Every so often you encounter a character, or in this case, a race of beings, that strike you with their villainy, their wickedness, their abject disdain for life, or their bulldozer approach to meeting their goals. It’s usually a cinematic moment—like when the terminator snatched that dude’s heart out and took his clothes or when the Hulk did this “puny God” routine on Loki in The Avengers or when Freddy Krueger sucked Johnny Depp into the bed and splattered him all over the ceiling. Something that makes you say, “Daaaammmmmmnnn!” You know what I’m talking about, right? Now imagine you’re Jean-Luc Picard, the coldest Star Trek captain ever, you run the Enterprise, it’s the 24th century, and you run into the Borg. And these cats tear down your ship and tell you, “Resistance is futile.”
The Borg is today’s villain of renown and, if you don’t know them, relax, it’s alright, Wikipedia is my sidekick on this post. We first saw the Borg in a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode when a godlike character named Q took Picard and his intrepid group of travelers to the ass-end of space just so they could get the Federation shit slapped out of them by the Borg. And it was just to prove that the Enterprise and her crew weren’t as raw as they thought they were.
But they weren’t done.
The Borg roll back into Federation space in their Rubik’s Cube ship, all “Resistance is futile,” and “You will be assimilated,” and causing all sorts of mayhem. They jump on the Enterprise and jack Picard, snatch his ass off the ship and ASSIMILATE him. He gets a gang name (they call him Locutus) and the Borg steal all his knowledge about the Federation—so now they know what he knows. When 40 ships mass to stop the Borg on their Highway to Hell, one – ONE – ship makes it out alive. One. Folks that’s a 98% kill rate. These cats don’t mess around.
They try to go back in time to wipe out an entire meeting between humans and Vulcans so the Federation no longer exists, they killed the wife of A Man Called Hawk (Avery Brooks), and actually gave Star Trek Voyager a reason to be on TV.
But this is not what makes them awesome.
The Borg are fantastic because of why they do what they do: the pursuit of perfection. They move through the galaxy, assaulting star systems, taking the best traits of those they conquer and assimilating it into their own race. They believe they are making everything better, making everything perfect and resistance to that idea is as futile as resistance to evolution itself. We’ve seen this sort of forced cultural progress before: the Romans did it (well) and it is been happening on our own continent since the days of Cortez and Columbus.
What I like about them is that they don’t speak threats or in throaty boasts; they speak facts: Resistance is futile—FACT. Look at those 39 starships we tore up back there. You will be assimilated—FACT. Think I’m playing? Check out my man Locutus.
And though I’m not necessarily a fan, I have to tip my hat to the Borg: you have to appreciate any villain, any organism, which moves forward with such inevitability in their wake.
Up next, Coooo-BRAAAAAA!! Cobra Commander will be hissing his way into the Festival.