A graceless, clumsy passing of the baton from the original cast to that of the second television series in the franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. Though Star Trek: Generations opens with William Shatner’s Kirk, he’s quickly an afterthought, making way for Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and a wacked-out evil scientist (Malcolm McDowell). Not that things change all that much. Excruciating attempts at humor are still prevalent – mostly surrounding Brent Spiner’s Data, an android who serves as the Spock stand-in – while the endless, meaningless technobabble has increased. (One suspense sequence hinges on the following question: “Would a defective plasma coil be susceptible to some sort of ionic pulse?”) I had hoped Generations would rescue Star Trek from its pervasive dullness, but somehow things have gotten even more boring. That could be because Stewart, a real actor who exudes a professional craftsmanship, can’t “elevate” the embarrassing elements into camp. You feel sorry for him, while Shatner – who literally reappears on horseback for the nonsensical climax – always seemed more than happy to wallow in the series’ cheesiness. The earlier films were bad, yet fitfully, ironically amusing. Could it be that I’m going to miss Kirk?