Star Trek Generations Failed Worf (Despite One Great Scene)
Star Trek Generations failed Worf (Michael Dorn) by giving him nothing to do, in spite of one great scene. The first movie for the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast served as a passing of the cinematic torch from the Star Trek: The Original Series crew to the TNG crew, and the selling point was the historic meeting between Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner). It’s understandable, therefore, that TNG characters like Worf were sidelined in the first movie. However, the problems with Worf’s character continued throughout the TNG movies, with Generations serving as a taste of things to come.
Worf’s time on DS9 exacerbated these issues in the TNG movies because nothing substantial could happen to him as it would interfere with the plans of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writing team. Star Trek Generations was released in theaters on November 17, 1994, less than a year before Michael Dorn joined the cast of DS9. Therefore, Worf is still a serving Enterprise crew member – however, his best Generations scene does set up his eventual promotion to Strategic Operations Officer on Deep Space Nine.
Worf Had Nothing To Do After His Great Star Trek Generations Promotion
Star Trek Generations opens with the senior staff of the USS Enterprise-D engaging in an elaborate holodeck simulation aboard a 19th-century ship. Worf is brought before Picard and Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), who promote him to Lieutenant Commander. It’s a fun moment that sees the Enterprise-D crew in a celebratory mood before the tragedy of Picard’s family and the arrival of the villainous Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell). However, after being promoted to Lt. Commander, Worf doesn’t get much to do in the rest of Generations, and he essentially plays the same role he always played aboard the Enterprise.
Worf’s promotion is a nice update to the character, but it has no bearing on Star Trek Generations’ story, The inclusion of the villainous Duras sisters makes it even stranger that Worf doesn’t have a substantial role in Generations. The House of Duras and the House of Mogh were at odds with each other in Worf’s best TNG stories. It’s odd that the subplot of Generations revolves around Data’s (Brent Spiner) emotion chip rather than concluding the feud between the House of Duras and House of Mogh. While he plays an integral role in destroying the sisters’ Klingon Bird of Prey, it’s bizarrely Data who celebrates their death, rather than Worf.
First Contact Was Worf’s Best TNG Movie Role
Star Trek: First Contact is the best version of Worf in the TNG movies because he gets to be a Klingon action hero. Battling Borg with his Bat’leth in space, and having a heated confrontation with Picard, it’s a substantial improvement on how he was sidelined in Star Trek Generations. Unlike later TNG movies, it also acknowledged Worf’s role on DS9, by having him join the initial battle against the Borg Collective by commanding DS9’s USS Defiant.
In both Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis, Worf’s time on DS9 is largely ignored, barring some off-hand remarks. Prior to returning to the USS Enterprise-E in Star Trek: Nemesis, Worf became Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire, but this has no bearing on the movies’ storyline of political tensions within the Romulan Empire. Worf fans can only hope that his return in Star Trek: Picard season 3 will give him something substantial to do, making up for the failure of the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies.