- Directors: Nicholas Meyer
- Producers: Steven Charles Jaffe, Ralph Winter
- Writers: Screenplay, Nicholas Meyer, Denny Martin Flinn, Story, Leonard Nimoy, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
- Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
- Actors: See Cast
The film opens with the explosion of the Klingon moon, Praxis. The USS Excelsior, commanded by Captain Hikaru Sulu, is struck by the shock wave and its crew discovers that much of the moon has been obliterated. The loss of their key energy production facility and the destruction of the Klingon homeworld’s ozone layer throws the Klingon Empire into turmoil. No longer able to maintain a hostile footing, the Klingons sue for peace with their longstanding enemy, the United Federation of Planets. Starfleet sends the USS Enterprise-A to meet with the Klingon Chancellor, Gorkon, and escort him to negotiations on Earth. The decision does not sit well with the Enterprise’s captain, James T. Kirk, whose son was murdered by Klingons years earlier.
The Enterprise rendezvous with Gorkon’s battlecruiser and proceeds towards Earth, with the crews sharing a tense meal aboard the Enterprise. Late at night, the Enterprise appears to fire on the Klingon ship with a pair of torpedoes; the damage disables artificial gravity aboard the vessel. During the confusion, two figures wearing Starfleet suits and gravity boots beam aboard the Klingon ship and wound Gorkon. Kirk surrenders to avoid a fight, and beams aboard the Klingon ship with Doctor Leonard McCoy in an effort to save Gorkon’s life. The chancellor dies, and Gorkon’s chief of staff, General Chang, puts Kirk and McCoy on trial for his assassination. The pair are found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on the frozen asteroid Rura Penthe. Gorkonâ€™s daughter, Azetbur, becomes the new Chancellor, and pushes forward with diplomatic negotiations; for reasons of security, the conference’s location is kept a secret. While several senior Starfleet officers want to rescue Kirk and McCoy, the Federation president refuses to risk full-scale war. Azetbur likewise refuses to invade Federation space, stating that only Kirk and McCoy will pay for her father’s death.
The crew contacts Sulu, who informs them the conference is being held at Camp Khitomer; both ships head for the talks at maximum warp. As it nears the planet, the Enterprise is intercepted by Chang’s Bird of Prey. With the Enterprise unable to track his ship’s position, Chang inflicts severe damage on the Enterprise and then the Excelsior. Spock and McCoy modify a photon torpedo to home in on the exhaust emissions of Chang’s vessel. The torpedo impact reveals Chang’s location, and the Enterprise and Excelsior destroy the Bird of Prey in a flurry of torpedoes. Crew from both ships beam to the conference and halt an attempt on the Federation president’s life. Azetbur says Kirk has restored her father’s faith; Kirk responds that she has restored his son’s. Having saved the peace talks, the Enterprise is ordered back to Earth by Starfleet Command to be decommissioned, but the crew decide to take their time on the return voyage. As the Enterprise cruises towards a nearby sun, Kirk proclaims that though this mission is the final cruise of the Enterprise under his command, others will continue their voyages.