I wouldn’t call myself an avid Trekkie, more of an enthusiastic fan. I don’t know what year the original Enterprise was built (though I do know it wasn’t supposed to be on Earth, despite what the new movie says), Sulu’s middle name, or what shoe size Riker wears. I do, however, know a fair amount about the Star Trek: The Next Generation timeline, having seen most of the episodes.
I’m excited for Star Trek Online for the same reason I was originally excited for Star Wars: Galaxies, the chance to exist in the world I have spent so much time watching on both the big and small screens. The game takes place some three decades after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, but we can expect to see some familiar characters and storylines continue through to the game. With such a wealth of existing storylines built up over the years, it’d be a shame if the developers ignored some of the series’ most compelling characters.
Here’s a few examples of unresolved or interesting stories and characters from The Next Generation era that I’d like to see in the game.
B4: Data Returns
During the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, Picard and company discover a prototype android (a less-developed predecessor to Data) known as B4. During the movie, Data transfers his memories to B4, hoping that doing so will allow his inferior predecessor to begin to develop in the way Data himself had been able to.
In the movie’s climax, Data sacrifices himself in order to save Picard from an exploding Romulan ship. Before the film ends, however, we get a glimpse of B4 humming a tune familiar to Star Trek fans as the one Data himself was working on when we were first introduced to him in the "Encounter at Farpoint" episode. The insinuation was that perhaps Data would be able to resurface, much like Spock did after his death at the end of Star Trek II. Data is one of my favorite characters, so any news of his survival would be welcome to me.
This was something I was hoping the game’s writers would address, and it appears they have. According to the game’s fiction, Data was able to successfully take over B4’s body with the help of Geordi LaForge and the Soong institute. Exactly how has yet to be revealed, and I’m hoping this will be something that the game will address.
He’s done well since his rebirth, apparently. The first in-game glimpse of Data has him as captain of the Enterprise E.
Hugh and the “Liberated Borg”
In the Next Generation Episode "I, Borg," the Enterprise crew come across a crashed Borg scout ship and a lone surviving Borg. They bring him on board the ship and he is nursed back to health by Dr. Crusher and Geordi LaForge. As he spends more time with the crew, he gradually begins to realize his own individuality. Picard eventually decides to send him back to the collective with the hope that his new-found desire to be an individual might have a positive effect on The Collective.
Later, when Data’s brother Lore returns with an army of rogue Borg at his side, we learn that Hugh’s individuality "infected" his ship, rendering his companions helpless. Lore took them under his wing and used them for evil purposes, but he is eventually defeated and we are left with no explanation as to the future of Hugh and his liberated Borg brethren.
This type of incident will no doubt have an effect on the Borg overall, and I’m hoping the game will take up the thread again and show us where it ultimately leads to. We do know that one of the pre-order bonuses for the game is a Liberated Borg bridge officer, which makes me wonder if perhaps the two aren’t connected in some way.
Q is perhaps the most memorable of the villains faced by the Next Generation crew. A nearly-omnipotent member of the Q Continuum, Q frequently tormented the Enterprise with elaborate tests and cruel games using his god-like powers. In the series’ final episode, "All Good Things," we learned that he had been watching the crew throughout their mission, judging them and perhaps even interfering from time to time. At the end of the episode, he says he may "drop in" from time to time.
I don’t see how Star Trek Online can ignore such popular character from the Trek Universe, especially when his future is left so wide open in the series. What contact will captains in the game have with Q? How will he meddle in the affairs of the galaxy 30 years after his last appearance? I can’t wait to find out.
In the episode "Skin of Evil," the crew encounter a black pool of goo on a planet known as Vagra II. The goo turns out to be an entity known as Armus, a waste product from a race of "titans" who purged themselves of all their negative emotion and destructive tendencies.
These negative aspects coalesced into Armus, so he is basically evil personified. He holds Troi hostage, envelops Riker, and kills Tasha Yar with a seemingly-nonchalant gesture. The Enterprise crew is eventually able to escape from him, and notes that Vagra II will be designated as "off limits" in the future.
Armus seems like too compelling a foe to simply forget about, so it is my hope that he will reappear in the game. Perhaps a ship crash landed on Vagra II and he was able to escape and is now wreaking havoc throughout the galaxy? He’s definitely a character I’d like to face off against in the game.
Moriarty is probably my absolute favorite villain from the Next Generation era. First created in a holodeck simulation intended to challenge Data’s intellect, Moriarty became self-aware as a result of Geordi’s instruction that the computer create an adversary capable of defeating Data, rather than Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty eventually holds the ship hostage and only relents when Picard promises to find a way to enable him to leave the holodeck.
Later, in the episode "Ship in a Bottle," Moriarty is released from confinement by Reginald Barclay and plays an elaborate trick on Picard and Geordi, convincing them he is able to leave the holodeck based solely on the strength of his will. The crew eventually turns the tables on him, trapping him in an extended holodeck simulation of which he is completely unaware, and then storing him in a tiny memory cube.
Moriarty is never heard from again in the series, but surely such a clever villain can find a way to reemerge? I can only imagine what it would be like to face off against Sherlock Holmes’ greatest adversary in deep space. Hopefully the designers at Cryptic give me the opportunity.
These are just a few of the possible storylines that the Star Trek Online developers could choose to explore. With such a wealth of pre-existing lore surrounding the series, the developers certainly have a lot of great things to draw from. Hopefully, they choose to take advantage of them.