I don't know what to tell you -- except that people are not perfect, and often harbor prejudices of which they are either unconscious or of which they disapprove of in themselves; that's just a fact. And it's also a fact that Kirk and Scotty overcame their prejudices, even to the point of saving Klingon lives. They may not have been perfect, but they did the right thing, and that counts for something too.
No they overcame their prejudices to find out what skulduggery was afoot wanting to find both their own Federation brothers and Klingon devils who were participating in the assassination/coverup.
They overcame their own prejudice because they saw, with the assassination of Gorkon, what the ultimate result of that kind f bigotry would be: Violence and war.
More to the point, not till this movie, Meyer's second retrocon were any of these characters showing any problems with their old foes. Hell in the previous movie they were drinking and chasing after Klingons and Romulans.
This bothers some people. It never bothered me. Why not?
I never met my paternal grandfather; he died when my father was around eight years old. But I grew up hearing stories about him, and one of them was the apparent contradiction of his prejudice. He had a number of guys he liked to hang out with, repair cars with, and drink bear with; one of these guys was a black man. At the end of the day, he would invite all of them over for dinner, or vice versa -- everyone except this black man. Yet aside from this, they often hung out with each other and acted like friends.
Yet when the evening news came on and reported anything negative about anyone who was black, he would then begin ranting about how he couldn't stand black people, using the n-word, and generally behave like the unrepentant racist he was.
So I grew up understanding something: Racism and prejudice can live side-by-side with manners and etiquette, and with feelings of apparent conviviality and gregariousness.
Yes, Kirk and company were sharing friendly drinks with Klingons in Star Trek V
. But the lessons of real life taught me long ago that this doesn't mean they couldn't harbor extremely prejudiced feelings.
Retro-bigotry installed by Meyer
Oh, I think there's plenty of precedent in TOS for concluding that Kirk and company have prejudices against Klingons. Chekov's behavior in "The Trouble with Tribbles;" Kirk's "you Klingon bastards, you've killed my son" scene in Star Trek V
; his prejudiced ideas about what Kahless the Unforgettable must have been like, which the Excalibans based their re-creation of Kahless upon; etc.
trying to show the US-USSR rivalry and frankly, did we give a shit about the Russians not being human beings?
I mean, if you don't think that a film that's essentially about the difficulty of peoples who have been raised to hate each other as the enemy, learning to overcome their histories and end their conflict -- if you don't think the end of the Cold War -- if these aren't valid, interesting stories that are appropriate for Star Trek
, I just don't know what to say.
But I do. I think that Star Trek
had always used the Klingons as its USSR stand-in, and I think that it's completely appropriate for "the Wall comes down in outer space" to be the TOS crew's swan song. I think that it was true to the spirit of TOS, and I think it was a really wonderful film. When I think of a good Star Trek
film and a good Star Trek
story, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
is one of the stories that comes to mind for me.