NEW POLL: Star Trek Captains

It’s an age-old question. Well, maybe not “age-old”. But it’s been a question since at least 1987, when Star Trek spawned a sequel TV series. Who is the best Star Trek captain?

Usually, the question centers around the first two: who is better, Kirk or Picard? Dr. Jayce and Ben haven’t come to blows about the answer to that question (yet) but they’ve had the discussion. Many times.

And there are many ways to judge it, too. Who is the best diplomat? Best tactician? Smartest? Has the best supporting crew? Has the best ship?

For our poll, I tried to take it in a different direction, though. Which captain would you prefer to serve under, if you were a member of the crew? Kirk, the legendary explorer? Archer, the “first” starship captain? Sisko, the frontier sheriff? Janeway, the survivor? Picard, the wise leader?

This poll is about leadership style and personality. Think about each of these officers in their prime, during the most iconic moments of their career. It’s like a super geeky version of the Rorschach test — it says a lot about you, I guess. We also ask that you post a comment below — let us know why you made your vote! And let us know why you did not vote for some of these captains.

Your favorite captain wasn’t included, you say? Well, if you have another, go ahead and tell us about it below. To make it easier, I went with the primary captain of each series. I thought about including Spock, who captained the Enterprise briefly, and then I thought about Sulu and the Excelsior, and then I realized this could go on forever . . . but if you have a favorite you want to let us know about, that’s what the comment section below is there for!

I know who I will vote for, but I think I’m going to wait just a little bit before I do. My answer might surprise you, Dr. Jayce. Or it may not.

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15 responses to “NEW POLL: Star Trek Captains”

  1. William Avatar

    I find my answer to this age old question in the crew around them. In Star Trek it is difficult to separate a captain from his crew. I find the balance among the officers to be more critical in this decision than anything else. STTNG has the most well rounded and organized crew, and since the captain picks the officers it says a lot about his leadership.

    1. Ben Avatar

      So, William, Picard for you? He’s way ahead in the poll.

      And Dr. Jayce, I KNOW who you voted for!

  2. Bud Rogers Avatar
    Bud Rogers

    I’m pretty much Original Series all the way – at least as a viewer. However, if I would have to serve under one of the good captains, I’d go with Picard. Picard’s steady authority and diplomacy appeaals to me as a crew member. And I’d probably be assigned a red shirt if I was under Kirk.

    Archer would be my second choice, but moreso to be one of the real pioneers in the Star Trek universe rather than serving under Archer.

  3. Dr. Jayce Avatar

    Do you really know who I voted for?

    At some points we’ll have to tackle this subject matter!

    1. Ben Avatar

      Well, let’s call it an educated guess …

  4. Ben Avatar

    I love that article, particularly point #2. One of the things that makes the original series work so well is that “trinity” of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and how it developed into a brilliant “whole man” or mind (Spock), body (Kirk), and Soul (McCoy). The other series had well rounded casts, but nothing so iconic. And the anti-example for #2 is brilliant as well.

  5. Ben Avatar

    Another great article . . . Interesting take on “starship captains” and “modern day preachers”. And i have to agree with their point about Kirk’s passion. Of all the captains, his passion is second to none!

  6. Hank Harwell Avatar
    Hank Harwell

    Now that I posted two articles seemingly in favor of Kirk, I wonder whyn there’s no love for Capt. Christopher Pike? Or even Robert April?

    1. Ben Avatar

      Because then you’re just getting crazy with what captains to include. I mean, do we include Cameron from Ferris Bueller? Captain of 1701-B? I just stuck with the primary captions from each series.

      That said, between seeing Pike on Trek ’09 and The Menagerie/The Cage, he’s gotten enough screen time to get a feel for what type of captain he’d be. I love him in the new Trek movie.

      1. Ben Avatar

        It was when I considerd adding Spock and Sulu from the original series (Spock for Enterprise, Sulu for Excelsior) that I knew I would drive myself crazy trying to go that far . . .

  7. Hank Harwell Avatar
    Hank Harwell

    Oh, sure. Take the *easy* way out! 🙂

    1. Ben Avatar


      And quickly!

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