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At The Movies
Star Trek: Generations (The Last Word -- I'm Deeply Indebted Captain) By now those of you who've wanted to see Star Trek: Generations have done so. Thus, there should be no problems for me discussing it. If, there is someone who hasn't seen it who still wants to, you may as well skip this section so I don't ruin anything for you.
I saw the movie a few days ago, when it premiered, and wanted to write about it right away. But, I figured if I gave it a few days to sink in, my perspective wouldn't be biased.
I felt that William Shatner put in the best performance of his entire Kirk career. The Captain Kirk I saw on-screen was a calm, serious, serene, non-hamming, contemplative Kirk. It seemed that Kirk had finally, after 6 movies, realized that he was indeed old, and came to grips with that fact. He stole every scene he was in, bringing a calming presence to everything he was involved in. I couldn't believe my eyes.
Like everyone else, I'd heard that Captain Kirk was slated to die. I'd also heard that the preview audiences weren't happy with it and rumours abounded that Bill asked for the scene to be reshot so that he ended up being alive.
As the movie progressed, I kept wishing that the latter was true, and that Kirk would live. Especially since I found that after Kirk's "written death" aboard the NCC-1701-B, the movie seemed to slow down. The first scene with the Next Generation crew was interesting. But after that, things went downhill. I admit to some fantastic scenes such as when Captain Picard breaks down to Deanna and reveals that his brother and nephew were dead. Also, during his time in the Nexus, when we are shown his heart's desire, the family he always wanted, that was another heartwarming scene. But when Captain Kirk came back on-screen, he was in command.
I almost nodded off a couple of times during the Next Generation sequences. It couldn't be helped. The silliness of Data with his emotion chip wasn't funny. Most of the other scenes were easily forgettable. Only Kirk stood out. And here he was, slated to die.
When it seemed that the death was inevitable, I too had to accept it. Grudgingly. I felt that after all Kirk did for the Universe, he deserved to be happy. He deserved some kind of reward. Dying alone without a real on-screen funeral felt wrong. I felt our Captain Horatio Hornblower of the Stars should have gone on galaxy-hopping forever, as unrealistic as that sounds. Considering how long Dr. McCoy lived, Kirk had quite a number of years left.
But now, the point is moot. Captain Kirk is dead. The man I grew up watching and admiring has fallen victim to the inevitable fate we all must one day face. I don't know how different my life would have been without Star Trek, but I can easily guarantee that it would have been quite different than it is now.
Captain Kirk turned me on to Science Fiction. When Trek was ported over to novel format, I was there to read them. I was introduced to quite a number of authors I would later discover in their own worlds. Trek's success helped pave the way for future science fiction shows and more novels. Without Trek, I wouldn't have half the books in my collection that I currently have. He has helped to expand my horizons just as Starfleet expanded their borders, and for that alone, I'm deeply indebted Captain. And deeply sad to see you go. I'm glad I can always relive the thrills and joys through video. You're right, my friend. It was fun.
As for the Star Trek phenomena, well, Voyager is still an unknown right now (November 94) and Deep Space Nine is simply not as powerful as Next Generation was. But what does Next Generation have to offer the movie-going audience? This movie had so many things happen, that it makes me wonder what they'll do to top it. Picard loses his brother and nephew. Worf is promoted. We learn that Guinan is haunted by her time in the Nexus. The Enterprise is destroyed. Lursa and Betor are dead, thus the Klingon high council can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they don't have much to worry about from the house of Duras any more. Data has emotions. What else is there? The Dominion? No, they belong to DS9. Q? Not exactly worthy of a movie. The Borg? Maybe, but it doesn't excite me any more. Especially after the last couple of Borg episodes. The Slug Federation Conspiracy? Well, that has possibilities. At any rate, I don't feel I'll desperately try to see it on its opening day... Without Kirk, that appeal just isn't there for me.
(At The Movies (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)
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