Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Connective Tissue

In the last ten minutes or so of this film is a little-noticed scene that actually connects Star Trek V to Star Trek VI. A subplot involving a very young Klingon captain (and his female second in command) that runs through most of the picture, continues the Klingon story from II and III. When news reaches the brash young Klingons that their representative on Nimbus III was captured, they warps off to confront whatever Federation starship shows up.

But when they learn it is the Enterprise their captain redoubles his efforts: Kirk is now a specific enemy of the Klingon empire, and a special prize. (Kirk's bitter response to those "Klingon bastards" also flows from II and III, and links to VI.) However, the captured Klingon turns out to be an exiled but still high-ranking officer, and a hero known even to Federation officers. He is aboard the Enterprise when Sybok and the others beam down to Sha Ka Ree. After Spock and McCoy beam back to the ship, he is persuaded to order the young Klingon's ship to rescue Kirk from the angry non-God's rampage.

This results in a scene of small reconciliation, in which Klingons and Federation officers celebrate together. "I never thought I would be drinking with a Klingon," Scotty says, but he will again. The possibilities and perils of rapproachment between these two galactic powers will become the major theme of Star Trek VI (and even the drinking together will recur in a more elaborate and central way.) This scene also connects the Klingons to the theme of how do you create peace, implied in Star Trek V by the failed Planet of Galactic Peace and its relation to the theme of internal (including spiritual) frontiers, and internal change.

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