Ah, that’s right. The Enterprise-B has just reappeared.
This is actually a pretty hard one for me not to break my own rules on. As you may or may not know, part of the idea of this series is to look at how a story can be fixed rather than rebuilt. The Phantom Menace series, for instance, stuck with more or less the same plot while tinkering with the characters in such a way that would have allowed for more audience investment in it. And that worked because while Phantom Menace was bloated and at times meandering, there were good ideas behind all of its scenes that just failed to materialize due to poor direction and dialog.
Star Trek Generations, on the other hand, does not have quite the same weight in its core ideas. The film is ostensibly about coming to terms with the passage of time and the change it brings. We know this because characters often stop the movie in its tracks to tell us all about it. But for a movie in this particular franchise, I honestly feel it’s too small of a concept to build an entire film around on its own.
Wrath of Khan had arguably the same arc for Kirk. But that wasn’t the entirety of what the film was either. You had Khan’s revenge, the Genesis program, the trainees, and I could go on but won’t because there are still one or two people who haven’t seen the film yet (and the rest don’t need me to.) Not to mention having what are still the best scenes of starship battles the franchise has produced. It was a pretty full movie. Generations though… Well, it could have been a great episode, but as a film it’s hard for me to get excited about the idea of Picard being worried that he’s too old to be interesting anymore.
So this leaves me with a problem: how do I take a script whose biggest problem may be that it’s just too small for the big screen and broaden its scope without replacing the ideas that form its core identity?
Look at that title. You know which one I mean.
There’s no question that among Science Fiction fandoms, the Star Trek contingent is a force unto themselves. They are frighteningly passionate, opinionated, and fractious. And yet there are a few things that they can agree on. Namely: that some of the movies are pretty bad. And among the bad, there is one that stands out. One which, as a followup to the previous masterful film, was disappointing enough to dash the hopes of everyone who went to watch. And that film is:
Ever since the zombie boom in fiction, just about everyone has a zombie survival plan these days. It’s even gotten to the point where certain data centers and hospitals have even added them into their official emergency procedures, justifying it with the argument that while reanimated corpses might not be an issue there could still be other disasters that might require the staff to hole up and wait for rescue.
So it probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that I actually get people asking me what my survival plan is a fair amount. After all, I’m a science fiction writer who straddles the narrow divide between hard and soft sci-fi. I get paid to come up with contingency plans for the absurd. Unfortunately my answer is always the same confession: I don’t have one.