Star Trek Generations 20th Anniversary

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As amazing as it seems (at least to me) it is 20 years ago today that Star Trek: Generations hit movie theatres. The last on-screen outing for William Shatner’s Kirk and the very first big screen outing by the crew of the Enterprise-D has become on of those Trek movies that has polarized fans in that either they enjoyed it or absolutely loathed it. It is certainly true that the movie won’t ever make any Number 1 spots on the lists of best Star Trek movies but is it really that bad?

I don’t know.

I don’t think it is as bad as some people try to make it out. Sure it had its faults with a rather topsy-turvy story and obvious questionable decisions made by the characters; the classic being if Picard could return to any point he wanted why not return to the point where he first meets Soran and spare us the rest of the movie (and the Enterprise-D)? What always annoyed me was how much of the film felt recycled from previous movies. In some instances they were directly recycled. I am of course talking about the fact that the Duras Sisters’ Bird-of-Prey exploding is simply the reused footage of Chang’s ship exploding in the previous movie. Eeep! I do wonder also why if a ship with its shields and hull would get ripped apart getting close to the Nexus why doesn’t the same happen to Soran and Picard on that hillside?

But what did the film do right? Well, Malcolm McDowell as Soran was an inspired choice and I will say that not since Khan in Star Trek II did we have such a genuinely motivated enemy. He was actually quite sympathetic in his cause and actually does a pretty good job of convincing the audience why he is doing it. How many films can claim to give you a dose of Helsinki Syndrome while you are watching it?

A lot of fans (and I mean a hell of a lot of fans) hate how the Enterprise-D was destroyed in this movie and I really can’t see why. Their argument is how could the ship have survived so much throughout the series only to get taken out by a single Bird-of-Prey? Well in the series the ship faced enemies trying to destroy it conventionally and the Galaxy-class was just too tough for that. So how do you destroy a tough ship you can’t match? Well you cheat obviously and thats what the Duras sisters did. I don’t see the problem. Also with the Enterprise-D out of the way we got to see the incredible Enterprise-E that was much more suited to the big screen. Interestingly, ILM actually put NCC-1701-E titles on the Galaxy-class model in preparation for Star Trek: First Contact before they were told they were given a budget to make a new ship.

Well anyway. Love it or loathe it this movie did get the TNG crew we all loved so much on to the big screen and that’s not a bad thing. The movie certainly had a tough job acting as the intermediary between the 23rd and 24th centuries and for that we should cut it some slack.

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4 thoughts on “Star Trek Generations 20th Anniversary”

  1. I enjoyed Star Trek: Generations, particularly when I was a kid. I watched it a couple weeks ago on Netflix and it doesn’t definitely has a lot of awkward, spare moments, not befitting the “Holy crap! Kirk and Picard are in the SAME MOVIE!” angle the studio was pitching.

    That being said, I genuinely enjoy just about any interaction with the Next Generation crew and this movie is no exception. Plus, Data gets his emotion chip! Finally!

  2. I can’t remember on what Blu-ray/DVD of TNG I saw it on, but there was a feature about how the writers who were writing the Generations movie were asked to write the series finale “All Good Things” while still trying to write the movie. I found it funny when they said they spent almost a year writing “Generations” and it only took them about 30days to write “All Good Things”. They basically admitted on camera that “All Good Things” was by far the better product and probably should of been the script used for the big screen.

    “Generations” isn’t a bad Trek movie, but as you alluded to in your post it had it’s flaws. If you think about it when Picard and Kirk came back to stop Soran they really weren’t stopping the real Soran. Picard and Soran entered the Nexus together, but only Picard came out with Kirk so in a sense the real Soran was really still in the Nexus.

    That may sound weird, but if you think about what happens in the movie it makes since in a warped way or I could be all wrong.

    Biggest mistake the movie made, killing Kirk, in my opinion.

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