Top 10 Star Trek Enemy Races and Groups

 Star Trek has a rich trove of enemy alien races and organizations that have plagued our heroes throughout the many films and TV shows. Aside from being formidable, many of the opponents featured in the beloved sci-fi franchise were actually more complex and layered, which is why they resonate so much with fandom. These are the best of the lot and hopefully we’ll see some of them again when Star Trek: Discovery premieres next year.

The Breen with the Dominion

10. The Breen Confederacy: Little is known about this warlike, enigmatic race who wear fully enclosed refrigeration suits. Even their speech is undecipherable. Often mentioned in Star Trek shows they never appeared until the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Indiscretion” and later allied with the Dominion in the war against the Federation, Klingons and Romulans. This resulted in a Breen attack on Earth that destroyed Starfleet headquarters and set back the Federation war effort against the Dominion. This alone proved the Breen are a deadly adversary to be reckoned with.

Species 8472

9. Species 8472: The nearly undefeatable Borg met their match and then some when they tried assimilating Species 8472. In their first appearance in “Scorpion, Part I” (Star Trek: Voyager), the three-legged aliens shocked viewers when they easily wiped out entire Borg cubes. As one of the most alien-looking enemies featured in Star Trek, Species 8472  stand out due to their weird physiology and use of biotechnology; plus the fact that they kicked the Borg’s collective butts.

8. The Xindi: Made up of five distinct races, the Xindi inflicted a 9/11-type of attack on Earth in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “The Expanse”. The crew of the Enterprise entered Xindi space in a season-long storyline to prevent the race from destroying the Earth.

3 Xindi racesThe Xindi can be thought of as a prototype of the Federation due to the diverse makeup of their member races: reptilian, aquatic, insectoid, primate and arboreal. Eventually, we learned that they are just as diverse in their beliefs in that some factions are more warlike while others are more reasonable. This enabled Captain Archer and  the Enterprise crew to win over some Xindi members. But others continued with their final attack on Earth and had to be stopped.

7. Terra Prime: An unfortunate fact is that even in the near-paradise future of Star Trek the worst enemy is us, humanity. Many Star Trek stories dwelled on evil humans and organizations, whose antagonistic belief system ran counter to the more enlightened humans in Star Trek. Out of the many nefarious examples like Section 31, the Mirror Universe inhabitants, and rogue Starfleet officers the worst of the bunch is Terra Prime.

John Paxton and Terra Prime

Led by John Frederick Paxton, they are a xenophobic terrorist group in the 22nd century that wanted to isolate Earth and humanity from the galaxy and keep out all alien influences…sounds familiar? Terra Prime only appeared in “Demons” and “Terra Prime”, which were among the final episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. If the show had continued they would have made a perfect adversary as Earth began its first steps towards forming the diverse Federation.

6. The Vidiian Sodality: If anything the Vidiians are the grossest looking enemy aliens to appear in any Star Trek. We never saw much of them in Star Trek: Voyager. but they were still unforgettable when they did show up. First introduced in the episode “Phage” the Vidiians are a race suffering from a deadly disease that ravages their bodies. In order to stay alive they graft onto themselves body parts from other races, which explains their hodgepodge look.

Vidiians

What makes them so scary is that they just see other races, including us, as resources to cull. Most of them do not think twice as they carve up their victims and distribute their body parts to other members of their race. To them, the fact that they are saving other Vidiians easily justifies their actions while it horrifies everyone else.

5. The Romulan Star Empire: On the whole, the Romulan Star Empire are the go-to totalitarian enemy in Star Trek. Stories dealing with them are basically commentaries about the Cold War in that the Romulans are bitter rivals of the Federation. An uneasy stalemate existed between the two powers as both were equally matched, but there is something more about this race of Vulcan offshoots.

Romulans in Star Trek: Nemesis

This was seen in their very first appearance (“Balance of Terror”, Star Trek), as we met an unnamed Romulan commander who played a cat-and-mouse game with Kirk and the Enterprise. He was Kirk’s equal in terms of cunning, but was sympathetic due to his weariness about war and devotion to duty. Throughout their many appearances in the Star Trek shows, the best episodes about them were the ones that had them as fully fleshed out people who weren’t quite evil but happened to be on the other side.

4. The Cardassian Union: Once highly enlightened and cultured, the Cardassians became militaristic and harsh in order to survive. Their totalitarian ways led to conflicts with other space-faring powers like the Federation. Their prejudiced beliefs about other races also justified their brutal occupation of the planet Bajor as they stripped that planet and its people of its resources.

Cardassian in Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Although they first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (“The Wounded”), the Cardassians were fully developed in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as one of the main adversaries. What set them apart from other villains was their love of intrigue and desire to regain lost glory, as well as their distinct look with grey and scaly skin. That show’s best stories showed that Cardassians had deep, nuanced and complicated viewpoints as they struggled to find their place in the galaxy.

3. The Klingon Empire: Arguably, the most popular alien race in Star Trek, the Klingons are the perfect antagonistic foil for the peaceful Federation. They first appeared in the classic Star Trek episode “Errand of Mercy” and like the Romulans, they are supposed to represent the West’s Cold War rivals. Known for their harsh and warlike demeanor, the Klingons actually have a complex code of honor and a rich culture. Backing up their brutish reputation, the Klingons are a militaristic match for the Federation with a fearsome fleet of warships and they are all too eager to prove their mettle against anyone.

Klingons

Even though they were the opposite of the Federation, the Klingons eventually became solid allies by the time Star Trek: The Next Generation came along. In the Star Trek spinoffs, more aspects about these noble savages were explored and we realized there was more to them than their love for fighting. That is why they have become so popular to the point that a real-life subculture has emerged that emulates the Klingons.

2. The Dominion: In many ways the Dominion can be considered the dark version of the Federation. They are composed of several different races, the most prominent being the shapeshifting Founders, the deceitful bureaucratic Vorta and the battle-hungry Jem’ Hadar–the thuggish muscle of the Dominion. But unlike the benevolent Federation, the Dominion are brutal conquerors, who only see other races as adversaries to defeat.

dominion

Their presence was alluded to in early episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Federation began exploring the distant Gamma Quadrant. This raised interest among viewers as to who they were, and they got their answer in the episode “The Jem’Hadar”. From the start the Dominion (represented at first by the reptilian-like shock troopers) demonstrated their ruthlessness and mantra to win at all costs. The Dominion soon proved that they were superior to Starfleet in battle tactics and weapons. When war eventually broke out, the Dominion decimated both the Federation and the Klingons. The fact that they came so close to nearly conquering the Federation is why the Dominion rate so highly on this list.

1. The Borg Collective: Ever since the cybernetic race first appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Q Who?” they have thrilled and terrified fans. What is so frightening about them is their cold, adaptable nature. They forcibly assimilated other races they encounter and add their distinctiveness to their collective in a goal of achieving biological and technological perfection.

Borg

The Borg made an instant impact in their first appearance in how they quickly outmatched the Enterprise and would have assimilated the crew if not for the fact that Capt. Picard had to eat crow to get Q to save them. They are a relentless threat and what makes them more terrifying apart from the other Star Trek races is encountering them means a loss of one’s identity. Whenever they assimilate their victims and forcibly graft cybernetic parts onto them all traces of their personality are gone. By transforming victims into mindless zombies, the Borg turn anyone against their former friends and colleagues. This is something that the Enterprise crew grappled with when Captain Picard was assimilated and used Starfleet’s tactics against the Enterprise and the Federation.

Waldermann Rivera

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Top 20 Star Trek: Voyager Episodes

voyager cast

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager, the saga of a lost Federation starship in a distant corner of the galaxy trying to make its way home. Ever since the third Star Trek spinoff made its debut on the UPN channel it’s been considered as an inferior Star Trek show. That is a somewhat unfair claim, although many episodes were formulaic there were many that were worthy of the Star Trek name. These are twenty of the best episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.

20. “The Chute” Voyager crewmembers Tom chuteParis (Robert Duncan McNeill) and Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) undergo a harrowing ordeal while being held prisoner in brutal space prison.

19. “Lineage” B’Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson) grapples with accepting her half Klingon heritage during her pregnancy since she doesn’t want her unborn daughter to face the same persecution she underwent as a child.

18. “The Thaw” Harry and B’Elanna are mentally trapped in a virtual reality by a malicious clown computer program (Michael McKean), who tortures them to gain release from its cyber trap.

thaw

17. “Maneuvers” First Officer Chakotay (Robert Beltran) tries to track down his former lover Seska (Martha Hackett) and her Kazon colleagues after they raid the Voyager and steal transporter technology.

16. “Scorpion, Parts 1 and 2”An exciting two-parter introduced the popular Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) as the Voyager is forced into an uneasy alliance with the evil cybernetic Borg against an even deadlier threat–Species 8472.

relativity15. “Relativity” Seven of Nine is recruited by a Federation starship crew from the distant future. Her mission: travel through different time periods to prevent the destruction of the Voyager.

14. “Latent Image” The ship’s Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) a.k.a. The Doctor (Robert Picardo) discovers that for some reason certain parts of his memories are being erased. His investigations lead to uncovering a tragic moment in his past and his reaction afterwards was very engrossing to watch.

13. “Basics, Parts I and 2” The crew of the Federation starship Voyager have a final conflict with the barbaric Kazons, who coveted the advanced Starfleet ship and its technology. This two-part episode had many thrilling moments and cliffhangers as most of the Voyager crew were defeated and stranded on a primitive world.

basics 2

12. “Equinox, Parts 1 and 2” The Voyager comes to the aid of another Federation starship also stranded in the distant Delta Quadrant. What is supposed to be a joyous occasion at encountering kindred spirits turns into conflict when the Voyager crew learns of the other crew’s unethical actions against an alien race.

11. “Dark Frontier” Seven of Nine’s DFrontbackground is explored as Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) leads efforts to steal Borg technology that will hasten their journey home. During a pivotal raid, Seven is captured by the Borg, who plan a biotech attack on humanity. Meanwhile, Janeway mounts a rescue mission.

10. “Hope and Fear” The sudden appearance of an advanced, unmanned, supposed Federation starship could be the means to finish the Voyager crew’s years-long voyage home or a trap. Guest star Ray Wise excelled in his role as a tortured alien whose race was assimilated by the Borg.

9. “Blink of an Eye” The Voyager is trapped in orbit around a planet with a dense gravitational field. So what passes for hours on Voyager is actually centuries for the planet’s inhabitants, which means that the ship becomes part of that planet’s history as its people advance technologically and socially.

8. “Before and After” An elderly, dying Kes (Jennifer Lien) in the future begins to travel backwards in time to many events including her birth. Among the fascinating future moments explored included a foreshadowing of the Voyager crew’s encounter with the Krenim.

distant origin7. “Distant Origin” The premise that some dinosaurs on Earth actually evolved into a spacefaring race was intriguing enough. But this episode’s first contact scenario smartly focused on an allegory of Galileo’s plight as scientific progress and knowledge conflicted with societal and religious dogma.

6. “Deadlock” After going through a technobabble anomaly the Voyager and its crew are duplicated, but both ships are attached to each other. Events dictate that only one ship and crew can survive, but which one? The episode was a novel way of resetting the status quo after disastrous events without using time travel.

5. “Message in a Bottle” The Doctor is transmitted to an advanced Starfleet prototype ship in the Alpha Quadrant in order to make contact with the Federation. Once there, he must join forces with that ship’s EMH Mark 2 (Andy Dick) to fight off Romulans, who have captured the ship.

course oblivion1

4. “Course: Oblivion” In this tragic episode, things seem fine at first onboard Voyager. Tom and B’Elanna get married and the ship will reach Earth in a two years. However, it’s soon discovered that the ship is deteriorating, as well as the people onboard. After realizing that they and the ship are just copies of the actual Voyager and crew, it’s a race against time to seek help before it’s too late.

3. “Bride of Chaotica!” A wonderful and chaowhimsical tribute to old sci-fi serials in the tradition of Flash Gordon has the Voyager crew coming to the aid of photonic, extra-dimensional aliens, who are at war with the evil fictional characters from Tom’s holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton. Hilarity ensues as the crew assume the overdramatic roles of the program and endure old sci-fi clichés.

witness2. “Living Witness” In the far future on another planet, a copy of the Doctor is activated by a museum curator (Henry Woronicz), who is fascinated by the “warship” Voyager’s visit to his planet in the distant past. Appalled at the gross inaccuracies about the visit and the Voyager crew, who are shown to be basically space pirates, it’s up to the Doctor to clear his former comrades’ names for history’s sake.

1. “Year of Hell, Parts 1 and 2” Star Trek: Voyager had many epic two-part episodes and this one wasn’t only the best of those, but the best episode for the entire series. arronax2The Voyager passes through a region of space controlled by the despotic Krenim. Janeway and the crew soon find out that the Krenim uses time as a weapon by altering timelines. Leading these alterations is Arronax (Kurtwood Smith) a Captain Nemo type obsessed with time tinkering. Over the course of a year, the Voyager is badly damaged and falling apart, but Janeway must find a way to defeat Arronax. “Year of Hell” was riveting and presented a gritty view of a desperate Voyager crew on their own, plus Smith gave a great performance as the tortured Arronax.

voyager 2

Honorable Mentions: “Nemesis”, “Caretaker”,”The Gift”, “The Void”, “Author, Author”, “Pathfinder”, “Prophecy”, “Alliances”, “Think Tank”, “Endgame”

José Soto

Star Trek Movie Retrospective–Star Trek: First Contact

“The line must be drawn HERE! This far, no farther! I…will make them PAY for what they’ve done!”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard ranting about the Borg

posterWhen producers started making the eighth Star Trek film, they knew it had to deliver big. The previous film was successful but received criticisms over its quality. So for Star Trek: First Contact they brought out the big guns in the form of the Borg, the most popular villains on the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). And it worked.

It opens with a close up shot of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) looking straight ahead. The camera pulls back to reveal he’s inside the nightmarish machinery of a Borg vessel. What’s worse is his transformation into one of them and losing his identity. The Borg are a cold, and nearly invincible cyborg race made up of assorted aliens that are forcibly converted using painful looking cybernetic implants. They seek the perfect union between machine and life and assimilating other races to achieve this objective.

cast

Picard eventually wakes up from the nightmare, which was a flashback to his ordeal in the classic two-part episode “The Best Of Both Worlds”. He’s onboard his new ship, the Enterprise-E and receives news that the Borg have returned to Federation space. However, instead of being ordered to join an assembled armada to fight the Borg, he is to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone with his ship.

He and his crew are visibly restless about their orders. Later as they carry them out, his first officer Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) complains about the orders, Picard tells him that Starfleet feels that his own experiences with being turned into a Borg will compromise his ability to fight them.

Just then he and the crew pick up transmissions from the fight. Things aren’t going well for the Starfleet armada, it’s losing badly to the Borg. Having heard enough, Picard decides to disobey orders and join the fight, with his crew behind him. The Enterprise-E then warps off at its highest speed to Earth.

borg battle2

The very next scene features a mammoth and imposing Borg cube that fills the screen, accompanied by a booming score, as it nears our planet. It’s slammed by weapons fire from Starfleet ships. Unlike “The Best Of Both Worlds” the ships are putting up a better fight, but are still losing. New and eye-catching Starfleet ships abound, one of them is the Defiant, the scrappy escort vessel seen in the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9). Commanding the Defiant is the Klingon Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn), who in between films, joined DS9. His damaged ship is caught in a tractor beam from the cube.

borg battleThe  Enterprise-E suddenly joins the fray, rescues the Defiant and beams aboard its survivors. Moments later, Worf joins his old comrades at the bridge, completing the film reunion. Picard takes command of the fleet and orders a simultaneous barrage of weapons fire at specific spots on the cube.

In a spectacular display, the Starfleet ships fire a vicious volley at the Borg cube and destroy it. However, before it explodes, the cube releases a smaller, sphere-shaped vessel that rushes towards Earth.

The Enterprise-E is on its tail as a temporal vortex opens up in front of the Borg sphere that leaves behind borg earthan energy wake that washes over the Enterprise-E.  After the sphere disappears into the vortex, the horrified crew of the starship see the Earth before them become Borgified. The planet’s colorful landmasses are transformed into one continuous field of metallic grey.

They  deduce that the sphere traveled to Earth’s past and assimilated the planet. The ship’s android operations officer Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) theorizes that the wake protected them from being changed with the altered timeline. Before the vortex can close, Picard orders the Enterprise-E to go through it.

The sphere emerges from the vortex and begins attacking a small, rundown town in Montana. The Enterprise-E arrives a few minutes later and destroys the sphere. They learn they’re in the mid 21st century, April 4, 2063 to be exact, about ten years after World War III. Based on that information, Picard realizes that the Borg want to stop Zefram Cochrane, the human inventor of warp drive technology, from successfully testing Earth’s first warp drive ship, the Phoenix. Its flight on the next day will attract the attention of a passing Vulcan ship, which will then travel to Earth. The resulting peaceful first contact will eventually lead to the founding of the United Federation of Planets.

Fearing the worst, Picard with an Away Team beams down to the town, which actually has a missile complex. picard dataEven though most of the personnel in the complex are dead, Cochrane’s assistant and co-pilot Lily Sloane (Alfre Woodard) is found alive but suffering from radiation poisoning. She’s taken back to the ship for treatment by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) while Picard looks for Cochrane. The Phoenix (actually a converted nuclear missile) is damaged but repairable.

Throughout the film, Picard was able to hear Borg voices in his head, a residual effect of his ordeal after being assimilated. He hears them again and returns to the ship with Data, while having Riker beam down to continue looking for Cochrane. Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge (Levar Burton) also beams down with a team to repair the Phoenix and continue with the planned flight.

Back on the Enterprise-E, the bridge crew discover that they are losing control over several systems and cannot contact main engineering. It soon becomes apparent that there are Borg drones onboard the starship. The captain theorizes that before the sphere was destroyed several Borg must’ve beamed onboard undetected to assimilate the starship. Acting quickly, Picard orders Data to lock out the main computer and heads to main engineering with a security team. Picard’s plan is to puncture the warp core’s plasma coolant tanks, which will flood engineering and liquefy all organic matter, namely the Borg’s organic parts.

ee corridors

When they get near their destination, several Borg drones, many of whom are assimilated crewmembers, attack Picard’s detail. They’re forced to retreat but Data is captured.

During his retreat, Picard runs into Lily, who evacuated sickbay and separated from Crusher’s medical team after the Borg broke into the medical facility. Lily doesn’t know what is going on and orders Picard at phaser point to be taken back home. PIcard is able to convince her that she is on a ship from the future and takes her with him to a holodeck. They briefly hide there while a 1940s detective story simulation plays until two Borg enter the holodeck. Picard begins to exhibit his inner rage and transforms into a movie action hero while killing them with a holographic Tommy gun. Then he retrieves a neural processor from one of the corpses to learn the Borg’s plans.

outer space fightOne of them is to use the ship’s deflector to contact other Borg for reinforcements. This leads to one of the film’s most suspenseful moments: a dangerous battle with the enemy outside on the ship’s outer hull. They’re truly inhuman with their capability to function without spacesuits, while Picard, Worf and a redshirt named Hawk (Neal McDonough) donned sleek, white EV suits.

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