Star Trek Finally Explains Why One Of Its Iconic Heroes Never Joined Starfleet

Finally, we know why.

By Michileen Martin | Published

star trek Voyager

In May 2001, the saga of the lost crew of Star Trek: Voyager came to an end. The heroes finally make it home to Earth in the series finale “Endgame,” but just barely. There’s no time to see what happens to any of them in the aftermath. In the following year’s Star Trek: Nemesis it’s revealed Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) had been promoted to Admiral, but when her protégé Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) returned in Star Trek: Picard, it wasn’t as a Starfleet officer of any rank. In spite of working as one of Voyager’s most influential officers for three years, Seven had joined a vigilante group called the Fenris Rangers. It’s taken the series almost two seasons, but last week we finally learned exactly why — upon Voyager’s return — she didn’t sign up.

Turns out she didn’t sign up because Starfleet wouldn’t let her. That’s what we find out as the Borg Queen’s brand new drones assault the heroes’ ship in “Hide and Seek,” the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Picard‘s second season. As Seven and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) prepare for more assaults, Seven says, “Come on. Time to arm up. We still got a job to do.” It makes Raffi think of Starfleet, and she tells Seven she should’ve joined. Seven responds, “I tried…after Voyager. Starfleet shut me down.” Predictably, Starfleet didn’t want a Borg in its ranks. Seven continues, “Janeway went to bat for me, threatened to quit… but I gave it up. Went full ranger.”

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Jeri Ryan as seven in “Hide and Seek” — Star Trek: Picard, S2 E9

It isn’t a particularly surprising revelation. Among other things, it explains some of the disdain Seven has shown toward Starfleet during Picard. While Star Trek‘s most famous organization is known for its tolerance — allowing former enemies like Klingons and Ferengi in its ranks — the Borg are something entirely different. The fact that it takes the crew of the Voyager so long to accept Seven as a comrade is proof that Starfleet’s refusal is understandable. Of course, from another point of view you could argue allowing her into Starfleet would’ve been wise not only in spite of her Borg background but because of it — like Michael Corleone says in The Godfather: Part II, “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.”

This could be a set up for Seven finally getting the chance to join Starfleet in season 3 of Star Trek: Picard. The season 2 premiere opens with The Borg shocking pretty much everyone by attempting to join the United Federation of Planets. And in the same episode in which Seven reveals why she didn’t join Starfleet, Jurati (Alison Pill) convinces the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) to become a kindler, gentler Borg. So, it seems likely this season of Picard could end with a Federation that’s a little bit more open to their former adversaries.

We may find out more this week. On Thursday, May 5, the season 2 finale of Picard streams on Paramount+ — the same days as the series premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Along with finding out exactly how the heroes manage to fix the time stream, we’ll hopefully learn whether or not this is truly the last we’ll see of Q (John de Lancie).