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|Portrayed by||Ethan Phillips|
|First appearance||"Caretaker, Part II" (Voy)|
Neelix // is a character in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, played by actor Ethan Phillips since the series inception. Neelix is an alien native to the distant far side of the galaxy, who has joined the crew of the United Federation of Planets starship USS Voyager after its being teleported to the Delta Quadrant.
The character of Neelix is from Rinax, a moon of the planet Talax, located in the Delta Quadrant of the show's fictional representation of the Milky Way galaxy. His entire family was killed in a conflict with the Haakonian race.
Neelix was introduced in "Caretaker", the two-part pilot episode of the series, where he was rescued along with his partner Kes by the Voyager crew. Previously a space trader, Neelix states his familiarity with the Delta Quadrant and appoints himself the ship's cook.
Neelix exits the show in the seventh and final season's 23rd episode "Homestead". The ship encounters a colony of exiled Talaxians, the last of his species that he is likely to see as the ship travels further from his home, and he chooses to stay with them. The character returns for a cameo in the series finale, "Endgame".
The Star Trek Cookbook
The persona of Neelix is also the central character in the mediocre-received The Star Trek Cookbook, published by Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st edition (January 1, 1999; ISBN 978-0671000226) authored by Ethan Phillips, and William J. Birnes, where the Voyager's chef is intended as a tongue-in-cheek stand-in for actor Ethan Pillips's real-life restaurant family's background. The cookbook is a collection of recipes, with several contributed by Star Trek actors from across several series and movies, where the cook of the USS Voyager accounts for the eclectic task of feeding its 140 diverse crew members. The recipe book also features a hypothetical complete guide for whipping up all the drinks served at Quark's.