Star Trek never made it a secret what the different crews were trying to do. They are all about seeking out new life forms and new civilizations. Accordingly, everyone from Kirk to Picard and beyond has encountered a variety of wildly different alien races.
Sometimes, these aliens end up being harmful and malevolent, like the crafty Romulans. Other times, they are violent enemies that later become allies, like the belligerent Klingons. This kind of diversity is what makes Star Trek feel like such a real and vibrant universe.
However, some alien beings go beyond races like the Klingons and Romulans. The different crews encountered alien beings who had powers and abilities beyond those of other creatures. These beings sometimes bordered on the godlike, and their whims and desires have helped reshape the galaxy in their own image.
These alien beings are sometimes benevolent and helpful, giving our protagonists a greater understanding of the way that the universe around them works. At other times, these beings are malicious and violent, threatening to put an end to all life as we know it within the Star Trek universe.
You don't need a holodeck to research these alien beings. Just keep scrolling for our guide to 15 Most Powerful Beings In Star Trek, Ranked!
15 The Traveler
At the top of our list we have The Traveler. His default form was of a balding guy with pincer-looking hands, but he has the ability to appear as anyone else. We only get a glimpse of The Traveler in a few episodes. However, this is more than enough to show us how powerful he is.
First, we find out that The Traveler has advanced knowledge of warp speed and warp propulsion in general and helped the Enterprise travel to the ends of the universe. Later, he helped Wesley Crusher rescue his mom from a shrinking warp bubble reality. Finally, we see that he has the ability (now shared by Wesley Crusher) to freeze time and exist outside of time.
Based on these glimpses, The Traveler is on the bottom of our list, but we've likely only seen a small amount of what he can truly do.
Sometimes, Star Trek likes to play with the intersection of fiction and history. That's what happened when Kirk and crew encountered Apollo on a distant planet. That's right: the Greek god Apollo. According to Star Trek, these “gods” were all aliens who simply visited Earth long ago, and Apollo is the last surviving member of their race.
He demonstrates many abilities, like grabbing ships out of space with a giant force field, and he could destroy these ships with but a thought. He could stop the crew from using their advanced technology whenever he wanted, and Apollo could hurl lightning bolts at those who angered him. He could even transport people from place to place with a wave of his hand!
If the Enterprise crew had not been able to find and destroy the temple that was the source of his power, Apollo would be much higher on this list.
13 The Edo God
Sometimes, Star Trek likes to return to the idea of what a “god” really is in a universe of super-powerful aliens. That happens early in The Next Generation when the crew encounters a being who calls himself the god of the planet Edo. We only get a small taste of his powers, but he seems to have the strength to back up his claim!
This being seemed to have the ability to effortlessly spy on what people said both on the Enterprise and the planet below. It could also avoid sensors whenever it wanted and could block communication. It could send probes through ships, mind meld with androids, and block transporter beams. Combined with the ability to destroy the Enterprise and other ships, this was a “god” with whom Picard did not want to mess!
12 Guardian of Forever
The Guardian of Forever has a pretty direct name, and it is a pretty direct alien being. This creature is a living doorway to all of space and time. We only see it once, when a crazed McCoy transports into Earth's past and Kirk and Spock are forced to follow in order to save the future that McCoy destroys.
If the Guardian could itself go back and forth in time, it would be a lot higher on this list. Still, the power it has is incredibly: a single person stepping through this Guardian at the right time can completely alter the lives of trillions of future beings. Throw in the fact that the Guardian seemingly has knowledge of all of the past and future, and this is a powerful being to reckon with.
Nagilum is a one-off Star Trek villain that was nonetheless very memorable. He does not have a definitive form and seems to control how he appears to anyone he interacts with. He comes from outside the universe, and when he visited the Enterprise, he brought only misery and pain.
First, he's insanely intelligent, with a mind so vast that Deanna Troi (whose whole gig is reading feelings and understanding minds) could not detect it. This creature wanted to understand humanity by watching them undergo various conditions, and he didn't hesitate to kill a crew member so he could understand death.
Picard managed to end his sadistic experiments by threatening to destroy his own ship. Nonetheless, Nagilum's ability to effortlessly wreck the lives of the best and brightest in Starfleet makes him one of their deadlier foes.
10 The Crystalline Entity
The Crystalline Entity is one of the creatures on this list that is best understood by the crew. This is because it once killed everyone on the colony where Data was found by Starfleet. As near as anyone can tell, this thing only has one goal: to feed on life wherever it can find it!
To this end, it has a pretty limited power set, but that power makes an impact: its ability to drain energy has allowed it to effortlessly destroy starships and consume the population of entire planets. Some fans underestimate its power because Dr. Kila Marr is able to destroy it with graviton pulses. However, she had been studying the Crystalline Entity for forty-six years before this, and literally no one else in the galaxy had been able to so much as hurt it before she ended its reign of terror.
When it comes to modern alien “Big Bads” in Star Trek, V'Ger is basically the granddaddy of them all. This is the alien being that makes a beeline for Earth in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and the threat is big enough that Kirk has to hop back in the captain's chair and get the whole gang together. The movie soon makes it clear why this thing is such a threat!
First, it seems impervious to harm, and it's able to make torpedos that Klingons fire simply disappear. It can also shoot out bolts of plasma energy that can destroy powerful starships with a single blast. V'Ger could scan crew on starships and then create perfect recreations of them, and at a whim, it could easily destroy an entire planet. If Kirk and Spock hadn't reasoned with it, this thing could have destroyed the galaxy!
Those watching Star Trek: Discovery may wonder why Starfleet and the Klingons didn't annihilate each other long ago. The answer is the next group of beings on our list: the Organians. These creatures wield incredible power and were able to impose a peace treaty between the Klingons and Starfleet that turned their open conflict into more of a cold war.
These guys can do a little bit of everything. Individual Organians can sense the galaxy around them, cloud the minds of others, and increase the heat of pretty much anything. More impressively, they are capable of neutralizing and potentially destroying entire fleets of starships. They can possess bodies, resurrect the dead, and likely have many more abilities. Fortunately, they've dedicated their lives to peace and understanding instead of war.
Since the very beginning, the plot of Deep Space Nine has revolved around the mysterious wormhole aliens known as The Prophets (more on them in a minute). As the show went on, though, we got more details about their natural enemies, the Pah-Wraiths (who were actually exiled Prophets). These things were driven by evil and malice and had the power to back it up.
Like the Prophets, these are non-corporeal beings. They are basically fire spirits, and they can give corporeal beings dream-like visions and actually take over people's bodies. These possessed beings actually have a variety of powers only hinted at, and a possessed Dukat uses these powers to kill Jadzia Dax.
These guys are bad news, and they are only held back by their imprisonment on Bajor. If Dukat had succeeded in freeing them, they may well have destroyed the galaxy.
6 The Prophets
More than a few episodes of Deep Space Nine let us see what the wormhole aliens known as The Prophets can do. Most of the time, they consider themselves more like guides, and they are content to send orbs of prophecy to the Bajorans and prophetic visions to Sisko. But they are capable of so much more.
First of all, the orbs they produce are capable of altering reality in a major way. We can see this most clearly when a Klingon uses an Orb of Time to try to completely change the past. Second, Sisko successfully negotiates with the Prophets and causes them to wipe out an entire Dominion fleet that is traveling the wormhole, so they have great cosmic power. Throw in their ability to perceive time in a non-linear fashion, and they have the secrets of the universe to make them that much more powerful.
5 The Founders
From the very beginning of Deep Space Nine, Odo was haunted by the need to find out where he came from. The show eventually answered this by introducing The Founders, which were an entire race of shape-shifting aliens. And they nearly brought the galaxy to its knees.
These Founders are powerful enough on their own— being able to shift into anything or anyone makes them great at things like espionage and combat, and they are relatively difficult to kill. And the Founders ended up creating an entire army of Jem'hadar soldiers and Vorta to help them take over large chunks of the galaxy.
In terms of prolonged conflict, the Federation had never encountered a more major threat than these Founders and their Dominion. However, there are other beings that exceed them in terms of raw power.
4 Species 8472
We are introduced to the sheer power of Species 8472 in the most dramatic way: by seeing them take out multiple Borg ships! Since we previously saw that it took the destruction of thirty-nine Starfleet ships to stop a single Borg cube, seeing this new species effortlessly take out these cubes lets you know they mean business.
Species 8472 live in a special section of the galaxy known as “fluidic space.” They were chilling peacefully there until the Borg tried to assimilate them, causing this new species to wage war on the Borg and kill billions of drones. The reason that these aliens aren't higher on the list is that Captain Janeway and the Borg developed a special warhead that kills them, and this drove them (mostly) back to fluidic space. Later, Janeway successfully convinced them that the Federation is not a threat to them or their way of life.
When it comes to alien species, the Borg represent the single greatest enemy to the Federation and pretty much all biological life. They operate by assimilating other species and cultures, meaning they are constantly improving their weapons and technology. This also lets them quickly adapt to things like Starfleet phasers, making them a virtually unstoppable threat.
In addition to their raw power, what makes the Borg so powerful and dangerous is their plans to conquer the galaxy. They won't rest until everything they've encountered is either destroyed or assimilated.
There's also the grim reality that every single victory against the Borg is destined to be short-lived: if they lose drones, they assimilate more. If they lose cubes, they make more. And the Borg Queen seems unable to stay dead. This makes it easy to believe the Borg when they tell Picard and crew “resistance is futile!”
2 Kevin Uxbridge
Kevin Uxbridge is a one-off alien that appears in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. At first, he appears to be nothing more than an elderly man living with his wife on an otherwise desolate planet. Soon, though, the crew discovers that there is much more to him.
It turns out Kevin is not a human but an alien being known as a Douwd. He's thousands of years old and has an array of fantastic powers. He's able to disrupt the mind of Counselor Troi and to manifest alien ships to attack the Enterprise to drive it off.
Eventually, Kevin admits that he is filled with guilt: when aliens known as the Husnock attacked this planet and killed Kevin's human wife, he retaliated by wiping out all Husnok throughout the entire galaxy. The ability to wipe out an entire race with a thought makes him insanely powerful!
Could there be anyone at the top of this list other than Q? He is the oldest and greatest of Captain Picard's enemies, although he sometimes has a surprising turn as an ally of humanity. In terms of power, though, it's almost impossible to measure everything Q can do.
As he is quick to remind the Enterprise crew, he is all-knowing and all-powerful. Whatever he thinks, he is able to make happen. This includes hurtling the Enterprise thousands of light years with a snap of his fingers and manifesting everything from mariachi bands to wacky time-travel adventures.
There's no way around it: Q is the closest that Star Trek has come to portraying a true god who is capable of doing whatever he wants whenever he wants to. It's fortunate that he ended up being a relatively benevolent god, though he constantly irked Picard with his mischievous nature.
Got a powerful Star Trek being we missed? Head on over to the comments!