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‘Star Trek’ Villains: The Top 10

‘Star Trek’ is full of heroes. But Starfleet wouldn’t be the same without some bad guys to keep things interesting. Here are the franchise’s top 10 villains of all time.

Star Trek is full of heroes – principled idealists like James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Spock and Will Riker. But Starfleet just wouldn't be the same without some bad guys to keep things interesting. Over the course of five TV series and 12 big-screen adventures, viewers have shivered at the sight of all kinds of freaky aliens, warlords, interdimensional beings and garden-variety psychopaths. With Star Trek: Into Darkness hitting theaters this weekend, we went back and counted down the franchise's top 10 villains of all time. Read on to see where your favorites ranked.

By Simon Vozick-Levinson

mirror spock

Everett Collection

5

Mirror Spock

There are lots of good reasons to fear the "mirror universe" version of Spock introduced in the classic 1967 episode "Mirror, Mirror." For starters, Mirror Spock is an officer of the fascistic Terran Empire – a terrifying alternate-dimensional regime in which he serves as the right hand of a violent, craven Mirror Kirk. He's nothing like the peaceful Vulcan of integrity we know and love in the primary Star Trek universe. But let's be honest: The real reason Mirror Spock placed so high on this list is his beard. That neat little goatee just screams "evil genius."

Q

Picture AllianceEverett Collection

4

Q

Q is the most powerful being on this list: A time-traveling, teleporting, virtually omnipotent member of the immortal race known as the Q Continuum. Throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation's run, he would periodically pop up and sow some extradimensional mischief. The very fact of his god-like powers – and the fact that he seems to enjoy using them mostly to taunt and toy with the Enterprise crew – means Q has to rank high on any Star Trek villains list, even if he sometimes played a more benign role when he felt like it. Always ready with a sarcastic quip, and played to the hilt by guest star John de Lancie, Q is the kind of antagonist who made any episode he appeared in worth watching.

Soran

Everett Collection

3

Soran

Tolian Soran, as played by the excellently malicious Malcolm McDowell in 1994's Star Trek Generations, was pretty much your standard mad scientist: Crazy glint in his eye, wants to take over the universe – that kind of thing. So how did he make it to the Top Three? By killing Captain Kirk. This bastard did what countless aliens and lunatics tried and failed to do over the course of three seasons and seven films – he actually knocked off our hero, and all because of some stupid interdimensional ego trip. We're getting mad just thinking about it.

The Borg Queen

Everett Collection

2

The Borg

You can run, you can hide, but if the Borg decide to come after you, it's pretty much game over. A teeming collective of countless cyborg drones, all ruled by a single hivemind, they fly their ugly cube-ship wherever they please and force innocent species to join their ranks. Even Captain Jean-Luc Picard got assimilated for a brief, awful time. Can anyone who's seen 1990's classic two-part episode "The Best of Both Worlds" forget the moment when we first saw him as the creepily dead-eyed Locutus of Borg? Just face it – resistance is futile.

Khan

Everett Collection

1

Khan

You knew where this list was headed, didn't you? Khan Noonien Singh is the ultimate Star Trek baddie, hands down. No wonder fans got so excited when we heard the first rumors that he might play a shadowy role in this year's Star Trek Into Darkness. We met the genetically modified superman in 1967's "Space Seed" episode, where he was discovered and defrosted by the Enterprise crew 300 years after his reign as a sorta-benevolent despot on Earth. Of course, that was just the beginning. He returned 15 years later for 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, widely recognized as the franchise's greatest film. Over the course of the two stories, Khan came into his own as a most worthy adversary – a tragic hero of sorts, undone by his own desperate need for revenge. He's also entered Internet legend as the subject of an all-time great meme. No other Star Trek villain comes close.

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