It’s been another long year of great entertainment. It’s time for the eighth annual round of new honorees for the borg Hall of Fame. We have several honorees from 2020 films and television, plus you’ll find many from the past, and a peek at some from the future – 44 new borgs or updated variants in all, bringing the borg Hall of Fame total to 265.
You can always check out the updated borg Hall of Fame on our home page under “Know your borg.”
Some reminders about criteria. Borgs have technology integrated with biology. Wearing a technology-powered suit alone doesn’t qualify. Tony Stark aka Iron Man was named an honoree because the Arc Reactor kept him alive, not because of his incredible tech armor. The Spider-Man suit worn by Tom Holland is similar to Tony’s, but it’s not integrated with Peter Parker’s biology.
Also, if the creators tell us the characters are merely robots, automatons, or androids (as in Westworld, and as in the Synths of Star Trek: Picard, and the new Dark Troopers of The Mandalorian), we take their word for it. Again, integration is key, but in the Hall, once a member, always a member.
So let’s get on with it. Who’s in for 2020?
Already admitted in 2019 were advance honorees that didn’t actually make it to the screen until 2020. This included Vin Diesel’s cyborg soldier Ray Garrison in Bloodshot. We saw the return of past inductees in new shows, like Seven of Nine, Hugh, and Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard, Valance the Hunter was back in the Star Wars: Bounty Hunter comics series, Darth Maul, General Grievous, and Darth Vader returned in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a new form of Takeshi Kovacs appeared in Altered Carbon’s second season and the anime Altered Carbon: Resleeved, and from Doctor Who we met an early Cyberman with newly interpreted design.
In 2020 the movie Bloodshot introduced more cyborgs to theater audiences than merely the film’s hero. We met Dr. Emil Harting, played by Guy Pearce. In true James Bond villain style, he engineered himself a bionic arm before rebuilding the rest of his team with cybernetics.
Harting’s team included ex-U.S. Navy badass K.T., played by Eiza Gonzalez, who would become an ally to Garrison. Her upgrade included a clavicle-mounted respirator that grants her immunity from inhalants as well as the ability to breathe underwater, as well as a kill switch controlled by Harting, which he installed in all his cyborg creations.
The Bloodshot team also included Sam Heughan as Jimmy Dalton, an ex-Navy SEAL with an almost Doc Ock level of combat components in addition to enhanced legs, which he had lost in combat.
Bloodshot hails from Valiant Comics, which has created a host of cyborgs over the years. One is a time-lost pirate named Captain Red from the pages of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. He had cybernetic prosthetics, including a visible arm and an eye, plus an arm with retractable blade mounted above the wrist. He fought alongside bionisaurs named Misfire and Proto, from a long line of creatures dating back to the first, named Mon-Ark. Exactly like they sound, bionisaurs include intelligence-boosting implants, making them extra deadly in battle.
Raijin is creation for the future of New Japan in the year 3001, star of the Valiant series Rai. The first of many called “Rai,” he sported cyborg physiology including metamorphosis and flight abilities.
From the pages of Ivar, Timewalker was Dr. Neela Sethi the Timewalker in the more recent Valiant universe (an alternate year 2015). After her death, her life was restored with cybernetics (and then she was cloned). Dr. Sethi’s futuristic bionics include enhanced physicality, planeswalking, energy manipulation, and Zelig chip tech that allows her to adapt to her environment.
Even more famous to readers of classic comics will be Valiant’s Russ Magnus from the pages of Magnus, Robot Fighter. First created in 1963, he returned in a 1997 reboot. There “the man from the future who travels back in time to fight for our future” emerged as an insane robot fighter who now had metallic blood (like Bloodshot) to repair his injuries.
Although popular characters Poe and Dig are AI, virtual, holo-characters, technically everyone else on Netflix’s Altered Carbon series with a “Stack” is a borg. Because we learned in 2020 she created the Stacks, we’re naming as a noted borg the awesome leader Quellcrist Falconer, played by Renee Goldsberry.
In the book and TV series Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs is a cyborg soldier who changes bodies, or Sleeves. In the 2020 second season he was enhanced further with combat abilities, played by Anthony Mackie.
And Kovacs took on another sleeve, changing his look again in 2020 in the anime Netflix movie, Altered Carbon: Resleeved.
Philip K. Dick’s Replicants were expanded as Titan Comics moved into comics tie-ins in 2020 for Blade Runner, with the series Blade Runner 2019 and Blade Runner 2029. The star of the comics is the Replicant blade runner Ashina.
In The Mandalorian, Ming-Na Wen reprised her bounty hunter character Fennec Shand. Left for dead after being shot in the abdomen, Boba Fett revived her with cybernetics and she joined the team attempting to rescue Grogu. She will be appearing on the animated series The Bad Batch soon. If you watched the second season finale, you’ll know a famed cyborg from Star Wars’ past made an appearance, too.
In 2019 cyborg hunter Valance returned in the pages of Marvel’s Star Wars comics. The first cyborg referred to as a “borg” was Valance in the pages of the 1970s series. He returned this year as the lead in the monthly series Bounty Hunters.
Darth Maul, cyborg from the waist down, returned better than ever thanks to motion capture work from Ray Park in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Speaking of Star Wars borg, from out of the past Vorten Fett first appeared in the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vorten Fett was a cyborg Mandalorian Commander in the time of the Clone Wars, voiced by well-known franchise voice actor Tom Kane.
Snoova was a Wookiee with a cybernetic eye, first discussed in Shadows of the Republic.
We know about Snoova because Chewbacca disguised himself as Snoova in that story.
In the original Marvel Comics Star Wars series, Captain Kligson was an electronics genius and veteran of the Clone Wars, whose body was replaced with battle droid parts.
Around the time of the New Sith wars, Mandalorians named Jaing Skirata and Durge were implanted with advanced cybernetics, and making Durge physically stronger…
… and giving Jaing strength and speed…
Karbin was a male Mon Calamari who served as a commander during the Clone Wars, later turned into a cybernetic killing machine in similar appearance to his contemporary, General Grievous.
In Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader series, Aiolin and Morit Astarte were twins engineered with genetic enhancements and technology that made them stronger and capable of greater feats than common warriors. They were trained by Doctor Cylo to replace Darth Vader as Darth Sidious’s apprentice.
Admiral Delak Krennel was an office in the Imperial Navy and nemesis of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn removed his arm, which was later replaced with a cyborg one.
From the pages of the Star Wars comic Doctor Aphra, Rexa Go was a crime syndicate mercenary with cybernetics of the type used by Lobot.
From the Star Wars Adventure Module Beyond the Rim, Cratala was once a leading cybernetics designer and researcher in the Republic, who left when Palpatine tried to get her on his medical staff.
The advanced recon command Clone Trooper CT-1409 known as Echo was turned into a borg after a rescue by Jedi Plo Koon. Recounted in the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, his arm, torso and legs were replaced. He’ll be featured in the forthcoming series Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
In the same vein as Hall of Famers Ash from Evil Dead, Cherry from Planet Terror, and Aech in Ready Player One was Illyana Rasputin aka Majik in The New Mutants. In her fantasy world, she is able to forge from her arm a powerful sword called the Soulsword. When the fantasy world became real she was part human, part technology with this sword arm.
Doctor Who fans met Ashad the Lone Cyberman, who appeared to the Doctor, Mary Shelley, and others in 1816. We met modified versions of the Cybermen, too, and none fared well.
In the Netflix adaptation of the comics series The October Faction, the part machine, part human cyborg named Dante, played by Calvin Desautels, took on a critical role in the story.
Even comedy likes a borg. Sharknado series character April Wexler turned up the in fourth movie, rebuilt by her father with borg features. An evil version of April shows up later, but you’ll need to watch the entire six films for those details.
Koren Shadmi’s graphic novel Bionic featured an angry, rebellious teenager named Patricia, turned cyborg by her father after an accident (similar to DC Comics’ Cyborg), who looked like Ava from Ex Machina and resented her bionic parts.
Already in the Hall of Fame, Seven of Nine appeared years after her Voyager appearances in 2020 in the series Star Trek: Picard.
Seven tried to come to the aid of grown-up Icheb…
… and Hugh from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as a legion of that cybernetic Star Trek race called The Borg. All had modified, updated prosthetic features.
In Star Trek: Discovery, Lieutenant Keyla Detmer is a member of the bridge crew, was was injured and repaired with cybernetics (similar to Seven of Nine’s eyepiece) before Michael Burnham joined the crew.
Ensign Samanthan “Sam” Rutherford is a cyborg Starfleet operations junior crew member of the USS Cerritos on the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks.
MetalBeard is a Wild, Wild, West-inspired mechanized, multi-faceted pirate and Master Builder and one of the three tetartagonists in The LEGO Movie.
The game with a rocky launch, Cyberpunk 2077 features several customizable, cybernetically enhanced characters, including V, for Vincent/Valerie, the player-controlled protagonists:
…and major characters including cyborgs Dexter DeShawn:
and Judy Alvarez:
Give them all a (cybernetic) hand, the 2020 inductees of the borg Hall of Fame! Find the entire list updated here.
Thanks for reading borg this year! Coming in June 2021 is our tenth anniversary.–We’re already preparing our review of the top genre content of the past decade.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg