Star Trek Creator Accidentally Reveals Borg Timeline Isn’t What We Thought

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

star trek borg

For as much as Star Trek has focused on prequel films and television shows that give us deeper backgrounds on almost everything, there are still some major unexplained mysteries. One of the biggest mysteries is who helped to repair and transform Earth’s humble Voyager space probe into V’Ger, an intelligent entity with power on a cosmic scale. The possible answer is quite shocking: according to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, the Borg may be responsible for V’Ger’s transformation.

Q Who

To understand why this is significant, it’s important to revisit the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode which introduced the Borg. Though the series planted seeds for their appearance back in season 1 episode “The Neutral Zone,” we didn’t actually see them until the season 2 episode “Q Who.” All we really know about the Borg in this episode is that they were located very far away and that (thanks to their ability to assimilate people and technology) the Enterprise was no match for them.

We Still Know Almost Nothing About The Borg’s Origins

star trek borg

Later Star Trek episodes and films would reveal more information about the Borg, including where they are from (the Delta Quadrant) and who leads them (the mysterious Borg Queen who may or may not exist outside of time and space). Still, for all these revelations, we never got a definitive idea of what the Borg homeworld is and what it is like.

Were The Borg V’Ger’s Mechanics?

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Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry once made a surprising connection between the introduction of the Borg and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. After “Q Who” came out, Michael and Denise Okuda claimed Roddenberry “half-jokingly speculated” that the Voyager 6 probe launched from Earth was repaired by what “might have been the Borg homeworld.” This led to the creation of V’Ger, the intelligent and powerful force that Kirk and Spock make contact with.

For Star Trek fans who remember The Motion Picture very well, this theory about the Borg isn’t as crazy as it might sound. After Spock makes contact with V’Ger, he describes seeing “a planet populated by living machines” with “unbelievable technology.” Not only does this sound a lot like the Borg, but Spock also mentions how this entity “has knowledge that spans the universe,” which would make sense if V’Ger had access to the knowledge the Borg have gained through assimilation.

Did V’Ger Go Where Voyager Went?

Furthermore, this Star Trek movie mentions how V’Ger’s “creator is a machine,” which certainly makes it sound like the Borg (as perhaps the galaxy’s foremost technological experts) turned a lifeless Earth probe into a very sentient, very powerful entity. Kirk even speculates that after disappearing into “what they used to call a black hole,” V’Ger “emerged somewhere on the far side of the galaxy and fell into the machine planet’s gravitational field.” It’s admittedly surface-level stuff, but “machine race on the far side of the galaxy” certainly sounds like a description of the Borg.

The Borg Aren’t Known For Their Benevolence

star trek borg

It’s one of the cooler franchise theories courtesy of the Star Trek creator himself, but honestly, this theory doesn’t hold much water (replicated or otherwise). Spock speculates that “the machine inhabiters found [V’Ger] to be one of their own kind, primitive yet kindred,” and that the machines transformed Voyager 6 so that it could complete its original data collection mission in the most optimal way before returning to Earth. None of this, from taking an interest in a low-tech probe to helping someone (even a fellow machine) out of the goodness of their bionic hearts doesn’t sound like the Borg we know and loathe.

The Borg Timeline Is A Confusing Maze

At any rate, this may be a moot point because, in the decades since the Star Trek creator speculated about a connection between V’Ger and the Borg, the timeline for when Starfleet first encountered these creatures has gotten far muddier. For example, the Enterprise episode “Regeneration” shows early Starfleet captain Archer encountering Borg survivors from First Contact (although they never declare themselves as such). The Voyager episode “Dark Frontier,” meanwhile, confusingly established that Seven of Nine’s family was working on researching the Borg in conjunction with Starfleet a decade before “Q Who,” though Starfleet mostly thought of the villains as nothing more than “rumor and sensor echoes.”

In other words, it’s difficult for even Star Trek writers, much less fans, to get a good idea about the origin of the Borg and their earliest encounters with humanity. In my mind, revising their past through retcons (gentle and otherwise) is perfectly fair game, and Roddenberry’s theory about V’Ger getting repaired by the Borg is back on the table. 

Blame It On The Borg

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If nothing else, this would mean that fans who found themselves bored to tears by V’Ger’s whole story in The Motion Picture can now blame their boredom on the Borg. For such fans, seeing Picard go full-action hero in First Contact and snapping the Borg Queen’s twitching, robotic neck will now be more cathartic than ever before.