Star Trek: Generations (1994)

Rating: C-

Dir: David Carson
Star: Patrick Stewart, Malcolm McDowell, William Shatner, Brent Spiner

This entry transfers the franchise from original to Next Generation crew, albeit in a somewhat clunky manner with a story spanning almost 80 years. Villain Soran (McDowell) is desperate to return to the Nexus, a warm, fuzzy place, and is happy to destroy whole solar systems to reach the gateway. He Must Be Stopped, it goes without saying. Conveniently, the Nexus is where Kirk has been living, after getting sucked out of the Enterprise (Version B) when it got stuck there in a previous episo…er, part of the film.

The Nexus is basically a giant plot device, but hasn’t been thought out at all, since it basically gives everyone involved infinite lives. If they don’t stop Soran, they end up in the Nexus, and can exit at any moment in history and try again. And again. There goes any threat. Of course, rather than any sensible plan, they choose the most obvious dramatic moment – as in II, there’s something amusing about seeing actors, average age 56, duking it out like drunken frat-boys. However, this does let us see the really cool Enterprise (D? E? Still no seat-belts!) crash again. The rest of the film is herky-jerky, leaping forward then diverting into sequences of doubtful relevance. Though seeing that Klingons have invented Wonderbras, I am hopeful for the future of galactic peace.

It’s fun to see Kirk and Picard side-by-side, though having them bash heads on home turf, the Enterprise bridge, would have been even better. However, the rest of the crew of both eras seem there largely to fill contractual obligations, save perhaps Data (Spiner), who gets a chip that lets him feel the full range of human emotions, and probably allows him to play any region DVDs. At 117 minutes, there’s hardly any more content than a usual episode, and perhaps it should have stayed that way.