Great Trek Debate, chapter 3- Those Dastardly Villains

15 Nov

Not too long ago I launched a poll to see who you felt was the greatest foe in the Star Trek universe. The poll is still open, but as of now the results are pretty weighted in favor of the Borg. For this chapter of the look into Star Trek, I want to take a gander at some of the villains our heroes have gone up against. Let’s start with those pesky with poll results-

Borg~ Since their creation during the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Borg have appeared (or in the case of Deep Space 9, at least been mentioned) in every series. They even appear as the foes in Star Trek: First Contact (which actually leads to their appearance in Enterprise). And I’m sure that in the rebooted film franchise, they’ll eventually make an appearance with the new original series characters.

So what makes the Borg so darn villainous? Is it their lack of emotion? I hope not… personally, I find the Borg Queen to be the scariest Borg of all and she’s full of emotion! What I’ve determined while wandering the interwebs for a reason why we fear the Borg is that their efficiency and serious intent created fear. They simply had one goal- to assimilate. They set out to make themselves better by absorbing everyone else into their hive mind. There was no escape. If they saw you, you became Borg. In the beginning, you couldn’t even argue with the Borg- it wasn’t until the Borg Queen came about that there was even a Borg capable of individual thought- yes, there was Hugh in TNG and Seven on Voyager, who were both individuals but there connection (as well the connection of every other Borg who had a personality) to the hive had been severed. The Queen was always a part of the collective… but she was herself as well.

My issue is that the creators of the Borg, as characters, made them so well… when one of the series started to suffer they were thrown in as enemies and BOOM! the series improved a wee bit. They became a tool of Star Trek writers in order to escape and fix flaws in the series. Rather than, ya know, fixing those flaws. I liked their brief appearance in Enterprise because it touched again on First Contact and how the universe developed after Cochran’s flight. And they never actually called them Borg, nor were they able to gather data (due to primitive tech)- which means that the Borg’s first appearance in TNG remains canon (though, technically, with the reboot only Enterprise is canon. All other series/stories are fair game for changes).

Khan~ The number 2 result of the poll is Khan Noonien Singh.  Khan is a genetically enhanced human from the Eugenics War that theoretically occurred during the latter part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. He was power hungry- his backstory had him controlling a quarter of Earth before losing power. He and his followers are found by Kirk (TOS) in suspended animation, which leads to Khan trying to take over the Enterprise and being stranded. Which leads to his reappearance in the classic film, Wrath of Khan– wherein he tortures my beloved Chekov– where Khan seeks revenge against Kirk.

Wrath of Khan is my favorite of the Trek films (not counting the reboot because it’s awesomeness trumps all else) and the return of Khan made me happy. Ricardo Montalbon‘s performance was amazing. I was 4 when the film came out. Loved it. He was terrifying. He was larger than life. Loved it!

I see no bad in Khan.

Q~ Q came up third on the poll. Now, this one I don’t see.  I never saw Q as a villain. He was a pain in everyone’s butt and he obviously had the power to cause actual damage to whichever crew he met (TNG and Voyager, mostly, with only a single appearance on DS9). He didn’t exactly help those crews (he could’ve sent Voyager home to the Alpha Quadrant but did not) but his appearances on the shows were not villainous- he was more of antagonist to keep the characters on their toes. Or to help them learn something important about themselves that they needed an outsider to make them see. The only truly wicked thing Q ever actually does is in s2 of TNG… when he flings the ship to a distant quarter of the galaxy and they meet the Borg.

Q never appears in the films (as yet) or in Enterprise (one can only extrapolate that humans were not of interest to the continuum for another hundred and fifty+ years).

Those are the three that have votes in poll right now, but other villainous foes have appeared within the Trek universe. They include, but are not limited to, Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Andorians, Cardassians, and Gorn. What are the thoughts on these foes?

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