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     Why was Data on the away team to 21st century Earth? 
  • Why was Data on the away team to earth in the 21st century? If you're trying to blend in and not change history by mistake, isn't bringing an obvious non-human android with you a very bad idea?
    • Data's appearance is a liability, yes, but he also has perfect recall of all the historical records available to the crew on the 21st century, which could make his assistance invaluable in making sure significant historical events are not changed.
    • They might have just planned to say he was South American.
      • And in "Time's Arrow," he passes as a human, just a slightly odd-looking one.
    • Seriously, however, they probably figured that a) given the assault on the launch site, with all the debris, his android strength would be useful in preserving lives that, historically, hadn't been lost by getting the people out that much faster, not to mention attending to any necessary repairs and that b) there wasn't time to alter his skin pigment if they wanted to preserve the most lives. If nothing else, they had the capability of wiping short term memories or that the impact would be minuscule in the grand scheme, in comparison to a Borg invasion of Earth in the mid-21st century, on the cusp of First Contact.
    • In the first place they didn't really intend to interact with the locals, and probably thought that his skills outweighed any potential challenges his appearance might pose. This was a rushed situation, after all.
    Ask the Vulcans for help 
  • 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 RedLetterMedia 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 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 separate 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.
      • It should be remember that there are different versions of the Mirrorverse. The idea of the Terran Empire comes from the DS9 episode, in the TOS episode Mirror, Mirror the world “terran” is never mentioned nor is ever established that is a human-centric Empire, thus most expanded universe material between the TOS episode and the DS9 episode uses different versions, in one is actually called the United Empire of Planets and the races are more equally (brutal and evil, but equal or at least the four founders) whilst in other version is more like the Human-Vulcan Empire, in fact this is probably the version that DS9 went for as Vulcans are also slaves of the Alliance like if they were accomplices and not victims of the Terrans, and later we see humans and Vulcans together in the Resistance. Then it came the ENT episode and this makes ANOTHER change, making the Terran Empire (and taking the term “Terran” from DS9 officially retconning it) but makes it more human-centric placing the Vulcans as subjugated which was continued by Discovery. In synthesis, the Mirror Universe history and point of divergence varies greatly from the comics, books and TV.
    • Within about an hour or two of their arrival, the Enterprise crew realize the ship is infested with Borg. If they'd gone to the Vulcans - to say nothing of anyone further out - they'd risk unleashing the Borg on an unsuspecting mid-21st century. Imagine what would happen to the timeline if even a single drone had managed to get onto the Vulcan ship and escape notice. By staying in Earth orbit and not contacting the Vulcans, not only are the Enterprise crew minimizing their personal impact on the timeline, they're also minimizing the risk of the Borg getting the chance to assimilate the Alpha Quadrant in 2063.

    That was our only deflector dish... 
  • 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.

    Timey Wimey Ball 
  • 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 Cochrane'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.
  • Or, you know, send two ships. Or an entire fleet of cubes. It's not like we haven't seen in Voyager that planetary assimilation is usually done by a fleet of Borg ships, giving the victim planet little to no chance of survival. Yet with the Federation, that has already defeated the last single Cube they sent, is allowed a way to win. The Borg Queen even tells Seven at one point that they plan to get Earth by releasing a virus! WHY!? Starfleet barely stopped the Cubes both times, and that was just one cube against their entire fleet. How would they be able to defeat several Cubes at once exactly?
    • Humanity isn't priority #1, or even priority #10. Fighting in the Delta Quadrant takes priority, and earth is a long long way away.
    • The novel Engines of Destiny offers a potential justification for this; in an alternate timeline where Picard wasn't present at the Battle of Sector 001 in the film (either he died stopping Soren or the entire Enterprise crew were killed; it's never specified), the Borg cube suffered heavy casualties when Starfleet put up a better fight than expected and was just intending to go back a few days to warn itself, but when it overshot, it decided to make the best of its situation.

    Leave no tech behind 
  • 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 nano probes 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.
      • Easy fix: The whole incident was classified by the Department of Temporal Investigations to ensure that knowledge of the time-displaced Borg didn't affect the Federation's later dealings with them.
      • Also, the assumption that someone on Enterprise-D at the time of Q Who? would not only know about the events of Regeneration but also have made the connection with the Borg is a pretty big one. For a point of comparison, Arabic historians didn't make the link between the Vikings who attacked Seville in 844 with the Viking merchants they had encountered in Eastern Europe since the 920s until the middle of the 11th century, and in that case there was continuous contact going on, unlike with Starfleet and the Borg.
      • Except Arabic historians didn't have advanced sensors, electronic recordkeeping, or a physican who directly and thuroughly examined a living Viking captured at Seville to compare to the Viking merchants they were encountering. It's apples and oranges.
    • I'm willing to presume Starfleet makes their escape pods Prime Directive-compliant with self-destruct functions, in the event of abandoning ship near a pre-warp planet.

    No glass. Good thing our power systems are totally reliable 
  • 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 that you have to take a fairly circuitous route to get to, Control Panel only deals with the door, the door has a forcefield allowing entry in and out...
      • No its true purpose is to allow pissed off cadets to pee on annoying planets.
      • My guess is it provides direct access to a certain area of the ship for engineers, while the ship is at Spacedock. That, and the peeing.
      • I believe it would be called an Archer port.
      • Nah, it's for orbital skydiving.
      • I don't think we ever get a clear view of what the back of that room looks like, so it could be some sort of umbilical connection point for when in Spacedock so that barrels of consumables (or whatever) can be transferred to the ship, the back of the room being some sort of point conveyor/sorting area to different parts of the ship. I know they have the transporters, but there are some things they don't/won't/can't transport.
    • Remember that scene where the crew puts on suits and fights off some Borg on the hull? Rooms like this are how they were able to do that without spending hours walking from a shuttle bay. Sometimes you've got to go outside the ship and that means there needs to be ways to get outside the ship to the various areas in an efficient manner.

    Where did the skin come from? Also...eww 
  • 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 crew mates, or they're doing the same thing to one of Data's crew mates 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.
      • Because they're cyborgs with no apparent concept of corporeal beauty Which of course is why the Borg Queen wears a low cut suit with extenuates her feminine curves and also lipstick apparently...
      • The queen isn't "wearing" anything, her body is entirely mechanical, the only flesh she has is on her face and neck. She's also deliberately trying to seduce Data, which would explain why she'd make her own appearance as alluring as possible.

    Worf a hacker? 
  • 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 recognize 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 Jerkass)
    • 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 recognize 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 Plot line", "Accept Always", or "Deny". Click here for more information)

    Holo-Tommy gun 
  • 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 theorized 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 Moriarity 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 armor 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 defense... 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 forcefields 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.
      • Data clearly does upgrade himself at one point; in "Insurrection", he says he can act as a floatation device and even demonstrates this. Yet in an episode of TNG ("Descent" I think), its mentioned that Data tried to swim on the holodeck, but didn't have the buoyancy, so he had to walk for miles along the bottom to get out. Admittedly, in "Insurrection" he says he is "designed" to float, which implies Dr. Soong made him that way. By the way, Data did get shot a bunch of times by Lily. Once in the back, once in the front before he says "greetings". He even checks for damage to his jacket!

    Montana warp research laboratory 
  • 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 lots 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 (probably 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 site—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.
    • Of course, there is the secondary concern that, depending on the nature of World War III in this universe, the missile silo, with missile still intact, would have likely been a primary target for obvious reasons in any nuclear exchange. If anything, the version of that war as implied here was rather mild compared to how it could have been.

    More time-travel weirdness 
  • 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 quadrant, 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 realize 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.
      • I can understand the Borg not wanting to back in time and assimilate inferior technology, but what about the reverse? Why couldn't some Borg from, say 2375, take a Cube and go back to where the Borg were in 2075, give the past Borg the Cube and whatever else, and bham, the 2075 Borg are 300 years more advanced overnight and way more advanced than anything in that time period. So by the time the 2375 Borg get back to their time, the Borg of the altered 2375 are also 300 hundred years more advanced than when they left! Starfleet had trouble dealing with one regular Cube, how are they going to cope with a Cube with 300 years worth of additional tech on board?
      • The Borg don't seem to invent much. It might have been mentioned in canon, but I recall a conversation that stated they pretty much only consume. If more advanced tech isn't available in the past, giving themselves the extra time isn't going to change anything. They have to wait for somebody to invent something, and then steal it.

    Okay, we broke the Warp Barrier. How do we get back now? 
  • 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 sub-light acceleration. For that matter, the transition from warp to sub-light 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.)

    They have a Queen now? 
  • 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 defeat. 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?
      • They suffered Villain Decay the more the writers tried to make them more relatable. They were scary as a force of nature. Having a Bond villian leader and societies and feelings makes them another alien of the week.
    • 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 traveling 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.
  • 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 interesting 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.

    Puny Earthlings need Vulcan help 
  • 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 Babylon 5, 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 embarrassed 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.
    • True, but that still ironically invalidates the entire concept behind the Prime Directive! Humanity cleaned up its collective act because we suddenly had advanced aliens from a united civilization looking over our shoulders and raising their already-pointy eyebrows at every last one of our cultural inadequacies! Even so, it would not be until nearly a century later that United Earth would become a permanent, stable, world government. Otherwise, as we saw in TNG "Encounter at Farpoint", pockets of barbarism would persist for decades after Cochrane's flight. There is also the pragmatic thought processes of survivors of a decades-long World War III to consider. Why would they trust the Vulcans? How do they know that the Vulcans, with their superior technology, don't plan to swoop in and conquer Earth? Because one of them shook Cochrane's hand? It is very likely that the push towards a United Earth government was driven at least partly by the knowledge that since aliens really existed, and were more technologically-advanced than humanity, then humanity needed to pull together or face the possibility of invasion. Note that the Enterprise crew consider ensuring that First Contact happens as being every bit as important as making sure that the Phoenix test flight is successful. Hence the flight could not be delayed. It had to happen while the Vulcan ship was in-system. Because, as explained by Troi, it the revelation that humanity is not alone in the universe that unifies the human race in the coming decades!
    • A good point. The counter argument would probably be that humanity was ready for first contact, since they developed the warp drive independently, and other cultures protected by the Prime Directive are not ready for the same reason.
    • Except that humanity did not invent the warp drive, a single scientist and a couple handfuls of followers did! Given that the U.S. government did not even react to the Borg attack on Montana, it is heavily implied that society was still in post-nuclear shambles. Even Cochrane's successful test of the Phoenix did not necessarily mean that humanity was now an interstellar civilization. Heck, he only flew the Phoenix in a short orbit that never left the Sol system! Had the Vulcans not revealed themselves then who only knows what the response might have been once word had gotten out? Maybe whatever was left of the U.S. government would have tried to seize the warp drive and keep it to themselves? Maybe the Eastern Coalition, panicked by the idea of the Americans having such a technology, would have resumed war? No room was left for the natural social development of humanity (such social development being one of the main justifications behind the Prime Directive) because the Vulcans stepped in and not only provided humanity with a reason to unify, but also provided help (which humanity would later be massively ungrateful for) in dealing with all the post-nuclear health problems and cleaning up the environment! This is why even by ENT Earth looks so pristine! Just to make things worse, consider that the Vulcans are demonized in ENT for having legitimate concerns. The Klingons, for example, were a warp-capable civilization that was prone to militarism and violence! Why should the Vulcans assume that a planet full of people who had only just recently stopped firing nuclear weapons at each other would be culturally mature and civilized?
    • From the Vulcan perspective, all they see is a ship entering warp where there were no ships entering warp before. They investigate, because they see that another race now has the warp drive and will likely soon be in space where Vulcans will encounter them and have to interact with them. They weren't applying a test of "humanity is now evolved enough to join our interstellar society," it was an entirely practical "we see they're going to be out here soon, so let's check out the new neighbors." It's possible that later pro-Prime Directive partisans would argue that Earth in fact hadn't been ready and shouldn't have been contacted solely on the basis of one individual making a technological leap.
    • So, to sum up, the Prime Directive didn't exist when the Vulcans contacted humans, so they weren't breaking any rule. Although First Contact with the Vulcans irrevocably changed humanity for the better, later incidents where humanity was on the contacting side apparently didn't go very well, and the Federation decided that non-interference for still-developing species was the safest approach. Ironically, humanity was dramatically benefited from something that they now deny other developing species for fear of causing more harm than good..
      • "Ironically, humanity was dramatically benefited from something that they now deny other developing species for fear of causing more harm than good." But they did not. The Prime Directive states that you shouldn't interfere with pre-warp civilizations (or at the very least ones who didn't already had another First Contact) - the Vulcans didn't do that. It was one man who created the warp-drive but that still meant humanity was capable of expanding outside their planet. Cochrane (a genius but on the same level of intelligent evolution as everyone else on the planet) had made the breakthrough and if he were to get access to the resources (as well as people) he needed to build the Phoenix, he could have easily made dozens more warp-drive vessels and would have been once again noticed by the Vulcans. Humanity had reached the intellectual level needed to understand and create warp-drive (you can't actually expect that in order for us to be warp-capable, every single person would need to understand the logistics behind it; hell, plenty of starship personnel have no intimate knowledge of the workings of the vessel) and there was nothing the Vulcans could do about it. If the timing wasn't right, we may haven't started expanding with the Vulcans' guidance but we would still have created the technology which enables us to explore the galaxy. Humanity/The Federation had never directly denied Contact with an already warp-capable civilization. (A lot of times on ENT, they run into plenty of ships/races which were slower than their own Warp 5 but they readily embraced contact with them because everyone who was warp-capable was already meeting multiple other warp-capable races in our quadrant; they hid themselves whenever a civilization/planet was pre-industrial and had barely gotten to the level of our 21th century.)
      • The problem is that the movie presents First Contact as the event that permanently changed humanity for the better, not the development of Warp Drive. It's not the case that "humanity had evolved to a higher intellectual level, and developing the Warp Drive was the marker of that event", it's "humanity needed to know it wasn't alone in order to grow up." As has been pointed out, the Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians and many others all managed to develop the Warp Drive without maturing into civilizations that can play nice with others, so "developing the warp drive" seems a rather arbitrary criteria.
      • This is somewhat addressed by headscratchers about the Prime Directive in general on the main page, but try this on for size: consider what Zephram Cochrane's stated goal in creating Warp Drive was. To make money. He wanted to sell the tech to whoever would buy it, he didn't care how they used it (the question of who he thought could or would pay for it in a post-apocalyptic Earth stands, but has been discussed uppage). Say the two main forces in Earth's Third World War both bought Warp Drive from Cochrane, and now the Vulcans have two factions of humans fighting an interstellar war in their astronomical backyard. Not logical. Once a society has Warp Drive, they'll be out in the galaxy anyway, so it's a case of "ready or not, here we come." In the case of Earth, the development of Warp Drive led to First Contact, which led to United Earth (eventually) and the United Federation of Planets (still later). In other cases, contact with pre-warp civilizations have had disastrous results, up to and including civilizations that really weren't ready for it gaining the technology and misusing it dramatically. You pick up a warp signature where there shouldn't be one, you'd best check it out. Worst case scenario, you can deal with the problem while it's still confined to one Insignificant Little Blue Planet.

    We're escaping the Borg, so let's stop and change clothes! 
  • 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, feels 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 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 RedLetterMedia 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.
      • Well, the reason he asked for the machine gun? Nicky the Nose is the guy who had the machine gun? Why he didn't just ask for the machine gun? ...He's used to thinking in terms of 'scenarios'...And his brain derped because HOLY CRAP BORG!

    Why Earth? 
  • 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 traveling all those lightyears past all the planets viable for assimilation to get one measly primitive civilization under their thumb? 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.
    • The Borg arrived at a time when Earth would be ripe to conquer. The Borg came back at a focal point, to prevent humanity from creating Warp Drive, which becomes the lynchpin of the later Federation. Picard later agrees, "Humanity is an easy target in this era". Obviously if their goal is to assimilate the whole species, it would be much easier to assimilate a single planet, than a large interstellar civilization like the Federation, which has spread out to a significant portion of the galaxy by the 24th century. Furthermore, in the start of Act II Data mentions they have arrived in a dark, bleak period of humanity, following the third world war. Riker even muses this is a good strategy, most of the major cities have been destroyed, there are few governments left, therefore no resistance. Again, it would be much easier to assimilate a species that is struggling to put itself together, than one who has completely unified.
      • But would the human race be any less of an "easy target" if the Borg had arrived, say, in 1955 — or 500 AD for that matter? Time travel plot lines open such problems.
    • 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 home world 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 quadrant in the present, more 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 android 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 super-hacking 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 rescuing 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 development 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 occurred 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 technological 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.
  • 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 emit 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 nano probe 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.
    • And, for why the 'life signs' thing was ignored? It is likely that after Q-Who, the first thing Picard did was recalibrate sensors so as to detect 'sleeping' Borg. It's likely that 'regenerating' Borg read as corpses, due to it's just a matter of searching for 'dead' Borg...the chance of a false positive are minimal.

    Deck counting 
  • 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.

    Not with the safety on you won't 
  • During the Holodeck scene Picard states that he "disengaged the safety protocols". However in the TNG episode "Descent" 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.

    Two of our islands are missing 
  • 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?
    • Not an expert on geography but I think New Zealand is just further south than is shown. Tasmania, an island state just off the bottom right corner of Australia, is just barely in the picture, and New Zealand is even further to the southeast. I expect it is still there, just outside the range of vision provided.
    • New Zealand seems to have disappeared in the early 21th Century, and reappeared sometime before the mid 24th. It doesn't seem to have moved, just disappeared, somehow—being Trek, we can be fairly sure a Negative Space Wedgie was involved. We know it will exist again in the future, because Tom Pairs will be incarcerated there at some point, and it hasn't been physically moved, because it appears exactly where it should on a computer map of Earth while Enterprise is being evacuated. So...maybe New Zealand is like that disappearing planet from the DS9 episode "Meridian?"
    • It was moved into Middle Earth so Peter Jackson Jr. could film his "The Hobbit: The Revenge" trilogy.

    Defiant to the end 
  • 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.
    • Not so much WMG there. According to the episode Albatross from the animated series, Starfleet General Order 6: "If all life aboard a Federation starship had perished, the ship would self-destruct within twenty-four hours to protect other ships from potential hazards within." Contradicted by several episodes but there you go. The Defiant simply hadn't been adrift long enough to trigger its self-destruct, assuming the secondary command processors were still active to do so.
    • I was more confused by Worf ordering the Defiant to ram the Cube like he didn't give a shit, then once he's beamed onto the Enterprise, he asks about his ship like he cares. He's bothered if it was destroyed, but not bothered enough not to ram it into another ship killing himself and everyone else on board?
      • Riker was also ready to ram the Borg in "The Best Of Both Worlds". It doesn't mean he doesn't value the ship, but he recognizes that they're on the verge of being destroyed anyway, and/or that ramming the Borg may be the only way to hurt them. Especially since it's Worf; if he's going to die anyway, he would try to take as many of them with him as he possibly could — Defiant to the end (rather fitting). Once that danger has passed, he asks after the ship because its destruction is no longer imminent.
      • Also consider that it's the only substantial ship Deep Space Nine had, and they're on the front lines of the whole other mess that's brewing with the Dominion. From a purely tactical point of view, Worf would not want to see them lose that. It's one thing if they're going to lose it no matter what, it's another when saving the ship becomes a realistic possibility.

    Right through their shields 
  • From the same scene with the Defiant mentioned above. What always confused me is this: Star Trek has pretty well established that to use ship-to-ship transporters, you have to lower the shields. Wouldn't that be a bad idea in the middle of a space melee with the Borg?
    • Shields are a problem unless you know their frequency, if you know the frequency it's like they're not there at all (at least that's how modern Federation tech works). The Defiant's shields were down so no problem there and the Enterprise would naturally know their own frequency so there was no issue.
      • You forget the numerous times that an inability to beam people through the ship's own shields has been a plot point. And the dialogue makes it clear that that's what's happening. In "Arsenal of Freedom": LAFORGE: "Red Alert! Battle stations! We can't the away team beam up with our shields in place." In "Contagion": WESLEY: "Commander, what about the away team? With the shields up, we can't beam them back." In "Way of the Warrior," the Defiant is unable to beam over the Detepa Council while its shields are up. Such incidents make it clear that you can't beam through shields, no way, no how, even if it's Starfleet technology at both ends, even if it's your people that you want to retrieve from a planet below, etc. "The Wounded" provides a rare exception based justified by the particular configuration of the Phoenix's shields and O'Brien's knowhow and innovation (and notably no talk of "frequency"). If sometimes you can't beam through shields when it drives the narrative but you get to whenever the writers feel like ignoring that rule (as in "Relics" and countless Voyager episodes), that's just plain old bad writing.
    • we have heard in many an episode about "port shields" and "aft shields" etc, which would suggest that shields, even though they form a bubble, there are separate generators and what have you that project the shields in different areas. So its possible that the Enterprise dropped its starboard shields (the ones closest to the Defiant) to beam Worf over while keeping the port side shields facing the Borg Cube active. In "Nemesis" we even see CGI and graphics of different shield areas failing at different times.

    Body Temperature 
  • 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 super coolers 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.

    Continuity Lockout 
  • 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 crew member 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 some such, 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.
      • Also, Hugh and Seven didn't retain their old personalities. They were drones that eventually developed a sense of self after being separated from the collective (Hugh in particular wasn't even "un-assimilated") but they never regained their original personalities the way Picard did. They were, for all intents and purposes, different people.
      • It's more likely the medical explanation. As has been mentioned, un-assimilated drones usually regain past memories (Hugh was an exception for whatever reason), even if their personalities are changed by the experience. But with both Picard and Seven, it took a substantial amount of medical effort to remove the Borg components from them (they were in fact unable to fully remove Seven's). To do that for each of the assimilated crewmembers would be an immense task, not to mention they don't even have a functioning sickbay and they're in the middle of a battle. Not to mention the challenge of keeping those drones contained in the meantime.

    Ignore the main characters, they're not a threat 
  • 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 assimilated 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/assimilated when they became a threat.

    Backwards-compatible Borg? 
  • 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.

    Here's a new ship since you crashed the last one 
  • How did Picard and crew wind up with the Enterprise-E? In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the TOS crew was given the Enterprise-A in gratitude for having saved the Earth despite their actions from the previous film. Why would Picard receive the Enterprise-E, other than Status Quo Is God?
    • Picard is still a decorated officer and highly respected by Starfleet, so there's no real reason to deny giving him a new ship just because that ship happens to be called Enterprise. Remember, by Picard's time the name Enterprise has become more than just a name (Kirk's ship was just a run of the mill starship), it's a legacy that's bestowed upon the fleet's flagship, so it shouldn't be surprising that they rushed to give the name to one of the next ships off the assembly line. As for why Picard was given it in particular, he was an experienced officer in need of a ship and the new ship was in need of a captain, plus (within the fleet at least, if not within public consciousness) it's likely by this point Picard was becoming (or had become) synonymous with Enterprise (even if not to the degree that Kirk was). As for the rest of the crew, Picard needed one for the new ship as it didn't have one (due to being new) so picked those he trusted, i.e. his old crew. The only ones he didn't pick we're those that had already been reassigned (or who had been and he couldn't get back) such as Worf.
      • Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave it to him in part as incentive to stay in Starfleet. Regardless of the Kirk's advice, anyone in Picard's position after Star Trek: Generations would be giving serious thought to retiring. He'd just gone through a massive family tragedy, his ship had been destroyed, Starfleet policy required that he be court-marshaled for the second time in his career, and he had just lead a hero of the Federation to his death. Walking away from Starfleet must have been a very tempting thought for Picard. Recognizing this, Starfleet gave him Enterprise in the hopes of not losing him. And considering the political climate of the time—the Maquis crisis in full swing, the disastrous first contact with the Dominion, and a fleet that hasn't entirely recovered from the Battle of Wolf 359—keeping one of their most experienced, dependable, effective officers might have been a priority for Starfleet Command.
    • The Enterprise is a symbol as much as it is a ship, it's where the best and brightest of Starfleet are stationed. Keeping as much of the image intact is fairly important to the moral of the Federation as anything else.
    • It's also worth noting that Kirk was not necessarily the most well-liked Captain. They gave him a new Enterprise as a reward because he saved Earth, but they almost certainly would not have otherwise given he was guilty of stealing and destroying the last one. Picard is, by all indications, rather well-liked and respected by the brass, and they would give him the new Enterprise to replace the broken one so long as it wasn't blown up by gross negligence.
      • I'd call intentionally beaming yourself, the captain, into a hostile situation as a hostage just so you can have a chat with a madman to be negligent. Or at the very least, Riker was for never thinking to rotate the shield frequencies when the Bird of Prey opened fire and the torpedoes weren't stopped by the shields, or putting Troi of all people into the driver's seat during a battle and a risky saucer separation.

    Worf kills job security 
  • What happened to the Security Officer/Tactical Officer originally assigned to the Enterprise?
    • According to the EU, that was the officer who Picard told to start fighting the Borg hand to hand. He survives and later retires after he gets married and has a kid.
      • Apparently, he reappears in Insurrection.
    • I can buy the Security Chief (Lt Daniels, I believe), being replaced by Worf especially when he's off leading the fight against the Borg on the lower decks given Worf's experience in that role, but what about before? He wasn't even invited to the staff meeting at the start of the film to discuss the Borg threat, which as a presumed senior officer and major department head, he should have been (Troi was there and she's completely useless even at her own job) And he presumably pressed the button that fired the phasers/torpedoes that brought down the Borg Cube, yet as soon as Worf is on board he gets shoved aside without even a thanks and gets sent off to fight the unwinnable war against the invulnerable enemy. Sucks to be him, I guess.
    • He's a Gold Shirt. He should count himself blessed that he got to live five minutes past his first line of dialogue, let alone the whole film.

    Picard sidelined? 
  • Ok, so Starfleet Command has a fair point that they don't want Picard at the battle site because he's too unstable around the Borg. Riker has a point that Picard is easily the most knowledgeable person about the Borg in all of Starfleet. So why not compromise? Why not just have Picard serve as an off-site adviser to the commander of the fleet? Against an enemy like the Borg how can any thing be going to far?
    • It's not like the had a lot of time to think it through... this was an active invasion.
    • I never understood that. Picard dealt with the Borg several times after being Locutus and ever showed any signs of being compromised by the experience (other than not wanting to see Hugh). Admiral Bitcheyev even put him in charge of a three starship task force to fight against a Borg invasion ("Descent"). It's only in this film (and the TNG films in general), does Picard go bat-shit crazy when he usually wouldn't have. Yet Picard is side-lined, but he was the only one who had the inside knowledge to get the fleet to finally defeat the Cube. Had Admiral Hayes let him come, he could have helped to save hundreds if not thousands of lives by speeding up the Borg defeat...
      • It also has relatively little bearing on the plot. It's like the screenwriters wanted Picard to be a rebel for some reason in the early part of the narrative, rather than just have the ship start out so far way that it arrives at Earth in the late stages of the battle.
    • None of the other times he encountered the Borg was he part of a fleet setting out to engage them. Starfleet Command was likely worried that he would pull a Leeroy Jenkins and screw up the plan they had (which was working rather well, compared to Wolf 359).
    • The more reasonable question is... Why not just relieve Picard from command and have Riker take command of the Enterprise, at most using Picard as an adviser, maybe even suspend his access codes to prevent him from being a wild card or something? The Best of Both Worlds had Riker in command of the Enterprise after Picard's assimilation, and he's part of the reason there's still a Starfleet in First Contact to face the Borg.
      • Probably because most officers would consider that a career-ending humiliation. Sending him off to patrol the Neutral Zone at least maintains the facade of having him do something useful. If Starfleet wants to retain Picard, their best bet is to afford him at least a modicum of dignity.

    All your Queens in one basket 
  • Why the heck was the Borg Queen aboard the ship that attacked Earth? Does it really make sense to send the focal point of your entire hive mind to the front lines, instead of her staying in a secure place within Borg-occupied space? This becomes even more illogical if we assume the time-travel was part of the Borg's plan to begin with. As soon as the Queen travels to the past, her connection to the Borg collective of the 24th century cuts off. If the Borg face some complications in the past and can't return to the time they came from, the Borg of the 24th century would lose their Queen. Even though Voyager later establishes that a new Queen can replace a lost one, that still doesn't mean it makes sense to send the Queen to the front lines and have her travel to the past. The mission of the time-traveling Borg was very simple: destroy the town Zephram Cochrane lives in, and thus alter the history of Earth. They wouldn't have needed to leadership of their Queen to carry out that mission. It's true that the mission was complicated when the Enterprise managed to follow them to the past, and then they needed the improvisational skills the Queen apparently possesses, but Enterprise time-traveling with them was a fluke, no way would the Borg have sent their Queen just in case something as unlikely as that happens.
    • I originally wondered if the ship itself spawned a version of the Queen as soon as it was out of time with the rest of the Collective.
    • The Borg Queen, at least as far as her physical body goes, is probably no more valuable to the Borg than a basic drone. If she's destroyed, they'll just build another one. Her AI, consciousness or whatever you want to call it is probably preserved in the Collective and can easily be loaded into a new body whenever necessary. The one in First Contact may have been destroyed, but the Borg as a whole aren't out anything because they still have borgqueen.exe backed up in millions of computers on different ships, planets etc. and can build a new one whenever they need to. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there's thousands of other Borg Queens running around throughout the galaxy. Every Borg ship probably has one, or at least the capacity to build one if they need to.
    • But if there's a borgqueen.exe in the Collective, and the Borg are always connected to it, why is a physical manifestation of the Queen even needed? Why take the risk of her giving her a body and thus making her vulnerable, when the AI could simply be a piece of software that commands them through the hive mind?
    • At the end of the day the Borg are still composed of biological races and limited by the preconceptions of the races they have assimilated. People imagine a hive queen for hive minds, and the Borg, reaping billions of minds for their ideas have to go with it. It is a limitation, but it is one that makes sense given how they came into being. They are the sum of their parts, perhaps even more so than any other race, and subsequently limited by that.
    • Exactly what the Borg Queen's role is has never been clearly defined in Trek lore. A lot of it comes down to the Alternative Character Interpretation of whether you believe she actually commands the other Borg, or is merely an avatar of their collective will. But the one in First Contact serves primarily to seduce Data (or at least that's all we see her doing) which obviously a humanoid woman could do more effectively than a disembodied voice speaking from a computer. More broadly, she might serve as an arbiter or a diplomat, similar to the role the Borg intended for Locutus in Best of Both Worlds. But it is possible she stays in the Collective most of the time and is only loaded into a physical body when she needs one for a specific task. And she's not really putting herself at risk, either. She basically says at one point that she transcends physical bodies ("That ship and all the Borg on it were destroyed" ... "You think in such three-dimensional terms"). The only way to truly destroy her would be to purge her from the entire Collective at once.

    No Universal Translator Here 
  • In the ultimate example of Aliens Speaking English, the Vulcans land on Earth at the end of movie to make first contact and deliver their signature line, "Live Long and Prosper". Except, at this point, the Vulcans had no knowledge of Earth - they had not been surveying Earth and its cultures, but just passing through the system when they detected the warp signature of Cochrane's ship. So, why would they know English? There's no universal translator at work at this point. They might want to come and say hello, but they shouldn't be able to communicate in any mutually intelligible language at this point.
    • The Vulcans may not have been studying Earth on this mission, but Star Trek: Enterprise's episode "Carbon Creek" reveals the Vulcans have already catalogued and studied Earth cultures. We were already in the database.
    • Who says the Vulcans have no Universal Translator?

    Did Amtrak survive WWIII? 
  • "You think I wanna see the stars? I don't even like to fly! I take trains!" This line would seem to suggest a greater degree of functional infrastructure than we are otherwise led to believe exists in the post-WWIII world. This is especially the case with regards to trains. For air travel to exist, there just needs to be someone who has an airplane and a pilot's license (but even then, how is the airplane's fuel replenished?). Trains require there to be train tracks. How many tracks survived a war in which "most of the major cities" did not? Train tracks generally link major cities, so destroying said cities would presumably create numerous gaps in the train grid. And who is doing maintenance on the surviving tracks? Are they also building new tracks to replace those destroyed in the war? Or is Zefram talking about his pre-WWIII life?
    • He is probably referring to the pre-war period, however train tracks are surprisingly durable. They are quick and easy to lay and with have a such a low profile and being securely fixed to the ground, they will survive pretty much anything but a direct hit. While major junctions and marshaling yards would be knocked out, most of the network would be relatively undamaged and the bits that are would be fairly easily routed around. Getting locomotives would be the problem more than the tracks themselves. Much of Europe stockpiled steam locomotives during the cold war, anticipating their network would be viable after a nuclear conflict and that it would need the more robust and easily fueled steam locos rather than diesel-electrics.

    Why tell Cochrane so much? 
  • It seemed the crew started to get touretts with Cochrane. They may have needed to break it a little to get him to fly but detailing him the full after effects of his flight seemed excessive.
    • They wanted to show him just how important it really was that he make that flight at that specific time. The fact that it had to be made at that specific date is what led them to explain more to him. They were, however, careful not to tell him (or the audience) exactly who the aliens were until they showed up.
    • It's also implied that they didn't want to tell him too much about his own future. While it's played for laughs, Riker's annoyed "You told him about the statue?" to Geordi may have been because they only wanted Cochrane to know what he needed to know to get the warp flight going and no more, and Geordi just couldn't stop being The Knights Who Say "Squee!" and blurted out more than the Enterprise crew (and Cochrane himself, it turns out) were prepared for him to know.

    Who exactly funded Cochrane? 
  • Cochrane only created warp to get rich. However, space travel is prohibitively expensive with no cash payoffs. How did Cochrane envision making money off of warp drive?
    • The whole point of warp drive is to make space travel less expensive, and it's an entirely different approach from anything used by humans before. Telling Cochrane "space travel is just too expensive, you'll never make any money," is like telling the Wright brothers "flight is just a novelty, you'll never make any money building hot-air balloons".
    • Assuming their research began pre-World War III, they could have pitched it in any number of ways to the US Government to get funding in the build-up to the war.
    • Relating to a different question from above, it's extremely unlikely that Lilly and Cochrane did all of their work in the After the End setting. They were most likely very well funded by CERN/The US Government until the war. Currently they are just soldiering on with whatever they can find, and the community in Bozeman is staying because their is some semblance of infrastructure and support.

    Why save Data? 
  • Picard initially explained that you should consider a fellow crew member dead if they've been gotten to by the Borg and put them out of their mercy. I know the answer for TV watchers is Picard saved Data was because Picard cared about Data because Data is one of the seven main characters and all those others redshirts were insignificant, but shouldn't Picard have followed the same logic?
    • Picard went back for Data because Data was his friend, and he felt a personal duty to him. It also seems clear that he didn't expect to survive the attempt. Notice that Picard waited until his crew were reasonably safe before fulfilling what he considered a personal obligation.
    • Picard's comment about considering fellow crew members dead was mean to show his Revenge Before Reason callousness and growing Sanity Slippage; basically, Character Development and My God, What Have I Done?? Going back for Data demonstrates he is less cynical now on reflection, and besides that, Data is not a random Ensign he barely knew, he is his protege and friend of several years.
    • Data and Picard have a very special connection, that is often overlooked. Beyond just their friendship, Picard explains it quite well to Lily, why he must try. "When I was captured by the Borg, my crew risked everything to save me. There is a person still on board this ship who I owe the same to". In Best of Both Worlds in TNG the crew indeed did go above and beyond to rescue Picard. Data in particular took quite a few personal risks, he was a part of both away teams that were sent in to rescue Picard. (The first one failed, leading to the cliffhanger) Then, later after Picard had been recovered, he was still programmed with Borg Imperial Dogma. Data hooked himself directly to Picard, risking himself being assimilated and his own neural net frying. He helped Picard re establish neural links and break the hold the Borg had on him. Therefore it could be said that Data did the most, put in herculean efforts, all to save Picard. So it is justified that Picard owes him the very same.
    • Not to mention, Data can't be assimilated. That may or may not factor into Picard's decision making, but it does make Data's situation fundementally different than any other crew member.

     Vulcan procedure for initiating first contact 
  • Anyone else think it's a bit odd the Vulcans make contact with Earth immediately after finding out they have FTL technology just because a Vulcan ship happened to be passing through the area at the time? I mean do all Vulcan ship captains have permission to make first contact the moment they find out a previously pre-warp world has warp technology? Shouldn't they have to report their findings to the Vulcan government first and then get official permission to make contact? And wouldn't the government take some time and talk it over before deciding to grant that permission? Also, shouldn't there be more factors involved in deciding to make first contact then whether or not a planet has FTL technology? The movie said World War 3 had just ended and the planet was in a state of instability and chaos. You'd think the Vulcans might be a bit reluctant to make contact just on grounds that one guy creates a primitive warp engine.
    • This was discussed a bit above. Basically, yes, Vulcans apparently had a policy at the time that if they spotted a ship with FTL technology they should go visit and check out a species that will apparently soon be out in space with their own ships. Troi says that Vulcans were already aware of Earth and humans, and were simply not interested in making contact until they had the warp drive.
      • That just seems really inefficient, especially for Vulcans. Wouldn't they want a professional diplomat to make first contact, and not some random ship captain who they don't know is actually qualified for the task?
      • They're Vulcans. Their captain might just have assumed that he was qualified for the task; for all we know, he was- after all, in Star Trek, every single Federation captain is also a professional diplomat (amongst other things), so why not the same for the Vulcans?
    • Remember, though, that thanks to a retcon in Enterprise, Vulcans consider first contact with humanity to have already happened in 1957 in Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania. I think you could argue that this made Earth a bit of a special case for the Vulcans—especially since one of stranded Vulcans in that episode elected to stay behind. It actually brings up some interesting secondary headscratchers, because it implies that the Vulcans, on their own or in cooperation with the Earth government, apparently kept this incident out of the history books well into the 22nd Century, at least.
    • No one knows if Carbon Creek is canonical or not as T'Pol immediately went on to deny it and the only physical evidence presented is a single tattered handbag in her quarters. Also, why would there be any need for cooperation with the Earth government? If this incident actually occurred than absolutely no one in the Vulcan government knows that Mestral is alive as T'Mir made out that he died in the crash. This incident was probably recorded as a footnote in some file somewhere and then forgotten about.
    • Actually, we also have T'Pol's otherwise unexplained five day personal trip to Pennsylvania, which is part of the official embassy log. This is a character who, in her earliest appearances, expressed disdain for the very concept of exploration taking a 5,000 mile round trip from Sausalito, California to rural Pennsylvania for no other explicable reason—if she just wanted to see a defunct coal mine, there are several she could have visited in Alameda County. And it's true that keeping the incident out of the history books wouldn't require the cooperation of the Earth government, which is why I used the word "or." First Contact was such an important event that Star Trek: Voyager establishes it's a Federation-wide holiday in the late 24th century. Historians like to study the events connected to holidays both major and minor. They scour journals, official reports, news stories, and even oral history. If there were any information that contradicts the accepted First Contact narrative, it would eventually be found and studied. If you doubt that, just compare what's taught about Columbus Day today to what was taught about it a half century ago. Those historians would have had 89 years between First Contact and "Carbon Creek" to scrutinize every Vulcan file they could get their hands on for mentions of Earth or its solar system, so if they haven't found it by now, it's probably being kept from them. Again, that's if it happened—which based on what we're shown in the episode, I'm inclined to believe it did.
    • Consider how close Earth and Vulcan are, only a dozen or so light years apart. It's entirely possible that Vulcan would have been the first destination of any human exploratory mission, even if only by virtue of being one of the nearest habitable star systems (it might even be considered the nearest, depending on what future information is gathered on local stars). So regardless of whether or not the Vulcan ship landed, there was a good chance that first contact would occur within a few days. Why not let it happen on the Vulcans' terms, rather than the humans'? (Alternatively, given the proximity and tech level of Earth, the Vulcan government might have actually set up a protocol for first contact with humanity.)
      • For the record, Vulcan's star is 40 Eridani A (per some authorized background materials), 16.5 light years from us.

    Why can't the Borg stop the self-destruct? 
  • I mean, we've seen the Borg assimilation ability do things that border on reality-warping, such as change the very walls of the ship like some kind of virus-induced shapeshifting. But they can't hack the computers controlling the countdown? Shouldn't their nanites be able to eat/transform all the circuits controlling the countdown? Heck, just infect the wires leading from the computers to whatever they trigger to cause the explosion. Or assimilate the explosive devices themselves. It just seems like there should be hundred ways for an assimilation ability as powerful as theirs to stop something like this.
    • Data locks the computer, and this is apparently enough to stop the Borg from doing anything with it. He sees them later trying to access the computer and failing, which is when the Borg Queen decides to try persuasion/seduction instead. Starfleet computer security must be just that good. Or the Borg are just that poor at breaking it.
      • In a really cool bit of continuity, Data isolates the computer with a "Fractal Encryption Code." In the series, it's revealed that the Borg can't process fractals.

     How many weapons did you stop to grab while you were abandoning ship? 
  • Where did Worf get the Klingon sword he used on the deflector dish? I doubt he got it off the Defiant before being beamed aboard.
    • You don't think weapon collectors exist in the 24th century? A crew member on the Enterprise E could've owned it and Worf simply borrowed it for the spacewalk just in case. Or he could've gotten it from the nearest working replicator.
      • Maybe Riker won it in a poker bet and had it mounted on the wall in his quarters.
      • From a replicator?
      • Scarier option: he might carry one on him at all times. Just, you know, in case.
      • Or, you know, it could actually be sequestered in his baldric sash (only moving it to his spacesuit during the spacewalk scene since melee combat was expected). The premiere episode of Star Trek: Enterprise has the Klingon who crash-lands on Earth withdraw a blade from his sash. Klingons being the Proud Warrior Race of the franchise, it's quite plausible.
      • Confirmed. We see several times on DS9 that Worf keeps his Mek'leth in his baldric at all times when on away missions, or if combat is expected.
    • Question, would that be scary, or scary awesome?

     Pre-emptive Nightmare 
  • As amazing as it was, Picard's dream ultimately takes away the reveal of the Borg's more terrifying revamped look.
    • The Borg were probably able to find scarier or more clingy ways in the six or seven years between The Best Of Both Worlds and Star Trek: First Contact; instead of slipping implants on like gloves, they chop arms off, remove eyes, remove feet (there are some shots of a Borg drone's feet and they look quite mechanical), and the nanoprobes already account for the pale complexion, the linkage to the hive mind, and implants popping up all over the body like acne.

     Use a bigger stick 
  • Speaking of Replicators and physical weapons being more difficult for the Borg to adapt to, why not replicate polearms - a ranged, physical weapon that's easy to use with limited training - and use those to fight the Borg?
    • The first reason being the sheer number of Borg in any given area. Even if a group of officers could huddle while staging an attack, we've seen it only takes a pin prick to begin assimilation. The second reason in relation to using a polearm, those are claustrophobically narrow hallways with all the Borg tech being superimposed on the walls. Good luck trying to swing a Borg cat around. What's more, one would hardly want to speculate the possibility of Borg simply adapting to melee combat and what that would entail.
    • Also, the use of physical force required to make these work against the Borg are is considerate. Worf is able to make it work with his sword and an improvised club, and one of those is in the vacuum of space with no air resistance, and only that with considerable effort, and has is an expert in close-quarters combat. Data makes it work because he is physically faster and stronger than the Borg, and even he is overwhelmed. Most Starfleet officers don't have Worf's training or discipline or Data's strength/speed, and even then, the Borg are heavily armored. In fact several crewmen are shown trying to copy Worf and are quickly overwhelmed.

     Have they found somebody's History of the Borg book or something? 
  • At one point Dr. Crusher states that "in the twenty-first century the Borg are still in the Delta Quadrant." This is the first time it is established in dialogue that the Borg hail from the DQ, though it's been a behind-the-scenes detail for several years (an Okudagram in "Descent" says as much, as mentioned in The Star Trek: TNG Companion). It's a minor thing but I always wondered just how Starfleet came to know this, and enough about the Borg's history to know where they would have been limited to a few centuries back.
    • I think you could make the argument that we've seen the Federation has had several opportunities to glean intelligence about the Borg at that point—probably including enough to construct a rough partial history. Who knows what Picard learned through his two-way connection with the Borg hive mind, or what they managed to learn from Hugh. There were also a number of El-Aurian refugees who could very well have had local knowledge about the spread of the Collective. Data spent several days with a number of liberated Borg drones, and may well have learned quite a bit about the Collective and its history. And don't forget the Hansens, and whatever research they managed to deliver back to the Federation before they were assimilated.
      • True, but it's interesting that none of these potential sources seemed to know of the Queen, whose existence later seems like no special secret. Such is what comes of recons, I guess. On that point, it's kind of odd that told that the Hansens knew of the Borg at least in rumour much earlier, yet these rumours never reached Picard and co. Shrug. I don't think the Hansens got any info to the Federation, though, since Voyager initially has no more info on them than that they disappeared.
      • I'd hardly say that the Queen's existence was 'no special secret'; every reference to the Queen after this film occurred in Voyager, when they would have either had access to the Hansens' records (which likely included the Hansens finding at least something about the Queen's existence before they were assimilated themselves), or just witnessed her in "Dark Frontier", decided not to question her status as a Borg of authority in the middle of a crisis, and asked Seven about her afterwards.

     Just how old is Zefram Cochrane? 
  • Apparently some chronologies put him as being born in the early 2030s when this film takes place in 2063, although the novelization has him born in 2013. It's quite clear Cochrane in the movie has the appearance of an older man, and James Cromwell will have been in his mid-50s at the time of production, clearly not a man who would appear to our eyes as being in his early 30s as we are led to expect by some sources. One could imagine that the effects of radiation from a post-nuclear-war scenario, Cochrane's alcoholism and other realities of postwar life might have aged the man beyond his years, but really, how plausible is it?
    • Somewhat before they made First Contact, the Okudas used 2030 as the date for his birth in The Star Trek Chronology, working backwards from the dates given in "Metamorphosis." Later sources kept that date even though it doesn't really fit with Cromwell's casting. Interestingly, the Okudas also given the first contact with another alien species (not yet specified) as happening in 2061, when the movie made it 2063.

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