Was there any explanation of the origin of the Borg from Star Trek?

I've seen most of the TV shows but not read any books - is it explained there?

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    Not an answer, but I think at some point someone suggested that V-yer, from Star Trek: The motion picture, was the creator of the borg. During its travels it actually traveled to the past and created the borg as an accident or something like that. Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 10:27
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    Speculation on many sites will often be met with responses asking you to back up the answer, or simply downvoted. It depends on context. (People seem to be more forgiving of speculation in comments than in answers, for example.) Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 4:14
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    Any relation to Nomad from TOS?
    – erik
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 21:15
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    @J. Pablo Fernández, I'm nitpicking, but it was V'Ger, which was actually the Voyager 6 probe launched from Earth. It landed on the Borg homeworld where they "fixed" it, and sent it back out. Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 18:37
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    @Teknophilia you are correct and I know it's V'Ger... not sure what I was thinking when I type that comment. Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 13:37

8 Answers 8


I understand that there's no definite answer but on Memory-Alpha it says that Borg was the product of cybernetic augmentation of living organisms that was advanced to the point where they ceased to be the species they were before that and became Borg. The hive mind probably started as the means of communication and sharing the information (just like the internet) and as species relied on it more and more (just like we are on the internet) they gradually lost the capability of functioning without it (just like we... well, maybe not yet :) and became the hive mind.

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    great link. But it seems the origin is speculative rather than canonical - correct? Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 10:04
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    Personally, I believe we are headed to this. And I'm happy.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 12:20
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    Based on the article StasM links to, it seems this is the result of fitting together all-too-scarce pieces from several episodes. Memory-Alpha is pretty good at sticking to what is definitively canon. Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 4:18
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    Borg can function without the Hive Mind...they just have no plan what they're doing because they don't know what to do on their own.
    – Bobby
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 13:23
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    @fredsbend: That's true, for some. But we also see that most drones that are disconnected are kinda disoriented, don't really know what to do and sometimes start wandering off because they suddenly have their own mind. And that it takes time for them to recover and get suited to thinking on their own. Though, Seven of Nine is a prime example of a Borg functioning without the collective, the drones she stranded on that planet with are not.
    – Bobby
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 9:23

This was covered in David Mack's Star Trek: Destiny series of books. Whether this is considered canon or not is up for debate, but it's certainly a good story. To summarize very briefly, there exist a very advanced and xenophobic race known as the Caeliar, and their technology is such that they've replaced their bodies (which presumably were biological in nature as our own are) with particles called catoms. These catoms allow them all sorts of abilities. However, they require an energy source, one of which is located in the centre of each Caeliar city (/spaceship).

An event occured whereby one of these cities was destroyed and sucked into the distant past. The demise of this city's power source meant that the survivors required an energy source. Over time, they became more and more desperate until essentially their concious mind (and morals, etc) was lost and their catoms' "instinct" (for want of a better word) took over in order to secure their survival. Over time, the Borg were born: the Borg nanoprobes are a severely warped and damaged (and less capable) version of the Caeliar catoms.

I won't spoil the books by explaining what beccomes of the Borg... and I have rather butchered the story there. Well worth a read of them to make proper sense of this.

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    I don't like it :/ ... From watching a lot of ST; to me, they were augmented humanoids with AI that took over the show ("the hive mind"). Eventually, a queen plopped out. The end.
    – n00dles
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 22:48
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    @n00dles, he didn't finish the story. What happened was that the Caeliar were thrown back in time with some humans, the survivors of whom resisted the Caeliar's offer to merge with them so both groups could survive the hostile planet. When they get down to one surviving Caeliar and three humans, the last Caeliar forces them to merge with her, but at that point she's insane and operating on instinct, mostly hunger and the need to absorb others to ensure her own survival. The lone female (human survivor) becomes the first queen, the lone human male the first drone. Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 22:20
  • @KeithMorrison Ah that feels a bit better. Is that the generally accepted origin story of the Borg then? Or is it just seen as one possible origin story?
    – n00dles
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 21:35
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    it's a pretty great story @n00dles - and, in terms of the expansive post-Nemesis Trek-lit canon (which tries very hard to be consistent within themselves), it's effect is long reaching. If not a short TV series, it would make a great IDW comic series
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 22:19

There's an interesting theory involving the Voyager 6 probe (V'Ger) mentioned on Memory Alpha: http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Voyager_6#Apocrypha

"Star Trek: Legacy" presented the theory that the 20th century Borg civilization was a peaceful race. When V'Ger encountered them, they studied its programming, repaired the probe, and sent it on its task. When V'Ger returned to the Sol system it could not find its creator, but "a biological infestation." The probe returned to the Borg homeworld and joined with them, and its programming propagated throughout the Collective. Something of a civil war broke out. Massive amounts of knowledge, including the location of Earth, were lost in the resulting conflict, and the Borg of the 24th century were born.

I think it's a bit of a stretch, but interesting considering that nothing is still known about the machine planet.

The relevant part of Star Trek: Legacy can be seen in this video: Origin of the Borg

  • The Star Trek online game takes this idea and plays with it as the Borg ubership is similar in appearance to the V'Ger probe 'inner' body
    – user8416
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 14:31
  • @ClaraOnager That's interesting! Almost makes me want to play it. Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 5:05
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    The Borg are thousands of years old..VGer is not. Therefore VGer could not have created them
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 17:49
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    @Chris The excerpt doesn't claim that V'Ger "created" the Borg at all... Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 21:45

Star Trek: First Contact has a lot of general information about how the Borg became what they are today; basically, they began as a humanoid race seeking physical perfection, which they explored by developing and then integrating mechanical elements into their physiology. Eventually, the more mechanical elements came to dominate the biological. The Borg Queen states openly while interrogating Data that she considers the Borg's biggest weakness to be their remaining vestiges of humanity (humanoidity?), something that the Borg constantly strive to "transcend" as they assimilate and adapt (in contrast to Data, a sentient artifice who seeks to become more human). The movie however does not provide any specifics of timeline or of the name of the original race that became the seed of the Borg Collective. It seems they themselves have forgotten it as unimportant.


Speculation: In Star Trek: Voyager when they first meet the Borg, it is stated (maybe by Janeway) that the Borg only obtain new information by assimilation. They do not (or are not capable) of doing their own research (which is why Voyager is escorted across Borg space). I would assume that the Borg were at some point a primitive life form (it is not clear to me what the Borg actually are) which through practiced evolution through assimilation - and at some point they became technologically advanced (and therefore worthy of the name)

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    I like the speculative idea - quite different from the traditional, "they were organic and experimented with augmentation which went wrong" theory. Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 7:41
  • If I recall, my thought at the time (perhaps someone said this in that episode), was because the Borg lacked much emotion, the process of imagination and therefore innovative thought was foreign or impossible to them as a species. Therefore the inability to do R&D.
    – Spot
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 3:42
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    The Borg DO perform research, for one it's mentioned several times that they performed tests upon the Omega particle, and they actively experiment and explore in order to find new things to assimilate ( eg their forays into fluidic space ). I very much doubt they have dedicated research facilities as they are never shown and most Borg vessels are general purpose to the extreme already Commented May 9, 2012 at 13:28
  • @TomJNowell: I agree. I have always understood the notion of assimilation of knowledge as an easy and fast way to get additional knowledge, not as the only way to gather knowledge. Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 8:12
  • They could have assimilated the ability to perform research, perhaps. It's of course a bit difficult to imagine what this original species would be like. Species 0 (for want of a better term) might not even be remotely humanoid.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 17:59

In the original script for Q, Who?, Guinan speaks to the origin of the Borg. She doesn't give us a full history, but she does indicate that they're ancient, at least 100,000 years old as a society/species.

GUINAN: They are a mixture of organic and artificial life that has been developed over a thousand centuries.


There is no EVIDENCE, but its believed that the Delta Quadrant is the origin of the Borg Collective. Neither is their biological origin. Its believed that they were an humanoid advanced civilization who grew tired of not being perfect. They want to achieve perfection, so they started assimilating species. The Vaadwaur were one of the first to encounter the borg, the borg had only assimilated only a handful of star systems.


I recall reading a rejected Voyage script titled Origin of the Species where the nano-probes that assimilate species into the Borg were actually designed as a weapon, but the weapon failed and turned on it's inventors creating the species.

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    Can you provide a link to back this up? Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:28
  • This script sounds as if it borrowed from the backstory to Fred Saberhagen's "Berserker" series. The Builders created self-replicating machines to destroy the Red race. After the Berserkers eliminated the Red race, they turned on the Builders and then started spreading through the rest of the galaxy with the intent to destroy all life. The first story, "Without a Thought," appeared in 1963, and echoes of Saberhagen's creation can be found in many science fiction stories. Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 20:02

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