Favorite Five: Cinematic Cyborgs

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Cyborgs, whose literary origins date back to Edgar Alan Poe in the 1840′s, have provided some of the greatest heroes and villains (and that glorious gray area in between the two) in the science fiction genre. Nowadays, however, it’s becoming more and more likely that your friend or your neighbor is a walking cyborg, with real life cybernetic enhancements made to their body. Within the burgeoning medical technology field, opportunities abound for prosthetic limbs, eyes (eyeborgs or retinal implants), and other mechanized improvements. Plus, you know, life is going to become a William Gibson book, where the Internet will literally be jacked into our heads.

There’s intense debate on whether many of our favorite characters are androids or cyborgs, and I’m not going to waste my time jumping into that claptrap. I’ll just be going by their basic definitions (an android is a robot or synthetic organism made to look human. A cyborg is a being made up of organic and synthetic parts) and making judgment calls from there. Some of your favorites may be missing because of the distinction (Cylons’ makeup are confusing and Terminator would likely land #1… if he wasn’t an android), or spared for a later iteration of FAVORITE FIVE.

Please send all hate mail to Michael Bay.

5. THE BORG

borg

Starting with the episode “Q Who?” and then scaring us all in STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, the Borg soon became the defining villain for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK VOYAGER.

I’m not as well-versed in STAR TREK: TNG as I should be (to my immense regret), so I had some hesitation in placing the Borg, Locutus, or the Borg Queen on this list. But, as many Starfleet officers have learned, resistance against the Borg is futile.

They look badass with the ocular implant and the laser beam, they communicate through a hive like mind, they have that repetition that we love to hear in our villains, they’re never in a hurry, and they can assimilate everything. They’re like the Cylons and the Replicants all mangled together with the Blob. And that my friends, is terrifying. And cool.

“We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.”

Here’s a 7 minute music video of the heroes of Starfleet against the Borg, set to some MATRIX REVOLUTIONS music:

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