The List: Top 5 Star Trek Villains

Well here we go.  This is Matt and for those of you that don’t know, I am a HUGE Star Trek fan.  I mean talk to any other member The Fandom Menace and they can vouch for how serious of a fan I am.  While I plan on doing another post about Star Trek in general, I wanted to take a moment and discuss the villains of Star Trek.

Ever since the beginning of Star Trek in 1966 with Star Trek: The Original Series, to the most recent film Star Trek, villains have always played an important role in the universe.  Whether it was the Klingons, the Cardassians, Q, or the Augments, Starfleet has always been a force for good trying its best to explore the universe while stopping evil.  I’m gonna take a moment to mention what I believe to be the best of the best of the villains from this historic Science Fiction series.

#5: Nero (Star Trek)

Nero is a Romulan miner originating from the late 24th century and captain of the mining vessel Narada.  Following the destruction of Romulus, Nero sought vengeance against those whom he held responsible, accidentally being transported to the 23rd century and creating an alternate reality.  Nero is presumed killed with the Narada is consumed by a gravitational singularity.  He appears as the main villain in Star Trek and is portrayed by Eric Bana.

The first time you see Nero in the film, he says nothing.  When he hears something he doesn’t like from the starfleet captain, he just outright kills him, then destroys his ship, the U.S.S. Kelvin.

He later destroys an armada of Starfleet ships, maroons Ambassador Spock on an ice planet, and even destroys the entire planet Vulcan!!!  All in the span of one movie!!!  Nero was extremely hardcore.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at the new movie and see for yourself.

#4: The Borg (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek: First Contact)

The Borg were discovered to be a group without individuality, where every member is a part of a collective consciousness in an attempt to achieve perfection. They assimilate any species they come into contact with for either biological aspects (for example, Talaxians would be assimilated for their dense physical structure, useful for producing strong, resilient drones) or technological aspects (a species which has developed advanced engines or weaponry would be a sufficiently desirable target for assimilation) all in an attempt to further improve the overall perfection of the Borg as a whole.

The Borg have encountered and assimilated thousands of species, quantity most notable by their designation of Species 8472, although more may have been added to the total since that encounter.

The Borg are not so much a species, as a collection of species. In their assimilated state, most races are altered or augmented with cybernetic enhancements which make them all look similar, or at least instantly identifiable as Borg, making them a pseudo-species.

Encounters with the Borg have varied in type, from the disastrous defense of the Wolf 359 system (“The Best of Both Worlds“), in which many Federation ships were lost, the successful repelling of two Borg cubes from Sector 001 (the Terran System) on two separate occasions (“The Best of Both Worlds” “Star Trek: First Contact“) and the infiltration, usage of and destruction of a Borg transwarp hub (a critical part of their intergalactic menace) by the USS Voyager (“Endgame“)

The Borg have not been seen onscreen since, but are still perceived as much a threat as ever.


#3: Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Khan makes his introductory appearance in Star Trek‘s twenty-fourth episode, “Space Seed“, first broadcast on February 16, 1967. According to the backstory revealed in the episode, Khan is one of a group of genetically engineered supermen, bred to be free of the usual human mental and physical limitations, who were removed from power after the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s. Khan had been both the most successful conqueror and the most benign ruler of the group, ruling a third of the world’s area across Asia with a firm but generally peaceful hand until he was deposed. While most of the supermen were killed or sentenced to death, Khan and 84 others escaped Earth by way of the sleeper ship SS Botany Bay. Cryogenically frozen in suspended animation, the crew of the Botany Bay are discovered by the crew of the Enterprise in 2267.

When Khan’s sleep chamber malfunctions, he is transported to the Enterprise, where he reawakens and learns he is in the 23rd century. Given spacious quarters while the Botany Bay is towed to a starbase, Khan fascinates and charms the ship’s historian, Marla McGivers, while using his access to the ship’s technical manuals to learn how to take over and operate the Enterprise. McGivers agrees to help Khan revive the other supermen, allowing him to organize a mutiny. To coerce the Enterprise crew to cooperate with him, Khan places Captain James T. Kirk in the ship’s decompression chamber and threatens to kill Kirk unless the crew submits. McGivers cannot stand by as her Captain dies and frees Kirk, who neutralizes Khan’s men by using a ‘neural gas.’ Khan heads to engineering and sets the ship’s engines to self-destruct, whereupon he is incapacitated by Kirk. Captain Kirk conducts a hearing, sentencing Khan and his followers to exile on an uncolonized world, Ceti Alpha V. Khan accepts Kirk’s challenge—invoking the fall of Lucifer in Milton‘s Paradise Lost— and McGivers joins Khan rather than face court-martial. Spock wonders what the “seed” Kirk has planted will bear in a hundred years.

Khan returns in the 1982 feature film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, when USS Reliant officers Captain Clark Terrell and Commander Pavel Chekov beam down to what they believe is Ceti Alpha VI, looking for an inhospitable world to test the Genesis device, a powerful terraforming tool. Khan’s followers capture Terrell and Chekov, and Khan explains that the barren wasteland they now inhabit is Ceti Alpha V. The sixth planet of the system exploded shortly after Khan and his followers were marooned, causing massive climate disturbances. The planet was turned into a desert, and many of the survivors (including McGivers, who had become Khan’s wife) were killed by the only surviving species of animal, the Ceti eel. By the time the Reliant arrives at Ceti Alpha, only twenty of Khan’s followers are alive. Swearing vengeance on Kirk, Khan takes control of Chekov and Terrell using Ceti eels implanted in the officers’ brains, rendering them vulnerable to suggestion. Khan then seizes control of the Reliant, intent on capturing Project Genesis and attaining revenge on Kirk for his exile.

Lured by Khan to the space station Regula I, the Enterprise falls victim to Khan’s surprise attack. Kirk, his ship disabled, tricks Khan by using a special code to remotely lower the Reliant‘s shields and inflict significant damage. Khan is forced to withdraw and make repairs. Using the mind-controlled Terrell and Chekov as spies, Khan captures the Genesis device and leaves Kirk marooned on Regula I. However, Khan is deceived by Spock into thinking that the Enterprise is crippled. Khan is surprised when Kirk and the Enterprise escape to the nearby Mutara nebula. Goaded into following Kirk, Khan pilots the Reliant into the nebula, where shields and visuals are inoperable. Due to Khan’s inexperience with three-dimensional space combat, the Enterprise disables the Reliant and kills Khan’s followers. Refusing to accept defeat, Khan activates the Genesis device, intent on killing his foe along with himself. Khan believes he has doomed his enemy before he dies but Spock, in an act of self-sacrifice, repairs the Enterprise’s warp drive to allow it to escape.

#2: The Dominion (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

In the Star Trek universe, the Dominion is a ruthless militaristic Gamma Quadrant state consisting of many different races.  The main races in the Dominion are the Changelings (who are the true leaders and worshiped as gods called The Founders), the Vorta (2nd in command and control the Jem’Hadar), and the Jem’Hadar (the loyal soldiers willing to die for the Dominion and their gods).  The Dominion waged The Dominion War on the United Federation of Planets and its allies in the late 24th century that lasted for two years and killed millions of people on all sides.

Later during the war, the Dominion was joined by The Cardassian Union as well as the Breen Confederacy and the Son’a from Star Trek: Insurrection, making them a powerful force.  And up against The Federation Alliance (Starfleet, Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Bajoran Militia, and The Maquis), it was a was that devastated the entire Alpha Quadrant.

The Changelings are native to the Gamma Quadrant. All but one hundred of the Changelings are Founders, the rulers of the Dominion (Odo is one of The Hundred, which were sent out to explore the galaxy). For many years, the Founders were considered mythical by many of the races in the Dominion, although their policy was enforced by the Vorta and the Jem’Hadar. It was not until 2371, when Odo discovered the changelings’ homeworld in the Omarion Nebula, that the Founders’ true status was revealed. They seek power because they were once persecuted by non-shape-shifters, whom they call ‘Solids’, or ‘Mono-forms’. After the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole and the rise of the Dominion as a threat, the covert Federation Security organization Section 31 created a viral disease that slowly robbed the Changelings of their ability to shapeshift and deteriorated their bodies before killing them, with which they secretly infected Odo during the show’s fourth season. This was later revealed during the show’s nine-episode finale arc, when the Federation and Dominion were at war. Because Odo had linked with the Female Founder with whom he was familiar numerous times, this meant that the entire Great Link was infected as well. Deep Space Nine Chief Medical Officer Dr. Julian Bashir managed to find the cure for the disease, curing Odo. Odo himself agreed to pass on the cure to the Female Founder and then the Great Link in exchange for the Female Founder’s surrender of the Dominion and herself to the Federation. After the Female Founder accepted this deal, and the war was over, Odo returned to the Founder Homeworld to fulfill his end of the bargain, as well as to teach his people about the solids from his unique perspective.

The huge advantage The Dominion had was that their army wasn’t born, it was grown.  Jem’Hadar were “born” in birthing pods and quickly age to maturity.  “VICTORY IS LIFE” is the motto of the Jem’Hadar!!!  Most don’t live past 5 years old, and if they manage to make it to say the age of 15 to 20, those Jem’Hadar are considered honored elders.  They are excellent soldiers even when compared to Klingon warriors.  They do not eat, do not sleep, and do not need to procreate.  Well, they really can’t since all Jem’Hadar are male.  They are kept in order through the use of an addictive drug known as Ketracel White, which has an enzyme that their bodies need in order to survive.  They are genetically engineered to obey the Founders in all things.  Before going into every battle, the Jem’Hadar First recites this saying:

I am First [name of Jem’Hadar First], and I am dead.
As of this moment, we are all dead.
We go into battle to reclaim our lives.
This we do gladly, for we are Jem’Hadar.
Remember: Victory is Life!


#1: Gul Dukat (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Dukat is the main antagonist of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  He is a member of the Cardassian Union with a rank of Gul (same status of Captain in Starfleet terms) as well as a Legate (Admiral in Starfleet) for a time.  At times he is an enemy, whilst at others an ally of the series’ protagonist Benjamin Sisko.  Dukat is portrayed by Marc Alaimo throughout the series, being introduced in the pilot episode Emissary, and ending in the series finale What you Leave Behind.

Dukat played a versatile role throughout the series and was often a nuanced character.  In the words of Ronald D. Moore, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s co-executive producer, “I don’t think of him as being completely evil through and through…He can be charming.  He can be generous.  he can do the right thing.  All of that somehow makes his ‘evil’ actions all the more despicable, because we know that there was the potential in there for him to be a better person.”  Ultimately, despite the character’s versatility, “Dukat is a bad guy.  A very bad guy.”  Indeed, StarTrek.com describes him as “the most complex and fully developed villain in Star Trek history”.

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~ by Matt Whitfield on May 9, 2011.

5 Responses to “The List: Top 5 Star Trek Villains”

  1. I say BOO on Q not being on this list. That dude was the BEST EVER.

  2. I don’t consider Q to be a villain. Sure he may do things that piss people off, but it’s all in good fun for him. And he never was trying to cause harm to anyone……well real bad harm anyway.

  3. The new Star Trek picture has lost the spirit of Star-Trek. As has ‘Prometheus’ with the orginal ‘Alien’.

  4. Oops, forgot to say Darth Vadder is by far the greatest Star-Trek villain ever.

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