There’s a reason both Santana Lopez and Emily Fields enjoy dressing up like Barbarella — she’s one of the sexiest heroes ever. Sure, there are lots of feminist issues with this 1968 film, but when viewed through a campy lens, there’s a lot to love about Jane Fonda battling snowballs and terrifying dolls in 40,000 AD.
Nyota Uhura, Star Trek: The Original Series
Nichelle Nichols played The Enterprise’s communications officer in the Star Trek TV series and in the original movies. She deserves her own shout out for being a multilingual badass lieutenant who worked her way to lieutenant commander and then full commander over the course of the series. Nichols was also one of the very first black women to be cast in a major role on primetime American TV.
Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, Battlestar Galactica
Starbuck was a dude in the original Battlestar Galactica, but in Syfy’s series remake, she was unapologetically all woman. (She also never apologized for her whiskey-drinking and cigar-smoking!) She was a cocky fighter pilot who evolved from not caring about her own life to understanding that the sacrifice of her own life could save all of humanity.
Capt. Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager
Kate Janeway was the Captain — yes, Captain — of the USS Voyager who fought for seven years to bring her starship crew home after they got lost in a wormhole in the Delta Quadrent, after which she was quite rightly promoted to Admiral. Was she the best starship captain ever? Yes. Yes, she was. Oh, and she also had a deliciously subtextual lesbian relationship with Seven of Nine.
Dana Scully, The X-Files
She made us want to believe!