Today is Earth Day, a day geared to "inspire awareness and appreciation of Earth’s natural environment." Of course through the future history of Star Trek we have seen the Earth face many different threats so today TrekMovie has analyzed the lessons of Trek and we count down Star Trek’s Top 5 threats to Earth.
Star Trek’s Top 5 Threats To Earth
#5 Giant Super-powerful (Stupid) Machines That Want To Talk (V’Ger & Whale Probe)
The universe of Star Trek is full of advanced technology, some of it achieving high levels of machine intelligence. However, sometimes these supposedly super smart machines really seem kind of dim. Take for example the V’Ger, the giant ship from a machine world with the Earth-made Voyager 6 probe at its heart. The thing was of an intelligence beyond understanding of any that encountered it, until Spock got his hands on it ("Star Trek: The Motion Picture"). Sticking with a simple mission to learn and report back to home, in 2272 V’Ger seemed headed to Earth but seemed to be really picky about how it reported back, such as using ancient radio signals. In the end it took two people (Decker & Ilia) to merge with it just to get this thing to end its tantrum and not destroy the Earth.
V’Ger gets ready to wipe out Earth because no one said hello back in just the right way
And what about the giant Ho-Ho-lookalike Probe that visited Earth in 2286 ("Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"). The probe dropped by to have a nice chat with some humpback whales, but couldn’t find any and its transmissions aimed at Earth’s oceans were so powerful that they caused a planetary disaster. The thing was totally indestructible so Admiral Kirk and his crew hand to go back in time to get some whales just to tell the thing to chill out. But really, shouldn’t a super-intelligent probe be able to sort out that its benevolent little "hello" was killing millions of sentient species?
Whale probe gets really pissed at Earth when no one picks up the phone
#4 Crazy Romulan Miners (Shinzon & Nero)
Humans and the Federation have had to deal with lots of hostile aliens over the centuries, but the first to pick a fight were the Romulans with the Earth Romulan War in the 22nd century. And those pesky Vulcan spin-offs have kept a grudge since then. In 2379 a Romulan-created clone of Jean Luc Picard named Shinzon took over the Romulan Empire and after faking a peace deal, he decided he was going to go all old school and kill all humans with his fancy new Thalaron Beam thingy ("Star Trek: Nemesis"). What had the Federation ever done to him? It was the Romulans that stuck him into that hellish mine on Remus. Luckily the real Jean Luc Picard was there to stop him long before he arrived at Earth so no harm, no foul.
Shinzon’s Scimitar deploys its death ray on way to Earth
Not long after Shinzon was taken care of, another crazy Romulan with misdirected anger popped up on the scene. This time it was a miner named Nero who got so angry that Spock didn’t save Romulus that he goes back in time, creates a whole new Star Trek timeline. After hanging around the new lens-flare filled universe for a while, in 2258 Nero destroys Vulcan with his giant 24th century mining ship The Narada, and then goes to Earth to do the same ("Star Trek" 2009). Luckily the alternative timeline Kirk and Spock and Enterprise were all there to stop him, but seriously this guy took things a bit far didn’t he? Spock (that’s the old Spock in the first timeline) was only trying to help. Instead of getting all tattooed up and stewing for decades over their dead loved ones, maybe Nero and his pals should have just settled down on a nice mining planet and found Harry Mudd to set them up with some women.
Nero’s Narada chooses San Francisco Bay to start drilling a really big hole
#3 Persistent Cybernetics (The Borg, The Borg, & The Borg)
If any Star Trek foes get the award for perseverance it is The Borg, the collective of cybernetic beings who really really have it in for Earth. These guys tried on multiple occasions to take out the center of the Federation. The first attempt was in 2367 when they sent one of their giant cube ships to the Earth system, but they were stopped by the crew of the USS Enterprise D (TNG" The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"). Then in 2373 ("Star Trek: First Contact") they tried again with another Cube, and once again the Enterprise was there to stop them (this time with a shiny new Enterprise E). But you can’t keep a good cyborg down, so that second cube sent a sphere back in time to try and wipe out Earth Terminator style, but again that didn’t work due to Picard and crew. In 2375 they were all set to try again with a big nanoprobe bomb, but this time it was Captain Janeway’s time to get in the way (VOY: "Dark Frontier"). It was never really made clear why the Delta Quadrant-based
Borg had such a bug up their cybernetic butts over the far away humans on Earth, but if they really wanted to take out the planet maybe send more than one cube next time?
A glimpse of the Borg controlled Earth – before Picard set it right
#2 Manipulative Paranoid Aliens (The Guardians & The Founders)
The Star Trek universe is chock full of alien species and most find some way to coexist, but some are seriously paranoid and definitely manipulative. Take The Guardians, also know as the Sphere Builders. As Temporal Cold Warriors they worked out that humans (and the future Federation) were probably going to be a big threat to their evil plan. So they decided to take action, but were too lazy to do it themselves so they duped the poor Xindi into creating a
Death Star Superweapon to wipe out Earth. The Xindi even telegraphed their big move with a test prototype that wiped out a big swath of Florida in 2153 (ENT: "The Expanse"). And that big hint led Captain Archer and the Enterprise NX-01 to get to the bottom of the whole thing and stop the big Xindi weapon (ENT: "Zero Hour"). Of course if the Xindi ever bothered to pick up on all the hints that The Guardians were transdimensional con-men who were destroying their region of space, all of this could have been avoided.
Xindi Superweapon goes kaboom shortly before wiping out Earth
Another paranoid and manipulative group of aliens are the Dominion from the Gamma Quadrant, lead by the Founders. Not long after the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole Humans started to check things out on the other side, it is only natural curiosity right? Well the xenophobic shape shifting Founders didn’t see it that way and immediately started working on taking over the Alpha Quadrant, with a special emphasis on the Federation and those pesky Earthicans. The Founders basically have some serious trust issues, so they sucker people into the Dominion to control them. And like the Guardians before them, the Founders loop in the enigmatic cold-suit wearing Breen into attacking Earth in 2375 (DS9 "The Changing Face of Evil"). The Breen did some serious damage, but didn’t actually destroy the place. The Dominion were planning some big time infiltration for that, but eventually The Sisko beat them like red-headed Ferengi.
Starfleet HQ in San Francisco after the Breen paid a visit
#1 Us (That’s right it’s You)
If Star Trek has taught us anything, the biggest threat to planet Earth is its own inhabitants. Of course by killing all those whales, humans opened the door for that Whale probe to kill us all in the 23rd century ("Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"). Then humans almost wiped out the planet themselves with World War 3 in the 21st century (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"), turning much of the planet radioactive and leading to genocide (TOS: "The Savage Curtain"). The war even forced heavy-drinking scientists to turn to faster than light research just to make a buck ("Star Trek: First Contact").
Picard’s encounter with Earth’s WW III justice was not a pretty sight
But beyond the environmental dangers from Earth’s possible future, Star Trek warned of a much more insidious worry – the loss of our own selves and our freedoms. This began actually in the 1990s with the Eugenics Wars (TOS: "Space Seed", "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"), where man actually began to sacrifice his own humanity. By chasing after enhancements, humanity found they were ending up being oppressed by these genetic super-men. And in 2372 humanity was again put under threat after fears of the Dominion led to a coup. The plotters wanted to trade security for wiping out the freedoms Earth residents have enjoyed for centuries (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost"). Thankfully The Sisko was once again there to put a stop to all of that.
Federation troops enforcing New Orleans curfew after coup – those horses look suspicious
Happy Earth Day
Hopefully as a good Star Trek fans you have taken all of these lessons to heart and so you can celebrate Earth Day knowing that you have done your part to protect the Earth and the freedoms all us humans enjoy.