Date: February 21, 2020
Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:00 pm on Feb 20, 2020 via Amazon Prime. It snowed today, so we were all bundled up on the couch to watch the final movie before I begin The Next Generation. By “we”, I mean the husband, Tempura, and Professor Zoom. Everyone else was, well, elsewhere. Funny enough, since I’m a day ahead, I’ll be starting the two-part episode “Encounter at Farpoint” on Friday, which is the same day that the Farpoint Convention begins. Tonight’s musical accompaniment is some Medieval Fantasy music.
Luis-style Summary: Sulu is captain of the Excelsior which gets hit by a huge shock wave of energy as the Klingon Moon Praxis explodes. At a classified Starfleet meeting, we find out that the Klingon Empire is dying and Spock has tried to achieve peace by volunteering Kirk and the Enterprise on a diplomatic mission to ferry the Klingon Chancellor through Federation space. Some agree that it’s time for peace and others, like Kirk, think the Klingons are not to be trusted. They did, after all, kill his son.
There’s a new helmsman with Sulu gone and her name is Valeris and she’s a Vulcan. The Klingons come over for dinner and it’s a disaster. After the Klingon delegation leaves, and everyone is sufficiently hung over from the Romulan ale, there is a large surge of radiation and the Enterprise “fires” on the Klingon ship. The Klingons lose gravity and some men in Federation suits start killing the Klingons. Kirk surrenders when the Klingons think that they have betrayed them, but the Chancellor dies. Kirk and McCoy are arrested, charged, and found guilty of assassination, but death is commuted and instead they are sent to a penal colony. The crew comes up with a theory of who actually killed the Klingons and begin to look for the gravity boots.
On the penal colony,Kirk and McCoy make “friends”, find out that someone wants Kirk dead, and that the shapeshifter has an escape plan. After about 23 years of walking through the snow, we find out the “escape” is a set up around the same time that Spock arrives to beam them up (in the middle of the villain about to tell us who the real bad guy is, damn it Scotty). In a shocking twist, Valeris turns out to be one of the bad guys. She is working with Admiral Cartwright, General Chang, and the Romulan ambassador and they plan to assassinate the Federation President, oh no! The prototype Bird of Prey that can fire without dropping its cloak causes some issues, but Sulu arrives in the nick of time and they destroy the hell out of the ship and its crew. Kirk and crew arrive at the summit just in time to save everyone. Kirk gives a very Kirk-style speech and everyone claps… the end.
TL;DR: The Klingon Empire is dying. This apparently means it’s a good time to discuss peace between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. Shocking as it is (heavy sarcasm), those who do not wish for things to change sabotage the peace envoy and summit but are stopped by Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise.
Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.Spock laying down some logic and wisdom in a one-two punch
Guess who is coming to dinnerChekov being snarky about the Klingons coming to dinner
Uhura: You are Crewman Dax?
Dax: Yes, Commander. What is the problem?
Chekov: Perhaps you know Russian epic of Cinderella? If the shoe fits, wear it!
Spock: Mister Chekov…
Spock is pointing to Dax’s webbed feet which won’t fit into a gravity bootChekov being snarky about the Klingons coming to dinner
My Thoughts and Impressions: I’ll start with the good. I loved that there was a murder mystery for part of the movie. The crew is clearly turning over every rock to try and find clues that support their hypothesis. Chekov finds some blood, Valeris finds a boot, and Scotty finds the uniforms. I was also super happy to see Kurtwood Smith (who plays Red Forman on That 70’s Show, you dumb ass), Kim Cattrall (Samantha from Sex & the City), and a baby faced Christian Slater (who has been in a million things that I have loved). Of course there are the big names, but I’m a 90’s kid so there (sticks tongue out). I thought it was interesting that it took us 5 seasons and 6 movies to find out you cannot shoot an unauthorized phaser inside of a starship without sounding the alarm… truly fascinating. I also really liked when Spock said he would tell them “Go to hell” and how the credits with the main crew’s signatures was also well done.
I also liked the plot twist of Valeris being part of the “bad guys” and the irony that is the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans all working together – which is what they were trying to prevent through all of the assassinations, right? SO much irony, I love it. There’s also an interesting callback to when it was Kirk vs. Kirk in “Whom Gods Destroy” during the “escape” scene. We also see the daughter of the Chancellor take her father’s place, and it’s awesome to see that the Klingons don’t care about the sex of their warriors, as long as they can do the job. I’m not sure if this will hold true later on, but we’ve seen several female Klingons and all of them have held their own.
What I didn’t like I could probably write a doctoral thesis on, but I wouldn’t want to translate it into Klingon. There was so much damn Shakespeare and not just in this movie, but throughout the entire show and other movies. If you want it to influence your stuff, fine, but I feel like they really hit us over the head with it in this movie. McCoy was another problem in this film. While he is usually sarcastic and curmudgeonly, he did not know how to read the room. When you are on trial for the assassination of the topmost Klingon, you probably shouldn’t be cracking jokes. They just seemed forced and not completely in character, because McCoy usually knows when he needs to be serious. I was also pretty shocked by the reaction of the crew to the Klingon visitors both before and after dinner. I did not expect them to be so intolerant of another culture, especially since we see so many non-humans on the Enterprise throughout the movies.
Movie rating: In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 6.5, but this is only because I rate it higher than The Motion Picture, which came in at warp 6. I really need to be more consistent with my ratings, whoops.