Category Archives: 2293

“Star Trek: Generations”

“You’re right, Patrick. This movie IS terrible.”

Retired Kirk, helping christen the new Enterprise-B, is believed killed when a mysterious energy ribbon slams the side of the ship during an unplanned rescue mission. Seventy-eight years later, Picard and Co. must investigate a Romulan attack on a science outpost where one of the survivors of the Enterprise-B rescue, Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell) now works. Soran then destroys a nearby star, kidnaps Geordi — thanks to Data’s cowering after installing his emotion chip — and takes off in a Bird of Prey with the Duras sisters (from “Redemption”). Picard and Data figure out Soran’s destroying stars so he can change space stuff and bring the energy ribbon to a planet where it can take him away from it all. The energy ribbon is actually the Nexus, a half-baked trope where “time has no meaning” or something. Soran wants to use it to be reunited with his family, killed by the Borg (Soran’s the same species as Guinan). Picard fails in a one-on-one attempt to stop Soran, but he’s swept into the Nexus, where he finds Kirk. The two go back in time and stop Soran, though Kirk is killed in the fracas (more on that in a moment). Meanwhile, Riker does a really lousy job in the big chair (more on that in a moment, too) and lets the Duras sisters destroy the ship’s star drive, forcing the saucer to crash on the planet. No one’s killed, but the Enterprise-D is wrecked beyond repair, and Picard and Riker beam aboard rescue ships hinting that another Enterprise could be coming soon. James Bond will also be back in ‘Thunderball’ …

“Man. We can’t even escape this movie on horses!”

Why it’s important

Let’s say a random main character from one of the many Trek series got killed — let’s pick Tom Paris from Voyager. That, alone, wouldn’t merit a review by this site’s guidelines, even though Paris was a pretty decent character and (probably) had a lot of fans. But James T. Kirk is James T. freaking Kirk. He’s a dude who led the Enterprise crew in saving Earth twice, his 5-year mission as captain of the Enterprise was one of Starfleet’s most historic, he can outsmart any supercomputer around and he can change the fate of parallel universes with a really good speech. His death is part of the Trek Tapestry. He’s James T. freaking Kirk.

It’s also pretty significant when an Enterprise (or a Defiant, or even a Voyager) gets destroyed. More on just how ridiculous the destruction was in a moment, as promised.

“Good lord. Are we STILL in this awful movie?”

What doesn’t hold up

Get comfortable, people. Because this might be our rantiest review.

First of all, the creators fell back on the trope from the TOS movies that the Enterprise (or the Enterprise crew) is the only entity able to intervene in a crisis. We saw this in four of the first six movies, with varying degrees of plausibility. The idea here that the new Enterprise-B, on a training mission in Earth’s solar system, is “the only ship in range” is laughable — maybe more so than the previous instances. It would mean that Starfleet has no warp-capable ships in the Terran System, home to Starfleet headquarters and Starfleet Academy. Otherwise, one of them would have been “in range” to respond.

Also, it’s weird that the Enterprise-D looks so different since “All Good Things … “. Some of the changes are improvements, but there’s no dialog about a refit and it doesn’t seem like THAT much time has passed. Also, the use of normal uniforms along with DS9 jumpsuits was kind of strange, but forgivable. Less so is the weird new look Data’s emotion chip has (it’s grown since “Descent”). But whatevs. If we can be cool with Data’s cat apparently getting a sex change …

Now, there is the strange matter of Kirk and Antonia in the weird quasi-reality of the Nexus. Kirk indicates that he went back to Starfleet shortly after the events we sort of see here — which Kirk says occurred nine years earlier. The Enterprise-B launched in 2293 — less than a year after the events of “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” — so that would mean Kirk makes Antonia Ktarrian eggs in 2284. But that doesn’t make much sense because the events of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” occur around that time.

Are we to believe Kirk went back to Starfleet (essentially ending things with Antonia, despite the eggs) and had enough time to get bored and do the soul-searching that we see in the early parts of “Wrath of Khan”? I suppose it’s possible — but the creators could have saved themselves a LOT of trouble if they had simply made the whole Antonia thing occur closer to the date of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” — there were 14 years between the events of the first and second movies — or in the six years between “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”. The second option would have been a good choice, because Kirk’s appearance, uniform, etc., could have been about the same. In other words, they wouldn’t have had to explain why 2293 Kirk didn’t look like 2285 Kirk (or 2277 Kirk).

The whole thing was poorly done considering we’ve never heard of Antonia before and that the creators didn’t need to include the whole “going back to Starfleet” thing. Antonia — or a more appropriate lost love, like Carol Marcus — could have been lost in a way that didn’t take a giant dump on Kirk’s backstory.

Oh, and considering that Scotty believed Kirk died in the movie’s opening moments, why did he ask if Kirk had come to rescue him when he’s discovered in “Relics” during TNG’s sixth season? I suppose you could argue that Scotty was hopeful that Kirk would be found or (and this is a stretch) that the slight degradation of his transporter pattern mentioned in “Relics” included his memory of Kirk’s apparent death. But, really, the answer likely is that Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley weren’t down for the minimal roles as Kirk’s companions on the Enterprise-B, so James Doohan and Walter Koenig got the call. Why else would Chekov suddenly know all about medical stuff?

Now, let’s talk about the Nexus. Apparently, Soran does everything he does because he’s desperate to get back to it — and he can’t get there in a ship. But, of course, our boy Jimbo was on a ship when he got swept into the Nexus and Soran was (briefly) in the Nexus and got there when he was on a ship (so was Guinan). Of all the dumb points of this movie, this is the one that could have easily been explained. A simple line about how being on a planet was a surer bet to successfully get into the Nexus would have covered it. Maybe Soran was simply shoring up his chances.

Then, there’s the whole matter of what it’s all about to BE in the Nexus. At times, it’s written as a sort of super-holodeck, where nothing is real and your greatest fantasies can come true. Picard’s fake family is proof of that and he uses the fact that the Nexus isn’t real in his attempt to recruit Kirk. Kirk learns the hard way that the Nexus isn’t real when he makes a jump with his horse and feels no fear — fear he would have felt had the jump been made in real life.

So, the Nexus allows you to recreate your past or create something completely new — again, like a super holodeck. And that’s all well and good, as far as it goes.

But then, Picard and Kirk stop using it as a holodeck. It becomes, essentially, a time portal that our heroes use to go back to a few minutes before Soran launches his rocket, figuring two against one will yield a different result (which it does). What I can’t figure out is why this use of the Nexus deposits Picard and Kirk in the “real” world near Soran’s launcher while Kirk was in a fake world when he was back with Antonia.

If the Nexus allows time travel, then Kirk should have been in the real world with Antonia (Picard’s situation is somewhat different, because he doesn’t actually go back and relive events that truly happened). But here’s the thing — if the Nexus works like a holodeck, then Kirk and Picard didn’t really stop Soran. They only thought they did in some sort of dreamworld, and Picard goes on living in that dreamworld and Kirk DIES in the dreamworld! And if the Nexus truly allows for time travel, then Kirk should have been back with Antonia in the real world. What’s really sad is that there was a better way to handle all of this — and it starts with making the Nexus a time portal and not a super holodeck. Here’s how …

After they enter the Nexus, Picard and Kirk could have really gone back in time to some point that they each longed for (which Kirk actually does). This would remove all the Picard family nonsense, which was really poorly done and much too cloying, anyway.

Maybe Picard could have gotten his wish to be back with Miranda Vigo (or another lost love) but realized (while he still has access to the Nexus time-travel stuff) that he needed to leave to save the people on Verdian IV. The drama would have been whether Picard is capable of making such a sacrifice — and it would have been compelling, particularly since he learns his brother and nephew died at the beginning of the film. He would have to pick duty over everything else.

To bring Kirk into the equation, Picard would have to somehow learn that Kirk was also taken back in time by the Nexus. Picard would have had to figure that Kirk, like him, would sacrifice his own happiness for the lives of millions of people. Picard would then find Kirk, ask him to come with him and then, the two could have stopped Soran.

To be sure, a lot of details would have to be figured out. But removing the “isn’t real” aspect of the Nexus would have made the movie MUCH more dramatic because Kirk and Picard would have had to make REAL sacrifices instead of just shrugging off weird fake versions of their lives. In the scenario I’ve outlined, the sacrifice is greater — and the willingness of both of them to make the sacrifice as a matter of duty would have been a more interesting connection. Both guys who were smarting over a lack of family would have had to pass up REAL families and not just some fake versions.

There’s also the whole matter of the Guinan “echo.” Guinan met Picard in the 19th century (in “Times Arrow”) so the 23rd century version who was briefly in the Nexus would know who he is. But would 23rd century Guinan know enough to give Picard the crucial info he needs to recruit Kirk? I can buy an echo of Guinan in the Nexus — beats hanging on the set of “The View” — but how does she know what she knows? Do we just chalk it up to Guinan-ness?

Last point about the Nexus: Even if we could reconcile the Nexus as some sort of super time-traveling creation/super holodeck, why did Picard choose to go back to a point when he and Kirk would have such a difficult time stopping Soran? Why not simply go back to Ten Forward when he met Soran and have Data and Geordi help escort Soran to the brig? Clearly, that negates the need for Kirk, but still. I bet poor Geordi would have liked Picard thinking of a way to keep him from getting tortured by Soran and the Klingons.

As for Kirk’s noble sacrifice, it really falls pretty flat (no pun intended). So, the main hero of Star Trek dies because he needs to jump for a control pad on a creaky bridge? It’s really weak sauce. His “original” death saving the Enterprise-B was way, way, way more appropriate. And the unreleased death (where Soran shoots him in the back) might have been better, too. It sure would have made Picard burying him at the top of a peak more believable, considering where Picard found Kirk (in a ravine) in the version that was actually released.

Now, let’s talk about the destruction of the Enterprise-D …

Before Soran and the Klingons return Geordi (in exchange for Picard, or something), Soran lets the Duras sisters see everything Geordi sees through his VISOR. Why they can see normally has always made me pause — shouldn’t they see something more akin to what we saw way back in “Heart of Glory” or “The Mind’s Eye”? — but whatever. I’ll grant the movie that detail.

Geordi eventually heads to engineering, where the Duras sisters get a glimpse of a panel that shows the Enterprise’s shield frequency. They tune their torpedoes to said frequency and start blasting through the shields. Now, sure, maybe they get a couple shots in before Riker and Co. figure out what’s happening — and maybe things would have made sense if one of the first shots caused a core breach or took out a nacelle or something.

But Riker, Worf, Geordi and Data just act like morons over the next few minutes. These are the dudes who took down a Borg cube and dealt with shield modulation for eight hellish days — in which it looked like the Federation might be reduced to nanites. You’d think modulating the shields would be like their go-to freaking move.

But what do they do when Lursa and B’Etor find a way to penetrate their shields but not damage the ship enough to where it’s a huge problem immediately? Almost nothing. They don’t remodulate the shields. They don’t head directly to the sisters’ ship and fire all weapons at a vessel that shouldn’t be any sort of match for the Federation flagship (shields or no). And they don’t warp out of orbit, with plans to return once they figured out what was going on.

Instead, Riker, Data, Geordi and Worf let the ship get pounded for several minutes while they come up with a way to trigger the Bird of Prey’s cloaking device and then fire at it with its shields down. Maybe this would have been an OK idea if — while Data was doing his thing — Worf and Riker had just started pounding the Bird of Prey or warped away for a few minutes. But to let the Enterprise continue to get pummeled? WTF, Will? Maybe Commander Shelby was right about you all along.

Of course, the last Klingon torpedo triggers a (slow-moving) warp-core breach, everyone’s evacuated to the saucer and the force of the explosion sends the saucer careening toward the planet. The saucer lands — in a cool visual scene, FWIW — but the events leading up to it are just stupid. Riker should have been drummed out of Starfleet for his performance in this movie and Worf and Data with him. Maybe Geordi, too.

There are countless ways in which the Duras sisters could have destroyed the Enterprise in a plausible manner. In addition to making their first shot more catastrophic, maybe they had procured a more powerful Klingon vessel (like Gowron’s from TNG) instead of their creaky Bird of Prey. At least then the shield thingy and the more powerful weapons could have realistically destroyed the Enterprise. There were still things Riker could have done, but his options would have been more limited.

Lastly, does anyone else ever cringe when Kirk and Picard talk about retirement? Picard is about 65 years old in 2371 and Kirk was about 60 in 2293. So, Kirk is talking about being put out to pasture to a dude who fights Romulans, Borg and Son’a well into his 70s. I guess Starfleet was cooler with older captains in the 24th century.

Final thoughts

Oh, “Generations”. I don’t think there’s ever been a Star Trek movie that had such high expectations. It was released when the franchise was arguably at its peak — but it really didn’t get the job done. There are way too many logical gaffes and the Enterprise-B captain (Cameron from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) is just one of the worst plot crutches that I can think of — even if the opening scenes on the Enterprise-B are the strongest in the film.

Beyond that, the central concept of the movie — the Nexus — is just too flimsy and ridiculous. I think “Generations” is better than some of the other films — “Insurrection,” “Nemesis”, and “Final Frontier — but it is probably the most disappointing of the Trek movies.

Coming later this week …

The TNG cast and creators prove they can make a good movie.

“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”

‘Keptin, ve’re about to hit that star.’ ‘Quiet, Pavel. We need this for our big exit.’

Kirk and Co., three months from retirement, are assigned to escort Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) to Earth for historic peace negotiations between the Federation and its long-time nemesis. The talks are spurred by Spock after the destruction of a Klingon moon — witnessed months earlier by the U.S.S. Excelsior under the command of Hikaru Sulu. Kirk, still hating the Klingons especially for the death of his son, blasts Spock for going behind his back to volunteer the ship. Later, the Enterprise meets up with Gorkon’s ship and has a rather tense dinner with the chancellor and his staff. Afterward, the Enterprise apparently fires on the Klingons without anyone giving the order. Kirk and McCoy beam over to help any wounded, but McCoy is unable to save Gorkon, shot by two unidentified men wearing Starfleet uniforms immediately after the attack. Kirk and McCoy are arrested and after a trial, sent to the penal colony, Rura Penthe. Spock, meanwhile, does his “Matlock” thing and conducts an investigation, piecing together some details of what happened with the help of his new protege, Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris (Kim Cattrall). After the Enterprise crosses the Klingon border and rescues Kirk and McCoy, Kirk realizes that Valeris was part of the conspiracy. Spock forcibly melds with her and learns she was working with Gorkon’s chief of staff, General Chang (Christopher Plummer), a Romulan ambassador, Starfleet Admiral Cartwright (Brock Peters) and a Bird of Prey that can fire while cloaked (which attacked Gorkon’s ship from beneath the Enterprise). With the peace talks back on at a neutral location, the Enterprise and the Excelsior head there, figuring they’ll need to stop another assassination. After a fierce battle with Chang and the Bird of Prey — where Spock and McCoy hone in on the invisible ship’s tailpipe to target a torpedo — the Enterprise and Excelsior save the day by stopping the assassin and revealing the conspiracy. Then, Kirk and Co. ride off into the sunset.

“Why, no. I’ve never been told I look like the Federation ambassador to Nimbus III. Why do you ask, Captain Kirk?”

Why it’s important

Well, “The Undiscovered Country” is the first example of a TOS production that provides background in what’s been established in TNG (this wasn’t done in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” the only other film released after TNG debuted). This film was released during TNG’s fifth season — where it’s been clear for years that the Klingons are allies. To what extent “Star Trek VI” advanced that storyline is pretty murky, but it’s clear that the eventual alliance started when all hostilities ended here. And in the Star Trek universe, that’s a big, big deal — a message this movie rightly conveys. It’s also kind of crazy that the events of this film synced up so well with the fall of the Soviet Union, which, of course, was often the inspiration for the Klingons (and the Romulans, at times, too).

The film also ties up threads from the second, third and fourth movies — the Klingons announcing that there would be no peace if Kirk lived, the death of David Marcus, etc. — though it essentially ignores a lot of “Star Trek V,” the red-headed stepchild of the Trek movies (which has no relevant long-term impact on the Trek universe and won’t be reviewed on this site). Gene Roddenberry allegedly considered elements of that film apocryphal, though the mutual dislike between Kirk and the Klingons certainly was on display (if done in a comic-book manner). As for the greater Star Trek timeline, the only part of “Star Trek V” that is flatly disregarded here surrounds cooperation between the Klingons and the Enterprise at the end of the previous film. The tension around the Enterprise meeting Gorkon’s ship in “Star Trek VI” — “Never been this close” — and the fact the dinner was a momentous thing pretty much ignores the last 15 minutes of the previous film.

Of course, the decommissioning of the Enterprise-A at the end of this movie sets up the launch of the Enterprise-B in the “Star Trek: Generations”. More on that below.

We need breathing room — especially around this table that seems extremely crowded.

What doesn’t hold up

This movie gets a lot right — and might even be up there with “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” as far as the number of great moments. But it also gets a lot wrong. There are logical problems all over the place. We try not to go all nitpicker in these reviews, but “The Undiscovered Country” has so many misfires …

There are a bevy of small things, like the fact that McCoy doesn’t seem to know that Sulu has been captain of the Excelsior for three years or that Starfleet apparently now has galleys and cooks. There’s also the matter of why the Enterprise and Gorkon’s ship were (essentially) stationary (or moving slowly) after they met up. Shouldn’t they have been heading to Earth at warp speed — and wouldn’t that have essentially prevented the attack? Later, how was Klingon security so bad that the Enterprise could get past its borders and fool its patrols with the WORST use of Klingon language ever (and why was the universal translator not sufficient)? Why wasn’t the very noticeable tracking device Spock put on Kirk noticed by anyone? Why is Klingon blood pink in this movie — and only in this movie? And on and on …

Oh, and why were there no ships in orbit of Camp Khitomer during the battle scene? How did all the dignitaries get to the planet? Shouldn’t a ship or two that brought the dignitaries have stayed to return them — and been there to investigate why two Federation starships were getting absolutely pummeled within visual range? We discussed this larger issue in Star Trek in last week’s review.

Bigger picture, there are a lot of things that don’t hold up with what we see in second-generation Trek. There are really two huge ones: How bad was the Klingon homeworld affected by the destruction of the moon Praxis, and what, exactly, was agreed to in this film (and in its immediate aftermath).

As for the homeworld, dialog in this movie indicates that Kronos was to be evacuated, as the destruction of Praxis was making the planet uninhabitable. This is a big part of the movie, in that it makes the Klingon position more vulnerable (beyond the economic issues facing the Empire after Praxis exploded). But, there’s no indication in TNG, DS9 or Voyager that the Klingons moved to another planet — and here and in DS9 and Voyager, the Klingon homeworld is called Kronos (it’s usually called “the Klingon homeworld” in TNG). So, did Federation scientists help the Klingons save their planet? Keep in mind that this isn’t a small point. Remember how big a deal it was when Vulcan was destroyed in the rebooted “Star Trek” in 2009?

There’s also the bigger question as to why an empire that’s such a threat to the Federation would be so crippled by the destruction of one moon and the problems it caused on one planet. But, oh, well.

Meanwhile, there’s some confusion about what actually was agreed to during the peace negotiations. It seems like Spock and Gorkon were pushing for an “end to all hostilities” — while some later Trek seems to indicate that the alliance between the Federation and the Klingons was forged here. TNG mostly stays with the ending-of-hostilities point, making assertions that the alliance is about 20 years old in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and “Samaritan Snare”, among other vaguer instances. More on that when we get to TNG in our reviews.

But, in DS9, (notably in “By Inferno’s Light”) we hear about the Khitomer Accords in reference to the alliance, presumably a nod to the work negotiated in this movie and immediately after at Camp Khitomer. Also in DS9, Bashir explicit says that there have been “two decades of peace with the Klingons” prior to the events of “The Way of the Warrior”.

Now, you could argue that the peace treaty was negotiated at Khitomer in the 2290s and that it was the site for another set of negotiations that ended some other hostilities in the 2340s or 2350s, presumably after the attack on that planet by the Romulans when Worf lived there in the 2340s. Unfortunately, the Voyager episode “Alliances” has Tuvok tell Janeway about an alliance between the Federations and the Klingons that was spurred by a “visionary” named Spock, when Tuvok was a young man. That’s clearly an allusion to the events of “Star Trek VI” (see more below). Once again, Voyager ruins everything. 😉

The rift causes some issues in early TNG, when we see Klingons (“Heart of Glory”, “A Matter of Honor”) who are clearly not that comfortable with the alliance. That’s harder to swallow if 80 years had passed, but less so if the alliance was only about 20 years old. In the second scenario, Klingons in their warrior primes would have been old enough to remember a time when the Federation was still, sort of, an enemy — or, at least, not an ally.

It should be noted that the issues with the alliance timeline and the Klingon homeworld aren’t really the fault of this movie — we have been to the Klingon homeworld, though not necessarily Kronos, in TNG, before this film (DS9 and Voyager had not premiered when the movie was released in 1991). But they made the most sense to bring up here.

Last thing: The events here take place six or seven years after the events of “Star Trek V.” I’m guessing that was done in part to explain the aging of the characters, as the second, third, fourth and fifth films all apparently took place within about six months of each other in the Star Trek universe when seven years actually passed (and two more had, by the time “Star Trek: VI” was released). However, it’s odd that we know nothing of what happened since the last film (other than Sulu’s promotion). It’s not that big of a problem, but it would have been nice to know what happened since the Enterprise-A was commissioned other than the weird adventure with Sybok. It’s also odd that Kirk and other crew members returned to the Enterprise-A at the beginning of the film, apparently, after some time away, based on dialog. That works if the characters are channeling the actors, but wouldn’t Kirk be all about getting in some exploring before he’s set out to pasture? Were Kirk and Co. just chilling on Earth, waiting for V’Ger, a 20th-century superman or some whale-lovin’ probe to call them back into service?

Last, last thing: Isn’t it kind of odd that the Enterprise-A, which isn’t more than seven years old, gets decommissioned at the end of this film? We see in other Trek that Starfleet vessels can be around for decades (with refits, at times) including the previous Enterprise. I’ve wondered if the Enterprise-A was actually renamed after this movie, to set up Starfleet for releasing the new Excelsior-class Enterprise-B just a year later (which we see in “Star Trek: Generations”). More likely, the creators just figured it would be dramatic if the Enterprise-A and the crew were sent out to pasture at the same time, and didn’t care about anything else. Of course, if that were the one and ONLY conceit this movie required, I’d definitely grant it.

Final thoughts

Clearly, I’m kind of ripping this movie. But, there are parts of it that work extremely well. The battle scene with Chang (who is performed with great gusto by Plummer) is truly awesome, the courtroom scene on Kronos is great, it was cool to see Sulu in command (albeit briefly) and the final scene on the Enterprise bridge was a nice sendoff to the original crew.

But beyond the continuity, there are other problems.

Shatner, for whatever reason, really didn’t put in his best performance. It’s a shame, too, because he was so good in the middle Trek films and he had a lot to work with here. He’s especially bad in the briefing room scene early in the movie. Maybe Shatner was still smarting from the bad experience in “Star Trek V”? Or, maybe, he decided a flatter tone was the better way to go during the argument with Spock?

Meanwhile, the insertion of Valeris just doesn’t work that well. Originally, the role was for Saavik, which would have been VERY interesting given the David stuff from “Star Trek: III”. But Kirstie Alley apparently wasn’t available and Robin Curtis (I guess?) wasn’t wanted. So, they rewrote the character. Not knowing why Valeris distrusts the Klingons seriously undercuts the film — whereas Saavik’s past dealings and implied feelings for David could have worked wonders. Valeris comes across as a plot element — and a mostly well-acted one — but nothing more. Could you have imagined a scene where Saavik would have called out Kirk for belittling his son’s memory? Speaking of which, why does Kirk say that the new Klingon chancellor has reaffirmed David’s faith at the end of the film? David never gave any indication that he was all that interested in galactic politics. It’s a glib line that doesn’t, actually, reaffirm David’s faith (unless a lot happened off screen).

It’s not the fault of this film, but later Trek seriously messes with the timeline of “Star Trek VI.” In Voyager’s second season (“Flashback”) we see events as they took place on the Excelsior, through a series of flashbacks brought on by an illness to Tuvok (this sort of ties into the reference above, which comes later in Voyager’s second season, where Tuvok talks about the events of this film when he was a young man). Tuvok was on the Excelsior and witness to much of what happened when and after Praxis exploded. It was meant as a nice tribute, as George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney (who played Janice Rand in TOS and is present on the Excelsior in this film) reprise their roles, as do other actors from the movie.

But the Voyager creators clearly didn’t pay a lot of attention to this film’s story, as they move up the assassination and everything that happening on Kirk’s ship to just DAYS after Praxis exploded. This cuts out a big part of the film’s backstory, in which Spock (on his own and at the request of his father) began a dialog with Gorkon that LED to the peace negotiations weeks, perhaps months, later. As Voyager would have you believe, Praxis exploded and the Klingons immediately asked for a meeting on Earth, like the next day. Note that this flub — which didn’t need to happen, as accelerating the timeline didn’t improve “Flashback” story — isn’t the fault of “Star Trek: VI”, but we don’t have any plans to review “Flashback,” as it’s not important to the general Trek Tapestry and it’s a dumb episode anyway as Tuvok’s illness is caused by some weird parasite that has nothing to do with the events of the movie.

Back to the movie, the most disappointing scene, hands down, is dinner on the Enterprise before the attack on Gorkon’s vessel. It’s hard to explain why — but it really, really doesn’t work. I actually think the direction is the problem, as a lot of the shots are boring and seemed crowded. But it’s possible the writing was too blame. It’s too bad, because that scene could have really rocked — like, it could have been one of Trek’s most famous scenes — but it never quite gets there.

Maybe that’s the way to generally feel about this movie. It’s not a terrible disaster like the previous film or the final two TNG movies — and there are certainly great moments. But it messes up enough smaller points that it really falls short. Shame.

Coming next week …

Back to episodic Trek. A French captain? A blind helmsman? Senior officers dressed like cheerleaders?!