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Trivia / Star Trek: Generations

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Kirk is also an equestrian, as is William Shatner. Those horses were rented from Shatner himself.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Malcolm McDowell only took the role of Dr. Soran after seeing he would get to kill Kirk (though it also helped that his nephew Alexander Siddig was a main cast member on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
  • Blooper: From the commentary, Moore and Braga marvel that no one on set or in the editing room caught Jonathan Frakes' flub about a "pretty big margin of error."
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  • B-Team Sequel: This is the first Trek film created without any input whatsoever from the dearly departed Gene Roddenberry, albeit he'd had very little input in any of the TOS films after Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • The Cast Showoff: This is the entire reason for the horseback riding scene. William Shatner is an expert at horseback riding, and having his horse walk sideways to join Stewart is pure showing off. He even taught Patrick Stewart how to ride properly, Stewart having spent very little time on a horse (despite Capt. Picard's love of it).
  • Creator Backlash:
    • The writers were never satisfied with the film, and note that Ronald Moore ended up writing the death of a childhood hero. One problem came down to that they worked on both the film script and the TNG Grand Finale "All Good Things..." at the same time, and they felt "All Good Things" turned out the better script.
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    • Even Malcolm McDowell thought that Kirk's death could have been handled better.
  • Creator's Apathy: Picard crawling through a hole in the rock to get past the force field. On the commentary, Moore and Braga reveal that they struggled mightily to come up with a better way for him to do it within their deadline, then finally gave up.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • The film was supposed to open with Kirk doing an orbital skydiving act, further implicating that he was not taking retirement well. The suit was reused in in Voyager where Torres was doing such in a holodeck simulation.
    • Soran was doing some Cold-Blooded Torture on Geordi using nanites to stop his heart for a few seconds at a time, with a reference to the Borg as inspiration. This became an Orphaned Reference when he jokes with the Duras sisters that "his heart wasn't in it."
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    • The original ending had Kirk overpower Soran in a fistfight, only to get shot in the back while he and Picard regroup, and Picard shoots Soran in return. They revised the climax to give Kirk a stronger heroic moment leaping to the controller on the bridge, and give Soran a more Karmic Death being killed by his own missile.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Why Kirk ends up being underused and having a disappointing end. Brannon Braga (yes, him again, he always shows up in these situations) and Ronald D Moore were told from the outset that a) the movie had to be a TOS/TNG crossover, b) said crossover had to be an original-cast prologue and a Kirk-cameo ending, c) there had to be a comical subplot (which is Data getting his emotion chip). The screenwriters both admitted on the DVD Commentary that despite all this, what they wrote still wasn't up to scratch (both blame being over-stretched from having to also write the Next Gen finale "All Good Things" at the same time).
    • The crossover with TOS was actually executive producer Rick Berman's idea. Paramount had initially offered to greenlight a TNG film during the show's sixth season, Berman suggested the crossover as a "passing the baton" film, and the studio agreed.
    • Berman also mandated that the Duras Sisters' ship had to be a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, as he wanted to re-use the stock footage of Chang's Bird-of-Prey exploding from the previous film. Moore and Braga had intended to create an all-new Klingon ship for the film, but had to scrap that plan, though Moore later admitted that the duo had screwed up by making it a scout ship akin to Chang's ship, instead of one of the larger K'Vort-type ships from TNG's run, which were shown as being able to go head-to-head with the Enterprise much more convincingly.
  • The Merch: An extension of Playmates' Next Generation line, this all but cemented Star Trek's status as a long-runner in the toy world. Besides the figurines, there were also two new starships, one of which was a "battle-damaged" Enterprise, and the Engineering Room playset, which hooked on to the Bridge playset, and could be accessed by the sliding doors.
  • Orphaned Reference: Soran's line about Geordi's heart not being in the conversation refers to a deleted scene that involved him torturing Geordi by repeatedly stopping his heart. It also has Dr. Crusher saying "I removed the nanoprobe" (that Soran used to stop Geordi's heart), leaving the audience to wonder "what nanoprobe?"
  • Prop Recycling:
    • Only Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner had their own DS9-style uniforms made for them. Jonathan Frakes (6'3") wore Avery Brooks' (6'1"), and LeVar Burton (5'7") wore Colm Meaney's (5'11") costume, resulting in Riker's uniform looking too small, and Geordi's uniform looking too big.
    • The Oberth-class USS Grissom model from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the Miranda-class USS Reliant model from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and the Nebula-class USS Phoenix model from "The Wounded" are reused as the ships evacuating the Enterprise-D.
  • Recycled Script:
    • The Duras sisters' attack against the Enterprise-D is essentially the same as Khan's first attack against the Enterprise from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and they're defeated the same way: the Enterprise forces their ship to lower their shields, becoming vulnerable to an attack.
    • Geordi gets kidnapped, tortured, and has his visor manipulated by his abductors, just like in the TNG episode "The Mind's Eye".
  • Refitted for Sequel: An early draft for Star Trek: The Motion Picture had the Enterprise conducting a saucer separation because of a Klingon attack damaging the engineering hull. Even still, the writers toyed with the sixth season finale ending with a saucer separation and crashing on a planet, but not done for being really expensive to reset something like that for a show entering its' final season.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: An example of the "both being made together" type. The action figures from the movie reflected certain aspects of the pre-production version, but did not accurately reflect the movie as released in theatres. For example, one problem was an action figure based around Captain Kirk in an orbital skydiving suit, which was from a scene which was filmed but cut from the theatrical release. Another, more famous problem with the figures was that all the Next Generation characters appear in new versions of their standard television uniforms: these new uniforms were intended to debut in the film, and were even designed by the costume department, but a last minute decision seen them pulled before filming began, replaced with the jumpsuits from Deep Space Nine (and Voyager). Nobody told the people making the action figures that these new costumes had been pulled, however, so all the action figures are wearing Starfleet uniforms that were never actually seen on screen...
  • Throw It In!:
    • When Data is scanning for life forms, he was originally supposed to hum. Brent Spiner decided to ad-lib and started singing about "precious little life forms." Director David Carson was amused and decided to leave it in. The look of surprise on the other actors is real.
    • Kirk's wide-eyed "Oh, my..." just before death was improvised by William Shatner. He deliberated for a while on how his character would approach death, and decided that Kirk would find it wondrous.
  • Troubled Production: While production might not have been as troublesome as the original cast's first film, but it was certainly a baptism of fire for the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew:
    • With TNG showrunners Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor too busy working on running Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and creating Star Trek: Voyager respectively, producer and franchise head honcho Rick Berman commissioned two competing screenplays; one from frequent TNG writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga, and one from former TNG showrunner Maurice Hurley. Hurley's screenplay eventually turned out to be unusable, resulting in them being forced to go with the Moore and Braga script.
    • Berman handed Moore and Braga a "laundry list" of plot elements they had to use — specifically, that it had to be a cross-over film with Kirk appearing in the TNG era, that the opening had to show the until-then unseen Enterprise-B, that the Duras Sisters had to be involved and operating a Bird-of-Prey (so that they could re-use the Stock Footage of the Big Bad's Bird-of-Prey exploding from the previous film), and that the story had to end with Kirk's death — causing them to struggle to juggle all the elements required. To make things worse, they had to work on TNG's finale, "All Good Things" at the same time, and with that being the one more urgently required, it got the most attention, hurting the screenplay for Generations.
    • When it came to picking a director, Berman initially approached Leonard Nimoy, who was willing to do it. However, negotiations soon broke down when Berman made it clear that Nimoy would not have any creative input. Wanting a director who was more used to just filming the screenplay as written and not trying to over-step what he saw as the director's boundaries, Berman instead hired David Carson, who had recently directed DS9's pilot episode.
    • During pre-production and filming, the combination of a director, producer and screenwriters who were all new to theatrical film production resulted in numerous poor budgetary decisions, including spending exorbitant amounts of money on sets and costumes that would have only a few minutes of screentime, leaving the rest of the production short-changed.
    • They also had new costumes designed, but after the new designs proved unsatisfactory (it takes time to figure out actor functionality and how it functions under different lighting set-ups), they decided the DS9-style outfits had a more cinematic quality to it. Unfortunately, they only had the money to give Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner new outfits; Jonathan Frakes and Levar Burton had to make do with Avery Brooks' and Colm Meaney's DS9 outfits respectively (neither of which quite fit right), while Michael Dornnote , Gates McFadden, and Marina Sirtisnote  were stuck with the TNG uniforms.
    • The ending was what caused the most trouble. At first, the film had a short, abrupt ending in which Kirk and Picard foil the Big Bad, only for Kirk to die from being shot in the back. This got such a terrible reaction from test audiences that Paramount told Berman to go out and completely reshoot the film's ending, adding in a new death for Kirk in which they Dropped a Bridge on Him. In a repeat of The Motion Picture, Generations ultimately proved a commercial success, but a critical failure.
      • The reshot ending could only use the outdoor catwalks because they were the only sets remaining after the original filming had ended. So the new ending had to take place there.
    • In a more hilarious example Marina Sirtis caused the climatic scene of the Enterprise crashing into the planet to have to be reset, wasting 4 hours. Why? A burning ember from one of the explosions landed in the seat and burned right through her outfit.
  • Wag the Director:
    • Michael Dorn was so against the scene where Worf falls in the water that he had a ten-minute argument with Michael Pillar to have it removed. As he put it, "I just didn't think it was all that funny".
    • Malcolm McDowell was keen on playing a villain, but he didn't want to spend a long time in a makeup chair. As a result, Soran is a human-looking alien. Luckily, Guinan being a long-established character of the same species who also looks human made this very easy to buy.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The concept of the Enterprise-D being destroyed and the saucer section crashing on a planet was devised in the sixth season of the show as a possible season cliffhanger. It was dismissed as being far too expensive and would require too much time to reestablish a new ship in the final season.
    • The cast was supposed to receive newly-designed uniforms for this film, but the producers realized, after seeing early footage, that the new uniforms looked awful on screen (they were a hybrid of the TOS maroon jackets with the color scheme of the TNG jumpsuits, which did not look quite right). With no time or money to come up with new costumes, the producers settled on the cast wearing a combination of TNG and DS9 uniforms but only made new costumes for Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. This led to some comically ill-fitting costuming for some cast members. Jonathan Frakes wore Avery Brooks' DS9 uniform (which was obviously much too smallnote ) while LeVar Burton wore Colm Meaney's uniform (which was obviously much too big).
    • Kirk's original death scene had Dr. Soran simply shooting him in the back. Test audiences hated it so much that it was completely reshot to the current Dropped a Bridge on Him.
    • The original plans for the film involved the Enterprise-A fighting the Enterprise-D. Problems: a) there was no way for either crew to come out the good guy, and b) this would require budgeting, logistics, and all the other headaches for two full Enterprise crews at once. The plan was scrapped. Plus, a 23rd century Constitution-class starship vs a 24th century Galaxy-class starship would have been an utter Curb-Stomp Battle, advantage Picard.
    • Originally, Spock and McCoy were supposed to accompany Kirk on the Enterprise-B. This changed when Leonard Nimoy refused to appear for what amounted to a glorified cameo, and DeForest Kelley's declining health rendered him unable to reprise his role, despite his interest in doing so. It's fairly obvious from the dialogue that it was changed little: Scotty calls Kirk "Jim," while he always referred to him as "Captain," and Chekov conscripts reporters as nurses in a no-nonsense manner.
    • Nimoy was also sounded out as a possible director for the film. While he was willing to do it, he ultimately refused on the grounds that Rick Berman made it clear that he would have no script input (fellow TOS film director Nicholas Meyer would later refuse to work on Star Trek: Nemesis for much the same reason).
    • Antonia, Kirk's mostly-unseen Love Interest in the Nexus, was originally conceived as Carol Marcus. Paramount requested that the character be changed.
    • Marlon Brando was interested in playing Tolian Soran, and his representative contacted producer Rick Berman about the role. Berman was enthusiastic about having Brando on board, and contacted Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing about the possibility. However, Brando was asking for a very high salary, which Lansing was not ready to pay.
    • Former TNG writer/producer Maurice Hurley wrote a competing screenplay so that Paramount could have two potential stories to use. What little is known of this screenplay would have featured Kirk being recreated on the holodeck by Captain Picard to aid him in repelling an interdimensional invasion, because of his experiences in the TOS episode "The Tholian Web". The studio ultimately went with Braga and Moore's script because it was further along.
    • Word of God is that the big wooden wishbone railing (where Worf had his console) was saved.
    • Early in development, Michael Piller (often dubbed TNG's real daddy) was approached to develop and write his own screenplay. He turned the offer down. Given his own attempt at a TNG film resulted in Star Trek: Insurrection, we may have actually dodged a bullet there.
    • Berman himself said that if they didn't already do "Yesterday's Enterprise" that it would have been the perfect general story for this film, just swap out the Enterprise-C for the Enterprise-A. Braga also said in a perfect world they would have had both captains on the bridge of their ships, rather than "a bridge on the captain."
  • You Look Familiar: Tim Russ plays one of the bridge officers on the Enterprise-B several months before playing Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager. Hilariously, the Voyager episode "Flashback" would show that Tuvok was serving on the USS Excelsior during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.


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