Retribution is set about ten years after the events of Specter, and one year after the destruction of Romulus in a supernova (referenced by the backstory of Star Trek XI). It is implied that "the Shinzon incident" threw their civilization into chaos, but after the loss of their homeworld, suddenly the various warring factions have become united again.
The film's A-story centers around a planned invasion by the Romulans of the Federation, prophesied to include such overwhelming numbers that it will surely mean the end of the human race. The impetus for this is the revelation that a Federation starship was allegedly sighted near the Romulan star just before it went nova, prompting accusations that Starfleet was somehow behind the disaster. Proof of this exists in the form of a grainy recording from a surveillance drone, which had captured an image of an indistinct shadow very near the sun, accompanied by energy readings consistent with a Starfleet warp signature. Worst of all, the source of this supposed evidence is allegedly a human, who's now risen to assume command of the Romulan fleet, and whose identity is a complete mystery except for his name: Drakus. The USS F. Scott Fitzgerald--now under the command of Captain Bradley Prentice--is assigned to venture into Romulan space, review the recording, and determine whether it's real or not, as well as to learn the true identity of Drakus. Accompanying them is Admiral Gaius Reyf, serving as subject matter expert on Romulan psychology.
The film's B-story centers around the changed nature of the relationship between Prentice and Reyf. Unlike the past, Reyf is suddenly secretive and mysterious, and it's clear from the get-go that he's hiding something major. Prentice asks him several times what's really going on--pointing out that if this were a straightforward fact-finding mission there would be a representative of the diplomatic corps present in Reyf's place--but each time Reyf deflects his questions and insists on maintaining secrecy, first saying those are his orders and later by cautioning Prentice that "certain mysteries are best left unsolved."
The C-story focuses on the relationships of the crew, hinting at past romantic involvement between Prentice and his first officer, Kendra Ronston, and depicting the current relationship between Commander Mitchell and Lieutenant Commander Kal. At first, these seemed to serve no larger purpose, until a scene between security chief Lieutenant Hargrove and Commander Mitchell demonstrated how important that connection and presence is in their lives and its role in their determination to save the Federation.
- "You can't be serious, Admiral! The magnitude of this...it's unthinkable!"
- "Whether you think about it or not...it's happening anyway."
- — Prentice and Thornton
- "There is one other thing...and that's the matter of where this purported evidence came from."
- "Forgive me, admiral, but what difference does it make?"
- "No, it's alright, captain, it's a fair question. Assuming we can trust the Romulans' account of what happened, I think it's damned convenient that someone just happened to be aiming a sensor array in the right direction at the right time, don't you?"
- "Well, when you put it that way...it does sound awfully convenient."
- - Thornton, Ronston, and Prentice
- "All we have to go on is a name: Drakus."
- "Drakus? Sounds like something out of a children's story."
- — Thornton and Ronston
- "Are we ready for this?"
- "I seem to recall we were asking ourselves that same question ten years ago. And look how things turned out."
- "Yes, just look at it."
- - Prentice and Ronston
- "Any idea who this purported expert is they're sending?"
- "No idea. Probably some...backroom wag from the diplomatic corps eager for some field action."
- — Prentice and Ronston
- "Bradley let me tell you something. There's always going to be some disaster about to happen. First it was the Romulans, then the Klingons, then the Borg. What matters isn't the challenge we face. What matters is that we stick together...and that we come out on top. The captain taught us that."
- — Commander Kendra Ronston
- "A Federation starship with Romulan upgrades. That's just wacky."
- — Captain Bradley Prentice
- "Running headlong into hostile territory. Trusting our lives to untested, experimental weapons. What could possibly go wrong?"
- "Now now...let's not predict disaster before we even leave spacedock."
- "Fine. I'll wait until we're in open space. Then I'll predict disaster."
- "That's all I ask." (pause) "It looks like the only thing we're waiting for now is our specialist to arrive, then we can leave." (softer) "This mission is going to be tough enough without being saddled by a know-it-all bureaucrat."
- "Didn't I just hear someone preaching the power of positive thinking?"
- "No idea what you're talking about. Whoever it was must've been insane."
- - Prentice and Ronston
- "If they have such overwhelming numbers, then why haven't they moved yet? They have to know we're watching them. Are they hoping we'll terrify ourselves into submission?"
- — Commander Kendra Ronston
- "Alpha team: assemble in transporter room three. Bring a dustpan."
- — Commander Renee Mitchell
- "Our best bet is to hold our position--and hope Renee's membership in the Guild of Miracle Workers is current."
- — Admiral Gaius Reyf
- "We can't get out backwards. Got to go forward to go back...better press on."
- — Admiral Gaius Reyf
- "You, however, have a clear incentive to prove your innocence, regardless of the facts! What assurance can you offer that your investigation will be impartial? And that you will share the results of that investigation freely, whatever they may be?"
- "Proconsul, please...I ask you to believe that I understand your concerns, but if you'll allow me: the Federation was founded on principles of friendship and peaceful exploration, principles that I am sworn to protect. An unprovoked attack against a planet full of innocent people goes against everything I believe in--and if it should be proven that elements of the Federation did carry out such an attack, it's my responsibility to see that they're brought to justice."
- "You would turn against your own people?"
- "Anyone who would do something like this forfeits their humanity."
- - The Gueridian Proconsul and Admiral Reyf
- "Put yourselves in our position. That's what the proconsul said--he wondered how we'd react if the tables were turned, and it was the Romulans implicated in the destruction of Earth?"
- "I'd like to think we could do better than immediately looking for revenge."
- "Could we? It really makes you wonder, doesn't it--are we really so different from the Romulans? If push came to shove, if...something disastrous did happen, and we were frightened enough, or...desperate enough, how would we react? Would we stay true to our ideals, or...?"
- "I think that the capacity to stay true to the highest moral standard, regardless of the circumstances, is part of what makes us human. The minute we stop trying to do good for the universe, even in the face of tragedy, we lose our humanity--and with it, everything that makes us worth saving."
- - Ronston and Mitchell
- "I woke you...I'm sorry, I'll--"
- "Kendra, it's alright, I couldn't sleep. Besides, it wouldn't matter even if I were--you're welcome to wake me up anytime."
- — Ronston and Prentice
- "I can't stop thinking about what the proconsul said, about how no one knows who Drakus is, how no one's ever seen him. Why would a species as paranoid as the Romulans be willing to blindly follow someone like that? Especially if he's rumored to be human? I mean, if we know then they must have some idea--and after what happened the last time a human meddled in their affairs, I just can't see them being willing to trust one again!"
- "A decade ago, all Shinzon had on his side was fear--fear of the 24th century death ray he'd created. Fear of superweapons is no way to run an Empire."
- — Ronston and Prentice
- "You have failed me for the last time!"
- — Drakus
- "I tried to warn you, Gaius...you should have listened to me. I've waited almost ninety years for the day I'd finally crush you. Run home if it suits you, it makes no difference...you can't outrun death!"
- — Drakus
- Admiral Gaius Reyf (voiced by Dennis Gard Robb). Representative of Starfleet Intelligence and mission specialist, expert in Romulan culture and psychology
- Captain Bradley Prentice. Commanding officer of the Fitzgerald
- Commander Kendra Ronston. First officer of the Fitzgerald.
- Dr. Elizabeth Falwell. Chief medical officer of the Fitzgerald.
- Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Hargrove. Chief tactical officer and chief of security of the Fitzgerald.
- Lieutenant Commander Renee Mitchell. Chief engineer of the Fitzgerald
- Lieutenant Commander Lesley Kal. Chief of operations and chief science officer of the Fitzgerald.
- Dr. Braiyon Elias Garr (voiced by Brandon Bridges). Former operative of Starfleet Intelligence, now bent on revenge against Admiral Gaius Reyf and the crew of the Fitzgerald for their roles in his defeat during the events of Specter. By the time of Retribution, Garr has lost any grip on sanity he once had, and Reyf describes him as "more dangerous than ever." His exact role in the plot of Retribution remains unclear. Bridges has said that his performance as Dr. Braiyon Garr in this film will be based on the performance of Tom McCamus as Mason Eckhart in the "Mutant X" TV series.
- Admiral Margaret Thornton. Head of Starfleet Intelligence and Reyf's immediate superior.
The producer has stated that Retribution will be similar in structure to Specter, although the running time would not exceed one hundred fifty minutes. Further, the tone of the new movie would be less "big budget" than its predecessor, and that despite what has been described as a "thrilling" storyline, Retribution would be "less a personal confessional than Specter and would be more firmly rooted in Star Trek canon." As part of the new production approach--meant to reduce production time from Specter's benchmark of four and one-half years--material would be re-used from Specter wherever possible. An example of this approach could be seen in the first preview scene released for the film: a mission briefing in Admiral Thornton's office supposedly aboard a starbase is actually a redress of the set used to portray Dr. Garr's office at Starfleet Headquarters in the previous film.
The producer has also said that where the tone of Specter could vary from lighthearted to sinister, the mood of Retribution would be more consistent, and would tend more towards the serious end of the spectrum. According to the producer, "there are still going to be plenty of plot twists and personal intrigue, plus interplay between our three main heroes--but don't expect any mysterious Price is Right holodeck programs this time." And further: "At its core, Specter was a story about friendship (between Garr and Reyf), and love (between Garr and Kristie), growing up (Reyf), and redemption (Garr). For me, it was a very personal story because it was inspired by real events. Retribution isn't going to have nearly that many violins playing, for any character. Reyf is going to be dark and mysterious; Garr is going to be menacing and very, very threatening for his appearances; Prentice is all grown up and has become a fine commanding officer, and in general everyone's going to be acting more like the cohesive and adult Starfleet crews we've seen over the last few decades. No one's got training wheels on this time."
Besides the new tone and method of storytelling, the producer has also touted new and improved production techniques that will allow for far more lifelike sets than were typically possible in Specter. One example could already be seen in the early shots of the Fitzgerald main engineering set:
- "In Specter, a shot of Engineering that involved the carp core, you'd have to have three things: a basic still shot of the set, then an alpha-channel mask for the core chamber, and finally a shot of the warp core chamber in which the core itself is pulsing. These would then be composited together as follows: you start with the basic still shot of the set; the alpha-channel shot would then be used to 'cut a hole' in the image wherever you can see the core chamber; then the separate shot of the core pulsing would be added in behind the still. It's actually similar to placing an animated element behind a matte painting. This time around, we've devised a much faster way to go about it--once again, we start with a basic still shot of the set. Then we render up a separate effects shot of the warp core pulsing in a version of the set that's completely unlit, except for the warp core (which has the added benefit of catching the shine on the core casing from the pulsing lights). This effects shot is then superimposed on the existing shot seamlessly using a special luma key, and voila. The upshot of this is that you need one less element, and the effects shot renders up much faster than a fully lit set would, and you can get some really nice shots in a tenth the time we could in Specter. We're going to do something similar for all the LCARs displays around the ship--any monitor where you'd expect to see a motion graphic, you'll see one. The backgrounds are really going to come alive this time, and it's going to be so much better than having those boring still shots like we had in Specter."
Upgrades in the Bryce rendering engine also made possible to provide better visuals for energy weapons and deflector shields in operation. These improvements were seen in Scene 23, "Escape from New Romulus," which showed a space battle over New Romulus as the Fitzgerald crew attempts to rescue the proconsul's scout ship from destruction by Drakus' Warbirds. The scene includes numerous shots of starship weapons (including phasers and disruptors) in operation, as well as defensive shields on multiple ships.
Just before the production hiatus in November 2011, Bridges posted what appeared to be an early draft of a portion of the film's epilogue sequence. In the scene, Captain Bradley Prentice and an alternate version of Dr. Garr walk down a corridor, discussing Prentice's experiences as depicted throughout the film. In this version of the scene, the two of them speak to one another as friends, and Prentice echoes the line spoken by Drakus on the bridge of the Iron Vulture: "A lifetime is a terrible thing to waste." It was unclear which scene was written first, though based on the timing the epilogue draft seemed to have been written first and the scene on the Iron Vulture written later with that ending in mind.
This original ending was ultimately scrapped as being too "neat and tidy." coming too close to being a true "reset button story," in which the sequence of events shown through the film had no real bearing on the characters. The revised ending, in which Prentice recounts his experiences to the crew and they solemnly contemplate the actions of their alternate selves, was deemed to be much more in line with the Star Trek style of character development.
After viewing the film, many fans have speculated that there may be a third film in the series following Retribution. In drawing that conclusion, many have cited the movie's increasingly elaborate plot and the number of questions it seems to be raising, speculation fueled by the epilogue preview which was posted on October 30, 2011, which shows Captain Prentice and the "good" Dr. Garr (apparently in a restored Prime timeline) discussing Prentice's experiences in "the alternate timeline," hinting that Prentice alone retains memory of the events of Retribution. Fans have further speculated that a third film might focus on resolving the ultimate question of which timeline is the "correct" one: Gaius Reyf dead and Braiyon Garr alive, vice versa, or both alive and on board the Fitzgerald?
On Thursday, 5 January 2012, Bridges confirmed via a post on 3DGladiators that he intended to produce a third and final installment, making the adventure series a trilogy. The planned storyline would pick up 10 years following the events of Retribution, and would draw heavily from the Star Trek: Voyager episodes "Time and Again," "The Omega Directive" and "Shattered." According to the post, in the year 2399, space-time throughout the Federation suddenly becomes fractured, littering space with severe time distortions and threatening to obliterate the present altogether. The USS F. Scott Fitzgerald, on its way to being decommissioned as its final voyage under the command of Captain Kendra Ronston, is the closest starship to the source and rushes to investigate. At the deserted planet that is the former home of Dr. Ira Graves, the crew finds two surprises: the shattered remains of a laboratory along with energy traces suggesting the presence of Omega molecules, as well as Admiral Bradley Prentice and Dr. Braiyon Garr already present.
With time rapidly running out until the present disintegrates entirely, Ronston and Prentice reunite with their former crewmates before traveling into the past, where they seek help from an unlikely source to save their future.
Additional details revealed in May 2012 revealed that in the "present day" (2399) portions of the story, the Cardassians would play the role of protagonists, and that the crew of the 2399 version of the Fitzgerald would consist of only seven people (Prentice, Garr, Kendra Ronston, Kal, Mitchell, Hargrove, and Falwell), and that several crewmembers not seen since Specter would appear in the "past" time frames. It was also confirmed that despite hints dropped in Retribution, Merv and Kendra Ronston will remain divorced, and that for as-yet unknown reasons, "the relationship between Kal and Mitchell isn't too friendly either," and that these two relationships (along with Captain Ronston's relationship with Admiral Prentice, and Garr's relationship with Kristie) would all play important roles in the story.
It was also disclosed that while Retribution had a "made for TV movie" flavor to it, Redemption would attempt to re-capture the more cinematic feel that Specter utilized, a necessity due in part to ensure continuity between "present day" scenes from 2399 and the various "past tense" scenes.
Unlike its predecessor, Retribution relies more heavily on visual effects to tell its story, in much the same way as Deep Space Nine showed battles on screen rather than simply referencing them in dialogue as The Next Generation had done. The relatively simple shots from Specter showing the Battle of Wolf 359 were extremely primitive in comparison; thanks to contributions to the project made by DAZ artist David Brinnen, not only do the sequences include carefully choreographed phaser and disruptor exchanges, but for the first time genuine explosions are possible. Altogether, a single effects shot could be many layers deep, between various layers of ships, energy weapons, shields, explosions, and lights (see below); one shot involving the close flyby of two Galaxy-class starships over a D'Deridex-class Romulan warbird included 19 separate layers.
Late in production, it was also learned that many if not most of the exterior shots from the film would be "remastered," featuring improved in-scene lighting as well as improved lights on the ships themselves. This would be achieved by emulating the method used by visual effects teams on The Next Generation as well as the early seasons of Deep Space Nine and Voyager when working with physical models. In those days, each exterior stock shot of a model would include multiple passes, which would then be composited together: one pass would feature the shooting model itself, with all interior illumination turned off; another would include surface lights such as windows or structural formation lights; another would include the blue glow of the warp engines, and so on. Likewise, the new exterior shots of Retribution would include a separate layer for each scene element: a shot of a Romulan fighter approaching a fleet orbiting New Romulus, for example, would include one layer for the starfield; another would include just the planet; another would include only the fighter, with a separate layer for its lights; another would represent the Romulan fleet, while a separate layer would represent the fleet's lights and warp engines, and so forth. This approach allows for greater flexibility with each scene--if a single element needed to be changed, it would not require re-rendering the entire scene, merely that one element. When working with the lights of a ship or group of ships in this manner, a special effect is also being introduced that gives the lights a subtle "glow halo," making them look brighter and much more pronounced. The new effects were first seen as the Federation fleet attempted to penetrate the Romulan lines, but since then other shots are confirmed to have been done as well.
The revised scene lighting will also give the shots a radically different appearance from the original versions. Original exterior shots had a very "flat" look to them, involving a single key light, with an indirect "ambiance" filling in shadows throughout the scenes. Upgrades in the Bryce 7.1 render engine allowed for much greater flexibility in working with lights, and new shots are being redone accordingly. In the new shots, a single key light provides the primary illumination for a scene, however the fill lights (arranged in a cubical fashion around the very edges of a scene and set to no falloff) have been reconfigured to better emphasize the metallic textures of the ships' hulls. This is achieved by reducing a light's diffuse intensity by a fraction, but increasing the specular value by a proportional amount; the result is that while many scenes appear slightly higher in contrast, the hulls appear shinier and the scenes largely appear much more realistic. Like the new lighting effect, this specular effect was first introduced in the escape/battle sequence, but has since been seen in other shots as well.
The first cut of Retribution to feature the new visuals was posted on November 14, 2011. The new effects in this cut were limited to recreated stock shots from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Another cut, posted on November 22, 2011, featured the first set of all-new visuals, all of which appeared in Scene 23, "Escape from New Romulus." Hurriedly-blocked shots with hastily-crafted light setups were replaced with more dynamic shots including sharper camera motions and improved lighting.
Midway through production, the film saw the addition of a dedication at the beginning, "For Elaine," similar to the first film's dedication, "For Kristie." It is not known who the dedication is for, however the first cut of the movie to include the addition was also the first to include a scene in which the villain laments what he became after the events of the first film, and wishes for a fresh start.
It has been stated that a mix of canon and non-canon ship designs will appear in Retribution as needed. So far (in order of appearance):
- Shuttlecraft Guibert (Volga-class Runabout): a fan design in a cameo appearance as a VIP courier shuttlecraft
- USS F. Scott Fitzgerald (NCC-85107-A): a refitted Galaxy-class starship, aboard which the principal action will be set. To allow for the re-use of stock footage from Specter, the model for the ship's exterior has not been altered.
- USS Insignia: a fan design seen in the interior of Starbase 54. Used by special agreement with Mark Kingsworth.
- D'Deridex-class Romulan Warbird: primary class of Romulan battlecruiser in use in the late 24th century; the first to appear is the Vaxis, an allied ship sent to escort the Fitzgerald to New Romulus. Numerous additional ships of this type are later seen as part of the orbital defense fleet at New Romulus itself
- Movie-Era Romulan Warbird (Sean Kennedy): an extrapolation of the classic Warbird design, seen as part of the defense fleet over New Romulus
- Kerchan-class Romulan Battlecruiser: warship designed as an anti-starbase vessel; several are seen as part of the defense fleet over New Romulus
- Romulan Science Vessel: modification of the scout ship from TNG; serves as the Gueridian Proconsul's escape ship following a coup at New Romulus
It has been rumored that later battle sequences will feature additional Federation ship types, and that at least one more Romulan ship will be seen. Rumors have begun circulating that the final Romulan ship will be portrayed by a recolored model of the USS Event Horizon, from the film of the same name.
Where possible, sets from Specter are being re-used for Retribution, either as-is or redressed as needed. The sets will retain their "alternate" looks to emphasize that the events are taking place in an alternate timeline. In addition, the Galaxy-class sets will be updated to appear period-appropriate as depicted in Star Trek: The Next Generation. One notable element is Admiral Thornton's office aboard Starbase 54. The set is a redress of Dr. Braiyon Garr's office at Starfleet Headquarters from Specter. Attentive fans will notice several classic Star Trek: The Original Series matte paintings around the set, along with a gold model of Babylon 5 briefly visible behind Prentice and Ronston.
Other sets feature similar "easter eggs" throughout the production, including gold replicas of the USS Enterprise from the 2009 film, the classic Battlestar Galactica, the USS Palomino from the 1979 Disney film "The Black Hole," the NSEA Protector, the Mozilla Fire Fox logo, and more.
To speed production and to avoid production delays for the construction of new sets, "guest sets" were used whenever possible, redressed when necessary to fit the needs of the story. Among the "guest sets" which have been featured: Jan Jacob's Mustafar board control room (seen briefly as Drakus' observation room at Rimward Station); Andreas Jacobsson's Death Star tower throne room (seen briefly as another observation room at Rimward Station); Bridges' own Genomex set (as Drakus' office at Rimward Station); and Topa's Trade Federation conference room (as the proconsul's meeting room at New Romulus).
|1. Battlestar Galactica Main Title (Battlestar Galactica 2003 Miniseries)||Brendan McCreary/Raya Yarbrough|
|2. Tricks (Star Trek TNG: "Devil's Due")||Ron Jones|
|3. The Mountain / Main Title (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)||Jerry Goldsmith/Alexander Courage|
|4. Brainwashed (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)||James Horner|
|5. Klingon Battle (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|6. Escape Pods & The Lions' Den (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|7. My Right Arm (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|8. A Tall Ship (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|9. Spock's Arrival (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|10. Clear All Moorings (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)||Cliff Eidelman|
|11. A Little Push (Batman: Dark Knight)||Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard|
|12. Grappled (Star Trek ENT: "Broken Bow")||Dennis McCarthy|
|13. "I'm Back" (Fern Gully)||Alan Silvestri|
|14. That's Gotta Hurt (Star Trek ENT: "Canamar")||Brian Tyler|
|15. All The Time (Unused Cue) (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|16. "An Incident" (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)||Cliff Eidelman|
|17. Plot Course (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|18. Access the File (Star Trek TNG: "11001011")||Ron Jones|
|19. T'Pol's Quarters (Star Trek ENT: "Similitude")||Brian Tyler|
|20. The Trap (Star Trek TNG: "Booby Trap")||Ron Jones|
|21. Cylon Base Ship (Battlestar Galactica 1978)||Stu Phillips|
|22. Another Plan (Star Trek TNG: "Face of the Enemy")||Don Davis|
|23. Who Murdered Hollis Mason? (Watchmen)||Tyler Bates|
|24. Catching a Positron Signal (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|25. A Development (Star Trek ENT: "Similitude")||Velton Ray Bunch|
|26. A Day in the Life (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)||Marco Beltrami|
|27. All Available Options (Star Trek ENT: "Similitude")||Velton Ray Bunch|
|28. Underwater Search/The Hidden Ship (Star Trek: Insurrection)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|29. Spock Walk (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|30. 1969/We Came in Peace (Independence Day)||David Arnold & Nicholas Dodd|
|31. Hostile Takeover (Mutant X)||Lou Natale|
|32. Possibility (Star Trek TNG: "Booby Trap")||Ron Jones|
|33. V'Ger Signals the Creator (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|34. Cosmic Thoughts (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|35. Stuck in the Garden (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!)||James Horner|
|36. Always a Catch (Batman: Dark Knight)||Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard|
|37. Starfleet Engages the Borg (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|38. 39.1 Degrees Celsius (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|39. Team Work (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|40. The Scorpion (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|41. Technodrome (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)||Shuki Levy|
|42. Leah Comes to Life (Star Trek TNG: "Booby Trap")||Ron Jones|
|43. Escape from the Ocampa Underground (Star Trek VOY: "The Caretaker")||Jay Chattaway|
|44. Captain's Star Log (Star Trek ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")||Dennis McCarthy|
|45. Romantic Theme (Talespin)||Christopher L. Stone|
|46. Start the Countdown||John Barry|
|47. Borg Nursery (Star Trek TNG: "Q Who?")||Ron Jones|
|48. Ideals (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|49. Frozen in Sickbay (Star Trek ENT: "Silent Enemy")||Velton Ray Bunch|
|50. Cosmic Castaway (Titan A.E.)||Electrasy|
|51. Riker's Farewell (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|52. The Knife (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|53. Shinzon and the Senate (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|54. Spacedock (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)||Cliff Eidelman|
|55. Grappled (Star Trek ENT: "Broken Bow")||Dennis McCarthy|
|56. Coming to Rest (Star Trek: Generations)||Dennis McCarthy|
|57. "Fully Functional" (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|58. The Lion's Den (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|59. Titanic Suite (Titanic)||James Horner|
|60. International Code (Independence Day)||Nicholas Dodd|
|61. Anij is Hurt (Star Trek: Insurrection)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|62. Repairs (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|63. Seeing Her Again (Star Trek TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris")||Ron Jones|
|64. Leah (Star Trek TNG: "Booby Trap")||Ron Jones|
|65. V'Ger Flyover (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|66. Fatal Decision/Auto Destruct Medley (Star Trek TNG: "Where Silence Has Lease")||Ron Jones|
|67. Troi Trouble (Star Trek TNG: "Face of the Enemy")||Don Davis|
|68. The Price is Right Main Theme||Edd Kalehoff|
|69. Star Trek Voyager||Daniel Barkley|
|70. Deactivating B-4 (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|71. Escape Pods & The Lions' Den (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|72. A Light with a Name of Hope "Protect Me" (Zone of the Enders)||Maki Kirioka/Norihiko Hibino/Akihiro Honda|
|73. Main Theme - Piano Version (Final Fantasy VII Advent Children)||Nobuo Uematsu|
|74. Spock Endures Pon Farr (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)||James Horner|
|75. Suite (Star Trek TNG: "Relics")||Jay Chattaway|
|76. Suite (Star Trek TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")||Dennis McCarthy|
|77. Approaching Engineering (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|78. Fake Attack (Star Trek TNG: "Where Silence Has Lease")||Ron Jones|
|79. Hot and Heavy (The Black Hole)||John Barry|
|80. Suite (Star Trek TNG: "Relics")||Jay Chattaway|
|81. Prelude to War (Battlestar Galactica: "Resurrection Ship")||Bear McCreary|
|82. Nero Sighted (Star Trek XI)||Michael Giacchino|
|83. Raging Inferno (The Black Hole)||John Barry|
|84. Archer and Hoshi (Star Trek ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")||Dennis McCarthy|
|85. The Battle for Peace (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)||Cliff Eidelman|
|86. Out of Control/The Crash (Star Trek Generations)||Dennis McCarthy|
|87. The Proteus (Lost in Space)||Bruce Broughton|
|88. Main Intro (The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum)||Gene Z. Ragan/Gary Bellor|
|89. The Lion's Den (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|90. Never an Absolution (Titanic)||James Horner|
|91. Battle for the Array (Star Trek VOY: "The Caretaker")||Jay Chattaway|
|92. The Lion's Den (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|93. Primalosity (Star Trek TNG: "All Good Things")||Dennis McCarthy|
|94. The Dish (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|95. To the Rescue (Star Trek TNG: "All Good Things...")||Dennis McCarthy|
|96. Flight of the Phoenix (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|97. Outgunned (Star Trek Generations||Dennis McCarthy|
|98. Engage (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|99. The Meld (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|100. Battle for the Array (Star Trek VOY: "The Caretaker")||Jay Chattaway|
|101. Set a Course for Home (Star Trek VOY: "The Caretaker")||Jay Chattaway|
|102. Back in Order (Star Trek TNG: "11001001")||Ron Jones|
|103. Cue 00025 (Star Trek TNG: "Relics")||Jay Chattaway|
|104. The Healing Process (Star Trek: Insurrection)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|105. Ideals (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|106. Repairs (Star Trek Nemesis)||Jerry Goldsmith|
|107. To Live Forever (Star Trek: Generations)||Dennis McCarthy|
|108. Intro/Main Title (Jetsons: The Movie)||John Debney|
|109. End Credits (Alternate) (Star Trek: First Contact)||Jerry Goldsmith|
As was the case during the production of Specter, early scenes were released as one long clip, with each new cut replacing the one before it. As the project reached one hour in length, often the long cut would be left in place, with each additional scene being released as a standalone clip, with new and longer cuts replacing the clip sets every few weeks or so. To the consternation of many fans, scenes would often end on cliffhangers, with one flowing fluidly into the next with minimal transition required.
On November 8, 2011, it was announced on 3DGladiators that Retribution would soon be put on hold due to changing circumstances in the producer's personal life. Few additional details were available, although since the announcement at least one new scene has been released. It was not immediately known when the hiatus would officially start or how long it would last.
On March 2, 2012, a comment by Bridges on an unrelated video indicated that it would likely by July of that year before Retribution would be completed. The post indicated that the chief reason was a lack of proper voice-recording equipment.
On Monday, June 18, 2012, a new scene was posted to Bridges' YouTube channel continuing the story. Regular production appeared to have resumed as over the next several days additional scenes were posted.
Initial reaction to Retribution was mixed, with commentators on Scifi-Meshes.com as well as viewers on YouTube expressing strong concerns over the concept of a human once again leading the Romulan fleet in the wake of the events of Star Trek Nemesis. Some viewers who had not seen Specter also expressed strong feelings over the producer only including his own voice in the preview clips. Once production began in earnest, many viewers praised the continuing quality of the writing, as well as the more mature characters and different manner of storytelling.
The most common criticism of the movie centers around its involved and intricate plot, and the fact that some plot developments had to be explained to audiences in order to make sense. One example is Scene 23, "Escape from New Romulus"--regularly cited by the producer as a portion of the movie with which he is "less than thrilled"--in which the Fitzgerald performs a slingshot maneuver around a moon in order to outrun pursuing Warbirds, then launches a probe rigged to emit a false warp signature just before cloaking. The Warbirds take off in pursuit of the probe, mistakenly believing it is the Fitzgerald. On paper the move makes sense, however the visual effects do a less complete job of communicating it to the audience. The remastered visual effects made late in production alleviated this problem.
Overall, audiences--and even Bridges himself--ultimately felt that Retribution never truly found its footing, and the film's relatively high production values could not offset a plot that was relatively weak compared to Specter. In terms of popularity, Retribution remains by far the least popular entry in the trilogy, with an average of 155 daily views in February 2014, compared to almost double that for Specter and more than five times that for the third film.
Scene 32 ControversyEdit
On 26 June 2011, work began on Scene 32, "Don Karnage's Cave," which showed Drakus going to inspect his fleet. The scene involved no dialogue, and relied solely on visuals for impact. Along with compelling visuals of the assembled Romulan fleet, the scene would need to involve a compelling piece of music to make its full impact.
Unlike Specter, Retribution's style of storytelling is serious and, for the most part, very dark. The three scenes in Specter that had used 20th-century pop songs were all fairly light-hearted, and used songs to match; finding a song appropriate for Retribution proved to be far more difficult.
Fans initially reacted strongly--and for the most part negatively--to the news that the scene would be backed not by a piece of instrumental score, but by an actual song. The first round of music tests involved a combination of both: the main title of the "24" TV series, Eiffel 65's "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (both the standard version with vocals and an instrumental karaoke mix), Electrasy's "Cosmic Castaway" (which had previously been used in Specter for the attack on the Alcawell Mineral Refinery), Polaris' "Hey Sandy," "Turn Turn Turn" by The Byrds, and Alan Silvestri's "The Leveller" (from the Disney film Fern Gully). While the debate over the music choice continued, new cuts of the movie continued to be posted with "Cosmic Castaway" or "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" as placeholders.
Fans disliked almost all of the choices given, citing "The Leveller" as their favorite, with "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" as the second choice. Many responded with suggestions of their own, including Bear McCreary's "Prelude to War" and "Suicide Run" from the game Mass Effect. Ultimately, "Suicide Run" emerged as the frontrunner, after almost unanimous approval of that piece from the fan base.
Several cuts of the movie featured "Suicide Run" as the background music for the scene, however eventually the producer dropped it, saying the piece didn't seem to have the necessary "punch" for the job. More recent cuts of the movie have featured "Turn Turn Turn" by The Byrds as the music for the scene. Fans have been silent on the issue since the change.
On Tuesday, July 31, 2012, a new version of this scene was posted, this one with "Mega March" (from the pilot episode of the TV series "ReBoot") by Robert Buckley as its background music. At the same time, the Retribution project thread on 3DGladiators.com was updated to include a feedback request from fans, to decide whether they preferred "Turn Turn Turn" or the new music selection for the scene.
The film's ending, posted on Thursday 12 July 2012, seems to confirm earlier rumors of a planned third film in the series. In the final scenes, a temporal explosion (presumably an uncontrolled release of anti-time energy from the time reactor seen in Specter) apparently caused a temporal incursion, and erased Drakus from history. This theory is seemingly confirmed in the following scene, when Commander Ronston says that "that other version of [Dr. Garr] never even existed," and several details of the Fitzgerald and its crew are different. Admiral Janeway and the Romulan Gueridian Proconsul, both known to have been killed during the film, are seen alive; Commander Ronston's uniform now bears only the three standard rank pips instead of the "Captain Junior Grade" insignia seen through most of the film; and the sets now bear colors, sounds, and lighting schemes from their appearances in Star Trek: The Next Generation, suggesting that the Prime timeline seen through most of Specter has been restored.
Then, once the audience is shown that all the major cast members--including the "good" version of Dr. Garr and the real Kristie--are on their way to living happier lives, we're taken back to Sector 585, where a familiar shuttlecraft decloaks near the Devil's Heart black hole, adrift and seemingly without power. Inside, Drakus seethes over his defeat at the hands of Captain Prentice, and vows revenge, commenting that this time he won't be alone. Moments later, what appears to be Admiral Reyf steps forward from the shadows, wearing an admiral's variant of the same blue-purple uniform as Garr, still with his admiral's insignia. He adds "Indeed" in the same Borg-like voice as Drakus, and then his eyes glow, and the final shot of the film is of the shuttlecraft maneuvering away into the stars.
Approximately one week after the final scenes were posted, Bridges announced that the film would be screened for bloopers and glitches, and that
Project thread change of venueEdit
On Wednesday, August 10, 2011, the project's official discussion thread at Scifi-Meshes.com was closed after the producer announced he would be withdrawing his participation, and the sister thread at 3DGladiators was designated the official project thread in its place. Bridges cited what he felt was the declining quality of feedback from the user base as the primary reason for the decision. Despite Bridges having previously expressed concerns several times earlier in the thread, the move nevertheless caught some participants by surprise, and many disagreed with Bridges' stated reasons as presented in his final post in the thread. Despite the thread's closure, as long as several weeks after the fact, YouTube continued to record hits from Scifi-Meshes.com on newly-posted Retribution scenes.
Pre-release preview clipsEdit
Between January 13 and February 6, 2011, a series of preview clips were made available on YouTube for viewing, depicting selected scenes from Retribution and largely following the story scene by scene. After the final preview clip was posted, users at Scifi-Meshes.com were provided with a rough outline of the remainder of the storyline and encouraged to make contributions of their own ideas. Bridges has stated that during this period, earlier scenes will be "polished," making fixes such as adding warp stars through the observation lounge windows during Reyf's briefing. On Monday, February 14, 2011, a new full-length clip was posted that included many of the promised fixes, and at the same time all the previous clips were removed.
- 3DGladiators.com: Project Thread
- Scifi-Meshes.com: Project Thread (Closed)
- Star Trek Retribution at TVTropes.org
- YouTube: Star Trek Retribution - Scene 32: "Don Karnage's Cave" (Mega March)
- Star Trek: Time Warp Series, which includes Star Trek II: Retribution at Star Trek Reviewed
Star Trek II: Retribution - The Director's EditionEdit
- YouTube: Star Trek II: Retribution