I have been a Star Trek fan for as long as I recall, but I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore trekkie/trekker. By that I mean that I can’t name specific episodes, or tell you the names of the various classes of starships, and never felt the need to attend a Star Trek convention, etc. I was more of a casual fan. But I liked the idea of a bright shiny future, where humanity had overcome all of their prejudices and problems and could now explore the stars. It’s a nice contrast to all of the cynical apocalyptic future scenarios, that are detailed in films like Terminator and Escape From New York.
My interest began with the first set of Star Trek films. For some reason, I never got interested in the original TV series, which was before my time, but always available in reruns. I think I’ve only seen a handful of complete episodes. But I loved the movies with the original series cast.
But for TV, my first real exposure was with The Next Generation. I watched that show regularly for the first 4 or 5 seasons, and then semi-regularly until the end. Even while the original film franchise was still going on, that was just one movie every few years, vs. a new episode on TV every week. I also watched and enjoyed Voyager on a semi-regular basis. I never got into Deep Space 9, despite liking that they had a badass Black Captain. The premise didn’t appeal to me, I preferred the action taking place on a starship, not in a space station. And I wasn’t interested in Enterprise, either. @ the time, I thought it was a step backward. I thought that they should have moved forward, set a new series on the Enterprise, 100 years after The Next Generation took place. I guess my lack of interest in the original series contributed to my lack of interest in a series that was set even earlier than that (though I liked the idea of the film reboot). So I only ever watched a few episodes of Enterprise and DS9.
So this is probably why, for me, my favorite Captain has been Picard.
I liked his dignity, and the Shakespearean aura that Sir Patrick Stewart so ably portrayed. Unlike Kirk’s brash cowboy style, Picard was a cerebral man, who tried to think his way out of a problem instead of punching it. I also liked the interaction of the crew, the way they were treated more like equals. He wanted and accepted everyone’s input, but in the end, the decision would be up to him, and they would all follow it.
Of course, this is probably why the feature films starring that cast didn’t work quite as well as the films starring the original cast. The Next Generation cast was more of an ensemble, fitting for a TV series. The original cast was mostly focused on Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Sure, we liked Sulu, Uhura, and Scotty, but they were not the stars. Give them a couple of decent lines in the films, to remind us that they’re there, but give the best lines to the Holy Trinity.
You couldn’t do that with The Next Generation, precisely because they had all been built up as equals over the course of those 7 seasons. But that’s too many characters to focus on in a 2-hour movie, so they’d have to sideline some, to put the focus on others. Yet then it felt like something was missing. Picard and Riker never had that same camaraderie that Kirk & Spock had. That was most evident @ the end of Nemesis, when Riker is leaving to become a Captain. That scene where he’s saying goodbye to Picard didn’t feel as important as it should be. Similarly, the death of Data didn’t have the same emotional impact as the death of Spock in The Wrath of Khan. In fact, when they tried to make a film that utilized the entire cast, Insurrection, it just felt like an extended TV episode. It was okay, just not good enough for a feature film.
Now, let me be clear, I love Captain Kirk, and the way William Shatner portrayed him. So this isn’t a criticism of him. I’ve bought William Shatner’s “Shatnervese”series of books, where Kirk is revived after (the extremely disappointing) film Generations, and has a new bunch of adventures in the 24th century, with and against Picard and The Next Generation crew. I also bought his prequel book, Starfleet Academy: Collision Course, and I liked that too. And I very much enjoyed the Star Trek reboot, and Chris Pine’s portrayal of a young Kirk. Who knows, if the new franchise continues as well as it began, I may end up declaring one day that this Kirk is my favorite?
But, for now, The Next Generation is “my” Star Trek, that’s the one I grew up on, and therefore I have to go with Captain Jean-Luc Picard as the best Starfleet Captain. If I could pick a ship to be on, it would be his.
As long as I didn’t have to wear a red shirt.
Picard hands down! Kirk is cool, and yes he’s supposed to be mad intelligent, but he seems to fall on his feet or as Buzz Lightyear put it ‘falling with style’.
Like you said, Picard is cerebral as one would expect from a Starfleet captain. Little is left to chance, even when it is a risk, its a calculated one. You can’t help but respect him. I also liked the diversity of crew, and it was obvious that each of them were valued.
Kirk to me seemed to have a bit of a death wish, which is fine for the average adrenaline junkie, but would piss me off if I were a member of his crew. Especially if I wasn’t one of the less expendable ‘trinity’.
Dude. Do that math:
Captain Kirk is played by William Shatner.
William Shatner is totally awesome.
Ergo, Captain Kirk is the winner. I rest my case.
I don’t know much about the whole history of the series, but I loved the last movie, saw it twice in the theater, and Chris Pine was excellent as Kirk.
Kirk got all the hot chicks. I don’t think Picard ever got laid. That’s probably why his hair fell out.
Picard definitely got laid. There as Vash (the archeologist he met on Risa) and he and Dr. Crusher were married (in the future) in the episode where he is jumping through his own life (where he becomes a grape farmer because he got ill and couldn’t continue being in Starfleet). Riker was there to get all the hot girls.
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Don’t forget the Borg Queen. I’m pretty sure Picard nailed her, too. ^_^
Sisko all the way, baby! DS9 was my favorite of all the trek shows. I wish they could have gotten a movie made. You should have watched it. Especially when the Dominion War storyline kicked in, it really got good.
Picard, definitely. Bald is sexy.
Picard FTW. I’d take Star Trek TNG over the OS any day. Also, Picard is the reason I started drinking Earl Grey tea.
You’re all nerds.
Oh shut up.
Captain Sulu is #1!
Can’t go wrong with George Takai.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. May I present 100 Reasons Why Kirk is better than Picard:
1. When Data died, Picard had a funeral. When Spock died, Kirk reconstituted the body, forced it’s soul back in, and even got him laid along the way.
2. When Picard senses that Wesley is having emotional problems he sits down and talks with him about it. When Kirk sensed that Charlie X was having emotional problems he took him to the gym and threw him around on the mats until he got over it.
3. When Picard went back in time he brought back Data’s head. When Kirk went back in time he brought back a blonde.
4. Picard’s Enterprise was destroyed by a couple of Klingon chicks while he was stranded on a desert planet. Kirk’s Enterprise was destroyed when he blew up a crew of Klingons, stole their ship, and resurrected Spock from the dead.
5. Kirk has caused computers to self-destruct by out-thinking them on three separate occasions.
6. When Picard was in the Academy he got stabbed in the heart. When Kirk was in the Academy he beat the unbeatable Kobayashi Maru scenario and bagged Carol Marcus in his spare time.
7. When Sisko met Picard he told him he hated him. When Sisko met Kirk he got his autograph.
8. Kirk does not play the flute.
9. Picard is from France.
10. When Picard has a problem he talks to Guinan about it. When Kirk has a problem he shoots it.
11. When Kirk screams it echoes across the entire planet.
12. When Kirk blew up the Enterprise, Starfleet built him another one and had it ready by the time he got home.
13. Kirk collects antique guns. Picard collects antique matrioshka nesting dolls.
14. Kirk chastises omni-powerful super beings for not being polite to women.
15. Kirk sword fights someone on a regular basis.
16. Kirk’s Enterprise did not have a day care.
17. Kirk once ordered Scotty to fire a photon torpedo on his position and then he dodged out of the way so it hit the alien he was fighting.
18. Kirk has a violently deadly disease in his blood but he doesn’t let it slow him down any.
19. When it’s time for shore leave Kirk goes rock climbing and drinks whiskey. Picard wears nut smashing banana hammock speedos and reads by the pool.
20. Picard’s name is known and respected throughout Klingon space. Kirk’s name is cursed and vilified.
21. The only Klingon serving on Kirk’s bridge would be a dead one.
22. Kirk jumps horses in his spare time. Picard owns a fish.
23. Kirk would never allow an “acting ensign” to lock out his command codes.
24. Picard quotes Shakespeare for fun. Kirk quotes Shakespeare to intimidate his enemies.
25. Kirk’s jump kick projects 650 pounds of blunt force.
26. Kirk once made a cannon that shot diamonds.
27. Kirk defies superior alien beings on an almost daily basis.
28. When the evil aliens use a stun ray on the crew, Kirk always stays conscious for a minimum of 15 seconds longer than everyone else.
29. Kirk is on a first name basis with every single admiral in Starfleet.
30. Kirk once said: “You’re the Captain’s woman till he says your not.”
31. When Sarek mind melded with Picard, Picard cried a lot. When Sarek mind melded with Kirk, Kirk decided to hijack the Enterprise and bring Spock back from the dead.
32. Kirk can shoulder roll at 127 miles per hour.
33. Picard’s engineer wears goofy wrap-around sunglasses. Kirk’s engineer wears a kilt and can drink you under the table.
34. If Picard’s engineer has a headache it’s because he wore his Visor for too long. If Kirk’s engineer has a headache it’s because he has a hangover.
35. Kirk looks good in sideburns. Really good.
36. Picard drinks tea. Kirk drinks Saurian Brandy straight from the bottle.
37. Kirk mocks Federation bureaucrats that he doesn’t like and then proves that their aides are Klingon spies, just to make the point.
38. Kirk once became an Indian god with the power to resurrect the dead.
39. Kirk can beat a Vulcan at chess.
40. Kirk’s love affairs extend not only across space but across time as well.
41. Kirk’s dress uniform does not actually look like a dress.
42. Kirk looks good in a ripped shirt, and he knows it.
43. Kirk repopulated the Earth’s once extinct humpbacked whale species.
44. When Picard wants the ship to go faster he calls down to engineering and asks to go faster. When Kirk wants the ship to go faster he sling-shots it around the sun.
45. When Klingons invaded Picard’s Enterprise he carefully neutralized them.
When Klingons invaded Kirk’s Enterprise, twice, he had a massive sword fight with them the first time and blew the ship up under their @$$ the second time.
46. Kirk has fought evil duplicates of himself on numerous occasions, always with screaming involved.
47. Kirk’s greatest nemesis was the genetically superior ruler of over a quarter of the Earth. Picard’s greatest nemesis likes to dress like him and occasionally cause inconvenience.
48. Kirk has punched out at least one member of over three thousand known alien races.
49. Kirk would never allow his first officer to get more tail than he does.
50. No matter what world Picard goes to, Kirk was there first and probably has an illegitimate child somewhere on the planet.
51. Everyone knows the phrase “Beam me up, Scotty!” The phrase, “Energize whenever you are ready, Mr. La Forge,” doesn’t exactly have the same notoriety.
52. Picard’s first officer is named after a bathroom code.
53. Kirk once yelled, “No blah-blah-blah! No blah-blah-blah!” and made it sound important.
54. Kirk’s hand phaser is sleek and sexy. Picard’s hand phaser looks like a Hoover dirt devil.
55. When Kirk wants to talk to the Enterprise he flips open his communicator dramatically. When Picard wants to talk to the Enterprise he has to tweak his own nipple.
56. Kirk’s youth was spent doing back breaking work on a farm in Iowa.
Picard’s youth was spent squishing grapes with his toes in France.
57. Kirk fought the Greek god Apollo. And won.
58. The women on Picard’s ship wear long pants. On Kirk’s ship, miniskirts are mandatory.
59. Kirk’s middle name is Tiberius.
60. It runs in the family: Picard’s brother died trapped in a fire. Kirk’s brother died fighting swarms of alien invaders.
61. When Data hijacked the Enterprise, Picard was helpless to stop him. When Spock hijacked the Enterprise Kirk fought him to the death.
62. Kirk’s medical officer prescribes hard liquor as a cure all.
63. Kirk has heavy calluses on his right index finger from pressing the trigger on his phaser so many times.
64. When Kirk gets punched in the face he just wipes the blood off his lip and looks at it with a smirk.
65. Picard once wore formal Klingon robes for a Klingon ceremony. If Kirk ever wore Klingon robes it would be because he took them off a dead Klingon.
66. Kirk chops his own firewood.
67. Kirk once led a Mafia take over.
68. Kirk would have slept with Beverly Crusher by episode two.
69. In the episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” the tribbles bred at such a fast rate not because of instinct but because they were in the presence of Kirk.
70. When Deanna Troi talks about what she’s feeling, Picard listens carefully and thanks her for her input. Kirk would have called it “pillow talk.”
71. The emotional content level of Kirk’s speeches is an average of 782 times higher than the level of Picard’s speeches. If he’s talking about revolution, exploration or diversity, it is 1,089 times higher.
72. When Picard has an alien delegation on board he invites them to a quiet dinner. When Kirk has an alien delegation on board he gets plowed on Romulan Ale.
73. Kirk is familiar with 20th century slang.
74. The main computer on Kirk’s Enterprise once hit on him.
75. Kirk faced off against Wyatt Earp at the O.K. Corral and won.
76. Picard is a Frenchman with an English accent.
77. Kirk only requires thirty-two minutes of sleep a day.
78. Kirk eats multicolored nutrition squares because he’s too busy fighting stuff to eat a normal meal.
79. Kirk destroyed 672 uniform tunics during the Enterprise’s first five year mission.
80. 347 of those tunics were destroyed during combat with Klingons. The rest were destroyed by various women.
81. When Picard fought the Borg he got assimilated. When Kirk fought the Borg he blew up their planet.
82. When Kirk was sent to the prison camp on Rura Penthe he hadn’t bathed or changed his clothes in days and was wearing animal carcasses for warmth but Iman still threw herself at him the moment he arrived.
83. When Abraham Lincoln appeared floating in space in front of the Enterprise, Kirk didn’t even blink.
84. Kirk can break out of any jail cell that is located anywhere in time or space within one hour. Within one half hour if Spock is with him.
85. When Kirk disguised himself as a Romulan, he stole a cloaking device and used it to escape to Federation space. When Picard disguised himself as a Romulan he ate some soup and then got captured.
86. Denny Crane.
87. 87% of all Klingon opera is about the singer’s desire to kill Kirk.
88. The other 13% of all Klingon opera is about the singer’s desire to be killed by Kirk in glorious battle.
89. Kirk once taught an emotionless female android how to love. Then he broke up with her.
90. Kirk’s evil twin womanized and swilled brandy. Picard’s evil twin liked to have his scalp massaged by Ron Perlman.
91. Even though they haven’t existed for hundreds of years, Kirk can still sort of drive a stick shift.
92. Kirk never dressed in green tights and pretended to be Robin Hood, and if he had, someone would have paid for it.
93. Even though Kirk often pauses between words, no one ever dares interrupt him.
94. Kirk went to the center of the universe, met god and wasn’t impressed.
95. When Kirk says “boldly go,” he means it.
97. Kirk blatantly disobeys one out of every five Starfleet orders just to remind them who’s really minding the store.
98. Starfleet estimates that the average Klingon has a 36% chance of being killed by Kirk at some point in their lifetime, regardless of their age, profession, location or social status.
99. Kirk once kicked a Klingon into the molten core of an exploding planet.
100. Style: Kirk did it first, he did it better and he did it wearing gold velour and Beatle-boots with a space girl on each arm.
The defense rests.
Really? What kind of job do you have and how can I get in on it. Who the hell has time to come up with this?
Actually, I simpled googled “Kirk Vs. Picard”, found that link somewhere, and then copied and pasted it here, because I like Kirk and thought it was funny. 🙂
There’s also 101 Reasons Why Picard is better:
101. Two Words: better voice.
100. Picard’s ship’s counselor traded in her miniskirt for that great low-cut neckline.
99. Kirk fought over women. Picard had women fight over him.
98. Picard fires both photon torpedoes AND phasers at the same time when in battle.
97. Picard’s ship is better than Kirk’s — better, faster, stronger.
96. Picard hates children — Kirk once rescued a bunch of patricidal little maniacs, tried to console them, and almost lost his ship and crew in the process.
95. Picard was responsible for Beverly Crusher’s husband dying, berated her son constantly in her presence, yet still manged to make her fall for him.
94. Though admittedly he’s seldom a patron, Picard’s ship actually has a BAR.
93. Kirk fought others himself, Picard has others do his fighting for him.
92. When nurse Chapel re-appeared as Troi’s mother, she fell for Picard.
91. In seven years, Picard never developed a gut like Kirk’s.
90. Picard was never killed by his first officer.
89. Picard’s family made alchoholic beverages for a living.
88. Kirk kept losing security guards throughout each season; Picard has kept Worf for seven years.
87. No member of Picard’s crew was EVER based on a member of the Monkees.
86. Two words: better actor.
85. Picard can do better impressions of his first officer.
84. Picard single-handedly saved the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and all of humanity while still a lowly captain.
83. Picard’s a better musician than Kirk, while admittedly that’s not saying much.
82. Picard’s crew members sleep with one another on a regular basis.
81. Picard’s crew gambles.
80. Picard’s engine room has that neat warp coil that glows.
79. Picard’s ship has better control panels instead of a series of Lite-Brite boards.
78. Picard would never star in a show like “T.J. Hooker.”
77. Picard would never have allowed Charlie X aboard his ship.
76. No sideburns. ‘Nuff said.
75. Picard’s first officer never seized control of the ship to transport a former captain anywhere.
74. Despite the Borg incident, Picard is still welcome back at Starfleet HQ. Kirks name is an anathema to Starfleet HQ and alien races alike.
73. Picard never ordered his ship to self-destruct as a bluff; when he orders it to do so, he MEANS it.
72. Picard’s ship was never taken over by its own computer and made to attack other Starfleet vessels.
71. Picard has never been made into a bad Filmation cartoon.
70. Picard was able to bring Crosby back from the dead. Need we say more?
69. Picard infiltrated Romulus, posed as an intergalactic mercenary, and was tortured extensively after capture by the Cardassians — and never broke a sweat.
68. Picard has never been demoted.
67. Picard has never had his body taken over by a former lover.
66. Picard has never developed amnesia and thought he was an Indian.
65. Picard has never encountered aliens from wierd planets like “Zatar.”
64. Picard’s quarters have a window.
63. Nobody ever back-slaps Picard.
62. Picard was never involved in any hokey shootouts at the OK corral.
61. Picard is a caffiene addict. (All that Earl Grey tea.)
60. One word: Leadership.
59. Kirk is not a sex symbol. Never was, never will be.
58. If Picard had a son, he wouldn’t lose a fight to a Klingon whose commander was Christopher Lloyd.
57. Speaking of losing, Picard has never lost a first officer to a man who once made a career out of selling Chrysler Cordobas, either.
56. Picard would never be so stupid as to go rock climbing without equipment and rely on an overweight first officer with rocket boots to save him.
55. Picard would never stand for playing “Row Row Row your boat” around a campfire.
54. When Picard enters a room, people fall silent; when Kirk enters one, they keep on drinking.
53. Picard has that cool, futuristic artificial heart.
52. When Picard has an alternate reality experience, it’s worth watching and caring about.
51. Picard never expects the impossible from his engineer.
50. When Klingons are aboard Picard’s ship, they don’t go rampaging about with 17th century weaponry.
49. Picard has more class than Kirk ever had.
48. If poor judgement were bricks, Kirk would be a housing project.
47. Picard had the chutzpah to admit when he screwed up instead of putting on a face which only made things worse.
46. Picard doesn’t rely on the Organians to help him settle intergalactic squabbles.
45. Picard gets along with the aliens aboard his ship.
44. It’s unlikely Picard ever contracted a sexually-transmitted disease.
43. One word: diagnostic (Never heard it on the old show.)
42. All that cool technical jargon (Also never heard on old show.)
41. Picard has hair on his chest.
40. Picard can actually make being bald, middle-aged, and scrawny look sexy & macho.
39. Kirk sat alone in the middle of his bridge; Picard kept counselor Troi within easy reach and view at all times.
38. Picard has never mutinied or had his crew mutiny against him.
37. When Picard gets drunk, he tracks mud all over the house and gets in a fight. When Kirk gets drunk, he passes out.
36. Picard hired Whoopi Goldberg to work in his bar.
35. Picard is not afraid to mind-meld.
34. Picard’s ex kept his name even after the divorce; Kirk’s kept it a secret even from her son.
33. Picard like solving mysteries; Kirk couldn’t figure one out if he tried.
32. Picard has never messed up with the transporter.
31. Picard has never been bitten by a mugatto. Nor has he ever allowed shape-shifting salt vampires aboard his ship, either.
30. Picard has never aged prematurely.
29. Picard wasn’t afraid to take on Satan.
28. Picard knows Gilgamesh & is able to recite it.
27. Picard argues with his captors while being tortured, Kirk merely screams in agony.
26. Picard never brought a woman back from the 20th Century only to have her blow him off in front of the entire Federation assembly.
25. When Picard talks, people listen.
24. If Picard were a late-night talk-show host, he’d be Dick Cavett. If Kirk were a late-night host, he’d be Chevy Chase.
23. NO ONE laughs when Picard’s Doctor says, “He’s dead, Jean-Luc.”
22. Picard has never kissed a Romulan.
21. Picard has never crashed in San Francisco bay in a pirated spacecraft.
20. Picard would never have brought “Nomad” aboard his ship.
19. If Khan came aboard Picard’s ship, Picard would have had the common sense to restrict what technical manuals he would’ve been allowed to review.
18. If Picard found a huge glowing sphere in the middle of outer space only to discover it was controlled by a child with an ugly puppet, he’d be ****ed.
17. Picard would never ATTEMPT hand-to-hand combat with a gorn.
16. Picard would never have dropped the charges against Khan.
15. Kirk actually tried to defend the idea of intergalactic war with the Klingons.
14. When Kirk went back in time, he frequently messed with history to suit his own ends.
13. Picard probably would have found the Galileo 7 in less time than it took Kirk.
12. Three words: Better costuiime variety.
11. Kirk tries, usually unsuccessfully, to respect other cultures. Picard tries, usually successfully, to get other cultures to respect him.
10. Kirk’s occasional game of choice is 3-D chess, Picard’s is poker.
9. “Picard” has more syllables than “Kirk.”
8. Can’t forget those neat collar insignias.
7. Picard’s not afraid to deal with more advanced cultures & has done so on a number of occassions.
6. Picard’s been on both Klingon birds-of-prey AND the heavy cruisers (and lived to tell about it).
5. When Picard goes undercover, he makes it look easy.
4. Though Picard has contempt for aliens like the Cardassians, he doesn’t let it show.
3. Kirk wears boots — Picard wears shoes. And as we all know, it’s gotta be the shoes…
2. Assimilating has never been a problem for Picard.
1. Picard has never trashed Gene Roddenberry.
And the prosecution presents:
JR, I believe you officially qualify as a nerd.
In case you haven’t noticed, Ms. Darcie, Nerds Rule The World now. From Bill Gates to Barack Obama.
It’s OUR world, you’re just living in it.
Agreed. Resistance is futile.
I hear Obama likes Star Trek, too. I wonder which Captain he prefers?
I’d guess that President Obama is a Kirk fan. Picard is more “conservative,” he plays by the rules. While Kirk is a fun-loving “liberal.”
Nerds are sexy.
I can’t think straight right now, but I think I agree!
Picard’s got the British accent, so he wins by default.
I can’t argue with that. I’ve always thought that pretty much everything sounds more sophisticated when spoken with a British accent. I wish I could fake a decent one, but just don’t have the knack for it.
Have to go with Kirk, he is the original.
LMAO at the Kirk lists. It’s honestly Picard for me. I think it sometimes comes down to which series you grew up watching, and STNG was the one for me. Kirk will always be awesome, but I gotta go with Picard being the captain I’d go for as my favorite.
I love the new Kirk, from the remake.
Listen Kirk is cool and all but it really comes down to who would you rather lead you. Kirk may save the day but a lot of people are going to get hurt or killed. Picard at least wouldn’t be reckless with my life.
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