trailer). Yes, Paramount removed the numbering in the film titles starting here, but for the sake of organization in this blog I will have them numbered in the blog titles and in the ratings rundown at the conclusion of each blog.
It turns out the studio heads wanted an official passing of the torch from original series to TNG crew. Star Trek buffs may ponder how do you incorporate that when TNG takes place 70 years after the original series. That problem is easily remedied in the world of science fiction when you have a good old fashioned time travel plot device readily available. Generations opens with a retired Kirk (William Shatner), Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Scotty (James Doohan) as guests on the debut voyage of the Enterprise-B. A ship's distress call that is caught in an energy field quickly changes this initial voyage. The energy field is later revealed to be capable of producing lightning-like bolts that can zap individuals in and out of a purgatory-esque world called the Nexus. The Enterprise-B is able to escape with some survivors, but not before the field zaps Kirk into the Nexus.
McDowell is tremendous as Soran, and he is one of the best antagonists of the films since Kahn. I also am a fan of the side story of this film where Geordi (LeVar Burton) installs an emotion chip inside of Data (Brent Spiner). Generations was the only one of the first 10 films that I saw in the theater, and I the thing I remember most is getting a kick out of the formerly emotion-less Data now being overwhelmed with his new feelings and cracking jokes and breaking down in an instant throughout the film. Revisiting this film 20 years (damn) later, and I cannot help but think they overdid it a little bit, but it is still effective nonetheless. It is worth mentioning the special effects now are really starting to hold up and do not seem as dated now than previous films. The excellent HD remastering for BluRay definitely helped here too. There is one scene where Data and Spock are in a cartography room that has a 360 degree view screen that seamlessly zooms in and out of their projected trajectories. It still looks pretty high end and holds up well 20 years later.
Commentaries aside, there are over three hours of original DVD extras and nearly an hour of additional BluRay features. Highlights include Creating Illusion, a nine minute look at how the special effects team created the aforementioned cartography scene. Uniting Two Lengends is a near half hour look at how TNG crew within weeks had to adapt from a television to film production schedule. Enterprise Lineage is a fascinating 13 minute look at actual vessels and crafts throughout history with the Enterprise name. Make sure to check out the deleted scenes, they are on the lengthy side running over just a half hour, but each scene has a mini-documentary leading up to it, which especially helps explain why Paramount did not run with the initial ending, and I am glad they did not, and you are going to have to see for yourselves what they originally had in mind. Some of the new extras that standout is a first part of an interview series with Brent Spinner that lasts 10 minutes profiling his career, and a 12 minute Trek Roundtable with four critics dissecting the film.
Star Trek Film Ratings
Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 5.5/10
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn - 10/10
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock - 7.5/10
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - 9/10
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 6.5/10
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - 7.5/10
Star Trek VII: Generations - 8/10