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|Star Trek character|
|First appearance||"Caretaker, Part II" (Voy)|
|Portrayed by||Ethan Phillips|
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 as cook after its being captured by a mysterious shock wave 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. He later earns the titles of Morale Officer and Chief Ambassador. When Naomi Wildman becomes the first baby born aboard Voyager, her mother Samantha names Neelix as her daughter's godfather.
Neelix departs the show in the seventh season's 23rd episode "Homestead". The ship encounters a colony of 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 Star Trek Cookbook, published by Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st edition (January 1, 1999; ISBN 978-0671000226) by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes. The cookbook includes contributions by Star Trek actors from across several series and movies, as the cook of the USS Voyager accounts for the eclectic task of feeding its 140 diverse crew members. The recipe book also features a fictional guide for whipping up the drinks served at Quark's.