Hello and welcome to the 10th episode of Truth Or Myth and it’s that time again! Time for a review of a Star Trek episode or movie where we look at the mistakes and contradictions and ask ourselves does this make sense?
Star Trek: Nemesis would end up being the final TNG movie, the last nail in the coffin. Personally, I liked the movie, just not as a Star Trek Film. It was exciting and adventurous and answered the question that had been burning in my mind since I had seen the Enterprise E in Star Trek: First Contact, exactly how strong IS the Enterprise?
The Problem is, once you get past that, there’s nothing left. The heart of Star Trek has always been its stories. They usually have a way to make a person think, and/ or re-evaluate their position on a topic relevant in today’s society. Or if it’s just a fun episode with no social relevance we as an audience STILL feel some sort of connection, even TOS’s episode Spock’s Brain didn’t fail as much as Nemesis in those regards.
But what exactly was wrong with it from an in-universe perceptive? Well, let us begin and find out!
SO the movie starts out on in the Senate of the Romulan Empire where apparently a coup is about to take place. A Romulan Senator leaves her necklace behind and shortly thereafter we’re treated to rave light show and people dying turning in to something stone-like. Right off the bat, there are problems. First off how did the Romulan Senator get her necklace past security? Now later in the film, we find out that the Romulan military supported the coup, and that’s great, but what about the Tal Shiar? Where are they? Are we supposed to believe that there are NO operatives in the Senate building at all? That a group dedicated to ensuring the loyalty of all the Romulan people to the praetor just missed the fact that the Romulan senator was wearing so fierce jewels? Wouldn’t this building have internal sensors and security measures run by the praetor himself to prevent this type of situation? And we know that Thalaron radiation is detectable by sensors since later in the movie while the Thalaron Generator was offline LaForge was able to detect it anyhow.
Then we finally get a moment a LOT of Trek fans have been waiting for, Wesley Crusher returns. No, I’m just kidding, Riker and Troi are finally tying the knot. But when did Wesley get back? Where’s his Traveler boyfriend and WHY is he in a Starfleet Uniform again? We have no canon sources to explain this, like Worf, who was supposed to be the Federation Ambassador to Kronos, he’s just suddenly there even though in TNG and Ds9 their careers have taken quite a different path. Why does Starfleet let people quit and come back over and over again so easily? Does that make sense?
Next, we’re near the Neutral zone once again. Starfleet must really be paranoid about the Romulan empire since it seems every movie their strongest warship is there looking at space dust and low a behold on a Federation planet near the border is a positronic signature, which can only mean one thing… Another Data. And so off we warp to this apparently uncharted planet along the neutral zone to find out what’s going on. Why is this planet uncharted? Would Starfleet really not bother to chart a system bordering their enemies space? Does that make sense?
So Picard decides to take a new Starfleet vehicle called the Argo down to the surface to collect the positronic pieces the sensors had detected. And this vehicle is absolutely ridiculous. Exactly what purpose was the Argo designed for? If it was scientific, then why does it have a huge cannon? And if it was for defence, why is it so unprotected being a mostly open concept? And why would they need an all-terrain vehicle in the first place? Cant a shuttle go anywhere and everywhere this vehicle could? Without getting stuck in mud or stopped by some object blocking its path? Does that make sense?
And what’s with Doctor Soong and leaving androids on every planet he goes too? Why did he create and leave B4 behind somewhere in the first place? And how do the Remans understand B4 so much as to reprogram him for their nefarious purposes? And what the heck was Shinzon doing in the first place? Throwing these pieces on this hostile planet where the indigenous people might have found and destroyed the pieces of B4? Or Picard might have been killed in trying to get them? Why not just put the pieces on an empty planet or asteroid?
And once b4 is aboard the Enterprise they decide to put him back together, since of course the first time they did that turned out well, AKA lore, and not only that Picard let’s data give the android all his memories. SO much for Starfleet security. Let us give this Android that we barely know access to classified Starfleet Data. Does all this make sense?
SO now we get Admiral Janeway, who’s not in prison for all her violations of Starfleet regs while in the delta quadrant ordering Picard to Romulus for peace talks with the new Praetor. But once there the Praetor seems more interested in playing games than talking peace or carrying out his nefarious plan.
After 17 hours we get a beauty shot of the Reman Warbird Scimitar. I think it’s an ugly looking ship, but I think the explanation of its existence is even uglier. Apparently, it was built at a secret base. HUH? how could that be? That the Romulan Military, the Tal Shiar, and just everyone, in general, didn’t notice this ship being built. The Remans are a slave race after all so I seriously doubt they could just move freely around the empire. That’s not how slavery works. So the Remans somehow design, build and arm one of the most powerful Alpha quadrant race-based vessels ever constructed… Does that make sense?
Then once Shinzon decides to actually talk, Picard beams down almost the entire senior staff to meet. What? Shouldn’t Riker and Data have remained on board the Enterprise? After all, this may be a diplomatic mission, but they’re still in enemy territory right? In fact given what we find out Shinzon’s actual plan was, why didn’t he just take Picard then and beam up 1000 Reman warriors up to the Enterprise and take her over? Then he’d have Picard, he’d have the enterprise and the information stored in her memory banks and no one would be around to help Picard. But no instead we get his Deanna hair fetish and an invitation to dinner for Picard. In other words, more waiting.
The flimsy excuse that is given for this behaviour is that he simply curious. So he set up this complex and convoluted plan, that he then delays over and over again so that he could look into Picard’s eyes and discuss family history? Does that seem like a Reman or Romulan way of life? Is that how he would have grown up and been trained to be? Both the Romulans and the Remans are like W T F? When it comes to his delays…
Then we get the lovely dinner. A Dinner where we find out Shinzon’s unbelievable backstory, thanks to Shinzon being a cartoon villain of course. Why didn’t the Romulans just kill the Picard clone and save us this movie? After all don’t you think a secretive race like the Romulans wouldn’t want any proof around about what they were willing to do? Let alone having the clone itself alive walking and talking? Do they suddenly have a problem with murdering people? Does this make sense?
Not only that but after getting the answers he sought out of Picard about growing up in Kansas, he lets Picard go back to the Enterprise? Why? Why not just take him then and beam him up to the scimitar and cloak the ship? What was the whole point of all this?
And just a side note, didn’t we already see a younger Picard that had hair on his head? So why does the picture of young Picard that Jean-Luc shows to Beverly have no hair?
So next we get a lot of talking about things the audience figured out as soon as the movie started and a creepy Troi mind rape that all culminates to Picard FINALLY being kidnapped. Somehow the Remans could tell who was who aboard the enterprise with their sensors, but ok I can accept that, but what I can’t accept is the stupid conversation that happens between Picard and Shinzon. At one point Shinzon claims Picard is being vain for thinking that he (Shinzon) made this whole plan to capture Picard…
Uhm what? Isn’t that exactly what Shinzon did? Like entirely?
Apparently, Reman sensors are amazing but their security just sucks. After we find out that this was all Picard’s plan to get aboard and find out what Shinzon was really up, having replaced B4 with data, Picard and thAndroidid run firefight style to the Romulan shuttlebay. Once there data complains how complex Reman codes are but then in about 12 tries guesses the door code. Do you realize how impossible that would really be? Does this make sense?
And once Picard and data are inside why do the Remans continue to just shoot the door Willy-nilly? Don’t they have transporters? Cant, they just beam into their own shuttlebay?
So Picard and Data escape and the Enterprise warps towards Federation Space and a rendezvous with the fleet. Which of course the location of that fleet requires the Enterprise to head through a communications dead zone in space. Janeway certainly didn’t think that one through.
And the Enterprise is only 40 minutes away from the fleet, but when the task force doesn’t detect the Enterprise heading out of the dead zone when they should have, why didn’t they head to intercept? They knew why Shinzon wanted Picard and that if they lost the advantage then their fleet sitting 40 minutes away would mean nothing!
So an Epic Battle begins, and YES it is Epic because we finally get to see just what a federation warship can do and handle. The Enterprise E is one Tough little ship! But why is LaForge on the bridge for this fight? Shouldn’t he be in Engineering you know just in case something needs engineering? I’m surprised they didn’t have Crusher on the bridge simply reporting on the casualties. And when did the consoles get those handhold bars? Answer? This movie.
When the Romulans show up to help the Enterprise they end up lasting about 5 seconds. Geez guys, thanks for showing up… Why are these vessels so weak? Makes me wonder if the Federation Fleet arriving would have made any difference anyhow.
Shinzon really is a skilled Captain though right? I mean I’m sure mining Dilithium on the Reman homeworld really prepared him to captain the scimitar right? Or are we to believe that kid Picard was taught all those fancy moves?
Finally, the Remans board the Enterprise and we get the craziest discrepancies of the entire movie. First off why does Worf suddenly pick that moment to talk about the Romulans fighting with honour? I mean he spent the whole dominion war complaining about them even though their inclusion helped win the war, but suddenly now they have honour? Didn’t they get the Enterprise in this situation, to begin with?
Then we get that they boarded on deck 29, meanwhile, we’ve already been told in “First Contact” by Picard that the ship only has 24 decks even though in that same movie another guy mentions deck 26, but now there are 29 decks? And once Riker, the worst shot in the Trek universe, goes after Viceroy for his Troi Rape revenge killing, it ends with the Reman falling from deck 29 to his death into an endless pit. Maybe the Enterprise E is like that temporal ship from Enterprise? Does this make sense?
When Shinzon, who wants Picard’s blood, attacks the main bridge blowing out the view screen it takes 15 seconds for the computer to put up a forcefield. Why? Was the computer on a coffee break? And why did Shinzon attack the bridge anyhow? What if Picard had thrown out into space?
And even though the Enterprise’s shields must be down instead of using those fancy remain sensors to one again steal Picard, Shinzon opts to “look him in the eye,” and have a little chat? W T F Shinzon? What exactly are you doing?
Picard uses that opportunity to ram the Enterprise right up Shinzon’s Warbird, and once hooked together Picard activates the auto-destruct, oh wait no, he doesn’t, he waits until Shinzon has time to separate the 2 vessels. And by that point the auto-destruct is offline. What good is auto-destruct if it can go off-line anyhow? That a serious design flaw. Couldn’t Picard have ordered LaForge in Engineering, on wait I mean ensign nobody in charge down there to fire a phaser at the warp core or disengage the fields separating the matter and antimatter and have the ship blow up anyhow?
And apparently the Scimitar was constructed no better the Enterprise E, as her conventional weapons go off-line after the ramming scene, but somehow, miraculously the Thalaron weapon and all it’s moving parts work just fine? Does this make sense?
So thanks to Picard’s ego we get the 75-year-old commando beaming over alone to the Reman vessel to take down this huge threat to the Federation. Huh? WHY? Deanna seems to forget the speech she gave Riker in the best of both worlds, about how it was inappropriate for him to lead an away team while he was in command.
At the very least couldn’t Picard AND data have gone? Or even the whole damn bridge crew? There was no line saying the Transporters could only beam one person now… Does this make sense?
Then we get old man fight club, the Federation Phaser rifle constructed out of paper mache breaks and data makes his way flying through space to the scimitar, It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s just Commander data.
Finally Picard finishes off Shinzon by driving a stake through him, he’s not a vampire Jean Luc but then Picard crumbles into Jelly from watching and having to do this… Why? Back in the season 2 episode time squared Picard’s killed his future self and seemed to have no reaction at all. So why all of a sudden now is he so crazed by this that he almost let everyone die on the Enterprise? isn’t this our hero Captain?
Thank god Data shows up and throws on the emergency transporter thing a ma bob no Picard, which in itself is a marvel to behold. After all how exactly does it work? I mean how does it beam itself into sub automatic particles and data streams and while in that state still manages to re-materialize Picard to just fine? I mean we know the Enterprise’s transporter system is out so it’s not connected to that… Does that make sense?
Once back aboard and the federation is safe we get a touching goodbye scene in Picard’s quarters to Data who lost his life firing at the Thalaron Generator and then we’re treated to a goodbye to Riker and a hello to B4 who has just begun to process Data’s memories making data no so dead.
See the story is convoluted and complex it makes no sense. Shinzon is so cartoon villain at some points and such a procrastinator at other points that he just seems ridiculous instead of threatening. The crew themselves also seem to act out of character with them doing things they shouldn’t or would never do. It’s just a mess of a movie.
Recently there have been rumours that there might be one last TNG film, and although I take them with a grain of salt I have to admit that they deserve one. After cementing Star Treks Future as a franchise I think we owe them one last “hurrah” that really honours them. But even if they don’t get one, they have MY thanks. It was through growing up with this crew that I became the person I am and they allowed my imagination to flourish. And I guess that’s why I never look too hard or deep into this film when I watch it. They deserve better than this and from me, they’ll have it…