The Best Star Trek Movie Is Actually This Fan-Favorite Episode

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Fans often argue about what makes a Star Trek film good or bad. It’s weird to make the call because what makes for a great Trek episode doesn’t always make for a great film (and vice versa).

However, here’s a truth so blunt it would knock the rest of the hairs off Picard’s head: one of the reasons The Next Generation only had one universally liked movie is that its finale episode, “All Good Things,” already serves as one of the best Star Trek movies ever made.

All Good Things

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What effectively makes “All Good Things” such a great Star Trek movie? For one thing, the stakes are incredibly high: Picard must figure out a way to stop an anomaly that grows bigger as it travels further back in time.

And if he can’t do so, that anomaly will wipe out all of humanity (and likely some other races, too) before we can even step out of the muck and walk on two legs. 

These are simply higher and more relatable stakes than saving a bunch of alien strangers in movies like Generations and Insurrection.

Feels Like A Film

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Another reason “All Good Things” feels like a film, especially on recent viewings, is that it effectively channeled the storytelling potential of the multiverse decades before the Marvel Cinematic Universe began doing so.

The alternate future Picard travels to is downright fascinating, showcasing characters that have grown warmer (like Geordi and Data) and colder (Dr. Crusher and Riker) along with fan-favorite features like a slick new design for the future Enterprise (three nacelles, baby!).

Instead of just being some dark future to avoid (like in Picard season 2), this is just a cool alternate universe that helps us learn more about our favorite characters.

The Show’s Best Qualities

The Next Generations final episode perfectly channels some of the show’s best qualities, making it a great series finale.

Historically, the best Star Trek movies have channeled the best of the franchise: this includes bringing Khan in The Wrath of Khan and bringing the Borg back to give Picard closure in First Contact.

“All Good Things” brings back beloved antagonist Q, intimately ties back to the show’s first episode, and uses its timey-wimey plot to introduce cameos from characters we hadn’t seen on the show in years.

Perfect Balance

star trek all good things

Finally, “All Good Things” is the rare Star Trek story to give us a perfect blend of action, story, and character development. Many Star Trek films get this ratio wrong:

First Contact had plenty of action but very little character development, whereas Insurrection had great character development but little action and a weaker story.

“All Good Things” found the perfect balance of all three and honestly makes for a better film than most (if not all) of The Next Generation movies.

Writing At The Same Time

star trek all good things

Ironically enough, Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga ended up writing “All Good Things” and Star Trek: Generations at the same time.

In retrospect, I can’t help but think they should have flip-flopped these stories, making Generations the final episode of The Next Generation and making “All Good Things” into a feature film.

Learning Lessons

star trek all good things

Of course, perfecting Star Trek stories is a difficult task in itself, and these writers quickly learned something that Picard learned in the series finale: when it comes to keeping this fandom happy, the trial never ends.

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