Star Trek: Nemesis

February 25th, 2003 Comments Off on Star Trek: Nemesis

Last Friday, my wife and I went to the movies to see Star Trek: Nemesis. As I wrote before, I was waiting expectantly for this tenth installment in the movie series, especially considering that Star Trek is one of the things related to science fiction that I enjoy the most. Although I was a little afraid because of the bombastic failure of the movie in the USA box office, the movie didn’t disappoint me. Judging by the number of people in the session, the movie was not well received here in Brazil either. We went to one of the opening sessions, but only six people showed to the movie, including my wife and me. I know there are relatively few Star Trek fans in Belo Horizonte, but I was impressed that the movie didn’t draw more people. As it seems, the movie will be a big failure here too.

Nonetheless, I watched the movie and left satisfied. Even taking its weaknesses in account, I don’t think it deserved the box office result; however, as I liked all previous ten movies my word for it will not count that much. I don’t consider myself a hardcore fan, but I don’t have problems with any of the other movies in the series.

Back to the movie, the tagline seen in the trailers made clear this was the last movie featuring the New Generation, and the plot was coherent with this fact. The movie is about a conspiracy by the Remans, a side race to the Romulans, which intends to replace the Romulan Senate and later defy the Federation. The Romulan Senate is indeed replaced in the beginning of the movie by the use of a weapon developed by the Remans, called Nemesis, which is a radiation-based device capable of destroying all organic life in its range of action. The movie becomes interesting when the audience discovers that the Reman behind the weapon is not Reman at all, but human and, not only human, but also a clone of Picard. Shinzon, as he is called, created Nemesis and a cloaking starship that is itself a Nemesis device with which he intends to destroy Earth and bow the Federation to his desires. However, as it’s found later, he is dying because he was genetically programmed to age faster to match Picard. A duel is then born where time is short both for the Enterprise crew, which must find a way to stop Shinzon and save earth, and Shinzon, who needs to kidnap Picard to survive.

I think the movie played well with the facts presented. Picard and Shinzon are a good duo, opposing themselves in every move, and the plot deals strongly with the conflicts their co-existence generates. Shinzon, while able to predict Picard movies, falls prey of his own arrogance, and the movie ends with a personal fight between him and Picard that culminates with Data sacrifice to save both the Enterprise. Although I knew beforehand that Data would die in this movie, the knowledge didn’t attenuate the impact of the scene and I couldn’t help but fell sad about the passage of this dear character — even considering the final plot twist about it. Data’s ultimate sacrifice has a special meaning to the character in that he strived all of his positronic life to better himself and achieve human stature. His yielding of his life proved he had attained such objective.

All in all, I think the movie was worth watching. Nevertheless, after seeing it, I can understand why many people didn’t like the plot. The ending is too abrupt, and many will find it anti-climatic for this very reason.

The only thing I lament about Nemesis (as I lamented about Generations) was the fact that the passing of the Next Generation characters was not given a stronger emphasis in the movie (much as Kirk’s demise was not given a greater emphasis in Generations.) Picard and his crew deserved more than a simple indication of this passing — especially considering that they became a fundamental part of the Start Trek universe. As I always liked the Next Generation better than the old and the new series, I felt sad about this. At least, this movie offered a small compensation showing the Enterprise E in all its glory, something the previous movie failed to do.

The Next Generation crew will be missed. In my previous entry about the movie, I said it had a quality the other series couldn’t match. The actors imbued their characters which humanity and compassion, and that always resonated with me. Knowing that the one of the last scenes had to be re-shot because Patrick Steward started crying unintentionally only makes that sensation more real.

To those explorers who gave us so much pleasure sharing their adventures with us, I wish Godspeed to you.

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