Star Trek: Voyager‘s Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) isn’t just the Star Trek franchise’s first female Captain to lead her own series, she also holds the remarkable record for the most on-screen deaths. Janeway experienced numerous challenges as she led her crew through the uncharted Delta Quadrant, encountering deadly threats and new Star Trek foes. Among these threats were the Borg, the terrifying Species-8472, and the Krenim, who subjected Voyager to a year of hell in season 4’s classic two-parter.
Janeway also had a cavalier approach to the laws of time, which occasionally drew the attention of the Starfleet Temporal Integrity Commission. For example, Captain Braxton (Bruce McGill), a 29th-century Starfleet officer who had been stranded in the past, plotted a devastating revenge against Janeway and the crew of Voyager. The ship was repeatedly destroyed as Voyager‘s Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) raced against time to unmask Braxton as the saboteur. This was just one of the times that Janeway was killed in an alternate timeline, and totaling them all up gives an impressive number of 17 on-screen “deaths” across Star Trek: Voyager’s seven seasons.
Voyager’s Captain Janeway Holds A Star Trek Death Record
The majority of Janeway’s deaths are the results of or reversed by temporal accidents, the first of which happens very early in Star Trek: Voyager. In season 1, episode 4, “Time and Again”, Janeway and Lieutenant Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) are trapped in the past, doomed to die in an explosion that wipes out all life on an unnamed planet. Janeway averts this tragic fate by stopping the explosion and aborting the timeline. Another notable Janeway death was when Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) made a fatal miscalculation while experimenting with a new version of Star Trek‘s warp drive which resulted in the destruction of the USS Voyager in season 5, episode 6, “Timeless”. Kim broke several temporal laws to avert the disaster, restoring the timeline and Voyager in the process.
In Voyager season 3, episode 15, “Coda”, Captain Janeway is repeatedly killed in a variety of gruesome ways, before eventually seeing a bright light and seemingly being transported to the afterlife. Her guide is her father, Vice Admiral Edward Janeway (Len Cariou), who was actually an ethereal alien being feeding on Janeway’s heightened emotions. It’s a testament to Janeway’s strength that she stares death in the face and refuses to accept it.
What Janeway’s Many Star Trek Deaths Say About Her As A Captain
Many of the deaths of Captain Janeway show her greatest virtue – a willingness to go down with her ship to save her crew. In “Year of Hell”, the USS Voyager is devastated by repeated encounters with the Krenim scientist Annorax (Kurtwood Smith) and his devastating temporal weapon. Many of the crew are killed, or forced to abandon ship, but Janeway remains resolute, leading an armada against Annorax and piloting Voyager directly into the temporal core, dying in the process and reversing the dark timeline. In doing so, Janeway changes her past so that Voyager can now pass safely around Krenim space, saving many lives in the process.
This is also what the older Admiral Janeway does in Voyager’s season 7 ending, “Endgame”, when she sacrificed herself to get her past self and her crew home safely, and much earlier. Janeway’s willingness to stare death in the face is so key to her character that the holographic replica of her in Star Trek: Prodigy made her own heroic sacrifice to save the crew of the USS Protostar. Although Janeway faced a difficult and unenviable mission in Star Trek: Voyager, her determination to get her crew home was always worth risking her own life for, making her one of Star Trek‘s best captains.
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