Star Trek might be the origin of the oft-used Mary Sue trope, but they’ve got some pretty kicka** female characters. Whether you’re a Prime Timeline purist or you’re looking into the Kelvin Timeline – what matters is that we’re all excited for Star Trek: Discovery. With local superstar Michelle Yeoh helming the show as the captain of the Discovery, we’re celebrating some of the strong women we’ve seen in the Star Trek universe so far.
In no particular order:
Chief Engineer B’elanna Torres was an inspiration for any girl who wanted to get down and dirty with machines. Being half-Klingon and half-human, she was both like and unlike Commander Spock – except that her human side was also her softer side. We all rooted for her, and enjoyed her various interactions across the Voyager series.
Another half-human character, Commander Deanna Troi is half-Betazoid – lending her the psionic ability to sense emotions. Despite being the de facto damsel in distress and the ship eye candy for the majority of the show’s run, she did provide some form of emotional balance to space exploration – which was unusual in the boys’ club of science fiction.
Dr. Crusher was an example of an exemplary medical officer and devoted mother – proving that yes, you can be both if you choose to. Not that it’s easy, but she did it. She also often went head-to-head with Picard, something that isn’t easy either. We could all learn a little from her when facing off with that harda** boss.
Translator and communications officer Uhura was one of the first characters of African descent to appear in a non-menial role on an American television series, which already makes her A Big Deal. Star Trek has always been known for its diversity and commitment to nondiscrimination, so Uhura has definitely been a trailblazer for PoC roles on TV. Whether you’re looking at the TOS version or modern-day, Uhura’s fiery temper and intelligence is undeniable.
The ultimate ship mom. Captain Janeway, later Vice Admiral Janeway, does her absolute best in the face of adversity – whether it’s working with the Maquis or trying to get back to the Federation after being displaced to the Delta Quadrant. She genuinely cares about her crew, and it’s heartening to see that kind of compassion on screen.
Seven of Nine
My personal favorite, if we’re being honest. The former Borg drone who joins the Voyager crew, her full Borg designation is Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One. What a mouthful. Developed as a foil to Kathryn Janeway, her character arc revolves around exploring the positive and negative sides of human individuality. Something we really need to keep in mind these days.
Vulcan High Command wanted her to observe Captain Archer, as they insisted they weren’t ready for interstellar space exploration. T’Pol is an example of someone who goes from being a broken record, spouting dogma constantly, to a person with a questioning scientific mind. Learning to accept that your perceptions can be wrong? That’s hard.
Despite looking like someone in her 20s, Jadzia has an old soul. Literally. Her joined symbiont gives her the experience of seven lifetimes – not always the easiest burden to carry. The dual nature of this relationship gives her both a unique perspective, and wisdom beyond her years. She deserved better, but we also see how her death impacted many.
Miss Q only appears in one episode, but she is ridiculously interesting. While the Q (the male one we see in most of the series) can be obnoxious and constantly harasses Janeway, Miss Q puts him in his place. As Q’s ex-wife, she’s abrasive and insulting to the crew but seeing her in all her glory makes her an interesting character.
A former terrorist/freedom fighter (depending on who you’re asking), her life has been hard. Between her tragic backstory and allegories to World War II (the French Resistance, the Holocaust), Nerys was a fighter. She fought for her beliefs and her loyalty and commitment are traits to look up to.
Star Trek: Discovery premiers on September 25th, next week.