If you know me or if you've read this blog for long enough, you know that I love Star Trek. I have since I was a little kid and even though most of what the franchise has crapped out lately has been...well, crap-I still enjoy the older series nonetheless.
I have a friend who also is a big fan of the franchise and at least once a day will send me a text message with a question or comment about an episode or something from the franchise because he knows I'm big enough of a savant that without context, I'll know precisely what he's talking about.
Recently he completed what one might call "A Trek Through Trek" and re-watched all episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, after quickly moved onto Star Trek: Voyager. A lot of the times we'll talk about how we would improve on an episode or expand on ideas that began in it.
We agree that characters not named "Janeway" "Seven of Nine" or "The Doctor" didn't get enough character development and that there was always more that could have been done with them. So one day we started doing some brainstorming about how we would improve one character from Voyager and more importantly, how she departed the show.
That character was Kes.
Like a lot of the Voyager crew, she was introduced in the pilot episode, "Caretaker". We see that she's a prisoner of the Kazon-Ogla on her homeworld, one of the Kazon sects in that part of the Delta Quadrant where Voyager becomes stranded.
It's a bit of a long story so I'll try to summarize it as best I can: 500 generations ago, Kes' people, the Ocampa, had strong psychic and mental abilities. However after some advanced alien technology nearly destroyed their atmosphere, the planet has virtually become a desert & is now incapable of producing rain.
The Ocampa begin living underground and are protected by an entity known as The Caretaker-one of the aliens who was responsible for the damage to the atmosphere. They become so dependent on the Caretaker that the Ocampa eventually lose the cognitive abilities to the point where they've become fabled at best and considered exaggerations at worst.
Another thing to know about the Ocampa is that they don't have a very long lifespan; they live only nine years and Kes was only a year old when she was rescued by her Talaxian boyfriend, Neelix, and the crew of Voyager. We later find out that the Caretaker is dying and that he's leaving the Ocampa an energy surplus to last them for five years. Once that's gone they'll be forced to the surface and he knows they won't survive.
Kes was always curious and decided to go to the surface but she was captured and became a slave to the Kazon.
First off, congratulations if you made it this far; I know me talking about Star Trek isn't the most fascinating thing out there. However, I think know what you're thinking: The Kazon-Ogla have these things called "starships". Why are they on a desert planet trying to get to water that's kilometers beneath the surface when they can just MOVE to another planet that has water?
Neelix explains this in the pilot.
So the pilot ends, Kes and Neelix decide to stay onboard with the crew on their 75 year journey back to Earth.
Along the way, those cognitive abilities that were previously mentioned begin to develop in her. She can move things with her mind, sense things throughout the ship. And in the latter half of the third season she even got a new haircut.
In the second episode of Season 4, Kes' powers were growing faster than she could control them. She was not only a danger to herself but the crew and she decides to leave. She escapes in a shuttle but as she does so, she has one final gift for the crew. Using her abilities she propels Voyager almost ten-thousand lightyears in a matter of seconds.
It works and Kes decides that she will make the journey back to Ocampa.
Well, let's go back to "The Gift" in season 4. She's getting ready to leave the ship. Destruction is imminent, explosions are all around them. And what's worse, they can't get to the shuttlebay.
The Kazon-Ogla are initially puzzled but pleased as now they have water but quickly this turns into a massive storm that is threatening their safety. All of a sudden, a booming voice, that of Kes, is heard over the surface of the planet. She warns all of them to leave as this storm will continue up until they've all left or died and to let everyone know that this planet belongs to Ocampa and that she is now their new Caretaker.