The Hirogen were some of the creepiest villains ever to appear in a Star Trek series. They didn’t battle to defend their territory nor were they trying to increase their knowledge like the Borg. And they didn’t kill to protect their loved ones. Their motives for killing were purely selfish. To them, it was a game, and the hunt was the best part of it. The crew from Star Trek: Voyager learned the hard way that the Hirogen were after trophies, proof that they’d conquered their prey. Their size made them more powerful to defeat, and that size was inspired by the NFL.
When watching a football game, Brannon Braga got the idea to develop a new race of aliens whose size would be intimidating and make them stand out from the run-of-the-mill villains. To make sure they stood out from the crowd, the casting department only looked for actors at least 6’6 tall or taller, but that proved to be difficult. Instead, most of the actors cast for the parts of the hunters were at least 6′ tall.
The two tallest men to appear as the Hirogen were former basketball player, Tiny Ron, who is 7’1 tall, who made an appearance on Voyager at the end of the episode “Message in a Bottle.” And Roger W. Morrissey, who is 7’4 tall, appeared on the episode “Hunters.” But height wasn’t all that mattered to Braga as the sheer size of football players is what he was going for with the Hirogen.
The costume department gave a big assist to the Hirogen by creating suits that were made of silicone. They were so heavy, it would take two or three people to lift the jacket or leg unit onto an actor. And massive villains were brought to life. All in all, the Hirogen were a scary bunch of aliens, and they all started with a football game.