20 Star Trek Women You Should Know

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Major Kira Nerys in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Image via Paramount/CBS)

18. Kira Nerys (Deep Space Nine)

Played by actor Nana Visitor, Kira Nerys was a Bajoran military officer who was assigned to the repurposed Deep Space Nine space station for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series. As per Bajoran custom, her family name, Kira, comes first. Nerys is her given name.

Major Kira had, to say the least, a difficult childhood. The Bajorans were subject to invasion and enslavement by the expansionist Cardassians, a highly militaristic species that felt no qualms about invading Bajor. As a result of the invasion, Kira was raised in a grim labor camp. She eventually grew up to join the Bajoran resistance and, later, her people’s emerging militia.

After the 50-year Cardassian occupation is ultimately overthrown, Kira finds herself on Deep Space Nine, an orbiting space station now under control of the Federation (Starfleet, by the way, is the research, peacekeeping, and diplomatic arm of the Federation).

Kira is hardly welcoming to Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), who is assigned to be the commanding officer of Deep Space Nine. However, over the course of the series, she grows close with all of the station personnel.

Kira is a fierce warrior and intelligent commander who rarely, if ever, apologizes for her brashness. She is also a devoutly religious character, a rarity for the largely secular Star Trek series. Indeed, Sisko is eventually pegged as “the Emissary”, a Bajoran religious figure, which complicates his relationship with Kira, his second in command.