25 Essential episodes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager

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Star Trek: Voyager celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020. We look back at the 25 best episodes of the series.

Fans of Star Trek: Voyager have reason to rejoice this January 2020—not only is fan-favorite Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) returning for Star Trek: Picard, but the show is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Voyager was a ground-breaking entry in the Star Trek universe—the first female captain and female-led show in canon. Voyager was also incredibly diverse, with numerous characters of color appearing in prominent roles.

As a lifelong Star Trek fan who grew up loving Spock and Geordi LaForge, Voyager was the show that changed how I saw science-fiction. I saw myself in the characters of Voyager more than I had on any other Star Trek series before or since.

And despite Voyager breaking ground in terms of its female representation, it took the Trek franchise till 2017 to create another female-led show in Star Trek: Discovery, which has gone on to expand existing canon by introducing queer characters. So, there’s still a lot of work to do.

Star Trek has always been about imagining a universe beyond what we can see with our own two eyes—with its diverse and realistic characters, its focus on the bonds between its crew, and its strong storytelling, Voyager continues to bring fans hope and joy.

It wasn’t easy condensing seven seasons into 25 core episodes, but I have done my best to be partial in my choices.

Without further ado, here are the 25 essential Star Trek: Voyager episodes to celebrate the show’s anniversary.

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S1E1: Caretaker

The series opener sets up Voyager incredibly well—Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) is sent on a mission to hunt down a rogue Maquis ship captained by Chakotay (Robert Beltran).

But when both the Maquis ship and Voyager are pulled into the Delta Quadrant, Captain Janeway is presented with two options—return home but doom a planet of defenseless aliens, or stay in the Delta Quadrant and face a 75-year journey back to Earth.

In many ways, “Caretaker” is quintessentially Star Trek—there are aliens, space battles, deceptions, and mysteries. But its also about much more than that.

“Caretaker” is about doing the right thing when all the decisions before you are awful—and it makes you wonder what would have happened if Captain Janeway had chosen selfishly, instead of selflessly.

The decisions made in this opening episode have repercussions throughout the series, and we often come back to it, pondering other options.

While the entire crew is affected by the events in “Caretaker”, nobody has to live with their decisions more than Captain Janeway. She makes the best out of a bad situation and cements herself in Star Trek canon as one of the greatest captains in Starfleet.

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