With Star Trek: Prodigy and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds joining Star Treks Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, and Short Treks in the streaming realm (and at least one new movie in the works) the Star Trek franchise definitely seems like its feeling itself lately.
Despite that current success, though, the Star Trek Universe has had a dramatic history of ups and downs, particularly when it comes to decisions made by the producers, studios, and powers-that-be that have occasionally been... questionable. From kneecapping the Kelvin Timeline movies before they could become box office gold to the baffling decisions made in the Star Trek: Voyager writers room, choices have definitely been made and we ran down those and eight more for you last year.
Things are looking up in the 23rd, 24th, and 32nd centuries, but there's always going to be something... So let's get back in it and talk about Star Trek Nemesis for the millionth time, rehash our feelings about the way Jadzia went out, and trash talk a few recent decisions the producers have made. You know, like fans do.
Here are ten more unforgivable behind the scenes decisions that we believe have made the Star Trek Universe a worse place, that we're going to forgive anyway.
10. Trimming Nemesis
It's been almost 20 years and we're still asking ourselves what happened with Star Trek Nemesis. You've heard it all before: Why is there a dune buggy aboard the Enterprise? Why is Captain Picard suddenly a dune buggy aficionado? How did the crew just happen to bring their dune buggy down to a planet that was populated by aliens who also drive dune buggies?
The list goes on, so here's a new take on Star Trek Nemesis: We needed more.
Soon after the release of Nemesis in December of 2002, producer Rick Berman stated in several interviews that almost an hour of footage was trimmed from the final film, calling the editing process "really painful".
Despite being known primarily as a film editor, director Stuart Baird (who has been blamed for many of Nemesis' shortcomings), handed editorial duties off to Dallas Puett, who had the unenviable task of keeping the film under two hours in length. Since Nemesis was the franchise's first stab at a CGI-heavy action flick to rival the other big budget franchises of the early 2000s, it makes sense Puett favored noisy spectacle and left the quieter, character-based moments on the cutting room floor.
Deleted material includes a brief moment to catch up with now Lieutenant Wesley Crusher, a sweet scene of Data and Picard enjoying a glass of Chateau Picard, a dinner scene in Ten Forward, a couple moments showing Geordi mourning Data's death and Worf adopting Spot, a scene showing Doctor Crusher's departure from the Enterprise, and an alternate ending featuring the ship's new XO. Nothing earth shattering there, but Nemesis was specifically billed as "A Generation's Final Journey", as in, the last time we'd see these characters on the big screen. It was a strange choice, then, to omit much of the character development and almost all of the actual farewells from that final journey.
There are a few tender moments still left in the final cut of Star Trek Nemesis -- Picard and Riker's goodbye feels particularly poignant -- but Data's death and subsequent wake are abrupt and characters systematically disappear from the film as the story clumsily wraps itself up. It's like Puett, Baird, and Berman cut the heart out of Star Trek Nemesis with those 50 minutes; they removed the chemistry of the TNG cast playing off one another and left only repetitive action and a boilerplate revenge story.
Star Trek Nemesis was only ever a mediocre, if not outright bad film, but if the producers had managed to retain the character connections and ultimate goodbyes, then maybe Nemesis would've at least been able to succeed at being that "Final Journey" it was billed as, if nothing else.