For our final installment celebrating the Women of Star Trek, we focus on those who lead the charge. The past few weeks have been building to this alpha list of Women who’ve made major contributions to Star Trek Canyon. These Women do not shy away from their duty or fate.

Katherine Janeway

Celebrating the Women of Star Trek Kathryn Janeway
Adm. Kathryn Janeway

As captain of the eponymous ship on Star Trek: VoyagerJaneway (Kate Mulgrew) wasn’t just the first woman to lead a Star Trek. She also faced the unprecedented challenges associated with leading her stranded crew back from the Delta Quadrant. Fortunately, no captain could be better suited for the job. An unapologetic leader who emphasizes inclusion and scientific exploration, Janeway would allow no boundary — up to and including the Temporal Prime Directive — to go uncrossed in her quest to return the USS Voyager to Earth.

At the conclusion of the series, Janeway didn’t just succeed in her mission. She also brought the fruits of her experimentation home with her. This included significant advances for holographic technology, new knowledge regarding the people and places in the Delta Quadrant, and even some anti-Borg tech from a few decades or so down a parallel timeline. In this sense, Janeway proved to be a leader not just for Go‘s crew, but for the Federation’s scientific thought in general.

in Star Trek: Prodigy, multiple versions of Janeway appear to guide the next generation. This includes Hologram Janeway, who helps initiate the USS Protostar crew into the basics of Starfleet, and Vice Admiral Janeway, who provides the crew with a trial by fire before proving to be their staunchest defender in the Prodigy season 1 finale. And later this year, Prodigy season 2 promises to give Janeway Prime the chance to work directly with the young Starfleet initiates. With a role model who possesses the leadership strength of Janeway, they’re sure to be ready to boldly go on their own in no time.

Oh, and for the record? She was absolutely correct in her decision regarding Tuvix. ‘Nuff said. — A.J.K.

Michael Burnham

Celebrating the Women of Star Trek Capt.  Michael Burnham of DiscoveryCelebrating the Women of Star Trek Capt.  Michael Burnham of Discovery
Capt. Michael Burnham of Discovery

Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is an incredible and capable leader who’s gone down a long road of darkness and adversity in order to win over the trust, confidence, and love of his crew and family aboard the USS discovery. She grew up on Vulcan as the adopted sister of Spock, after graduating from the Vulcan Science Academy she joined Starfleet and eventually rose up in the ranks on the USS Shenzhou where she would eventually commit mutiny and in doing so inadvertently launch a devastating war between the Klingons and the Federation.

After six months in prison, she found her way onto the discovery where she met some familiar faces and new ones alike. Becoming a full-fledged member of the discovery and rejoining Starfleet was an arduous journey in and of itself, but in the process, she helped save the galaxy from the Klingons; she saved a separate universe from the Terran Empire; she led her crew into the 32n.d. century; solved the over hundred year old mystery and stopped the Emerald Chain from destroying Starfleet; and most recently brought Earth back into the Federation and saved the galaxy from being harvested by super-intelligent aliens.

Michael Burnham was born to lead and his journey from survivor to captain’s chair has been one for the history books. Her story is one of growing and learning to overcome your mistakes in order to be rehabilitated into society. Burnham is someone we should aspire to look up to, because if she can succeed so we can all. —D.C.

Rachel Garrett

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Capt. Rachel Garrett

Rachel Garrett (Tricia O’Neil) in Star Trek canon is the 1st woman to Captain an Enterpriseher first appearance is in the TNG alternate history episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.

In 2344 as captain of the Ambassador-class Enterprise-C, Garrett responded to a Klingon distress call from their outpost on Narendra III. There the Enterprise-C engaged 4 Romulan Warbirds resulting in a temporary rift that threw the Enterprise-C forward in time to the year 2366. This resulted in the timeline being changed to one where the Federation and Klingons are at war, a war that the Federation is losing.

With a badly damaged ship and heavy crew losses, Garrett made the hard command decision to have the Enterprise-C reenter the rift, return home to their time, and possibly repair the timeline. Before the Enterprise-C could reenter the rift, a Klingon scout attacked the ship resulting in the death of Captain Garrett. Her crew would carry on, return to 2344, and defend the outpost resulting in better relations with the Federation and Klingons.

Her legend would be celebrated with a statue on M’talas Prime at the Starfleet Recruitment building in 2401. A dedication ceremony was scheduled as part of a pre-Frontier Day celebration but was destroyed in a terrorist attack.

But the story of Rachel Garrett won’t end there as fans will rejoice with a young Garrett (Kacey Rohl) appearing in the upcoming Section 31 streaming movie. —GC3

Beckett Mariner

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Ensign Becket Mariner

Beckett MarinerTawny Newsome) is Starfleet.

Being a legacy child of two command-level officers, Mariner’s life story is the story of Starfleet, having been adjacent to important events or people like being classmates with Nicholas Locarno and Wesley Crusher while in Starfleet, Academy, after graduating served on Deep Space 9 during the Dominion War, and along the way cultivated relationships with other Starfleet legends like Captain William Riker of the USS Titan.

Her career would take a bit of a setback because of her survivor’s guilt post-Dominion War, suffering “silently” she sabotaged her career track avoiding promotions whenever she could, associating promotions with the friends lost during the war.

Live action Becket MarinerLive action Becket Mariner
Becket Mariner

Serving aboard the USS Cerritos would rekindle her passion for being in Starfleet rise to the crisis of the week and be recognized as a true leader among her peers, leading to a promotion and re-triggering her trauma. This would lead to some self-destructive actions during missions, and it would be some time before she eventually faced her survivor’s guilt. Along her healing path, she traveled back in time to meet Captain Pike and the crew of the Constitution-class Enterprise, good times, and in a live quadrant-wide broadcast proclaimed her loyalty to Starfleet and its mission, thwarted Nicholas Locarno’s misguided uprising plot.

The success of the Cerritos in its second contact missions can be attributed to its young officer core led by Beckett Mariner. She might come off as a complete loose cannon, reckless and insubordinate, the absolute opposite of a role model Starfleet officer, but put Mariner’s DNA under a scanner, we would see the Starfleet emblem mixed in with her genetics. GC3

Leeta

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First Clerk of the Ferengi Alliance Leeta

Dabo girls were Quark’s answer to Vegas showgirls, and if this had been any show but Star Trek Leeta (Chase Masterson) may have been simple arm candy for an episode or two. Instead, this smart, capable woman had agency and an entire character arc in which she wound up with a kind, loving man who then wound up becoming the Grand Nagus.

While her husband is a revolutionary in his own way, Leeta is the backbone that helps their vision come to fruition. She’s the savvy business person that the leader of the Ferengi people has to be. It’s not all her, it’s a team effort, especially demonstrated by the recent Lower Decks episode “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place,” but there’s not a chance that Ferenginar would continue to be headed for a better future without her there too.

Leeta demonstrates that you can have beauty and brains, and everything else for that matter. You don’t have to compromise for love or for life. — L.K.

Tryla Scott

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Capt. Tryla Scott

Tryla Scott (Ursaline Bryant) is the youngest person in Starfleet history to reach the rank of Captain. This accomplishment is amazing when compared to Starfleet giants like Kirk and Picard who both became Captains in their early-mid twenties through battlefield promotions, which showcases how much of a prodigy she is as Starfleet has a history of wanting commanders with years of experience.

In my head, I see her with a parent very much like scandal‘s Papa Pope telling her “You have to be…twice as good as them to get half of what they have.” While not official Star Trek canon, she appears in The Autobiography of Benjamin Sisko by Derek Tyler Attico and we get to learn a bit about her drive to command, as well as her fate after the alien invasion was stopped (in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1’s “Conspiracy”). GC3

Phillipa Georgiou (both versions)

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Capt. Philippa Georgiou

Philippa Georgiou (Prime Universe) doesn’t get much screen time compared to her Mirror counterpart, however the effect she has on character’s such as Michael Burnham and Saru hangs over the series like a shadow. She found Saru and brought him into Starfleet, helping him escape his deadly homeworld from him, and nurtured Burnham after she was placed in Starfleet’s care of him; raising them both to become great leaders. Georgiou (P) was an understanding and compassionate captain of the USS Shenzhoushe was unceremoniously cut down in battle against the Klingons at the Battle of the Binary Stars after her first officer Burnham mutinied and unintentionally started a war with the warrior race.

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Her Most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Qo’noS, Regina Andor, Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius

Philippa Georgiou (Mirror Universe) by contrast was the Emperor of the Terran Empire within the Mirror Universe. Cold, calculating, and genocidal she led the Empire in a scorched space campaign, killing any and all species that retaliated against their might. Vulcan, Klingon, Andorian, no one was safe. Eventually, Georgiou (M) would find her way into the Prime Universe where she first joined Section 31 as a shadow operative for Starfleet, but after joining the USS discovery crew in the 32n.d. century (and isolated from everything she once knew), this Georgiou over time would be changed by Burnham and crew into a more tolerant person.

Georgiou, no matter the universe, displays great leadership – be it in different ways – but also serves as a great example of how compassion can ultimately inspire others to do better, to be better, and to discover more about oneself than was considered possible. D.C.

Lucille Ball

Celebrating the Women of Star TrekCelebrating the Women of Star Trek
Godmother of Star Trek Lucille Ball

Growing up, I was probably Lucille Ball‘s number one fan. I bought every book about the comedian, any t-shirt adorned with her face, and recorded VHSs of every television show and movie she was in, not just I Love Lucy, although that was my favorite. But, it wasn’t until I got chicken pox in third grade that I took up one of Ball’s greatest achievements: Star Trek.

While Gene Roddenberry might have envisioned the “Wagon Train to the Stars,” it was Ball, through her studio Desilu Productions, who had the Hollywood clout and money to ensure the series happened. She stood by the show through two pilot shoots, stepping in to convince NBC to shoot the second pilot that was ultimately picked up for series. ROK


For more Star Trek coverage, check out The Beat’s Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Preflight Roundtable for our hopes, dreams, and loves for Disk.

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