I’m a Saint Louis Cardinals fan. Cubs fans receive nothing but mockery from me, Royals fans, even more.
Some might wonder why I’m such an ass to people that are fans of different baseball franchises. Why should I care? They don’t know me, the players would leave in a heartbeat for more money if it weren’t for their contracts and it’s expensive. Baseball players get millions of dollars to hang out and play a game, so why give a crap?
I’d ask the same about the low, yet unending argument over Captains in Star Trek. Usually Jean Luc Picard and James T. Kirk are the centers for such geeky word exchanges (Which pisses me off since Ben Sisko was easily the best. He had the most soul) It has settled down in recent years, but I have heard the rumblings resurging with the impending release of the new Star Trek movie directed by J.J. Abrams. For some reason, people think this man walks on water, but they obviously haven’t seen Cloverfield or half of the episodes of Lost
In all, there have been five Captains (Try to name them all, FULL NAMES with actor names, no peeking, and yes, we are counting Enterprise.) James Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Ben Sisko, Kathryn Janeway and Jonathan Archer. Each has varying degrees of competence and strengths I think for this column, we can lay out everything and you, the reader, can decide for yourself which one is worthy of your worship.
James T. Kirk, The first Captain!
William Shatner has been busy since the ending of the original series. He’s had cameos, characters on various TV shows and a cult following that rivals Bruce Campbell’s. It comes as no surprise that someone as versatile as Shatner would garner so much love, what his his abilities to play the Captain of the Enterprise, a cop, a spoken word “artist” and corporate sellout. The more you stay in the public eye and keeping your genitals covered up, the more people will remember you with that loving nostalga. But what was he like as a Captain?
Kirk was young, handsome and had a great head of hair. He spent his time making out with various alien creatures with heaving breasts that would fall in love with him and die just before the end of the episode, allowing for another humanoid female that may be considered too young by earth standards to come around. Kirk gave geeks a chance to believe that one day they may brush off the cheeto dust and get to bang a green lady with six breasts.
He had an amazing crew, all of whom remain memorable to this day. They would follow him, question him, support him and win with him every episode. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people. Every one of them, Spock, McCoy, Checkov, Sulu and Mr Scott (And I swear to Christ, the first person that thinks the phrase “Scotty, beam me up” will get a Falcon Punch. It was never said, He called him Mr. Scott. Yes, I’m that much of a dork about it) were amazing.
Finally, Kirk also had the first interracial on screen kiss with Nichelle Nichols. Granted, they had to say that since he was under the influence of some mind control so the rednecks wouldn’t get all uppity, but it still happened.
Cons? Predictability. Ensign Jimmy is not coming back, Kirk will make out with some alien babe, Spock will be logical, all of it. There were some great episodes, but it was for the most part a reprint of past episodes. Names, places and dates were changed, but the overall message remained. The upside to most of this was they could use this cookie cutter outline to convey some great messages, telling us that racism is bad, and hot green alien ladies are good. There is a reason it still survives to this day as a great show, and Kirk a great Captain.
Jean-Luc Picard, the first Bald Captain!
Patrick Stewart isn’t as visible on the television these days, but he loves the stage. He also has a good sense of humor about himself and the world around him. You can see him with great cameos in Extras!, Robin Hood, Men in Tights and the Seth McFarlane shows Family Guy and American Dad. He solidified his status in the geek culture as Professor X in the X-Men movies as well as re-energizing the Star Trek franchise with a show given a budget, and a Captain that had a great accent. Sure he was French, but racism wasn’t as bad in the future. I assume the French did something awesome between now and then, and the world gave a fist pound and said “We’re good, bro.”
His crew was great, all of them just just as snarky as himself when it came to it. No logical Vulcans (which, though I enjoyed Spock, I felt he brought the humor down on TOS) just intelligent people who could fix an emergency and go for a laugh and a drink afterwards. Riker, LaForge, Data, Crusher and Worf were great compliments to his character and his ship. I was pissed they killed off Tasha Yar, though I was glad I didn’t have to listen to her talk about how had it was growing up in whatever hellhole she was from. She also posed in Playboy in 1979, looking all kinds of fine. No one should be killed off by a trash bag.
Picard seemed to go another way with his leadership role. He rarely went to the surface of a planet, usually because Riker told him he couldn’t, he didn’t bang every female in sight, even though there were a few trying to get into his pants (and head, if you remember Councelor Troi’s mother) and he rarely let his emotions get the better of him. I liked him more than Kirk, I liked his crew better, and I loved to listen to him speak. He had a true commanding tone which reverberated every time he spoke, and a kindness which was unparalleled. You didn’t know he helped you until it was all over, and wouldn’t accept your thanks. He was your Captain. It was his job
Cons: The show relied heavily on his supporting cast. I could see Kirk being on any starship and still making it interesting, but Picard needed his crew to really sell the episodes. I haven’t seen too much of ST:TOS, but I remember the ones I watched were always Kirk oriented. Good for the Show, not for the Captain Also: French. They still haven’t wowed me, and the Revolutionary War was years ago.
Kathryn Janeway, the fist woman captain!
I only got about halfway through Voyager before I left it behind, though it wasn’t because I didn’t like it. I just didn’t have time to watch anymore. Airing on UPN from 1995 to 2001, it has the distinction of being the longest running shown on UPN (How much of distinction that is, I’ll leave up to you) and the first Star Trek series to use CGI. Some may think it suffered from that, but it brought back some of the cheesyness left behind by TNG. The crappy costumes were replaced by crappy CGI. It made sense to me.