The Beat’s Trek Squad continues with our weekly celebration of the women in Star Trek with a salute to the Women Fixers.

These are women who have a technical mastery of their field, can repair a crucial ship system while under fire, mend bones or minds in perilous conditions, or work to advance social injustices. These women are the bridges for a successful mission outcome.  

Nyota Uhura 

Women of Star Trek: Nyota UhuraLt. Uhura, originally portrayed by the great Nichelle Nichols, later by Zoe Saldana in the reboot movies and Celia Rose Gooding in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, can be considered the voice and soul of the USS Enterprise. This iconic character starts in the background simply answering communication, and this could easily be a piece about her being the apex of male nerd fantasies, but scene by scene we see her showcase technical proficiency in repairing important communication systems, jumping into the navigation slot, standing in as science officer, or being left in charge of the ship, and that is from the original series, as the years progressed we would see more of her strengths, especially in Strange New Worlds as that iteration of Uhura is positioned to learn as many ship systems as possible, and for a prodigy like Uhura, this is a fantastic starting point for her Starfleet career.

In all iterations of Uhura, we see her ability to step in and provide insight into the current problem be it translating a language, figuring out how to track a cloaked vessel, or finding the right type of song to close a spacial rift. Her knowledge and experience would serve her well past her time on the Enterprise and Enterprise-A as captain of the USS Leondegrance, starting with a five-year mission with over 100 first contact missions, the Leondegrance would become an Academy training vessel where she would foster in the “Next Generation” of Starfleet officers including a young cadet named Jean-Luc Picard. The backstory of Uhura is one of tragedy, but the strength to heal and learn makes her a Starfleet Legend, a true warrior scholar. — GC3

Una Chin-Riley 

Like Spock and the USS Enterprise, Number One has been a part of Star Trek since day one. In her original incarnation, played by the inimitable Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Number One sent a message about where women fit in in Star Trek’s vision of the future: on the bridge, right alongside the men (Pike’s dated sexist line aside). However, Great Bird of the Galaxy Gene Roddenberry was infamously forced to choose between keeping Spock or keeping Number One. Fortunately, Majel went on to become the iconic voice of the Enterprise (and several subsequent Starfleet computer systems to boot), as well as to portray both Christine Chapel and the legendary Lwaxana Troi.

And in an additional turn of good fortune, the character of Una Chin-Riley has gone on to get her just desserts. This incarnation, portrayed by Rebecca Romijn, first appeared on Star Trek: Discovery and is now part of the bridge crew on Disco’s spin-off, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. In the SNW season 2 episode “Ad Astra per Aspera,” Una is put on trial for concealing the fact that she is genetically augmented.

As a trans woman, it was easy for me to see myself in Una’s conflict, which addressed relatable themes like passing privilege. Did I cry at the conclusion, which affirmed Una was making Starfleet better? Reader, I did; and I also cried again when the subplot unexpectedly returned in “Those Old Scientists” to reveal our beloved Bradward Boimler cites Una as his inspiration for joining Starfleet to begin with. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy her renditions of Gilbert and Sullivan? — AJK

Christine Chapel

Women of Star Trek: Christine ChapelOriginally a regularly occurring character in the original series, but never fully fleshed out, that would change in 2022 with Strange New Worlds when Dr. Christine Chapel, still a young nurse aboard the Enterprise, was given complex character arcs that would cement her as one of my favorite characters in the franchise. A survivor of the Klingon War, Chapel found herself at home aboard the Enterprise where she would serve under Dr. M’Benga and eventually fall in love with Spock who was just beginning to explore his humanity. The two entered a torrid affair where Chapel was certainly the more emotionally mature of the two yet couldn’t help herself from latching onto what made her happiest.

That all came to a head in season 2 when she would decide to leave the Enterprise to take on an apprenticeship that finally allowed her to imagine a future in her life and career causing a schism between the lovers. Exuberant and full of life, choosing primarily to live in the moment Chapel struggles with the emotional scars left behind by her time fighting for her life during the war. Despite a rotating roster of doctors aboard the Enterprise, she would serve faithfully for many years as one of the ship’s nurses until she would later finally get her MD, eventually serving at Star Fleet Headquarters.

Dr. Chapel is excellent at her job and has routinely healed and helped others throughout her career. During the Klingon War, she fought to keep wounded soldiers alive, and afterward she found herself as part of Starfleet’s initiative to create short term genome manipulation serums to allow officers to observe alien races without contamination to the population. She has helped keep the crew of the Enterprise alive on away missions with her concoctions, as well as consistently helping to save the day through hand-to-hand combat when enemies are near.

What I love the most about this character, and granted it’s mostly because of her depth in SNW, is that she’s so very emotionally and morally complex. You may not always agree with her decisions but generally they’re still valid even if she approaches them in the wrong way at times. People are messy, Christine Chapel is messy, and that makes her incredibly strong in the face of danger and everyday life. — DC

Jett Reno  

Jett Reno doesn’t show up on Discovery until season 2, but their presence is a welcome one. Starfleet engine rooms tend to be buddy-buddy, so Reno’s prickliness brings a unique energy to Discovery’s engine room. It’s fun seeing the friction between her and fussy Paul Stamets in the queerest engine room in Star Trek history. But Reno’s one the best engineers in Star Trek history. Someone who can “MacGuyver” anything to get a piece of machinery working as seen by her ability to jury rig a sick bay to save her crewmates on the USS Hiawatha. They’re as ready to solve a problem as they are giving a sardonic comment. — DM

Nichelle Nichols 

Born in a segregated US, Nichols lived in a world where Black people weren’t allowed in certain places and not allowed certain jobs. Like most Black talent of the day, she found her way in front of the camera where she helped to originate the groundbreaking Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek series. While the role was mostly background and supporting, she was a role model to the Black community specifically to people like President Barack Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the early candidates of the Space Shuttle program. 

After Star Trek‘s cancellation, it was her actions behind the scenes that were just as inspirational as her representation of Black Women on the screen. Becoming enamored with NASA and the space program, Nichols recognized that there weren’t any People of Color or Women that she could point to at NASA or the astronaut training program. She became a vocal advocate for changes in the space program, calling NASA out for this, NASA responded by enlisting her to help recruit new trainees for the new Space Shuttle program. 

Nichols created her Women in Motion organization and for 4 months she canvassed the country, making personal appearances and PSAs encouraging, her work was directly responsible for helping to boost the number of astronaut applications from Women and People of Color. In movie-making parlance, she was a true triple threat; dancer, singer, and actor, but her passion for space and STEM programs for everyone should be her true legacy. — GC3

Ishka A.K.A. Moogie

Women of Star Trek: Moogie

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 6, episode 23, “Profit and Lace,” Ishka/Moogie (Andrea Martin/Cecily Adams (primary)), the mother of Ferengi brothers Rom and Quark, predicts that, “One day, a female will enter the Tower of Commerce, climb the forty flights of stairs to the Chamber of Opportunity, and take her rightful place as Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance.” But the statement is more than a prediction, it’s an action plan. Prior to Moogie’ Ferengi women were treated as lower class citizens, as they were not allowed to vote nor wear clothing.

That all starts to change when Moogie shacks up with the planet’s ruler: Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn), whose memory is now failing and is unable to keep track of Ferenginar’s economy on his own. To help keep Zek in power, she starts to run the country behind-the-scenes, doing everything in her power to make her prediction come true. By DS9‘s end, Moogie’s significantly changed Ferengi society for the better, with reforms like legislation allowing females to opt out of the traditional nudity. You can see these changes in action in Lower Decks season 4’s “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place.” Moogie’s a fixer, all right—a society fixer. – ROK

Join us next week as we continue our Women’s History Month celebration of the Women of Star Trek, spotlighting the Fighters of this franchise.

Keep up with all of The Beat’s Star Trek coverage by clicking here.