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Star Trek: First Contact

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie (2) Star Trek: First Contact (Paramount Pictures, 1996; see also 1996 in film), is the eighth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. In it, the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation again encounter their adversaries, the Borg, and this time attempt to prevent the Borg from changing history by conquering the Earth of the 21st century through the use of time travel. The film is directed by Jonathan Frakes from a script by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, with music composed by Jerry Goldsmith.

Contents

Main cast

Plot summary

Following the destruction of the USS Enterprise-D in Star Trek: Generations, the bridge crew, with the exception of Worf, was transferred to a new Sovereign class starship, the USS Enterprise-E. Shortly before the beginning of the film, a Borg cube ship has entered Federation space on a course for Earth; the Enterprise has been assigned to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone during this. Due to Captain Jean-Luc Picard's past experience with the Borg, Starfleet considered him too unstable to lead a ship into battle against them.

At the beginning of the story, Picard chooses to disobey his orders and takes the ship to Earth, where the Starfleet contingent has met the Borg (see Battle of Sector 001). Upon arriving, the Enterprise takes part in the fighting and transports aboard survivors from the heavily damaged USS Defiant, including its commanding officer, Lt. Commander Worf. The cube ship is defeated by the fleet, but shortly before its destruction ejects a sphere ship, which the Enterprise pursues. The sphere heads toward Earth and opens and travels through a tunnel through time, through which the ship follows. The two arrive in 2063, and the Borg ship begins to fire on a camp in the northwest region of the United States. The Enterprise destroys the sphere; however, unknown at this time, a number of Borg drones including the Borg Queen managed to transport into the Jeffries tubes in the ship's engineering section.

Missing image
Sovereign-2.jpg
The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E
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Star_Trek-First_Contact-Phoenix.jpg
The Phoenix

Picard, realizing that the Borg were attempting to destroy the Phoenix, Earth's first warp-capable vessel, has an away team, including himself, transport in civilian clothes to the missile silo housing it. Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge and an engineering team work on the damaged vessel while Commander William T. Riker attempts to convince Dr. Zefram Cochrane, designer and pilot of the ship, to go through with the flight tomorrow, knowing that the time of his warp test is imperative to establishing first contact with the Vulcans. At the same time, Captain Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher return to the Enterprise with Lily Sloane, Cochrane's assistant, who was injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, the Borg begin to assimilate the equipment and crewmembers that they encounter on the Enterprise, taking over main engineering and moving upward through the decks. Realizing their presence, Picard leads the remaining officers against the Borg, during which Lt. Commander Data is taken by the Borg and Picard encounters Lily in a Jeffries tube, whom he informs as to what's happening. The two flee from a group of drones and take refuge in a holodeck, which Picard loads with a scene from a Dixon Hill holonovel in a crowded nightclub and configures it with safeties off. He then obtains a Tommy gun and kills the Borg with it; his manner indicates to Lily his great hatred for the Borg. He takes a chip from within a drone which stores the matters on the collective's schedule.

The two return to the rest of the crew and find that the Borg are building a communications antenna on the Enterprise's navigational deflector to call for assistance from the Borg of this time. Picard, Worf, and Lieutenant Hawk don space suits and magnetic boots and venture out on to the hull armed with phaser rifles. They make their way to the deflector dish and begin to switch on the three manual controls that release the central part of the dish. The drones building the antenna begin to move against the three. They manage to assimilate Hawk; Picard moves over to Hawk's control and activates it while Worf kills Hawk. The released plate, carrying several Borg and the antenna, begins to move away from the Enterprise and is destroyed with a rifle when a safe distance away.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix has been repaired and Cochrane convinced to make the attempt. The vessel is launched on April 5, 2063 as it is supposed to be and exits Earth's gravity without incident.

On the Enterprise, the Borg have continued to climb upward. Worf advocates setting the ship's self-destruct function and leaving in lifeboats. Picard refuses to allow the Borg to cause the loss of the Enterprise. The two argue this heatedly until Lily convinces Picard that his hate of the Borg is clouding his reasoning. He agrees to destroying the ship. As the crew are abandoning the ship, he doesn't join them, instead going down into engineering to recover Data.

Meanwhile, Data has been taken to the Borg queen, who has been attempting to entice him to join her through replacing pieces of his skin with human skin and connecting them to his nervous system, helping him in his goal of becoming human. When Picard enters main engineering, the Borg queen says that Data may leave with him if he wishes; Data refuses. The queen then has Data deactivate the self-destruct program, which he does, and fire on the Phoenix; he fires, deliberately missing the Phoenix, however, and then kills the queen by breaking open a tube carrying a coolant that dissolves organic tissue on contact. The death of the queen causes the collective onboard the ship to fail. Picard saves himself by climbing up on tubes dangling from the ceiling until the gas has drained from the room. Data, his patches of real skin gone, reveals that he had not long considered her offer of joining her.

The Phoenix test is a success. Shortly after Cochrane returns, the Vulcan survey ship T'plana'hath lands in the camp to make first contact with humans, having detected the warp signature from the Phoenix. The Enterprise crew returns to the ship, and it returns to its own time using the means that the sphere ship did.

Notes/trivia

  • Although the role of Zefram Cochrane was actually written for James Cromwell , Tom Hanks was originally considered for the role, but the filming of this movie coincided with the filming of That Thing You Do! (1996) which prevented him from taking the part.
  • The Borg makeup and suits had to be constantly touched up. Several of the Borg actors lost a considerable amount of weight while in costume due to the heat of the sets and temperature in Los Angeles during the shooting.
  • At the end of filming, actor/director Jonathan Frakes got the nickname "Two takes Frakes" because of the efficiency of his style.
  • The deflector dish is labeled AE35, the name of a component of a satellite dish in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
  • Cameo: Ronald D. Moore The screenwriter appears in the holodeck club scene.
  • Cameo: Brannon Braga The screenwriter appears in the holodeck club scene.
  • Cameo: Dwight Schultz reprises his role as Lt. Barclay from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • This film marks the final appearance of the "oval-back" combadges (which appears on Picard's uniform in his nightmare) that were introduced in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and were subsequently used in the first two seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Death Wish."
  • When Dr. Crusher says "In the 21st century, the Borg are still in the Delta Quadrant", it was intended as a teaser for upcoming episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, in which The Borg were featured prominently.
  • The program menu in the holosuite depicts various holodeck programs from previous episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Specifically: Cafe Des Artistes is from "We'll Always Have Paris". Charnock's Comedy Cabaret is from "The Outrageous Okona". The Big Goodbye is from "The Big Goodbye", "Manhunt", and "Clues". Emerald Wading Pool is from "Conundrum." Equestrian Adventure is from "Pen Pals".
  • Cameo: Robert Picardo reprises his role as the Emergency Medical Hologram from Star Trek: Voyager.
  • The eyepieces of the Borg flash the Morse code of the names of people associated with the production.
  • The opera that Picard is listening to is Berlioz' "Les Troyens". The song is "Hylas' Song" from the beginning of Act V. Hylas is a homesick young sailor being rocked to sleep by the sea as he dreams of the homeland he will never see again.
  • The character of Ensign Lynch is a reference to Internet critic Timothy W. Lynch, who watched and reviewed every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Reginald Barclay shows LaForge a coil of copper wire to ask if it would work to fix the plasma coil. It is the same prop used in Forbidden Planet (1956) where a crew-member asks Commander Adams if it would work in building the transmitter.
  • In an earlier draft of the script, the character of Lily was originally named Ruby. In the theatrical version, Ruby is now a holographic character in "The Big Goodbye" holonovel. Additionally, the Enterprise-E was depicted as being part of the Nova Class of starships instead of the Sovereign Class. The Nova class starship was later introduced in the Star Trek: Voyager episode of "Equinox" as the USS Equinox.
  • The display cases in the Enterprise's briefing room contain gold models of all six Federation starships to bear the name Enterprise.
  • The first Star Trek movie to receive an MPAA rating higher than PG (PG-13).
  • The titles Star Trek: Borg and Star Trek: Resurrection were considered. The Resurrection title was almost a lock until the studio realized Fox had earlier registered the name for their upcoming Alien movie. The name "First Contact" is also the name of a 4th season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • The "first contact" in this movie takes place at a "missile silo in Montana". Montana's missile base is Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana, site of many of the more famous "UFO" sightings over the past few decades.
  • The character of Zefram Cochrane originated in the Star Trek episode "Metamorphosis" (1967). There are differences between the Cochrane from the series and from this movie, but they are both regaled as pioneers in the field of space-flight.
  • ILM animators created several new classes of Federation ships for the huge CGI animation sequence against the Borg. Classes include the Akira, Saber, Steamrunner and Norway. The Norway class of starship is seen for the first (and only) time in this film; the CGI model of the ship was subsequently lost due to a computer glitch, and so the class never appeared again in any other Trek show or film.
  • James Cromwell becomes the first actor in Star Trek history to actually utter the phrase "star trek" (although in the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, John de Lancie (as Q) said, "It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars").
  • Footage of the Warp Ship Phoenix's launch was later reused in the opening sequence for the new Star Trek series Enterprise in 2001. James Cromwell reprised his role of Zefram Cochrane in the Enterprise episode "Broken Bow". In the episode, Cochrane is seen as a recording from the dedication of the "Warp 5 Complex".
  • In earlier versions Picard's character was supposed to be the one helping Zefram Cochrane on Earth, with Riker fighting the Borg on the Enterprise. The main story was also focused on the happenings on Earth. After Patrick Stewart objected to that, the characters of Riker and Picard were swapped. This also resulted in making Picard more of an action hero and the story more focusing on happenings on the Enterprise.
  • Actor Michael Zaslow, the first actor to have been killed off in the Star Trek universe, has an uncredited appearance as Eddie, the bartender
  • Cochrane asks Geordi, "Don't you people in the 24th century ever pee?" This is a reference to the fact that bathrooms are never shown on screen (although they do appear in some blueprints).
  • After Cochrane sarcastically asks Riker, "Don't you have the moon in the 24th century?" Riker mentions that there are over 50 million colonists on the moon, as well as a list of cities on the moon, including Tycho City. Tycho was the crater on the Moon (named after 16th century Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe) where the monolith was found in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
  • Earlier drafts of the script called for the Defiant to be destroyed in the battle with the Borg, but screenwriter Ronald D. Moore objected to the needless destruction of the ship from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in a story that didn't even involve the Deep Space Nine characters (apart from Worf). It would also prove to be inconvenient for the television show, so the Defiant was eventually allowed to survive the battle.
  • The Defiant, introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, was built for the sole purpose to fight and defeat the Borg. This movie features the only time the ship fights the Borg.
  • Once the creative team decided they were going to make a time travel movie two of the time periods they considered the Enterprise and her crew visiting included the American Civil War and Medieval Europe (which gives the alternate title "Renaissance" more meaning), and would have included a castle that would have partially been assimilated by the Borg.
  • Is the first Star Trek film in which none of the original Star Trek (1966) cast members appear.
  • Early rumours had suggested that Lieutenant Hawk (Neal McDonough) would be the first gay crew-member in the Star Trek franchise. While the rumours were proven to be false, Andy Mangels' and Michael Martin's novel Section 31: Rogue, portrayed Lieutenant Hawk as a gay character, although the Star Trek novels, comic books and video games are not considered canon.

Trademark litigation

Paramount was sued over the film in federal court by the heirs of William F. Jenkins, a science-fiction author who wrote under the pen name "Murray Leinster". Jenkins had published a short story in 1945 entitled "First Contact", which may have been at least one of the original sources of the term, and his heirs who held the rights to the story claimed that "Star Trek: First Contact" infringed their trademark in the term. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Paramount's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the suit (see Estate of William F. Jenkins v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 90 F. Supp. 2d 706 (E.D. Va. 2000) (http://wikisource.org/wiki/Estate_of_William_F._Jenkins_v._Paramount_Pictures_Corp.) for the full text of the court's ruling). The court found that regardless of whether Jenkins first coined "first contact", it since became a generic (and therefore unprotectable) term that described the overall genre of science fiction in which humans first encounter alien species. Even if the title was instead "descriptive"—a category of terms higher than "generic" that may be protectable—there was no evidence that the title had the required association in the public's mind (known as "secondary meaning") such that its use would normally be understood as referring to Jenkin's story. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's dismissal without comment.

External links


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