It’s an argument that Trek fans have battled about since the third season of TNG: Which Star Trek series captain is best?
Originally, it was just a Kirk vs. Picard argument. Then Janeway got rolled into the mix.
If you walk around at a Trek convention or Comic-Con asking the question, you could damn near start a Palin-esque brawl in the hallways. Everyone has an opinion, and they all have sound reasoning — they will call it “logic” — to back up their pick.
“Kirk was a true leader,” they may argue. “He was active and daring.”
“But Picard weighed decisions like a statesman,” a retort may come. “He knew weakness. He knew history. He read more than Kirk, for crying out loud!”
“Begging to differ from you all, but Janeway trumps them both. They both had Starfleet to refer back to when things got tough. Janeway was thousands of light years from home, unable to get backup or reinforcements, forced to makes friends of enemies and keep her crew together.”
You can’t win this one.
But, since opinions are like stable wormholes, everybody has one, the question had to be asked of one of America’s most visible and vocal scientific minds today, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. And Geekwire did just that.
In a recent interview with Tyson, Geekwire peppered him with questions about commercial space travel, the possible existence of a multiverse, and science education. Then came the lightning round. We learned that Tyson prefers a Time Machine to a Transporter, Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart, and Mac to Windows.
But then came the clincher.
GeekWire: Kirk, Picard or Janeway?
Tyson: Kirk. I love Janeway, but Kirk. I was disappointed that Picard never actually got into a fight. Kirk could use blunt human reasoning that transcended logic, because sometimes emotion matters more than logic. If he had to fight an alien, he’d go into fisticuffs with him. Occasionally you need that. So I’m with Kirk all the way.
Picard never got into a fight?!
Perhaps Msr. Tyson never saw “Tapestry”, wherein we learn of a young Picard’s fight with multiple Nausicaans and how he got his artificial heart.
Perhaps Tyson never saw this:
Perhaps Neil deGrasse Tyson would like to rethink his faulty response.