Trek X Character Arcs RevealedBy Christian
July 16, 2001 - 10:48 PM
When screenwriter John Logan said that 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' was one of his main inspirations for Trek X, fans thought they were in for another charismatic villain. But while that may be true, fans could never have suspected that 'Nemesis' would also recall memories of the second Trek movie's tragic ending.
Last week, movie rumour site Ain't It Cool News posted a detailed review 'Star Trek X: Nemesis' (story). Today, our established source 'Faith', who three months ago also already provided us with information on the tenth Star Trek film, sent in more details on the story arcs of three of the main characters. Read on for a spoiler-packed description of what happens to the villain Shinzon, the child-like android B-9, and established TNG character Data:
Commander Shinzon, the main villain in the film, is human - but not just any human. He is a clone of Jean-Luc Picard, created 25 years ago by a Romulan general to replace Picard. Out of fear for the Federation, the Romulan Senate decided against the plan, and gave orders to kill Shinzon. But because of who Shinzon was and what he could become, the general saved his life and sent him at the age of three to Romulus' sister planet Remus, where he was forced to work in a dilithium mining camp.
Shinzon's appearance is described as "a dynamic young man in his twenties... very handsome with pale, almost white skin and shining, golden hair." The resemblance to Picard as a youth, seen when Picard browses an old family photo album, is striking. Both Shinzon and Picard refer to mirrors, but while Shinzon looks at himself as what he is and what he's become (the past), Picard looks at himself as what he can be (the future).
The cloning process wasn't perfect, though. Shinzon was designed with "temporal RNA sequencing" so that he could age fast enough to reach Picard's age. However, the sequencing was never activated, and as a result Shinzon is dying. The only thing that can save him is a "myelodysplastic infusion" from the only person in the universe with the same DNA - Picard. But Picard would never do this voluntarily, as it would kill him.
Shinzon's physical condition hasn't stopped him from trying to realise his dreams - to reunify Romulus and Remus, to go to war with the Federation and to reclaim the Neutral Zone. He and his Reman troops burst onto the floor of the Romulan Senate, and his troops assassinate a female member of the Romulan Senate named Tal'aura. Using a previously unseen Reman Warbird, the Scimitar, he intends to go to Earth and use the ship's superweapon to strike the Federation at its very core. ("Kill that heart and the Federation will die.")
B-9 is a prototype brother of Soong's androids, looking exactly like Data and Lore. However, his neural pathways are not as advanced as his successors, so his mentality is that of a slow child. He is also one of the pawns in Shinzon's game of intrigue. He learned of B-9's existence through a Cardassian cybernetics historian, and then had archeological teams search "every millimeter of Omicron Theta" to look for him.
Once found, B-9 was modified with an extra memory port, disassembled and placed in six pieces on a planet on the Federation side of the Neutral Zone. Shinzon hoped that the Enterprise would detect B-9's positronic signature and transport him to their ship. Once there, B-9 would be able to access the ship's computers and look for "basic stellar cartography: star charts; some uplinks from colony tracking stations and [Earth's] Orbital [Defense] Grid."
B-9 is indeed found by the Enterprise, and they attempt to find out more about him. Remember in The Next Generation's infancy, how the crew reacted to Data whenever he would spout off details? This leads to an amusing time-lapse scene on the Enterprise where B-9 tells Riker, Data, Crusher, and La Forge where he's been since he was initially built and what alien species he's since encountered. Crusher and Riker get bored rather thoroughly and walk out with separate excuses, but La Forge eventually even falls asleep. Meanwhile Data remains completely engrossed with B-9's details.
In an attempt to help B-9 become less like a child and more like himself, Data asks La Forge to help him place his own memory engrams into B-9's neural net. Unfortunately, the attempt appears to be unsuccessful, and La Forge suggests that it could take a while for B-9's positronic matrix to adapt.
In a climactic moment towards the end of the film, Data sacrifices himself to destroy the Scimitar and save the Enterprise.
There is a subsequent gathering at the new Ten Forward, with Picard, Riker, Worf, La Forge, Troi, and Crusher affixing black bars to the collars of their uniforms, to indicate they are in mourning. Picard pours six glasses of his precious 23rd century Irish whiskey, and makes a toast "To absent friends... to family."
After the ceremony, Picard goes to B-9 and tells him about Data's sacrifice. But then B-9 sings part of an Irving Berlin song that Data had sung at the start of the film, during Riker's and Troi's wedding ceremony. Could the transfer of Data's memory engrams have been at least partially successful...?
'Star Trek: Nemesis,' as the film is currently known, is scheduled to start shooting later this year, with an intended release date of 2002.
Thanks go out to 'Faith' for this! As usual, please be aware that Paramount has released no information on the film's plot yet, and until that happens, all information from unofficial sources should be treated as you would any rumour.