I really love Star Trek. I’ve been watching it since I was a little boy with my father. The series I grew up watching the most was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Picard, Commander Riker, Lieutenant Commander Data are the characters I associate with the franchise, more so than Kirk and Spock.
In 2002, Star Trek Nemesis was released, and it was the last movie to feature The Next Generation cast. It was a goodbye to characters who have become fleshed out over 16 years of TV episodes and movies. But Nemesis is a divisive film. Some people really like it, and others really hate it. I don’t dislike the movie, though it isn’t my favourite. To give a quick review, Shinzon was a great villain, but the story, themes and conflict were half baked. The cinematography and effects were great, but there was a lack of character moments. In this post, I will reconstruct Star Trek Nemesis, and make it the movie I feel it should have been.
Largely, the characters for this movie are going to be the same. Jean-Luc Picard, Commander Riker, Data, and all the other cast from TNG. One of the things that, continuity-wise, doesn’t make sense is that Worf is serving on the ship. This film takes place after Star Trek Voyager’s last episode, so he should be the Federation Ambassador for Qo’noS. I do have plans to include him in the movie, but not serving on the Enterprise.
Instead, serving in tactical, I would actually do something else. I’d add a character from another Star Trek show. The only one who makes sense to me would be to have Miles O’Brien serving in tactical, but he was transporter chief. Alternatively, I’d consider having Tuvok from Voyager, or maybe even Harry Kim from Voyager. Neither of them would have a lot to do, but it is fan service.
Shinzon and his Viceroy will be involved, but I’d retune his character. Shinzon is a clone of Picard in Nemesis, but he becomes quite two dimensional in the movie as a bad guy. Instead of him being the bad guy, I would have him as a red herring, with the real bad guy being someone else entirely. That will come in my plot section. Overall, not too many changes, and a bit more continuity doesn’t hurt.
What’s the same
The film will start the same as it does in the original. The Romulan Senate is assassinated, and Troi marries Riker. Data gets to sing Irving Berlin, and Worf is hungover on Romulan Ale. All in all, no big changes. After the wedding, the Enterprise is due to do some scientific missions, before it says goodbye to Riker and Troi. One of the things that the film tried to do was bring about this idea of ‘this thing you love is ending’ but that was never really explored. We know Worf is Ambassador, Riker and Troi are leaving for their own ship, and Dr. Crusher is due to leave to teach medicine at Starfleet Academy. Let’s just hammer that home a bit.
The ship then goes to Romulus (on order by Admiral Janeway) to meet Shinzon on the Scimitar, and the film plays out the same from there; for a spell. Worf would also be there as a Klingon diplomat, in his own Bird of Prey. We meet Shinzon, his Viceroy, Picard sees he is a clone of himself, they meet for dinner. I would cut the Troi mind rape scene though because that just felt shoehorned in to give her something to do.
Sadly, Data still dies at the end. I feel it should have been done, as it adds to the emotional weight of the film as a swan song. I would instead have him die saving the enterprise, a la Wrath of Khan, over blowing up on a ship.
Instead of the stupid quad bike scene, where the crew of the enterprise find B4 (Another plot line that sort of sucks). I would have something activate in Data’s brain, that would hone in on the body and specifications of B4, including design schematics and instructions to build multiple Data’s. For me, this would bring a plot full circle.
The Enterprise finds out progressively that something is amiss with Romulus. They find out that the government was assassinated, that Romulans are being subjugated, and that someone has been beaming on and off Enterprise, and sabotaging computers. That same someone also attacks Worf and his crew, injuring him and killing many Klingons. Dr Crusher also works out that Shinzon is dying, and needs Picard’s blood to live. This leads to some tense showdowns.
This leads to Romulan rebels having a fleet, the federation sending some armed ships (Including The Defiant and Voyager), Klingons are coming, and the Scimitar is defending itself. It is worked out that Shinzon is being used as a puppet, by Lore. We never knew what happened to him after he was deactivated.
Data dies on the Enterprise, which eventually limps back to earth for refitting. Picard and Riker say goodbye, while Geordi (who throughout the film is helping data in engineering with the schematics) finishes his first Soongian Android, which Data helped make. We’ll call him D8-A. Like the end of Nemesis, I’d have the android alone with Picard, when the android sings a bit of ‘Blue Skies’. But, the final ending will be images of space with Data reading the full ‘Where no man has gone before’ speech. As it should be.
In Measure of a Man, Data is under threat of being dissected so that Starfleet could build new Data’s. An argument Picard made in that episode is that building more Data’s may constitute the creation of a new race. Data meeting an early prototype of himself brings the possibility of more Data’s. One of my favourite Picard quotes in Star Trek is this: ‘Starfleet was built to seek out new life, but there it sits’. I think that would help with the themes this film is going for, in particular, the nature vs. nurture argument.
I feel this film, my altered Star Trek Nemesis, takes the themes that feature in the original, but enhance them and make the movie a more consistent feature with what has come before. While I like Nemesis, it is flawed. I hope, by making my changes, this would have been a better movie. Boldly going where no Star Trek film has gone before.