the star trek tng movies

star trek: generations

i’m higher on this than most people. i have a lot of affection for it built in just because it’s the first star trek movie i remember seeing in theaters quite clearly (i think i might have seen undiscovered country but i’m not sure), but that’s not all. it was actually my favorite tng movie for a minute, and i still like it quite a bit. it feels more like a drastically upscaled tng episode, and even though it was the instigator of the captain picard: action hero trope that will plague all the tng movies, it was a bit less egregious than future offenders because at least he struggles with the fistfight enough for it to feel appropriately out of character for him.

guinan has a line about the nexus that i reference kind of a lot: “it was like being inside joy. as if joy were something tangible and you could wrap yourself up in it like a blanket.” and i’ve referenced that line to describe to my nesting partner what it feels like to be with vir on several occasions.

one thing i didn’t really notice on all the previous viewings disappointed me a bit, though. picard is kind of an awful captain in this? like, data tells him he doesn’t think he can carry out his duties, and picard just yells at him until he agrees to remain on active duty? like, i can see hearing him out and explaining why you still need him and why you believe he’s capable of handling it, but just straight up yelling at him? not cool, jean luc. also when geordi is brought back aboard in a prisoner exchange after being kidnapped and tortured they just let him go back to work like nothing happened??? the heck??? for all its flaws (which are numerous), even star trek discovery actually handles this stuff better.

when i first saw this i was so excited to see the only enterprise we hadn’t seen in action so far. i actually remember building a model of the enterprise-b back in the day! i used to love making models of star trek ships, and i’m honestly a little interested in picking that back up? anyway, the excelsior class is sexy, so that’s still very good. but i have to say the stuff on the enterprise-b didn’t hold up great for me this time around, especially the fact that someone involved in the production clearly just thinks reporters are dumber than rocks and went out of their way to make that point with the dialogue. (“gentlemen! now that you’ve seen the rest of the ship, how does it feel to be back?”? seriously? what the heck are these questions?)

i really love that sulu has a daughter!!! and that she’s a helm officer!!! and that chekov introduces her like a proud father because him and sulu are gay together, confirmed, canon.

i really love how appropriately tngy the rest of the movie felt. it was like… tng but with drastically more expensive lighting and music. that’s pretty rad, guys. everyone got at least a small chance to shine for the most part (except poor beverly who was just the butt of a joke several times). and the space battle was pretty great even though it’s really easy to make fun of the fact that they just literally re-used the star trek vi bird of prey explosion.

rip, b’etor & lursa. i really wanted them to step on me.

(a-rank)

star trek: first contact

in the middle of this movie, lily expresses shock to captain picard that the federation doesn’t have money. “you mean you don’t get paid?” picard smiles and explains patiently that “the acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. we work to better ourselves and humanity.” and like. that’s so close. it’s like when you get partial credit on a math problem you had to show your work for because you got to the right answer, but you got there the wrong way.

the acquisition of wealth is not the driving force of our lives for the overwhelming majority of people on this planet or even in this country. the acquisition of wealth is the driving force for a very small minority of people, like one percent of one percent, but that tiny group of people is allowed to decide the destiny of the entire planet and the driving force in the rest of our lives is somehow surviving while also giving them as much as they can force out of us. witness the absurdity of capitalism.

i’m not harping on this just to be annoying. it’s an important distinction because what picard is describing when he talks about a better world where our work contributes to the greater whole is communism. it’s literally what we’re fighting for. and the only way we’re going to get there is if we understand the problems facing us now in practical, concrete terms.

it’s a problem you often see with liberals, and one that i myself experienced when i was a liberal. “we” aren’t driven by greed for more wealth. “we” aren’t destroying the planet. “we” aren’t bombing other countries. framing it in these terms plays right into the hands of our oppressors. instead of being angry and using that anger to organize against them, we are led to feel guilty and helpless and do nothing. seeing these as collective crimes allows the true culprits to escape justice, and prevents us from building the better world we all want to build together.

it’s not a small deal.

anyway. in spite of me spending 5 paragraphs rambling about a single line i didn’t like that proves nothing other than the fact that the writers of a mainstream scifi movie in america don’t have the best political consciousness even when their heart is in the right place, this is my favorite tng movie and it isn’t particularly close. i used to say it was generations just to be a contrarian (that comes up a lot for me and star trek movies, idk why) but i thought i was very smart and above the whole captain picard: action hero thing.

but like… at least in this one it kinda makes sense that picard would go all revenge fantasy on the borg? and i know the ethics here are tricky but considering they’re a hive mind, it’s very arguable that all of them are responsible for all the trauma he went through? but like, he got rescued so so can the rest of them? it’s tricky.

let’s see. what else? the new uniforms are ok but i kinda would’ve loved to just go with the ds9/voyager ones? just a dumb personal preference you probably don’t care about. i still love the choice to set this film on the eve of the titular in-universe historical event that made star trek what it is. the music is rad. the enterprise-e is gorgeous, gosh.

oh, and one thing that cracked me up that i never really paid attention to before. ok, let’s have a mission briefing. we’re gonna try to get the borg outta main engineering. WHATEVER WE DO, we need to avoid hitting the warp core. that would be very, very bad.

anyway, the plan is to shoot these much smaller thingies that are RIGHT NEXT TO THE WARP CORE.

anyway, in conclusion, i kinda want the borg queen to step on me. resistance is futile.

(a-rank)

star trek: insurrection

(cw: i do that thing where i read characters as being in a polycule and sleeping with each other and stuff)

… ok fine i’m gonna start another one of these reviews by harping on a single line i wasn’t fond of.

when they’re talking about whether or not to resist the starfleet/son’a effort to forcibly relocate them, one of the ba’ku says “the moment we pick up a weapon, we become one of them. we lose everything we are.” and just…

HI. NO. UH-UH. NOPE. NOT HOW THAT WORKS.

there is a HUGE difference between fighting to resist your would-be oppressors and fighting to oppress people? like, this is a pretty basic thing about ethics that seems to be lost in a lot of these sorts of plots. and it’s SUPER damaging for people to be led to not grok this distinction!!! context matters!!!

(also, y’know, they’re perfectly ok with having picard and co pick up weapons on their behalf… it’s VERY ok to not be comfy picking up weapons yourself but don’t make it this big philosophical thing if you’re completely comfy having someone else do it for you?)

also, me a few years ago: ugh this is so dumb there’s a tng plot that’s basically exactly this but picard forced a federation colony to relocate against their wishes.

me now: oh hey cool picard learned and grew as a person.

anyway. this isn’t good but it’s charming? it’s the star trek movie equivalent of a person i’d sleep with if the right situation came up but i wouldn’t go out of my way for it, and i certainly wouldn’t date them. it isn’t nearly as bad as star trek v or into darkness or its immediate successor, nemesis. it’s not good but it’s fun and i like the camaraderie between the crew. it’s like they took the good parts of star trek v but made a drastically less bad movie out of them.

speaking of cuties, i have a huge crush on that trill ops officer for no particular reason? i just like her vibe. i wanna write fanfic about her.

speaking of dating, riker and troi rekindling their relationship was… fine, i guess? i’m still gonna headcanon that riker/worf/deanna are a sorta turbulent triad. worf is in both riker and jean luc’s polycules, i think, so that creates an interesting bridge between the polycules? data is definitely jean luc’s sub, but i don’t know who else is actually in his polycule. maybe beverly at this point? him and pulaski were definitely hatefucking but i think that probably ended when she left the ship.

… i’m not a terrible person, i promise.

(b-rank)

star trek: nemesis

… ok fine i’m gonna start another one of these reviews by harping on a single line i wasn’t fond of.

when they’re talking about whether or not to resist the starfleet/son’a effort to forcibly relocate them, one of the ba’ku says “the moment we pick up a weapon, we become one of them. we lose everything we are.” and just…

HI. NO. UH-UH. NOPE. NOT HOW THAT WORKS.

there is a HUGE difference between fighting to resist your would-be oppressors and fighting to oppress people? like, this is a pretty basic thing about ethics that seems to be lost in a lot of these sorts of plots. and it’s SUPER damaging for people to be led to not grok this distinction!!! context matters!!!

(also, y’know, they’re perfectly ok with having picard & co pick up weapons on their behalf… it’s VERY ok to not be comfy picking up weapons urself but don’t make it this big philosophical thing if ur completely comfy having someone else do it for u?)

also, me a few years ago: ugh this is so dumb there’s a tng plot that’s basically exactly this but picard forced a federation colony to relocate against their wishes.

me now: oh hey cool picard learned and grew as a person.

anyway. this isn’t good but it’s charming? it’s the star trek movie equivalent of a girl or enby i’d sleep with if the right situation came up but i wouldn’t go out of my way for it, and i certainly wouldn’t date her or them. it isn’t nearly as bad as star trek v or into darkness or its immediate successor, nemesis. it’s not <i>good</i> but it’s fun and i like the camaraderie between the crew. it’s like they took the good parts of star trek v but made a drastically less bad movie out of them.

speaking of cute girls and/or enbies, i have a <i>huge</i> crush on that trill ops officer for no particular reason? i just like her vibe. i wanna write fanfic about her.

speaking of dating, riker & troi rekindling their relationship was… fine, i guess? i’m still gonna headcanon that riker/worf/deanna are a sorta turbulent triad. worf is in both riker & jean luc’s polycules, i think, so that creates an interesting bridge between the polycules? data is definitely jean luc’s sub, but i don’t know who else is actually in his polycule. maybe beverly at this point? him & pulaski were definitely hatefucking but i think that probably ended when she left the ship.

… i’m not a terrible person, i promise.

star trek: nemesis

i used to stubbornly defend this one. i used to insist that it was unfairly maligned. i didn’t think it was amazing or anything but it certainly wasn’t bad!!!

yeah. uh. no. it bad.

like, i still enjoy watching it because it’s a hecking star trek movie. there’s still a lot in there for me. there’s the fan service of riker and troi getting married, and riker finally accepting a promotion. i like hanging out with these characters much more than the tos characters so i’m gonna be pretty happy with even a bad movie featuring them. i still think the space battle kinda rules. i still love the soundtrack. i still wanna fuck the enterprise-e.

but it bad.

you know what this is? star trek’s equivalent of die another day. it even came out the same year. overwrought villain, bad cgi, sequel hook that doesn’t get used, bad cgi, “mystery plot” that is really bad at being a mystery plot, bad cgi, bad cgi, bad cgi.

shinzon is a bad villain. he’s just… he’s just bad. he makes no sense. i don’t follow the thought process that went into developing him at all. he’s just… he’s just awful.

the b4 subplot annoys the heck out of me? especially the way finding him is this totally fake mystery. oh hey cool we found that part, now we have to… drive over here now to get the next part. mysterious!!!!

also both picard and data have clones in this movie for no particular reason. yay? (ok, data’s was so they could bring him back if there ended up being another tng movie and brent spiner agreed to appear. but still.)

i ranted about the argo profusely as soon as it appeared on screen. i just launched into a tirade that i sounded like i had been in the middle of for a while. “IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. IT’S STUPID. I HATE IT. I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. I HATE THAT IT’S CANON NOW. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE IT.” or something like that.

why is the romulan commander that ends up helping the enterprise wearing a couch. seriously, look at the pattern on her uniform. she’s wearing a like late 2000s modern chic couch pattern. why is this what romulan uniforms look like now.

i love that deana gets to take the helm again (ala star trek: generations), but considering she’s almost never in that position why do they have to have her at the helm every time they crash the ship.

i don’t get why the enterprise is flying riker and troi to betazed for their wedding. i get that a lot of the crew is going to be attending, but like… how is that what official starfleet resources are being used for? they’re not dignitaries or anything. shouldn’t they have to take civilian transport while the enterprise gets refit or put through drills or something?

i was about to complain about picard ordering worf to honor the betazoid tradition of attending riker and troi’s wedding naked because it feels like a gross abuse of power, but i just realized as i was typing it that he was ordering him as his sub, not his subordinate officer, so i’m actually fine with it. and wrapping that bit with “now if you’ll excuse me… i’ll be in the gym” was cute.

look, i still have some misplaced affection for this movie because i’m a brainless slut for franchises i like sometimes… but also, it bad.

(c-rank)


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