Star Trek Reveals Picard Defeated Voyager’s Best Villain
In the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard, we find out the titular hero actually locked horns with the Hirogen - a species whose activities had previously been isolated to Star Trek: Voyager.
While the shows Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager both had concurrently running seasons while the TNG era movies were being released, each of the three spinoffs had bad guys that never appeared in the others. Data‘s evil twin Lore never bothered the crew of Voyager, the territorial and freaky-haired Kazon never got near DS9, and the fanatical Jem’Hadar never popped up in the TNG series or movies. But the most recent episode of Star Trek: Picard reveals that — in spite of the hunters portrayed as operating deep in the Delta Quadrant of Voyager — Captain Picard once had a run-in with the bumpy-faced predators, and he kicked their butts.
The latest episode of Star Trek: Picard opens with a flashback to five years before the events of the series, to a group of adoring Starfleet recruits asking Picard about his run-in with the Voyager villains. At first, Patrick Stewart‘s signature hero tries to brush them off, but the temptation to talk about the past is too much for the Admiral. He confirms he was hunted by the Alpha Hirogen — the commander of a group of Hirogen is referred to as the Alpha — and gives credit to Michael Dorn’s Worf for saving him:
“Well, fortunately for me, Lieutenant Commander Worf had cleverly constructed a deadfall trap. So when the Alpha advanced, the hunter had been turned into the prey.”-Patrick Stewart’s Picard on his encounter with the Hirogen
Unfortunately, that’s as specific as Picard gets about his meeting with the Hirogen. Assuming the clash happened after Voyager made its way back to Earth — which seems likely, especially since one of the recruits asks if Picard asked for advice from Kate Mulgrew’s Admiral Janeway — the encounter would have to have taken place not terribly long before or after the events of 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection. Since Picard indicates Worf was part of his crew at the time but doesn’t mention if Data, Riker, or Troi were, it could have happened either before or after 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis (since neither Data, Riker, nor Troi would’ve been on the Enterprise afterward).
One of the starstruck recruits asks the hero of Star Trek: Picard if it was ever discovered how the Voyager villains made it to the Alpha Quadrant, but we don’t get an answer. It’s a good question, too, considering where the Hirogen usually operate. The hunting-centered species first appears in Season 4 of Voyager, meaning most of them would be decades away in the same Delta Quadrant that Janeway and her crew were trying to escape from in their series.
Of course in a franchise in which the impossible is always pretty possible, there are plenty of ways the Hirogen of Star Trek could’ve messed with Picard far away from the Voyager’s old flight path. There are wormholes, there are Qs, and there are the occasional space gods randomly pulling people across the galaxy among other things.
Not to mention that one of the more defining qualities of the Hirogen, along with their obsession with hunting, is that they’re nomads who prefer to travel together in smaller groups so they can find more prey, rather than bunching together in places of centralized power. It’s possible the Hirogen who clashed with Picard began traveling toward the Alpha Quadrant even before Voyager got lost in the Delta Quadrant.
We wouldn’t imagine we’ll be getting any answers soon, but just in case, Episode 5 of Star Trek: Picard‘s third and final season streams next Thursday on Paramount+.