Vanessa James is a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Air Force, who was stationed at Icarus Base. She is a member of the team sent and later trapped aboard the Ancient vessel Destiny.


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Background information

Vanessa James was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania around the year 1983 and had joined the United States Air Force prior to 2009. In her time in the Air Force, Vanessa became part of the Special Forces and once served in Iraq, choosing instead an assignment at Icarus Base instead of going back. She was in a sexual relationship with fellow officer, 1st Lt. Matthew Scott, though they poorly attempted to conceal it. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 3", "Darkness", "Blockade")


When the George Hammond arrived at Icarus Base with California Senator Alan Armstrong and civilian Eli Wallace concerning the Icarus project, she and Lt. Matthew Scott were having sex in a secluded room. That night, she, along with around 80 other people were forced to abandon the base after it was attacked by the Lucian Alliance, and arrived at the Destiny, several billion light years from Earth. After arriving, she and other soldiers searched the ship for problems relating to the life support system. After they found a planet to help the situation, she was sent there when Scott was lost, in order to search for him. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 2", "Air, Part 3")

She was one of several people who recorded a message on the Kino in case the kino would be found one day. She felt that the majority of the crew weren't kept in the loop on the situation. She was part of the group that brought Eli Wallace in if he knew anything Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young were thinking on a way to return home. After he claimed he didn't know anything, James appointed a reluctant Eli as their "inside man", to inform them of any developments as soon as he found anything. Sometime after the ship lost power, she accused Eli and Sgt. Hunter Riley of spying on her while she slept, after she found them flying the Kino in the corridor when she left her quarters, though Eli claimed he went the wrong way. Her name was one of 15 handpicked from a lottery to evacuate Destiny to the remaining Ancient shuttle to one of three potentially habitable planets when Destiny is on an unalterable course to a red dwarf star. While the shuttle was en route to the planet, she was the first to wish Riley a happy birthday. Upon discovering Destiny flew to the sun to recharge, the shuttle, and James were brought back to Destiny before it jumped back to FTL. (SGU: "Darkness", "Light")

Sometime after, she caught Lt. Matthew Scott making out with Chloe Armstrong when he didn't respond to Colonel Everett Young's radio calls. After finding out, she seemed somewhat bitter about her finding. She later informed Chloe of Scott being trapped in a crevasse despite the expedition members being ordered to stay in their quarters. (SGU: "Water")

She was one of four persons in reconnaissance party sent to the Gravel pit planet, which found an alien spacecraft. (SGU: "Justice")

She was later the first person to witness the arrival of a Nakai mothership and played her part in saving two personnel from electrical overloads in Destiny's corridors. (SGU: "Space")

She tried with some military personnel to free Lt. Matthew Scott, Eli Wallace, Chloe Armstrong and MSgt. Ronald Greer after they had been trapped in an alien tunnel system in the ruins of a planet. She tried but had to return to Destiny before it jumped back to FTL. (SGU: "Human")

One day later she was in her quarters and talking to Lt. Tamara Johansen about the lost team, and she knew about TJ's pregnancy and that Colonel Everett Young is the father. She and some other soldiers were off-world searching for Lt. Matthew Scott's team. They were able to find MSgt. Ronald Greer and return to Destiny with him. (SGU: "Lost")

A day later, after one of Destiny's Faster-Than-Light engine need to be upgraded in order to make it to the next galaxy, James volunteers to switch with Dr. Amanda Perry so she could accomplish the task. James is unable to stand being in Perry's quadriplegic body and has the connection severed, accidentally knocking her Long-range communication stone off the console without clearing her imprint with no one noticing. Later, a Nakai takes advantage of this and switches bodies with her to sabotage Destiny, which she later thinks is a bad dream until Chloe Armstrong helps her realize the truth. James ends up spending most of the time Destiny is stranded taking care of Dr. Jeremy Franklin and lets Colonel Everett Young know that he wants to be the one to sit in the Destiny interface chair and convinces Young to do it before going to join her defense team during the Nakai attack in the void. Thanks to Franklin, Destiny makes it to FTL without ever being boarded. (SGU: "Sabotage")

She went to a unnamed planet in the new galaxy and got affected by an Alien tick. She had hallucinations about having sex with Lt. Matthew Scott and then killing him. Lt. Tamara Johansen cured her by removing the bug. (SGU: "Pain")

During the Lucian Alliance invasion of Destiny, she was sent to an unnamed planet with the rest of the Destiny expedition. Once there, she found a system of caves for them to take shelter in during a storm. After a short time, she and Colonel Everett Young went to check on Varro and the other Alliance members in a nearby cave. As she was standing guard at the entrance a bolt of lightning struck at wall next to the cave. She was thrown backwards by the force but sustained only minor injuries. (SGU: "Intervention")

Shortly after her return to Destiny, she was part of a team that was sent to an unnamed planet in the Ancient shuttle to replenish the food and water supply. During reentry the shuttle lost power and crashed on the planet. After Scott and the rest of the team unburied the Stargate, she returned to Destiny. (SGU: "Aftermath")


When Ginn was found murdered, she used the Long-range communication device to check on Dr. Amanda Perry. She returned and confirmed Perry was dead and that Ginn had told Homeworld Command critical information about the planned attack on Earth. Later, she was part of the team that traveled to an unnamed planet to hunt for the Lucian Alliance member Simeon. She was paired with Torres and Weber. She suffered a minor head wound by an explosive device that Simeon detonated. (SGU: "Malice")


She entered a stasis pod for the trip to the next galaxy. (SGU: "Gauntlet")

Alternate timelines

  • In an alternate timeline, she was part of the off-world team which quarantined themselves on the Jungle planet. She was killed by Squigglers during the first attack after they burrowed through her body. (SGU: "Time")
  • In another alternate timeline, she was affected with the Hoth virus brought back from Hoth with contaminated ice water and died of it. (SGU: "Time")

Elderly Varro and James talking, recorded on kino.

  • In another alternate timeline, instead of choosing to return to Earth with everyone else, James volunteered to remain behind on Destiny as part of the group that were staying to complete the mission. When things got too unstable, she and the rest of the volunteers headed through the Stargate too, but like everyone else except for Colonel David Telford, didn't make it to Earth and was presumed dead. However, she ended up on a planet that she and other survivors called Novus, 2,000 years in the past. She eventually married Varro, they had at least three children and five grandchildren. They had a family reunion once a year. (SGU: "Twin Destinies", "Common Descent", "Epilogue")


Appearances for Vanessa James

In chronological order:


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Other equipment


  • James has encountered Dr. Rodney McKay at least once, during which he apparently kept staring at her in a manner that she found offensive. (SGU: "Twin Destinies")

Behind the scenes

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