Date: September 6, 2020
Musical Accompaniment: Ahsoka Tano meditation music
Interstellar News: Today’s Sunday morning movie was Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. I rooted for three very smart dogs and the minor part played by Captain Janeway, who I will get to meet tomorrow when I start Voyager.
Luis-style Summary: We open to a scene that reminds me of “Paradise” followed by a duck blind as seen in “Who Watches the Watchers“. Data, apparently, has begun to run amok and he shoots at the duck blind exposing the Starfleet and So’na officers to the Ba’ku. On the Enterprise-E Worf arrives in the midst of the senior staff entertaining a new protectorate of the Federation and they get news of Data’s sudden behavior, so they ditch the party and head that way. Meanwhile, Data shoots at the So’na ship and we find out the So’na were allies of the Dominion. Picard and Worf try several tactics to try to recover Data but in the end it’s a song from a play that distracts Data enough for Worf to neutralize him.
The away team, with Picard because apparently Riker gave up that rule, beam down and meet the leaders of the village who have warp capability and know technology but have refused to use it (just like in “Paradise”!). La Forge finds out that Data was shot by the So’na and that’s what enacted his fail safe, so they travel to where he was shot and find a cloaked ship that’s set up as a holodeck that looks exactly like the planet they’re on. Turns on the So’na and Starfleet were going to pull a “Homeward” and transport those on the planet out while they were sleeping so they can harness the metaphasic radiation that keeps its inhabitants from growing older. In fact the Ba’ku have been there for over 300 years and the Enterprise‘s crew starts to see the effects, literally, as La Forge’s eyes work for the first time ever.
The So’na and Admiral Dougherty meet up with Picard and Dougherty explains the mission, which Picard believes is an attack on the Prime Directive. Picard gets in civilian gear where he is joined by the rest of the senior staff, save Riker and La Forge who will take the Enterprise and go appear to the Federation Council while the others evacuate the village. About 100 people are transported out during the evacuation but the crew does everything they can to interfere. The So’na send ships to intercept the Enterprise and, guys, RIKER IS IN CHARGE OF THE SHIP. The ship is beat up but Riker is able to fend them off and not kill everyone, whew. The Ba’ku head into the caves, Picard and Anij fall in love, Data tries to understand Artim, and Crusher discovers the So’na are really Ba’ku.
Apparently 100 years ago some of the younger Ba’ku wanted to explore, tried a coup, and were exiled when they failed. Two of those are Ru’afo and Gallatin who created the probe and are working with Dougherty. Ru’afo kills Dougherty when he’s asked to stop but Gallatin decides to help Picard because there are people still on the surface. With help from Worf and Data they are able to transport Ru’afo and his bridge to the holodeck of the ship from the planet to make them think the probe was successful when, in fact, it was stopped.Ru’afo figures out how to transport to the collector probe and Picard goes in after him. Picard sabotages it and Riker transports him out, leaving Ru’afo to die. Gallatin embraces his mother back on the planet and the So’na surrender. Picard vows to come visit Anij with his leave time, Data plays with Artim, and Riker and Troi hold hands as the credits roll and they beam up to the Enterprise.
TL;DR: An asshole admiral makes a deal with the So’na so that everyone can live forever, or at least for a long time. Picard and crew find out and put a stop to it because that would mean relocating the inhabitants of the planet, which is against the Prime Directive.
Picard’s Poetry: “Some of the darkest chapters in the history of my world involve the forced relocation of a small group of people to satisfy the demands of a large one. I’d hoped we had learned from our mistakes, but it seems that some of us haven’t.”
Gallatin, seeing the Enterprise hurtling towards him: He wouldn’t?
Worf, talking about Riker: Yes, he would.Worf may only say a few words but he says them with such gusto.
“How many people does it take before it becomes wrong?”: So this boils down to another asshole admiral in Starfleet who thinks they are doing something for “the greater good” but they never learn. While it’s awesome that the So’na try to relocate rather than kill the Ba’ku, Picard makes the very valid statement that it doesn’t matter how many people… it’s always wrong.
There’s a little bit of everything in this movie. There’s humor when Data is a floating head, gets tricked into singing along, and when Crusher, Troi, Picard, and Riker are all talking at top speed because they’ve all been together for so long. Riker and Troi flirt in the most adorable way possible, Riker looks jovial and Troi looks like she’s having fun in the moment, but it’s all for the fans and doesn’t do anything for the plot. La Forge gets his moment to see, Worf suffers through Klingon puberty again, and Picard gets to have a romance with supernatural benefits. I do wish they talked more about slowing down time, because it was quite interesting and more supernatural than science fiction. I loved that Data’s “feral” state is to always be the good guy and that he tries so hard to be loved by all, especially children. He’s always been fascinated by children (looking at you “Pen Pals“) and he admits it’s because he never had a childhood so he can’t really understand it. I loved that everyone got to shoot the drones, Crusher and Troi included, and it felt very much like Duck Hunt.
I dislike that they let Ru’afo die in such a horrible manner, they are not supposed to kill the bad guys unless absolutely necessary. Riker could have totally locked onto both lifeforms and gotten them both out before the explosion. I also didn’t really like the dress whites and that’s mostly because that’s a HORRIBLE decision to have WHITE be the primary color. You can always tell when something gets dirty when it’s white, always. I’m sure there are other things wrong with this movie, but nothing bothered me as much as this. I mean yeah, why is the Federation doing shady deals with Dominion allies? Who were the aliens on the Enterprise and why don’t we get to know more about them? Why did the Federation have a cloaked vessel? How are they going to stop people from finding this planet? Although there wasn’t a lot of “bad” in this movie, it somehow didn’t have as much gusto as First Contact and it certainly wasn’t as compelling as the story of II – IV. In the end, it’s all about the message… don’t remove people from their homes.
Movie rating: In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 6.7, but this is only because I rate it between The Search for Spock and The Undiscovered Country and my movie rating system is all messed up. I truly enjoyed the trio of Star Trek II, III, and IV and this movie was a bit of an mixture of several different episodes.