In the Fall of 1996, Star Trek: Voyager was in its third season on television and Deep Space Nine was in its fifth. And on November 22nd, The Next Generation crew returned to the big big screen with Star Trek: First Contact, which was the biggest commercial and critical success of the TNG-era feature films. Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of First Contact by looking back at some interviews conducted for the release. There are also a couple of new interviews with co-writer Ron Moore about the movie, and we have news on a brand-new book all about First Contact.
First Contact Junket interviews
Veteran NBC entertainment reporter Bobbie Wygant recently posted full unedited videos from her 1996 First Contact junket interviews with producer Rick Berman, director/star Jonathan Frakes, and members of the cast.
Siskel & Ebert gave it two thumbs up
Movie reviewer all-stars Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert review First Contact. Ebert called it “one of the best in the series” and lauded the effects and performances. Siskel called it “the best in the series,” which he noted had been “uneven,” adding that “everything looked sharper, including Patrick Stewart.”
Ron Moore talks Borg Queen debate, cutting jokes, and almost being replaced
First Contact co-writer Ron Moore did a couple of new interviews for the anniversary of the film. He spoke to Syfy about the Borg Queen, acknowledging that an individual was “antithetical” to how the Borg collective had previously been presented, which created a lot of debate between himself and co-writer Brannon Braga and producer Rick Berman:
[A]s soon as you bring the Queen into it, that voice became an individual and it brought up significant, in-world story questions. So we really went back and forth about it internally; the three of us argued it every which way.
He also clarified what she was the queen of:
So what we came up with was, there this idea of a Borg Queen that controlled at least this collective of that particular ship, not necessarily that she was the queen of the whole Borg. We wrestled with it for quite awhile before deciding to do it.
Moore also talked about some of the things he wished weren’t cut from the final version:
There was just more action in general, more fighting the Borg in the corridors, and going into different places on the ship. And I think there was more humor. A lot of the jokes got cut down. I think we had more fun with Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Cochran’s relationship on Earth, where he gets her drunk. We had more to that sequence scripted and that was fun to write, too. Rick might have made us cut it because he was always a little too—he was always kind of worried that maybe the humor would be too corny or something.
The writer also spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, where he dismissed the idea that Tom Hanks was ever in serious contention to play Zefram Cochrane, saying “…it was never really on the table.” He also revealed that at one point, Patrick Stewart got Rick Berman to bring in a different writer to rewrite some scenes, but eventually those scenes “were thrown out.” Later this incident created a bit of tension on set when the writers sat down with Stewart, as recalled by Moore:
I remember Patrick at the outset just said something like: ‘It’s good to see you. I hope that we can all move on from the things that have happened, and now let’s just concentrate on the work.’ And I took that in the spirit it was given: [He] wants to move on from this, he’s not going to apologize outright, but he kind of is apologizing. And it was never spoken of again. So we just moved on.
New First Contact book
Titan Books is releasing a new book celebrating the movie. Star Trek: First Contact The Making of the Classic Film by Joe Fordham promises rare and previously unseen production art as well as new interviews with the cast and crew. The book, “filled to the brim of archival material, behind-the-scenes photography, concept art, production designs, and much more,” will arrive on April 5, 2022, just in time for First Contact Day. The hardcover coffee table book retails for $50 and can be pre-ordered now at Amazon. The Kindle/ebook can be pre-ordered for $15.39.
First Contact virtual panel tonight
To celebrate the 25th anniversary Larry “Dr. Trek” Nemecek is hosting a Zoom tonight at 6PM PT/9PM ET.
So days ago longtime Trek illustrator John Eaves rounded up some friends and asked me to herd them, as a free, one-hour online panel/reunion:
With Trek video supervisor Ben Betts, ILM model supervisor John Goodson, and Trek art department superstars Doug Drexler, Mike Okuda, Denise Okuda and Jim Van Over. PLUS ILM vet David Blass, now Picard‘s production designer over Season 2 & 3.
Check out the full details over on Trekland
Short notice, #StarTrek, but BOOM—this live #FirstContact25 panel literally just came together: https://t.co/EtcoTV9cfl pic.twitter.com/BsENeV6wfA
— Larry Nemecek (@larrynemecek) November 22, 2021
VES Celebrated First Contact
Last night, the Visual Effects Society held a screening along with a Q& following the film, which included producer Rick Berman, director/star Jonathan Frakes, VFX supervisor Dan Curry, production designer Herman Zimmerman, and visual effects artist John Knoll and makeup artist Todd Masters.
In the audience was Star Trek: Picard production designer David Blass, who talked about how the film still holds up as a masterpiece.
Cast and Crew screening of the 25th Anniversary of @StarTrek #FirstContact with a panel of the filmmakers. What an amazing night. Congratulation @jonathansfrakes on a fabulous film that hold up as a masterpiece 25 years later pic.twitter.com/RolJTCY182
— Dave Blass (@DaveBlass) November 22, 2021
First Contact still part of new Trek
25 years on and First Contact is still resonating with the new Star Trek shows. In October the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “I, Excretus” featured a storyline involving the Borg, which featured the Borg Queen and the return of Alice Krige to voice the character.
The Borg Queen is also returning in the second season of Star Trek: Picard, which debuts in February 2022. The Queen will be played by Annie Wersching, and we have already seen glimpses of her in trailers.
Find more Star Trek history at TrekMovie.com.
I hope they are working on a 4K release that reflects what the movie looked like in cinemas. That means no dvnr, no artificial sharpening/edge enhancement or redone colors. In other words don’t give it the Lowry treatment.
From what I’ve heard Paramount has a nice 4k digital cinema format version of the film for theatrical exhibition, so it’s only a matter of time for that version to filter down to the home video market.
Best Trek movie! Finally depicting the Borg in the proper terrifyingly realistic way. Thank you Ron Moore and for BSG that came later.
The Borg from the show were much scarier and unnerving, especially from the first few episodes.
The Borg in this movie were more like generic zombies.
Just one of those little continuity questions I ponder….Voyager depicted Delta Quadrant Borg having access to vast fleets, the the technology to pretty much deposit them anywhere they wanted. Yet, anytime they made a run on Earth, it was always one cube….
The answer I think is that the Borg were farming the Federation for tech. Even the attack in FC, they didn’t want to destroy Earth, they wanted to capture Data because they thought the emotion chip would give them the ability to transform the hive into an innovative imaginative lifeform without the need for organics (after all, you can only assimilate what is out there as opposed to go beyond what is out there). This is why they let Locutus in on where to fire.
Very imaginative theory.
I’d think it more likely the effects team simple couldn’t afford to have a massive battle involving a number of cubes.
With a JJ budget it could have been done but having said that I think what we see is good enough. Star Trek isn’t about massive space battles and that’s why I like it the way it is myself.
What leads you to this conclusion? Was it the bit at the start of the film when they attacked the Sol system and had to fight through pretty much every single Starfleet ship other than the Enterprise which was sidelined and stationed elsewhere? Or was it that part when they travelled back in time and assimilated every single living person on planet Earth?
Yeah I don’t really understand that theory either. Why are they going to Earth and not just directly to the Enterprise then? And if they wanted Data, why are they time traveling to the past, that would also effectively wipe out everything in the future including Data since I’m guessing Soong would never be in the position to make an android.
And they would have to assume the Enterprise would be just lucky enough not to get erased in the future with everything else and be able to follow it?
If they really wanted to assmiliate Earth of the past, why wouldn’t they just goto the past? Or send more Cubes to the present? Or both?
I think the answer is clear – they don’t want to end the Federation / want the Federation to not exist unless they have the tech that allows AI life to be fully innovative/imaginative (think V’ger). Then they don’t care anymore – past, present, whatever.
Yeah, that has always been the HUGE plothole lol.
But they clearly would’ve succeeded since 9 billion were Borg on Earth as Data said before they stopped them. They had already ended the Federation in the past. Or will. Ah, temporal mechanics!
Also the Queen states directly why she wants Data, most of it is just to get the encryption code to the Enterprise computer. She thinks Data is imperfect like humans are. She wants to assimilate him but none of that you’re suggesting is ever said or implied in the film itself.
Your theory just has a lot of holes in it to work.
That was the big plot hole of the movie. I’ve always wondered why not just time travel well before reaching Sol then just approach Earth completely unmolested? However this is where the “we want Data” theory helps. It is possible that they had both goals going into this. Showing up at Earth would have drawn Data out and then go back and assimilate.
But this is the real problem you get when you give characters control of time travel. Anything can be undone at any time.
They went back in time, assimilated earth…
There’s enough exposition that suggests that turning Data was just a happy coincidence for the Borg. Assimilation of earth was always the primary goal, IMO….
I think going back in time wasn’t also their plan but came up at the last moment. They could have simply choosen a place far away from earth to go back in time.
If the Borg can go back in time (and pick the time and place), then they would just go back in time. They purposely don’t.
My thought is they wanted to “trap” Data and see him in action.
(Btw writers, this is why time travel/reset stories are always the worst outside comedies).
Also if they got the key to AI=life why not get that tech to the Borg early. Indeed the time for the tech to get to the Borg on the present from the alpha quadrant could have been the real purpose of the drive.
That’s another problem. The entire concept of the Borg having the ability to time travel at will means they could just go back far enough and start assimilating every single race in every corner of the universe at will.
And yet no one seems to care that the Borg have this monumentally powerful tool in their arsenal. I guess they were banking on the idea that “they tried it once and failed. They won’t try it again.”
Yeah all true, but let’s be honest, that’s been the issue with having time travel in Star Trek since TOS started. As I once argued here back in Discovery season 2, EVERY one knows how to time travel. You can’t get away from that. The ‘go really fast around a star method’ is baked in. You don’t need any special equipment beyond just a ship capable of warp speed and a star to steer it by and you’re in a time warp.
In fact I remember arguing this with you and Sam (hey whatever happen to that guy??) at the time that Star Trek just made it too easy for anyone to already time travel. You said Star Trek has never made it directly known how to do it and how you can kind of justify it not really being used very much. But then the irony came a month later when we found out on Discovery that both Starfleet and the Klingons were involved in some secret time travel race; to the point Starfleet was now building specialized time travel suits and we learned the Klingons had an entire collection of time crystals which Section 31 stole from them for their time suit. Both groups could indeed travel any time they wanted. Why didn’t the Klingons just use the crystals to time travel and defeat the Federation in the war that way? Same as the Borg.
On Enterprise, there was a time travel war already happening centuries into the future. Who knows how much they had changed time over and over again which brought up another point and was addressed with Carl/GOF on Discovery.
That thing just sat idly on a planet for millions of years. Why didn’t other species use it to go back in time and change their fates? That’s why I liked how they used it in Discovery in the 32nd century and explained it started to hide once the Temporal Cold War started because it made NO sense this powerful entity just sat on a lifeless planet where anyone can use it at any time (excuse the pun ;))….but didn’t.
So yes time travel has always been a problem in Star Trek. The Federation itself has the Temporal Prime Directive that states they can’t just go back and change history willy-nilly, especially because they seen the effects of doing that over and over again. But it doesn’t stop the Klingons, Borg, Romulans and anyone else to not time travel when they feel like it and completely remake history. I guess you can argue that’s what the time police job in the 29th century does and watch ALL groups in the galaxy from changing time, but how they can stop them all from doing it is a head scratcher.
For me it seemed, they never really made a run on Earth as a major target. they just had some cubes flying around the galaxy who made a run on anything that seemed interesting to assimilate.
An invasion of the Federation might even be quite a waste of recources from borg perspective. If only some technologies or only some aspects of the species are interesting you don’t have to spend so many drones and ships, don’t have to conquer the whole other stuff, that isn’t more developed than the many other species you already have at home.
Just think of the borg’s reaction of someone beaming onto their ship. As long as they don’t do any real harm drones ignore intruders. Because it would be a waste of recources to do otherwise.
The size of their territory and fleets in the delta quadrant is more of a irresistible side effect of their exponential growth of power due to assimilation. They are not like the Klingons truely interested in expanding their territory, going to war, conquering or ruling. These things just happen by becoming 1000 times more advanced than anyone else.
IMO this film holds up very well as the best of the TNG offerings, I watched the first 15 minutes the other night just to watch the fleet battle with the cube. Very enjoyable.
I can’t tell you how many times I used that scene as a demo for how cool the image quality and 5.1 sound on DVDs was back when it was first released on DVD.
I remember how excited I was for this movie to come out. I was in college at the time and just couldn’t wait. I was so obsessed with it watching/reading every clip, interview or article on it. It was around the time the internet was really becoming a thing and I was always online trying to find anything about it. I remember some of the crazy rumors at the time. Sisko was going to have a role in the beginning of the film. Geordi was going to get assimilated. Data will die.
I remember going home to see it with my friends in L.A. About 9 of us went opening weekend and it did not disappoint. We were with a huge crowd and clearly big Trek fans. The two biggest applause lines came when Worf appeared in the Defiant and then the Doctor in sick bay. People were really shocked to see him there.
It’s been 25 years later and it still holds up well IMO. I’ve watched it twice in the last year. Its also cool it has turned April 5th into First Contact day for us fans to celebrate every year together! Even the company has made it a special day to promote the franchise. Sad to say this, but this was the last great Star Trek film to come out for me.
I vividly remember being 13 years old, counting down the days until this movie came out. I used to dial-in to my AOL account to go to stfcweb.com to read spoilers about what the new Enterprise-E would look like. I went with my Dad and best friend on premiere day to the local theater and was blown away that the movie was even better than I could have imagined. 25 years later it’s still my favorite Trek. I keep a small model of the Enterprise-E on my desk. Thank you for a fine film and for being a cornerstone of my childhood.
That’s such a great story Dennis. Always love hearing stuff like this. It does remind me how special the films can still be, even when we had like 500 episodes of the shows by then. But the really good films (or our favorites) can create the those type of experiences and later memories after seeing them with family or friends for the first time.
My journey to First Contact began in the pages of Dreamwatch and Starburst (uk scifi magazines) and that it would feature the borg and be set in the Renaissance and titled ‘Star Trek Resurrection’ and then the very early days of ‘surfing the net’ (can clearly remember slowly loading up the new one sheet movie poster astounded that i was looking at it on a screen instead of the back of a comic book or theatre lobby). then seeing the film was obviously far superior to Generations and had a Khan feel (second improved film, sequel to an episode, Moby Dick, revenge, militaristic tone, better uniforms ) but at the same time it felt like FC was being the ‘TMP’ for TNG in that it was being re-jigged for the big screen like the way TOS had with TMP (and then was again for TWOK) with a new Enterprise and redesigned Giger Borg . and also felt like part of the’ Alien Invasion’ wave that was in vogue throughout 96 (ID4, XFiles, Mars Attacks), also was fun that uk wasnt too far behind the US release date unlike the last films
in the run up and after bought the usual Trek movie memorabilia – official magazine (titan not starlog), comic (Marvel not DC anymore), the novel, poster, the making of book .and a few First Contact chocolate bars! (pretty sure they had caramel inside, and were very nice )
That’s right, I remembered one of the earliest rumors was that the movie was going to take place in the Renaissance. It would’ve been interesting to say the least lol, but I’m happy the first contact idea came along.
I do agree with you about TMP parallel. I never really thought of it before until now but you’re right in a way because Generations basically kept all the elements for the show like the ship and uniforms. It was FC they really had the ‘movie version’ of TNG. There was a big shift between TMP and TWOK of course but that was probably due to slashing the budget and MANY people hating those TMP uniforms. I couldn’t stand them lol.
The recent Hollywood Reporter article citing Ron Moore on conflicts between Moore/Braga and Patrick Stewart on First Contaxt is worth a read.
It really sounds as though Stewart generally shouldn’t be indulged too far in providing input into scripts. A challenge and feedback function can be helpful and seems to have been positive but it went far beyond that. The idea that he hired his own writer to rework his dialogue is mind boggling even if the rewrites were thrown out in the end.
LOL I read that yesterday as well. It popped up on my phone. It was an interesting read! Hiring his own writers, my god! People always talk about how power hungry Shatner was on the show and films, but Stewart sounded just as bad in many ways, at least by the time the movies started. I still think Michael Piller’s original idea for Insurrection was a much better story until Stewart got involved and mucked it all up.
And its interesting no matter HOW much we’re told about these shows and films you are still learning new things about them. The Center Seat was on yesterday and I learned a ton about the time when Paramount was getting TMP up and running (both being our favorite movie of course ;)). The biggest that TMP was suppose to be the only one movie because they had planned to make another TOS TV show after it. I knew they planned to make one before it, but never after. But then it made a ton of money…
Oh and just to make this as off topic as possible, I rewatched 12 Monkeys! Finished it a week ago. There was SO MUCH I forgot because I only watched it when it originally aired starting in 2015. But boy a great show. More excited about Picard now.
It had a modest budget by even 1996 standards but it looks really smart and has aged quite well indeed.
The key fx scenes hold up very well still today.
The biggest tragedy is they didn’t capitalise on this film and make a sequel perhaps with the crew having to find a way back home because temporal rift sent them where they didn’t expect to end up.. perhaps to a far future where the Borg have succeeded and the Enterprise is on the run and having to find a way to get the right coordinates to return home.
TNG didn’t act like a proper film series.
A series of films in a franchise need to connect because that’s what keeps audiences coming back.
Generations was passing of the baton and ended with a clear intent to continue.
“Somehow I doubt this will be the last ship to be called Enterprise”
First Contact delivered and delivered a solid movie. The film series has momentum!
Insurrection totally did its own thing and has no connection to previous movie. Even worse is the movie is really not very geared toward general audiences to enjoy and despite a higher budget it seems the actual end product look far cheaper (must have been the Baku village?)
Insurrection derailed the whole thing sadly. Doing sigular stories only work if every film is a winner and the Star Trek franchise is inconsistent on that front. If the audience is invested in the characters they will still turn out even for a somewhat poor film in a franchise. That’s what I’m thinking anyway.
To this day I don’t understand why neither the TNG or Kelvin movies didn’t have more of a story arc in their films? The irony about the TOS films was that 2-4 became special for fans because it was the first time TOS told a continuing story and those became a trilogy of sorts. I know it was more of an accident due to the Spock/Nimoy thing but it was also really successful too.
I thought the Kelvin movies would basically be a serialized trilogy from the start, especially since that’s what most movies were doing more and more. Movies were still mostly standalone sequels in the TNG era with some call backs to other movies but more were appearing outside of Star Wars. But by the time the Kelvin movies came out, nearly every big franchise were doing serialized stories. There was definitely a connection between the first film and Into Darkness, but a minor one. And then Beyond just totally ignored the events of Into Darkness. Same with Insurrection and Nemesis.
I think both movie franchises would’ve been more popular today if they built in a really strong story arc and not just standalone movies. Today it would be crazy not to do it. If the next film ever gets off the ground and stars a new cast, I really hope it goes that direction.
Well, the explaination for the Kelvin movies is easy – just way to much time between projects. It didn’t help that the behind the cameras creative team had way to many other projects going concurrently with their Trek work. It doesn’t matter how good a multi-tasker you are, at some point quality suffers with too many pokers in the fire.
The TNG movies are another story. There were decades of serial TV on their resume, DS9 in a lot of peoples eyes laid the groundwork for serialized TV we see today. For the TNG movies to be as disjointed as they are is a mystery, considering the backgrounds of the creative team.
I agree with you with both points.
The Kelvin movies just took a long time between movies and didn’t have a build up between the next ones. STID had plenty of hype but once people actually saw the movie and that it was a completely separate story (and not a great one at that) it made it easier to not care as much. Now to be fair, there were certainly other big brands out there taking their time between films like the James Bond and Nolan Batman movies. But those also were smart enough to continually build on those characters and storylines that got people excited to keep coming back. I think the Kelvin movies should’ve done something like those more. Give Kirk and Spock a REAL arc even if the stories are completely standalone. They sort of got them, but they weren’t very strong either.
The TNG movies also weird as you said. They had the opportunity to tie the movies a little more together and there was serious talk with Insurrection, the next movie was going to directly connect to those events but then completely dropped it. My guess is because the movie didn’t get the reception they hoped and just went a different way. TBH, it would’ve been hard to follow First Contact story wise since that was a time travel movie (and they did sort of make a sequel out of it with Regeneration on Enterprise). But they could’ve still made the stories a little more connected instead of just being completely standalone. The crazy thing about the TNG movies is I don’t think a single movie ever called back to any of the films. They referenced stuff from the shows in all of them, but the movies were isolated from each other outside of getting a new Enterprise and the Troi’s getting married.
You make an interesting point about the Enterprise episode “Regeneration”. The first time I saw that episode I kept thinking to myself why they couldn’t have made this or a version of this as a proper sequel to First Contact on the big screen. It could have worked, maybe have it as a flashback or involve the holodeck somehow.
In my grand rewatch of the franchise this year, I actually watched First Contact and Regeneration together. I followed a viewing order website and that’s how they suggested to watch it. And it works really well. I still remembered how much it bothered some fans when it was revealed the Borg was coming to Enterprise. But it ended up being a very clever way to introduce them on that show and one of Enterprise’s best episodes. It’s in my top 10 episodes for that show.
I agree, they could’ve found a way to follow up the story on the big screen, but I really liked how it was followed up on Enterprise.
I think that the other issue with the Kelvin movies is that if there is any linking arc, it is Kirk’s hero’s journey.
But it’s just not all that well done, and a fourth film resolving daddy issues just wouldn’t be all that compelling since the action has always been more important than the character arcs.
I’m forced to agree. I don’t think they really intended to arc the 3 KU films but yes… What arc there is would definitely be Kirk’s. Especially since the message from the 2nd film (which I agree with but not in how it was executed) was that Kirk got the chair by circumstance in the first film and in the 2nd he needed to EARN it.
Trek Beyond didn’t even have an arc in itself- Kirk is bored with Starfleet –> Kirk saves a space station and now he is not bored with Starfleet. The movie barely even had a theme– I think it was supposed to be “strength through diversity” but an exec decided that was too divisive so they changed it to “unity,” thus there’s the antagonist inexplicably saying how much he hates “unity” which comes across like a kid’s cartoon villain whose mission is to eradicate hugs.
Its crazy to think Beyond would have to have been budgeted cheaper than Trek 2009 to have made money for Paramount. Sequels cost more, actors salaries go up not down. Inflation happens. But Bad Robot’s budgets are untenable. They can’t make one of these for 200 million and make less than 400 million and continue to make them. I assume that means the KT will remain a trilogy unless they are willing to gamble on one more script and director and go for broke. But i doubt it they seem risk averse.
It’s why I’m not holding my breath the next movie will be about the Kelvin cast. They will be spending tens of millions of dollars to get them all back when they can probably spend a fraction of that with a new cast. I remember Beyond and everyone saying it would be the ‘cheapest’ Kelvin film and that was still around $140 million estimated at the time. Instead it basically cost the same as STID but only made $120 million less than that film did in the process. That probably put a bad taste in Paramount’s mouth they still can’t get rid of.
Between 2016-2018 despite Beyond bombing I was sure of two things, we’ll get another film and it will star the Kelvin cast; just a much cheaper one in the process. But once Pine walked away because they wouldn’t pay him what they promised, I been completely convinced of the opposite and still am.
And if another movie really happens it may still take place in the Kelvin universe but if they don’t use that cast, I’m guessing it’s going back to the Prime universe. That’s the one fans truly care about and where the focus squarely is again with all the new shows and seeing legacy characters like Picard, Janeway and Seven again. That’s just a lot more exciting in general.
Unfortunately they squandered those films and I don’t think most fans really cared as much about that universe in general.
It seems Orci’s ST3 wouldve tied into the alternate reality plot threads from ST09 (and a lesser extent ID with the timeline ‘righting’ itself into a reversed TWOK reenactment) Beyond pretty much ignored anything to do with that other than Spock Prime and the fun Trek V cast photo
TNG couldve done a trilogy arc by doing a mirror film after FC (Geordi’s wormhole led into the mirrorverse?) and then a wrap up the trilogy film with the borg returning for TNG4 (including 7of9 for extra appeal)
I guess the studio was always afraid that making the stories more serialized would exclude new audiences (because they couldn’t understand what was going on) but the movies never really succeeded in attracting a lot of new audiences despite allegedly being made very accessible.
It took Marvel years and a long string of movies to reach that level of loyal following, and I guess Trek just never really tried.
As for Insurrection looking cheaper than First Contact despite a bigger budget, the TNG movies really had a big problem that the actor salaries shot up and ate up a big chunk of the budget. Some fans are complaining that the Kelvin actors are too expensive but they completely ignore that essentially half the budget of the TNG movies went into actor salaries. Patrick Stewart alone allegedly made $14 million on Nemesis on a movie with a total reported budget of $60 million.
Yeah that’s a good point about the budgets. They only went up to pay the cast AND crew salaries more, not necessarily for the production itself. They were all being paid 7 figures by the third film with Stewart and Spiner making the most. With the exception of Shatner, Nimoy and probably Kelly, none of the others ever got to a million dollars in the films and why it was easier to keep those budgets lower. And I read they all took a pay cut for TUC to happen.
As for the Kelvin actors, I don’t think anyone is really ‘complaining’ about their salaries. They should get whatever they deem is worthy. The problem is unlike the TOS and TNG films, the Kelvin films are some of the most expensive movies Paramount has ever made and they are clearly not getting the ROI as they hoped on them. So the reality is IF people want to see those films continue then yeah the budget has to be cut across the board, including the actor’s salaries as well. If not, then that’s probably why there has been no movie with them in the last 5 years. That’s really the issue most fans cares about. Many want to see them again but knows that probably won’t happen unless there is a serious budget draw down somewhere. It’s also why I’m not holding my breath they are coming back in the next film. Once Pine walked and they shelved the fourth film a few months later, that told me those films are most likely dead barring any real breakthroughs…and we’ve heard nothing out of all that time.
I thought he took a pay cut for Nemesis. Or maybe I’m mixing that up with Shatner and TUC.
Very Cool, they should release books like that on all the movies,…or least the first 10.
And I agree with what the critic said, about Stewart looking sharp, I think the TNG cast looked their best in this movie, which is interesting as they were nine years into the roles.
I remember seeing this when I was 15. Once those credits started in with that unexpectedly emotional theme I knew I was in for something special.
To this day it’s still kind of wild to me that the Borg — the coolest, scariest, most thought-provoking enemy from the series — actually got the big screen treatment. I used to watch “The Best of Both Worlds” repeatedly daydreaming about how epic a movie about them would be. I never thought they would actually do it!
I still hope we get another Borg movie some day, just involving a different crew. If we can have two Khan movies and 6 movies involving Klingons, then yes, I think we can have another Borg outing.
They are still very very popular today. It’s the reason why they are now showing up again in Picard and LDS. My guess is we will even see them again in Prodigy being back in the Delta Quadrant, but that’s probably in later seasons.
If it still involves the Kelvin crew, they could use the Planet Killer instead. Or combine it with V’Ger and/or the Borg. There still is the non-canon connection of V’ger and the Borg. And there is a TNG-novel which includes the Planet Killer and the Borg, which suggests that the Planet-Killer was sent to destroy the Borg.
First Contact was the TNG-version of Wrath of Khan, but I think vice versa V’Ger and the Planet Killer are the TOS-equivalents of the Borg.
The problem is that Enterprise seeded the Borg into pre TOS canon. I’ll refrain from commenting on that creative decision, but it at least provides some continuity if the Borg are discovered in the Kirk era Kelvin universe.
My personal opinion, any Borg movie now should not happen, or just be a stand alone project.
All true. It’s not hard at all to place the Borg in the Kelvin universe in the 23rd century. And it would be interesting to see them connected to things like V’ger or the Planet Killer. That’s the thing about the Kelvin universe, it could shake things up in all kinds of ways from the Prime universe and unfortunately it didn’t. Other than turning Khan white and destroying Vulcan it didn’t really do anything interesting in this new universe. Just a lot of uber-villains in big ships who want to take down the Federation.
There seems to be this perverse need for the creative types to not be creative. The Kelvin universe doesn’t have to unfold the way the Prime universe did, and who’s to say the Prime universe isn’t some shadow of some different universe? Into the Spiderverse did a good job with a multiverse story, Worf’s trip down that rabbit hole in Parallels certainly allowed for different outcomes. Yeah, let the Borg find earth early in the Kelvinverse…..thaw out white Khan and his crew and let them have at it. It would be….glorious!
Even though I wasn’t really into the idea of redoing TOS at all (and I been a fan since the late 70s), once I found out it was going to be done in a different universe at least, I got a lot more excited about it. Because then they could tell stories any way they wanted. Really mix it up. Introduce known species or situations in different ways, etc.
Now to be fair they did SOME of that like the Spock and Uhura relationship. That would never fly in the Prime universe for most fans, so it was nice to see and I liked it personally (I know others didn’t though to say the least). And some Star Trek fans seem perverse to seeing relationships and sex in Star Trek in general lol.
But they could’ve done SO MUCH MORE to make the Kelvin universe just a more unique and interesting setting. Maybe the Cardassians and the Federation became major allies in this universe and fighting the Klingons together. Just the opposite, maybe the Andorrians left the Federation and became its main enemy instead like the Klingons breaking its treaty with them on DS9. Maybe the Federation already created the Genesis device but the technology caused havoc once the Romulans got their hands on it.
Take familiar elements of the universe but put your own spin on it. Have the destruction of Vulcan create a real shake up in the galaxy besides just creating a more militarized Section 31. And it doesn’t even have to be about conflict all the time either. Maybe the Federation has spread out to the Gamma Quadrant by this period because they found the Bajoran wormhole a lot earlier and now the Federation has expanded because of it.
That’s what bothers me about the Kelvin universe, it just doesn’t add anything really new. Star Trek has become such a rich and deep universe in the last 40 years by then with so much mythology it could mine. Now they can take all of that and mold it any way they want. Instead we get stuff like waking Khan up to build weapons or a former MACO soldier angry because he was left on a planet for 100 years. They never tried to expand their universe in any meaningful way or told bigger stories. It felt pretty much like the Prime universe, just with a few minor changes.
Watched this in the cinema, was incredible and such a strange experience and a lot to take in seeing the new uniforms, ship, Geordi without a visor etc. Incredible film still looks great today…my gripe after all this time was they should have made that battle scene at the start a little more wow…would of loved to see the Defiant get more than 20 secs of film time!
LOOKING SO MUCH FORWARD TO THE 4K BLU RAY OF IT (AND THE OTHER TNG FILMS)!!!
25yrs later and it’s still yarn inspiring.
But it’s easy to understand why TNG fans think this is the best ST movie while being actually being one of the most predicable dull stories committed to film.
Add half a star if your a fan, enema’s are free.
Make a zombie like tv series but borg version, assimilating humans before Enterprise catch-up.
Such a delightful film. So much fun to watch as a teenager too, getting a proper PG-13 action film for the first time. I ate up all the articles and the website (complete with that fun little first person shooter game) and the press coinciding with the 30th Anniversary. 1996 was just the best year to be a Trek fan.
This is the last great Trek film IMO. I’ve not enjoyed any of the subsequent films. 25 years now without a decent film… its a hellava long time.
Their is something very special about FC. The action is sharp and the film is beautifully paced. Just to think they took a massive risk making an all out action film… it could have gone either way with the fans. Fortunately, it all turned out well and we are celebrating its 25 anniversary. The film has become iconic.
Excellent movie, I’d consider it the best of TNG. All these reviews are good and nice but everyone seems to be missing an important part of what made the film so good and that is the excellent music by Jerry Goldsmith. His borg themes and the klingon themes and of course that beautiful ending theme when the first contact is happening are just so memorable and make the movie much better and much more emotional.
1996 interviews are veeeery much to see…
Thanks Trekmovie.com for such a great compilation of info celebrating the anniversay of Star Trek First Contact.
When I was a kid I of course loved Wrath of Khan. It was such a cool movie and of course compared to TMP I am sure it helped sell the studio on making more movies in the future!! That said, the older I get, I have to say my favorite is now, by far, First Contact. IMHO, the acting, the story, the music, the FX, the overall themes in the movie all combine to create the best of the 13 Star Trek motion pictures.
To all those south of the border, have a great Thanksgiving! The holiday is easily one of the things I miss most after moving back to Toronto a few years ago.
I was 4 years old when I saw this movie in the theater. It is my earliest memory of seeing a movie in the cinema, and was definitely the coolest thing I had ever seen by far in my short lifetime. I remember going to preschool and doodling the Enterprise E with its incredible details, I remember waiting for it to come out on VHS so we could rent it and watch at home, and then I remember when the Borg finally showed up in Voyager…yeah, I guess I got started on the Star Trek obsession pretty early
Curious thing about First Contact… The friend who is the biggest Trek fan after me became a big TNG guy while I remained a TOS guy. Which we sorta enjoyed over the years. The thing about First Contact that I liked best, that it showed Picard to succumb to the human frailty of revenge, is the same thing that he did NOT like about it. I liked that Picard was no longer perfect. And he was unhappy for the same reason. That Picard was no longer perfect. His opinion was that when Picard told Lily that in the future mankind has risen above such weaknesses that he should have stuck with it and NOT felt that emotion. Of course then we would have no character in the movie but he didn’t care. I actually liked that Picard spoke about how he had evolved into this higher ideal but Lily saw right thought it. That it was bul***it.
If only they could have called bul***it on the bit about money not existing in the future, too.
“THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE!!!”
This has oddly become one of the most famous lines in Star Trek. That line could ONLY happen with a much different and vengeful Picard in that moment. A guy who wanted to take down the Borg one by one. I can understand why your friend felt that way, but I fully agree with you. I loved seeing this version of Picard. And it just made sense because it was the first time he seen the Borg again in the way he saw them in BOBW as this terrifying group who would do anything to rip the Federation apart and this time he was going to do anything to stop them.
That entire scene Between him and Lily is just great on so many levels. The above line with “Jean Luc blow up the damn ship!” is just really great writing and acting.
I can still remember a bunch of us watching that whole scene with Picard and Lilly and thinking how great the acting was! That may be one of the finest, or the finest, Star Trek theatrical scene ever! I hope both Stewart and Woodward as well as Director Frakes are proud of what they made.
My friend who liked TNG didn’t like FC for four reasons I believe, and certainly saw it as a let down to The Best of Both Worlds:
1) The Borg weren’t the scary Borg from Best of both Worlds. Suddendly the Borg aren’t a unimind and they have a Queen. They only send one Cube… again.
He went into the theatres thinking it was going to be this massive Borg invasion and got one Cube and 15 minutes of fighting at the beginning after which the whole thing was a forgettable affair in his opinion.
I remember him showing me scripts (obviously fake? Internet was new then) with these massive battles at the end, the Federation fighting for survival, etc. I even remember seeing a trailer that used scenes from Ds9 and TNG to make you think you were going to get this epic Borg invasion and instead got.. 15 minutes at the start.
2) Did not understand how Picard “won” the battle. He “heard” exactly where to shoot? Huh?
No three dimensional strategic thinking in this one. All those Akira class ships just couldn’t hit the er, something.
3) Did not like action hero/out for revenge Picard, which I personally thought was an improvement on the boring perfect TNG Picard who lasted like 10 seconds in combat when not working for the Borg. I disagree on this point, Picard was way better and watchable in FC vs. TNG.
4) Time travel is dumb, why do the Borg not just go back in time again? And why even engage Picard?
Ironically I at the time was happy there was some TOS with Cochrane and the door was open for an prequel birth of the federation / early exploration that I thought would be the future of Trek… (which ironically happened but not the way I thought it would go when the ENT pilot was a disaster in being TNG lite.. sigh).
Out of that discussion came the idea to save the Borg as a scary unimind from BOBW (the only TNG worth watching in my opinion, including FC) where they are “farming” the Federation for tech (i.e. the Borg right now only get new tech by assimilating life to add distinctiveness and new tech) , purposely sent only one Cube, told Picard where to shoot and force him to follow, the time travel was all about getting the Ent/Data alone, the Borg never really cared about time travel, that their soul purpose is to get the Federation to develop AI=life and thought it was achieved with Data only to be disappointed when Data was found subpar. The Queen is a ruse, and on finding out it was all for naught they lose and send the compromised Picard back home. This plays into concepts from TMP, the Borg go back to being an evil V’ger that want to take the next step in its evolution.
Ironically ST Picard is consistant with this. Picard seems internally lost, goes obsessed with AI and Data in his dreams, builds an evacuation fleet on his watch with an odd focus on using AI synths to the point they are programmed to act as slaves and then almost instinctively does whatever it takes to get AI=life tech to the point he dies and becomes it.
I’m actually in shock Season 2 isn’t the Borg trying to capture him at all costs (and throw in that massive invasion for my TNG friend).
This movie and the critical and financial success of it book-ended the “peak trek” or “golden” era from 1990-1996 which to this day I don’t think has been matched in terms of overall broad-based popularity of Star Trek. That era started with BBOW and the sustained mainstream ratings success of TNG and the spin-offs that resulted from that point. DS9 was established as a very good show at this point, and voyager still had it’s moments before that show ruined the main villain of this movie (that being the Borg) in subsequent seasons. After this movie, things slowly went downhill even though DS9 had some of its best moments in season 6 and 7 until for better or worse JJ Trek gave a new lease on life for the Trek franchise.