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YMMV / Star Trek: Generations

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Kirk's death in the novel is decidedly more bitter than bittersweet, as in the movie his "it was fun..." is about his own life and his experiences despite everything. In the book, he feels desperately alone after McCoy and Spock go their separate ways, is something of a Death Seeker after retirement, and his line is about the hundred of lives he lived in the Nexus (saving Edith, saving every crewmember who died under his command, marrying Carol, him and his friends being young again). While still at peace, it's a lot more depressing.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Granted the movie was about letting go of past failures and moving on with your life but Picard seemed rather subdued in the fact that the Enterprise was destroyed in his brief absence. He even picked up a priceless artifact he got from a friend during the series that was completely ruined and set it aside like it meant nothing.note 
    • Likely he's thoroughly in shock. First, losing his brother and nephew (to a remarkably mundane cause). Then he fights Soran and loses, knowing millions will die as a result. In the Nexus, he has a fantasy about a non-existent family and a living Renee, and he knows it's fantasy. Then he meets Kirk, a legend and likely personal hero who soon gets a bridge dropped on him. Picard is then alone for who knows how long before being in contact with the destroyed Enterprise, possibly with no food or drink.
  • Awesome Music: Regardless of how one feels about the film, it is hard to deny that the score, one of composer Dennis McCarthy's few cinematic offerings, is first-rate. Here's the main theme.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: There's so much backstory to the TNG plotline that, as SF Debris puts it, "the backstory has backstory". In particular, seeing Picard being crushed about receiving news that his brother and nephew have died in a fire and the return of the Duras sisters doesn't have close to half the dramatic weight unless you've seen the episodes in which those characters appear.
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  • Delusion Conclusion: Because of the nature of the Nexus, it's a pretty common fan theory that Picard rescuing his crew and going off on other merry adventures was just a part of his perfect fantasy world.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Soran's line "They say time is the fire in which we burn" is lifted from Delmore Schwartz' 1938 poem "Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day" ("Time is the school in which we learn / Time is the fire in which we burn."). Another line from the poem, which Picard is undoubtedly familiar with, is "Many great dears are taken away / What will become of you and me / (This is the school in which we learn...) / Besides the photo and the memory?" — Picard later reminisces, looking at Renee's picture in his photo book. It also Foreshadows part of the plot: "The great globe reels in the solar fire / Spinning the trivial and unique away".
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    • The poet is also what "The Delmore Effect" is named after. It's about the tendency to ignore the most important parts of life, and focus on the more immediate — something Soran, Picard and Kirk all share.
    • "Renee" is short for "Renatus", meaning "reborn". Guess what happens to him in The Nexus?
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Kirk tells Picard "Don't [retire]. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you. Don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference.". Star Trek: Picard reveals that Picard had both been promoted to Admiral and eventually left Starfleet due to the loss of Romulus leaving him so heartbroken.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • After meeting Demora Sulu, Chekov comments that "I was never that young" and Kirk says "no, you were younger". Come 2009, everyone is younger, but Chekov in particular stands out. This sadly became a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment after Anton Yelchin died in 2016 at the age of 27, even younger than Walter Koenig was when Chekov first appeared on the Original Series.
    • Guinan's description of the Nexus as "like being inside joy" has gotten funnier since Whoopi Goldberg has co-hosted The View with Joy Behar.
    • Kirk's last words, "Oh, my...", have gotten funnier since "Oh, my!" has become George Takei's Catchphrase.
    • Riker's line "Speak for yourself, Sir. I plan to live forever.", is this in light of one of Jonathan Frakes' other roles.
    • During the establishing shot of Worf's promotion scene, a few bars from the theme tune of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine play. While this was presumably just composer Dennis McCarthy re-using and rearranging some of his prior material, it unwittingly foreshadows Worf's arrival on that series. McCarthy would later reuse samples from this movie in Deep Space Nine, with the most obvious example being the theme for the Duras sisters being reused in The Way of the Warrior.
    • A throwaway line from Soran to Picard would, 21 years later, become the Arc Words of the video game Undertale:
      Soran: Don’t you have anything better to do?
  • Ho Yay: Spock isn't even in the movie and he and Kirk still manage to produce some, as thinking of Spock is the last push Kirk needs to leave the Nexus, and in the novelisation, as he jumps across, he wonders "if Spock is still alive..."
  • Humor Dissonance: Depending on how you interpret the scene, Riker is either a dick for making Worf fall in the water (if you think that it was intentional and not an accident like he says) and Data's pushing Dr. Crusher in afterwards is hilarious, or Worf's status as a Butt-Monkey means his getting pushed into water is hilarious but Dr. Crusher getting pushed in and looking quite upset about it while Data looks on in what is probably too-happy a smile.
  • Idiot Plot: Pretty much the entire plot centering on the Enterprise and the Duras Sisters only works the way it does because, for some reason, everyone on the Enterprise decided that it would be futile to try to fight head-to-head when the Sisters can shoot through their shields. This is despite the Enterprise being about ten times bigger and better-armed, meaning it should be able to overpower a single Bird of Prey in relative short order, shields or no shields.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Soran. While his Evil Plan entails the deaths of millions, you can't help but sympathize with him for just wanting to return to the Nexus so he can be reunited with his dead wife and children.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Dr. Tolian Soran was once a peaceful man of the Long-Lived El-Aurian race whose wife and children were murdered when his planet was invaded and destroyed by the Borg. After gaining access to the Nexus, a dimension of pleasure where he could be reunited with his family, Soran becomes obsessed with getting back into it after he is pulled from it against his will. Realizing that the energy ribbon could only be accessed by altering the gravitational fields around it, Soran designed a star-killing probe to make the Nexus come to him while destroying all other lifeforms in the vicinity. Soran is rescued by the Enterprise after Romulans raid his science station, deceiving the Enterprise crew before kidnapping Geordi LaForge with the help of his Klingon allies, the Duras Sisters. Soran modifies Geordi's visor to make him an unwitting spy which ultimately leads to the ship's destruction, proves himself immune to Picard's attempts to talk him down from his plan, and eventually succeeds at everything he set out to do, embracing the Nexus as it sweeps him up, with only subsequent Time Travel managing to undo it.
  • Memetic Mutation: Everything gets delivered on Tuesday.explanation 
  • Never Live It Down: After this movie, poor Counselor Troi was forever labeled not only an annoying Captain Obvious, but the person who crashed the Enterprise-D. And this is despite the fact she managed to land the ship with light casualties.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games
    • The video game adaptation isn't bad, exactly. It's just very distinctly... average. If anything, it was probably hamstrung by an horribly outdated game engine: work on the game began in 1995, but it wasn't released until 1998, so the sprite based graphics and 2.5d gameplay meant it was simply outclassed by the games around it.
    • There's also the issue of its release date, in 1998 we were coming up on Star Trek: Insurrection. Maybe you should try to release your tie-in game at the same time as what it's tying into.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The TNG films don't have a good track record overall, but Generations is generally considered the second-best (or second-least-worst) of them after First Contact.
  • Special Effect Failure: During the crashing of the Enterprise-D, you can see Worf being tossed over the tactical console and he's clearly losing his baldric as he goes over, but when he flops to a stop, it's still strapped to him.
  • Stock Footage Failure: The film egregiously uses footage from the previous film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, at different points:
    • Even though the USS Enterprise-B was given a flared engineering hull to help distinguish it from other Excelsior-class ships, the film still uses footage of the original Excelsior warping.
    • Most infamously, the destruction of Lursa and B'etor's bird-of-prey is the destruction of General Chang's bird-of-prey with the coloring adjusted only slightly.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • After going to the trouble of bringing in the show's recurring villains Lursa and B'Etor, the film proceeds to use them as nothing more than generic henchmen before unceremoniously killing them off.
    • Kirk gets to be with his one true love in the Nexus, the one woman who could tempt him into staying there forever against his duty. Is it Janice Rand? Edith Keeler? Carol Marcus? Nope, it's some woman we've never heard of before. note 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot
    • Kirk meets Picard... in the last twenty minutes of the movie... and then he dies. note 
    • With a film budget to play around with and a Enterprise to destroy, one would think we'd get treated to a battle sequence more exciting than what could be done on a television budget. Instead, the Enterprise is shot down in a one-on-one fight against a Bird-of-Prey, a scout ship, in a shameless recycling of three previous films in the series. To add insult to injury, Deep Space Nine would go on to feature far larger and more energetic spaceship fights during its run, and do it with the limits of a television budget.
    • They were going to destroy the Enterprise-D and to kill Captain Kirk in the same movie, and nobody thought maybe Kirk should die where he's always truly belonged — on the bridge of a starship named Enterprise?
    • Also, rather than putting all their years of experience together to do something awesome or clever, Picard just needs Kirk to help him beat up a short, elderly man. Picard really could have brought anybody from the Nexus to stop Soran.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Patrick Stewart as always, most notably in the scene where Picard reacts to his family's deaths and opens to Troi. By extension, he makes Shatner try harder as well, Kirk sounding exhausted at how Starfleet has cost him so much, but he hasn't made a difference since being promoted.
    • Malcolm McDowell freely admitted that he thought the script wasn't very good. He also confesses that he does not really understand Trekkies, but he still gives it his all.
  • Uncanny Valley: Data, as his emotion chip overloads.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The Enterprise-D gets some CGI treatment in this movie. The scene where the ship warps away from the Amargosa shock wave is gorgeous.
    • The destruction of the Enterprise-D: first a saucer separation, followed shortly by the stardrive explosion, followed by the explosion's shockwave sending the saucer into the planet's atmosphere, culminating in several minutes of the saucer crash-landing onto the planet below. Even if you loved the good ol' Enterprise-D, you have to admit the destruction SFX were really well done. By far the best bit? A lot of the film, including that iconic scene destroying the Enterprise-D, was shot with very little 3D animation. The ship in the final crash was a scale model.
    • Followed up by the destruction of Veridian III. This film is very good at convincingly blowing stuff up.
    • The one scene that got the most hype was the newly revealed Astrogation room. And it does look amazing.
    • The Nexus energy ribbon really does look like it could rip a starship apart just by passing by.


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