What makes a great Star Trek villain? That’s easy. It’s always been about character. They’re never one-dimensional. (Unless you count Harry Mudd, played more for comic relief than anything else.) They’re sympathetic. The same goes for pegging a great Star Trek alien.

The curious case of the Star Trek universe is that strange as they may appear, the aliens featured are not always evil, or particularly threatening. Some aliens from the original series were great for an episode, but how could you expand it to something along the lines of Khan? We’re talking Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the second time around (or, technically, the third time), in Star Trek Into Darkness, despite a great performance by the wonderfully versatile Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), didn’t leave us feeling much of anything, except the after effects of a bad rerun.

The original series is full of colorful aliens, humanoid aliens, oddly shaped aliens that Roberto Orci and the other screenwriters can confidently look to the original Star Trek series for inspiration.

Let’s look at the five best aliens worthy of the big screen treatment.

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The Guardian of Forever
Voted the greatest Star Trek (original series) episode by critics and fans alike, "City on the Edge of Forever" (written by SF writer Harlan Ellison) was a precursor to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, in that it dealt with time travel and provided an emotional center that made the science resonate strongly (however you feel about the theoretical "science" of time travel). The Guardian of Forever was also featured in an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series, where Spock traveled back in time to meet a younger version of himself on Vulcan (clearly, a source of inspiration for J.J. Abrams’s first Star Trek film). So, the Enterprise crew has traveled back to the Depression era, and 1980s San Francisco. The new Star Trekf movie franchise could use a similar device with a dash of social commentary and a strong emotional heft.

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