June 04, 2004

Why The Star Trek Movie Franchise Should Stay Dead

The Next Generation cast has played itself out, seems like they ran out of good ideas after First Contact (the one with the Borg). Anything at this point would just suck even worse than the last two Trek films (specifically the last one).

Plus let's face it, only a core group of lunatic cultists would really want a Deep Space Nine movie, and no one in their right mind is waiting for Voyager to hit the silver screen.

To clarify my point, plus poke a little fun, let's take a look at the problems with the last Trek film - Star Trek: Nemesis

The Bad Guy - In the beginning, a bald human named Shinzon throws off the shackles of slavery and takes control of the Romulan government. What, is the entire Romulan military taking leave on planet Mardi Gras? The only thing I can compare this to is if Saddam Hussein escaped jail, then with one fell swoop slew Congress and claimed the Presidency while no one did a damn thing about it. How believable is that? Then again, that might make a great Bond film...

Anyway, it turns out he's an unstable clone of Captain Picard who is using the mental powers of his right hand man to get into Picard's mind and mess with him, because they're both so scary similar or something.

Riker & Troi - Now we get to finally see the wedding of these two. Wait a minute, wasn't their relationship dead when Next Generation started back in the 80s? Their chemistry is as boring now as it was then, the only time it ever showed any spunk was in that Borg movie when they got drunk together. This is about as rewarding as the Scotty/Uhura romance from Star Trek V; wait, we were all trying to forget that one, weren't we?

B4 - But wait, there's more! They find B4, a prototype of Data. For most of the movie I wasn't sure if he was going to be a force of evil like Data's brother Lore, or something else. Turns out he's nothing more the retarded older brother Data's "father" never told him about - out of shame, I guess.

ACTION! - There's a bunch of forgettable stuff that happens, which is sad considering this is mostly an action film. There was an SUV chase, but I don't remember any of the details except that something drives over a cliff and into a shuttle. I wonder if any of the writers asked themselves, "Why is there a Road Warrioresque chase scene when everyone has these cool shuttles to fly around in?"

There's also a big space battle at the end and I'm presuming the Warbirds get destroyed, because they're not around for the aftermath. And I think there are some fistfights or maybe phaser firing, but just can't recall.

The Scimitar - Turns out Shinzon also has this bad ass ship, it's got an assload of weapons and can take on a couple of Romulan Warbirds and the Enterprise and hardly break a sweat. Someone should really keep an eye on those slaves.

The Big Climactic Battle - After a suprisingly forgettable starship slugfest, Enterprise and Scimitar have one of those dead-in-space face offs that you may remember from The Search For Spock. You know, where the Enterprise and a Bird of Prey face off while Kirk negotiates with Reverend Jim from Taxi dressed up as a Klingon?

But wait, another surprise! Scimitar has this ultimate weapon that will kill everyone. Sounds like Wrath Of Khan to me, except this time instead of a cool sounding Genesis Device it's a radiation beam that's much more deadly than your run-of-the-mill radiation beam.

So despite the fact that both ships are crippled beyond repair, Scimitar is still somehow capable of deploying its ultimate weapon. This involves unfurling these elaborate spines on either side of the ship, which are miraculously undamaged! Not to mention that this weapon (and the deployment mechanisms) must be on some kind of backup power supply that's still fully functional.

Did I mention that this weapon takes 7 minutes to deploy? And in that whole time everyone on Enterprise is helpless to stop it. What, no tachyon burst from the Deflector Dish to negatively charge the weapon? Modify the weapons to randomly rotating frequencies? Slingshot around the sun? I guess this is the one time when no one has any good far-fetched ideas. No one except...

Mr. Data - ((If by some stroke of luck you give two shits but haven't seen this film yet, stop reading now!)) He gets it into his head to jump over to Scimitar through the space that separates them. And by "space" I mean space, as in that place where no one can hear you scream. I guess his skin must be freezer burn resistant or something, because he makes it with no great effort.

Anyway, he gets over there and checks things out, then discovers that he can destroy the ultimate weapon by firing a phaser into it. But this will also destroy him. So after uttering his last words, which are not memorable at all, not even "Remember", he does so. What, no timers on a phaser? No way to calculate a method of being blown back out into open space by the shock wave, thus (inexplicably) surviving? This has got to be the lamest excuse for a heroic death in recent movie memory.

The original cast of Star Trek at least got a good send off, they had a heroic last mission then sailed off into the sunset - LITERALLY! (check out the end of Undiscovered Country if you don't believe me) It's a damn shame that the Next Generation cast instead gets to slink off into the darkness, no heroic fanfare or tearful farewell. But considering the bland turn Trek has taken since Gene Roddenberry died, perhaps this is for the best after all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What, no timers on a phaser? No way to calculate a method of being blown back out into open space by the shock wave, thus (inexplicably) surviving? This has got to be the lamest excuse for a heroic death in recent movie memory."

I didn't see the movie, don't plan on it. I stopped watching STNG movies after the one with the Borg. Can't even remember the title of the film. Now that's pretty bad.

Hey even in the old Star Trek the TV series, you could set a phaser for "OVERLOAD" and run like hell. Gee, must be pretty pathetic for an android who is "superior to humans in every way" not to be able to figure that out. Also shows a certain amount of ignorance on the writers not to be able to pull from the past and I am not even a die hard fan and I know this little bit of trek trivia. [rolls eyes]


11:17 AM  

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