Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. 

DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers for Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Nemesis, and Star Trek: Prodigy.

Kathryn Janeway

Fast Facts:

In the first episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) is in command of the USS Voyager when the ship is catapulted to the Delta Quadrant. It will take 75 years to return home to Earth. Worse still, a significant portion of the crew is killed in the incident. Fortunately, Janeway’s unwavering commitment to Starfleet protocol helps her serve as an authority figure for her crew during the voyage home.

the starship voyager in space from star trek

Over the course of the seven seasons in which it took Voyager to make it home, Janeway maintained her crew’s morale. She recognized the unique and challenging circumstances of their situation necessitated a different type of captain than she had previously prepared to be. Furthermore, she readily rose to the many challenges that Voyager faced along the way.

Post-Delta Quadrant:

After Voyager’s return, Janeway’s incredible leadership efforts in the Delta Quadrant are rewarded with a promotion to Vice Admiral, and she appeared in Nemesis to utilize her “dry humor and down-to-earth charm” while sending Captain Jean-Luc Picard off on one of his “easy” assignments.

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And in the first season finale of Prodigy, we learn what “the real Janeway” (as opposed to “Hologram Janeway”) has been up to lately: she’s commanding the USS Dauntless, a Starfleet ship that only exists because of data Voyager brought back from the Delta Quadrant.

Always looking out for those closest to her, Vice Admiral Janeway is on a search-and-rescue mission to locate her lost ally, Captain Chakotay (I hope Harry Kim also got a promotion when Voyager finally made it to San Francisco, but I digress).

The Real Deal:

Janeway is the real deal. She’s immensely intelligent and always unafraid to speak her mind and stand by her beliefs. She makes incredibly difficult decisions and she sticks by her choices. She’s dedicated to maintaining and supporting her community, but she’s never, ever a gatekeeper.

Audiences see her virtues in the very first episode when she folds the members of the Maquis Resistance, who were being pursued by Voyager when they all were pulled to the Delta Quadrant, into her Starfleet crew. She also accepts the aliens Neelix and Kes into her crew (even though they’d never heard of Starfleet before the encounter).

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In fact, time and again, we see how Janeway brings new individuals into Starfleet: another example is Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), who joins the crew mid-way through the series despite the fact that she was part of the Borg Collective. And it shows in another way through The Doctor (Robert Picardo), the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) who argues that he deserves to determine when he’s turned on and off… an argument which Janeway finds convincing.

Kate Mulgrew as Janeway in STAR TREK: PRODIGY

Kate Mulgrew as Janeway in STAR TREK: PRODIGY streaming on Paramount+ Photo: Nickelodeon/Paramount+ ©2022VIACOM INTERNATIONAL. All Rights Reserved.

This propensity is alive and well even in the Hologram Janeway that occupies the USS Protostar on Prodigy. She works hard to demonstrate to the outsiders who make up the crew why the ideals of Starfleet are worth adopting. “What would the real Janeway do?” asks Hologram Janeway in one episode, a question I ask myself all the time!

Why She Matters:

Why does Janeway matter? She shows us how important it is to stand true to your ideals and to follow your convictions even in the darkest and most distant of locations. Janeway demonstrates that, even when we’re lost at sea, we can draw on the strength within ourselves… and that strength can benefit those around us when they need it most.

She shows us that having faith in outsiders and being open to bringing them in can not only be beneficial for yourself and the individual whom you are welcoming but to the larger community. Think of how Neelix cooks for everyone on Voyager when they can’t fuel the replicators, or how The Doctor’s development of his hologram matrix clearly has an effect on all Starfleet holograms (see: Star Trek: Picard; Prodigy).

So, be like Janeway. Don’t allow anyone to stand between you and your beliefs. Be open to bringing new people into your fold, and to allowing outsiders to become an integral part of your community. And remember sometimes, the only solution to a problem is down a cup of coffee, pick up a two-handed phaser rifle and get to work!

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!

STAR TREK PRODIGY: We Don’t Get to See the Future

Avery Kaplan