A Legal Problem Forced Star Trek: Voyager To Change Captain Janeway’s Name – SlashFilm


“There is a prominent Elizabeth Janeway, and we’re not allowed to use names of prominent people because it can be sticky,” longtime “Trek” writer and eventual “Star Trek: Voyager” showrunner Jeri Taylor said in an interview. The real Elizabeth Janeway would’ve been a great inspiration for a strong character like the one Kate Mulgrew would end up playing: in the 20th century, she penned several novels and books about second wave feminism and the lives of women, and also aided in major movements of the time including a 1940s General Motors strike and the fight for abortion rights. According to The Guardian, Janeway was a friend of prominent feminists like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, and she also served as president of the Authors Guild, where she fought to protect the work of writers.

Janeway died in 2005, but according to Taylor, she may have heard through the grapevine about the “Trek” character who almost had her name. “We heard sort of secondhand that Elizabeth Janeway was flattered about it,” Taylor shared at the time. After the “Trek” team decided to change the name to avoid any legal snafus, Kathryn wasn’t actually their second pick. That was Nicole, a name chosen by actress Genevieve Bujold, who played Janeway for just two days before apparently quitting the show. “A Federation vessel is lost in space at the edge of the galaxy, without its captain, who has abruptly abandoned ship,” a New York Times piece said at the time.

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