Alert the Trekkies, we are entering the Final Frontier! The Star Trek universe has grown to be a massively successful franchise over the past decades, with movies and numerous television series chronicling the adventure of the Enterprise and beyond. Creator Gene Roddenberry got the whole ball rolling with the original Star Trek television series. The original television series arrived back in 1966 and lasted 79 episodes. Starring Captain Kirk, William Shatner, and anchored by Star Trek regulars Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley, the show established an excited fan base. The show was cancelled but was solid gold in syndication, showing a clear cult status and a lot more potential.
The syndication in the 1970s proved so successful that they couldn’t resist establishing another avenue. Producers began work on a film version and in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture arrived. Since, an additional 12 films have hit the big screen following the exploits of the Enterprise as well as The Next Generation crew. The Star Trek franchise has been a global success. An array of villains have come at the famous crew, threatening planets and galaxies all throughout the universe. These classic villains have brought out the best in our favorite crews. These are the 15 Most Powerful Villains in Star Trek.
Normally a shoe-in for number one with a bullet in most top lists, God rests comfortably at 13 on Star Trek’s villains chart. Really, in this case, it’s not the true God but rather the God of Sha Ka Ree. Now, to fully understand and digest this one, it would take far too long. Appearing in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (which by the way has definitely not been the “final” anything for Star Trek) the main villain was born out of a Vulcan legend. William Shatner directed this messy film in which the Enterprise was led to a planet by a Vulcan named Sybok where he believed to find the real God, AKA, Sha Ka Ree. The shimmering mystical manifestation manipulates everyone and everything. The power is there, but the story wasn’t. God gets a nod on the list but isn’t top 10 material here.
The hair! The grimacing anger! The pure hatred of all that is the Federation and Captain Kirk! We welcome Klaa! Captain of the Klingon Bird of Prey in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Klaa was a brutal killer using his ship’s cloaking device to sneak up on its prey. The ship was like an assassin in the night, sneaking up and destroying Federation ships one after another. And when Klaa learned that Captain Kirk was in the area, he frothed, excited to destroy the one symbolic Federation leader that could help send the galaxy into absolute chaos and war. As a Klingon General, Klaa’s appearance is definitely one to remember and his brutality in space is the stuff of villain legend.
13. The Gorn
The Gorn truly represent classic Star Trek. First appearing back in an episode of the original television series in 1967, the lizard-man creatures were definitely old school horror/monster feel at its best. The strange creatures stood upright like a man but looked entirely like miniature Godzillas running around. Their long sharp teeth were quite imposing. And in an intense sequence, Captain James T. Kirk himself was face-to-face with them, fighting hand-to-hand combat without any weapons in sight. The famed episode was entitled “Arena.” The best part of the creatures may have been their space-foil vests. But they weren’t very quick movers. Kirk overcomes the creature’s advances by going MacGyver on them and creating a cannon from some nearby PVC piping, string and gems. Thank goodness they were working on their underground plumbing that day! Phew!
12. General Chang
Beware of villains with eyepatches! You never know what they’re thinking. This is the case with the evil General Chang. General Chang appears by way of Christopher Plummer in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The sixth installment of the movie franchise was a solid film (I personally liked all the even numbers more than the odd in the film cycle). It had a nice blend of humor, chaos and thrills that kept the audience on their toes. And General Chang, an intense Klingon, was a borderline psychopathic warmonger hell-bent on sending the Federation-Klingon truce into oblivion and causing an all-out war. With both Kirk and Bones on the hot seat for a crime they didn’t commit, Chang goes out of his way to do his best Khan impression by quoting Shakespeare a few too many times (more on Khan to come!).
Q is a difficult figure to pinpoint. Many have labeled Q as one of the most powerful villains in the entire Star Trek landscape. Played by John de Lancie, Q is essentially a time-traveling immortal who can move dimensions while also spinning annoying proverb. A product of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Q was around to constantly mess with Picard and his crew. He has also been referred to as “The God of Lies.” Q constantly belittles the human race while reminding all around that they only exist because he and his other Q brethren allow them to. The character seemingly has more power to exude, but we don’t see the full weight of Q’s abilities. It’s a slew of powerful talk that never really comes to fruition, but seemingly, Q could have been the most powerful villain of all.
10. Gul Dukat
The Deep Space Nine crew makes an appearance here at the wicked hand of Gul Dukat. The supreme villain of DS9, Gul Dukat is the ruthless commander of the Cardassians (no, not Kardashians…although it sounds very familiar and the Kardashians are probably just as evil too). Dukat was one of those villains who was scary, smart and obsessed with destroying everything and anything. He was enamored with power and couldn’t get enough of it. Pretty much a dictator of the Cardassians, Dukat was scary looking in appearance too and constantly tormented Captain Sisko’s crew. He was very much like how the Klingon’s were to Kirk. Dukat pushed the DS9 crew to their limits and constantly threatened humanity with just his existence.
9. Doctor Tolian Soran
Listen, when you kill Captain James T. Kirk, you are bound to make this list. At least this epic death was only somewhat honorable compared to Han Solo’s terrible and silly demise. Soran was a fairly normal looking dude, not nearly as imposing of the many angry alien generals who strolled through the varying Star Trek universes. But Soran, played to perfection by Malcolm McDowell in the Stark Trek: Generations film, was a bitter man whose wife and child were slaughtered by the Borg. Soran survives in a strange place labeled the “Nexus.” He is in a strange fabric of reality where he is in between dimensions. Kirk, who had long been deceased, was actually hanging out in the Nexus just so he could appear in this Generations film. Having Picard and Kirk together in a film seemed awesome, although the strangeness of the Nexus which felt more like a false Heaven or a strangely kind Purgatory, seemed weird. Kirk’s sudden and odd death only confounded the mistake of the Generations films. But Doctor Soran was still powerful and cool in his own way, helping to facilitate Kirk’s death by dragging the Nexus closer to everyone and nearly destroying the entire world. Kinky!
8. Female Changeling
With Captain Kirk getting busy with so many women during his time on Star Trek, you wouldn’t think that any nasty could come out of the female race to haunt the Enterprise and her crew. But this crazy race of creatures were hell-bent on destroying everything around them (what villains weren’t!). The Female Changeling arrived via the Deep Space 9 crew who really prove that they had it pretty crappy when it came to ridiculously difficult villains. The Female Changeling wanted the entire galaxy rid of all species but her own. She used Jem’Hadar as her army, ordering them to destroy all things and slaughter as many innocents as possible. The kicker is, she is also a shapeshifter. And if not for a crazy illness she contracts and having a crush on security chief Odo (also a changeling), she would have destroyed the entire world. Instead, she strikes a deal to hook up with Odo and get healed of her illness, dropping her desire to destroy everything just like that. That’s right, just like that. Phew!
If you ever were afraid of a crazy black oozing monsters, then this is the one for you! Armus is like the Swamp Thing covered in all black tar. Sure, the look isn’t nearly as impressive as some of the more recent CGI creatures that are more state-of-the-art scary, but Armus has some impressive power behind it. He emits extremely powerful energy that can fry human brains (that’s right, fry human brains) and take down nearby ships. The creature is filled with anger and can’t be touched with puny phaser fire. This is a ‘Next Generation’ creature and Picard came to believe it was immortal. Armus was actually able to take down Lieutenant Natasha Yar, murdering a major Star Trek character. It’s a rare feat on the show and it went on to live on its days, never to be destroyed.
6. The M-113 Creature
The M-113 creature was a classic creature who was the sole surviving member of its species. The creature appeared in the original series. The planet was called M-113 and this monster was a salt-sucking creature who couldn’t get enough. The planet was low on salt and the creature’s civilization was turned to the brink of extinction. With salt on a premium, the M-113 creature turned to humans as a source of salt. This led the monster to be a human murder machine, killing research scientists and setting its sights on Kirk’s Enterprise crew when they come to visit. A special ability it had was being able to hypnotize humans without speaking.
Nero is one angry looking Romulan. This Romulan captain was not one to mess with. Nero became enraged when his home planet of Romulus was destroyed, Nero blamed the Federation and its allies, making it his mission to destroy them. Nero sought to attack Spock, the Vulcan who he focused much of his anger at. The Vulcans and Romulans never got along. The Romulans needed Red matter desperately, fearing their planet was in danger of a Supernova explosion. Nero thought the delay by the Vulcans was in part because of the Federation’s desire to screw the Romulans over. Either way, Nero went crazy and was hell-bent on revenge. He would be taken down in the end.
Kruge, a Klingon commander, helmed the Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Played by Christopher Lloyd, Kruge was plotting to obtain intelligence on the coveted Genesis device. Kruge saw the powerful device as a weapon despite it being created as the intended technology to turn a dead planet into life. Kruge arrived in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Shortly after Kirk found out he had a son, David, in the previous film, it would be in The Search for Spock where his son gallantly sacrificed himself to save Saavik. Kirk ultimately kicked Kruge to his death after offering to save him from a pit of lava. As usual, Kirk and his team outsmarted their Klingon enemies all the way and did the ultimate sacrifice, setting the Enterprise
3. The Klingons
Sure, there are a few specific Klingons we have listed here, but the entire race of Klingons was a constant threat to the Federation and all of humanity. Where there were problems, Klingons always seemed to exist. They were a classic warring tribe, their tendency seemed to be to lie and mislead while all-the-while wanting to destroy. The Klingons were built to be evil with dangerous looking leaders and angry intentions that seemed obsessed with destroying the Federation. Constant antagonists to Captain Kirk, the Klingon nation got a make-over for the television series. They were intended to reflect a society based on slave labor and reflected analogies from both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Klingons were the ultimate evil adversaries in Captain Kirk’s Star Trek universe.
2. The Borg
The Borg are the elevated version of the Klingons. They get the nod because they were far more intelligent than the Klingons. The cybernetic aliens functioned as a “collective” or a “hive mind.” The Borg forced other species to assimilate to them. The Borg are obsessed with their version of perfection. They were the primary antagonists for Picard’s The Next Generation and also appeared regularly in the Voyager series. TV Guide actually listed the Borg as their #4 in a 2013 list of Nastiest Villains of All Time. What is the Borg’s mantra? “We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.” Yeah, that’s pretty badass and they are so cold and robotic about it.
Is there anyone bigger and better than Khan? Khan Noonien Singh is the single greatest villain of the Star Trek world. Let’s just unload this little ditty: “Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish best served cold? Well…it is very cold in space.” This is just one of many awesome lines in this extraordinary classic. By far the best of all Star Trek films, it is the villain, Khan, played so brilliantly by Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan was first introduced back in 1967 as a modified Superman in the “Space Seed” episode. 15 years later we find him again in The Wrath of Khan. Khan’s obsession for revenge against Captain Kirk was a driving force in the second, and best film, in the Star Trek series.