(written from a Production point of view)
"The Battle For Paradise Has Begun"
As the Dominion War ravages the Alpha Quadrant, an idyllic planet in the middle of an unstable region within Federation space serves as home to the peaceful Ba'ku – and a veritable fountain of youth. When the Son'a and the war-torn Federation plan to exploit the planet in order to rejuvenate themselves, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise-E must rebel against the Federation in order to save the Ba'ku and expose the atrocities that are about to take place.
Act One Edit
A small village sits under cloudless skies, nestled in the rolling, green hills of an alien planet: home to the Ba'ku. The citizens of this village go about their days, tending to crops and livestock – performing the functions of an agrarian civilization. A beautiful woman, Anij, emerges from a crowd of her fellow Ba'ku and makes her way through the village, stopping to silently greet a man named Sojef. Both are unaware that in the calm and peace of their home, they are being watched.
On computer terminals, the activities of the Ba'ku are being monitored. Within a cloaked "duck blind" positioned high on a hill overlooking the village, Starfleet officers and their alien partners, the Son'a, spy on the Ba'ku. Through special monitors, not only can they see the goings on in the village below, but also a team of researchers, themselves cloaked in isolation suits that glow red on screen. PADDs are passed back and forth, status reports are transmitted, and the Starfleet officers lie in the darkness of their duck blind, watching...
The quiet of the idyllic setting is suddenly disrupted. A bolt of phaser fire appears from nowhere, striking a narrow bridge as Ba'ku children scramble across it. Onlookers are shoved to the ground as invisible forces crash through the village.
In the duck blind, alert sirens sound as the Starfleet and Son'a officers observe the commotion. Through their special viewscreens, the observers watch as one of the cloaked researchers rampages through the village, attacking other men in red isolation suits.
The Ba'ku villagers are shocked by the sudden appearance of the android as he emerges from thin air, disruptor in hand, and exhibiting damage to the left side of his neck. Ignoring orders from Lieutenant Curtis to stand down within the duck blind, Data opens fire on the facility, disabling its cloaking device and revealing it to the Ba'ku. From the windows of the duck blind, the exposed Starfleet and Son'a officers look down as the Ba'ku look up. The villagers wonder who these people are and why they're here.
Aboard the USS Enterprise-E, Doctor Beverly Crusher fusses over the collar on Captain Jean-Luc Picard's dress uniform. Reading from a PADD, Counselor Deanna Troi repeats an alien greeting for the captain to memorize: "Yew-cheen chef-faw, emphasis on the 'cheen' and the 'faw'." Similarly decked out in his dress uniform, Commander William T. Riker arrives at the captain's quarters to gather the other officers - the guests are getting impatient. They are also eating the flower arrangements on the banquet tables.
As the four officers march down a corridor and into a turbolift, Riker breaks it to the captain: the Enterprise has been ordered to the Goren system to mediate a territorial dispute. Picard expresses his dissatisfaction, with the Federation embroiled in a bloody war with the Dominion, the Enterprise and her crew have been relegated to a diplomatic role. In that capacity, Picard and company are playing host to new protectorates, the Evora. "Can anyone remember," Picard wonders, "when we used to be explorers?"
The turbolift doors part and Picard, Crusher, Troi and Riker step out into a banquet hall to be greeted by a familiar face: Lieutenant Commander Worf, on leave from starbase Deep Space 9. Picard is genuinely happy to see the Klingon, leading his entourage to meet their guests. The captain recites the Evora greeting to the alien diplomats who welcome him in the "time honored tradition" of their people, draping a beaded ornament over the captain's head. No one was expecting this, to which Counselor Troi can only remark, "Nice beadwork."
Striking up the orchestra, Picard mingles with his guests when Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge approaches, informing the captain that they have received a communique from Starfleet Admiral Matthew Dougherty about Data. Setting up a com-line in the anteroom, Picard contacts the admiral. Dougherty is grave, telling the captain of Data's attack on the duck blind and a subsequent hostage taking. Picard offers assistance, but Dougherty rejects it out of hand, telling the captain that the Enterprise is not suited for travel within the unusual region called the "Briar Patch". Dougherty requests Data's schematics and tells Picard that he will keep the captain apprised of the situation. Disturbed, Picard informs La Forge that the Enterprise will be making a detour to the Briar Patch on its way to the Goren system, despite the fact that the two locations are in opposite directions. He will also ask Worf to delay his return to DS9 to join the Enterprise crew.
Breaking through the red, gaseous clouds of the Briar Patch, a Son'a vessel heads toward the Ba'ku planet. In the bowels of the ship, a macabre "body shop" has been constructed where members of the ship's crew undergo bizarre medical treatments. The commander of the vessel and leader of the Son'a, Ahdar Ru'afo sits in an operating chair as two beautiful alien females stretch his skin over his forehead, stapling it to his skull. Admiral Dougherty watches, disgusted, while Ru'afo laments the decision to use the duck blind. Dougherty reminds him that it was intended to protect the Ba'ku population, but Ru'afo balks, "Planet's population. Six hundred people!" Admiring the new facelift, Ru'afo adds, "You want to avoid unnecessary risks? Next time, leave your android home." The deck suddenly rocks.
Entering the bridge, Ru'afo and Dougherty receive a tactical report: "Phaser blast, unknown origin!" On the Son'a viewscreen, Dougherty looks on as the attacking ship makes its escape. It's the mission scoutship, commanded by Data.
As the Enterprise warps away from the heart of the Federation, Captain Picard confers with his officers on the bridge. Commander Riker and Counselor Troi have downloaded all the necessary information on the duck blind mission and the Son'a, with orders to become "experts" in two days. In preparation for the task ahead, Worf too has been hard at work, modifying a tricorder to deactivate Data. While the range of the device is short, Worf assures Picard that it will stop the android. Picard orders the helmsman to take the Enterprise into the Briar Patch at impulse and the ship heads in.
Entering the gnarled, red nebulae of the Patch, the Enterprise crew is hard at work. In the ship's library, Troi and Riker have begun to review the data from Starfleet. Troi is amazed by what she reads about the Federation's partnership with the Son'a, known developers of the Dominion drug ketracel-white. Riker too is stunned by the information on the Son'a, depicting the species as a conquering force. Troi wonders why the Federation would be involved with such a people, but there are no answers. As they work at their computer terminal, Troi stands close to Riker, caressing his neck. Riker says that it reminds him of their past relationship, but Troi plays innocent, "Was I doing something to your neck?"
In his quarters, Worf has overslept. Awaking to the sound of Captain Picard's com signal, the Klingon jumps up in bed, hitting his head on the ceiling. "I don't know how they do it on Deep Space 9," Picard jokes, "but on the Enterprise we still report for duty on time." Making his way around the bridge to the helm, Picard listens to the sound of his ship, telling La Forge and Ensign Kell Perim that something sounds off. La Forge is amazed by the captain's acute hearing, noting that there is a twelve-micron misalignment in the torque sensors, with Picard noting that he could hear a three-micron misalignment when he was an ensign. As a disheveled Worf arrives on the bridge, Lieutenant Daniels at tactical reports an incoming hail from Admiral Dougherty.
On screen, the image of Dougherty and Ru'afo appears. Dougherty admits his surprise at seeing Picard here in the Briar Patch, then tells the captain that he hasn't got good news. Following the attack on Ru'afo's ship, Dougherty has concluded that Data must be neutralized. Ru'afo is less tactful than the admiral, angrily telling Picard that "your android has become dangerously violent," and suggesting that he must be destroyed. Picard sympathizes, but tells both men that if Data is to be captured, he should be the one to do it. Admiral Dougherty reluctantly agrees, giving Picard twelve hours.
Picard and Worf board a shuttlecraft and head away from the Enterprise, toward the Ba'ku planet. Working the controls, neither officer can locate Data's scoutship – the rings around Ba'ku may be interfering with their sensors. The search is abruptly ended, though, when the Enterprise shuttle jolts under phaser fire and Data's scoutship makes its appearance.
Unable to shake the attacking Data, Picard attempts to reason with him over communications. Data does not respond. The captain pilots the shuttlecraft towards the planet, hoping to shake the scoutship in the atmosphere. Data continues to pursue, chasing Picard and Worf's shuttle into the clouds of the planet. The captain reasons that Data must be functioning on some level that could be reached through memory recall. Opening a computer file, Picard selects a song from the musical HMS Pinafore and begins to sing "A British Tar". However reluctantly, Worf too begins to sing along as the shuttles chase each other in the skies above Ba'ku. Data responds in kind, reciting the lyrics to the song and giving Picard and Worf the distraction they need. The Enterprise shuttle creeps up to the mission scoutship and engages its docking clamps, securing the two ships together.
Aboard the scoutship, Data realizes what has happened and is quick to react, engaging his engines and sending both ships into a barrel roll towards the surface.
On the Enterprise shuttle, Picard and Worf struggle to hold on as they spiral toward the quickly advancing ground. Working the helm, Picard is able to pull them out of the dive and into a stable flightpath. Worf seizes the opportunity, climbing through a hatch and into Data's scoutship. Seeing the intruder, Data lunges at Worf, but the Klingon successfully disables the android by the touch of a button on his modified tricorder: "Commander Data is safely in custody."
In the glimmer of the transporter effect, Captain Picard, Counselor Troi and Doctor Crusher lead an away team to the Ba'ku village. Troi is immediately struck by the peace that surrounds them, the "clarity of perception" of the Ba'ku people. Finding the "hostages" from the duck blind enjoying a lavish meal with the planet's natives, Picard is welcomed by Anij and Sojef, the leaders of the community. They tell the Starfleet captain that Data was suffering from damage to his positronic brain that they were unable to repair. Picard is surprised, it seems the Ba'ku aren't what they appeared to be: capable of space travel and advanced technologies, yet choosing to live a simpler existence. The captain apologizes for the intrusion then transports away with the Starfleet and Son'a officers, back to the Enterprise.
In his ready room, Picard briefs the admiral on his desktop monitor. Dougherty congratulates the captain, genially telling him, "Now, pack your bags and get the hell out of there." The admiral informs Picard that they will be sending a ship to retrieve the Son'a personnel; there are "a few loose ends to tie up." Ending the transmission, Picard sits at his desk, cluttered with PADDs bearing paperwork and status reports. Sifting through them, Picard dismisses his work and rises from his chair, standing at the windows overlooking the planet below.
Counselor Troi is busy at work in her counselor's office when the door chimes and Commander Riker enters. Asking Troi if she has a minute, Riker tells the counselor that he thinks he needs a little "counseling". He moves to Troi's couch and lies down, his head in her lap. "This isn't one of the usual therapeutic postures," she tells him, suggesting he sit up. Riker is playful, "Maybe you should try lying down." He sits up, stealing a kiss along the way. Troi is repulsed, pushing him back and laughing, "Yuck! I never kissed you with a beard before!" She shoves him through the doorway, hitting a panel that closes it shut in his face.
Picard and La Forge head down a corridor to engineering. La Forge reports on Data's status, who, it seems, was shot by a Son'a weapon. But, Picard says, the Son'a reported that Data fired first. La Forge disagrees, then is interrupted by a sudden headache - his ocular implants must be bothering him.
The two officers arrive at engineering where Data is being held in stasis. La Forge reactivates Data who admits that he seems to be missing several memory engrams. La Forge holds out his hand and several cybernetic components to which Data responds, "There they are." The damage to his face repaired, Data is released from his stasis confinement as Picard asks him what the last thing he remembers is. The android launches into another round of HMS Pinafore, but the captain stops him, "About the mission." Standing before the Enterprise warp core, Data recalls the he last thing he can remember: following Ba'ku children into the hills.
Down on the planet, Picard, Data, Anij and Sojef retrace the android's footsteps, finding a Ba'ku boy named Artim playing in a tree with a friend and his pet. Sojef asks Artim if he can recall where Data first appeared to them. The boy responds that he was playing in the hills by the dam and leads the way.
Back aboard the Enterprise, Riker and Troi have reconvened. Sitting in a bathtub in the commander's quarters, Troi uses an old fashioned razor to shave Riker's beard off, his face covered with a thick coat of shaving cream. The com chirps and Worf signals, telling Riker that Admiral Dougherty is calling to find out why the Enterprise still has not left. Responding to the admiral from his quarters, Riker tells Dougherty that the captain and Data have traveled to the planet to discover the exact cause of Data's malfunction. The admiral is impatient, telling Riker to remind the captain that his twelve hours are up.
Arriving at a lake surrounded by snow-topped mountains, Picard and the group of Ba'ku watch Data as he uses his tricorder to scan for evidence. With heavy deposits of kelbonite in the mountains, Data says, the tricorder's functions are limited. Entering a few more commands into the scanning device, Data detects something "curious", then steps into the lake, disappearing below the surface. Descending deeper into the lake, Data continues his scans as fish swim past. Finally getting the readings he was in search of, he trudges across the bottom of the lake to a floodgate. Emerging from the water, the android opens the gate, emptying part of the lake and revealing the glistening hull of an invisible starship. Data tells Picard that the ship is "clearly of Federation origin."
Stepping onto a rowboat, Picard, Data and Anij float out to the cloaked ship to investigate. Crossing the lake, the three arrive at the dripping, invisible hull of the ship. Data operates his tricorder which opens an airlock, revealing the interior of the ship. Climbing inside, Picard, Data and Anij are stunned to find a perfect, holographic replica of the Ba'ku village... albeit an incomplete one. Picard doesn't understand, clearly Data was shot to prevent the discovery of this giant holoship, but what is its purpose? Picard deduces that this ship is here to trick the Ba'ku, to transport them en masse to a new location away from their planet. But why?
A burst of phaser fire rings out, narrowly missing them. Picard and Data react quickly, shoving Anij out of the ship and away from the crossfire as they fire their phasers. Disabling an attacking Son'a officer, Picard and Data deactivate the holographic simulation and turn back to the lake to find Anij struggling to swim. The two Enterprise officers leap from the airlock into the water to save the Ba'ku woman. As Picard scoops her into his arms, Data assures them, "In the event of a water landing, I have been designed to serve as a flotation device."
Act Two Edit
In the Enterprise transporter room, Picard and Data have returned to the ship to find Lieutenant Commander Worf waiting for them. Worf informs the captain that neither the Starfleet nor the Son'a hostages mentioned the holoship in their debriefing. Picard orders the Klingon to debrief them again, then notices a huge blemish on his nose, "Have you been in a fight, Mr. Worf?" Worf is humiliated, explaining that it is a gorch, a Klingon pimple. "Well," Picard tries to assure him, "it's hardly noticeable."
The officers exit the transporter room into a corridor where a clean-shaven Commander Riker meets them, "Smooth as an android's bottom eh, Data?" Riker catches up to the captain, telling Picard of the admiral's order to leave the Ba'ku region immediately. Picard is determined, "We're not going anywhere." He steps into a turbolift and contacts Doctor Crusher.
In sickbay, Crusher receives the captain's message, telling him that the Son'a officers refused treatment. When asked about the status of the Starfleet hostages, Crusher replies that they are better than fine, with improved muscle tone and energy. Picard acknowledges her signal as the doctor turns to her patient, Geordi La Forge.
Picard arrives in his quarters and heads to the lavatory. Calling to the computer, he orders music – "Something Latin... the mambo." The computer complies, playing upbeat music to which the captain begins to dance. Dancing towards the mirror, Picard stops to glace at himself and notices his age marks. This gives him pause and he decided to go back down to the planet.
Anij answers a knock at her door. It is Picard. "How old are you?" he asks.
A while later, Anij and Picard meet with Sojef, Artim and Tournel and they discuss the Ba'ku's real situation. Sojef explains that the Ba'ku traveled to this planet hundreds of years ago from a planet where technology threatened their very existence. Moving to the Briar Patch, the Ba'ku found a new way of life, and have been continually regenerated by a bizarre concentration of metaphasic radiation in the rings of the planet. The Ba'ku planet is a fountain of youth and Picard understands now why someone would want to take this all away from them.
Strolling through the quiet village at night, Anij teaches Picard about Ba'ku customs and tells him about herself. Picard reciprocates by telling her of his life in the Federation and of his desire not to let bloody chapters in history play out again here. One of the references to Earth's history was a indirect mention of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Anij admits that Picard surprises her, he doesn't stand up to his reputation as an off-lander. "I wonder if you're aware of the trust you engender," Anij says. "In my experience, it's unusual for someone so young."
Leaving Anij's home, Picard continues his late night tour of the village as the sun begins to rise over the hills. Spotting one of his officers just beyond the village, Picard climbs to meet Geordi La Forge as he looks out over the scenery. The chief engineer, Picard sees, has also been affected by the metaphasic radiation, his eyes having been fully regenerated. La Forge tells the captain that he has never seen a real sunrise, but would like to see one before they leave in case the regeneration reverses itself. The experience of seeing his first sunrise moves Geordi to tears and the two men stand on the hill and watch as day breaks over the picturesque hills of the Ba'ku planet.
In orbit, a fleet of Son'a starships enters the area, dwarfing the Enterprise as it flies below them.
Admiral Dougherty and Ru'afo enter the captain's ready room, demanding the release of the Son'a officers and the departure of the Enterprise. Picard is ready for them, telling them that he found the holoship. Dougherty knows that he has been caught and asks Ru'afo to wait outside. The Son'a, however, refuses and shouts an enraged "NO!!!" The skin stretched tight over Ru'afo's forehead breaks and blood drips down his face. "This entire mission has been one Federation blunder after another," he snarls. "You will return my men or this alliance will end with the destruction of your ship." Ru'afo storms out, leaving Dougherty and Picard alone.
Dougherty is more calm than his Son'a partner, telling the captain that he looks rested. Picard cuts through pleasantries, telling the admiral that he will report Dougherty's actions to the Federation Council, but Doughterty retorts that he is acting on orders from the Council; they have decided that the Bak'u are not the native inhabitants of the planet, and it is unnatural for the Bak'u to be immortal; relocating them will simply restore them to their natural evolution. Picard is outraged at this sophistry, but Dougherty informs him that they are acting for the greater good: the Son'a have developed a procedure to collect the metaphasic particles from the planet's rings, but the procedure requires them to inject a substance into the rings that starts a thermolytic reaction, after which the planet will be uninhabitable for decades. The planet is in Federation space, but the Federation cannot duplicate the Son'a's technology - which makes them, "petty thugs" though they may be, the Federation's willing partners.
With metaphasics, Doughterty expands, a whole new medical science will evolve, and help billions of people throughout the Federation. Picard tries every argument for delaying the procedure, but Dougherty has an answer for each one: although there are metaphasic particles all over the Briar Patch, only those in the planet's rings are concentrated enough to produce the rejuvenating effects; the Federation's best scientific minds have already examined the Son'a's technology and concluded that it is the only means of collecting the particles; Picard proposes that the Son'a establish a separate colony on the planet until a less-destructive alternative can be found; Dougherty rejoins that the Son'a's senescence is so advanced that it would take ten years of normal exposure to the radiation to begin to reverse it, and many of them won't live that long.
Besides, he adds, the Son'a don't want to live in the middle of the Briar Patch. "Who would?" Picard responds, "The Ba'ku." He says this mission is a violation of the Federation's founding principles, as well as the Prime Directive; and that it will result in the destruction of the Bak'u's society. Becoming exasperated, Dougherty repeats that they are only moving six hundred people. In cold fury, Picard asks Dougherty to tell him just how many people it takes before what they're doing becomes wrong. "A thousand? Fifty thousand? A million? How many people does it take, Admiral?!"
Finished with trying to reason with Picard, Dougherty orders Picard to release the Son'a officers and then depart for the Goren system. "File whatever protest you wish to," he says. "By the time you do, this will be all done."
Picard goes to his quarters. With a view of the Ba'ku planet below, he slowly removes each one of his rank pips and renounces his status as a Starfleet captain.
Aboard the Son'a flagship, Ru'afo is back in the "bodyshop," undergoing more treatment. As a glowing piece of equipment is placed over his head, one of the ship's Tarlac servants activates it, stretching Ru'afo's face. Sitting up, Ru'afo is glad to see his old friend Gallatin, finally released from captivity on the Enterprise. Gallatin tells Ru'afo that he was not hurt, but tells the Ahdar that it was not pleasant being among the Ba'ku. Ru'afo tells him not to worry about the holoship any longer and says, "Just get the holding cells ready."
On board the Cousteau, the captain's yacht, Picard is out of uniform, preparing to go to the surface alone. Beaming supplies aboard the yacht, he opens a cargo container and checks the contents: phaser rifles. The large aft hatch suddenly opens, revealing La Forge, Riker, Troi, Worf, Crusher and Data, each ready to help their captain defend the Ba'ku. Found out, Picard orders his command crew to return to their quarters, but, as Riker says, "No uniform, no orders." Each is prepared to risk their career to stand behind Picard, who grudgingly accepts their help. He orders Riker and La Forge to take the Enterprise out of the Briar Patch to contact Starfleet Command and let them know the details of Dougherty's plan. The rest go with him to the surface. Tellingly, it is Data who says, "Saddle up." Then he adds, "Lock and load."
In a small tactical room adjacent to the Son'a flagship's main bridge, Ru'afo and Dougherty watch a monitor. On the screen, a simulation of the metaphasic extraction plays out. Gallatin enters carrying a large PADD and Ru'afo shares the good news. "The injector performs perfectly in every simulation..." Gallatin hands him the PADD, telling him the captain's yacht disengaged from the Enterprise before the ship departed. Ru'afo is furious, ordering Gallatin to take a team of shuttles to the surface, to capture the Ba'ku and take the planet by force, adding, "If Picard or any of his people interfere... eliminate them."
On the surface, night has once again fallen over the Ba'ku village. Tournel is high in a tower, ringing a loud bell, shouting to his fellow villagers, "We're leaving the village! Take only what you need!" Data activates transport inhibitors around the gathering Ba'ku as Picard briefs Anij and Sojef. Pointing to the screen of a small computer terminal, Picard lays out his plan: they will follow the kelbonite deposits in the hills to avoid being captured by the Son'a. Anij adds that there are caves in the mountains that they can use to hide in.
Lights appear in the sky above them: Son'a shuttles swoop low to the ground, firing on the village and destroying several transport inhibitors. The villagers begin to run for cover, led by the Enterprise officers as explosions light up in the night. Sojef grabs Artim, trying to help him get to safety when he suddenly dissolves with a group of Ba'ku, transported away. Artim yells out for his father as Data scoops him up and carries him away.
Gallatin and his teams return to the Son'a flagship. Arriving in the tactical room, Gallatin has bad news for Ru'afo: the Ba'ku cannot be beamed off the planet as long as they are following the kelbonite. Ru'afo has lost his patience, suggesting they take an assault team to the surface. Gallatin has an alternative suggestion: isolinear tags will allow them to transport the villagers, but it will take time. With the Enterprise hurrying out of the Briar Patch to expose Ru'afo and Dougherty, they are running out of time and Ru'afo is unwilling to wait. Dougherty offers to contact Commander Riker, to order the Enterprise to turn around, but Ru'afo does not like that plan either. Instead, he says, he can send his ships to "escort" the Enterprise back to the Ba'ku planet. If people get hurt, Dougherty says, they will lose all the support they have.
"Federation support, Federation procedures, Federation rules..." Ru'afo balks. "Look in the mirror, admiral! The Federation is old. In the last twenty-four months, it's been challenged by every major power in the quadrant – the Borg, the Cardassians, the Dominion – they all smell the scent of death on the Federation. That's why you've embraced our offer – because it will give your dear Federation new life. Well, how badly do you want it, admiral? Because there are hard choices to be made now. If the Enterprise gets through with news about their brave captain's valiant struggle on behalf of the defenseless Ba'ku, your Federation politicians will waver, your Federation opinion polls will open a public debate, your Federation allies will want their say... need I go on?" Dougherty sits back in his chair, his arm having been twisted. "Send your ships."
As dawn breaks over the hills of the Ba'ku planet, a long stream of villagers winds through a field, an exodus. Data and Artim walk together, stopping to rest near a stream. Artim says that he cannot imagine what life would be like as a machine. Data confesses that he has often wondered what it would like to a boy. "Do androids ever play?" Artim asks. Yes, Data says, citing his advanced chess routines and his mastery of the violin. That proves not to be what Artim means. "If you want to know 'what it's like to be a child,'" he explains, "you need to learn how to play."
Worf catches up with Anij and Picard at the head of the group, the Klingon's hair has grown long and unruly; a symptom Worf says of Jak'tahla, Klingon puberty. "Any severe mood swings, unusual aggressive tendencies – be sure to let me know," Picard says, heeding Worf's warning that the Ba'ku have become tired. The captain orders an hour of rest to break out the rations.
Resting near a small waterfall, Picard and Anij sit on rocks, the captain staring through binoculars at their destination: caves set into distant mountains. Anij admires the captain, running her hand over his head, "It's been three hundred years since I've seen a bald man." He smiles at her. "I should warn you... I've always been attracted to older women." Just ahead, the babbling of the waterfall silences as the water becomes a fine mist, flowing more like sand than water. Picard wonders how Anij is able to do this, but she has no answer for him. They sit in silence and enjoy a "perfect moment" in which time slows and they are together.
The Enterprise is deep within the red and orange clouds of the Briar Patch, continuing its course back to the Federation. On the bridge, Riker is in the captain's chair, La Forge is at the conn, Perim at ops. Reading her board, Perim reports: two Son'a ships are on an intercept course. With the Enterprise still an hour away from transmission range, Riker needs to buy time. But time for diversion is cut short, when the deck rocks under weapons fire. Determined, Riker orders full impulse, but La Forge is hesitant; the impulse engines cannot handle that much speed in the Briar Patch. The commander warns La Forge that if they do not find a way to outrun the Son'a, little will remain of the Enterprise. La Forge nods and heads to engineering. Riker grips the armrests of his chair and shouts, "All hands, battle stations!" A red alert is sounded.
Back on the Ba'ku planet, Deanna Troi and Doctor Crusher are sitting together discussing the rejuvenating effects of the planet over field rations, "And have you noticed how your boobs have started to firm up?" Data overhears their conversation and walks over to Worf, who is disgusted by the food they have to eat. "I have an odd craving for the blood of a live Kolar beast," he complains. "The environment must be affecting me again." Data seems to understand, but really does not. "And have you noticed how your boobs have started to firm up?" Worf looks at him puzzled for a beat, then looks to the sky as the Son'a shuttles return, dropping small drones over the Ba'ku refugees. He promptly shouts, "Take cover!" The Ba'ku scatter as the drones descend, shooting isolinear tags at them, allowing them to be beamed away.
Smoke and plasma leak into the bridge as the Enterprise takes heavy fire. Riker hangs onto his chair as the ship shudders beneath him. In engineering, La Forge and his team are suppressing fires and trying to keep the ship together. "We're gonna blow ourselves up!" La Forge shouts up to the bridge, "We won't need any help from the Son'a!" On the main viewer, a large red cloud looms in the distance. Perim warns Riker that they do not want to go in there, but Riker disagrees. Taking the helm, Riker sets a course directly for the cloud and takes the Enterprise in.
On the planet, Picard and his men are themselves in battle, as the drones continue to take Ba'ku. Troi, Crusher, and Worf fire their phaser rifles, each taking out drones – but there are too many of them. Swinging his rifle like a club, Worf swings and strikes one causing it to explode in a shower of sparks. "Definitely feeling aggressive tendencies, sir!" he notes.
In the nebula, an explosion rocks the Enterprise as a subspace tear forms; the Son'a have detonated an isolytic burst, a subspace weapon banned by the Second Khitomer Accords, threatening to destroy the Enterprise. La Forge calls up to the bridge, telling the commander that the ship's warp core is acting like a magnet to the tear, pulling it "like a zipper across space." The chief engineer suggests ejecting the core and detonating it in the tear though this suggestion only "may or may not work" as subspace weapons are unpredictable, which was the reason they were banned. Having little alternative, Riker orders La Forge to eject the core, but the engineer has already done so, sending the reactor spinning away from the ship towards the tear. As the core makes contact with the tear, it detonates, resulting in a massive shock wave that slams into the Enterprise and hurls the great ship through space.
All over the ship, consoles explode and crew members are thrown to the deck. Despite the heavy damage sustained by the Enterprise, the subspace tear has been sealed. On the bridge, a bleeding Riker keeps his post as sparks shower from damaged terminals. Still a half hour away from contact with the Federation, Riker knows they have to fight. "We're through running from these bastards!"
The Starfleet officers have led the Ba'ku into caves and erected a force field shielding them from the attacking drones. Data reports that forty-three Ba'ku have been beamed away. The group is allowed no rest as soon the thunderous sound of impacts is heard and the caverns shake: the Son'a shuttles are firing on the caves to drive them out. Data warns Picard that the structure of the cavern will not hold for long and uses his tricorder to search for an escape route. Finding a place in a cavern wall that will allow them exit, they use their phasers to cut through the rock. As the rock opens up and the dust clears, a clear view of the mountains and more caves can be seen. Picard orders everyone to move out.
In the Briar Patch, the Enterprise swings around towards large pockets of gas. On the bridge, Riker searches for a suitable cloud, finding one full of volatile materials. La Forge recommends they keep their distance, but Riker intends to use the gas to "shove it down the Son'a's throats." Activating the ship's Bussard collectors, the crew gathers metreon particles until storage is at full capacity. Activating the manual steering column, Riker grabs ahold of a joystick, flying the ship by touch. On screen, two Son'a battle cruisers loom close by. La Forge remarks, "I wouldn't be surprised if history remembers this as the 'Riker Maneuver." Riker concedes, "If it works." When the battleships fire their weapons, Riker shouts the order, "BLOW OUT THE RAMSCOOPS!!!" When this is done, it sends the gas toward the Son'a ships. As the Son'a photon torpedoes make contact with the gas, they combust it into a massive fireball, engulfing and destroying one Son'a ship and disabling the other. Riker is victorious.
High in the mountains, Picard and company are busy fending off an attack by Son'a foot soldiers. Armed with an isomagnetic disintegrator, Worf takes aim at the henchmen and launches a blue-electric bolt that send them flying through the air. Crusher kneels over a wounded Son'a soldier, scanning him with her medical tricorder. Holding the tricorder for Picard to see her readings, the two aren't sure what to make of what they have just discovered.
Back in the caves, Anij and Tournel continue to evacuate the Ba'ku. As the last villagers make their way into the mountains, Anij realizes that Artim is nowhere to be found. She heads into the dark caverns after him, finding him in a particularly unstable area. Grabbing Artim by the hand, Anij leads him out as the caves begin to collapse. As rocks tumble from the cavern ceiling, the Starfleet officers rejoin the Ba'ku, Data grabbing Artim and pulling him to safety. Holding Anij close, Picard leads the way as the cave continues to crumble, sealing them inside and crushing Anij.
As the dust settles, Picard scans her vitals. "I'm losing her." With help on the other side of a newly formed wall of rocks, Picard must do his best to help Anij. Holding her hand, he asks her to help him keep her in this moment until help can arrive. As she begins to fade, dust falling from the ceiling suddenly slows and time around them moves slowly enough to allow Data, Crusher, Worf and Troi to break through the rocks and come to the rescue. Anij is favorably impressed. "And you thought it would take CENTURIES to learn," she remarks.
Carrying Anij out into the open mountain air, Picard and his crew face off against more Son'a drones. Each taking a defensive posture, they fire their weapons and destroy the drones. But one of the drones survives, shooting isolinear tags that attach themselves to Picard and Anij, sending them away in the shimmer of a transporter beam.
Act Three Edit
Captain Picard and Anij find themselves with Sojef and the rest of the captured Ba'ku villagers aboard Ru'afo's flagship, in a holding cell. Ru'afo and Dougherty arrive, entering the force field protected brig to confront Picard. Dougherty orders him to call off the Enterprise, which has destroyed one of the Son'a battle cruisers and significantly damaged another. Dougherty threatens the captain with a court martial, but Picard is still defiant: "If a court martial is the only way to tell the people of the Federation what happened here, then I welcome it." The captain knows that Dougherty allowed Ru'afo to send his ships to attack the Enterprise, saying "I wonder which one of us will be facing that court martial." Dougherty backs down, but Ru'afo is persistent, "This is going to end now. The Ba'ku want to stay on the planet. Let them. I'm going to launch the injector... In six hours, every living thing in this system will be dead or dying."
"You would kill your own people, Ru'afo?" Picard asks. Sojef picks up where the captain left off, telling Ru'afo and Dougherty of Doctor Crusher's findings – the Son'a and the Ba'ku are the same race. Picard confronts the admiral, telling Dougherty that he brought the Federation into the middle of a blood feud. A century ago, it seems, a group of Ba'ku rebelled and were banished from the planet; now they have returned for revenge. Anij suddenly realizes who Ru'afo and Gallatin are, once called Ro'tin and Gal'na. Ru'afo shrugs it off, "Those names, those children are gone forever." He storms out, leaving Dougherty with Picard and the Ba'ku. The admiral is despondent, "This was all for the Federation." He turns and follows Ru'afo.
Finding Ru'afo exposing his face to rejuvenating radiation in the bodyshop, Dougherty confronts the Ahdar, telling him that the mission is over. Ru'afo reacts violently, throwing Dougherty over a railing and smashing his face into a glass cabinet. Ru'afo then straps the bloodied admiral into one of the cosmetic chairs, activating one of the face lift devices. Dougherty warns him, "If you begin the procedure and launch the injector while the planet's still populated, the Federation will pursue you until..." Ru'afo sneers that "The Federation will never know what happened here." He engages the device, stretching the admiral's skin so taut that his blood vessels burst and his skull is crushed.
Ru'afo returns to the bridge, calmly informing Gallatin that Dougherty will not be joining them for dinner. He orders him to deploy the collector, but Gallatin, clearly unhappy, asks to speak with Ru'afo alone. Ru'afo obliges, but repeats his order to the bridge crew to deploy the collector.
Speaking privately, Gallatin argues that killing all the Bak'u is taking things too far, and Ru'afo reminds him, "No one hated them more than you, Gal'na." He appeals to his old friend, reminding him that they are about to complete their mission, and not to jeopardize it now. Emerging onto the bridge, the Ahdar then orders him to separate the Starfleet crew into the ship's aft cargo compartment. Gallatin knows that those areas won't be protected from the metaphasic radiation; Ru'afo intends to murder them just as he murdered Admiral Dougherty. Gallatin steps off the bridge as the Son'a collector begins its slow activation sequence.
Gallatin returns to the holding cells. Pointing a disruptor at Picard, he orders the captain to follow him to the aft cargo area. Picard complies, accompanying Gallatin through the corridors of the Son'a ship and into a turbolift. Once inside, Picard is able to convince Gallatin to relent, telling him that "you can still go home, Gal'na." Deactivating his weapon, Gallatin says it is hopeless; the collector cannot be deactivated except from the bridge, which is too well-defended; and no matter what they do, Ru'afo can override any commands to the injector with his communicator. Picard realizes that their success hinges on Ru'afo not realizing something is happening until it is too late. He asks Gallatin to a communicator that will allow him to contact Worf and Data on the planet.
From the bridge, Ru'afo watches from his plush command chair as the Son'a collector's separation sequence begins, counting down from three minutes. The collector unfurls gigantic, golden sails near the rings of the planet. The bridge officer alerts him that the Cousteau is flying up from the planet, piloted by Data. Ru'afo dismisses it as a threat, even as the ship fires tachyon bursts into the Son'a's shields. Eventually, one of the Son'a officer reports that the tachyon bursts are disrupting their shields; the Cousteau cannot damage the Son'a ship, but without shields they will be vulnerable to the thermolytic reaction when the separation is complete. "Very well," Ru'afo snaps, "Destroy that ship and reset our shield harmonics, do not delay the countdown."
In space, the Son'a ship fires on the yacht, severely damaging it. In the cockpit, Data pilots the ship back toward the planet, where he will make an emergency landing.
On the bridge of the flagship, the Son'a officers report that the ship is retreating and the countdown is continuing. Suddenly, a flash of bright white light envelops the bridge, then dissipates. Unsure of what has just happened, the crew continues to monitor the injector as the countdown reaches zero. On screen, they watch as the injector deploys and the rings around the planet suddenly scatter. Ru'afo is elated, noting the rings are behaving "exactly as the simulations predicted." But something is wrong, one of the Son'a officers reports, nothing has changed. Ru'afo says the scanners must be malfunctioning, but on closer inspection of their equipment, the crew discovers that there are simply no ship functions. Furious, Ru'afo says that is impossible, when the viewscreen, artificial gravity and life support are all working... then he notices it: a bizarre hole in one of the bridge bulkheads. Pushing his fingers into the hole, he realizes that they are no longer aboard their ship. Grabbing his disruptor, he fires at the hole in the bulkhead, revealing a door surrounded by a hologrid, "A holodeck!"
Stepping through the doorway, Ru'afo and his crew find themselves aboard the holoship, they were transported aboard when they reset their shields. Ru'afo swiftly uses his communicator to contact the collector, but it is of no use, the collector has been deactivated. The Son'a Ahdar screams out in rage.
On the real bridge of the Son'a ship, Picard, Worf, and Gallatin confirm that the collector has shut down (with only six seconds left on the countdown). Worf decloaks the holoship and secures it with a tractor beam. When the rest of the ship's crew starts to contact the bridge to ask what happened, Gallatin seals it off.
Aboard the holoship, Ru'afo is informed that all of the ship's long-range transporters have been locked down. Thinking fast, he orders the crew to isolate one, and re-route it through the auxiliary processor. When his crew tells him there is no point in going back to their ship, he responds, "I don't plan on going back to our ship."
Picard orders Worf to target the flagship's weapons onto the collector. But as he enters the commands into the computer, Worf realizes he has lost control of the ship. Gallatin reports that this must mean the crew of the ship has discovered the deception and is re-routing control of the ship's weapons. Sensors then report that Ru'afo has transported aboard the collector itself and re-started the injection sequence.
Gallatin cannot disable it without Ru'afo's access codes. Picard asks if there is a self-destruct mechanism, and Gallatin says yes, but it can only be activated manually aboard the collector, and there will only be a two-second delay before detonation. Grabbing a phaser rifle, Picard resolves to beam over and stop him from reactivating it. Gallatin warns him that, one minute before the separation, the cryogenics tanks will vent combustible exhaust inside the collector.
Materializing aboard the collector, Picard appears near a computer station where Ru'afo works to reactivate the sequence. Seeing the Starfleet captain, Ru'afo fires his disruptor. Narrowly escaping the blast, Picard begins to climb up the collector's superstructure to the self-destruct mechanism. Ru'afo pursues, but is forced to stop firing when the exhaust begins to vent.
Before Picard has completed his task, the Son'a crew storms onto the bridge and take Worf and Gallatin prisoner.
As the Enterprise makes its way back to the Ba'ku planet, sensors detect the captain on the collector. Riker hails Picard, who tells the commander that he may need a lift in a minute.
Picard reaches the mechanism and begins realigning the circuitry.
Back under the control of the Son'a crew, Ru'afo's flagship has begun an assault on the Enterprise, which trembles under fire. Detecting Worf aboard the ship, Riker realizes they have an advantage, "Set a collision course."
Pointing his weapon at the captain, Ru'afo orders Picard to step away from the control panel. Plasma vents all around them and Picard smiles, "Ru'afo, we're getting too old for this." Ru'afo counters, "After today, that won't be a problem... for either of us." Surrounded by puffs of plasma, Picard asks the Son'a Ahdar, "Are you really willing to risk igniting the exhaust?" Ru'afo hesitates, momentarily lowering his weapon. "All right!" the captain says, raising his phaser rifle, "I will!" He fires and the plasma explodes, sending Ru'afo flying off his feet, screaming "No!" and down to a lower level, where he is barely able to hang on.
The Enterprise bears down on the flagship. Worf sits on Ru'afo's couch, surrounded by Son'a officers who hold him at gunpoint. The Son'a in charge turns to the Klingon in reaction to the ever-closing starship, "He wouldn't!" Worf nods his head, "Yes. He would." The Son'a react quickly to evade, exposing its ventral hull to the Enterprise which fires point-blank phaser blasts, knocking out engines and life support. The flagship spins out of control, fires blazing on its hull.
Riker signals the collector, telling Picard that they are "right around the corner." Seeing that the launch sequence has just reached ten seconds, Picard smiles sadly and says, "Sorry... time's up." He keys in the final destruct sequence, and, two seconds later, the collector begins to destroy itself. Ru'afo raises himself to his feet just in time to see explosions shoot upward. Picard and the Ahdar stand opposite each other, Picard fully expecting to die right there. Outside, the Enterprise swoops down, nearly hitting the surface of the exploding injector. Just as the fireballs reach them, a transporter beam engages and beams Picard away. Ru'afo's last word is "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!", and he is incinerated by the explosion.
Back on the burned bridge of the Enterprise, Picard has returned in time to receive a hail from Worf on the Son'a flagship. With the ship severely damaged, the Klingon signals the crew's unconditional surrender, "It may have something to do with the fact that we have three minutes of air left." Picard and Riker smile, telling Worf to transport aboard, they have plenty of air.
On the surface of the planet, the Ba'ku villagers return to their homes. Riker wonders aloud to La Forge and Worf if his feelings for Troi will fade when they leave the planet. Worf comments that Riker's feelings have never changed; the planet merely let them back out. Picard proposes to Sojef and Anij that the Ba'ku and Son'a reunite. Sojef believes the feelings between the two peoples are too bitter to fully trust each other again. Picard, however, expresses optimism, and points out a regretful Gallatin embracing his mother, showing that there might be hope.
Picard and Anij are having difficulty saying good bye. But, he assures Anij, he has 318 days of shore leave coming and he doesn't intend to waste a minute of it. Data is found playing in a haystack with Artim and his friends. When Dr. Crusher calls for him, he tells them, "I have to go home now." Joining his command crew, Picard signals to the Enterprise and he, Commander Riker, Lieutenant Commander Data, Geordi La Forge, Doctor Crusher, Counselor Troi, and Worf beam off the planet. The Enterprise makes its way back through the Briar Patch and back into the expanse of space.
Memorable quotes Edit
"Say the greeting again."
"Yew-cheen chef-faw. Emphasis on the cheen and the faw."
"You either need a new uniform or a new neck."
"Yew-cheen chef-faw, my collar size is exactly as it was at the Academy."
- - Picard, Troi and Crusher before the reception with the Evora
"Perhaps we should have the chef whip up a light balsamic vinaigrette - something that'll go well with chrysanthemums."
- - Picard, after learning the Enterprise guests are eating the floral arrangements at dinner
"Can she mambo?"
"The captain used to cut quite a rug."
- - Crusher and Picard
"The android! He's out of control!"
- - Starfleet observer, referring to Data
"Can anyone remember when we used to be explorers?"
- - Picard
"We believe that when you create a machine to do the work of a man, you take something away from the man."
- - Sojef
"It took us centuries to learn that it doesn't have to take centuries to learn."
- - Anij, about the Ba'ku ability to create their "perfect moments"
"I never kissed you with a beard before."
"I kiss you, and you say yuck?!"
- - Troi and Riker, after a playful kiss
"In the event of a water landing, I have been designed to serve as a flotation device."
- - Data, just before he inflates and starts floating
"It is a gorch."
"A pimple, sir."
"Oh, well. It's hardly noticeable."
- - Worf, Picard and Data, on Worf's gorch
"Smooth as an android's bottom, eh, Data?"
- - Riker to Data, on his clean-shaven face
"You Klingons never do anything small, do you?"
- - Riker, on Worf's gorch
"We should all be so lucky."
- - Crusher, on the effects of metaphasic radiation
"Most of my people who live that faster life would sell their souls to slow it down."
- - Picard, to Anij
"I wonder if you're aware of the trust you engender, Jean-Luc Picard."
- - Anij
"But 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."
- - Picard, to Anij
"You explore the universe. We've found that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself."
- - Anij, to Picard
"You know, I've never seen a sunrise. At least not the way you see them."
- - La Forge to Picard, on regaining his sight
"Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these people?!!"
- - Picard to Admiral Dougherty, on the Ba'ku people
"Jean-Luc, we're only moving six hundred people."
"How many people does it take, admiral, before it becomes wrong? Hmm? A thousand? Fifty thousand? A million? How many people does it take, admiral?!"
- - Dougherty and Picard
"Return to your quarters. That's an order!"
"No uniform, no orders."
- - Picard and Riker
"It's too easy to turn a blind eye to the suffering of a people you don't know."
- - Picard
"Androids do not have fun."
- - Data, to Artim
"I should warn you. I've always been attracted to older women."
- - Picard, to Anij
"How are you doing this?"
"No more questions."
- - Picard and Anij as she slows down time
"A photon torpedo. Isn't that the universal greeting when communications are down?"
"I think it's the universal greeting when you don't like someone."
- - Riker and La Forge
"And have you noticed how your boobs have started to firm up?"
"Not that we care about such things in this day and age."
- - Troi and Crusher, as Data listens
"And have you noticed how your boobs have started to firm up? Not that we care about..."
- - Data, to Worf
"DEFINITELY FEELING AGGRESSIVE TENDENCIES, SIR!"
- - Worf, smashing a drone
"I thought subspace weapons were banned by the Khitomer Accords!"
"Remind me to lodge a protest!"
- - Kell Perim and Riker, after the Son'a detonate a subspace weapon.
"I wouldn't be surprised if history remembers this as the Riker Maneuver."
"If it works!"
- - La Forge and Riker, on ejecting the ramscoop
"If you launch the injector while the planet's still populated, the Federation will pursue you until–!"
"The Federation...will never know what happened here."
- - Dougherty and Ru'afo
"Admiral Dougherty will not be joining us for dinner."
- - Ru'afo, after killing Dougherty
"You offend me."
"Is this how a Federation officer pleads for his life?"
"I'm not pleading for my life, Gal'na. I'm pleading for yours."
- - Picard and Gallatin
"Ru'afo, we're getting too old for this!"
"After today, that won't be a problem...for either of us."
- - Picard and Ru'afo
"Captain, the Son'a crew wishes to negotiate a cease-fire. It may have something to do with the fact that we have three minutes of air left."
- - Worf
"Do you think when we get away from this metaphasic radiation it'll change the way we feel?"
"Your feelings about her have not changed since the day I met you, Commander. This place... just let them out for a little fresh air."
- - Riker and Worf, about Counselor Troi
"I have to go home now."
- - Data and Artim, bidding farewell
Story development Edit
Development of the ninth Star Trek film began in earnest in February 1997 when producer Rick Berman and Paramount Pictures approached Star Trek: The Next Generation veteran writer/producer Michael Piller for story ideas. With Star Trek: First Contact screenwriters Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga occupied not only by their work on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager respectively, but also on Paramount's Mission Impossible II, Berman and Piller would tackle the film alone. Piller had previously declined the opportunity to write 1994's Star Trek Generations due to interoffice competition for the project, and admitted that he found First Contact too "dark". His involvement with the new film project came under the provison that it be "lighter" than the previous two:
- "...The strength of Star Trek depends on making people feel good about the future. Over the last ten years, the American public has turned to darker and darker science-fiction. But I think the fans love the parameters that Gene Roddenberry set for us, the 'box' that he put us in. It's an intellectual challenge, but we have to stay in that box."
Again a mesh of ideas like its predecessor, what would eventually become Star Trek: Insurrection, says Piller, emerged from his own experience with aging. "I literally got the idea for this film one morning as I was putting on my Rogaine...Not that I need it of course." Piller seized upon the prevailing attitudes and focus of American society on youth, deciding to craft a story based on the search for the Fountain of Youth. Rick Berman meanwhile hoped to remake a classic story into a Star Trek film. The collaborators utilized Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and the concept of traveling "up river" to form their outline.
In a story titled Star Trek: Stardust (named after the Hoagy Carmichael song), Captain Picard is sent to track down a former Starfleet Academy classmate named Duffy, who is attacking Romulan ships in the far reaches of space. As the Enterprise crew pursues Duffy, they grow younger in age as they close in on the Fountain of Youth powers of the "Briar Patch". Problems with the dramatic impact of such a storyline, however, plagued the development. Berman believed the film to be too political, and the Fountain of Youth scenario too fantasy-like. Ultimately, the rejuvenation of the crew was dropped in favor of a story more closely modeled on Heart of Darkness, drama upped by the replacement of Duffy with Data.
The second draft of Stardust featured Picard in pursuit of Data. Eventually battling and killing Data in the second act, Picard would ultimately reactivate the android in time to save the Federation from an "unholy" alliance with the Romulans. According to Piller, "How do you out-Borg the Borg? How do you create a villain or adversary that will be their equal? The answer is don't try. Make a different kind of movie."
Distributing the story to Paramount executives, Piller and Berman received mixed reviews – some reiterating Berman's previous concern that it was "too political", others opposed to the idea of aligning the Federation with the film's villains. The biggest blow to Stardust, however, came from Patrick Stewart, writing to Berman from the set of the TV movie adaptation of Moby Dick. According to Stewart:
- "I said three things: One was, I thought that Picard's involvement in the action line of First Contact had been very successful and I wanted to continue that. My feeling was that the captain should be in the thick of things. You've got to have the captain in jeopardy. Then I talked about perhaps trying to find a lighter tone for this film, I wanted to see our heroes having fun. And the last thing I suggested was that we should develop a romantic storyline that went a little further than the one that I had with Alfre Woodard in the last film. That was a fairly competitive relationship, which ultimately became respectful and fond towards the end - but it was just too late."
Finally given a chance to sit down and speak to Stewart, a disheartened Piller found that they were actually interested in telling the same story: "...It came to pass that the conflict that I had with Patrick really is what saved this project and did give me what I wanted in the first place." Stewart was especially enthusiastic about the Fountain of Youth notion, reintroduced into the third draft screenplay. Retaining, but confining the conflict with Data to the first act only, the new storyline introduced new villains called the "Son'i", victimizing the "Ba'ku", a race of children. This draft introduced elements that remained intact through the final film, including the regeneration of Geordi La Forge's eyes, the rejuvenation of the Riker/Troi romance and Worf's puberty. In it, Picard would rebel against a faction of Federation officers allied with the Son'i to steal the Ba'ku planet.
Giving the new draft to DS9 executive producer Ira Steven Behr, Piller once again received negative reviews, "Ira came into the office and sorta looked at me across the desk, took off his sunglasses and said, 'Mikeeeeeeey' - and I said, 'Oh jeez,' because Ira never takes off his sunglasses." According to Piller, Behr referred to the Son'i as "paper tigers" telling him that Picard's motivation to defy Starfleet was "flimsy". To strengthen Picard's reasons for going AWOL, the Ba'ku were made adults, allowing for the introduction of Anij, a love interest for the captain. This fourth draft incorporated more action elements and featured a more gruesome race of villains, now called the "Son'a". Bandying about new titles for the film, including Star Trek: Prime Directive and Star Trek: Nemesis, the name of the tenth film, Star Trek: Insurrection was ultimately decided upon, one studio executive suggesting that a long title was more interesting. Another executive, however, suggested another title be found, allegedly because they did not know what "insurrection" meant.
- Michael Piller explained some early ideas in the first draft of the script, "In that script, we got to meet Picard at the Academy, one of his best friends (who played a huge part in the movie), Boothby, and the planet of 10-year-olds". (AOL chat, 1997)
- Following the confirmation of Terry Farrell's departure from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and plans to kill the character off, Michael Piller wanted to add a couple of lines to the film, acknowledging Jadzia Dax's death and the impact it had on Worf. Rick Berman eventually overruled this, arguing that this would confuse film audience members who didn't follow the show regularly. (Fade In: From Idea to Final Draft)
Preproduction and Visual Effects Edit
By the start of 1998, preproduction on Star Trek: Insurrection began with set and conceptual drawings generated by Herman Zimmerman and illustrator John Eaves as early as January. Director Jonathan Frakes returned to helm his second Trek film and co-star as Commander Riker; Patrick Stewart also did double duty as Captain Picard and associate producer. With Industrial Light & Magic busy with work on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Frakes and company turned to a new visual effects house for the first time since Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Splitting the workload, Blue Sky/VIFX and Santa Barbara Studios (SBS) were hired to contribute the almost entirely digital visual effects, some traditional physical model photography limited to the explosion of the Son'a collector ship. (Cinefex, issue 77, pp. 91-93; Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models International, issue 35, pp. 19-21)
Illustrator John Eaves continued, "And this was also the movie where we decided that scales were going to be the very most important aspect to the drawings. The scales of the ships in Insurrection changed drastically throughout the effects part of the film, based on what would be seen with the story, and how the scenes would play out. And from that point, we all kind of decided we needed a scale set, so we started making drawings that would show those scales, and you would have everything in comparison with the Enterprise-E." ("The Art of Insurrection", Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition DVD))
This movie was the first feature film where it was conceived that all the visual effects would be executed as computer-generated imagery (CGI). At that point in time, the technique was still relatively new, and the workload entailed in creating these effects was such that it was decided to employ two effects houses for their creation; Blue Sky/VIFX was contracted to provide all planet-bound effects, as well as the interior Son'a collector visuals (and, as it turned out during production, its destruction as well), whereas SBS was made responsible for all the space-bound visuals.
Creating digital ships on the computer involved building intricate designs. Doing so was a labor and a time-consuming effort from a technological standpoint, given the state of CGI technology at the time. SBS' Effects Supervisor John Grower recalled, "Each ship was made up of lots of nurb surfaces, and the databases were hundreds of megabytes per ship. These models were very heavy, but Maya [the CGI software package of choice at SBS] allowed us to efficiently structure and organize the data. We went through several iterations [of the ship designs] before we got approval, and Maya helped a lot there as well. Once we got the ships approved, of course, we had to make them look real."
As for texturing the CGI models, instead of applying texture maps and skin around their wireframe models (as was the later commonplace method), SBS used a method called "slide projectors." Describing these projectors, Grower offered, "Imagine a spaceship with all of these slide projectors pointed at various parts of it, projecting high-resolution images which dissolve from one projector to the next where they overlap so we don't see any seams. That allows us to have infinite detail as we rotate around the ship, without all of the stretching problems that occur when we wrap a flat object around 3-D geometry. It was imperative for us to use this approach because of the multi-curved surfaces of the ships. Also, instead of having a texture for every nurb surface, which is what we did before – and there might be hundreds – this technique enabled us to simultaneously project onto several nurb surfaces. Instead of having a hundred textures, we had 30 or so, over which we'd add dozens of layers of different textures and 'effects maps' per ship to create highlights and other things, and then we'd render them with Renderman. It was very time-consuming to get the CG models to look right, because the filmmakers have been shooting [the Star Trek] models for a long time, and they knew exactly what type of look they wanted. They would make us revise the models until they were right, which was very difficult." (American Cinematographer, January 1999, pp. 41-42)
Still, Animation Supervisor James Strauss considered the effort worthwhile. He remarked, "In this movie there was an attempt to do more wild actions [than the usual ship maneuvers in the Star Trek films]–probably since we were using CG and didn't have to worry about the lack of flexibility with [physical] model mounts." (Cinefex, issue 77, p. 79)
- According to Herman Zimmerman, Insurrection was the feature film with the most built sets. It included 55 sets, eighteen more than used in Star Trek: First Contact. (Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition))
- The cave set used in some scenes on the Ba'ku planet was the same cave set used throughout DS9, located at Paramount Stage 16, significantly expanded to include multiple levels. When the film wrapped, the cave retained its modifications and was most recognizably featured in the DS9 finale, "What You Leave Behind" as the Bajoran Fire Caves. (Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition))
- Anthony Zerbe, who played Dougherty, initially read for the part of Ru'afo. When the part was given to F. Murray Abraham, the producers offered him the role of the admiral instead.
- F. Murray Abraham has said in interviews that he felt so strongly about his role in Insurrection, he would have done only Star Trek movies for the rest of his career. Abraham also compared acting in prosthetic make up to making love in the dark. (Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition))
- In an interview given for Star Trek Monthly during pre-production, Rick Berman stated that Q would be in the film – suggesting that the producers hoped to bring the character onto the big screen. Ultimately, however, any such plans were either dismissed or proved to be unworkable. As Jonathan Frakes noted, in a later interview for the same magazine, "Q is not in the script I've seen, much to my chagrin..."
- The Tarlac and the Ellora were not included in the screenplay until the very last draft, before production.
- While shooting a scene on the bridge in which Picard, Riker, and Troi discuss the duckblind mission, Jonathan Frakes had to wear a fake beard, having already shaved it for upcoming scenes.
- Troi tells Riker that she never kissed him with a beard. However, in TNG: "Second Chances", Troi kissed Riker's transporter-copy Thomas Riker who had an identical beard.
- This is the first of only two Star Trek films not to feature any scenes on or near Earth. The second was Star Trek Beyond.
- This is the only Trek movie without any stardate reference, and one of two movies (the other being Star Trek Into Darkness) in which no captain's log entry is heard. (Although Star Trek V: The Final Frontier also has no log entry, Kirk does at least begin to record one.)
- This film marks the first time that Geordi La Forge has been at the conn of the Enterprise since TNG: "The Neutral Zone".
- Captain Picard tells Anij seeing his home planet for the first time from space was a moment when time stood still, a perfect moment. We can see the Captain sharing this approach with Rivan in "Justice", Nuria in "Who Watches The Watchers" and Lily in Star Trek: First Contact.
- At 103 minutes, this is the shortest of all twelve Star Trek movies, two minutes shorter than Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
- The Son'a went on to be mentioned later in DS9: "Penumbra", indicating either that there were more than just the few ships' worth seen in this film, or that the episode took place before the movie. The Son'a were also mentioned by Admiral Janeway in the next movie.
- Although the Evora were never mentioned again, several members of the species were seen in DS9's final episode, "What You Leave Behind".
- Geordi La Forge's dialogue when he discusses seeing the sunrise for the first time with his eyes mirrors his words to Natasha Yar when he was infected with polywater intoxication in TNG: "The Naked Now".
- The Tarlac were seen once more in VOY: "Life Line", though in the form of a holographic masseuse.
- Recent Star Trek novels have made reference to Admiral Dougherty as an operative of Section 31.
- Gallatin's mother, shown hugging him at the end of the movie, was played by actress April Dawn Minney.
- This was the first time that Jonathan Frakes was filmed clean-shaven since TNG's first season (his beardless appearance in TNG: "All Good Things..." was stock footage from "The Arsenal of Freedom").
- Although Brent Spiner filmed scenes for Data's walk into the lake, including close-ups, only stuntman Brian J. Williams' walk was used for the final movie.
- Among the auctioned items from It's A Wrap! on eBay which were seen in the film was a cloaking suit wrist scanner,  a Federation PADD,   and a scratch paper pad from the deleted library scene. 
- This was the last Star Trek film to have the cast and crew credits at the start of the movie. Star Trek Nemesis, Star Trek and all Star Trek movies since have their credits after the movie had finished, as is now standard for most major Hollywood films.
- The poster and tagline for this film closely resemble the British VHS cover for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which featured a similar shot of the Enterprise-A flying away from the viewer with a face looming in space. The UK tagline for The Undiscovered Country was "The battle for peace has begun".
- Sets for various sections of the Enterprise-E, including sickbay, crew quarters, Troi's office, and the ship's library were all redressed interiors used on the TV series Star Trek: Voyager. (The film was shot between that series' fourth and fifth seasons.) During at least one scene in engineering, directly behind the warp core can be seen two cylindrical posts with inset monitors that were used in interior shots of Borg cubes and Malon vessels.
- The "body shop" set is a redress of the Kyrian Museum of Heritage from VOY: "Living Witness".
- The Enterprise-E reception hall was a redress of the observation lounge from Star Trek: First Contact, which itself was a redress of the very same room from the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Sets for Data's scoutship, the Enterprise-E shuttlecraft and Captain Picard's yacht were revamped versions of the class 2 shuttle (from VOY) and Federation runabout (from DS9), respectively.
- Many of the set pieces from the Son'a ship later comprised the interior of Suliban starships, beginning with ENT: "Broken Bow". Wall fixtures in Ru'afo's briefing room later appeared in "Fusion" in the bar on Earth.
- The computer table seen in Ru'afo's briefing room also appeared later when it was used in the Enterprise-E's stellar cartography in Star Trek Nemesis.
- Minor details on the Enterprise's bridge were changed. Most significantly, the holographic viewscreen seen in First Contact was replaced with a more traditional version and the computer consoles next to Riker and Troi's seats were removed (though they returned in Nemesis). The color palette of the graphics were adjusted and brightened and the consoles received headers stating their positions. Small strips of metallic tape were also applied to the walls as highlights.
- Despite the film's PG rating, Admiral Dougherty's death is fairly gruesome but is at a level similar to such deaths in PG rated horror films in the 1960s to the early 1980s.
- This is not the first time that Geordi La Forge was granted his sight but considered the price too high. The first time was in TNG: "Hide and Q".
- This movie featured the first motion picture appearance of the new Starfleet Admiral's uniform which already appeared in DS9 and VOY.
- It also featured the debut of the new Starfleet dress uniform, this time a design that significantly departed from earlier designs. The new dress uniform featured a collar similar to those seen in The Next Generation uniforms and replaced prominent division colors for white over gray. Picard's uniform was white over white. The uniforms reappeared on DS9 in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" and in Star Trek Nemesis, where Data and Worf donned the uniforms as well.
- The metal bars attached to the Son'a, Tarlac, and Ellora uniforms were added to denote rank.
- The Tarlac wore purple uniforms, the Ellora wore blue – this was to make it easier for the audience to visually differentiate them.
- Captain Picard's waistcoat, as seen in much of First Contact, never made it in the final cut of the film, but was worn in a deleted scene in which the captain spills his lunch on himself. The uniform variant did not appear again in the movies, but was seen being worn by Benjamin Sisko and Luther Sloan on DS9.
- Among the costumes from this film which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay were Gates McFadden's civilian costume (after the cave collapse),  Katrina's boots,  Zorab Ovsepyan's costume,  Fabio Filotti's costume,  a Son'a energy pistol holster and harness,  and a lot of Starfleet ration packs. 
- While the commercial soundtrack release for Insurrection featured more music than Jerry Goldsmith's previous release, First Contact, much of the score was still left out. This inspired fans of Star Trek and movie music to compile a "bootleg" score featuring almost double the music as heard on the album. The "Complete" Star Trek: Insurrection score remains a heavily traded and sold score, though none of the proceeds went to Goldsmith.
- GNP Crescendo Records released an expanded version of the score in August of 2013, despite the Original Soundtrack that is still in production. This was meant to make the widely circulated bootleg obsolete.  Although this does contain every note heard in the film, the only track that is unique to the Original Soundtrack is "Children's Story" which is longer than the final film version.
- One of the pieces of classical music used in the film during the reception is incorrectly listed in the credits. The actual piece is String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat Major K. 458 "The Hunt" I: Allegro vivace assai by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- Not included in the credits was the piece played as Picard leaves the antechamber after speaking with the admiral, just before the scene transitions to the Son'a vessel in the Briar Patch. This piece is Violin Concerto in g-minor, RV 317 III: Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi.
Reviews and opinions Edit
- Insurrection received mixed reviews from mainstream film critics. Reviewers Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were split in their response, one thumb down from Ebert, one thumb up from Siskel. Ebert wrote in his Chicago Sun Times review that he felt the movie's problem lay in its morality play, stating that he wasn't sure that six hundred Ba'ku lives weren't worth sacrificing to help billions of Federation citizens. Siskel, however, felt differently, and though he died not long after screening the film, his wife later told Michael Piller that it was the only Star Trek movie Gene Siskel truly enjoyed.
- Piller himself agreed that some of what he had set out to accomplish with Insurrection did not come to fruition, but stated in interviews that he felt it was a film that Gene Roddenberry would have appreciated.
- Jonathan Frakes, who directed this film, reportedly felt the script was weak and thus made for a less-than-perfect movie, despite his confidence as a director following the success of Star Trek: First Contact. (Star Trek: Insurrection (DVD))
- Director and actor Jonathan Frakes has somewhat equivocal feelings about different aspects of the film. In 2009, he recorded a new commentary with Marina Sirtis that was released on Blu-ray disc on September 22nd, 2009.
- The film was nominated for a Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation."
- The film (along with the other three TNG movies) was reviewed by RedLetter Media. The review was done by a fictional character called Mr. Plinkett. The review is available at redlettermedia.com.
Box office performance Edit
- Insurrection premiered on 11 December 1998, number one at the box office. With a budget of around US$58,000,000, it opened on 2,620 screens at US$22,052,836, and went on to garner around US$119,000,000 worldwide. By comparison, First Contact, with a budget of US$45,000,000, opened at US$30,716,131 and grossed US$150,000,000 worldwide.
- Insurrection is ranked #10 out of the #12 Star Trek films according to Box Office Mojo, not adjusting for inflation. 
Deleted scenes Edit
- Both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actors Armin Shimerman and Max Grodénchik's scenes were deleted. However, Grodénchik's appearance as a Trill can be seen in the deleted scenes on the DVD Special Edition. Armin Shimerman's appearance as Quark can be seen in the photo gallery of the DVD. Quark would have been seen vacationing on the Ba'ku planet, having arrived there via the USS Ticonderoga.
- Shimerman commented "While I was doing DS9, Michael Piller was writing Insurrection. We would have dinner parties every now and then and he would say 'there's a scene for Quark'. At one dinner party, he would say I was in, and another he'd say I was out. Eventually he said that he had put in [Quark] in in the final version and I was in. Rick Berman called me at home and offered me the part a couple of days later. I pretended to not know anything because that's the Hollywood thing to do, and the next thing I knew I was shooting the movie". ("Quark Express", Star Trek Magazine, issue 131)
- In dialogue cut from the library scene, Riker and Troi delve deeper into the motivation of the Son'a (summarised as "wine, women and song"), revealing that they had recently begun to suffer genetic difficulties that prevented them from procreating. This made their struggle to obtain the metaphasic particles less about vanity and more a struggle to continue their race. It also explained their need to use other races as slave labor.
- A different ending from the one seen in theaters was shot, but ultimately deemed too "soft". In the original ending, Picard managed to disable the collector but Ru'afo escaped into a small pod that was then ejected into the planet's rings. Ru'afo ultimately died when he was bombarded with metaphasic particles that caused him to age in reverse and eventually disappear all together. Although this scene was deleted, actor Phillip Glasser received credit on screen for his role as a younger version of Ru'afo during the scene.
- See also Deleted scene
Merchandise gallery Edit
Awards and honors Edit
Star Trek: Insurrection received the following awards and honors.
|1998||IFMCA Awards||Best Original Score For a Science Fiction/Fantasy Film||Jerry Goldsmith||Won|
|1999||Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation||Screenplay by Michael Piller, Story by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, Directed by Jonathan Frakes||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Visual Effects in a Motion Picture||Terry D. Frazee|
|Saturn Awards||Best Science Fiction Film||-|
|Best Make-up||Michael Westmore|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Family Feature - Drama||-|
|Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor||Michael Welch||Won|
Links and references Edit
- Uncredited co-stars
- Kirk Alexander as Ba'ku
- Molly Berman as Ba'ku girl
- Michael Braveheart as Martinez
- Rico Bueno as operations division officer
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
- Lorella Cuccarini as Starfleet officer
- Steven E. Daniels as security ensign
- Baxter Earp as Ba'ku
- Michele Edison as dabo girl (deleted scene)
- Cory Ellis as Ba'ku
- Evan English as Ba'ku
- Fabio Filotti as Ba'ku
- Richard Givens as operations division ensign
- Clint Glenn as Ba'ku
- Penny Juday as Ba'ku
- John Jurgens as Ba'ku
- Katrina as Tarlac nurse
- Trey King as Son'a
- Claudia Lagruppe as Evora delegate
- Marti Matulis as Ba'ku
- Michael McAdam as Son'a
- Amy Miller as girl
- April Dawn Minney as Gallatin's mother
- Mark Muñoz as Evora delegate
- Mario Muñoz as Evora delegate
- Michael Muñoz as Evora delegate
- Meredith Murphy as Trill science officer
- Brita Nowak as Ba'ku
- Zorab Ovsepyan as Ba'ku
- J.D. Posey
- Shepard Ross as Starfleet officer
- Brian Scheu as Artim's friend
- Armin Shimerman as Quark (deleted scene)
- Unknown performers as
- Uncredited stunt performers
- Perry Barndt - stunt double for F. Murray Abraham
- Charlie Brewer
- Ousaun Elam - stunt actor
- Brian Finn - stunt double
- Tom Vicini
- Paula Wayton
- Uncredited production staff
- Josephine Beaudin - Assistant Accountant (Reshoots)
- Brian Davis - Special Effects Artist: Matte Paintings 3D drone and Shuttle animation
- Keith Christensen - Concept Artist
- John Coniglio - Assistant Editor
- Gloria Delossantos - Special Effects Artist
- Edward J. Franklin - Special Effects Artist
- Rene Garcia - Visual Effects Artist (Fulcrum Studios)
- Tom Griep - Miniatures: Special Effects Unit
- Cheryl Harris - Animal Trainer (Llamas)
- Jim Key - Model Maker/Illustrator (Blue Sky/VIFX East)
- John Mann - Storyboard Artist
- Haley McLane - 2nd Unit Script Supervisor
- Ian O'Connor - FX Supervisor/Producer: Miniatures
- Will Richards - wall artwork creator and provider
- Olun Riley - Visual Effects Artist (Blue Sky/VIFX East): pre-production VFX artist for the drone attack sequence
- Lori Roberts - Accountant
- James Thatcher - Musician: French Horn
- Alicia M. Tripi - Hair Stylist
- Natalie Wood - Make-up artist for Claudette Nevins
- Sarah Ziff - Choreographer
- Cogswell Video Services, Inc. - Video Assist Company
- HMS Creative Productions, Inc. - Prop Company
- Professional VisionCare Associates – Contact Lens company
- Viewpoint DataLabs International, Inc. - 2D/3D Visual Effects Company
"A British Tar"; ahdar; autosequencer; Bajorans; Ba'ku; Ba'ku planet; Ba'ku village; bath tub; Beethoven, Ludwig van; binoculars; biosignature; Br'er Rabbit; Briar Patch; bridge; captain's yacht; Cardassians; chef; chrysanthemum; cloaking device; confined to quarters; court martial; Deep Space 9; Dominion; duck blind; edaphology; Ellora; emergency power; Enterprise-E, USS; Enterprise-E shuttlecraft; Evora; Federation Council; Federation Diplomatic Corps; Federation holoship; Federation mission scoutship; forced relocation; Gal'na; Gilbert and Sullivan; Gilles; gorch; Goren system; Hanoran II; Henry VI, Part II; HMS Pinafore; inertial damper; infertility; interlink; isolation suit; isolinear tag; isolytic burst; isomagnetic disintegrator; isomagnetic disruptor rifle; Jak'tahla; kelbonite; ketracel-white; Khitomer Accords; Kolar beast; mambo; manual steering column; Manzar colony; Measure for Measure; medical tricorder; metaphasic radiation; metreon gas; McCauley; monsoon; narcissism; NCC-75227; Nel Bato Conference; neutrino; nomadic acquisition; number one; offlander; opinion poll; paperwork; parricide; petroleum; Picard, Yvette; pimple; raft; razorblade; Riker Maneuver; Romulans; Romulan history; Romulan Star Empire; Ru'afo's flagship; sanction; Sector 441; Second Khitomer Accords; shield generator; sociobiology; Son'a; Son'a battle cruiser; Son'a collector; Son'a Command; Son'a drones; subahdar; subspace weapon; subspace technology; Tarlac; tachyon; tetryon; tetryon pulse launcher; thermionic transconductance; thermolytic reaction; thermolytic radiation; ton; torque sensor; transport inhibitor; Treaty of Alliance; vegetarian; zipper
- Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition DVD)
- Star Trek: Insurrection (DVD)
- Star Trek: Insurrection (soundtrack)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, Larry Nemecek, Pocket Books, 2002.
- The Secrets of Star Trek: Insurrection, Terry J. Erdmann, Pocket Books, 1998.
- Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Edition) DVD, Michael & Denise Okuda, text commentary.
- Star Trek: Insurrection at Wikipedia
- Star Trek: Insurrection at the Internet Movie Database
- Star Trek IX: Insurrection at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Star Trek: Insurrection at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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