Star Trek: First Contact – Sex, Borg and Rock’n’Roll

Still from movie "Star Trek: First Contact"
Star Trek First Contact Poster

In a pivotal moment in Star Trek: First Contact, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) boldly declares, “A line shall be drawn here!” This line seemingly demarcated the fate of the Star Trek franchise: either produce a triumphant, critically acclaimed film to captivate both loyal and new audiences, or witness the potential demise of the film series altogether.

Thankfully, for Trekkies and newcomers alike, First Contact answered the call. It rectified the shortcomings of its predecessor, Generations, emerging as a thrilling, action-packed journey that embodies the essence of The Next Generation (TNG) cast—united in facing the universe’s challenges as a cohesive team.

Dispensing with unnecessary fanfare, the movie thrusts audiences straight into a Picardian nightmare, revisiting the haunting memories of his time aboard the Borg ship (from the impactful season-ending two-parter “Best of Both Worlds”). This abrupt immersion sets the tone: this Trek film embraces a stark, unapologetic edge akin to the intensity last witnessed in Wrath of Khan. Remember the discomfort during Chekov’s ear-invasion scene? Prepare for similar gut-wrenching moments in this film.

First Contact doesn’t squander precious screen time explaining the obvious, a pitfall seen in Generations. Instead, it trusts viewers to grasp the narrative’s complexities, inviting them to immerse themselves without handholding.

Humour, a quintessential component of Star Trek‘s charm, infuses the dialogue, even amid dire circumstances. The banter between Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Worf (Michael Dorn) injects levity. Additionally, cameos sprinkled throughout offer delightful “aha” moments for devoted Trek enthusiasts.

The curse of “technobabble” has haunted many Trek iterations, and with Brannon Braga (dubbed the “king of technobabble”) at the writing helm, apprehension was warranted. However, First Contact pleasantly surprises by skirting excessive technical jargon, incorporating it sparingly and swiftly. The ease with which time travel is achieved may seem overly convenient, lacking the gravity seen in previous time-travel narratives, yet the exceptional writing and performances compensate for this shortfall.

Jonathan Frakes, an accomplished director within the Star Trek television realm, adeptly translates his skills to the big screen. His actor-director dynamic fosters an organic rapport among the cast, a unique advantage in the director’s chair.

For die-hard fans disappointed by Generations, First Contact serves as a resounding return to form, rekindling their fervour. With luck, it will usher in a new wave of enthusiasts. First Contact mirrors Wrath of Khan‘s revitalizing impact after The Motion Picture—a beacon of promise, hinting at the series’ evolution and enduring future. If subsequent films follow this exemplary standard, the franchise’s longevity is assured.

Our Score