And I still would have preferred he not be there at all especially since I would think almost a decade on the air and being a popular show would mean that they wouldn't need yet another torch passing to somehow justify TNG's existence.
Again: the moviegoing audience was not identical with the TV audience. A lot of the target audience they had to draw in for the movie to succeed financially consisted of people who didn't already watch TNG and weren't familiar with these characters. It's just the nature of the business that if you adapt a work to a different medium, you're going after a different audience and have to start over with introducing the work and making it accessible. Of course the people who are already fans will follow you, but they're just going to be a portion of your audience. Assume it's enough to cater to the existing fans and you'll just alienate the new fans. Which doesn't make any sense as a strategy, because the whole point
of moving to a different medium is to bring the work to a new audience.
So to a large extent, Generations
had to be about drawing in the moviegoing audience that had followed the TOS movies, and that in many cases only
followed Star Trek
in movie form, or were only fans of the original series. It had to be about introducing those audience members to the TNG cast and selling them on what, to them, was a new change. Heck, that's probably a factor in why they dropped the TNG subtitle for the movies and just called them Star Trek