Time for a goofy fan theory!
So I just hit the episode The Nth Degree in my Star Trek: The Next Generation commentaries. It features a big floating head alien that apparently lives in the center of the galaxy. He’s a friendly and curious thing whose means of exploration is to send out a signal and draw new species to himself.
Now, about two years prior in real life, a movie called Star Trek V: The Final Frontier came out. It was easily the worst movie in the Star Trek series at the time, a distinction it held for five glorious years until the abysmal Star Trek: Generations was released. (For some reason, some people now seem to think Generations was a good movie, but that’s another rant). Final Frontier was about Spock’s never-before-mentioned half brother Sybok, who believed that God had spoken to him and told him to come and fetch him…from the center of the galaxy. Sybok and the Enterprise crew head off and arrive at the identified planet, where they find…a big floaty head alien! A floaty head alien who is stuck on his planet and has to convince someone to come and find him there.
Coincidence? Maybe in real life, I suppose. But in the fictional world of Star Trek, it seems obvious to me. The earlier floaty head alien is bad tempered and hostile, but at the end of the film it is “attacked” by the happiness-enforcing telepath, Sybok. Everything goes crazy and Kirk & crew get away. But what happened to the alien? Well, it obviously mellowed out, got friendly and happy (thanks to Sybok), reproduced (or maybe just reconnected with its fellows) and then began using long-range communication techniques not to get someone to come along and free it, but rather to invite others that it could meet and befriend.
And that’s the theory. In short, Nth Degree‘s Big Floaty Head Alien and Final Frontier‘s Big Floaty Head Alien = the same alien.
Thank you and good afternoon.