Jennifer Lien Reflects On Her Time With Star Trek Voyager

As noted in the TrekMovie write-up on the Star Trek: Voyager panel at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Jennifer Lien (Kes) made a rare con appearance, but didn’t really say much on stage. Lied did speak to the official Star Trek site and talked a bit about her time on Voyager and her preferred ‘exit’ episode.


Lien on Voyager

Lien reflects on her time with Voyager:

I had a good time. It went on after I left and continued, but my time was great. I have no complaints. I have no regrets. Everything worked out the way it should have. Everything happens for a reason. So I don’t look back and say it should have been like this or it should have been like that. I’m perfectly at peace and content with my life. I don’t live in the past and I don’t wish anything were different.

Lien also felt that the season four episode "The Gift" was the better of her two exit episodes, compared to the season six episode "Fury", noting:

I didn’t think “Fury” was acted as well as “The Gift.” There were a lot of poor acting choices on my part. I wasn’t really thinking as creatively as I could have with my acting choices. So I’m not really proud of that one, but I was very grateful that they asked me back and that I got to see everyone I’d worked with.

Much more from Lien on seeing her cast mates at the Trek con, and what she is up to these days at  

Lien with Voyager co-star Garrett Wang at Star Trek Convention – August 7 (Photo: Kayla Iacovino)

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I loved that woman.

I love her voice.

Ahem, sorry for the spam there. I meant to write “I loved that woman’s voice” but things didn’t turn out quite the way I planned.

Now she really looks… old.

I always thought that Kes was a cheesy character, although Lien’s acting was good. But what happened to her? She hasn’t exactly aged gracefully…

#2–She did have a cool, soothing voice. She played a good character and I would have been fine if she had stayed on the whole 7 years.

#4 There were rumours about Lien after she left Voyager which I will not go into on here in case they can be misinterpreted as liabel. But if the rumours were true it would explain why she hasn’t aged gracefully!

That’s not her in the photo…





…It just can’t be.

To be honest, it could be that the camera’s catching her at a bad angle, not helped by a the shapeless clothes and the glasses! Also, remember Voyager debuted 16 years ago. I was 19 then. I’m 36 in a few months. Time flies and we all get older, for all the conveniences of moisturiser, botox and cosmetic surgery!!

“Why, oh, why,” he asked naively, “are some people compelled to comment on her appearance, or Shatner’s, or whoever…?”
Really, it’s not a big deal. Everyone changes, everyone goes through changes, everyone looks different over time. Anyone walking up to you saying, “My God, what happened to you??” or “Geez, you look old.” You probably wouldn’t like it if they did, hm?

So who is everyone in the photo?

I didn’t recognise Jennifer Lien at first, Garett Wang, Tim Russ and Robert Picardo are obvious, but what of the others?


Its the internet. Because no one knows who anybody is online, there are no consequences for being an a**hole. Its a sad fact of reality these days.

wow….i bet the guy who married her now wishes he could get a refund!

reminds me of my high school reunion. all the girls who were hot in school were horrifficly obese and unrecognizable. american women only last until about 24-25 then just crash and burn.

go with an asian woman and you’ll never be disappointed.

10, they are Ethan Phillips (“Neelix”) and Scarlett Pomers (“Naomi Wildman”).

12, how is that even remotely true? Jeri Ryan looks awesome. Meryl Streep looks awesome. Angelie Jolie looks awesome. It has nothing to do with race. Nothing.

I hope you were kidding, 12.

I don’t see the big deal in commenting on Jennifer Lien’s appearance. Lets face it, she doesn’t look anything like Kes anymore and none of us have seen her in all these years. There’s bound to be a shock factor. That doesn’t take anything away from her or her work on Voyager for that matter.

I love Shatner. His gut is getting larger – you can’t help but notice – but it doesn’t change anything. In an industry where appearance often trumps ability I think its great that Shatner doesn’t give a damn.

11 Red Dead Ryan

It’s partly that and it’s also the first time in our history that everyone who’s alive has existed in an era where their era has been filmed. Our airwaves are ‘haunted’ by dead people as the material for archive channels multiplies exponentially every year, while the people in the shows get very old and die.

I watch Star Trek and find it hard to believe that Deforest Kelley and James Doohan are dead and that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy will soon be 80.

Garrett Wang and Jennifer Lien appear on stage as they are now and it’s a shock, because they’re on TV channels globally 24/7 eternally playing young characters.They still are young, but 16 years changes a lot in people, not just in terms of body image, but life experience.

You’re right: people on the web are cruel in their anonymity. People are used to seeing actors age only within certain eras.

How long before actors become so conscious of their image that they stop appearing at awards ceremonies and only appear in CGI-enhanced video messages?

^^ Jennifer shouldn’t give more of a damn than Shatner does, then, but unfortunately, Hollywood is more judgmental about female appearances than male.

As I said, people like Brando could still get great leading roles despite their non-leading character appearances, but when was the last time you saw a slightly less-than-perfect-looking leading lady? Kirstie Alley in recent years and the actress in “Misery” (Kathy Bates) are kind of an exception, as is Gabourey Sidibe.

That said, there’s still no reason Lien can’t get a decent Hollywood role. After all, Kirstie Alley did. So did the actress who played Ferris Bueller’s principal’s secretary.


it has everything to do with race, moron. you clearly have never been to asia so don’t even bother commenting on things you know nothing about. obesity is an epidemic in this country, mostly affecting whites and blacks. a recent report found that up to 70% of americans are overweight. if you think that is attractive, than that is your preference but any doctor will agree that it is not healthy.

Chill, 17. What’s with the hostility? I’m pretty sure most people disagree with you that American chicks generally become repulsive at 25.

Besides, in Trek, human races don’t matter.

You know what it makes me ill reading some of the comments towards Jennifer Lien. We age. So What?
I am sure they are many less Brad Pitts here?
How would you like to be picked on from 10 years ago? We get bald, we get fat….but we all should not lose our class.

It is mean to judge someone for the way they have aged, but I will judge her on her outfit choice. Why would anyone where that white shirt to a public event!

@12/17 – “Race” as you feel it so necessary to use as a factor in this increasingly offensive discussion about obesity, is much more of a social construct than a truly genetic one. It is more likely in many cases that a Caucasian person will have more genetically in common with someone who’s skin is a different color.

The media and the nature of the Hollywood “biz” has made it more socially acceptable to make flip comments about a person’s appearance and it’s unfortunate that a board with so many open minded and accepting Trekkies would feel its necessary to make these comments…especially since she made the appearance to talk to us and acknowledge our dedication to Star Trek.

Oh…and while America has an obesity problem, it can be much directly attributed to quality of life, availability and affordability of processed foods (as compared to the healthier alternatives) and lifestyle than anything having to do with true genetics.

@Jennifer Lien – Just in case you A. have read this and B. have gotten this far…thank you for being a part of the Star Trek universe, coming to speak at the convention, and please accept my apology on behalf of the majority of users for the comments made in this thread.

I will say this in case Jennifer Lien is reading this thread: Please ignore the negative comments about your appearance. They don’t matter. What matters is that you are loved for your great characterization of Kes. Your artistry has been immortalized on film.

You’ve obviously decided to move on, and that’s fine. To that I say: Onward and upward, and thanks for the memories.

Please don’t let the naysayers prevent you from coming back to interact with the fans. You were, and are, great.

Im guessing thats Ethan Phillips between Picardo and Russ… Scarlett Pomers (Naomi Wildman) between Garrett Wang and Russ… I just cannot believe that is Kes… looks NOTHING like her at all…

Gosh, how can someone jump from 20 to 60 in 10 years??

She needs Zoe Saldana´s DIET right away.

We can always find examples of how unEnlightened the human species is, in general. Some will say there are far more good and decent people in the world, but I look at the mess the world is in and question whether that is true or not.
It might be viewed that a negative comment is no big deal, even in this era of so-called “political correctness.” But the FACT that there are people who casually make negative, or even inconsiderate comments is, I believe, an indication of where we are — mentally and emotionally — as a supposedly intelligent species.
And, yes, we can find consideration, kindness and compassion in the world… but not nearly enough. Until every human being is moved to be considerate, kind and compassionate toward every other human being (and even the world of Nature), there will always be conflict on Earth, and there will always be human beings hurt by other human beings — whether mentally, emotionally, or physically.
A world of hurt and conflict is NOT the kind of world Star Trek beckons us to. As a famous Capt. once said, “I dare you to do better…”

^^ 25, that is quite true. I think that all great religions teach us to be compassionate and thoughtful toward others, but how often we fail to comply in our acts and words!

Trek DOES dare us to do better. That’s one of our fundamental strengths as a species — we can make ourselves better than who we are.

All too often, we fall short, and that’s a shame.

How difficult is it to remember that beauty is only skin deep, but meanness is through and through?

Conversely, Mother Teresa was not physically attractive, but her creed and her acts were beautiful things.

I am old enough to remember when the phrase “beautiful” meant more than just physical appearance. It meant inner beauty — the inner light. I wish more of us could remember this idealism of the past.

It was a beautiful thing.

Personally, when I said that she now looked old compared to the last time we saw her, what I really was referring to was the fact she really seems to have let go. I’m talking about outfit, hairstyle and make-up (lack of, that is). And yes, she doesn’t seem to be working out much, either. I’m certain she could look like a hot 35-year-old if she really wanted to, but she obviously couldn’t care less about her appearance. In other words, I don’t think that there’s any feelings to hurt on this matter.

I’m sure she could have continued a successful career, but she obviously doesn’t have any need for that. A shame for the rest of us though, as she is a fine actress with the most wonderful voice and I’d cast her any day.

@26. Hat Rick – August 10, 2010
“Conversely, Mother Teresa was not physically attractive, but her creed and her acts were beautiful things.”

Um, yeah right.

I recommend you to read this book:

Great actress. But she had problems.
Hell, don’t we all?

Wow, Lien has really let herself go. I don’t even recognize her in that photo next to Wang. Getting older is one thing. Letting yourself go is another!

28, there are always revisionists. Without even clicking on your link, I’m aware of her detractors. But they are hardly the last word.

A fellow by the name of Hitchens, for example, wrote “God is Not Great,” an indictment of religion. Should that mean that all religions are horrible Ironically, Hitchens’ own brother holds an opposite position to his.

I’ve come to realize that if you mention anyone who is inspirational on the Internet, there will be those who will mention their detractors. Albert Schweitzer? He had some politically incorrect words about African people. The genius, Nikola Tesla? Self-imposed hermit, apparently. Charles Lindberg? Wasn’t he a Nazi? (No, he wasn’t.)

If you will, take the Teresa reference for its intended meaning.

@31. Hat Rick – August 10, 2010

LOL, it was the very same Hitchens wrote that particular book I linked to.

How does it matter what his brother’s opinion is? Completely irrelevant as to whether something is true or not.

Sure, and there are people that say good things about Adolf Hitler too. Benito Mussolini still has his fans. And we all know how popular Saddam Hussein was amongst a large portion of the Iraqi people. So, obviously there are always two side of every story.

But that’s beside the point. What matter is what is true and what is not. What they did and what they said – on record. I have seen a lot of footage with Mother Teresa and to me it is obvious that she was one opportunistic cold-hearted… [insert well-known calling for evil women here]. I don’t like what she stood for, but some people do like it and most people just have no idea who she really was. That’s all there is to it.

I know, 32. I know. Hitchens, who has also made the news recently.

You and I will differ on the Teresa thing. Maybe she’s what the Hitch says she is, maybe she’s not. You know, I haven’t read much of the material against her, and maybe it’s because I don’t want to know. So you may have more of a point than I’ve conceded.

But I also want to add one thing, and perhaps this is most important of all, if we’re going to mention controversial figures. This has to do with Lindbergh, who at no point was an actual Nazi. But I think it is widely stated that he had white supremacist and, beyond that, American supremacist ideas, and his attitude toward other “races” was what diminished his standing among the public. I mention this because I see so much racialism in the America of 2010 — racial references on the sly, by people who should know better than to play with fire, on both sides, on both the left and the right. It saddens me that this country is diminishing itself, and that there is no one apparently that is capable of reversing the national course toward incivility and distrust.

The fact that Lindbergh was never a Nazi doesn’t matter. The fact is that he made statements that verged close to Nazism to raise questions, and for legitimate reasons given that America was embroiled in world conflagrations.

I think that many Americans must have been disillusioned with the man once they heard what was said about him, an beyond that, what he himself said.

It may be that Mother Teresa was much less than was made of her, that she was a charlatan, or whatever it is that Hitchens seems to think is the case. But if that’s taken as fact, humanity has made even less progress throughout the decades than we have feared.

Sometimes it’s best just to take the reference in the way it is intended.

@22. Hat Rick – August 10, 2010
Kudos! May I call your post paradigmatic?

Sometimes, I do find it quite disheartening to see how truly difficult it seems for (many of) us to understand that we are not each other´s toys, or tools, or science projects, or punching bags…

It never ceases to amaze me how some STAR TREK fans can be so judgemental and vacuous. I wish I could say that the human race has advanced by some degree since the show first hit the airwaves in 1966—and thankfully there have been some improvements in civil rights—but the only major social advancements I can see are those in technology and telecommunications. Sadly, perhaps because of these rapid advancements, brains have gotten smaller along with phones, and manners are now all but a curious vestige of the Victorian era.

Here’s to you, Gene. You set a point on the horizon and tried to show a better path. But the kids are still spinning their wheels…

34, thank you! Yes you may, and I hope Thomas Kuhn would be proud! :-)

If Trek stands for anything, it stands for the fact that we are all united as one — one race, humanity, and one people, on behalf of all of us, whether weak or strong. It is sad when we do not live up to our ideals.

Now, I am aware that there are those who take Cochrane’s view, early in First Contact, when he disparaged the idea that he was ever as idealistic as history made him up to be. He claimed that his only ideal was money, to get his own private island, to live with beautiful girls in a life of luxury.

And yet, he succeeded in spite of himself. He succeeded despite adversity and despite his own human shortcomings. With a lot of help.

We should all learn that lesson, I think. And we should all support others if we can so that they may succeed, as well, because, trite as it may be to say, we are all in this together, and none of us are perfect.

I would have loved to have heard what she had to say regardless of how she appears now. I always wondered about her changed hair in the last season. No mention was ever made about the new color or style. I wondered if that was her actual hair. If so, it was as gorgeous as her voice.

I choose not to take a swipe at her appearance and will simply thank her for all she’s done for TREK and wish her well!

@33. Hat Rick – August 10, 2010
“Sometimes it’s best just to take the reference in the way it is intended.”

At least it would have been the most convenient for you, perhaps. But I happen to care about facts and usually don’t steer away from a topic just because it’s inconvenient.

Don’t know much about Lindbergh, but I do know that no one is perfect. There’s also a huge difference of someone’s opinions when they don’t really effect people, and with someone’s actions when they have a very powerful position. Which anti-semite is the most dangerous, Mel Gibson or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? I would certainly say the latter.

Well well, time for bed now :)

Christopher Hitchens talks like a bigot and a Trotskyite. He’s part of the New Atheism movement along with Richard Dawkins, a silly scientist who would be much better sticking to science than using being mean to religious people as a way to get on talk shows.

New Atheism’s founding principle is to destroy all religious belief. The Missionary Position is written by one of it’s founders. New Atheism and its acolytes are little different from people in extremist branches of religions.

Historically, destroying respect for revered figures and ridiculing everything for which they have stood has been a classic way of gaining power. It worked particularly well in countries like the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany!

Goebbels used similar tactics to Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins and we all know what great examples of human rights atheist states such as Mao’s China and Stalin’s Soviet Union have been!

Maybe not everything about Mother Teresa was perfect (she was a human being after all!) but material written by an author behind a radical movement as dangerous to society as any extremist religion has to be taken with a huge vat of salt!

Take away Dawkins’ or Christopher Hitchens’ hands and you have another Abu Hamza. They’re preachers of hate!

These people that keeping making remarks about actors’ physical appearances remind me of school in the summer. No Class.

I think its more shock than anything else over her. She doesn’t look older than she should and she doesn’t look fat. She just looks different. I wouldn’t have known that was her if it wasn’t for the captions.


Good one! :D


“At least it would have been the most convenient for you, perhaps. But I happen to care about facts and usually don’t steer away from a topic just because it’s inconvenient.”

Never saw The Dark Knight, eh?

39. Dom – August 10, 2010

On a side note, you do know that Hitler claimed to be a catholic during his leadership don’t you? And that he used the German’s Christianity as a tool to turn them against the Jewish people? And that the teachings of Martin Luther (which is the basis for most of western Christianity), who amongst other awful things wrote this book:

No, I guess you didn’t know that since you keep reading one book over and over again instead of reading something else and actually start looking for knowledge. I really wonder what you see in Star Trek since it goes against everything you stand for. Star Trek was Gene’s vision and we all know what he thought and felt about religion.

And Richard Dawkins is perhaps the most un-stridant, humble debater that is. And he has never been mean to anyone, it’s hardly his fault that the truth hurts so much for some people. And by truth I am referring to scientific facts, because that is all he is referring to.

Now, can we please stop this discussion, I sincerely doubt well get any where with this.

@43. Vultan – August 10, 2010
“Never saw The Dark Knight, eh?”

As a matter of fact I did once, but I don’t get the reference…

Good lord, people, for everyone who has commented on appearance, seriously, if you met her in an elevator, would you ask why she was fat, frumpy, or whatever? Of course not, it’s rude at best and mean at worst. Honestly, if she is happy at this point in her life, more power to her!! Jennifer, these folks need you a whole lot more then you need them, and frankly, with fans like this, who needs critics…

It is truly interesting to see the turn a conversation like this can take, hm?
It seems to me human beings tend to be very reductive in their thinking, trying to reduce everything to some single point to be made. Yet, in attempting this, we wind up traveling through layers and layers of information (true or false), opinions, attitudes, and so forth, and then we’re completely side-tracked by all the layers we’re trying to cut through.

In the end, it’s simply about compassion. If everyone does it, then everyone receives it. If only some people do it, then it’s hit and miss as to whether or not you receive it. And if no one does it, then no one receives it.


I always wondered hows they’d progress Kes, who lives seven years, as tha’ series ran… But oof’ she went.
That last season eppie-sode wuz’ A. Grand ta’ see her again and age as she wuz’ written ta’ and B. Not a real bonny eppie-sode… but ye’ can have fun watchin’ her trash tha’ halls…

And a part o’ her wuz’ always thar’ as Neelix had her lung… how comes he didda’ not sound better then?


@ 46. Phil
Well said!
I would add that the comments by the shallow posters reflect more about that particular poster rather than the intended target.


The Dark Knight showed us that the truth can sometimes be more detrimental than a lie in a society. If the people of Gotham City had known the truth about Harvey Dent/Two-Face, it would’ve caused more harm than good, meaning they would’ve lost faith in their so-called “white knight.” With Batman taking the blame for the deaths, he solidified Dent’s reputation as a good and honest man of the people and created a martyr instead of another tarnished public figure. Thus, Batman and Gordon’s lie defeated the Joker’s plans to destroy faith and spread nihilism and anarchy through the already decaying moral foundation of Gotham City’s society.

I know this is all fiction, but you were ballyhooing the works of Hitchens and Dawkins anyway… so I naturally assumed any fictional reference was appropriate. ;)