It's been sixteen years since Patrick Stewart and the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation portrayed their iconic characters in the depressingly terrible film that was Star Trek Nemesis. Despite the passage of time, fans have not given up hope that this particular Star Trek cast could still return for another film.
Nemesis was ripped apart by not only critics and fans but also the film's cast. LeVar Burton and Marina Sirtis were both quite vocal about their displeasure in the director. Specifically that the director, Stuart Baird, hadn't seen a single Star Trek episode. Unfortunately, for Trekkies, this horrible film is the final installment using the TNG crew.
Even during production on Nemesis, a script and story had already begun for the next TNG film, a film that would have seen further crossover with Deep Space Nine and Voyager characters. Brent Spiner was co-writing the film along with John Logan. Little is known about what the film would have included, but Spiner has been on record stating it would have been the final film, wrapping up much of the TNG mythos that was left unfinished after the series ended. The cast of TNG deserved a better send-off than what Nemesis gave them. For that and the following reasons, here is why an additional TNG-led Star Trek film deserves to be made.
1. More Worf
Worf is one of the best characters introduced in Star Trek and he's had the most screen time of any character with his recurring role in 11 seasons of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine combined and an addition four Star Trek films. Even fan favorite characters, William Riker and Deanna Troi leave Picard and the Enterprise-E in Nemesis, but Worf returns despite his DS9 story arc ending with his placement in the Klingon government.
So why did Worf return? He could have returned to Starfleet for dozens of reasons, but the one thing that always rings true about Worf is that when among his fellow Klingons, he doesn't really fit in. He doesn't agree with their morals and standards and they, in turn, have often seen him as an outsider because he was raised by humans and joined Starfleet. So with all of that being true, it would have been nice if Nemesis had included some dialogue explaining Worf's return.
His return, however, gives us a perfect potential plot for a new film. If we're going to bring back Picard on the Enterprise-E, and Riker on his ship, Titan, let's make it a fleet of starships and give one to Worf. With the time that has gone by, he could have been a Captain for over a decade. There has already been a slew of fans urging for a "Captain Worf" TV series for years now, I'm sure a film would satisfy as well.
2. The Return Of Commander Sela
Another fan-favorite character deserving of film representation is Sela, a half-human, half-Romulan with an important role in the Romulan government. Fans know her as the daughter of Tasha Yar, who died in The Next Generation's first season. A few seasons later time is altered, and the alternate Tasha Yar is sent back in time, trapping herself there. She is eventually captured and Sela is the product of her union with a Romulan general. Tasha was later killed trying to escape with her young child, so Sela was raised Romulan, learning to despise the Federation.
Even though Sela only appears in four episodes of TNG, but she was easily one of the show's best villains! Her last appearance in season five is ambiguous and open-ended. Fans hoped to see her in DS9 as the Romulans and Federation worked together to fight the Dominion, but it never happened. It seemed a missed opportunity in Nemesis, also, when she didn't return despite the Romulans appearing as the main antagonists.
Sela would be an amazing villain for a final TNG film, and it would be poetic to have Denise Crosby join the cast again. Sela has so much potential for evil and with her connection to Picard and the Enterprise it would make sense if she were to seek out revenge. Considering her mother's loyalty, she has the perfect potential as an anti-hero torn between her Romulan roots but potentially pulled into a plot that sees her collaborating with the Federation.
3. The Potential For Even More Familiar Faces
With twenty-eight seasons of Star Trek shows, there are so many beloved characters that fans would love to see included in another big-screen edition. Though there's a fine line between cameoing with a purpose and appearing solely for fanfare, so there would have to be limits. Despite that, there are just so many characters fans want to see further.
We were given a cameo of the newly promoted Admiral Janeway in Nemesis, but it was just a cameo. In the ongoing novel canon, Tuvok joins Captain Riker as his second officer aboard the USS Titan so he'd be an easy character to return! Kira is in command of Deep Space Nine, and with that storyline there could be further emphasis that Bajor is now (finally) part of the Federation. So many other side-character questions. Are Q and his son still getting along? Are they re-shaping the galaxy as planned? Did Odo ever return to DS9? What did Jake do after his father "died"? Is Quark still running the bar or did Morn finally take over?
Garak, Martok, and Rom are leaders in their unique cultures. Could we see some of them return as Picard and crew need help from the Klingons or the Cardassians? How did Seven of Nine adapt to life on Earth, or in Starfleet? Maybe she goes by Annika now?
With the possibilities time-travel affords, there could even be cameos by those in the original series. Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov would be great additions to any Trek project, as well as Captain Archer. There's any number of ways to incorporate them, including through video logs that they kept. Picard and company could use passed on information in some new mission.
It's been an ongoing gag that all characters in Star Trek die but always return. In an episode of The Next Generation, the entire ship was caught in a time loop and exploded at least a dozen times. Other characters have died just to have their deaths reversed with time travel. Even Spock died in The Wrath of Khan only to be resurrected again in the next film.
If there were to be a new Trek film, relevant to today's standards, a recognizable character or characters would need to be killed off; in order to establish a villain as competent and truly put our characters in danger. With years of attachment, any death would be hugely impactful. Just imagine seeing Crusher, Janeway, or Captain Picard himself killed off.
It may be the pipe dream of many fans, myself included, but it is, unfortunately, doubtful we'll ever see these beloved characters pick up their phasers again. With the success of the rebooted film series and a new television show taking place in the past, it's unlikely Paramount or CBS are going to be wanting to drudge up the old gang for one last mission. But, it's truly a shame. As a huge part of pop culture, it's sad to know these characters are gone and we'll not see what happened to them next.
One small bit of a hope is a quote from Patrick Stewart when asked about his own interest in another film:
“Absolutely… if it were a really good script, but, the poor soul is getting old and long in the tooth. He would probably need some help mounting his horse unlike the youthful captain of 30 years ago.”