Star Trek: Prodigy confirms that the Protostar had a legacy character as captain.
Star Trek: Prodigy had one heck of a return with their sixth episode “Kobayashi“. In the episode, fans got to see several iconic characters return to the franchise with Montgomery Scott, Uhura, Odo, Spock, and Beverly Crusher all returning as holograms during Dal’s turn in the Kobayashi Maru test. Yet it was a classic character from Star Trek; Voyager who may have stolen the show as the former captain of the U.S.S. Protostar.
Near the end of the episode, we see some of the encrypted Protostar files be unlocked, and some video files became accessible in the process. One of those files contained a recording of the ship’s previous captain; Star Trek: Voyager’s Chakotay.
In the brief clip, Chakotay can be seen sitting in the captain’s chair, as the Emergency Command Hologram version of Kathryn Janeway can be seen approaching him. The clip seems to depict the ship in distress, thus alluding to the crew’s potential fate being not a good one.
Star Trek: Voyager’s Chakotay’s arrival hints at answeres for Star Trek: Prodigy
Some of the biggest questions in Star Trek: Prodigy include the creation of the ship, how it ended up in the Delta Quadrant and what happened to the crew onboard. During the events of the episode, the crew come out of warp and find themselves in the Gamma Quadrant, with the ship seemingly doing the impossible. A ship that can move that fast in a short period of time would explain how it got from the Alpha Quadrant to the Delta Quadrant in such a short period of time.
The protostar-powered engine is clearly the reason why it can move so fast, and its speed negates any issues the show may have had with fitting into the series timeline. After all, if the ship can move that fast, then it’s entirely possible for Chakotay to be the captain of the vessel after returning from the Delta Quadrant.
Moreover, seeing the holographic Janeway (or at least who we think is the holographic Janeway), implies that Chakotay and crew abandoned the ship before it ended up in the Delta Quadrant, or potentially after it arrived.
If it’s the latter, then Chakotay is probably really regretting his decision to be a captain.