Two major pieces of the Star Trek canon dropped 20 years apart.
On May 8, 1989, the first appearance of the Borg was introduced to the world of Star Trek in the classic The Next Generation episode, “Q Who”. The episode would see Q (John de Lancie) throw the U.S.S. Enterprise into another part of the galaxy, to come face to face with The Borg. It was a huge moment in the world of Trek lore. It gave the U.S.S. Enterprise-D the main series villain it had been hoping for after the Ferengi were a flop.
It also gave the fans a new villain that was genuinely frightening and far more powerful than the folks at Starfleet were. The contrast and similarities between the two groups were obvious. Both believed in a unifying culture, both were advanced technologically speaking and would add the essence of their allies/assimilate whomever, to their core group, thereby expanding what they know.
Yet, they were very different too. One brought technology in by force, the other through diplomacy. It was almost as if the Borg was a warped mirror-version of the Federation, but without any sense of right or wrong.
That episode did remarkable things for the brand, so it was almost fitting that 20 years later, to the day, the 2009 Star Trek film released as well.
The film reimagined what Star Trek could be, much like the Borg redefined the Next Generation.
The film reimagined the world of Star Trek for a modern audience, with an emphasis on action and adventure. It wasn’t universally beloved but it did do very well and far more fans liked it than not. The film franchise had a lot of hype around it, especially heading into its follow-up film; Into Darkness.
While both served as landmark moments for the franchise and did so on the same date just 20 years apart, the fact remains that “Q Who” set the franchise in a better direction than the events and production of Star Trek 2009.
The film is wonderful and one of the best the franchise had to offer, but the film series added very little to the world that was created before it and did very little to give back to it since. That may change in the coming months or years but for now, the 2009 film remains a less important piece of fiction than “Q Who”.