10 Incredible Times Star Trek Ensigns Saved The Day

"What up? We doing sci-fi stuff today?" ~ Ensign Beckett Mariner.

Lower Decks Picard Jaxa

As the lowest commissioned rank, Ensigns haven’t always gotten the fairest end of the deal in Star Trek. Having spent years at The Academy, they still have to bunk up, share sonic showers, and eat from the dodgy replicators (aboard some ships at least). They can often be found toiling away in the background whilst their superiors bask in all the glory. If not that, they could just as well end up as cannon-fodder. We all know that the first appearance of Ensign no-name is an immediate red flag. Of course, if your name is Harry Kim, you’ll be cannon-fodder and never make it past Ensign, but you will get some bigger quarters so…small blessings.

On numerous occasions, however, Starfleet ensigns have been elemental to mission success. We have seen them save ships from disaster, protect the lives of individuals or entire populations, and even traverse timelines to help their fellow officers.

With the most recent Star Trek lower rankers having done a lot of the legwork, it’s time to shed some light on these one-pipped heroes, to take a look at the ensigns who, through their skill, knowledge, and downright badassery, have seen the day through any number of perilous situations.

"Move it, Ensign!"

10. First Day On The Job (Ensign Lang)

Lower Decks Picard Jaxa

It’s a baptism of phaser fire for this Ensign on her 'first day' as acting Chief of Security aboard Voyager in the episode Displaced. She may well accept Chakotay’s humorous comment to that effect with a degree of sarcasm of her own – "It’s everything I dreamed of, sir!" – but the crew are being slowly replaced by a shifty, and thermostat enthusiast, alien race called the Nyrians. "Who says there’s no room for advancement on this ship?" Chakotay further quips. Sorry Harry, you’ve been bumped again.

In the midst of all the action, and at a moment when it’s not at all clear what’s going on, it is indeed Ensign Lang who takes Tuvok’s station at the bridge. There are 40 Voyager crewmembers remaining and falling, and over 100 Nyrians and rising. Lang is then ordered by Chakotay to organise the lockdown of the ship’s critical systems. She takes to the task with panache, and is unfazed when Chakotay leaves her alone on the bridge.

When the Nyrians start breaking down the doors, Lang confidently issues orders to two crewmembers, who have just arrived, before taking out her phaser and firing. She is stunned in return and falls to the floor, but her heroic efforts and assured command of the situation have already ensured that Voyager will win the day. She also allows Chakotay the time to grab the Doctor whose duties as 'tricorder' were later key to the crew’s escape.

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.