Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: The 5 Coolest Aliens (& the 5 Lamest)

Over the course of its 54 years, Star Trek has introduced fans to dozens of alien races. Some of these races are intricately designed beings built out of hours of make-up effects or CGI. Others are people in wigs with some bumps on their nose. Each series and movie has a mix of wonderful looking aliens that you can't help but want to know more about, and lame losers who you hope to never see again.

With all of these amazing and awful aliens from hundreds of episodes of one of the longest-running franchises ever, how do you know which of these creatures are worth your time, and which ones you should never bother thinking about? This list should help! Here are the 5 coolest, and the 5 lamest, aliens from Star Trek!

10 Cool: Borg

Zombies weren't super popular in 1989. Walking Dead didn't exist yet, and the zombie craze hadn't bitten into popular culture just yet. That didn't stop Star Trek: The Next Generation from introducing their sci-fi take on the concept with the Borg. These cybernetic beings who live in a hivemind called the Collective are one of the greatest threats in all of Star Trek.

9 Lame: The Catullans

Not much is known about the Catullans. They seem to love tie-dye, jam sessions, and stealing starships. When a group of them are saved by the crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series Season 3, Episode 20, "The Way to Eden," they take over the ship and divert it to the planet Eden, where these space hippies are positive they will find true peace.

8 Cool: Vulcans

Speaking of Spock, the Vulcans aren't just one of the coolest aliens in Star Trek, they're one of the coolest in all of science fiction. Logical, pointy-eared, and filled with surprises, the Vulcans are one of the most fleshed-out aliens in Star Trek. While they have no religion to speak of, the Vulcans are spiritual beings and believe that every living thing has a katra, a soul or consciousness of a person that can be transferred psionically prior to death. We see this belief in action when Spock put his mind into the body of Doctor Leonard McCoy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Vulcans are also stronger than humans and have their own styles of martial arts, like tal-shaya and Suus Mahna. Their most famous fighting move is the Vulcan nerve pinch. Of course, everyone knows the great Vulcan parting phrase, "live long and prosper."

7 Lame: Horta

While the introduction of the Horta is one of the most loved episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series, it is hard to look at the alien and not get a case of the giggles. The story of the Horta is great, the first one is discovered on a mining colony as it goes around and racks up a fifty miner kill count.

When the crew of the Enterprise shows up to help the miners, Spock finds the Horta and uses the ever great Vulcan ability, the Vulcan mind-meld, to learn what the creature wants. As it turns out, the miners had, without realizing it, mined into the Horta's home and endangered its life and the life of its unborn children. All this is great, but the Horta is really goofy looking.

6 Cool: Klingons

Of all the alien races in the Star Trek mythology, none have gone through as many retcons as the Klingons have. When they first showed up in Star Trek: The Original Series as the rivals of the United Federation of Planets, they were your basic standing for evil Russians and wore way too much self-tanner. They became a far more alien-looking warrior race with the movies and Star Trek: The Next Generation, and now in Discovery, their look has been changed again. So far, none of the Star Trek shows or books have bothered to explain the change.

Once the foes of the Federation, the Klingons became members later on, with Worf being the first Klingon to join Starfleet. Like the Vulcans, the Klingons are very well fleshed out for a fictional race of aliens. If you want, you can even learn to speak Klingon or buy entire books written in the language.

5 Lame: Kazon

With one look at the Kazon and their hair, you can tell that they're big jerks. Introduced as one of the big bad alien races for Star Trek: Voyager, the show spent a lot of time building them up during the first two seasons of the show before leaving them behind at the start of the third season. The Kazon are a nomadic warrior species made up of eighteen separate clans who love to fight it out. The Kazon are also real misogynistic, which was sure to make them really hate Voyager's Captain Janeway.

4 Cool: Trill

With the Trill, you get a two-for-one alien deal! A humanoid species from the planet Trill, these aliens are one of the more simplistic designs, with spots that run down the sides of their bodies. What makes the Trill so special is the special thing that lives inside them, and we aren't talking about love or hope.

Trills that are able to pass a series of tests are given the honor of being used as a host for a symbiont being that seems to live forever. While the Trill ages and dies, the symbiont continues to live and is transferred from one Trill to another. When a Trill is joined with their symbiont, they gain the memories and knowledge of every Trill the symbiont has been joined with before. That makes every Trill a piece of living history.

3 Lame: The Pakled

No one knows how it is that the Pakled figured out space travel. This alien race is made up of what one might kindly call "idiots." They show no knowledge of mechanics, can barely put together sentences and are quick to anger. To be fair, the Pakled were smart enough to trick the crew of the Enterprise into sending them chief engineer Geordi La Forge to fix their ship.

After having an episode dedicated to the on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Pakled were relegated to background aliens for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

2 Cool: Lurians

How cool are the Lurians? The Lurians are so cool that they made it onto this list of the coolest while we've only ever really met one Lurian, and he never spoke. Morn was a regular at Quark's Bar on Deep Space Nine, and while we are constantly told that he is a real talker, we the audience never once heard his voice.

Morn was clearly made as an homage to Norm from Cheers. So loved by the crew of DS9, he was one of the few people invited to Jadzia Dax's pre-wedding party, which looked like one heck of a rager. When Morn would leave Quark's bar to go to work as a freighter pilot, Quark would see a 5% decrease in patrons, so he created a hologram Morn to always be there. Morn appeared in over 90 episodes of Deep Space Nine, more than some members of the regular cast. Few other aliens have had that kind of impact on Star Trek.

1 Lame: The Iotian

Cosplay is cool, but imagine finding yourself on a planet where everyone is cosplaying as 1920s mobsters from Chicago, and you would get an idea of how it would feel to end up on Sigma Iotia II. The Iotians were in the early days of their own industrialization age when the Federation starship Horizon paid them a visit. This was before the Federation had come up with the Prime Directive, and the crew of the Horizon happily intermingled with the Iotians, even giving them books. One of those books, "Chicago Mobs of the Twenties," had a huge effect on the Iotians, changing the course of their evolution and serving as a perfect example of why the Prime Directive is needed.