In 1994, the reins of the “Star Trek” movie franchise were passed from the cast of “Star Trek: The Original Series” to the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The first of the TNG movies featured cast members from both TOS and TNG. It served as a formal transition from the original Enterprise crew to the contemporary Enterprise crew.
Over the next decade, three more TNG movies were made. The last TNG movie served as the official endpoint for the TNG crew.
Here’s a complete guide to all the TNG movies, in chronological order, with information about how fans can watch them.
‘Star Trek: Generations’ (1994)
The first TNG movie, “Star Trek: Generations” premiered three years after the last TOS movie, “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” Though the movie focused on the cast of “The Next Generation,” it also featured major cameos from three “Original Series” cast members. William Shatner reprised his role as Captain Kirk, James Doohan reprised his role as Montgomery Scott, and Walter Koenig reprised his role as Pavel Chekov.
“Generations” began with Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov attending the first launch of the Enterprise-B. The Enterprise was then called to rescue a ship of El-Aurians that was trapped in an energy ribbon. The Enterprise-B was destroyed during the mission.
Years later, the crew of the Enterprise-D rescued an El-Aurian named Soran who was obsessed with finding the energy ribbon that destroyed the Enterprise-B in order to travel to an interdimensional space called the Nexus. Eventually, Captain Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, ended up in the Nexus, where he found Captain Kirk. They teamed up to stop Soran’s schemes, which would have killed millions of innocent people.
The movie was met with mixed reviews from both critics and fans, as Den of Geek wrote in its retrospective on the film. However, most fans agree that “Generations” was a necessary passing of the torch.
Fans who want to watch the inaugural TNG movie can find it on Paramount+ and Hulu or they can rent it on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and AppleTV.
‘Star Trek: First Contact’ (1996)
Two years later, “Star Trek: First Contact” came out. It was the first “Star Trek” movie that didn’t feature any of the TOS cast members, focusing solely on the TNG cast members. It was also the first TNG movie directed by a cast member, Jonathan Frakes.
In “First Contact,” the crew of the Enterprise-E, which was commissioned after the Enterprise-D was destroyed in “Generations,” pursued the Borg through a temporal anomaly. The Borg were trying to prevent the first contact between humans and the Vulcans so they could assimilate Earth.
They traveled back to the day before First Contact Day. In order to preserve the timeline, part of the crew of the Enterprise had to track down Zefram Cochrane and ensure that he made his historic flight. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew fought the Borg as they tried to assimilate the Enterprise.
“First Contact” is widely considered one of the best movies in the entire “Star Trek” franchise and the best TNG movie.
Fans who want to watch this awesome flick can find it on Paramount+ or rent it on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Apple TV.
‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ (1998)
The next installment in the TNG movie franchise came in 1998 with the release of “Star Trek: Insurrection,” which Frakes also directed.
In the movie, Lieutenant Commander Data was part of a joint mission between the Federation and the Son’a, the purpose of which was to observe a species called the Ba’Ku. Data malfunctioned on the planet, blowing his cover. The Enterprise-E went to retrieve him even though they were ordered not to by Starfleet.
While on the Ba’Ku’s planet, the crew of the Enterprise discovered that the planet had regenerative properties, essentially making it a fountain of youth. As they explored the planet, they also uncovered a plot devised by Starfleet and the Son’a to secretly move the Ba’Ku so their planet’s resources could be used. The crew of the Enterprise-E battled against their own to save the Ba’Ku.
The movie garnered mixed reviews. The critics’ consensus from Rotten Tomatoes was “although not terrible, the sluggishly paced ‘Insurrection’ plays like an extended episode of the TV series.”
Fans who want to watch the third installment in the TNG movie franchise can find it on Paramount+ and Hulu or rent it on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Apple TV.
‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ (2002)
The next, and last, movie of the TNG series came out nearly four years later.
In “Star Trek: Nemesis,” the crew of the Enterprise-E, including the newlyweds William Riker and Deanna Troi-Riker, was sent on a diplomatic mission to Romulus. A Reman leader named Shinzon had overthrown the Romulan Empire and asked the Federation to engage in peace talks.
When the Enterprise-E arrived, they discovered that Shinzon had specifically requested the Enterprise for the talks because he wanted to meet Captain Picard. When they did meet, Shinzon revealed that he was a clone of Picard, made by the Romulans for a plot to infiltrate the Federation.
As talks with Shinzon progressed, the crew of the Enterprise discovered that he was dying and that he needed Picard’s blood in order to survive. They also found out that he was willing to acquire it by any means necessary.
Nemesis is widely regarded as the worst TNG movie and one of the worst movies in the entire “Star Trek” franchise. However, some fans are giving it a second look and defending its merits.
Fans who want to watch the last TNG movie can find it on Paramount+ and Amazon Prime or rent it on YouTube and Apple TV.
“Star Trek: Nemesis” was also the last “Star Trek” movie to take place in the Prime Timeline. When J.J. Abrams rebooted the “Star Trek” movie franchise in 2009, a time travel storyline took the story out of the Prime Timeline and created the Kelvin Timeline.
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