There’s been some reconsideration of Generations over at TrekWeb recently. I made a comment which received some approval, so I plan to revisit the movie, and see if I can expand on the comment. Here’s what I wrote, pending a more complete consideration.
RE: Looking back at Generations
By: SM (Odo’s file, contact) @ 06:06:33 on Aug 13, 2010
Kirk may have been the greatest captain of all time, but in the events leading up to his death he was:
- recently removed from a bucolic dream, motivated, sure, and in good physical shape all things considered, but not in shape for adventuring
- decades out of his own time-frame, and facing a villain, who–if Soran had ever even heard of Kirk–didn’t care who he was beyond being an obstacle to overcome (compare with Khan, who was so obsessed with Kirk’s Kirkiness that he was blinded by hate and made bad decisions, despite which Kirk would still have lost without Spock’s actions)
- and, probably most importantly, he was removed from his team (his Enterprise), his crew (all of them), and his heart and soul (McCoy and Spock).
My point is that, no matter how well regarded Kirk was as an historical figure, when Picard brought Kirk into the final conflict with Soran, Kirk was stripped of the context in which his justified reputation was built. Kirk without his ship, crew, and most trusted advisers is (over) confident and apt to let his personal frustrations (overly) influence his actions. He still has all his Kirk qualities, but they aren’t channeled by his Kirk responsibilities, and he becomes an anachronism, not able to overcome the challenges he faces.