Star Trek: First Contact

Year: 1996

Synopsis: The crew of the Enterprise-E must go back in time to prevent the Borg from conquering and assimilating humanity, while Capt. Picard must finally deal with the repressed horrors the Borg inflicted upon him years prior.

Pros:
• A dark, character driven plot, featuring just how broken Picard secretly was. Indeed, this might just be Patrick Stewart’s best performance.
• Highlighted the strength and weaknesses of emotions, particularly between Data and Picard.
• All the main cast evolved gloriously through the most extreme situations.
• The revelation of the Borg Queen, which Picard deeply repressed, had dramatic shock waves throughout the franchise, as the bizarre love triangle with the Queen, Picard, and Data was unlike anything ever portrayed in the franchise up to that point.
• The plot surrounding the reluctant Zephram Cochrain, a cornerstone of the society formed over the next century, brilliantly rounded the story.
• Star Trek at its finest and darkest. Resistance is futile …

Cons:
• The darker themes, as was the case with DS9, might have turned off some fans.
• Those not familiar with the franchise might have had trouble fully grasping the backstory, which spans multiple series.

Discussion:
Data, I’m sure it’s a fascinating experience [anxiety], but perhaps you should deactivate your emotion chip for now. / Good idea, sir. [Beep] Done. / Data, there are times I envy you

Moby Dick has been an integral part of Trek DNA from the very beginning. In the original series, Commodore Decker lost everything to the mysterious, planet eating Doomsday Machine, and eventually lost his life trying to destroy it. Khan was tricked by Capt. Kirk, leading to life on what became a dead world and the grave of his love (a historian that chose to stay with him), and later lost his life trying to destroy Kirk. The Crystalline entity took the son of Kila Mar when it sucked the life out of Omicron Theta, Data’s home world, and while her vengeance was satisfied in the destruction of that entity, Data revealed how her son would never have approved. And then, there was Picard and the Borg. Like Decker before him, Picard saw a chance to let loose the pain churning within him, but unlike his predecessors, Picard listened to a twenty-first century woman that saw right through his mask of self-righteousness. Picard won the battle the right way he already knew: by not only listening to others, but also trying to save instead of destroy. This allowed Data to enact his own plan to defeat the Queen, which he was tempted by for an endless 0.6 seconds. That is all not forgetting how Cochrain was reminded of his dream, which the Borg nearly destroyed, and how it might be OK to be a historical figure that was never revered like a saint he never was. Idealism was found and utilized by them all by the end to ensure the better future.

This might just have been the peak of Star Trek in the 1990s.

Related
Star Trek Franchise


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Rotten Tomatoes — 93%

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