The Scrapped Sequel To Star Trek: Nemesis Could Have Been Something Special

Very few movies have disappointed me as much as "Star Trek: Nemesis". (Well, there's "Fan4stic" — but that's an article for another time.) What should have been a fitting farewell to the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was instead marred by a retcon involving Picard's half-Romulan clone (played by a then-unknown Tom Hardy), competition from "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" at the box office, and director Stuart Baird currying ill will with the cast by not watching prior "Next Generation" episodes. It wasn't until J.J. Abrams took hold of the reins in 2009 that "Star Trek" reclaimed its former glory.

But over the years, Brent Spiner — who plays Data in "Next Generation" — has revealed that he and "Nemesis" co-writer John Logan were developing a potential story for a fifth "Next Generation" film. Their story would have been a film that touched upon every era of "Trek", and could have potentially been the "Avengers" level event of the early 2000s.

Starfleet, Assemble

In an interview with the now-defunct, Spiner revealed a few details about the story he and Logan had cooked up for the hypothetical film, which would have seen an assemblage of "Star Trek" characters assembling to defeat a union of the franchise's greatest villains. Spiner even compared the endeavor to DC Comics' Justice League.

"One of the ideas that John Logan and I had about what the next film would have been was a Justice League of 'Star Trek.' Something would bring all the great 'Star Trek' villains together, from Khan to Shinzon, and Picard is the only person who could stop them and he actually has to go through time and pluck out the people he needs to help him. He goes back to the moment before Data blows up and takes him back to get Kirk and Spock, and go even further back and get Scott Bakula's character Archer. The problem with that more than anything is cost — how do you pay for that?"

A similar idea would come to fruition in the IDW Publishing comic miniseries "Star Trek: The Q Conflict". The nigh-omnipotent Q used his powers to draw the characters of the various "Star Trek" series into a battle for the fate of the universe. I highly suggest reading it, especially if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie; the various interactions between characters is worth the cover price alone.

The Not So Final Frontier

The other factor that killed Spiner and Logan's plans for "Star Trek IX" was the dreaded franchise fatigue, which had steadily snuck upon the "Next Generation" films with the exception of the excellent "Star Trek: First Contact." Stewart confirmed this theory during an interview with Airlock Alpha.

"The studio announced in its own inimitable way that we were suffering from franchise fatigue and that there was to be no more, and I am absolutely content with that..I remain very proud of the work that we did, very proud of the series and the movies, but I do not wish to return to it."

Ironically, both Stewart (and Spiner) made a return in "Star Trek: Picard." The two-part season 1 finale, "Et in Arcadia Ego," boasts everything that "Nemesis" was lacking. Action, emotion, and plenty of spaceship fights collide with returning characters and storylines from "The Next Generation." The scene where Picard bids farewell to Data is a heart-wrenching watch, and you can tell that Stewart and Spiner both gave it their all — which these characters deserved the first time around.