Star Trek Nemesis is generally considered one of the worst films in the franchise, but it does feature some memorable moments for the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation. By the dawn of the 21st century, the Star Trek franchise was in fairly bad shape. Star Trek: Voyager ended its seven season run in 2001 with eroding viewership; Star Trek: Enterprise debuted later that same year and suffered middling reviews and anemic ratings. On the big screen, 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection failed to match the success of the previous TNG film, Star Trek: First Contact, and there was a then-unprecedented four year gap before the next film was released.
That film would ultimately become Star Trek Nemesis, the final film featuring the TNG cast. Star Trek Nemesis was a box office bomb, reviled by both critics and fans upon release. It’s the only Star Trek film to not debut at the top of the American box office, bested by the Jennifer Lopez romcom Maid In Manhattan. It would be seven years before another Star Trek movie was released, which was the J.J. Abrams-produced reboot film starring younger versions of the Star Trek: The Original Series crew. Star Trek Nemesis was an objective failure, but it wasn’t all bad.
10 Riker And Troi Finally Get Married
Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) rekindled their long dormant romance in Insurrection, and the pair finally tied the knot early on in Nemesis. It’s a joyful scene, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) giving a heartfelt speech at their reception and old friends like Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) and former TNG bartender Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) making appearances. It’s one of the few aspects of Nemesis that feels like a well done conclusion to a long-running TNG story, as Riker and Troi were always pretty clearly meant to be together. It’s a nice moment of celebration and love before things start going off the rails.
9 Data Singing Blue Skies At The Reception
Lieutenant Commander Data’s (Brent Spiner) wedding gift to Riker and Troi was a funny, touching performance of the Irving Berlin song “Blue Skies” at their reception. Spiner is actually an accomplished singer, and he imbues the performance with the perfect mix of his own vocal prowess and Data’s charming awkwardness. “Blue Skies” would endure as a meaningful song for Data, as it was the tune that lulled him to his final rest in Star Trek: Picard‘s season 1 finale two decades after Nemesis.
8 Admiral Janeway’s Cameo
Nemesis attempted to honor the previous iterations of Star Trek with subtle nods and easter eggs, but Voyager got a much more explicit shout out with Kathryn Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew) cameo early on. Having been promoted to Admiral after Voyager ended, Janeway gives Captain Picard his orders to travel to Romulus to meet Praetor Shinzon (Tom Hardy). It is to date the only time Picard and Janeway have met onscreen, but the actors bounced off of each other nicely, and another encounter between the pair in either Star Trek: Picard or Star Trek: Prodigy would be more than welcome.
7 Brent Spiner’s Performance As B-4
Early on in Star Trek Nemesis, the crew of the Enterprise-E discover B-4 (Brent Spiner), a prototype android that Dr. Noonian Soong (Brent Spiner) built before Data. Much less sophisticated than Data, B-4 is something akin to a positronic toddler. B-4 unintentionally betrayed the Enterprise-E crew when he was manipulated by Shinzon, and the scene where Data is forced to deactivate him features some of Spiner’s best acting, as it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for the scared, confused android.
6 Captain Riker Gets The USS Titan
Riker passed up several chances to command his own ship during TNG, sometimes for reasons that made sense, and sometimes less so. Star Trek Nemesis finally made Riker a Captain, as he departed at the end of the film to command the USS Titan. His final scene with Captain Picard is one of the movie’s most affecting, with Patrick Stewart admitting he had trouble getting through the scene without crying. Captain Riker would go on to become a Starfleet legend in his own right, most notably seen in the animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks.
5 Picard and Beverly Reminisce About Young Picard
Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Picard’s closest friend and occasional lover, is barely in the TNG movies. Nemesis was no different, but she does have a nice scene with Picard in his ready room as he reflects on his past after meeting Shinzon, his mysterious clone. The pair discuss Picard’s younger days when he was a much more reckless, undisciplined person. Picard is somewhat ashamed of the young man he was, but Beverly remembers that version of him fondly and suggests he wouldn’t be the man he ultimately became without his turbulent youth.
4 The Dinner Scene Between Picard And Shinzon
Shinzon would ultimately prove to be an underwhelming, cartoonish villain bent on destruction and conquest, though before that became apparent he did have one compelling scene with Captain Picard. Shinzon and Picard shared a meal in the Romulan Senate where they ruminated on how they were genetically identical but were nevertheless very different men. Shinzon even expressed an interest in Picard family history, though that would all ultimately prove to be a ruse to conceal Shinzon’s more nefarious intentions.
3 The Final Battle Between The Enterprise-E And The Scimitar
With the notable exception of Star Trek: First Contact‘s opening battle against the Borg, the TNG films were somewhat light on engaging space battles. There were attempts to beef up the action in Insurrection, but that movie’s archaic CGI almost immediately felt dated. The events leading up to the climactic starship battle in Nemesis may have been underwhelming, but the battle itself is well done, featuring great-looking CGI and some genuine thrills, like Captain Picard smashing the Enterprise-E into the Scimitar in a last ditch effort to stop the powerful Reman vessel’s destructive mission.
2 Worf As Comic Relief
Much like Dr. Crusher, Lieutenant Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) did not have much to do in Nemesis. The handful of scenes he does get, however, are pretty great. After enjoying too much Romulan Ale at the wedding reception, Worf hilariously voiced his distaste for Irving Berlin. Later on the Enterprise-E bridge, he expressed reluctance to appear naked at the wedding ceremony on Troi’s home planet of Betazed, as is tradition. Michael Dorn’s comedic timing has always been impeccable, and he kept that reputation alive in his brief screen time in Nemesis.
1 The Final Scene Between Picard and B-4
After Data heroically sacrificed himself to save Picard and stop Shinzon’s weapon from destroying the Enterprise-E, Picard attempted to explain to B-4 what kind of man his brother was. Despite Data downloading his memory into B-4 earlier in the film, the confused android fails to comprehend what Picard is expressing to him. Just before Picard leaves the room, however, B-4 begins quietly singing “Blue Skies,” an indication that some part of Data may still live on. Star Trek Nemesis got a lot of things wrong, but the final scene between Picard and B-4 at least let the failed film end on a note of hope.
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