Kes Hаd Powers On Stаr Trek: Voyаɡer: Jennifer Lien’s Oсаmpа Abilities Explаined

Kes was Star Trek: Voyager’s resident Ocampan for the show’s first three seasons and had a host of telepathic powers that she demonstrated.

Kes from Star Trek: Voyager at various ages.


  • Kes’s telepathic powers grew and evolved throughout her time on Star Trek: Voyager, from communicating telepathically to sensing minds and emotions and even manipulating matter with her mind.
  • The true scope of Kes’s powers was never defined, leading to confusion and inconsistencies in the show. This was likely due to the creative team not knowing how to handle the character and Jennifer Lien’s departure from the show.
  • Kes’s return in season 7 showcased her most advanced powers yet, but only in one episode, leaving viewers with more questions than answers about her abilities.

Throughout her run on Star Trek: Voyager, one of Kes’s (Jennifer Lien) biggest storylines was the development of her telepathic powers. Kes came from a race called the Ocampa, a reclusive species who the crew of the USS Voyager met in the show’s pilot episode, “Caretaker.” Once powerful telepaths, the Ocampa had become complacent and lost most of their abilities after they became dependent on an alien protector called the Caretaker. However, the Ocampa still had the ability to communicate telepathically, and many were aware that they were not using the full extent of their powers, including Kes.

Once Kes left her people and joined Voyager’s crew for their journey home, it didn’t take long for her abilities to begin manifesting and growing. The first indication of what Kes could do came in Voyager season 1, episode 4, “Time and Again,” and from there, her powers began to manifest more and more strongly during her time on the show. The true scope and range of these powers were never truly defined, but that didn’t stop them from being a huge part of Kes’s storyline during Voyager season 1-3.

Kes’s Telepathic Powers Explained

Kes demonstrated a number of abilities related to telepathy in Voyager‘s first three seasons, and these abilities ultimately played a role in why she left the ship altogether. In the pilot episode, it seemed as though the only thing Kes could do was communicate telepathically with her own people, but during “Time and Again” she developed the ability to sense the minds and emotions of other species, as well as know that they had been somewhere even after they were gone. After this initial growth spurt with her powers, Kes began to work with Tuvok (Tim Russ) to learn how to control what she could do and use it effectively.

Although Kes’s powers remained largely telepathic, they experienced a few significant upgrades. During Voyager season 2, episode 10, “Cold Fire,” Kes learned that she had psychokinetic abilities, including being able to manipulate living and inorganic matter with her mind. Later on, thanks to Voyager‘s Species 8472, Kes’s powers began to expand so rapidly that she could destabilize things on a molecular level, including her own body. Ultimately, this led to her leaving the ship and seemingly ascending to a higher level of consciousness. However, Kes returned in season 7, episode 23, “Fury,” demonstrating her most advanced powers yet, including neurogenic energy blasts, energy absorption, and even time travel.

Why Voyager Never Clarified All Of Kes’s Abilities

Star Trek Voyager kes

Although Voyager showed the progression of Kes’s powers to an extent, the series didn’t do a great job of clarifying her abilities. This is likely because of the existing inconsistencies with Kes as a character and Jennifer Lien leaving Voyager at the beginning of season 4. The series’ creative team never seemed to know quite what to do with Kes, and thanks to Lien’s exit, had to come up with a quick way to write the character off the show. This resulted in the rapid and largely unexplained expansion of Kes’s powers and meant that audiences were not privy to her journey after she left the ship.

If Kes had stayed away from Voyager after Lien’s departure as a series regular, confusion about her powers might have been lessened. As it was, bringing the character back as a far more powerful version of herself, and for only one episode in season 7, meant that the question of what Kes could do only got more confusing. One episode was not enough time to explain how Kes had become so powerful, or even explore the abilities she did demonstrate in greater detail. Ultimately, Star Trek: Voyager left viewers with more questions than answers about Kes’s powers.

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