The Borg: Resistance Should Never be Futile
The Borg are the first major enemy we meet in Star Trek: The Next Generation, crazily overpowered and setting a high standard for bad guys in the universe.
Most people who have watched Star Trek: The Next Generation will remember their first encounter with the Borg. The seemingly harmless cube floating in space and then the voice of the hive stating those interminable words: “resistance is futile.” For many of us, it was unnerving, and rewatching it with knowledge of the carnage to come can send shivers down the spine.
The whole reason the Borg show up in the Star Trek universe is due to Q, the omnipotent being we all love to hate. Captain Picard claims that they are ready to meet whatever is out there and Q raises them one and brings The Enterprise into first contact with the Borg. It’s no wonder the Borg are so powerful. Q chose them as the prime example of what humanity is unprepared for and his choice results in the massacre of thousands of Alpha Quadrant citizens. This moment ushers in the biggest bad guys the Star Trek universe had seen up to this point. They knock Klingons, Romulans, and Ferengi aside like they were so much space debris. The Borg are massively overpowered for the universe they enter.
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The Borg have four main advantages over humans.
1. Mechanical/Organic Mashup
The Borg assimilate other beings, creating them in their own image. A new initiate undergoes surgery to incorporate mechanical parts onto living bodies. We have seen that this process can be undone in the cases of Captain Picard and Seven of Nine but sometimes, organic tissue and hardware become dependent on each other for survival. This combination makes the Borg physically stronger and more resistant to damage than humanoid, organic forms. They appear to have no concept of pain and emotions seem to be nullified. For these reasons, they have a great advantage over humans in hand to hand combat.
2. The Hive Mind
All Borg are connected to the hive mind. There is no individual thought, only collective knowledge. Of course, humans will repeat time and time again that it is our individuality that makes a difference. It is our independence and creativity that will outwit the Borg on many occasions. But there is no denying that the communication and command structure in the collective make them difficult foes. There are no lapses in communication, no dissent, and access to knowledge that can often bypass security lockouts and easily take the lead in combat strategy.
Borg technology is also derived from this great hoard of knowledge. They easily adapt to new weapons, often allowing only a single shot to be fired before the entire group is now immune to that weapon. While this mainly applies to energy weapons, it is a major advantage to be had. Pro tip: blunt or sharp objects are the way to go, let’s see them assimilate a baseball bat upside the head. This technology also allows for self-repairing ships, extremely accurate transporting and scanning devices, as well nano-probes which can heal absolutely anything or so The Doctor on Voyager would have us believe. Borg tech is always a major find for any Starfleet vessel.
Last but not least, The Borg are just vast. They constantly add to their numbers, assimilating faster than they can be killed. Taking out a cube (no easy feat due to the reasons already stated) will simply bring on a new cube in its place. Taking down one fighter brings a new group to replace them.
The Federation is outgunned, outmanned, and often outsmarted by the Borg. Although there are individual battles won, no one comes close to defeating them until Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. Our favorite, coffee drinking, warrior captain, Janeway starts blasting Borg out of the sky at will and brings the storyline to an explosive conclusion. But until then, the Borg are practically unbeatable and set a precedent for future foes in the series which are really never met. Perhaps I simply don’t want to think of an unbeatable foe. Resistance may be futile but that does not mean we stop resisting.