Star Trek’s Best Movie Ruined Its Villain

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Star Trek: First Contact is generally considered the best Next Generation movie, and some consider it the best film in the entire franchise. It’s not hard to see why: it’s a great action picture with great character moments featuring the Borg, the fiercest enemy Starfleet has ever faced. However, one aspect of the movie that nearly ruins it is the villainous Borg Queen and the reasons why date back to the first appearance of the Collective.

Fans Questioned Why The Borg Had A Queen

star trek borg

Even when this hit Star Trek movie first premiered, many fans were perplexed by the very existence of a Borg Queen. Up until that point, there really wasn’t much of a concept of an individualized Borg with a unique personality. That was what made them scary as villains: they were a soulless and unstoppable Collective who had to steal new ideas and technology, making them the perfect villains for the fiercely independent and innovative Starfleet officers like Picard.

The Need For A Spokesperson

best star trek villain

Speaking of Picard, before Star Trek: First Contact, he was the closest thing to a Borg Queen…sort of. He got assimilated into the Collective when the Borg decided they needed to have some kind of individual spokesperson. Notably, however, “Locutus of Borg” did not have a distinct personality like the later Borg Queen: he was simply a drone with a name and, conveniently, the memories and knowledge of Jean-Luc Picard.

The Original Borg

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Here’s where things get interesting for Star Trek fans: back when the writers and producers of The Next Generation were trying to come up with a new villain after the Ferengi were a bust, they considered making the Borg an insectoid race, but everyone quickly realized the show didn’t have the budget to make that happen. That’s why the Borg became enhanced humanoids: from an FX standpoint, it’s certainly easier to slap some cybernetic parts onto someone and put white makeup on them than to create an entire race of alien insects.

The Borg Queen Was Immediately Iconic

How does this tie back to the Borg Queen? For one thing, this is an idea that would have made more sense if the Star Trek writers had gone with the insectoid idea. Insects like ants have queens, after all, but it never made much logical sense to have a cybernetic Collective of Borg who has no real personality except for a queen who has a mind and motivations of her own.



For another thing, as early as “The Best of Both Worlds,” head Star Trek: The Next Generation writer was trying to come up with a Borg Queen, or as he referred to the concept, a “queen bee.” Locutus was basically the compromise: the show could give its greatest villains a spokesperson by assimilating Picard but otherwise not disrupt the image of the Borg as a Collective where nobody had separate personalities.

The Queen Bee

Since Picard was rescued from the Collective and his humanity restored, the Star Trek writers needed a new “queen bee” for First Contact, and they went literal this time by creating a Borg Queen. But she had a completely separate personality which, to this day, makes no sense in the context of everything we know about the Borg. She also claims in the film that she was present during “The Best of Both Worlds,” which is confusing because if the Borg already had an independent spokesperson, why did they assimilate Picard in the first place?

Grand Return In Picard

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As Star Trek fans, none of this keeps us from enjoying both Alice Krige’s performance as the Borg Queen and First Contact as a whole. However, considering how much the franchise has tripled down on the existence and importance of such a queen (she even featured heavily in the Picard finale), it’s weird that Star Trek never clarified why she exists, why she has a personality, or how she seemingly transcends time and space and keeps surviving incidents that are supposed to kill her. 

Having no answers to these questions is obviously frustrating. But considering that Star Trek is incapable of ignoring these bionic baddies for very long, we can merely hope for a few more answers the next time the franchise needs to trot out a reliable foe rather than trying something new.