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Captain Kathryn Janeway
|Affiliation||United Federation of Planets
|Posting||Starfleet Command (NEM)
USS Voyager (VOY)
|Position||Starfleet Vice Admiral (NEM)
Commanding Officer (VOY)
|Rank||Vice Admiral (NEM)
|Father||Vice Admiral Janeway|
|Portrayed by||Kate Mulgrew|
|First appearance||"Caretaker" (VOY)|
Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. As the captain of the Starfleet starship USS Voyager, she was the lead character on the television series Star Trek: Voyager, and later a Starfleet admiral, as seen in the 2002 feature film Star Trek: Nemesis. Although other female captains had appeared in previous Star Trek episodes and other media, she is, to date, the only one to serve as the central character of a Star Trek TV series. She has also appeared in other media including books, movies (notably Nemesis), and video games. In all of her screen appearances, she was played by actress Kate Mulgrew.
The character was originally called Elizabeth Janeway, after the noted writer of the same name. However, after Geneviève Bujold was cast, she requested the character to be renamed "Nicole Janeway". Bujold, whose experience was mainly in feature films, was unprepared for the schedule demanded by the television series, was unwilling to do news interviews, and dropped out on the second day of filming for the pilot episode "Caretaker". Kate Mulgrew, who had previously auditioned for the role, was brought in. She suggested that the name to be changed to "Kathryn", to which the producers agreed. Actresses Erin Gray and Chelsea Field also auditioned for the role. Field's husband Scott Bakula would later play Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise.
Fictional character biography
Kathryn was born on May 20, 2328 in Bloomington, Indiana (Earth). She was the daughter of Vice Admiral Janeway and had at least one sister, who she described as the artist in the family. Janeway was very close to her father, who taught her to look at the Universe with a scientist's eye and she was devastated at his death and was bedridden with grief for months until her sister forced her to face reality again. Her father's influence as well as her early interests in mathematics is most likely what lead Kathryn to become a scientist, by attending Starfleet Academy, she had the best opportunity to do so. Her first mission after graduating the academy was as a science officer on the USS Al-batani, where she served as Chief Science Officer during the Arias mission.
Although primarily a scientist, being a Starfleet officer meant that Janeway also had combat training to be used in times of war, she put these skills to the test as a Lieutenant during the Federation-Cardassian conflicts.
Captain Janeway took command of the Intrepid-class USS Voyager in 2371. Their first mission was to locate and capture a Maquis vessel last seen in the area of space known as the Badlands. While there, the Maquis ship and Voyager were transported against their will into the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light-years away, by a massive displacement wave. The Maquis ship is destroyed while fighting the Kazon-Ogla, and although Voyager survives, there are numerous casualties. In order to protect the Ocampa, who live on a planet Voyager visits, Janeway destroys the Caretaker Array, the space station that transported the two ships to the Delta Quadrant, which provides energy to the Ocampa's planet, despite the fact that the Array may be the two ships' only chance to return home. In doing this, Janeway strands her ship and crew seven decades' travel from home.
Her first major task is integrating the surviving Maquis and Voyager crews. Chakotay, captain of the Maquis ship, succeeds the deceased Lieutenant Commander Cavit as her first officer. Janeway also grants convicted criminal, former Starfleet officer, and accomplished pilot Tom Paris a field commission, and makes him Voyager's helmsman.
During the course of the TV series, Voyager has contact with the Q Continuum on three occasions, and repeated contact with the Borg. With the intervention of a future/alternate version of herself, Janeway leads her crew in using one of the Borg's transwarp conduits to return her ship to Federation space after having traveled through the Delta Quadrant for seven years.
Janeway differed from other captains of the 24th century such as Picard and Sisko, as she was an accomplished scientist, unlike Picard who was better known as a diplomat and Sisko, known for being more of a fighter and this is chiefly what she considered the main aspect of her career as well as being a Captain and a Starfleet officer. However, unlike Sisko and similar to Picard, Janeway was utterly uncompromising of her morals and was fiercely devoted to Starfleet principles, determined to hold up standards of rules and regulations in a seemingly lawless part of the galaxy, convinced that that was what made them stronger and that despite being thousands of lightyears away from home, they were still human. This explains why she was determined to put a stop to Rudolph Ransom, a seemingly amoral Starfleet captain she encountered in the Delta Quadrant who had performed cruel and illegal experiments on an alien species in order to get home faster, putting a stop to someone who had betrayed everything the Starfleet uniform stood for became almost a personal vendetta for Janeway and she was willing to almost sacrifice one of Ransom's crew to the aliens in order to locate him. Also in the final episode when Janeway encounters her future self, who presents her with the opportunity to get home early using Borg technology, Janeway is more interested in dealing a crippling blow to the Borg, thereby saving millions of lives.
Admiral Janeway also appeared in the Borg Invasion 4-D ride at the Star Trek: The Experience venue in Las Vegas, which closed in 2008. In the ride, Janeway leads Voyager to the rescue of ride participants who are ostensibly trapped first on a space station and later on a shuttlecraft that come under attack by a Borg Cube commanded by the Borg Queen. At the ride's end, Janeway tells the participants, "Congratulations. You've defeated the Borg with one thing the Queen can never assimilate: the human spirit. As long as we have that, resistance will never be futile."
Although Paramount considers only the onscreen, live-action Trek episodes and movies canonical, Janeway has nonetheless continued as a major character in the Star Trek novels that depict the events in the lives of the Voyager characters after the end of that series. In Peter David's 2007 Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, Before Dishonor, which is set after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, Janeway is assimilated by a rogue faction of the Borg, and becomes their new Borg Queen. Seven of Nine, with the aid of Ambassador Spock and the Enterprise-E crew, manages to communicate with Janeway's consciousness, buried deep within the Queen's mind. During a brief moment of contact, Janeway helps them destroy the Borg cube, with all hands on board. Although Seven manages to escape, Janeway is killed. Her memorial service sees a vast turnout, and a tall gleaming pillar with a light burning atop it is constructed in tribute to her. The Q female appears to Janeway's spirit, and tells her that Q and the Q Continuum had taken an interest in her. Telling her that she has a destiny, Lady Q takes Janeway by the hand, and disappears with her into realms unknown. Writer Peter David explained the book was conceived by Pocket Books editorial as one in which Janeway would die, and that he was brought in to write it in order to give her a reportedly heroic send-off.
In the 2012 Star Trek: Voyager novel The Eternal Tide by Kirsten Beyer, Janeway returns to human life with the help of young Q, who needs her assistance, and by the book's end resumes her admiralship in Starfleet. In the 2014 Star Trek: Voyager novel Protectors by Kirsten Beyer, Janeway goes back to Earth per orders of Starfleet Command; by the end of the book she returns to the Delta Quadrant, taking charge of the starships stationed there. In the second 2014 Star Trek: Voyager novel, also by Beyer, Acts of Contrition, Janeway continues as the Admiral in charge of Starfleet's Delta Quadrant exploratory fleet of ships.
In Cryptic Studios online role-playing game, Star Trek Online, Janeway is briefly mentioned in the background, exploring the Hobus system after the supernova that was the catalyst for the events of the 2009 Star Trek film.
- Meisler, Andy (1994-09-15). "Real 'Star Trek' Drama: Enlisting New Skipper". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Poe, Stephen Edward (1998). A Vision of the Future: Star Trek Voyager. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53481-5.
- Logan, Michael (May 1995). "Command Performance". Retrieved 2007-06-10.
- As established on the bridge scene on Day 65 in the 1997 episode "Year of Hell", which premiered during Voyager's fourth season.
- As established in the Astrometrics Lab scene in Act 4 of the episode "Imperfection".
- Okuda, Michael & Denise (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. New York City: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-03475-8.
- "Summary of Star Trek Nemesis". Startrek.com. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Before Dishonor at Amazon.com
- David, Peter (December 20, 2007). "Star Trek: New Frontier from IDW". peterdavid.net. Quote: "The book was conceived by Pocket Books editorial as one in which Janeway would die, and then I was brought in to write it because they felt I could give her a heroic send-off. But if I hadn’t written it, someone else would have, and Janeway would still be gone."
- "Mission: Ground Zero" mission text, Star Trek Online