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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old July 7 2010, 05:50 AM   #1
Whill
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[First Contact] Question about the Borg

When Picard and Lily are going through the ship and the part where Picard says the Borg won't attack if they don't see them as a threat, why is that? Why are other times the Borg are on their zombie hunt to assimilate, but in that scene they weren't? Why was that time different, and how did Picard know that? Wouldn't the Borg always want to assimilate? Why wouldn't they see un-assimilated beings as threats?

Thanks.
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Old July 7 2010, 06:16 AM   #2
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Onscreen the Borg have only attacked when provoked. As long as Picard and Lily weren't doing anything to get their attention they were in as little danger as one can be in when walking within inches of Borg.

Generally they only seem to assimilate either when their numbers are low or when they are being attacked and are retaliating.
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Old July 7 2010, 06:17 AM   #3
Whill
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

OK, so the Borg only ever attempt to assimilate those who provoke them? The travel through the galaxy on a mission of expecting people to provoke them so then they can attempt to assimilate them?
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Old July 7 2010, 06:41 AM   #4
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Well, I suppose there's a bit of contradiction, in that we don't know why the Borg launch their attack in FC when they do, or why they engage in time travel when AFAWK they never have previously.

That being said, when walking among them you're generally fine unless you start shooting at them.
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Old July 7 2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

The Borg themselves say they are not out to conquer. They want to improve the quality of life of those who accept this magnanimous gesture of assimilation. And they eventually impose that improvement on those who resist - but apparently only after first removing the obvious means of resistance. They don't start "helping out" people before they have performed more pressing functions.

Sure, they would wish to eventually assimilate those "harmless" people "innocently" infiltrating their ship or otherwise walking in their midst. But apparently, assimilation is hard work: the injection of nanoprobes is only the first step, after which there comes surgical alteration, and perhaps a process of re-education and maturation. If the Borg don't need the extra labor force at the time, they're unlikely to assimilate if easier methods of subduing the opposition are available.

One might argue that the Collective should already know better than let humans wander around on the corridors of a Cube. But the Borg are also interested in learning from experience. If they don't allow their enemy to act, they won't gain the benefits of observing their actions and testing various remedial reactions. The worst the enemy can do is kill a few thousand drones, or a ship or two. And the Borg don't seem to consider such things unacceptable losses. Some stuff from VOY would suggest the Borg are immortal once assimilated anyway, so even the individuals would not be afraid of risking their physical bodies; the Collective, even less so.

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Old July 7 2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Whill wrote: View Post
When Picard and Lily are going through the ship and the part where Picard says the Borg won't attack if they don't see them as a threat, why is that? Why are other times the Borg are on their zombie hunt to assimilate, but in that scene they weren't? Why was that time different, and how did Picard know that? Wouldn't the Borg always want to assimilate? Why wouldn't they see un-assimilated beings as threats?

Thanks.
The Borg only attack/assimilate a threat or target. If a drone is carrying out some other activity, then it will not drop it to attack/assimilate if it has no motivation to. Thus, you could walk through a bunch of drones, and they will ignore you and just go about your business.

If the collective determines that you have something they want,. then they will come after you to assimilate you. If you pose a threat, then they will attack you to eliminate the threat.

Note that I see the Collective as a giant mind, with the Queen as the embodiment of the conscious mind. The attack/assimilate actions are subconscious, and the Queen probably isn't aware of each act of assimilation, or of each threatening away team that is dealt with (of course, she could find out if she wanted to, but a constant influx of that much information would overload her). On occasions however, the Queen has shown a particular interest in these actions, such as her interest in assimilating Picard and Data.
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Old July 7 2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Also, the Borg have been known to ignore races (like the Kazon) who they determine are unworthy of assimilation.
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Old July 7 2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

I think like many of the other posters in this thread have suggested, "The Borg ignore a species or individual(s) until it is deemed worthy of assimilation, such as displaying an interesting ability (Arturis Species linguistic skills) or a technological curiosity (The Hansens and their "Bio Dampeners")

It really depends, I guess the Borg as a collective make decisions based on an overall majority (gathering the various action that different species in the collective would take and then applying them based on risk factors, resources and probability of success)

IIRC in "Dark Frontier" Seven mentioned that the Borg should let the "assimilation fugitives" go, since it would use up uneccassary resources (which suggests that the Borg prepare for species assimilation with a "Resource Budget" and don't expend it, perhaps logically considering that they have the majority of the species as drones and a few individuals wouldn't be worth expending energy over in an attempt to "complete the set", this interestingly enough, contradicts the "perfection philosophy" that the Borg are so obsessed with)
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Old July 8 2010, 12:53 PM   #9
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

The Borg's behavior at any given moment is generally driven by the specific needs of the scene/episode/movie's plot rather than by a hard set of rules - generally if they're trying to set an eerie tone you have Borg wandering around ignoring the crew; if they're creating a sense of danger/urgency/action, you have Borg running around attacking our heroes on sight.

And there's nothing wrong with that approach. I recall JMS saying in an interview that he was often asked technical questions about how fast the spaceships in Babylon 5 could travel. His answer was always that "they move at the speed of plot"; that is to say, they'll get there as fast as the plot needs them to.
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Old July 8 2010, 12:58 PM   #10
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Being so task focused inside their ships, Drones aren't going to retarget or even register "benign" foreign bodies. It is similar to the way our anatomy's defences work.
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Old July 8 2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Nothing in First Contact makes the slightest bit of sense, but we forgive the movies we like and not the movies we don't.
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Old July 9 2010, 06:02 AM   #12
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

You shouldn't try and apply human motivations to the Borg. They are unimaginably vast. You may as well ask why the cells in your body aren't interested in boning up on some Shakespeare.
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Old July 9 2010, 03:01 PM   #13
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Don't let the fact that drones look like 'us' fool you. We are mosquitoes. Until we buzz right in their ear, we are ignored.
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Old July 9 2010, 03:42 PM   #14
Whill
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Thanks everyone for your replies.

CaptJimboJones wrote: View Post
The Borg's behavior at any given moment is generally driven by the specific needs of the scene/episode/movie's plot rather than by a hard set of rules - generally if they're trying to set an eerie tone you have Borg wandering around ignoring the crew; if they're creating a sense of danger/urgency/action, you have Borg running around attacking our heroes on sight.

And there's nothing wrong with that approach.
I would accept that as an axiom. That is the real-world explanation behind what is happening in the story, and I definitely understood the intended mood of the scene. But I guess I should have been more clear that I was asking for an in-universe explanation to help the story make more sense. I figured this was such a generally popular fan-favorite film that the fans would already have every detail rationalized and explained.

Destructor wrote: View Post
You shouldn't try and apply human motivations to the Borg. They are unimaginably vast.
Sure, that sounds good. But the Borg are fictional characters created by humans, and the story was written by humans to be enjoyed by humans. So I thought the humans at this board might have some insights to the vast unimaginable motivations of the Borg in that scene, and some humans here do. And also remember, as stated in TUC, "Everybody's human."

Destructor wrote: View Post
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Last edited by Whill; July 9 2010 at 04:18 PM.
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Old July 9 2010, 04:00 PM   #15
Turd Ferguson
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Re: [First Contact] Question about the Borg

Clearly Paul Porter's examination of the EPS conduits was seen/registered as a threat to the Borg
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