Why Picard is my favorite Star Trek Captain

CPT Picard always remained calm and collective, regardless of the circumstances in which he found himself.  Many viewers take this for granted but it calls for a refined analysis as opposed to just brushing it off as Patrick Stewart’s acting style.

1)      The original Star Trek never had to deal with such a powerful force as Q.  The omnipotent Q should have been in the first Star Trek series in the 1960’s, however I could see CBS pulling the plug on the show much quicker due to the moral questions he posed on the crew of the Enterprise.  Yet, had he been on the original series, I could have easily imagined CPT Kirk dealing with him in the best way he knew: brute force.  How many times can you recall CPT Kirk throwing down on a strange alien?  The answer?  Just as many times as he tried to get with blue alien women or as often as he blocked Spock from getting some logical love, himself.  On the same note, even Captain Sisko had a run with Q on board the DS9.  In one instance he did end up punching Q in the face.  Yet, luckily, Q found him somewhat amusing or else the Captain would have been teleported into outer space somewhere in the Gamma Quadrant quicker than Captain Picard could have said “Engage!”  Q was an excellent lesson on how to react in a situation where you are immensely overpowered in physical prowess.  And Captain Picard knew how to handle Q without laying a finger on him.  Sheer genius!

2)      Another part of the reason Captain Picard was able to stay so calm was that he shared the worry amongst his staff.  I can’t recall Captain Kirk or Captain Sisko having regular staff meetings to ensure everyone was on the same sheet of music and to deal with any problems that may have arisen.  I did get a bit into the Voyager series but there was only so much I could stand of Captain Janeway’s voice as it seemed too mechanical and quick, much like listening to the jabber throughout an entire episode of Gilmore Girls.  Yes, I am biased against Voyager for that reason; however, I digress.  Whether you personally like meetings, or not, plays a large role in whether you like them in your Star Trek (or not).

I find meetings have the ability to be very productive at sharing information instead of the Captain compartmentalizing all the information to her or himself.  Maybe I can relate a bit with the militaristic structure of the Federation but I prefer meetings over being left in the dark on sensitive information.  Also, like I said earlier, Captain Picard shared the worry with the rest of his staff.  If he had an engineering question he asked Jordy.  If he had a psychological question he asked Counselor Troi.  You see where I am going with this?  If you have a staff that is comprised of individuals trained in a subject matter expertise, then why not consider their advice first before making a snap judgment?  Throughout the original series it seemed as if Spock and Captain Kirk were constantly bumping heads because Gene Rodenberry made Spock seem too logical.  Captain Kirk constantly laughed away Spock’s logic at the end of an episode as if Spock should be looked down upon for not being more ‘human’.  Yet, Captain Picard relied on Data to be the voice of sound logic and reason when other members of the crew let their fear and emotion override their logic.

Those are just a few reasons I prefer Captain Picard over the other Captains.  From a psychological perspective, the Captains can be a direct reflection of ourselves and what we would prefer if we were in command.  Of course the topic is suggestive but it is a great way of judging someone’s preferred methods as we tend to surround ourselves with people we like the most, people like us.

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About Manny Garza

After serving 8 years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, Manny departed the military in order to pursue his B.A. in Philosophy from American Military University. Aside from college, he writes short stories and essays in the realm of philosophy and science fiction. Manny's short stories are heavily influenced by who he refers to as The Trinity: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jack Williamson. He is married to his lovely wife, Melissa, and has two dogs named Koopa and Goomba. Aside from being an editor and contributor of Nerd Trek articles, his hobbies include playing guitar, singing, and both tabletop and video game RPGs. Manny currently lives in Charlottesville, VA.