It's become quite popular to rag on the Star Trek reboot movies, suggesting that they only pillage ideas from the original series. While there's some truth in that, I think the issue is more that these movies pillage what's recognizable rather than what helped build the show that is Star Trek. There's a reason these movies are perceived as neat and polished. It's because all the strange unnecessary monster of the week ideas made Star Trek look baggy, and were left behind for these new releases.
But let's just imagine for a moment that a stroke of madness crosses Simon Pegg's mind upon writing Star Trek 3, and he decides to include all the weirdest, most obscure villains for a modern update. What are some of the oddest creatures and foes that could be adapted for Star Trek 3?
The Conspiracy Parasites
These foes from the first season of The Next Generation are mostly remembered for the janky effects that were used to bring them to life, and for the bizarrely gory fates their hosts suffered. Many Star Trek storylines, even the most recent Star Trek Into Darkness, have centered around corruption in the ranks of Star Fleet, but none more so than this one. These bugs attach to the highest ranking admirals and try to topple the Federation from the inside, and while it's possibly the most cliche conspiracy theory anyone could think up, it's pretty good fun!
These little guys likely wouldn't make for good primary adversaries, but they would be a cool detail in Star Trek 3!
The Mugato, which cast members of the original series mistakenly pronounced "Mugatu" were ape-like creatures that had a somewhat Rhino-like quality to them. Again, I'm not sure they would make for good primary adversaries, especially as Star Trek movies don't often enjoy using non-humanoid villains, but they possess that creepy 60s aura that would be cool to see translated to modern imagery. That initial design is so fantastic, it would be a shame to see it wasted through CGI and motion capture.
This guy is kind of like Han Solo by way of Robert Baratheon. A sleazy, slobbish conman who still lived his life like the coolest starship rogue. While he never became a true adversary to the Enterprise crew, he remained a thorn in Kirk's side that would keep returning to wreak havoc. This is the guy who literally tried to sell Star Fleet Academy, and who patented his own bootleg love potion for his own thinly veiled misogynist purposes. I'm sure the new films would enjoy bringing him back, although they would likely make him thin and handsome, and played by Tom Hiddleston. I would bemoan that move if I wasn't sure that it would definitely make ALL the money!
So here we get to the real bad guys! The episode Skin of Evil is not looked upon well by fans, but I personally love Armus. He's just the worst! Taking the form of a vague human shape covered in black goo, Armus is the byproduct of an unknown superior race's efforts to remove all evil and negativity from their being. This race then abandoned their planet, and left Armus alone to seeth and hate, and generally just be a total dick! He's like every bitter and frustrated man on the internet manifested in goo form!
Again, this is a non-humanoid villain, but he has some extremely cool motives. What if Armus possessed a crew member in an effort to get out into the stars and exact revenge on the race that abandoned him? He's one of the few villains directly responsible for the death of a main crew member, and plenty could be done with this character. Or maybe they could just cast Tom Hiddleston. I dunno.
Man, The Next Generation really loved it's omnipotent entities didn't it? Nagilum kind of inhabits a midpoint between the hateful Armus and the fan favorite, Q. He is devoid of all matter and energy, with the concept of death being completely irrelevant to him. Thus, he's fascinated by it, and kills a low ranking crew member in what would become a hugely popular gif! In Star Trek 3, something could be done to clear up that creepy face, and make it easier for modern audiences to take seriously. Other than that, an adversary that can ostensibly kill you without even having to exist would be quite the threat for Kirk and Spock!
This guy is widely remembered by Star Trek fans as one of the dumbest additions to its roster of villains. Apollo makes the suspension of disbelief in Star Trek a little difficult by, oh I dunno, LITERALLY BEING THE GOD APOLLO! He even goes as far as to grab the Enterprise with a giant godly hand. Carefully researched sci-fi, yeah sure!
While the character of Apollo will be seen as eternally dumb, the idea of what we perceive as gods being completely separate species is an interesting one. Star Trek 3 could even do something similar to what Iron Man 3 did with the Mandarin, having some all powerful entity terrify the main characters at first, only to be revealed as a carefully planned fake. As Isaac Asimov's adage goes, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". This would be a cool area for Star Trek 3 to explore, and draw it away from simple doomsday devices and end of the world conflicts.
If you've read this far, then you're almost certainly a bigger Star Trek fan than I. What weird obscure villains and characters would you like to see in Star Trek 3? Write a response post here on Movie Pilot, or leave a comment below!