Happy First Contact Day

According to Star Trek future history, on April 5th, 2063 Dr. Zefram Cochrane became the first man to break the warp barrier (with a little help from the crew of the NCC-1701E) and garnered the attention of some Vulcans in the neighborhood…sparking the ‘first contact’ between humans and aliens…and the beginnings of the United Federation of Planets and all that came with it.

The fateful moment
The following scene from Star Trek First Contact is one of the more powerful in all Trek film history, culminating the best of the TNG era films. It was a bit brave to have the ultimate moment in the film given over to the guest actors and have the TNG ‘stars’ literally fade off into the background. In that brief glimpse of Humans and Vulcans meeting for the first time, in friendship, you see in an instant the entirety of Gene Roddenberry’s message of a humanity that will eventually (after many struggles) come together into an optimistic future. The moment, punctuated by composer Jerry Goldsmith with just the right amount of celebratory gravitas, truly said this is our future and this is the beginning of ‘Star Trek.’

Learn more about the ‘First Contact’
(links from our friends at Memory Alpha)
First Contact Day
First Contact (film)
The Phoenix
Zefram Cochrane
…and from the real world attempts at first contact
NASA: Warp Drive, When?
SETI Institute


How will you celebrate?
Planning a First Contact viewing party? Going to finally go up to that girl/guy and make your own ‘first contact’? Share your ideas with your fellow trekkies.


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Best Star Trek movie ever.

Only 55 more years to go. ;)

I’ll celebrate it by wishing for First Contact to go how it went in Enterprise’s Mirror Universe episode. Take out a shotgun and conquer the Vulcans!

On the real April 5, 2063, I will be in Bozeman, Montana having the biggest party of my life…

First Contact did exactly the right thing for a Trek movie — it gave us a story that really mattered. It gave the characters so much to respond to.

I remember seeing it in the theaters. When the Vulcan revealed his ears, the audience burst into cheers. A testament to how much Trek’s hopeful future means in our time.

40 yrs back today, i myself made the first contact with life. so it was a huge surprise when i first saw the movie and my birthday chosen as a fictional major event.

Too long to wait! Hurry it up, Cochrane! :)

I utterly adore the First Contact Main Theme. And that moment. Never fails to get me to claim I’ve got something in my eye…

Anyone know any Cochranes that look like a promising bunch? Maybe give ’em a few hints, like that new Michio Kaku book for instance. Heh.

It makes me wish there really were Vulcans out there, keeping an eye on us… I could do without World War III & 600 million dead, however….

I’ll be waiting at the juke box (playing something better than that crappy rockabilly thang.) I’ll only be 100 years old.

He was actually ZEFRAM Cohrane with an F.

you know, watching that scene again… I wonder. How come the rest of the movies couldn’t have that kind of emotional punch to them? I can only think of two other instances, Spock’s death, and McCoy’s terminating his father’s life support. Don’t the writers and powers that be (or were, more appropriately) feel the audience can handle it?

I’ll be 99 when that date comes to pass. Middle aged, by what I’m planning. :-)

man here we go dragging that canon crap in again. in the new and improved star trek universe, first contact will take place over the sub-space internet when a hot green blooded vulcan babe suddenly gets an IM from a buff male twenty-something humanoid from earth who modified a crackberry communicator with some gee-whiz tools he and his whacky friends stole from the science lab where he is employed as a janitor. They resolve to meet at the all night inter-stellar rave in the gamma quadrant, dance the night away and live happily ever after and visualize universal peas, which becomes the basis of the federation.

I’ll be celebrating by meeting one of Star Wars’ best authors, TIMOTHY FRAKIN ZAHN!!

Best TNG movie despite the obvious continuity gaffe of Cochrane being from Alpha Centurai instead of Earth – and no I don’t buy the – he moved there afterwards – rationalization.

First Contact is the last bit of TNG goodness.

Let’s hope the new film has at least as equally a poignant a moment.

Of course, in the mirror universe, this was an equally important moment, as Cochrane starts blasting the Vulcans right away. I remember thinking: “Gee, Bush my stay in office for a very long time!”

@4 Freddy Wise.

Please have a drink for me. In 2063, I’ll be 96–but I’ll probably be dead instead.

The thought of my being dead is really depressing… Thanks.

#13 Jim- Exactly! LOL!!

Well here I go:
I hated FC the first time I saw it, and still do.
Rife with inconsistent writing, plot holes, out-of-character acting, awkward lines, smarmy “humor,” slip-shod special effects, and a derivative Goldsmith score, (Jerry AND Joel, btw) it amazes me how people continue to gush over this movie. Not to mention, the “big surprise ending” being the most groaningly predictable moment in Trek history, Cochrane’s choice of music being appallingly hideous, and, come on, Picard being convinced to blow up HIS SHIP by some smart-assed total stranger?? Would Kirk have done that? Hell, would Pickard have done that on the series?? It’s called bad, careless, and lazy WRITING. The hallmark of the B&B era.
God knows, I’ve TRIED to like it. I’ve recently decided that the whole thing created a tangential, paralell timeline, which resulted in the Archer Enterprise AND is the explanation for the way ST0 looks. But the movie still pisses me off.
I know I’m in the minority, BUT not totally alone in my opinions.

PS- A bright spot is that I found a rare 2 disc set of the score.
It is FAR better than the original release, though the main theme still sounds like something that would be played at a commencement ceremony.


TMP started it all with that incredibly emotional “Is there nothing more” scene, TSFS had very intense and lasting scenes like Kirk’s son being killed and Kirk’s reaction to it, that painful instant when the E is being destroyed, and in the end the wonderful “Jim – your name is Jim” moment. That scene from First Contact may be a very impressive one, but I’d say the original films did offer equally moving moments at the least.

Anyway, I hope I’ll witness the eventual First Contact. ;-)

The UFP is an imperial, tyrannical, homo-sapiens only club.

This is a day to rue.

On th 5th of April 2063…….. Humanity should board the Vulcan ship and crush the Vulcans as the Mirror Episode says to…….
I’ve never liked the Vulcans (apart from spock who’s still cool) I prefer Andorians, Terrans and Romulans. Who all, oh yeah, Hate Vulcans!!

Still, they’re far better than Tellarite filth!

Hail Terra!

Oooo! I’ll be 76!


Totally agree. I saw it in a theatre on the first day it was released, and when the Vulcan threw back his hood, there was a huge cheer and applause from the audience, and quite a few wet eyes (including mine). It had never been explicitly stated in previous ST canon that it was the Vulcans who made first contact with humanity, so although this scene wasn’t a big surprise, it was completely appropriate and gratifying.

It was sad that the B&B couldn’t come close to matching the epic scope and emotional impact of this film in the last two TNG films.

FC ranks up with TWOK as the two best ST films, by far.


actually, Kirk did blow his own ship up.
Remember Star Trek III?

And I do remember at least once during the coure of TNG when Picard set the auto-destruct sequence to destroy the Enterprise.

Yes, your opinion is that of the minority. A very small minority.

#5 and #24

Same here. In the theater, people went ape-shit when the Vulcan revealed himself.

For me, this would be a milestone in human society. To make contact with other civilizations would validate our very existence, and answer so many questions. It would help define what it means to be a person, and would set the tone for what human beings are to become. It would renew purpose for us as a race and make the world a little smaller, and I dare say, a little more forgiving of each other. To help us realize that being selfish or greedy or apathetic towards our fellow man is senseless and a waste of time that could be spent focusing our energies in a new, brave and daring direction.

This is what that moment in that film means to me. A new beginning.

I like first contact but my only problems with it are that the character moments are minimal and the fight with the borg cube went too fast.


I would remind you, Terran, that some of my operatives are Vulcans. They’e not nice. Not nice at all.

Chaos! Die young and poor!
The Mirror Vulcanista }:-| >

Happy Birthday, #6 cloudsfather! :)

And Happy First Contact Day, Everyone!:)

5. Rainbucket – April 5, 2008
First Contact did exactly the right thing for a Trek movie — it gave us a story that really mattered. It gave the characters so much to respond to.

I remember seeing it in the theaters. When the Vulcan revealed his ears, the audience burst into cheers. A testament to how much Trek’s hopeful future means in our time.


I’m glad something historic happens on my b-day.

You mean, according to Star Trek RE-history. Remember, originally Zephram Cochrane wasn’t from Earth at all; he was a native of Alpha Centauri. “First Contact” messed up a lot of stuff…typical of the rest of the TNG garbage.

According to the accepted Star Trek history BEFORE “First Contact” was released, after humanity had colonized the Moon and Mars, they sent the first ships out into interstellar space. Their first destination was Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our sun, Sol. Upon arriving years after they left, they discovered a civilization that was VERY much like their own, and together in a joint effort, warp drive was developed. Later on, Zephram Cochrane made some important revisions and upgrades to the concept and is the “Father of Modern Warp Drive,” but he didn’t invent it.

And he wasn’t from Earth, dammit.

Stupid Brannon Braga. He always hated TOS (he’s admitted it on several occasions) and his interpretation of “Star Trek” was nothing more than a blatant attempt to “pave over” The Original Series and have it be forgotten.

I for one absolutely loved First Contact and still do. I loved the villian, powerful dialogue, and I really do think that all the cast got to shine in little moments especially Picard certainly. It was a great movie for a 12-year old boy in 1996 and still ranks as one of my favorites today with the Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country. Unfortunately, it was the last great effort from the TNG crew in my opinion. While I had hoped for one last adventure from the Enterprise-E, I am highly excited for the new Star Trek in May 2009. And who knows what’s in store years after that….as the return of Leonard Nimoy shows with Star Trek XI, you never know! Happy First Contact Day everyone!

My best friend’s little boy’s birthday is today; and he’ll be (at age 59) roughly Zefram Cochrane’s age by that time! First Contact is IMHO the best Next Gen film by far. Even despite the darkness of the film (it is the Trek equivalent of a George Romeo zombie film), there’s that message of hope permeating the whole film. While I LOVE nihilistic sci-fi (Omega Man, Planet of the Apes, Battlestar Galactica, Children of Men), it is nice to take a “breather” and see a brighter future depicted every now and then! May we someday have a nice, REAL space milestone to celebrate on April 5, 2063! “Live Long and Prosper!” “Thanks.”

I really liked the movie in general. In specific, no. I watched it about a month ago and I couldn’t stomach it. …Inappropiate humor at the wrong times, making Cochrane into a drunk, (oh, but also’s he’s so intelligent, too… what a clever twist!) when in the original he was a thoughful heroic type indivdual. And yes, not from Earth.

It just seems a ‘by the numbers’ type of movie. Picard was out of character, he was some kind of cliche action hero. And it really doesn’t do justice to the characters. The drinking thing with Troi wasn’t good.

As I’ve said, my trek universe consists of 79 episodes, 6 movies and 3 next generation episodes. Oh, and one each from ds9 and voyager.

And I’m really hoping the new movie will fit in as well.

32 ;

Kirk’s Line “Zephram Cochrane? Of Alpha Centauri?” could easily have referred to residence, and the fact is, he came across as quite human on screen.

In addition, he talked about planting a tree, a very north-american thing.

He wasn’t a native of Alpha Centauri, but I’d say he eventually retired there, and on a trip either from/to there he encountered the Companion.

First Contact oes not break Canon.

Happy First Contact Day all !!!

Of course we’re supposed to go through World War III first. 600 million dead. “sigh”


Hasn’t happened yet but Bush and Cheney still have a few months to go.


That ‘accepted’ history is nowhere to be found except in the head of a few Star Trek fans. There’s nothing on screen to support any of it, other than the TOS episode referencing him as ‘Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri’.

The fact is, the TOS writers made the gaffe, as everything in the episode suggests Cochrane is human, other than that one throwaway line. Many of the novelizations have tried to answer the discrepancy – one excellent one, ‘Federation’, explained that Cochrane was so disastisfied with the then-current Earth gov’t that he lived out his years on AC, and having founded the colony was forever associated with it. But, in the end it’s just a boo-boo, and a rather minor one compared to other errors in TOS, TNG, etc.

As for Braga paving over TOS, well, the fact is if he hated it THAT much, he’d have written a script that simply ignored the events & characters in the first place. Why include Zefram Cochrane when you can simply make the inventor of Warp Drive Bill Hanson of Gamma Signus XI?

Personally, I don’t see why people were so uncomfortable with Cochrane being a drunk, given his original incarnation in ‘Metamporphosis’ made him a racist, or at the very least specist. I think I prefer the drinking.


#36. That was my impression, too. Maybe his warp drive discovered (or WILL discover) a cozy little planet out that way. And because he also references the “Judas” goat; clearly an Earth reference. Besides, how could an alien from Alpha Centauri (a trinary star system) have a last name like Cochrane??? I think the drunk/genius thing MAY have been a wink to the late Gene Roddenberry (who ALLEGEDLY liked to drink as well). And I liked the theme of how our heroes are rarely who we THINK they are. Yes, there are missteps (Troi’s drunk scene, etc) but on the whole, the movie exceeds the sum of its parts. And the Vulcan scene still gets me (partially due to James Cromwell’s delightful “earthiness” in that moment) as well as the lush, gorgeous music; Jerry Goldsmith was a wonder! Picard’s quest for revenge WAS a little odd; he seemed to put that issue to bed in “I, Borg.” But maybe the new Borg attack re-opened that old wound for him (they DID violate him in a very personal way; one does not easily dismiss or forget that). So, it DOES more or less fit, and I still love it.

#32—I agree. There was no need to change the origin of the Cochrane character. TOS had already established him as being from Alpha Centauri. They did, however. I suppose they found the Cochrane character’s backstory to be too constrictive and decided to throw it out of the window.

Still, despite an obvious canon violation, it was still the best film the TNG-era ever managed to muster. It is not as if TWOK did not have a canon gaffe or two, but FC is no TWOK.

FC was very formulaic (not to mention, a little too corny at times), and the Captain and crew did indeed behave completely out of character for much of the story, but it was at least entertaining. That is more than what I can say for any other TNG-era movie. The rest of them fall into the category of Trek turds (although only STV:TFF can be called the “Great Trek Turd”).

FC was the best of a poor series of films following the end of TNG’s television run.

Anyone else think that Vulcan was gorgeous??

Don´t forget “Strangers from the sky” and “Federation”. I love them. They really make me ignore FC. Actually I never liked any of the TNG Movies.

Yes, happy birthday (Mirror) first contact :) in 55 years, it will be 3 months before my 100th birthday..if all goes well my son will see it.

Live Long and Prosper,,,,Fisrt Contac Day.


Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I think it’s speciecist…

But I don’t think Cochrane was a racist, speciecist or anything along those lines – he was just afraid and unable to cope with the situation. In the end, the Companion makes the ultimate sacrifice for love by sacrificing her immortality, and then Cochrane brings himself in line with her by staying, although he originally wanted to leave with Kirk & his crew, thus sacrificing his “freedom” and finding the completion longed for. Touching, and quite special episode.

#43 – I was thinking of those same books. I’m glad someone else has read them!!

“First Contact” was yet another lame excuse of a TNG movie that screwed with canon; I really don’t understand why people are making a big flap about Abram’s movie, when we’ve had Canon-F**kers show up before (like FC). I’m even more surprised that hardcore TNG fans even like FC in the first place; I mean, I loved the StarGate movie, and I hated how SG-1 not only changed the story (and backstory) entirely, but the characters acted out of character, as well. Isn’t that what Picard and Co. did in FC? I mean, come on…I don’t care how mentally messed up Picard is, he’s not the kind of guy to go all Rambo on some Borg.

As for the comments who are saying “Well, it was obvious that Cochrane wasn’t from Alpha Centauri because he looked and acted human.” I’m guessing that the people using that faulty logic to back up their “Cochrane could have been from Earth all along” argument have never actually WATCHED TOS, because a lot (just about all) of the TOS alien races encountered looked and acted human. Just because Zephram didn’t have cheap latex glued to his forehead doesn’t mean he was a human.

I remember my own positive reaction to the Vulcan at the end of the movie being because the dude looked … like a Vulcan!

TNG had been very slack in their casting of actors to play Vulcans and Romulans. As if ear tips and a black wig were enough to turn anyone into a Vulcanoid.

Scott B. out.

#47—I like that episode as well. I didn’t think there was any need to change who Cochrane was for FC. The character who makes first contact in the film could have been portrayed as someone else other than Zephram Cochrane. They could have left the ward drive factor out of it, and left TOS Cochrane alone. It could have been another significant event on Earth which prompted first contact by attracting the attention of a Vulcan ship, and obviously one which the Borg would be attempting to disrupt. Instead, the TNG film producers erased that figure from official ST canon and reworked him for the benefit of that movie’s plot.

I still think it was better than any of the other junk TNG movies, but the deviation from the Cochrane backstory established in TOS was completely unnecessary.