Star Trek. The final frontier. I’d presume. I’m not entirely sure what a ‘frontier’ is. The ocean may have something to say about all this, mind. For as long as time – or, since Star Trek started 50 years ago, there has been a love affair. It’s hard to express just why Star Trek means so much to so many people. There are people reading this who perhaps aren’t fans of Star Trek. People who don’t know what it is. People who aren’t nerds. Ah. Well, it’s a television show, mainly. And it’s aim was to show a future where humanity had abandoned its harsh ways and united in the name of the exploration of space, the aforementioned final frontier. In a nutshell. I mean, sure this did come after a super massive devastating nuclear war, World War 3, in fact, but, you know, from great tragedy came a united race. It’s beautiful, in a way. Sadly, the fans aren’t always as peaceful. Many argue endlessly about various things. Like should we call ourselves ‘Trekkies’ or ‘Trekkers,’ and, of course, every self-respecting Trek fan knows it’s Trekker, because ‘Trekkies’ is frickin’ stupid. Anyway, the hottest of the hot, in terms of debates: Kirk or Picard? Ooh. This is a fun one. I mean, I think it’s fun. Let’s try to answer this, once and for all. Which is the best? I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for this, aren’t I? Nothing new there…
Captain Jim Tiberius Kirk is the captain of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek series. He is a legend. But how can we sum up Kirk? Hmm. Driven. A leader. Mental. A womaniser. He loves the ladies. Especially green ones. In fact, he slept with an alien in just about every episode. He constantly pushes himself, often beyond what many believe is possible. Cunning, tactical and full of confidence. He ignores the rules if the ends justify the means. A hero for the ages.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is the captain of the… USS Enterprise. Well, it wasn’t the same one as old Kirk’s. It was the D. Then the E. And so on. Anyway, Picard is very different to Kirk. Moral, logical and intelligent. A master of diplomacy and debate, a man of immense wisdom and cunning tactical nous. Whereas Kirk was fond of women, Picard had a fondness for detective stories, Shakespearean drama and archaeology. Kirk is the all American hero, Picard is a British gent. Opposites, sure, but each has endured. So which is best?
Let’s get one thing clear. Because I’m British, if I choose Picard, some would say it’s because the actor who plays him, Patrick Stewart, is also British. And from Mirfield, in Yorkshire. About 30 minutes away from where I was born. I am insulted by the insinuation. It’s completely true, but I am insulted by it…
So, how can one measure one against the other? How they speak? I mean, okay. 1-0 Picard. You simply cannot beat that accent. Some would give this to Kirk because Picard was meant to be French, but as all self-respecting Trekkers will tell you, the French language was pretty much abolished by the time of Picard, and that every country spoke the same language, English, so that’s a stupid argument. Kirk was a Canadian doing an American accent, and to the Canadians, that’s sacrilegious. He’s not welcome back there, again.
The ladies? Well, 2-0 Picard. Kirk’s number one love was his ship. He said on many occasions – give him true love or his ship, he’d take the ship. That disturbs me. Greatly. At least Picard was into… people. And Picard goes 3-0 up when it comes to diplomacy. Kirk’s idea of diplomacy is a neat handshake if you agree with him and a punch in the face if you don’t. He is America in a person, isn’t he? Picard is very much Britain in a person, too. Except we drink Yorkshire tea, not that evil muck ‘Earl Grey.’ Kirk got a few diplomatic things right, but most of the time, I’d trust Picard.
The best leader? I’ll give this to Kirk. He’s fighting back. In his usual style. 3-1. Sure, Picard was an excellent leader, but his crew were mostly beige. Kirk had to deal with a difficult doctor. A crazy Scotsman. A mad Russian. A half-naked Asian man. A man of logic. Picard was surrounded by people who respected him and who rarely challenged him. Conflict makes for more interesting television. It just does. And when it comes to battles, I think it’s a draw. 4-2. They were both very badasss in battles when needed.
Kirk wins out when it comes to upbringing. 4-3. Picard was privileged and although he got where he got to on his own merit, it was an easier path than Kirk’s. He was a bad boy who turned good – maybe, well, not really – who got where he got with intelligence and cunning. The path he took is one that must be admired. This made Kirk a great captain. As did his charisma. Although I’ll call this a draw, because whilst Kirk will ‘do it’ for some ladies, Picard’s soothing tones will certainly do it for others. 5-4.
Physically, it goes to Kirk. 5-5. He was a brute of a man who could more than hold his own against grown men in dodgy lizard suits. However, Picard wins out when it comes to intellect. 6-5. I wouldn’t call Kirk intelligent. Not ‘Picard’ intelligent, at least. He could pull a large group of women in an evening rather comfortably, which some would call a form of intelligence, but not very useful intelligence. But I will concede that Kirk was a more decorated captain. He’s won several accolades, far more than Picard. 6-6. We’re level.
Picard had the better ships, though. Kirk’s were sexier, sure, but I dread to think what he was doing to his. Best move on…
But did they ever meet? Once. In a movie. Star Trek: Generations. It was bloody awful, by the way. Who came out the winner here? Picard, obviously. Kirk died in this movie, so you have to give this final point to Picard. One survived, one didn’t. If that happened in a boxing match, you wouldn’t give the dead guy any points would you? Sorry, spoilers, by the way. Don’t worry, most Trekkers pretend this movie and its events never happened. Kirk’s fine! He’s in a farm upstate…
I do love Kirk. I adore him. He is a brilliant captain and I admire him greatly. But you cannot argue with maths. Well, you can, but I advise against it. Picard has won. 8-6. And he’s from near where I live! That’s a bonus, and not at all a sign that this entire endeavour is corrupt…
So, Kirk or Picard? For me, it’s Picard. But what about you, readers?
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