|Affiliation||United Federation of Planets
Provisional Lieutenant CommanderCommander
|Portrayed by||Robert Beltran|
The character Chakotay was born in 2329. As a boy, he often rebelled against his Native American upbringing in his father Kolopak's tribe (unnamed within Star Trek's canon), with its sometimes strict spiritual and cultural traditions. He dreamed of entering Starfleet Academy, which he finally managed to do at age 15, sponsored by Captain Sulu. (Voyager episode "Tattoo"). He attended Starfleet Academy from 2344 to 2348, where he engaged in the sport of boxing.
During his tenure in Starfleet, he was assigned as an instructor in Starfleet's Advanced Tactical Training and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. This may be a reference to the TNG episode "Preemptive Strike" where Ro Laren reveals that her tactical training instructor, a lieutenant commander, left Starfleet to join the Maquis. While not explicitly stated in the series, Chakotay's official biography on the official Star Trek website also states that he was Ro Laren's instructor at Advanced Tactical Training.
In 2370, Chakotay's home planet in the Demilitarized Zone was ceded to the Cardassians in accordance with a treaty between the Federation and Cardassia. He subsequently resigned from Starfleet and joined a rogue group known as the Maquis. During his time as a renegade fighter against the Cardassians, Chakotay inducted into his Maquis cell the half-Klingon woman B'Elanna Torres who became his chief engineer. He also invited a Bajoran named Seska and the two became involved in a romantic relationship for a time. However, unknown to Chakotay, Seska was actually a Cardassian spy who had been surgically altered to infiltrate the Maquis.
Chakotay was captain of the Val Jean raider (the ship's name appeared on a readout screen in the episode "Repression"). This vessel was destroyed after both it and the USS Voyager were transported to the Delta Quadrant. Captain Kathryn Janeway, the commanding officer of Voyager, offered the Val Jean crew a chance to serve on her ship, and appointed Chakotay as her first officer with the provisional rank of Lieutenant Commander (in episode "Caretaker"). Janeway and Chakotay eventually become close friends, though in the second season episode "Resolutions", they experience romantic tension when they enter a state of self-imposed quarantine on an alien planet, after contracting a fatal virus. After several weeks on the planet, however, the Voyager crew manage to find a cure, and they return to the ship.
Near the end of Voyager's seven-year journey in the Delta Quadrant, the former Borg drone Seven of Nine chooses Chakotay to be the object of her affections as part of her rediscovery of her humanity. In an alternate future, seen in the series finale "Endgame", Seven and Chakotay marry, though she dies before Voyager reaches home and Chakotay dies in 2394.
Chakotay's character is a unifying presence on Voyager. He is well liked and well respected by both Starfleet and former Maquis crew members. As First Officer, he often serves as a mentor to the junior crew members and as an intermediary between the junior crew and the Captain. In the episode "Unity", Chakotay identifies as a vegetarian.
Voyager relaunch novels
In the non-canonical Voyager relaunch novels, written by Christie Golden, Chakotay is promoted after the ship returns to Federation space, and becomes Captain of Voyager. He and Seven eventually break up. All of Voyager's Maquis contingent, Chakotay included, are given full amnesty for any crimes they may have committed while in the Maquis. Tom Paris serves as Chakotay's First Officer.
Later, Seven and Chakotay are shown comforting each other after the death of Kathryn Janeway. Chakotay becomes increasingly agitated over her death and eventually leaves the ship, turning over command of Voyager to a new captain, Afsarah Eden. However, Chakotay eventually resumes the captaincy of the ship after Eden takes command of the new fleet of which Voyager is a part.