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Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

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When the crew of the Enterprise learn of a Federation conspiracy against the inhabitants of a unique planet, Captain Picard begins an open rebellion.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geordi (as Levar Burton)
Mark Deakins ...


While on a mission to observe the peaceful Ba'ku race, Lt. Commander Data suddenly behaves as if having to fear for his existence. The immortal Ba'ku, whose planet offers regenerative radiation and therefore incredible lifespans, live in harmony with nature and reject advanced technology. Their planet and their culture is secretly researched by the Federation associated with an alien race called the Son'a. But the Son'a intend to abduct the Ba'ku in order to take the planet for themselves and for the Starfleet officials who all would like to regenerate their bodies. But they did not think of the loyalty of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E to the Prime Directive. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Eternity Awaits Beyond The Final Frontier See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence, mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Trek 9  »


Box Office


$58,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,052,836, 13 December 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$70,117,571, 28 March 1999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


First appearance of the newer white Starfleet dress uniforms. They would also be worn several more times on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), Star Trek: Voyager (1995), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). See more »


Admiral Dougherty tells Picard - admittedly, perhaps deliberately - it could take ten years for the Son'a to start feeling the effects from the metaphasic radiation; yet the entire Enterprise crew, newly introduced to them, begin to feel effects almost immediately upon entering the planetary system (i.e. Geordi's eyes). Picard doesn't contradict this statement by noting the example of his crew's reaction to the radiation in arguing more strenuously against the Son'a plan, which would make unnecessary the subsequent actions of him and the Enterprise crew. See more »


[first lines]
[children playing hide and seek]
child: There he is. Let's get him, come on!
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Follows Star Trek: First Contact (1996) See more »


The Riker Maneuver
Composed, Conducted and Produced by Jerry Goldsmith
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Strong if unspectacular Star Trek film
18 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

"We are betraying the principles upon which the Federation was founded," states Captain Jean-Luc Picard 49 minutes into the ninth Star Trek film, "It's an attack upon its very soul." "Jean-Luc," answers his superior, Admiral Dougherty, "We're only moving six-hundred people." "How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong," asks Picard in return, "A thousand. Fifty Thousand. A million?"

The above exchange occurs during Insurrection's key scene. The entire first half of the film meticulously builds to this conversation between Starfleet officers. Dougherty (Anthony Derbe) justified his actions because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Picard (Patrick Stewart) sights the Prime Directive, which prohibits interference with other cultures or their natural development. The two officers had remained on a collision course until the moment when something had to give.

The conflict begins during a routine survey. Insurrection opens with a gorgeous panorama of an agrarian village. Children frolic about in the tall grass outside the perimeter. Farmers lift gates to aqueducts, women laugh pleasantly as they slam down their bread dough for kneading and the blacksmith works away. We are treated to long panoramic looks at the restful town and its benign inhabitants, the Ba'ku. Members of a culture survey walk about unnoticed in their isolation suits, invisible to the eye. Director Jonathan Frakes' willingness to take so much time introducing the audience to the setting demonstrates an unusual amount of focus for a movie like this.

The peace is shattered when Data (Brent Spiner) begins acting wildly. He exposes the survey and follows with many more bizarre and aggressive actions. The architects of survey, Admiral Dougherty and the So'na leader Ad'har Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham) orbit above the planet. Data's behavior puzzles and scares them, and they ask Picard how to destroy him.

Delaying his orders, Picard (Patrick Stewart) arrives and successfully captures Data. Against the wishes of Dougherty, Picard stays to determine why his android became a loose cannon. Picard acquaints himself with Anij (Donna Murphy), a Ba'ku woman who informs him that Data told the Ba'ku that the survey team was their enemy. A short investigation uncovers a conspiracy to forcibly remove the Ba'ku from their planet.

The planet, buried deep in a gaseous cloud called the Briar Patch, has rings that act as a fountain of youth to its inhabitants. Dougherty and Ru'afo believe that the planet must be used for medical reasons, and Picard is forced to make the choice to abandon the Ba'ku or violate his orders.

It is at this point when the film accelerates. The conflict becomes a proverbial chess match between grand masters as the Enterprise crew tries to keep the planet inhabited. Both sides devise as many solutions as they can think of to accomplish their missions. The audience is almost invited to participate as the movie keeps them wondering what the next move will be.

The script shines with an abnormal level of polish. It deftly handles the question of whether an officer should obey orders or stand up for what is right. Almost every line flawlessly captures the writers' intent and communicates them to the viewers with beautiful yet easily understood diction. Every character sounds expressive and well educated. The dialogue is free-flowing and enjoyable. There is even a scene where Picard calms Data with a rousing rendition of "A British Tar." I imagine the production staff had a good laugh when they thought of that one.

The acting is of the highest Trek standards. Abraham, one of the true gentlemen in Hollywood, is exceptionally good as Ru'afo. He is so superior that he has every subtlety mastered. The way his face sneers when he says "Eliminate them," his vocal inflections, his different postures, his mannerisms, the passion and disdain in his voice all point to the work of a true master. Hatred seems to perspire from his every pore. A blood vessel bursts in his face and we can almost see hate flowing out of it. His friend Gellatin (Gregg Henry) is constantly talking him out of more extreme decisions. For Ru'afo, it is personal, but we do not find out why until the final act. He tops it all off with the best scream of anguish and frustration ever captured on film. Ru'afo may not quite be the most effective Star Trek villain, but Abraham's acting is the best in the series. He is not the most prolific actor, but he is arguably one of the best ever.

Sadly, some of the story devices fall flat. In First Contact, the Enterprise was the most advanced starship ever made. Its quantum torpedoes were so powerful that it seemed nigh invincible. Here, however, it is too weak. There is one exchange where it is fighting with two So'na ships and seems badly overmatched. The Enterprise-E was designed to take on small fleets and win. If the Federation could defeat "the Borg, the Cardassians, the Dominion," why can't the crown jewel of its fleet defeat two So'na cruisers? It is even controlled at one point by simple joystick. I never knew flying a 700-meter starcraft was so simple. Redemption does come with the ingenious denouement of the fight. There are also other moments that do not work, and some jokes fall flat.

In the end, Insurrection shoots itself in the foot. It also suffers from following First Contact and the Borg. It is an entirely different production with different goals. It may hurt itself, but in the end it is solid enough entertainment to rate a seven out of ten.

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