Written By: Daniel
With all my love from long ago I tip my hat to the days to come. The new Star Trek builds off of a rich and powerful history and storytelling that takes both histories into consideration. I all ways walk into a sequel with a certain amount of caution as well as a very low set of expectations; I have seen my fair share of disappointments over the years. There are always the questions; will it be any good? Is it being made with the hope of just sucking more money out of me? Are the characters believable and written well? Not only did it hit the cheap seats but left me with a warm fuzzy. The feel of the characters is just so……right. It has the same flow of the show and the movies that followed all mixed together, seasoned with call backs to familiar images and names that strike a chord in any fan of the Trek series.
The opening is no exception as we find the crew mid mission, mid action and everything about to go south. The colors so rich and bright, felt like a page right out of the old show but with a current day pace. To be honest, at no time did I feel this movie drag or moments that seemed out of sorts or just filler. Cumberbatch was the perfect villain and with outgiving anything away was more than a match for not only Kirk but the entire crew of the Enterprise. The whole story, while pulling elements from the multiple sources and story lines, still is building off of the first film and the response Star Fleet has to those events. Trust me, it all makes sense in the end but how they get there is so fantastic. Each character has their moments to shine and take center stage as well as playing support for the other characters; you get the true feeling of family as they interact with one another that seems to go so much deeper than the characters themselves. Don’t think for a moment however that they have left out the classic space battles; in fact I would have to put this one into the epic column and a stunner for the outcome. The build up to the fight and the answer to what you do when the transporters are down are all fulfilled here. When the fight is over, and you watch the events unfold I dare you not to smile and maybe even get a little misty at the irony and the one classic line that will live in the hearts of geeks around the world. We even get a trip to KIingon space and an appearance of a classic character that I thought we would never see again. Love the mix of tech and science fiction that helped create the feel of the original Star Trek and remains true to this day; I think Roddenberry would be proud.
I know it can’t all be perfect and it’s hard to find fault right now and maybe over time and more viewings the flaws will become more blaring. The only thing that really bothered me was during the fight scenes, where Kirk is getting his ass kicked. Yes, I know he would get a beating on the show but would win; in the movie he seems to spend more time on the ground than on his feet. Maybe it could be attributed to the events in the story and being emotionally and physically compromised, that you get a brief mention of in a shuttle craft by Bones. Where is the double karate chop? The flying kicks maybe? Kirk was a force in his younger years and I would kind of like to see that because I don’t remember the fight being so one sided in the original story…It was a supper charged version of the villain, or a more inexperienced version of Kirk, wonder what I am talking about? You’re just going to have to go and see it.
Verdict> I have heard the comments that the first Star Trek was more like Star Wars and not brainy enough. And in some places of the first film I can see that and while “In to the Darkness” visits the well again for some of the lines and jokes it is developing its own feel. With a whole new vision yet holding slightly to the original, trying to be something more than what we are. I will own it, I will see it again, and is the best answer to my question, do all sequels have to suck…and that answer is a definite, NO!
The Doctor is in danger and only Clara knows the secret. When she mentions to do The Doctor about a place called Trenzalore the adventure begins. Crossing into his own timeline The Doctor and Clara head to Trenzalore to save Jenny, Madame Zastra and Strax from The Whisper Men.
Michelle's Take: The Good:
We didn't learn the name of The Doctor! I wouldn't have sworn off the series like some fans that I know, but I would have been pretty disappointed if we had learned that. Although it was funny to hear him plead "Please" and have the door to his tomb open, because I looked over at John and was like, "his name is please?" Alas, it was not and River Song saved the day by saying his name to save his friends.
Seeing Clara in the past incarnations lives, that was brilliantly done and I'm so happy that we got that nod to those who brought the role to life previously. She's saved his life so many times and it's like she has been a silent companion all along, even down to stealing the right TARDIS. The Eleventh Doctor was the first to bring her into his life and really start to learn what she was. The Impossible Girl, born to save The Doctor.
River's reintroduction. I'm really happy that we got to see River Song return one last time to help save her husband. At first it seems that only Clara can see and hear her, but then there is a heart breaking moment between The Doctor and River that made me want to cry it was so well delivered. She saves The Doctor's friends and in the end we get that bittersweet goodbye (?) between the two.
"River: How are you even doing that? I'm not really here. The Doctor: You're always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you.
The Whisper Men, these were some creepy guys and I was so happy to see, that yet again, the scary is getting put back into the monsters. Watching them ripping the hearts out of The Doctor's friends was terrifying and I know if I ever see a Whisper Man, I'm running the other direction.
We were promised a big reveal and we got that for sure! Again, I'm really glad that it wasn't The Doctor's name, because I really would have been disappointed. Instead, in the tomb, we find a man. The Eleventh Doctor says that it is him, but Clara who has now seen every incarnation of The Doctor doesn't know who he is. The Doctor tries to explalin that this man had done something terribly wrong and something that the chosen name of The Doctor would have never done. It is revealed that this man is John Hurt, setting us up for the 50th Anniversary Special. If that special is anything as awesome as this finale was, we are in for an emotional ride!
Lastly, the acting. Everybody delivered a flawless performance in every scene that I watched, but yet again I have to highlight Matt Smith. I know I've been saying it since March, but he really is becoming The Doctor, so much to the point that he had me in tears at his emotional response to Trenzalore. Every acting decision he made in this episode was brilliant and as I saw him growing more and more into The Doctor for the last few weeks, wow tonight he really was The Doctor, hands down no questions asked.
The Bad: Bad, what bad?
The Verdict: This is my favorite episode of the season. We found out so many things, why Clara is The Impossible Girl, what The Doctor's biggest secret is, the final goodbye of River and what The Doctor is willing to do to save his friends. Beautiful episode and seeing as how this is the set up for
The Good: “We all die in the end, and no one knows this better than the Doctor.”
It was once said that the Doctors name was locked away in the Medusa Cascade, and that the final battle of the time war was fought there with the Daleks. Will the time war and all that went on there be reviled? Is this how the Doctor ended it all with the power of a name and the stolen “Moment”? But then, I am getting ahead of myself and you have no idea what I am going on about. Tonight put so many things into perspective and made a nice tidy bow tie of it all, not just the season but the Doctors life itself. I would of thought this the 50 year anniversary if I didn’t know any better as we are visited by not one but all of the Doctors. A very clever way in weaving them into the story along with showing a very defining moment in the Doctors past, the borrowing of a TARDIS and all thanks to the impossible girl.
It all become clear that Clara is here to save the Doctor, in all of his lives in fact, past, present, and future. She is helped out by Jenny, Strax, Madame Vastra, and River Song when they take a trip to Trenzalore. Where is that you ask, “Spoilers”. There are so many twists and as all ways questions at the end, you wonder what it all means and did you miss something. This is Doctor Who after all and that would mean yes; where else are you going to find someone dressed in a tux with tails wearing a top hat scary. Everything about this episode I loved, from the start and the conference call to end of the TARDIS. The entire show was a ride and I found myself sitting on the couch, hands clutched together hanging on every word. I didn’t want to miss a single point worried that it could be pivotal to the story. Nothing is ever what it seems but you know something is bad when the Doctor starts to cry at the mention of a mere name. Even through the tears and chills there are the light hearted moments and pause for a laugh, and time for a soufflé.
The Bad: Is there one for this episode? As I sit right now watching it again, may be difficult to find. I did find issue with how River was handled during the story, like a side thought or a foot note; more of a guide to move the story along when we know she is so much more.
The Verdict: Well thought out and at its core a brilliant moment in storytelling and in Doctor Who history. It flows with the beauty and grace of a setting sun on a distant moon. Even though the River moments bothered me, how it was resolved and ended was truly a kiss for the ages, the final end for the river story is yet to be seen. For the first time I don’t see Matt Smith, I see the Doctor.
“Run! Run you clever boy and remember me.”
Written By: Andrea
Not exactly the episode I was hoping for, it’s like we’re stuck doing slow songs when we’re all ready to party. Though I will give some important things did go down.
Our maiden fair Brienne was battling a bear! With a blunt wooden sword! Luckily Ser Jaime jumped in the pen knowing full well he could have died and saved her. Kind of a 180 on our thoughts of Jaime for those who already weren’t there. Of course, pushing kid out of a window not exactly forgivable but at least it shows people can change.
Further North Robb finds out he’s going to be a Dad. Go Robb! Though I have to say, the way she told him gave me the creeps a bit. What pregnant women in their right mind is like oh touch me, let me lay here naked and speak in riddles? None, because unless she’s like three weeks (which she wouldn’t know she’s preg by then), she’s hot, her everything hurts and she’s bloated which equals no laying around hoping for round two. It equals, leave me the hell alone, why did you do this to me?!?! WHY?!? Or she some freak of nature, and for that, I dislike her even more.
We finally find out why Osha ran from North of the Wall, while it gave a good valid reason and some time spent on what our little Starks are doing, I don’t think it did much to stop anyone from going North of the Wall. Nice try though. Speaking of things North, Jon is finally south of the wall and not feeling too good about the Wildlings being on his turf. Will this be bros before hoes or has Ygritte finally turned him?
Apparently it’s been reviled to those who just started watching Gendry is Robert’s heir, but I can’t say I like all the emphases on the whole your “blood is powerful” thing.
Arya is kidnapped by the Hound! About fricken time. Apparently her inability to wait another day to go to Riverrun instead gets her caught up with her third or fourth least favorite person.
Khalessi meets her first Yunaki lord and finds they don’t roll over so easy. Even with the impressive show of force, huge city walls and well fed city dwellers are at her disadvantage. Power friends you say? Like whom?
While most will say hey at least there were boobs, finally, watching Theon get his member cut off was very disturbing. I don’t even want to discuss this scene as I might throw up just a bit in my mouth.
Finally, back at King’s Landing, Joffrey is trying to push Grandpa around. Handled pretty well given out delicate Tywin handles everything else. It’s like you can see his hand rise to smack that crown off Joffrey’s head but instead just says I’ll do my best to keep you informed when I think you’d want to be informed. Probably the most PC “Go F- yourself” I’ve ever heard.
Three episodes left, the bangs need to start coming at some point. So let’s keep our fingers crossed we get a little action next week.
It hasn't taken long for Jon Lee Brody to establish himself as a dynamic talent in Hollywood. After scoring his first role in The Dark Knight, Jon's career has continued to be healthy enough to allow him to not only act, but write, direct and produce. In fact he recently wrote and directed the comedy short Police Guys. Jon is of course one of the stars, but he shares the screen with the likes of Stephen Kramer Glickman, Lester Speight and even Christine Lakin. He has also been fortunate enough to work with Forest Whitaker, Michael Chiklis and Sean Faris in the film Pawn. But Jon isn't showing any signs of slowing down, and this weekend he steps into the world of science fiction with a role in Star Trek Into Darkness and we here at GIrls of Geek were fortunate enough to spend a little time with Jon Lee Brody.
Girls of Geek: What got you into acting?
Jon Lee Brody: It's kind of a long story. But basically I was on the brink of graduating college and was doing a little bit of a life evaluation. I realized life is too short to not pursue passions or dreams so I gave acting a shot.
Girls of Geek: What was the audition process for Star Trek Into Darkness like?
Jon Lee Brody: Well, first of all, I had no idea it was for Star Trek. All I knew was that it was an 'untitled sci fi movie'. I met with casting. Got photos taken and that was about it. I didn't hear anything for about two months so I figured I didn't get it, but then I got an email saying that I was cast. At this point I still had no idea what I had booked. It wasn't until I went to my wardrobe fitting and saw my outfit that I realized that I had booked Star Trek!
Girls of Geek: What was it like to be on set "aboard" the iconic U.S.S. Enterprise?
Jon Lee Brody: I'll be honest, I'm not a Trekkie. But being aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise was pretty surreal. And getting directing from J.J. Abrams and hearing him yell 'action' was even more surreal. The art department and construction crew did such an amazing job assembling the sets that you'd forget you were on a sound stage.
Girls of Geek: We saw your photograph from Entertainment Weekly walking behind Mister Cumberbatch, what can you tell us about your role as an Enterprise Security Officer?
Jon Lee Brody: Pretty much what you see is what you get. I'm enforcement for Kirk and the Enterprise. And yes I wear a red shirt...
Girls of Geek: What was it like working with the cast?
Jon Lee Brody: Amazing. The cast was filled with people that I admire and are actors that are lightyears ahead of me in terms of acting. I used the experience as a way to learn and soak up everything.
Girls of Geek: What are some of your favorite memories from being on set?
Jon Lee Brody: The experience as a whole was just lots of fun. I got to know Benedict Cumberbatch pretty well and he is just awesome. He's a brilliant actor who brings an A++ performance and he's absolutely hilarious to be around.
Girls of Geek: If there was a exact character or type of character that you wanted to play, but haven't had the opportunity to play who or what would it be?
Jon Lee Brody: I think every guy wants to play a super hero so that is definitely on the list. I would love to be in a rom-com. I mean I could go on and on about roles I'd like to play because if it were up to me, I'd play any or all roles out there!
Girls of Geek: What's next on the agenda for Jon Lee Brody?
Jon Lee Brody: A few things actually. Developing an action movie with UFC Fighter/Actor Cung Le. Also gearing up to make my feature film directorial debut. I can't say much about that project right now but I can say it's gonna be a good one! And currently, I'm gearing up to direct a music video for artist Michelle Raitzin (from this current season of The Voice). And hopefully a lot more!
As you can see the sky is the limit for Jon Lee Brody. We congratulate him on landing a role in Star Trek Into Darkness and we certainly look forward to seeing his upcoming projects come to life.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
"Let me explain what's happening here. You are a criminal! I watched you murder innocent men and women. I was authorized to END you! And the only reason why you are still alive is because I am allowing it."
- Captain James T. Kirk
At what point in our lives did all the heroes disappear? Let's be honest, it is a legitimate question we have all asked ourselves in recent years and with good reason. It has been a dark time for all of us. Recession, war and terrorist attacks. Our faith in the establishment has been rattled as we now question the integrity of our leaders and their ability to prop us up when we need it most.
The greater question is, where do we go from here? We know quite well that the world is a dangerous place but the events we have all had to endure have changed us. At times our culture has been one grounded in vengeance over the acts that have wronged us. It is a slippery slope to walk, but with the odds seemingly mounting against us at times there seems to be no other way to react. This is the aftermath of years of hardship in our culture and the dangers of how far it can be taken are explored in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Captain James T. Kirk stands disgraced. An act to save his first officer has violated the Prime Directive and leaves Kirk demoted. But an attack on London by a Starfleet agent returns Kirk to the captain's chair to bring this criminal to justice. But the capture of the culprit, one John Harrison, proves to be more complicated than the crew of the Enterprise ever expected, for Harrison carries with him a secret about Starfleet, one that may cost the crew of the Enterprise their lives.
So, this is without a doubt, one of the finest Star Trek films to ever grace the screen. But before we get into the plot without giving too much away, we need to talk about Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison. The man is brilliant and he completely commands the screen every waking moment he is on it. I was completely blown away with what he brought to the role, and the range he gives us is breathtaking. One moment Benedict is bone chillingly evil, the next you pity him. It is a stroke of genius in casting this man.
But how he fits into the plot is equally as critical, because this is a film that is true to the fundamentals of Star Trek. But as you watch this movie, at first it doesn't seem like classic Trek. Simply because this is a Federation that is still shaking in its boots from the events of the last film. Let's not forget, Vulcan is gone, Earth was attacked and there are those in Starfleet who now believe that the universe is full of threats and nothing more and the mission of exploration should wait to instead bolster Earth's defenses. It's a surprising turn for this franchise, but a welcome one, because that is where Kirk and his crew come into play. They are the necessary moral center in this film and their actions reflect the finer parts of the Federation and keep the hope alive.
Either way, this is a fantastic sequel that you need to go out and enjoy as soon as possible. You will laugh, you will cry and you will hold your breath with some of the incredible visuals that play out before you because Star Trek Into Darkness is an awesome ride. But despite treading in deep and dark water it should be noted that Kirk and company inspire in this film because they answer the question as to where all the heroes have gone. The fact of the matter is they never left. They are still out there fighting the good fight and keeping all of us safe. That's where Star Trek Into Darkness stays true to the franchise's vision, because when fear blinds us we often forget that the best people of our world are working hard out there to make it a better place.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
"Now, your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved eight hundred lives, including your mother's. And yours. I dare you to do better."
- Captain Christopher Pike
Destiny is a word we throw around a lot. It gives us comfort, it gives us license to dream. It gives us structure. We believe that there is a purpose for all of us out there, that there is a reason for our being on this planet and we wait for the moment when destiny comes calling.
Yet there is doubt in destiny. We cannot prove that it exists, we cannot control it at times and that brings us down. Circumstance seems to give way to one of our greatest beliefs and we wonder sometimes if what we believe in is not the path we must walk. It is this concept that drives the 2009 reboot of Gene Roddenberry's vision with J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.
In the 23rd Century, there is a man without purpose living in a world where there is no hunger, no war, and everyone is given a fair shot. This man is James Tiberius Kirk and since the death of his father he is without direction. But an opportunity to enlist in Starfleet changes all of that for Kirk, for when an enemy from the future has come calling, Jim will get the opportunity to find out what he and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are made of.
Let's start with the fact that I was beyond excited when this film came out because of the void. I'm referring to the lack of Star Trek on either the silver screen since Star Trek: Nemesis or on my television since Star Trek: Enterprise went off the air. My wait was rewarded with a fantastic film that brings back the magic of the original crew all while giving us so much of the Star Trek we know and love.
Everything that made this franchise great is on display here. But more importantly, the depth and meaning that we expect is here as well. Kirk's journey is the perfect example of that. In the timeline we know he had his father George at his side, raising the man we would see save the Federation and humanity time and time again. So it is quite stunning to see George Kirk die in the first minutes of the film and even more surprising to see James T. Kirk as a lost soul and a drunk. It is a great twist but one that pays off.
Kirk's journey from town drunk to captain of the Enterprise is nothing short of amazing. Especially due to the fact that it plays into the destiny theme so well and for that matter, the founding principals of the Federation. It's wonderful to see a universe where such an action can take place and where anyone can be something more, it's a hopeful message we need right now and one that we need to believe in and the film allows us to do just that.
But it also shows that maybe we are really meant for something better in this life. That each of us have a special niche that only we fill but that it isn't about circumstance or doubt. It could be the fact that we simply need a push in the right direction, or the right person to guide us when we need it most to become someone incredible. That's why this film was so successful. It lifts us up, and it challenges us the same way Pike challenged Kirk, it dares us to do better.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
"For now we see but through a glass, darkly."
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard
There is one unique idea that has all crossed our minds at one point or another. The concept of what our lives may or may not have become had we grown up under different circumstances. We wonder if we would be a person with a moral center without our parents being around or what would have happened without the sage advice of our close friends.
Yet we can never truly know what our lives would be if the tables had turned because there is not another one of us. We can never know if one changed decision would ruin or lives or send us into complete happiness. Yet is it something we would ever want to see? Are we truly prepared to find out what we would become under those different set of circumstances? These questions and that possibility all play a central role in the final voyage of the crew of The Next Generation in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Romulus is in turmoil. The military has staged a coup d'état leading to the unexpected. The new Praetor, Shinzon, comes from the second class of Romulan citizens, the Remans, and he has extended a proposal of peace to the Federation. The Enterprise is dispatched to discuss terms but Captain Jean-Luc Picard is stunned to see that Shinzon, is a spitting image of the captain. It turns out the new Praetor is a clone of Picard and his message of peace is nothing more than a ruse. For this doppelgänger is nothing like the original and is set to conquer as many worlds as he can.
Let's start off with something important about this movie. It is highly underrated. Nemesis was no box office smash and it signaled a hiatus for Star Trek on the silver screen for some time and that's unfortunate because this really is a thoughtful Star Trek and features some incredible moments and performances. Yet clearly it did not resonate with audiences and the reason for that is simple, at times it tries too hard. With it being the end of another era but for a different crew, there are homages abound to Trek in general. Every series is referenced and quite frankly so are the films since this movie parallels many elements of The Wrath of Khan. While there is nothing wrong with an easter egg here and there, the similarities to Star Trek II clearly drove audiences away that were looking for something new.
It is sad to have to write that, because of the unique storyline of Picard facing off against...Picard. This movie takes the possibility of becoming a different man under different circumstances head on and the result is an evil and twisted Picard that we are not used to seeing. The Jean-Luc we know and love is a thoughtful man, driven by the ideals of the Federation which are only amplified by his own moral center. But Shinzon is a man filled with hate, who uses his endless rage to fuel his every thought and move. It's a fascinating twist for the character and Shinzon, played by Tom Hardy does an incredible impression of Patrick Stewart. In fact watch during the final battle, there is a moment where he matches Patrick Stewart in a way that for a moment I thought I was watching Stewart in full makeup as a younger version of himself. It's that good.
But speaking of the final battle, I think it is the excessive focus on action that finally put the nail in the coffin for Nemesis. The two Picard's duking it out consumes nearly a third of the film, removing any chance for more of the fascinating storyline surrounding these two. It's a shame really, because this story had the potential to blow all of us away and because the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E deserved to say goodbye in a proper fashion.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
"How many people does it take, Admrial, before it becomes wrong?"
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Never forget. Those are two words that are etched into our minds for a simple reason, we don't want to see the tragedy that was September the 11th ever be repeated. It's the right frame of mind to be honest, because atrocities such as that have no place in the world.
But those words symbolize more, they stand for our morals just as much as our memories. They speak to the fact that we should always stand tall and do the right thing regardless of the circumstance. Yet what if those involved in the noblest of causes gave in to fear and turned their backs on those morals? That is the question posed in Star Trek: Insurrection.
Paradise. We have all dreamed of a place where life is perfect, where we never get old and never see others suffer. Sadly for us it is just that, a dream. Yet in the 24th Century, in the most unlikely of places, paradise exists. On a small planet trapped within a unique set of cosmic circumstances there is a fountain of youth. A race known as the Ba'ku go about their eternal lives on this world, but a species known as the Son'a know of the Ba'ku's secret and know how to steal it from this world and the Federation, licking its wounds from a devastating war is willing to help. But the crew of the Enterprise realize that this plan betrays the founding principals of the Federation and is based on lies and are now willing to risk their careers in Starfleet to uphold the ideals of the Federation and ensure the safety of these innocent lives.
This is another tough Star Trek movie to write about due to the fact that the ambitious plot doesn't seem to entirely click. I like the idea of a corrupt Starfleet Admiral lying to his superiors for what he thinks may be a greater cause and Picard being forced to step in. That Heart of Darkness element works well, but the issues lie in the execution. This is a heavy idea to work with and the film handles it in fluffiest in fashion. There are laughs, there are gags and they work, but to me they have no place in a film that essentially deals with a major crack in the foundation of the Federation and Starfleet.
The implications of Admiral Dougherty's actions in this movie would rock all of the Alpha Quadrant. Think about it, a cure for any last ailments in the galaxy, and a Starfleet Admiral turning his back on everything he represents. When other cultures find out about this metaphasic radiation, they may come for it, and war may break out again. Not to mention the fracture in Starfleet from an Admiral pulling something like this off. It's frustrating because these glaring issues overshadow so many beautiful moments in the film. In fact one of my favorite scenes is watching Geordi LaForge gain his eyesight for the first time ever and enjoy his first sunrise. Don't get me wrong, the film isn't awful, just...confused. The idea is sound, but the end result does indeed feel like a two hour episode of The Next Generation and leaves one unfulfilled after challenging such a big concept.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
"Watch your future's end."
- The Borg Queen
There are few things more satisfying in this life than seeing a wrong corrected in some form for fashion. That sense of justice is something we can all partake in. Whether it be seeing a terrible criminal placed behind bars or something as simple as being able to say what's on your mind, we all strive to see things set right.
Yet there are times when this simple gesture can be taken too far, when the desire for justice consumes you and turns into nothing more than petty vengeance. What began with giving someone a piece of your mind has now become a quest to end them and see them suffer in an incredible way. The duality of man is always a fascinating aspect of science fiction and it is joined by vengeance on the center stage in the incredible Star Trek: First Contact.
In the depths of space, there is a race of beings devoid of emotion, of identity and remorse. They absorb species they deem worthy and once these creatures known as the Borg came for humanity using Captain Jean-Luc Picard as a pawn. But their pawn became their downfall and they returned to the void of space. Now, they have returned with a new plan to dominate the Federation by robbing it of its past and Picard is charged with once more facing the monsters that haunt his nightmares.
By far First Contact is the cream of the crop of The Next Generation films, and with good reason. Plenty of action and adventure, a great villain and one of Patrick Stewart's best performances as Jean-Luc Picard. In fact despite the scope of the story, Picard remains the focus and what a journey we go on with him. We see how haunted he still is by his experience with the Borg as Locutus and we see for the first time, fear from Picard.
With good reason. This is a man who knows what these creatures are capable of and he knows that at some point they may be invincible. But it is that slow boiling vengeance that is new for Picard's character. To watch him go from the cool and collected commander of the Enterprise to a man hell bent on killing every Borg drone he sees with his bare hands if necessary is impressive to say the least. Yet, at no point in the film can you blame him. The Borg are brutal in this picture, specifically their leader the Queen, a controversial character but handled well in the film and played in chilling fashion by Alice Krige.
But despite Picard's near descent into madness the film does a good job of giving Jean-Luc closure in his vendetta, giving us that sense of justice and it does a wonderful job of washing away the dark recesses of Generations with that closing image of man meeting Vulcans for the first time, hinting that everything is about to change for the better and that's what makes First Contact such an incredible ride, we see Picard pick himself up and defeat the greatest villain he has ever faced, not the Borg, but that ugly place inside all of us where vengeance acts as the collective itself and consumes us body and soul.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
"They say time is the fire in which we burn."
- Doctor Soran
At some point we must all deal with loss. Be it death, the loss of a job or even the loss of a relationship we have to face the fallout of the end. Everyone out there of course has an opinion or recommendation about how we should deal with it when it comes, but the fact of the matter is, we are never prepared nor is there a perfect way to deal with it.
It is how we deal with that particular loss that determines how severe we consider it to be, and how long we carry that loss with us. Sometimes the loss strengthens us and we look upon it fondly as we move forward, sometimes it can haunt us every step of the way. It is loss, and how we respond to it that defines the the first journey on the big screen of the crew of The Next Generation in Star Trek: Generations.
There is a place in the universe where anything can be achieved. Where everything you ever wanted and needed is waiting for you. It is known as The Nexus and one man, Doctor Tolian Soran was taken from its cradle so long ago. Robbed from its beauty Soran has been fed only harsh reality since his exit and it has taken him centuries to discover a way to return. But in order to slip gently back into bliss, solar systems and planets full of civilizations must be sacrificed and it falls to Captain Jean-Luc Picard to stop him, but Picard may a need a little help from the most unlikely of allies, the supposedly deceased Captain James T. Kirk.
So let's start off by getting right down to the most controversial part of this film, the death of James T. Kirk. Some have seen his death as a hollow gesture, others found it cheap because the "passing of the torch" approach was in their mind a bad idea to begin with. In fact there is even an alternate ending available on DVD and Blu-ray now that features Kirk getting shot in the back, something that did not go over well with test audiences. Fact is, we all have an opinion of Kirk's death and rightfully so, he is an icon. Yet as I watched Generations once again for this article it dawned on me that there is no death that will ever be fitting for Kirk. This is another case of expectation versus reality and how does one truly find a fitting end for any character on paper?
Yet in a way, Kirk's demise draws us into the film's central theme because we as fans lose Kirk. But the film doesn't stop there. The NCC-1701-D is lost as well and we are taken on a journey with Picard and the utter pain he must carry with the knowledge that he may well be the last Picard in history making Generations the darkest film in the franchise since Wrath of Khan. Soran's journey only adds to the heavy air by way of his unhealthy obsession with The Nexus and his desire to do anything he must to enjoy a sliver of happiness one last time.
In reality, this harsh look at life and the things that leave us is a bit of a shocking turn for Star Trek but would signal how the franchise would handle the mix of social commentary with science fiction for years to come in the post Roddenberry era. I don't think it makes this film bad or that the concept is terrible, just that none of us were prepared to see such heavy themes in the utopia of the Federation. If anything Generations is more than just a passing of a torch, is it the moment when we as fans were forced to grow up.