Spoiler Alert for the novels.
I just watched Star Trek Nemesis again for the hell of it, and a lot of things annoyed me about the final scenes of that movie. Data died, okay. The writers wanted to do something that would effectively end the series. Why kill off the most likable character? Why not kill off Worf, or Troi, or anyone with the last name Crusher? What the fuck? Plus, we're told the transporters were shot. The transponder that Data carried with him was only effective in securing a lock. There was nothing left to transport Picard out. Sidestepping around that, why didn't Data bring two magic transponders? Okay, maybe it was special technology and they only had one (which is really stupid). If that's the case, why didn't the Enterprise use one of its many shuttles with working transporters?
This brings up a huge problem that I have with Star Trek. The nostalgia for The Original Series overrides everything else. Look, I understand that the Original Series was awesome, but do these fucking writers have to kill off every interesting character after that? And keep the Original Series characters alive through retarded means? Let's recap:
James T. Kirk - Even though Kirk died in the movie Star Trek Generations, he was resurrected by the Borg and then saved in a convoluted trilogy of trilogies (nine books), co written by William Shatner. Kirk is still alive! Admittedly, the series is one of the best of Trek novels in existence...but COME ON!
Leonard McCoy - McCoy is still alive as the oldest living human ever. God damnit.
Spock - Spock is obviously still alive because Vulcans have enormous lifespans. Alright, I'll give them that one.
Montgomery Scott - If you'll recall your TNG history, Scott is still alive and relatively young after being caught in a transporter loop for like 80 years. God damnit.
Meanwhile writers murder every intriguing new character like they're hell bent on ensuring that TOS characters remain on their pedestals in the Star Trek universe. We've already discussed the absolutely retarded death of Data. Admiral Janeway is also dead now at the hands of the Borg. Seven of Nine/Annika Hansen has been psychologically damaged, also at the hands of the Borg. Praetor Tal'aura, leader of the Romulans is dead, killed by the Tzenkethi (who?), as is Commander Donatra, easily one of the most likable alien characters in the novels.
What are we left with in their wake? B-4, the simplistic android from Star Trek Nemesis that is probably going to completely replace Data one day. With Janeway promoted and then dead, boring ass Chakotay is Voyager's captain. At least Tom Paris is around to bother him. Annika Hansen has been reduced to practically nothing and rarely makes appearances. Gell Kamemor is the new Praetor of the reunited Romulan people (who?), and Sela now runs the Tal Shiar. Like we needed another retread to be thrown back into the fray.
It's obnoxious. Writers...stop killing interesting characters and replacing them with nobodies. Conversely, stop keeping the original series guys alive with stupid things.
That's not to say there there isn't some good that has come of the recent novels. The Romulans, Tholians, Tzenkethi, Kinshaya, Gorn, and Breen have united to form the Typhon Pact, a sort of evil federation. William Riker now captains the U.S.S. Titan and has overtaken the Enterprise in having the most intriguing crew. Slipstream drive is now a reality, opening up new areas to explore, and putting Voyager back in the Delta Quadrant, reaching out to new allies on behalf of the Federation. Nanietta Bacco was elected Federation President and rules with an iron will. The Borg have been eradicated. The future is bright for sure, I just have to wonder if there will be anyone interesting in it.