Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Jovenan, USS Artemis-A

Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Jovenan, USS Artemis-A

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Jovenan playing a Female Edo Science Officer assigned to the USS Artemis-A.

Promontory: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?  Anything you’d like to share!

Jovenan: I was born and raised in a smallish municipality in the Päijänne Tavastia region in Finland. Some five years ago I started university studies in Helsinki, Finland’s capital, and have since lived in different parts of the city.

What was your introduction to Science Fiction in general and Star Trek specifically?

I was more of a history and fantasy fan as a kid, Narnia, Eragon, Artemis Fowl, you name it. I had watched some science fiction films with my parents and siblings but didn’t really get into them. When I was in high school, Doctor Who began airing on our main national TV channel and I gave it a try. I liked it much, and while I didn’t become as big a fan as I did of Star Trek, I’ve watched most new episodes since then.

I obviously knew Star Trek was a thing, but I didn’t know what it was about for a long time. While I was a nerd, I didn’t want to be branded as one and avoided “too nerdy” things, and Star Trek was in my mind the epitome of nerdiness. However, during the pandemic I finally understood that I shouldn’t restrict myself so much based on what I think others think. The conclusion changed my life significantly, coming out and all that, but I also decided to be more open to things I might enjoy. I started with TNG and was hooked by the philosophy and atmosphere of it.

What is your experience with roleplaying?

I played an obscure French MMO game set in the mediaeval times for almost ten years in my teenage years. It was a simple and basic online game of that era, but the forums were very extensive and most of the fun happened in roleplays there. I wasn’t very active, but my character became quite an important figure in the Finnish community there, and I enjoyed drawing coats of arms for other players. Eventually, I grew tired of the game and frustrated with some of the players and left. The game still exists but has sadly almost completely died out.

What brought you to SB118?

I happened to come across with Star Trek: Online last autumn and tested it out. I was astonished by the familiar sights and people. After the initial awe faded, I wanted to find something that was more in line with the Trek ideals and not just shooting enemies and buying equipment.

I don’t remember how I came across with SB118 exactly, probably just googling Star Trek games. I was amazed by how active the community was compared to my previous experiences. What really sold me was the Wiki. I spent ages reading all of your character pages, ship histories and all other articles and was awestruck by the depth and maturity of all of it. The extremely friendly and tight-knit community has made me stay.

Why did you choose this specific character and duty post?

I have drawn much inspiration to Jovenan from two people: Ezri Dax (the adorablest character in Trek) and myself, mixing characteristics from both without her being clearly a copy of either. Jovenan is shy and bad in action scenes but might surprise people in tough spots. Science post was an obvious choice for me due to my personal interests, but I went with a completely different field than mine so I wouldn’t feel like working while writing for her.

I didn’t want to memorize all the lore around some of the more popular species, so I decided to go with a more obscure species. I found the Edo from the list of allowed species and remembered that one TNG episode. They were unrealistic and just plain weird in it, but I still saw a lot of potential in them. I often write about Jovenan trying to balance Edo and Starfleet morality. Add in the fact that she didn’t feel like belonging to the hedonistic and stagnant Edo culture but also found the outside world confusing and even traumatic. And I just love writing her make little observations about everyday things!

Where do you see your character five years from now?

Maybe she’ll be a Chief Science Officer on a fancy starship, or maybe she has changed to a red uniform. I’m not so concerned about those things. What I wait to see the most is her growth as an individual. Maybe in five years, she has grown to be a more determined and stronger person. She has all the potential for that, and I believe in her.

Thanks for your time, Ensign Jovenan!

You can read more about Ensign Jovenan on the wiki.

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