You must think I’m quite the madman.
Objectivity and quality standards tend to slip for me where Star Trek is concerned, but I’ve always been fascinated with the hatred for Generations. For reasons that still haven’t been made 100% clear to me, some fans absolutely despise the TNG crew’s first big-screen outing.
Firstly, I can’t hate anything Star Trek-related. Trust me, I’ve tried to hate shit like Threshold and The Final Frontier, but it’s fucking Star Trek; I love it all. Secondly, I was four when Generations came out. I loved everything back then. I was also not fat – so I usually look back at this moment of my life with a lot of happiness.
Maybe this has caused me to look at Generations through rose-tinted glasses.
And then I watched it again (like, again for the 100th time) the other night and have decided once and for all that it’s nowhere near as bad as people try to label it.
From what I’ve see and heard the main issue fans take with Generations is the fact that Kirk is in it for, like 0.68 seconds, despite his meeting with Picard being the main selling point. I’m not sure what the expectation was back in 1994 (again, I was an infant), but if people hate it because of the movie’s treatment of Kirk they were probably going in with some overblown expectations. This was a passing of the torch movie featuring characters separated by, ahem, generations. Wanky time travel bollocks was the only way Kirk and Picard could really come together. This was also a TNG movie – Kirk was always going to have a reduced role.
Hater fans often tell me they hate Generations because it kills Kirk. I’m not arguing that the manner of his death isn’t a bit shit (although I do consider it the most realistic thing in the movie), but in hindsight, the death of Trek’s most iconic character (until Michael Burnham came along anyway) wasn’t too big a deal. Did people really want William Shatner to carry on making Trek movies? I can imagine it now: Star Trek XXVIII: Twitter Beef on Talos. Nah, I’m alright mate.
So what else could fans hate? The humor? The injection of comedy was maybe a little jarring for some. Trek has always had some funny bits here and there, and a movie has to appeal to more than just fans, so I don’t buy that.
Data becoming an emotional wreck? Data’s series arc was always the pursuit of humanity so I didn’t have a problem with this. I actually thought it was handled well with a good balance of comedy and dramatic moments.
Troi crashing the ship? Not something you’d see in a post #MeToo Hollywood motion picture. If this were a Discovery movie Burnham would have built a new warp core or something whilst simultaneously crying and killing Soren through the Vulcan mental-space-thing.
I don’t find much wrong with much of the TNG cast, other than the fact they had to make way to accommodate the movie’s “guest stars” – this would be a persistent problem for the rest of the series, especially for the woman who plays the doctor, you know, Wesley’s mum.
Let’s talk about good shit. The bigger budget allowed for upgrades, although someone didn’t pay the lighting bills – hahaha, never heard that one before. This made for a better theatrical experience, and the subsequent shows kinda nicked the aesthetic going forward – particularly Voyager.
The special effects, both digital and practical, still look great today. The nexus scenes and the Enterprise destruction and cras…ohhhhhh shit, spoilers, in particular, still look fucking beautiful on my 52-inch.
Malcolm McDowell is one of the great villains of our time, and put in a nice shift was the crazed, yet kinda complex, Soren. His early scenes with Patrick Stewart are amazing – kinda a given for actors of their talent. He also got to kinda kill Kirk – which pretty much cements him as the GOAT of Trek villains.
Oh, and I love Dennis McCarthy’s score. It’s not a masterpiece; It’s just a bit different from the norm, and has this etherial tone that really matches some of the movie’s key themes. It’s neat.
I don’t get the hate for Generations. For me, it’s a decent Trek movie, a decent first outing for the franchise’s best cast. After recently rewatching I think the real issue some fans have is the movie didn’t go the way they wanted; it was a little dark and moody and didn’t feature enough Kirk and too much Whoopi.
Visually beautiful, but a narrative that utterly divided fans. This sounds familiar…
Trek fan who hated Star Trek Generations? Let me know your reasons in the comments, and fucking make them good.