One of Star Trek’s Most Enduring Villains Was Created by a Paramount Exec


The big picture

  • A Paramount executive thought the Borg were boring, leading to the creation of the Borg Queen as an iconic character.
  • The Borg Queen appears in multiple Star Trek series, using manipulation and vulnerability to make herself a compelling villain.
  • In the third and final season of
    Star Trek: Picard
    the Borg Queen returns with manipulative tactics to assimilate humanity through Picard's son, Jack Crusher.

The Star Trek franchise has so many iconic villains that it can be difficult for some fans to pick their favorite. Starfleet crews constantly encounter new and old enemies as they explore the galaxy and meet new civilizations. The next generationQ of (John De Lancie) is one of the biggest tricksters in the galaxy, while Deep Space NineCardassian war criminal Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) is constantly stirring something, and Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Maltaban) simply wants to take over the world. Time and time again, the bad guys that always show up are the Borg. While they seem like a simple hive-mind collective, their recurring presence in the franchise reveals so much more about them, and viewers have seen what can happen when given their individuality or how they react under pressure. During the filming of the next generation movie Star Trek: First Contactdespite this, a Paramount executive thought a particular change was needed give the Borg a specific face, and it was a change that had an impact on the franchise moving forward.

Star Trek: First Contact

The Borg travel through time with the intention of preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight achieving warp speed.

Publication date
November 22, 1996

Execution time

Resistance is futile.

In accordance with The Fifty Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From the Next Generation to JJ Abramsedited by Mark A. Altman i Edward Gross, Paramount's Jonathan Dolgen thought the Borg were boring and little more than zombie robots; they needed some kind of voice other than mindless drones, and what's a hive without its queen? So, screenwriter Brannon Braga did a substantial rewrite to include a character who would be known as the Borg Queen (Alice Krige). Dolgen was reportedly a huge Star Trek fan and would often put in his two cents on which episodes he liked, which apparently paid off. His suggestion spiraled into the creation of this iconic character who always has a habit of appearing when we least expect him.

Where have we seen the Borg Queen before in Star Trek?

Borg Queen (Alice Krige) on first contact with Data (brent spiner) from Star Trek
Image via Paramount Pictures

In First Contactthe Borg travel through time to stop scientist Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) of the discovery of warp speed, which leads to humanity's first encounter with the Vulcans, which in turn allows for deeper space exploration and the eventual founding of the Federation. As a villain, Queen Borg, played by Alice Krige in First Contactis very different from other Borg introduced in The next generation; she is sexual and emotional, which makes her prone to deception and manipulation, although she herself is a master of both. She brings a sense of vulnerability to the Borg, despite being a cunning and cunning monster, making her the perfect flower for Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), first in First Contact and later when the character reappears Star Trek: Picard. She plays with the people around her and convinces them to join her Hive. He has this special fondness for Picard and will do anything to convince him to join the collective. It's like a trophy he has to collect for his mantle. Although we thought he died in the end First Contactit has this bad habit of appearing again and again.

She is also a notable villain Star Trek: Voyagerafter seven again (Jerry Ryan) breaks free from the Borg. How a power-hungry leader obsessed with finding perfection and evolving the Borg heading into the final race, the Queen can't stand that a Borg drone has escaped and been disconnected from the Hive and does her best to manipulate and bring Seven of Nine back to the collective. After Voyager deals some serious damage to the Borg, they also deliver a neurolytic pathogen that they believe kills the Borg Queen, but this is proven wrong when she once again appears in Star Trek: Picard.

'Star Trek: Picard' presents another side of the Borg Queen

The Borg Queen returns for season 3 of Star Trek: Picard (voiced by Krige and physically portrayed by Jane Edwina Seymour) in an attempt to create a new collective after cannibalizing their drones to sustain themselves. While she's clearly become a more narcissistic, manipulative and conniving villain with many puppets, she's especially good at getting under Picard's skin. In a new twist, he's been grooming Picard's only son, Jack Crusher (Ed Speelers), who is connected to the Borg due to Picard's connection to the Hive during his brief time as Locutus, seducing him to help assimilate all of humanity and become a weapon of mass destruction. Jack is the key to the evolution of the Borg as an unintended consequence of what happened to Picard when he was briefly assimilated.

This imminent threat to his son takes Picard on an emotional journey where he must figure out how to get Jack back before it's too late. Working with the Enterprise crewmates he's reunited with, he also discovers what it means to be a father and how much connection he wants with his son. In Picardin the final season, the crew's mission becomes over rescuing Jack Crusher, who has been assimilated by the Queen as Borg's Voxand finally frustrating her once and for all.

However, despite repeated attempts by the Fleet to eliminate her, the Borg Queen always returns. Her resilience and persistence are critical aspects of her character, making her a formidable and compelling antagonist. She embodies everything Starfleet stands for, presenting a constant threat and an important element to the franchise. While his ability to endure, even after seemingly insurmountable setbacks, is a testament to his strength and tenacity, his relentless pursuit of perfection ultimately becomes his downfall as he plunders the galaxy, searching for the next race to add to their collective.

Star Trek: First Contact is available to stream on Max in the US

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