In the third and final part of our retrospective interview with Ron Moore, the veteran writer talks about the two Trek feature films he co-wrote with Brannon Braga. We also discuss JJ Abrams new Star Trek feature, including Moore’s visit to the set. Lastly Moore talks about his new non-Trek movie projects.
[AUDIO + Transcript below]
LISTEN: Ron Moore TrekMovie.com Interview – Part 3 Moore on Star Trek Feature films
TrekMovie.com: Lets switch to the features…I am not sure if you said it or if Rick [Berman] said it, but upon reflection some people thought a better first TNG movie would have been "Yesterday’s Enterprise" instead of Generations. Was that you?
Ron Moore: I think it was Rick who said that.
TrekMovie.com: What do you think of that notion?
Ron Moore: I think that is probably a valid point. If you listen to the commentary track on the Generations DVD, Brannon [Braga] and I talk pretty openly about our dissatisfaction with Generations and the reasons why it went south and the reasons we are not happy with it. I kind of feel it was a missed opportunity and a movie that just didn’t come together. "Yesterday’s Enterprise" would have been a great movie. You could certainly have done a fairly significant major motion picture out of it. It would have had a startling dark–I surprised Rick [Berman] cottoned to it, because the alternate Enterprise was so dark and so war-like and a completely different Federation and starship. It would have been a much edgier and rougher feeling on the big screen. You would have had to expand that idea of what it meant to be on the Enterprise at war for most, if not all of the movie would have been that idea. That would have been great. So sure, I could have seen "Yesterday’s Enterprise" as being the first feature.
Moore’s "Yesterday’s Enterprise" would have made for a darker first TNG film
TrekMovie.com: Leonard Nimoy said he really didn’t like the script from Generations and he felt that he didn’t want to direct it, he didn’t like the Spock role, so he denied that, and he felt the Kirk death was "gratuitous." So, do you think that…
Ron Moore: Well, I knew that. Leonard turned down the script, turned down the director’s chair on the film and I knew he didn’t like the script. It is hard to say at this point he was wrong. I think that Kirk’s death in our minds was integral to the film because it was a movie about death. It was a movie about mortality. It was a movie about Picard reaching a certain age and realizing there are more days behind him than were in front of him. His brother had died, the Enterprise herself died, and this mythic hero would ultimately have a mortal ending as well. Despite realizing we are mortal, you still move on and you still live your life and you still try and the make the most of it. That is what the movie was trying to be about. I think–Brannon and I were not ready to write that movie at that point in our careers. Our reach exceeded our grasp. We didn’t have the maturity and the seasoning as writers, and probably as human beings, to tackle something that grand and marry it to an action-adventure Star Trek film. So Leonard’s instincts were right. He clearly put his finger — I didn’t meet with him, but I remember after he met with Rick, Rick conveyed to us his reservations and why he didn’t like it. He put his finger on the right problems. The Nexus was a problem. The Nexus was a difficult concept that we were never able to crack and Kirk’s death didn’t pay off the themes in the way we wanted it to pay off. At the time we were doing our best and we thought it would work. We believed in the project and were trying to make it happen, but we were also writing the TV series at the same time. In retrospect it is easy to look back and say ‘here are all the problems and here is where you went south’ but at the moment we were all dedicated to trying to do the best movie that we could and we thought we had a good movie on our hands.
TrekMovie.com: Kirk dying in Generations is the public and, from what I understand much of the reason why William Shatner is not in the new movie. How do you resurrect someone and have it only be a cameo? There is a big call to resurrect Kirk and bring him back to life, to reverse what you did. What do you think of that thought?
Ron Moore: I think they are doing…as far as I am concerned they are doing Kirk, they are doing Spock. I don’t know. I like Bill. I have nothing against Bill, but I don’t know that there is a need to get beyond Generations in terms of Bill and bring him back in some thing. I don’t know. I don’t quite get it on some level why there is such a hew and cry to do that or not do that. It seems besides the point. They are going back to the beginning and starting over. They are bringing Leonard in and I sort of understand the desire to establish a tie between old Trek and new, but to me it just feels like a great opportunity to start over. I think the new movie will be more about the new Kirk and new Spock and the new McCoy than it is about ties to old.
Moore: Kirk’s Generations death didn’t work but leave it be
TrekMovie.com: Switching to First Contact, most people would say that both financially and review-wise that was the last big successful Star Trek movie. It was a hit and the fans liked it. That makes you an expert in making a good Star Trek movie…
Ron Moore: because I have a fifty-fifty track record [laughs]
TrekMovie.com: As an expert witness, what do you think the key elements are to a great Star Trek movie? What would you have told JJ [Abrams] two years ago when they just started. What are the key elements if anything?
Ron Moore: That’s hard because First Contact was done in a very specific time and place and the context of Trek where it was at that point. And at that point in time the gold standard was Wrath of Khan and everyone wanted to do Wrath of Khan by some other name. Even in Generations we were talking about Wrath of Khan. Wrath of Khan says ‘here is how you do a Star Trek movie.’ It’s action-adventure. You’ve got a big villain. You’ve got themes of aging and great little character moments, small moments of humor interspersed throughout. It embraces all the characters. You laugh with them, you cry with them. It ends on a bittersweet but hopeful note. It is just a great movie and it really stands up. First Contact hits a lot of those chords too, but it was done on a restricted budget. Paramount just didn’t want to spend much money on Trek movies. So the action quotient was kind of tame. If you really look at the action sequences they are not that exciting really. We were sitting production meetings counting phaser shots and trading dollars, it was an absurd sort of way of doing a movie like that. You were dealing with a lot of themes of time travel and what it meant to be human and reaching for the stars and so on, and it was a great little piece.
Moore: First Contact more about the character moments than action
Ron Moore: (continuing) If JJ and all would have asked me, I don’t know that I would have given them a lot of advice about Trek movies. I think I would have been more concerned with trying to capture the spirit of the Original Series. I am more interested as a fan of that. Going back and capturing that feeling of being on the frontier and being on the edge of something that was something that was part and parcel to the Original Series. I have been showing The Original Series to my kids now because they are getting old enough to watch it, and I am always struck by how out there by themselves Kirk, Spock and McCoy felt. The Enterprise was always a long way away from Starbases. Messages would take a long time to go back and forth. There was really a sense of them being out there on their own, with no one to turn to for help. There was a great sense of the frontier and the unknown and not knowing what is around the corner and only having themselves to fall back on. I think we kind of got away from that with the subsequent series. We started dealing with the Federation a lot. There were other starships involved a lot. Starfleet Command was never that far away. Even in First Contact you are going all the way back to Earth. There was a big battle with a lot of other starships involved. When you are thrown back in time you are on your own, but it is all within the context of a very populated Trek universe where there lots of other people around and lots of things going on. There is something great about Hornblower and his sailing ship out on the Pacific all alone far removed from the Admiralty and having to face down these ships that would loom out of nowhere. The wits of Hornblower and the strength of courage of his men manning the guns, I would have said that is the spirit I would try and capture for the movie.
Moore: Abrams Trek should recapture TOS sense of frontier
TrekMovie.com: You had a chance to visit the set. How much did they tell you about the script and the plot?
Ron Moore: Virtually nothing…and I didn’t really ask. I didn’t want to know and it was the first time in a long time that I could approach one of these Trek things as a fan and I just wanted to preserve that. I sort of avoided looking at the teaser trailer for a long time and finally broke down and watched the teaser trailer. I was just there to walk onto a Federation Starship again after a long time and just enjoy the thrill of not knowing what the scene was and not knowing who that character in the corner was. I just wanted to be a fan again for a moment and not know too much on the inside.
TrekMovie.com: What did you think – where you on the Enterprise set?
Ron Moore: I saw it. I liked it. I liked the aesthetic. I liked the production design. I was very pleased with the visual of it…I think they have a lot of faith in what they are doing. There is a lot of confidence in the production. It is a very happy set. They all seem really committed to what they are doing. I think it is going to work.
Moore likes Star Trek’s new aesthetic
LISTEN: Ron Moore TrekMovie.com Interview – Part 4: Moore on his upcoming movie projects
TrekMovie.com: Let’s talk about the latest announcements quickly, you just signed a deal with UA to do a sci-fi trilogy. Is that an original idea from you?
Ron Moore: Yeah, I had a meeting with UA a while back and we started talking about the potential for a film franchise and doing a trilogy and there was an idea that came up in the room that was sort of a combination of things and was an arena they were interested in and things I was interested in. The more we talked we realized there was a great opportunity to do something. And we went from there.
TrekMovie.com: Is this a big sci-fi space, tent pole kind of stuff?
Ron Moore: Ya, but that all I can probably say about it at this point. The idea is to do a big epic sci-fi franchise.
TrekMovie.com: The other thing is this Fox project, Virtuality. There is a brief description and most people are going ‘that sounds a hell of a lot like a giant holodeck ship’ or something like that. Is that a fair description?
Ron Moore: Not really. It is not a holodeck ship at all. It is a ship on an extended voyage and the astronauts on the voyage have these virtual reality modules that were given to them to essentially alleviate the boredom and to give them rest and recreation on the way. It is a very very long mission — I think we are talking about a ten year mission in total — the ship is essentially going in a straight line for a very long time. So it is not like the ship is going to have all these adventures and things to do so it will mostly be maintenance. So NASA and a private consortium gave them, invented these modules, which at this point is technology that was available to people back on Earth. And it allows them to sort of insert themselves into virtual reality worlds that are three dimensional and photo real and they go off and can sort of do things to pass them time. And something sort of starts to occur within the realities of those worlds which leads them to believe something is going on here. But it is not like a holodeck where you walk into a holodeck and a physical reality is created around you. There is not a room on the ship where you experience these things. Essentially you go into this virtual reality.
TrekMovie.com: From a practical point of view you will be shooting scenes where they are in this virtual world…
Ron Moore: Ya
TrekMovie.com: So you can use location shooting and have it be in the virtual world
Ron Moore: Or it might be CG or a combination of both. We are still working out all the parameters of how we work out the parameters of that.
TrekMovie.com: But it doesn’t take place entirely in that…so there will be ship sets and such…
Ron Moore: Oh yah. Absolutely.
Moores new “Virtuality” not about a holodeck ship
(image from "Our Man Bashir" Moore’s sole ‘holodeck malfunction’ episode )
Read (or listen) to the first two parts of the TrekMovie.com interview with Ron Moore
Part 1: Breaking Out Of The Box (on changes at TNG and dealing wtih continuity)
Part 2: Fighting the cliches (on doing different episodes, DS9, VOY and BSG)
I always kinda liked him, but can’t get past what they did to Kirk in Generations!
Great interviews with him and I can’t find a single thought of his I disagree with.
I’m glad he’s willing to be critical of his own work, particularly “Generations.”
Pleeeease let there be more TNG movies! (And a few characters from DS9 and/or VOY).
Sounds promising. I like Moore and i like his version of BSG. I’m glad he liked the new Ent, gives some hope :)
#1 – I can. And I love James T. Kirk.
I totally agree with him about Kirk being dead. Why bring him back? What is the point of that? Do people think that if Shatner shows up in a cameo in Star Trek 11 he’ll suddenly be the lead in Star Trek 12? Do people realize Shatner will likely be dead in a few years time?
If all you need is a more “grand” death scene then by all means read Shatner’s books, he does as good a job as anyone resurrecting Kirk.
“There was really a sense of them being out there on their own, with no one to turn to for help. There was a great sense of the frontier and the unknown and not knowing what is around the corner and only having themselves to fall back on. I think we kind of got away from that with the subsequent series. We started dealing with the Federation a lot. There were other starships involved a lot. Starfleet Command was never that far away.”
It’s sad, but true. Shatner is not long for this world. Neither is Nimoy. We’ve already witnessed several Trek cast deaths thus far, God rest their souls. They may have provided the world with an immortal show that has changed everything we know today, but the actors themselves are still mortal.
Note: Bill Gates mentioned that one of his inspirations was the user-friendly interface of the Enterprise. Now we have Vista….
There would be little point to resurrecting Kirk. Sure, I’d like to see it, but…. it just wouldn’t be logical. In this case, we have to be more like Vulcans and less like humans. Trying to do something absurd to bring back Kirk just wouldn’t work. Let the man rest in peace.
“Despite realizing we are mortal, you still move on and you still live your life and you still try and the make the most of it. That is what the movie was trying to be about. I think–Brannon and I were not ready to write that movie at that point in our careers. Our reach exceeded our grasp. We didn’t have the maturity and the seasoning as writers, and probably as human beings, to tackle something that grand and marry it to an action-adventure Star Trek film. So Leonard’s instincts were right.”
Probably one of the most frank and honest admissions from a writer that I’ve EVER heard. It’s kind of refreshing to hear someone admit to their mistakes in such a way. You don’t get that very often from Hollywood-types, where your own ego can eat you alive!
Generations plays like a studio boardroom meeting:
Kirk and Picard in the same scene? Check.
Get some other TOS actors in there somehow. I don’t care who; two oughta do it. Check.
Euro bad guy? Check.
Give ’em “new” uniforms, but don’t spend too much. See what we’ve got in stock.
Kill off characters we’ll never miss in later stories? Check.
Big explosions, and if we run over budget on the big explosions just reuse a big explosion from the last movie. Check.
Generations lacks a certain organic sense. OK, I’m not running a studio, but it seems to me the best stories arise from the existing lives of the characters… not anomolies and 2D villains.
Here’s to hoping Paramount let’s JJ do it better…
I have always enjoyed RDM’s work and what he has done with both Star Trek and BSG. I have also noticed how a lot of people would like to see another TNG movie with elements of DS9/Voyager thrown in.
To me, the most logical way to remedy this would be to produce a two-hour television movie or mini-series event that would focus on Captain Riker and the Titan as they begin to explore the Gamma Quadrant following the Dominion War and the rebuilding of Cardassia. You could incorporate DS9 and have characters from that show as well as TNG and Voyager aboard.
RDM, I hope you’re reading this…and if you’re looking for writers, well…
“First Contact hits a lot of those chords too, but it was done on a restricted budget.”
A restricted budget, really? “Wrath of Khan” was made completely on the cheap, for 10 or 12 million dollars and anything that could be scrounged and salvaged from STTMP. Even adjusted for inflation, “First Contact” had a much bigger budget, the benefit of a whole production that had been in place and running for nearly a decade, a warehouse full of props and costumes and set pieces that were essentially free production value. “First Contact” benefited from a lot more studio support than “Wrath of Khan”. Nick Meyer and Harve Bennett just made a better movie, plain and simple.
@ 11 epyon: I’m not sure Ron would be interested in revisiting Star Trek at all or at least the TNG era. He’s made it pretty clear that he didn’t like some of the restrictions (like the no conflict between Starfleet people rule) and would have liked to take Star Trek in different directions. Also, he apparently finds the 500+ episodes already done in that era to be a burden creatively.
From what I’ve read he seems to keep busy with other projects (TV and movies) so I wouldn’t hold my breath to see a new ST story from him any time soon.
Anthony, could you guys please start spelling it “yeah” instead of “ya”? I’m pretty sure “ya” is not canon.
And could everyone please just get over the “make more TNG movies” thing?
And personally I’m glad they killed off Kirk when they did. Shatner’s just too old to do action scenes with any degree of believabilty anymore. Love the Shatman but yeah, don’t bring him back.
See? The “yeah” in that last sentence looks all right.
Oh yeah, and all you “Way to Eden” guys, it’s “Yea, brother” not “Yay, brother”. As in “yea, verily.”
Fantastic interview, Anthony. My thanks to Mr. Moore for his time and candidness.
“I was just there to walk onto a Federation Starship again after a long time and just enjoy the thrill of not knowing what the scene was and not knowing who that character in the corner was. I just wanted to be a fan again for a moment and not know too much on the inside.”
I love the grass-is-always-greener irony at work here; this fan is finding “not knowing too much on the inside” increasingly frustrating!
What I wouldn’t give to just sit down and have a cold beer with the likes of Ron Moore, JJ or Bob Orci.
17 – Yea, Brother.
I hope Caprica is good as New BSG. It’s cool Sci Fi gave BSG a spin off series.
A cold beer would be nice, But I think I would prefer a glass of Chateau Picard.
Sounds like a man who ahs matured with the profession. Good to see him willing to critique himself honestly. Mistakes aside, I believe he did a good job overall.
i was a member of the star trek fan club back when generations came out. i had a little tag sown onto my jacket..yes i was that into it!!…then when i saw generations i was really embarassed that i had that on my jacket. first thing i did when i got home was rip it off…it really was an awful awful film.. but people at the time were raving about it…star trek fans can be so blind
BUT, IN DEFENSE OF MOORE & BRAGA…
…who knows what kind of a script they would have come up with for GENERATIONS had they been given enough time to prepare, nurture and rewrite. The 1994 film was one of the most blatant examples EVER of rushing a movie into production… the corpse of the final season of TNG hadn’t even cooled when they went straight into GENERATIONS, and the final product suffers in almost every way because of this. Yes, the acting is decent; yes, Kirk/Shatner shows up; and yes, it probably has the best photography and special effects out of all the TNG films, BUT….
…the script is a shoddy, undercooked, sloppy, incoherent mess and is the #1 reason why I think GENERATIONS could easily qualify as the worst of the TNG films–it had the most potential to really be something special, but failed miserably in such a disheartening way.
We all know that Moore & Braga wrote some of the best TNG scripts together for the TV show… it’s not unreasonable to assume that they could have come up with something MUCH stronger for TNG’s first film foray, had Paramount/Berman/whoever decided to give “All Good Things…” and GENERATIONS more breathing room than a mere six months. Why they chose to rush it so quickly I’ll never understand…
Wow. Ron More sounds almost exactly as that guy that does those BSG podcasts. What is the scotch and is the smoking lamp on?
In regards to the “on the budget” threads, you know you’re on a budget when you decide that instead of building a full engineering room, you build a false 3d perspective engineering room and hire midgits to populate it.
Er… Little people. Sorry. I didn’t mean to sound derogatory.
The one thing about Generations, which I generally liked (and I have always been a bit baffled by the hate thrown at the movie as a whole), that is most intriguing is actually the Nexus — which Moore says turned away Nimoy’s involvement. I find this strange because the concept of the Nexus is the most blatant version of Trek’s most persistent re-occurring theme: mankind’s rejection of Paradise or a simulation of Paradise to struggle and deal with reality on its own terms (a great ironic theme when played against the material’s essential escapist draw and nature). Consider it over and over: the Talosians simulated fantasies for Pike, “This Side of Paradise” (reinforced blatantly by Kirk’s final patch of dialog), the seductions of “I Mudd”‘s androids, the freaky mindset of “The Way to Eden” and the cinematic variant in The Final Frontier. Spock describes the classic painting in his quarters in The Undiscovered Country as “depicting the expulsion from paradise” which reflects the conflicts both at odds in the story and with Roddenberry’s latter revisionist “perfection of human the condition” idea. In DS9’s “Homefront” (I think), Sisko comments how easy it is to live in Paradise. It goes on and on.
I’ve actually thought of writing an essay (or even a book) on this idea: how this is the key and central theme of Trek (with many other related and conflicting themes, of course) and how it changed over time while remaining essentially the same.
At any rate, I think the Nexus is essentially Trek’s main idea (and it’s a big Humanist idea) writ large.
Sorry for some confusing grammar. If I ever do write that essay or book, I’ll have someone go over it furst.
How awesome would Voyager have been if he had control of it…..just awesome to think about.
Ronald Moore is my hero… hahaha
#:23: Keep in mind that two scripts were commissioned for Generations… the other being from former Trek writer/exec producer Maurice Hurley. I worked with him on another TV series, and I remember asking him about it. His concept was far more interesting that what Generations turned out to be, but it was Paramount that decided to greenlight the Moore/Braga script.
I’m not surprised the film hasn’t aged well. I said it was godawful at the time, and many diehard Trek fans I knew then thought I was crazy. No, I wasn’t. It was just an awful film. Glad to hear that Moore has admitted as much.
Ron Moore: still a genius.
#5-Not sure how to respond to that, escept to say, “good for you!” It just would have been cool to have Bill and Lenny both kicking this thing off…it would have been GLORIOUS! Even without Bill, I bet it’ll be great, just would have been cool for one last time.
Lord, it’s late and I can’t type…I hate having something spelled incorrectly: EXCEPT
33. The reason I can live without him is the fact that it would have seemed “forced” to bring him back.
Besides, as far as the new Trek movie goes, it would take the spotlight from the new cast to have more than Leonard Nimoy in the film.
Also, the work to bring him back and do it right would have over-complicated the movie, and the whole thing would collapse under it’s own weight.
In some ways, it would have been fun, but once the novelty wears off, what then?
Generations and First Contact are good TNG movies. Much better than Insurrection and Nemesis. I liked Picard in Generations. I really liked the Kirk Picard dynamic at the end of the movie. Kirk should have met Picard at the beginning of the movie!
34. In regards to bad typing, I know the feeling. In a prior post I misspelled Ron Moore’s name. I feel like a real wad. I wish there were a way that I could edit my posts.
I managed to see the script before “All Good Things…” had even aired, so I already knew about Kirk getting shot in the back by Soren and already knew the movie would be a complete abomination.
When Shatner made an appearance at Starfest Denver that year and announced that they were going to reshoot the ending, after getting the absolute worst responses from test audiences, I was cheering the loudest.
Simply put, Generations is a script that never should’ve been filmed. I managed to cook up a reset button ending in around an hour or so, probably less. Now, if a rank amateur like me can do that, what’s their excuse?
best video ever!
Something I’ve always found interesting is that all my friends who are not Trek fans at all like Generations more than any of the other films (TNG films, anyway). I’m not sure why…perhaps because despite its flawed storyline, the characters are more sympathetic and ‘human’ than in subsequent outings.
You have Picard crying over his brother and nephew’s deaths’, Data coming to terms with basic emotions, Soran’s desire to be reunited with his dead family no matter the cost, Kirk dealing with not being in the Captain’s Chair for the first time…these are all things that everyday people have to deal with at some time or another in life, to varying degrees. I mean, that’s only a guess as to why, perhaps someone else has greater insight into it than I do.
Oh and #12 – actually, they didn’t have years of sets and designs to draw from. In contrast to Star Trek II being able to use the exact same sets from TMP (and TMP being able to use the Phase II sets) as it was still the same ship, FC had to start from scratch for the most part, as they were literally on a different ship. The bridge, engine room, and hallways were all new. TWOK also had the advantage of using footage from the previous film, with the whole inspection sequence coming right out of TMP (something FC couldn’t do with the Ent-D being destroyed). The Borg Cube was a completely new design, as the original had been destroyed. The Phoenix and many of the other ships seen in the opening battle scene were designed from scratch (those that weren’t CGI). The Borg themselves were completely redesigned, with far more elaborate makeup than previous outings. Instead of relative unknowns and the star of Fantasy Island, FC included 2 Oscar nominees. A budget of $40 million in 1996 for this type of movie WAS limited. Mars Attacks was made in the same year and its budget was $80,000,000! (most of which, I would assume, went to pay the myriad of A-listers playing bit parts). The Fifth Element had a budget of nearly $100,000,000. Hell, I think The Arrival had a bigger budget than FC. I think Moore’s complaint isn’t so extreme.
there already was a reset button in Generations…Picard initially failed in stopping Soran from destroying the Veridian star hence why he was thrust into the Nexus…when Picard escaped from The Nexus with Kirk, that meant there would’ve been TWO PICARDS ON VERIDIAN 3 the second time around…a much better way out would’ve been the other Picard sacrificing himself to save the Picard that came from The Nexus as well as Kirk…then Kirk not dying but in the manner akin to Kelsey Grammer’s Captain Bateson in Season 5’s Cause & Effect, Kirk acclimates into 24th Century life and much like we never saw Bones after Encounter At Farpoint or Scotty after Relics, we simply assume that Kirk finally got the peaceful, happy, family life he always desired after his son’s murder by The Klingons…
as for Generations being a fundamentally bad story; no it wasn’t…but like Nemesis it would’ve benefitted from a much more epic scope to it…now, think of this: an added dimension to the story…yes, Yesterdays Enterprise but not instead of the Generations storybut as part of it…
we have an added dimension in which Sela tries to go back in time back to Narendra 3 to the battle between the Enterprise C and The Romulans to destroy the Enterprise C before it can engage the Romulans of the past to force war between the Klingons and the Federation and in turn begin a plot to seize control of the Romulan Empire, kill her mother Tasha Yar while she was a baby and raise her own past self the way she wanted with the ultimate goal of conquering both the Klingon Empire and the Federation…
the details are still sketchy in my mind but this other version would have Soran factoring into this with at least 4 different timelines either seen, interacting or mentioned/implied..the original timeline pre-Yesterdays Enterprise anomaly, the altered one with Starfleet at war with the Klingons, the timeline created post-Yesterdays Enterprise with Sela (assuming the whole Yesterdays Enterprise thing wasnt a kind of temporal paradox), the timeline in Generations where Picard fails to stop Soran, the new timeline I spoke of above where Kirk survives, the new timeline Sela in my story was trying to create, and the end timeline where after Kirk survives the Soran incident, he must go back in time and into the Yesterdays Enterprise alternate timeline pre Enterprise C going back thru the rift…and JOINING THE ALTERNATE TASHA YAR on the Enterprise C, commanding the ship into her heroic battle defending the Klingons (a historically ironic extension of the peace he made with Davids death by forgiving the Klingons of it in Star Trek VI) at Narendra 3…giving Kirk the epic, heroic death he was always meant to have…
this story likely wouldve been a 2 or 3 film story, but wouldve been well worth it…as it is now if only Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books accepted this type of story from first time writers for Trek itd make a great novel trilogy…somethin in the vein of DS9’s Millennium saga in scope and depth…maybe if I could contact The Shat…LOL
REGARDING THE NEW FILM…on the issue of the feasibility of other actors playing THE CLASSIC CREW, I’m reminded of what the 1990s tv series Sliders did when Jerry O’Connell and his brother Charlie left the show for the final season…the had the team ‘slide’ into a parallel universe where Jerry’s character looked completely different but thru an anomaly in the wormhole geometry the old version of Jerry’s character Quinn Mallory (his consciousness anyway) merged into the new different looking version of him played by a new actor in a way similar to how Data was a part of B-4 at the end of Nemesis…this idea was based on the multiverse theory element wherein its hypothesized that anyone and/or anything can exist in any conceivable form in an alternate quantum reality, a concept explored to a lesser degree in TNG’S 7th season episode Parallels…so the rumored plot of jj’s film is not only realistic but its one of the most intellectual and scientifically plausible storylines in Star Trek’s history…
as for what is and isnt canon in Trek, everything is canon…every episode, every film, every novel, comic book, fan fiction, and yes even the lamented Animated Series…when you redefine the concept of Trek canon to be from an almost Q-like or Prophets-like viewpoint, viewing not one to thirteen timelines diverging from one another at various points where canon is just Shat’s era or just TNG thru Insurrection, or all live action Trek minus ST X or ST V and ST X and The Animated Series etc…but as one cohesive whole…everything Trek is canon as part of a Star Trek multiverse. End of story.
Funny that he speaks of budget constraints on First Contact. Wrath Of Khan also had a tight budget, as did the original Star Wars. Great movies all three. Something about tight budgets in sci-fi gets talented people to focus their priorities right. Firefly is like an entire series bearing this out.
I thought Generations’ prologue was a great and touching 10-minute movie about the eventual death of Kirk. It seemed fitting that he’d meet his end when the Enterprise was no longer his ship, but saving it anyways. You can disregard the Nexus stuff afterward.
I enjoy ‘Generations’ quite a bit, but I think it works much better as the final TOS film, then as the first TNG film.
Everytime I watch it, I read it as a metacommentary on the nature of nostalgia–and how the franchise and Kirk are trying too hard to hold onto the past, and extend it indefinitely (ie, the Nexus). Soran could easily be the producers, or Paramount. The end of the film works for me because the narrative spends its time really working through that question of letting go, and laying the foundation for a new crew to emerge, unhindered by the past.
Yes, if you are a TNG fan, and that’s all you are looking for, then I can see Generations being frustrating at best.
But I always thought Generations makes an excellent companion piece to Undiscovered Country, as the melancholy epic goodbye to TOS.
#35-But had they not “killed him off”, none of those issues would have been in place or considered a problem. Frankly, having them both in the movie, if the story is as great as everyone claims, shouldn’t (and wouldn’t)have taken away from the new cast–it could have been a double blessing given by the old crew to the new. Now, it’s one original actor giving his blessing (and frankly, the more original crew that likes it and wants to bless it, the better I feel about going to the movie). Just my thoughts–I’m an old die hard Star Trek fan!
Good interview and I agree with all of his observations. And it does my heart good to hear Mr. Moore is giving his kids a steady dose of TOS, the gift that keeps on giving.
my extravagant fanboy wish was that they had split Generations into two movies – obviously they would have never ACTUALLY done that, but in a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too sort of world it would have been great. That portion of the film always felt rushed to me when it seemed like there WERE some interesting things going on. #42 Jason is spot on about all of the things going on underneath the surface of the Ent. B sequence …And we would have had more time with Cameron in charge of the Enterprise.
Thanks for doing this interview, Anthony. I think it sheds a lot of light on what many of us have thought of the creative endeavors of Ron Moore and the rest of the team that brought us new Trek throughout the years. Ron seems to have a grounding that is refreshing and he doesn’t seem to be the full-of-himself Hollywood type that is very stereotypical. He’s a working guy that just happens to have his work seen by millions of people. All in all, he brought us epic entertainment, which many writers and folks in Hollywood cannot claim for themselves.
I for one have greatly enjoyed the entertainment that Ron Moore’s been a part of for Trek, as it is a team effort, such as the actors, Okudas, Sternbach, Berman, Zimmerman, etc. He has faith in J.J. & Co. for the new film, as I do. It’s neat that he got a set visit, but didn’t want to learn too much about the film so he can experience it firsthand as a moviegoer and fan. That speaks volumes about how he feels about Star Trek, but I wouldn’t pass up a set visit either!
First, thanks to Ron Moore for doing these interviews.
He’s always been my personal writing hero (read: the fan that made good) that I’ve long since admired him and his work, especially all the hard work that went into fleshing out Worf’s character.
Second, I have to side against the notion of revisiting the Nexus to bring back Kirk. As Moore states, the Nexus never quite worked to begin with. Why bring that sort of baggage to what is essentially a new, fresh start for a new generation of fans? I could only imagine the mounds of exposistion needed just to pull of what would be no more than a two page nod to the die-hards — of which I am one.
Now, we are hearing rumors that we’ll be seeing alternate realities in this story as Spcok travels back, through time, to rescue his friend. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to have a world in which the Federation is corrupt run by an evil Kirk, played by Bill Shatner. He’s still Kirk. He’s still Bill. He’s just not our Kirk and that might even prove an even more interesting role for Shatner, who is proving all over again he’s a force to be reckon with on “Boston Legal.”
#23—-“The 1994 film was one of the most blatant examples EVER of rushing a movie into production”
I don’t buy that as an excuse, and Ron Moore is respectably honest in his assessment of things. They just were not equipped to tell that story and make it work. It was a mistake. Period. Bad movie.
Moore really shows some integrity by being willing to face facts on some of his earlier work. I especially like the way, in retrospect, he defers to Leonard Nimoy’s wisdom. There were good reasons why Nimoy didn’t like the script for Generations, declined the director’s chair, and a cameo appearance. He didn’t want his name on the thing! It also makes me feel more secure about STXI, which Nimoy has touted as an excellent script and a project worth committing himself to.
I also agree with his thoughts on the somewhat puzzling outcries for William Shatner in STXI. I am as big a fan of the Original Series as anyone, but it’s just not that big a deal to me, and certainly not worth going outside of the story to ressurect him, or worse, changing the story to make him relevant.
I’ve seen the old, and although I’m thrilled to see Nimoy on board, I want to see the “new” Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. I’m not afraid of change. I want to see a USS Enterprise that my kids will believe is from the 23rd Century. If Captain Kirk slips up and refers to his landing party as an “away team”, it won’t ruin the movie for me.
Moore is approaching the new movie as a fan much as I am. I don’t want to know too much, and I’m excited to know that Star Trek is going back to its roots.
“I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to have a world in which the Federation is corrupt run by an evil Kirk, played by Bill Shatner.”
I’m sorry, but that sounds more like one of George Takei’s nightmares than a $150 million budget feature film. STXI already has a villain–a Romulan by the name of Nero, played by Eric Bana.