|Star Trek character|
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
|First appearance||"Caretaker" (1995)|
|Portrayed by||Kate Mulgrew|
|Affiliation||United Federation of Planets|
|Posting||Starfleet Command (NEM)|
USS Voyager (VOY)
|Position||Starfleet Vice Admiral (NEM)|
Commanding Officer (VOY)
|Rank||Vice Admiral (NEM)|
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 briefly appears as a Starfleet admiral in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. Although other female captains had appeared in previous Star Trek episodes and other media, she is the only one to serve as the central character of a Star Trek TV series. She has also appeared in other media including books and video games. In all of her screen appearances, she was played by Kate Mulgrew. Janeway, voiced by Mulgrew, is the main protagonist of the animated television series Star Trek: Prodigy.
The character was originally named 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 be changed to "Kathryn", to which the producers agreed. Actresses Erin Gray and Chelsea Field also auditioned for the role.
Fictional character biography
Kathryn Janeway was born on May 20, 2336 in Bloomington, Indiana on Earth. She was the daughter of Vice Admiral Janeway and has a sister named Phoebe, who is the artist in the family. Phoebe never chose to join Starfleet and stayed close to home with her mother, Gretchen Janeway. Kathryn Janeway was very close to her father, who taught her to look at the universe with a scientist's eye; she was devastated by his death. 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.
Captain Janeway takes command of the Intrepid-class USS Voyager in 2371. Their first mission is 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 are 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.
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."
Janeway 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. She continues this mission in Beyer's second 2014 Star Trek: Voyager novel, Acts of Contrition.
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.
In 2019, it was reported that both Stacey Abrams, former candidate for Governor of Georgia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district, had drawn inspiration from the character of Janeway.
In 2019, Vulture.com ranked Captain Kathryn Janeway as the number one Star Trek captain by their selection criterion, a combination of competency and managerial style. In particular, they note her ability to overcome great challenges despite being on the other side of the Galaxy and commanding a crew in large part consisting of non-Starfleet personnel. One of her interesting relationships is noted as with the Former Maquis B'Elanna Torres (played by Roxann Dawson), and the Former Borg Seven of Nine (played by Jeri Ryan). Space.com rated Janeway as the number three best captain of Star Trek. In 2017, The Washington Post ranked Janeway as the third best Captain of Star Trek.<
Screen Rant rated her the fifth best captain of the franchise, noting her ability to command in adverse situations; two praises were that she does not give up easily and tries to maintain crew morale. In a review of female characters from science fiction television and film, Janeway was in the top ten. Captain Janeway was ranked as the 18th best character of all Star Trek by IGN in 2009. In 2016, Captain Janeway was ranked as the 8th most important character of Starfleet within the Star Trek science fiction universe by Wired magazine.
The romance between Janeway and Kashyk in "Counterpoint" was praised by Screen Rant, which they rated as one of the ten best episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. In 2018, CBR ranked Janeway as the 4th best Starfleet character of Star Trek. In 2017, Screen Rant ranked Kathryn Janeway as the 18th most attractive person in the Star Trek universe.
In 2018, The Gamer ranked Janeway as one of the top fifteen starship captains of the Star Trek franchise.
In July 2019, Screen Rant ranked Janeway the 4th smartest character of Star Trek.
In 2019, three disconnected groups of Bloomington, Indiana residents joined the Janeway Collective, with the goal of building a birthplace monument such as the one existing for James T. Kirk in Riverside, Iowa. The monument will be located on the B-Line Trail immediately next to a children's science museum. Through attending local events and raising awareness, they were able to successfully raise funds through a crowdsourcing campaign on the platform Patronicity and received a matching grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority's CreatINg Place program. The group worked directly with CBS to receive approvals for the likeness of the character and use of Star Trek symbolism.
The monument is constructed of a cast bronze bust with a limestone base with stainless steel plate. From above the monument will have the appearance of a comm badge.
Initially, the birthplace monument was to be unveiled on May 23, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has been rescheduled for October 24, 2020. An official groundbreaking event took place on June 27, 2020, with Kate Mulgrew in virtual attendance due to the pandemic.
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