'Star Trek: First Contact'November 22, 1996
Synopsis: Years after making their presence known to the Federation, the Borg have made their way to Earth. Due to his experience being assimilated by the Borg, Captain Picard is ordered away from the fight, even though his new Enterprise-E is the most advanced ship in the fleet. Hearing the battle against the Borg ship is failing, Picard enters the fight and leads the fleet to victory, but not before the Borg launch a smaller ship into a rift in space, followed by the Enterprise. The Borg ship and the Enterprise are transported back in time to the day before humans discovered warp travel and made first contact with alien life, with the Borg attempting to stop the event and prevent Earth from creating the Federation. The Enterprise crew must split up to defeat the Borg and ensure First Contact happens.
Legacy: ‘First Contact’ was a financial and critical success, being recognized as the best of the Next Generation Star Trek films, and one of the best Star Trek films overall. Critics praised the use of the Borg as the villains, using the increased budget to improve their look and presence from that in the series. The Borg Queen was also a source of praise, being a seductive character that doesn’t fit into the typical Hollywood image of “sexy”. Actor Jonathan Frakes was also given a lot of credit for taking over the directing duties, which he did many times during the run on the series, being able to make the film feel like a true big-screen adaptation of the television series. Unfortunately, the magic of ‘First Contact’ couldn’t be recaptured in the following two Next Generations films, both considered failures and the reason why the series was rebooted with J.J. Abrams at the helm.