This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, our subject is Hoshi Sato from Enterprise.
Sato is an Asian-American linguist who serves as the communications officer aboard Enterprise under Captain Archer. Hoshi begins as an ensign but becomes the first officer to hold the rank of lieutenant commander while serving on the Enterprise.
Sato is prone to fearful fits and can be ineffectual when not dealing with her passion of linguistics. She therefore serves as the "resident screamer" aboard the ship whenever danger is encountered by the crew. Sato is very isolated and does not become very close to anyone, but she chooses to study and work with languages in an effort to make connections with other people and cultures.
Sato was the first human to become fluent in Klingonese, which was an important reason why she was chosen for the crew. Sato also was a key contributor in improving the universal translator and making it the crucial tool used by most later generations of Star Trek crews.
The name Hoshi means "star" in Japanese, and the name Sato is the most common Japanese surname and it means "home or village." Therefore, Hoshi Sato's name literally means "at home in the stars," a fitting name for a Starfleet officer.
Our notable quote this week comes from the episode Fight or Flight:
Ensign Hoshi Sato: I'm a translator; I didn't come out here to see corpses hanging on hooks.
Dr. Phlox: It goes without saying that you're going to encounter the unexpected.
Ensign Hoshi Sato: Not corpses on hooks!
Actor: Linda Park played Sato, and she can also be seen in movies like Jurassic Park 3 and the upcoming Look of Love, as well as in select episodes of NCIS, The Mentalist, and House M.D.
Until next time, live long and prosper...