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Star Trek Picard extended Comic-Con trailer

ART!

Explorer
They held this off as long as they could - exploring the "person" of the Borg through Hugh and 7 of 9. But eventually those become so human as to no longer really be Borg proxies. Eventually, to keep them narratively dynamic, the Borg needed to be personified. Thus, the Queen.

Was this the best personification of the Borg we could imagine? Maybe, maybe not. But something of this ilk was necessary, from a storytelling perspective.
To nitpick: First Contact came out in 1996, a couple years before the introduction of 7 of 9.

The creation of a Borg Queen seems like a misunderstanding of the Borg collective. Basically, someone went from "collective" to "hive", that made them think of bees, and then "hey - bees have a queen! Brilliant!" It seems like a great idea until you realize it kind of makes no sense. I guess the argument is the Borg thinking "it will make it easier for us to understand these foolish individualized species", but why would they bother. It could indicate an infection of the collective from assimilating so many individuals, and maybe how they assimilated Picard in particular.

I've got to admit, seeing the Borg again made me groan a little. Why is that the first thing they go back to?
In their defense, Picards experiences with the Borg are some of the most significant challenges and turning points of his life, and their appearance coincided with his command of the Federation's flagship, and their awareness of the Alpha Quadrant's "resources" could be blamed on him (or Q, but it wouldn't surprise me if he blames himself).
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
To nitpick: First Contact came out in 1996, a couple years before the introduction of 7 of 9.
Hm. Correct. The Borg don't meaningfully appear in Trek between First Contact, and the introduction of 7 of 9, so I got them out of order.

Which, interestingly, gives us a point. Other than First Contact, Voyager's the only place the Queen shows up.

The creation of a Borg Queen seems like a misunderstanding of the Borg collective. Basically, someone went from "collective" to "hive", that made them think of bees, and then "hey - bees have a queen! Brilliant!"
With respect, no. They have been entirely clear about why they created the Borg Queen: "First Contact writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore have defended the introduction of the Queen as a dramatic necessity, noting on the film's DVD audio commentary that they had initially written the film with drones, but then found that it was essential for the main characters to have someone to interact with beyond mindless drones. "
 

ART!

Explorer
With respect, no. They have been entirely clear about why they created the Borg Queen: "First Contact writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore have defended the introduction of the Queen as a dramatic necessity, noting on the film's DVD audio commentary that they had initially written the film with drones, but then found that it was essential for the main characters to have someone to interact with beyond mindless drones. "
Huh. Well, alrighty! Thanks.

Now I'm starting to imagine an alternate FC wherein they fill this need for individuals to interact with by coming up with interesting/new ways for the Borg to assimilate Picard and/or other crewmembers. Picard vs his assimilated crew? Borg Data? Picard and crew vs other Alpha Quadrant and even Starfleet ships and crews who've been Borgified? Rather than create a Queen (I can't recall - was she created relatively recently before FC, or had she always been there?), the Borg create one or more new kinds of proxies and experiements...
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
With respect, no. They have been entirely clear about why they created the Borg Queen: "First Contact writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore have defended the introduction of the Queen as a dramatic necessity, noting on the film's DVD audio commentary that they had initially written the film with drones, but then found that it was essential for the main characters to have someone to interact with beyond mindless drones. "
That's exactly my point: "No it ain't!"

A much better set of writers would tell the story in such a way it would no longer be "essential" to create a franking "queen".

Even a somewhat better set of writers would realize it would be better to not create a stupid queen, even if it meant Picard had to talk to drones.

Only a hack writer would underestimate the cost of defanging perhaps the greatest foe ever devised in Trekdom just to take a convenient narrative shortcut.
 

ART!

Explorer
I don't know what production was like on FC, but if there was a time crunch then the creation of a Queen could have been something that in the heat of the moment seemed necessary or like it solved some problems and they just ran with it. Even good writers make mistakes.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
A much better set of writers would tell the story in such a way it would no longer be "essential" to create a franking "queen".
Hypothetical, and effectively a non-falsifiable "no true Scotsman", as you can simply identify anyone who doesn't or can't do it the way you want it as not a "better writer".

Only a hack writer would underestimate the cost of defanging perhaps the greatest foe ever devised in Trekdom just to take a convenient narrative shortcut.
I don't see how they were "defanged" in any meaningful sense. What power of theirs is removed?
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
That's exactly my point: "No it ain't!"

A much better set of writers would tell the story in such a way it would no longer be "essential" to create a franking "queen".

Even a somewhat better set of writers would realize it would be better to not create a stupid queen, even if it meant Picard had to talk to drones.

Only a hack writer would underestimate the cost of defanging perhaps the greatest foe ever devised in Trekdom just to take a convenient narrative shortcut.
People had previously spoken to the overall "Borg Consciousness" when interacting with them, so I don't know why they couldn't have done so again.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
The first time we encounter the Borg, they are indeed a force of nature, and the core of the story is the conflict between Q and Picard.
The second time the Borg are already given a face eventually with Locutus, but a big part of the conflict is between Riker and Shelby's rivalry and their ability to eventually overcome it.
The third time the Borg also get a more relatable face with Hugh, but of course he's not representing a collective, but someone that got free of it, and it's about Picard overcoming his hatred of the Borg.
The fourth time it's actually more about the relationship between Data and Lore.
The fifth time it is a lot about Picard again overcoming his anger and hatred of the Borg, and the Borg are getting a face with the Queen. In some ways the story is actually retreating a character development that already happened in the series, but we're okay with it because it has some good action and drama and the Data/Queen/Picard is pretty good, coupled with great special effects.


EDIT:

If you need a Trailer, I can't link to it directly, but this one from Patrick Stewarts Twitter seems to be internationally viewable: https://twitter.com/SirPatStew/status/1152672066287656960?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1152889561359572992&ref_url=https://globalnews.ca/news/5666434/star-trek-picard-trailer-patrick-stewart/
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
People had previously spoken to the overall "Borg Consciousness" when interacting with them, so I don't know why they couldn't have done so again.
The second time the Borg are already given a face eventually with Locutus, but a big part of the conflict is between Riker and Shelby's rivalry and their ability to eventually overcome it.
(from Memory Alpha)
"The character of Locutus was created as a result of the writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation feeling it necessary for the Borg to have a spokesman, which the writing staffers referred to as a "queen bee." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages) Another inspiration on the character's creation, according to writer Michael Piller, was that the writing staff was requested by Paramount to devise a method of potentially writing Picard actor Patrick Stewart out of the series after the third season. This was because Paramount was having negotiating difficulties regarding closing a deal with Stewart that would see him return for the fourth season. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 23, p. 16) "

Setting aside the contract negotiation issues...

I think we see here a repeating theme. Folks are correct that, yeah, you could have a character speak to the collective as a whole. But, we are also talking about the mass market here, and maybe cinematographically speaking, that doesn't play well. Your audience is made of humans, and they are used to interactions with concrete individuals. Locutus and the Queen seem to be there because, however it may play as a story to some folks, more broadly the audience may not get it if you don't have a face for the collective.

Heck, the Borg *tell us* this is necessary, in Best of Both Worlds, Part 1:

BORG: Death is irrelevant. Your archaic cultures are authority driven. To facilitate our introduction into your societies, it has been decided that a human voice will speak for us in all communications. You have been chosen to be that voice.

The Borg recognize that the humans need a face to talk to.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
(from Memory Alpha)
"The character of Locutus was created as a result of the writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation feeling it necessary for the Borg to have a spokesman, which the writing staffers referred to as a "queen bee." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages) Another inspiration on the character's creation, according to writer Michael Piller, was that the writing staff was requested by Paramount to devise a method of potentially writing Picard actor Patrick Stewart out of the series after the third season. This was because Paramount was having negotiating difficulties regarding closing a deal with Stewart that would see him return for the fourth season. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 23, p. 16) "

Setting aside the contract negotiation issues...

I think we see here a repeating theme. Folks are correct that, yeah, you could have a character speak to the collective as a whole. But, we are also talking about the mass market here, and maybe cinematographically speaking, that doesn't play well. Your audience is made of humans, and they are used to interactions with concrete individuals. Locutus and the Queen seem to be there because, however it may play as a story to some folks, more broadly the audience may not get it if you don't have a face for the collective.

Heck, the Borg *tell us* this is necessary, in Best of Both Worlds, Part 1:

BORG: Death is irrelevant. Your archaic cultures are authority driven. To facilitate our introduction into your societies, it has been decided that a human voice will speak for us in all communications. You have been chosen to be that voice.

The Borg recognize that the humans need a face to talk to.
Yeah , I both remember and get that but I could wish for something different that the old memes, couldn't I? ;)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Hypothetical, and effectively a non-falsifiable "no true Scotsman", as you can simply identify anyone who doesn't or can't do it the way you want it as not a "better writer".
Nope.

You're the expert on fallacies, Umbran, you tell me what this one's called:

You're asked to share your opinion, but you interpret it as a challenge to provide scientific proof.

In other words, I see you bringing up quotes, and business data and whatnot.

What I don't see, however, is you doing one of two things:
a) simply agreement: "yeah, shame about how they crapped all over the Borg"

or

b) disagreement: "nope, I personally think the Borg got better by having a Queen, and here are my top three argument as to why"

The closest you come is "it's inevitable". That's still distanced and logical, and not really sharing an opinion you could then be held to.

But you do you. Have a nice day. Myself, I think I've made my own opinion abundantly clear, so I'm outta here.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The closest you come is "it's inevitable". That's still distanced and logical, and not really sharing an opinion you could then be held to.
You hold people to opinions in your regular life?

I hold people to promises. I hold them to stated facts. I hold them to their logic. I don't hold people to "I liked/disliked this". As far as I am concerned, you can change your preferences on the borg Queen seven times in a day, and I wouldn't care.

The Shakespearean phrase is, "there is no accounting for taste".
 
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Kaodi

Adventurer
I wonder if she is some sort of clone of the original Borg Queen that we met, the one that turned Picard into Locutus. The Borg released her "into the wild" to acquire the modicum of individuality that other queens had prior to assimilation, but something happened and here we are.
 

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