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Headscratchers: Star Trek: First Contact
  • Prime Directive be damned. Just get the fucking Vulcans on-board with the Borg extermination already. Explain the situation — i.e., "Our species was supposed to have its very first Warp flight today, which would set into motion a series of events including First Contact with Earth and leading into a Federation of Planets, of which Vulcan is a part, yadda yadda, but we are facing the greatest enemy any Federation planet has ever known, and we need your help." If the Borg assimilate Earth, then the whole Alpha Quadrant is vulnerable, including Vulcan, so there is a logical argument that the Vulcans should throw some of their military might behind Earth, whether or not discretely.
    • That would absolutely wreck the timeline, which was already at serious risk. And remember, Picard is far from being objective.
    • They didn't really show any deference to the timeline. They told Zefram and Lily everything about the future. They sent a team of 100 engineers to earth to fix the rocket. (I think someone would have noticed all the professional engineers with futuristic equipment, in the middle of a dystopian civil war zone, having all of a sudden materialized to fix the rocket.) Two enterprise crewmen accompanied Zefram on the flight. I think that sometime later on, as Red Letter Media notes, people would be like, "Who was in those other two seats on the rocket? What were their names? Where are they? We want to interview them!" etc. etc. The crew beamed back to the Enterprise at the end in full view of everyone. The argument that they were trying to preserve the timeline is bunk. They just wanted to ensure that first contact would occur. Communicating with the Vulcans would not have prevented that goal.
      • It was mentioned somewhere, an episode of Enterprise, I think, that Cochrane told everyone at a science conference about the people from the future that helped him fix his ship, and about the Borg attack, but they assumed he was drunk and ignored him. It's entirely possible that the Enterprise's actions didn't change the timeline at all, but were part of a Stable Time Loop.
      • Certainly the Vulcans don't believe in Time Travel in this era of their history, as T'Pol repeatedly insists it's impossible in Enterprise. Presumably human scientists were more willing to believe their newfound alien associates, who knew so much more about every other branch of physics than they did, than a crackpot like Cochrane who had no hard proof of his claims.
      • They tell two specific people a lot about the future because those two specific people are already in the thick of things. They're not really able to hide it from Cochrane because, well, they're a bunch of people from the future running around fixing his ship that's the first of its kind, they'd have to explain how they knew what to do anyway. And Lily's already running around on the Enterprise, any attempts at covering it up would just have resulted in her getting steadily more angry at having her intelligence insulted and eventually vaporizing Picard. They may have intended to alter their memories or simply trusted the two of them to keep their mouths shut as they were... ... well, okay, one of them was a responsible and intelligent person and the other would be someday.
    • The Enterprise-E lost communications almost immediately after Picard returned to the ship. Picard couldn't have hailed the Vulcans even if he'd wanted to, and Riker and the ground crew never knew there was anything wrong.
    • The Vulcans who made first contact were a small scientific research vessel. Even if the Enterprise could have contacted them, they wouldn't have been able to help much.
    • One of the expanded universe novels (Engines of Destiny) actually had this as the point-of-divergence between the usual and mirror universes.
      • It's not just EU; the Enterprise episode set in the Mirror Universe has the point of divergence be Cochrane shooting the Vulcan scientist.
      • The EU and Enterprise actually don't match up. The book in question is the last in the Shatnerverse mirror universe story arc (and the Shatnerverse is it's own seperate canon from the rest of the EU.) Here, the point of divergence isn't Cochrane shooting the Vulcans and first contact happens just the same. It's a few days later when Cochrane is wondering if he should warn the Vulcans about the unimaginable horror waiting for them on the other side of the galaxy (the Borg) or if he should leave the timeline be. He flips a coin to decide and the narrative ends without showing the result, so the divergence is here; in the normal universe, the coin lands one way and he lets the timeline be, and in the mirror universe, it lands the other way, he tells the Vulcans everything, presumably lets them mind-meld with him so they know it's true, and first contact evolves into the unforgiving and militarized (and thus prepared for the Borg, in theory,) Empire instead of the Federation.
      • That was the first event shown, but not the point of divergence. Mirror!Phlox looked up human literature in the database of the ship from the main universe and remarked that it was a lot softer than the equivalents from their universe (except for William Shakespeare, who is just as gruesome in any universe).
      • It's apparently the point of divergence for the rest of the galaxy, though. The Vulcans, Klingons and everyone else all seemed to be the same up until the Vulcan science team landed on Earth, and that's when history started to change. From there, either humanity helped unite the quadrant into the Federation, or it waged war and eventually conquered them as the Terran Empire.

  • Plot Holes: How did they go about recreating the time-vortex after having gotten rid of their only deflector dish?
    • They didn't get rid of the deflector. They got rid of the thing the Borg were building ON the deflector. Look at the scene again: The deflector dish itself is still there.
      • They certainly got rid of some critical component that the Borg couldn't recreate, because the Borg didn't bother going back out onto the hull to try again and instead resumed curbstomping the crew inside the ship. The dish, obviously, is still there, but whatever component the Borg were converting to their use is gone. I would think that makes it somewhat harder to have the deflector be functional — unless, of course, said component was not used in recreating the vortex and/or they had a backup deflector dish somewhere on the ship (on the saucer section if I recall).
    • They got rid of the "particle emitter" portion of the deflector dish, a part that doesn't even have an article on the Memory Alpha wiki because it only gets mentioned in this movie. The primary purpose of the deflector dish (as Roddenberry conceived it) is deflecting space dust and such away so that they can't blow a ship going at ungodly speed to smithereens. At any rate, the dish was never given the blame for creating the vortex; that was accomplished by modifying the warp field (a different bit of Phlebotinum entirely).
    • The Borg were using the deflector dish to make some sort of transwarp communicator so they could call that century's Borg to come beat the tar out of an Earth unprepared to defend itself. The deflector dish had nothing to do with the time travel.
    • The vortex at the end of the film was generated using the Enterprise's warp field, not its deflector.

  • Why didn't the Borg go back in time, send the message, and then fly to earth? The Federation would be unmade without ever knowing what hit them ...
    • Fridge Brilliance: ... unless it was plan by the queen to get into Data's pants. Though frankly, this would be Gambit Roulette territory.
      • Or else they weren't even sure it would work, and the sphere was a one-of-a-kind thing. Besides, if the time-travel idea really was Plan A, why didn't the Borg just outfit the cube from the beginning with the required technology? The cube took a a metric crapton of firepower to destroy, while the Enterprise offed the undamaged sphere with 4-5 torpedoes. It probably would have been a hell of a lot less risky.
    • They really had no reason to think that a Starfleet vessel could follow them back in time. It was kind of a fluke that Enterprise got caught in their vortex.
    • For that matter, why did they shell Cochrine's camp in such a half-assed way? This is the Borg we're talking about, they should have been able to incinerate all of North America in about a second. To paraphrase Riker from TNG, one photon torpedo should have done it.
      • What you see them doing is an opening salvo, which the Enterprise stops cold. Remember that it's a Borg sphere, which is basically a scout ship or escape pod, not a fully-armed ship... it probably doesn't have the Borg equivalent of photon torpedoes. (The Borg seem to favor beam and blast weapons anyway... probably does less damage to the stuff they want to assimilate.) Their intention was probably to quite logically soften up the encampment with some bombardment, then start sending drones down to begin assimilating survivors and building a base of operations.
    • A Borg sphere is a scouting vessel. Most of its equipment is geared towards communications and whatever is purposed for its mission, in this case time travel. It wouldn't be heavily armed since that is not its primary purpose.

  • Fridge Logic: Presumably they beamed back all the evacuated crew before they left, but what about all the future tech in the form of the escape pods? For history's sake, leaving them behind would be a bad idea, since technology the world shouldn't have yet could eventually be reverse-engineered from them.
    • There's nothing stopping the crew from beaming all their technology, escape pods, etc. back aboard before they departed. That being said, unless they were really careful, they might leave plenty of impoverished humans behind disappointed at getting no technological help.
    • They picked a fictional uninhabited island ("Gravett") in the South Pacific as a destination in order to minimize contaminating 21st-century Earth with 24th-century technology; presumably, they would have cleaned up after themselves for the same reason.
    • That more-or-less happened in the Enterprise episode Regeneration. Some scientists stumble across some debris from the Borg sphere in the arctic, causing a minor disaster (and dumping continuity's bloated, rotting corpse in a gutter).
      • Regeneration actually strengthens continuity by filling previously created plot holes. Some of which were created by this very film.
      • True, but it also opened up some gaping new ones: Why was Starfleet so blindsided by the Borg in TNG? Granted, the Borg never refer to themselves by name in the episode, but someone on Enterprise-D should have connected the events of Regeneration with what they were facing in Q Who?, which would have given them key tactical insights into the threat they were facing. What happened to all of Dr. Phlox's research? Wouldn't his anti-assimilation technique at least merit a mention in any of Starfleet's encounters with the Borg? Heck, the nanoprobes themselves should have spawned entire new fields of research in medicine and computer science. Denobulans are resistant to assimilation. Shouldn't that make them a huge part of Starfleet's anti-Borg operations? There are probably others, but you get the point.
      • Well its been about 200 years between Enterprise and TNG, and goodness alone knows how many database changes and updates. Not to mention the reams upon reams of other information on other species and encounters. It is not unreasonable to think that this was just a minor footnote attached to an obscure mission report, that may even have got lost entirely by the time TNG rolled around. Even if it wasn't, you probably still needed the help of a historical research team to dig the information up. It is obviously something that got lost in the mists of history, it happens.

  • That scene where they show that there's no glass in the windows. The ones that look out into SPACE!! Were the ship's designers trying to kill the crew? Or had they never heard of the magic words, "power failure"?? And even if the window force fields have triple backup power supplies, it's still an incredibly wasteful use of power, especially considering the sheer number of windows on the Enterprise. Why not just cover them with a nice thick sheet of transparent Phlebotinum, then you could use all that nice extra energy to boost your sensors, power another phaser, run five thousand cappuccino makers at one — the possibilities are endless.
    • It wasn't a window, it was a hatch (for mad officers to piss on sacred landmarks from orbit through if their dogs died) that Picard opened. It had a nice chunky door over it. The actual windows are, as you propose, transparent aluminum sections of the hull.
    • If you are referring to the scene where Picard nearly kicks the woman off the ship, I'm pretty certain that that was a door, not a window, in which case a forcefield is a rather useful safety precaution. Of course, if that is the wrong scene, I stand corrected.
      • I could have sworn that she said "there's no glass", which suggests window to me.
      • If I saw a patio door with a forcefield, I'd also probably observe that there's no glass. Doesn't make it a window.
      • She did say, "There's no glass", but she said it after Picard pressed a button to move a very large and solid-looking opaque piece of metal. There was no glass in the gap left, and Lily was amazed that she wasn't suddenly struggling for breath.
      • Lily says, "There's no glass." Picard taps a special effect and says, "Forcefield."
      • It's a door that Lily * thinks* is a window precisely because Picard opens it up onto vacuum and there's no decompression. He's impressing her by showing that the ship has no need for airlocks or other complex systems — it's smart enough to throw a forcefield over any door opened onto space instantly. It's not meant to imply that they use this kind of forcefield fail-safe * all the time* .
    • The windows of all the ships, canonically, are Transparent Aluminum. Therefore, technically, there is never any glass.
      • Still, it's bad engineering to rely on maintaining an active powered system to keep the crew alive when a passive system that can't fail in a blackout could do the job just as well.
      • Except, as stated above, they don't. I have no clue why there's a random door to nowhere you can open (waste jettison?), but the normal "windows" of the ship are protected by transparent Phlebotinum. In fact, there's even reference to "emergency forcefields" which are used to maintain hull integrity, atmosphere, etc. when things go really haywire, which implies just the opposite of what you say: that the forcefield is the backup, and that the solid object is Plan A.
      • By the way, another "emergency forcefield" that went uncommented was demonstrated in Generations on the Enterprise-B. It allowed Scotty, Chekov, and Captain whassisface to see the gaping hull breach and believe Kirk got spaced without the benefit of a space suit. One wonders if this scene in First Contact was done to answer people who pointed out that you can't breathe in space... only to raise further questions.
      • The ship's matter/antimatter reaction chamber is contained by by forcefields. If they hadn't invented forcefields that were totally fail-safe, windows would be the least of their problems.
      • There's no such thing as an active system that is totally 'fail-safe'
      • Especially on Star Trek.
      • The antimatter containers probably have quadruple backup systems to prevent warp core breaches, which still happens if the ship takes enough damage. After Generations various Star Trek shows demonstrate that they have managed additional precautions for even that (jettison the core in Voyager and a private forcefield in Star Trek: Nemesis), making core breaches less likely.
    • Kudos to the Youtube reviewer who worked out its real function- To Airlock people. Think about it. Tiny Room, Control Panel only deals with the door, the door has a forcefield allowing entry in and out...

  • When the Borg queen starts grafting real skin onto Data, she has the drones do it in sections... so, why the hell isn't Data's new skin riddled with patchwork scars? Or do the Borg replace ALL the new skin every time they graft more on? If that's the case, where the hell are they getting all this skin?
    • I think they were harvesting it from some dude, but it's ridiculously advanced technology. Even Starfleet has the ability to remove scars, and the Borg have quite a bit on them.
      • Because they're cyborgs with no apparent concept of corporeal beauty, not to mention being individual nodes of a single galaxy-spanning consciousness, and so mostly don't bother to care about things like scars — if it doesn't impair the functionality of the drone, why expend power and other resources on purposeless cosmetic modification? Data was a special case in that the Collective was by that point actively trying to seduce him, coercion having entirely failed.
        What doesn't make sense to me is: why assume they were harvesting skin from anybody, when it'd be easier simply to culture it, and the result would likely be of better quality in any case? Consider, also, that while the Collective isn't particularly moral, Data is, and they would have to take that into account — showing yourself to be a villain probably isn't all that good a seduction technique. So if they're harvesting it, then either they're peeling it off the corpse of one of Data's dead crewmates, or they're doing the same thing to one of Data's crewmates who is still alive; either way, it's going to make it hard for Data to accept the gift in good conscience, even if he weren't just playing along until he got a chance to save the day.
      • Note that the idea that the Borg were harvesting the skin comes from the troper two posts above.
      • It's not necessarily about him accepting a simple gift of skin in good conscience. It's about Data choosing to serve his own desire for improvement over the needs of the crew. The Queen wants him to actively decide that the needs of J. Random Redshirt are not as great as his own, and to dismiss the fact that skin came off a previously living friend of his as no longer relevant. She's trying to full-on turn him to the dark side, not just persuade him that the Borg are better through conventional reasoning.

  • Random Pedantic Nitpick: Why does Worf have the command codes to activate the self-destruct on the Enterprise E in First Contact? It's the first time he's ever been on the ship! Does every ship in Starfleet recongnise the codes of every officer? Could Riker, Troi and Crusher, for example, jump on the Defiant and blow that up for shits and giggles? (And you know Riker would, the Jerk Ass)
    • Perhaps they transferred the codes to Worf when that happened. Or there might be some kind of generic code that all Starfleet officers know, but can only use in specific circumstances; Riker couldn't blow up the Defiant because he's not on the crew registry, but all we need is an offscreen line somewhere with Picard saying, "Transfer the position of X to Lieutenant Commander Worf."
      • Isn't that line on screen? Picard ordering Worf to take up his old crew station puts him back in the Enterprise-E's chain of command.
      • Worf has ample opportunity to re-program the security console to his personal "desktop theme" - he's on the ship while everyone's exploring the launch site at first. There's more than enough time for him to have punched in the new codes with Riker's assistance.
      • Makes sense, Worf is (was) Security Officer, so getting the Security Code business squared away would be high on his list.
    • I think every ship in Starfleet would recognise the security codes of every officer, which are required to blow up the ship. And that would mean Riker could blow up the Defiant if he wanted/needed.
      • It would make sense; Kirk used roughly the same trick on KHAAAN! in Star Trek II, with the whole 'prefix code' business. Five digits transmitted in the clear and you can shut down the shields of any Starfleet vessel you like — "Security? We've heard of it."
      • And note that in the following movie, Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov have the authority to set Enterprise's self-destruct. Kirk, who was technically assigned to Starfleet Command probably would have reset the command codes either after taking command in Wrath of Kahn or after Spock's death, but Chekov wasn't any more a member of Enterprise's crew than Worf was—and come to think of it, Scotty'd been transferred to Excelsior, so three officers who aren't attached to Enterprise were able to activate the auto-destruct.
      • Worf can blow up anything. He's just that damn good.
    • Worf logs into his console and provides the appropriate authentication, the computer retrieves the available security certificate from Starfleet HQ (or from the Defiant, or from the latest certificate onboard) and incorporates it into the security policy for the Enterprise. (One does imagine Riker having a popup "Security Certificate for "Lt. Worf" on domain "USS Enterprise/Tactical" is expired. Do you wish to "Accept for this Plotline", "Accept Always", or "Deny". Click here for more information)

  • In First Contact, Picard leads a bunch of Borg into the holodeck. There, he orders the computer to whip him up a Tommy gun, and then he blows the Borg troopers away, stating that even holographic bullets can kill. So, how come, in all those other episodes, where the Enterprise gets taken over, the crew doesn't creep into one of the holodecks, and orders the computer to generate the weapons or devices that they need to retake the ship?
    • Firstly, holographic objects can't leave the holodeck (except when they can; see Encounter At Farpoint, Angel One, The Big Goodbye, and, confoundingly, Elementary Dear Data for these goofs), so you'd have to lure the entire enemy into the holodeck. Secondly, the safety protocols work more often than not (except when a pesky, drama-attracting camera wanders in), so perhaps not everybody would think to turn them off and use the projections as real weapons, and thirdly, replicated weapons would be so much easier. Granted, they've stated you can't replicate a phaser so that it's charged (rather weak, unless they use a very strange kind of battery), but you could replicate gunpowder no problem.
      • On the thing about objects not being able to leave the holodeck: It has been theorised that holodecks can replicate simple matter (such as the drawing Data took off the holodeck in "Elementary Dear Data") and food (which explains why Wesley was still wet after he left the Holodeck in "Encounter At Farpoint"). The fact the gangsters dissolved into nothing after leaving the holodeck (in "The Big Goodbye") suggests that complicated organisms such as humans cannot be replicated by the holodeck. On that note, a deleted scene from "Elementary Dear Data" indicated that Moriarty would have been able to leave the Holodeck given how Data took the drawing of the Enterprise out of it. Which contradicts "The Big Goodbye". Still, it was deleted...
      • They actually made an implicit change in the way the holodecks work. In Encounter at Farpoint, for some reason they decided that real holographic technology wasn't suitable (hadn't thought of Hard Light yet?) and stated that it worked with some mixture of "the replicators and the transporters." As late as Ship In A Bottle, they were still going with this explanation, going on and on about how holodeck matter "has no molecular cohesion" outside the holodeck. However, by Voyager, they'd gotten around to the light projection thing, and Tom and Harry note that if you eat holofood, it would disappear when you leave the room.
      • Moreover, nobody knew the tactic would work against Borg until Picard tried it. He was desperate, so was willing to try anything that might buy him some time. After that, the Borg surely adapted a way to counter holographic bullets (they're Borg, it's what they do), so trying it again would be pointless.
      • This was actually the most truly confounding thing to me. Physical combat is said (or at least heavily implied) to be the only thing that always works against the Borg, and yet nobody seems to think bringing back projectile-based weaponry is a good idea - or hell, even think of it at all. This gets even more silly when Deep Space 9 has an episode involving a gun with TELEPORTING BULLETS that would most assuredly put any Borg drone in his place.
      • Kinetic energy is still energy. If Willing Suspension of Disbelief means the laws of physics allow such things as energy-blocking shields, said shields should block kinetic energy (and therefore bullets) too. Shields in the brig or corridors are shown to stop physical movement so it stands to reason so would combat ones... the plot hole isn't that they don't use physical attacks, it's that they ever worked in the first place.
      • I can only assume you are confused about the meaning of the word "energy" because kinetic energy and "laser energy" are emphatically NOT the same thing. Just because Borg shields can block certain forms of electromagnetic radiation (or whatever particles a phaser beam is composed of) doesn't mean they can block the force of a punch.
      • Borg can't adapt to kinetic forces. At all. It's their primary weakness. As for why the TR-116 isn't used: By the time it was out of prototype, the regenerative phaser had already been introduced, which gave the advantages of a kinetic weapon while still being small, and without the need to store hundreds of easily-explodable projectiles, as well as being limited in what situations they'd be useful. Also, Starfleet is still trying to not be a complete military power, so something that is ONLY a weapon wouldn't taste right, while phasers can also be used as tools. Also keep in mind that the TR-116's used in Field of Fire were MODIFIED to have transporters in them.
      • Yes, they can. As of their very first appearance. They're also super-strong, immune to hydrostatic shock, covered in armour plating, and the original purpose of shields is to keep out space dust and other kinetic threats. The only possible reason bullets could work against the Borg is because the idea is so stupid they never bothered to add the defence... and it should only take one (or two, if you use full-auto and can shoot straight) dead drones before they cotton on. That said we also have no idea how the holographic gun works; it has to be able to destroy targets to let people have target practice (or play Rambo), but that doesn't mean it has to actually fling holobullets.
      • We know, as mentioned above that force fields in Trek can and do block physical objects which means that there is indeed a plot hole when it comes to why the Borg don't ever seem to use their personal forcefields for such a purpose. I'd also imagine that the Borg should be able to adapt to holo-weapons as well, maybe it would take a bit longer because of the unorthodox nature of the weapon but if the "physical" qualities of the weapons are simulated by forcefileds like the ones an average drone can walk through then they should be able to adapt.
      • Okay, I only know enough about physics to embarrass myself, so this might be a stupid question. Phasers are routinely described as being particle weapons. They fire what appear to be, at least on the higher settings, very dense particle beams along some sort of energy discharge. If the Borg can adapt to energy weapons but not to kinetic attacks, shouldn't they still be taking fairly serious damage from the dense stream of high-speed charged particles impacting their bodies?
      • All of this basically has to do with the way shields work in Star Trek. Without going into it too much, shields and forcefields are two different things. Shields are easily mobile (though personal shields for anyone other than Borg only show up well after the series continuity, in Star Trek Online), and generally work off of a principle of absorbing much of the energy of "modern" weapons fire... thus why ships still have deflector dishes to project a field that wards off space debris rather than relying entirely on the shields. Forcefields, which are what everyone is thinking of that work effectively like walls and would be able to stop physical attacks like bullets and blades, are pretty clearly not very mobile, they're pretty much always shown only being generated from either stuff built into the walls or a static emitter... carrying them around just having a constantly mobile wall in front of yourself doesn't work or everyone would do it in combat.
    • The real question is why nobody ever bothered to go to the replicator and say "Computer, shotgun". Doubtless, there are security protocols that prevent that kind of thing under normal circumstances, but it's just as doubtless that the Captain would be able to override them.
    • Similarly, Data apparently had a major hardware upgrade at some point after the series. In the series, Troi accidentally shoots Data with an arrow she fires from a recurve bow, and, though it's played for laughs, penetrates Data's body with the implication that the arrow could have caused some major damage. Lilly, however hoses Data down with what is most likely 9x19mm Parabellum submachine gun fire, and it doesn't faze Data at all. This is after Data shrugs off a sizable fall down a missile silo, despite TNG establishing such a drop puts him at an extreme risk in both The Arsenal of Freedom and Inheritance.
    • She "hoses him down" while he's in the midst of dropping from a higher catwalk and she's basically just waving the thing around using panic fire. There's nothing to say she actually hit him. Once he lands on the catwalk in front of her, perfectly fine after a drop that should have pulped him, she's too shocked to do much of anything. Or at least, that's how I remember the scene happening. As to why an arrow could penetrate and a bullet couldn't if he did get shot, maybe it just has something to do with how his skin is put together, similar to how kevlar weave is pretty effective against (low speed) bullets but not very effective at all at stopping knives.
      • No, she hits him several times at close range after he drops.
      • I was actually serious, I think he actually did upgrade himself; possibly as an overreaction to his poor performance in Generations (he's always taken personal failures pretty hard, see: Peak Performance or the afore mentioned Generations), or in anticipation of the incipient Dominion War.
  • What is the most likely place of developing Warp technology? a) Secret military base like Black Mesa b) Some less secret academy (CERN? Some university with losts of String/Loop Quantum theorists?) c) Basement of Mad Scientist d) Shanty town just after WW III.
    • a) and b) were most likely primary targets in said world war III. Nobody said the theory wasn't worked or developed in there (or something similar) and then they moved to Bozeman because there was an unused ICBM for which the current (propably very beaten up) US Government had no need and didn't watch too closely and start building their spaceship out of scraps because in post-nuclear war earth government grants for interstellar spacedrives were most likely hard to get.
    • It's just a WMG, but I got the feeling that Cochrane likely was a brilliant scientist before World War 3, and that he'd developed the warp theory and the idea for an engine at a university or research center. Then the bombs dropped, the world went to hell, and he turned into an alcoholic wreck as a result. But then he started thinking about that old warp field theory he came up with, and he decided (probably with Lily dragging him kicking and screaming each step of the way) to cobble together a warp engine and see if it'd really work. If that's the case, then the answer's more like "all of the above", with the shanty town filling in as the basement for the mad scientist, who used to be a well-funded researcher.
      • Though now that I think about it, that would explain a bit of dialogue from Cochrane that always struck me as odd before. He bitterly tells Riker that he didn't design the warp drive to better humanity or bring about a utopia, he did it for money, he wanted to get rich, buy an island and retire. That part always seemed weird because, well, it's After the End, so what good is money going to do, and what's the difference between a post-nuclear island and anywhere else (and who's actually selling them)? But that makes perfect sense if he did most of the work at a university or research lab before the war - that was when he was dreaming of getting rich, famous and his own tropical island. Which is why he became a disillusioned drunk after the nuclear war wiped out civilization right on the eve of his inventing the warp drive and retiring into a life of luxury.
    • First off, they weren't researching warp at that sight—that research had presumably been conducted at one of those other facilities. They had already built the warp ship, and at this point they were in the pre-flight stage. Secondly, they weren't in a shanty town, they were at a missile silo—probably one with an abandoned Titan missile that Cochrane and his team modified into the Phoenix.
      • Going back to the original set of four options, the site in Montana is presumably Cochrane's equivalent of White Forest.

  • So, if the Borg can travel through time, why do they bother showing up at Earth in a gigantic cube, which gets the attention of an armada of starships and the Enterprise? Why not travel back in time in the delta quadrent, then transwarp (or regular warp - it's not like the drones are going to complain about a 70-year journey) to Earth, so nobody would realise they were trying to change history?
    • Moreover, since the Borg were apparently willing to alter their own history (not just the alpha quadrant’s) by making contact with their earlier selves in the delta quadrant, why don’t they do that all the time?
    • It's one of the Borg's primary flaws: They may be an immense and collective intelligence, but they're driven by a single urge that they blindly follow: consume. They're much like the Zerg except much more formalized and electronic. The Zerg are a massive Hive Mind, but even the highly intelligent Overmind was driven by a single urge to consume anything in their path. The Borg haven't done so because, quite simply, they didn't think of it until the last moment, when the collective that was so eagerly pursuing its objective through conventional means had to think VERY radically, much like Skynet.
    • Alternatively, maybe the technology to create the vortex was very hard to get right, the Borg could only successfully install it on one sphere and they weren't even sure it would work yet. The whole battle at the beginning was a Xanatos Gambit (ironically, Jonathan Frakes directed First Contact) — send a cube, assimilate Earth if you can, and if you can't, here's a sphere that can get past what remains of Earth's defenses and go back in time instead. The sphere was probably Plan B, to be used if the single-cube strategy failed.
    • For that matter, why arrive the day before First Contact? Blast the site five minutes before First Contact and then the Enterprise crew doesn't have time to fix anything.
      • Perhaps they weren't able to calibrate it that accurately, and set it to as close to First Contact as they could get without accidentally overshooting the event.
    • This bothered me for a while too, until I really thought about it. There's two reasons the Borg wouldn't want to regularly go back in time. 1) They're all about "bettering" themselves. The technology of the past is, by it's nature, inferior. They only attempted it this time because it was a last ditch effort to destroy one of the main forces standing in their way. 2) It's risky, even to them. The Borg can't accurately predict how they'll be changing the present by changing the past. It could just as easily be detrimental to them as it could be beneficial.
      • Those are good explanations for why they don't normally go to the distant past, but what about correcting recent events that didn't go their way? Like telling themselves to increase security on the cube's "sleep" cycle. The really big one is their Hopeless War with Species 8472. They were in danger of being wiped out by a species they provoked in the first place. They could have sent a ship back in time to warn themselves not to invade fluidic space.
      • Addressing your first point, I doubt that if the Borg went to the distant past, they'd be interested in assimilating that era's technology; they'd do it to advance the Collective of the past decades or even centuries overnight. If you went back to 1862 with, say, the USS Nimitz, the US Civil War is going to turn out however the hell you want it to end. Heck, the history of the whole world is going to unfold however you decide it does.
  • How did the Phoenix get back down to Earth after they finished the warp test? The thing didn't even look like it could survive reentry, let alone land after taking off.
    • Parachutes?
    • Act like an Apollo capsule — have the cockpit module detach, with a heat shield behind it, then reenter and let parachutes provide the drag to stop. Alternately, if the engines are powerful enough (and the ship is structurally sound enough) it might be able to land under powered flight. Or maybe Picard and Data gave them a lift and beamed the whole ship back to the surface from the Enterprise — really, can they do any more damage to the timeline after suddenly crowding the encampment with a small army of engineers and bragging far and wide about Cochrane's future exploits?
    • It's important to remember the distinction between being in space and being in orbit. "In space" simply means you're up very high and there's no air. In orbit means you're moving fast enough that gravity can't pull you down fast enough to hit the ground. It's quite possible to have one without the other: amateur rockets can get into space, but without sufficient velocity they come right back down; airless planets (or even underground tunnels on Earth kept in a vacuum) could theoretically have a ship in orbit close enough to reach out and touch the ground. ICBM rockets like the one that the Phoenix was built from have enough delta-v to get to space, but not enough to reach orbital velocity (that's why they're called ballistic missiles. The math behind their flight path is more-or-less the same as artillery or even throwing a ball). Without those insane multi-kps speeds, reentry isn't as big a deal. In fact it's been done by a guy in just a spacesuit and staged parachutes, no heat shield needed. Likely the Phoenix was designed so that it would go up, do it's warp thing, and then come back down at a comparatively sedate velocity.
    • ...not enough delta-v? On a spacecraft with a faster-than-light engine?
      • A faster-than-light engine which can't, or can't effectively, provide slower-than-light propulsion, hence the requirement for impulse engines to attain a useful sublight acceleration. For that matter, the transition from warp to sublight doesn't appear to impart any velocity of its own, so even sub-millisecond warp bursts and PWM wouldn't be any help. (Even assuming Phoenix had the structural integrity to stand up to that kind of abuse, and that its warp engine could manage that kind of output profile, neither of which seems terribly plausible.)

  • Why would they introduce the Borg Queen, have characters try to ask questions meant to explain her existence, only for her to duck the questions? Picard asks how she could have survived after "The Best of Both Worlds", to which the Queen answers "You think in such three-dimensional terms..."? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! This isn't like Star Trek II, where three-dimensional thinking actually is a plot point. Why couldn't they simply have her say something like "Only my body was lost."?
    • She probably ducks the questions just to keep Data interested and listening, leading him along for her own ends. The "three-dimensional terms" can only mean that the Queen operates or exists on a level that transcends mere space. She's more a representation of the Collective and its shared drives than some autonomous leader; in effect, her consciousness spans the galaxy. The first Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch novels mention how the Borg have some "Royal Protocol" program that creates a new drone every time the Queen is destroyed; that is, she is really an A.I. who has no true physical body, so in effect she does not exist in the three dimensions that our minds can perceive.
    • So are you honestly saying you're upset that the Big Bad didn't tell the super strong, hyper-competent, un-assimilatable hostage her limitations and true functions? That's generally seen as the villain grabbing an Idiot Ball that leads to it's inevitable defeate. She clarified that she didn't control the Borg as an individual, that she'd been around and survived apparent destruction as far back as Wolf 359 meaning she could easily appear later on. It's not her fault we didn't understand her explanations. Haven't people been complaining that the Borg suffered Villain Decay the more we learned about them?
    • Why is this such a difficult concept for people? The fourth dimension is generally understood to be time. This is a time travel movie. As I see it, either the Queen had her own personal time travel device and escaped from the Wolf 359 cube that way, or folded space on the 4th dimensional axis—like the transwarp hub in Voyager—and created a wormhole back to the Delta Quadrant.
      • Perhaps this is the writers' intention, but it conceals numerous absurdities. If the Borg have ready access to time travel, why not simply prevent their defeat at Wolf 359 — why settle for letting the Queen jump away? Furthermore, why would the Queen have been on that cube to begin with? It's a Collective! She can be a galaxy away and it makes no difference. In First Contact it vaguely makes sense that she would be around (perhaps time travelling to an era when they cannot connect with the collective necessitates her personal presence), but otherwise the character gets sillier and sillier, especially on Voyager, where we witness her giving verbal instructions to individual drones! Um... Collective, people!
      • This explanation sounds rather like a Voodoo Shark. The explanation offered above, that she is not constrained to one position in three-dimensional space (i.e. her body), fits her explanation and makes a lot more sense, because it only assumes things we already know about the Borg (they're a Hive Mind). And by the way, the Queen never mentions a fourth dimension, that's only your interpretation.
      • She never mentioned the fourth dimension outright but implies Picard is limited by thinking in "three-dimensional terms" so that would strongly suggest something beyond the third dimension. And the Queen was on the cube at Wolf 359 because Humans Are Special and her presence might facilitate assimilation. As for why the Queen would have used time travel to escape that cube (I'd be more inclined to believe it was some kind of transwarp wormhole) but not use it to reverse the defeat of the cube in the first place, that goes back to the Borg's MO. Sending a single cube to assimilate Earth is a Xanatos Gambit: either 1 cube is enough and the Borg haven't expended unnecessary resources or the cube is defeated and the Federation frantically develops anti-Borg weaponry. The Borg wait a few years and try again, with the goal of encouraging lesser races to come up with ways of defeating them and then assimilating that knowledge. The Borg were likely not expecting to be defeated (and were it not for Data, they wouldn't have been) so having the Queen on board wasn't thought of as a risk.
    • The Queen was on that cube at Wolf 359 because she is just the sum of the collective, so she's on every cube, and indeed every other ship or location where there are Borg.
  • The Unfortunate Implications of First Contact as an idea. The driving premise behind Star Trek was that the future was going to be better, that humanity was going to rise above its self-destructive tendencies, work together and build a great society. Well, guess what? It didn't happen that way. Some magical visitors came down from the sky and saved us from ourselves. Rather than become a great people on our own, we're just the proteges of the Vulcans. We're too dumb and violent to fix our own problems, sorry.
    • There are other interpretations. Humanity had nearly destroyed itself and was on the brink of the Despair Event Horizon. One of us invents warp drive and makes contact with an alien race that seems pretty friendly. We learn that we aren't alone and there is hope for the future. This leads humanity to get our collective act together and start working again with the knowledge that we can make things better. And we do.
      • Star Trek: Enterprise backs this interpretation up by showing that the Mirror Universe began with an identical first contact... except that, instead of welcoming the Vulcans and putting aside our differences to forge a peaceful Federation, Cochrane drew a shotgun, led an attack against the "invaders" and started a war against the rest of the quadrant that created the Terran Empire. Humanity faced a pivotal choice with how it responded to first contact, and as shown later, humans proved to be the great diplomats of the galaxy. The Federation members knew each other before humans got involved, but it was Earth that actually turned them into the Federation. The Vulcans may have helped Earth at first, but Earth has been helping the whole galaxy ever since.
      • Also, it's a recurring plot point in Star Trek: Enterprise that Earth thinks that the Vulcans are holding them back in the 22nd century, which implies they didn't go about and just shared all of their technology, snd instead were very cautious about helping humanity because they realized that they had to achieve things on their own.
      • This may be blaspheme, but to borrow an idea from Series/Babylon5, humans are community builders. We can go into a place, make something and welcome all to join in, adding their diversity to our own and strengthening the whole. Thus the Star Trek humans did the same thing with the Federation. We brought together three alien societies who have hated and fought each other for the past decades, at a minimum, to centuries, at the most.
    • I think the idea is that becoming warp-capable is a sign that the a species is ready to join the interstellar community, which is shown in the unrelated, but aptly named TNG episode First Contact. Humanity had just been through a catastrophic war, the aftermath of which Picard once referred to as the "Post-atomic Horror." Pulling ourselves out of that by our own bootstraps and inventing warp drive only a decade or two later shows the unbreakable spirit of the human race—and one cannot ignore the blunt symbolism of our first warp ship being named Phoenix. In one of Enterprise's later episodes, the Vulcans reveal that we scare them because we were able to do in decades what it took the Vulcans about a millennium to achieve; so even if they help us a little, its made clear that the real reason we make it as far as we do is because of our species great drive to better ourselves.
    • The Vulcans didn't solve Earth's problems, rather knowing that we're not alone in the universe gave humanity the incentive to finally "grow up" and act together as a race instead of fighting each other. We became embarassed at our childishness once we knew that someone else was watching, and any race could have provided that knowledge. Though the Vulcans no doubt provided some assistance, the overall credit for solving Earth's problems remains solidly within the human race.
  • Why is it that in the holodeck scene Picard sets up the Dixon Hill novel scenario, creates clothes for himself and Lilly, spends time getting changed,
els the need to dance over to where Nicky the Nose is having dinner, mix it up with him and his goons, and then get out the gun? Why didn't he just go into the holodeck and say, "Computer, one machine gun, infinite ammo."
  • The holonovel serves as a distraction for the Borg, especially when it is crowded with lots of (holographic) people.
    • Which bought him, what, a whole five seconds? If he had just stood in the back of the room, the effect would have been the same.
    • I don't think he went in there with a fully-developed plan to use a holographic gun. He just fled into the holodeck with Lily and then ran a crowded party scene for cover. His original plan might have been to duck in, dodge the drones, sneak back out and then try to trap and attack them from the outside (perhaps by changing the holodeck environment to something lethal), but a combination of losing control and realizing that the program includes a perfectly good tommy gun led to him improvising.
    • Unlikely. The first thing he does (after changing clothes) is ask the bartender for Nicky the Nose, meaning that this was his plan all along. In-universe, it was probably just an excuse to get the Dixon Hill scenario in the movie, but it makes no sense overall.
    • Or asking for Nicky the Nose is how the story goes and Picard was playing along with it, or he'd already switched plans between changing clothes and talking to the bartender.
    • You're also making an assumption which seems dubious...you assume they CHANGED clothes. Who is to say that the holo-clothes don't just "materialize" over them. And yes, Lily is showing skin where she had clothes before, but that could also be the computer just preserving the illusion of the dress by recreating her "skin" holographically. So there may not have been any actual time wasted on that activity.
    • As Red Letter Media points out that handwave doesn't actually make sense because if you put new clothes over someone's old clothes Picard and Lily should now be twice the size. It doesn't matter in the slightest if you made the original clothes and/or skin invisible or not because the solid hologram would still be a projection on top of solid matter. The only plausible way to get around this and still keep the original idea is that there was a full-body hologram surrounding them and that the proportions of the program changed to compensate. Seems a bit beyond what we see of the technology though and it doesn't take into account that the Borg should also look smaller than everyone else.
    • And if you don't like that explanation, then see also A Wizard Did It.
  • How come no-one's made the biggest, the most important question of the movie yet: why would the Borg give a damn about the mid-21st century Earth? When they were introduced they didn't pay any attention to civilizations that hadn't reached a high enough levels to give some new advantage to the collective. 21st century Earth has absolutely nothing to offer to them, yet we are supposed to believe that they would bother travelling all those lightyears past all the planets viable for assimilation to get one measly primitive civilization under their thumn? Even worse, doing so would prevent the Federation from forming, and the Borg want to assimilate the Federation and all its technological potential for themselves.
    • One almost gets the impression that the Borg have an It's Personal desire to destroy the Federation at any cost and through any method, like the Federation is their arch enemy, but for the Borg, nothing is personal and there is no emotional investment in assimilation campaigns — everyone else is just material.
    • The novel Engines of Destiny sort of answers this one. In an alternate timeline where the Borg sphere faced no interference, the Borg immediately began to quietly assimilate Earth right under the rest of the quadrant's noses, and then launched an attack on all the other empires while calling the 21st-century Borg to the quadrant. By the 24th century, Guinan's delta-quadrant homeworld is still flourishing, but the Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons et al have been reduced to a ragged band of resistance fighters in a Borg-dominated alpha quadrant. Apparently it's not the Federation in particular that the Borg really care about, but the quadrant itself: its thousands of civilizations (far more than the delta quadrant, where the Borg have long since assimilated the major powers) probably have the perfect balance between being advanced enough to be worth assimilating, but not enough to pose a threat. They just picked Earth as a strategic temporal launchpad for the invasion. Now why they didn't just sneakily travel back in time in some nearby system instead of smashing their way through the Federation fleet is another question (if you go by that novel, at least, the sphere's trip back in time was their plan all along).
      • Even by the standards of post hoc, EU explanations, this one seems particularly tortured.
      • How? Why would the Borg not care about all these warp-capable civilizations in the alpha quadrant that are centuries older than Earth? Locutus even identified the Klingons as one of the Borg's targets while talking to Worf. Sure you're left with the problem of why the Borg seem to think Earth is a magic key to the quadrant, but surely the Borg wanting the whole quadrant, and seeing Earth as the means to that end, makes more sense than the Borg gunning for Earth simply because It's Personal.
      • Only because the film itself has no hints of any of this (in fact, one certainly gets the impression in First Contact that using time travel was a last ditch method when all else failed).
      • That's admittedly a problem I have with it too; it all works except that the time travel part makes a whole lot more sense as a last-ditch plan than the primary goal. If the Borg had succeeded in assimilating Earth and establishing a foothold in the 24th century alpha quadrant, then why even bother with time travel at all? Still, if the Borg value Earth more as a stepping stone (for whatever reason) to all the other AQ powers, and most of them haven't really changed over the centuries, it'd make sense to use time travel to bypass the Federation completely, assimilate Earth in the past and then use it to launch a surprise attack on everyone else (though it does make more sense as a backup plan to salvage a present-day invasion that failed than as the goal of said present-day invasion).
      • There's also the truly inescapable problem that if the Borg have easy access to time travel and the luxury to go wherever/whenever they like to fulfill their objectives, then they are truly unbeatable. It becomes a dramatic problem.
      • To be fair, that's a problem with the movie itself, and the whole franchise has really painted itself into a corner over the years about time travel. Once the Federation gained fairly easy access to time travel, any enemy that's more advanced, like the Borg, should also have it. But if you have two warring factions who can both change the past, it becomes an entirely different kind of sci-fi story that, for the most part, Star Trek doesn't really want to mess with. So we sort of have to pretend that time travel doesn't work except for the stories where it does, or say that the Time Police are keeping things in check (which is what Voyager eventually did, though still inconsistently).
      • It does make sense as a last ditch effort. They could do it but they'd vastly prefer to assimilate the alpha quadrent in the present, mre bodies and much better technology. They're willing to give it a shot but it's not Plan A.
      • Doesn't the Engines of Destiny explanation still leave us with the original question: why would the Borg time travel back to that particular day, with the ambition of ruining First Contact? One can rationalize that it was coincidence, but the Borg Queen's behavior does not support this conclusion; she very much acts like It's Personal.
      • The Borg want to quietly assimilate Earth and turn it into a Borg hub to attack the rest of the quadrant in the past. To accomplish that, they'd need to target pre-FC Earth, because afterward any sort of attack on Earth would get everyone's attention. But the Borg also want the most advanced version of the alpha quadrant possible, so they don't want to go any further into Earth's past than necessary. The best way to accomplish that is to quietly cut off Earth by disrupting first contact and letting the Vulcans go on their way, then proceeding with the assimilation right under their noses. It still raises the question of why they want Earth at all, but taking that as a given, it makes sense as a backup plan.
      • Theory on why the Borg want Earth: The Borg assimilate technology, driven by a need to get unknowns and add it to their own. Their first foray got a load of standard sci-fi tech, and was defeated by an andriod hacking into their database. Of course they are going to come back and take another shot at that, if the Federation has that lying around the Borg want it. Presumably when their second foray failed to turn up androids with superhacking abilities, and only a more explosive torpedo or two they dropped Earth down their "interesting technology" list.
      • All of this assumes that it's about wanting Earth rather than wanting to stop the Federation from forming. The Federation starts with Earth and Vulcan. The Federation repeatedly screws up the Borg's plans for the Alpha Quadrant. Thus, if Earth and Vulcan never get together, no Federation to screw them up. It's not necessarily that the Borg are thinking "OMG Earth gotta have it!", but rather that assimilating Earth puts an end to the Federation, and its value to them as a hub for assimilating the rest of the Alpha Quadrant in the past would be secondary.
      • I tend to agree. The Borg have unfathomably vast resources, but they never really seem to be trying all that hard to assimilate Earth (sending one ship at a time, waiting years before trying again). In Star Trek: Voyager, the Queen does imply that Earth is a high priority, but she probably just does so to manipulate Seven of Nine.
    • Even though Borg philosophy talks about adding the biological and technological distinctiveness of cultures to their own, one cannot but wonder whether the Borg also have a desire to add culture distinctiveness to their own as well. If so it may explain a lot since the biological and technological achievements of Humanity are nothing special (according to the Borg humans have 'below-average cranial capacity, minimal redundant systems and limited regenerative abilities'). However what the Borg may be after is the tendency of Humanity to never give up. In their various encounters with humans, the Borg must have noticed the tenacity and resilience of Federation crews which often risk their very survival by rescueing crew members and fighting to the bitter end to keep Earth from getting assimilated. The only question that remains: What was it about Picard that made them consider the Federation a worthy target for invasion and assimilation in the first place?
    • Imo, the Borg wanted to destroy cochrane's ship, prevent the birth of the federation, and return to their own timeline without assimilating anyone. Their own developement would have been unaffected that way. As to why they are after the federation so persistently, the federation is the most powerful faction in the alpha and beta quadrant, with the added bonus that they seem capable to unite the various other factions against a common enemy. Their existence prevents the borg from expanding into these quadrants and seeking out new worthy additions on their quest for perfection.
    • This never occured to me until reading these comments, and now the time travel aspect of First Contact is no longer a plot hole to me, but represents something essential to the Borg character. 1-the Queen says Picard thinks in “3 dimensional terms”, implying that as a non-borg he no longer thinks in 4th dimensional terms, the 4th dimension being time. 2-as we see in First Contact, when assimilation fails the Borg launch a time traveling sphere. 3-one of the crucial tenets of borg philosophy is “it is inevitable.” Perhaps because the Borg have 4th dimensional time travel as a regular part of their strategy and so they KNOW that it is inevitable that they will assimilate you. If they fail, they know they can just travel back in time and assimilate you in the past, this 4th dimensional thinking is inherent to the Borg. Perhaps the Borg cubes and spheres and other ships we see are not all from the ‘present’, they’re from all over the time/space continuum. In their own presents they assimilate what they can, and when that doesn’t work they just send the ship back in time and it performs the assimilation there. Since their goal is perfection they seek the best periods in space AND time to assimilate the best cultural, technological and biological distinctiveness of the galaxies species’ throughout history. So when the Borg wouldn’t attempt to assimilate a species at some point in their history when their technology, culture or evolutionary development sucked, they would only target periods when a species was at their best in all three categories. So in First Contact they picked that particular moment because their attempt to assimilate humans in the present of Next Gen didn’t work, so they calculated the 2nd best period in human history, culturally, technologically and biologically and that was the day before First Contact. Hell, with this theory their 'adaption' methodology may be based on sending information back in time rather than scanning and modifications in the present. Another reason why they are sure that assimilation is inevitable. If you shoot a drone today, it records the damage and downloads that to the hive mind which disseminates that information throughout the Collective into the past, present and future, the Collective then just seeks out the right technology and/or knowledge, past, present or future to counter that attack, then sends the technolgical know how back in time so that on stardate so-and-so when drone Xsubsection Y is shot by another phaser that drone, and all other drones involved in that fight, already have the proper technology installed to resist.
  • How many decks are there? Picard says to Lilly that there are 24 decks, but another character says, “It looks like they control decks 26 up to 11.” And in Star Trek: Nemesis, they show us deck 29 and what to be another deck with a bottomless pit below it, so what the heck?
    • Maybe 29 is no longer greater than 24? To paraphrase Picard: "Mathematics of the future are somewhat different. You see, arithmetic no longer exists in the 24th Century. We have a more evolved sense of integers..."
      • My guess is that they incorporated the TARDIS technology from the 31st century time travel pod from the Enterprise episode "Future Tense." On the outside the Enterprise-E is 24 decks tall, but on the inside it's 29+ decks.
    • WMG: Various superstitions from Starfleet's constituent cultures, or entirely new superstitions from the future, mean that the ship was built with no thirteenth deck, no fourth deck, etc. Hence, the actual number of decks is 24 but there's still a Deck 29, a Deck 26, etc. Or maybe the ship is structured such that it's easier to remember where certain decks are if certain numbers are skipped, as with a building where room 209 is directly above room 109, but there aren't actually nine rooms on the second floor. Or maybe the writers were only human.
    • Another possibility is that Enterprise-E has one or more "half decks." These decks would functionally not be much more than crawlspaces, but for various reasons might still need to be accounted for. And at least it's not as bad as the deck numbering gaffe in Star Trek V....
    • Deck 1 is just the bridge (well, and the ready room and observation lounge). It counts toward the numbering scheme, but it's easy to imagine Picard thinking that counting it would be misleading. That gives us 25. It's entirely possible that some other deck is similarly not a "real" deck (call it deck 26 for the sake of argument), at which point the First Contact numbers work out perfectly—there are twenty-four decks, numbered 2 through 25, and then there's the bridge on top and deck 26 at the bottom. As for Nemesis... Nemesis sucks.
      • Word of God confirms this; deck 1 is the bubble on top of the saucer section and deck 26 is essentially a basement containing machinery and other junk. As for Nemesis? we know for a fact that there was a refit between this film and Insurrection (the interior looks different and there are more phaser strips and torpedo launchers on the hull by far) so its not beyond the realm of possibility they added a few new decks for some reason. Maybe storage and power for the weapons could account for at least one of them.
  • During the Holodeck scene Picard states that he "disengaged the safety protocols". However in the TNG episode "Decent" Data is on the Holodeck trying to recreate his fight with the Borg that triggered his sudden unexplained emotional reaction. Laforge is there watching as he gradually tells the computer to increase the strength of his holographic Borg until the computer informs him he can go no higher due to its safety protocols. Data then asks Laforge to help him disengage the safety protocols, which requires the voice authorization of TWO officers to do. How did Picard manage to do it silently, and without another officer?
    • Because he's the captain?
      • Righto. There's also the fact that this literally is a different ship, so it's not unreasonable that some protocols are different.
  • Fridge Logic: Why doesn't Data ever think that the Borg queen is nothing more than the Collective expressing itself through a single, specially designed drone instead of the disembodied mechanical voice we saw in previous TNG episodes? This is the most logical conclusion to draw given the first part of their conversation: "Do you control the Borg Collective?" "You imply a disparity where none exists; I am the Collective." Even if it would later turn out to be incorrect, it's the best guess with the information available. Functionally, it's no different than the aforementioned disembodied voice except the form allows it to express more personality, and it adds a very interesting layer of character to the Borg if the Collective is an exotic, ages-old Femme Fatale able to handle personal interaction when it suits its needs, as well as being capable of seduction and subtlety just as much as being capable of invading other races and maintaining the Borg as a whole.
    • Just because we don't see Data ask the queen "Are you an avatar of the Collective?" or something similar, it doesn't mean the thought never occurred to him offscreen.
    • Actually I consider the Borg Queen to be fridge stupidity. As most critics point out a 'queen', and how she acted seemed to contradict the earlier established notion of a single collective hive mind right. Well, 'Best of Both Worlds' also clearly established the precedent that the hive mind does choose a single representative to act as the voice of the Borg to deal with specific situations, Locutus of Borg for example. So when they wanted to assimilate Data, and do it by seduction of the flesh the precedence was already established that they didn't need a "queen" the Collective could have just appointed a female avatar to speak to Data, and later Picard, on their behalf. In fact what I think would have been an interesteing interpretation is this...they assimilate Picard and immediately change him into a drone with a distinct, individual personality named Locutus. Well, what if there are actual personalities uploaded into the Borg Collective, perhaps the personalities of the original Borg which download into specific drones when needed, the 'queen', instead being 'the queen' was just a another personality that downloaded into another drone body when needed. Perhaps Locutus and the Queen are the only distinct personalities within the Collective, perhaps there are many personalities within the Collective, perhaps they are ONLY the personalities of the 'original' Borg, or assimilated personalities that become true believers in the Borg way of life and hence try to convince others to join.
  • Something that's always slightly bothered me: when we glimpse the Borgified 24th century Earth, Picard asks for life signs and Data reports "approximately nine billion... All Borg." Let's ignore the fact that in "Q Who" Borg do not admit life signs, because the show did immediately afterwards. What are the nine billion of them doing down there? Don't they have anything better to do, like to assimilate the rest of the galaxy? Planets attacked by the Borg we have seen in the past (like Jouret IV) just get their cities scooped off into space; the Borg don't decide to park their asses down there and claim the real estate, they just grab the swag and move on. One can think of reasons why they might be there (strip-mining the planet, maybe?), and it makes a nice, menacing moment, but bugs me because it illustrates the extent to which this film departs from the original conception of the Borg and what made them a unique and different foe: they're supposed to be a Collective, networked and decentralized, lacking any home base or leader you can attack or reason with.
    • Probably because Earth became the new "nexus" of the Borg collective starting in the 22nd century. Just like they had a super large "fort" in the Delta Quadrant as seen in Voyager, Earth became their new base of operations. It can be assumed they assimilated the ENTIRE Alpha Quadrant, using 22nd Century earth as a stepping stone. 22nd century Vulcans, Andorians, Klingons and Romulans would have had no chance against 24th century Borg. Earth is probably where unassigned drones are kept, hence the 9 billion+ population.
      • That is probably indeed what they intended (and I dislike the "Borg City" of Voyager for the same reason).
      • I like to imagine that Borgafied Earth's lack of water and toxic atmosphere were the result of a cartoon-super-villain plot to turn Earth's oceans into a colossal wet cell battery that went really wrong somehow.
    • They can be networked and decentralized and still occupy planets, it's just that they don't ascribe sentimental value to them and use them as purely functional real estate. Species 8472 was blowing up Borg planets in the Delta Quadrant so they must be inhabited and of some value for them to be a target. It would be more efficient to have, say, a nanoprobe factory on a planet than make it a large warp-capable ship.
    • The Borg did move on. Nine billion? Think for a moment how densely packed together Borg drones live. Nine billion is empty. They could fit that number in Manhattan.
  • Say, what happened to New Zealand? I guess the CGI people just forgot to put it in. It's fun to speculate, though: did it get blasted out of existence in WWIII? What kind of weapon could do it? And how did it come back by the 24th century?
  • So when Enterprise swoops in for that epic Gunship Rescue, Picard orders the transporter rooms to evacuate the Defiant crew; leaving the Defiant "Adrift but salvageable." The tough little ship was designed for exactly one purpose: killing Borg; so is it really a good idea to leave her adrift and crew-less in the middle of a battle with the Borg? Nobody wants to see the Defiant blow up ahead of schedule, but shouldn't Starfleet destroy her to prevent even the possibility of the vessel falling into Borg hands?
    • The Borg were a little preoccupied at the time and probably deemed it an inefficient use of resources to assimilate the Defiant in the middle of a fight. Starfleet probably decided that if they don't destroy the cube, it would assimilate Earth and render the capture of the Defiant a moot point.
      • The Borg were busy, fair enough, but Earth isn't the whole Federation. If Earth falls to the Borg, Defiant-class starships would probably play a huge role in the struggle to prevent the hundreds of other Federation worlds from being assimilated.
      • In the episode Paradise Lost, Admiral Leyton, the Chief of Starfleet Operations, does not know that Defiant is equipped with ablative hull armor. This would seem to suggest that the class' specifications are highly classified, and possibly need-to-know only. If that's true, then Starfleet is already going well out of its way to keep the ship's details secret. One Borg drone scanning a computer terminal (like they did in Q Who) would ruin that.
      • Unless you think Starfleet's philosophy is No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup the blueprints for the Defiant have to exist somewhere. Starfleet HQ is the most likely place to find it. And even if they're smart enough to vaporize their computer core when drones start beaming down, Starfleet is the military arm of the Federation and the loss of their HQ is going to seriously hamper their efforts to resist further Borg incursions.
    • Given that by the end of the corresponding season of DS9, we get to see multiple Defiant class vessels on screen (there are a couple of Defiant class vessels in the fleet in the final shot of 'A Call To Arms,' DS9's fifth season finale), it's likely that the Defiant class is in full production by this point. As valuable as the original Defiant was as a prototype, now it's one Defiant among many. Keeping this one vessel intact isn't as important as stopping the Borg overall.
    • Remember the Borg's attitude towards threats - they'll let Starfleet officers leisurely stroll around their ships unmolested until and unless they become an active threat. Once the Enterprise beams aboard the survivors, the Defiant is unoccupied and thus not a threat, so the cube will deal with the vessels actually capable of fighting back. Once the threat is finished, then it would focus on the stellar flotsam.
    • Going into WMG territory here, but it would make sense for a vessel abandoned in battle to have some kind of "contingency self-destruct" if it was boarded by an enemy? Or it was pretty much dead in the water, one torpedo from the Enterprise (or any of the other ships) could solve the problem if it was at risk of assimilation. Especially since it's the Borg. Or I don't really see why the Defiant would be so special to the Borg. Yea, it's designed to fight the Borg, but there's no indication that current Borg technology is inferior in any way and they would want anything from it.
  • Why do the Borg require higher ambient temperature than humans? Cybernetics generate heat; one would think that at 39 C and 92% humidity, they'd be nonfunctional at best and melting your face at worst. Even if they have supercooling systems, needing a higher ambient temperature implies that they evolved in one, and until they developed or seized said supercoolers cybernetics would be more trouble than they were worth.
    • Yeah, that always puzzled me too. Computer elements like it cold; that's no secret. No Borg ship previous to this one has looked like a swampy environment either. No doubt it was designed to necessitate the sweaty, muscly environment for action scenes (and to give Picard an opportunity to strip down and show off his biceps).
    • Is it possible that the temperature is for the benefit of the biological components of Borg drones? Perhaps the high ambient temperature is to facilitate cellular reproduction, or maintain low body fluid viscosity, or something of that nature. The Borg are all about efficiency, so maybe keeping a ship's environment warm uses less energy than drones regulating their own body temperature. Perhaps drones only heat themselves when they are working in the field.
    • Well, you're assuming that Borg technology would be like ours. Star Trek regularly presents bits of technology that run counter to our current understanding of physics. Or for a hundred other possible technobabble reasons, like the artificial transmitters that connect the biological and technological being the one thing that needs hot temperatures, so the rest of it is just engineered to deal with the heat.
    • It's possible that the heat of the environment is generated from the Borg technology itself and that environmental controls counteract it to an equilibrium of 39.1 C.
  • Why is there no explanation how Picard was turned back from being Locutus? I first saw the movie before The Best of Both Worlds, and it just seemed stupid to me that Picard kept talking about how any crewmember who was turned into Borg should be considered lost, despite being a living, breathing example of the opposite. Not even Lily - despite working as a Audience Surrogate for new viewers - questions this as he kills the former crewman in the holodeck.
    • It's pretty clear that Picard views assimilation as a Fate Worse than Death, and we've seen that almost every other life form that has encountered the collective agrees with him. Picard was only saved in Best of Both Worlds because the crew of the Enterprise had managed to isolate him from the collective onboard the Enterprise-D. They had plenty of time and resources to put into repairing the damage that the Borg had done to him—and they were were near Earth, so they had access to the full skill and resources of Starfleet Medical to help de-assimilate him. Enterprise-E doesn't have that luxury. The Borg have taken over most of the ship and everyone who's not currently a drone is fighting a desperate battle to keep them contained. Sadly, the crew can't afford the time and energy that would go into saving their assimilated shipmates. Not only does everybody believe it is a kindness to kill their former comrades, but knowing that as soon as they become one with the collective those former friends will become as much an enemy as any other drone, it is also the tactically correct thing to do.
    • Picard's de-assimilation is also presented as something of a unique case, since he was intentionally left with part of his identity during the process. He didn't become "One of Twenty" or somesuch, he was given a name to act as an "emissary". The Borg wanted to preserve his knowledge and leadership skills... it's more like they just layered the Collective on top of his personality. The Expanded Universe says that most other attempts at de-assimilation fail, largely because there's just no personality left in most drones to recover.
      • Picard is absolutely not a unique case. In Star Trek TV Episodes alone, there was Hugh, every drone on the cube that rescued Hugh and then was used by Lore, Seven of Nine, the three members of Seven's old unimatrix, and Riley Frazier.
      • So that's what, a few thousand out of tens of billions? that is like saying well that thing is a regular occurrence in Rhode island; therefore the whole of the USA must be doing it.
  • When Picard, Data, and Worf lead assault teams down to Engineering, at one point two Borg start towards them. Picard tells everyone to lower their weapons, as they won't attack unless they consider them a threat. This makes sense during the show when Starfleet officers beam to and explore a Borg Cube, but it makes zero sense in this situation. They're actively trying to assimilate the Enterprise, and have already gotten to several crew members who were even less of a threat than an assault team. It would make much more sense for the Borg to consider ANY crew they encounter as a threat, in this situation.
    • The first few that were assimiliated were likely to bolster the Borg numbers so that they had enough drones to complete their mission. That done, the other crew members became superfluous and were only attacked/assimiliated when they became a threat.
  • Something that always bothered me: the borg's plan to call their 21st century counterparts for help is a bit pointless in itself (Since time was of the essence), but consider a moment they had actually contacted them. How would the borg of the 21st century have reacted to two different directives from two hive minds/queens? Enough "chaos" for the ol' induced self destruction, you think?
    • As the Queen herself would say (and probably Doc Brown), you're thinking three-dimensionally. The Queen, or all Borg, probably have some protocol for judging "pecking order" of the collective in cases of temporal displacement.
      • Who needs a pecking order? They're a hive mind, they'd just merge and act as one.
      • Especially if you go with an interpretation of the Queen serving as a sort of guiding influence to the collective, a biological construct made to embody the basic programing of the Borg, rather than an individual entity. Thus, they're the same core program, just two different versions of it. They meet up, they sync their programming together, and now they're back on the same page.
Star Trek: GenerationsHeadscratchers/FilmStar Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: GenerationsHeadscratchers/Star TrekStar Trek: Insurrection

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