Top 10 Best Star Trek Female Characters, Ranked From Romulans to Illyrians
These are the female characters making waves across the Star Trek Universe.
It’s not easy coming up with the best Star Trek female characters, because there are so many to choose from. We wish we could name every one of them since there have been amazing female characters throughout the original Star Trek series, The Next Generation, and the recent Strange New Worlds. But this bodes well for the franchise, providing an excellent balance between male and female characters that’s helped elevate Star Trek beyond the confines of any world. Without further ado, let’s check out the list.
10. Romulan Commander
The first time the Federation’s deadliest enemy was introduced was in the original series episode The Enterprise Incident. Kirk gives in to his daring nature and takes his Enterprise ship into Romulan territory, where he encounters a squadron. What makes this character even more significant is the fact that she remains unnamed to this day and yet is such an important milestone for Star Trek canon and history.
While Kirk attempts to gather intel on the Romulans, the commander is fascinated by Spock and tries to persuade him to join her. It becomes apparent she might have a romantic inclination toward him. After inviting Spock to dinner, she explains how Romulan women are passionate when compared to logical Vulcan women. Spock is put on edge, but resists her offer and maintains his loyalty. All along, Spock was helping Kirk steal the invaluable cloaking device to help advance the Federation’s technology. At the end of the episode, the Romulan commander is captured aboard the Enterprise and held as a prisoner. In a moment of privacy, Spock admits that his romantic interest in her was not pretended.
9. Philippa Georgiou
Georgiou is a Malaysian human who became one of the Starfleet Academy’s most decorated officers and the captain of U.S.S. Shenzou. During a routine activity, her crew encountered the hostile Klingon Empire and things quickly escalated into an event known as the Battle at the Binary Stars before becoming the catalyst to the Klingon-Federation War. Georgiou lost her life to the leader of the Klingons, T’Kuvma, as she tried to capture him on his ship in an attempt to prevent the war. She is a smart and driven commander who will go down in Star Trek history for her sacrifice.
8. Elizabeth Shelby
Commander Elizabeth Shelby has a bit of notoriety to her name, mostly owing to her rivalry with Commander William T. Riker. After confidently believing she would replace him as Captain Picard’s first officer, Riker didn’t take too kindly to her after his promotion to commander of U.S.S. Melbourne. To Shelby’s chagrin, she ended up becoming Riker’s first officer. Elizabeth has a similar personality to Admiral James T. Kirk in that she is a risk-taker when the greater good is involved.
As such, she ended up going over Riker’s head when leading an away team to investigate a Borg attack, and went so far as to lead another team to rescue Picard when the Borg kidnapped him. She eventually moved up the ranks to be a commanding officer herself, and it would be great to find out more about her in future shows.
7. Deanna Troi
Deanna Troi is a standout character not just due to her exoticness, but also because of her half-human, half-Betazoid hybrid race. This mixed-race is what gave her telepathic abilities (though decreased in their effectiveness), and those powers were perfect for the crew’s counselor. She brought prominence to this Starfleet position and proved the most valuable assets to have in space are communication and empathy.
On many occasions, her abilities helped smooth things out during turbulent encounters, and she survived many different scenarios including being surgically altered, impersonating Romulans, and figuring out when others were lying. Deanna eventually married Riker and did more than enough to secure her legacy in Star Trek canon and history.
6. Michael Burnham
Michael has great importance to Star Trek canon, bringing more diversity while also being the main protagonist on the Star Trek: Discovery series despite not acting as the captain. Her story overshadows her captain Gabriel Lorca, and while she served under Captain Phillippa Georgiou, she would commit mutiny and injure Phillippa in order to force the U.S.S. Shenzhou to preemptively attack the Klingons. After being a part of the Klingon-Federation war’s inciting incident, Captain Lorca reduced her sentence since he wanted crew members dedicated to defeating the Klingons.
Her backstory is unique in that she was a human raised by Klingons, and none other than Spock’s father, Sarek, specifically. Not a typical Star Trek character, Michael is a complicated woman, most likely created under modern characterization precepts, and it will be interesting to see how her story develops.
5. Beverly Crusher
Talk about an intimidating name. Beverly Crusher is an all-around amazing female character, and not at all an aggressive one like her last name might suggest. She served as the chief medical officer on both Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E, and was a main crew member on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She was also a loving mother to Wesley Crusher and after her husband’s tragic passing, developed a close bond with Picard that blurred the lines between friendship and romance.
Beverly Crusher is controversial in that many wished she was further developed than what was allowed on screen in the Star Trek the Next Generation shows and movies. Her closeness to Picard also rallied fans to request her to have a main role in the Picard series, and many non-canonical books were written about the pairing, and the life they share together, along with their son.
4. Seven of Nine
Seven of Nine’s name should state the obvious; there’s nothing quite like her. Although human, she was a former Borg drone, meaning she was part of the Borg Collective until she was liberated by Kathryn Janeway and her U.S.S. Voyager crew. As an assimilated Borg, she was taken by them and enhanced with cybernetics. In the case of Seven of Nine, or Annika Hansen, she was abducted at the age of six and dubbed Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One.
After her complex and traumatic upbringing, she becomes nuanced and complicated aboard the U.S.S. Voyager. She brings many deep, dramatic, and thematic elements to Star Trek, portraying a character that demands respect, patience, and understanding. After all, consider the fact that she was kidnapped as a child, forced to become a Borg drone, and then has difficulty assimilating with her human peers (let alone other races), while also having to suppress an urge to rejoin the Borg. For the show, she brought plenty of tense moments, as well as emotional scenes, funny moments, and butt-kicking action.
3. Nyota Uhura
Uhura has seen different incarnations throughout the various Star Trek series and movies, and Strange New Worlds has really taken her to the next level. Her latest on-screen portrayal brings a balanced sense of vulnerability, strengths, weaknesses, and backstory. Although she begins as a communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, she eventually achieves the rank of commander of the U.S.S. Leondegrance for her remaining services to the Starfleet.
She can also be considered the first true standout female character or lead and deserves it completely. Uhura brings a great amount of diversity and unique themes to explore. As the expert linguist on her crew, and with her potential to grow, we’re looking forward to seeing more of her on a regular basis.
2. Number One / Una Chin-Riley
As her designated name states, Number One is the first officer to Pike, and ranks just shy of the number one spot on this list. In the original series, she was only referred to as Number One but was later named Una Chin-Riley in several non-canon Star Trek novels. It’s great how Strange New Worlds finally solidifies her name as canon. Also in the new series, Una is given a more involved role and is attached to a key plot involving Pike’s destiny. Since she’s an Illyrian, she’s genetically modified, which is also why she looks like a human, while her kind normally does not.
From the beginning of the Strange New Worlds series, Starfleet makes it clear that they are anti-genetically modified beings. This puts her in a terrible position, and in direct defiance of Federation law. Regardless, she’s already had spotlight episodes where she’s saved the crew from a deadly virus, and has special empathy when it comes to forming bonds with fellow crew members. The fact that she risks it all to help her crewmates and perform her duties to better mankind makes her all the more compelling and one to root for.
1. Kathryn Janeway
Kathryn Janeway is an iconic female character that hasn’t received as much attention as she should, especially in recent Star Trek lore and media. In Starfleet history, she remains one of the most highly decorated captains and is notoriously known for her obsession with coffee. On a more serious note, one of her most notable accomplishments is how she took command of the U.S.S. Voyager as it made its way through the dangerous Delta Quadrant, which is home to the Borg Collective. Thanks to her leadership, the Voyager was able to bring the crew safely back to earth through a Borg transwarp conduit.
Her time as a commander also gained her another milestone which she achieved during her space exploration. It’s been estimated in various episodes how she’s made first contact with more alien races than James T. Kirk. She eventually gets promoted to the rank of Admiral after helping prevent another technologically advanced species from the Delta Quadrant, the Vau N’Akat, from destroying the Federation. To top it off, she defeated the Borg Queen and has a diverse background full of hobbies, passions, and scientific skills. Most of all, she comes across as being a balanced leader; one who is smart, decisive, and strong, but also kind, caring, and understanding. No other female character has been involved in so many Star Trek critical events and achieved so much, which makes her deserving of this top spot.
That’s our list of the top best Star Trek female characters, but the great thing about this franchise is that it has always been a pioneer for portraying powerful women of diverse races, ages, and cultures. There are way more than 10 great female characters in the Star Trek mythos, and new prominent female characters are being introduced all the time. If you’re a Star Trek fan, you owe it to yourself to check out the video game, Resurgence.
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