) didn’t get a print as in the previous offerings.

Several months prior to the release, there was a TOS Trek movie marathon, which I saw twice! At the end of IV, we were treated to the first time release of the final trailer. Remember, in those days there was no internet. It was exciting to see
it particularly the opening shot as the sound fx spread throughout the theater along with the shockwave.

For those talking about continued TOS films after this one, it comes down to simple economics. The movie made barely $75M, less then the others (except V) and when you factor in the increasing costs to make each film, inflation and other production costs, they just weren’t as popular with the original cast.

At least the characters were given meaningful scenes they could shine onscreen in individually and collectively at the very end.

With some of the previous posts, I do share some dislikes with the film; the scenes of the kitchen galley. @78 and @82, you are incorrect in that since the TOS tv series, they had food replicators to create food and beverages. Voyager had Neelix cooking only because replicators were rationed because of the need to conserve scarce power resources.

I disliked the very ending of the movie as well. In the novelization there was a reference to TMP where Spock answers Chekov’s heading direction request of Kirk, by interjecting something to the effect of …’I think the heading is thataway’ in reference to the end of TMP. The Peter Pan ref was supposedly dropped in TWOK and put back in this movie. Honestly, I could have cared less for it.

And the final shot of the Enterprise going into a sun? It looks as if the crew all died by heading into it. Like TMP, there should have been one great beauty shot of the ship (remember, the Enterprise is a character and we ‘love her’) before it warp jumped…then the starfield and then the signature of the cast. Thats how it should have ended.

Cliff Eidelman’s score was stirring and effective, but if this was to be the last film, it should have had Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score to it. It would have brought proper closure as he began the TOS movie series and should have ended it with his fanfare theme. Its just not ‘home’ without a Goldsmith score to bring a sense of familiarity to a Trek movie.

One bit of trivia that always gets me smiling is that the producers yielded to a Shatner demand. The demand was that his butt looked too big as Kirk enters the bridge for the last time. So they spent something like $100K or so to electronically airbrush his butt. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just reshoot the scene with a different angle?

92. Driver - December 6, 2011

“What took you so long?”
“Shoot him! He’s the one!”
“Not me, you idiot. Him!”
And fake Kirk gets vaporized. The best death dodge that Kirk ever pulled off.

93. Buzz Cagney - December 6, 2011

#83 such as Chekov. They made him such a dumb ass. Jeez, the man was security chief on the Enterprise but they had to have a trainee explain to him that the ships sensors could detect phaser fire.
Still, a rockin good movie. Easily Top3 with Wrath and Voyage Home.

94. Brett Campbell - December 6, 2011

Twenty years ago? My God! I saw it in a theater in Japan while I was teaching English over there. The years fly by at warp speed!

95. Mr. Zoom - December 6, 2011

For whatever it’s worth, I saw “The Undiscovered Country” on opening night, and have also seen every subsequent Trek film, up to and including J.J. Abrams’ reboot, on opening night.

Also interesting to note that TUC opened on the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend, which these days is considered a box office dead zone.

96. Vultan - December 6, 2011

#91

“Enterprise going into a sun”

Taking things a bit literal, aren’t you?
They were “riding off into the sunset”…so to speak.

97. Sebastian S. - December 6, 2011

#92. Driver –

I also loved how many of the trailers and promos used Marta’s death scene (with the ‘real’ Kirk conveniently cropped out) to make it look as though Kirk was actually being killed in the movie! ;-D

98. jesustrek - December 6, 2011

Yes Great Movie…eh Oric los Klingon regresan en STXII?

99. Allen Williams - December 6, 2011

I wasn’t allowed to go at the time because “movie theaters are evil”. Ironically just a couple years later my parents took me to see generations. I was like “I thought movie theaters were evil?”

The fun part of moving out a few years after that was watching each and every thing on the “this is evil” list.

100. Chris_of_ODU - December 6, 2011

#36, I think it is Christopher Plummer! I thought the same thing listening to the teaser.

101. chrisfawkes.com - December 6, 2011

It was such a great movie and send off. They should have brought the original crew back rather than done Generations.

102. Scott Gammans - December 7, 2011

It was indeed a terrific movie and a great send off for our beloved cast.

Star Trek VI will always hold a special place in my heart for another reason, though. It was 20 years ago today that I met my two closest friends in the world at the premiere of ST6, and we have been bonded together in mutual love for each other and love for all things Star Trek ever since. Live long and prosper, Star Trek!

103. Aurore - December 7, 2011

“Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.”

The best line from this movie, by far…for me.

:)

104. Mike Thompson UK - December 7, 2011

Just remember that this film might have never been made. We might have got nothing or Harve’s Star Fleet Acadamy”

Thank God.

105. Christopher Roberts - December 7, 2011

66. SupremeDalekontheBridge – “So how about TrekMovie give us a 10th Anniversary tribute for Enterprise that should’ve been done for September?”

I emailed the “Got a Tip” link with a suggestion, days before Scott Bakula’s birthday. Back in October, I think! I’m guessing Robert Lyons binned it. He hates ENT judging by every review of the books I’ve read! :)-

Want a celebration of the 10th Anniversary? Watch this instead:
http://youtu.be/myS87yTTDes

106. Blowback - December 7, 2011

Much as I loved TWOK this remains my favorite Star Trek movie for either crew (TWOK and First Contact are tied for second). Although I am shocked it has really been 20 years I think it holds up well and will continue to do so long into the future…

To the Undiscovered Country….

107. Hat Rick - December 7, 2011

I hate it when I know I’m going to tear up in nostalgic contemplation after reading an article about Star Trek.

I hate it even more when I’m right.

Must be those damn allergies.

108. captain_neill - December 7, 2011

Hard to believe this is 20 years. This is still one of my top 3 Trek movies, miles better than the Abrams movie. This was a great finale for the TOS crew.

It also has a special place for the fact that it was the first Trek movie I seen on the big screen as I was only just into Trek a year at this point.

109. SupremeDalekOnTheBridge - December 7, 2011

#105: Mucho gracias!

110. Darkowski - December 7, 2011

Nice Teaser Trailer!
I had shivers watching it again :-)

Thanks for the videos!

111. Dr. Image - December 7, 2011

#110 Yes indeed.
Hey- phasers in the “kitchen?” Why not?!
Shat reportedly hated his toup in this one. I thought it was the best look he had in the newer Treks.
Love the Berman less-bumpy Klingon makeups too.

112. Kaiju - December 7, 2011

Best teaser trailer ever and a great nostalgic “family photo album”. I was lucky enough to see it projected at the 25th Anniversary Celebration in LA that year — the entire original cast on stage together, including Roddenberry. Good times…

113. VulcanFilmCritic - December 7, 2011

I walked away from Star Trek in 1976. I watched every show since 1966 and I watched it in syndication every day from 1971-1976. I went to a couple of conventions in New York and then I just got tired of it. The only time I would watch Trek was when there was a marathon, and even then I couldn’t really stomach too much of it.

When the movies came out, I saw 1 thru 4, and then that was it. I also looked at TNG and a little of DS9, but I found Voyager boring and Enterprise inane. The only thing I saw relating to Trek over the ensuing 23 years was “Galaxy Quest.” Until 2009, I was not even aware that there WAS a Star Trek V and Star Trek VI.

When the new movie was announced and I saw who was going to play Kirk and Spock, I almost threw up. “You cynical bastards! Turning Star Trek into an action flick, I’m not going to watch this crap!”
But a funny thing happened. I got a call from a relative saying that people were crying in the theater. I had to go. Seeing that film totally reinvigorated my interest in Trek (to an alarming degree.)

I had to get the entire run of TOS on DVD and I was floored! CGI makes all the difference. It was as if I had never seen it before. What a gift!

So imagine my surprise on finding that there were two more movies.
WHAT!?! Get out!
Well. maybe Star Trek V was not such a great a gift, but I certainly enjoyed it as I thought the franchise had ended in 1986. And Star Trek VI was indeed a true gift. A little chatty, but still a gift nonetheless.

For me it was as if I had entered into a time portal myself and had gone back in time to change the present. It is with a great deal of melancholy that I look back on all that I have missed out on. The deaths of James Doohan and DeForrest Kelly only faintly registered on my radar screen. I could have seen them live at a convention somewhere. I could have gone to see this movie on opening night.

Instead, I was busy, as William Shatner says, getting a life.

114. William Kirk - December 7, 2011

Great movie :-)

115. NCM - December 7, 2011

113. VulcanFilmCritic – December 7, 2011

VFC; I loved your post. I stopped watching Trek in college, and when I’d catch it, occasionally, I’d think, “too hokey.” I did get into TNG and Voyager, and I saw all of the TOS movies as a Trekkie. Then came the kids and Trek was relinquished to the past – Until 2009. I knew I’d see it, but it was a relative who got us all pumped again, the way we used to get psyched up before the TOS movies, and the film did the rest. I was back into Trek with an unholy vengeance! Watched all the old episodes, started clearing used bookstore shelves. Like never before, I couldn’t (and can’t) get enough.

116. Platitude - December 7, 2011

While it has a several plot points that always bother me everytime I watch it (I think most have already been mentioned above so I won’t list them all here) I have always thought this was one of the better Trek films. Very entertaining, and a good send-off for the TOS crew (far better than Nemesis was for the TNG crew)

117. dmduncan - December 7, 2011

103. Aurore – December 7, 2011

Me too!

118. Elvis Shatner - December 7, 2011

This movie has gotten so much better for me over time that I now watch it more often than TWOK… and it always hurts to see that torpedo go through the saucer’s hull!

Saw it in college with 20 of my best friends, and the theater and a good percentage of the audience were decked out and decorated for the occasion. Went back and saw it again 5 more times, just to see the TOS crew kickin’ butts to the very end… :D

Thanks for the retrospective, Anthony!

119. Brock - December 7, 2011

Best movie in the franchise for me

120. Paul - December 7, 2011

Still one of the best ST movies & a strong top ten sci-fi movies entry.

So much to like & plenty to love. Great acting everyone in the TOS crew has something important to do this time & the pacing is pretty decent as well. Nick Meyer was simply amazing here you all have to remember the budget was only $27M (it went to $33m in post production when Paramount could see there were not enough VFX shots from ILM showing the Enterprise so they had to go back & create some which was not cheap in those days!). VFX budget was a big issue on ST6 after the disaster with the FX on ST5 when Paramount refused to pay enough to get decent FX as the ST5 budget was $21m BEFORE they shot any film so it only left $13m to make that movie which is why it shows onscreen!!

ST6 originally had a grand opening prologue where we get to see everyone except Spock rounded up for 1 last adventure but because it cost $1m it got scrapped to save money & even then ST6 got cancelled a few times until Shatner/Nimoy agreed to take millions less to get the movie made!! There were several other things ST6 would have had if the budget was not so low but Paramount refused to budge & Steven Charles-Jaffe who was one of the producers & a star trek fan deserves some credit as he was related to the president of production @ Paramount at the time & pulled strings to ensure it got put back into production after Paramount cancelled it once or twice due to budget disagreements.

There are some VFX shots of the Enterprise ILM created which got edited out by NIck Meyer as he considered them too elaborate (a grand tour of the ships hull towards the end with the camera swooping around) but sadly it was cut as Meyer felt it hurt the pacing of the battle for peace. If you look closely in the trailer you can see a shot of the camera moving away from the Enterprise which is not in the movie at all this was the end of the beauty shot ILM created which to this day has not been seen outside of ILM/Paramount on any home video release. Track down the Cinefex/CFQ issues from the era on ST6 they contain detailed info on some of the missing scenes which were shot but not shown. Also check out the beaming VFX of Kirk in the trailer its not the same as the finished film they reshot that as well.

I vividly remember seeing ST1-6 in a movie marathon they held at the Empire Leicester Square which was packed with ST fans & a great experience they showed movies 1 through 5 then when 6 played the crowd went wild!!!

Shame on Rick Berman as he petioned Paramount to move away from TOS after ST6 & did everything he could to make that happen which is why we never got at least 2 more movies with the TOS crew. ST7 was originally planned as a TOS & TNG movie with each crew having half a movie each to solve some mystery which spanned their timelines but again due to Berman this was sidelined as he did not want to promote TOS & wanted to retire it once & for all.

ST6 still stands the test of time & will be loved for many reasons by future generations of ST fans.

121. Chris M - December 8, 2011

Star Trek VI is one of my favourites films in the franchise, a fitting faewell to the original crew of the USS Enterprise and a wonderful way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary!!

As stated in the article it was also a sad year due to the passing of Gene Roddenberry. I have read that before he passed away there was a screening of Star Trek VI for Gene Roddenberry and the film met with his approval. So as Trekkies we can take comfort in the knowledge to he was able to see the crew he created fly off into the sunset…………..

122. VulcanFilmCritic - December 8, 2011

@ 155 NCM. Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who took a long hiatus from Trek.

But I’m thinking of taking another hiatus after reading a new thread about Edgar Ramirez being considered for Khan.
I really unloaded at @ #236. I’m so demoralized.

123. VulcanFilmCritic - December 8, 2011

Sorry I meant #115 NCM

124. Skippy - December 8, 2011

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; TUC’s teaser trailer makes me tear up every time I watch it.

Every. Time.

125. RAMA - December 8, 2011

A badly aged and cheap looking ST movie. Still there are a few good moments, like any other ST film (except STV).

126. Holger - December 8, 2011

ST VI is number three on my top Trek movie list, behind TMP and Khan.

127. Dom - December 8, 2011

Love the film. It’s sad because there could have been one more film in the series. Even better, they could have done an animated film using the original cast set during the five year mission that could have tied in with a live action sequel to STVI.

Agree about the ‘book scene.’ it was a misstep to play it for laughs. Imagine if that scene had been played straight with Uhura’s xeno-linguistics skills being tested to the limit!

The nineties became a bad era for franchise movies where studios persistently disrespected the source material – Jim Phelps turned into a bad guy and killed, Batman and Robin, Star Trek: Generations dumbing down TNG and killing Kirk … there are more I can probably think of, but my Guiness will start to get warm if I keep on typing! ;)

In a way, STVI represented a last gasp of the ‘old guard’ from all the franchises. It was also the death of originality in Hollywood. Tarantino’s ingenious pop culture riffs and Scream unintentionally led to the era of self-referential remakes we suffer from nowadays!

Happy Birthday STVI. You summed up every reason we loved TOS!

128. Khan 2.0 - December 8, 2011

@124 – i know what you mean dude. i remember seeing that in theatres back in 91 and i cried so hard i had to be helped from the cinema into the back of an ambulance where i was given oxygen and sedated

129. Khan 2.0 - December 8, 2011

watching that Direct TV commericial again has me sold – they need to have Shatner cgiameo in ST2 via some old footage from Spock Primes ship or his holoemitter or something….

maybe Khan 2.0 could find out what happened to Khan Prime via a holo Kirk Prime or something?

130. Skippy - December 8, 2011

@126: TUC is right behind Khan on my top Trek movie list.

131. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - December 8, 2011

This movie is my 2nd favorite of the ones with the TOS cast. TWOK being first, of course. Even though I thought Kirk seemed a little out of character with the Klingons–he was like Jeffrey Hunter with the Talosians: “I hate them! I’m going to beat them to a bloody pulp! Yada yada…”

Either way, it was good.

132. Khan 2.0 - December 8, 2011

@126 & 129
at the time STVI was considered best Trek film of all. even better than TWOK. check out the Trek VI cinefantastique issue where it got a higher rating than II.

when everyone calmed down abit it was quite clear that although VI was very good and a vast improvement on V there was no way it was better than II

imo II is the best by far, then III, IV, VI, I, V (although IV and VI sometimes change postitions depending on how i am feeling)

i vividly recall the tantalising early updates for VI in the pages of The Official Fan Club magazine and the letters page of the DC comic (along with news about Star Trek: The Opera – LOL remember that?!) …how Meyer had signed as director, how ILM were doing the FX again, how it would feature an ice planet and a Klingon battle cruiser (not seen since TMP and the reuse in the opening of TWOK), how Admiral Cartwright, the Klingon ambassor from IV were back as was Mark Lenard….then seeing the first pictures of Kirk and Bones in the courtroom and the end confrontation at Kitomer etc….trying not to read the spoilers in cinefantastique where it revealed Valerius was one of the villains…then buying the starlog magazine and DC delux comic adapation with the photos on Dec 6 before seeing the movie

133. Starbase Britain - December 8, 2011

Definately one of my favourite Trek Movies. Always been a fan of TOS and it brought a tear to my eye seeing them together one last time. The signing off bit at the end was heartbreaking.

Greg
UK

134. Razorburn - December 9, 2011

Still my favorite Star Trek out of the first six. It did what Star Trek always did its best at. Addressing the social, political, religious, and racial issues of the time. Most of all, it had an astounding guest cast(Christopher Plummer, David Warner, Rene Auberjonois, Christian Slater, Kurtwood Smith, and Kim Cattral).

Definitely an excellent Star Trek adventure!

It me a fan of Shakespeare and it also had Sulu in command of his own starship.

Is that cool or what?

135. Ron Albanese - December 11, 2011

To me it felt forced and heavy-handed, with the whole thing just feeling like a “let’s get this cast out of here” production. It seems to ooze off of the screen, to me.

I saw it in the theatre with a fellow TOS nut, and we left non-plussed. It just didn’t “grab” us. It’s a very overrated film.

I’d go as far as saying the uneven V buries this! In spite of the poor supporting character bits on that one, it felt like my Trek all the way.

136. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 11, 2011

#113 – “When the new movie was announced and I saw who was going to play Kirk and Spock, I almost threw up. “You cynical bastards! Turning Star Trek into an action flick, I’m not going to watch this crap!””

Ha? Why would you think that? Spock was being played by Zachary Quinto who, of course, was one of the main characters on Heroes, which was action/drama.

However, Chris Pine had not been in any action movies, except Smokin’ Aces, where he played a minor role. His other best known movies were Princess Diaries – Part 2, Blind Dating, Just My Luck – all three romantic comedies; Bottle Shock, based on a real story about a Napa Valley vineyard and Carriers which was a bit more action orientated than the others, but not much. Star Trek was actually his first movie which could be described as as much more action orientated and where he played a leading role.

Given Chris Pine’s resume up to the point of making Star Trek, I don’t see how you would have thought what you did. I think one could be forgiven to believe that perhaps this new Star Trek would be what some people describe as “cheesy”, a sci-fi romantic/comedy (with one or two ‘plosions for the fanboys with toys).

Now there’s a thought…

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