Forgotten Trek

Creating the Borg

Michael Westmore

“Q Who?” turned out to be one of the most influential episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation . It introduced some of the nastiest villains in science fiction: the Borg.

Derived from the word “cyborg,” the Borg were meant to give The Next Generation what the Ferengi could not : a deadly, remorseless enemy.

Their presence had been hinted at in the final episode of Season 1, “The Neutral Zone”, and later revelations in the series suggested they were responsible for the disappearance of Romulan outposts mentioned at the time.

Budget restraints prevented the Borg from being depicted as insectoids, which is what Maurice Hurley, the writer of “Q Who?”, originally had in mind. But the hive concept he introduced survived to become the Borg Collective.

In addition, the Borg’s unique cube-shaped ship and their eerie appearance — reminiscent of the biomechanism designs of Hans Ruedi Giger and the cybernetic, laser-eyed Lord Dread from the 1987 series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future — all contributed to the Borg ascending to the heights of Star Trek villainy, exactly as Hurley had intended.

Something unique

Designing the first Borg costumes presented Star Trek ’s resident costume designer, Durinda Rice Wood, with a challenge: these half-machine, half-human creatures were supposed to look like nothing the TV viewer had seen before.

“They said to me, ‘This is going to be the new bad guy of the universe’,” she recalled years later.

They wanted a new bad guy and they wanted it to be a cyborg. They wanted something that was cold and like an automaton, they all kind of looked alike and they didn’t have emotions. That’s what was going to be the scary thing about it. I was tired of the futuristic, clean, stainless steel imagery of the time. I was interested in more texture, the ugliness of humanity and the ugliness of nature. The idea was always that they would be half-human and half-mechanical. Their body parts would wear out and they would replace them with mechanical parts, so I wanted to make all of the mechanical parts different and unique for each person, thinking that their parts would wear out at different times. You know, when you get older one hip goes and that gets replaced and it happens differently for everyone.

Wood’s first designs were inspired by a Giger drawing, who had worked on the Alien movie.

One idea was to integrate the Borg’s face with the body, but time restraints made it hard to pull off:

I wanted it to melt into the costume more, but they wanted the face to be bright white. The thing is, we couldn’t do it. We just couldn’t do it in a week — we could have done it in three weeks. For something that the world has never seen before, you need time to develop it and invent it!

Wood came up with the idea of running tubes connecting different parts of the Borg costume. This helped to make clear each drone was unique.

I wanted each one to be different. There were certain parts that were totally anatomical and then there would be a real leg that needed to have the tube.

She also planned to give the Borg a complex color scheme that mixed different shades of black to create a dark, distinctly organic look.

I wanted them to be a little bit more greeny black. In fact, in the first rendition of them, the skin underneath was a dark, dark greeny black and the parts on top were black. So overall there would be a feeling of inky, greeny black — a sort of a sewer black. I didn’t want it to be regular black.

The realities of television production intervened and the finished drones were a uniform color. The Borg only acquired more complex colors in Star Trek: First Contact , which had the advantage of a feature film budget.

Androgynous drones

The producers originally intended the Borg to be without recognizable genders.

We were trying to make them androgynous. I remember somebody — I think it was Rick [Berman] — saying they shouldn’t be totally male or female. That was part of the scariness of them; you couldn’t work out whether they were male or female.

In the end, nearly all the Borg actors were male, but one of Wood’s early drawings shows a female drone, years before viewers were introduced to Seven of Nine and the Borg Queen.

Borg concept art

Improvements

Because the Borg combined costumes, makeup and props, Illustrator Rick Sternbach was asked to give his input.

He recalled that his sketches were a little different from Wood’s:

My drawings had a number of implants and some kind of a suit for the actor to wear. My early take on the color was more of a silvery gray.

The next person to weigh in would be Robert Blackman, who replaced Wood as costume chief in Season 3.

Borg actors

The Borg outfits remained pretty much the same for “The Best of Both Worlds” but were reworked for “I, Borg.”

That was a conscious effort to make them look less like jumpsuits with things applied to them and more like full bodysuits. They were brilliantly created by Durinda in such a short amount of time, but I felt that we had used them over and over again and eventually you think, […] there’s too much space in between all of the stuff. The connecting tissue was more dominant than the actual object, so I just visually reduced it and we tried to butt as much stuff up against each other as we could and still have the actors move. Then eventually I think Rick [Berman] and I came up with this together — we repainted them so that they were a little bit more rusty, a little bit less perfect.

Michael Westmore explained how the Borg’s makeup evolved:

The idea was that the Borg were almost drained of their blood. If we had them the same color as a human, they wouldn’t be as scary, so their skin went very pale and we shadowed them.

Patrick Stewart

The original headpieces Westmore created were relatively simple affairs that featured the tubing Wood had designed for the costumes.

They wanted to keep the makeup down, because they had all the dressing to go through, so the heads in the very beginning were like helmets with a lot of tubing running around them.

When Patrick Stewart was assimilated into the Collective and became Locutus of Borg, a more sophisticated look was required.

My son Michael, who did all the Borg electronics in the eyes and the head, found this little laser that was only one inch long. We mounted it on Patrick Stewart as Locutus. There’s that scene at the end of the first part of “The Best of Both Worlds” where Patrick turns his head and looks directly into the camera with his laser. We had no idea what was going to happen. Boy, the phone rang! Rick [Bermanj saw it and said, “Oh, my God, what a great effect!”

Physiology [ ]

The physiology of each Borg drone varied according to the species which it was assimilated from. ( Star Trek: First Contact ) Drones were typically humanoid, although the Collective demonstrated a willingness to assimilate non-humanoid lifeforms. ( VOY : " Scorpion ")

Borg implants closeup

A set of Borg implants after removal

Upon assimilation, a drone would cease to grow body hair and would develop a pallid skin coloration, differing from its original skin pigmentation. Cybernetic implants were either surgically attached to the body or grown internally by nanoprobes injected into the bloodstream; in certain cases these implants could cause severe skin irritation. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds "; Star Trek: First Contact ) The nature of these implants varied from drone to drone depending on the drone's intended function, but the basic nodes of interlink for communications with the Collective and a myo-neural cortical array to control movements were implemented in every drone. In most cases, an eye would be replaced with an eyepiece that improved its vision and an arm would be amputated altogether to make room for a functional prosthetic; in tactical drones, a weapon would be included, and some drones had medical tools built in to heal drones who had minor injuries. ( VOY : " The Gift ", " Dark Frontier ") The implants of a fully assimilated drone allowed it to function for extended periods without shelter, food, water, or even air. A drone could even survive in the vacuum of outer space. Lily Sloane , a human observer local to the Earth of the 21st century , characterized Borg drones as "bionic zombies " after hearing a description of them, albeit before observing them directly. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

A drone's only requirement was a supply of energy to maintain the implants that in turn maintained its biological functions. This energy was supplied during regeneration cycles within a Borg alcove . Upon receiving damage, a drone would return to the alcove for assessment of the damage. Severely damaged drones were disassembled and scavenged for reusable parts. ( TNG : " Q Who ", " I Borg ")

Borg baby

Infant Borg

The Borg did not procreate; they would add to the Collective's population only by assimilation. ( VOY : " Drone ") Borg infants were not accepted to the collective until they matured to a certain age. Until reaching this age, assimilated infants and youths were placed inside maturation chambers . ( TNG : " Q Who "; VOY : " Collective ")

Borg drones were equipped with myriad technologies integrated into their bodies which enabled them to perform their duties within the Collective, several of which were universal to all drones. A neural transceiver kept them connected to the hive mind . ( VOY : " Scorpion, Part II ") A personal force field protected each drone from most energy-based attacks. ( TNG : " Q Who ") A drone was able to communicate with their ship by signals across a subspace domain, the basis of their hive mind, which Data likened to a transporter beam . ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ") Each drone possessed a pair of assimilation tubules embedded in one hand for the purpose of instantly injecting individuals with Borg nanoprobes. ( Star Trek: First Contact ) A cortical processor allowed a drone to rapidly assimilate visual information. Borg drones were also equipped with a neural processor, which kept a record of every instruction that particular Borg receives from the collective hive mind. Captain Picard used one such processor to discover that the Borg were attempting to use the deflector dish of the USS Enterprise as an interplexing beacon to contact the Borg in 2063. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

Drones also contained fail-safe mechanisms designed to deactivate and even vaporize their own bodies, thereby allowing the Collective to eliminate damaged or dead drones without leaving their remains to be exploited by outsiders. ( TNG : " Q Who ") The captured drone Third of Five also made comments indicating that this vaporization may have been a form of resource re-absorption. ( TNG : " I Borg ") One of these fail-safes was also intended to deactivate drones automatically if they experienced strong emotional states, which the Borg interpreted as a sign of disconnection from the hive mind. ( VOY : " Human Error ")

The Borg typically operated in an atmosphere with a constant temperature of 39.1 °C (102.38 °F ), 92% relative humidity, an atmospheric pressure of approximately 102 kPa , and trace amounts of tetryon particles. According to Amina Ramsey , the Borg smelled like old trash bags . ( LD : " Much Ado About Boimler ").

History [ ]

Borg skeleton

A Borg skeleton on a ruined planet

The precise origins of the Borg were unclear. As of 1484 , they were reported as controlling only a handful of systems in the Delta Quadrant , but by 2373 , they had assimilated thousands of worlds. In addition to this stronghold in the Delta Quadrant, the Borg also dispatched vessels throughout the galaxy via transwarp conduits . ( VOY : " Dragon's Teeth ", " Scorpion ", " Endgame ")

A Borg vessel traveled back in time from 2373 in an unsuccessful attack on Earth in 2063 . ( Star Trek: First Contact ) Drones which survived this defeat were discovered and reactivated by Human scientists in 2153 , and transmitted a subspace message to Borg space before being destroyed by Enterprise NX-01 . ( ENT : " Regeneration ")

The Borg entered the home system of the El-Aurians at some point in their mutual history, swarming through it, scattering its native inhabitants and leaving little to nothing of the El-Aurians in their wake. ( TNG : " Q Who ", " I Borg ") In 2293 , the Federation offered aid to the El-Aurian refugees fleeing the Borg. ( Star Trek Generations ) These refugees included Guinan , who would later provide secondhand knowledge of the Borg invasion of the El-Aurian system to the crew of the USS Enterprise -D during an encounter in the 24th century. ( TNG : " Q Who ", Star Trek Generations ) However, these earlier incidents contributed almost nothing to the Alpha Quadrant 's awareness or understanding of the Borg Collective.

By the 2340s , rumors of an alien race called "The Borg" had reached the Alpha Quadrant, inspiring exobiologists Magnus and Erin Hansen to set out in search of them. Their research took them all the way to the Delta Quadrant, before they and their daughter Annika were assimilated in 2350 . ( VOY : " The Gift ", " The Raven ", " Dark Frontier ") Borg activity in the Alpha Quadrant, including the assimilation of the USS Tombaugh in 2362 and assimilation of outposts along the Romulan Neutral Zone in 2364 , were complete mysteries to Starfleet. ( VOY : " Infinite Regress "; TNG : " The Neutral Zone ")

The Collective's true nature was finally revealed to the Federation in 2365 when Q took the USS Enterprise -D to meet a Borg cube near the J-25 system . ( TNG : " Q Who ")

In late 2366 , a Borg cube invaded Federation space and assimilated Jean-Luc Picard , whose tactical information contributed, along with the Borg's own vastly superior power, to Starfleet 's disastrously one-sided engagement with the cube, the Battle of Wolf 359 . A fleet of forty starships assembled to combat the cube. All but one of these Federation ships were destroyed, while the cube itself remained intact, damaged but healing rapidly. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds ", " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II "; DS9 : " Emissary ") The Enterprise -D recovered Picard and used his connection to the hive-mind to disable the cube before it could attack Earth. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ")

During the 2370s , the Borg were beset by several major setbacks in the Delta Quadrant, as witnessed by the crew of the USS Voyager .

The Borg-Species 8472 War decimated the Collective from 2373 - 2374 . ( VOY : " Scorpion ", " Scorpion, Part II ") Voyager 's liberation of Seven of Nine allowed Unimatrix Zero to create an active resistance movement in 2377 . ( VOY : " Unimatrix Zero ", " Unimatrix Zero, Part II ")

In 2378 , a crippling blow was delivered to the Borg when Voyager discovered one of their transwarp hubs and destroyed it, killing the Borg Queen (again) and devastating the Unicomplex in the process. During this battle, the Borg were infected with a neurolytic pathogen , which was carried by an alternate future version of Admiral Janeway and designed to disrupt the hive mind, to 'bring chaos to order'. It was this pathogen that killed the Borg Queen and allowed Voyager to destroy the transwarp hub. ( VOY : " Endgame ") The pathogen decimated the Borg Collective, leaving them reduced a handful of drones slowly cannibalized to sustain the Queen's last remaining body by 2401 . ( PIC : " The Last Generation ")

In 2384 , a Borg cube rendered dormant by the neurolytic pathogen was encountered by the USS Protostar . The crew proceeded to venture into the cube in order to access the vinculum to gain information on how to remove a weapon called the living construct from their ship. When the Medusan Zero volunteered to be assimilated to get the information, this act caused the cube and the drones aboard to wake up. The crew barely managed to escape as they helped Zero to break free from the Collective, who then managed to put the Borg back to sleep. ( PRO : " Let Sleeping Borg Lie ")

Borg Queen's cube

The Borg emerge from Jupiter on Frontier Day, 2401

The Borg Collective was still believed to operate as late as 2399 . ( PIC : " Maps and Legends ") On Frontier Day in 2401, this was confirmed after discovery that the main faction of the Borg were working with the rogue Changelings in a plot to assimilate the Federation via a different means than normal. With the Changelings infiltrating the Federation and spreading Picard's Borg-altered DNA through the transporter system, the Borg were able to quickly gain control over 339 starships, and their crews with only those over 25 years old being immune to their takeover. ( PIC : " Võx ") This proved to be the last stand for the original Borg with the Cube, the Queen and all of her remaining drones being destroyed by the rebuilt USS Enterprise -D , presumably bringing an end to the Borg threat. ( PIC : " The Last Generation ")

In the far future , extant Borg assimilated into galactic society, with Borg children learning side-by-side with children of other species. ( LD : " Temporal Edict ")

Alternate timelines [ ]

Confederation of earth [ ].

Borg Queen's ship

Borg Singularity in 2401

In 2401 , an atypical Borg Queen reached out to Admiral Jean-Luc Picard seeking membership in the Federation. Much to the Federation's confusion, this Borg Queen was vastly different to the Queen that had been encountered before and her Collective wasn't nearly as outwardly hostile. However, once aboard the USS Stargazer , the Queen began assimilating the ship and through it, the Stargazer's fleet. In response, Picard activated the ship's auto-destruct , stopping the assimilation. ( PIC : " The Star Gazer ")

In that moment, Q had removed Picard, Agnes Jurati, Seven, Raffaela Musiker, Cristóbal Rios, and Elnor from this timeline, and placed them in an alternate 2401. In this timeline, the Borg had been hunted to extinction by the Confederation of Earth , leaving only the Borg Queen . ( PIC : " Penance ")

Singularity and Starfleet deflect energy burst

The Singularity and Federation vessels deflecting the energy burst

After being returned from 2024 to 2401 by Q , Picard deactivates the auto-destruct, having deduced that the strange Borg Queen was actually the Queen from this timeline that had merged with Dr. Agnes Jurati in 2024 and had set out to create a different Collective, one based on mercy and choice. These Borg had sought out the Federation's help to stop an energy wave that threatened countless lives and by combining the shields of the Federation fleet and the Borg ship, the two former mortal enemies were able to stop it. However, the Borg didn't know the source of the energy wave or the massive transwarp conduit that emerged from it, only that it was a threat to everyone. Picard granted the Borg Queen's request to grant the Borg provisional membership in the Federation so that the Borg could be "the Guardian at the Gates" watching out for whatever this new threat was. ( PIC : " Farewell ")

Parallel universes [ ]

Picard's death [ ].

In one alternate quantum reality , Captain Jean-Luc Picard was lost in the Battle of Wolf 359 and William T. Riker succeeded him as the captain of the Enterprise -D with Worf as his first officer . ( TNG : " Parallels ")

Victory over the Federation [ ]

Riker gone mad

A disheveled Riker of a Borg controlled quantum reality

In another alternate quantum reality, the Borg, after emerging victorious at Wolf 359, successfully conquered the Federation. A battered Enterprise -D, which was likewise under Riker's command, was one of the few remaining Starfleet ships by 2370 . The Riker from that reality was desperate not to return to his universe once all of the Enterprises began spilling into a single universe from a quantum fissure .

After the present reality's Enterprise -D fired lightly upon the other ship to draw the alternate reality crew's attention away from that crew's attempt to prevent the closing of the fissure, the heavily damaged ship was accidentally destroyed when its shields collapsed and their warp core overloaded , due to having a weakened warp containment field , as Riker presumed, from fighting with the Borg. ( TNG : " Parallels ")

Borg-Earth [ ]

Earth assimilated

Borg-assimilated Earth

In another alternate timeline, the Borg were successful at preventing First Contact in 2063 and had assimilated the Earth. In 2373 , the assimilated Earth had an atmosphere containing high concentrations of methane , carbon monoxide , and fluorine . It had a population of approximately nine billion Borg drones . ( Star Trek: First Contact )

Culture [ ]

Borg trio

A trio of Borg drones, including one of Klingon origin

The Borg Collective was made up of, at the very least, trillions of humanoids referred to as drones. ( VOY : " Dark Frontier ") Through the use of their cybernetic implants, the Borg interacted by sharing one another's thoughts in a hive mind . Upon assimilation, these trillions of "voices" would overwhelm the drone, stifling individual thought and resistance to the Collective's will. ( TNG : " Family ") To some drones these voices could eventually become a source of comfort, and their absence a source of pain. ( TNG : " I Borg "; VOY : " The Gift ")

Borg philosophy was governed by a primary directive to add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to that of the Borg. In this manner, the Collective sought to achieve its definition of perfection; all other pursuits were deemed irrelevant including commerce and trade. Accordingly, Borg drones did not engage in any activities except their duties and regeneration . ( TNG : " Q Who ", " The Best of Both Worlds "; VOY : " Scorpion, Part II ") Individual drones have demonstrated puzzlement at other species' unwillingness to be assimilated, the drones believing in the superiority of their way of life.

Having no regard for individuality, Borg drones were identified with designations rather than names. A drone's designation typically described its position within a group, e.g. " Third of Five ." To identify a drone more specifically, its function could be appended to this designation, for example " Seven of Nine , Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01 ." In the same manner, the Borg referred to alien species by number rather than by name. ( TNG : " I Borg "; VOY : " Scorpion ")

If a drone was sufficiently injured or otherwise in distress, other drones would offer assistance. ( TNG : " I Borg "; VOY : " Dark Frontier ") However, if a drone was deemed irreparable by the hive-mind, the Borg would deactivate it and redistribute any salvageable components throughout the Collective. ( TNG : " Q Who ")

Borg drones ignored alien species until they demonstrated the potential to be a threat, or to be a suitable candidate for assimilation. This indifference even extended to their attitude to people boarding their vessels; the drones went about their business as long as the intruders did not interfere. When addressing a small number of individuals, drones would simply attempt to assimilate them without comment. Before assimilating a larger population, such as a starship or an entire culture, the Borg would collectively transmit a standard announcement of their purpose and the futility of resistance. ( TNG : " Q Who "; VOY : " Dark Frontier "; Star Trek: First Contact ) Species which the Borg found unremarkable or detrimental would be deemed unworthy of assimilation. As of 2374 , the Borg considered the Kazon beneath their notice, and by 2376 , they only took interest in the Brunali if they detected sufficiently relevant technology. ( VOY : " Mortal Coil ", " Child's Play ")

Even examples of civilizations which had previously been targeted for assimilation could be passed over; while moving to engage the dire threat to the Borg presented by Species 8472 , a group of Borg ships encountered Voyager , but, while one ship did pause momentarily to scan the Federation vessel, the Borg ship and its companion ships quickly moved on without attempting to attack or assimilate the interloper in their space. ( VOY : " Scorpion ")

Locutus of Borg and Borg Queen

Representatives of the Collective: Locutus with the Borg Queen

On the rare occasions that the Borg were willing to open any dialogue with individuals, they would choose a single drone to speak for the Collective. Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated and given the name Locutus in the misguided assumption that such a representative would lower the Federation's resistance to assimilation. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds ")

Seven of Nine confronts Chakotay

Seven of Nine speaks for the Collective

Omega Molecule

The Omega molecule

When Kathryn Janeway successfully negotiated a truce with the Borg and refused to discuss the terms via a neuro-transceiver , the Collective agreed to communicate via Seven of Nine. ( VOY : " Scorpion, Part II ")

The Borg Queen also spoke for the Collective, acting not as a mere liaison, but as a physical manifestation of the hive mind. The exact nature of her role is unclear. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

The Borg possessed a near-reverence for particle 010 , which they considered to be an expression of perfection. The Collective's fascination with assimilating this molecule has been compared to a religion. ( VOY : " The Omega Directive ")

Tactics [ ]

The Borg had a tendency to "scoop" all machine elements from a planet, leaving great rips in the surface where remaining sections of the road system suggested a city had once been. ( TNG : " The Neutral Zone ", " Q Who "; VOY : " Child's Play ")

The Borg were known to retrieve their own damaged technology, including nonfunctional Borg cubes. However, when a cube underwent submatrix collapse , the collective would immediately sever its link to the afflicted population, considering it dead. ( VOY : " Unity "; PIC : " Maps and Legends ")

Technology [ ]

Borg technology was a combination of technologies assimilated from other cultures, and technology developed within the Collective itself, in order to overcome obstacles to its goals. When confronted by a problem it could not solve with its existing resources and/or configuration, the entire Collective would work in concert to consider all possible solutions, and implement the one determined to be the most efficient. By applying the unique skills of each drone to a task, the hive mind could engineer new technologies and solutions at a pace that would astound an individual. ( TNG : " Q Who ", " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ")

The Borg were usually exceedingly quick to adapt; their shields would often nullify nearly any energy weapon, and their weapons could usually penetrate nearly any shield or defense, within minutes. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

Spacecraft [ ]

Borg armada without voyager

Borg cubes, arguably their most iconic ship design

Borg vessels were highly decentralized, with no distinct bridge , living quarters, or engineering section. Each ship was collectively operated by its complement of drones, under the general direction of the hive mind. Owing to the Collective's disregard for aesthetic considerations, the architecture of Borg ships took the form of basic shapes such as cubes and spheres and were made from a tritanium alloy. Borg ships were capable of regenerating from damage. ( TNG : " Q Who "; VOY : " Endgame ")

Each Borg spacecraft was equipped with a vinculum to interconnect its crew, which was in turn connected to a central plexus that linked the ship to the Collective. ( VOY : " Infinite Regress ", " Unimatrix Zero ") In addition to warp drive , vessels were fitted with transwarp coils that could achieve even greater speed by opening transwarp conduits . ( TNG : " Descent "; VOY : " Dark Frontier ") When critically damaged or otherwise compromised, a Borg ship would self-destruct to prevent outsiders from studying Borg technology. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ") In other situations, only the valuable technology would self-destruct, such as the case of the crew of Voyager's first attempt to steal a transwarp coil. USS Voyager encountered several damaged Borg vessels, notably including the cube carrying Icheb , Mezoti , Azan , and Rebi , and a sphere carrying a transwarp coil, which Voyager stole. ( VOY : " Collective ", " Dark Frontier ")

Infrastructure [ ]

Borg structures were located in deep space, in planetary systems, or on planets themselves. Each planet that the Borg modified showed a typical climate and assimilated infrastructure adapted from the previous inhabitants. ( Star Trek: First Contact ; VOY : " Dark Frontier ", " Dragon's Teeth ")

Their buildings consisted of simple shapes, similar to their geometrical ships, and rather than being single structures they were annexed together and added to when needed. By joining the new structures to existing ones, they would form a uniform complex. These buildings were gargantuan in scale, with structures so big that they could house Borg spheres which would dock inside. ( VOY : " Dark Frontier ")

The Borg also constructed structures that had specific functions, such as the transwarp hub . There were six such known hub locations in the galaxy that allowed Borg vessels to deploy rapidly to almost everywhere within it. These transwarp hubs had many structures for opening portals on them, and inside their corridors were interspatial manifolds which supported the transwarp conduits . Several of these manifolds that led to the Alpha quadrant were destroyed by Voyager via transphasic torpedos and collapse of the conduit itself on the vessel's return to the Alpha Quadrant . ( VOY : " Endgame ")

The Borg Unicomplex in deep space at Unimatrix 01

Appendices [ ]

See also [ ].

  • Borg Collective
  • Borg language
  • Borg philosophy
  • Borg spatial designations
  • Borg species
  • Borg species designations
  • Borg starships

Appearances [ ]

Borg in voyager database

A Borg in the database of Voyager

  • " The Best of Both Worlds "
  • " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II "
  • " Descent "
  • " Descent, Part II "
  • DS9 : " Emissary "
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • " Blood Fever "
  • " Scorpion "
  • " Scorpion, Part II "
  • " The Raven "
  • " The Killing Game "
  • " Living Witness "
  • " Hope and Fear "
  • " Infinite Regress "
  • " Dark Frontier "
  • " Survival Instinct "
  • " Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy "
  • " Collective "
  • " Child's Play "
  • " Unimatrix Zero "
  • " Unimatrix Zero, Part II "
  • " Imperfection "
  • " Flesh and Blood "
  • " Shattered "
  • " Endgame "
  • ENT : " Regeneration "
  • " Remembrance "
  • " Maps and Legends "
  • " The Impossible Box "
  • " Broken Pieces "
  • " The Star Gazer "
  • " Penance "
  • " Assimilation "
  • " Watcher "
  • " Fly Me to the Moon "
  • " Hide and Seek "
  • " Farewell "
  • " The Last Generation "
  • " Envoys " (holograms)
  • " Temporal Edict "
  • " Crisis Point " (hologram)
  • " I, Excretus " (holograms)
  • " wej Duj "
  • PRO : " Let Sleeping Borg Lie "

Background information [ ]

Concept and development [ ].

The conceptual genesis of the Borg, who were intended to replace the Ferengi as Star Trek: The Next Generation ' s main villains in its second season, was as a race of insectoids , an idea that would ultimately require modification due to the series' budgetary constraints. As Maurice Hurley explained in the March 1990 issue of Starlog (#152, p. 33): " What we really wanted to do, but couldn't because of money, was create a race of insects...insect mentality is great because it is relentless. The Borg are a variation of an insect mentality. They don't care. They have no mercy, no feelings toward you. They have their own imperative, their own agenda and that's it. If all of them die getting there, they don't care. We needed a villain who could make you dance, and the Borg could do it! "

Hurley made it a plot point in " The Neutral Zone " that Federation and Romulan starbases along the Romulan Neutral Zone had been mysteriously wiped out, having been "scooped off" the face of the planet in the same way that would later be referenced in " Q Who " and shown in " The Best of Both Worlds ". Intentions to lay more extensive groundwork for the Borg's introduction were frustrated by the Writer's Guild strike of 1988 . By the time of their first appearance in "Q Who", the species had been changed from insects to their more budget-friendly cyborg form. ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , pp. 169 & 180)

The Star Trek Encyclopedia  (3rd ed., p. 52) stated: " Writer Maurice Hurley derived the name Borg from the term cyborg (cybernetic organism), although it seems unlikely that a people living on the other side of the galaxy would know of the term. "

According to Michael and Denise Okuda in their Star Trek Chronology  (2nd ed., p. 290), there had been plans to connect the parasitic beings from " Conspiracy " to the Borg, but these were ultimately abandoned: " At the time the episode was written, this was apparently intended to lead to the introduction of the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation' s second season. The Borg connection was dropped before 'Q Who?' (TNG) was written, and the truth about the parasites remains a mystery. " They also noted that, following production of the latter episode, it was "half jokingly speculated" by Gene Roddenberry that the machine planet encountered by Voyager 6 , leading to its transformation into V'ger , "might have been the Borg homeworld." ( Star Trek Chronology  (2nd ed., p. 23))

Borg insignia, 2365

A Borg insignia

The Borg insignia, which first appeared in "Q Who", was described on its own Star Trek: The Next Generation - Inaugural Edition trading card (82-A) as " Resembling a great red claw over a background of circuitry, the symbol of the Borg is as mysterious as the race it represents. The Borg symbol may possibly define an amalgam of living tissue with computer circuits... " [2]

Tim Trella, Borg drone makeup review

Westmore's Borg make-up is reviewed for "Q Who"

Michael Westmore revealed that the Borg actors were glued into their suits, and had to be unglued if they needed to use the bathroom. [3]

The idea for the sound of the Borg's multiple voices speaking in unison was thought up by sound editor Bill Wistrom and co-producer Merri Howard . After experimenting with different techniques, they discovered a way to lay multiple voices over one another and "make it sound like it was 8 million people," explained Wistrom. ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 147 , p. 32)

Chronologically, the first known in-universe appearance of the Borg to Humanity was in the 1996 motion picture Star Trek: First Contact , in which the Borg traveled back to the year 2063 to enslave the Human race. The writers of the Star Trek: Enterprise episode " Regeneration ", Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong , stated, in the audio commentary on the ENT Season 2 DVD release, that it was their explicit intent to have the episode deal with the consequences of events depicted in Star Trek: First Contact , the Borg wreckage encountered in that episode being the debris of the Borg sphere destroyed by the Enterprise -E in that movie.

While it is not explicitly stated in "Q Who", Q implies that the sole focus of the Borg is on the technology of the USS Enterprise -D, and the Borg show no interest, in that episode, in the crew (although the segment of hull that the Borg remove from the ship apparently contained several crew members). By their next appearance, "The Best of Both Worlds", the Borg's objectives had changed to the assimilation of lifeforms, and this change of premise was referenced in dialogue. Subsequent episodes ignored the change in premise entirely.

Director Cliff Bole , who directed the "Best of Both Worlds" two-parter, thought highly of the Borg. He enthused, " The Borg are like Klingons. You can do anything you want with them. They're fun and a real expensive thing to play with. With them, you can do a big production value [...] The Borg allow you to have fun with the camera, the lighting and everything else. They challenge the imagination. " ("Cliff Bole – Of Redemption & Unification", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine  issue 17 , p. 31)

Through the course of Star Trek history, further retroactive continuity changes appear to have been made in respect of the Borg. As of "Q Who" and "The Best of Both Worlds", it appeared that Starfleet had never heard of the Borg. Subsequently, Star Trek: Voyager s " Dark Frontier " and Star Trek: Enterprise s " Regeneration " showed that not only was Starfleet previously aware of the existence of the Borg, Federation scientists actually pursued them – even if they were considered mere rumor. Further, although Guinan indicates in "Q Who" that her people were attacked by the Borg, it is implied that Starfleet was not aware of the threat. However, it was later revealed in Star Trek Generations that Starfleet, in fact, rescued the El-Aurian survivors of the Borg attack including Guinan, and it seems unlikely that Starfleet would not inquire as to the cause of their plight.

The existence of the Borg Queen was a controversial change made to the Borg during the writing of Star Trek: First Contact . While the writers had intended to stay true to the original concept of the Borg as a collective hive, they found it difficult to maintain the dramatic impact of villains without having a central face. Thus, they created the Queen. In the film, she claimed to have been present during the events of " The Best of Both Worlds ", which in retrospect would appear to have negated the reason for Picard's assimilation in that episode (it was claimed that the Borg needed a single representative to speak for them). While the Queen appeared to be killed at the climax of First Contact , she apparently survived unaffected by the Borg's next appearance in Voyager 's " Scorpion ". While many fans have attempted to reconcile this, there has never been an official explanation for her survival (save for an enigmatic comment by the Queen), and the appearance of relatively identical Borg Queens in later episodes. Some, though, have theorized that the Borg Collective contained many queens that served as focal points to different branches of their society. Still another explanation is that the Borg were in possession of innumerable copies of their Borg Queen, and that the superficial death of one version simply resulted in the activation of a similar version to take her place, in a similar fashion to the Vorta . The latter theory was corroborated by Rick Berman in an interview in Star Trek: Communicator . ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 121 )

Impact and legacy [ ]

The Borg were considered as an enemy for the Deep Space 9 crew (along with the Klingons , Cardassians , and the Romulans ) when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was in development. Rick Berman later commented, " The Borg are not the kind of bad guys that are practical to use on a regular basis. " Whereas the Cardassians were eventually chosen for the main villain role, the Borg made no further appearances in Deep Space Nine after " Emissary ", although they were mentioned in episodes such as " The Storyteller ", " Playing God ", " The Search, Part I ", " The Way of the Warrior ", " For the Cause ", " Let He Who Is Without Sin... ", and " In Purgatory's Shadow ". ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before ) According to Robert Hewitt Wolfe in a tweet dated 28 January 2019, following the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager , a mandate was passed to the writing staffs of both Deep Space Nine and Voyager that the Borg (along with Q, following his single appearance on Deep Space Nine ) were only to be used on Voyager while Deep Space Nine retained creative control over the Alpha , Beta , and Gamma Quadrants , which Wolfe called "a fair trade." [4]

The Borg were considered by some commentators to be the greatest villains of Star Trek: The Next Generation . However, they were featured in only six episodes throughout its seven-year run. The creators have stated that this was due to the fact that the Borg were so powerful, and so it was not easy to come up with solutions for beating them. However, as time passed and future series went into production, the concept of the Borg evolved to include inherent flaws that could be exploited in many different ways – leading them to appearing in nineteen episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (although in only a fraction of these appearances were the Borg the primary villains; many episodes had them in supporting or otherwise non-antagonistic roles). This generous use caused many fans to complain that the Borg were being used too often on Voyager . TNG, DS9, and one-time VOY writer Ronald D. Moore once said of their perceived overuse, the Borg had been defeated so many times, that they had "lost their teeth." ( citation needed • edit )

Following "Regeneration" and the season it was in, ENT Season 2 , Brannon Braga stated, " We have no plans to see the Borg ever again. " ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 145 , p. 30)

In 2006 , the Borg were honored with their own DVD box set Star Trek: Fan Collective - Borg , featuring a number of their more memorable appearances in the Star Trek universe.

In an interview with StarTrek.com published on 1 April 2019, the actor Alan van Sprang , who played Leland in Star Trek: Discovery , echoed fan speculation regarding a potential connection between Control and the origins of the Borg: "I think it's very intriguing. When I first read the script I thought, 'Oh, is this the making of the Borg? Is that how it happens?' We're as much in the dark as anybody else, but as soon as I saw that, I thought, 'This is like The Borg.' The Next Generation' s Borg episode just blew my mind [when I watched it originally], let alone when Picard became Locutus . That's the first thing I thought of, which kind of tickled me to no end. 'Wow, I'm just going to milk this for all it’s worth.'" [5]

In an interview with TrekCore.com published on 19 April 2019, Michelle Paradise , then writer and co-executive producer of Discovery , clarified: "It's interesting — we weren't thinking Borg at all. I mean, we talked about all sorts of different things in the room, but there was never any intent on our part to parallel that in any way. I can certainly understand why people started to think we were going in that direction, but it was never where we intended to go with it." [6]

In an Instagram story dated 12 March 2020, Michael Chabon , then showrunner of Star Trek: Picard , opined of the same theory: "It has the virtue of making sense. But I don't think it's much fun." [7]

Apocrypha [ ]

The absence of the Borg from Deep Space Nine was explained in the novel The Siege , when a Borg cube tries to pass through the Bajoran wormhole and is destroyed by subspace compression; Sisko concludes that this event will cause the entire Collective to believe that the wormhole is unstable and would now avoid it.

In the alternate timeline seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine book series Millennium , the Borg forged an alliance with the Federation to defeat Weyoun . The entire Borg Collective was destroyed along with the universe. This entire timeline was later reset thanks to Benjamin Sisko.

In an alternate timeline in the game Star Trek: Armada , the Borg succeed in conquering the Alpha Quadrant. Using a clone of Locutus, the Borg manage to assimilate Spock , kill Worf, and assimilate Earth. The timeline was reset thanks to Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise -E, who travel back in time with the aid of a ship from the future to prevent Spock's capture.

In the game Star Trek: Legacy , an alternate explanation was given to the creation of the Borg which states that the probe V'ger created the Collective to serve as its heralds in its search for knowledge. However, the creation of the Borg Queen resulted in the creation of an entity that abandoned the original intent of V'ger . This is also similar to the Shatnerverse version of events.

In the current volumes of the Next Generation Relaunch series of novels, the Borg have been driven to near extinction as a result of the Starship Voyager 's destruction of the Queen and the transwarp conduit network. However, they begin to reconstruct the Collective by building a massive cube in the Alpha Quadrant, in order to launch a vengeful new offensive against the Federation; their first strike results in the assimilation of Admiral Janeway and the destruction of Pluto before the Enterprise -E manages to destroy the cube with the original Doomsday Machine .

In Star Trek: Destiny a history of the Borg was presented. They were survivors of the Caeliar Gestalt and the crew of the Earth ship Columbia NX-02 thrown back in time and into the Delta Quadrant following an attack on a Caeliar city ship. The Caeliar forced the Humans into a perverted form of their Gestalt (a mental linking of the Caeliar) based upon the will of the last surviving Caeliar and not the whole. They launched a final attack of Federation space with over 7,000 cubes at their disposal; however, they were stopped after the Caeliar were made aware of their responsibility for the Borg's actions. The Collective was dismantled, and the assimilated Borg drones were accepted into the Caeliar's gestalt. Former drones fully regained their individuality (as evidenced by Seven of Nine's remaining implants dematerializing). This was followed up in the novel Full Circle . Q later noted that this timeline's invasion was provoked by Admiral Janeway's trip to the past in " Endgame ", reflecting that, if she had done nothing, the Borg would have eventually launched a massive assault on the Milky Way galaxy centuries in the future that would have completely assimilated all other life. The Voyager relaunch novel Unworthy explores the aftermath of the destruction of the Borg, including some Federation scientists trying to harness remaining Borg technology and Voyager encountering a vast fleet called the "Indign" consisting of species who actually wanted to be assimilated but were considered unworthy of that "honor" by the Borg.

In the Star Trek: The Original Series short story "The Trouble with Borg Tribbles" from the anthology book Strange New Worlds V , a Borg cube encountered a pod full of Tribbles which had traveled through a micro-wormhole from the Alpha Quadrant in early 2268 . This was the Borg's first contact with life from that part of the galaxy. The Borg assimilated the surviving Tribbles, only to find that their instinctive drive to eat and procreate was starting to overwhelm the hive mind, causing a widespread series of malfunctions.

The comic book series Star Trek: Countdown shows that Nero 's ship, the Narada , was enhanced with a mixture of Romulan and Borg technology. The sequel miniseries Star Trek: Nero has the Borg, the Narada and V'ger originating from an unknown civilization on the " machine planet " that was seen inside V'ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture .

The Star Trek: The Manga story "Side Effects" in Shinsei Shinsei provided a different story to the creation of the Borg, with an experiment gone wrong to save a race through the daughter of one of the 1,000 or so survivors. Cybernetic implants, along with DNA from nine different species designed to keep a disease from spreading caused the girl to go insane and gain a twisted idea of saving her people. However, the intervention of Captain James T. Kirk made the situation even worse, as the laboratory where she was augmented collapsed and was sucked into a black hole . But an escape pod with the girl was launched, and apparently catapulted far into the past by the slingshot effect , where her cybernetic implants and DNA evolved to where she became the very first Borg Queen.

In the game Star Trek Online , the Borg have resurfaced after thirty years and have conquered several Federation sectors, including the Mutara sector . The Borg of 2409 look much more like zombies, with some of their cybernetic implants looking like bones coming out of their bodies.

Cybermen and Borg

The Cybermen and the Borg

The comic book crossover series Star Trek: The Next Generation - Doctor Who: Assimilation² involves a plotline in which the Cybermen of the Doctor Who universe alter time and space in order to form an alliance with the Borg. The united cyborg force proves to be a devastating threat to the Federation, but the two races end up turning against each other, with the Cybermen going to war with the Borg and forcing the crew of the Enterprise -D and the Eleventh Doctor and his companions to ally with the Borg to restore the Collective and vanquish the Cybermen. At the end of the series, the Borg start to investigate time travel in order to find a way to assimilate the Doctor.

In The Delta Anomaly , a book set in the alternate reality created by the Romulan Nero 's attack on the USS Kelvin , the serial killer known as The Doctor ( β ) is suggested to be related to the Borg. This therefore establishes an earlier contact with Earth than in the prime reality.

Borg (alternate reality)

The Borg of the alternate reality

In Star Trek: Boldly Go , a comic series also set in the alternate reality and after the events of Star Trek Beyond , the Borg make an appearance as the villain in the first arc of the series, seeking the Narada due to their awareness of its ties to the Borg. They attempt to assimilate Spock , but the primitive assimilation of this era is unable to cope with his hybrid DNA. The shock of his escape and the retrieval of other near-assimilated officers enables the Federation and the Romulans to destroy the Borg.

External links [ ]

  • Borg at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • Borg at Wikipedia
  • 3 Ancient humanoid

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The Ultimate Guide: How to Make a Borg Costume

Are you a fan of Star Trek and fascinated by the Borg? Do you want to transform into one of the iconic cyborgs for Halloween or a cosplay event? Look no further! In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating your very own Borg costume.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

The first step in creating a Borg costume is gathering all the necessary materials. Here's a list of what you'll need:

  • Black bodysuit or black clothing
  • Silver and black spray paint
  • Assorted electronic components (old computer parts, wires, circuit boards)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Black gloves
  • Black boots
  • Black contact lenses (optional)

Once you have all these materials ready, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Create the Borg Armor

To create the iconic Borg armor, you will need to customize your black bodysuit or clothing. Follow these steps:

  • Lay out your bodysuit or clothing on a flat surface.
  • Using the silver spray paint, create a distressed and worn-out look on the fabric. This will give it a metallic appearance.
  • Allow the spray paint to dry completely before proceeding.
  • Using the black spray paint, add more depth to the metallic look by spraying certain areas of the bodysuit or clothing.
  • Once the paint is dry, start attaching the electronic components to the fabric using a hot glue gun. Be creative and arrange them in a way that resembles the Borg's cybernetic implants.
  • Make sure to leave some areas uncovered to give the costume a more realistic and authentic feel.

After completing these steps, you will have your very own Borg armor ready to wear!

Step 3: Complete the Look

Now that you have your Borg armor, it's time to complete the look with the following accessories:

  • Black gloves: Choose a pair of black gloves to match the rest of your costume. This will add to the overall sleek and cybernetic appearance.
  • Black boots: Look for a pair of black boots that complement your costume. The boots should be comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • Black contact lenses (optional): If you want to go all out and truly transform into a Borg, consider wearing black contact lenses. These will give your eyes an otherworldly look.

Once you have all these accessories, put them on along with your Borg armor. You are now ready to assimilate any party or event!

Step 4: Enhance Your Costume with Makeup

To truly bring your Borg costume to life, consider enhancing it with some makeup. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Pale complexion: Use a pale foundation to give your skin a more robotic appearance.
  • Metallic accents: Add silver or metallic eyeshadow around your eyes to create a cybernetic effect.
  • Dark lips: Apply dark lipstick or lip stain to give your lips a more menacing look.

With these makeup enhancements, your Borg costume will be even more impressive and attention-grabbing.

Step 5: Strike a Pose and Share Your Costume

Once you have successfully completed your Borg costume, it's time to strike a pose and share your creation with the world! Take some photos in different poses and angles to showcase the details of your costume.

You can share your photos on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Don't forget to tag @costumeshopofficial and use the hashtag #borgcostume. We would love to see your incredible creation!

Looking for More Costume Ideas?

If you're looking for more costume ideas or need to purchase any additional accessories for your Borg costume, be sure to visit our online store at www.costume-shop.com . We have a wide range of costumes and accessories to make your Halloween or cosplay event unforgettable!

So what are you waiting for? Start gathering your materials, get creative, and transform into a Borg today. Resistance is futile!

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Tag: the art of star trek.

star trek borg art

Star Trek: The Art of Neville Page showcases the franchise’s latest visionary

star trek borg art

The artistry of Neville Page’s Star Trek creature creations to be showcased in new book, now available for pre-order

star trek borg art

Updated and expanded Star Trek Shipyards volume incorporates Starfleet ships from Discovery, Lower Decks, and Picard

star trek borg art

The Artistry of Dan Curry–A chronicle of a Star Trek artist’s work from The Next Generation to Enterprise

star trek borg art

The artistic vision behind reboot trilogy is explored in The Art of Star Trek: The Kelvin Timeline

Screen Rant

Star trek's borg owe a big debt to alien.

Star Trek's malevolent Borg have a major connection to the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise and their creator, H.R. Giger.

  • The Borg, inspired by Alien's design, are a formidable and chilling foe in the Star Trek universe.
  • Originally insectoid, the Borg's cybernetic humanoids reflect a blend of organic and mechanical elements.
  • H.R. Giger's influence on the Borg design continues to shape modern Star Trek iterations, like Star Trek: Picard.

The Borg remain one of Star Trek 's best villains, and their design owes a debt to the Alien franchise. Introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2, episode 16, "Q Who," the Borg make one of the most memorable entrances of any Star Trek villain. When Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of the USS Enterprise-D first encounter the cybernetic drones, they quickly realize that, unlike any alien threat they have faced before, the Borg cannot be reasoned with. The United Federation of Planets' ideals of diplomacy and peaceful first contact prove ineffective, as do the weapons and shields of Starfleet's armada of starships.

The Borg were originally imagined as an insectoid species with a hive mind, but this proved too expensive. So the Borg became cybernetic humanoids, and the idea of a collective hive mind was adapted for the new type of Borg. Initially, the plan was to introduce the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation' s season 1 finale, in an episode that would have been part one of a trilogy. However, the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike halted those plans, and the Borg introduction was pushed forward several episodes. As for the design of the Borg drones and their technology, this was largely inspired by the designs of artist H. R. Giger, who created the xenomorph in Alien .

The design of the Borg also drew inspiration from the character Lord Dread from the 1987 television series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future .

Everyone In Star Trek Who Beat The Borg

Star trek's borg were influenced by alien designer h.r. giger, alien's influence can be seen in the design of the borg drones themselves, as well as the interior of their ships..

Known for his images that combined human bodies and machines, Swiss artist H.R. Giger was part of the Academy Award-winning special effects team for 1979's Alien . After director Ridley Scott saw Giger's designs, particularly his painting entitled Necronom IV , Scott recruited Giger to design the alien for the film as well as the alien's environment and the derelict spacecraft. Giger designed every version of the alien, including the "facehugger," "chestburster," and the adult xenomorph. With their combination of organic and mechanical elements, Giger's creations in Alien led to some of the most memorable body horror moments in cinema.

In much of H.R. Giger's work, it's hard to tell where the organic ends and the mechanical begins.

While the look of the Borg is not quite as visceral as the various forms of the xenomorph , the combination of organic and mechanical elements remains disturbing. In much of H.R. Giger's work, it's hard to tell where the organic ends and the mechanical begins. From the adult Borg drones to the baby Borg discovered by Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) in "Q Who," there is something inherently horrifying about parts of the humanoid body being replaced by mechanical parts. This concept is later more fully realized when the Borg assimilate Captain Picard as their mouthpiece, Locutus.

Showrunner Terry Matalas Referenced Giger When Describing Star Trek: Picard Season 3's Borg Queen

Modern star trek creators continue to be influenced by giger's work..

In a 2023 interview with Entertainment Weekly , Star Trek: Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas spoke about the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) , and the process that went into designing her new look. The Borg Queen of Star Trek: First Contact had a more obviously human appearance (her ability to detach her head from her body notwithstanding). But the Borg Queen of Picard season 3 has seen her collective destroyed and nearly been destroyed herself. Matalas describes this Borg Queen as an "H.R. Giger-esque demon," and, with her emaciated appearance, she certainly looks the part.

While the Borg had become somewhat less frightening over their many appearances in Star Trek: Voyager and beyond, Star Trek: Picard season 3 made the Borg genuinely frightening again. Alien may have focused more on the graphic elements of H.R. Giger's work, but the Borg exemplify the horrifying idea of machines taking over one's humanity. Star Trek depicts a very different version of the future from the one seen in Ridley Scott's Alien , but both franchises looked to H.R. Giger to craft some of the most iconic science fiction monsters of all time.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Star Trek: The Next Generation & Star Trek: Picard are available to stream on Paramount+.

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Looking Back at When Star Trek Made Its Own Galaxy's Edge

Looking back at when star trek made its own galaxy's edge, as disney's parks celebrate a new season of the force with its star wars offerings, we look back at star trek 's own take on immersive experiences..

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This month, Disney is celebrating the Season of the Force at its theme parks—new additions to Star Tours , character tweaks at Galaxy’s Edge , and more merch and snacks than you can wave a lightsaber at. It’s the apex of what the company has done with Star Wars at the parks so far... but a long time ago, in a galaxy closer to home, the other Star franchise of our hearts did its own bang up job.

We wrote about Star Trek: The Experience before, right when Galaxy’s Edge was preparing to open for the first time. But now that Batuu is firmly wedged into the world of Disney parks, and Star Trek itself has risen to new highs in its streaming renaissance , we wanted to take another walk down the promenade , and reminisce about the ultimate Star Trek immersive experience.

Enterprise , Las Vegas

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Plans for an extensive Star Trek attraction in Las Vegas were already underway in the early 1990s, when former Disney Imagineer Gary Goddard drew the interest of a consortium of downtown Las Vegas businesses with a wild pitch: build the USS Enterprise into a life-size, replica-meets-attraction-meets-restaurant that would’ve landed one of the most iconic sci-fi starships smack bang on Earth itself.

While the local businesses and government were energized by the idea, one person at Paramount was less so—arguably the most important of all, Paramount president Stanley Jaffe. Jaffe killed the pitch almost immediately, fearing that if the Enterprise venue failed, due to its sheer scope it would still remain standing after it closed its doors: a living, Constitution-class-shaped reminder of his failure.

The Experience Begins

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But Goddard’s dream wasn’t quite dead. A few years later, he was approached by the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel—which had already gotten Paramount on board for a Star Trek project designed to bring people to the hotel’s off-strip location and into its own casinos. There was also already a basic idea in place: visitors would come, be beamed away on a Star Trek mission, and put back on Earth after the adventure.

Although much less grand in scope than a ginormous Enterprise , Goddard got to work on something still wildly ambitious. What would become Star Trek: The Experience when it opened in 1998 was more than just that kernel of an idea about beaming away on a mission: visitors would walk through a museum display charting the path from NASA to Starfleet, be beamed to the Enterprise -D for a time-twisting adventure and simulator ride, and then be plonked back in Vegas’ very own replica of Deep Space Nine, teeming with shops, food, and of course, Star Trek aliens and officers milling around in character.

Klingon Encounter

That adventure was “Klingon Encounter”—instead of being immediately put onto a simulator ride, guests would be “beamed” up through an incredible light and motion trick , with moving wall panels and gushes of air, and brought onto a full replica of the bridge of The Next Generation ’s Enterprise -D. Not unlike how, say, Galaxy’s Edge ’s second main ride, Rise of the Resistance , tricks people into thinking they’ve gotten onto a transport ship and physically moved to the confines of a Star Destroyer from their earthly travels, it would be in this setting that pre-recorded messages from Jonathan Frakes’ Will Riker would tell visitors that one of their number was in fact a direct descendant of Jean-Luc Picard—and that the Klingons were trying to manipulate time and erase the Enterprise captain from existence by eliminating his family line.

From there, visitors would move through the Enterprise ’s hallways, into a turbolift attacked by Klingon saboteurs, and only then actually onto the ride itself—a simulator “shuttlecraft” with Geordi LaForge, taking them back to their home time and actually back over and into Las Vegas itself, selling the feeling of actually having travelled through time and space. After a farewell message from Picard “Klingon Encounter” dumped you back on Earth... of a sorts.

Welcome to Deep Space Nine

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What actually awaited people as a hop and skip over to the next Star Trek show: Deep Space Nine . A replica of a section of the space station’s promenade—both floors of the circular ring were made, although the second remained inaccessible for the best part of a decade, until it was opened up to visitor access to a captain’s lounge-style venue area—became home to a series of themed Star Trek gift shops, and even a restaurant.

A Trip Down the Promenade...

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The promenade’s offerings weren’t a 1:1 recreation of the show, of course—there were no jumja stick vendors, or the Replimat to grab a raktajino at. Instead, there were six different stores, a tribute to the might of Ferengi commerce:

  • Moogie’s Trading Post, named for Quark and Rom’s mother, which sold merchandise exclusive to The Experience as well as starship replicas and other Star Trek merchandise,
  • The Admiral Collection, a high-end props and replica store selling licensed costumes and masks, as well as art,
  • The Molecular Imaging Scanner, a photobooth that let visitors put themselves into Star Trek scenes and locales,
  • Latinum Jewelers, selling, of course, jewelry,
  • Zek’s Grand Emporium, named for the Ferengi Grand Nagus, which sold general Star Trek merchandise,
  • Garak’s Clothiers, named for the plain, simple Cardassian tailor, which sold Star Trek -themed clothing...

... And Dinner at Quarks

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After all that shopping and being nearly murdered by Klingons, people were probably hungry—so it’s a good job the Promenade included its most famous DS9 establishment, Quark’s. Although you couldn’t have a round or six of Tongo and Dabo in there, Quark’s sold Star Trek- themed food and drinks. Although mostly Trek -themed via pun names rather than attempts to replicate iconic snacks from the series— the Holy Onion Rings of Betazed, anyone? —there were a few actually inspired by the shows, like the Warp Core Breach cocktail, and of course, Saurian Brandy.

The Borg Invasion

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In 2004, the experience expanded to finally incorporate the third of the ‘90s Trek shows with “Borg Invasion 4D.” Although not as immersively themed as “Klingon Encounter,” the ride still featured elements of live-action actors as well as recorded clips from Voyager stars Kate Mulgrew, Alice Krige, and Robert Picardo as Captain Janeway, the Borg Queen, and Voyager ’s holographic Doctor, respectively—as visitors were taken to Copernicus Station to undergo tests for a supposed immunity to Borg nanotechnology, only to find themselves assaulted by a Borg Cube and whisked away (via 3D simulator rides, of course) to safety.

End of the Road

But by the time “Borg Invasion 4D” arrived, The Experience was on its way out. Reduced budget cut down the amount of actors used in both the rides and milling about the Promenade, and with Star Trek interest waning on screen as Enterprise came to an end, it was announced that by the end of 2008, The Experience would close its doors for good—ironically, a year before Star Trek returned to the big screen in the J.J. Abrams “Kelvin Timeline” reboots.

Just as it lived, the venue died in Star Trek themed fashion: it wasn’t just closed, but given a Starfleet decommissioning ceremony, where it was announced that props and replicas used in The Experience would be relocated to a new home at the downtown strip mall Neonopolis. But plans fell through, and most of what was once shown at Star Trek: The Experience went into the hands of private collectors, auctioned off in the years since. And while the attraction itself is gone, it does leave a peculiar legacy: elements of the sign advertising the experience, including the Starfleet delta badge, are still standing on the side of the Hilton.

The Final Frontier?

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But now, Star Trek finds itself in a very different place to where it was when The Experience shuttered in 2008. Although the year after Trek returned to the big screen, it’d take almost another decade for the franchise to take the voyage home to TV with Star Trek: Discovery , anchoring the launch of Paramount’s nascent streaming service (known then as CBS All Access). Now, there’s more Star Trek than there ever was in its ‘90s heyday, and yet more on the horizon.

After Galaxy’s Edge has proven this kind of immersive experience can still thrive (and, in the case of Galactic Starcruiser, how not to do it ), could Star Trek sustain the idea again? It’s hard to say what form such a thing could take. Would it embrace the nostalgia of the beloved ‘90s shows and essentially re-do what The Experience did? Would it theme itself around the modern offerings? There’s no solid plans for such a thing yet either way... but it’s nice to dream that Star Trek could match Star Wars with such a thing, a quarter century after it beat it to the punch in the first place.

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Published Apr 2, 2024

The Final Frontier in Flavorful Coffee is Here

Pop Culture Coffee boldly launches new Star Trek coffee brand for fans and coffee connoisseurs alike!

Graphic illustration of a coffee cup and coffee beans with packaging for Pop Culture Coffee

StarTrek.com

Pop Culture Coffee , an innovative new company with unique collaborations with popular franchises, has announced the launch of its highly anticipated Star Trek branded coffees. This extraordinary collection, made under license from Paramount Consumer Products, aims to cater to coffee connoisseurs, Star Trek fans, and collectors alike, bringing together the love for the beloved franchise and the art of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Customers can purchase the official Star Trek coffee in the U.S. directly from www.popculturecoffee.com , and the product will also be available soon at select specialty retailers and conventions nationwide.

The new Star Trek branded coffees by Pop Culture Coffee seek to celebrate the spirit of the legendary franchise by offering a flavorful array of carefully curated coffee blends inspired by the various aspects of the Star Trek universe. Each of the limited-run collectible coffee blends is adorned with stunning artwork featuring iconic Star Trek characters, cultures, and starships.

Pop Culture Coffee promotional photo featuring Captain's Choice coffee

Pop Culture Coffee

Launching first will be CAPTAIN’S CHOICE — a smooth medium roast featuring The Original Series ' Captain James T. Kirk on the bag, as well as VULCAN VANILLA — a full-flavored Madagascar vanilla roast featuring Mr. Spock.

Following up will be a dark KLINGON RAKTAJINO brown sugar roast, featuring The Next Generation 's Worf. Not far behind, and to celebrate First Contact Day, will be the FEDERATION FRENCH ROAST featuring Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a light BORG BEANS roast highlighting the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact on the bag. More coffee profiles will be released throughout the year.

Pop Culture Coffee promotional photo featuring Vulcan Vanilla coffee

But it's not just about the packaging — Pop Culture Coffee is committed to delivering an exceptional coffee experience. All of the company’s coffees are triple-picked by hand, ethically sourced from unique origins all over the world, 100% organic Arabica beans, and small-batch craft roasted to ensure a rich and flavorful cup of coffee with every brew. Beyond the cup, Pop Culture Coffee has an entire department dedicated to meticulously pairing natural flavors for explosive great-tasting flavor-fusions. The end result? Fans will have the opportunity to enhance their coffee-drinking experience while showcasing their love for Star Trek .

Pop Culture Coffee’s founder Ethan Terra shares his vision behind the creation of Pop Culture Coffee, "My lifelong passion for movies, pop culture, collectibles, and coffee led me to establish Pop Culture Coffee. We are driven by a singular purpose — to fuel people’s passions. Whether it’s art, movies, anime, music, gaming, sports, or celebrity icons, we all have something we’re enthusiastic about, and that enthusiasm should be championed. In a world where millions rely on coffee to kick start their day, we believe that coffee should be nothing short of extraordinary."

With its fusion of sci-fi fandom and coffee culture, Pop Culture Coffee is set TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE. Pop Culture Coffee invites coffee connoisseurs, fans, and collectors alike to embark on a journey of taste and imagination, bringing together two passions in a truly innovative and enjoyable way. So grab a mug, set your tastebuds to stunned, and indulge in the flavors of the Star Trek universe with every sip.

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How Star Trek's Most Underrated Villains Wreaked Havoc From Deep Space 9 to Picard

Star Trek enemies like the Borg and Klingons have been a thorn on the Federation's side, but only one underrated villain has caused the most damage.

  • The Dominion is a powerful alien empire in Star Trek that challenged the Federation like never before.
  • While the Klingons, Romulans, and Borg evolved over time, the Dominion remained a second-tier villain.
  • Star Trek: Picard's third season saw the Dominion return strong, with a complex plot and characters.

Star Trek has always featured compelling villainous aliens, many of whom have arcs and collective journeys as rich as any individual character. The Klingons, for instance, have gone from the Federation's greatest foes to fierce allies and antiheroes. The Romulan Empire similarly underwent rapid disintegration in the late 24th century and re-unified with their genetic cousins, the Vulcans, in later seasons of Star Trek: Discovery . Even the Borg changed over the course of the franchise, as individuals like Seven of Nine escaped the Collective and threats like Species 8472 proved more than they could handle. That dedication to their organic development has helped make them truly memorable foes, not only in Star Trek , but in pop culture as a whole.

One villainous species tends to get a little lost in the shuffle, however. The Dominion -- a powerful alien empire controlled by shape-shifting Changelings -- proved to be one of the deadliest foes the Federation ever faced. They launched a war against the Alpha Quadrant during the final seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, forcing Starfleet to join forces with traditional enemies like the Romulans in the face of the common threat. Despite that, the Dominion itself is often relegated to second-tier villain status. Star Trek: Picard's triumphant third season successfully returned them to the spotlight, and reminded fans how terrifying they could be as antagonists.

The Dominion Were Designed as an Existential Threat

The complete history of the klingons in star trek's next generation era.

Deep Space Nine cemented a big transition for the franchise, moving away from Gene Roddenberry's beliefs in an absolute utopia. A Federation devoid of conflict was no place to tell compelling stories, which The Original Series solved by presenting solely external threats in its planet-of-the-week format. Star Trek: The Next Generation successfully broke out of that mold, though its early seasons were plagued by problems caused by the infamous "Roddenberry Box" forbidding intrapersonal conflicts among the crew. The incursion of the Borg in Season 3, Episode 26, "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" definitively broke the Box, with Will Riker taking command of the Enterprise amid constant head-butting from his de facto Number One, Elizabeth Shelby.

As The Next Generation continued to explore the story potential of protagonists with differing opinions, Deep Space Nine fully committed to the dark side of the 24th century. Set aboard a rickety former mining station near the planet Bajor, it looked for drama within the limits of the Federation's power, and how characters like Captain Benjamin Sisko have to sometimes make compromises for the greater good. The Dominion proved to be the perfect fulcrum for that as a technologically advanced fascist theocracy, ruled by the Changelings who condition their subjects to worship them as gods. Besides their technological advantages, the Dominion's military forces are truly terrifying.

The ground troops are genetically engineered constructs known as the Jem'Hadar; they are bred to be soldiers and physically dependent upon a chemical called ketracel white to ensure their absolute loyalty. Their commanders, administrators and tactical advisors are a species known as Vorta, who are preternaturally cunning and built to influence foes with honeyed words before unleashing the Dominion's full forces on them. Worst of all were the Changelings themselves, who could perfectly imitate anyone they wished and who would abduct key personnel and replace them with duplicates to sow distrust and discord. On top of all that, they had a vast empire of slave labor at their command, and with the Bajoran wormhole providing a conduit to the Alpha Quadrant, they potentially had the ability to overrun the Federation in a manner of days.

The Dominion Pushed the Moral Limits of The Federation

The complete history of vulcans in the federation era of star trek.

The Dominion were designed the way they were in order to push the Starfleet characters -- specifically Sisko -- into making compromised choices for the sake of survival . That included below-the-belt tactics such as mining the entrance to the wormhole to prevent any ships from getting through, and Section 31's use of biological warfare to infect the Changeling collective with a fatal virus. The most telling moment came with Season 6, Episode 19, " In the Pale Moonlight ," in which Sisko has a hand in forgery, duplicity and murder in order to bring the Romulans into the war.

It is perhaps Star Trek's darkest moment, and a canny exploration of the franchise's famous adage, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Sisko's efforts bore fruit, and the united Alpha Quadrant was finally able to push the Dominion and its allies to the point of capitulation at the end of Season 7. But the cost was terrible, with millions dead and vast regions of the Alpha Quadrant devastated by war . The Dominion retreated back to the other side of the wormhole, and Odo -- a wayward Changeling who helped convince his people to halt the fighting -- returned to the collective to help end their distrust of "the solids."

As antagonists, they worked incredibly well, thanks in part to a slow build-up that left their origins and motives in the dark until they were well into their infiltration of the Alpha Quadrant. They provided the ideal crucible to test the Federation's principles under fire. While Roddenberry's bright future survived, it emerged with scars that never quite healed. Not even the Borg could top the Dominion as foes, and fans have even gamed out a hypothetical conflict between the Dominion and the Borg, with more or less even odds on which species will prevail.

Despite that, their footprint in the franchise is much smaller than other major antagonists. They returned to the Gamma Quadrant after the war, and essentially vanished with the series finale of Deep Space Nine. With its sister series Star Trek: Voyager focusing on the Borg , and the follow-up Star Trek: Enterprise taking place centuries before the opening of the wormhole, there was no convenient way to resurrect them. The franchise simply moved on, and the Dominion was left collecting dust on the shelves.

Picard Gives The Dominion the Comeback They Deserve

How deep space nine elevated the ferengi from jokes to serious characters.

The latter-day Star Trek renaissance provided an opportunity to do something special with the Dominion. Picard Season 3 depicted a dying, vengeance-obsessed Borg queen pairing up with a radical faction of Changelings to take another run at destroying the Earth. They replace key Starfleet members and sabotage the transporters aboard most of its starships by infecting those who use it with a subtle hormone that allows the Borg Queen to take control of them remotely. The complex plot sees Picard and the reunited crew of the Enterprise-D work to uncover the truth before the sinister coalition springs its trap.

Beyond the cleverness of the plot and its borderline horror-movie premise, Amanda Plummer's Changeling Vadic cements herself as an instant fan favorite. She and her cohorts were captured and experimented on during the Dominion War, rendering them traumatized and filled with hate. Plummer always excels in eccentric roles, which feels like a being who hasn't quite mastered the art of humanoid emotional expression. She's manic, mercurial, and extremely bad at hiding the depths of her hatred.

While Vadic meets her just fate before seeing her plans come to fruition, her presence lingers in the series' final few episodes, to the point of outclassing the Borg Queen herself. She also gives a face to the Changelings, who were usually by definition disguised as someone else. Their representative (known only as "female Changeling") was presumptuous and cold, which forms a stark contrast with Vadic's onscreen villain. It demonstrates the effects of their defeat on the Dominion's self-styled god-rulers.

Picard helps the Dominion demonstrate a viable arc over time, in the same manner as the Klingons, the Romulans and the Borg. Fans can see how the loss has affected them as individuals, as well as the political fallout from it all. Vadic belongs to a splinter group rather than the bulk of the collective. It gives them the depth and sense of continuity they need to rightfully join the ranks of elite Star Trek villains . With Picard opening the door to further appearances, and with other antagonists suffering from decades of overuse, an extended return could help define the future of the franchise.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Picard are both streaming in their entirety on Paramount+.

The Star Trek universe encompasses multiple series, each offering a unique lens through which to experience the wonders and perils of space travel. Join Captain Kirk and his crew on the Original Series' voyages of discovery, encounter the utopian vision of the Federation in The Next Generation, or delve into the darker corners of galactic politics in Deep Space Nine. No matter your preference, there's a Star Trek adventure waiting to ignite your imagination.

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Do the Borg still carry the same gravitas they once have?

O nce upon a time, Star Trek created an alien race known as the Borg and they were considered the scariest, most daunting alien race known to Star Trek fans. They were cyborg zombies, who sought to consume not just the technology of a race, but the alien species themselves. They took away someone's individuality and uniqueness, making them a part of something bigger, regardless if they wanted to or not.

To say that Star Trek created the most scary and unnerving villain of all time would be an understatement. The Borg brought dread with them whenever they were on screen. They were perfect. They tormented Starfleet for years, peaking with Star Trek: First Contact. No one really thought they'd be defeated or would fade from our public consciousness, but that's exactly what happened.

Star Trek: Voyager saw the Borg decimated due to a war with Species 8472, and then due to a collapse of their transwarp conduit hub, their reach was nerfed almost completely. By the time of Star Trek: Picard, they were nothing more than a distant memory, being fueled by the remnant that was the Borg Queen.

Far from the force they were, the Borg tried one last time to destroy Earth but failed. The Picard family seemingly ended the Borg once and for all, but after being fought constantly for 25-odd years, it's fair to wonder if the end of the Borg has come. The Borg don't have the same mystique that they once had. They're not as impactful or as important and the fear that once came with a Borg appearance is gone.

Picard nerfed whatever remnants of the Borg there were left, but the downfall of the Borg arguably came in the 20 years between Picard and Star Trek: Enterprise, when the franchise stopped highlighting them as the villains they deserved to be.

While most of the iconic aliens that Star Trek have found a way to stay relevant, The Borg have not and it's a bit sad that they've seemingly fallen down the hierarchy some. Hopefully, Star Trek finds a way to bring them back with a new edge and a strong twist, designed to bring the horror back to the Borg.

This article was originally published on redshirtsalwaysdie.com as Do the Borg still carry the same gravitas they once have? .

Do the Borg still carry the same gravitas they once have?

A New Threat in Star Trek Fleet Command: The Gorn Hunter Hostiles

By rebekah 9 April 2024

star trek borg art

“We are prey. When they hunt, they are unrelenting. The truth is plenty of people have seen the Gorn. They just don’t live long enough to talk about it.” -La’an Noonian Singh

Commanders, 

Brace yourselves–the unrelenting hunters have arrived! With the return of the Strange New Worlds story arc comes their most fearsome enemy. Now for the first time, Commanders ops 40 and above will be able to challenge the Gorn as they appear in Strange New Worlds. Be warned, Commanders; the Gorn are not to be taken lightly!

star trek borg art

The warships of the Gorn are constructed of a strange material that is immune to conventional weapons fire. Fortunately, they are vulnerable to isolytic weaponry. To defeat them, you will need to bring a ship or a crew that can deal isolytic damage. Be certain not to neglect isolytic defense, however! The Gorn ships may be vulnerable to isolytic damage, but their own weapons also make use of it!

For defeating these dangerous enemies, you will receive loot that can be used to trade for a variety of exciting rewards! Resources, temporal artifact shards, and shards of officers from the Voyager and Enterprise-E synergy groups can be yours, if you are up for the challenge.

The Gorn can be found in the following new systems:

These hostiles will be your first opponents where the entire fight will be decided by isolytic damage. For easy reference, here are all the things currently in the game that can affect your isolytic damage vs hostiles:

  • Enterprise-E Picard
  • Enterprise-E Data
  • Kathryn Janeway
  • Prime Isolytic Damage
  • De-lak DOH! (for Klingon ships)
  • Baleful Tactics (for Federation ships)
  • Tan Qalanq’s Edge (for Romulan ships)

Starships tree:

  • Tachyon Hostile Eruption (requires Monaveen to research)

Fleet Commanders:

  • Isolytic Intel
  • Captain Proton’s Blaster
  • Blade of Tkon
  • Vidiian Honatta Organ Harvester
  • Picard’s Ressikin Flute
  • King M’Benga’s Crown
  • Riker’s Trombone
  • Kataan Telescope
  • Borg Queen’s Remains

We wish you luck out there, commanders.

The Star Trek Team

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IMAGES

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  6. Borg Queen, Gabriela Shelkalina on ArtStation at https://www.artstation

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VIDEO

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  27. Do the Borg still carry the same gravitas they once have?

    Star Trek: Voyager saw the Borg decimated due to a war with Species 8472, and then due to a collapse of their transwarp conduit hub, their reach was nerfed almost completely. By the time of Star ...

  28. A New Threat in Star Trek Fleet Command: The Gorn Hunter Hostiles

    Commanders, Brace yourselves-the unrelenting hunters have arrived! With the return of the Strange New Worlds story arc comes their most fearsome enemy. Now for the first time, Commanders ops 40 and above will be able to challenge the Gorn as they appear in Strange New Worlds. Be warned, Commanders; the Gorn are not to be taken lightly!