What would you change about 'Star Trek: Generations' if you could?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Citiprime, Jun 6, 2022.

  1. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Listened to the Generations commentary track for the first time, with Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga being very candid about their constraints and mistakes on the movie.

    According to Braga, the poster for the film in his head was the Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D locked in battle, but Paramount had 3 notes they had to abide by writing the movie.
    1. It had to be mainly centered on the TNG cast instead of a film which balanced time between both the TOS cast and TNG. This became problematic for getting the TOS cast to participate for what, beyond William Shatner, would be a cameo.
    2. It had to have a comedy angle with Data, hence the emotions chip.
    3. It had to involve Klingons
    Braga and Moore go through different things they like and dislike about the movie, but mainly they talk about the film as a missed opportunity, since they feel they didn't really make the concept of the Nexus work (i.e., a meeting point of past, present, and future) and they recoil that Trek fans were so hyped for Kirk and Picard to meet only for the meeting to be fantasy-Heaven dialogue in a kitchen while making breakfast.

    So if you had to redo Generations, would you do a page 1 rewrite? Or is Generations a movie where the concept of the Nexus was fundamentally interesting and may (or may not) have needed a few more drafts?

    My biggest issue with the movie is that Soren isn't an interesting villain. The character has no personal connection to the TNG characters or Kirk, we never see the planet or the people whose lives are at stake, and Soren's goals are not nuanced or have any depth beyond the surface. Dude just wants to go back to Heaven. And maybe they could have added depth to the Soren story, but the other time in the film is eaten up by Data laughing at bad jokes.

    I would argue that the movie would have worked better if it had NO VILLAIN. What if it was just a movie where the TNG and TOS casts were thrown together in the Nexus? The Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D get caught in the Nexus at different times. The movie then becomes an exploration of the character's backstories through their memories and the Nexus, they ultimately have to figure out a way to get out, and it becomes a situation where the two crews disagree on the right approach?
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The first thing I'd change is the BoP explosion so that it wasn't a reuse of the explosion from exactly one film prior.

    The second thing I'd change is the battle itself and the steps leading up to it. Geordi's VISOR had been compromised before, so that trick shouldn't have worked twice, and even if it had worked initially, Our Heroes should have figured out what was going on. I'd also like to see the E-D fire more than a single phaser shot while defending itself.
     
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  3. Smellmet

    Smellmet Commodore Commodore

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    Make the Enterprise B disappear into the Nexus in the beginning, re-emerging near the end of the film to assist the Enterprise D fight the Klingons. Then you get a plausible space battle and a good Kirk cameo with him taking the centre seat over the dweeb out of Speed instead of the anti climax of three middle aged men fighting on a small hill.

    Lose the BoP and replace with a TNG era battlecruiser or a newer Klingon ship that is at least a match for the D, hence the need for the B to come to the rescue.
     
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  4. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The way Moore and Braga describe things it sounds like Paramount really nickeled and dimed them on the budget, and things got worse when they transitioned TNG to film.

    They claim they had to count the number of phaser and photon torpedo shots, and those became bargaining chips for if they needed scenes with a crowd of extras or any other issues with the budget which would be paid for by cutting an effects shot. And that the situation worsened with the movie, because the visual effects shots cost ten times as much for film.
     
  5. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    They could have saved a lot of money if they skipped the expensive scene on the HMS Enterprise.
     
  6. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Originally, the transition to the 24th century was supposed to begin with seeing the Romulan attack on the observatory. The POV for the battle was supposed to be from two low-level Starfleet crewmembers, and the Enterprise-D coming to the rescue at the last possible moment.

    But Braga and Moore were concerned with doing something "different" and wanted the transition not to be something that was expected. According to the commentary track, someone suggested that the flash from Kirk disappearing from the Enterprise-B to the 24th century should be something odd, like Captain Picard pushing an egg across the floor of Ten Forward with his nose. Why would he be doing that? They didn't know, but it was a suggestion for them to build around.
     
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Sounds like something he'd get roped into doing for Captain Picard Day. :)
     
  8. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think my biggest change would be to make Picard's and Kirk's fantasies a lot more appealing, tempting (including making the fantasy wife maybe Beverly or otherwise more compelling and developed, not make the family quite so Victorian-y), and not have echo-Guinan so involved in more explaining the Nexus and helping Picard including meeting Kirk, have Picard learn more about but reject the fantasy and get to know about and meet Kirk on his own.
     
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  9. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Just so Ron Moore would owe me a favor for correcting his most embarrassing Star Trek moment, I'd fix the line about how little time they'd have to shoot down Soren's missile at the end, about the "big margin for error."
     
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  10. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd lose the emotion chip BS. Everything else can stay. :techman:
     
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  11. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    1. Nix the excess comedy. Ever since IV, it was hard enough to inject humor that worked (a lot of VI's works, but I'd carve out a couple of the more crass examples...)
    2. Nix the emotion chip, or at least keep it consistent since Spiner could sell it: None of the TNG movies were consistent on it. First it's stuck on and fused. In the next movie he can turn it on and off. Then he can remove it. Then he doesn't have it. That's probably not in the correct sequence but I'd walked out on 2 of them on original movie viewing and I slept through part of a third...
    3. The original Kirk death was more poignant, if not pointless. Made pointless by pre-release screenings where fans had hissyfits that Kirk Dies(tm), instead have Kirk save Picard if the bad-timing/shot-in-back wasn't dramatically strong enough. The stupid in-joke of "dying on the bridge" was best left unmade. So was hauling a bunch of rocks over Kirk's carcass, what sort of carnivorous critters existed that could climb up rocks? Forget the borg, let ST8 be about that. At least it'd be original storytelling... if not gross...
    4. Feature the Nexus more prominently, but don't let Guinan babbletrope all the intrigue-killin' details beforehand. Let the viewer get caught up in the Nexus' oddities and then reveal it as all a dream sequence with some dramatic flair that would work...
    5. Set this before STVI and let the Nexus return him there
    6. Use Kirk's Nexus fantasy at having nonstop shooting matches with the Klingons. They were far better used in STV, too... The Duras sisters didn't have enough dramatic weight and they're treated lightweight too. Too many plot elements...
    7. It's always about the wishy-washy villains. Make Soran properly evil, or if nothing else let us care and feel sorry for him. character is walking wallpaper, Malcolm MacDowell's talents were wasted. Some cut scenes with him torturing Geordi were a step in the right direction, to make the audience want to loathe the guy... but to ensure the movie would be the best-possible mess, they left any context on the cutting room floor. (But it's all still better than Insurrection where, whoops, the enormous issue with the plot renders the So'na to have far more sympathy while engendering a healthy dislike of the more-pompous-than-you'd-expect Ba'ku.)
     
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  12. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Keep the orbital skydiving scene that was cut from GEN, to show that Kirk is struggling to adapt to retirement.

    Add Uhura to the VIP list so that she joins Kirk, Scotty & Chekov on the Ent-B bridge in the story. And assists Chekov in sickbay.

    Remove Robert & Rene dying in a fire from the script. It added nothing to the story. Picard could have still desired to have a family while trapped in the Nexus without it. And he should have desired Beverly to be his wife, or if not her, then someone else familiar like Phillipa Louvois.

    Replace the BoP with a Romulan Warbird. We never did ever see a Galaxy class and Romulan Warbird truly face off in battle. And considering the ties Lursa and B’Etor had to the Romulans in the series, it would make sense as a plot device for them to have been exiled to Romulus, and them and their supporters in the Klingon Empire to continue working in league with some Romulans. And ties into the observatory being attacked by Romulans.

    Change the space battle. I’d have the Ent-D lose the first time and crash on the surface. Then afterwards Kirk appears from the Nexus onto the Ent-D before the space battle takes place. Kirk actually takes a tour of the Ent-D, meets the crew, learns they have met Scotty, Bones & Spock and generally adjusts to the 24th century. Then the Ent-D has the space battle again, this time coming out on top with Kirk’s assistance. Kirk them beams down to help Picard.

    I don’t destroy the Ent-D in the second space battle, but have it severely damaged enough that it has to get a refit and resembles the Ross class exterior wise and the Sovereign class interior wise for future film installments.

    Have Veridian III be the planet inhabited by a pre-industrial civilization instead of Veridian IV. In GEN, the inhabitants of Veridian IV are afterthoughts even though their planet gets destroyed as well by the supernova cause by Soran’s missile launch. By moving the inhabitants to Veridian III, Soran choosing that planet to launch the missile into the sun matters more by showing that he’s aware that he’s disregarding all life to return to the Nexus, and the Ent-D crashing on the surface matters in regards to cultural contamination. Even though that cultural contamination is short lived because of the nova.
     
  13. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Ent-D gets refitted to the AGT "future" configuration. :evil:

    Kor
     
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  14. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not sure it was all that expensive. At least, not in the context of the other choices they made.
     
  15. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    For all those saying they would have kept around the Enterprise-D, or modified with a refit/upgrade, Moore and Braga imply that its destruction was done to replace it with a more film-friendly iteration of the Enterprise. Moore states the VFX people found the design "awkward" to shoot at certain angles, and the saucer was too big and overpowered the back half of it.
     
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  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think people are generally familiar with why the E-D was destroyed; they just don't like the fact that it was destroyed and/or how it was accomplished from a story perspective.
     
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  17. shapeshifter

    shapeshifter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If how the D looked onscreen in GEN truly was the best they could do with it then I agree with taking it out, most shots of it weren't doing it justice.

    I couldn't wait to see it filling the wide screen from edge to edge but most of the film I was unaware of its presence in the film. I only remember one or two moments it appeared as magnificent as I was expecting it to and one of them is during its destruction. lol

    So that is my change, give the E D greater screen presence throughout the film, make its loss more poignant.
     
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  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder what kind of film GEN might have been if TPTB hadn't opted to go cheap on it.
     
  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It also had to have the Enterprise-D destroyed, IIRC.

    Actually, I feel the opposite. I think Soran's motivations completely work as someone who was not necessarily evil, but desperate to return to the fantasy world he became addicted to.

    Yes, that was quite jarring and telltale evidence of budget limitations (or the producers thinking the audience was so stupid that they wouldn't recognize stock footage when they saw it.)

    But then they wouldn't have been able to use that stock footage from the last movie! ;)

    Here's the main problem with the film. It is blatantly obvious that Kirk's fantasy is to command a ship again. Not to be retired. Which was what he was doing before. So why is Kirk's Nexus fantasy having him be retired? And while Picard's fantasy of having a family is debatable, why was he able to escape its allure so easily, despite everything that Guinan said? Or Kirk too, for that matter? The only way any of this would make sense is if we're not actually seeing Kirk, and Picard's meeting with him is actually part of Picard's Nexus fantasy, and Kirk actually did die on the Enterprise-B. Which would mean that Picard actually never left the Nexus and everything he's experienced since is just part of his Nexus fantasy.

    It was the second-most expensive item in the budget, along with the Stellar Cartography set. It was ridiculously expensive, especially considering that it was basically a pointless scene, as Worf's promotion has nothing whatsoever to do with the story and just reiterated that the ship has a holodeck, which we'd known about for seven years prior.

    I'm not calling them liars, but I find that hard to believe, especially since the trend at the time was that motion control was going away and CGI was being used more frequently.
     
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  20. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I'd also not have the El Aurian refugee ship be so close to Earth. Just how far into Federation space were the El Aurians (oh, and the Borg) and yet nobody - just nobody - says "Hey, look out for big walking toasters with egg whisk and cat laser pointer attachments coming to take you for their idea of breakfast." As far as "small universe syndrome" gets, this movie was steeped in it as bad as it was shallow.