Thursday, September 27, 2012

Who's The Best...Starship Captain?

Karen: If our galaxy is on the verge of destruction, which Captain do you want charging in to save us?


J.A. Morris said...

Picard, no question.

William said...

Let's face it, this is really just a two man race.

This was really tough for me because I love both the characters of Captains Kirk and Picard. But if it came down to who I'd really prefer be in charge if the galaxy was at stake, I'm afraid I'd have to go with KIRK.

As to why, well even though Jean Luc is more level headed, thoughtful and intellectual, he sometimes a little bit too "by-the-book" to make the tough decisions. Getting bogged down in red-tape, as it were.

Kirk, on the other hand is not afraid to skirt the Prime Directive and any other of Starfleet many many rules in order to get the job done, especially when billions of lives are on the line.

Picard is also not quite as hands-on as Kirk. Choosing usually to stay on the bridge of the Enterprise and sending #1, Data, Warf and a bunch of red-shirts to deal with the possible dangers of some unknown planet.

Whereas Kirk would never miss the opportunity to kick a Gorn's ass or bed some hot alien chick (green skin or not).

Picard has been assimilated by the Borg.

Kirk has never been assimilated by anything. (Except maybe a hot green alien chick).

Picard has been known to weep uncontrollably on occasion. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. But when a fleet of Romulan Warships are headed for Earth, I don't want there to be any chance of the Captain of Starfleet's flagship breaking down into tears.

Kirk didn't even cry when his only son was brutally stabbed to death by Jim from Taxi. "Those damned, dirty Klingons killed his son!!!"

In the movie "Generations", Picard basically got Kirk killed for no good reason. I'll explain. Picard was on planet where a madman was about to launch a missile into the sun and basically wipe out our Solar System (or something like that), and Picard basically had access to a time (and space) portal that would let him go to ANYWHERE and ANYTIME, and he chose to go right back to the same planet and only give himself five minutes to stop the bad guy. Through a series of circumstances he was able to bring Captain Kirk with him and Kirk ends up getting killed. Kirk's last words were "It was fun."

Kirk is so badass he even thinks death is fun. That's why I'd pick him over Picard in a galaxy wide emergency.

Mike said...

C'mon, its Kirk. Kirk drinks Romulan Ale, Picard drinks tea. Picard discusses the intricacies of Shakespeare with an android, Kirk uses paradoxes to get doomsday computers to destroy themselves. To save the Enterprise Picard argues philosophy with superior alien beings, Kirk just seduces them. Case closed.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Ordinarily, I would say Kirk, no question. He was a true cowboy at a time when the universe was still a frontier. Kirk was swashbuckling adventurer, pure and simple. He was the guy you wanted to hang with.

Picard is a bureaucrat in a much different, more ordered universe. He was a good man, very capable and efficient - A perfect person for a much duller place.

The problem is Karen's question is "If our galaxy is on the verge of destruction, which Captain do you want charging in to save us?" The wording there makes it a tougher call.

Kirk could be messy and, well, destructive. He could always be counted on to win in the end ... but not without a fair number of casualties along the way. Remember how Kirk let Kahn get the drop on him and kill several of his crew before he could improvise a way out. Don't wear a red shirt around this man!

Picard took greater care to get it right the first time. I'd feel A LOT safer being a member of his crew.

As for the other two, who are they again?

Edo Bosnar said...

Not a two-man race at all for me, since it comes down to a man and a woman.
Kirk gets my top vote, but I pick Janeway as a close second - she took a ship lost in the Delta quadrant and got it back home in seven seasons. Also, she faced down the Borg on numerous occasions, as well as the even more fearsome Species 8472 (who did, as I recall, threaten to actually destroy our galaxy). Also, she held her own against Q a bit better than Picard.

Garett said...

Haha good answers so far. But if it's an actor we want to save the universe, it has to be Avery Brooks. If you see him interviewed, the dude lives in space full time! Check out The Captains, came out last year, to see Shatner interviewing all the Trek captains. What about Captain Archer, Scott Bakula? He came across as the most personable and likeable of the actors.

We have to assume all the captains would save the universe, but Kirk does it with style.

Unknown said...

Kirk, only Kirk. The rest of them would bore me to death before anything could be saved. So, since I'd be dead already, whether or not the galaxy was saved would be a moot point for me.

Political correctness may have it's place in real life (and it does), but all it did for Star Trek was to render it forever dull from the Next Gen on. I did kind of like the first few seasons of Deep Space Nine, but I just plain lost interest after awhile.

Maybe it's the characters. The recent movie excited me again, even with the re-casting.

James Chatterton

Anonymous said...

I kinda like Ben Sisko...he had a little bit of Kirk, a little bit of Picard, and a lot of badass.

Remember when he punched Q in the mouth and Q said: "Picard never hit me!" Sisko's reply: "I'm not Picard!" Beautiful.

Mike W.

david_b said...

Mike W.

Yep, that scene with Sisko and Q was PRICELESS.

I agree with Garett's comment about Kirk's style..

He'd save the universe, bed Emperor Ming's daughter, then sit back in his chair with that 'Shatner smirk'..:

Pure, positronic attitude, my children.

david_b said...

"Oh, and kill a Gorn on a strange planet with a homemade bazooka and gunpowder within 20 minutes.."

"I'm just sayin'..."

William said...

I loved Picard as the Captain on Next Gen, but he did lose more than one or two crew members under his command (and I'm not talking just about red shirts). The two most notable were Lt. Tasha Yar and Lt. Cmdr. Data.

The only (main character) crew member that was ever lost under Kirk was Spock. And Kirk would not stand for that, so he went and got him back from the dead. Along the way he broke every rule Starfleet had, blew up the Enterprise, and killed a half a dozen or so "Kingon bastards" for good measure. O.K., so his son did end up getting killed as well, but technically he wasn't under Kirk's command. And hey, J.T.K. avenged his son by booting the Klingon who stabbed him in the face and knocking him into a volcano!

Then on his way home, he and his crew took a detour into the past and saved the Earth from total destruction by bringing a freaking whale into the future aboard a stolen Klingon Bird of Prey. Let's see "Janeway" do that!!!

So, yeah, I think if my ass was on the line and I absolutely had to choose who would save it, I'd still have to go with Kirk.

Garett said...

Another question is: has Star Trek ever been good as a comic?

I've picked up some now and then, but I never get past about 2 pages. Does Star Trek not translate well into comic form? Not the right creative teams?

david_b said...

I enjoyed the 60s comics the best, nothing from Marvel or DC..

humanbelly said...

Boy, depends entirely on what's needed in the particular universe-saving circumstances, doesn't it? While Kirk is brilliant and w/out peer when it comes to successful moment-of-crisis improvisation (among his many, many other great traits)-- if the universe-saving requires a longer-range view and the corralling of many, many varied resources and elements, I'd certainly go with Janeway or Picard. And truly, the ongoing basic challenge that Janeway faced throughout Voyager's run (overcrowded starship manned by two recently and actively warring factions--- lost DEEP in space, and struggling to return home through uncharted, often hostile territory) kind of trumps Picard's glorious, impressive command. Picard did tend to get lost, captured, shanghied, assimilated, etc an awful lot, when you think about it (I've been working my way through the series of late). He was also, usually to his credit, often guided by sentiment. Janeway, in her first season, made an extraordinarily tough moral judgment call by effectively sentencing a hybridized being (of the cook and the science officer) to death so that she could get the two important individual crew members back. That, to me, was a defining moment for the character, revealing a deep, rather scary core of pragmatic iron on a very personal level (as opposed to the cliche'd "self-destruct sequence to show we mean business" ploy that has been used a bajillion times. Somehow less meaningful than looking someone in the eye and saying "you have to die so I can have my crewmen back--").

I know, I know we're all enamored with Kirk's kick-butt, girl-hoppin', death-cheatin' cowboy legend, but. . . that satisfies the young teenager me. The older me that's looking for a leader that's an anchor and will make universe-saving decisions w/out a sense of ego or pride? That's gonna be Capt. Janeway. In fact, I feel a tough, smart, strong woman in command trumps a male most of the time. Call me crazy. . .


Karen said...

I have to go with Kirk. His win percentage is just too high.

Sharper13x said...

First: I just read your discussion on all he best writers for the Avengers. Thanks everybody. That was awesome. Made me wish I knew enough to participate, but I don't. Also made me want to start buying back issues.

Second: I absolutely love Capt. Picard. For all the reasons mentioned in the many posts above, but also just the brilliance of the show's creators for the choice. He is, as you have all explained so well already, the anti-Kirk. Cerebral to the point of quasi-Vulcanry. Picard at the helm made for something entirely new, rather than a mere knock-off. No doubt it was a risky decision, and no doubt it had something to do with the great success of TNG and the new levels Star Trek reached beyond that.

Third: Kirk, all the way. Are you kidding?

Anonymous said...

If the Klingons are blasting photon torpedoes at my ship, I'll send an SOS to Captain Kirk!

If, on the other hand, the Federation is negotiating a peace treaty with the Romulans, then I'll call Captain Picard. Tea, Earl Grey, hot please.

Who are Janeway & Sisco? :)

- Mike 'I'd be in Star Trek to get some green chicks' from Trinidad & Tobago

Karen said...

Welcome aboard STH! Thanks for checking out BAB. Feel free to comment on any post, past or present. We love hearing new voices.

Rip Jagger said...

When it's all on the line, James Tiberius Kirk is THE MAN!

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, re: Janeway - that's what I'm talking about.
Garett, re: Star Trek comics. I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head about Trek not translating well to comics (or any other medium besides video - I was never interested in the novelizations, either). All the Trek comics I've picked up left me indifferent, with one notable exception: those minis by John Byrne published a few years ago by IDW. I found them quite enjoyable, especially the Romulan and Dr. McCoy series.

Anonymous said...

I know Karen put up pics of Trek captains, but the question was more open than that, so I’m going with:

Han Solo: are any of the Star Fleet vehicles cooler than the Falcon? You’re all talking about how cool Kirk is, but Han looked extremely (!) cool in carbonite, was pivotal in saving the galaxy and shagged a princess along the way. Plus he’s the master of cunning subterfuge (“Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?”).

Doctor Who – hey, it’s a spaceship, right? Somehow.

Zaphod Beeblebrox – had 2 heads, was President of the Galaxy, survived the Total Perspective Vortex, invented the pan galactic gargleblaster, and, whatever you say about Kirk’s success as a ladies’ man, Kirk never grew a third arm just for fondling purposes. Now that’s dedication. No wonder he was described as the best bang since the big one.


Chuck Wells said...

Kirk would easily kick all of the asses of the other Trek Captains and still come out smiling!

Sharper13x said...

If these Captains were all faced with this universal calamity at the same time, it would all go down something like this:

Picard would organize and delegate. Between the 3 remaining Captains, he would send Kirk in to win the day.

Kirk would take Janeway with him on his team.

Janeway would think Kirk was a jackass both before and after she slept him. Also before and after he totally saves the universe.

Therefore, Kirk.

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