Very few people were involved in making or watching 2002 Game Star Trek Nemesis who would say that it was a great achievement for the beloved characters of Conradh na Gaeilge The Next Generation. Over seven seasons, TNG one of them came Trek‘ the most nuanced and consistent of the entries (although it was still one capable of producing terrible, silly and just plain weird episodes). But Nemesis it’s a flat-out action movie defined by thin characterization, a cheesy one-note villain, and distracting plot twists, and it did so poorly ($67 million on a $60 million budget, in advance) that it might make a lot of money in China was something”) he hinted at the possibility of another sequel. Those four and the characters, the idea in general, deserved better closure.
Star Trek: Picard was the TNG continue you would get if you wanted to TNG sequel to monkey paw. The first two seasons only intermittently used any non-Picard characters, and the new characters were annoying or bland or both. The show’s creative team uses “controversial twists” as a stand-in for clear and interesting storytelling. It’s a show that’s die-hard Trek completists, and is easily the worst of the five Trek shown in active production as of this writing.
The third and final season of the show has been presented as a reality TNG get together, and if nothing else, it’s nice to see the obvious affection these performers still have for each other. But Picard yet Picardand many of the characters and plot points in the season so far (we’ve seen the first six episodes of a planned 10, though this piece will only reference specific events from the season premiere and trailers) are eerily reminiscent of the ones that did Nemesis so unhappy.
The film version of it TNG
My favorite writing on the Trek star films is Darrich Franich’s Entertainment Weekly series which revisits all films before Star trek longerand released in 2016 (the gap between Over there‘ released and today officially beyond the gap between Nemesis and JJ Abrams’ 2009 Trek reboot movie). Franich is not particularly kind to anyone TNG movies, for reasons I generally agree with. These crystallized into a piece around 1998s Star Trek Rebellionwhich is in part an interview with a book known to have not been published at that time Graduated iwritten by Trek writer and producer Michael Piller (who died in 2005):
But Graduated i is out there, if you’re looking for it. And it is, in my opinion, the first essential book about screenwriting in the new age, a view of Hollywood at the dawn of the franchise era: A portrait of the artist amid corporate imperatives, narrative continuity, the perceived imperatives of fandom, the blur. in a way that actors in iconic roles can still know nothing about their own characters, the urge to change, the simultaneous urge not to change too much. Piller writes as he wanted this ninth place Trek star Film to recapture spirit The Next Generationto show how the Enterprise crew (w)as a deep family. Piller writes:
During the seven years of the television show, Picard emerged as a man of great principle and moral integrity. He solved problems with his intelligence and communication skills and would never fire weapons unless fired upon. This side of him was not explored in the other two feature films.
I love this idea? I sort of agree? Generation and First Contact the two came up with the idea that Picard needed to be a man of action, that he needed to fight Malcolm McDowell over a rocky missile slab, needed to carry large laser rifles before hanging over an acid mist throwing John McClane’s. die hard tank-top. Surely there was a way to make a movie with Picard the thinker, Picard the outwitter, Picard the smart? But someone disagrees with me, disagreed with Piller. One of the main Picard experts, in fact: Patrick Stewart, who allegedly wrote a long, thoughtful (and often quite funny) memo back to Piller confirming that the TNG movies need to be different from TNGthat there needs to be more emotion and action, that too much sentimentality leads to heroes around a campfire singing “Row Row Row Your Boat.”
I disagree with Patrick Stewart about the success of the franchise in the late 90’s. But the biggest problem with Picard as TNG reunion vehicle (which is largely but not entirely separate from its problems as a show) that those are raised, spread film versions of the characters are the ones that made it back to television. There is a scene halfway through the first episode of the new season that includes this.
Picard and Riker, drawn from semi-retirement again, board a Federation starship. The captain they want to work with (Liam Shaw, played by Todd Stashwick) isn’t too keen on them nor is he particularly keen to give them anything they want. It also seems, like many Trek star characters, to experience their own reality primarily through observation Trek star.
Riker: Not a fan of jazz?
Hawk: Mm. No, I’m not. I like structure. I like meters. I like to keep pace and time, which is why, for people like you two, this inspection will probably be boring.
Picard: Would it be boring to check the condition of our starships?
Hawk: Well, we won’t blow things up. Building or starting a fire. Landing, unexpected or unexpected. You know, you guys are normal.
This image—of Picard and Riker as a boy who breaks rules, destroys property, and defies authority—is a grossly inaccurate assessment of their character. The Next Generation. TNG who was, sort of infamously, the slowest, talkiest, and most diplomatic Trek shows, always more interested in monitoring than shooting torpedoes. The show continued here to distance itself from the Wild West feel of the original series, just like what followed Trek Shows like Deep space Nine and Voyager they leaned harder into fast-paced action to differentiate themselves TNG. Picard was the consummate rule follower, always ready to unleash a soliloquy about duty to anyone he thought needed to hear it.
But it yes accurate description of the film version of Picard. And there are other signs, besides abundant references to the events of the films; the season has a mysterious, mustache-clad villain with a giant warship, both retreads of Nemesis and Trek star (2009). The song that plays over the end credits is the main theme from First Contact.
So yes, the final season of it Picard finally giving us what the show should have claimed from the start: full-on The Next Generation reunion featuring the entire original cast (plus a few fun surprises). But for better or worse, this is the movie version of a TNG come together And by that, it’s still his season Picardwith all the vicissitudes and inequities and frustrations that come with it.