This was to be the bridge, no pun intended, movie that brought old and Next Generation trek together on the big screen. It opens with a gala opening of the Enterprise, NCC-1701-B, and three original crew members are attending. Pavel Checkov (William Koenig), Montgomery Scott (James Doohan), and Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) are here to see the newest ship to carry the legendary name off on her maiden voyage. Capt. John Harriman (Alan Ruck) and his crew are taking this new ship out for a little test drive, as not all the parts have been installed yet, and they are running her with a sub-skeleton crew. As usual, nothing ever goes as planned, and the new Enterprise is on her way to help out a ship in distress. The two ships they come to aid are caught in the grips of some kind of energy ribbon, and the ribbon is tearing these ships up. One ship is destroyed and the Enterprise crew is able to beam 40 plus El-Aurians from the other before it is destroyed, too, and Kirk passes on in the rescue. One of the El-Aurians keeps saying he needs to go back to the other ship, over and over, very insistently. The Enterprise crew finds him to be hysterical in view of the recent events, and sedates him. This instant El-Aurian is Soran (Malcom McDowell), a man with an agenda. He lured that energy ribbon to the ships in the hopes that it would take him to a place of El-Aurian legend, the Nexus.
Nearly eight decades later, we are on the holodeck of the Enterprise-D to celebrate the promotion of Worf to Lt. Commander, and they get a distress call from an observatory, and again this same El-Aurian is rescued from the energy ribbon that about killed him before. He is insistant about going back to the observatory to finish an experiment where the timing was critical, but he is refused, because Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) feels it is unsafe for anyone to go back. Meanwhile, Commander Data (Brent Spiner) has finally put in an emotion chip, and is having doubts about this new more human side of him, which the film tends to focus on a bit too much at times. Soran is still up to his games, and promises the Klingons a new kind of energy source, trilithium, that will give them an edge in taking back their empire, so long as they take care of the meddling Federation members that keep slowing him down on his personal mission. This Trek movie has more twists and turns than an steel rollercoaster at King’s Island. Soran is bound to get into the Nexus, no matter what or whom he has to destroy to get into it.
The Nexus is a place where time does not matter, and one can live inside his or her personal happiness forever, no matter if it was part of their past, or from daydreams. Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) tells Picard that to prevent the energy ribbon from destroying the planetary system that Soran has lured it to, he has to get into the Nexus itself and find Kirk, because he is not dead, but trapped in it, too. When Picard meets Kirk, Picard finds that Kirk doesn’t really mind being there, but that he has to come back with him to stop Soran from destroying the system again.
There was great cinematography and effects used in this movie, and, unlike with the movies before it, we were not subjected to having to deal with newcomer actresses that played their roles badly. The storyline itself needed more polish, and Data’s emotional turmoil was played up way too much, but I did enjoy the reunion scene with his cat, Spot, the end. This is a great diversion for those who like the show, but aren’t obsessed with it, or try to analyze it too much. I know the die-hard Trek fans tore it up back in the day, but for one who takes it for what it is, it’s not that bad, but it could have been better.
I give this film a Musing review of