I ranked my favorite Star Trek movies but realized I hadn’t watched a lot of them for a long time. I am watching them again in chronological order and sharing some of my thoughts after a fresh viewing. Maybe some of the movies will have a chance to move up my list after watching them again.
Last week I watched Star Trek: Generations. This week I watched Star Trek: First Contact.
I love Star Trek: First Contact. I ranked it as my second favorite Star Trek movie ever, behind only The Wrath of Khan. After watching First Contact again I love it just as much. Most of the other Next Generation movies weren’t that great, so I’m glad that they got one signature movie.
Star Trek: First Contact utilizes The Next Generation’s best villains: the Borg. It also tells a great time travel story, delving deeper into the Star Trek mythos. Patrick Stewart is amazing as Captain Picard and James Cromwell adds a lot of humanity and humor as Zefram Cochrane.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching Star Trek: First Contact.
When standing next to Zefram Cochrane’s ship, Picard tells Data about the exhilaration he feels being so close to it. Picard says:
Touch can connect you to an object in a very personal way, make it seem more real.
Touch and physical contact are part of the human experience. Without touch we would be able to interact with the world around us but we wouldn’t be able to experience it. We could hold a cold glass of water on a hot day but we wouldn’t be able experience the cool relief that it brings. Even Thomas wasn’t ready to believe that Jesus had come back to life until he had felt Jesus’s wounds. Unlike Thomas we don’t have the benefit of touching Jesus physically. We just have to trust in faith that Jesus is real and he is working in our lives. Though I wouldn’t mind shaking Jesus’s hand or giving him a big hug.
One of the best parts about First Contact was Zefram Cochrane. James Cromwell did an amazing job portraying Cochrane as the reluctant hero, uncomfortable with the reverence paid him by the Enterprise crew. Cochrane became a symbol for peace and progress, even though his original intentions were far less altruistic. We never know the legacy that we’re going to leave or the impact we’re going to have. We can’t start with the legacy in mind; when we do we end up serving our own reputation instead of those around us. Instead we have to simply serve God and love those around us. A life lived with that kind of intention may not initiate first contact, but it will impact someone and leave a legacy that will outlive us.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was very much a story of vengeance. Khan sought his vengeance on Admiral Kirk for marooning him on a dying planet. In First Contact Captain Picard is the one seeking vengeance. The Borg had hurt Picard and he wanted to hurt them, even at the cost of his crew and his humanity. Both The Wrath of Khan and First Contact draw parallels with Moby Dick. Khan followed Ahab’s folly and paid the ultimate price. Luckily for Picard, he had someone to show him his folly and the error in his ways. We need people like Lily in our lives, to help us see when we’re blinded by vengeance or unforgiveness. Nothing can disconnect us from the heart of God faster than an inability to forgive. Thankfully we’ll never have to forgive a race of cyborgs for assimilating us into their collective. Even with great accountability that would still be hard.
Star Trek: First Contact is great. It was my second favorite Star Trek movie and I’m pretty sure it will stay that way. Even after 17 years I love watching the crew of the Enterprise D and E. Whether I’m watching The Next Generation or their movies, it’s like spending time with old friends.
What are your thoughts about Star Trek: First Contact?