main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Star Trek: First Contact
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Can Picard really hear the Borg despite having no implants, or is he just imagining it and his actions are based on his knowledge of them, not a direct connection? This makes him hearing Data unintentionally funny, since it's as if Picard just remembered that he had been captured after setting the ship to self destruct with him on board.
  • Award Snub: This movie lost the Academy Award for Best Makeup to the Eddie Murphy remake of The Nutty Professor. Though the Academy made up for it years later by giving the award to the 2009 Star Trek.
  • Base Breaker: The Borg Queen, also goes for her appearances on Star Trek: Voyager. Some find her an interesting addition to the Borg. Others believe her creation was a huge mistake, going against everything the Borg embody.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Jerry Goldsmith (and his son Joel Goldsmith, scoring alongside Jerry for the only time) firing on all cylinders.
    • Plus Cochran blasting Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" across the base as the Phoenix lifts off.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lily. Roger Ebert even wished she was more of a focus in the film.
  • Even Better Sequel / Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To the largely underwhelming Star Trek: Generations, the first movie with the Next Generation crew.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Borg Queen is horrifying and disgusting, but manages to be strangely sexy. Which makes it even worse. Roger Ebert commented in his review, "I also admired...the peculiar makeup work creating the Borg Queen, who looks like no notion of sexy I have ever heard of, but inspires me to keep an open mind."
  • Genius Bonus: The opera that Picard is listening to is Hector Berlioz' Les Troyens. The song is "Hylas' Song" from the beginning of Act V. Hylas is a homesick young sailor being rocked to sleep by the sea as he dreams of the homeland he will never see again.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Picard gets accused of acting like Captain Ahab. Guess what role Stewart would play two years later?
    • As he first meets Riker, Cochrane asks Troi "Is he a friend of yours?", to which Troi answers "Yes.". He also asks "Husband?", to which Troi says "No.", making him say "Good!". In Star Trek: Nemesis, Troi and Riker finally marry.
    • On the commentary, Moore and Braga talk about how awkward it was to have to Retcon the Borg Queen into "The Best of Both Worlds," which gets them talking about how the decades-long continuity of Star Trek has become such a burden to its latter-day writers, and whoever takes it next would probably be better off just wiping the slate clean. In 2009, that's exactly what happened.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: The opening battle against the Borg ship. That sequence alone was worth the movie format. Especially when the Enterprise fires the blue quantum torpedoes the surround sound crushes you into the chair.
  • 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.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Destroying the Enterprise-E. Its predecessor had been destroyed in the previous film and the characters even Lampshaded how short the ship's lifespan had been. Of course they weren't going to get rid of it right away.
  • Memetic Mutation: "The line must be drawn HEEYAH!"
    • "Captain Ahab has to go hunt his whale!"
    • "Assimilate THIS!"
    • Picard's Big "NO!" (before he breaks his little ships) has also turned into something of a meme, even being referenced in South Park.
    • "Sweet Jesus!"
    • Picard and the machine gun.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "The line must be drawn HERE!" is treated as a Badass Boast by many, when it's actually part of Picard's Sanity Slippage in a hopeless fight against the Borg.
  • Narm: The scene where the crew depart via the escape pods would have looked more dramatic, if the escape pods didn't look like tiny pianos.
    • The franchise Title Drop that the crew is "on some kind of star trek." In the commentary, Moore and Braga reveal that the studio insisted on it, and they really didn't want to do it.
    • A lot of the scenes with the Borg Queen seducing Data. Lines such as "That's because you haven't been adequately... stimulated" and "Was that good for you?" were particularly clunky. Sheeesh.
  • Narm Charm: Picard's "The line must be drawn HERE!" speech is so over-the-top, particularly Picard's pronunciation of "here" as "HEE-YAH!", yet Patrick Stewart still sells it.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Robert Picardo playing the Enterprise's EMH.
  • Special Effects Failure: The Earth that Picard shows to Lily looks rather unconvincing, and it's all the more jarring given how high the standard of the special effects in general is.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The trailers mentioned little to nothing about the Cochrane subplot, instead playing up the prospect of an all-out Borg invasion. That could've been as good, if not better, than what we got.
    • And this movie isn't half-bad, so that's saying something.
    • Still, they averted a potentially much worse case of this trope. The original screenplay was role-reversed and had Picard impersonating the injured Cochrane, while Riker fought off the Borg invasion. The focus of the story was Picard's wacky antics while pretending to be Cochrane, and in the end he never even found out that the Borg had ever been on the Enterprise. Thankfully Patrick Stewart stepped in and pointed out that it would be about a million times more logical to follow up "The Best of Both Worlds" and have Picard confronting the Borg once more.
    • Also, Sisko should have been in this movie. He would've been a good counterpoint to Picard, especially since they've both been hurt by the Borg.
      • SF Debris joked that the Borg deliberately waited until Sisko was away from the station and the Defiant to launch their attack. The stardates even work out.
  • True Art Is Angsty: The darkest of all the TNG films, is also the most well-received, being the only TNG movie with a "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The film suggests that even though humans created warp drive on their own, the real reason humans got out of darkness and became great was because visitors from the sky came down and made us that way. Disappointing when you remember Gene Roddenberry hated such tropes as Ancient Astronauts.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise showed that it wasn't that simple: humanity spent the next 150 years fighting and scraping for every step forward, with no assistance (indeed, active resistance) from our strongest 'ally'. Remember, it took over a century to develop the Warp 5 engine, and another 30 years after that to get it up to Warp 7, with all of that progress being made in the face of the Vulcans holding humans back. First Contact with the Vulcans merely showed humanity that we weren't alone, and inspired us to go out and see what else was waiting outside our own little corner of the cosmos.
    • Except that it didn't show that. Just the opposite: Enterprise made it quite clear that humanity's progress was actually quite rapid, and that it was mostly Wangst, especially from Archer, whose father did not live to see the Warp 5 engine completed, over the fact that the Vulcans and every other alien race they met weren't just throwing free scientific knowledge at them and enabling them to advance even faster! But having the Vulcans staring down their noses at humanity motivated the humans to set aside things like international disputes so as not to look pathetic beneath the judgmental gaze of a bunch of aliens with attitude. Otherwise, we know from sources like TOS and TNG that atrocities continued for decades after First Contact, and the Enterprise-E crew considered it crucial that the Phoenix test flight not only happen, but occur while the Vulcans were around to detect it. Otherwise First Contact would not have happened and humanity might have backslid into war again. Especially if other nations like the Eastern Coalition discovered that the United States now had FTL spaceflight technology!
  • Villain Decay: While it works in this movie, the introduction of the Borg Queen marks the start of the Borg's overall decay, since even Data notes that the very existence of a Queen challenges previous assumptions about how the Borg work. Apparently earlier drafts of the script didn't have the Queen, but they realized that the Borg were essentially cyborg zombies without some sort of leader.
    • It works in this movie because the queen doesn't actually violate any of the rules the Borg are set up by, it's just very obtuse about it, and she is very obtuse about it in-universe, hence Data's confusion. Her "I am the Borg" spiel would imply she's simply the collective expressed through a single voice, no different than the disembodied voice speaking to Picard in "The Best of Both Worlds;" hence why he remembers her and says "you were there all the time," and why she laughs in his face when he questions how she can be alive when that ship was destroyed; the destruction of that ship didn't put a dent in the collective itself, it only destroyed the body the collective was using to express itself on the ship. She's basically outright saying as much, with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, when Data asks if she "controls the Borg Collective and her reply is "You imply a disparity where none existsnote ; I am the Collective." It also makes the Borg altogether creepier to think about as a massive all-encompassing Hive Mind that, unlike most examples of the trope, is in itself an individual with thoughts, goals and concerns beyond insect-mentality reproduction. It doesn't work in Voyager because in Voyager these statements are directly contradicted. The queen is shown conversing with and giving orders to the disembodied voice of the collective, which suggests the exact opposite, that she is a separate entity leading it.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Many examples, including the battle at the start, the assembly of the Borg Queen, and the spacewalk on the hull of the Enterprise. Unfortunately the producers ditched ILM starting with the next film, meaning that the visual effects in this film wouldn't be surpassed until they were called back for Star Trek XI.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy