Study Guide

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Voyager VI

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Voyager VI

The revelation that V'Ger is just…a super-evolved version of NASA's Voyager space probe completely changes our understanding of this fearsome foe.

And maybe, just maybe, changes our understanding of NASA's Voyager space probes. Those little dudes seem kind of ominous now.

Rags to Riches

Here's Voyager VI's backstory, courtesy of the exposition-spouting men of the Enterprise:

DECKER: Voyager VI disappeared into what they used to call a black hole.

KIRK: It must have emerged sometime on the far side of the Galaxy and fell into the machine's planet's gravitational field.

SPOCK: The machine inhabitants found it to be one of their own kind, primitive yet kindred. They discovered its simple twentieth-century programming. Collect all data possible.

DECKER: Learn all that is learnable. Return that information to its Creator.

There are two things that jump out as us. The first is that there's a planet of sentient machines out there. That's a big deal.

They also seem capable of emotion, as they show compassion towards V'Ger by saving it from the brink of death. This is perhaps a hint that machines like V'Ger are able to transcend hard logic somehow.


The second is the simple fact that V'Ger came from Earth. On a symbolic level, this says a lot about the power of technology, putting mankind on par with God as creators of new life. That's some heavy responsibility.

More than that, however, it's a way of praising technology for its incredible power while also warning us not to lose the human side of ourselves. In a world ruled by Neko Atsume—er, smartphones—we'd wager that's something well worth mentioning.

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