Okay thereís this space and itís like the final frontier and thereís this
ship, which is always boldly going where no man or one had like gone before.
Which is like called the Enterprise, mark E or F or Z or something. By
this point, itís hard to remember.
Even numbered Trek movies = a good time.
Okay, so Iím a big time Trek fan. I used to watch the faint fuzzy snowy
broadcasts of the original because it was the only Trek around.
Now thirty years later, thereís a world of Trek to be had. The original
cast long ago stopped making movies, making movies. Now we move into possibly
the last Next Generation movie.
This would be a good place to end. On one hand, the movie has a number
of flaws. Why exactly do Data, Picard and Worf go down to the planet to
do a bit of dune buggying? No idea. Donít care. Those are my three favorite
characters in that order. There are a number of instances where characters
seem to forget stuff that happened previously in the series, in the movies,
It made me practically nostalgic. Trek, in general, was never very good
on the whole group memory thing. Many episodes came with a great big reset
Itís one of those odd things that if I donít love a story, Iíll tear
it to shreds for the slightest flaws. But where my affections are won,
well, all I ask for is heart.
This movie is full of heart. Or rather spirit. Nemesis manages to capture
the essential truth at the heart of the Trek saga, that we can strive to
be better than we are. That we donít blow ourselves up. That there is a
future and it is not a distopian hell. The future is both bright and shiny.
Now from here Iíll digress into analysis and spoilers. If you donít
want to know, donít read
And yet, this future is not inevitable. It is both the product of luck
At the center of this canvas, two pairs of doppelgangers circling.
Picard and his clone Shinzon, whose febrile fascination with his othered
self is the kind of sub-text of which slash fiction is made. How wonderful
that Picardís dark other is in fact himself as he might have been. Shinzon
is Picard shorn of mannerisms and lucky life, but with the same burning
hunger to know. Be known. When Picard told Shinzon when he was young, he
was thought to be over confident, I couldnít help but think of the ST:NG
episode the Tapestry. Young Picard was over confident, daring. His past
informed the person that he is. Without it, with different choices, Picard
was no captain, but rather a lowly lieutenant.
And really, thatís the message at the heart of the text. Itís all about
choices. Fate. Shinzon is Picardís dark mirror. The Picard raised in a
brutal Romulan mine. The Picard with a limited shelf life. The Picard that
knows himself to only be an echo of a brighter original. No wonder Shinzon
aches to consume all that Picard has. To destroy Earth. To destroy the
other so he can be the original.
Thus, while Shinzonís mental rape of Troi makes little sense tactically,
it makes perfect sense within the structure of who Shinzon is. What drives
Shinzon. Troi is posited in the text as Picardís daughter, with Riker finally
wedding the daughter of family before going off to captain his own ship.
Form his own family. By attacking Troi, Shinzon attacks to the softer side
of Picard. The emotional heart.
In contrast to this hungry angry circling, we have Data and a previous
Soong style android, B-4. Where Data has spent a lifetime learning and
studying humanity, B-4 is a simplistic machine. Asking questions. Asking
questions, more questions. Processing, searching for meaning.
At a certain point, Data downloads the sum total of his memories
into B-4. Geordie questions this action because perhaps B-4 was never meant
to be a simple machine. Dataís response is that he must allow B-4, his
brother, the opportunity to grow beyond his current circumstances. To be
more than a sum of parts.
Picard is right to be concerned that stripped of his fortunate life,
the threads that make up the tapestry of his existence would have woven
into a far darker cloth. Data is also correct. Ultimately, ďmight have
beensĒ are irrelevant. It is who you are, who you choose to be now.
In the last moments of the movie, as Shinzon dies, he says that it is
good that they are together at this moment, his death, because they are
one. And in that moment of self death, Picard is frozen. The complete loss
of potential. Enter the Data. He pushes Shinzon aside, thus denying that
connection. That vision of the future. He transports Picard to safety.
Choosing to sacrifice his life to save his captain, his friends, his ship,
and ultimately the human race.
At the beginning of the moive, Data sings that there are blue skies
ahead. At the end, B-4 repeats the refrain.
When I saw it, my friend Christy cried at this point. But in as much
as it is Christmas, I couldnít help but be moved by a story in which an
innocent chooses to give his life to save the world entire. Confident that
by his sacrifice, by his striving that there will be blue skies ahead.
I canít think of any better epitaph for Next Generation.
An epic tale of good and evil and lots of walking.
About fifteen years ago I skimmed through the LotR triology. Tolkein
is great at world building, but his writing style is not exactly my cup
of Earl Grey. Iím more of a peach or Constantly Commenting kinda gal myself.
This didnít stop me from joining a group of friends/people who know
people I know and the people who know them to go see the TT:LoTR opening
It was a great crowd. We cheered at the good bits, of which there were
many, hissed at the villains, and generally had a good time.
The battles were incredible, immense, fraught with fighting.
The visuals were absolutely positively stunning. Vast vistas. Intimate
details. This is a real world. The swords have weight. The characters have
dirt under their nails, well except Legolas, because damn heís too cool
Many have already and better commented on the WWII/parallels. The onslaught
of mechanization. The sorrow of a changing world. So, Iíll not comment
on them other than to say they permeate every espect of the movie.
Iím really going to have to see it again, so I can examine the bits
that I was too busy cheering during to really absorb.
It may not be completely faithful to the book, but the movie is three
freaking hours long.
Ahem, great movie, go see it, truly the epic trilogy of our age.