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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Star Trek: Nemesis

Star Trek Nemesis title logo DVD
Written by:John Logan|Directed by:Stuart Baird|Release Date:2002

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm writing about more Star Trek! This time though I'm watching the last of the Next Generation movies and possibly the worst of them all: STAR TЯEK: NEMƎSIS! The reversed letters are there because the film's all about duplicates and mirror opposites. Also...

Yes that is the Diablo font

You know, from the video game Diablo. It's called Exocet if you're curious.

Anyway, there's a reason I'm writing about this particular film on this particular day and that's because it's Star Trek: The Next Generation's 30th anniversary! Yeah, it's not the ideal choice, I'd rather watch the pilot, Encounter at Farpoint, or maybe even something good, but this is what I got.

I'm also getting a bit of deja-vu here, as we already had a big Star Trek anniversary last September when the Original Series hit 50. Also, it was Voyager's 20th in 2015 and it'll be Deep Space Nine's 25th in 2018. You get a series with this many spin-offs and it's anniversaries all decade long. Oh, plus it's Star Trek: Discovery's 0th anniversary this year, seeing as it just aired 4 days ago. They could've held it back or moved it forward a few days to sync them up, but nope!

Nemesis itself came out in December 2002, which means that it had to struggle with being the first post-Galaxy Quest Trek movie. It's also the first Trek movie to have to deal with the Star Wars prequels raising the space opera VFX game, with Attack of the Clones having twice the budget to play with. It's hard to say that it was a lack of money on screen that killed Nemesis though, when it was Maid in Manhattan that beat it to the #1 spot in the US box office! The film opened badly and then fell to oblivion, with one of the worst second week drop-offs in the history of motion pictures.

Paramount had brought on a big name Hollywood scriptwriter for this one (Gladiator writer John Logan), and a legendary editor to direct (Stuart Baird), so they were convinced that the series must be suffering from 'franchise fatigue' and cancelled all plans for fifth Next Gen film. It was seven years before they'd dare releasing another Star Trek movie again, this time with J.J. Abrams at the helm and a budget. Worked out better that time.

Okay, there'll be SPOILERS and screencaps beyond this point, so continue at your own risk. I'm considering the whole Trek franchise up to 2002 to be fair game, but I'll not spoil a thing about what was released after it.



A generation's final journey begins with the camera flying through the movie's logo, past a planet that looks like (but probably isn't) Mars, before ending up at miserable purple/green world that turns out to be... Romulus!

So Nemesis features two firsts for the 23-year-old Star Trek film series: it's the first movie to have much of anything to do with the Romulans, and it's the first movie not to bore me to death with five minutes of credits before it gets started.

I respect that movies require a ridiculous amount of people putting in an absurd amount of work to get made, but I think Star Wars had the right idea when it shoved all its credits to the end and it seems that most movie producers agree with me these days. That said, if Star Trek took the next logical step from Discovery's opening and switched to having James Bond-style title sequences, then my opinion on that would suddenly become very different. As long as none of them involve Nichelle Nichols doing a fan dance.

The camera dives through the clouds and reveals the CGI city of... Midgar? I knew the Romulans stole a lot of their culture from the Roman Empire, but I didn't know they borrowed from Final Fantasy VII as well. This planet's a lot a prettier up close than it looked from orbit that's for sure, all grassy and picturesque outside the city walls.

We swoop all the way down into the heart of the Romulan Imperial Senate, which turns out to be more Babylon 5 than Phantom Menace in its scale.

Here some folks in robes and pointy ears are talking about uniting the planets Romulus and Remus. The Imperial Navy wants to join forces with Shinzon of Remus and become stronger than ever before! But the Senate decides it'd rather send him and his Remans back to their crappy red planet instead.

One of the senators suddenly remembers she has an appointment and makes a swift exit, and no one else in the room notices the bright pink object she left behind in plain view of all of them. Well, until it opens up and swirly green particles begin forming a double helix shape in the air anyway. Then they just sit and watch it do its thing for a good 15 seconds, waiting to see if it explodes.

Here's an abridged video of what actually does happen.

Seems that the entire Senate has fallen victim to a sci-fi weapon that turns people to dust. It's an ingenious device, as it kills the entire Romulan government while leaving the Senate building perfectly intact. Also their clothes; give those robes a wash and they’ll be good as new for the next government.

From a shot of the Praetor lying in pieces all over the Senate floor, the scene transitions to...

... Captain Picard giving a best man speech in front of a really obvious translight of some Alaskan mountains. Seriously I think I can see it rippling. The scene's really crying out for a nice cinematic establishing shot to trick us into thinking it's outdoors.

It turns out that Riker and Deanna have finally gotten married, just four years after Insurrection resurrected their relationship. And Riker's got his beard back! Picard mentions that the two of them are leaving the Enterprise so that Riker can take command of the Titan and then brings up his new first officer in a way that sounds like it’s leading somewhere.
“While you’re happily settling in on the Titan, I will be training my new first officer. You all know him! He’s a tyrannical martinet who will never ever allow me to go on away missions.”
But then he gets distracted telling an out of character Data to shut up and stop quoting regulations at a wedding, and now I’m wondering who the new first officer he was talking about is. Wait, is it Data? Is that the joke? Hey I think I just got the joke! Everyone else in the audience seems to have got it too, as they're practically in tears at this point. Picard has finally developed an actual sense of humour.

Whoa, I just noticed Wesley Crusher way over on the left, wearing a Starfleet uniform! I guess the crew welcomed him back after realising it was hypocritical to punish him for trying to protect a small group of people on a planet from forced relocation back in season seven, after they spent the entire last movie doing the same thing. We don't find out for sure though because his lines all got cut. Could be worse; he doesn't show up at all in the pan and scan version.

Seems that Starfleet's introduced a special dress uniform for musicians since Insurrection. It's also nice to see them playing something more modern than a cello back there, even though some of the instruments seem to be made of transparent plastic.

Oh no, now Data's singing Blue Skies as a wedding present. Can't he see that Worf's already suffering enough from the illegal Romulan Ale they've been serving? Worf's the movie's butt-monkey you see, though that was true in Insurrection as well now that I think about it. The film's not all that interested in acknowledging his character growth in Deep Space Nine (or that the series made Romulan Ale legal).

Whoopi Goldberg is here too by the way, as they hired her to basically say two lines and wear a silly hat for one last appearance as Guinan. Jeri Ryan isn't though, as she turned down the bizarre invitation to appear in the movie as Seven of Nine due being very busy not wearing a tight catsuit in Boston Public. Lwaxana Troi is also conspicuously absent, seeing how one of her two character traits was an obsession with getting her daughter a husband, but that's explained as...

...everyone piles aboard the Enterprise and heads to Deanna's homeworld for a traditional Betazoid version of their wedding ceremony. The naked version. Which leads to more comedy from grumpy Worf as he doesn't much want to attend a wedding in his birthday suit.

Sadly the Enterprise doesn't get a particularly spectacular reveal this time, just a slow flyby in empty space. Even Final Frontier gave us a more awe-inspiring introduction to the gigantic hero ship, and it was a broken wreck in that movie.

But on the way to Betazed the ship picks up a positronic signature coming from a distant uncharted planet, which is a bit weird as that’s the same technology used our android’s head. Has Data been broadcasting a signal like this across the galaxy himself all this time? It's also weird that there's an uncharted system right between two major Federation planets (they say distant, but they're apparently the only ship picking the signal up, so it can't be that far off the path).

Anyway, Picard orders the ship to go investigate the signal, orders Worf to attend the traditional naked Betazoid wedding ceremony against his wishes, and then sends himself down to the ship’s gym. He also calls Riker "Mr. Troi" on the way out, because he's the funny captain now.

What’s Worf doing in uniform taking Picard’s shitty orders anyway? He was the Federation ambassador to the Klingon homeworld last time we saw him! C'mon Star Trek, just let someone ever get a new job or change in any way, please. Well, I suppose Riker and Troi are moving out to the Titan... plus Geordi was allowed to grow a goatee so there’s another difference. Wow, it just occurred to me that at this point over half the male cast has a beard now. Picard's letting the side down.

So the Enterprise arrives at Kolarus III, near the Romulan Neutral Zone, to do a bit of android hunting. Though they can't just beam down because of an ion storm, so they have to take a shuttle.

The Star Trek production team built a beautifully detailed 10½ feet physical model of this Enterprise for Star Trek: First Contact, but that's not what you're looking at here as the later films switched to full CGI and it was never used again. For this movie the ship's been redesigned to smooth the transition between the saucer and the engineering hull, adjust the position of the nacelles slightly... oh, and bolt extra torpedo launchers all over the thing. I can see one sitting on top of airlock right now, which kind of raises the question of where the torpedos live.

I don't think the CGI effects are quite at the point where the ship looks as real as the physical model did, but they're pretty good! Better than what Die Another Day and Blade II had put on screen that year at least.

The shuttle lands and the back door opens to reveal that it has a space dune buggy in it! With wheels and everything! So Picard and friends get in and go racing around the Three Kings-style bleach bypassed landscape looking for android bits.

The thing is, the planet's home to an early industrial civilisation, so the locals should definitely not be building robots yet or dumping them in the wasteland. What's even weirder though is that the head they find has Data's face... and not one person mentions his evil identical twin Lore. The last time they found another robot like this it ended up trying to kill them, on multiple occasions, so this should be a serious concern!

Speaking of serious concerns, the locals suddenly turn up looking hostile, and they've got dune buggies too. Picard realises that duty allows only one possible outcome here.

DUNE BUGGY CHASE!

How come the Enterprise could detect a robot head from light years away, but couldn't give the away team a heads up about these lunatics? Seems to me that if Starfleet officers ever end up in a car chase, blasting away at the native inhabitants of the alien world they've invited themselves onto, then something's gone very wrong somewhere along the line.

The Prime Directive clearly states that Starfleet officers must not:
  1. Reveal the existence of other worlds and spacefaring civilisations to a more primitive culture.
  2. Shoot the primitive culture dead with a mounted turret in an exciting action scene. 
Actually, this would be kind of forgivable if it any of it was exciting, but Mad Max: Fury Road it ain't.

Plus when the various Star Trek stories that preceded this had its heroes indulging in a bit of violence on an alien world, they usually had higher-minded intentions than 'this robot looks interesting, let's take it and kill everyone who tries to stop us'.

A group of aliens have surrounded their shuttle by this point, so Data has to stop talking to his spare head and pilot the craft somewhere else remotely, just like the android did in Aliens! Except here the aliens are shooting at him. Quick, raise the shields! What, this vehicle doesn't have any? Why not?

The main thing I don’t understand about this scene is why Worf isn’t happy. He’s finally got what he wants for a change! The captain has chosen the Worf strategy and has given him the privilege of pulling the trigger on a phaser cannon purely designed to destroy pursuing vehicles. And with the way Picard's driving he very well might die with honour today as well.

See, he just drove the bloody thing off a cliff! Before the shuttle doors had even opened!

The ending to the chase is so ridiculous that it flies right past 'dumb', and goes all the way to 'awesome'... then cycles around back to 'dumb' again. Sure I can believe Data can calculate the exact position to put the shuttle, I just can't believe that Picard would ever risk it. Even after getting his youthful recklessness back in Insurrection.

So now the inhabitants of an early industrial world have just seen a UFO fly down and pick up two extra-terrestrials and a robot. Worse, they've seen that the best space buggy the Federation can create can't outrun the pieces of crap they were driving! That's just embarrassing. Picard should've probably just asked Geordi to fly the shuttle around to look for the pieces instead.

Once they're all safely back on the Enterprise, the crew go down to the redressed main engineering set to reassemble the android they found, because that worked out so well the last time they did this. At least this time we can tell the two of them apart because of the sideburns (Lore's were pointy like Data's before they'd even plugged his head on).

It turns out that their mysterious android is a childlike prototype with less neural sophistication than Data, created by the same mad scientist, Noonian Soong (no relation to Khan Noonien Singh). We were told in the episode Inheritance that the guy built three androids before Lore and Data and they all died, so it's strange that this one's working as well as he is. Seems that Soong never had much hope for this particular android though, as he named him ‘B-4’... because he came before the proper androids he’d make later.

At times like this, it occurs to me how weird Data's name is. Next Gen's producers actually called their robot 'Data'... how did that seem like a good idea to anyone at the time? Oh wait, I've just remembered how much of a trainwreck season one was behind the scenes. Now it makes perfect sense.

Meanwhile Picard receives an incoming cameo by Admiral Janeway, from Star Trek: Voyager! She’s ordering him to go to Romulus on a diplomatic mission to meet Praetor Shinzon, seeing as the Enterprise is already so close to the Neutral Zone.

Some fans had a problem with Janeway being promoted to admiral before Picard (thus becoming the highest ranked Star Trek lead), but it makes sense to me. Captain Kirk himself told Picard to stay in the captain's chair because that's where he can make a difference. Also, Starfleet was never going to court-martial Janeway for all the questionable things she did during Voyager, because that TV series was on her side almost all the way. Totally should've been Nechayev on the screen though.

Janeway finishes with the line "The Son'a, the Borg, the Romulans... you seem to get all the easy assignments," which amuses me as it implies that the Enterprise has done pretty much nothing else worth mentioning since the end of the TV series. They were suspiciously absent during that whole Dominion War business three years ago.

Back in the science lab, actor Brent Spiner pulls double duty again as Data decides to upload his memory into his identical twin to help him grow past his limited mental development. But it doesn’t seem to work. Maybe he needs to put a hand on his face and say "Remember."

On the plus side, B-4 doesn’t use the high-ranking Starfleet command codes Data just put in his head to deactivate life support, lock out the computer, and deliver the ship to the Romulans either, so this isn’t the worst possible outcome.

The ship arrives at Romulus but it seems like the Romulans are out right now as they're getting no response to their hails. After 17 hours of silence, Picard finally decides to try recording an expository captain's log to see if that gets the plot moving again.

This gets the job done, as a giant spiky Romulan super-ship decloaks right in front of them!

She's got 52 disruptor banks, 27 photon torpedo bays, primary and secondary shields... basically, the super-advanced flagship of the Federation is the underdog again. Starfleet really needs to sort itself out because this keeps happening. Maybe they should try secretly building a scary black dreadnought of their own for a change.

Though we soon learn that it's actually a giant spiky Reman super-ship, when Ron Perlman Nosferatu calls them up on the big screen to reveal he's Shinzon's viceroy. Oh hey, they’ve got a proper viewscreen installed now, instead of that holographic one they projected in front of the wall back in First Contact. Looks nice.

I’m pretty sure this is the first (and possibly last) time we've gotten to meet the bat-looking Remans in Star Trek. They’re a slave race of the Romulans who mine dilithium on Romulus' neighbouring planet of Remus. You might be wondering why this alien race named their planets after the brothers who founded Rome on Earth, but I'm sure those are just the names the Feds know them by. Why the Remans called their new spiky super-ship the Scimitar , on the other hand, I have no bloody idea.

Anyway, the viceroy sends the Enterprise some transporter coordinates and then abruptly ends the transmission, so Picard decides to beam over with most of the senior staff and no security. The crew find themselves on board the Scimitar, and their diplomatic meeting takes a turn for creepy when the new Praetor of Romulus won’t turn the lights on and wants to touch Deanna’s hair.

Eventually though the lights come on to reveal that Praetor Shinzon is…

...a very skinny looking Tom Hardy of Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road and Inception fame! And he's wearing a ridiculous plastic-looking purple suit that makes him look like a bug-themed supervillain! The Romulans are legendarily bad at fashion design, that's canon, but the Remans have them beat this time.

I get the feeling this reveal was more for the characters’ benefit though than the viewers', as the crew immediately recognise him as... Young Picard! Just like the trailers foretold. Man, everyone’s getting twinned in this movie. Riker and Troi's marriage is going to get awkward if this continues.

Oh wait, Riker already has a duplicate doesn't he, and he did make things awkward! There's so much Star Trek out there that my poor brain keeps dropping bits of it.

Anyway, Shinzon claims he wants peace, so that's cool at least.

Later, down in the Senate (or Shinzon's new throne room by the look of it), some Romulan commanders are expressing their annoyance with him bringing the Enterprise over for tea when he should be invading the Federation. But he's a bit annoyed at them as well, on account of them keeping him as a slave for most of his life, so he basically says that they can piss off and be patient.

Though he stops Commander Donatra (played by Dina Meyer of Starship Troopers fame) on the way out to tell her to murder the other commander if he shows disloyalty. She starts getting all "What must a commander to prove herself faithful to you? What must a woman do?" on him, but he's clearly not into it due to his hatred of Romulans. Seems he doesn't like it much when people get all 'may I touch you' creepy back at him.

But on her way out she catches that he's secretly suffering in pain. So that'll be important later.

Meanwhile, B-4 is happily stroking Data's cat in the most orange room on the Enterprise, when he's suddenly switched to 'evil' and begins to hack into The Matrix! Or at least that's what it looks like on the computer screen. I suppose he doesn't really have to hack anything though, seeing as he's got all of Data's passwords.

Also if you look in the background you'll get a quick glimpse of Data's painting of Picard as Dixon Hill, which is cool.

Now Shinzon's having a private chat with Picard to explain his backstory, just the two of them... or just the one of them you could say (and he does).

Shinzon reveals that he was created by the Romulans as part of a plot to secretly replace Picard and get an agent... onto the USS Stargazer? I think that's what Picard was up to at the time. But the Romulans changed their mind and abandoned him in a dilithium mine when he was still a child. He then goes on to explain how he was raised by Ron Perlman's viceroy character, how a broken nose and jaw left him looking and sounding more like Dr. Evil, and so on. The baldness and shiny plastic suit are not explained.

He claims that everything he's done so far has been to liberate the Remans, so he's totally a good guy honest. Turns out that he wanted to meet with Picard like this because he wants to know his backstory. He's basically an orphan finally meeting his much older twin brother and he wants to know more about where he came from.

Picard eventually returns to the Enterprise and pulls out an old photo of himself as a cadet.

But it's turned into a photo of bald Tom Hardy instead! Shinzon keeps saying that his face looks different to Picard's due to his rough life in the mines, but nope that's clearly the same face.

Full marks to the production team for doing the research and not putting him in a Next Generation uniform, seeing as this photo would’ve have been taken 50 years ago, but I’m deducting points for him inexplicably having his head shaved when we know for a fact that he had hair in the academy. Did they not trust the viewers to know what balding is?

Speaking of trust, Picard really wants to believe Shinzon, but the Enterprise has found evidence of deadly Thalaron radiation (the type used to assassinate the Senate in the intro) and that’s a clear sign that he’s up to something.

With the cat out of the bag, Shinzon gets to work on being as much of a bastard as possible in the shortest amount of time, starting with a bit of long-range telepathic brain hacking. Apparently Remans can do that and the viceroy is willing to lend the gift to his adopted kid. He’s not going to use it to get a tactical advantage on the Enterprise though, nope he just wants to telepathically sleep with Deanna Troi.

Seriously, Troi goes to bed and is about have the first sex scene in Star Trek history when suddenly her husband transforms into Shinzon and then the viceroy! Kind of ruins the mood really, not to mention entirely freaking her out. It's her bloody honeymoon as well.

So how many times has this kind of crap happened to Troi now? She was impregnated by an alien in her sleep, driven nearly insane by a constant music box tune in her head, possessed by an alien, telepathically violated, possessed by an alien again, used as a living Dorian Gray picture, kidnapped and surgically altered to look Romulan, and psychically persuaded to commit suicide. Plus there were all those episodes where her mother visited the ship. Hasn't she suffered enough already?

Fortunately Shinzon doesn't have time to torment her for long, as his mysterious painful condition is accelerating. He had time to make the Enterprise wait for 17 hours earlier, but now he's in a rush!

So the Remans beam their android spy off of the Enterprise with all of the information he’s stolen stored in his memory. First Contact established that you can’t just hack into Data’s brain and take information out of it, but B-4 has a special memory port installed at the back of his neck, so it seems the writer actually took this into consideration. He probably even thought about how Shinzon got his hands on B-4 in the first place but that's never explained on screen.

And then Picard gets beamed out as well! Right in the middle of telling Deanna to suck it up and deal with Shinzon’s telepathic assaults. Seems to me that this is 1/8th of a good plan by Shinzon, as with the Enterprise's shields down he could’ve just beamed out the entire senior staff and seized the bridge (which has happened in Star Trek before). He could've just taken the flagship of the Federation here, but nope.

Riker gets the Enterprise’s shields up so there's no further risk of them all being transported into space for the lols, but the Scimitar cloaks so he can't beam the captain right back again.

With Picard in his custody, Shinzon decides to gloat a bit. He even quotes the Borg to annoy him, saying that “Resistance is futile.” I suppose those obvious bits of Borg ship attached to the wall behind them must be there to annoy him too.

He explains that B-4 was the bait he knew that Picard couldn't refuse. So as far as I can tell, what happened here is that the double of Picard just happened to come across a double of Data and then decided to bury him on a planet near the neutral zone that's also on the route from Earth to Betazed. This was part of his cunning plot to both make sure the Enterprise was the closest ship to Romulus when he phoned up Earth saying he wanted to be friends now, and to put a spy onboard who could hack into the Federation computer network. It's all very simple.

Shinzon's a bit sad though, as he feels like his life is meaningless as long as Picard's alive. While the original version of him is around, he's just an echo. But he's not just going to kill Picard, he's going to take down the entire Federation! Because he refuses to bow down to them as a slave.

Hang on, what? Where did that come from? Who said anything about the Federation enslaving anyone? Also, this guy's become praetor of one of the greatest empires in Star Trek, and he's still bothered that some starship captain is overshadowing him? Shouldn't that be the other way round? Picard's the one who has to deal with the fact that his clone has made it all the way to supreme overlord in his mid-twenties, while he's taking orders from a series lead two spin-offs down from him.

Fortunately once he's out the room, B-4's able to incapacitate the guard and get Picard out. He was Data in disguise the whole time!

Turns out that the Enterprise crew didn’t fall for the obvious trojan android trick and they used Data to feed the Remans false intel. He’s also brought a tiny prototype emergency transporter to get Picard back to the Enterprise, but Picard would rather find a way to get them both off the ship together. Probably because he knows that the Enterprise likely has her shields up right now (but also friendship and loyalty etc.)

Also, the idea of a biscuit-sized transporter that also transports itself is like... an 11 on the stupid scale. Step 1 in the transportation process involves taking the subject apart at the subatomic level, and once the transporter device is a cloud of atoms I don't think it'll be in any condition to handle step 2. Plus it's really tiny and transporters tend to be pretty big.

So they do the Star Wars thing instead and have Data escort Picard around the ship as a prisoner. Probably wasn't a great idea for them to invite comparison with Star Wars though, especially with it looking like this. The maze of identical hallways seems pretty well made, but they're not very convincing or interesting to look at. Plus the Reman’s thing is that they hate bright lights (on account of being miners in the darkest tunnels on the dark side of a planet), so it's hard to even see any of it. It's like I'm watching Doom again.

When Shinzon discovers Picard's broken out he actually seriously orders his viceroy to murder the hapless guard who was duped by Data. So now they’ll never know how he escaped and where they went wrong! Then the alarm goes off and our two heroes are caught in a shootout.

It lasts a minute or so in the film, but I edited it down to 14 seconds by cutting out all the scenes of Data running over to a console and pressing random buttons until the door opens.

One thing I like about this shootout is that there's plenty of shots which have the shooter and shootee in the same frame, tying together action and consequence instead of cutting between them. I can't think of many other things I like though.

I mean it's just Picard popping out of cover, firing off a few shots to kill a goon, then ducking back again to let a new guy run in to replace him. Over and over. Meanwhile the army of Remans, a race bred for war (and mining), can't hit shit! There’s sparks coming from the floor, sparks coming from the ceiling, but I don't see a scratch on that cover Picard's hiding behind. It kills all the tension, which would be fine if the gunfight was a fun progression of interesting events, but it's not.

Also, there's a really obvious painted set extension behind them and it seems like that wall wasn't built for Patrick Stewart to lean on it.

Oh great, Data got them into the shuttlebay, but there's more Borg panels on the walls in here! I like how Picard immediately seals the door shut with the Reman rifle though; makes a lot more sense than blasting the door controls.

I also thought the music suddenly got a lot more interesting as they slipped through the door to temporary safety. It's like they're trying to trick me into liking the scene, and I appreciate that. I like liking things, and I'd like to do it more often during this movie.

Unfortunately the Remans have put a forcefield up in front of the shuttlebay's outer door, preventing them from just flying out into space in one of the shuttles. This is a two-door shuttlebay, so now their only way out is back through the door they just sealed, and the squad of angry Remans standing behind it.

So they take a shuttle through the door and into the corridors! Sorry, I mean a ‘Scorpion-class attack flier’. Whatever it is, it gets the job done, and they fly out of a window into space, where the Enterprise can see them. The ship beams them aboard (I guess they must have flicked the shields off for a second) and then escapes from Romulus with another unspectacular warp effect.

You know what they should've done though? They should've flown that attack flier down to the ship's engineering room and crippled it before they left. I'm not saying destroy it necessarily, but Shinzon has a superior vessel, he's declared his intention to attack the Federation, and he kidnapped Picard and stuck a needle in him! He deserves to have his super-ship shut down, and it would've been a lot easier for Picard to do it from the inside now, than it will be doing it from the outside later.

The Romulan commanders haven't gotten any less sick of Shinzon’s inaction throughout this debacle, but he assures them that the Enterprise won’t make it out of the neutral zone, and Earth will be wiped out in two days.

But Dina Meyer speaks to her boss, telling him that Shinzon’s not going heading out to conquer Earth, he’s going to murder everyone there, and this gives the guy second thoughts. He’s going to throw a fit if the Federation isn’t utterly crippled before the end of the week, but he doesn't want to use a genocide device on them. Even he isn’t that much of a monster.

Why is Shinzon so obsessed with the Federation anyway? My theory is that it's because there's a giant map on the floor right in front of his throne showing the border between their territory. How is he supposed to think about anything else when there's all that blue space on the floor, taunting him? It looks like the design might be a homage to the map we see in Balance of Terror, the episode that first introduced that Romulans, so I'm choosing to believe that's what it is.

On the Enterprise, Dr. Crusher reveals that she's figured out what's up with Shinzon. The reason he looks much younger than Picard, despite being created to replace him, is because his accelerated ageing was never activated. There are many upsides to not skipping decades of your life, but the drawback is that it's started killing him, and the only cure is a full transfusion from original Picard.

So that explains why Shinzon kidnapped him and started drawing blood earlier! It doesn't explain why he left the Enterprise orbiting Romulus for a full 17 hours before contacting them. I can get why he'd waste precious minutes of his life chatting to Picard over dinner, or mind-screwing Troi, because he's intensely curious and immensely messed up after spending his childhood in a mine surrounded by Nosferatus and folks with whips. But when you have hours left to live you should probably move ‘get cured’ up on the timetable.

Anyway, the Enterprise is heading to rendezvous with a Starfleet fleet, in the hopes that Shinzon will try to grab Picard again instead of going straight to Earth, seeing as he kind of has to if he wants to not die.

Then we get a montage of the crew handing out guns and readying the ship for battle, with a captain's log speech over the top. The scene just doesn’t work for me though, which is weird as Wrath of Khan did the same thing to great effect. I think it's because the film hasn't earned how seriously they're taking this. It's been all dune buggies, corridor shootouts and supervillain Shinzon in his shiny suit so far. This dumb-ass movie needs to do a lot better before it gets to have a Patrick Stewart speech.

Though the scene does at least show off the improved phaser props, with shiny metallic bits all over them and cases that can open to reveal glowing bits inside. If there’s one thing I can credit the director with, it’s insisting that they make the weapons look better.

And if there’s one thing I can accuse the director of, it’s not using a take where the wall didn’t wobble when he took the guns off it. Wobbling sets take me out of the scene worse than a bad backdrop!

The film catches up to Riker and Geordi checking their route down in the mysterious computer screen room. Nah, I'm joking, it's Picard and Data again. It's always Picard and Data.

This reminds me a bit of the stellar cartography scene in Star Trek: Generations, which has the same characters and similar placement in the film (but a much more impressive set). This time though it's Data giving advice to Picard. He explains that B-4 and Shinzon aren't like them because they don't aspire to improve themselves. Shinzon's as reckless and ambitious as Picard was in his youth, but Picard grew out of that, and Data learned not to interrupt a best man speech to quote Starfleet regulations. Well until the movies anyway.

The screen starts getting interference as they enter the Phazon Rift, but that's nothing to be concerned about as the data is apparently being broadcast from Starfleet. I guess it makes sense that they wouldn’t know the positions of the other ships in Battle Group Omega while they're so far away. It makes less sense that they DIDN’T THINK TO GO AROUND THE GREEN CLOUD THAT CUTS OUT COMMUNICATIONS. Green is the Romulans' colour, that’s a dead giveaway!

Turns out that Shinzon was right behind their ship the whole time, just waiting for the right moment to open fire and take out their warp engines. Because of course the Scimitar can fire when cloaked! She's a prototype super-ship, they can do everything!

This ship was designed and built in secret by dilithium miner slaves and is somehow much bigger than the Enterprise, far more powerful, impossible to detect, and has the power to wipe out all life on Earth in one shot. Meanwhile, the best that the greatest minds of the 150+ worlds in the United Federation of Planets have been able to come up with is the USS Eternal Underdog.

The Enterprise is blasted out of warp in the middle of the green, and the crew find themselves up against an enemy that they can't escape, can't outfight, and can't even see, and there's no calling for help. Can't wait for the deus ex machina that explains how they get out of this one!

Picard orders Worf to press the button that fires off phasers in all directions, so that they can launch quantum photon torpedoes when they detect a point of impact.

That... is actually a damn good idea, especially considering that the Scimitar has no shields when it's cloaked! Shame it doesn't work, as the ship just moves out of the way of the torpedoes

Shinzon, on the other hand, can't really miss the Enterprise and the ship's top shield starts flashing red.

The movie does a lot of things wrong, but have to give it praise for actually showing what's up with the Enterprise's shields instead of having someone yell 'shields down to 15%' or whatever. It's a lot easier to visualise what's going on where there's a visual.

Plus there ain't much Picard would be able to do about percentages getting lower, but here he's able to roll his ship to the side, putting a stronger shield in between them and the Scimitar. And we understand that's what he's doing without it being spelled out in dialogue.

Then we get a lull in the battle so that holographic Shinzon can have another chat with Picard.

Long range holographic transmitters are a new technology we’ve never seen before and never will again, because when you think about it, they can win every single fight. Just project fake readings onto the controls to confuse the crew, or project buckets over their heads. Project Lwaxana Troi or Q and you've got Picard utterly distracted. The holograms can’t actually do anything, they have no physical presence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t disable a ship with them.

Anyway, Shinzon wants to talk Picard into surrendering, Picard tries to talk him becoming a better man, and neither of them get anywhere. Though there's one thing that stood out to me in the conversation, and that's Picard telling Shinzon that they have the same heart. There's only one episode in all of Next Gen that shows what Picard was like when he was Shinzon's age and it's all about him getting stabbed through the heart and needing an artificial replacement!

I wouldn’t expect John Logan to have gone through all 179 episodes as research, but if I was the scriptwriter that one probably would've made it to the top of my rewatch pile, just above the ones with Data's evil brother or the Romulans in them. Also I probably would've brought back Sela or Tomalak, because why not? Andreas Katsulas was still around and acting at the time.

Suddenly two Romulan ships with really thin wings decloak! Seriously, these are some ridiculous thin wings; everyone inside must have to walk around hunched over. This would’ve been a great moment for the iconic Warbird from the TV series to finally make its movie debut, with a brand new super-detailed model, but nope someone wanted a new design so we get these things instead.

Though one thing I've never noticed until now is that the two ships are different colours. Sucks for the crew who was assigned to the brown ship.

Anyway this is actually good news for the Enterprise crew, as the ships are commanded by Donatra, who's come to help him stop Shinzon on account of him being a murderous creep who’d rather creep around doing creepy things in the dark than invade the Federation. Plus the military has come to realise that having a racist who hates Romulans in charge of Romulus is actually a terrible idea.

So now we get a series of similar shots of the three ships swooping around, triangulating their attacks on any shield impacts.

Wait, did he say shield impacts? The Scimitar can fire and have shields raised while cloaked? This thing is the most absurdly overpowered thing in all of Star Trek! Well except for V’Ger in The Motion Picture, and the Whale Probe in Star Trek IV, and the Borg Cube in First Contact, and... actually I really shouldn't spoil the later movies.

It might have worked better if they'd treated the Scimitar more like a carrier and had those Scorpion Attack Fliers as the threat, but I doubt that was ever going to happen. The writer apparently wanted the battle to be fought with a fleet of vessels, but they decided it'd be too expensive to pull off.

Hang on, Deep Space Nine had giant battles between fleets a whole bunch of times on a TV budget!

I guess they had to save their pennies to build Shinzon's needlessly gigantic bridge. I've seen a lot of sci-fi command centres pull off the two-level look, but this is just daft.

Anyway, Shinzon takes out the two Warbirds quickly enough, leaving the Enterprise on her own again. I'm still a little confused about how he disabled Donatra's Warbird though. I mean I get that he dropped his cloak a little to lure them in, then slammed on the breaks shoot them in the ass as they overshot, but I don't understand how his crew managed to press all the necessary buttons with their giant fingernails:

They're gross and impractical!

The Enterprise is not in a great situation right now, but they do have a secret weapon...

Troi reveals that the telepathic rape scene earlier did kind of have a point to it, as she can reverse hack the viceroy's brain somehow and use the (2D) map on the tactical console like a ouija board to locate the Scimitar telepathically! I’m not sure how this helps them all that much as they were getting loads of hits in just a minute ago and they were still outmatched with three ships, but it's nice that she's able to turn the tables on them.

Not sure they should’ve gone with the obvious strip of light across the eye there though, it’s kind of cheesy (especially when she moves her head down and ends up with a dramatically lit fringe instead). Plus it would seem a lot more triumphant if she wasn't about to cry.

And the Scimitar gets hit by a whole lot of photon quantum torpedoes!

Shinzon retaliates by sending a boarding party through the Enterprise’s weakened shields to deck 29 to kidnap Picard again. Hang on, First Contact established that the Enterprise only has 24 or 26 decks, depending on which character you believe. Did they add a few more just for this movie? The Enterprise crew realise what's up when the intruder alarm goes off, so Worf and Riker run down to deal with the situation personally. I’m sure the first officer and tactical officer were basically just twiddling their thumbs all this time anyway.

A no-name officer comes over to take over the tactical station and fire the ship’s weapons, and for a second I was sure he was The Orville's producer, Seth MacFarlane. I don’t know why, he doesn’t look like him, I think my brain is just broken. He's not Star Trek: Discovery creator Bryan Fuller either.

He’s actually X-Men director Bryan Singer! Unlike the other two, he never managed to get his own Star Trek series off the ground, but he did get to appear in Star Trek: Nemesis, which is a fine runner-up prize.

Data takes over the first officer’s station, so I guess he’ll be too busy sitting next to the captain and doing nothing to technobabble them out of this one.

We finally get a grin out of miserable old Worf here, as he mentions to Riker that "The Romulans fought with honour." A bit of an odd thing for someone to say out of nowhere as he's heading down to deal with a boarding party, especially as it's coming from a guy who once refused to give a Romulan a lifesaving blood transfusion just because he hated his entire race that bad. Such a terrible terrible pointless line.

Riker's security team continues their leisurely stroll around deck 29, but it's interrupted when they run into the Reman boarding party coming the other way. This means we get another corridor shootout in the dark! Hey guys, try holding the rifles up to your eyes so you can aim down the sights.

The viceroy clearly wasn't expecting to encounter actual resistance, so he jumps through a tube down to sinister moody deck 30, where the lighting is even darker. Riker figures that this is a job for the first officer and dives in after him for a bit of a fistfight. Maybe Troi told him that the guy who got into her head looked like a cross between a bat and Ron Perlman, and now he's after revenge.

You know I keep forgetting that Shinzon's viceroy is played by Ron Perlman. The guy is utterly wasted in this movie. And this whole piece of the movie is a waste of everyone's time. I read somewhere that the film was cut to the bone to turn it into a streamlined action movie. They probably should've cut the boarding party scenes entirely.

No, don't target the bridge, that's where Picard is you idiot!

Who knew that this tiny room had enough air in it to lift people in the air like that? Well only the stunt actors really, as Picard's fine just sitting on his chair. I guess Wesley Crusher should be glad that he wasn't invited to the Betazoid wedding, as that could've been him flying out into space. Should've been Data though, seeing as he'll be jumping out there in a bit anyway.

So now the Enterprise has a window at the front of the bridge instead of a TV, paving the way for all other Trek ships that followed it. Shame we can't actually see the ship's hull through it.

Things seem bad, but they're about to get worse as Deanna Troi takes the helm! Though this is actually Deanna Troi's stunt double here, because I couldn't get a good shot of Marina Sirtis in the seat.

Last time Troi took the helm of an Enterprise it was because Riker got it all shot up by a tiny outdated Bird of Prey and she had to put it down, and things seem similarly bleak here. Shinzon calls up asking Picard if he’s rethought that surrender idea yet, but Picard types a secret message to Troi and then cuts him off. He could have just told Troi what to do after cutting him off, but he felt like being sneaky.

And so Troi drives the Enterprise straight into the front of Scimitar! People are always threatening to go to ramming speed and drive their ships into things, so it's nice that it's actually happened for once.

Though I'm sure I saw a glimpse of a lounge getting wrecked during that sequence of destruction. Damn, I think they just flattened Guinan! Seems that Picard should've actually been sending his secret text message to the people at the front of the ship, telling them to get their asses to the back.

I mentioned earlier that they'd phased out physical models entirely by this point, but that's not entirely true as they built a giant model of the saucer to show it smashing through the Scimitar. Seems like it's superior in every respect except hull strength. Also they placed the bridge set on a gimbal so they could knock it around during the action more convincingly, and you can really see that here. Sorry Justin Lin, but Star Trek Beyond wasn't the first Trek movie to do that.

Meanwhile that fight between Riker and the viceroy's still going on, with Riker tearing some fibre optic cables out of the wall to use as a crucifix to ward him away. I was just joking about the Nosferatu thing earlier, but now I'm starting to wonder if it was deliberate.

The viceroy doesn't much like this tiny bit of light in his eyes, so he charges at Riker and knocks him through another hatch in the wall leading downwards. Which puts them at deck... 31 now I think. They land on a metal walkway over a bottomless pit, but unfortunately the bolts keeping it fastened on were made out of cheap modern day metals, as a joke, and they snap instantly.

People accuse the movie of ripping off Wrath of Khan, but Riker's totally pulling a Search for Spock "I... have had... enough of YOU!" Kirk kick move there. Except when Kirk did it he was kicking Christopher Lloyd into lava on an exploding planet.... and people say that Search for Spock's one of the bad films.

So how many decks do you reckon he fell just then? To be fair, Riker and Worf were really taking their time when they were walking down corridors earlier, so I imagine that the Remans probably made it up to deck 5 or something before being intercepted.

With the ships thoroughly smashed, both captains activate their doomsday weapons, but the Enterprise auto-destruct fails, so only Shinzon’s Thalaron thing is counting down. Picard does the heroic thing and orders his crew to abandon ship, then shoots the warp core with a phaser to destroy the ship.

Actually he doesn’t do that, because it would work and end the movie. Instead he beams over to the Scimitar alone in an attempt to singlehandedly take over the entire vessel and stop the Thalaron device. The bridge console used to activate the transporter sparks a bit afterwards so Geordi assumes the transporters are down. Shame he didn't think to bring that prototype transporter device with him!

Data’s not having that though, so he goes to a corridor at the broken front edge of the ship and takes a running leap at the Scimitar! This movie is turning into fan fiction right now as the writer puts in all the cool things he’s always wanted to see in Star Trek, but hey at least we’re getting some new ideas on screen!

One thing that isn’t a new idea is a crippled Enterprise futilely trying to back away from a superweapon in a colourful part of space while the science officer chooses to sacrifice himself to prevent its destruction. We’re going really full Wrath of Khan here.

Though there's a big difference between this and Wrath of Khan: beaming over isn't futile, and they've got plenty of working transporters on the shuttles. Or they could just fly a full security force over to the Scimitar on them! They can even bring a dune buggy if they want.

But they don't take the shuttles, so Picard has to take over the Scimitar singlehandedly. Which he does! I guess this is the part that Patrick Stewart contributed to the script himself. Or maybe he contributed it to Insurrection's script and then they just copy and pasted 'Picard beams onto the enemy ship with a rifle to stop the countdown and save the day' into this one too.

All that’s left now is a fight between Picard and a dying Shinzon as the timer ticks down and the ship arms the weapon by folding open in an incredibly unnecessary way.

Cornered, Picard stakes the Vampire King through the chest with a bit of his own spaceship. Now he'll need an artificial heart too! Unfortunately, the director seems not to have noticed that the prop slips down an inch mid-impalement, ruining the effect.

Shinzon then pulls himself down the spear to get right into Picard's face, because he's creepy and weird.

This is the point that Data finally makes his way onto the bridge, finding Shinzon dead, Picard frozen in shock and the Thalaron generator building up to wipe out all life on their ship. Seriously, they put the thing on their bridge.

He sees that Picard's totally shut down after murdering his dumbass clone and uses the tiny transporter to beam him home without discussion, proving that it really is a transporter in a box, not a pattern enhancer for the Enterprise's transporters ('cause they broken right now). Then he shoots the generator at point-blank range with his phaser, blowing up the entire ship and himself along with it. So that was pretty abrupt. Poor Data, he was just one day away from becoming first officer.

And everyone on the bridge is really sad. But hey Donatra phones up and offers her help, so at least she's still alive.

Then the film continues with another depressing scene where the crew gather to remembers Data, followed by a happier scene where Picard wishes Riker luck in his new job, and then there's this scene where he tries to talk about Data and his quest to be human with B-4.

The poor dumb robot doesn’t understand, but he does start singing a line from the Irving Berlin song Data sung at Riker’s wedding. So the memory transfer did work, to a degree. Now they're all set for Star Trek XI: The Search for Data.

But the movie utterly and conclusively bombed, so this was the last we ever saw and likely ever will see of these actors in these roles. Well, aside from Riker and Troi, but it's best not to think about that.

It's a shame how all their advanced 2002-era CGI couldn't make this shot of the ship being repaired in drydock as impressive as the first glimpse of the refitted Enterprise back in The Motion Picture. Though it's cool how the 10 Prime Universe Star Trek movies are kind of bookended with a similar shot of the hero ship. It's also how Generations started now that I think about it, so it bookends the Next Gen movies too.

I'm not sure exactly why the illuminated windows are being installed before the hull around them, but then I’m not a starship engineer.


CONCLUSION

When I typed the word 'Nemesis' into Google, it brought up the definition: "the inescapable agent of someone's or something's downfall." So it's fitting really that Nemesis killed the future of Star Trek.

I don't mean it killed the franchise, as Enterprise kept Trekking for 61 more episodes (though it certainly ended the Trek movies for 7 years), I mean it put a full stop on the continuity. In the 15 years since this film, we've only had a mind meld glimpse of what definitely happens next in this universe. Every live action story released since Nemesis has been a prequel set before the Original Series. This far, no further.

We could've had DS9 movies or Voyager movies, or Paramount could've gone crazy and introduced a new movie crew with a more manageable number of characters, but nope! Now everyone's trying to create their own cinematic universe, while Trek had one and threw it away due to 'franchise fatigue'. Despite the reviews, it seems like the studio didn't consider it to be a bad movie, just a franchise with a bored audience... though I did notice that it was the last film Stuart Baird ever got to direct.

I can see a few problems with the movie, but the most obvious one is that it's a dark miserable story about child slavery, mind rape, shootouts in gloomy hallways, and Data dying... and yet it's also a film about a clone of Picard with veins all over his face and a goofy costume flying his giant invincible super-ship over to Earth to kill everyone for no good reason. Just as soon as he's kidnapped Picard again and drained his blood, that is. It's too ridiculous to be taken seriously and too serious to be fun. And every time the film threatened to get good, like during the space battle in the last act, it'd cut back to Shinzon in that makeup on his ridiculous two-story bridge in the dark and spoil it. Or Riker fighting Nosferatu Ron Perlman... also in the dark.

I'm fine with Star Trek films having action scenes and flashy visual effects, I like action movies, but that doesn't give them a free pass from needing to have a good engaging story. Plus it means that they have to be judged in comparison to other films that are sold on action and spectacle, and Nemesis' filmmakers didn't demonstrate enough creativity or ambition to deliver action scenes that could compete with a bad Bond movie like Die Another Day or a mediocre Star Wars film like Attack of the Clones, never mind Chamber of Secrets and The Two Towers. There's nothing wonderous or imaginative in this movie, the creativity is limited to turning the lights down and putting more weapons onto stuff, and all the spectacle comes from those weapons blowing shit up.

It does slow down at times to force Picard to confront his concept of who he really is as a person and what he could've become with a different upbringing, but it never really goes any deeper than 'would you really have turned into a Bond villain in a plastic costume if you were raised in a mine, getting whipped every day?' Apparently there was 50 minutes of footage cut that would've added more character moments, but somehow I don't think a director's cut would've saved this movie. Plus they wrote a story where Picard fights his identical clone and they didn't cast Patrick Stewart as the clone? What the hell? They could've at least got him to dub Tom Hardy's voice!

A lot of fans weren't impressed with how far Captain Picard has strayed from the thoughtful, professional, occasionally grumpy diplomat of the series, but I like that he's been allowed to grow and change. All Good Things had him become friendlier with his crew, Generations had him confront mortality and taught him to appreciate being a captain, First Contact brought out his inner John MacClaine, and Insurrection had him learning to take time to enjoy himself. He's been on a journey to becoming fun dune buggy Picard all this time. And here he comes face to face with his younger self (again) and realises that he really did need to have a spiky thing shoved through his heart in order to get over himself and grow up.

It's the other characters that bother me. Data's lost his emotions entirely now, all Troi gets to do is cry, LaForge... wait, was LaForge even in this movie? Did they accidentally leave him and Dr. Crusher behind at the wedding? And then there’s Worf, who can never escape this bloody ship no matter how hard he tries! He took a new position on Deep Space Nine, he was commanding the Defiant, he became an ambassador on the Klingon homeworld, but every time he just ended up right back on the Enterprise. And he’s miserable because of it. I suppose I should be grateful that they at least acknowledged that he switched from yellow to red.

Did I mention yet that Shinzon's plan is kind of dumb? And I'm not just talking about the 'find an identical clone of Data, use it to lure Picard over to Romulus and then wait hours to get really sick before doing anything' part. For someone with a creepy fascination with Earth women, he sure is in a rush to eradicate all life on the planet for no good reason. Is he after the Picard family vineyard or something? What is motivating him to do this thing that not even the Romulans want him to do and the Remans surely don't give a shit about either way?

My final verdict on Nemesis is... it's an alright film. I didn't hate it! But as a conclusion to Star Trek: The Next Generation it's pretty terrible compared to All Good Things. Anyway, happy 30th anniversary Next Gen!

Strange new worlds explored: One, Kolarus III.
New life discovered: Yep, the folks on Kolarus III. Then our heroes shot up their cars with a phaser turret.
New civilisations discovered: I'm not sure killing some people out in a wasteland counts as meeting a new civilisation.
Boldly gone where no one has gone before: Kolarus III. Though the Remans had been there first.
Other ships in range: Nope.



COMING SOON
No more Star Trek movies for a long while I'm afraid. But next on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm writing about The Orville's fourth episode If the Stars Should Appear... or maybe Discovery's third episode Context is for Kings. Or maybe I'll skip them and just write about Babylon 5's GROPOS. I don't even know anymore.

Comments are good, you should leave me one. Share your thoughts!

5 comments:

  1. For a long time, this was the only Star Trek film I owned. I have no idea why. I no longer own it.

    It's not an awful film, but it is a massive disappointment. TNG was always a bit naff, but that is part of its charm; the TNG films seemed to over-emphasise the naff and forgot the charm. I think if there was "franchise fatigue", it was the producers that had it the worst.

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  2. Ugh, so all the transporters were down? Seriously? Every single one? Including the pads in the cargo holds and the transporters on the shuttlecrafts?
    Also, this movie would have been so much better if Patrick Stewart played Shinzon also.

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  3. I can't argue with the fact that Star Trek Nemesis has some major flaws to it (for example: they credit Wesley's appearance in the movie, but they almost completely cut out all of the scenes that he appears in, whereas all of the scenes in which Guinan appears in, including dialogue scenes, stay in the movie, but her appearance in the movie doesn't, I repeat, DOES NOT, get credited. What is wrong that picture?), but those flaws are not enough for me to not want to see the movie more than once, nor not own a copy of the movie. Because it would take more than major flaws to turn me off to any movies and TV shows in any franchise that I like, including Star Trek (and, believe me, the general look of the Klingons in Star Trek Discovery is one of the worst flaws, if not THE worst, in the Star Trek franchise. They don't anything like how the Klingons should look. In fact they look more like Japanese Oni demons than Klingons).

    Anyway, I don't think that "franchise fatigue" is the reason for so many flaws in Star Trek Nemesis. I think that the real reason is that the writer and the director (and possibly the producers as well) had no idea how to make Star Trek Nemesis a great movie, especially in the box office. Top that off with a release date that puts it directly up against other major motion picture competition, it's no surprise why it did not perform very well. The movie should have had a second major writer, one who knows "Star Trek", and would have seamlessly filled in most, if not all, of the plot holes in the movie. The movie should have also had either a different director (who has directed "Star Trek" projects before) or a second director who knows "Star Trek". I read that the director for Star Trek Nemesis didn't do any kind of research on anything "Star Trek" related that would have made Star Trek Nemesis a better movie than it turned out to be. I'm also disappointed that the movie had such poor performance in the box office because I wanted Paramount to do a "Star Trek" movie with Seven Of Nine in it (for the right reasons that would make her appearance appropriate, and not because of a contract dispute between Paramount and other "Star Trek" actors, which I had read was an issue with this movie).

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    1. It's funny looking back at the Trek films now that we're in the age where everyone's trying to set up their own Marvel-style cinematic universe. If Paramount knew what they know now, we could've had 'Nemesis', a Voyager movie and a DS9 movie coming out in the same year. We could've even had 'Wesley Crusher: A Star Trek Story', or 'Wolf 359', or that bloody Starfleet Academy film they keep threatening to make.

      But nope, a bad film did badly so we didn't get another Trek movie until 2009. Though on the plus side, the long break did help Paramount get over their 'giving a damn' fatigue, as the J.J. Abrams movie actually had a blockbuster budget and a talented director who cared enough to do the research. Which helped.

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