Now that the Star Trek television shows are officially vintage, it's fun to return to the 1990s and see what stands up to the test of time. Star Trek: Voyager is just as fun to watch now as it was in the 1990s, maybe even more so now that we have more backstory and lore to enjoy.
Fans were speculating about the ultimate fate of the USS Voyager and Captain Janeway just as the internet was heating up and social media barely existed beyond an ICQ username. Plenty of those fan theories were eventually confirmed as true, and here are ten of them.
11 Her Backstory
Fans speculated about Janeway's early life on earth, comparing her to other famous Starfleet captains. Was she from an idyllic midwestern small town like Kirk? Maybe she was from another continent and her family traditionally practiced a completely different profession, like making wine? Some theorized that her family had a military background on her father's side, and it turns out these fan theories were right. Janeway's new-age, artistic sister is Phoebe and her father was a vice-admiral in Starfleet.
10 The Real First Officer
Vulcans can't lie? Don't tell that to Tuvok, who's more than just the Chief Security Officer and one of the best spies in the galaxy. Fans long suspected about who Janeway was close to on the ship, who were her favorites, for whom would she sacrifice her life? The final episode, "Endgame" revealed that it was Tuvok the whole time. Seven of Nine and Chakotay did factor into Janway's decision to go back in time and reduce the travel time of Voyager back from the Delta Quadrant, but her main motivation is revealed to be Tuvok in this episode. The scene where she tells him her final goodbyes while he remains oblivious is one of the most heart-wrenching moments in Trek history.
9 She Has a Baby with Paris
Theories about the characters on the show and the relationships that they might have under duress isn't that crazy, but it's more how this one was confirmed that took a rather strange turn. In what might be the worst example of fanservice in human history, the wacky fan theory about Janeway and Paris secretly being lovers, and that she eventually bears his child, is put through a malfunctioning transporter beam and is proven true.
In the episode "Threshold" Paris breaks the transwarp barrier and evolves - or devolves? - into something that looks like a salamander. He escapes and kidnaps Janeway, taking her through the barrier as well, where it's also presumed that she has turned into a similar creature. By the time that Chakotay and the others catch up, the couple has given birth to three salamander-like children. Yeah, that happened, and it wasn't fanfiction.
8 There's a Clone
Theories about parallel dimensions, the mirror universe, and alternate timelines gave rise to the speculation that there was more than one Janeway. This was revealed to be true in the tragic episode, "Course Oblivion." As if to double down on the fan theory, the writers of the show created an episode where the whole crew and the ship itself were clones. Their lifespan is limited, and they spend most of the show desperately trying to preserve any memory of their existence, but all for naught. The storyline is nihilistic, forcing us to ask ourselves what the point of it all is, the question that has spawned more fan theories than any other.
7 The Mirror Universe Version
Although these fan theories were confirmed in literary sources, they never made it to the movie reels or tv guide lineups. There was a mirror universe version of Kathryn Janeway, and it's just as exciting as the version we already know and love. She was part of the Terran Rebellion against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, and during her adventures, she actually crossed over to other universes several times, including the Primary Universe. While she was there, she kidnapped Kirk and Spock and eventually convinced the captain of the USS Enterprise to help her and the rebels. Oh, yeah, and Chakotay was her boyfriend while she was under his command as Chief Engineer on the ship Geronimo.
6 Improving the Score
Fans guessed that Janeway would probably get Voyager home eventually, but then decide that wasn't enough. They were right.
Janeway had a unique problem in the sense that it wasn't about winning or losing but how long you had to play. The sooner they got home, hopefully with Voyager in one piece, the more she wins. Like so many other episodes of Voyager, the writers used flashbacks and time travel to prove the theory correct. In the series finale "Endgame," which is one of Voyager's notorious two-hour episodes, Janeway has her own "Kobyashi Maru" and changes the fundamental rules of the program in order to win. By even more.
5 She Dies
There were several theories about how Janeway would meet her end, and she seemed to die but came back every time. Fans guessed that one of her near-death encounters would actually prove to be a type of contact with a new alien life form, and they turned out to be correct. In the episode "Coda" this actually becomes the main plotline when Janeway seems trapped in a time loop with each possible choice ending in her death. This episode also reveals some backstory for those making guesses about Janeway's family dynamics and upbringing, as the alien takes the form of her father to lead her into the afterlife. At least, according to him.
4 She Actually Dies
There was one thing that Janeway made sure she never forgot, that the crew of the USS Voyager was her responsibility. The fans who noticed this dedication surmised that in the end, she would give her life to get them home. They were partly correct.
It turns out that just getting home wasn't good enough. Janeway chose to go back in time and sacrifice herself to the Borg in order to get Voyager home in seven years instead of the original 23 years. In an episode that's reminiscent of "Timeless" and equally good, Janeway gives her life to alter history. On a professional level, this is just something an admiral would proudly take on. On a personal level, she did it for love and friendship. Fans called it either way.
3 Our Borg, Ourselves
In yet another example of a fan theory that was confirmed in the final episode of the show, Janeway's final showdown with the Borg Queen would be her death. Janeway had a few close calls with the Borg, even thumbing her nose at them and making deals with them. Fans guessed that her luck would run out and her eventual ending would be at the hands of a vengeful Borg queen. They were right, but since Voyager does manage to escape with Other Janeway on board, something about it still doesn't feel permanent.
2 The Tao of Q
The whole concept of an omnipotent race of beings goes back to a character named Trelane who appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. It wasn't until the 1990s that Star Trek spinoff shows really started to take off, and fans speculated that the fan-favorite Q would appear on Janeway's ship eventually. They were correct.
In the episode, "Death Wish" Janeway runs afoul of the Q Continuum and has to sit through a trial. However, she's the presiding authority who has to make a ruling regarding the assisted suicide of a Q claiming refugee status, but this is not the Q we know.
1 She's Familiar with Combat
Sure, Janeway was adept at her command post, but could she fight? The years of Star Trek entertainment had been so peaceful under Picard's watch, maybe Janeway would be the captain to bring the action back. Fans speculated, hopefully, that Janeway would get a chance to shed the formalities and go Commando. They were right. In "Macrocosm" Janeway straps on a vest and picks up a BFG to kick some aliens off her ship. It's fanservice, sure, but that's part of what fan theories are all about.