Star Trek: First Contact is the eighth movie in the Star Trek film series, released in 1996.The most popular Next Generation villain, the Borg, make another attempt to assimilate Earth. The newly-commissioned USS Enterprise-E scrambles to confront them, only to learn that the Borg have decided to use Time Travel to stop Earth's First Contact with aliens and Take Over the World, thus preventing The Federation from ever existing. Arriving above Earth in the year 2063, the Borg aim to stop Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive, from making his historic flight.Captain Picard is having none of that. An away team (led by Riker, Troi, and Geordi) immediately beams down to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, discovering in the process that the man their history paints as a visionary luminary was really a cynical drunk who just wanted to get rich. Regardless, they work to restore the damage the Borg caused and make sure that first contact goes as planned.Meanwhile, as if the remaining crew didn't have enough problems, they soon discover the Borg have invaded the Enterprise and are slowly assimilating it. Picard, who was assimilated by the Borg in the TNG two-parter "The Best of Both Worlds", is a little unstable, and becomes moreso as the plot progresses. His third-in-command, Data, isn't of much use either, as he's been captured and brainwashed by the Borg Queen.Considered the best movie with the Next Generation crew, and a strong contender for second best Star Trek movie behind Wrath of Khan. Among the reasons behind its popularity includes strong continuity ties with the series while remaining a reasonable Gateway Series entry (everything you need to know about the characters is well-explained and it is action-oriented), as well as introducing some backstory elements of how the Star Trekuniverse came to be. It was also a box office hit, earning $146,027,888 in the worldwide market, putting it behind only the new Star Trek and The One With The Whales in absolute dollars (adjusted for inflation, it would fall in the middle of the pack, though still well ahead of the otherTNGmovies).Spoilers below
Tropes seen in First Contact include
Actor Allusion: Inverted - At one point, Lily calls Picard "Captain Ahab" in reference to his personal vendetta against the Borg. Patrick Stewart was so pleased with this scene that he went ahead and played Ahab in a made-for-TV movie version of Moby-Dick.
Adorkable: Cochrane attempting to do the Vulcan salute.
After the End: The crew travels back in time to the mid-21st century, when civilization is in ruins after a nuclear war (the Enterprise itself comes from centuries further ahead, After-the-After the End, and Zefram Cochrane's warp-drive experiment is about to give Earth a huge push in the right direction).
Alas, Poor Villain: Data, and to a lesser degree, Picard, are a little sorry that the Borg Queen is dead in the end.
Batman Gambit: Data's attempts at lying earlier in the movie are really really REALLY poor. This turns out to be a ploy to trick the Borg Queen into thinking he's a terrible liar, so when he later lies about his change of allegiance convincingly, the Borg Queen fails to realize he's playing her.
Or maybe Data's just a really quick learner.
Another possibility is that while Data is a poor liar, previous TNG episodes reveal that he is an incredibly talented actor. He was simply playing the part.
Picard: And he piled upon the whale's white hump, the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it.
Original: He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it.
The change is obviously to simplify the text for modern audiences by putting it into more modern language. There are three possibilities: in the future, someone has revised one of the greatest novels of all time, Picard's exhausted and either misremembering or paraphrasing the quote, or Picard's translator gives it in modern English for Lily rather than the original language.
Become a Real Boy: The Borg Queen attempts to win Data over by giving him the gift of organic skin and the ability to experience tactile sensations as a human would, something that the movie sets up earlier on that he can't do.
Body Horror: The Borg take a level in gross for their trip to the big screen. Also, assimilation in general.
Data, as more and more of his artificial skin is replaced with organic flesh takes on a ghoulish appearance as if sewn together from several corpses. Appropriate, since the only source of flesh the Borg would have is what their new drones don't need...
Even worse is after the climax, seeing Data after all of the organic flesh has been burned off his body and you can see the exposed circuitry underneath.
One scene shows one poor officer in the process of assimilation. By the time we see this, the Borg have already removed the lower half of his arm.
There is entire montage of footage in the film showing the Borg quickly assimilating the ship and crew, ending with the fresh drones being escorted in with their skin in patches, turning white with gray blood vessels; the sickbay converted to an assimilation chamber with crew hooked up to strange medical equipment; and seeing the attachment of the Borg prostheses. Bonus horror points: the score for the entire scene is "Smorgasborg."
Broken Faceplate: Picard takes a blow to the head while wearing a Starfleet space suit, causing the visor to crack. Fortunately for him, it still holds.
Broken Pedestal: Cochrane. Unusually for this trope, the crew doesn't seem to mind. Cochrane slowly coming around is a lighter inversion of Picard falling from the "more evolved" sense of responsibility and morality he tells Lily humans have in the 24th century.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Cochrane is without a doubt one of the brightest minds of his time. He's also a heavy drinker and thinks first contact is best celebrated with whiskey and dancing.
All There in the Manual: In the Novelization, based on the original script, it's revealed that Cochrane is bipolar and was fitted with a cerebral implant to administer the proper medication, but due to the lack of pharmaceutical production in the period after World War III to refill it, he took to self-medicating with alcohol.
Reg Barclay, Enterprise's own resident Bunny-Ears Lawyer, also has a small cameo as part of the engineering team helping to fix the damaged Phoenix. In between showing Geordi the makeshift plasma conduit he managed to rig together out of bits of spare junk, he also geeks out over meeting Cochrane.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Troi gets royally plastered trying to get information with Cochrane. Then again, if you spent most of your life drinking Synthehol, what chance would you have against Post-Apocalyptic Moonshine?!
Call Back: Moby-Dick is a major theme in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, though from a villainous angle, with Khan quoting Ahab, "To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!" Picard quotes from the exact same scene, from the narrator's perspective.
One of the ships in the Fleet vs. the Borg was the Bozeman from "Cause and Effect."
And when the Borg Queen asks Data when the last time he had sexual intercourse was, his answer dates back to TNG's second episode "The Naked Now." (On a side note, this means that he never had sex with Jenna D'Sora in the episode "In Theory.")
Including Data's comment that's he's "fully functional" and "programmed in multiple techniques". As a side note, Dr. Soong was a dirty, dirty man.
The holonovel Picard runs in order to access a Tommy Gun is The Big Goodbye. This callback is especially apt as the plot of that episode is not only the first ever Holodeck malfunction, but also features a character being maimed with a hologramatic gun. In this case, the safeties were deliberately turned off to achieve the same effect.
Worf's "Perhaps today is a good day to die!'' is a call-back to a few Klingon episodes.
Riker calls the Defiant a "tough little ship"; Thomas Riker had said the exact same thing to Sisko.
Data's reaction to his newly-grafted skin being cut, which intrigues him as much as it hurts, is a Call Back to his equally-contradictory reaction to the first thing he'd tasted after his emotion chip was installed.
Data: I hate this! It is revolting!
Data: Yes, please!
Data rapidly encrypts the Enterprise systems, just like he did in the TNG episode "Brothers".
The Cameo: Robert Picardo as the Enterprise-E EMH and Ethan Phillips along with producer Brannon Braga in the holodeck club scene, with Phillips being the one stopping the drones and being disrupted by Borg laser scanners. Dwight Schultz as recurring character Reginald Barclay also appears.
Michael Zaslow, who played Star Trek's first ever Red Shirt, appears as Eddie the bartender.
Nonhuman example: The Millennium Falcon can (just barely) be seen zipping around the battle with the Borg cube. And as noted above, the Bozeman from "Cause and Effect" is also shown as part of the assembled fleet.
Cargo Ship: Lampooned in-universe by Troi. Picard reaches out and touches the Phoenix, because he was never allowed to do so seeing it at a museum, and Data tries to understand why touching it would mean anything, which makes for an interesting conversation for Troi to walk in on...
Troi: (amused) Would you three like to be alone for a while?
Catapult Nightmare: Averted and then played straight during Picard's Dream Within a Dream. When he falsely wakes up from his first nightmare he simply opens his eyes while sitting in his desk chair; when he wakes up for real, he jumps up from his bed (although what wakes him up is a distress call, so there's somewhat more logic to it).
Chekhov's Lecture: Picard's plan in the battle on Deck 16 is to rupture one of the coolant tanks by the warp core, flooding Engineering with the corrosive materials inside and destroying the Collective the Borg have established there. This plan is repelled by the Borg before Picard's team even gets inside Engineering, but breaking one of the coolant tanks is how Data finally defeats the Borg in the climax of the film.
China Takes Over the World: The Eastern Coalition or ECON, one of the factions in the Third World War (and who Cochrane originally thinks the Borg's attack comes from) is said to be a version of this in the Star Trek Expanded Universe, although it's not detailed in the film itself.
City Planet: Earth has become this under Borg rule in an alternate timeline. Oddly enough the population consists of only 9 billion Borg even though the planet's entire surface seems to have been completely urbanized and technified. Presumably, the rest of the space is taken up by automated factories or other automated urbanization. Possibly justifiedat the end of 2012, the world population was only 7 billion, and realistically, without significant advances in farming and food production, the world cannot support much more than about 9 or 10 billion. A significant amount of humans were most likely rendered unable to be assimilated by use of nuclear weaponry. 9 billion may be a high number.
Continuity Nod: The moon hiding the Enterprise-E from the approaching Vulcan ship is probably a nod to The Wrath of Khan, where the Enterprise hid from the Reliant by circling around Regula on its opposite side.
When Picard shatters the glass case in the Ready Room and the starship models fall to the ground he takes a long look at the Enterprise-D, destroyed in the previous film. Heavily implied, the novelization confirms that he was wondering if he was upset over losing another Enterprise or if he was actually lost in revenge.
Continuity Overlap: The film was produced and released during the height of DS9 and VOY and had to acknowledged developments elsewhere in the franchise:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Worf had joined the cast of DS9 in Season 4, so the film had to bring him back into the TNG-corner of the 24th Century. Having the Defiant as part of the Starfleet armada both solves this and is a nod to the ship's origins as an anti-Borg project.
Star Trek: Voyager: The Enterprise-E is equipped with the newly developed Emergency Medical Hologram.
Cool Starship: The new and improved USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E makes her glorious debut in this film. The television version, 1701-D, had been destroyed in the previous film for no other reason than to introduce a more cinematic version in this one. This was a practical motivation as much as stylistic, since the old ship's sets were built for TV and the level of detail shown on film meant they had to make the them Darker and Edgier just to hide the lower quality.
The USS Defiant was introduced on Deep Space Nine as being a prototype starship specifically designed to fight the Borg. Apparently it was a running fight from where the fleet engaged the cube to when it came in orbit around Earth. This is the only time the ship got to fulfill its purpose and despite its size, it took a hit from a Borg weapon and returned fire.
Several other background starships from the opening battle, most notably the Akira-class◊, have gotten surprising amounts of love from the fans. Canonically the ships were designed and built after the devastating defeat at Wolf 359 from the episode "Best of Both Worlds," already forming a major backstory to this film, and were meant to be more battle-hardy than previous Starfleet ships.
One of the starships fighting the Borg was the Millennium Falcon in a sub-blink-and-you-miss-it cameo courtesy of ILM who worked on special effects for the film.
Crapsack World: By all accounts, Earth of 2063 is a pretty miserable Scavenger World in which everyone is suffering from radiation poisoning to one degree or another, and things like murder are commonplace.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Starfleet fares better against the Borg than at Wolf 359, but the battle still goes very badly. Listening to the subspace transmissions of the damage and request for help convince Picard to take the Enterprise into battle.
Picard's crew don't do so well against the Borg inside the ship.
Darker and Edgier: TNG was sometimes criticized for lacking in action and character drama, which admittedly was because Gene Roddenberry wanted a series that spent more time on ideas rather than violence and characters who argue all the time. This movie is a rock-em action flick with some serious interpersonal conflict (Picard and Worf especially), with a literally darker color palette in both the new uniforms and the sets even before Borg assimilation.
Not to mention this was the first Star Trek film to receive the PG-13 rating.
Troi: TIME?! This is no time to argue about time! We don't have the time! (hic) What was I saying?
Die Hard on an X: Picard's storyline in last third of the movie is pretty much Die Hard on the Enterprise. Picard ist the last (fully) human crewmember on the ship that has been taken over by the Borg and feels obliged to rescue Data. While all the Jeffries tube crawling has taken place already earlier in the movie, it should be noted that in this last segment Picard even sports a very John McClane-like wife-beater...
Distressed Dude: Data is captured early on by the Borg and held in engineering.
Picard's hate for the Borg in his "The line must be drawn here" speech is like a person's hate for a rapist. Many actors and producers have said Picard's trauma after assimilation was modelled on a rape victim, while the Body Horror of assimilation was specifically designed to evoke a sexual assault. Patrick Stewart himself had a (non-sexually) abusive father who beat him and his mother when he was growing up. It seems possible that he drew from his own memories and emotions concerning his father to make that scene more effective.
It's also a Cold War reference, containment and domino effect, it's why we fought in Vietnam, This Far, No Farther! Older pulp book sci fi often represented Communism as Borg-like, since that's what communism was supposed to be on paper. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need; working for the common good, everyone is equal, the end of class strata, the loss of individuality.
The interactions between Picard, Data, and the Borg Queen come across as a jilted girlfriend wanting to show her ex how he could never measure up to her new boyfriend, and prove that she's totally winning the break-up.
Epic Tracking Shot: The movies start almost inside Picard's eye and then pulls back to show the humongous Borg complex he was in, All Just a Dream, or rather a traumatic memory.
Eye Scream: To Picard. In the freaking opening sequences, no less! Later on, assimilated Enterprise crew appear to have had one of their eyes gouged out and replaced with some kind of interface circuitry prior the the installation of the prosthetic visualizer.
Facepalm: After Drunk Cochrane restores power to the jukebox and starts drunkenly dancing again, Riker dances slightly too... and then Troi passes out, which Riker promptly responds to with a facepalm.
Failed a Spot Check: When discussing why the Borg stopped on Deck 11, the crewmember names several departments including Deflector Control, before dismisses it as not being vital system. This becomes particularly baffling when you remember that the deflector dish is the only thing allowing the ship to travel at Warp without being destroyed by space dust. Considering at this point the Borg also controlled engineering, how did they know they weren't intending to head back to the Delta Quadrant after sabotaging First Contact?
Also, remember that in "Best of Both Worlds," the crew of the Enterprise-D were capable of turning the deflector dish into an anti-Borg cannon. Thanks to Locutus, it didn't work, but the idea that that system could be turned into a weapon probably should have been considered by the crew.
Fan Disservice: what's left of the Borg Queen after her flesh melts off.
Fashions Never Change: Averted. Picard tells the computer to replicate mid-21st century clothing for the away team before beaming down.
Fate Worse Than Death: Picard expresses this conviction about being turned into a Borg drone. While the strike team is preparing after the Borg are found to have infiltrated the Enterprise, he tells his men that when they encounter assimilated crew members they shouldn't hesitate to kill them, because they'll be doing them a favor.
Future Imperfect: Only applies in the crew's hero worship of Cochrane. Otherwise — like many other Time Travel Tropes in this film — averted. Picard simply asks the computer to make them some period costume and then they fit right in.
The Future Will Be Better: Not from the perspective of the viewers, but from that of the people living in the wreck of late twenty-first century Earth.
Get Out: Picard says this to Lily when she confronts him about his lust for revenge against the Borg.
Humans Are Special: Why are the Borg going to such extreme lengths to assimilate Earth? Because once Earth rolls over, the rest of the Federation will be a piece of cake and assimilating Earth in the past saves them even more trouble by preventing the Federation from even existing.
Makes sense considering the Federation only exists because humans worked so hard to unite the other races and encourage trade and development between them as opposed to the apparent "every species for itself" approach of before, leading to massive developments in technology and resistance. The trope's more in play in that one of the crew mentions that the Borg chose the era of First Contact specifically because humanity's at its weakest just after World War III... apparently the Borg decided that even twentieth century or earlier humans would pose either too big a threat (and too much earlier than that would probably gain them too little benefit).
I Am the Trope: The Borg Queen is the Borg. Data himself isn't quite sure what this means.
I Need a Freaking Drink: As Geordi goes on and on about Cochrane's impact upon human history, Cochrane tells him he has to take a leak, but it's just an excuse to go off and drink in private.
Inferred Holocaust: The Borg's assimilation of the Enterprise must have led to the deaths of hundreds of Enterprise crewmembers, both those who were assimilated and those trying to fight them off, as well as major damage to the ship, especially in Engineering.
Info Dump: Actually handles this very well, getting out all the information the non-Trek fans need in a few lines after the Enterprise travels back in time. Particularly impressive when they have to describe an up to now entirely unseen time period (Earth in the 2060s).
Instant Expert: Data learns deception. He goes from unconvincingly lying about "mimicking the behavior of humans" when his arm flesh gets slashed, to convincing Queenie that he had sided with her and would betray Humanity to the Borg.
Ironic Echo: Data repeats the Borg's famous line "Resistance is futile" right before he reveals he was playing the Borg Queen and releases the gas which will destroy them.
It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: When the Borg deliver the line, it's generally "Resistance is few-tile." Towards the end it instead gets spoken as "Resistance is feudal."
Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: After the Borg adapt to their phasers, Picard lures a couple of drones into the Holodeck and shoots them with a Tommy gun. This has led to fan speculation that Borg shields suck against kinetic attacks, which is semi-verified in noncanonical novels.
That said, notice how the second drone Picard dropped with his holo-Tommy took a LOT more direct hits before going down than the first. If there had been a third drone... Furthermore, technically speaking, those were forcefield-based attacks, not actual bullets.
Melee attacks weave in and out. On one hand, Worf is inhumanly strong and Data is outright superhumanly strong and both do alright in physical combat but still ended up taking hits. The one human Red Shirt that attempts to Phaser-butt a drone gets his ass handed to him in short order. Another officer balks at the idea of hand-to-hand combat, clearly aware that such an attempt would fail horribly. Unless you can shut down the drone in one hit there is no real chance of a prolonged fight because they are like zombies with assimilation tubes, they touch you you join them.
It's reflected in the visual effect of the Borg adapting to weapons fire. The series had what looked like an actual shield pop up and the phaser shot doing no damage. Starting with this movie the phaser blast seems to be dissipated into the full body of the drone, which suggests that it isn't a personal shield but the actual body armor of the drone allowing it to absorb energy. This makes projectile weapons logical.
Large Ham: Picard, when letting his desire for revenge get the better of him, descends to a state where "chewing the scenery" is only putting it mildly, telling Lily that "The line must be drawn heeyah!" and: "IIIIII, will make them pay, for what they've done!"
An example of Tropes Are Not Bad. That monologue is freaking epic, and it's mainly Patrick Stewart's skill as an actor that keeps it from turning into Narm.
Limb-Sensation Fascination: Data is captured by the Borg and then has patches of organic matter actual skin grafted onto his exterior and integrated into his systems by the Borg Queen. Notably, when he tries to escape, one of the patches is cut, allowing Data to experience pain for the first time; the experience confuses and fascinates him so much that he agrees to allow the Borg to graft more of it onto him.
Meaningful Name: The Phoenix, the first warp-drive ship, can be seen as having risen from the ashes of World War III.
Mercy Kill: Picard shoots a crewmember as he is being assimilated by the Borg.
Mundanisation: Averted. This is one of the few time-travel stories that involves people from the far future going back to the near future, rather than the present day or past. Another Star Trek example is the Deep Space Nine episode "Past Tense".
Moby Schtick: "Captain Ahab has to fight his whale!" Picard is dumbfounded by this accusation, then denies it, and then finally — and resignedly — agrees that she's right.
My God, What Have I Done?: Picard's reaction after Lily's quoting of Moby-Dick and his Unstoppable Rage smashing his model ships (Enterprise-D and -C for extra pathos, if you're an astute observer) makes him realize he's throwing the crew's lives away because of his own vendetta against the Borg.
The Borg leitmotif uses the "blaster beam", also used for V'Ger's leitmotif in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which helps fuel the Epileptic Trees that the Borg was the race of machines V'Ger was said to have encountered.
The original teaser did not feature any new ship footage and was comprised entirely of stock footage from TNG episodes and Star Trek: Generations. This seemed to suggest that the new Enterprise would be the same model as the old ship. It also featured a shot of Voyager fighting a Borg cube.
Nice Hat: Cochrane's cap. An interviewer asked Cromwell where they could get one, but the actor's daughter already had dibs on it.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Well done, Starfleet, take the one Captain with the most experience dealing with the Borg out of the fleet assembled to fight them. Nor consider at least relieving him temporarily of command if you're that worried he'll be a risk, as he only has the most powerful and advanced ship in your entire armada at his disposal. Because when the fate of Earth is at stake, you want this man and the crowning achievement of shipbuilding he commands to be studying... comets. Its not like if Picard showed up, he'd managed to Curb Stomp the Borg cube in less than 2 minutes... oh wait... he does. Well, I'm sure the families of all those good men and women lost before the Enterprise-E got there don't blame you for that very intelligent decision, Admiral Hayes.
In Starfleet's defense, Picard was once assimilated by the Borg and made to kill thousands of his fellow Starfleet officers. They were concerned that he'd have a relapse at some poorly timed moment, though that still leaves the possibility of having Riker relieve him for the duration of the crisis so the Enterprise can at least join the fight.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: There are more than a few similarities between the character of Zefram Cochrane and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Both were men who were elevated to near-mythic status posthumously, seen as legends and visionaries with "a dream" — and both were lecherous, with substance abuse problems, and primarily motivated by money (not to mention extremely tall). The filmmakers claim they didn't base Cochrane on Roddenberry, but the similarities are there. One commentary noted that the scene where a star-struck Reg Barclay meets Cochrane was like a star-struck Trek fan meeting Roddenberry. And both, in different senses, created the world of Star Trek.
Data: You must be aware that I am programmed to evolve — to better myself. Borg Queen: We, too, are on a quest to better ourselves, bringing us closer to perfection.
Picard introduces Lily to the better future of the twenty-fourth century in their conversations, but then she points out that his hatred of the Borg is making him not act like a member of the perfect future society he's describing.
When the engineers on the ship are ambushed by Borg, Picard briefly hears the Collective's voice.
The Oner: The opening shot which pulls back from Picard's eye to show the Borg cube's interior.
Only in It for the Money: In the Star Trek universe, Federation scientists and engineers such as Geordi LaForge revere Zefram Cochrane for inventing the warp drive, which allowed the Federation to form. The Cochrane that Geordi meets in this film breaks the pedestal somewhat: he invented the warp drive to get rich and had no idea what would happen because of it.
OOC Is Serious Business: Worf the Proud Warrior Race Guyis saying Picard's plan is too dangerous. Picard calls him a coward when he should know full well how deadly an insult that is to a Klingon: this is the same Picard whom in the series is the only person Worf trusts enough to confide in about Klingon problems and is trusted enough by the Klingon government to arbitrate a succession dispute. So both Picard chewing out Worf this way and Worf's "If you were any other man" statement are significant.
Our Founder: When informed that he's standing in the exact same spot as his future statue, Cochrane goes a little bit nuts. (See Refusal of the Call below.)
Palette Swap: The Starfleet uniforms seen here are an inversion of the uniforms worn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, being predominantly black with grey shoulders and colored shirts, unlike DS9/Voyager's uniforms which had gray shirts and colored shoulders. The DS9 crew would shortly switch to these uniforms for the rest of the series, whereas Voyager's crew, stuck in the Delta Quadrant, stuck with their uniforms till the end, though subsequent episodes involving the Federation at home featured these uniforms.
Percussive Maintenance: Averted. Cochrane attempts to fix a warning light on the Phoenix by hitting the console. It doesn't work, and he ultimately tells Riker and Geordi to ignore it.
Psychic Link: Picard can hear the Borg speak through him. This is implied to be a lingering effect of his time as Locutus. (He can also hear Data pleading for help, though this could be a feint by the Queen.)
Retcon: This movie shows Zefram Cochrane as the man who not only created warp drive, but also conducted the first warp flight and made first contact with an extraterrestrial species shortly afterward. In the TOS episode "Metamorphosis", where the character originated, he was simply said to be the inventor of warp drive. No more, no less.
Cochrane was also called "Cochrane of Alpha Centauri" in "Metamorphosis". However, fanon had long since decided he was a human who just moved to Alpha Centauri after inventing warp drive, under the assumption that he was the inventor of warp drive for humans (where other races may have had it much earlier), and because of the unlikelihood that humans colonized Alpha Centauri prior to faster-than-light travel.
Cochrane also looks much older than he should, according to dates given in "Metamorphosis." The semi-official explanation for this is that he is younger than he looks because of radiation poisoning.
Retool: Due to a higher budget than the show, the Borg underwent a dramatic change in appearance, instead of pale guys in armored suits it looked like they were almost rotting out from the inside. Great change too, as befits the Rule of Scary.
This actually fits in with the original concept of The Borg as a race that simply replaces biological parts with mechanical ones as they wear out.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: The Enterprise can see the timeline created by the Borg's interference, but since they're in the wake of the time disturbance caused by the Borg Sphere, they're unaffected. It's strongly implied that they'd vanish from existence had they not went through the time aperture themselves.
Sequel Hook: Of a sort. Crusher states that in the 22nd Century, the Borg are still in the Delta Quadrant. Within the film, this is just exposition. But when it was released, it was a reminder that as Star Trek: Voyager was set in the Delta Quadrant, sooner or later the ship would hit Borg space — something which came to pass several months later.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: An interesting use of the trope because, unusually, the historical event in question lies in our (the viewers') future, and we don't know exactly what it is until the end of the film.
Songs of Solace: After being told he will not be part of the fleet to defend Earth, Picard spends his time in his office listening to opera with the volume turned up so loud that objects on his desk vibrate.
Although, this may be to try and and drown out the voices of the mobilizing Borg echoing through his head.
Tired of Running: Subverted because it showcases Picard's obsession to destroy the Borg.
"We've made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further!"
Title Drop: The only one in the whole series: "You're all... astronauts, on... some kinda star trek!" This points further to Cochrane being an expy of Roddenberry.
Naturally, the phrase "first contact" is also used a few times.
Too Dumb to Live: LaForge heads down to Earth and leaves someone else in charge of engineering. That character crawls into the Jefferies tubes in order to try to solve a seemingly minor problem. He hears sounds of the Borg and asks a female ensign still in Engineering if she's the one making the noise. He asks if someone else is there and then is seized by the Borg and screams. The female ensign, hearing this, decides to enter the Jefferies tubes herself to see if she can find out what is going on. She is promptly seized by the Borg.
Trash the Set: The Defiant's bridge is shot to hell by the time the Borg Cube reaches Earth. Not surprising given the tough little ship lasted for the duration of the entire running battle. It was likely due to one of the reasons why the Enterprise-D was destroyed in the preceding film (because the sets had been built for a lower resolution - i.e. television, not film). The darkened lightening, smoke, and damage isn't just meant to show the beating the Defiant has taken; it's also meant to hide flaws or features that would have shown up on the big screen.
Try Not to Die: Lily asks this of Picard before he embarks onto the deflector dish.
Two Lines, No Waiting: For most of the film, there are three storylines going; Riker convincing Cochrane to make his flight, Picard fighting the Borg and Data's interrogation by the Borg Queen. Since Picard didn't voice his suspicion that the Borg are aboard the Enterprise before returning to the ship with Data (upon which they lost all communications), Riker, Troi, LaForge and the rest of the engineers on the surface never actually realize what's happening aboard the Enterprise.
Villainesses Want Heroes: The Borg Queen wanted Picard to willingly submit to the Borg and be her... "consort". When that didn't work out, she goes for the same approach with Data, seducing him with the promise of making him more human and her physical charms.
Walking Spoiler: The Vulcans being the race to make first contact with Humanity has become so well-known to science fiction fans, that it's actually more surprising to realise upon second viewings that this fact is kept intentionally vague right until the last five minutes of the film.
An in-universe one is "April fourth..." "The day before First Contact!" - but being a Title Drop it's not really one to the viewers.
What Happened to the Mouse?: When Data seizes control of the main computer and fires a trio of quantum torpedoes at the Pheonix, beyond their deliberately missing the ship, shouldn't that be a worrying amount of ordnance sailing off into the unknown?.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Lily bashes Picard for his callous treatment of the crew and for killing Ensign Lynch (who got turned into a Borg) during the "The line must be drawn here!" scene.
What the Hell, Hero?: Most of Picard's crew is hesitant to follow his increasingly judgment-impaired orders and Worf has a particularly venomous response when Picard calls him a coward for refusing to obey suicidal orders. Lily gives Picard a big one for his willingness to sacrifice his crew to get revenge on the Borg instead of doing the necessary thing. Picard finally wises up and orders the evacuation and destruction of his ship, like he should have earlier.
What Year Is This?: Averted, as the ship's sensors identify the approximate time period from orbit from the level of pollution in the atmosphere and then narrow it down to a specific date. Data also mentions taking astrometric readings, presumably comparing the stars where they are to where they should be in their present.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted by Lt. Hawk regarding simply shooting the Borg deflector dish modifications instead of manually detaching them. Picard responds with Made of Explodiumtechnobabble. It's also consistent; when they finally detach the dish, Worf then hits it once and it ignites into a giant fireball.
The writers (Ron Moore and Brannon Braga) state on the commentary that their original intention was to blow up the dish in this manner. Then the Trek technical advisers stated that they couldn't shoot the dish because it would blow up the ship. And this was clearly shown in an episode of Deep Space Nine where the Jem'Hadar rammed one of their fighters in the USS Odyssey's deflector dish... causing it to explode violently.
The World Is Just Awesome: After their short warp flight, an awed Cochrane comments how small Earth looks, finally starting to realize what he had just accomplished.
Also when Picard shows Lily the Earth below her through a force field window.
Worf: If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand!
You Look Familiar: Cromwell was previously seen in two roles on Next Generation. He was the Angosian Prime Minister in "The Hunted" and a Yridian information dealer named Jaglom Shrek in both parts of "Birthright"
You're Insane!: Data does point out that the Queen's assurance of her perfection is a symptom of "a delusional mind."