Spanning eleven films and five TV series (six if you include the animated series), Star Trek has a vast wealth of stories to choose from. From scientific anomalies to epic space battles, time travel to alternate realities, Star Trek has covered every spectrum of sci-fi.
And throughout these stories there are many jaw-dropping moments…when for one minute everything is turned on its head. That is the art of the true ‘WTF’ moment. It’s not just a scene where something big happens. It’s the unpredictable moment when you as the audience are blind-sided. It’s the moment when you ask ‘did that really just happen?’
And Star Trek has had plenty of them! And a note of warning. I write this assuming you have seen Star Trek Into Darkness.
10. Population… Approximately Nine Billion… All Borg
Star Trek First Contact took an iconic villain from the Next Generation TV series and made one of the best Star Trek films of them all. There are plenty of dramatic moments. The Borg Queen reveal. Picard’s confrontations with Worf and Lilly over his actions. The Deflector dish battle. Data ‘turning traitor’. But none are really drop-dropping moments. Not on the scale of this one.
The moment the Enterprise, on the back of the battle with the Borg, discovers the Earth has been assimilated.
Now sure, it was revealed in the trailer…so you could argue, was it a WTF moment at all? But think about it. After the shocks and jumps of Picard’s Borg influenced nightmares and the epic battle at Sector 001, in which the captain rallies the surviving ships to destroy the Borg Cube…the crew discover that Earth has been altered. As Data utters the words ‘population…approximately nine billion…all Borg’, we realise the Borg have won.
This isn’t higher on the list purely for the fact that the trailer for First Contact reveals this very moment. But from a narrative viewpoint, and playing devil’s advocate for those audience members who haven’t seen the trailer and/or want a great follow up to the epic Best of Both Worlds two-parter (which it most definitely is), this moment flips the entire film on its head. The Enterprise has already lost. Now they have to go back in time to undo the Borg’s actions. Suddenly the stakes seem higher than ever…
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