Captain's Log, Stardate 9522.6: I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion, and I'd like to believe him. But how on Earth can history get past people like me?
[last lines] Captain's Log, Stardate 9529.1: This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man - where no one - has gone before.
[at Kirk and McCoy's trial] Indeed, the record shows that Captain Kirk once held the rank of admiral, and that Admiral Kirk was [rapid and agitated] broken for taking matters into his own hands in defiance of regulations of the law! Do you deny being demoted for these charges?! Don't wait for the translation! Answer me now!
Spock: Good morning. Two months ago, a Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon, Praxis. We believed it was caused by overmining and insufficient safety precautions. The moon's decimation means a deadly pollution of their ozone. They will have depleted their supply of oxygen in approximately 50 Earth-years. Due to their enormous military budget, the Klingon economy does not have the resources with which to combat this catastrophe. Last month, at the behest of the Vulcan ambassador, I opened a dialogue with Gorkon, Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. He proposes to commence negotiations at once.
Leonard McCoy: [to Spock] I'd give real money if he'd shut up.
[The Enterprise and Excelsior crews have just averted the assassination of the Federation president]
Azetbur: What's happened? What's the meaning of all of this?
James T. Kirk: It's about the future, Madame Chancellor. Some people think the future means the end of history. Well, we haven't run out of historyquite yet. Your father called the future the undiscovered country. People can be very frightened of change.
Azetbur: You've restored my father's faith.
Kirk: And you've restored my son's.
[The Enterprise crew see Sulu and the Excelsior bridge crew]
James T. Kirk: Captain Sulu! As much to the crew of the Enterprise, I owe you my thanks.
Capt. Hikaru Sulu: Nice to see you in action one more time, Captain Kirk. Take care. [Kirk nods as Excelsior leaves]
Commander Leonard McCoy: By God, that's a big ship.
Montgomery Scott: Not so big as her captain, I think.
Commander Pavel Chekov: So, this is goodbye.
Kirk: I think it's about time we got underway ourselves. [sits on captain's chair]
Commander Nyota Uhura: Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We're to put back to Spacedock immediately... to be decommissioned. [long pause as Kirk contemplates the order]
Spock: If I were human, I believe my response would be "go to Hell." [Kirk looks at Spock; to Kirk] If I were human.
He was not well, and maybe there were more tactful ways of dealing with it, because at the end of the day, I was going to go out and make the movie. I didn't have to take him on. Not my finest hour.
Nicholas Meyer, recalling his final meeting with Gene Roddenberry before his death; as recounted in Star Trek Movie Memories (1995) by William Shatner, pp. 366-367
If I’m interpreting him correctly and if I’m believing what he said, Mr. Roddenberry really believed in the perfectability of man, of humans, and I have yet to see the evidence for this. So ‘VI’ is a film in which the crew of the Enterprise has all kinds of prejudice, racial prejudice, vis-a-vis the Klingons. And some of their remarks, including how they all look alike and what they smell like, and all the xenophobic things which we grappled with — that was all deeply offensive to him because he thought there isn’t going to be that. In fact, in his original ‘Star Trek’ concept, there wasn’t any conflict. So he always had problems with writers who were trying to write conflict, because that’s what drama is, so he was very distressed with the world of the Enterprise – the kind of ‘music’ I was writing.