STAR TREK FILM LEGACY
(#10) Nemesis – This was the last film featuring Picard’s crew and unfortunately for the franchise, it was the least satisfying. The premise of a Picard clone that was both human and Romulan had potential. Then they started filming and it went downhill from there. It’s ashamed that this is turned out to be the final voyage for the next generation crew. After seven seasons and four films, it should have been better.
(#9) The Motion Picture – This may sound petty but its those damn uniforms. Seriously, that was the best they could come up with? It’s not so much that I think TMP is a bad film but rather it’s a very slow moving film with ugly uniforms.
(#8) Insurrection – Ranking films 8 through 10 could have been a toss up. In the end Insurrection proved to be slightly better than the two films that ended up scraping the bottom. When the crew of the Enterprise discovers that Starfleet has conspired with an alien species to take over a planet, Picard works hard to put a stop to it.
(#7) The Final Frontier – What does God need with a Starship? Shatner helmed this much maligned second to last film featuring the original cast. While I agree this film has some problems both visually and with its forced comedic timing, it has grown on me over the years. Here’s a tidbit, Sean Connery was the original choice to play Sybok but declined due to filming Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But he does play a role in the film in a most creative way. The writers used the name Sha Ka Ree, as the name where God resides. Say the name quickly and you’ll see what I mean. .
(#6) Generations – If it wasn’t for the hype, this movie could have and probably should rank higher. The dream of Kirk and Picard meeting and fighting a common enemy was a formula made in space heaven. Unfortunately the execution left too much to be desired. Kirk appears in the beginning and disappears literally until the climax of the film. In between, Generations feels too much like an episode of TNG than a big screen adventure. When the two Captains finally do meet, it was fun to watch and it makes you wonder what could have been.
(#5) The Search For Spock – The on going joke about the Star Trek films was that all the even ones were good and the odd ones not so much. ST3 turns out to be the best of the odd films. With Leonard Nimoy taking over the directing duties and Christopher Lloyd as the big bad Klingon Commander Kruge, this film had its share of memorable moments. Moments like breaking McCoy out of lockup to the stealing of the Enterprise to Kirk’s “no-win scenario” decision to destroy the Enterpriseto the emergence of Spock himself. And it is when we finally do see Spock and his defiant brow, we are reminded that sometimes the needs of the one (Spock), outweigh the needs of the many.
(#4) First Contact – By far and away the best of the Next Generation films with a superior villain in the Borg. Seeing Picard channeling his inner Kirk was awesome to see. When confronted as to why stay and fight, Picard answered with, “The line must be drawn here… no further will we go.” That’s what a Captain should say. It’s too bad that the two films that would follow couldn’t match the intensity or the sense of urgency that First Contact displayed. This film showed why TNG was a well written and well acted sci-fi series. Resisting this film would be futile.
(#3) The Voyage Home – The greatest “Save the Whales” movie ever. After taking two serious turns with Khan and The Search for Spock, ST4 took a lighthearted approach with this time traveling story. Whether its Chekov’s search for Nuclear Wessels or Spock’s attempt at colorful metaphors, Voyage Home puts a wonderful bow on a story arc that began with The Wrath of Khan and ending with as McCoy would say, two humpback whales telling some probe what to do with itself.
(#2) The Undiscovered Country – Between this and ST4, these were the hardest ones to rank. Ultimately for me, ST6 being the last voyage of the original cast and setting the perfect bridge to the Next Generation gives this film the edge. The climax between the Klingon Bird of Prey and both the Enterpriseand the Excelsior is one of the best moments in the motion picture series.
(#1) The Wrath of Khan – Hands down and with all due respect to the Borg, Khan is the greatest villain in Star Trek history. There isn’t a fan that hasn’t quoted Khan at least once. This film also gave us for better or for worse, Kristie Alley who made her film debut as the Vulcan Saavik. Not only does ST2 present the greatest villain, it also gives us its most moving and human moment ever… the death of Spock. Still makes me sad to this day. As Kirk would say… KHANNNNNN!!!
The above ranking is completely subjective and open to debate. It would be very interesting to see what others think. What are your favorites? Are you only for Kirk and company? Or, are you Picard all the way? Or are you like me? A fan of both with a preference to the Original crew!
To be respectful of this topic, I’ll forgo my usual sign off and instead say,
Live Long, and be Dorky,
The Dork Knight