One might recall that Christopher Plummer, Amanda’s father, played the eye-patched Klingon General Chang in Nicholas Meyer’s feature film “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” At the end of that film, Chang could be seen gleefully spinning in his captain’s chair, enthusiastically yelling Shakespeare quotes as he pummels the U.S.S. Enterprise with photon torpedoes. It seems that playing cackling sci-fi villains is an intergenerational talent, as Amanda Plummer is meeting the task with aplomb.
“Star Trek,” of course, more typically eschews the moral simplicity of “heroes” and “villains.” In a superhero universe, one can approve of violence committed by heroes and condemn violence committed by villains because, well, the heroes are going to be peerlessly righteous by definition. On “Star Trek,” the antagonists are rarely outwardly evil, often driven by philosophies and principles that merely stand counter to the show’s protagonists. Even popular “villains” like Q (John de Lancie) or the Borg are functioning perfectly ethically by their own personal guidelines. It’s just that neither of them has had any reason to place much value on human life.
The “Star Trek” feature films are more typically concerned with a simpler, unambiguous hero/villain dynamic, at least since “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” While many love “Khan,” a consensus seems to have been reached at some point that it was the best Trek movie of them all (a claim that few might dispute). As such, future Trek movies began to emulate it; one might have noticed that multiple films in a row featured crazed, revenge-bent villains who have a bone to pick with Starfleet. All the films from “Star Trek: Nemesis” through “Star Trek Beyond” had “villains.”