Roddenberrys Star Trek always had the message that all human differences of the past are history. Now after Chekov, Sulu, Worf, Chakotay and Bashir (ain't he intended to be somehow Arabian?) is with Annika Hansen Germany joining the club?

"Annika" and "Hansen" are really very common German names. Furthermore she exhibits some stereotypical German attributes: Blond, tall, no sense of humor, a neck for science and technology, a military posture and tone of voice (at times she even bosses Janeway around), big fan of punctuality and relevance...

On the other hand neither her mother nor her aunt have German names. Her fathers name (Magnus) is rarely used nowadays in Germany but I wouldn't say it's an unusual name.

Does anybody know if she was intended to be "germanish"? Are there even in-universe references to proof or refute this?

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    I always thought it was supposed to be a Scandinavian name rather than German. But I don't suppose these arbitrary distinctions have any relevance in the ST culture.
    – bitmask
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 10:55
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    Not in Star-Trek but for the audience. I always thought Star Trek had these political dimension: A black/female captain, a Japanese officer... I thought it to be the message: Hey we can all live in peace. Not that the characters in-universe were aware that someone from Russia is on the bridge...
    – Einer
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 11:03
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    Strictly speaking on the name "Anika Hansen", the name pair trends to be of Dutch or Norwegian origins. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 11:14
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    @user14111: I'm almost certain that it is. As a said: The name isn't very popular in Germany today. But if you'd introduce yourself as Magnus in Germany no-one would say "What?! How do you spell that?"
    – Einer
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 11:30
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    Hansen is a Danish name. It's quite common inNorway too, but's because Norway was part of Denmark until ~200 years ago..
    – FuxieDK
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 5:59

3 Answers 3


Furthermore she exhibits some stereotypical German attributes: Blond, tall, no sense of humor, a neck for science and technology, a military posture and tone of voice (at times she even bosses Janeway around), big fan of punctuality and relevance...

Both my German friends have a great sense of humour, and the ability to thoroughly kick your ass for that :-) The rest is spot-on.

However, other than the blonde and tall bit, those are basic Borg attributes. Germany disappeared long before the Voyager universe (along with all the other socio-political divisions) and as stated she was born many light years from Earth. Also gone from the Trek universe is any consideration that things like gender, colour, heritage and hairline matter in the slightest. You get where you are because of your abilities. Period. The diverse casting is intended to show the audience that fact. The catsuit is intended to keep the audience watching long enough for the point to sink in.

  • Not that I disagree with your answer (totally - that is. See my comments to Eike Pierstorff's answer) In fact I voted it up. But [here comes the 'but'] as a screen-play-writer you can portray a disconnected Borg anyway you like. Yet it was decided to give her "germanish" attributes (being from Germany myself I am allowed to say that withou being racist ;-) ). That's what made me wonder, if 'we' actually made our way to the Star Trek Universe.
    – Einer
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 18:59
  • Nein, wir sind nicht noch angekommen. I doubt the issue was analyzed that much - they added a character in season 4 to boost the ratings, cast Ms. Ryan to boost them furthur, took one look at her and the rest of the part wrote itself.
    – paul
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 6:38
  • "Hairline!" I see what you did there :)
    – Wolfie Inu
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 6:24

The Arabian connection with Dr. Bashir is via the actor (Alexander Siddig a.k.a Siddig El Fadil). Being a genetically engineered genius would not fall in line with any Arabic stereoytpes. As for Sulu (not a Japanese, but an American of Japanese descent), Chekov (born in Russia) etc. they are (from the pov of the original "western" audience) minorities. A white caucasian female would not be regarded as a part of a minority (in the US, that is), so I don't think name and appearance of Annika Hansen do have to same relevance.

Opinions aside, in-universe the character was not born on earth ("Tendara colony") so the question of (German) nationality does not arise.

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    Janeway is a white female. But I feel they casted a female captain on purpose - to demonstrate: Gender doesn't matter. So I don't think it's about minorities per se. In the same way I think they let Whorf grow up in Russia (though not born there) on purpose: It's the Chekov-motive again.
    – Einer
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 11:38
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    Point taken :-) Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 11:42
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    Out-of-universe, Jeri Lynn Ryan (actress of Seven Of Nine) was born in Munich, Germany.
    – Trollwut
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 12:35
  • @Trollwut: Thanks! I was unaware of that!
    – Einer
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 12:44
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    Hahaha, that's the first thing we children learn in Germany in pre-school! (well ok, I was interested and looked her up in wikipedia.)
    – Trollwut
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 13:32

This is more an aside that a proper answer to your question, but it is probably worth pointing out that Hansen is not a particular rare name in the USA. According to this site there were 117,000 Hansens in 1990. That made it the 222nd most popular surname.

In addition there were 107,000 Hansons (244th), and another 62,000 Hanssens and Hanssons. If you merge all these variants, it would be around the 60th most popular surname.

Anika is less common name. Its popularity is currently hovering around the high 500s.

I've quoted US figures since the makeup of Starfleet crews seems to be predominantly American. :)

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