Star Trek First Contact: The 3 most magnificent moments

1996 Michael Dorn stars in the new movie "Star Trek: First Contact".
1996 Michael Dorn stars in the new movie "Star Trek: First Contact". /
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The fight on the Enterprise‘s main deflector dish

Worf’s defiant “Assimilate this!” is the line I remember repeating with relish as I left the theater. But the Klingon’s crowd-pleasing comment is only the capper to an altogether thrilling sequence.

Picard, Worf, and conn officer Hawk (played by a pre-Band of Brothers, pre-Arrowverse Neal McDonough) undertake a zero-g EVA to stop the Borg from building a beacon atop the Enterprise deflector dish and contact the Collective.

What could go wrong?

These seven minutes are a mini-masterclass in high stakes. Our heroes must deal with setback after setback.

They attract the drones’ attention. The drones adapt to the phaser fire. Worf’s successful slaying of a Borg punctures his pressure suit. Hawk can’t move his maglock before he’s “thrown overboard”—only to return and attack Picard as an assimilated drone himself.

Maestro Jerry Goldsmith’s music gives the events even more impact. The mysterious four-note motif Sha Ka Ree motif he wrote for Star Trek V sounds whenever the characters narrowly avoid catastrophe, before modulating into a hopeful major key once victory is secure. (Well, Picard’s and Worf’s victory, at any rate.)

Not every aspect of the sequence has aged gracefully. When Picard flies across the soundstage on admittedly well hidden or digitally erased wires, I cringe a little, as director Jonathan Frakes apparently does too.

But the battle for the deflector dish remains the tensest set piece in any Star Trek movie, and a gem of an action sequence.