Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Star Trek VII: Generations

This is the seventh in a series of Trek Tuesday posts counting down to the next Star Trek movie set to be released this May. Be sure to check out Shannon, the Movie Moxie, for her posts (she started the countdown) and feel free to jump in and play along or leave some comments.

This was the first Star Trek movie that I ever saw in theatres. It’s the first Star Trek movie with the cast and crew of The Next Generation and I really enjoyed re-watching it.

I think the movie does an excellent job of passing the torch to the new generation of Star Trek actors, while still following the premise set up by the previous Star Trek movies. The sentimentality surrounding the ship itself is there. The movie is framed with an Enterprise being launched and an Enterprise being destroyed. There is a nice mix of humour and the camaraderie and sense of family among the crew is definitely there as well.

This particular movie appropriately focuses on time. Not only are they dealing with a temporal anomaly, but Picard is having to deal with the passage of time and its affects on his family line.* A familiar theme for Kirk in all of the movies is dealing with the march of time leading to his own obsolescence. When each of them is given the chance to create their own perfect world, regardless of time, each of them chooses reality over the fiction.

The villain is pretty decent as far as Star Trek villains go. Though, you don’t really get a sense that he is battling the Star Trek crew, so I found that the conflict was a bit indirect. Dr. Soran uses the metaphor of time as a predator, stalking you until it’s too late. He makes a good foil for Picard’s character, who characterizes time as a companion, reminding you to cherish each moment.

I also took from it that you need to let go of the past, or you will simply get stuck in it. It’s an appropriate theme for a movie that is saying goodbye to so many things, and transitioning to the new. I thought the sub-plot with Commander Data highlighted the fact that true growth often comes with some element of risk. Progress may come at the price of never being able to return to the past.

Cool Science/Tech:

  • Trilithium is mentioned and briefly explained.

Fun Facts:

  • Tim Russ is one of the crew on Enterprise B. He later plays Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager.
  • We get to see Picard and Kirk show off their equestrian skills.

Side Notes:

  • I love the theme song that goes with this movie. It ranks right up with Deep Space Nine’s second theme song, for the best Star Trek theme music. I played a segment of it in a Star Trek medley back in high school band. Boy that flute part was a bitch!
  • The end of the movie got me feeling kind of sad and mushy and now I’m really looking forward to re-watching the next movie.
  • When I was in New York, I went to Pylones, which is a store that carries a very brightly coloured and funky array of merchandise. I managed to buy the most banal coloured object in the entire store: a silver book-light. I used it for the first time tonight watching the movie and I LOVE it! I'm hoping it'll make it easier to watch Star Trek movies and episodes and take notes at the same time. You see, our main tv set up is a projector. It projects the images directly on our wall and functions best in the dark, making note-taking a bit difficult. The book-light solves that little issue wonderfully!

*I find it a bit ironic that Picard gets this way since the beginning of The Next Generation clearly establishes that he isn’t comfortable with children. Guess it just goes to show how much his character really progressed over the years.**

**In case you’re wondering, these are end notes, which are distinctly different than the above side notes.

1 comment:

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I'm so glad to hear that revisiting Generations was enjoyable!

Good call on the connection that Soran conflict was indirect - I totally missed that! It would have been much stronger if they added something closer there, too bad as Malcolm McDowell is such a good bad guy.

Totally agree on the irony with Picard and the kids, craziness! But, I'm sure the turboshaft power out mellowed him just a little. :)