Star Trek: Generations

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Star Trek: Generations Movie Poster Image
Old and new Starfleet heroes team up for clever TV tie-in.
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Starfleet is notably racially, gender, and species-integrated (with the addition of Mr. Data, even machine-integrated), and there is a strong sense of friendship, duty, and loyalty.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kirk and Picard both put the greater good ahead of their personal bliss, while Data learns to control and partially absorb unaccustomed, downloaded human emotions.

Violence

Spaceship explosions, ray-gun fire, dead bodies seen. Some hand-to-hand punch-outs and fatal falls.

Sex

Just some prominent female Klingon cleavage.

Language

"Hell" spoken by humans, the S-word uttered by the normally unflappable android Data.

Consumerism

Of course, Star Trek itself is a major commercial product, with video games, comics, action figures, hobby kits, theme-park rides...even a cookbook!

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in the USS Enterprise bar, includes the android Data reacting comically to his first alcoholic binge.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that a major Starfleet hero dies in in Star Trek: Generations, and adult fans have been known to be driven to tears by the scene (spoiler: in subsequent Star Trek novelizations he's brought back to life, for about the 100th time). There are ray-gun space battles, explosions, and ship crashes. The computerized Mr. Data utters a PG swear word in his struggle with simulated emotions and tries alcohol.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written byTsion June 12, 2009

Not Near As Good...

I love STAR TREK. The show's great acting, pervading sense of optimism, and suspenseful plots always engage me and make me smile. GENERATIONS is not as g... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEzio432 September 26, 2010

OKAY FOR 11 AND UP

Great movie. I like how Kirk and Picard are united and team up against Dr Soran. Has some mild violence, (SPOILER ALERT, DONT READ THIS PART IF YOU DONT WANT A... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byThinker96 April 22, 2009

Hopless Trekkie

LUKEWARM PLOT?????????? ARE YOU INSANE???? This movie rocks!

What's the story?

STAR TREK: GENERATIONS came to theaters as a bridge between the Star Trek movies starring the classic TV cast and a set of new movie blockbusters continuing with the (younger) Next Generation cast. In the 23rd century, the retired Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is a guest at the ceremonial first voyage of a new starship Enterprise when a dangerous deep-space energy field shears off part of the hull, taking Kirk with it. Seven decades later the crew of a later Enterprise encounters an alien mad scientist (Malcolm McDowell) conspiring with renegade Klingons and blowing up whole star systems in a personal mission to conjure up that same energy field, which serves as a gateway to a timeless, dream-state of existence where wishes and yearnings can come true. Consequently, stalwart 24th-century Enterprise Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) comes face to face with the legendary, long-lost Kirk.

Is it any good?

If you're Trek-illiterate, you'll be lost here, but if you're a follower, you'll be delighted with the dense Treklore and references to TV-episode minutiae. Trying to imagine a movie/TV nut without no Star Trek knowledge is so improbable it borders on sheer science fiction, but only the most devoted fans will be able to pick up all of the references in Star Trek: Generations (two Klingon sisters as recurring villains, holodecks, Picard's brother, etc.).

Yes, the plotline doesn't bear close scrutiny -- it's mainly a gimmicky time-warp deal to bring series icon William Shatner on board for a fond farewell. But that's a minor complaint thanks to the good pacing, splendid special effects, and most of all the way the script cleverly applies generations of backstory and character-development to play with viewer expectations like a flute. It's clever and fun for devotees, young and old, who have invested in this saga so far.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of Star Trek in its various spin-offs and incarnations. Why are these stories so popular and why do they still resonate with fans today?

  • What are the similarities and differences in the personalities of James T. Kirk, a maverick who often went around the rules of Starfleet, and Jean-Luc Picard, an authoritarian stickler for regulations and decorum? Is one method better than the other?

  • Which things in the Star Trek universe are possible and which are purely science fiction? 

  •  Mr. Data struggles with simulated emotions. What can we, as humans, do when we struggle with emotions?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love Star Trek

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate