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In the series finale of Voyager (and arguably the series finale of all the Star Trek TV series if DS9's date is right in my head) we see

the Borg collapsing as the queen dies due to the virus that the future Admiral Janeway infected them with.

However, were the Borg destroyed or did the virus just cripple the base and cause mass casualties? I've been unsure of the Borg. Sometimes it is implied that the Borg Queen is an actual being who was once one person but enslaved many under a collective consciousness that they guide. Other things tend to imply that the queen is the incarnation of that collective consciousness. So if it truly died I would imagine that everyone would be "released". Either the collective consciousness would die thereby killing everyone, or their dictating leader would die causing them to be freed from mind control.

I don't know if anything ever says what happened. The movies never go into this, and Deep Space Nine pretty much dodges Borg encounters.

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  • 3
    “arguably the series finale of all the Star Trek TV series” — I think that was Enterprise’s These Are The Voyages... in 2005. (At least, so far.) Jun 4, 2016 at 9:10
  • 6
    Oh yeah thats true. I guess I meant the end of the timeline.
    – user64742
    Jun 4, 2016 at 16:02
  • destroyed no set back most definatly
    – The Answer
    Sep 30, 2016 at 16:33
  • 1
    @TheGreatDuck: Arguably, the end of the timeline was the destruction of Romulus alluded to in the first Abramsverse movie (and possibly, not even that, in case the upcoming Picard series ends up playing in the same timeline). Mar 27, 2019 at 21:21
  • 1
    @O.R.Mapper That's fair as well for the sake of pedantry. However, the pedantry is irrelevant. The main point is that there were no major significant series of events being shown any time in the future. Yes, we see the destruction of Romulus, but it's a 5 minute scene. In terms of the TV series and movies there is nothing set in the future. Plus, if we really want to get pedantic the entire time police story lines within Voyager end up way farther in the future than Spock's lifetime.
    – user64742
    Mar 28, 2019 at 0:09

6 Answers 6

23

The Borg Queen was likely destroyed, but this doesn't mean the Borg were destroyed

We see the Borg Queen losing her limbs and her connection to the collective. However, we know that this doesn't amount to the destruction of the Borg. As pointed out in @jim's answer, the Queen is destroyed in First Contact (set in 2373) and then reappears in VOY ('Endgame' is set in 2378). Furthermore, the Borg obviously still exist in VOY after the Borg Queen has been killed in First Contact and is 're-incarnated' for want of a better word.

The only further reference we have to the Borg in canon is in Star Trek Countdown 3 where we learn the Narada was retrofitted with Borg technology. However, this doesn't tell us anything, other than that Borg technology still existed.

So, to speculate

Memory Alpha tells us that the Queen's function is to order the Borg, so her removal would undoubtedly cause chaos for the Borg. However, the events of VOY following First Contact would indicate that she can be replaced.

The destruction of the Unicomplex we observe is likely because that is where the Borg Queen controls the Borg; without her, it is likely to crumble. We know that the Borg can repair their ships through thought, so the absence of the Queen resulting in the destruction of the Unicomplex is no surprise.

The agent that Admiral Janeway used to achieve all of this was a neurolytic pathogen, which, based on MA's description, likely only affected the Borg Queen and her control over the Borg.

So, based on this, my expectation would be that NO: the Borg were not destroyed at the end of Voyager, merely set back a fair way with their transwarp hub.

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  • According to various interviews, this was one of three transwarp hubs that the Borg had established.
    – Valorum
    Jun 4, 2016 at 9:35
  • @Valorum I'm not quite sure how this is pertinent to my answer... Jun 4, 2016 at 10:52
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    It beggars belief that the entire collective was dependent on a single individual on a single ship for their continued existence. More likely, they'd just unthaw another queen and give her the control codes.
    – Valorum
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:23
  • 2
    Well and the way I understood it, the queen wasnt killed in first contact but rather one body she used to communicate was destroyed. Moreover, I was not sure if the neurolytic pathogen spread throughout the entire collective or just to the queen. I.E. That it was transmitted through the implants.
    – user64742
    Jun 4, 2016 at 16:05
  • 5
    Given that most Borg ships do not have a Queen onboard, it would be safe to assume the losses of hundreds or thousands of ships would not affect the overall integrity of the Borg Collective. The Borg ships are a unit, then they become part of a greater unit as needed. Queens are not necessary for the Borg to function, they are used as potential lubricants for assimilation of other species. If they are lost, the Borg continue unaffected overall. The Queen is just another Borg. She is not like a queen from a beehive. Oct 9, 2016 at 6:39
9

For a non-canon answer, the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy of novels, which takes place about eight years after the events of Nemesis, deals with the final disposition of the Borg (as well as their beginning) in a satisfying way IMHO. I throughly enjoyed these officially licensed novels and highly recommend them, even though they aren't officially considered "Canon”.

EDIT: Spoilers ahead

According to these novels, the highly advanced and xenophobic race, the Caelier, were the birth of the Borg over 4,000 years ago on the other side of the galaxy. A horrific accident had hurled a few Caelier and a few humans back to this time. The ethereal Caelier were badly injured as well as the humans. The last two Caelier went insane and broke with their sacred vows, and forcefully melded with the two remaining humans to stay alive. Thus the birth of the Borg.

Fast forward to about 200-300 years before Picard and Co., a federation starship stumbles upon the non-Borg Caelier, with their captain, Ericka Hernandez. They weren’t allowed to contact home and the crew lived out their natural lives amongst the Caelier in relative comfort except no contact with home. This is when the horrific accident happens. Except for Hernandez, who had befriended a top scientist Caelier, who offered to heal her body and make her young again, by giving her a small injection of Catombs which is what the Caelier were made of (he did this in secret of the others). This allowed her eternal youth and access to their collective thoughts.

Fast forward to “today” with Picard and Co. The Borg are running rampant. They manage to rescue Hernandez and she figures out she can communicate with the Borg. Upon killing the Borg queen, Hernandez steps in and shows them humanity and they all are instantaneously changed to become like the pacifist Caelier “again” and head off to another galaxy.

That’s the story in a nutshell. The Borg weren’t destroyed, but rather forever changed and went away with their Caelier brethren.

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  • 1
    And what is the final disposition of the Borg, according to these books?
    – Valorum
    Mar 14, 2019 at 7:28
  • @Valorum that’s not relevant. The point is that the pathogen didn’t annihilate the entire race nor did killing the queen.
    – user64742
    Mar 15, 2019 at 23:28
  • @TheGreatDuck - Well, their "final disposition" might just as well be 'floating in space all dead' as far as your description is concerned.
    – Valorum
    Mar 16, 2019 at 7:45
  • 1
    @Valorum the final disposition would imply that there was some form of interaction with the Borg and that it was their final defeat or final interaction. Finding the last remains of some ship that is already dead wouldn't fit the tone of the way this answer heavily implies that the Borg did not die. However, I do see now that the answer doesn't fall one way or the other.
    – user64742
    Mar 26, 2019 at 2:59
  • @TheGreatDuck - Indeed. And explaining precisely what their final disposition was would immeasurably improve this answer
    – Valorum
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:29
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Not only has the Borg Queen been destroyed at least twice (in First Contact and Endgame), another version appeared in Voyager, "Dark Frontier" and "Unimatrix Zero". It isn't clear if this was meant to be the same Queen in all cases.

So, if the Borg were ever required in any future series, they would probably simply be re-introduced with little or no explanation. In this sense, no the Borg were not destroyed at the end of Voyager.

3
  • This doesn't appear to answer the question asked
    – Valorum
    Mar 14, 2019 at 7:28
  • It wasn't the same queen each time.
    – Valorum
    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:58
  • 1
    @Valorum I believe during edits over time the question changed. It’s been a cross between whether the virus just flat out killed everyone and whether or not an actual death of the queen had a significant impact large enough to effectively wipe out the Borg. (I say effectively as Enterprise hinted at some being in cryo-storage at the Federation).
    – user64742
    Mar 15, 2019 at 23:31
0

The main difference here is that the Borg Queen (in final episode of Voyager) was destroyed at the Borg Unicomplex (with the entire Unicomplex as well)... where Queens tend to be manufactured/replaced.

Future Janeway introduced a very deadly neurolithic pathogen (probably the same one which Icheb produced) at the heart of the Collective...

This would likely have profound effects on the Collective throughout the Galaxy. The only reason the Queen was able to send that Sphere after Voyager was only because it was the ONLY ship that could still hear her thoughts.

After the destruction of the Unicomplex and that Sphere, voyager also OBLITERATED the Borg TW network (7 of 9 confirmed as much)... which would mean destruction of all other TW hubs in the galaxy.

Its unknown what the state of the Borg is in the late 24th century or even during ST: Picard... but its possible that the Borg still exist... albeit in a disoriented state. It could be that most Borg ships have been cut off from each other and that each ship acts as its own collective... but otherwise, they cannot re-establish a larger subspace network with other Borg ships.

Also, how many of those Borg ships drones regained individuality? How many might have been destroyed by other races once they discovered that the Borg cannot effectively fight/adapt to their tactics anymore?

We've seen in ST:Picard that the Romulans had at least 1 severely damaged (and separated from Collective) cube under their 'supervision'.

When 7of9 gained control of that cube, she formed a collective inside the cube, but otherwise did not initiate contact with other Borg in the galaxy. This might indicate the Collective as we knew it no longer exists... but could be like the El'Aurians... scattered throughout the Galaxy trying to survive... damaged.

We don't know whether the Borg could adapt to the neurolithic pathogen though. The Cube which assimilated Icheb and his neurolithic pathogen was severely damaged as a result (with only 5 under-developed drones which were protected by the fact they were in maturation chambers) and the Collective decided to sever contact as opposed to try and retrieve them (which indicates they might not have).

Infecting the Borg with that pathogen at the very source (the Central unicomplex) and by the Borg Queen herself could easily have nasty repercussions for the collective.

0

No, they were not. Star Trek Picard makes that explicit.

USS Voyager made it back to Earth in 2378. As shown in Picard, around 2385 (Picard is set in 2399), Ramdha was among the Zhat Vash agents exposed to the Admonition, which drove her insane (PIC:"Broken Pieces"). Sometime after that, but still in the 2380s, she was aboard the Tal Shiar scout ship Shaenor that was captured and the crew assimilated, her madness causing the submatrix collapse that resulted in the Cube being severed from the Collective and going into shutdown. It was eventually discovered by the Romulans and became the site of the Borg Reclamation Project (PIC:"Absolute Candor").

So the Borg and the Collective were still around in some form following the events of VOY:"Endgame".

-2

There are multiple queens. The queens are also grouped into a hierarchy. They act to organize and process the collective. Each ship has a Borg queen. Each unimatrix has a queen, and of course their home base that Admiral Janeway destroys during the season finale of VOY has the top queen.

The queen (you never see but hear about during First Contact) during "Best of Both Worlds" dies when that ship is destroyed. The top queen is killed during "Dark Frontier" on board her personal craft. Even though it was the same actress in "Unimatrix Zero", it is a different queen.

The top queen during "Endgame" is the current top queen. Two times in the Star Trek world you see when the queen is killed so are the drones under her. It would seem that the Borg are destroyed at the end of "Endgame", however, even if one ship survived with its queen still alive, that ship would still be enough to assimilate and start regrowing.

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    Can you offer any evidence to back up these pretty bold assertion?
    – Valorum
    Oct 5, 2018 at 8:48
  • @Valorum We see a queen get killed in previous episodes?
    – user64742
    Oct 5, 2018 at 22:59
  • 1
    However, my question was not specifically about the queen so much as whether or not the canon of Star Trek states that the cerebral virus (or whatever it was called) actually caused all of the Borg to be killed, since it is implied that that was a central hub.
    – user64742
    Oct 5, 2018 at 23:00

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