Star Trek One-Off Villains That Need To Come Back

By Michileen Martin | Published

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Klingons, Romulans, the Borg, the Dominion–even before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine steered the franchise in a more serialized direction, Star Trek boasted some wonderful recurring villains. But we think there are plenty of bad guys who showed up only once and deserved a repeat performance. Here are just some of the one-off bad villains who we think need to come back.

6. The Wadi

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The alien gamers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s “Move Along Home” aren’t villains with any kind of ill intent toward the heroes, but they’re certainly antagonists. The Wadi are the first aliens from the Gamma Quadrant the Federation makes official first contact with, but in spite of all the diplomacy Ben Sisko has planned, the aliens just want to play games. It turns out one of those games, Chula, transports Sisko and three of his officers into a virtual world where they face challenges in order (they believe) to survive.

“Move Along Home” is one of the most mocked episodes of Deep Space Nine, chiefly for a scene in which the heroes are forced to play Allamaraine – the Wadi answer to Hopscotch – and singing (pretty badly) while doing so. But regardless of the episode’s overall quality, the concept of the Wadi is intriguing. 

Particularly when you consider how much more gaming has become an essential part of our culture since “Move Along Home” aired in 1993, The Wadi are potentially more relevant than ever. Using these Star Trek villains to explore gaming and gamers could prove just as interesting as how the Ferengi are used to explore capitalism.

Just, you know… cut back on the singing and the Wadi Hopscotch next time.

5. Fallit Kot

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Deep Space Nine‘s “Melora” is an example of an episode in which the A and B stories come together at the end. Most of the episode revolves around the doomed romance between Dr. Bashir and Melora Pazlar. But while the Star Trek heroes exchange smooches, Quark deals with the threat of villain Fallit Kot, an old associate of the Ferengi who doesn’t appreciate that he went to prison while Quark kept his freedom.

Fallit Kot’s threats against Quark aren’t the most earth-shattering consequences to ever be felt in Star Trek, and the villain may not rate when compared to the Borg or the Dominion, but he’s a genuinely intimidating presence. Really the only problem is his physical design. It’s impossible to not look at that flesh handlebar over his face and wonder endlessly about how he eats.

4. The Parasites Of “Conspiracy”

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“Conspiracy” remains quite possibly the single grossest episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with the episode’s villains proving to be parasite aliens taking over the bodies of high ranking Starfleet officers. While we never heard from the bugs after “Conspiracy,” they were originally conceived to be the recurring Big Bad: a position that would later go to the Borg.

With digital VFX offering a lot more possibilities today than it did when “Conspiracy” aired in 1988, it seems long past due for Star Trek to make good on the promise of these bugs’ return to the franchise.

3. Tiron

Like Fallit Kot, Tiron (Jeffrey Combs) is a B story Star Trek villain, though unlike in Kot’s case the stakes in Tiron’s story never get to the life-or-death stage. Wealthy and entitled, Tiron is obsessed with Kira Nerys and he hires Quark to make a holographic version of her that he can have his way with. When Kira finds out about the villain’s plans, she helps pull an epic prank on him.

Jeffrey Combs is known as one of the most prolific recurring actors in Trek, having played numerous roles — mostly villains — in Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and even Lower Decks. But Tiron was Combs’ very first role in the franchise. He would later become much more essential to DS9 both as the Ferengi Liquidator Brunt and the Dominion envoy Weyoun.

Through Combs, Tiron exudes a viciousness capable of much more than a story that can be ended with nothing more than a prank. It’s a shame we never got to see him return in an episode with a bit more weight.

2. Sybok

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is not the most beloved of the Trek film franchise, and this is understandable because it’s legitimately horrible. Regardless, Laurence Luckinbill’s Sybok is one of the most likable Star Trek villains in the movie series’ history. As a Vulcan who embraces emotion, he’s also a rarity in Trek.

There have been hints Sybok could return. An unnamed actor plays him just long enough for a tease in the Strange New Worlds Season 1 episode “The Serene Squall.” With the exception of that cameo, as of yet Sybok lived and died in the span of Star Trek V.

1. Ru’afo

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This list includes a few Star Trek villains who, in spite of excellent portrayals, appeared in shows or movies that were otherwise not that great. F. Murray Abraham’s Ru’afo is another example. Star Trek: Insurrection is one of the lesser TNG-era films, but not because of Ru’afo.

In spite of everything else underwhelming about the feature, Abraham’s bad guy is right up there with Khan and the Borg Queen in terms of charisma and malevolent presence.

Unlike most of the bad guys on this list, Ru’afo doesn’t survive his single Trek appearance, but that’s hardly a huge obstacle. With all the other Star Trek characters who have followed in the footsteps of Lazarus over the years, we think this villain could too.

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