Star Trek has been a massive cultural institution since the first episode aired back in the late-1960s. Since that time, the series expanded beyond the Original Series into an animated continuation, multiple spinoff series, prequels, comics, graphic novels, books, and more than a dozen movies. Ever since the series first began, people were quick to create costumes honoring their favorite characters. In the beginning, the costumes weren't incredibly elaborate due to the limited budget on the series, but as things progressed with Star Trek: The Next Generation and additional feature films, the aliens got more impressive and difficult to emulate. While there are thousands of cosplayers and fans who have thrown on a Starfleet uniform or two over the years, it takes a lot of work and time to manage a cosplay of some of the more detailed and impressive aliens.
Cosplayers who put in the time, money, and creativity to emulate their favorite characters deserve recognition for their efforts. To honor their work, we thought it would be fun to dig around the Internet and find some of our favorite cosplayers' creations devoted to all things Star Trek. You won't find a simple recreation of Captain Kirk on this list, but those costumes that pay homage to specific moments in Trek history or manage an approximation of an alien that requires a great deal of makeup and prosthetics will likely have made the cut. Here are our all-time favorite Star Trek cosplayers and their various creations in this list of 20 impossible Star Trek cosplays that fans somehow pulled off.
18 Jaylah: Angela Bermudez
If you scrolled down to see this amazing picture of Jaylah from Star Trek Beyond and thought it was just another shot from the movie, you're not alone. There are tons of cosplays of Jaylah since the film debuted, but few have achieved the realistic near-perfect representation pulled off by professional cosplayer Angela Bermúdez.
Bermúdez is a self-described multidisciplinary and performance artist who works in a variety of media. She is an accomplished painter and has attended and won more cosplay competitions than most of the people found on this list. This is a cosplayer who takes her craft seriously and always tried to make herself look exactly like the characters she is going for. She definitely made it work for Jaylah and has earned numerous awards for her efforts over the years.
17 Kirk Among Tribbles: Do-You-Have-A-Flag
Even people unfamiliar with the specific episodes of Star Trek from the 60s have probably heard of a little episode called "The Trouble with Tribbles." It featured alien fuzzies as they took over the Enterprise by breeding uncontrollably. In one scene, Kirk attempts to open a panel covering the ceiling to expose it when hundreds of the little guys tumble out and cover him. That scene was captured perfectly by Do-You-Have-A-Flag.
The costume features the classic Trek shirt Kirk worn throughout the episode, but the real party is from the waist down. The costume appears to have incorporated a sort of skirt made of tribbles, which enabled walking, but kept things in line with the theme while on the move. The was truly an ingenious way to capture a single scene from one episode of the Original Series.
16 Andorian: Chiaki & Nasrin
Andorians are one of the best-known species of aliens in Star Trek due to their blue skin, white hair, and antennae. People have been throwing together Andorian cosplays since the first series began, but they run the gamut of pretty OK to absolutely amazing. This example from the minds of Chiaki & Nasrin, aka Chirinstock, is the latter. Not only is it a great representation of the species, but it's also used as stock imagery all over the Internet.
Chirinstock is a cosplay duo from Australia who work as models of various cosplay. Their gallery features incredible shots of both women as various characters from throughout sci-fi and fantasy with plenty of different pictures of the Classic Trek Andorian. Much of their work is sold for use as stock images, which means you've probably seen it before and didn't even know it!
15 Borg: The Borg
Attend any sci-fi or comic book convention and you are bound to run into at least one or two Borg. It's not that these costumes are particularly easy to build, but rather a testament to how much people love the species first introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Borg may be one of the biggest threats to Starfleet and its billions of residents, but that doesn't mean they don't make for some cool aliens.
For our Borg entry, we decided to go with this cosplay from a cosplay group (or collective, if you will) that calls themselves... The Borg. The group specializes in creating realistic and movie-worthy Borg for a variety of reasons, including parties and cosplay competitions. They operate out of the United Kingdom and are available for hire to frighten and delight fans!
14 M-113 Salt Vampire: AnnieMee
Usually, when someone throws some cosplay love back at the original series, they throw on a Starfleet uniform and sport some cool tech, but every now and again a master takes aim at something special. The M-113 Salt Vampire, dubbed Saltine by its creator, originated in the episode "Man Trap" about the sole-surviving member of an alien species. If you didn't see it, you can probably guess what it was capable of: extracting the salt from other living organisms, which resulted in pain and even their demise if taken to the extreme.
This cosplay of the classic creature was put together by AnnieMee for MegaCon. She constructed the costume from a variety of mediums including paper-mâché, paper clay, Plastidip spray, sculpted expanding foam, and fur fabric. You can check out more of her amazing cosplay creations on her Facebook page.
13 General Martok: Captain K'Bragh
One of the most common costumes a cosplayer puts together if they love Star Trek is a Klingon. That's especially true since The Next Generation refined the look and lore of the species (They looked a bit different in classic Trek). Since that time, there have been many cosplayers to take on the task, but few have managed to mimic a specific Klingon like this cosplayer managed to by putting together General Martok from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Martok played an important role in the war against the Dominion in the latter half of the series, though he was missing one of his eyes. Putting that detail aside, Captain K'Bragh nailed the look and covered every aspect of the character to the point that he could easily pass for the character and command a Klingon Bird of Prey in combat.
12 Klingon Female: Ravenlordess
You can't have a great Klingon on a list like this and not throw some equal consideration to a female cosplayer. There have been some amazing female Klingon characters throughout the various series through the years, but this particular cosplay appears to be geared towards the general feminine look. The uniform is on point as is the makeup and latex work, which seamlessly integrates into the cosplayer's normal facial tone.
The entire costume was created by Ravenlordess, except for the disruptor and the false teeth, which leaves the vast majority in the hands of a rather skilled artist. Ravenlordess is a Finnish cosplayer who lives and works out of Germany. While she focuses most of her talents on computer and video game characters, she clearly has a love for Star Trek, as can be seen by this amazing costume.
11 Spock: WilliamSnape
Throughout all of Star Trek's many creatures and characters, the one person just about everyone in the world knows about is Leonard Nimoy's Spock. Through the course of the Original Series, movies, and Next Generation, the character progressed through the ranks in Starfleet to finally become an Ambassador. Most people who cosplay as Spock tend to throw on a blue Starfleet shirt, some pointy ears, and call it a day, but occasionally, a cosplayer will put an extra bit of effort into the role and make something completely special.
This costume was put together by WilliamSnape, based on the uniforms from Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country. You may actually recognize this look as it was seen in the Paramount documentary movie, TREKKIES 2, where he was best known as the "German Mr. Spock."
10 Cardassian Starfleet Officer: Necrow
Cardassians showed up in Next Generation during a time of conflict between them and the Federation, but they soon found a tenuous peace as Deep Space Nine showed up on our TV screens. It wasn't long before they became an enemy once more after allying themselves with the Dominion, but that doesn't mean people don't love the species. One of the reasons you don't see many of them at cons is due to the detail needed to pull off the elaborate look, which includes scales along wide necks, a spoon-shaped protrusion on the forehead, and many other additions.
Necr0w is a German cosplayer who had little difficulty in making cosplaying as a Cardassian look easy. Not only did he use an amazing amount of skill to make the look work, he created an entirely new character: a Cardassian Starfleet Officer.
9 Seven Of Nine: Chrisfkn
When Seven of Nine took the stage on Star Trek: Voyager, the character rose in popularity to immediately become one of the best on the series. Not only was she a human found in the Delta Quadrant, but she was also a Borg who had her humanity returned. It was Seven's demise that pushed Janeway to return through time to save her after already saving the rest of the crew, which shows how important she was to her Captain.
Putting together a realistic interpretation of the character requires two things: a skin-tight body suit and an ocular implant. At the moment, we aren't certain who the model is, but the photographer is a Canadian who goes by the name chrisfkn on DeviantArt. If you know the name of the model, please let us know in the comments so we can give credit.
8 Galia: Jera Cosplay
Orion's are nothing new to cosplayers and they are more often thought of as "Orion Slave Girls" due to the Original Series depictions. Fortunately, times have changed a bit, which is why we wanted to show some appreciation for one of Starfleet's newest members, Galia, as seen in the 2009 film. Granted, she didn't have much in the name of clothing on in the movie, that doesn't mean she doesn't look great in a uniform like this cosplayer, Jera Cosplay.
Jera Cosplay comes from the United States where she works to create some incredible interpretations of classic characters. Her Lara Croft is particularly impressive, but this take on Galia shows an appreciation for the character and her species. As we mentioned, most go the "Slave Girl" routine, which is why we had to show some love for Galia.
7 Dax: Ms. Undead
Of all the new species created for the Next Generation and beyond, few were as strange as the Trill. They were a species of humanoid who were paired with a giant sluglike parasite that was lovingly implanted within the abdomen to create an entirely new person who shared the memories and talents of both entities.
Cosplaying as a Trill requires talent in makeup techniques thanks to the spots that frame the face and head down the entire length of the body. But besides that, they look human. The reason we are shining a light on Ms. Undead's portrayal of Dax is due to her adherence to the specific episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations" in which the crew go back in time to the aforementioned Tribble episode. This shows a true love and understanding of the character that we couldn't leave off this list!
6 Fire Wolf: Clint Wilder
Star Trek: Discovery made some significant changes to the way Klingons looked in the Star Trek universe. They featured vastly different looks to their uniforms, ships, and especially, themselves. Cosplaying as one is no easy task as nothing used in a previous version of the Klingons could be used for these newer models, but that didn't stop one cosplayer from trying. This Klingon was Voq in the Mirror Universe, known as Fire Lord, the leader of the Resistance that opposed the Terran Empire.
It was put together by Clint Wilder for the Star Trek Las Vegas cosplay competition in 2018 and ended up winning the prize for Best In Show. Wilder is an amateur special effects makeup artist who creates his own props, sculptures, and whatever else he needs to make his costumes absolutely amazing.
5 Tholian: Anthony Polito
Throughout most of Star Trek's 50+ years, most alien species were always depicted as humanoid. That was mostly due to the fact that it was easier and cheaper to put together a new alien species with some funky stuff on their foreheads than recreate the form of a creature via CGI. As the series developed, new non-humanoid species were introduced to include the Tholians, an insect-like race of xenophobic creatures that played a big role in Enterprise.
Cosplaying as a Tholian isn't an easy task given the four legs, but cosplayer Anthony Polito managed to pull it off thanks to some trickery with the light and some dark clothing. Even with the legs sticking out, this costume is amazing and features a beautifully painted Tholian equipped with glowing eyes for STLV 2018, which won Best in Lieutenant Class.
4 Lady Khan: Haleigh Ciel
Ask any fan which movie was their all-time favorite and most will effortlessly blurt out Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The reason that movie is so beloved is easily due to Ricardo Montalban's incredible performance as Khan, whom he reprised from the episode "Space Seed." In the film, Khan used a scary parasitic earworm to control the minds of some members of Starfleet, which is exactly what this brilliant cosplayer is holding aloft in her right hand.
Haleigh Ciel put together this slightly more feminine version of the classic character for a con in New York. Not only was it a brilliant interpretation of the character, it won Best in Show. "They're no words... I can't express it. They're no words to describe this experience. It's my first official Star Trek convention and I grew up watching Trek."
3 Species 8472: Denise Gross
The Tholians aren't the only non-humanoid species to grace the screen on Star Trek, there are also the interdimensional creatures known as Species 8472. They were introduced on Star Trek: Voyager as both a foil to the Borg in the Delta Quadrant and a concern to Starfleet. Their weapons and technology made them a threat to the Borg, which also made them a threat to... well, everyone. Cosplaying as one isn't easy, but it can be done.
Denise Gross managed to pull it off with this costume featuring a member of Species 8472, with its three legs, two arms, and everything else. The costume was put together for Star Trek Las Vegas 2015 and it probably won't come as much of a surprise to learn it won Best in Show for the cosplay competition.
2 Borg Queen: Siren Song
As we've already mentioned, cosplaying as a Borg isn't easy, but it is incredibly popular. The cool thing about the Borg is that a cosplayer can throw some black paint on old computer components, glue them to something and make an impressive Borg costume. Most are male, but thanks to Star Trek: First Contact, there was a Borg Queen introduced into the lore, which quickly became the target for only the most advanced cosplayers.
This costume was put together by Siren Song and it is so close to the film's version of the character, it's hard to tell them apart. The complexity of the costume and the manner in which it was shot makes for some of the most impressive Star Trek cosplay on the planet.
1 Starfleet Officer: Samantha Cristoforetti
Throughout this list, we have detailed some of the most impressive Star Trek cosplays based on the detail given to them, the difficulty in making them, and the way they honored the original characters. Of the ones we selected, none could be as impressive or as difficult to pull off as Captain Kathryn Janeway by the real-life astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti. There's more to this image than appears thanks to what Cristoferetti was pointing at.
The cargo being delivered to the ISS was the first ever Zero-G Espresso machine. The astronaut was honoring Janeway specifically due to a subplot that began in the episode, "The Cloud" where she had to give up coffee to conserve power. To mirror the comment Janeway made in the episode, Cristoferetti posted this pic on Twitter with the comment, "There's coffee in that nebula..."