Insurrection would have been better according to Braga
On the heels of the success of Star Trek: First Contact, Paramount was eager to continue the next successful run of movies like The Original Series had enjoyed. Shortly after First Contact’s release, Rick Berman approached both Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga to begin working on the next movie. Braga had just been promoted to showrunner on Star Trek: Voyager, and he wasn’t sure if he could do both.
According to a quote in The Fifty Year MIssion The Next Twenty-Five Years, Braga agonized over whether or not he should take part in writing the next Star Trek movie. Because Moore had already turned Berman down, Braga was fearful about working without him and he wasn’t sure about the idea Berman had which was more of a “romp, like the whale movie.”
Turning Insurrection down was a mistake
Braga wasn’t sure that he could run Voyager let alone do it and write a movie at the same time. It seemed impossible to him so he turned Berman down, which he considers to be the worst decision of his career. And it even affected his relationship with Berman who wouldn’t speak to him for two months.
Braga believed Insurrection suffered because Berman’s idea differed greatly from Michael Piller’s, who ended up taking Braga’s place. Piller wanted to do a “serious meditation on morality for Picard and Rick wanted to do a romp.” The movie wasn’t successful, and Braga said that he wish he’d done it after all as he would have made a better movie. He felt like he let Berman down and shortchanged himself.
Whether or not Insurrection would have been better is debatable. Any writer can have an off day (or several days), and there are plenty of fans who enjoyed Insurrection just the way it was. It certainly wasn’t as action-packed as First Contact, but it did have some good moments, especially with Worf’s aggressive tendencies and Data, Picard, and Worf singing. And though Braga considers it to have been a strange movie, for some of us, it was like watching an extra-long episode of The Next Generation. That might not be a good thing for a movie, but it didn’t stop us from enjoying it.