In the 1994 film Star Trek Generations, a massive energy ribbon called the Nexus transports those that it sweeps away in its cosmic wave to a place in their mind representing their happiest moment.

For Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) that moment is a family Christmas, surrounded by nieces and nephews beside a Christmas tree that looks as traditional as anything I've ever seen on Star Trek. The moment underlines how comfortable Picard is in a paternal role, but it's the remarkably familiar setting that makes the scene stand out. It's like a yuletide Hallmark ornament come to life.

The greater implication is that the Nexus places Picard in a situation where he would experience an eternal Christmas. This reminds me of the Huey, Duey, and Luey segment in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas -- the boys wish that Christmas took place every day and their wish is granted. This idea of just having the appearance of Christmas every day turns sour when they realize that it takes all of the "specialness" out of the holiday.

Picard realizes this too, in his own way. The setting is overwhelmingly ideal, to the point of feeling like a dream -- perfect, but artificial. Picard chooses his responsibilities as a starship captain over his own personal heaven, and actively fights to leave the Nexus.

While I don't think the scene makes Star Trek Generations a Christmas classic, it serves as a reminder that the tinsel and lights and boxes of presents shouldn't overshadow our responsibilities to our fellow man. This Christmas, fight through the artifice of the holidays, like Picard did, and show your love through your service to others.
categories Features, Sci-Fi