Star Trek’s Most Powerful Movie Villain Showed Up Earlier Than You Knew
We present a theory that the villain of the very first episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series is connected to the powerful villain who appears at the end of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
As a Star Trek fan, one of the most glaring unchecked spots on my to-do list has been to finally watch the only TV series in the franchise I have yet to see every episode of: the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series. After watching the premiere episode, “Beyond the Farthest Star” on Paramount+, I became convinced that the nameless, formless entity we meet in the episode is either an early version of 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier‘s chief villain, or he’s a member of the godlike entity’s species.
In “Beyond the Farthest Star,” the Enterprise discovers an ancient ship that has been in orbit of the same dead star for 300 million years. Through their investigation of the ship, they learn that the vessel’s long-dead masters purposely sacrificed themselves in order to keep a powerful, unnamed magnetic entity imprisoned. This same Star Trek villain manages to reach the Enterprise and take over the ship’s systems.
Once the very first Star Trek: The Animated Series villain takes over the Enterprise, it’s the alien‘s intended destination that reveals he may be related to the Star Trek V antagonist. When the coordinates of the entity’s destination are revealed, Sulu (George Takei) calls out, “That’s the heart of the galaxy, captain!”
If you’ve seen Star Trek V, then you know how this might connect to that film’s villain. In the film, Spock‘s (Leonard Nimoy) estranged brother Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) believes he’s been psychically communicating with God. The Vulcan hatches a plan to commandeer the Enterprise so he can make his pilgrimage to God in the very center of the galaxy.
There’s more that could connect these Star Trek villains. We eventually learn, of course, that the Zeus-like entity living in the center of the galaxy is not God and has manipulated Sybok in order to bring him a starship that could allow him to journey beyond the galaxy’s center.
And this is very close to the mission of Star Trek: The Animated Series‘ first villain. Capable of taking control of people and machines, it wants the Enterprise in order to get it away from the dead star where it’s been imprisoned for hundreds of millennia. After the heroes manage to force it off the ship, they hear it moaning in agony, “Don’t leave me alone! Please! Please! So lonely!”
Two incredibly powerful Star Trek villains of unnamed species: both imprisoned, both wanting to commandeer a starship, and both unfathomably ancient. Most importantly, the villain of “Beyond the Farthest Star” intends to head for the center of the galaxy, while the one in The Final Frontier is already there.
Coincidence? The result of one Star Trek writer unconsciously borrowing from a previous one? Obviously, I’m not suggesting a Star Trek: The Animated Series writer was thinking, “With this, I plant the seeds of a film so bad they’ll let William Shatner direct it!
But like the man said, there are always possibilities. If a future Star Trek writer wants to connect these two villains, the bones are there.