Franchises of All Time
The Star Trek Films:
(The Next Generation)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Star Trek Films (Next Generation)
Star Trek: Generations (1994) | Star Trek: First Contact (1996) | Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek Nemesis (2002)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Film Plot Summary
After the film's credits, the film opened with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) experiencing the nightmare of when he was captured and assimilated as a cybernetic Borg six years earlier ("I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile") - he was awakened on the USS Enterprise-NCC-1701-E by a message from Admiral Hayes: "a disturbing report from Deep Space Nine" about the destruction of colony Ivor Prime by a "lethal enemy" - the Borg, intent on invading the entire Federation.
In a crew meeting, Picard announced that they were only ordered to patrol the Neutral Zone to protect against any Romulan aggression that might take advantage of the situation; Starfleet didn't trust Picard in a situation with the Borg because of his past experiences with them ("To do so would introduce an unstable element to a critical situation"); another message from Starfleet announced the approach of an aggressive Borg cube toward a group of Federation starships and the weakening of their defenses, with a call for reinforcements; directly violating orders, Picard commanded the USS Enterprise toward Earth to provide support.
The badly-damaged USS Defiant, commanded by Lieut. Cmdr. Worf (Michael Dorn), was saved by Picard's Enterprise, as he ordered the fleet to target a specifically-critical area of the Borg cube for intensive firepower, and although the main cube was destroyed, it was able to launch a spherical escape pod; as the sphere approached Earth, it created a temporal vortex, time-traveled to the past through the portal it had created, and both assimilated and populated the entire planet of 9 billion ("Changed history"); the Enterprise followed the sphere into the portal to counteract the damage done ("We must follow them back. Repair whatever damage they've done"), entering into the year 2063 ("approximately ten years after the Third World War" during a weakened state of "no resistance", in order to alter Earth's history and make it easier to assimilate).
After the Borg sphere fired multiple torpedoes at an unspecified location on Earth (it was a missile complex in central Montana at the shanty town of Bozeman), the Enterprise fired upon the sphere and destroyed it; it was learned that the exact date was April 4th ("The day before First Contact"), only one day before pilot-astronaut and inventor Zefram Cochrane's (James Cromwell) historic warp ship (the Phoenix, constructed from a nuclear missile) flight from Montana - it was the first vessel capable of entering warp speed and having "first contact" with aliens who were on a survey mission ("one of the pivotal moments in human history"), something the Borg wanted to prevent from happening (since it would lead to technological developments and resistance to them).
Some of the crew transport-beamed down to Montana to survey the damage, where they found Cochrane's assistant Lily Sloane (Alfre Woodard) firing upon them, not believing they were friendly, but she fainted and required medical attention (from radiation poisoning emanating from the damaged warpship Phoenix) in Enterprise's Sickbay. Meanwhile, the Borg had invaded into the Enterprise's lower Deck 16, and had changed the environmental climate to suit their needs, increasing the temperature and humidity levels to match the inside of a Borg ship ("They'll assimilate the Enterprise and then Earth"). Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) activated an EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram) (Robert Picardo) to delay the Borg's entry into Sickbay as she escaped with Lily. Picard organized a group to track and encounter the Borg who were already assimilating crew members throughout the ship - the Borg were able to almost instantly adapt to various weapon attacks - and Data was captured during a skirmish.
Back on Earth, Cmdr. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) located Cochrane in a bar, where Deanna had matched him in drinks of tequila and noted: "he's nuts" - they persuaded a reluctant Cochrane to promise to launch his ship on schedule the next morning; captured android Data ("a machine who wishes to be human") was threatened with the words: "You are an imperfect being, created by an imperfect being. Finding your weakness is only a matter of time"; the film then introduced the character of the sexy, cunning Borg Queen (Alice Krige), whose memorable entrance featured her head, shoulders and spinal cord descending from the ceiling and latching onto her body, as she announced: "Are you ready?...I am the Borg... I am the beginning, the end, the one who is many. I am the Borg...I am the Collective...By assimilating other beings into our Collective, we are bringing them closer to perfection"; she was interested in having Data surrender encryption codes that would allow her to take over the USS Enterprise, by grafting organic human skin onto his arm (as part of his plan to be more fully human).
To avoid the Borg, Picard and Lily entered into chapter 13 of "The Big Goodbye" - a 1940s gumshoe detective Dixon Hill Holodeck program, to kill off some of the pursuing Borg with a tommy-gun and then retrieve a neuro-processor memory chip from one of the dead Borgs to determine the instructions given him from the Collective; it was learned that the Borg took over half the ship and were "transforming the deflector dish into an interplexing beacon...it's a subspace transmitter. If they activate the beacon, they'll be able to establish a link with the Borg living in this century...Humanity will be an easy target. Attack the Earth in the past to assimilate the future."
Picard, Worf, and Lieut. Sean Hawk (Neal McDonough) put on spacesuits to go outside the ship and prevent the Borg from calling for reinforcements by unlocking (or releasing) the deflector dish's maglocks from the main ship and then destroying it (although Hawk was assimilated by the Borg and killed during the attempt); the Borg Queen attempted a seduction of Data and the promise of having sex with him; unconvinced at first, a vengeful Picard finally decided to take both Worf's and Lily's advice (after she compared him to obsessed Captain Ahab in Moby Dick and he recited part of the text to himself) to activate the ship's self-destruct system and evacuate the ship in pods - but he first wished to rescue Data.
At the same time, Cochrane and crew prepared and then successfully launched the Phoenix into orbit; Picard located Data and was confronted by the Borg Queen ("You were very close, you and I...Welcome home, Locutus") - he offered himself in exchange for Data's freedom ("I will take my place at your side"), but the android refused to leave ("I do not wish to go"); commanded by the Queen, Data deactivated the self-destruct sequence, entered the encryption codes, and then aimed the Enterprise's quantum torpedoes at the Phoenix during flight (just before warp speed was activated) -- but the missiles didn't hit their target; the loyal android had deceived the Borg Queen - he ironically warned her: "Resistance is futile" and then killed her with flesh-eating vapor-gas from a smashed coolant tube - the remainder of the Borgs under her command were also neutralized when she perished.
The film ended with extra-terrestrial "first contact" being established between a landing spaceship of aliens (Vulcans) ("Live long and prosper") and humans due to Cochrane's warp-drive flight, with Picard and crew witnessing the historic event before returning to the 24th century in the Enterprise.
Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)
The second film of the second TNG series, and considered the best film of the TNG movies.
The Next Generation cast starred in their first truly independent big screen adventure.
With a production budget of $45 million, and box-office gross receipts of $92 million (domestic) and $146 million (worldwide).
Nominated for one Academy Award (with no win): Best Makeup.
Great Scene(s): The opening sequence of Picard reliving his assimilation as a Borg in a nightmarish dream - ending with a massive pullback shot from his eye, Deanna Troi's memorable scene of drunkenness, the entrance of the Borg Queen, the scene of Lily's heated argument with a vengeful-hateful Picard - finally convincing him to lay aside his personal vendetta, and the Borg Queen's memorable death scene.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Cmdr. William Riker
Second Officer, Android Data
Counselor Deanna Troi
Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge
Lt. Cmdr. Worf
Dr. Beverly Crusher
EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram)
Series-Introduction - Index to All Films | Series-Box Office
- J.J. Abrams InterviewLearn about the new movie from the director
- Damon Lindelof InterviewThe movie's executive producer explains why Trek needed a reboot
- Simon Pegg InterviewLearn about the new Scotty, actor Simon Pegg
- Ultimate Fan QuizTest your Trek trivia with questions from the movies.
- John Scalzi's Trek Cheat SheetCatch up on past movie plots with original Trek Haiku
- Villains Photo GalleryFind out what warped these Trek movie villains
- Aliens Photo QuizSee how well you know the obscure Trek aliens
- Franchise OverviewFilm historian Tim Dirks takes a detailed look at the various entries in the series
- Meet Your MakersCatch up with the careers of the Original Series cast