Ask Dayton #18 – Dayton’s Star Trek Villain List
Question: Mr. Ward,
I am new to Star Trek books and discovered the G and T Show recently when Keith DeCandido was on, and have been downloading and listening to past episodes, enjoying them very much. (I love it when they argue like an old couple! And you were very kind to meet Gettysburg Nick for dinner when he was in Kansas City.)
They had an episode where they listed the antagonist from each film and ranked them from worst to first. I was wondering how you would rank them, and also wonder what series you, if you suddenly found yourself the head of a studio with the rights to Star Trek, would make a feature film from? TOS and TNG have been done, but would you choose one of them, or Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise or even a Pixar-like feature of the Animated Series?
Finally, your predictions for who will win the American and National Leagues this year?
All the best, sir, and thank you.
Well, I thought this was going to be a serious question, right up until you got to that last part. I kid! I kid!
Anyway, Star Trek villains. Ah, yes; the classic debate. Who’s the best? Who’s the worst? Who’s so lame you think he’s a fugitive from an Austin Powers movie? Since we’re only talking about the bad guys from the Star Trek movies, that simplifies things a bit, though I expect some of the placements will be rather predictable. With that in mind, and ordering from worst to first, here are my rankings of Star Trek’s movie villains:
# 11 – Ahdar Ru’afo (Star Trek: Insurrection) – What a tool. That the boundless talents of an actor of F. Murray Abraham’s caliber are so wasted in this role is a crime of biblical proportions. He’s not alone, though, as the rest of his Son’a posse are little more than a pack of sniveling, whiny bitches. “Boo-hoo…we were banished from the planet. Never mind that we were acting like total asshats and rebelling and stuff. I WANT MY FACE BACK!” Whatever.
# 10 – Sybok (Star Trek V) – The idea of a long-lost relative of Spock’s showing up out of the blue doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that it’s this refugee from a Burning Man festival. Lawrence Luckinbill does what he can with what ends up being a pretty weak role, and a guy that Kirk would’ve double-fist neck-chopped in the first ten minutes of any episode from the original show. Rumors were that Shatner wanted Sean Connery for this role. If Connery had taken the gig, we’d at least be able to forgive him for Highlander II.
# 9 – Shinzon (Star Trek: Nemesis) – Hey, look! It’s a renegade bald bad ass running around in a giant ship ready to kick ass and take names because somebody whizzed in his corn flakes a long time ago. Never mind that the whole reason he’s pissed off is not at all the fault of the people he’s decided to ass-hammer into a cloud of disassociated atoms. Dude, anger management means being pissed off at the right person, okay?
# 8 – Nero (Star Trek 2009) – Hey, look! It’s another renegade bald bad ass running around in a completely different giant ship ready to kick ass and take names because somebody took a dump in his Fruit Loops a long time ago. Never mind that the whole reason he’s pissed off is not at all the fault of the people he’s decided to ass-hammer into their own separate cloud of disassociated atoms. Dude, you and Shinzon should get together and compare scrapbooks.
# 7 – Kruge (Star Trek III) – I love Christopher Lloyd, but Kruge is the worst Klingon since the one they didn’t even bother to give a name in the old “Friday’s Child” episode from the original show. All I hear every time he talks is Lloyd’s Reverend Jim character from Taxi.
# 6 – V’Ger (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) – I’ll make this simple: If I want to watch people standing around for two hours talking about a giant cloud of gas, I’ll turn on Keith Olbermann going after Rush Limbaugh. Actually, you have to wonder if this is NASA’s contingency plan as revenge for all the budget cuts during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
# 5 – Soran (Star Trek: Generations) – Though he’s really not that great a bad guy, Soran gets points for opting to ass-hammer entire planets into fine power just to help him get back to his wife. That lady must be one crazy wildcat in the sack. The wonderful Malcolm MacDowell, as many before him have done, works what magic he can with the limited material offered to him for this part. If they’d really wanted to make things interesting, they would’ve just let him reprise his role as a time-displaced Alex DeLarge. That would’ve been Veddy Good, all right!
# 4 – The Probe (Star Trek IV) – I give this one some extra points because even though the thing does show up and starts giving Earth some serious grief, it’s really not a “villain.” In its eyes, we’re the bad guys, and piss on us for messing with its friends. Once Kirk shows up with a couple of whales who in turn go to bat for us, the probe stops with the shit-storms and leaves us alone. No harm, no foul, and all that. Ah, well.
# 3 – Chang (Star Trek VI) – How about this dick? What an effete, prissy snob this guy is, quoting Shakespeare and trying to look all butch with an eye patch nailed into his skull. Big whoop. Actually, Chang’s pretty bad-ass, particularly as portrayed by the incomparable Christopher Plummer. Besides, his outfit was an inspiration for Janet Jackson’s wardrobe choices during that infamous Super Bowl halftime show. While I don’t think Chang was wearing anything to cover his nipples, you can bet Valeris was, that sexy little minx.
# 2 – The Borg (Star Trek: First Contact) – Not so much the Borg Queen, who I found pretty irritating most of the time, but the Borg themselves. Not since “The Best of Both Worlds” were the Borg this scary. On the other hand, this was the beginning of their neutering as a formidable Star Trek villain. It’s a shame that some of the mystery and terror for us to imagine. After all, how many times can you beat the unbeatable enemy? As it turns out, a whole bunch of times after this one.
#1 – Khan (Star Trek II) – Well, duh. Ricardo Montalban so owns this role. As for the first-place ranking? Hell, Khan makes it to this spot just for his pecs alone. The rest—you know, the manic dialogue as he faces off against Kirk, the uber-arrogant swagger, and that crazy hair which makes him look like he was hoping to be the replacement lead singer for Whitesnake—is just gravy.
So, there you go, for whatever the hell my opinion’s worth.
As for your other questions, if I had the chance to do any kind of Star Trek project for CBS or Paramount, I’d seriously consider developing something similar to, if not exactly like, the Vanguard novels from Pocket Books. Such a project would give me the ability to play in the realm of the 23rd century, but not just be a redo of Kirk and the gang from the Enterprise. Some type of animated Trek project, ala Star Wars: The Clone Wars, also has a definite appeal.
Oh, and I would so totally make Vulcan Love Slave for HBO.
Now, this last bit, about picking the American and National pennant winners this year? You see, here’s the problem: Those things will be decided in late September or so, by which time my attention will be focused on football. The only baseball team I really care about are the Durham Bulls, and only if Crash Davis is starting at catcher.
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He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.