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Star Trek Generations

This article needs additional citationsfor verification.
Please help improve this articleby adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challengedand removed. (April 2007) For computer game, see Star Trek Generations (video game). For Game Boy and Game Gear game, see Star Trek Generations: Beyond the Nexus. Star Trek Generations
Theatrical release poster Directed by David CarsonProduced by Rick BermanWritten by Rick Berman(story)
Ronald D. Moore
Brannon Braga(story and screenplay)
Gene Roddenberry(creator) Starring See tableMusic by Dennis McCarthyCinematography John A. AlonzoEditing by Peter E. BergerDistributed by Paramount PicturesRelease date(s) November 18, 1994Running time 118 min. Country  United StatesLanguage EnglishBudget $35,000,000 (estimated) Gross revenue $118,100,000 (worldwide) Preceded by Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country(1991) Followed by Star Trek: First Contact(1996) Allmovie profileIMDb profile

Star Trek Generations is a 1994 science fiction film, and the seventh feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series. It is the first film in the series to star the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The film's tagline was "Two Captains, One Destiny". Although most of the Star Trek films contain a colon in their title, the official title of this film is Star Trek Generations.

Contents

Plot

Retired Captain James T. Kirk reluctantly attends the maiden voyage of the USS Enterprise-B, successor to the USS Enterprise-A, which he commanded. Also present are retired Commander Pavel Chekov and retired Captain Montgomery Scott, who served with him. The unfinished Enterprise-B is commanded by the young and inexperienced Captain John Harriman and only a skeleton crew is aboard. During the voyage, Enterprise is pressed into a rescue mission, requiring the three men to bring their experience to bear. Although Kirk is offered command, he accepts this is Harriman's job and chooses to attend to an engineering problem instead. They ultimately rescue 47 El-Aurian refugees caught in an "energy ribbon." Among those rescued are Tolian Soran and Guinan, who will later serve on the Enterprise-D. Despite their success, Kirk appears to be killed when the section of the ship he is in is destroyed by the ribbon.

Seventy-eight years later, the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, captained by Jean-Luc Picard, are in the middle of a promotion ceremony for Worf when they receive and respond to a distress call from the Amargosa solar observatory station. The crew finds that the station has been attacked, apparently by Romulans, and evacuate the survivors, including Dr. Tolian Soran. While investigating the incident, Data and Geordi LaForge discover the Romulans were looking for trilithium, which they subsequently find in a hidden room. Suddenly, they are approached by Soran, who has returned to the station, ostensibly to complete an important experiment. He quickly attacks and knocks out Geordi, then holds Data at gunpoint, and launches a trilithium-based projectile into the heart of the Amargosa star, causing it to supernova. He takes Geordi prisoner, and escapes with him aboard a Klingon bird-of-prey belonging to the Duras sisters. Worf and Commander William T. Riker rescue Data, and the Enterprise escapes just before the station is destroyed.

After learning Soran's history, Picard asks Guinan for any help she can offer. She explains to Picard that Soran's goal is to return to the "Nexus", and that the energy ribbon the Enterprise-B encountered is a gateway to this place, where all of one's desires become 'reality'. With Data's help, Picard determines that the ribbon will pass through their sector soon, and Soran's destruction of stars is altering the local gravitational field, and the energy ribbon's course along with it. Picard and Data discover that for Soran to enter the Nexus, he must bring the ribbon to him as he waits on the planet Veridian III. In order to bring the ribbon that close, Soran must cause the Veridian star to supernova at the right moment, which would ultimately destroy all the planets in the system, one of which is inhabited.

When the Enterprise arrives at Veridian III, they are met by the Duras sisters, who offer to trade La Forge for Picard. Picard agrees, on the condition they transport him to the surface to speak with Soran first. After the exchange is made, La Forge returns to his duties, unaware that Soran has implanted a transmitter in his visor. The Duras sisters use the transmitter to determine the frequency modulation of the Enterprise's shields, configure their weapons to penetrate them, and shortly thereafter attack. Caught off-guard, the Enterprise suffers critical damage before being able to implement an effective counter-attack. Although the Klingon ship is destroyed outright, the damage to the Enterprise proves irreparable and progressive. The crew evacuate to the saucer section just before the warp core explodes, destroying most of the ship. The resulting shockwave causes the saucer section to crash land on Veridian III, leaving it unsalvageable, though the crew survives.

On the surface, Picard discovers that Soran has a trilithium weapon aimed at the Veridian star, set on a timer. However, Picard can't get to the weapon or Soran as a forcefield has been set up around a large area. After failing to talk him out of his plan, Picard finds a gap in the field and attacks Soran, but is unable to stop the missile in time. Both he and Soran are pulled into the Nexus, just before the shockwave created by the destruction of the star destroys the planet and the Enterprise. In the Nexus, Picard experiences his greatest dream: to have a family, though he quickly comes to remember it is not real. He then encounters an 'echo' of Guinan, who describes herself as a piece of Guinan forever tied to the Nexus. After Picard accepts he must focus on his mission, he realises he needs help to stop Soran. As 'Guinan' cannot leave, she directs Picard to Kirk, who had been pulled into the Nexus 78 years earlier. Kirk is initially reluctant to believe Picard's story and even more reluctant to leave the Nexus, as he believes he has happiness there. Picard eventually convinces him that his happiness is an illusion and his duty to Starfleet, where he can "make a difference" is a greater calling. They leave the Nexus together, choosing to return to Veridian III, within Soran's forcefield, before the missile is set to launch. After fighting Soran to a stalemate, he activates a cloaking device on the launcher with a remote control, which he subsequently drops on a bridge over a ravine. As Kirk and Picard run to retrieve it, Soran shoots out the bridge, leaving the control hanging precariously on a small piece of bridge on the far side of a large gap. Knowing they are running out of time, Kirk sends Picard to the launcher while he gets the remote, knowing it is a one-way jump. Grabbing the control, he barely de-cloaks the launcher before the bridge breaks loose, sending Kirk plummeting into the ravine. Picard then activates the missile's locking clamps, causing it to explode on the launchpad, killing Soran as he approaches to fix it.

Mortally injured at the base of the ravine, Kirk asks Picard if they have "made a difference", and Picard assures him they have. Kirk expresses true happiness, then dies. Picard buries Kirk before he is rescued by shuttlecraft, then travels to the wreckage of the Enterprise's saucer section. He and Riker retrieve Picard's photo album and mourn the loss of their vessel before beaming aboard one of the Starfleet rescue ships.

Cast

Actor Role Patrick StewartCaptain Jean-Luc PicardJonathan FrakesCommander William T. RikerBrent SpinerLt. Commander DataLevar BurtonLt. Commander Geordi LaForgeMichael DornLt. Commander WorfGates McFaddenCommander (Dr.) Beverly CrusherMarina SirtisCommander (Counselor) Deanna TroiMalcolm McDowellDr. Tolian Soran James DoohanCaptain Montgomery Scott, retired Walter KoenigCommander Pavel Chekov, retired William ShatnerCaptain James T. Kirk, retired Alan RuckCaptain John HarrimanWhoopi GoldbergGuinan(uncredited) Jacqueline KimEnsign Demora SuluPatti YasutakeNurse Alyssa OgawaBarbara MarchLursa Gwynyth WalshB'Etor Tim RussUSS Enterprise-BTactical Lieutenant Majel BarrettComputer voice

Tim Russ makes a brief appearance as an unnamed human officer aboard the Enterprise-B. Soon after the film's release, Russ would assume the role of the Vulcan tactical officer Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager. An episode of Voyager, "Flashback", established that Tuvok served aboard the USS Excelsior during the events of the previous film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Themes

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As in several earlier films, Generations contrasts a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants (Soran) with men who are willing to put aside everything they love and cherish to save others. Kirk makes the ultimate sacrifice, as does the Enterprise-D, in one of the most spectacular special effects sequences of the film series. A related theme is the contrast between Soran and Picard in handling personal tragedy. The Enterprise-B rescues Soran as his ship was being destroyed by the Nexus, and he became obsessed with going back into the Nexus. Soren's wife and children had been killed in a Borg attack some time earlier, so he seeks the Nexus as a means to return to them, ignoring the fact that the "reality" that the Nexus presents is illusionary.

Picard, on the other hand, learns early in the film that his brother Robert and nephew René were both killed in a fire on Earth. He had placed all his hopes of continuing the Picard family line with them, and laments to Troi that his life path will most likely not allow him to take on that task. However, when the Nexus presents him with a scenario in which he is married and has many children, he is able to overcome the temptation to stay in that "reality", realizing that it is a falsehood.

Lt. Commander Data also has to grapple with the effects of the emotion chip Dr. Soong had made for him, which he has La Forge install in his positronic net after a very embarrassing failure to understand humor. When it fuses with his positronic net, he is unequipped to handle the rush of unfamiliar emotional input, which threatens to overwhelm him. Recognizing and overcoming his own personal failings is his story arc, which also provides many of the comedic moments in Generations.

Much of Soran's motivations are meditations on time he has spent attempting to return to the Nexus. Soran's line, "They say time is the fire in which we burn...", is based on a line from a poem by Delmore Schwartz called Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day. Permission was sought to use this line in the film and Schwartz' name appears at the end of the credit. Malcolm McDowell was so taken with this line that he had it engraved on the watch he wears (as Soran) in the film.

Production

Rick Berman was asked to develop a Star Trek: The Next Generation movie in early 1993. Two different scripts were written, one by Maurice Hurley, script editor for season 2 of TNG, and the other by Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga, who had co-written several popular episodes. The latter was chosen.[1]

Leonard Nimoy declined to appear in their film, and DeForest Kelley was unable to appear since his failing health prevented him from acquiring the necessary health insurance (a requirement for any actor). Their lines, as Spock and McCoy, were modified for James Doohan and Walter Koenig, as Scotty and Chekov. In Scotty's case, it created a seeming continuity error as Scotty's dialogue in the TNG episode "Relics" implies that Kirk was alive when Scotty left on a transport called the Jenolen to live out this retirement on the Norpin colony. After Scotty and the Jenolen are trapped in a "Dyson Sphere" he preserves himself in the ship's transporter system for 75 years before finally being rescued by the Enterprise-D. When one of his rescuers, Commander William Riker, mentions he is from the Enterprise, Scotty exclaims "The Enterprise... I shoulda known. And I'll bet it was Jim Kirk himself who hauled the old girl out of mothballs to come looking for me." It should be noted however, that the Official Star Trek Web Site, startrek.com, attributes this line of dialogue to the character having been momentarily disoriented after having been stuck in the Jenolen's transporter system for so long a period of time.[2] Another minor continuity error occurs when Data belatedly bursts out laughing at a joke Geordi told seven years ago which had the punchline "You can stay, but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go!" Data reminds a confused Geordi that he told this joke during the Farpoint Mission (the Enterprise's maiden voyage). However, that mission predated the Federation's first official contact with the Ferengi in the fifth episode of season one, "The Last Outpost".

Production work on the film started immediately after Next Generation finished, with many staff members starting work on the film while still working on the television show or transferring immediately to the film production team as soon as their work on the television show finished.

During the film the newer Starfleet uniform design from Deep Space Nine is seen being worn by starship crew members for the first time, with some characters shown wearing the older Next Generation' versions of their uniforms early in the film, and later switching to the newer design. This echoes the early episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series (specifically The Corbomite Maneuver and Mudd's Women) in which characters are shown wearing an older uniform design dating back to the pilot film, Where No Man Has Gone Before.

The director, David Carson, had no feature film experience, but had directed several episodes of Star Trek, including the popular Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" and the Deep Space Nine two-part pilot episode "Emissary."[3]

Generations grossed $75,671,125 in the U.S. and $118,100,000 worldwide against a $35,000,000 budget.[4] Although the film did relatively well internationally compared to previous "Star Trek" films, its final U.S. gross was seen by some as disappointing, considering the media blitz that accompanied the film and its impressive $23,116,394 opening weekend. Reviews were generally positive with some criticism that Kirk and Picard's meeting was somewhat cold and anti-climatic.

Paramount's Generations website was the first site on the Internet to officially publicize a major motion picture.[5]

Broadcast TV premiere

The first broadcast United States TV airing of Generations was in 1997, when Fox aired the film.

References

  1. ^ Marc Shapiro. "Rick Berman: Executive Producer", Star Trek Generations: Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, Titan Magazines, January 1995. 
  2. ^ Character Biography of Montgomery Scott. StarTrek.com (© 2007 CBS Studios Inc.). Retrieved on 2008-02-24.
  3. ^ Marc Shapiro. "David Carson: Director", Star Trek Generations: Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, Titan Magazines, January 1995. 
  4. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=startrek7.htm Boxofficemojo.com Retrieved on 05-26-07
  5. ^ http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/features/specials/article/7647.html Startrek.com Retrieved on 05-26-07

External links

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