Star Trek: Generations
February 24, 2014
There’s a sweet Star Trek movie comic! ...Unfortunately, it won't arrive until Tuesday.
Linkara: (wearing a Starfleet outfit) Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Star Trek: Generations is one of the films that's a mixed bag for me personally.
(Footage of Star Trek: Generations is shown)
Linkara (v/o): I certainly enjoyed it at the time. It may even have been the first Star Trek movie I ever saw in theaters. I have vague recollections of seeing Star Trek VI in theaters, but I was only four years old if I did. But looking at it nowadays, it's not considered one of the best Star Trek movies out there. I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to be, but it's certainly not one of the best. It has major plot problems, some of which could have been easily written off with only a sentence or two of dialogue, but then there are major thematic and narrative elements that we'll be getting to throughout the review. I'd say, of all the films considered bad, this is the least bad, though that's just my own opinion. Unfortunately, that means that a comic adaptation is not gonna do the story that much better unless there are massive rewrites to how the events play out. In fact, it may end up even worse, because I've seen some of the cutscenes and they were good things to cut. For those not in the know, Star Trek: Generations is the turning point in the film franchise, where it stops being about the original series and instead about the Next Generation cast. The Next Generation is probably the most successful series of all Trek, with mainstream knowledge of it being unequal to the original series. Hell, it's why we even have the debate phrase: "Kirk vs. Picard".
Linkara: For the record, though, the answer to that question is "Sisko".
Linkara (v/o): One very neat addition at the end of the comic is a six-page look at how the adaptation process for a movie-to-comic goes. For example, they're not given a rough cut of the movie or anything like that, just a shooting script that has to be condensed into a comic strip, then sent back to the studio for approval, then that's edited by the movie studio to account for cuts made to the movie. Then they start getting reference photos and sketches made for the movie, like special costumes that characters will be wearing or technology or where characters are standing relative to one another. But then again, some stuff just isn't available yet, and there's some stuff you'd think would be. Like, for example, color photos! But hey, you work with what you've got.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Star Trek: Generations" and see if they did an admirable job adapting or possibly even improving the film.
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has "Star Trek: Generations Overture" by Dennis McCarthy playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is... bleh. You have a comic about time travel, the two most famous of the captains of the Enterprise meeting, two pop culture icons joining forces, space battles, emotional turmoil, and unresolved dreams and desires... and your best idea for the cover is five people awkwardly standing over nothing. Oh, I'm sorry, only four of them are standing still with completely blank expressions on their faces. Picard is leaning in and reaching out his hand, as if he was trying to emulate all those Doctor Who promotional poses. Everyone just looks so bored, which is actually pretty accurate for a lot of people who saw this movie, ironically enough.
Text: THE OFFICIAL COMICS ADAPTATION OF THE PARAMOUNT PICTURE.
Linkara: As opposed to all those unofficial bootleg comic adaptations of Star Trek: Generations that people were making. (sotto voce) I hear one of them has the crew fighting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Linkara (v/o): We open on Earth, in a scene that was cut from the film, supposedly by Shatner's request, though I have no idea why. Chekov and Scotty are standing in a field and staring up at the sky, looking for something.
Chekov: There he is... there to the south!
Scotty: What are ye, blind? That's a bird, lad!
Linkara: (as Chekov) But it's opening up a parachute. I can see it from here! (as Scotty) You're daft, lad! That's a paratroopin' bird! We get 'em all the time during the season!
Scotty: Rappelling the Crystalline Trench... raftin' down lava flows...
Linkara: Considering the sheer heat and fumes from hot lava, that's a pretty impressive trick to raft on it, seeing as how, y'know, getting close to it will make you kinda sorta... dead.
Scotty: ...and now orbital skydivin'. It's like the man is runnin' a bloody decathlon across the galaxy.
Linkara: Ah, the Milky Way Marathon. It might take a while for some, but others manage to pull it off in a mere 300 years.
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, it's Kirk, who lands a few feet away from them. Kirk happily proclaims that he jumped out over the Arabian peninsula and ended up right on the target.
Chekov: Actually, Captain, your precise target area was thirty-five meters... that way.
Kirk: Thanks for pointing that out, Mister Chekov.
Linkara: (as Kirk) Now, either I have to go up and do it again, or you can just pull that bull's-eye target over here and we'll say it was perfect.
Linkara (v/o): Kirk says he wants to make an even more difficult jump tomorrow, but Chekov says that they're busy tomorrow, attending a ceremony. Kirk says he's not going, despite making a promise to attend.
Kirk: When I retired, I swore I'd never set foot on a starship again--and I meant it.
Linkara: (as Kirk) Jumping out of an orbital capsule, however? Yeah, that's totally different.
Kirk: I don't want to hear any more about it. I'm not going...
Linkara (v/o): Aaaand we cut to him on board the starship.
(Linkara shrugs while a "wah-wah" trombone sound plays in the background)
Linkara (v/o): The three are attending the christening ceremony for the Enterprise-B. Originally, this was supposed to be McCoy and Spock with Kirk, but the two declined what was essentially a glorified cameo. And naturally, to the annoyance of the three, they are inundated by reporters who all want them to make statements into their little bootleg handheld game consoles. They're also greeted by the captain of the Enterprise-B, John Harriman, as played by Alan Ruck from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Unfortunately, I fear they hired him because they wanted Cameron to be the captain and not have him act as someone else, because this guy is friggin' useless, as we'll see. Kirk gives basic platitudes to the reporters before Chekov introduces the helm officer of the Enterprise-B, Demora Sulu. Yep, Sulu's daughter.
Kirk: You know, Scotty, it amazes me. When did Sulu find the time for a family?
Scotty: It's like ye always said... If something's important enough, ye make the time.
Linkara: (as Kirk) Hmm, you're right, of course. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go jump out an airlock and try orbital skydiving from this distance.
Scotty: So that's why ye've been runnin' around the galaxy like an eighteen-year-old. Findin' retirement a wee bit lonely, are we?
Linkara: (as Kirk; laughs) Oh, Mr. Scott, my son is dead.
Linkara (v/o): The ship gets underway with the intention of the shakedown cruise just taking them beyond Pluto and then back to space dock. However, they soon pick up a distress call from two transport ships carrying El-Aurian refugees to Earth. Harriman says to contact the nearest starship since they're in no state to mount a rescue, not even having a full crew on board. But he's informed that they're the only ship in range. I would like to remind you that they're in the solar system, which is the center of the Federation and Starfleet! And they are the ONLY SHIP IN RANGE!
Linkara: And here we go, more vindication for my theory that Starfleet only has (holds up two fingers) two ships active at any given time.
Linkara (v/o): And with that, Harriman orders them to go on the rescue mission. They quickly arrive and detect a strange energy ribbon and the two ships trapped inside. Unfortunately, the comic does not do it justice, showing only some weird fiery lines on the view screen.
(Footage of the movie is shown for comparison)
Linkara (v/o): I'll give the movie this credit: the visual effects in space are damn impressive, especially in creating the ribbon.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Harriman orders them to keep their distance so they don't get trapped in it, too. Kirk can't help but armchair quarterback.
Kirk: Tractor beam, man! Use your tractor beam!
Harriman: We don't have a tractor beam.
Kirk: You left spacedock without a tractor beam?
Harriman: It won't be installed until Tuesday.
Linkara: Aw, great! You know it's just gonna be some absurd timeframe to install it, like from 8AM to 5PM, and you must be there to answer the door, except they won't ring the doorbell, only (makes a knocking motion) knock or at least claimed that they knocked, and then you have to reschedule the installation!
Linkara (v/o): Harriman tries some technobabble solutions in the hopes of fixing things.
Harriman: Try generating a subspace field around the ships. That might break them free.
Sulu: Sorry, sir. There's too much quantum interference.
(Cut to a clip of Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick): If anybody needs a day off, it's Cameron. He has a lot of things to sort out before he graduates.'
(Back to the comic again)
Harriman: What about... venting plasma from the warp nacelles? That might disrupt the ribbon's hold on the ships.
(Cut again to Ferris Bueller)
Bueller: Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks, you have a diamond.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Unfortunately, their efforts are for naught, as one of the two ships explodes, killing 265 people. Harriman is completely flummoxed by this situation, making me wonder how the hell Starfleet picked this weenie to command the friggin' flagship, the ship that was so legendary that the christening of a ship with its name is enough to earn reporters and guest crew for its shakedown cruise. I'm curious who the other candidates were that they settled for this dork: a drug addict or a shapeshifting salt vampire, perhaps? But in any case, Harriman asks Kirk for advice in this, and he immediately starts handing out suggestions.
Kirk: First, move us within transporter range and beam those people to the Enterprise.
Harriman: What about the gravimetric distortions? They'll tear us apart!
Kirk: Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.
(Cut to yet another clip of Ferris Bueller)
Bueller: (on the phone to Cameron) Be a man! Take some Pepto-Bismol, get dressed and come on over here.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): They move in closer and begin transporting people over... but they don't have a medical staff. "Won't arrive until Tuesday." Why the hell didn't they just wait until Tuesday for this?! Chekov, however, takes charge and recruits some of the reporters to help out. Scotty, in the meantime, is put in charge of transporting people over, sadly only getting 47 of them out 150 before their ship explodes. However, it's not because better transporters won't arrive until Tuesday, but rather because he couldn't get a lock on them. The people kept phasing in and out of the space-time continuum. Don't you hate it when that happens?
Linkara: I mean, I don't know about you guys, but I remember this one time when I had to help out a friend... (suddenly disappears and then reappears) ...and then I hosed him down with gravy.
Linkara (v/o): So, after a console explodes right in the dude's face, the ship gets caught in the ribbon and are unable to escape. Down with the refugees, our villain of the movie, Soran, angrily demands to be sent back, despite, you know, the ship being blown up. Fortunately, Chekov is on hand with a hypospray to knock his crazy ass out. Also, I just noticed, but everybody is really white. I mean, the coloring makes them absolutely pasty. Well, except for the people who aren't supposed to be white. It'd be really awkward if Guinan here was white, too. Scotty comes up with an idea to get them free, using an antimatter explosion to disrupt the field just long enough to pull them out. A photon torpedo will do the trick... and of course, they don't have any. Surprised that doors have been installed at this point. However, there's an alternate way of creating something like it by using the ship's deflector dish. But that involves doing some manual jiggery-pokery near the deflector relays. Harriman volunteers, but Kirk says he'll do it, since the captain's place is on the bridge... although personally I think it's because he knows if it was Harriman doing it, he'd somehow find a way to lose the entire deck.
Linkara: Also, why the hell isn't Scotty doing it? Or a crewman? You know, someone with engineering training and not the command-level personnel?
Kirk: Damn... I'm supposed to be retired. I should be out risking my life somewhere... not trying to save everyone else's, that's the work of a younger man.
Linkara: Ah, the Star Trek equivalent of "I'm too old for this crap."
Linkara (v/o): Kirk succeeds in configuring the whatsitdoodle, but an energy burst strikes out from the ribbon, right in the general area of the deflector relays. Well, I presume that what happens in the comic...
(Cut to a similar scene in the movie)
Linkara (v/o): ...since in the movie, it was a big energy discharge that blew a big chunk out of the ship.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): In this, it's just kind of a little wavy line, and nobody even seems to notice. But yeah, you guessed it, the energy hit the spot where Kirk was and there's no sign of him when they get down there. In all likelihood, he's dead. Harriman sets a course back for spacedock.
Linkara: (holds up index finger) Screwed up a rescue mission so that most of the people he tried to rescue are dead, Starfleet's greatest hero (holds up two fingers) dead, (holds up three fingers) needed said hero to tell him how to do his job... Yeah, I wouldn't get too comfortable in that chair, Harriman.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to 78 years later on the Enterprise-D's holodeck. Originally, there was supposed to be a thrilling action sequence where a scientific observatory is attacked... but instead, they decided to go for a silly ceremony in period clothing so that Worf can get promoted to Lieutenant Commander. I admit, it's not a bad scene and it's kind of fun, just that it seems like a big waste of time and money for the film. Still, there are some funny moments here and there, like Riker accidentally dumping Worf in the water. Data turns to Dr. Crusher and wonders why someone falling into freezing water is funny.
Dr. Crusher: It's all in good fun, Data. Try to get in the spirit of things. Learn to be a little more spontaneous.
Linkara (v/o): And so Data shoves Dr. Crusher into the water.
Geordi LaForge: Data... That wasn't funny.
Linkara: Oh, yes, it was! Although, in the comic, it's funny for entirely different reasons.
Linkara (v/o): See, we don't actually see Data shoving her in the comic. It just goes from Crusher saying he needs to be spontaneous to her falling into the water, meaning that, as far as I can tell, Crusher jumped into the water instead of being pushed. And thus, Geordi saying it wasn't funny means that Crusher's spontaneity is not funny, the exact opposite of what was being said before. Anyway, Picard receives a personal message and quickly walks off the holodeck, but before anyone can wonder what's going on there, the crew get a distress call from a space station observatory under attack. They arrive at the observatory to find the attack over with and the attackers themselves gone. There are a few life signs on the observatory and Picard orders Riker to begin an investigation.
Riker: But Captain, I thought you would--
Picard: Do it.
Linkara (v/o): Aaaand it's another one of those moments where the adaptation really starts to fall apart. Riker gives a log entry that he's beginning said investigation and says...
Riker: (narrating) I just wonder why the Captain seemed so distant when he gave those orders.
Linkara: Oh, yeah, he really looked distant when he made (points to his face) this expression. (stares distantly in imitation of Picard) Then again, (points to screen) you looked pretty distant, too, Riker. After you first heard the observatory was under attack, (points to his face) you made this expression. (again stares distantly)
(Cut to footage of the movie)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, in the movie, Picard snapped at Riker.
Picard (Patrick Stewart): Will you begin an investigation? I'll be in my ready room.
Riker (Jonathan Frakes): Sir?
Picard: Make it so.
Riker: I thought you–
Picard: (sharply) Just do it!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): That, is showing Picard having a problem. This comic is just (as Riker) "Oh, yeah, he's totally distant by the way he told me to do my job." (normal) I mean, what the hell did you "thought he would want", dude? Honestly, his orders are no different than normal. Anyway, beaming aboard, they quickly find Dr. Soran underneath some wreckage as well as the corpse of a Romulan, identifying who it was who attacked the station. Back on the Enterprise, Data and Geordi are talking in Data's quarters about what happened on the holodeck. Data has decided that, with his failure to create humor by pushing Dr. Crusher into the water – I don't care what they say, that was hilarious – he's decided that his growth as an artificial lifeform has pretty much hit an impasse, and the only way he'll be able to advance further is to experience emotions. And the only way to do that is with the emotion chip his father created.
TIME 4 BACKSTORY
(Footage of an episode of The Next Generation is shown)
Linkara (v/o): In the series itself, Data's creator was revealed to be alive and well and had been working for years to perfect emotions for Data. However, Data's evil robot twin brother – which is not something I usually get to say outside of superhero comics – was able to steal the chip and kill their father. Data was able to retrieve it, but he never installed it out of fear that the emotions would drive him to become like his brother. Plus, it was partially damaged.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): But hey, the chip changed appearances in between the series and the movie, so we can see repairs were made– er, um, okay, Data is now holding the comic version of the chip, and the thing looks like a Hucard for a TurboGrafx 16. Perhaps this is the origin story of Johnny Turbo. But yeah, he wants Geordi to finally install it... aaaaand he does so. Picard gets a briefing about what they know about the attack and he orders Riker to inform Starfleet about what happened instead of dealing with it himself, a legitimate sign that something is wrong with him. Unfortunately, I'm too distracted by the fact that Riker suddenly decided to switch uniforms. I was really hoping the comic would fix this, but nope. Apparently, they wanted to adapt everything about the movie.
Linkara: There was apparently concern about how The Next Generation uniforms would look on the big screen. And apparently, they decided that instead of doing, you know, screen tests of them and... maybe making new ones if they didn't look good, that instead, they borrowed the clothes from Deep Space Nine... and then just have the crew switch between uniforms at random without any comment. Yeah, I don't get it either.
Linkara (v/o): We then quickly cut to the Enterprise's lounge, Ten Forward, and a humorous bit with Data and Guinan. I'm skipping it so we can get to more plot. Bear in mind, we've passed the one-third mark of the comic and we still barely know what the plot is, other than "stuff happens". Soran talks to Picard about how there's a critical experiment back on the observatory that he needs to finish. And apparently no one bothered to ask the surviving scientists, "Uh, say, were you doing any experiments that the Romulans might be interested in that they'd attack you guys for?", because Picard just shrugs this off and says they can't let them back over there until they've completed their investigation. Soran then makes this cryptic remark...
Soran: They say that time is the fire in which we burn... and right now, Captain, my time is running out. We leave so many things unfinished in our lives. I'm sure you understand.
Linkara: (as Picard) Yes, I understand. I think Linkara should get around to finishing "The History of Power Rangers" at some point, too. (nods)
(Cut to Lewis dressed as Doctor Who, who holds an umbrella and raises his hat)
Doctor: Hello, I'm the Doctor, and we'll be right back!
(He walks off as the AT4W logo appears in the corner, and we go to a commercial. Upon return, there is the sound of laser gunfire and the Doctor runs back in, panicked)
Doctor: Oh, dear! (looks into camera) We're back.
(He runs off as the AT4W logo appears in the corner. Cut back to the comic as the video resumes)
Linkara (v/o): The crew thinks that they've figured out what the Romulans were looking for: an experimental compound called trilithium. It's unstable, but if they figured out a way to properly stabilize it, it could be used as a weapon thousands of times more powerful than an antimatter explosive. And considering how powerful antimatter is already, that's pretty impressive. Data and Geordi are sent back to the observatory to try to find traces of trilithium, since otherwise, why the hell would the Romulans be looking for an explosive on a friggin' observatory? Unfortunately, Data's kind of going cuckoo. The emotion chip is making him giggle and laugh incessantly and make it nearly impossible to concentrate on doing his job. They find a secret compartment which has probes and a potential trilithium signature, and Data is just making his tricorder talk for him.
Linkara: I don't see any situation how speaking as if the tricorder was talking would be funny. (holds up a tricorder of his own) What do you think, Mr. Tricorder?
Voice on tricorder: My existence is a blasphemy upon all living things!
Linkara: Yeah, I thought so.
Linkara (v/o): When Data is unable to stop himself from laughing, he starts convulsing and falls over, saying the emotion chip has overloaded his systems. Unfortunately, before the two can beam back over to the Enterprise, Soran shows up and decks Geordi. He also aims a gun at Data, who's suddenly overcome with fear. Speaking of fear, we cut back to the Enterprise, where Troi and Picard finally talk about what the hell's been bugging him while they look through his photo album. The message he got was informing him that his brother and nephew have died in a fire. Now, that would be enough to distract anyone, but Picard has had a bit of depression on top of that. His family history is very important to him, and he always figured his brother having a kid would mean the family would continue on. But that's not gonna happen now. He is the last of the Picards now. Maybe this explains why he's so eager to get in a relationship with Boring Lady in Insurrection.
Linkara: And no, I don't care enough to look up her character's name*. It is said like once or twice in the entire damn film.
- NOTE: The woman in question's name is Anij, a Ba'ku woman (played by Donna Murphy).
Linkara (v/o): Before the two can talk any further, the nearby star... explodes. Well, sort of. They keep describing it as an implosion.
Worf: Sir, the implosion has produced a level twelve shock wave.
Linkara: Well, yeah, it's only natural that an implosion would cause a shockwave that expels outwards. (beat, then becomes confused) Wait, what?
Linkara (v/o): The cause of this is a probe launched from the observatory, and they only have a few minutes to get out of there before the shockwave hits. Worf and Riker try to rescue Geordi and Data, but then a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaks out of nowhere and beams up Soran and Geordi. Getting the others back to the Enterprise, both ships quickly haul ass, and we learn that the Klingons who rescued Soran are the Duras Sisters, Lursa and B'Etor, recurring villains from the series itself. Their presence is just basically just fanservice and it could have been any random Klingons. They're working with Soran because he's promised them information on how to build a trilithium weapon in exchange for helping him with his own goals. And now it's time for a whole lot of exposition-dumping for the next few pages. Here are the relevant details: Data's emotion chip is fused into his systems and can't be removed; Soran's entire family was killed by the Borg; he's seeking a way to enter "The Nexus", an interdimensional realm where time has no meaning and your every wish and desire is granted; the Ribbon is some sort of gateway into the Nexus; Guinan's face here is creepy as all hell.
Linkara: If you don't know who Guinan is because you didn't watch the show, she's the ship's bartender, played by Whoopi Goldberg. And she frequently wore very silly hats.
Linkara (v/o): One interesting thing left out of the movie is noted here, that she says being in the Nexus changed her, that she knew things about people and events in time that she didn't before, which suggests that her insight in the series is not part of her species, but just a part of this magical... whatever the hell the Nexus is. Also, seriously with that face! What is even the hell?! Geordi gets tortured for information that... I don't know why he needs to know it... and Picard and Data are in stellar cartography, trying to figure out where Soran is headed next.
Linkara: If it seems like I'm rushing through this right here, it's because the pacing is one of the big problems with this story: it takes its sweet-ass time for the first half, and then suddenly, (snaps fingers) BAM! It hits you with thing after thing after thing! If I comment and joke about everything, then this episode will be an hour long!
Linkara (v/o): Data's in bad shape, asking to be relieved of duty because the emotions are overwhelming him and he doesn't feel he'll be helpful. Unfortunately, the comic has cut a few bits of dialogue here where Data and Picard's character arcs in the story intersect, basically telling Data that sometimes it takes courage to continue in the face of overwhelming grief, like he's been feeling. But nah! Let's get back to tons of exposition. Basically, Soran has decided upon an insane scheme to get back into the Nexus. The shockwave of the star's explosion has altered the Ribbon's course, bringing it close to a planet called Veridian III. If he destroys the Veridian System's star, it will push it enough so that the Ribbon will intercept the planet and carry him back into the Nexus.
Picard: But why not simply fly into it with a ship?
Data: Our records show that every ship which has approached the Ribbon has either been destroyed or severely damaged.
Linkara: And here's your big plot hole that could have been fixed with a hand-waved dialogue! Why doesn't he just beam into space in a spacesuit, where he knows the Ribbon will be, and just wait?! But no! Instead, he proceeds to go with his plan to blow up stars! Who the hell ever thinks that's a good step in your plan?!
(Cut to Dr. Linksano addressing a foam lizard)
Dr. Linksano: And so, little foam lizard, that is my plan for blowing up the star that's obscuring my view Proximus Centauri. What do you think?
(The foam lizard moves its head a little bit. Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Now, blowing up another star will produce another destructive shockwave. And unfortunately, a planet in that solar system is inhabited by a preindustrial civilization, so they need to stop him before he kills millions of people. They quickly arrive and send out a hail to the cloaked Bird of Prey demanding Geordi's return and for them to leave the system. Soran tells them to fight the Enterprise, but the sisters aren't stupid and this isn't Star Trek III. Their Bird of Prey is no match for a galaxy-class starship with a full compliment of crew and weapons. To make a long story short, the Bird of Prey decloaks and agrees to hand over Geordi and beam Picard down to talk with Soran... for some reason. But whatever. Picard is beamed down to talk with him, and he's behind a powerful force field to keep him from trying to attack Soran. And on top of all that, Geordi has been returned, but there's a spy camera built into his visor that the Klingons are using to monitor what he sees. Picard does his best to convince Soran this is wrong, even bringing up his dead family, but Soran says that eventually, regardless of what the reason is, everyone dies, and thus it doesn't matter if he's murdering millions.
Linkara: (confused) So, you believe that death happens for whatever reason, so accept it and move on... but you're willing to kill millions in order to get to the Nexus and see your family again... who are all dead. It's almost like you're poorly written or something.
Picard: (narrating) Captain's Log: Supplemental.
Linkara: (thinking in Picard's voice) How am I doing a log entry with no equipment whatsoever without speaking out loud, since otherwise, Soran would be staring at me, wondering what in the hell I'm doing?
Linkara (v/o): Back in orbit, Geordi gets to engineering, since I guess you can just shrug off trauma and torture in the future, and the spy cam lets the Klingons see the shield frequency of the Enterprise's shields, which allows them to open fire and start whaling on the Enterprise through their shields. While the Enterprise puts up a pitiful fight against the Bird of Prey, firing phasers all of once at them, stuff exploding, and the crew spouting technobabble back and forth. Basically, they utilize multimodal reflection sorting to trigger a techno-whatsit that makes the Bird of Prey cloak and they fire, blowing up the Bird of Prey with one shot. I also call foul on the comic adaptation; they should've done like the movie and reuse the panel from the "Star Trek VI" comic adaptation of the Bird of Prey exploding, just like how the movie reused that footage. But yeah, things are going pretty badly for the Enterprise. The damage was severe, and the warp core is gonna blow up in a few minutes, meaning they need to evacuate. Everyone is quickly sent to the saucer section of the ship, which separates off and the rest of the ship explodes. And continuing our theme of "shockwaves screw things up", the shockwave from the explosion sends the saucer section down towards Veridian III. And Data's famous line of...
(Cut to a clip of the movie showing said line...)
Data: Ohhhh, shit!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): ...is said in a narrative caption without us seeing him do it, so it could've just been the entire crew saying that at once. After the saucer crashes, Picard manages to slip past the force field and get into a fight with Soran.
Picard: Don't count your captains before they're hatched, Soran.
Linkara: (stares) And this is why Patrick Stewart is not an action hero.
Linkara (v/o): Picard fails to Soran from launching the probe... which manages from the surface of the third planet from the sun and reach that sun and blow it up in a grand total of about ten seconds.
(Cut to the obligatory panel from "Superman At Earth's End", showing the Hitler Clones)
Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): The Ribbon passes through the planet and picks up Picard and Soran, whisking them off to the Nexus. I'm assuming Picard's subconscious is responsible for what happens next. After all, he had said to Troi how he feared the Picard lineage dying out, and he wasn't exactly gonna be fathering children anytime soon, so the Nexus has created his greatest desire from that: a family, with, like, a half-dozen kids and a loving wife. Guinan appears, who explains that she's an "echo" of the Guinan he knows, a part of her that stayed in the Nexus when she was pulled out of it by the Enterprise B's transporter.
Linkara: (wearing a green shirt) Basically, it's a load of horsecrap, because they needed someone to pour on more exposition! (stares, then looks down at his shirt) What?
Linkara (v/o): Guinan says he can leave the Nexus and go to any point in time because... uh, the Kool-Aid Man is red, but he's gonna need some help, since Soran kicked his ass before. She can't leave because she's not a real person, but she recommends Kirk, who was also sent to the Nexus when he was blown out into space at the beginning. Picard goes to see him, and Kirk is fairly confused by all of this since Picard starts babbling about being from the future and yet they're located at a cabin from Kirk's past. By the by, this glorious meeting across generations, the moment of Kirk and Picard meeting that so many have waited for? There are literally only six pages left of the comic. Yeah. So we have to rush through all of this, not just because this episode is running long, but because the comic itself realized, "Oh, crap, we have the movie's final half hour we still have to do!" And thus, we rush through Kirk's reluctance to leave, since this will give him a chance to relive his youth and correct the mistakes he's made. To make matters better, they then teleport even further back in Kirk's past to a horse farm in Iowa, when Kirk met some lady named Antonia, whom we've never heard of before, because of course having it be Carol Marcus and actually tie into the continuity the previous movies and character development would just be silly! They do some horseback riding until Kirk reaches a ravine that he easily jumps over. But because of the condensed narrative, he just jumps, and suddenly, Picard is next to him, talking.
Kirk: I must have made this jump fifty times... and every time, it's scared the hell out of me. But not this time.
Picard: Because it's not real.
Linkara: Uh, yeah, about that whole (makes a "finger quote") "not real" thing, if it's not real, where the hell are you guys? What is the Nexus? What are you breathing right now? The Nexus is such a narrative anomaly, I'm surprised they couldn't bring giant robots back with them when they leave to just (makes a smashing motion with his hand) smash Soran!
Linkara (v/o): And it's here where we get the best scenes in the movie, since honestly, the interactions between Kirk and Picard, one of the big selling points of the movie, are legitimately good. Kirk tells Picard how he should never let them take him off the bridge of the Enterprise, since while he's there, he can make a difference.
Picard: You don't need to be on the bridge of a starship. Come with me. Help me stop Soran... Make a difference again.
Kirk: On that planet... Veridian Three, wasn't it? I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim?
Picard: You could say that.
Linkara: (as Picard) I mean, we're two old guys and not in the greatest of shape because we both spent forty years sitting our asses in the captain's chair and we're trying to take on Malcolm McDowell. Popsicles have a better chance of surviving a heated furnace than we do.
Kirk: Of course, if Spock were here... he'd say I was being an irrational, illogical human for wanting to go a mission like that... Sounds like fun.
Linkara: (as Kirk) Plus, if Spock is still alive, he's got to be like a million years old, so after this mission, I have an even better chance of kicking his ass at chess.
Linkara (v/o): And so, Kirk and Picard emerge from the Nexus right in front of Soran, Kirk even doing a little Superman pose there. Some of wondered why they didn't go back even further, stop the destruction of the star near the observatory, but I think it's because both know how badly screwing up the timeline can go, so they wanted to take their chances and keep the impact to the timeline down as much as they can. That being said, what I can't forgive is the urgency of their actions. See, worst case scenario: they fail and the star blows up and the Ribbon hits the planet again... meaning they just go back to the Nexus and do it all over again. Hell, they could even go back further if it becomes clear they have no chance of taking him out without weapons or supplies. But no, rushed ending, so in two pages, they blow up Soran along with the trilithium, a bridge has collapsed for absolutely no reason, and Kirk goes tumbling down a mountainside, clinging to said bridge... at least, I presume he does, since we don't see the bridge fall in the comic... and dies.
(Cut to a deleted scene from the movie, which also shows Kirk's demise)
Linkara (v/o): I'll give the movie and the comic this, though: Kirk still dies, saving millions of people in one final action, but his original filmed death was a hell of a lot worse: getting shot in the back by Soran and not even getting any final words.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Picard buries Kirk amidst some rocks and then gives a log entry about how the starship Farragut has arrived in orbit to pick up the Enterprise survivors as much as they can salvage. Data tells Troi that he's gonna keep the emotion chip in him and he's gonna control said emotions from now on. Because I guess he can just do that now. Picard and Riker sift through the wreckage of the bridge and the Ready Room and find his photo album.
Linkara: Although, no one bothers to point out the true casualty in this tragic time: Picard's fish.
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with Riker telling Picard how he's gonna miss this ship and how it went before her time.
Picard: It's not how many years you've lived, Will... but how you lived them. Someone once told me that time is a predator...one that stalks us all our lives. But time is also a companion...who reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives, because they will never come again.
(Cut to a clip of the movie)
Picard: After all, Number One, we're only mortal.
Riker: Speak for yourself, sir. I plan to live forever.
(Back to the comic again)
Riker: I always thought I'd have a crack at that chair one day.
Picard: You may still.
Linkara: Nope! He went off and got his own damn ship because you took Kirk's words to heart and never stopped captaining the thing.
Picard: Somehow, I doubt this will be the last ship to carry the name... Enterprise.
Linkara: And a fine ship it was. A pity, then, (closes comic and holds it up) that this comic sucks.
Linkara (v/o): Ignoring the problems with the film itself, the comic has its own issues. I'll give it credit that it got the likenesses of the actors down perfectly, but the artist seems incapable of drawing the crew with any expressions other than blank stares and dull surprise. In addition, the pacing is awful, with a slow build for the first third, flooring it through the middle, and dumping out as much exposition as it can before needing to wrap up everything quickly at the end. I didn't mind the pacing at the start, but it needed another twenty pages to stretch things out properly.
(Footage of the movie is shown)
Linkara (v/o): My colleague in video reviewing, SF Debris, who of course by now you should all be watching, says that a major problem with the film is that it's not about anything, which I take to mean that there isn't really a central theme to the movie, or at leas tackling several themes that intertwine, much like how Star Trek II was about death, aging, revenge and obsession, or Star Trek IV was about saving the whales, or how Star Trek: Insurrection was about wasting our time and brain cells, the point being that I'm not sure that it needs to have a central theme like that, as long as the events are entertaining, logical and fun. That being said, I think the movie does have central themes; it's just that they're not developed very well, which in turn is carried on to the comic. For Kirk, it was about realizing he could still make a difference, even if he had retired and given up command to other people. It's just that his journey is bookended and kind of relies on a stronger connection to all the previous films of development to realize that, especially Star Trek: The Motion Picture, where he wasn't ready to give up command for anyone.
(A clip of that movie is shown)
Kirk: (to Captain Willard Decker) I'm replacing you as Captain of the Enterprise.
(Cut to Star Trek: Generations)
Kirk: Who am I to argue with the Captain of the Enterprise?
Linkara (v/o): For the Next Generation crew, it's about accepting loss and change, from Data getting his emotion chip and having to accept the downsides of the emotions he now has to Picard feeling a loss of his family and coming to terms with that. The problems there are that they're just kinda resolved off-screen. Data learns to control his emotions... somehow, and Picard learns to accept that we need to cherish what we have, since it will never come again.... because Kirk died... after proving that what he had could come again... Whoops.
Linkara: There's only one more movie comic, aside from the 2009 reboot movie, and we'll be getting to that one this summer. But something tells me that that won't be the last time we talk about the starship Enterprise. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
I couldn't find my rank pips.
When they explain the plan to make the Bird of Prey cloak, they say a spread of torpedoes will "make the Bird of Prey's engine implode." I'm getting the feeling the writer didn't actually know what an implosion was.
There's going to be a like a gajillion posts in the comments saying Boring Lady's name now as I cared to know and couldn't just look up that information myself.
With how long the episode was going, I didn't even get a chance to bring up the novels William Shatner wrote about how Kirk came back to life after this. They're INSANE.
(Stinger: A clip of Star Trek: Generations is shown)
Picard: (to Kirk) You're a Starfleet officer. You have a duty!
Kirk: I don't need to be lectured by you. I was out saving the galaxy when your grandfather was in diapers! Besides which, I think the galaxy owes me one.