Study Guide

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Prejudice

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Like many a sci-fi story, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country uses the relationship between humanity and aliens to illustrate earthbound prejudices. Captain Kirk has spent the bulk of his career battling the Klingon Empire, but now that this formerly mighty foe is on the verge of collapse, he's forced to imagine a future in which they're pals. Spoiler: he just can't do it—at least at first. Although Kirk's prejudices initially set him against the Federation's peacemaking efforts, he eventually reaches a place where he can see Klingons as beings worthy of respect.

Questions About Prejudice

  1. What are the reasons behind Kirk's prejudice?
  2. Does Kirk fully overcome his prejudice by the end of the movie? Why or why not?
  3. What does Lieutenant Valeris' story arc say about the societal effects of prejudice?
  4. Which Klingon characters help Kirk lessen his prejudice?

Chew on This

Although it is indefensible, Kirk's prejudice is rooted in some very real tragedies in his life.

Although Kirk might still harbor prejudices toward the Klingons by the end of the film, he now sees the Klingons as beings worthy of respect, which is a huge step forward.

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