In the midst of my "ongoing mission" to watch all of my Star Trek DVDs in order of production, I had finished off The Next Generation, was in the third season of Deep Space Nine, and was apparently so focused on gearing up to start in on Voyager (yes, I've been interspersing them just like the series had originally overlapped), that I almost completely forgot about the 1994 feature film, Star Trek Generations. That surprised me, since I've always loved that movie, despite the fact that it served as a further reminder that my beloved crew's TV voyages were a thing of the past. I'll admit that my attachment to it may partly stem from the fact that there was nothing else to do in the podunk town I was living in at the time than to go see it at the theatre each weekend ... plus you might recall that I have something of a soft spot for movies that are not highly thought of by anyone else. Hey, Generations may not be a perfect movie, but it's a sentimental favorite of mine.
Why is Generations looked down upon so harshly? Okay, maybe it doesn't have as strong or choesive a story as most other Trek features, but it's not completely devoid of plot like some amateur critics (including the loudly opinionated woman at the Trek convention I went to shortly afterward) claim it to be. And perhaps the destruction of the Enterprise-D was none-too-gracefully shoved into the story, but in a way it did go along with the overall "love, loss, and mortality" theme of the film. But by far the biggest gripe about the movie, at least from old-school Trek fans, had to do with the way that Kirk died (or, depending on who you ask, the mere fact that he even died at all). They say he was treated shabbily and that his death wasn't heroic. "The man who beat the Kobayashi Maru and defeated the Gorn on Cestus III got killed by falling off a rickety old bridge!?!?!"
Maybe it's just the fact that I'm more a fan of TNG than TOS, but to me that sounds like plain old whining. First of all, forget the circumstance of a busted bridge being his undoing; the simple fact is that not everyone can have a graceful death. Secondly, anyone who says his death wasn't heroic obviously wasn't paying attention. Besides, in a way, Kirk "died" twice in the movie, each time heroic: at the beginning, he marched down into the bowels of the ship and put himself in harm's way to save the Enterprise-B and everyone on board; and at the end he gave his all to save not just the crew of the Enterprise-D, but all the 230 million inhabitants of a neighboring planet!! Not only that, but in between he opened up a can of whoop-ass on Soran in one of those good old-fashioned fistfights of his.
I could keep going on and on in defense of Star Trek Generations -- I also liked the humor in it, and the music was pretty good, too -- but I'll have mercy on you and stop here. But in "commemoration" of this movie, I thought I'd share with you one of the most curious pieces of Trek memorabilia in my collection, which just so happens to have been released in conjunction with that very movie. It was a promotional CD-single of a cute little techno-esque tune entitled "Make It So". A pen-pal from Central America sent me the music video on a VHS tape back in the day, and it was kind-of cool (how I wish it'd been included on this disc!), so I know it was popular down there, as well as in Europe, where the CD was produced. Its connection to Generations is questionable -- the music is a remix of the TNG theme rather than Dennis McCarthy's music from the movie, and the sample of Patrick Stewart saying "Make It So" isn't from the movie either -- but, nevertheless, it's a fun little ditty. Enjoy! (Click here for the song, and click the cover image below to enlarge it.)
5 years ago