Star Trek fans are celebrating “First Contact Day” online, acknowledging the fictional date in the future when humans first make contact with alien life. According to Star Trek lore, Zefram Cochrane made Earth’s first warp flight on April 5, 2063, capturing the attention of a Vulcan survey ship; the Vulcans proceeded to follow him to Earth for a peaceful first contact in Bozeman, Montana. The moment can essentially be seen as the birth of Star Trek, as the primary goal of the sci-fi series has been to seek out “new worlds” and “new life forms” since the very start of the franchise, and it all began with the introduction of the Vulcans on that fine April day in 2063.
Across social media, fans of the franchise are now honoring the occasion with the trending hashtag #FirstContactDay. “Only 43 more years until we meet the Vulcans,” one fan tweets. “On April 5th, 2063, humanity made its first contact with an alien species: the logical, pacifistic Vulcans. We could probably use some of that goodwill right now,” another writes. Collider Video also posted a photo of the first contact between humans and Vulcans along with this fitting quip: “Photo taken 43 years from now, when shaking hands may be deemed acceptable behavior again.” Perhaps we should just stick with the Vulcan salute when our extra-terrestrial friends arrive.
This story was popularized by the franchise with the release of the 1996 movie Star Trek: First Contact. Directed by The Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes, the movie was written by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore. In the story, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew discover the Borg have altered the past, resulting in a complete assimilation of Earth. Determined to make things right, the Enterprise travels back in time to the mid-21st century to the day when Vulcans and humans made their “first contact,” ultimately hoping to correct the timeline and prevent the Borg from conquering the planet.
Ironically, physical contact at this point in time is what we all should be avoiding as much as possible. This fact isn’t lost on the stars of The Next Generation themselves, as several major members of its cast recently reunited through a video conference call to celebrate the birthday of franchise star Marina Sirtis. If the Vulcans were to come on April 5 in 2020 rather than 2063, then perhaps we should see if they can remain on board their starship and give someone here a video call instead.
In any case, now seems to be a perfect day to revisit Star Trek: First Contact, especially with so many of us essentially forced to stay at home anyway. While we’re at it, a marathon of Star Trek movies or television show episodes shouldn’t be out of the question either. There are definitely worse ways to pass the time while we’re all stuck at home. For all the Trekkies out there, we hope you enjoy this First Contact Day as much as possible, however you choose to honor the occasion. You can take a look at some of the tweets from Trekkies acknowledging the special day below.