20 Star Trek Women You Should Know

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Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation (Image via Paramount/CBS)

7. Lwaxana Troi (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine)

Remember Majel Barrett? She’s earned multiple spots on this list, not only for the sheer number of characters she’s played or episode’s she appeared in, but for the strength of her work as an actor. One of her greatest accomplishments, in my decidedly personal opinion, is her portrayal of Lwaxana Troi.

Lwaxana is, initially at least, a difficult character to enjoy. She is the mother of the Enterprise counselor Deanna Troi and, in the hands of the writers, occasionally dips into unfortunate “wacky mother” parody. She is loud and flamboyant, seemingly bent on embarrassing her daughter with loud proclamations and abashed attempts to woo her daughter’s boss, Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

I’ll agree that some of her initial appearances are rough. Stick with it, though, and you’ll start to see a more complex side to Lwaxana Troi. Though she never really loses her exuberance (or her flashy wardrobe), Lwaxana is also an accomplished diplomat and complex individual. She has suffered both the loss of her husband (Deanna’s human father) and another daughter. Yet, she retains her essential dignity and love of life in the face of tragedy.

It’s also worth noting the fact that Lwaxana Troi is one of the few older women to appear multiple times on Star Trek. Sometimes, it feels as if Star Trek is overly focused on featuring younger, less experienced female characters. It’s refreshing to see Troi, who has unabashedly lived her life and refuses to be ashamed of her age and experience.