[[caption-width-right:350:The battle for peace has begun.]]

->''"There is an old Vulcan proverb: only Nixon could go to China."''
-->-- '''Spock'''

''Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country'' is the sixth movie in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' film series, released in 1991.

It is a GrandFinale for the [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries classic]] ''[[Franchise/StarTrek Trek]]'' crew ([[Film/StarTrek as played by the original actors, at least]]) which resolves the previously ongoing conflict between TheFederation and the Klingons with a Creator/TomClancy [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE!]] storyline. In part because of its more political themes and real-world connections, ''The Undiscovered Country'' is DarkerAndEdgier than its predecessors.

After an environmental calamity, the Klingons' infrastructure collapses and their leader sues for peace. [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Does This Remind You]] of the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar? It should. The UsefulNotes/IronCurtain was coming down at the time of production and the Klingons had always been stand-ins for the Soviets. Kirk, ever the cynical cowboy, still doesn't trust the Klingons, but is volunteered by Spock to escort their leader to the peace talks without asking him first. But Kirk is not the only one who doesn't want peace - a mysterious conspiracy with accomplices from both sides of the conflict means to drive the Federation and Empire into a full-scale war, framing Kirk and [=McCoy=] for murder in the process.

Nicholas Meyer, the director of ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', returned to the helm for this one. As evidenced by the page quote, the film lacks anything resembling subtlety, but its tongue-in-cheek satire and heavy handed moral is just as good if not better that way. If nothing else, [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel it's considered much better]] than ''[[Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier The Final Frontier]]''. In any case, most fans consider it a worthy send-off for the original cast.

While being the finale for the majority of the TOS cast, Kirk, Scotty and Chekov would appear [[Film/StarTrekGenerations in the next]] film to "pass the torch" of the film franchise to ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]]''.
!!Tropes seen in ''The Undiscovered Country'' include:

* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Before the climactic battle, Kirk and Spock wonder if they've both gotten too old to still be useful in a changing galaxy.
* AirFictionOne: The Klingon battlecruiser that carries Chancellor Gorkon to the rendezvous with the Enterprise is ''Kronos One'', Kronos being the name of the Klingon homeworld.
* AlienBlood: The Klingons have Pepto-Bismol pink blood in this film (and only this film), in order to keep a PG rating. [[spoiler: Becomes a minor ChekhovsGun in the final act when an assassin is identified as ''not'' being Klingon because he has ''red'' blood, but only in the extended cut.]]
** The Star Trek (particularly Mike Okuda) staff HandWaved this by claiming the pigment change to be a side-effect of microgravity.
* AllThereInTheManual: The bizarre joke the Klingon border guard makes is smuggler's code, he knows they aren't who they say they are but [[InfractionDistraction thinks they're just illegal traders]] and just can't be bothered to bust them.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The end narration:
--> '''Kirk''': Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. 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 ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration no one]]'', has gone before.
* ApocalypseHow: One destroyed mining planet and the near-irrevocable atmospheric desolation of the Klingon homeworld (which, thanks to the Federation, would ultimately be saved).
* ArmorIsUseless: The shields of the ''Enterprise'' don't appear to do very much. Every (single, leisurely-paced) torpedo hit results in massive hull burns; bridge consoles blow out; and "auxilary circuits are destroyed"... a significant time before Scotty calls out "Shields weakening!" A cynic might very well ask, "''What'' shields?" Then again, ''after'' the ''Enterprise''[='=]s shields collapse, a torpedo shot from below bursts ''through'' the saucer and does an impressive amount of damage, so ultimately this is a DownplayedTrope.
* ArtificialGravity: A rare example where the artificial gravity actually fails.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Valeris repeats as truth the story that the word "sabotage" comes from Luddites throwing their wooden ''sabot'' shoes into the machinery during the Industrial Revolution. This is a popular folk etymology, but it is, alas, most likely apocryphal.
* AskAStupidQuestion: When [[CallBack Janice Rand]] asks if they're going to report the destruction of Praxis to the Federation, Sulu whirls on her incredulously and asks, "Are you ''kidding''?!"
* AssassinsAreAlwaysBetrayed: [[spoiler: Burke and Samno are killed by Valeris after the attempt to hide the evidence backfires.]]
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the same scene.
--> '''Kirk''': "First rule of assassination: kill the assassins."
* BadVibrations: Captain Sulu's tea cup at the beginning of the film.
* BatmanGambit: Sulu's strategy to draw fire from the ''Enterprise''. His ship was no better equipped to detect the Klingon warship than Kirk's was, but he was able to buy enough time for Spock and [=McCoy=] to rig a cloak-seeking torpedo. Had Chang not taken the bait, he could have continued to dismantle the ''Enterprise'', leaving himself with only one ship to fight instead of two.
** Kirk's plan to [[spoiler: draw out the mole (Valeris) by having a "court reporter" summoned to Sick Bay urgently to take statements from the (actually already dead) assassins Burke and Samno]].
** A failed Batman Gambit exists in the conspirators' original plan. They were banking on Kirk getting gun-happy after Chang got Kronos One back in fighting shape, shooting back and destroying Kronos One. What happens instead? Kirk [[OutOfCharacterMoment surrenders]] in a hasty attempt to de-escalate the situation. Chang then has to engage in XanatosSpeedChess to compensate.
* BigBadDuumvirate: Though Chang acts as the main villain for most of the movie, he's part of a larger conspiracy which includes [[spoiler:Admiral Cartwright, Colonel West and the Romulan Ambassador]].
* BigDamnHeroes: Sulu and the ''USS Excelsior'' swooping in to even up the fight against General Chang and his Bird of Prey. While the original plan was to play this trope straight, the end result is a slight subversion; ''Excelsior'' doesn't do much but provide a second target at first, giving the ''Enterprise'' a much-needed breather. Once Chang's ship is revealed by the first hit on its hull, though, Sulu takes full advantage of the reveal to add his ship's weight to the fight.
** In the novelisation, ''Enterprise'' is specifically described as trying to hold out until ''Excelsior'' can arrive with better sensors and stronger shields. Compare Wellington deciding to hold on at Waterloo until Blucher could arrive with the necessary reinforcements to beat Napoleon, but it being the ''British'' who, in shooting Napoleon's Old Guard to a standstill, triggered the French rout.
* BluffingTheMurderer: "Code Blue Urgent: Court reporter to Sickbay. Statements to be taken..."
* BlatantLies: Quite prevalent.
** Brigadier Kerla responds to Excelsior's message after the explosion of Praxis.
-->'''Kerla:''' There ''has'' been an incident on Praxis, however, everything is under control, we have no need for assistance.
** Starfleet orders the Enterprise to report back after the assassination, but they are still trying to root out the assassins.
-->'''Uhura:''' We are experiencing technical malfunction; all backup systems inoperative.\\
'''Chekov:''' Excellent. I-I mean--too bad.
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler:Valeris]] to Spock.
** And vice versa.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: The main difference between [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Valeris]] and Saavik is that Valeris has a tendency to defy regulations. For example, she fires a phaser on the kill setting, which triggers every alarm on the Enterprise, in order to demonstrate why the conspirators didn't just disintegrate the magnetic boots and uniforms used in the assassination. She is also the one who suggests breaking out the very illegal Romulan Ale for dinner with the Klingons.
** At this point, however, Saavik would have understood humans enough to loosen up - also, keep in mind Saavik ''is half-Romulan''. Unfortunately, Saavik getting PutOnABus robbed her of CharacterDevelopment.
* CallBack: Klaa is the interpreter at Kirk and [=McCoy's=] trial. After his conduct in ''The Final Frontier'', [[FridgeBrilliance it would make sense that he's been demoted.]]
** Several stylistic ones in the final battle to ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', also directed by Nicholas Meyer:
*** A floor panel explodes in Spock's face, reminiscent of how he "died" in the [[UnwinnableTrainingSimulation Kobayashi Maru simulation]].
*** The shot where Spock speculates on the Bird-of-Prey's weakness is from the exact same angle as the one where he speculates on Khan's [[TwoDSpace "two-dimensional thinking"]].
*** Romulan Ale, being both illegal and leaving a terrible hangover.
*** When Spock wants to go to the Klingon ship but Kirk overrides him, Spock says "Perhaps you're right," and puts his hand on Kirk's shoulder like he's going to administer the nerve pinch... and puts the tracking patch on his shoulder.
** The Klingon Ambassador from ''Voyage Home'' is back too.
** The design of the makeup for Christopher Plummer shares a number of similarities with the design of the smooth-browed Klingons from the Original Series, particularly the moustache, and his more subdued ridges.
* {{Cameo}}: Creator/ChristianSlater, which made him a PromotedFanboy. Probably not coincidentally, his mother, Mary Jo Slater, was the casting director.
* CaptainsLog:
** Sulu has the honor of opening the movie this way.
** A log entry that Kirk makes early in the movie (about how much he hates Klingons) becomes a ChekhovsGun when it's used against him at his trial.
** Kirk ends the movie by recording his final log entry as captain of the ''Enterprise''.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Sulu adopted a more authoritarian, strict (but fair) personality when he became a Captain, contrasting his easygoing, affable one in prior movies and the TV series.
* ChekhovsGun: The Phaser Alarms. Setting off a phaser while vaporizing an object sets off the alarms, as was demonstrated in the kitchen when Chekov asked why they weren't vaporized. When [[spoiler: Burke and Samno are found dead]], [=McCoy=] wonders why they were not vaporized and Chekov replies(while comically making it sound like a dumb question) that it would set off the alarm. [[spoiler: Valeris had used a phaser on stun to the head at point blank range to kill them, her inability to dispose of the bodies led Kirk to his plan to flush out the assassin by saying that they had survived and were willing to talk about everything.]]
** The Klingon blood. Some of it floats into the path of one of the transporting assassins where it is discovered by both Chekov and Scotty. Later (in the extended cut), when the "Klingon" sniper is shot at the peace conference, Worf quips that the blood does not belong to a Klingon.
** A ChekhovsGun example is left hanging on the wall when Kirk pulls out a [[PlotHole concealed pistol]] of identical make.
** In a CaptainsLog, Sulu mentions the Excelsior is cataloging gaseous anomalies. Apparently, The Enterprise had been doing the same since they had the equipment on board and used it to track the cloaked Bird of Prey.
* ChekhovsGunman: Burke and Samno, seen in the Transporter room when Gorkon and Party beam aboard, are [[spoiler: later revealed to be the two assassins responsible for his death. The extended cut takes this further: they make disparaging remarks about the Klingons after the party has left the room only to be stopped by Valeris]].
** Colonel West, seen only in the extended cut. He is the architect of the plan to rescue Kirk and [=McCoy=] from Rura Penthe, and is later [[spoiler:the sniper shot dead by Scotty]].
** Admiral Cartwright is another, albeit minor, example: his unease of peace with Klingons makes him [[spoiler: a party of the plot to shoot the Federation President]].
* ChewingTheScenery: Chang in the final showdown; especially "'''CRYYYYY HAVOC''' ... and let slip the dogs of war!" where it's not so much that he's shouting it at the top of his lungs, but that he's shouting it at the top of his lungs while ''spinning in his self-rotating captain's chair''.
--> '''Chang''' I am constant as the Northern Star...
--> '''[=McCoy=]''': I'd pay real money if he'd shut up!
* ClearMyName: Kirk and [=McCoy=].
-->[[SpaceIsCold "In space, all warriors are]] [[{{Anvilicious}} cold warriors."]]
* [[ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike Complaining About Rescues You Don't Like]]: Spock beams up Kirk and [=McCoy=] from Rura Penthe right in the middle of the JustBetweenYouAndMe. Kirk immediately bawls him out for rescuing them ten seconds too ''early''.
-->'''Prison Warden''': Since you're all going to die anyway, why not tell you. His name is -\\
''[Kirk and [=McCoy=] get beamed up]''\\
'''Kirk''': [dematerializing] Oh! Not... [[CurseCutShort SON OF A...]]\\
''[Klingon guards start shooting wildly to no avail]''\\
'''Kirk''': [rematerializing back on Enterprise] SON OF A BI... BI... BI... Dammit to hell! Of all the... Son of a! [to Spock] Couldn't you have waited two seconds?\\
'''Spock''': [utterly perplexed] Captain?!\\
'''Kirk''': He was about to explain the whole thing!\\
'''Chekov''': You ''vant'' to go back?\\
'''[=McCoy=]''': '''Absolutely not!'''\\
'''Kirk''': ''...it's cold.''
* ComicBookAdaptation: By DC Comics.
* ContinuityNod: Sulu mentions at the end of ''IV'' that he hopes the ship they're being sent to is the Excelsior. In this film he turns up as a starship captain... commanding the ''Excelsior''. Even earlier than that, when the ship is first shown in the beginning of "III", Sulu is gawking in amazement at it. Scotty also continues his nonplussed attitude about the ship, preferring to tip his hat to her Captain instead.
** This would have happened a lot sooner if ... everybody? ... Creator/WilliamShatner hadn't protested Sulu becoming Excelsior's captain in [[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan Star Trek II]], where it was supposedly intended to happen.
*** Worse, rumors circulated at the time of a possible Star Trek series based on Captain Sulu of the Excelsior...and Shatner seeing to it that it never saw the light of day. (Even if not true, George Takei has plenty of reasons why he wouldn't appear in ''Film/StarTrekGenerations''. Shatner was ''not'' nice to any of the cast members outside of his PowerTrio.)
** During Kirk and [=McCoy=]'s trial, General Chang brings up Kirk's demotion in ''Star Trek IV,'' simultaneously referring to the events of ''Star Trek III'' that precipitated it.
-->'''Chang:''' Indeed, the record shows that Captain Kirk once held the rank of Admiral, and that Admiral Kirk was broken for [[IncomingHam taking matters into his own hands in defiance of regulations and the law!!]] (whirls on Kirk) [[ChewingTheScenery DO YOU DENY BEING DEMOTED ON THESE CHARGES?!]] [[NoIndoorVoice DON'T WAIT FOR THE TRANSLATION!! ANSWER ME NOW!!]]
*** Which is a great allegorical reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was questioning the Soviet ambassador as to whether the Russians were moving missiles to Cuba: "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!"
* CoolOldGuy: Pretty much the main cast.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The main poster has the ''Enterprise'' battling a Klingon cruiser and Bird-of-Prey at the same time. It only fights each individually in the movie.
* CPRCleanPrettyReliable: Bones, miracle doctor that he is, can revive someone with no pulse by straddling them and beating on their chest. [[DownplayedTrope But only after trying several more sophisticated techniques]], including inserting some sort of medical device into the open chest wound. The Klingons who witness this are absolutely horrified. The patient dies after delivering his FamousLastWords despite the doctor's best efforts.
* CrazyPrepared: Gorkon, according to the novelization. He expected something to happen to him on his way to Earth, so he used his influence among his allies to ensure that Azetbur would succeed him as Chancellor. He also suspected [[spoiler:Chang]] to have a part in a betrayal, hence why he tells someone to find him when ''Kronos One'' loses artificial gravity.
* CreativeClosingCredits: The cast's signatures are written out on screen before the credits.
* CreditsPushback: The signatures at the end generally get [[EditedForSyndication clipped]] thanks to this practice.
* DamageControl: The space battle has Scotty doing his usual thing while the ''Enterprise'' is pummeled by torpedoes. We can also see crewmen running around with fire extinguishers on ''Excelsior''.
** Damage control of the political kind was shown in the opening scene. When Sulu and the Excelsior sent a message offering assistance once Praxis explodes, a message from a Klingon miner screaming for help was blocked and replaced by a political response, acknowledging an internal incident, but refusing any assistance.
* DeadlyEnvironmentPrison: The underground Klingon labor camp Rura Penthe where Kirk and [=McCoy=] are imprisoned has nothing preventing prisoners from escaping--except the extreme cold and storms of the surface, where death by exposure would be a certainty. In fact, prisoners are threatened with expulsion to the surface if they don't work.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of Kirk again. This time, his FantasticRacism makes him an easy FallGuy for Gorkon's assassination.
* DescriptionCut: After Kirk and Bones are sentenced to life imprisonment
-->'''Spock:''' If I know the Captain, he is already deep into planning his escape.
-->''[cut to Kirk getting his ass kicked]''
* DeadpanSnarker: Many characters get a few lines, but [=McCoy=] gets the most.
** When meeting Valeris and hearing of her academy accomplishments.
--->'''Kirk:''' You must be very proud.
--->'''Valeris:''' I don't believe so, Sir.
--->'''[=McCoy=]:''' She's a Vulcan, all right.
** During the battle with Chang.
--->I'd give real money, if he'd shut up.
* DeusExMachina: [[spoiler:The ''Enterprise'' is getting owned by the cloaked Bird of Prey, and then suddenly the crew realizes the ship just happens to have some never-before-mentioned equipment to catalog gaseous anomalies that can be used to totally obliterate the enemy ship. What makes this particularly bad is that SULU is the one performing this task at the beginning of the film. The true explanation is a combination of executive and cast meddling (see the reference to Shatner insisting that the ''Enterprise'' save itself, above). This is also explained in the novelization as being Starfleet's current ongoing giant research project of the past few years, so most ships were carrying equipment for gaseous anomalies, not just the ''Excelsior''. Admittedly this could have been somewhat fixed by modifying Sulu's opening narration to something like "for the past three years ''we have been leading the fleet'' in cataloguing gaseous anomalies in planetary atmospheres", but alas, l'esprit de l'escalier...]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: the whole film is an allegory about the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. It was released less than a few weeks before the Soviet Union actually fell. The coup that briefly deposed Gorbachev happened in RealLife while the film was still in production. Gorkon is a clear expy of Gorbachev, as both were reform-minded leaders of a dying empire who felt co-operation with the Federation (or the West) is key for their survival.
** In addition, Praxis exploding and contaminating the Klingon homeworld is a clear reference to UsefulNotes/{{Chernobyl}}, which UsefulNotes/MikhailGorbachev said bankrupted the Soviet Union due to containment and decontamination.
* DontAnswerThat: Colonel Worf tells Kirk this during the trial. The judge insists otherwise.
* DramaticDownstageTurn: Occurs when Kirk and [=McCoy=] are lying in their prison beds.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: Spock initially doesn't get Valeris's concern over this upcoming peace.
** Nicholas Meyer described the scene in Spock's quarters as Valeris having a mental breakdown, which, being a Vulcan, happens so subtly that even Spock fails to notice.
* DramaticShattering: Sulu's tea cup falls to the ground when the Excelsior gets rattled by the shockwave. Not a moment after it's in pieces on the deck, alarms and klaxons start blaring. Notably, it is ''[[ObviousStuntDouble not]]'' the same teacup which Sulu drinks from - the decoration was seen by the prop team as too nice to ruin.
* DrinkingOnDuty: After the disastrous dinner, several still-drunk senior officers immediately return to duty. Chekov, in particular, is [[HangoverSensitivity noticeably struggling]] to make it through his watch.
** Chang uses this as evidence against Kirk and Bones during their trial.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The explosion of Praxis that kicks off the events of the movie. The real-world analogue is the Chernobyl plant disaster that weakened the Soviet Union just enough to get the ball rolling.
* EiffelTowerEffect: Apparently, the Office of President of the Federation is in Paris.
** ...or Las Vegas.
** Or Disney World!
* EngineeredPublicConfession: During the trial, Kirk's log entry in which he says "I have never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I've never been able to forgive them for the death of my boy." is presented as proof of his motive for assassinating Gorkon. This fact is later used to incriminate [[spoiler:Valeris as a conspirator, since it was she who was outside his quarters at the time.]]
* EveryoneHasStandards: For all the JerkAss tendencies that Kirk has about "letting the Klingons die", he turns a complete 180 when Gorkon's ship is attacked, and not of his own doing either.
** [[spoiler:Valeris falls for a trap that exposes her as the mole. Spock is part of the trap. He tells her that logically she must shoot him to have a chance of getting away. She cannot bring herself to do it.]]
* EvilIsOneBigHappyFamily: An ironic version. Despite their motives, [[spoiler:the members of the Human-Klingon conspiracy to destroy the peace process]] are pretty unified in their goals. Though the vitriol is not far away given the comments from [[spoiler: Valeris]] about the others. This is lampshaded by [=McCoy=], who ponders the thought of it outloud.
* EvilTwin: Martia, the shapeshifter who takes on Kirk's shape during their fight.
** FridgeBrilliance: [[spoiler:It was easy to tell which "Kirk" was the fake. Martia morphed into a little girl prior to this and wasn't wearing leg irons. Kirk still had his on.]]
* ExplosiveOverclocking: The ''Excelsior'' was really bookin' it to Khitomer in the climactic scene. Galactic peace hung in the balance. Captain Sulu said to fly her apart if that's what it took.
* {{Expy}}: Valeris, for Saavik.
* EyepatchOfPower: Chang. ''Bolted directly to his face'', no less.
** [[RuleOfCool For extra cool factor]], each of those three bolts has the Klingon emblem on them, thrown in by the costumer despite him knowing nobody would ever see them [[http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=498&pid=53009#top_display_media (unless in HD...)]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler: Chang. Offering only a resigned "to be, or not to be".]]
* FacePalm: Uhura's response to Chekov believing he has the culprit and missing the very obvious fact that their suspect can't fit in the incriminating boots.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: "To be, or not to be?"
* FakingEngineTrouble: Starfleet orders the ''Enterprise'' to return to Spacedock, but since Chancellor Gorkon's assassins are on board, to keep them from escaping the crew keep coming up with reasons not to return, at one point telling Starfleet Command the warp core is malfunctioning.
* FantasticRacism: The film really runs with this, which even caused some behind the scenes problems for most of the cast. In the film, it provides CharacterDevelopment for some, especially Kirk. He goes from "''Let'' them die" and "I never could forgive them for the death of my boy", to "I was used to hating Klingons" and "Gorkon had to die before I realized how prejudiced I was". By the end Kirk realized that while he didn't kill Gorkon, he had an indirect involvement in his murder due to his reputation. Gorkon's sincere wish for peace with his last breath moved Kirk to re-evaluate the Klingons as a whole as well as himself.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** After the Klingon party leaves the transporter room, crewmen Burke and Samno make vaguely racist comments about the Klingons until Valeris starts bossing them around. [[spoiler: All three are conspirators.]]
** Gorkon had a pretty good idea as to who betrayed him once the shooting started.
** Spock and Scotty discuss the possibility that someone has hacked the Enterprise's computers. [[spoiler:Then Valeris slides down into the room.]]
* FinalSpeech: Gorkon begs Kirk with his dying breath to save the peace process, leaving Kirk shocked by cognitive dissonance.
-->'''Gorkon''': (weakly) Don't let it end this way, Captain...
** It also serves as emphasis to the foreshadowing above. He ''knows'' Kirk didn't pull this stunt.
* FromACertainPointOfView: Spock says that his lies are "An error" and "An omission". Valeris then says that her lie is "A choice".
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: The Klingon border guards are shown to be quite amused at the crew's stumbling Klingon, but then make a weird joke about it and send them on their way anyway. The explanation didn't make it's way into the movie, but basically they're just lazy and think the crew is part of a smuggling ring that's bribing them.
* GenderIsNoObject: Scenes of the crew quarters aboard both ''Enterprise'' and ''Excelsior'' reveal that enlisted crew share bunk space regardless of gender, rather than having segregated male and female berths.
* GeneralRipper: Chang. [[spoiler:And Admiral Cartwright too, it seems.]]
* TheGirlWhoFitsThisSlipper: Subverted. The boots of the conspirators were found in the locker of Crewman Dax ([[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine no relation]])...who has large webbed feet that don't fit.
* GivingUpOnLogic: Spock shows the long term character growth version of this trope. He hasn't given up on logic at all, but has accepted that it is only the beginning of wisdom, not wisdom in itself.
* GodwinsLaw: Kirk makes a comparison between the Klingon's request for "living space" with Hitler's demands for ''Lebensraum'' at the diplomatic dinner (whilst not being very diplomatic). Needlessly to say, this comparison went down really really badly.
* GotVolunteered: Kirk, with Spock "personally vouching" for him. He is not amused.
* GroinAttack: Kirk gets in a fight with a big blue alien and ends it by kicking the alien in the knee. Or so he thinks.
-->'''Martia:''' That was not his knee.\\
(beat, Kirk and [=McCoy=] look confused)\\
'''Martia:''' Not everybody keeps their genitals in the same place, Captain.\\
'''Kirk:''' Anything ''you'' wanna tell me?\\
'''Martia:''' ''(big grin)''
* HamToHamCombat: William Shatner vs. Christopher Plummer. The survivors likely envy the dead.
** At one point it's Shatner vs. Shatner, which reaches hamageddon levels.
* HarsherInHindsight: InUniverse, Camp Khitomer is chosen as the site for the renewed peace talks. The Khitomer Outpost would be the site of a Romulan perpetrated massacre of a Klingon colony there during the [[IncrediblyLamePun next generation]]. [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Worf's parents died there]].
* TheHeavy: General Chang is the most prominent antagonist for the Enterprise, but he is really only the enforcer of an intergalactic conspiracy, not it's leader. It's not even clear if he is the most highly-ranked Klingon who is party to it, or which side initiated the conspiracy in the first place.
* HeelRealization: Kirk realizing his intolerance of the Klingons made him the perfect patsy for [[spoiler:Chancellor Gorkon's assassination]].
* HeKnowsTooMuch: The assassins are killed before they can be discovered and interrogated. [[spoiler:Valeris is nearly killed herself at the end, when she's presented as evidence against the conspiracy, but Scotty shoots the would-be assassin first.]]
* HisNameIs: The warden of Rura Penthe engages in a little JustBetweenYouAndMe with Kirk and [=McCoy=], but an inopportune rescue by Spock ruins the reveal.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Kirk and [=McCoy=] would have never escaped if Chang hadnít ordered the Gulag warden to help them escape. Instead, Kirk and [=McCoy=] would have simply languished in prison, the Enterprise would have been waiting around in Klingon airspace for nothing, the Federation Presidentís assassination would have gone on as planned, and Chang and his crew would have lived ... at least until the Federation-Klingon War.
* {{Homage}}: The speech that the warden gives Kirk and [=McCoy=] upon their entry to Rura Penthe is a paraphrase of Colonel Saito's speech to captured British P.O.W.s in ''Film/TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai''. For comparison:
-->'''Colonel Saito''': If you work hard, you will be treated well. But if you do not work hard, you will be punished! A word to you about escape. There is no barbed wire, no stockade, no watchtower. They are not necessary. We are an island in the jungle. Escape is impossible. You would die.\\
'''Rura Penthe Warden''': This is the gulag Rura Penthe. There is no stockade. No guard tower. No electronic frontier. Only a magnetic shield prevents beaming. Punishment means exile from prison, to the surface. On the surface, nothing can survive. Work well, and you will be treated well. Work badly, and you will die.
* HomeworldEvacuation: As part of the peace treaty, the Federation agrees to help evacuate the Klingon homeworld before the planet runs out of breathable oxygen in fifty years. However, as ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]]'' and ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' show Qo'noS to still be the Klingon capital and seemingly no worse for wear eighty years after the events of this movie, the Federation and Klingons apparently found some way of fixing the problem.
* HomingProjectile: The torpedo that attempted to catalog the gaseous anomaly that was the fire-while-cloaked Bird of Prey's tail pipe.
* HonorBeforeReason: The Klingons are a violent, aggressive people whose Empire represents the antithesis of every Federation value. "Let them die" would be the expected response from anyone short of a saint. And yet the Federation offers them an olive branch anyway.
* HumanOutsideAlienInside: As Bones points out while trying to treat Gorkon, Klingon anatomy is ''not'' the same as Human anatomy, and Bones has no medical training in helping Klingons. Gorkon ends up dying of his wounds.
* {{Hypocrite}}: [[spoiler:Valeris argues that the Klingons are untrustworthy because they've conspired with the Federation to assassinate their own chancellor, when that very same conspiracy plans to assassinate the Federation president. Not to mention the fact that she herself is in on the conspiracy...]]
** Azetbur deriding the Federation as [[FantasticRacism racist]] and a "[[HumansAreSuperior Homo Sapiens only]]" club, when Klingons themselves seem to have ''no'' [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse non-Klingons]] from worlds within the Empire serving in the IKF. At most, you could argue that the Klingons make no pretensions about their Klingon supremacy.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Spock's reaction to the forced mindmeld with [[spoiler: Valeris]] is made entirely of this trope.
* IdenticalGrandson: Worf's grandfather, Colonel Worf, is also played by Creator/MichaelDorn.
* IKEAWeaponry: The sniper rifle used at the conference.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Just after the diplomatic dinner on the Enterprise, [=McCoy=] leaves the transporter room proclaiming, "I'm going to go find a pot of black coffee."
** Ironically, he was already drunk at the time, making this [[InvertedTrope "I need to sober up"]].
* InTheOriginalKlingon: TropeNamer.
** Also:
--->'''Chekhov:''' Perhaps you have heard Russian epic of ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}''? If shoe fits, wear it!
* {{Incoming}}: Chekov when the bird of prey is blasting away at them. Rather than shouting it, he [[ThisIsGonnaSuck mutters it with resignation.]]
* IncomingHam: "I can see you, Kirk. Can you see me?"
* InvisibilityFlicker: Klingon warships have to decloak before they can fire. [[spoiler:Except Chang's.]] Even then, the exception is briefly lit up by its own torpedoes every time it fires one.
* IronicEcho: Several times Valeris asks Spock "A lie?" and he responds that it is something else (e.g. "An error"). After she is [[spoiler:caught as a traitor]], he asks her "A lie?" and she responds "A choice." Which is a callback to ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'':
--->'''Saavik''': You lied?\\
'''Spock''': I exaggerated.
** Also, when Kirk and Chang first meet, Chang says "I've always wanted to meet you, Captain. One warrior to another?" Later, during Chang's [[IncomingHam Incoming Ham]] moment he says, "Now be honest Captain, warrior to warrior. You do prefer it this way, don't you? No peace in our time, as it was meant to be."
* IronicEchoCut: Spock: "If I know the Captain, by this time, he is deep into planning his escape." Cut to Kirk getting the crap kicked out of him in a prison brawl.
* {{Irony}}: The conspiracy proves Federation/Klingon cooperation is possible.
* ItsAllMyFault: Kirk believes this, for not taking Gorkon at his word, and also for his prejudice as a whole against Klingons.
* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine: William Shatner was once Christopher Plummer's understudy. Here they play enemies.
* JabbaTableManners: The Klingons disgust the Federation's delegation with their eating habits.
* JerkassHasAPoint: The Klingon ambassador is an ass, but even Sarek has to admit that he's correct in his legal interpretation that the Klingons have every right to try Captain Kirk and Doctor [=McCoy=] for Gorkon's assassination. [[spoiler: Of course that was General Chang's plan all along.]]
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Subverted, Kirk and [=McCoy=] are beamed out before the warden can give them a name.
* KangarooCourt: Kirk and [=McCoy's=] "trial". At least their defense lawyer (Worf's grandfather) was actually trying. Indeed, his efforts are likely the only reason they weren't executed immediately.
* TheKingslayer: The assassination of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon threatens to derail the burgeoning peace process between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. While Kirk initially takes the fall for it, Spock launches an investigation aboard the ''Enterprise'' to find the two hitmen, which he does [[AssassinsAreAlwaysBetrayed after they've been killed]] to protect the rest of the conspirators.
* LargeHam: Christopher Plummer as Chang, rivaling even Khan.
** Lampshaded when [=McCoy=] exclaims, "I'd give real money if he'd shut up."
* LatexPerfection: [[spoiler: The Klingon assassin is Starfleet's Colonel West [[RubberForeheadAliens with some rubber on his forehead]].]]
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: To Creator/WilliamShakespeare. Allusions to Shakespeare was a regular occurrence in episode titles in [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries The Original Series]]. ''The Undiscovered Country'' was likely intended to be a nod to tradition. Gorkon's TitleDrop during the dinner on board the ''Enterprise'' directly references this allusion.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: Subverted. Once outside the Rura Penthe shield, Kirk notes that they couldn't just have himself and [=McCoy=] killed in an "accident". Martia clarifies that an accident would have only been reasonable for one, so the conspirators required a more "convincing" alternative.
-->'''Kirk:''' An accident wasn't good enough.\\
'''Martia:''' Good enough for one. Two would have looked suspicious. Killed while ''(transforms into Kirk)'' attempting to escape. Now that's convincing for ''both''.
* MakeTheBearAngryAgain: A RecycledInSpace variant.
* MindRape: Galactic peace hung in the balance. Spock knew they needed that information '''now'''.
** On the DVDCommentary, Nicholas Meyer and screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn actually say that scene is "very erotic" and "sexy stuff". Some might consider that {{Squick}}, and some might consider that FetishFuel.
** This scene is more difficult to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticking_time_bomb_scenario regard lightly in the War On Terror era]], though it may be more difficult to apply since a mind meld doesn't work in the way that torture does.
** In the novelization, it's very different: Valeris is terrified by the knowledge that Spock could force his way into her mind with his superior mental training, but Spock ''doesn't'' do this. He gently inquires telepathically and she is so relieved that she yields without resistance. As to whether the threat of mind rape is morally superior to actual mind rape, YMMV.
** In a promotional interview for the film, Cattrall revealed that her character and Nimoy's have a mind meld, and then crowed "I got to have safe sex with Mr. Spock!" Um...yeah, not so much.
** It has to be added that the actual scene is not as bad as this exchange makes it sound. Nimoy's acting make it ''painfully'' apparent that it isn't something Spock takes on lightly, and he is almost as badly affected as Valeris. His voice cracks badly as he delivers the information, and he is clearly struggling to hold it together himself.
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Valeris]]
* MoralDissonance: Words to this effect have also been leveled at the public MindRape of [[spoiler: Valeris]] on the bridge of the Enterprise by Spock, although it could be considered an example of IDidWhatIHadToDo since the Federation and Empire were on the precipice of war. It was... logical.
* MortonsFork: Chang gets Kirk to admit that he's disobeyed orders in the past, then asks him if he was either obeying or disobeying orders when he arranged the assassination of the Chancellor. Such a blatant trap is easily avoided by Kirk (he cannot speak to actions he did not witness), but in turn allows Chang to lead him into admitting that he would be responsible if his men were involved (which they were).
* MurderByInaction: Kirk refuses to help the Klingon by proclaiming they can just die for all he cares.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Spock has this aura to him after he {{Mind Rape}}s Valeris [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to get the information to spot the Presidential assassination.]]
** In a more minor example, Kirk has this reaction after he bites out "LET them die!", especially when the words are later thrown back in his face.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: Uhura, [[PlotInducedStupidity "expert linguist"]], attempting to communicate with the Klingon ship. The film gives us [[HandWave a throwaway line]] explaining that they couldn't use the Universal Translator because the Klingons could not only detect it but tell what language was ''really'' being spoken.
** The novelization, at least, provides a ''slightly'' more rational explanation for why they were scrambling to look up Klingon phrases in old paper books, instead of using the Universal Translator -- namely, that the same saboteur(s) who had altered the ship's logs to make it look like the Enterprise had fired on the Chancellor's ship also wiped the Klingon language data from the memory banks to keep the ''Enterprise'' from crossing Klingon space without giving themselves away as soon as someone tried to establish communications with them. The books were part of Uhura's personal collection, not part of the ship's library, so the saboteur presumably didn't know about them, or didn't have any opportunity to destroy them.
** Star Trek canon indicates that Klingon was one of the first languages decoded and added to the Universal Translator. By Kirk's era, it's rendered perfectly by the universal translator in almost every circumstance. This means that there's no real need to have an expert aboard for Klingon along. Since Enterprise is on a five year mission to explore strange new worlds and new civilizations, Uhura's job would be to deal with obscure and new languages, so it would make sense if her studies had focused on really bizarre languages, not ones that are commonly studied. To put it in real world terms, if someone was exploring tribal nations in the middle east, we would expect them to learn languages from that area. It wouldn't make sense to expect them to know Spanish even though it is a common language in many parts of the world.
* MythologyGag: [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Worf's]] identical grandfather.
** Bones' exasperated, "What ''is'' it with you?!'' [[BoldlyComing after he kisses Martia.]]
--->'''Kirk:''' Still think we're finished?\\
'''Bones:''' ''More than ever''.
** This exchange:
--->'''Kirk:''' I can't believe I kissed ''you''!\\
'''Martia (as Kirk):''' [[LargeHam Must have been your life-long ambition!]]
* NearVillainVictory: The BigBad nearly destroys the Enterprise and the conspirators nearly [[spoiler: succeed in assassinating the Federation President, but Excelsior helps buy the Enterprise time to complete its Plasma Seeking Torpedo to find and kill Chang so they can get to the planet in time to save the day]].
* NeverTrustATrailer: Trailers for the movie showcased a scene of [[spoiler: Kirk getting phasered and exploding]]. Turns out [[spoiler: it was just a shape-shifter]].
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Kirk and [=McCoy=] wouldn't have been able to escape Rura Penthe if not for the villains' plot to [[TrickedIntoEscaping engineer an escape attempt]] to have an excuse to kill them.
* NoGravityForYou: One Klingon tactic involves doing this to an entire boarded ship.
* NoYou: When Admiral Cartwright demands the crew of the ''Enterprise'' arrested for crashing the Khitomer Conference, Spock responds by saying "Arrest yourself!" [[spoiler:while holding up Valeris, revealing to him that they knew.]]
* NoOSHACompliance: This is cited as one of the reasons for Praxis exploding. Overmining and under-regulation turned it into a disaster waiting to happen.
* NobleBigot: Despite their grievances against the Klingons, the Enterprise crew, including [[TragicBigot Kirk who initially was unable to forgive the Klingons for his son's death]], still pursue their crusade for intergalactic peace between Starfleet and the Klingons.
* NotSoStoic: Spock is legitimately angry when Valeris is revealed to be TheMole and it shows when he slaps the phaser out of her hand with a clear look of anger on his face.
* OminousLatinChanting:
** That Ominous Klingon Chanting is actually Hamlet's ''To be, or not to be?'' in [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything its original Klingon]].
** [[KangarooCourt KIRK! KIRK! KIRK! KIRK! KIRK! KIRK!]]
* OhCrap:
** Kirk gets two of them during the movie: Once, when [=McCoy=] tells him that he doesn't know anything about the Chancellor's anatomy, let alone if the Klingon leader will live, and the second when he is being questioned and Chang forces him to admit to GuiltByAssociation in the Chancellor's death.
** Sulu (and by extension everyone else on the bridge with a look at the main viewscreen) at the beginning, when he sees the [[PlanarShockwave Praxis Shockwave]] hurtling towards his ship:
-->'''Sulu:''' My... ''God!'' Shields! '''SHIELDS!'''
** Chang leaps out of his chair and slowly gets this look all over his face during the finale when the ''Enterprise'' fires out the HomingProjectile that gradually works its way toward them...
** The entire senior staff of the Enterprise has one at around midnight, all severely hung over (Except perhaps Spock).
---> '''Kirk:''' What's happened?!\\
'''Spock:''' We have fired on the Chancellor's ship!
** When Crewman Dax is questioned about the assassination after the gravity boots were found on his locker, the crew realize his webbed feet cannot possibly fit into those boots. Cut to Valeris having a dismayed reaction on her face. [[spoiler: We later find out that she too was in the plot, and her face was actually a very subdued OhCrap when she realizes Burke and Samno clumsily disposed of evidence that can now be used against (potentially) all three of them. This sets her off to kill ''both'' Burke and Samno in an effort to hide her role in the assassination. She gets another one of these moments when she is exposed as TheMole in Sick Bay.]]
** [[spoiler:Admiral Cartwright]] has this expression when Spock shows up with [[spoiler:Valeris]] in tow, as the whole conspiracy is about to be revealed.
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: Kirk and Spock's chat before the final battle. Kirk is regretting that his distrust towards Klingons indirectly caused this mess, while Spock was beating himself up about being [[spoiler: too biased towards Valeris and her achievements to notice her hidden agenda.]].
* OnlyOnePlausibleSuspect: Towards the end of the movie we discover [[spoiler:there's a traitor aboard the Enterprise]]. Since the movie has only one major character [[spoiler:among the Enterprise crew who's not a series regular]], it's not very hard to guess who [[spoiler:the traitor]] could be.
* OnlySaneMan: Chancellor Gorkon.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Spock angrily smacking Valeris's phaser out of her hand after [[spoiler:she is caught as the mole]]. Nimoy even said he wanted Spock to do something very un-Vulcan at that moment.
* OrbitalShot: The forced Mind Meld.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: President Target of the United Federation of Planets and Chancellor Target of the Klingon Empire.
* OutOfCharacterMoment: Kirk surrendering the fight when the Klingon ship recovers and prepares to return fire. ''Enterprise'' almost certainly would have won, but in doing so would have kicked off a war between the two powers (undoubtedly the conspirators' plan). He was doing ''everything'' possible to keep the chance for peace alive after what happened. Uhura's response says it all.
-->'''Kirk:''' Tell the Klingons we surrender.\\
'''Uhura:''' Captain!?\\
'''Kirk:''' We surrender!
** Spock is legitimately hurt and angry over [[spoiler: Valeris' betrayal, and makes no attempts to hide it. Even throwing logic in her face by outright daring her to shoot him. You can see the scorn on his face as he slaps the phaser out of her hand.]]
* OverlyNervousFlopSweat: During the climax as the conspirators are preparing to kill the Federation president, one of them, [[spoiler: Admiral Cartright]], is shown with sweat soaking his face.
** One of the engineers in the Enterprise's engine room is dripping nervously as well, as an invisible foe is probably lurking around Khitomer, waiting to tear the Enterprise apart.
* PeaceConference: The First Khitomer Accord, ending decades of hostility between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
* PlanarShockwave: Thanks to this movie, it's commonly known as the "Praxis Shockwave". It also has plot significance, when most uses are just to look nice. Here, it smacks into the Excelsior, revealing the situation to the Federation, when the Klingons might have covered it up (similar to how, in RealLife, the radiation cloud from Chernobyl made a cover up impossible).
* PlotInducedStupidity: So, Commander Uhura, veteran communications officer and linguist extraordinaire, ''never bothered to learn the common language of one of the galaxy's major powers?''
** Nichelle Nichols brought this up but director Nicholas Meyer shot her down. Being an avid fan of literature, Meyer wanted to show books on a starship. So, yeah. Her exasperated look after closing the communication was probably a case of ThrowItIn, as she was apparently not pleased at all about this scene.
** Alluded to in ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', where the alternate Uhura states that her Klingon is good, but not ''[[MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels great]]''.
** It was explained in the movie with a throw-away line of how the Klingons would recognize the UniversalTranslator, but this makes even less sense than using the books.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: [[TranquilFury "Target that explosion and fire."]]
* PrecisionFStrike: Though remarkably tame, it is certainly one for Spock after hearing [[spoiler:the Enterprise was to be decommissioned]]:
-->'''Spock:''' If I were human, my response would be 'go to hell'.
* PreventTheWar: The Enterprise's crew has to figure out the plot to assassinate Gorkon and jail Kirk in order to save the peace conference and stop war from breaking out.
* RecycledInSpace: Although the theme of the movie is an allegory for the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, the plot is basically the trope MakeTheBearAngryAgain (a popular plot in contemporary thrillers) applied to the Klingon empire.
* RevengeBeforeReason: Kirk certainly walks the line at first.
-->'''Kirk:''' They're animals!\\
'''Spock:''' Jim, there is an historic opportunity here.\\
'''Kirk:''' Don't believe them! Don't trust them!\\
'''Spock:''' They're dying.\\
'''Kirk:''' ''Let'' them die!
* RidingIntoTheSunset: In this case, going to warp toward a nearby star. Or...Neverland (see below)
* RousingSpeech: Kirk, in the aftermath of averting the assassination, though it's likely more poignant than rousing.
-->'''Azetbur:''' What's happened? What's the meaning of all this?\\
'''Kirk:''' It's about the future, Madam Chancellor. Some people think the future means the end of history. But we haven't run out of history just yet. Your father called the future 'the undiscovered country'. People can be very frightened of change.\\
'''Azetbur:''' You've restored my father's faith.\\
'''Kirk:''' And you've restored my son's.
* SceneryPorn: The aerial shot of Kirk, [=McCoy=] and Martia trudging across the wastes of Rura Penthe (in actuality the Knik Glacier in Alaska) is ''stunning.''
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Praxis must be really close to the neutral zone in order for the ''Excelsior'' to have been caught in the PlanarShockwave.
** It ''is'' said to be a ''[[SubspaceOrHyperspace subspace]]'' shockwave rather than a plain old STL shockwave..
** The ''Excelsior'' is said to be returning home on impulse power, which is unlikely unless they were already near their destination. It would take years to travel between stars at sublight speeds.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[spoiler:Admiral Cartwright]] tries to high-tail it as ThePlan to assassinate President Ra-ghoratreii falls apart--only to run into Captain Sulu and his team, phasers at the ready.
* SeeTheInvisible: Once the plasma-homing torpedo hits Chang's Bird-Of-Prey, it shows up, giving the ''Excelsior'' and ''Enterprise'' a visible target.
* ShapeshiftingSquick: Kirk is a little weirded out when the female alien he slept with shows up as a furry male alien.
* ShipTease: Very subtly between Spock and Valeris, reflected in their UST-filled nightcap and his emotional response to her betrayal. This is likely a remnant of the original script which was to have the established character of Saavik instead of Valeris (reflecting the fact Spock and Saavik were strongly implied to have mated in Star Trek III and a deleted scene in Star Trek IV had established that Saavik was pregnant with Spock's child; in the ExpandedUniverse novels, Spock and Saavik eventually marry.)
* ShoutOut:
** The last line before the final voice over is a reference to the 1953 Disney film ''PeterPan'' (the directions to Neverland).
--->'''Kirk''': Second star to the right... and straight on till morning.
** There is also a ShoutOut to SherlockHolmes, when Spock says, "One of my ancestors once said, 'When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'" Gene Roddenberry had established as part of Spock's BackStory that Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of SherlockHolmes, was one of Spock's ancestors on his mother's side.
** Chang's demand that Kirk not wait for the translation of a question, but answer it immediately, is straight from an earlier (pre-TOS, in fact) US-Soviet confrontation, the CubanMissileCrisis. In that case, it was Adlai Stevenson insisting that the Soviet delegate to the UN answer simply yes or no as to whether they were putting missiles in Cuba.
** The Warden's speech is almost a word-for-word paraphrasing of Saito's "There is no escape" speech from ''Film/TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai''.
** When the ''Excelsior'' appears, Chang muses, "[[SherlockHolmes Ah, the game's afoot.]]"
** Rura Penthe shares its name with the penal colony from the [[Film/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea 1954 film adaptation]] of ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea''.
* ShoutOutToShakespeare: Just about every other line, especially if it's said by [[BigBad General Chang]].
** Its very title is from ''Hamlet'': "[D]eath--the undiscovered country, from whose bourne/No traveler returns". (III.i)
** ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''
*** '''Martia:''' I thought I would assume a pleasing shape.
*** '''Gorkon:''' A toast. To [[TitleDrop the undiscovered country]] -- the future!
*** '''Chang:''' [[FacingTheBulletsOneLiner To be... or not... to be...]]
** ''Theatre/HenryIV, Part II''
*** '''Chang:''' Have we not heard the chimes at midnight? [[note]]A slight misquote converting the original play's statement - "We have heard the chimes at midnight..." into a question.[[/note]]
** ''Theatre/HenryV''
*** '''Chang:''' Once more unto the breach, dear friends.
*** '''Chang:''' The game's afoot.
** ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar''
*** '''Chang:''' Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!
*** '''Chang:''' I am constant as the northern star.[[note]]'''Bones:''' I'd give ''real money'' if he'd just ''shut up''.[[/note]]
** ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice''
*** '''Chang:''' Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?
** ''Theatre/RichardII''
*** '''Chang:''' Let us sit upon the grass and tell sad stories of the death of kings.
** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''
*** '''Chang:''' Parting is such sweet sorrow.
** ''Theatre/TheTempest''
*** '''Chang:''' Our revels now are ended.
* SilentWhisper: Right after the bodies of Chancellor Gorkon's killers are found, Kirk takes Spock aside and they have an inaudible conversation. At the end Spock says, "Possible." [[spoiler: It turned out to be an idea to lure the killers' killer out.]]
* SixthRangerTraitor: [[spoiler:Valeris]]
* SlasherSmile: William Shatner gives a great one as Marta!Kirk, when saying "killed trying to escape".
* SlowClap: After Kirk saves the peace summit, the participants all start up.
* SpaceColdWar: One of the more blatant allegories to come out of this period.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Nothing new to Trek but this movie subtly does a lot to give the feeling that the Enterprise is a naval vessel in space, right down to the computerized ship's bell dinging in a few scenes.
** Even moreso for this movie's Bird-of-Prey, which is the only one in the entire franchise to use a large ship's wheel at the helm.
** The explosion of Praxis sends out the space equivalent of a tsunami, which happens to be at the exact height in space to hit Excelsior.
** The climactic battle gives the impression of two surface warships attempting to hunt down an enemy submarine.
*** It does have 3D aspects, as enemy fire comes from all directions and heights. No one ever saw, for instance, the saucer section of the ''Enterprise'' being struck from ''below''.
** If ships having to uncloak to attack are like a diesel submarine needing to surface for air and to run the engines, then a ship that can fire while cloaked is like a nuclear submarine, with no need to surface at all. Thus, the gas-seeking photon torpedo is like an acoustically-guided anti-sub torpedo.
* SpotTheImposter: The same reason Martia was able to escape is the same reason the Warden was able to figure out she wasn't Kirk and killed her: she took off her leg cuffs. Of course, given the Warden's plans for Kirk and [[TheMedic McCoy]], [[LeaveNoSurvivors it wouldn't matter if he chose wrong anyways.]]
** There are a couple other giveaways. Martia always has gold eyes, and she pointed above Kirk instead of at him, since she was used to being shorter than him.
* StockFootage: The scene where Enterprise glides towards the spacedock doors is a reuse of the "zoom in on Enterprise" shot from Star Trek IV and Star Trek V, just with the Excelsior removed and the background tint changed to blue.
** The second trailer has a scene from [[Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock Star Trek III]] but it's minor (Enterprise getting shot by a torpedo).
** The Excelsior racing at top speed and the Klingon Bird of Prey exploding were re-used as stock footage in the next movie, ''Film/StarTrekGenerations''.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute. Valeris in place of Saavik.
* TakeThat: It's quite nicely worked in, but Kirk's remark in the end speech that "some people think change means the end of history" is likely a jab at neo-conservative Francis Fukuyama's proclamation (and epynonymous book) that the collapse of Soviet communism meant that liberal bourgeois democracy was the only option for developing countries and was, thus, "the end of history".
* TeleportationRescue: Kirk and [=McCoy=] are saved by the transporters. [[HisNameIs Shame about the timing, though.]]
* TitleDrop: Subtitle Drop. In the ill-fated [[FantasticRacism dinner scene]], Gorkon proposes a toast to "the undiscovered country," earning bemused stares from the audience as well as the main cast before he explains he meant "the future." The cause of the confusion is that within the context of {{Hamlet}}'s speech, "the undiscovered country" is ''death''. Which Spock himself [[LampshadeHanging points out]] in the novelization. Gorkon's counter-argument has a good point. And, considering what happens to Gorkon in his next scene, actually makes quite a bit of [[{{Foreshadowing}} sense]].
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Chancellor Gorkon. Dr. [=McCoy=] describes him as "the last, best hope for peace."
* TookALevelInJerkass: Admiral Cartwright. He was previously shown in a more heroic light in Star Trek IV. However he comes off as a racist jerk during the briefing, [[spoiler: and this is even before we find out he is a part of the conspiracy]].
* TouchTelepathy: After Spock realizes that Valeris is a traitor and murderer, he grabs her by the head and performs a forced MindMeld on her to learn the details of the conspiracy.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The fact that there is a Bird-of-Prey involved, and that Chang is commanding it.
* TranslationConvention: During the trial, the Klingons begin in their own language, then the camera cuts to a box where translators are giving a running translation in English, which is being piped through radio-like devices that Kirk and [=McCoy=] are listening to. When the camera cuts back to General Chang, all spoken dialogue for the rest of the scene is in English, but it's still clear the Klingons are speaking their own language, particularly when Chang yells at Kirk not to wait for the translation before answering a question.
** This trope is mostly avoided for all other scenes involving the Klingons on their own, however. Subtitles are used in all-Klingon scenes in almost all movies.
** For some reason, it almost always switches to English whenever Chang starts talking, sometimes right after some untranslated Klingon. Maybe Christopher Plummer had trouble chewing scenery in Klingon.
* TrickedIntoEscaping: The villains want Kirk and [=McCoy=] dead, not just imprisoned, but don't want to be too obvious about it. They arrange for the pair to meet someone with whom they can team up in an "escape attempt", which the commandant can then violently quash. Kirk eventually realises that the situation didn't add up.
-->'''Kirk:''' She [[VoluntaryShapeshifting didn't need our help]] getting anywhere. Where did she get these convenient clothes? And don't tell me that flare is standard prison issue. It's to let them know where we are. [...] [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident An accident]] wasn't good enough.\\
'''Martia:''' Good enough for one. Two would have looked suspicious. ''(shape-shifts into Kirk)'' Killed while attempting escape? Now that's convincing for both.
** Not so much tricked as controlled. Kirk would certainly have attempted escape on his own, but it would have taken time to learn the layout and find his best option.
* TwoDSpace: Subtly averted. When the ''Enterprise'' and ''Kronos One'' first rendezvous, they are not aligned in the same plane. ''Enterprise'' very diplomatically adjusts to match the Chancellor's ship. Later, the Bird of Prey fires one of its torpedoes perpendicularly to the plane of the saucer section of the ''Enterprise'', damaging it extensively.
* {{Understatement}}: Two related to the destruction of Praxis:
** The first is Brigadier Kerla admitting that "there has been an incident on Praxis." Yeah, an entire moon exploding goes well beyond just "an incident."
** The second is Spock opening a briefing at Starfleet Command with "Two months ago, a Federation starship monitored an explosion of the Klingon moon Praxis." By "monitored," he means that the ''Excelsior'' was knocked off course and nearly shaken to pieces by the PlanarShockwave.
* UnwantedRescue: At least not for a few more minutes after Kirk's capture explains the plans.
* VillainHasAPoint: Both sides of the conspiracy to assassinate Chancellor Gorkon and the Federation President are partially proven to be correct in their paranoia, when ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' and ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' later show their fears coming true. The Federation ''does'' corrupt Klingon society to the point that a Starfleet officer later becomes the one to decide who would become the next Klingon chancellor, while the Klingons later betray the Federation and launch a war against them after abandoning the Khitomer Accords.
* WasntThatFun: After General Chang's Bird-of-Prey blasting away at the helpless Enterprise with yet another ScreenShake:
-->'''[=McCoy=]:''' This is fun.
* WeAllLiveInAmerica: As unlikely as it may seem, the Klingon court of the 23rd century is shown to be very similar to American courts of the 20th century, with the accused being questioned publically by the prosecutor and the defense, defense attorney Worf throwing in an "objection!" every now and then and the judge overruling them, etc.
* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: Or at least the Klingons will on their prison planets. Then again, it's Rura Penthe, the Klingon equivalent of a gulag. The warden outright calls it "the gulag Rura Penthe" during his introductory [[ResistanceIsFutile resistance is futile]] speech. Hardly meant to be comfortable.
* WhamLine: "Signal our surrender." Derailed the firefight between ''Enterprise'' and ''Qo'noS One'' that the scene appeared to be leading to. It even shocks the bridge crew:
-->'''Uhura''': Captain?\\
'''Kirk''': WE SURRENDER!
** During the last scene:
-->'''Uhura:''' Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We're to put back to Spacedock immediately... to be decommissioned.
* WhatTheHellHero: Spock's disturbed reaction to Kirk's desire to see the Klingons die off.
** In commentaries, Shatner expressed dismay that they cut out a subsequent self-dismissive gesture from Kirk suggesting it was impulsively said.
** This was prompted by Spock "volunteering" the Enterprise and crew for the peace keeping mission. Considering just two films ago, Kirk was accused by the Klingons of developing the Genesis device as a superweapon, he seems like a poor choice - but the implication is that the Klingons respect Kirk's legendary fighting abilities and will deal better with a tough guy than a nice guy. [[spoiler: The conspirators have no problem leveraging this reputation to frame Kirk for Gorkon's murder.]]
*** The dinner scene spreads a lot of the blame around to all of the main characters--with the exception of Spock, who really ''is'' trying--who drink too much Romulan ale and come off as bigoted against Klingons. The suggestion is even made most of ''Enterprise's'' senior staff returned to duty still drunk from dinner is used as evidence of gross negligence against Dr. [=McCoy=] in their trial.
** Spock seems to be giving himself one after he [[spoiler:publicly {{Mind Rape}}s Valeris for information on the conspiracy.]]
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: When the prison warden finds Kirk and [=McCoy=] outside, he shoots the shape-shifter who was helping him immediately, but inexplicably agrees to explain who is behind the conspiracy before shooting Kirk and [=McCoy=]. This gives them enough time to escape.
* WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell: The whole film is a metaphor for the fall of communism, and even seemed to predict the failed coup that preceded the final collapse of the USSR.
* WickedCultured: General Chang might be willing to plunge the quadrant into war, but damn if he can't quote Shakespeare with the best of them!
* WildHair: The Federation President's mustache almost earned its own acting credit.
* WorthyOpponent: In the novelisation, Chang spends his last seconds reflecting on his own mortality, and that being beaten by the likes of Kirk is no disgrace.
** Even in the film, the mere fact that Chang considers Kirk a "warrior" is a testament to his respect for him as an adversary.
* XanatosSpeedChess: The conspirators of the plot manage to avert Kirk's attempts to stop it until the very end.
** They were expecting Kirk to fight it out after the Chancellor was killed, but when he surrendered they put him on a show trial and scheduled a new assassination attempt at the peace conference.
** They sent Kirk to an inescapable PenalColony but knew he would probably find a way to escape, so they used a stooge to "help" him and betray him later.
** They believed Kirk would never find the location of the conference, but had a ship ready to deal with him if he did.

-->''"Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. 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 [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries where no man]], [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration where no one]], has gone before."''