This is even more brilliant when you realize it wasn't intentional. The original plan was that it would be Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, but Leonard Nimoy declined to appear and DeForest Kelley couldn't get the required insurance, so they ended up using Scotty and Chekov because their respectiveactors were able and willing to appear. Star Trek just has so much depth that it ends up having significance despite this last-minute substitution.
We're told that the Nexus is such a wonderful place that you never want to leave and yet Picard is only briefly tempted by it. We're also shown a paradise for Picard that is not at all what we would imagine for the guy (just for starters, the guy had just barely warmed up to children during the series and yet has several in his paradise, and lives in an old fashioned home that would seem to contrast his original desire to get away from traditional settings and look towards the future.) But his Nexus was created out of a temporary emotional stress he had yet to cope with, which led to him creating a "paradise" that he could quickly get over and detach himself from.
Not entirely; he has been hinted to have wanted children in other storylines, or at least to wonder about it, plus he has regretted not spending enough time with his family or seeing them more, given the rather poor circumstances he left home on. The main reason he is less tempted is simply that, firstly, he knew in advance what the Nexus was like (Kirk, Soran, Guinan etc. did not), and second that he knew billions of people had died to make his fantasy come true. The Nexus doesn't speak to temporary fantasies; it speaks to your deepest, most hidden desires, and after realizing his dream of exploring the universe Picard's deepest desire was to have a family, but he felt he had gotten too old to start one.
Notably, Picard actually *does* succumb to his fantasy, with only an ornament on the Christmas Tree that bore an uncanny resemblance to the self-destructing star he was trying to prevent that brings him back to his senses.
Harriman states that he learned about the Enterprise's missions while he "was in grade school". If he's the same age as his actor, Alan Ruck (aged 10 in 1966, the first year of the original series), then yes he did learn about them in grade school, making this an instance of MetaFridgeBrillance.
There was no way Picard and Kirk could have failed to stop Soran. Every losing outcome would have been the Nexus ribbon taking them back, essentially being a Reset Button. The only way they could have failed was to be seduced by the Nexus and not tried at all.
Maybe that explains why Picard chose that place and time instead of an earlier point.
Or Soran could have killed them both before the Nexus ribbon got there.
On the other hand, if its true that the Nexus can supply any fantasy one desires, how do we know Picard and Kirk ever left?
Unless Kirk had a death wish or Picard was murderously jealous of him, the fact that Kirk died is a reasonably good indication.
When Picard is beamed down to the Veridian III, his combadge is removed in transport, which is perfectly reasonable given that it's part of a prisoner exchange and you don't want to give a prisoner the means to communicate. But when he ends up in the Nexus, he has a combadge on once again. In fact, both Kirk and Picard are depicted in uniform during their entire stay in the Nexus, despite being in casual situations where neither would be in uniform in the real universe. In the end, both of them come to the realization that the fantasies aren't real (even if it took a bit longer for Kirk, along with Picard getting in his face about it), and that the duty of a Starfleet officer is the only thing that is truly real for either of them.
Sort of an actor-based bit of Brilliance, but the rather...unsettling nature of Humorous!Data's laughter might have a lot to do with why Brent Spiner got the role of The Joker in Young Justice.
Riker 'removing the plank' is a perfectly in-character harmless joke for him to make... But remembering that Worf had been dating Troi as the series concluded, it could also be him working out his lingering jealousy.
Why did Kirk's Nexus fantasy keep changing? Because he couldn't decide or pin down what really made him happy.
I'd say the brilliance runs even deeper than that. Kirk could never be truly, sustainably happy in the Nexus for the same reason he couldn't handle retirement or even really promotion. The one thing Kirk needed more than any other was a purpose in life, and that's the one thing the Nexus couldn't give him, because by its very nature, nothing he did was of any consequence.
Geordi says it was probably the last shot they took that started the damaged that lead to the eventual core breach. Sure enough the last round the Bird of Prey fires before their cloak is forcibly turned on (which rocks the whole ship and blows out the rear consoles on the bridge, knocking Worf and Riker over and sending a random ensign flying into the camera) appears to hit right about where the Warp Core is supposed to be.
Some people wondered why the Enterprise just didn't re-modulate the shields. Unlike personal devices, this is a Galaxy-class ship. By the time the shields are remodulated, it's too late. Heck, in just two minutes they managed to start a warp core failure. While the Enterprise-D crew have repeatedly pulled off the exact same shield remodulation, even more quickly, to successfully hold off the Borg, the first shot the Sisters made sure they couldn't remodulate their shields even if they wanted to.
Nexus!Guinan is sitting on a small carousel. The horse she chose? A unicorn, an immortal being, representative of the immortality one could enjoy in the Nexus.
Worf's anger at the "Remove Plank" order goes deeper than just being dunked in the ocean: it functions as a Call-Back to the series when he says Klingons do not like swimming since it's too much like bathing!
The opening was the Kobayashi Maru scenario: The Enterprise is on a routine voyage when a distress signal comes in. The captain must choose whether he should save the distressed ship(s) or leave them to be destroyed. And this time, Harriman is even more stressed since he has the only Starfleet officer who'd ever won the scenario watching over him. Kirk, once again, defies the odds and pulls through the scenario to save the day.
As in The Wrath Of Khan, the solution is simple: One man sacrifices his life so that others may live, and as in Spock's case, Kirk's death doesn't stick, although in his case he was only mistakenly reported dead rather than coming back to life. Then again, Kirk's return heralds the loss of another Enterprise just as Spock's did.
The Guinan in the Nexus calls herself an "echo" of the real Guinan. What she means is that the Nexus has no past, present or future. It is all three at the same time, so Guinan is still there at this point in time, because time has no meaning and the second you're inside, you'll always be there, even if the "real" you does somehow leave. It becomes Fridge Heartwarming because a part of Soran is still in the Nexus, as well as Kirk and Picard.
A minor one, but noted by Roger Ebert, other critics and fans: what in the world is the purpose of camera lights that make a single bright spot on the subject's face and keeps other parts dark? There's a reason scrims and reflectors are used in actual productions.
"Finding retirement a little lonely, are we?" Um, Scotty, you remember his son is dead, right?
There's always women. Like Antonia. But now he may think he has nothing to offer. He's just an old retired man.
Most people, when they retire, have their spouse, children, and grandchildren to keep them company. Kirk has a dead son, a lonely apartment, and 2 lists: one of the women whom he has scorned, and one of the friends he has made. The first list likely grows as quickly as the second shrinks.
The novelization suggests that Kirk had hoped to give things another try with Carol after retiring, but it just didn't work out, and by the time the Enterprise-B shakedown rolled around, he was realizing it never would.
What the hell was Picard thinking when he left Kirk on Veridian? His three best friends, Spock, McCoy and Scotty are still alive and Picard knows it. Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov could very well also still be alive. How sad are they going to be when they learn that the man they couldn't properly say goodbye to the first time round because there was no body is now buried under a thin layer of rocks in the middle of a desert mountain range on an out-of-the-way planet? That sounds like somewhere that three senior citizens would just love to visit.
Prime Directive. The Federation can't leave anything on Veridian III that the natives of Veridian IV might one day find that would indicate the existence of aliens and other civilisations before they're ready for the concept. The crew of the Enterprise-D were rescued and evacuated fairly quickly, but within a couple of weeks a Starfleet Corps of Engineers vessel will turn up to pick up every last nut and bolt from the crash site - and when they finish they'll go and dismantle Soran's missile platforms, and they'll have a team from Starfleet Medical with them to respectfully exhume Kirk's body and transport it back to Earth for a proper burial.
The people on Veridian IV have no idea how close they came to annihilation. The low population number suggests it's a prehistoric people, too.
That was addressed in the movie, Data specifically said Pre-Industrial, so they're likely Renaissance, Middle Ages level of tech. It would be interesting if they noticed a few things through Galileo-level telescopes.
The destruction of a starship is traumatizing enough for the crew, but what about the children? We even get to see how terrified they are. As mentioned on the "Fridge" page for the series itself, putting children on the Enterprise was an unwise idea from the get-go, and this incident was very likely the last straw for this particular policy.
It was never intended as a warship. The few times it is required to fight, they detach the saucer section.
They only did that three times throughout the series. Compare that to the dozens of battles they've fought and the bizarre anomalies they've encountered.
It's bad enough that we see the Enterprise saucer section get destroyed when Picard fails to destroy Soran's nova-triggering weapon, but in later high-definition versions of the film, one can see PEOPLE walking on the outside of the saucer!!! Although this gets reversed by the end, it's terrifying to know that they took the full brunt of the supernova and the destruction of the planet.