Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future where different species worked together for the goal of peaceful space exploration was the backbone of the Star Trek franchise. The perils on Earth -famine, disease, war, economic greed- had all been eradicated, leaving humankind capable of turning its attention to more noble causes. But there were those that opposed these ideals, and no villain ever posed as great a threat to the United Federation of Planets as the Borg.
A mysterious collective of cybernetically enhanced beings first introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, they assimilated species optimal for their goal of genetic perfection. As they continued to advance across star systems, fans began to conceive of theories around what they had in store for the Star Trek franchise. As theories continue to speculate over the current relationship between Section 31's "Control" and the Borg in Star Trek: Discovery, here are 10 theories about the Borg that turned out to be true.
10 THERE WERE SEVERAL BORG QUEENS
The first known existence of the Borg Queen was in Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Captain Picard was assimilated by the Borg Collective. More was learned about her in the Voyager episodes "The Raven" and "Dark Frontier". She claimed to be the "beginning and the end", an apex member of the Borg Collective designed to interface with other species, like the Queen of a bee hive, and an embodiment of their collective conscience.
While multiple queens were purported to exist, fans wondered if they would see them. Sure enough, between TNG and Voyager at least two separate queens were confirmed, and many more mentioned by Seven of Nine, because when one dies another takes its place.
9 THE OMEGA MOLECULE EXPLAINS THE BORG'S DECISIONS
Some Star Trek fans accept that the there is no rhyme or reason for why the Borg Collective does what it does. Whether it's out of simple galactic domination or the pursuit of ultimate perfection, they assimilate species they think will best help them meet their goals and move on.
One explanation for the reason that they seem to appear and reappear throughout the Star Trek timeline is because of their pursuit of the Omega Molecule that Seven of Nine mentioned in Voyager. The Federation was able to synthesize it at least in part with Boronite Ore, and since it offers a nearly unlimited energy supply, the Borg desire it as well. Whether it fully explains their actions is up for debate, but it can certainly be added to the list.
8 THE V'GER AND BORG CONNECTION
Spock discovered in Star Trek: The Motion Picture that V'ger was short for Voyager 6, the unmanned probe launched by NASA. When it landed on a machine planet, the inhabitants upgraded its tech and sent it back on its way. Ever since the Borg appeared in TNG, it was postulated by fans that they were the beings who accomplished this.
According to the Star Trek: Nero comic series featuring the Romulan Nero from the Kelvin timeline, V'ger was drawn to his ship, specifically because it possessed Borg technology that had been reverse-engineered, which permitted it to speak to the crew.
7 THE BORG HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS
While we first encounter the Borg in The Next Generation, when Q flings the Enterprise-D into the Delta Quadrant to prove that humanity isn't ready for what lurks in the deepest, darkest corners of space, fans postulated that in order to have so many drones, the Borg had to have been at the assimilation game for hundreds of years.
In Voyager's episode "Dragon's Tooth", it's confirmed they're at least 900 years old. And Captain Archer encountered the Borg in Star Trek: Enterprise, when they assimilated a research outpost and he gave pursuit, so their operations proved to be long-standing and effective.
6 HUGH'S AUTONOMY WOULD HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE COLLECTIVE
When the crew of the Enterprise-D encountered a young injured male drone while on an away mission in the episode "I, Borg", it prevented them with a tremendous opportunity. They could conceivably infect it with a virus and return it to its vessel, thereby allowing the virus to infect the entire Borg Collective once it rejoined the uni-matrix.
Picard effectively chose not to go this route, but instead imbue the drone (eventually named "Hugh") with that quality the captain values most; personal agency. With his newfound individuality, Hugh returned to the Collective and, as fans suspected, inspired several drones to escape and form their own miniature Collective elsewhere in the galaxy (albeit to varying degrees of success).
5 THE BORG ARE VICTIMS, NOT VILLAINS
By now, most Star Trek fans have seen the countless teasers and trailers for CBS's newest Star Trek series coming in early 2020, Picard. It will follow Jean-Luc Picard 20 years after he left his captaincy of the Enterprise, seemingly putting his life with Starfleet behind him until the appearance of a mysterious woman and the circumstances surrounding their meeting draw him back in.
We see in the trailer that Borg cubes have become Romulan patrolled prisons, that Romulans have experimented on Borgs, and that they are seen as second class citizens. This seems to confirm the theory that in essence, all deactivated Borg drones are just assimilated victims, refugees that need guidance on how to reintegrate into the societies and cultures they were taken from.
4 A BORG DRONE COULD BE REHABILITATED
After the encounter with the semi-autonomous drone Hugh in The Next Generation, Voyager took the concept a step further and introduced the character of Seven of Nine, a drone that ended up having the large majority of her Borg cybernetic implants removed and becoming an integral part of the Voyager crew. Her insider information about how the Borg functioned was integral in destroying most of their Collective.
Fans had theorized what happened to Hugh after the "I, Borg" episode, and he resurfaced in another episode of TNG involving Data's evil brother Lore harnessing Borgs for his own nefarious end, but Seven of Nine finally proved what would happen to a Borg if they were completely rehabilitated.
3 THE LOCUTUS PLOT WAS TO WRITE PATRICK STEWART OUT OF TNG
The plot included in the Season 3 cliffhanger "The Best of Both Worlds" Part I put Star Trek fans on the edge of their seat for a couple of reasons; one, Captain Picard (!) had just been assimilated by the Borg, and two, they didn't know if that meant Patrick Stewart was going to return in Season 4.
Seasons 1 and 2 of TNG had been fraught with writing issues, the growing pains of any series in its first years, but Patrick Stewart was also known to get disgruntled with the cavalier treatment of the material. The head of Paramount Television even informed Stewart he was being written out of the series. Luckily, contractual issues were smoothed over, and Picard triumphantly returned.
2 THE INDIVIDUALITY OF HUMANS IS DESIRABLE
In the Borg's quest for perfection, they assimilated countless life forms throughout the galaxy, including species 125, or humans. Fans wondered why humans were so desirable to the Borg considering the species propensity for free thought and individuality.
In the case of the Borg, the humans' commitment to individuality should have weakened them, but the Queen had a desire to re-assimilate her favorite drone, Seven of Nine in Voyager, precisely because she had learned to be both an individual and a part of the Voyager crew.
1 THE BORG FARM THE FEDERATION FOR TECHNOLOGY
The Borg might have continued their relentless pursuit of perfection by assimilation throughout the galaxy had Q not done Picard an ironic solid and showed him and the crew of the Enterprise exactly what lurked in the furthest reaches of the Delta Quadrant. But why is it that every time the Borg encountered the Enterprise they seemed to allow their defeat?
The theory goes that the Borg allowed themselves to be defeated so that they could farm the Federation technology. Every time they faced the Enterprise again their technological advancement was apparent. It also explained why they only sent one ship in Star Trek: First Contact.