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There was a time when I wouldn't have hurt anyone. Then the Borg showed me that if there is one constant in this universe, it's death. You will die too, Captain. You might contract a fatal disease... You might die in battle...Or you might burn to death in a fire.
~ Soran's most famous quote said to Captain Picard.

Dr. Tolian Soran was the main antagonist of the film Star Trek Generations who was a deranged El Aurian scientist who wishes to return to the energy ribbon known as the Nexus to reunite with his long dead family.

He was portrayed by Malcolm McDowell, who also portrayed Alex De Large in A Clockwork Orange, Caligula in Caligula, Colonel F. E. Cochrane in Blue Thunder, Kesslee in Tank Girl, Lord Maliss in Happily Ever After, Marcus Kane in Doomsday, Arkady Duvall in Batman: The Animated Series, Daniel Linderman in Heroes, Captain Von Berkow in The Passage, Gangster in Gangster No.1, Sinclair in Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, Tower in Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Calico in Bolt, Mad Mod in Teen Titans, Andrej Evilenko in Evilenko, and Geoffrey Tolwyn in the Wing Commander video game series.


23rd Century

Soran was a scientist who was one of hundreds of refugees after The Borg attacked his homeworld, including killing his wife and children. He was on a transport named the SS Lakul to mutual territory when they encountered an energy ribbon known as The Nexus to which is a gateway to a realm which all desires and hopes are realized, basically Heaven. Its gravity was holding the Lakul and another transport ship in its grasp.

They were rescued by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B on its maiden voyage. They were only able to save 47 out of hundreds who died on those ships, but only thanks to retired Starfleet captain, James T. Kirk's quick thinking. While the Enterprise was stuck in the ribbon, Soran and many of the other refugees wanted to desperately go back to their ships to get back to the ribbon. Though Soran and the others were saved, the rescue mission seemingly cost Kirk his life.

24th Century

Returns to the Ribbion

They say time is the fire in which we burn. Right now, Captain, my time is running out. We leave so many things unfinished in our lives. I know you understand.
~ Dr. Soran to Captain Picard.

Nearly eighty years later in 2371, Soran tried to get back to the ribbon for he was still obsessed. He tried everything he could think of to return to the ribbon. Though he finally found a way. First he had to make a pact with two treacherous Klingon women, The Duras sisters, Lursa and B'Etor. The deal was to help him out in exchange for a trilithium weapon, one with the power to destroy an entire solar system. However, the station Soran was working on was attacked by Romulans who were looking for their missing trilithirm. The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D at the station, but arrived to late to save much of the crew.

However, they did not get their weapon. Soran would later return to the station and launched the weapon at a star, destroying the system. The sun going nova made a shockwave which pushed the course of the Nexus ribbon. He was later picked up by the Duras sisters. Jean-Luc Picard and Data figured out his next move. He was going to destroy the Veridian star, which would destroy the system. The result of the explosion was going to push it toward an uninhabited world known as Veridian III, but it was going to destroy another planet, Veridian IV which had 230,000,000 humanoids living on its surface.

Picard beamed down to Veridian III to try to reason with him, but to no success. After he lost in a fight with Soran, the weapon was launched and it destroyed the sun and the system, which only because of the ribbon pulling them in, Picard and Soran were the only survivors.


PICARD! Get away from that launcher! NOW!
~ Dr. Soran's finalwords to Captain Picard.
Soran's death.jpg

Picard emerged from the Ribbon at some point to try again before he fought Soren and brought former Enterprise captain, James T. Kirk with him. While Kirk fought Soren, Picard sabotaged the weapon's launcher and set it to self-destruct mode. But Soren killed James T. Kirk by destroying the bridge that Kirk used to get to the detonator of the missile. Soran died when Picard locked the missile onto the launcher where, instead of running, Soran accepted his fate and died when the launcher exploded.


  • At one point, the producers considered approaching Marlon Brando to play Soran.
  • Soran's line "They say time is the fire in which we burn" is from the Delmore Schwartz poem "Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day" from his collection titled "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities". This book is incorrectly acknowledged in the credits as "Dreams Begin Responsibilities".
    • Malcolm McDowell was so taken with the line, he had it engraved on the pocket watch he used in this movie.
  • At least two different versions of Soran's death were written for the script of Star Trek Generations. Additionally, two versions of Kirk's death were shot. The first involved Soran directly killing Kirk with a disruptor bolt, shooting him in the back and him then plunging off the cliff to his death.
    • This version proved unpopular at early screenings due to being underwhelming and not very deserving of a legend like Kirk so the scaffold bridge death for Kirk was filmed and used in the theatrical release.
  • The early edition of the novelization for Star Trek Generations featured one of the alternate death scenes for Soran. In this version, Picard succeeds in disarming Soran's probe, preventing its launch and the destruction of the star, and allowing the ribbon to pass the planet by. Soran charges at Picard in a fury who snatches up Soran's disruptor and shoots him dead in the chest. The novelization also notes that Soran was aware of Picard's trip into the Nexus, due to the lack of alternative explanations for Kirk's presence, increasing Soran's rage at Picard for depriving him of his wife again.
    • This ending was presumably scrapped due to being extremely anti-climactic.
  • In the movie, Soran comments on La Forge's response to his interrogation by saying, "His heart just wasn't in it." This is a reference to the form of torture used in a deleted scene in which Soran used a nanoprobe to stop and start La Forge's heart.


           Star Trek Logo.png Villains

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: V'Ger: Klingons ( Barak )
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Augments (Khan & Joachim)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: Klingons (Kruge, Torg, Maltz) | Valkris
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: Whale Probe | Kamarag
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: The One | Klingons (Klaa & Vixis) | Sybok
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: Khitomer Conspiracy (General Chang, Nanclus, Valeris, Admiral Cartwright, Patrick West, Harlan Burke, Thomas Samno)
Star Trek Generations: Tolian Soran | Klingons (Lursa & B'Etor)
Star Trek: First Contact: The Borg (Borg Queen)
Star Trek: Insurrection: Son'a (Ahdar Ru'afo & Gallatin) | Matthew Dougherty
Star Trek: Nemesis: Remans (Shinzon, Viceroy, Tal'aura, Suran & Donatra)
Star Trek (2009): Romulans (Nero & Ayel)
Star Trek Into Darkness: Khan | Alexander Marcus
Star Trek Beyond: Krall | Manas | Kalara

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