Day 17, No. 17. Lieutenant Ilia

Lieutenant Ilia HAIRCUT 100: Day 17, No. 17. Lieutenant Ilia (played by former Miss India, Persis Khambatta) in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). A native of Delta IV, Starfleet officer Ilia continued the tradition from the sixties show of exotic and remote alien women whose look was not defined by conventional notions of femininity. Killed and resurrected by the ‘V’ger’ intelligence, the ‘Ilia probe’ ultimately merges with ex-lover Will Decker (the present captain of the Enterprise), providing the ‘human element’ the entity requires to evolve, and clearing the captain’s chair for James T. Kirk in the original series big screen reboot. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, the model and Bollywood actress Khambatta was at her best playing a robot, but in her character we can see the origins of 7 of 9 and the Borg Queen. Plagued by health problems after a car crash in the 80s, Khambatta died far too young of a heart attack in 1998. Her final acting role was in the pilot episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993.’ ‘You are the Kirk unit. You will assist me…’

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