Star Trek Prodigy asks the query, “Where is Chakotay?” Some of it’s possible you’ll be asking, “Who is Chakotay?” Well…
Star Trek: Voyager is a seminal sequence for the franchise. But, due to its setting, we don’t all the time really feel its influence on the rest of the Star Trek canon. While most reveals happen within the Alpha Quadrant, Voyager exists nearly fully within the mysterious Delta Quadrant. And as such, most of the allies and foes the crew meets alongside the best way are forgotten. At least for a time.
Fast ahead to 2022, and that point could be very a lot over. With a plethora of recent ‘Star Trek’ reveals, a return to the Delta Quadrant was inevitable. And we have now that return within the type of the all-ages CGI sequence Star Trek: Prodigy. Set after the occasions of Star Trek: Voyager (and, certainly, Star Trek: Nemesis) Prodigy sees the return of the Delta Quadrant and some acquainted faces from its previous as nicely.
One of these faces is former Voyager first officer Chakotay. He ought to be the present captain of the Protostar. Instead, he’s lacking. And, whereas Vice Admiral Janeway hunts for her former first officer, now’s the right time to ruminate on who Chakotay is. What’s his complete deal? Who may he be after we encounter him once more?
Chakotay is human however he hails from a planet close to the Cardassian border (extra on that later). The Native American tribe Chakotay is a part of left Earth to kind a colony that eschews fashionable know-how. But fashionable comforts nonetheless exist the place Chakotay is born. And whereas his father Kolopak tries to maintain Chakotay dwelling a easy life, Chakotay doesn’t really feel a lot attachment to his personal tribe as a younger man.
Eventually, Chakotay leaves his tribe fully to hitch Starfleet. In reality, he receives sponsorship from Captain Sulu! And Chakotay is nice at being a cadet. He’s a superb pilot and he’s robust. He graduates and comes out of the gate a little bit too assured. Chakotay is an overzealous overachiever. And he winds up by accident sexually propositioning alien leaders or beaming all the way down to planets bare. He’s studying! He’s messing up! But he’s having enjoyable.
Unfortunately, whereas Chakotay is away, Kolopak dies by the hands of the Cardassians. And this completely adjustments Chakotay as a result of he and Kolopak weren’t on good phrases after Chakotay joined Starfleet. Unable to reconcile together with his father, Chakotay as a substitute resigns from his Starfleet fee, takes on all his father’s religion and beliefs, and joins the Maquis, a gaggle of freedom fighters, to defeat the Cardassians.
Chakotay the Maquis
So, the Cardassians are usually not very good to non-Cardassians and in addition they wish to conquer everybody. The Federation makes a treaty with the Cardassians to finish a battle and the phrases of that treaty contain redrawing the proverbial map and giving some worlds to the Cardassian Empire. You’ll by no means guess what facet of the fence Chakotay’s residence world lands on.
Chakotay is a greater Maquis than he’s a Starfleet officer and he turns into a pacesetter of his personal cell fairly rapidly. He will get his personal ship the Val Jean and every little thing. And with the assistance of his crewmembers who embrace Seska, B’Elanna Torres, and Tuvok. Together they run many missions in opposition to the Cardassians, together with one the place they disable the pc core on a Cardassian frigate orbiting Bajor.
But the Val Jean isn’t all the time fortunate. And after a struggle with a Cardassian warship captained by Gul Evek, Chakotay and his crew hightail it to the Badlands. And there, together with a Federation starship known as Voyager, they get whisked away to the distant Delta Quadrant by a mysterious entity known as the Caretaker.
Chakotay the First Officer
Chakotay will get lots of dangerous information within the Delta Quadrant. The Val Jean is irreparable. Lots of his crew is lifeless. Tuvok is a secret Starfleet agent. And the Voyager’s captain Janeway decides to destroy the Caretaker’s Array a.ok.a. their solely ticket again to the Alpha Quadrant. Also: finally Chakotay’s going to be taught that his sometimes-girlfriend Seska is a Cardassian agent in Bajoran-face – and she or he is all-caps CRAZY!
But right here’s the (type of) excellent news: half of Captain Janeway’s crew is lifeless, too! There is nice information, promise. So she and Chakotay make a discount to mix forces, make all of the Maquis honorary Starfleet officers, carry them on board Voyager, and have Chakotay take over because the ship’s first officer. Sweet deal!
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Chakotay, as a former Starfleet officer, rides his personal Maquis laborious to get them to comply with Starfleet laws. And whereas he and Janeway don’t all the time (and even usually) agree at first, Chakotay retains the potential for mutiny at bay as Voyager’s mixed crew slowly learns to belief each other.
There are three important relationships that assist outline Chakotay’s time within the Delta Quadrant.
For a man who runs a terrorist cell for a number of years, Chakotay certain is trusting. Tuvok slips into the Maquis despite the fact that he’s a Starfleet spy fairly simply. But the truth that Chakotay dates Seska, a secret Cardassian operative? That stings.
On the one hand, Chakotay breaks up with Seska earlier than he finds out she’s a spy and earlier than they wind up within the Delta Quadrant. But then again, he’s the one one who retains defending her when she’s clearly making offers with the Kazon behind Captain Janeway’s again.
But arguably probably the most telling a part of Chakotay’s relationship with Seska is how badly she video games him after she leaves Voyager, shacks up with a Kazon Maje, and goes again to trying like a Cardassian. Not solely does Seska kidnap Chakotay, not solely does she steal his DNA, however she additionally tells Chakotay that she is pregnant together with his little one. And he believes it!
Long story brief? Seska’s child will not be Chakotay’s, however that doesn’t cease him from chasing after her for a bit. You can charitably argue that this reveals what an enormous coronary heart Chakotay has. And whereas giving folks second probabilities is usually a noble, caring determination, Chakotay offers Seska far more probabilities than that. And he possible would’ve given her much more probabilities had Seska not died getting caught up within the blast of an overloading pc console.
In brief, Chakotay’s coronary heart is a little bit too massive.
The whole destiny of Voyager hangs on the connection between Janeway and Chakotay. Neither the Starfleet officers nor the Maquis crew can get residence with out one another. How do Chakotay and Janeway persuade one another of this reality? They simply type of get it. But that doesn’t imply Chakotay all the time agrees with Janeway.
There are two occasions Janeway and Chakotay value noting right here as a result of they illustrate why the pair want one another and the way they’re each flawed. In each situations, the talk is over forming alliances within the Delta Quadrant. Alliances are an enormous no-no for a Starfleet vessel since none of those races are a part of the Federation.
Fittingly, in “Alliances” Chakotay presses Janeway to kind an alliance with the Kazon after yet one more Voyager crew member dies. Janeway finally tries however can’t deal with the Kazon’s sexism. And then Chakotay pushes her once more to kind an alliance with the Trabe, the race who enslaved the Kazon. Chakotay convinces Janeway the Trabe are reformed. Long story brief: he’s incorrect.
In “Scorpion” Janeway decides to enter into an alliance with the Borg to defeat Species 8472. Chakotay is completely in opposition to the concept as a result of the Borg are assimilating maniacs. And whereas Janeway pulls it off, Voyager wouldn’t have survived with out Chakotay’s warning.
Lots of people give attention to the potential for a romance between Chakotay and Janeway, however a very powerful a part of their relationship is their willingness to problem each other when crucial. And the truth that Chakotay by no means mutinies reveals the restraint and persistence he has as a second in command.
Seven of Nine
And now for a thorny subject. Chakotay actor Robert Beltran doesn’t really feel Chakotay will get sufficient meat — to at the present time he nonetheless complains about it! And he’s not incorrect: apart from the occasional battle with Janeway, some boxing, and the truth that he’s Native American (extra on that later), Chakotay is a little bit skinny on character improvement.
Enter his romance with Seven of Nine. There’s not lots to say about it sadly. The two get collectively in Star Trek: Voyager‘s final season. Most of the focus is on Seven trying to get in touch with her human emotions. But in the series finale “Endgame” we do find out that Chakotay basically dies of a broken heart because Seven of Nine doesn’t make it again to the Alpha Quadrant with him.
Here’s what we are able to say: Chakotay is a romantic – usually to his detriment. Seven isn’t even the primary Borg he falls in love with! Not probably the most clever determination, however at the least Chakotay places himself on the market. Janeway can barely make it work with a holographic Irishman!
Having a Native American character on Voyager is a primary for Star Trek. The catch is that Robert Beltran is Mexican American, not Native American. But, hey, no worries, as a result of producers resolve that by hiring somebody to seek the advice of: Jamake Highwater. Highwater has some clout already, having written “The Primal Mind: Vision and Reality in Indian America”. So clearly Chakotay is in good arms.
Spoiler alert: Chakotay will not be in good arms. Highwater will not be Native American. His actual identify isn’t even Jamake Highwater, it’s Jackie Marks. And the best way that impacts Chakotay is fairly apparent – his character lacks authenticity. Marks did herald Sioux and Hopi features to the character, however there’s by no means a full distinction on what tribe Chakotay is a part of.
It’s a disgrace. Being Native American is an enormous a part of Chakotay’s character. Especially early on in Star Trek: Voyager, Chakotay’s beliefs play an instrumental function in serving to some members of the crew discover path of their unattainable circumstances.
Star Trek: Prodigy
The excellent news is that Chakotay will get a second probability. Though Star Trek: Voyager ended over 20 years in the past, its character lives on with Star Trek: Prodigy. And whereas we have now not seen a lot of Chakotay but within the sequence, we do know a few of what occurs to him post-Voyager.
While Janeway is completed traversing the Delta Quadrant, Chakotay opts to voyage again because the captain of a brand new form: The Protostar. That’s the excellent news. The dangerous information is that, one way or the other, the Protostar winds up buried in a jail colony – and Chakotay is nowhere to be discovered.
So whereas a ragtag bunch of aliens makes use of the Protostar to assist others and discover a residence for themselves, Chakotay’s whereabouts are unknown. Thankfully his previous good friend Kathryn Janeway remains to be searching for him. We have a humorous feeling he’ll be displaying up prior to later.
And then we’ll have all new issues to find out about Chakotay!
Lina is a ten+ 12 months leisure journalist veteran whose bylines embrace SYFY Wire, Looper, and Screen Fanatic. She has written comedian scripts for IDW Comics and Zenescope Enetertainment and has written Doctor Who shorts for BBC Worldwide. She is a long-time podcast host and producer who has labored on Who Won the Week, SYFY’s Every Day sequence, and the Amazon podcast Untold Story. She at the moment co-hosts the New York Times really useful podcast Song vs Song.