Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: 10 Greatest Battles, Ranked

The showStar Trekis best known for its nuanced exploration of not only strange new worlds but huge science fiction ideas. That said, it's also been host to some of the biggest battles ever depicted on film and television. Some of the biggest intergalactic wars in all of genre fiction have unfolded in the various iterations of the franchise over the last fifty years.

Thousands of ships have clashed in huge battles for the fate of the galaxy. The outcome is not always certain, but the awe and wonder of each battle are always guaranteed.

10 Battle of Vulcan (Star Trek 2009)

One of the biggest battles in Star Trek history actually doesn't play out on screen. In the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek films from J.J. Abrams, the massive Romulan vessel Narada - one of the strongest ships in the entire Trek canon - attacks Vulcan.

A fleet of Starfleet ships goes to intercept it. When the Enterprise shows up - slowed up because Sulu left the parking brake on - the entire fleet has been reduced to debris. The Narada singlehandedly destroyed almost a dozen ships.

9 Battle for Deep Space Nine

The Klingons have been enemies, friends, and enemies again on Star Trek. One of those less friendly moments occurred in the fourth season premiere of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. At the time, shapeshifting Founders from the Dominion had infiltrated the Alpha Quadrant and the Klingons thought they had impersonated the Cardassian High Command.

Captain Sisko didn't think so and sheltered the Cardassians, setting off a huge battle between a Klingon fleet and the space station. The old Cardassian station held its own against the Klingons until Starfleet got there.

8 The Xindi War

Deep Space Nine pioneered long-form storytelling in Star Trek with the Dominion War, which lasted the balance of the series. But it never attempted what Star Trek: Enterprise did in its third season.

Though fans didn't warm to the show - and outright hated the finale - the third season featured a season-long arc with the Enterprise trying to defeat the Xindi. Every single episode - twenty-six at the time, which is double the normal length today - charted the crew's desperate attempt to stop the Xindi from unleashing a superweapon against Earth.

7 Battle of the Binary Stars

Star Trek took a long hiatus after the end of Enterprise in 2005. When the franchise returned to television on CBS All Access (soon to be Paramount+) in 2018 with Star Trek: Discovery, it opened with a massive battle. Starfleet and the Klingons faced off in a huge battle involving dozens of ships at the Battle of the Binary Stars.

This massive conflict rivaled anything Star Trek films or television shows had put on screen to that point in terms of sheer scale, even if it left some questions regarding canon.

6 The Battle of Cheron

One of the most significant battles in Star Trek history has never actually been seen on screen. It almost was, but the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise ended before the show could reach the Romulan War. The Battle of Cheron is the decisive battle of the canonical war that led to the formation of the Federation.

This early war banded together Earth, Vulcan, the Tellerites, and the Andorians against the Romulans, who none of them ever actually saw. It's more proof that the Romulans are the greatest adversary of the Federation (though that's debatable).

5 Battle of Wolf 359

For a long time, the Battle of Wolf 359 was the battle in Star Trek history. The epic conflict at the heart of one of the greatest episodes in the history of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Best of Both Worlds," saw a fleet of 40 Starfleet ships take on a single Borg cube.

The cube, thanks in part to the assimilated Captain Picard, outright destroyed thirty-nine of the ships, killing over 11,000 people, including the wife of then Lt. Commander Benjamin Siko. The fleet struggled to recover.

4 Battle Against Control

Star Trek: Discovery featured an even bigger battle at the end of its second season. An out of control artificial intelligence called Control took control of the shadowy Section 31 and attempted to do bad, not good things to the galaxy.

A coalition of forces including the Discovery, the original U.S.S. Enterprise (soon to be the centerpiece of the upcoming series Strange New Worlds) and others combined to take on Control. The huge battle between Control ships and the allied forces ended with the Discovery cast forward far into the future.

3 Battle of Sector 001

It was hard to top the Battle of Wolf 359, though it didn't take long. The Borg returned for round two in the 1996 feature film Star Trek: First Contact. The film opened with a breathtaking battle between another solitary Borg cube and an even bigger Starfleet armada.

The Federation stepped up its game in the time between Wolf 359 and Sector 001. It developed a number of new ships - some of the coolest designs in Trek history - specifically to combat the Borg threat. All that work paid off in the end.

2 The First Battle of Chin'toka

The Dominion War gradually became the narrative focus of Deep Space Nine and led to an escalating series of battles. Many of these remain the greatest battles attempted on television, let alone in sci-fi at all. One of the biggest was the First Battle of Chin'toka.

This was the first effort by the allied forces of the Federation and Klingons to liberate Cardassian space from the Dominion. Hundreds of ships participated in the battle, and the allied forces were victorious, but it didn't lead to outright victory.

1 The Second Battle of Chin'toka

One of the reasons there needs to be another Deep Space Nine series is how realistic and sobering that show depicted warfare. The Dominion War was a slog, with huge victories and bitter defeats. The Second Battle of Chin'toka occurred after the allies made another effort to dislodge the Dominion from the Alpha Quadrant. This time, the allies had the Romulans on their side.

The Dominion had the Breen, who proved their lethality by destroying the Defiant in this battle. Ultimately, the allies won this battle and won the war.

About The Author