Star Trek: Voyager really did go where no TV show had gone before, especially when it came to female characters. Captain Janeway, Seven of Nine, and B'elanna Torres were a few of the women that shared the decks of the USS Voyager with Kes. She represented the Ocampa, an alien species native to the Delta Quadrant that was closely connected to the Caretaker, the reason that Voyager ended up on the other side of space in the very first episode.
The Ocampan race had certain traits that made Kes a sympathetic and unique character, like having a short life span. She was the sweet, cute girl on the ship that everyone was crushing on. Kes still persists as a popular character with a dedicated fan-following, even though she was only on the show for four seasons, and several theories and rumors circulated about her character. A few of them turned out to be true. Here are 10 crazy fan theories about Kes that were actually confirmed.
10 Small Frame, Big Powers
Kes was frequently portrayed as one of the more vulnerable members of the crew, starting with when she was rescued by Neelix in the first episode. She also had a youthful appearance, telepathic powers, and a short life span. Anyone who plays RPG games or watches magical girl anime knows that this type of character is often the most powerful of all. Even very early in the show, fans speculated that Kes hiding a secret that was bigger than the Caretaker, the drama with the Seska, or even the Borg. They were proved right when her psychic powers proved to be too much for the ship to handle. Kes became so powerful that she no longer needed a physical body and actually merged with time and space. Or at least it seemed that way at the time.
9 The Path of Janeway
It wasn't just psychic powers that made Kes an important character. She had a connection with every other crewmember in some form, and writers put her in more supportive roles for other crewmembers. Kes was always a more mysterious and spiritual character than the other crew members, and fans speculated that she would play a pivotal role in the introspective journeys of her companions. This proved true for several characters but most notable Janeway in the episode, "Sacred Ground."
Janeway is presented with her first real challenge when it comes to saving a crewmember at risk, and we know her name is Captain Mud if she blows it and loses everyone's favorite character. Janeway shows her true qualities and succeeds in restoring Kes, a bit of foreshadowing for her ultimate goal, getting them home.
8 She Leaves Neelix
Initially, she was the damsel in distress and the couple seemed quite happy. As her psychic powers became more powerful and the show progressed into Season 3, Kes had more agency as her own character. The romantic relationship Kes had with Neelix started to feel more tacked on. She was starting to connect with other crew members on a more profound level, and fans guessed that her relationship with Neelix wasn't going to last. Writers seemed to agree that Kes would be more interesting as an independent woman, and she had plenty to keep her busy. She was the person who regarded the Doctor as more of a hologram before it was cool, for example. As of Season 4, as fans predicted, Kes and Neelix were no longer a couple. The breakup happened off-screen, so not overtly confirmed but strongly inferred via the storylines.
7 She Leaves Voyager
That doesn't just refer to Kes as being the moral or spiritual center of the crew, which she also is, but also to her telepathic powers. For example, we are told early on that the Ocampa were more powerful in the days before the Caretaker, a foreshadowing of Kes' considerable psychic evolution. We're talking about someone who could take on heavyweights Jean Grey when it came to psionic abilities. It might sound crazy, but it was confirmed in the episode "The Gift" when Kes actually evolves into pure energy and becomes a danger to the ship and crew. This recalls Star Trek: The Original Series episodes like "Errand of Mercy" were beings of pure energy step in unexpectedly and avert a major crisis. Not only does Kes confirm this fan theory, but ups the ante by using her powers to propel Voyager safely out of Borg-controlled space.
6 She Leaves Neelix for Paris
Well, it happened in an alternate timeline, but still. There was also some foreshadowing here in the episode "Parturition" in which Paris claims to have fallen in love with Kes and plots to steal her away from Neelix. Kes doesn't feel the same way, or so she claims. This alternate timeline appears in the episode "Before and After" which is connected to the "Year of Hell" episodes. Apparently, Kes has these visions after being injured and infected by a torpedo during a Krenim attack. It's one way for the writers to explore the possibilities of taking the story in another direction without having to commit to another plotline completely. Which brings us to our next wacky fan theory.
5 She Has a Baby with Paris
Why does this fan theory persist for so many women who were part of Voyager's crew? What was it about Paris? Was his character based on that romantic Trojan prince of classical literature? At least Kes' experience was part of an alternate timeline, unlike Janeway's, which was just a laughably bad episode. The alternative timeline starts with her death, and moves backward, taking her through certain significant events and finally ending with her birth. Kes and Paris have a child named Linnis in this timeline, who marries and has a son with Paris' close friend, Harry Kim. We hope the writers had some fun with this one. Even though it confirmed a few both obvious and crazy fan theories, it just left us rolling our eyes.
4 She Would Lose Control of Her Psychic Powers
Kes was like that kid who had great potential and got along well with everyone, but she still couldn't adult very well. Tuvok trained her carefully, but he wasn't her only teacher. We all held our breath when Kes came into contact with less scrupulous mentors like Tanis or dangerous aliens like Species 8472, wondering what would eventually push her over the edge. When she started to move beyond what Tuvok could teach her, especially in the episode "Cold Fire" when she accidentally boiled his blood, the fan theories surged. Would Kes turn out to be an antagonist, perhaps turning on the crew or killing an important character? It was an exciting and terrifying turn for a benevolent character to take, and when Kes voluntarily left Voyager after her evolution in "the Gift" these theories were at least partly confirmed.
3 Her Powers Would Drive Her Insane
It was a cynical fan theory that we hoped wouldn't be confirmed, but it was. After Kes' departure in season four, we were left with a tantalizing unfinished story thread. Of course, Kes would have to return in some form, and the potential for an exciting story here was huge. Fans that had little faith in the writers predicted that they would fall back on the tired trope of the powerful woman who goes insane. To be fair, it turns out that it was her age and faulty memory that caused her to believe she had been kidnapped in the episode "Fury" but stereotypes about old people aren't any better than sexist ones. Some critics disagreed about how Kes was treated in the series, but this episode was universally despised. From living energy to this? It's a confirmed fan theory that turned out to be a devastating disappointment.
2 She'll Eventually Be Replaced By a Another Actress
Let's be real, here. Kes was always intended to be the "hot girl" on the show, but that never really worked for her character. She was too sweet, too innocent, and we couldn't get past that she would only live to be eight years old. As fans suspected, the tall, statuesque Jeri Ryan as the iconic Seven of Nine filled the space that Kes left with her departure in the fourth season.
It was an unusual move to make in the mid-season, but it turned out to be a good one. Seven of Nine isn't just one of the most popular characters on Voyager. She's in the same league as characters like Spock or Data, appearing in other spinoffs and becoming symbolic of the franchise as a whole. We miss Kes, but we love Seven of Nine.
1 Plays a Bigger Role in the Franchise than just Voyager
Fans of Kes, and there were many, were disappointed to see her written out of the show. There were all kinds of creative fan theories about where she would appear in the merchandise, literature and video games that took place in the Star Trek universe. Kes does have a vibrant cult following, and she appeared in a wide variety of both fanfiction and canon materials. She plays the main role in so many novels that it might actually surpass some expectations. The adventures of Kes, most of which take place after she initially leaves Voyager, include several trilogies, a parallel universe or two, and even a Mirror Universe image of herself.