Star Trek series through the years have had their fair share of scary villains.
Many Star Trek fans will adamantly say that Khan Noonien Singh was the number one villian in the franchise, and there’s no denying Ricardo Montalban’s icy cold stare and chilling charm were a part of a formidable villain. He was certainly the most challenging opponent Captain Kirk came across in his years in Starfleet. But…was Khan the scariest?
I don’t think he was. Dangerous, yes. But the scariest, no. Perhaps because when I think of scary villains, I think of those that would make you run screaming from a room or ones you definitely don’t want to run into alone…like the Borg. But they’ve already made their comeback on Star Trek: Picard. There is another race of aliens that challenged Captain Janeway and her crew on Star Trek: Voyager. And they weren’t easy to defeat, and that’s why they would be the perfect foil for the captain on any current series.
These villains were some of the best on Star Trek.
In the fourth season of Star Trek: Voyager, the Hirogen were introduced. Voyager had never encountered this species before. And the crew soon learned why they didn’t want to meet them again. The Hirogen were immensely tall aliens with reptilian skin, an immune system that made them invulnerable to any sedation the Federation had in its arsenals, and they were hunters. Not just any hunters. Their sole focus was to hunt their prey. And they carried an enzyme which allowed them to break down muscle tissues and bones, allowing them to eat their prey.
The Hirogen’s technology was all about hunting, and their ships were packed with powerful energy weapons that prevented them from being easy prey. Since Voyager, the Hirogen have returned in Star Trek Online and video games, but with today’s ability to recreate these monsters, they would be truly terrifying villains.
They can be outsmarted, but the Hirogen were violent, unyielding, and lived for the thrill of the kill. It’s difficult reasoning with aliens who have no conscience. That’s yet another reason why they need to stray from the Delta Quadrant. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has re-introduced the Gorn, which are certainly similar to the Hirogen, but the Hirogen can actually communicate with the crew which, to me, is scarier than a villain who can’t.
Of course, this is all just my opinion, but the Hirogen were underutilized even though they were in some pretty amazing episodes. I would love to see another captain go head-to-head with an alien race that isn’t hunting and killing because they have to but because they want to.