While Star Trek is known for its commitment to progressive ideals, it, like so much of sci-fi, can’t resist an opportunity to insert eye-candy here and there. The original series really leaned into female sexuality as set dressing, evidenced by Kirk’s numerous “relationships,” and the mini-dresses and go-go boots that constitute military uniforms in the 22nd century. It was a huge contradiction in terms, but that was mitigated by the fact that Star Trek was culturally groundbreaking in so many other ways (see: treatment of racism) and eventually evolved to grant women far more respectful treatment in its later spin-offs.
However, despite the fact that female characters on The Next Generation and beyond were the first ones whose episodes would actually pass a Bechdel Test, producers still couldn’t resist sneaking in a certain physical appeal wherever they could. Star Trek’s general lack of focus on such visuals post-TOS made for a lot of very appealing scientists or criminals, so that’s most of what you’re going to see on this list. We’ve grabbed 15 of the hottest Star Trek babes from the franchise’s long and storied history, but the list is based on more than just appearance. Every woman on it is stunning, but for their actions as well as their looks.
15. SEVEN OF NINE
Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine beamed aboard Star Trek: Voyager in the Season 4 premier, “Scorpion Pt. 2.” The lost starship had just arrived at the backdoor of Borg space with no realistic way to travel through it without getting assimilated. Fortunately, Voyager and the Borg realized they shared a common enemy in Species 8472, so the two entities formed an uneasy alliance. Seven of Nine served as the Borg envoy, but was stranded aboard Voyager after the destruction of her cube and the end of the alliance.
The official word on the creation of Seven of Nine is that the producers wanted a character who would have a more antagonistic relationship with Captain Janeway than the show had ever featured. Unofficially, the show’s key demographic at the time (teenage boys) clearly needed more motivation to watch. Luckily for all the young women watching, Seven of Nine turned out to be a dynamic character that truly enriched the story.
14. UHURA IN THE MIRROR UNIVERSE
Somehow, the Mirror Universe has the same effect on everyone as the Kelvin Universe — everyone’s hotter. Spock has a goatee, Kirk’s into cutoff sleeves and Uhura somehow finds less to wear. In the original Star Trek classic, “Mirror, Mirror,” Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura go to a neighboring alternate universe where everyone’s the jerk version of themselves. It’s amazing, and the episode spawned a delightful subplot that would show up again in longer story arcs on Deep Space Nine and Enterprise.
We’re very glad it did. The Mirror Universe is Star Trek camp at its indulgent best, and seeing the dark side of our favorite, goody-two-shoes Federation never fails to entertain. When Uhura impersonates her Mirror-counterpart and tries to seduce Sulu ON THE BRIDGE, we always get goosebumps and the giggles at the same time.
13. JADZIA DAX
The planet Trill is home to two species that share a symbiotic relationship with each other. The humanoids play host to symbionts, sentient, worm-like entities that merge consciousness with the host body. Jadzia was the eighth home for the Dax symbiont, and the young woman gained the memories of all those joined lifetimes when they were merged.
That meant Jadzia Dax was a combination of, among others, a grandmother, a pilot, a gymnast, a murderer and a very popular Federation diplomat named Curzon. Curzon Dax had been good friends with and mentor to a young Benjamin Sisko, so when Jadzia was assigned to Deep Space Nine, Sisko often still referred to her as “Old Man.” Somehow, that made this bespotted, brunette bombshell even more attractive. That, and she really knows her way around a bat’leth.
12. MARTIA (IMAN)
Iman snagged one of the meatier cameos in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Christian Slater has a blink-and-you-missed-it scene in which he plays a fanboy ensign who delivers a message to Kirk’s quarters). After Kirk and McCoy are framed for the murder of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, they’re sent to a remote, frozen penal colony on Rura Penthe. As soon as Kirk arrives, he gets into a scuffle with a much larger alien prisoner, and bodacious alien babe, Martia, comes to his rescue.
Think if Tank Girl was a runway model and smoked cigars — oh, and she’s shapeshifter. Unfortunately, she’s also morally bankrupt and has already promised the Klingons who framed Kirk and McCoy that she would off the Starfleet officers in return for a suspended sentence. It, uh, doesn’t work out well for her.
Picard wasn’t exactly the lothario Kirk was, so when he did ever close the deal, it was front page news, especially when the other side of that deal was basically his polar opposite. Vash (Jennifer Hetrick) first appeared in “Captain’s Holiday,” a.k.a. “Picard’s Staff Makes Him Take a Personal Day.” Picard goes to Risa to relax, but he’s terrible at it, so he winds up getting involved in an archeological caper with Vash, a gorgeous and morally flexible archeologist.
She’s searching for an artifact called the Tox Uthat (¯\_(ツ)_/¯), but she’s on the run from a jealous Ferengi, so she enlists Jean-Luc to help her beat the little troll to the treasure. Along the way, Picard falls for her ne’er-do-well charms — so much so that he completely overlooks it when he finds out she’s been playing him the entire time.
10. ORION SLAVE WOMEN
Ahh, the Orion Slave Girl — the semi-offensive plot device beloved by cosplayers the world over. They’re one of Star Trek’s oldest creations, dating back to the original, unaired pilot, “The Cage,” and they’re well known for their extreme… prowess. It’s literally their only defining characteristic when they’re mentioned in every other Star Trek until Enterprise.
In the episode, “Bound,” it’s discovered that part of the secret to their prowess is the intense quantity of pheromones the women emit. Not only are the girls said to have voracious appetites, they also inspire them in any men who happen by. These qualities made them a hot commodity on the Orion Slave Market, despite the fact that they were Orions themselves. The Orion Syndicate was never known for their scruples, after all.
9. NUMBER ONE
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry is Star Trek royalty for like, 10 different reasons. She voiced the computer, she was Gene Roddenberry’s wife, and before she was any of that, she appeared as Number One in the original unaired original series pilot, “The Cage.” An example of Roddenberry’s progressive ideals, she played Number One, Captain Christopher Pike’s notably female first officer.
Unfortunately, one of the (many) things NBC rejected in this first offering was the placement of a women in such a position of power. Transporters they could swallow, but a woman in the chain of command? Preposterous! Luckily for the future Mrs. Roddenberry, that wasn’t the end of her Star Trek career, but we do wish we could’ve seen more of this lady. It would’ve been nice to see an attractive woman on the show rockin’ it in something else besides a mini-dress.
8. MARLENA MOREAU
Remember how we said everyone’s hotter in the Mirror Universe? Marelena Moreau is the exception that proves the rule — she’s smokin’ in all universes. A perk of being a starship captain in the Terran Empire as opposed to the Federation is that the position comes with a Captain’s Woman. It’s not a formalized role, but it’s an unwritten rule that everything on the ship belongs to the captain, and that includes the women. (The Mirror Universe is genuinely terrible, not just fun terrible.)
Marlena is Mirror Kirk’s lady, and she yearns for a better life when she encounters NiceKirk in “Mirror, Mirror.” She wants to abandon her universe for his, but despite the fact that he literally just slept with her, he refuses. Kirk looks sad for a minute, but then NiceMarlena gets assigned to the NiceEnterprise and everyone lives happily ever after (except MirrorMarlena, who is probably dead).
7. ROMULAN COMMANDER
“The Enterprise Incident” was the first time we met the Romulans, the Federation’s eternally shady adversaries. Kirk suddenly loses his damn mind and takes the Enterprise into Romulan Space (apparently unprovoked). The ship encounters a Romulan squadron commanded by the as yet unnamed female Romulan Commander. Despite the fact that she only appeared in one episode and has remained nameless for the past 50 years, she’s still an unforgettable character.
She’s disdainful of Kirk and the other humans, but Spock really gets her engines going. She attempts to seduce him into joining her, and it is the only time we ever get to see Spock Prime approach the sex bomb we all knew was hiding under that Vulcan logic. Unfortunately, Kirk isn’t insane, but on a secret mission to gather intelligence about the Romulans, so Spock and the Romulan Commander never consummate their forbidden love. DAMMIT.
6. KELVIN UHURA
Zoe Saldana’s Uhura is an accomplished, passionate officer aboard Kirk’s Enterprise. What was minor flirtation between the Prime Uhura and Spock became a full-fledged relationship in the Abrams movies. It offered audiences a chance to see Spock explore his humanity in a romantic relationship as well as in his friendship with Kirk. Zoe Saldana’s vivacious and fierce personality is a phenomenal counterpart to the restrained logic of her partner’s.
That said, she can make out with Spock all she wants, she’s still hottest when she’s standing toe-to-toe with a Klingon three times her size and learning languages in five minutes. Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura was groundbreaking and Saldana’s reimagined Uhura takes the best parts of the original and beautifully updates her for modern audiences. It makes us wish Prime Uhura yelled at Spock more.
5. MIRROR EZRI
After Jadzia’s death at the end of DS9’s sixth season, the writers introduced Ezri Dax — the accidental 9th host of the Dax symbiont. Ezri was on the shuttle transporting the Dax symbiont back to Trill when an equipment malfunction made it necessary to join Dax with a new host immediately. So, when she arrived on DS9 months after Jadzia’s death in possession of all the former hosts’ memories, it made things awkward.
It also made things awkward that Ezri was pretty uncomfortable with herself — not only was she green by Starfleet standards, she had also never planned on getting joined to a symbiont. Luckily, we got a seventh season Mirror Universe episode where we got a look at Ezri’s more confident, more… into girls side. In this universe she’s a mercenary who’s become a favorite makeout buddy of Kira’s Mirror Counterpart, the Intendant.
Continuing the tradition of catsuited ice queens started by Seven of Nine, T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) was a Vulcan attaché to the Enterprise under Captain Archer. And, like Seven of Nine, despite the fact that her appearance was gratuitously sexual, the conflicted Vulcan is brought to life beautifully by Blalock, and watching her navigate her at-first tenuous relationship with humanity remains compelling. And guess what??! She’s got a Mirror Universe counterpart, too!
That T’Pol is a little edgier than NiceT’Pol, but she’s still the only person worth rooting for on the “other” Enterprise. When the Defiant travels back in time to the 22nd century, she assists NiceArcher and Co. in making sure her universe doesn’t succeed in keeping the technologically advanced ship. She definitely looks like a Vulcan Barbie while she’s doing it, but it’s kind of a campy, refreshing change from her normal wardrobe.
3. DEANNA TROI
While Deanna’s certainly no Orion Slave Girl (perish the thought), she’s still TNG’s primary sex symbol (well, second to Riker sitting down). Make no mistake, she’s a lady, but she’s also a Betazoid. That means she’s empathic and really, really comfortable with nudity. She’s also brainy enough to be a psychologist, make it into Starfleet and get out of wearing a uniform (most of the time).
But given her history with Commander William “John Mayer” Riker and her numerous romantic relationships, Deanna definitely enjoyed her sexuality and that makes her even more of a bombshell. Or maybe it was the fact that she was one of the few people on the senior staff that wasn’t constantly repressing urges. We’re raising our eyebrows at you Picard, Crusher, Worf and Geordi.
2. THE INTENDANT
Like we said, EVERYONE is hotter in the Mirror Universe. The same is obviously true of the Intendant, Kira Nerys’ Mirror Counterpart on DS9. At this point in the Mirror Universe Timeline, the Terran Empire featured on TOS and Enterprise had finally been defeated by an ironic alliance between the Klingons and the Cardassians. The Terrans were enslaved and DS9 (Terok Nor once more) served as an Alliance outpost under Kira’s command.
She’s actively the polar opposite of NiceKira, fond of both torture and deception. She’s a blast, though — she runs around in a catsuit, wears a crown and is usually half-seducing anyone she shares a screen with (including NiceKira — that was weird). While she’s an undeniable villain and we’d never (EVER) want to meet her IRL, we can’t help but admire how she’s unapologetically living her best life.
1. CAROL MARCUS
Carol Marcus has a pivotal role to play in the Prime Star Trek universe, so it was fitting when she showed up in Star Trek: Into Darkness. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, she’s an accomplished scientist who’s revealed to be Kirk’s ex-lover and the mother of his only son, David. In Into Darkness, Alice Eve took over the role as a much younger scientist who fakes her way onto Kirk’s ship in order to investigate 72 very mysterious photon torpedoes.
As of now, it doesn’t look like the character will reappear any time soon, so Kelvin Kirk is childless for the time being. You’ll probably have noticed that everyone’s hotter in the Kelvin Universe, and that fact got hammered home in Marcus’ famous Starfleet-issue undies shot. Some fans grumbled at the scene’s gratuitous nature, but compared to TOS, the Abrams movies are still pretty tame.
Which ladies of Star Trek make you want to boldly go? Let us know in the comments!
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