Longtime fans of “Star Trek” are well aware of the pecking order of the franchise’s films. It seems like there are three distinct categories. There are outstanding ones, like “The Wrath of Khan,” “The Voyage Home,” and “First Contact.” Then, there’s a second tier of stories, including “The Search for Spock” and “Insurrection” — these were just ‘OK.’
The final slot is reserved for the series of films saved for special occasions… like for anniversaries or when trying to watch all of the movies in order. These include “The Motion Picture,” “The Final Frontier,” and “Nemesis.”
They Knew This Was The Last One
Even though Paramount had plans for a fifth film after “Nemesis,” the cast and crew knew that this was it for their run. During one of her press interviews before the film’s release, Marina Sirtis (Troi) said as much.
“Fortunately, this looks like it’s going to be the last movie,” Sirtis said when explaining her fear of taking her clothes off in front of the crew for a mind-melding scene.
Like the other cast members, Sirtis hit the circuit to urge fans and non-fans to come out and see “Nemesis.”
Nemesis Didn’t Connect with Moviegoers
Unfortunately, “Nemesis” did not perform well at the box office. The film was made on a $60 million budget and brought back just $67 million. That is considered a flop, or as Gizmodo says, “a franchise killer.”
Compare that with the release of “Star Wars – Special Edition” a few years before, which raked in $138.26 million. It is easy to understand why Paramount stopped developing any more TNG films. However, some fans have taken it upon themselves to fix the plot and script problems.
Many fans point out that the film may have been doomed from the start since Stewart Baird was enlisted to direct and allegedly “hated” the franchise. It is reported that he also refused to watch any of the prior films or series to get a feel for what ought to happen. Baird even called LeVar Burton “Laverne” by accident.
Even now, some look back at Tom Hardy’s performance as a Picard clone (Shinzon) and are reevaluating it. However, because of this box office failure, fans would not see Trek back on the silver screen until the 2009 ‘reboot’ series, which starred Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk.
‘Nemesis’ Created a Ripple of Storylines
Even though it is considered a failure, it is now a critical link that connects so much Star Trek canon together. In a way, the fact that the story concocted in Nemesis by Brent Spiner, John Logan, and Rick Berman has affected nearly everything that followed.
For example, if it were not for “Nemesis,” there might have been no “Star Trek: Picard.” Set eighteen years after the movie, fans rejoin Jean-Luc Picard as he is wasting away on his family vineyard. Though Patrick Stewart is back as Picard, he is changed. He’s older and full of regret.
‘Star Trek: Picard’ Was Needed to Fix ‘Nemesis’
As writer Sean Kelly observed, much of the new “Picard” series happened to fix the mistakes from “Nemesis.”
“‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ will never be a good movie,” Kelly opined. “But if ‘Star Trek: Picard’ can take the narrative threads left behind and run with them, it will retroactively become a better one.”
Essentially, according to Kelly and many fans, the Picard series was needed to clean up the mess left from “Nemesis.” Thanks to a bad ending in 2002, fans got to see more stories featuring Picard, Data, Riker, and Troi. There’s no way to know if a Picard series would have been made if fans weren’t so dissatisfied with “Nemesis.”
Picard connects the Kelvin Films to Prime Canon
Thanks to the story on “Picard,” our favorite captain is on the rocks with Starfleet after the failed rescue mission of Romulus. Picard quits and goes back to France after Starfleet decides not to save their former enemies.
The destruction of Romulus was the reason why Nero used his mining vessel to travel back in time and terrorize Vulcan and Earth in “Star Trek (2009).” Thanks to the flashback in “Picard,” fans now know that the Kelvin and Prime timelines are connected and not just an offshoot.
Captain Janeway promoted to Admiral
Thanks to a little cameo from Kate Mulgrew, fans got to see what happened to Janeway after returning from her seven-year journey. She got a promotion and was able to tell Jean-Luc what to do.
Will this small scene play into the upcoming “Star Trek: Prodigy” show, where Janeway will return? Possibly. The images and information released about Janeway indicate that she is still a captain. If one looks closely, you might notice that her collar has no “pips” or the small golden pins which indicate rank. Janeway could return to Trek as an admiral.