One of the truest delights of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is its crew aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, serving under Captain Christopher Pike. They represent the best of what Starfleet has to offer in the 23rd Century.   

In honor of Melissa Navia’s birthday, we’re shining a light on the exuberant helmsman on the bridge — Lt. Erica Ortegas

Melissa Navia as Lt. Erica Ortegas stands proud on the bridge of the Enterprise

Praising the writers on the series, Navia told TV Fanatic earlier this year, “She's able to joke, and she's able to have this wonderful camaraderie specifically with Captain Pike, who she looks up to. She also can get shy around [him] because she does really look up to him so much. But she's able to do all that and then be a fantastic pilot. She can joke and still knows when to get down to business, and it's thanks to the writers that that's worked into it. All I have to do is do what I do, but great writing is the cornerstone of everything.” 

Between her practical jokes on poor unassuming cadets like Uhura, hanging out with her bestie Nurse Christine Chapel, and fiercely defending the Enterprise from the Romulans in a potential future war, Ortegas manages to dish up some spectacular quips during the first season of Strange New Worlds

On Navs 

“How close do you want to get? First date or third date?

(Pike: Blind date.)
Copy. Proceeding with caution, sir.” 

“Actually, I enjoy flying manually. Feels like the ship and I are in a deep conversation. Y’know. Like a third date.” 

“Aye, aye, Skipper. Dive, dive, dive.” 

“We pull this off, it’s officially the Pike Maneuver.” 

Lt. Ortegas (Melissa Navia) sits at the helm of the Enterprise. She is smiling and looking to her right.

On the Mission at Hand 

“Space really wants us dead.” 

“Aye, aye. Full impulse. To a giant gas cloud of death. Why not?” 

"Let's face it. The crazy space monks will blow us out of the sky if we try anything to move that comet.” 

“What do we do...throw luggage at them?” 

“What does firing gently even mean?” 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - "Memento Mori"

On Crew Interactions 

“All in good fun. You get bored. It's a small ship.” 

“Whatever tweaks your freak, pal.” 

“They don’t shore leave, they shore stay.” 

“That’s more like a book than a page.” 

“Never get in the middle of a Vulcan relationship. They will hit you with a lirpa. Trust me. Have you ever fought with a lirpa? I have actual scars.” 

“There are no breaks in security because threats never take breaks.” 

“Oh good, I was worried you might show up with some silly hat.” 

Ortegas and Chapel stand next to each other in front of a lake.

As Sir Adya 

“Your words could polish the finest of apples, Sir Rauth. Perhaps they are better suited to the kitchen.” 

“I would die infinite deaths to no longer hear your whining.” 

“It’s hard to hear over the sound of your trembling boots.” 

Ortegas (Melissa Navia), holding a sword and wearing medieval clothes, stands in the middle of the Enterprise's hallway. The hallway is overgrown with leaves. There is a small group standing behind her.

And what has been YOUR favorite Ortegas line this season? Share with us @StarTrek on social! 

All episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds are now streaming!

Christine Dinh (she/her) is the managing editor for She’s traded the Multiverse for helming this Federation Starship. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia & the Nordics. The series will air on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel & stream on Crave in Canada with additional international availability to be announced at a later date. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution. 

Stay tuned to for more details! And be sure to follow @StarTrek on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds