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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Screening of Star Trek Generations

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
Malcolm McDowell's new tag line:
"Two Captains. One Hairpiece."
Well I am only into the second season of TNG, but last week I went to a screening of the first Next Generation film Star Trek Generations (having not seen it before) because Malcolm McDowell and Michael Dorn were having a Q&A session in addition to the screening.  I really didn't want to watch the films and the show out of order but I obviously had to go to this! (And unfortunately there was no way I could finish 5 seasons in a couple weeks!)  Another draw was being able to experience a Star Trek film for the first time with other fans!  And it was so much fun!

When I got to the theatre, there was already a little line to get in, and I waited patiently while violinists dressed as Starfleet officers walked around playing Star Trek themes on their violins.  Oh and there were props from the film around the theatre.  Already this event was off to an AWESOME start.  And it was compounded by the fact that some Star Trek alumni were in the audience including The Nichelle Nichols - Lieutenant Uhura guys!!  I was super excited to see her!  And I was hoping some TOS alumni would be there, and it happened!  I wish I could have gotten her autograph!

Michael Dorn and Malcolm McDowell
The Q&A came first and Michael Dorn did a terrific job with asking Malcolm McDowell interesting questions while interspersing some of his thoughts and experiences working in Star Trek.  It was kinda hilarious too how much Malcolm "took the piss" out of William Shatner!  Michael Dorn didn't seem like he wanted to participate in that, but Malcolm was more than competent to do it on his own.  I've always liked Malcolm McDowell - I'm not sure why, I feel like I haven't seen many of his films, but what I've seen, I thought he was .... well nice to look at for one thing, and also sort of sweet and funny.  (I'm probably mostly thinking of the film Time After Time here.  I have not seen Clockwork Orange because I'm afraid to!)  But Malcolm is so wonderfully mischievous as well.  Probably at his age he feels like he can say anything he wants, and he should!  It was interesting how he was very set against doing a Star Trek film, but they paid up, so he did it and ended up really enjoying it.  His stories about Bill Shatner's massive ego was also freaking hilarious, but I'm sure it's not news to anyone.  There was one story where Bill was spotted by fans and he and Malcolm both made a run for the elevators, with Bill kicking at the fans through the elevator doors to keep them from getting in.  Malcolm was mock shocked at how Bill treated his fans.  I don't even know how much of that is true, but that's pretty hilarious!  (Maybe not for those fans though)

So the film!  Captain Kirk is in this so I was automatically sold on this film.  The opening scenes with Kirk, Chekov and Scotty just gave me a lot of feels because it was dear to see them together again.  I really appreciate how the crews from the different versions of the shows all feel like a family!  The first scenes with the Next Gen crew was a bit confusing though - only because I didn't immediately realize they were in the holodeck.  I almost thought they had time traveled!  But they all looked good in those uniforms!

For pure enjoyment, this was a fantastic film!  I loved how it felt intimate and also grand with all those epic special effects.  Seeing the Enterprise crash land on the planet on the big screen was so nerve-wracking!  I felt like I was in the ship with them!  But.  I was majorly confused by the timey wimey aspect.  The nexus causes temporal distortion from what I understood, so that time had no meaning while you were in it, but I didn't understand how the nexus could put Kirk and Picard back before the nexus was in place to prevent the nexus from shifting??  I thought the nexus was a place and not like a time machine.  Especially since when you are in the nexus everything you see is not real.  So how come it could send them back to the real timeline?  But at the very least, there should have been two Picards at that point before Soran shot the rocket?  Well the time travel aspect felt a bit like a cop-out to me and it was also curious how Kirk's death wasn't overly emotional.  Maybe because that would have detracted too much from Picard to dwell on Kirk's last outing.  But I didn't tear up at all, and I feel like I should have been more emotional.

But anyways, I do think this was an excellent film.  They managed to give all the main actors some screen time, characters continued to develop and the moments of humor were well placed.  Malcolm McDowell was excellent as the fanatical villain, and I think they handled having two Captains in one film very well.  I was really impressed by what they accomplished in this movie and now I get to go back in time and see everything that happened in the show before this film.  (TV shows and films - my favorite kind of time travel.)


The props in the theatre (there was also Klingon costumes) and Nichelle Nichols!


Oh and now I have a new favorite quote: "Time is the fire in which we burn."  I looked up that quote and read the original poem (Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day by Delmore Schwartz) - the last part of it is particularly affecting and beautiful to me:

What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.

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12 comments:

  1. This is one of the few movies I've seen (even though I've only seen bits and pieces of the TNG series). I loved the line from the beginning where Chekov says of the new Enterprise crew, "I was never that young," and Kirk responds, "No, you were younger."


    And I also thought the TNG crew had somehow time traveled, or it was an alternate reality or something like that.


    (Btw, I'm finally almost done with TOS! A little less than half a season to go!)

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  2. Oh yes! I love that moment too! Walter Koenig just always looks young - he has good genes!


    Ah well I'm probably reading more into it than I should - I was just thinking the nexus was more of a place because everything Kirk and Picard saw was not really happening - like Picard's family, and Kirk back at his old house - but then the nexus sends them back to "reality" with Soran to stop him. It seems like that would also just be in Kirk and Picard's head and didn't really happen. The world would think Picard and Soran just disappeared/died like with Kirk.


    Oh awesome! Season 3 wasn't the greatest, but it's an accomplishment to have watched the whole series! Are you continuing on by watching all of Next Generation?

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  3. Oh, I didn't mean anything about the Nexus, I meant that first scene on the pirate ship, I was so confused at first! But then, not having seen a ton of TNG, I'm not exactly surprised that "holodeck" wasn't the first thing to come to mind.


    As for the Nexus, I think Whoopi's character sort of existed in both places so she was their bridge back to reality? Or something? I dunno, I didn't think too hard about it. It's also been a while so I don't really remember if it was given a better explanation.


    I'll probably take a break to Netflix binge on some other shows, but I definitely plan to watch the other series too.

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  4. Oh oops yes - it was kinda weird for them to start off like that on the ship! I was even thinking these were their ancestors for a moment! Even though that's super unlikely! I think I had a lot of theories in the first few moments. :D


    Whoopi I was thinking she was just in Picard's head too - like Picard needed someone to talk to so he thought of her, but yeah, I suppose I could google it and see what other people thought!


    Yes TNG is a bit more daunting with so many seasons! I still want to power through it, but I might take a break when I finish. There's so many shows I still want to see!

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  5. Sounds like it was such a neat event! Michael Dorn is one of the Star Trek actors I am DYING to see one day! He seems really cool. Glad you enjoyed the movie too! I never really thought of it, but you're right, Kirk's death really didn't invoke many feelings for me either. I guess I just felt he was clearly his time so it didn't upset me? I don't know.


    Fun fact: Malcom McDowell is the uncle of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Alexander Siddig, who plays Dr. Bashir!

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  6. It was really fun, and Michael and Malcolm were so funny together! Malcolm had a signing after the event, but I wish Michael and Nichelle had stuck around too! Yes, I think it probably wouldn't have been fair to Picard to really mourn Kirk, so I guess they went with the right decision in that. I suppose we did have a moment in the beginning when Chekov and Scotty thought he was dead.


    Oh wow, they are keeping it in the family! :D I look forward to seeing Alexander in Deep Space Nine! I wonder if they ever do the convention circuit together!

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  7. I don't know since I have never seen either of them of them at a convention, but that could be fun!

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  8. Well I'll hope that whenever I get to go to a Star Trek con they will be! But really I just want to see Leonard Nimoy and he's not doing them anymore... *sigh*

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  9. That is so cool! Not just that you got to see the movie in such a fun, fan environment but that you got to see the Q&A with Michael and Malcolm :) totally worth skipping ahead through the series!


    And I've always loved that quote also, about how time is the fire in which we burn. Something about it is so haunting and inevitable. I didn't realize it was part of a poem.

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  10. Haha, yes I was wondering how many people in the audience was not as familiar with it because their reactions sometimes was just like mine - shock and surprise - so I was thinking maybe there were other people in the same boat as me. :) I don't love the whole poem as much as the last stanza so I don't think you are missing out on too much there. But they used it so well in the story - it really fits, and it was fun that Malcolm said it several times during the Q&A! :)

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  11. oh my gosh - that's soooo cool that he said it during the Q&A! That would have just made my night :)

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