10th Anniversary Review of Star Trek Insurrection

On December 11th, 1998, 10 years ago today, Paramount released the third TNG era feature film (and ninth in the Trek franchise), Star Trek Insurrection. For the rest of the week, TrekMovie.com will celebrate the anniversary with a series of Insurrection themed articles, starting today with a retro review of the film, including some behind-the-scenes info on its inception.



A new writer steps in for TNG’s third film.
The story of the creation of Star Trek Insurrection took many turns and twists on its road to theaters. In early 1997, just a couple of months after Star Trek First Contact became a box office hit, producer Rick Berman again tapped Jonathan Frakes for the director’s chair, but approached Michael Piller to develop a script for the First Contact follow-up. Ron Moore and Brannon Braga had written the previous two Trek films, but had other commitments. Piller had never written a feature film, but his contributions to Star Trek were  legion (as a writer and show-runner for Next Generation to his co-creation of Deep Space Nine and Voyager).

Piller’s first treatment, entitled "Star Trek: Stardust," was completed May 9, 1997 which was a much more serious drama based on the themes of the 1902 novella by Joseph Conrad "Heart of Darkness." The early drafts of the script involved Picard going after an old friend named Hugh Duffy who is claiming that the Federation is in collusion with the Romulans (whose leader is a charmer named Joss) to destroy a world in order to gain its precious ‘sarium krellide’ ore. In defiance of Commander Norton of Starfleet (who was later changed to Admiral Matthew Dougherty), Picard realizes that Duffy is telling the truth and he places his four pips on a table to become a rebel fighting alongside Duffy. The early drafts includes a fight between Worf and Joss, Riker and crew helping Picard in his mission, political intrigue, and an ending of Picard standing before the Federation Council to answer for his actions. He is told his career is over until we hear Boothby applauding Picard’s comments and soon a chorus of people chant support for Picard and his mission. Based on this early version, the film wouldn’t have resolved whether or not Picard has his command back (we will have to wait for the sequel Piller promised). Many other drafts would be written during the next year, until the narrative was one with which everyone was happy. In fact, Ira Steven Behr contributed comments and notes about the script. With one of the drafts, Piller tells how he was worried because Ira took his glasses off before offering his opinion, and he never takes his glasses off! Pre-production started in early 1998 and after a quick production and post-production the film was released December 11th.

Micheal Piller on the set of "Star Trek Insurrection"

A return to traditional themes
Star Trek: Insurrection is a return to some of the more Roddenberry-esque themes of Star Trek. The movie, like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, deals with social issues, here the notions of population transfer of the Ba’ku and the cluttering of Picard’s life because of politics and technology. Also, like Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the narrative sides with the idea that the needs of the few (the Ba’ku) are more important than the needs of the many (the Federation). Picard carries on the Kirk movie tradition of defying orders he finds morally problematic, and the kind of giddy fun that Star Trek heroes sometimes have when being defiant for a good cause. In many ways, Piller succeeds in creating what may be the most ‘Star Trekian’ of all of the Star Trek films, although it is fair to criticize the film as perhaps too derivative of other Star Trek episodes and movies (such as using the "Sorvino Switch" from the TNG episode. "Homeward").

The themes of the film are apparent right off the bat with the opening sequence of Insurrection speaking volumes about society. Director Jonathan Frakes films the Baku as slow moving people, whose gestures flow on screen. They take the time to check their irrigation system and stop to smell the proverbial roses. There is humanity in this community, and personal interactions. This is contrast to the Federation and Son’a, huddled with their technology, dealing with each other impersonally and in their ascribed roles. The juxtaposition of the serenity with Data’s technobabble dialog ("Transferring positronic matrix functions…engaging secondary protocols") serves as a warning about what we might become if we and how much of our daily conversations is impersonal.

The techo-Feds look down on the idyllic Ba’ku

A lighter more character-focused film
As the various drafts of the script were being written, both Patrick Stewart and the studio felt that this film should be more about character than the previous TNG films and should be funnier in tone. Occasionally, the humor works, as the scene with Picard and his crew preparing for their reception with the Evora delegates or Data’s reaction to Riker’s notion that his beardlessness is as smooth as an android’s bottom. Other times it is ill advised, especially with Worf and his teenage acne, which becomes slapstick. There are many scenes of inspiring heroics and friendship, especially when the crew will not let Picard deal with the Son’a on his own. However, the ending does not add to much except a confusing space battle (added at the last minute after test audiences didn’t like the original ending) and another Picard faces Chief Villain alone scenes featured in every TNG feature film. Insurrection does take a more ‘ensemble’ approach than other Trek films. All the characters all have something to do that is unique to them, and you don’t get the sense that some of their dialog is interchangeable like you do with some of the TOS era films. For example, Geordi gets to eject the warp core and has his vision restored temporarily, Deanna and Riker have their romance, Beverly gets to act as a doctor and discovers the secret of the Baku and Son’a, Worf gets some battle action, and Data is returned to his more Pinocchio roots and has a nice relationship with the Baku people, especially Artim. And hey, Riker shaved his beard!

Insurrection lightens up and loses the beard

In search of a bad guy
The greatest challenge that Insurrection endured was trying to find an appropriate and worthy adversary for Picard. First Contact’s Borg and Borg Queen were audience favorites and the creators of Insurrection needed to make sure that their villains were equally interesting. The solution for Insurrection was to create the Son’a. The idea of a people obsessed with youth and materialism certainly works with the Star Trek format. However, while Ruafo is intriguing, the film is never willing to make true bad guys out of the Federation leadership, represented by Adm. Dougherty. Like Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, whose Sybok character could have been interesting except he wasn’t allowed to be a real villain, Insurrection is too tepid with its villains. Gallatin is nice, Dougherty is only misinformed and Ruafo in the end is a paper tiger. The problem is that while the narrative would be best served with the Federation Council being bad guys, Piller wanted to honor the Gene Roddenberry notion of superior humanity.

While the villains of Insurrection needed a rewrite, the Ba’ku are a very interesting people. Essentially alien Amish, the Ba’ku are a good alien group for playing against the more technological based Federation and Son’a. One of the best features of Insurrection (like First Contact before it) is the inclusion of good roles for female characters. Anij, played with a subtle grace by Donna Murphy,  is an equal for Picard, teaching him lessons about redemption and learning how to appreciate his life.

Pick a bad guy: Ruafu (F. Murray Abraham) or Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe)

A mixed bag production
Star Trek is sometimes criticized for its depiction of outer space as just a void with stars. Insurrection addresses this by giving a very cool look to the area known as the Briar Patch. The special effects here are so good that the Briar Patch almost becomes a character in itself, and its unique look convinces that there is something unique about the Ba’ku world. Some of the planetside effects, such as the drones which tag the Baku could be better, however, the effects of Insurrection are some of the more dynamic of the 10 films because of the use of CGI technology. Fans also get to see a good variety of starships, from Federation to Son’a and especially thrilling is the Cousteau (the Captain’s Yacht) which we had heard about for years. However the big starship action sequence  just feels like it was tacked on to the film just so there would be a big starship action sequence (which is exactly what it was).

As for the music, has Jerry Goldsmith ever not composed a wonderful soundtrack? Insurrection’s score helps to reinforce some of the themes of the movie, with the Baku people getting a romantic motif featuring string instruments, and the Son’a represented by electronic chords of dissonance and syncopation. Indeed, the Ba’ku theme is as beautiful as both Goldsmith’s Voyager and First Contact Vulcan music and is pleasant to listen to on its own merits. As always, Goldsmith weaves original music with previously established cues from TOS and TNG Unfortunately, some of the best music cues are not available on the soundtrack and it would be great if GNP or FilmScore would release a complete soundtrack as is available for The Motion Picture.

The rest of the production offers some highlights. The film features more sets than any Trek film (until the new 2009 Star Trek movie), and the Ba’ku village was exceptionally well done. The film primarily used the same uniform wardrobe from First Contact, but did introduce a new Starfleet dress uniform. The Son’a wardrobe was somewhat typical Star Trek generic alien, but the make-up, with it’s Hollywood facelifts gone horribly wrong overtones, was exceptional. But in the end, the production design still felt a bit too much like a Star Trek episode and not a feature film. 

Riker pulls his maneuver 

First Contact a hard act to follow…or is it?
Star Trek narratives are a many splendor thing. Because of its episodic nature, some Star Trek episodes are comedies, some are serious dramas. The variety of styles is one Star Trek greatest traits because it allows for a variety of adventures and character reactions. While First Contact tried to bring a different palette to Star Trek films (it is essentially a horror feature), it can be argued that Insurrection is a better ‘Star Trek film’ than First Contact. Indeed, it is only the subplot of the Riker and Cochrane narrative that has the optimism and social commentary typical of Trek, while our hero Captain Picard appears an unstable and violent, barely recognizable from the television show because of his obsession (although he returns to his normal self in the last 10 minutes). However, Star Trek Insurrection has the characters reacting as more of their normal selves, although also in surprising ways because of the narrative. Insurrection isn’t merely an adventure (as was First Contact), but also a social commentary in fine Trek tradition.

Some fans enjoy Insurrection, others do not. Yet, on this 10th Anniversary of Insurrection, it is good to think about an era when Star Trek was on television and in stores, in the mainstream, even if fading some because of the times. Star Trek Insurrection is a film worth revisiting, a film that before Wall-E warned of the dangers of letting modernity and technology affect our humanity. A film that teaches us that haste makes waste and that slow and steady wins the race. It is a refreshing, nostalgic, funny, and romantic film.

Insurrection reminds us it is about the human adventure

More Insurrection 10th Anniversary coming up
In the coming days we will have more coverage of the 10 year anniversary of Picard and crew’s travels in the Briar Patch, including looking at the film’s reception, more trivia, the science of Insurrection and collectibles of Insurrection. So get ready to stretch your faces into a smile.

More full coverage of Star Trek Insurrection at TrekCore and Memory Alpha.



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Insurrection certainly had the best story of the TNG films.


I don’t care what anyone says, this was one of my favorite Star Trek movies. Although for me, I’m a fan of them all.

(Yes- even TMP and STV lol)

This film is often overlooked. I agree, in that it is a better ‘Star Trek Film’ than FC. All of the characters are given a moment in the sun, and it’s touching. Everytime I watch the scene where Geordie sees the sunset, I can’t help getting tears in my eyes. Beautiful.

I do however wish we saw the Picard Court Martial scene – that would have been wonderful. Boothby clapping – just the thought gives me goose bumps!

I’ve said it once on here, and I’ll say it again:

No Riker Beard = No Interest for Remington Steele

Great article, John. I would love to read that first draft by Michael Piller. Fascinating.

Despite it’s episodic feel this is still a highly enjoyable film, one that I have revisited many times!

I have to agree, a truly underrated film in the franchise. ‘Insurrection’ isn’t perfect but…when I watch it I feel myself connecting to these characters in a way I didn’t in ‘Generations/ First Contact/ Nemesis’. Some of the humour does miss the mark, but some of it lands exactly where it is supposed to, and the story is definitely more of a nod to the more allegorical stories of Trek’s past, which is a good thing for me.

All in all, a gem of a movie…perfectly polished but with the odd flaw at its centre.

Ooh and yeah, a Picard Court Martial Scene would have been great, I can see it now, the great Mr Stewart acting his socks off as he is accused….oooh goosebumps

Too bad that Star Trek: Stardust was never realized.

Apocalypse Trek sounded like an intriguing concept, thanks for bringing that up, John.

I know you guys didn’t like this one all that much, but for me (a big TOS fan, a small TNG, and no fan of other Trek), this was the 2nd best with the next gen cast.

Not a bad movie.

Insurrection is one of my favorites Trek films.
Piller always was a genius to me. The best Trek writer for me
I remember waching for the very first time this film in my house, at night, with headphones (I live in Argentina and here the film never has been shown in theaters)

#7 I agree 100%. It had that feeling of crew “bonding”, similar to Trek V for the TOS guys.

While I can appreciate Insurrection on its own, my problem with this movie lies on the huge missed opportunity it represents.

This movie was released roughly around the same time the DS9 episode “In The Pale Moonlight” had aired, in which it is revealed that Betazed is captured by the Dominion. A far better story that can deal with a lot of the same issues (as well as serve as a better way to get Worf in the movie and a better way to rekindle the Riker/Troi relationship) would have been to tell a story where Picard et al go to the ends of the Earth to save Betazed from the Dominion.

Its always bothered me that, aside from that quick reference to ketricel (sp?) white there is nothing to show that these people are at War. Having the flag ship that far away from the front never made sense to me.

Again, the movie’s not bad, but when you think about what could have been, its atrocious.

Insurrection would have made a good episode of the TV series, it wasn’t a feature film in story or production.

The thing is, TNG ran for 7 years, explored countless social and ethical issues and whilst Star Trek should never be something else, for film it needs to be bigger bolder and more action driven. First Contact was a great example of how to turn a huge TV series into a film franchise – why for the life of me there wasn’t a sequel to that movie – linking it to DS9 and the dominion war (great cinematic chances with that story) – i won’t know.

Instead we were treated to a very well written episode that to be honest, perhaps crippled the franchise.

Piller’s first treatment seems so much more appealing and broader in scale and scope than what eventually became Insurrection. A pity this was not filmed.

not a bad picture, i thought it was fun, but pretty light… the bad guy in this one was the weakest trek villain, other than his ick factor, there really wasnt much there… certainly no KAAAHHHHHNNN!

only saw this one twice, maybe its time for a re-viewing… 10 years old already?

thats hard to believe.

#13 & 14, while not being a fan of ds9 at all, i have to admit the suggestion of a sequel to FC is spot on, a real missed opportunity for the series to put that frontier outpost on the big screen.

I think “Insurrection” was really a lost opportunity to get back to the moral complexity of some of the best TNG episodes. Remember “The Hunted” from Season 3? In that episode, Picard recognizes the social complexity of the situation, helping to hunt the dangerous veterans down in the beginning, but also addressing the responsibility of the peaceful people of Angosha.
In “Insurrection”, it just seems clear cut that the Ba’ku are the good guys and the So’na are the bad guys. Even when it turns out that the So’na were outcast simply because they preferred another way of life, Picard turns it into an argument against them. But was it really necessary for the Ba’ku to outcast those among them who would later become the So’na? Isn’t that planet big enough for people who like to use technology and people who reject it?
Of course, one could argue that it would always end badly with these technology-users. But that only begs the question why technology turned out to be so benevolent in the hands of the Federation.

I think that the “message” of Insurrection boils down to petty bigotry, and it’s pretty far away from everything that was ethically relevant about TNG.

With all the information floating around on the Pile draft, does anyone actually happen to have it? Or read it? The early draft of First Contact was (or still is) on the net, too.

One of the things that made Star Trek one of the best things around is that they do have a lighthearted atmosphere, and like Star Trek 4, they really pulled it off. As well as it did go back to the basics of Star Trek. Even though it was in a middle of a war.

It also went back to the basics of the prime directive and to why they have it, and back to the realism that the bad guys may be people we are suppose to trust while avoiding a dark atmosphere, what ever dark means. Sorta like First Contact.

Star Trek: Insurrection aka Star Trek: The TV Movie.

What a waste of time! I could have gone to the cinema to see something cinematic, but instead got a ‘film’ where I kept on waiting for fades to black for ad breaks.

The film is a huge retrograde step for TNG that set the scene for TNG’s unspectacular fall in Nemesis. Data goes back to the Pinocchio cliche, since he didn’t have his emotion chip with him. We get the same bland ‘humour’ that characterised all TNG: y’know, the sort that raises a smile, but never actually makes you laugh out loud.

And worst of all is the sheer lack of ambition of the film. It’s another Best of Both Worlds Part 2-style letdown. How many times now have we had to put up with TNG coming up with a killer premise for a story only to pussy out in the second episode by not following the idea through to its logical extreme or by hitting the reset switch?

The original Heart of Darkness idea was great. It’s a feature film, so you put your characters through the wringer. You torture them to the limits of their endurance and leave them bloodied and battered so that it’ll take them the two years between the films to get their strength back.

Insurrection is stomach-churningly, vomit-inducingly saccharine, cute and fuzzy and nice. It made the Star Trek franchise look toothless and cowardly. That the TNG era fell apart and died a slow death shortly after this film was well deserved.

Insurrection is disaster of a film and the only good point about it is that the penny dropped and the scales fell from the mainstream audience’s eyes, leaving the audience to see just how vacuous TNG and its 1980s hippie-dippy, California therapy-speak values truly were.

At least Star Trek V was offensively bad. At least Generations was a disgrace. Insurrection is just achingly dull!

A waste of a good writer, a waste of a good director and a waste of a good cast.


Sorry, but I find all this ridiculous. Insurrection was a colossal bore which might have made a decent 60 minute TV episode (though without some punching up for the storyline, I’d find even this doubtful) but certainly failed as a feature film, scriptwise.

But the problem was not lack of action; we’ve seen time and time again this assumption that the ST films must essentially be cliche action movies with a villain and whatnot. And much of this is based on the failure of the ultra-boring Star Trek the Motion Picture–as though ST producers, directors, and writers have been trying to live that one down ever since. When the formula works (Wrath of Khan) it seems like a good idea; but when it doesn’t, the assumption is that they just didn’t get the formula “right” this time, and can do better with it in the future. But this is wrong, dead wrong.

The reason the very first ST film (The Motion Pic) went south was not just that it was slow and pondering–it was–but its pace wouldn’t have been inappropriate given a better script. Unfortunately, a very great director (Robert Wise) who was one of the best film editors ever and had made classics like “The Haunting” was forced to work with a crap, half-baked idea which didn’t really GO anywhere.

Rather than come up with intriguing, well-structured stories, however, the subsequent ST films went for simplistic action-type conflict. We always had to have a villain, or some macguffin for the crew to cope with. The can be okay if they truly serve the story… but when they’re the CENTRAL focus of the story again and again, it’s just repeating a formula.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with action. It needs to be in there somewhere, because this is film we’re talking about, not a book. But look at First Contact. Great ST film. Why? Not because of the action, which is cool and moves at a great pace. No, it’s because of the atmosphere created AROUND the action. Yeah, the Borg and the Borg Queen are great villains, but that’s not what made the film work. What made it work was that it made a strong impression–films need to do that–it was a creepy, horror-driven story which got under the flesh.

But more cerebral films can work ALSO, if the script is handled properly. But the script for Insurrection had nothing new to offer, nothing intriguing about it, and the story went nowhere. Now, sure, if you want to rewrite the Federation as being bad as any modern nation-state today, trading on its good name so it can exploit the poor and the weak and so on—go for it. But that also negates the whole original vision of Star Trek. So Insurrection compromised, and once that was done, you had nothing.

But again, the pattern seems to have been for Star Trek to go the way of action or the way of the lukewarm political when its back is up against the wall. But how about this for a keen idea? How about returning to science fiction? How about that? How about intriguing concepts that don’t involve battles in space and villains or thinly-veiled pieces of humdrum political philosophizing? We used to get much more than that, all the time, in the original Star Trek, and we used to get it all the time in Sci Fi. Bring weirdness and shock back into the mix. Bring horror and tension back into it. Then slam in some twists and turns… and you’d break away from the formulas.

THAT is what Star Trek has to do to stay alive. Get back to what it was about—and what it was LIKE–in the first place.

I thought Insurrection had a pretty solid story. You just had to accept its premise. However, I sure would like to have seen a Star Trek movie loosely based on “Heart of Darkness”!


…that even the TRAILER is filled with stereotypical TNG technobabble!

Federation Engineer: “And you want this joystick installed where??”

Riker: “Right where I said, mister, and get it done before Picard gets back. Chop chop!”

Has it really only been a decade since this turkey came out? I want to enjoy this movie. The cast is solid. Donna Murphy is yummy. But this is such a… I don’t know… Southern California movie. Not a Hollywood movie. Everything in here looks like veneer and stucco, including the script and especially the peripheral casting (Daniel Hugh Kelly needs to go back to soap operas and don’t even get me started on the generic cute kid)… and the not-so-special special effects. The Sona ships look like they came with the CGI software. Ah, and the big twist — they’re one race. Don’t hate me for that spoiler, since it was lifted directly from The Dark Crystal, and wasn’t exactly a shocker there either.

Insurrection marks a serious drift away from what a Trek movie could be… which gets much, much worse with the next film.

I remember Gene Siskel reviewed this movie not long before he passed away and gave it a glowing review – which I found odd since he was always brutal on Trek films. Then I read later that he and Pillar were friends.

I like Insurrection but it does feel more like a really expensive and well made two hour episode than a motion picture.

I thought this movie was annoying. A boring, TNG-era forgettable tv story retread involving character-free Southern California “aliens” caught up in the predictable schemes of a warmed-over leftover Khan wanna-be… Utterly uninspiring, generically designed, and worse – “small” in scope and ambition. This was an insurrection? Involving 1 (cause that’s all you see) rogue Federation admiral? And some race of aliens that can travel the galaxy with amazing warp technology, but can’t find a decent plastic surgeon? This movie pissed me off. All those resources, all that time, not to mention the ticket price…

People need to open their eyes. The only really “good” ST movies are the first, which was an honorable, interesting failure, and Khan, which was fun and smart. All the others, even First Contact, which made no sense at all (why didn’t the Borg just go back in time in their own space instead of in front of everyone thus pretty much announcing to the universe their intention to do so?) plus screwed with cannon RE Cochrane.

RE the new movie. The trailer looks good, but am a bit worried with the possible CHANGE in Kirk’s character. Now he seems to be a rebel-with-a-destiny, one of the more overused character types in Hollywood movies over the last 20 years. In TOS, he was a BOOKWORM for corn’s sake! Handsome to be sure, but a NERD nonetheless.

A science fiction trek movie? Unheard of!
Seriously, I’be heen hoping for something like this for too long to believe it could ever happen. I think there was a story for Trek 7 floating around that actually sounded quite science-fictiony, something about a being from a parallel universe that intends no evil but somehow threatens do destroy our space-time-continuum … that sounded intriguing.
But we got Generations. And then we got FC, which was at least a decent sci-fi-flick (as opposed to a science fiction movie). And then we got … INS.

I agree somewhat. This may have made for a mediocre TNG episode, certainly not worthy of feature length treatment.

The so-so nature of this film plus the equally poor Nemesis helped put the kibosh on the TNG film franchise. They at least pale in comparison to First Contact.

That being said, it would be interesting to revisit TNG. Probably won’t happen though.

Good trek film, really nice character moments, but some plot details make me uncomfortable. ie , the opera singing with Picard, Data and Worf, and they seemed to been using a kind of infrared remote control to turn off Data . Good movie anyway . nice to see another argentino posting in this site.( i’m from Bariloche)

Insurrection was not a bad film. Certainly not the best of the franchise but far from the worse.

My issue is with the plot and production values. It felt like an episode of TNG, not a Trek MOVIE. Like it was said in the article, TNG on for 7 years made them pretty much address every social-political issue there is.

I don’t agree with the article saying the Baku village was well done. I wholeheartedly disagree. Star Wars was out the next year and they had a feel on how to create an other planet and make you feel it’s real.

What was the Baku village? A cheap, small-scale set in California (yet again) populated by aliens who look like humans.

I’m just happy the new Trek movie has huge production values. The “cheapness” of production especially for TNG movies cost them a lot of their reputation.

Singing should be banned from Star Trek movies. The sense of humor in this film is also hard to bear.

how about this for a keen idea? How about returning to science fiction? How about that? How about intriguing concepts that don’t involve battles in space and villains or thinly-veiled pieces of humdrum political philosophizing? We used to get much more than that, all the time, in the original Star Trek, and we used to get it all the time in Sci Fi. Bring weirdness and shock back into the mix. Bring horror and tension back into it. Then slam in some twists and turns… and you’d break away from the formulas.

Nothing to add to this – I just thought it was worth repeating! :-)

Sorry – should have put that text in quotes: #21, Randall

John, you talk about Frakes’ efforts to make the Baku’s gestures flow and show their humanity. And yet, they just look like really, really dull people. You almost expect one of them to fall in the river and start to drown until Riker jumps in and saves ’em. And by the way, that’s just one of many things that feels pre-visited in this film.

Also, you’re much kinder about which humorous bits works and which bits do not. I could forgive Worf’s zit. But, Data’s balloon-arse… no way. Just too stupid an image to get out of my mind.

I respect any Trekker’s right to like what he/she (one?) likes. This film is the least watched in my Trek collection. (As bad as Nemesis is, it had better special effects.)

This is my least favourite Star Trek film. I think it’s worse than TFF and TMP. Here’s why:

First, we’re supposed to sympathise with the Ba’ku and think of the Son’a as the aggressors. But we actually discover that the true situation is reversed: both the Ba’ku and the Son’a are (were) one-and-the same race; and the Ba’ku decreed that their zero tolerance approach to technology is correct and simply forced the Son’a to accept this or leave. So the putative victims are the true aggressors.

Second, the Ba’ku planet could be used to help millions and millions of people throughout the galaxy. But we, the audience, are supposed to care more about the handful of simple Ba’ku not leaving their homes than we are about the millions and millions of people throughout the galaxy, who are suffering and dying! After spending a short time on the planet, Geordie’s optic nerves begin to regenerate and cure his blindness. Imagine how many countless people, of all races, could be similarly benefited. And, I am correct in saying that the Ba’ku planet is in Federation Space? If so, the Ba’ku may inhabit the planet; but it’s not their planet. Move them!

Third, we have too many silly moments in this film. We have Picard, Worf, and Data singing; Data talking about breasts; Worf getting a pimple, etc. And the Riker-Troi romance was just painful to watch. As has been said, this film is largely responsible for the poor performance of Nemesis, which was, in my opinion, a good TNG film.

I think we ought not to celebrate, but rather forget, the anniversary of Insurrection.

STV and ST:Insurrection are the stinkers of all the movies. One poster noted that Insurrection would have made a better TV episode than a movie. I agree.

Tepid movie. I’ve only seen it once, in the theater.

But, as the review mentions, the score was good enough for me to buy. I didn’t know there were missing tracks though — strange, considering how the one thing I would criticize about the soundtrack is that it is a bit repetitive.

Scott B. out.

Just a quick note: The Star Trek: TMP soundtrack is NOT quite complete. There is still music missing (the “Captain’s Log” pieces featuring the Alexander Courage theme for example) not to mention Goldsmith’s alternate cues.

I’m sure GNP, Film Score Monthly, Intrada, or Varese Sarabande would love to release expanded Trek scores but it would be very expensive.

26. SK – December 11, 2008

‘RE the new movie. The trailer looks good, but am a bit worried with the possible CHANGE in Kirk’s character. Now he seems to be a rebel-with-a-destiny, one of the more overused character types in Hollywood movies over the last 20 years. In TOS, he was a BOOKWORM for corn’s sake! Handsome to be sure, but a NERD nonetheless’.

They’re not changing Kirk’s character. They’re changing Kirk. For the Kirk that we have at the moment, Shatner’s Kirk, had a completely different past to the one which will be depicted in Trek XI. This ‘Kirk’ is from an alternative time-line to Shatner’s Kirk, after the temporal shenanigans of Nero. Both Kirks share the same genetics; but their social conditioning is very different. They will make different choices and their paths will be different. This Kirk may be a ‘rogue’; whereas Shatner’s Kirk was a bookworm.

So we must remember that, when we watch this film, the young Kirk we see is not temporally continuous with Shatner’s Kirk; and they are raised in totally different environments. Think of him as a mirror-Kirk…

This is my second favorite of the TNG films, behind First Contact. It does have some uneven moments, but my overall memory of it is fond. The moment when Anij slows time down for Picard is enchanting – I always found myself holding my breath through it.

I kind of LIKE the fact that the villains and victims are all morally gray rather than one being “good” and the other being “bad.” In general, this principal works better on TV than in cinema, but I think it’s something TNG fans have grown to expect. To have it otherwise would have seemed like a gross oversimplification to me.

“…it’s not their planet. Move them!”

HA! Agreed, Alec, but why even bother. There are like what 52 Baku? Draw a radius 500 klicks around them and leave it at that. The whole rest of the planet becomes the ultimate spa experience. Free or wildly overpriced, let the Fed decide… but to not use it is stupid. Even the Son’a could have simply moved to the far side of the planet and lived in peace (instead of in pieces.)

If they only were depicted as morally gray! But we seem to be expected to accept the Ba’ku as the good guys without question.

Meant to add – Yes, they did over-egg the comic relief pudding (although not as egregiously as STV).

#42 – it didn’t seem at all to me that that was what was expected of the audience, but YMMV.

What?? No mention of the joystick in the review?? lol

I’d have been pleased if Piller’s original draft story had come to the screen instead of what Insurrection wound up being: an OK two-part episode.

OK, let’s say at least PICARD seems to accept the Ba’ku as unambiguous good guys. And since Picard is the “moral center” of TNG (if not of all of Trek), I kind of felt bullied into sharing his position …

To 41. CmdrR – December 11, 2008

Exactly! The planet is big enough for both the Ba’ku and the Son’a. So where is the conflict? Where is the plot?

I think what has always put me off this movie is the shoddy details. While the story is wonderful and refreshing, there are just too many elements in this movie that make it feel cheap. Here are a few that make me cringe just remembering them:

— Dougherty’s oversized belt buckle makes it seem like he’s wearing a Halloween costume instead of a Starfleet uniform.
— Data distracted by singing? I guess anything’s possible, especially given that he was damaged at the time. But what could have possibly lead to Picard to think that that’s what would happen? If someone hits my computer with a shovel and it starts acting up as a result, I’m not going to think to myself, “Aha, the last thing I was working on was editing my photos. I bet that if I work on them some more, the computer, in its damaged state, will act especially quirky.” It’s just not believable.
— Riker choosing to use a Commodore 64 joystick at the end to manually pilot the Enterprise. It’s not something any Enterprise helmsman ever needed to do before, even in far more perilous situations than the one Riker was in, so it just seems like a gimmick. By comparison, how many present-day Captains would willingly turn AWAY technology in an emergency?
— Details like the countdown on the Son’a ship being in Roman numerals. It would of course be less exciting for us, the audience, to see a countdown in an alien script, and not know if we’re coming up to six seconds left or sixty seconds left, but there are so many better ways one could accomplish that.
— While all of the above could be explained away or justified to some degree, I think the deleted library scene is beyond reprehension. I could understand having a reading room in the 24th century, but why on Earth would Troi and Riker go there to research their mission? It’s not like they couldn’t access that information on their private terminals, or from anywhere else for that matter (you can pretty much do that today). So the only reason I can think for why they’d go there is so as to be rude to everyone who might be there, silently reading or working. And the librarian, with her horn-rimmed glasses…ugh. I’m grateful they cut the scene, but it definitely goes to show the poor taste in which this movie was made.

I think Insurrection solidified in my mind the idea, proven a few years later by Nemesis, that the people working on Star Trek then either did not care about it at all or just had very little talent and ability. Stories which could have been good (even the story in Nemesis COULD have been good) were ruined by ridiculously over-the-top costumes and sets, unbelievable plot elements and unrealistic details. It just wasn’t the Star Trek of the TNG series anymore.

To 46. Jakob – December 11, 2008

The Ba’ku are, in fact, the bad guys! See my post: number 35.

Oops, “Roman numerals”…hehe. No, they didn’t go quite that far. I meant Arabic numerals, of course.