Star Trek - First Contact
WARNING - MOVIE SPOILER
If you don't want to know, don't read !!!.
The movie starts off with Picard having a nightmare about his time as and with the Borg when he was Locutus, as well as a very faint memory of the Borg Queen (who it turns out actually made and/or was responsible for Locutus' coming into being as she wanted a soul mate as it were).
The interior shots of the Borg ship alone are spectacular, as we get to see wave after wave of amazingly detailed images of what the Borg collective really looks like and how utterly immense it is. For the camera pans back from Picard as Locutus in his own little chamber hooked up to the Borg collective, and keeps going all the wall back. Letting the audience see the entire interior of the Borg ship/collective, until the camera races outside to the exterior of the ship-letting us see it travel through space. All of which is simply breathtaking as they never showed such detail in any of the ST:TNG Borg episodes.
We then see a garble of images of Picard as he is going through his transformation into Locutus, which is much more intense this time around, as well as way more detailed and intense (they redid the manner in which his makeup and prostectics were applied this time round to show way more intricate detail). The overall Borg design/look has been severely upgraded for the film. We even get to see a needle pointed probe seemingly about to puncture and enter Picard's right eye, but just as it is about to puncture the eye membrane. Picard wakes up from his initial nightmare in a cold sweat and goes over to the tiny sink in his office/ready room and throws some cold water in his face as he looks at it closely in the mirror. And as Picard continues to stare into the mirror, he notices tiny little movements just under the surface of the skin, which suddenly erupts into shards or metal that attach themselves to the right side of his cheek.
Picard then awakes in his ready room for real this time as he receives an urgent message from Starfleet Headquarters that the Borg are attacking Earth, but Picard mysteriously already knows or senses this (Picard is apparently picking noise in his head or whispering, that is supposed to be reminiscent of his time spent within the Borg collective). Yet he is unable to do anything about it at all as he and the rest of the Enterprise crew is sent away to patrol the Neutral Zone (Starfleet is apparently worried about Picard and his subsequent involvement with the Borg and how he might react once he is engaged in a full out battle with them after being so utterly traumatised by them in the past).
While Picard and the rest of the Enterprise are patrolling the Neutral Zone, the Borg engage several dozen ships near Earth, including the DS9's Defiant commanded by Worf. Upon hearing that just about all of Earth's Starfleet's ships are destroyed and/or crippled by the Borg, Picard orders the crew of the Enterprise to head back to Earth and engage the Borg (no crew member disagrees with Picard's violation of a Starfleet direct order as usual). When they finally arrive near Earth, the Defiant is almost completely destroyed and Worf is preparing to ram the ship into the Borg cube as a last ditch attempt (today is a good day to die). But as they are going to do that the Enterprise beams over Worf and the Defiant's crew (who after being brought to the bridge by Dr. Crusher is immediately greeted by Riker who says,"Quite a tough little ship you have there!!!" To which Worf replies, "Little?!").
Picard takes over command of what remains of the fleet and orders everyone to fire upon a specific point at the Borg cube that seemingly has no strategic value. But it turns out that the area the remaining ships were concentrating their fire on was actually quite a vital area and the entire Borg ship explodes, but not before a single Borg sphere is launched on a direct course towards Earth. During all this destruction and chaos, the Enterprise is apparently the only ship to notice this and follows the sphere which has started the process of generating huge amounts of chronometric particles in an attempt to travel through time, and which they eventually do.
The Enterprise being caught in the wake of their initial time distortion wave as the Borg travel through time to change Earth's past, which is evident by the fact Earth now scans at having 9 billion people - all Borg! Before the time space rift closes, Picard orders the Enterprise through the rift in order to follow the Borg and correct any changes that they have made to the time line. Both the Borg and the Enterprise arrive back to 2063 (I think it was that date), shortly after the third world war around the 4th or so of April (the day before first contact with the Vulcans).
As the Borg plan to prevent the flight of the very first Warp Drive, which results in Earth's first contact with the Vulcan race. They attempt to accomplish this by shooting at and essentially decimating the former nuclear missile compound in Montana that served as the production ground for Zephram Cochrane's initial prototype Warp Drive (both Cochrane and Lily Sloane are leaving a bar as they are fired upon by the Borg and flee back to the missile compound/Warp Drive starship hangar). The Enterprise, seeing this taking place, quickly fires upon the Borg sphere and completely destroys it before it can do any more damage to the missile compound below.
Picard, Crusher, Troi, Data and a whole bunch of other never before seen crew members then beam down to the planet in order to see the extent of the damage once they realised the significance of the date and location of the Borg's last attack. Picard is determined not to let first contact not happen, and vows to do anything in his power to make sure that it happens as well as that the Borg do not succeed in any way what-so-ever! Shortly after they beam down in civilian garb, Picard and Data find Lily Sloane, who promptly fires upon them with a machine gun. Data, who is apparently bulletproof, takes several rounds and then utters greetings to Lily Sloane, who promptly faints dead away. She is then beamed back aboard the Enterprise along with Dr. Crusher, for she has sustained some minor injuries from the earlier Borg attack. The captain tells Crusher to make sure that Lily stays sedated so she will have no knowledge that she is onboard a starship from the future.
The Away Team realise that the prototype Warp Drive has sustained some initial damage and is in need of repairs, as well as the fact that Cochrane is no where to be found. So Geordi is asked to beam down with a team of engineers to fix the Warp Drive; Geordi was in the midst of trying to figure out why the environmental controls on Deck 16 are acting up as the humidity is rising for some unknown reason. Riker (who apparently beamed down off camera) and Troi then begin to look for Cochrane, as he is the one who is destined to be the maiden voyage of the Warp Drive that leads to first contact with the Vulcans.
Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, several engineers are working on trying to fix the environmental controls for Deck 16, when one of them notices movement in one of the Jeffries Tubes. Which of course turns out to be a Borg, who promptly assimilates him as well as the other engineer that was assigned to the same area (it now takes a simple touch from the Borg in order for one to be assimilated as they apparently inject nanotech robots and/or probes directly into the humans' bloodstream/nervous system and take them over in a matter of seconds, it seems). Picard, because of his former affiliation with the Borg, can sense what is happening and orders the primary Away Team back to the ship, leaving Troi, Riker, Geordi and some other engineers behind to look for Cochrane as well as continue repairs on the prototype Warp Drive.
Once back on the ship, Picard is convinced that the Borg have somehow beamed aboard the Enterprise before their Borg sphere was destroyed without the Enterprise's knowledge, since the humidity and temperature on Deck 16 is exactly like that of the Borg ship/collective, but before they can do anything to try and prevent the Borg from encroaching on more of the ship. All defense/offence, transportation communication functions are rerouted to main engineering by the Borg, who now completely control Deck 16, which is where main engineering is. Picard then quickly orders Data to encrypt and lock out all remaining command functions so that the Borg cannot do anything more than they already have, which proves to be initially successful.
Meanwhile, in sickbay, the Borg are attempting to gain access by smashing their way in through the main door. Dr. Crusher, seeing no other option, wakes Lily Sloane so she can leave sickbay through a Jeffries Tube under her own power. Sloane in turn totally freaks out waking up aboard a starship. Still, Crusher, Nurse Ogawa and her team manage to get Lily and the rest of her team out moments before the Borg gain entry. Crusher activates the emergency medical holographic Doctor as a distraction, which buys her and her crew a few moments (this is the much talked about cameo appearance by Robert Picard, or Doctor Zimmerman if you will. One of the three cameos by other popular Star Trek characters). While making their way through the Jeffries Tube, Lily gets separated from Crusher's group and goes her own way as she is still a little freaked out by it all.
While this is all going on, Picard, Data, Worf and a security detail go down to Deck 16 and try to see how much damage has been done and if there is anything that they can do to regain access to main engineering; they plan to sabotage the Warp Drive conduit and release a flood of radiation which will prove to be severely destructive to all organic material that it comes into contact with, which will subsequently destroy the organic components of the Borg.
Newly armed to the teeth with alternating pulse photon rifles, Picard and his security detail soon come upon the now completely Borgified Deck 16 and encounter the Borg, who as usual initially ignore them (the newly designed/upgraded Borg look great, as they appear to be much more a blend of man and machine than they ever have. Plus they are way more frightening and/or sinister looking than they ever were before). Shortly after Picard and his security detail have entered Deck 16 through one of the connecting Jeffries Tubes, Dr. Crusher and what's left of her medical team come out of a nearby Jeffries Tube and encounter Picard, Worf and the rest of the security detail, who almost shoot them on sight. Dr. Crusher and her team are then told how to get back to the bridge without encountering the now Borg occupied/assimilated areas of the ship (the Borg now control several key levels of the Enterprise, but are still situated in main engineering). But before leaving, Crusher tells Picard about how Lily separated from her group and makes him promise to find her, as she is innocent in all of this and has no idea what is really going on.
After Crusher and her team are safely out of harms way, Picard and his team continue to try and regain manual access to engineering, which of course makes the until then inactive Borg very active as they subsequently attack the security detail and start assimilating everyone they come into contact with one by one. The security detail fires off as many rounds as they can before the Borg adapt to the random pulse modulated photon rifles, which really didn't take that long, and then have to resort to hand to hand combat. The better fighters are Worf and Data, who is doing the most damage as he is able to crack several necks as well as throwing Borg across the room left and right like they were mere paper weights. Most of the security detail, in comparison, are simply left to the mercy of the Borg and subsequently quickly assimilated. At last, when it is painfully obvious that they cannot regain control of main engineering or continue to fight against so many Borg as well as their recently Borgified fellow crew mates, the remaining security detail retreats, but not before the very same main engineering door that Data was attempting to unlock opens just enough so his legs can be seized by the Borg inside who then drag him under and shut the doors. Thus Data becomes a prisoner of the Borg, and Captain Picard watches helplessly as this all takes place.
Still in a state of shock it seems, Picard is the last one in his team to retreat into the relative safety of a nearby Jeffries Tube, but not before he hears a fellow crew man who is in the process of being assimilated beg for help, as the tiny nanotech probes wind their way through the flesh of his face and neck (it basically looked like tiny grey worms moving through the surface of his face) - help which Picard grants him in the way of a quick death and merciful death by close range phaser fire!
Back on Earth at roughly the same time, no one has any idea that the Enterprise is in danger at all as all communications have been shut off. They have other things to deal with as it seems that Troi has finally found Zephram Cochrane, who is (a total) drunk in a bar listening to very loud rock & roll music. Cochrane wouldn't even talk to Troi or acknowledge her presence until she had a drink with him and subsequently did several shots of tequila.
So Riker finds them both together and of course gets a quite a perverse kick out of seeing counsellor Troi totally plastered and somewhat out of control, which was actually a pretty funny scene overall (and unfortunately Troi's only real memorable scene throughout the whole movie). After some initial discussion they both finally decide to tell Cochrane the truth about what is going on, as he apparently wouldn't believe any of the cover stories that Troi attempted to tell him earlier in order to spare him knowledge of future events - such as the fact that they have to make sure that Cochrane is in his prototype Warp Drive makeshift starship come the following day, which is when he is set to make his first Warp Drive flight, resulting in Earth being discovered by a nearby Vulcan survey expedition. Upon hearing all of this Cochrane of course freaks out a bit and subsequently does not handle any of it very well, especially since all the engineering staff from the Enterprise seem to look at him as if he were some kind of revered saint, especially when Lt. Reginald Barclay keeps following him around like a little lost puppy (the second of three cameos in the film). Moreover, it seems that Cochrane only really wanted to build his Warp Drive prototype starship in order to make money, not start a new era of peace and harmony in the universe for all mankind as most people in history have been lead to believe.
While Picard is trekking his way through the intricate maze of Jeffries Tubes, trying his best to stay one step ahead of the ever-pursuing Borg, Picard is suddenly caught from behind by Lily Sloane, who has fashioned a makeshift garrote and is using it to strangle Picard. Picard as a result drops his hand phaser. Lily quickly picks it up and points it at Picard, demanding that he tell her where she is and what faction he is associated with, as she believes this all to be some kind of terrorist plot to kill her and her faction back on/from Billings, Montana. Picard assures her that he is not associated with any faction and that she must trust him and do as he says. She replies, "Get me out of here or I start pushing buttons!" The Captain reluctantly complies with her strong armed demands and leads her away in a connecting Jeffries Tube, still shadowed by the Borg every step of the way. Lily continues to demand what is going on and just who captain Picard is or who he is working for as they both make their way through the Jeffries Tube, finally stopping near an observation or maintenance platform, as Captain Picard tells her that they are onboard a starship and that the Enterprise is actually here to help. Lily of course does not believe him until he opens up an airlock and shows her an extremely close orbital view of the Earth, at which point she practically drops the phaser into Picard's awaiting hands. He then tells her that it was set on maximum setting, and would have completely vapourised him instantly.
After briefly explaining what is going on, the two of them make their way back to the main bridge (presumably, this is where the Dixon Hill holodeck scene comes in) and are greeted by Worf, Dr. Crusher and Lt. Hawk at gun point as they attempt to exit the Jeffries Tube. Upon their arrival they are quickly briefed on everything that has been going on and how the Borg now control more than half of the ship, yet they have stopped at Deck 11 for some reason which Worf finds puzzling (I am not 100% sure of the exact deck number, but it is the deck that has the most direct access to the main deflector dish). Meanwhile, Data awakes upon a colf flat semicircular table, where he is being held in restraints against his will by the Borg, who have apparently been tampering with him while he was deactivated (you never really see Data get deactivated, you just kind of assume it).
He is introduced to the never before seen Borg Queen, who at first is only a disembodied head suspended up above on cables. As she starts to speak and introduce herself to Data, she is lowered into an awaiting semi-seductive (in a round about way) mechanical body. Data is initially surprised when the Queen keeps referring to herself as "I" instead of "WE", as up until now there had been no real or true individuality among the Borg; they were all just mindless drones serving the collective. The Borg Queen quickly starts about the task of trying to seduce Data into seeing her way, teasing him about wanting to be human as he is already so much more or better than ordinary humans. Data of course resists her, as he knows that she only wants him to give her the encryption codes so she can finally take complete control of the Enterprise. Sensing that her attempts are lacking in effect, the Borg Queen switches Data's emotion chip back on. Which causes Data to get somewhat nervous, especially after he learns that the Borg Queen has grafted real organic skin onto his, thus giving him a whole new set of physical sensations to experience, especially when the Borg Queen blows on the hairs of his newly grafted organic peace of forearm skin (that sounded naughty!) on Data's right arm.
Data then uses his one free arm (the one where the skin graft was done) to unlock his remaining restraints and attack and kill his nearby captors in his attempt to escape, but is quickly halted when one of his Borg jailers slashes at his newly acquired skin. As Data, totally unaccustomed to the true sensation or feelings of pain, reels in agony and cradles his recently cut right arm. This apparently amuses the Borg Queen, as she challenges Data to rip off her gift if he truly does not wish to have anything to do with her or to be part of her collective, for if this is what he truly wants she and her Borg minions will not stand in his way. Data simply continues to cradle his arm and do nothing, as he is reshackled to the restraining device.
Picard, Lt. Worf and Lt. Hawk (who really has not said more than two or three sentences at all suit up and prepare to go outside the ship to stop the Borg from accomplishing their mission. They figured out from the fact that the Borg stopped assimilating the ship once they got to Deck 11 that the Borg are planning to use the main deflector dish as a signal device to signal the Borg of the 21st Century by modifying its output with some devices of their own.
The Borg of the 21st Century should still be in the Delta Quadrant and as a result were not supposed to know that Earth even exists at this point. After walking for a bit in zero gravity boots, Picard and his team come upon several Borg who at present are ignoring them, continuing to work upon their assigned task. Picard then informs everyone that they can actually release part of the main deflector dish that the Borg are currently modifying, though it will take some time as they have to do it manually. Picard, Worf and Lt. Hawk then each take opposite sides of the dish and begin the process of engaging the manual release links, apparently triggering the Borg's attention with each move until each one in turn is attacked by a Borg. Worf is first, and in turn cuts off the Borg arm with a knife he had on him (the Borg quickly adapted his photon rifle, rendering it useless). But just as he strikes the killing blow to his assailant, the Borg manages to slightly tear open Worf's suit near his leg, thus giving him roughly 45 seconds until explosive decompression.Meanwhile, both Picard and Lt. Hawk have been attacked by the Borg, so they are unable to help Worf as he is seemingly left to his death in the vacuum of space.
Lily rushes into Picard's ready room, where he is busy hurriedly remodulating a photon rifle, determined to make Picard see reason and give up what she believes to be his mad quest for revenge. Lily confronts Picard and tells him if there is a way that we can get off this ship and blow it up then we have to do that, there is no other option as anything else would be suicide! While standing on the bridge of the Enterprise, looking at his ship for perhaps the last time, Picard hears a voice in his head from the collective, though it sounds nothing like a Borg voice as it is Data's voice. Picard then quickly meets up with the remaining crew members who are climbing into the awaiting escape pods and jettisoning out into space towards Earth. There meets up with Lily and gives her a message for Riker and tells her to tell everyone from the crew to settle down in North America and try not to get involved in anything that would alter Earth's history at all. Lily in turn says her good-byes and thanks him for all he has done, but then quickly realises that Picard is not leaving the ship as he has initially intended or said he would, for Lily reminded him that he owed it to Data and their subsequent friendship to try and save him from the Borg; he knows full what will happen to Data if the Borg succeed in making him a part of their collective.
As all the remaining escape pods eject from the hull of the Enterprise and speed towards Earth, Picard makes his way to main engineering. All Borg who encounter him either ignore him or allow him free access, because the Borg Queen wants Picard to join her and her Borg in engineering. Soon after Picard enters engineering, he is confronted by the Queen, who Picard now remembers was responsible for creating Locutus. As it turns out, the Borg Queen wanted an equal to rule her collective side by side, and had initially chosen Picard to be her Borg King. But he rejected her, as unwilling to submit to her desires and give himself freely to her collective - a little something that really pissed the Queen off. She wanted Picard to see that she had won and that Data was now her King.
Data's entire forearm as well as more than a quarter of his face now has skin grafts. Upon seeing this Picard offers himself to the Queen if she will only spare Data's life and let him go, to which she accepts. She apparently has quite the hots for Picard, and enjoys the idea that Picard is now so willing to give himself to her when once he was not. But when she tells Data that he can leave he surprises Picard by saying that he doesn't want to and that he plans to stay by his Queen's side. And just to prove this little fact Data freely gives the encryption codes for the Enterprise to the Borg Queen and deactivates the self destruct countdown when she asks him to, thus giving the Borg Queen complete and total control over the entire Enterprise. She then orders the ship to move in on the swiftly departing prototype Warp Drive starship that Cochrane, Riker and Geordi are aboard. The Borg Queen plans to blow it up before it can reach warp speed.
Picard then watches helplessly as Data locks onto the small craft and begins firing a barrage of Quantum torpedoes in its wake. Surprisingly, all of Data's Quantum torpedoes miss their intended target and speed off harmlessly into space as Cochrane's starship achieves warp at long last. The Borg Queen, realising Data's betrayal, screams out his name as he rushes over to Picard and releases him from his bonds and then quickly over to the warp conduit, which he then smashes with his bare right arm uttering, "Resistance is futile!" The warp conduit shatters and a rush of toxic radiation bellows forth and completely floods engineering, destroying all organic material it comes into contact with. Picard knowing what would happen if his skin came into contact with the toxic green radioactive gas, jumps up and grabs one of the numerous cables that earlier suspended the Borg Queen's upper body and head and attempts to climb his way to safety. But no sooner than he has tried to climb out of harms way, when he is grasped by the Borg Queen who is also trying to climb out by using Picard as a ladder (or she just wants to make him lose his grip and kill him, either one works so take your pick). But just as it seems that the Borg Queen is about to make Picard fall off into the radioactive plasma/gas, Data reaches out with his now skinless arm and face and pries the Queen away from Picard and into the destructive radioactive plasma/gas. Picard then climbs to a nearby level and clears away all the radioactive plasma by sucking it out into various ventilation chambers or vents (who knows).
When the radioactive gas clears, all that is left on the floor of engineering are the discarded mechanical husks of Borg and the Borg Queen, who apparently is still somewhat functional. Seeing this, Picard snaps what little is left of the Queen's spine. Afterwards, Picard finds Data slumped in a corner and goes over to his friend to make sure he is okay, as half of Data's face is completely exposed. Picard then asks if Data was ever truly contemplating accepting the Borg Queen's offer, and Data replies, "For approximately 0.0897 seconds, which is a long time for an android".
Shortly after everything is squared away on the ship, the remaining crewmen are beamed back onboard the Enterprise, but not for Riker, Geordi and Troi bear witness to the Vulcan survey team's descent and subsequent landing in Billings, Montana (Picard and Lily have also subsequently beamed back to the surface of the planet in order to bear witness to the day's events, plus Lily had to go back home to Earth anyway). As the Vulcan survey ship makes its final approach and touch down, Picard thanks Lily for all that she has done as well as saying his good-byes to her. She graciously accepts and wishes Picard would somehow be able to stay for awhile as she envies all that he has done and all the grand adventures he will have in the future. He replies that she is actually the lucky one as she is a part of the real adventure, as she is going to be there when Starfleet, the Federation, and the foundations of the two are being made. Finally, at Riker's encouragement, Cochrane, with Lily in hand, approaches the now landed Vulcan survey ship as the Vulcan inhabitants emerge from their ship and greet Zephram Cochrane and his fellow human beings.
Thus, first contact was made and the birth of the Federation is assured! The crew of the Enterprise beam back up, as Zephram Cochrane and the first Vulcan on Earth exchange greetings (Cochrane attempts to do the Vulcan salute but cannot manage it and resorts to a hand shake and a simple "Thanks", to the Vulcan's, "Live long and prosper"). Back aboard the Enterprise, Worf (who apparently survived) assures Commander Riker that the Earth's Sun did indeed obscure their warp signature and energy from the Vulcan's survey ship and that they have gone completely undetected.
Geordi informs Riker and the Captain that they are well under way to reproducing the chronometric particles the Borg used to travel through time, so they can get back to their own respective time and original timeline. As the Enterprise leaves Earth's orbit, Lily looks to the skies with a sense of awe and wonder, that she didn't originally have before she met the captain of the Enterprise and her crew. On the other hand, Cochrane is busy introducing the Vulcans to the concept of drinking tequila shots and listening to rock and roll music, which of course does not amuse the Vulcans at all (in fact, they seem rather disturbed by it all). The camera then pulls back from all of Cochrane, Lily and the Vulcans in a makeshift bar, further and further until even the larger compound in Billings, Montana is but a tiny microscopic blur, thus ending the movie on a very positive and uplifting note.
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Last revised: Saturday, 30 November 1996