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Star Trek VII: Generations

Originally Aired: 1994-11-18

Captains Kirk and Picard meet in a strange "Nexus" that defies time. Together, they save a planet from destruction. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.25

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Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

- The uniforms are rather confused in this film. And I'm not talking about the sailor uniforms on the bridge or the old style uniforms worn by the characters from the past. The Enterprise D appears to have some crew members wearing DS9 uniforms and others wearing TNG uniforms! Even Riker's uniform magically changes from TNG to DS9 style as the film progresses! As does Data's! And Picard's... And Geordi's... Picard even reverts back to his old uniform in the final scenes of the film!
- In TNG: Relics, Scotty, upon hearing the name Enterprise, says: "Jim Kirk got it out of mothballs!" Why would Scotty say this knowing Kirk was dead? Maybe the long term transporter buffer stasis induced some kind of temporary transporter psychosis?
- Riker, regarding the slim chances to intercept Soran's missile: "That's a pretty big margin of error!" Well, that's good then! They've got plenty of margin for error! ;)

- This film is nominated for my "Best Star Trek Film Award."
- This is the first of the TNG films and the last of the TOS films.
- Tim Russ, who plays an officer aboard the Enterprise B in this film, goes on to play Tuvok on Voyager. He easily could have been, but he is not Tuvok in this film as his ears are not pointed.
- The Enterprise D appears to have installed a new type of transporter since TNG: All Good Things... based on the visual effect.
- According to Riker and Worf, the Romulans, Breen, and Klingons all use type 3 disruptors. This is also one of many mentions of the yet unseen Breen species who will finally show up in late DS9.
- The door chime in Picard's ready room has changed; it is the one which will be used on Voyager.
- This film was nominated for the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- A look at the Enterprise B! Now we've seen them all! The first one built by the Federation was commanded by Pike, then Kirk. That one was destroyed, another was built: the A. Then the B, featured in this film. Then the C, featured in TNG: Yesterday's Enterprise. Finally the D in TNG. Of course there are more later, but I love how the writers filled in the gaps for us finally. :)
- Guinan abord the Enterprise B!
- Kirk lost saving the Enterprise B.
- The damage to the Enterprise B was extremely well done.
- Worf's promotion ceremony. Worf defeats the ceremony's challenge to retrieve the hat, but Riker deletes the plank from the holodeck program and Worf splashes into the water!
- Data pushing Beverly off the ship to be "funny and spontaneous."
- Picard receiving the bad news about his family. His brother and nephew have died.
- Data considering using the emotion chip. Excellent continuity with TNG: Descent.
- Data, up and about with his new emotion chip. Data enjoys hating the drink because he's never felt true emotion before. Hilarious!
- Soran: "They say time is the fire in which we burn."
- Data joking around with Geordi while they investigate the space station then being unable to stop laughing. I'm particularly fond of "Mr. Tricorder."
- Picard looking through photos of his family and discussing his family along with the tragic loss of his brother and nephew with Troi. Excellent continuity with TNG: Family.
- The Duras' sisters' appearance. They are recurring characters from many previous TNG/DS9 episodes. They never know when to quit!
- The scenes in which Soran and Guinan's history are discussed bear nice continuity with TNG: The Best of Both Worlds, and other episodes.
- Data and Picard in Stellar Cartography.
- The Klingons using Geordi's visor to spy on the Enterprise.
- Soran: "Ah, captain. You must think I'm quite the madman." Picard: "The thought had crossed my mind."
- Riker: "Can you find a way to scan the planet for life forms?" Data: "I would be happy to sir! I just love scanning for life forms!" Data then begins singing and playing a tune with the computer terminal button sounds. Data: "Life forms... you tiny little life forms... you precious little life forms... where are you?" Easily one of the funniest moments in all of Star Trek history.
- The battle between the Klingon ship and the Enterprise. Spectacular!
- The destruction of the Klingon ship and the death of the Duras sisters!
- The destruction of the Enterprise drive section!
- As the Enterprise hurls toward the planet, Data says: "Oh shit!"
- The crashing of the Enterprise saucer section!
- Picard's meeting with Kirk.
- Kirk to Picard: "I was out saving the galaxy when your grandfather was in diapers!"
- Picard killing Soran.
- Kirk's death. His final words: "It was... fun... oh my..."
- Troi discovering Data's cat Spot, still alive.
- Picard: "Somehow I doubt this will be the last ship to carry the name Enterprise."

My Review
This is a very special film. It is very epic, for we have big things happening! The convergence of two timelines that span a century, the destruction of stars, the destruction of a beloved ship; The Enterprise D, and the death of a beloved character; James Kirk. Soran was a great villain because his goals were realistic. He wasn't a madman, just a bit unscrupulous and greedy. The film is extremely intelligently written, using Guinan's longevity appropriately and giving us some more much needed backstory on her people and giving us an appropriate tie in between Kirk and Picard's time all at the same time! The highlights of the movie are extensive, but probably the best part is the acting throughout the movie is fantastic, particularly in Picard's scenes regarding the loss of his family, later with Kirk, and finally the loss of his ship, along with Data's emotional scenes. The two characters spend very little time with one another, but the issues they each face are nicely paralleled throughout the film. Another highlight is the special effects. It's nice to see the Enterprise D rendered in such high quality. Even the Enterprise B looked pretty badass. And needless to say, Enterprise D's death was spectacular. Another nice detail is the film is filled with fantastic continuity with tons of other episodes, far, far too many to list, but much, much appreciated. One important one: Data's emotion chip is finally activated, tying up a loose end of the TNG series. Many people bash this film as a terrible way to kill off Kirk, but I disagree. Kirk agreed to leave the Nexus to help Picard so that he could "make a difference" one last time. Many ask why Picard and Kirk didn't return to a not so crucial time so as to save the Enterprise and in fact Kirk's life. Well, neither Picard nor Kirk knew what happened to the Enterprise. And I think Kirk wanted to die. The Nexus wasn't real, and he knew he'd be a man out of time after he assisted Picard. While the logical flaws do abound, I think Kirk deliberately chose the moment they went to and he deliberately died an honorable man, saving Picard's life. That said, this film is exiting clear up to the end with the Enterprise's destruction and Kirk's heroic death. The film is a fantastic send-off for both TOS and the Enterprise D and one of the best films in Star Trek history.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JemHadar359 on 2007-06-27 at 5:22pm:
    The battle between the Enterprise-D and the Duras sisters' Bird Of Prey is in my opinion the best technical battle in Star Trek's history.

    However, it does have one flaw. Why didn't Riker order the Enterprise's shield nutation rotated after the Bird Of Prey hit them with the first photon torpedo?

    Of course, Riker's not doing this makes for a much more exciting sequence.

    I love the close-up on Riker when he says simply, "Fire."
  • From Heldt on 2010-04-07 at 8:04pm:
    The mystical uniform change was intended. You may have noticed a slow starfleed uniform change in DS9 too.
    Of course not all starfleet members get new uniforms at once.

    My problems with the movie are:
    - Earth. Center of Starfleet. Ships are being built here. A few years ago they even tested Transwarp technology in one of the stations. And now no ship is near enough to this... Nexus-thingy? It's in the sol-system! There have to be at least three dozen ships full with cadets.
    - Why is this deflector control Kirk goes to about 100 m off the deflector? Why is he even going there? There must be people in the machine room specially trained for working with these controls. Or at least better trained as a old retired captain...
    - What the hell is Tuvok doing there? And where are his pointy ears?

    And that's only 10 Minutes...
  • From curt on 2010-04-22 at 6:26am:
    This might be a dumb question, people were talking, and I didnt get to pay as much attention as I wanted to. But when kirk goes back time to meet that girl, it wasnt real, so why is it real when they go back to fight scene with Soran's missle launch? I'm sorry if the movie already addressed this, like I said i didnt get to pay total attention to it.
  • From Deepblue on 2010-07-08 at 7:11pm:
    Definitely a thinking person's movie about loss and living past you're perceived usefulness. Kirk's death was foreshadowed in V, that he felt safe w/ Bones and Spock because he always believed he'd die alone, meaning without his comrades. I'm sure a fair amt. of fans woulda preferred fearless Kirk to go out guns blazing in battle but that would've seemed out of place for him in his older age having outlived his dangerous younger years.

    The mixed bag of uniforms is realistic to today like the previous commenter noted. Currently in US military, many military personnel in the same branch (if not in an active combat infantry role) have various color uniforms depending on how long they've been in. Newer personnel are issued the latest uniform, individuals with more seniority are given a choice of keeping older uniforms and/or adopting newer ones.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-25 at 11:50pm:
    In my opinion, not a single one of the four TNG movies has a premise that makes sense. But, as TNG's movies go, this is probably the best.

    My problem with the premise here is that it's very hard to tell (as one review pointed out) what is part of the Nexus and what is not. The Nexus is explained to be a gateway to another dimension in which a person's thoughts and desires become reality. Picard fast forwards to the family life he never had, no doubt inspired by his brother and nephew's recent death reminding him of the importance of family. And Kirk finds himself reliving moments in his past with the opportunity to change their outcome. All of this is very interesting, but both captains recognize that what they experience is not real. When they go back to Veridian 3, do they actually leave the Nexus? They would have to for their actions to have real world consequences, but this is never made clear. This is a fundamental problem in the movie because it calls into question whether Picard and Kirk's actions were simply a part of their Nexus fantasy. Consider that, according to Riker, the mission shown at the film’s beginning is the real world incident in which James Kirk was killed. This would mean that there’s a serious problem in the timeline. And by the way, if Picard can request Kirk's help, what's stopping him from recruiting anybody else he wants? He could bring all kinds people to Veridian to help stop Soren, but for the story purpose it stops at Kirk.

    Putting all that aside, the movie has strong mythical overtones, is brilliantly shot and acted, filled with superb dialogue and character developments (particularly Data and his handling of emotion chip), and has visual effects that, when I first saw this movie, left me in awe of what Star Trek could be like with the transition from TV to film. I like how the movie gives us more details on Guinan's past; we've known for a long time now that the Borg destroyed her planet, and now we see the immediate aftermath, which makes for awesome continuity. I'm sure it was fun for Brent Spiner to change things up in this film, adding to the already enormous popularity of Data. I did think Picard's time with Kirk came at the expense of the rest of the TNG crew...most of them had fairly minor roles, certainly not what we're used to seeing from them.

    Overall, a nice start to the TNG film series. Unfortunately, each movie got progressively worse.
  • From Bernard on 2011-02-27 at 1:48pm:
    First things first. The whole climax to the film is created by Dr. Soran firing a missile at a star that will change the gravitational whatever of that part of space... This means that the planet will be destroyed. But lets get this straight. The Nexus is missing the planet, unless the star is destroyed to divert the course of the Nexus. So to divert the course of the Nexus surely the shockwave would ALREADY have had to have passed by killing our heroes and Dr. Soran before he can even get into the Nexus.

    The film is filled with this kind of flawed logic, don't even get me started on the Nexus itself. It's an absolute mess. You could forgive these problems if the film was good enough, but sadly it isn't.

    Unfortunately, although this is a bad film, it is fairly consistant to Star Trek themes unlike the three sequels that follow so I'll give it some credit.

    There are so many good things in this film, it just feels like they've all been thrown in without any real thought. Another note to film directors and script writers, stop throwing cringeworthy attempts at humour into dark films (check out revenge of the sith for more of this). I love Brent Spiner as Data but this exploration of his humanity has been done to death during the series and has no place in the feature films. Unfortunately as the Next Gen films progress we continue to be fed Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner's personal ego trips.

    One thing that I read a lot of Trek fans bitching about is the way that Kirk's send of is carried out in this film. I don't have a problem with that at all. It's not an issue for me.

    Overall this film is a load of good stuff lumped together with no real thought. It has a decent premise, good acting (Malcolm Mcdowell is as good as any villain a Star Trek film has had), great sequences that they could not afford to do on the series, but too much clutter and crap. I'd give it a 6.

  • From Seriously? on 2011-04-11 at 6:55pm:
    U gotta be kidding me! This is by far the worst Star Trek movie ever made! How can you defend this piece of crap?

    Here's a review worth its name, which treats the movie the way it deserves:

    But even they didnt notice the biggest scientific mistake in this bad rip-off of a Star Trek movie. The gravitational effects of a star explosion would need at least a couple of minutes to even reach the nexus. In the movie that stupid space ribbon changes its course instantly.
    Even better, there would be no instant gravitational effects of that explosion, because no matter if the sun explodes or not, the matter is still there until it gets spread by the shockwave. As long as that shockwave didnt pass the planet, the only consequence is the light going off.
  • From EvanT on 2011-06-25 at 12:12am:
    The three things that REALLY bugged me in this movie:

    1)Riker and Worf during the battle scene. Why didn't they rotate the shield harmonics? And on top of that, all they did was to fire a single phaser shot at the Bird of Prey. C'mon! How much punishment can that thing take? They seemed pretty fragile in DS9. And the Enterprise took a direct torpedo hit and it barely dented the hull (but a disruptor hit at the stardrive brings down half the bridge?). Riddle it with torpedoes and phaser shots. That oughta do it! They would've destroyed it before they had finished their diatribe on antique klingon cloak generator plasma coils. Yeesh.

    I'll agree that the crashing on the planet was cool though. How about using a stronger klingon ship then? A Vor'cha might be more of a challenge for a Galaxy class starship without shields! Who wrote that damn scene? And why are Lursa and Betor still alive? Shouldn't someone have tracked them down and killed them for causing a civil war by now?

    2) They reused the exploding Bird of Prey from the previous movie. Laaaame! I mean, how cheap can you get? Blow up a CG Bird of Prey! You've already blown up a planet, the stardrive, two stars and a science facility... how much modeling and rendering time would it take? This is just sloppy presentation.

    3)I didn't mind how Kirk died, but I did find it distasteful how he was buried. Here's a legendary captain that just gave his life in order to save a planet of millions. How can we possibly honour him?

    Let's bury him on a backwater planet under rocks, so the wild animals can easily feast on his rotting carcass. It's not like we could take a corpse back with us when we get evacuated from the planet. That would be just gross! ("Farragut, one person and a cadaver to beam up" <--see? distasteful!)

    The greatest captain of the 23rd century, if not in Starfleet history and he doesn't even get an on-screen eulogy or even a torpedo casing funeral.

    I mean... C'MON!
  • From Inga on 2011-12-17 at 11:39pm:
    I have another problem - how come it only took Soran's rocket 11 seconds to reach the star? Either the planet is very close to it, or the rocket traveled faster than the speed of light...
  • From b goldstein on 2012-01-08 at 5:54pm:
    The Opening scene with Kirk, Scotty, and Checkov just seemed out of character for all three -- this is because it was written for Spock and McCoy. It makes sense afterwards, but it was a terrible beginning that it was hard to get into the rest of the movie.

    So the rest of the movie was ruined for me because the plot felt so contrived.
  • From L on 2013-05-13 at 4:40am:

    I loved the performance of the captain in the opening scene, as his moment of pride just turned to a nightmare.
    Lots of cool things, but plot-wise it's weak and more like a good series episode with a rushed end.
    They get out of the nexus way too easily. According to Guinan and the bad guy, it's indescribable joy, you'll forget everything you ever cared about and you'll do anything to stay there, even destroy inhabited solar systems, but the two captains just get bored and hop out.
    Or do they? I thought they were going to do a false reality plot twist, but then was disappointed when I realised it was the real ending to the movie.
    Still, it's Star Trek, so it's about enjoying the characters, not logic. Having both 'styles' of Star Trek in one movie was pretty awesome. And everything looked great, beautiful cinema-photography.
  • From Richard on 2013-05-28 at 8:14am:
    I don't think changing the shield modulation would have worked, they might even have tried it off camera, as Geordi would have done it and the Klingons would have just matched them. If they changed once or twice and it had no effect, they wouldn't have known why and given up trying and just kept the ship together. The only problems I had were the speed of the final rocket (which I suppose could have had limited warp, but this was never even hinted at) and the change in gravitational forces without any change in mass, which is just impossible. Never-the-less, this is my favorite Star Trek film, I really like how it tied the two series together.
  • From Kevin on 2013-12-15 at 2:17pm:
    This film really polarizes viewers for some reason. Maybe the most epic of all trek movies, with awesome action, acting, music, effects and BY FAR the biggest use of multiple locations. Honestly, I thought this movie was awesome,despite some confusion about when they were or were not in the nexus and some gravitational errors maybe.

    Overall, it did what STTNG was great at. An exciting story, with fun, adventure, something big happening, and FINALLY a "Bad Guy" that was simply bad, but realistic. Not some super meglamaniac that all the other movies tend to use, but an actual believable person that is just very greedy and obsessed, and seemed to have real motivations for what he does.

    Kirk wanted to die. That was his choice and I think it is made clear, despite many crying about how he died or where he was. A perfect movie, not really, but the most ambitious of all for sure!

    A must see epic.
  • From parqbench on 2016-06-02 at 3:23pm:
    tahw dnafinish, but everything reviewers have pointed out was true. lots of logical problems, and lots of just lost potential in where they could've taken the plot. still, at least this is star trek that seems to have a grip on itself, somewhat realistic characters and some nice meditations on the finitude of life.

    i didn't have a trouble with "what is and what is not the nexus" because i knew the movie just wouldn't reach there, and could be confidently assumed to gamble on the safe, "happy" ending that the enterprise was actually saved (though kirk was not).

    i did wish the nexus was less matter of fact. i really was thinking some reality-bending, pull-apart-your-being crushing, consciousness-expanding/contracting, spiritual ego-death trip morality play/force of will battle of intellect and soul to escape this thing. even going for palatable, easy-to-follow scenes for a mass audience they could've made it more mysterious, but it kind of just feels like he woke up in a new place and that's it. shatner actually does a much better job of at least coming off as preoccupied--and strangely, almost uncharacteristically unconcerned with what's wrong. funny to say that he would be the better actor in this scenario, since usually it's the opposite (though i love you, man).

    anyway, funnily enough, the moment i read other posts asking the shield rotation question is the moment i realised i've become a true fan; i remember reading "gotchas" like that all the time and not really connecting the technobabble with anything tangible in any of the series, but after having rounded out most of the available star trek mythos, that was actually the first thing on my mind. "why don't they just rotate the freaking shield frequencies?" haha. at least this is an established premise in the ST universe. and all the klingons got was their *current* frequency, no? so it would have been an admitted gamble. and they could've framed it like that and been fine--"if we catch them unawares, we'll have a brief window to drive them away before they cycle frequencies." still, was a slow & interesting technical battle, as one commenter noted.

    ultimately...patrick stewart is great, though i always have the same dilemma when watching trek--we're essentially softening military figures; it really is technically no different than a movie about a general in afghanistan feeling pangs of family longing and then proceeding to carry out his duty to the letter occupying and razing a foreign country and destroying other families. but that's an essay for another day...cheers. :)
  • From Trekkie From Way Back on 2016-07-09 at 3:09am:
    A 10?!!

    I agree with Mr. Plinkett, who starts his review: "'Star Trek Generations' is the stupidest Star Trek movie ever made." Check out this in-depth and entertaining 3-part review on youtube.

    Sorry Mr. K, you have lost all credibility with me. I've disagreed with some of your reviews before, but this goes beyond belief...
  • From Graham Bessellieu on 2019-07-28 at 5:19am:
    Again, agreed with Kethinov here; this is a special piece of Trek history.

    The convergence of the two generations is weaved together in a thoughtful manner. In fact, the film’s overarching theme is a reflection on the passage of time.

    From a cinematic standpoint, there are quite a few painterly scenes in this film. For example, Picard’s interactions with Riker and Troi during his reflection on family has quite exquisite lighting, which serve to dramatize and humanize Picard in ways rarely seen on the show.

    The 18th century sea-faring opening for the TNG cast is memorable and fun.

    We get to witness significant character development for Data, with the emotion chip.

    And I have to admit, seeing Picard truly happy with family at Christmas (in the Nexus dream) brought a tear to the eye.

    The second half of the film does drag a bit, pacing wise occasionally. Then there’s addressing Kirk’s death.

    Picard and Kirk working together is excellent and I have no qualm, in principle, with Kirk signing off in this film. It’s just the presentation. There could have been a much more elaborate, exciting and dynamic way to have written that teamwork. Think of all the ways they could have worked together, each playing to their particular strengths and styles of command. Given the entire arc of Kirk’s character, in context, it feels lackluster.

    Kirk should have gone out with a bang, with a combination of wit, brash courage, and compassionate self-sacrifice. That’s his character. Instead we get something kind of accidental, with courage no doubt, but awkward and abrupt.

    That aside, this film is essential TNG, with major character development and some surprising moments of genuine warmth and heart.
  • From gary on 2023-12-24 at 2:34pm:
    William Shatner tried to insert a funny line into the scene where he is dying and Picard comes over to him. In the scene, Kirk is trapped under a bridge. So Shatner wanted Kirk's last words to be "bridge on the captain" as a clever reversal of his usual "captain on the bridge". Stewart also liked the idea so the audience would see they had a sense of humor. But the producers wouldn't let them keep it in the movie.

    My biggest problem with this film is that there's no rational reason why Picard would bring only Kirk back to help him defeat Soren. If he's in the Nexus, there are millions of other options. But, it was a nice send-off for the Kirk character. And that really was the point of this one: a "passing of the baton" from TOS to TNG. So in that sense, it was brilliant.

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