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. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe TNG needed the happy accidents that led to TWOK-TSFS-TVH becoming a fairly great story arc (concerns about the long-term reset button notwithstanding).
     
  2. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would have adapted the novel "Federation" by the Reeves-Stevens.

    Great story, great movie, involves both casts without direct contact, torch passed, winner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
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  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As with the sailing ship Enterprise holodeck scene, the Stellar Cartography set took up another third of the entire movie's budget, for about maybe seven minutes of total screen time. And while I liked it too, for the amount of time it was shown, I would have done something far cheaper and spent more of the budget money on giving the Duras sisters a better ship than that BoP (that was used only so they could utilize the stock footage from TUC of the ship exploding.)
     
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't SC three floors high? I wonder how much they could have saved just by making it two stories instead. It still would have looked impressive by the standards we were used to, while being less of a budget issue.
     
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  5. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Part of the flipside of that is how uniquely good and ambitious TNG was for a television show ;).

    You couldn't really do Data actually using emotion chip, let alone keeping it, on the show, or a second Borg invasion, you actually had seen the ship destroyed a few times before but that was the show being very unique, I think the ship being destroyed is still pretty unique for both television and film. Agreed the last two films were much less ambitious let alone successful with it (though John Logan did make some hype noises of that the film would be uniquely cinematic).
     
  6. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Taking Riker and Troi's relationship with more time and seriousness to the point of them deciding to get married, likewise Riker finally deciding to accept his own command, at least acknowledging that Worf had previously been an ambassador and decided to return to Starfleet (though him deciding to become ambassador was only one scene), maybe acknowledge (like was considered for Insurrection) that he had had a wife who died, would have been some good mini-arcs, character growth, the film series feeling more like a series (as well as broadening the focus beyond just Picard and Data). Maybe have Picard be a more controversial figure after Insurrection could have also made the next film feel more a conclusion.
     
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  7. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    Wait, what? Where'd you get that budget breakdown?
     
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  8. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    I dunno, looks like two stories to me. Or really, one story with high blank walls.

    http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2011/01/stellar-cartography-study-model-from.html

    Either way, this wasn't a hugely-elaborate set. I would suggest that the real cost of the scene came from the graphic effects, not the physical construction.
     
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  9. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Everything after Picard gets sucked into the Nexus.
     
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  10. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    *MASSIVE EXHALE*

    Whooo, boy. GEN was a story that could've had it all. But the execution of it's story, ambitions of the writers/producers and demands from the studio derailed one of the most unique stories of the 13 Trek movies.


    Fixing GEN. You start with the stuff that just doesn't work.

    1. Remove the unfunny comedy. "Not till Tuesday"; in the middle of a crisis. Which culminates with Kirk dying. Yeah, X that out.

    Data babbling and ranting like an idiot was neither endearing or funny. Which critics at the time postulated in their reviews. The best Data comedy scenes were his "Oh shit" moment as the ENT-D goes down. And his "YES" moment. When the ENT-D destroy the BOP.

    2. Reintroduce elements from the show. Chiefly, Picard's nephew Rene and his brother Robert dying off screen. Wind the clock back for a moment. This was 1994. An age where streaming didn't exist, TV boxsets of entire seasons didn't exist and home video releases of episodes was $20-$25 for a VHS with one episode on it.

    Robert and Rene appeared in one episode of TNG during the 4th season, back in 1990. 1990! The general audience had no idea who Picard was sad over and not putting either character in the movie in a prominent way didn't help thing.

    My fix: Have Rene Picard be among a graduating class of Star Fleet cadets who are killed in the climax of the movie, when Veridiian III gets destroyed by the shockwave. The "next generation" of Starfleet cadets lost their lives over a circumstance of theSoran trying to get back into the Nexus. This ties Picard's hope for the future and tragedy to the viewer. Make the initial part of the film about the TNG crew pursuing the pirates who attacked the observatory and have been raiding starbase in a section of the galaxy. The big finale now changes to saving that graduating class. Instead of the unseen/anonymous 230 million inhabitants of Veridiian IV.

    3. Recontexualize Soran and his band of confederates. Again, the general audience isn't watching the show. So they have no idea who Duras sisters are and why they need to retake control of the Klingon empire. I would reintroduce the Duras sisters, along with Roman outlaws and Cardassian renegades as all being members of Soran's band of baddies. They've been pirating and pillaging across the galaxy. Gathering supplies so Soran can make his new weapons. Soran promising to give each group a copy of the blueprints, once he gets what he wants.

    This is mainly to dial up the action and increase the tension of the spaceship action scene. In the movie, it's the ENT-D (flagship of the Federation) vs a 20 year old, recalled model, Klingon BOP. I believe it was Braga who wanted a technobabble victory for the ENT in this fight. A fight that was lopsided even with Geordi acting as a Trojan Horse.

    A lot of GEN's problems come from the writers Braga and Moore wanting to get to that saucer section crash scene. Something they had wanted to do since season 6 of TNG. The ENT-D has fought multiple Klingon ships (Yesterday's Enterprise), the Husnuck ship (The Survivors), Borg cubes (several times) and always put up a defiant showing. In the big budget movie though? They fired one phaser, turned their back to danger (when the bulk of their assault weapons face forward on the ship), never rotate shield modulation (something they never failed to do on TNG, and something neither Braga nor Moore failed to do when they were writing on VOY and DS9, respectively) and they fired one torpedo and got blown up for their trouble. The ENT-D and her crew were handicapped by the writers, for the sake of an action scene. A space ship crash on a planet.

    My fix: A three on 1 battle featuring the Galaxy class Enterprise D vs a Klingon Vor'cha-class cruiser, Romulan D'deridex warbird and a Cardassian Galor cruiser. Each of the villains ships being equipped with new and powerful weapons created by Soran. In the skies above Veridiian III these ships do battle. With the new weapons kicking the ENT-D's teeth in. You no longer need Geordi to be kidnapped and used as a Trojan Horse (more on this is a bit), to facilitate the D's destruction. The Final Frontier is changing, and the 8 year old, top of the line, Galaxy class has incidentally fallen behind the times. The ENT-D was not equipped nor designed to face new weapons Soran created.

    Desperate to win, the big D goes for broke and fires all weapons. 12 phaser arrays and 10 torpedoes at a time from it's forward bay.




    With a combination of fire power, strategy and luck. The D successfully defeats all three ships, but the ship is damaged beyond repair and is falling into the atmosphere of Veridiian III. An emergency evac of the stardrive section is initiated, like we see in the movie, and the saucer section crash lands on the surface of the planet.

    As you can see, same outcome. Different road getting there. Back to Geordi for a moment. You can tell the writers were really grasping at straws when they were writing the ENT-D's handicap for their saucer section scene. Go watch the prisoner exchange scene of Geordi and Picard and note how contrived the details and parameters of the exchange are. Secondly, think about Geordi's situation. He gets kidnapped (again), tortured (again) and rescued (again). Has anyone else lost count at how many times this happened across TNG? Instead of keeping Geordi in sick bay for recovery and putting him on an extended leave. In less that 24 hours after having been kidnapped and tortured; Geordi is allowed to leave sick bay and return to his duties like nothing happened. Seriously, who wrote this and thought this was a good idea?


    4. Two Captains, One Destiny: How would you like your eggs? I can't recall whose idea it was to have Kirk and Picard make eggs in a kitchen. I do recall Jeri Taylor being one of the producers to voice having off beat scenes and a lack of action in GEN. Her thinking was that the audience would find the novelty of little action and unconventional scenes "charming" as a film experience. Execution is everything, and seeing two heroes from different generations of a scifi franchise in a cabin in the woods make eggs; is clearly not the stuff of legends.


    My fix: The scene on it's own isn't special, but if more had been done with it. It could've hit like the writers intended it to. Start with Kirk and Picard at the cabin like normal. As Kirk walks through the door to avoid Picard, we are transported back to the bridge of Enterprise-B. A young orderly approaches Kirk and tells him his request has been approved. He's to assume command of ENT-B for a five year mission. Picard, with his different uniform and second approach for help once again breaks the emersion of the Nexus' fantasy. Kirk again walks away and into what he believes is his ready room. Only to have Kirk and Picard in his stables. Where Kirk proceeds to ride his horse and Picard chases after him.

    The scene is altered to be more in-line with Kirk's own character at that point. Settling down with a new flame is a fantasy. Because in reality, Kirk left Antonia to go back to Starfleet. Becoming captain of Ent-B for a 5 year mission is a fantasy. In reality, Kirk was just a celebrity passenger on ENT-B when he died. Jumping the ravine and not being scared is a fantasy. In reality, Kirk admits to jumping it always scared the hell out of him. The only Kirk knows that he wants is to make a difference again. Just like in the movie, Kirk agrees to help Picard by going back in time and stopping Soran.


    5. Fixing the Nexus. Braga, Moore and Berman realized too late what Leonard Nimoy (who was originally slated to direct the film) realized in pre-production. The Nexus was a problem. The consequence free time travel angle undoes the entire movie, if the cast isn't taking stupid pills.

    In the film, Picard uses the Nexus to travel back in time to where his crew, Kirk and himself are in the most danger. During the final countdown of the trilithium missile. Instead of, you know... earlier in the film. When Soran was freely walking the decks of the ENT-D. Stopping by Ten Forward for a drink even. Yeah... that. Braga and Moore reportedly didn't realize they had written themselves an escape clause until the film was wrapping principle photography and was entering post-production. Like I mentioned earlier. For them, all roads of the film have to lead to the saucer section crash. After that, they hadn't really thought about it. So, when Paramount ordered reshoots for Kirk's death, Braga and Moore worked with David Carson (the director) to try to make the finale as exciting as possible. So audience wouldn't notice that escape clause the Nexus provided. It didn't work and because home video exists. The mistake can't be forgotten or explained away.

    Since destroying the ENT-D is non-negotiable. The best I could come up with, is Picard and Kirk fight Soran on the surface of Veridiian III like in the movie. Because it is more of a certainty. In my version, Picard and his crew experienced the new weapons Soran created and distributed to his allies. Allies who were successfully destroyed before they could escape and share what Soran provided. Picard decides that it is better to fight Soran in the present. Than risk a second confrontation against the renegade ships and end up losing the battle and the pandora's box of Soran's new weapons escaping across the galaxy.

    Not the best fix, but I like it.

    6. Kirk death means something. Kirk dies saving the crew of TNG, the inhabitants of Veridiian IV and the graduating class of cadets for Star Fleet. Include Picard's nephew Rene. End the film with Picard giving a speech about how the flame of the next generation will burn bright, with the light of their predecessors to guide them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
  11. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As a general matter, Generations does a piss-poor job at introducing anything. The film assumes its audience isn't just "up to speed" on Star Trek to that point. It expects the audience to remember small details from a few random episodes, as you say, years in the past. There's an interesting story in the film, and I think the story generally works. Some tinkering would improve the story, definitely. But the script needed to a rewrite from a writer who wasn't so deep into the Star Trek trenches, to make it into something the non-fan could appreciate on its own merits.
     
  12. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    I genuinely don’t know how I’d fix this film. It’s just an exercise in studio mandated box ticking. There’s potential in the concept of the Nexus and Soran’s crazed, junkie like desperation to get back to it, but the execution fails on just about every level. The Picard/Kirk scenes were one of the biggest anticlimactic disappointments in the history of the franchise and I remember sitting through the film feeling strangely depressed throughout. It really is an almost totally joyless watch.
     
  13. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Pretty harsh. I think most teamups/crossovers are pretty lackluster.
     
  14. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    I can’t really help it. The film just felt so depressing and funereal—Kirk died twice and still didn’t a death worthy of a pop culture icon, Picard’s brother and son in law are burned to death in a fire which is a particularly horrific and gruesome fate, Picard is wrestling with grief throughout, the Enterprise is destroyed, Kirk sacrifices himself again…and Data is so fucking annoying throughout I wanted to throw something at the screen. My mood just felt so low by the time I left the cinema.
     
  15. Smellmet

    Smellmet Commodore Commodore

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    I think it's excellent right up to the nexus scenes. Then it completely falls on it's arse.
     
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  16. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Funereal" is exactly the right word for Generations. It's an ending in a way that "All Good Things..." was not. It's so final I'm not sure the subsequent NextGen films ever recovered.
     
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  17. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That'd be his nephew.
     
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  18. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought GEN told us all we needed to know about Robert and Rene for the context of the movie itself. "You never met my brother and his wife, did you?" was for both Troi and for audiences who may not have remembered all the details from the series.

    One thing I might have changed about GEN is for the whole concept of the Nexus to be better thought-out. As an aside, the fact that the thing passes through the galaxy on a regular schedule is just asking for another appearance in some future Trek production. :evil:

    Kor
     
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  19. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    I always found the Veridian 3 scenes incredibly dull; each time the “action” cut back there, things seemed to grind to a halt. It’s basically like watching two old guys just standing around a building site.

    I thought about it and I do like the basic idea of the Nexus and Soren’s insane, sociopathic quest to return there. But I’d have executed it differently. Maybe had him manipulating temporal laws in a bid to try and forcibly reopen the Nexus; inadvertently creating time distortions and tearing down the dimensional barriers, enabling things from different time periods to essentially collide. I’d probably have used that as a way for the Enterprise A (or, OK, B, if necessary) to come face to face with the Enterprise D. It might have been cool if the chaos caused by Soren’s experiments created or conjured a villain that both ships had to work together to defeat; cue an epic, catastrophic space battle. I definitely think we needed more scenes in space, and less on the planet. The Duras Sisters made for weak villains and the battle was far from spectacular. They could really have beefed this up.
    I’d have redone the Picard/Kirk stuff totally; not quite sure how, but I might have made Kirk’s death both heroic and ambiguous; making us wonder if maybe he’s still alive in the Nexus, or maybe never left the Nexus at all. Kind of like the ending to Inception.
     
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  20. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. The story they chose to do was fundamentally flawed. But since this isn't the fanfiction forum, here's what I'd do to fix the Nexus story...

    1) Improve the Enterprise-B prologue. Up the stakes in a more believable way than the dumb "X won't be here Tuesday" thing. Get rid of the stupid TNG-style technobabble that doesn't belong in the TOS movie era. ("Channel the BS thru the main deflector dish to simulate a tractor beam", etc.) Rewrite Scotty & Chekov's dialogue so it's organic to them instead of obviously reassigned Spock & McCoy exchanges. ("I have a theory"/"I thought you might" and "You and you, you just became nurses" being the worst offenders.)

    2) Make it clear what the rules of the Nexus are so we know what it can & can't do. It's vaguely defined at BEST, and just does whatever the screenwriters want it do in any given scene. Does it transport you in time? Does it take you to favorite moments from your past? Does it create an idealized fantasy life for you? Or all of the above? Can you leave of your volition or not?

    3) Tie Data's emotion chip subplot into the main storyline, either thematically or literally. Maybe the Nexus grants Data his heart's desire to have human emotion. Maybe the movie is about wanting things you don't/can't have. Maybe they could make more of the "Time is the fire in which we burn" thing. (GREAT line, BTW.) Whatever. Make the theme permeate the entire movie the way the themes of aging and regret permeate TWOK. Data gaining emotions should be the BIGGEST event of his life. It needs to be used as something besides lame comedy and the B plot in a TV storyline.

    4) Spend the money in the right places. The Enterprise sailing ship and the Stellar Cartography set both look great, but they're both ultimately pointless. Meanwhile, the climax of the film is three middle aged men fighting on a jungle gym and the Enterprise-D crash features some painfully obvious miniature work.

    5) Either give Whoopi Goldberg a more meaningful role for Guinan, or write her out. Guinan gets a quick appearance at the beginning, a small part in the "I hate this!" scene with Data & Geordi, and then a dumb scene in the Nexus when she dishes out vague exposition to Picard. (She's an "echo" of Guinan -- a thing that doesn't come back at ALL later in the film, and being in the Nexus is "like being wrapped in joy"... Umm, what?) Whoopi Goldberg won an Oscar just four years before GEN. Give her something worthwhile to do.

    6) Break our hearts. Make Kirk and Picard leaving the Nexus as touching and as heartbreaking as Superman having to give up his fantasy life on Krypton in Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' "For The Man Who Has Everything" in Superman Annual #11. If Kirk has to leave behind a dream woman in the Nexus, make it Edith Keeler or Carol Marcus, someone who already has a history and chemistry with Kirk instead of some rando named "Antonia" who we never even see. Similarly, if Robert and Rene Picard are going to die, make it happen onscreen instead of us just hearing about it. But the point is that our heroes have to make a personal sacrifice to defeat our villain. As it is, the conflict is very arbitrary.

    7) Either give Kirk a death worthy of him, or just forget about it altogether. It bugs me that Kirk dies in the 24th Century and none of his friends from the original Enterprise in the 23rd Century have any idea what REALLY happened to him. And Spock and McCoy aren't even there. (And please don't trot out the "I've always known I'll die alone" line from STV. Kirk isn't psychic so we shouldn't treat that as some prophecy to be fulfilled. It's just Kirk having a melancholy moment, he is wont to do.) After nearly 30 years of Star Trek, Kirk dying should've been one of the biggest events EVER. Instead, the film expects us to get more broken up about Data finding his damn cat at the end of the movie.

    I'd honestly either give Kirk a grander death in the 24th Century (Let him take control of the Enterprise-D and take her out in a blaze of glory) or else return him to the 23rd at the end of the movie to live out his life there and leave his final fate uniknown. Maybe Kirk & Picard do something that restores history to what it was and only the two of them remember. But it irks me that Kirk dies an underwhelming death 78 years away from his time, completely removed from his closest friends. Star Trek's premier Captain deserved better.

    OK, I've gone on for way longer than I intended (so what else is new?), but those are the basics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
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