Study Guide

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country General Chang's Bird-of-Prey

General Chang's Bird-of-Prey

The defining feature of Klingon warships is their ability to become completely invisible. It's pretty sweet. There's just one downside: the ships must uncloak before firing weapons. Right?

Yeah, well, not anymore. General Chang, the leader of the conspiracy to derail the peace efforts, heads a Klingon Bird-of-Prey that has a very special ability—it can cloak and fire weapons at the same time.

In a massive conflict like the one between the Klingon Empire and Federation, half of the battle is inventing ways to kill people faster than the other side. That's terrible for everyone who's not a weapons manufacturer, but war is unfortunately a pretty great incentive for technological innovation. War—cold or hot—is great for the economy.

Bummer.

As it happens, though, the reason the Klingons are in such trouble right now is that they wasted all of their money on their military budget. Womp womp. Looks like there's a limit to the bucks that even wartime innovation can bring in. Looked at in a certain way, Chang's state-of-the-art ship represents the militant decadence of the Klingon Empire—especially considering how it gets blown to bits in its second battle.

That's some pretty poor ROI.

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