Star Trek writer Ronald D. Moore has revealed that Patrick Stewart, who plays the famous Star Trek captain Picard, wanted to rewrite the Star Trek: First Contact script. Star Trek: First contact is widely considered to be one of the best Star Trek movies, just behind The Wrath of Khan.
First Contact was a time travel movie which focussed on the Borg travelling back in time to Earth, before the invention of Warp speed space travel, to assimilate the human race. Naturally, the Star Trek starship Enterprise and its crew weren’t going to let that happen, and they travelled back in time too to prevent the invasion.
The movie was praised for its use of the Star Trek characters, allowing Captain Picard in particular yo find new dimensions. It also offers some of the best tension-filled action to be found in the Star Trek franchise, opening up the franchise to a more mainstream audience.
However, Star Trek: First Contact was nearly entirely different. That’s because, according to an interview with writer Ronald D. Moore in The Hollywood Reporter, Patrick Stewart wanted to replace the writers with his own writer. Moore recalled the difficult situation, saying “There was a point where Patrick [Stewart] wanted some rewrites of his scenes, and he pressed [producer] Rick [Berman] to bring on his own writer to do that.
He continued “Rick did it, and Brannon [Braga] and I were not happy.” As it turned out, the writer that Stewart brought on left the project and Moore and Braga were brought in as writers. The aftermath of the messy affair, though, was a bit awkward at first.
Moore explained “I went to set with Brannon to see Patrick in his trailer. And there was a sort of tension walking in because this is the first time we would have been in the same room together since this had all gone down.
“I remember Patrick at the outset just said something like: ‘It’s good to see you. I hope that we can all move on from the things that have happened, and now let’s just concentrate on the work.’ And I took that in the spirit it was given: [He] wants to move on from this, he’s not going to apologize outright, but he kind of is apologizing. And it was never spoken of again. So we just moved on.”
As it turns out, despite all the various tension and moments of awkwardness behind the scenes, First Contact was a resounding success and is, by some distance, the best of the TNG-era Star Trek movies. And, it’s all a happy ending because with Star Trek Picard, Stewart has had the chance to take on a bigger role on the development on the story.
For more Star Trek fun, check out our guide to the Star Trek series ranked.