Recasting Every Prime Star Trek Movie Villain

Tilda Swinton as the Borg Queen just makes WAY too much sense.

Doctor Strange Star Trek First Contact
Marvel Studios & Paramount

It's absolutely fair to say that the Star Trek movie franchise has been all over the place since its inception, swinging wildly from iconic, all-timer space epics to totally mediocre clunkers.

But even the weakest Trek film is at least somewhat memorable for its Big Bad, its typically megalomaniacal villain who comes to blows with the crew of the Enterprise for one reason or another.

The recent J.J. Abrams-fronted reboot franchise - aka the "Kelvin timeline" - has been unafraid to lift liberally from the Prime timeline, and so if the planned fourth Trek film starring Chris Pine and co. actually gets going, it could very well rope in more villains from the franchise's past.

So what better time to consider which contemporary actors could play every major villain from the Prime Trek movies? Note that we're excluding Star Trek: The Motion Picture because its villain is a non-humanoid alien probe, and also Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home because it doesn't even have a clear-cut main antagonist.

When considering these re-casting decisions, also keep in mind that we're not simply seeking out actors who bear a resemblance to the original actor.

It's far more important that they bring the necessary gravitas to the table to offer a worthwhile new take on such iconic and memorable Trek baddies...

8. Benicio Del Toro - Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan)

Doctor Strange Star Trek First Contact
Disney & Paramount

You won't find many Trek fans arguing against the claim that Khan Noonien Singh is the quintessential Trek villain: ingeniously devious and ferociously cunning, as played to velvet-tongued perfection by the great Ricardo Montalbán in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Khan occupies a unique place on this list because he's the only major Trek movie villain to have been portrayed in both the Prime and rebooted Kelvin timelines.

Though Benedict Cumberbatch gave a laudable performance as the new version of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, reception to J.J. Abrams' jerking-around of fans - in an attempt to preserve the surprise of the villain's identity - and the whitewashing of the character were hugely divisive.

It's especially galling as the perfect actor was very nearly cast to play Khan 2.0 in Star Trek Into Darkness. Benicio del Toro was actually sought out by Abrams for the part, and though they did meet to discuss it, the actor ultimately bowed out.

We're not privy to why things didn't work out, but in terms of his physical characteristics - for one, being Latino like Montalbán - and peerlessly steely acting gravitas, he'd absolutely knock this role out of the park.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.