|Star Trek character|
|First appearance||"Broken Bow" (2001)|
|Last appearance||"These Are the Voyages..." (2005)|
|Portrayed by||Linda Park|
In the show Sato, born in Kyoto, Japan on July 9, 2129, is the communications officer aboard the starship Enterprise (NX-01), and a linguist who can speak more than forty languages (polyglotism), including Klingon. She is an acknowledged linguistic genius and expert at operating the universal translator, a key instrument in allowing the crew to communicate with alien cultures.
Relatively little of Sato's background was explored in the series. She briefly suffered from space sickness and claustrophobia. The fourth season episode "Observer Effect" revealed that she was once dishonourably discharged from Starfleet for running a floating poker game and breaking the arm of a Starfleet instructor who tried to break it up (she has a black belt in Aikido). She was subsequently allowed to reenlist because of her exceptional linguistic skills.
Before posting to the Enterprise, she taught linguistics in Brazil; it is not known whether she was an active Starfleet officer at the time, or was reactivated to serve under Jonathan Archer. She later (also in "Observer Effect") expressed regret at leaving without saying goodbye to her students. The character expresses Northern American ignorance when she speaks in Spanish in episode "Observer Effect", while in Brazil, the language is Portuguese.
She appears to be very close to Captain Archer; he is often protective towards her and they appear to have a history that predates her posting to Enterprise, but the full nature of their relationship was not explored further.
The series' final episode, "These Are the Voyages...", reveals that Sato remains Archer's communications officer throughout his tenure as captain, and was considering resuming her teaching career in Brazil following the ship's decommissioning. The final episode also revealed that, after serving aboard Enterprise for ten years, she still wore an Ensign's insignia. As noted in the records aboard the USS Defiant, Sato eventually achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
According to a computer bio screen, shown in the episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", and taken from the memory banks of the USS Defiant, Sato was born in Kyoto, Japan. She was instrumental in the development of the universal translator. She eventually marries a man named Takashi Kimura, and retires from Starfleet with the rank of lieutenant commander.
In the Mirror Universe, Sato held the rank of Lieutenant. In addition to being the communications officer, she acted as the "Captain's Woman" (a combination yeoman/concubine) of Captain Maximillian Forrest and then Commander Jonathan Archer after Archer took control of the ISS Enterprise.
After Archer used the USS Defiant to put down the rebellion, Sato poisoned him and took command of the ship, taking the Mirror Travis Mayweather as a new consort. Upon reaching Earth, she demanded Earth's surrender and proclaimed herself Empress.
Episodes in which Sato's character is expanded or plays a key role:
According to author David Greven, "Ensign Hoshi Sato is an Asian American linguist and the communications officer. Prone to fearful fits and generally seen as ineffectual in any terms other than the linguistic aspects of her job, Hoshi is the resident screamer."
In 2001 in an interview with Ian Spelling of The New York Times, actress Linda Park who portrays character Hoshi Sato on Enterprise cited "Fight or Flight" as an example of the progression and growth of her character during the series.
In 2015, Den of Geek noted how Hoshi showed the importance of communication and the depth of her linguistic abilities. They recommended the episodes “Fight or Flight” and “Vox Sola” as watches for the Hoshi character.
In 2018, The Wrap ranked Hoshi the 37th-best character in the Star Trek franchise, noting her job as translator before the days of the universal translator technology. In 2016, Wired ranked Lt. Commander Hoshi Sato the 27th-most important Starfleet character in the Star Trek universe.