In the 24th Century, the cybernetic Borg attempt a second invasion of Sector 001, the home of the human race. Instead of warping to planet Earth to join the battle, however, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the U.S.S Enterprise-E are ordered to stay away. Starfleet fears that Picard’s traumatic experience being assimilated by the Borg could make him an “unstable element” in the critical defense of Earth.
The Borg are really no-brainers as movie antagonists. The most beloved episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation remains the two-parter “The Best of Both Worlds,” concerning a Borg incursion into Federation space. The Borg are such popular villains because they promise a fate much worse than death.
Prime among these is the zero-gravity sequence in which Picard, Worf and Hunt must battle the Borg on the exterior of the Enterprise hull, on the main deflector dish. This scene is splendidly-directed, buttressed by incredible special effects, and it features an undercurrent of anxiety throughout, as the Borg – slowly becoming aware of Picard’s interference – begin to menace the crew as the team works to stop them.
And yet they lead with trust and peace, and a wonderful, new era is opened up because of their willingness to go out on a limb. Frankly, I find the final scenes of First Contact absolutely inspiring, reminding us of the better angels of our nature. We can greet the unknown not with fear, paranoia and suspicion, but with hope and peace and trust.
I understand that Star Trek fans are divided on the subject of Frakes as a director. He gets good performances from the cast here, and manages several action scenes nicely. Judging by First Contact, he certainly seems up to the center seat...the director's chair.