10 Reasons To Stop Hating Star Trek: Nemesis
Buckle up! I think it’s time to try some unsafe velocities.
Stop hating Star Trek: Nemesis? The film that crashed harder at the box office than when Enterprise met Scimitar? The one that killed off Data (ish)? The movie that pretty much ended the franchise for several painful years? (Well, we still got These Are the Voyages…*coughs*) Yes, that one!
As Star Trek fans, we’re all natural-born nitpickers and there probably are enough plot holes in Nemesis to depressurise an away-team of EV suits, but a bit of suspension of disbelief is never a bad thing.
It has also been twenty years since its release. That is a good amount of retrospect. Is it a great film? No. It's certainly no Wrath of Khan or First Contact. Does it deserve all that ire? Almost certainly not. We’ve equally had a lot of new Trek now to lessen the blow. Star Trek: Picard Season One is basically a ten-episode addendum to Nemesis, and Lower Decks and Prodigy both carry the Star Trek torch in a post-Shinzon world.
It makes sense to go back and take another look at this much-maligned movie, not merely with the benefit of hindsight but equally for what it was at the time. So, let’s get a text message to the helm – standby full impulse on my cmd – and fly directly into the reasons you might want to start liking Star Trek: Nemesis just that little bit more.
10. The Gift Of Music
There is one thing that is undeniably great about Nemesis, and that's its soundtrack. The score was composed by the incomparable Jerry Goldsmith, a name synonymous with Star Trek, and was his last gift to the franchise before his death in 2004. In fact, it was the penultimate score he wrote.
Goldsmith's association with Star Trek goes back to the very beginning; the composer was Gene Roddenberry's first choice for The Original Series pilot, The Cage, but unfortunately schedules didn't quite work out. Of course, we all know that Goldsmith went on to write the majestic (Oscar-nominated) score for The Motion Picture, the epic Main Title theme of which was then re-used for The Next Generation. He also wrote the score for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and the theme for Voyager.
The music of Nemesis imposes its mark from the very beginning. The tempo of the opening titles is slow at first, almost questioning, as it builds to the Star Trek fanfare. It then cuts to a rapid, unrelenting drumbeat as the (virtual) camera flies past the dark side of Remus towards Romulus, descending rapidly down through its atmosphere to land at the Romulan Senate. The drumbeat becomes quieter and quieter and comes to a halt only as the Romulan commander begins his address.
The piece, simply entitled 'Remus,' manages to instil just the right amount of tension and foreboding in the audience before a single word is uttered. The rest of the score is as skilful as you would expect from the genius mind of Goldsmith, adeptly weaving the well-known of Irving Berlin into the familiar of Star Trek, amongst other musical feats.