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Problems with the TNG Star Trek film series

Doctor Anaximander

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I love TNG era of Star Trek (TNG, DS9, some of Voyager, most of the TNG cast films). However, I feel the TNG films could've been executed much better. Frankly, they're a mess. I figured I'd use this thread to nerd rant a bit on where I think these films went wrong. Not to say the original series cast films weren't without their issues, I just wanted to focus on the films Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis.

My first problem with Generations and the others is Data's arc. He decides to use his emotion chip in Generations. It is mostly used to create some comic relief, which didn't really bother me, but the arc feels poorly handled. I feel this would have been a better storyline for a 7th season episode, so the story could've focused mostly on Data. In the film, it feels as if it is quickly resolved and shuffled aside. Then Data is relegated to a comic relief character for the remainder of the films. He plays a fairly large role in First Contact, that is the exception. Then he gets the obligatory Spock death in Nemesis, because it's obvious the writers and producers wanted that to be their Wrath of Khan. Speaking of Spock, it seems his whole arc was prematurely ended in TMP, so he is ultimately resigned to shuffle between Yoda-like advisor and fish-out-of-water comic relief for the remainder of the TOS cast films.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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My second issue is Picard becoming mister action star in the films. They sort of hinted at this progression in episodes like "Starship Mine," which was basically Die Hard on a Starship, but they took it to another level in the films, especially in First Contact and Insurrection. He acts impulsively, brashly, gung ho, very unlike his TV show characterization. The whole point of the casting was we had other characters like Work and Riker who better fit the "man of action" mold, so Picard could be the wise, strategic maneuverer who erred on the side of caution while they got to run around punching aliens and jumping from 80 story high walkways and shit. The biggest and most egregious example is that whole dune buggy sequence in Nemesis. And don't get me started on the impracticality of a dune buggy when Starfleet had shuttles and probably some form of hovership that could serve a similar purpose and more. But no, the producers and writers wanted to give Picard a fun action sequence zipping around in a car. It would have at least made more sense if a different character were driving and Picard had remained on the ship, which was usually his MO throughout most of the series.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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Next issue, the destruction of the Enterprise D.

How does a Bird of Prey, which is essentially a scout ship, so easily take on a state-of-the-art cruiser? Why don't they place the shields on rotating frequencies when they realize the BoP can penetrate them? That was likely something that would be standard, especially since the Borg invasion. Why didn't Riker hammer the shit out the BoP with torpedoes and phasers, instead of ordering evasive maneuvering and coming up with a convoluted plan to make the BoP's shields drop? Enough firepower surely would've done the job, and with rotating shield frequencies, the BoP would not be able to penetrate the shields anymore. Also, after Geordi had been captive, wouldn't it be prudent to check his VISOR, just to make sure nothing had been tampered with? Geordi knew Soran took his VISOR to tamper with or examine, so maybe that was information he'd want to share with Riker and Beverly before just strolling down to one of the most sensitive areas of the ship.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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And couldn't they eject the warp core? That probably would have given the ship sufficient time to move away from the blast zone. I realize the producers needed the ship destroyed so they could introduce the E, but this could have been handled less lazily. Perhaps they might somehow be put in the path of the Nexus due to Soran's tampering.

And why would it have been so difficult to either shoot or tractor beam Soran's rocket after it had blasted off? They don't really explain this very well. Worf was a good shot, I'm sure he could've done it.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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In First Contact, why is Picard suddenly so anti-Borg again? They completely undid his arc from the series. He is essentially broken in The Best of Both Worlds, then must re-heal. He is distrustful of them in Hugh Borg, but he gradually changes his views and sees Hugh as an individual rather than as a personification of an evil collective. None of this nuance exists in First Contact, because we gotta give Picard his big Ahab speech and add that tension. I'm not saying he'd be on friendly terms with the Borg, but acting irrationally as he did in the film seemed out of character. I'd expect him to be calmer and more focused.

I'm also going to state an unpopular opinion, that I think the concept of a Borg Queen is flawed, and she's a stupid villain there only because the producers felt every film had to have an obligatory big bad. The Borg are portrayed as space zombies in First Contact, why not go all the way with that premise? To me, that was one of the things that made them scary in TNG, that they were a decentralized hive mind, so it made them extremely hard to defeat. It's also never really well explained what exactly her purpose is. Voyager never does either, they just ran with it and tried to recapture the success of First Contact in several two-parters like Dark Frontier.

Not every Trek film needs a 2 dimensional big bad guy. The Voyage Home proved they could successfully make a Trek film without one. I actually prefer the villain-less episodes and films. Or where the "villain" is just a misunderstood entity or probe or something, like we see in the first and fourth films.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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Shinzon is also a stupid villain. In my opinion, a lot of the problems with the Abramsverse actually begin with Nemesis. He is Nero version 1. What is the deal with Shinzon's hatred of the Federation? It's never well explained. His hatred toward the Romulans makes perfect sense, they should've just kept that premise instead of adding what has become the now obligatory 'evil villain wants to destroy the Federation just because' motivation.

Soran, at least he had some motives for destroying Stars. He wasn't pure evil, he was just a tortured man obsessed with the Nexus. Even the Insurrection villain had some motivations. Picard, and by extension the Federation, just happened to get in their way. I suppose the same can be said of the Borg Queen.
 

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Shit, you got some nice questions going on. I'm a fan of ST:TNG and I'm currently re-watching it the 4th time now, on blu-ray, on perfect screen. Unfortunately I've never watched any of the movies apart from one named Insurrection or something of the kind. The tv series just seemed just that much better.

In the mid and late episodes of the ST:TNG captain Picard may have come off as a more cerebral type. In the early episodes he was very much a person of flesh and a bundle of agitated nerves. Some of the episodes showed him as someone who as an spectacular show of skills could restrain themselves as much as to speak kindly to a kid (Wesley) who had just captured their ship.
 
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