The Borg are one of the most popular enemies on Star Trek and one of my favorites. They have appeared in some of the most popular Star Trek episodes on The Next Generation (TNG) and Voyager, and movie Star Trek First Contact. With “Best of Both Worlds” two parter (TNG’s and Star Trek’s first season ending cliffhanger.) and “Dark Frontier” (The first time the Queen appears in series format) being the most popular.
The Borg were a techno-organic species that assimilated other races and technology in a pursuit of perfection. The functioned as a collective without emotion and individuality. They were cold and ruthless and hard to defeat as they easily adapted to weapons.
The earliest known Borg encounters near the Alpha and Beta Quadrants were by the El-Aurians (Although the crew in Enterprise encounter a few Borg drones (from the events of Star Trek First Contact) they defeated them without knowing what they were (though I really think that was the beginning of the Kelvin Timeline as detailed in an article I did early this year)). While there is a common fan theory that V’Ger encountered the Borg, it’s not one I subscribe too. For starters Borg don’t alter technology and send it on their way, they assimilate it.
The next encounter was by the Hansens who were following rumors about the Borg (presumably from an El-Aurian). They were exobiologists who took their four year old daughter Annika on their search for the Borg. In their ship the Raven, the Hansens followed a Borg cube through a transwarp corridor to the Delta Quadrant. The shields keeping them from detection were damaged in an ion storm allowing them to be detected and eventually assimilated. Annika spent the next 18 years as a Borg until she was liberated by Voyager.
Q (ever a thorn in Picard then later Janeway’s side) would bring the next encounter. Trying to persuade Picard to make him one of his crew, he transports (more like tosses) the ship across the galaxy to Starfleet’s first encounter with the Borg (though there was some evidence they had destroyed colonies in the Romulan Neutral Zone.)
A year later the Borg would launch an attack on Earth. The Borg attacked the Enterprise 1701-D and kidnapped Captain Picard to assimilate him. Using Picard’s knowledge they destroyed 39 ships at the infamous Wolf 359 battle. One of the ship’s destroyed was the Saratoga. Benjamin Sisko and his son Jake escaped but his wife Jennifer did not. For years Sisko blamed Picard for his role in Wolf 359 as Locutus.
Two years later the Enterprise D would rescue a lone surviving drone. As he was treated and studied (for a possible weapon to attack the Borg.) he started to develop individuality as a result of being cut off from the collective. Instead of using him a weapon, the crew hoped his individuality would spread through the collective. Hugh (as the Borg became known) agreed to be reassimilated in order to protect the crew and his new friends (especially Geordi Laforge).
The Enterprise would later encounter Borg that acted with emotion. The Borg affected by Hugh’s individuality became lost and easy prey for Data’s brother Lore. Hugh led a faction to rebel against Lore who was torturing and experimenting on drones.
The last time Picard and his crew encounter the Borg is when they attack Earth again. The Enterprise and the fleet manage to destroy the Borg cube with newer advanced ships, but not before a sphere open’s a time vortex to alter the Federation’s past. The Borg try to prevent Earth’s first contact with the Vulcans. We also meet the Borg Queen for the first time. Picard and his crew manage to thwart the Borg’s efforts and return to the future.
Voyager is the next ship to encounter the Borg. Before finding a colony of former drones who have been separated due to an ion storm damaging their ship, Voyager finds a dead drone, which was the first signs of them nearing Borg space.
Voyager’s first major encounter comes when trying to cross Borg space. They learn of Species 8472 (known as the Undine in Star Trek Online) a race that is far more deadly. Janeway makes a deal to help fight Species 8472 in exchange for passage through Borg space. After defeating them with modified nanoprobes and passing Borg space, the Voyager is left with a drone. This drone would become a member of the crew as Seven of Nine.
The Borg Queen would reappear (and first appearance on Voyager) when Janeway decides on a heist to steal a transwarp coil from a Borg ship. The Queen convinces Seven if she doesn’t accept to be reassimilated she will take the crew. Using the transwarp core, the crew go to the heart of Borg space to save Seven.
The following year Voyager encounters a cube were only five adolescent Borg and one infant are left. The rest of drones have been killed by a virus tailor made to attack techno-organic lifeforms. We later find out the parents of Icheb (one of the surviving drones) engineered him as a weapon against the Borg. Four of the kids and the baby join Voyager (although the baby is completely forgotten after this episode). Icheb would remain on Voyager after the twins and the young girl find a home.
Seven later learns that some Borg can enter a dream like world, known as Unimatrix Zero, as individuals while in their regeneration cycles. The Voyager crew help these Borg carry that individuality in the waking world and rebel against the rest of the collective.
The last major appearance of the Borg on screen (not including the few Borg drones who survived First Contact and appeared on Enterprise.) comes during the series finale of Voyager. Janeway’s future self comes back in time with new technology to get the crew home sooner. Voyager and future Janeway deal a severe blow to the Borg by destroying the Unicomplex (the hear of Borg activity) and destroying a major transwarp hub.
While we may never see the Borg again on screen (unless they decide to introduce them to the Kelvin Timeline) we can fight them or fight along side them (with Seven or Borg bridge officers) in Star Trek Online.