‘STAR TREK: GENERATIONS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Captain Kirk meets Captain Picard
This is a ‘Star Trek’ movie that I have mixed feelings about!
‘Star Trek: Generations’ is the seventh film made in the ‘Star Trek’ movie series. It is also the first film to feature ‘The Next Generation’ team of ‘Star Trek’. If ‘Star Trek VI’ was a triumphant swansong for ‘The Original Series’, then ‘Generations’ is an average start for ‘The Next Generation’ in the movies.
This film was made in 1994 and was produced by Rick Berman, who also produced many ‘Star Trek’ spin-off shows during the 1980s and 90s to the early 2000s. The film was directed by David Carson, who had previously directed episodes of ‘The Next Generation’ and episodes of ‘Deep Space Nine’.
My Dad purchased ‘Star Trek: Generations’ on a 2-disc special edition DVD in early 2005. It wasn’t long after my parents and I finished seeing the six films of ‘The Original Series’ of ‘Star Trek’ that we began to see ‘TNG’ with the first film. It wasn’t planned, but Captain Kirk happened to be in the film.
The 2-disc Special Edition DVD has the following contents. The movie is on Disc 1 with the bonus features on Disc 2. I’m afraid I hadn’t seen any episodes of the ‘TNG’ series before watching this, so I wasn’t very familiar with knowing who these characters were that appeared in this ‘Star Trek’ movie.
Also quite honestly, I don’t feel that this movie is the best introduction to the ‘TNG’ cast. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching it. But after seeing the previous six films, I got the impression that it’d be assumed that viewers would know the ‘TNG’ cast without having seen any of their TV episodes.
The inclusion of Captain Kirk and two more ‘Original Series’ cast members was to help ease the tension for movie-goers with watching this first ‘TNG’ film. But I’d have preferred that they didn’t do that, as I feel ‘Star Trek VI’ was a fitting end to ‘The Original Series’ and that it should have ended there.
Also there wasn’t really a good balance of featuring both ‘Original Series’ and ‘TNG’ casts in one ‘Star Trek’ movie. I would have liked to have seen more of Captain Kirk rather than at the beginning and the end, as the whole film is taken up mostly by focusing on the ‘TNG’ cast during the movie’s story.
If I had made this movie, I’d have had all ‘The Original Series’ cast including Kirk, Spock and Bones meeting all of the ‘TNG’ cast in a big movie. Perhaps if ‘First Contact’ was the first ‘TNG’ film instead of ‘Generations’, it’d be better. Then we could have something like ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’.
Let’s get some continuity points out of the way. For ‘The Original Series’ cast of Captain Kirk with Scotty and Chekov, this movie is set after ‘Star Trek VI’ in the 23rd century. Kirk, Scotty and Chekov are now retired and they’ve been invited as guests aboard the Enterprise-B on her maiden voyage.
For ‘The Next Generation’ cast, this movie is set after ‘All Good Things…’, the season finale of ‘TNG’ shown at the end of Season 7. Captain Picard and the Enterprise-D crew of the 24th century are still wearing their uniforms from the ‘TNG’ TV series, although they do shift into ‘DS9’ uniforms at times.
Anyway, that’s enough on that. Let’s talk about the movie itself. The movie begins with a wine bottle smashing onto the hull of the newly-christened Enterprise-B on her maiden voyage. Kirk with Scotty and Chekov are invited as guests. I don’t understand why Spock and Bones aren’t there with them.
As I understand, this movie was originally going to feature Kirk, Spock and Bones as guests on the Enterprise-B. I don’t know why Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley didn’t appear, but it could be due to availability or perhaps they didn’t like the limited appearance they were going to have in this.
William Shatner returns as Captain Kirk for his seventh appearance in a ‘Star Trek’ movie. I enjoyed Kirk’s appearance in this movie, or what there is of it. Kirk was reluctant to come as a guest aboard the Enterprise-B. He also seems to be regretting being in retirement after being a captain for so long.
James Doohan and Walter Koenig reprise their roles as Scotty and Chekov for this movie, filling in the original Spock and Bones roles. They don’t have a major part to play in this movie, although Chekov gets to do Bones’ duties as an acting doctor whilst Scotty finds a way to save the Enterprise-B.
On the maiden voyage, the Enterprise-B responds to a distress call and comes across an energy ribbon in space called the Nexus. Rescuing a small amount of survivors from one of two El-Aurian ships, Kirk also manages to save the Enterprise-B from the ribbon before he’s swept out into space.
Many years later (seven decades to be precise), we come to ‘The Next Generation’ team aboard the Enterprise. And they’re on…a sailing sea out at ship called the Enterprise?! Oh wait, it’s the holodeck. I was confused by that when I saw it for the first time, having not seen any of the ‘TNG’ episodes.
Captain Picard and the Enterprise-D deal with the consequences of the Enterprise-B rescue mission, as an El Aurian scientist called Soran wants to enter the Nexus for his own personal agenda. Soran is mad and Picard has to see that he’s stopped. But he can’t do it alone. Will another captain help him?
Patrick Stewart is tremendous as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in this movie. This was the first time I’d seen him as Captain Picard in ‘Star Trek’. Picard is also on a journey of his own, especially as members of his family died tragically and he has to resist the temptation of the Nexus to stop Soran.
Jonathan Frakes stars as Commander William Riker, Picard’s first officer in the movie. I don’t think Riker gets much of a development as a character in this movie, but he does have some nice scenes with Picard and shows concern for him. I also liked it when he’s taking command of the Enterprise-D.
Brent Spiner (who I’ve met at the ‘London Film & Comic Con’ in July 2011) stars as Lt. Commander Data, the android aboard the Enterprise-D. I liked Data immediately from seeing this movie and he became one of my favourite ‘Star Trek’ characters. In the film, Data tries to use an emotion chip that he acquired from ‘Descent’.
LeVar Burton stars as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, the blind engineer who can see with his visor. I enjoyed Geordi and Data’s scenes together, as they clearly show to be best friends. Geordi unfortunately does get captured by Soran and the Klingons and they use his visor against the Enterprise-D.
Michael Dorn stars as Worf, the Klingon security officer aboard the Enterprise-D. Worf has recently been promoted to Lt. Commander following his seven-year service aboard the Enterprise. I liked Worf as a character and enjoyed how he behaved as a vital crewmember aboard the Enterprise ship.
Gates McFadden stars as Dr. Beverly Crusher, the chief medical officer aboard the Enterprise-D and Marina Sirtis stars as Counselor Deanna Troi, the ship’s counselor. I don’t think the two ladies get much development as characters from the movie, but I did like it when Troi shows concern for Picard.
Malcolm McDowell guest stars as the villain of this movie as Tolian Soran. Soran is a madman who’s obsessed with getting back inside the Nexus where all your dreams and fantasies come true. Soran will do anything to get his way, even if it means destroying a solar system and killing millions as well.
The Nexus is an interesting concept in this ‘Star Trek’ movie. Its physical presence is as an energy ribbon, but inside you get to experience the dreams and fantasies you want and be at joy and peace with everything. Captain Picard gets to experience what it’s like being inside the Nexus itself.
The rest of the cast are as follows. There’s Alan Ruck as Captain John Harriman of the Enterprise-B. There’s also Jacqueline Kim as Ensign Demora Sulu, Sulu’s daughter. Where did she come?! And who was her mother?! Those were the questions that George Takei asked in an interview for a DVD release.
There’s also Tim Russ who appeared as a Lieutenant aboard the Enterprise-B. Tim Russ is well-known for playing Tuvok in ‘Voyager’. There’s also Patti Yasutake as Nurse Ogawa, who works with Dr. Crusher and Majel Barrett provides the voice for the ship’s computer aboard the Enterprise-D in this movie.
The Klingons make an appearance in this ‘Star Trek’ movie. They’re led by Barbara March as Lursa and Gwynyth Walsh as B’Etor, the Klingon sisters who appeared in the ‘TNG’ TV series. These Klingons are enemies in this ‘Star Trek’ movie and they make an indirect attack on the Enterprise-D.
And let’s not forget Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan, bartender of Ten Forward on the Enterprise-D. Guinan becomes helpful and a guide to Picard in his mission to stop Soran from reaching the Nexus. Guinan knows who Soran is, since they’re both El Aurians and were once on the same transport ship.
Something shocking happens. After a brutal fight with the Klingons in space, the Enterprise-D soon gets destroyed and its saucer section crash-lands onto the planet surface of Veridian III. This marks as the second destruction of an Enterprise ship in a ‘Star Trek’ film. The first one was in ‘Star Trek III’.
Eventually, Picard can’t fight Soran alone and he needs some help. This is where he eventually finds Kirk who is also in the Nexus. The highlight of this movie for me was where the two captains meet. I enjoyed it when both Kirk and Picard meet for the first time and are both captains of the Enterprise.
William Shatner and Patrick Stewart work so well together as Kirk and Picard in this movie. I liked how Picard tries to persuade Kirk to help him to stop Soran on Veridian III. Kirk also gets to show off his love for horse-riding, before he eventually agrees to help Picard in his fight to stop the evil Soran.
Seeing the two captains working together to stop Soran was exciting to watch. It was interesting to see how Kirk and Picard were similar and different from each other and that there was no rivalry between them. It would have been nice to have seen more of that in future ‘Star Trek’ adventures.
However, this is where my mixed feelings about ‘Generations’ come into play. At the end of the movie, Kirk and Picard manage to stop Soran in his deadly plans to re-enter the Nexus. But at a cost, Kirk ends up plummeting into the Valley of Fire. Picard soon finds Kirk before he eventually, sadly…dies.
(Moment of silence).
(Another moment of silence).
Kirk’s dead! I did not see that coming! It also seems unfair! Kirk became one of my heroes from seeing ‘Star Trek’. And to see him dead at the end of a ‘Star Trek’ movie was…utterly depressing. Why did Kirk have to die? Kirk could have lived on at the end of that movie! I didn’t like that ending!
This wasn’t a great start for me with getting introduced to the ‘TNG’ series of ‘Star Trek’. I felt like I wouldn’t watch ‘Star Trek’ again after seeing what happened with Kirk at the end of the movie. Although of course, I eventually did get to see the ‘TNG’ TV series from scratch and became better.
The tragic death of Kirk in this ‘Star Trek’ movie is not a choice I would have gone for in making this first ‘TNG’ movie. Had Spock and Bones appeared in this movie, it might have changed things since apparently they were still living in the 24th century. Kirk could have reunited with those two friends.
The musical score for ‘Generations’ is provided by Dennis McCarthy, who has provided incidental music for episodes of ‘The Next Generation’, ‘Deep Space Nine’, ‘Voyager’ and ‘Enterprise’. I enjoyed Dennis’ music for this movie, especially for the overture and end credits reflecting the two captains.
The DVD special features on the 2-disc special edition are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a commentary with screenwriters Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore. There’s also a text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda, co-authors of ‘The Star Trek Enyclopedia’ to enjoy.
On Disc 2, there’s a ‘Scene Deconstruction’ section that contains three scenes from the movie and the behind-the-scenes making of them. There’s also a ‘Visual Effects’ section containing two behind-the-scenes featurettes including ‘Inside ILM: Models and Miniatures’ and ‘Crashing The Enterprise’. There’s ‘The Star Trek Universe’ section that contains some interesting items, including ‘A Tribute To Matt Jeffries’, ‘The Enterprise Lineage’, ‘Captain Picard’s Family Album’ and ‘Creating 24th Century Weapons’. There’s also an ‘Archives’ section that contains a production gallery and storyboards. There’s also a ‘Production’ section that contains the documentaries ‘Uniting Two Legends’, ‘Stellar Cartography: Creating The Illusion’ and ‘Strange New Worlds: The Valley of Fire’. There are also four ‘deleted scenes’ that were cut from the final edit of ‘Generations’, now featured on this DVD disc.
The special features on the 2010 DVD of ‘Star Trek: Generations’ are as follows. There’s a commentary by David Carson and Manny Coto, ‘Next Generation Designer Flashback: Andrew Probert’, ‘Stellar Cartography on Earth’, ‘Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond – Part One’, ‘Trek Roundtable: Generations’, ‘Starfleet Academy: Trilithium’ and ‘Scoring Trek’.
‘Star Trek: Generations’ is a movie that I have mixed feelings about. It’s not the best introduction to ‘The Next Generation’ cast in the movies and some choices made for this movie were incorrect. But I gained some enjoyment from this and I enjoyed Kirk and Picard working together and saving the day.
However, despite a rocky start, this wasn’t the end of the ‘TNG’ cast in the movies. Thankfully they would return in a second film. It would be better and one of the best action-packed instalments of any ‘Star Trek’ film, as Picard and his team would fight the Borg to save the day of ‘First Contact’!
‘Star Trek: Generations’ rating – 6/10
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