For a franchise that has been around since 1966 (that’s 56 years, y’all!), with countless offshoots in the form of movies, books, comics, games, and more, Star Trek has a bounty of characters. From favorites to flops, good guys we love, and bad guys we love to hate, the franchise has spawned countless personalities over its long run. But what about the leaders of each mission? Could you narrow down the options and pick the best Star Trek captain? If your answer was “No way!” or even if you have strong opinions about the matter, /Film has done the dirty work of polling fans, and the results are in.
Coming in at the number one spot after the website collected votes from 619 people, an overwhelming 49.92% voted for Captain James T. Kirk. You can’t mess with a classic, so it’s no surprise as to why many fans fell in line behind the original fearless leader and named him as the best Star Trek captain. Originally played by William Shatner, countless other actors would pick up Kirk’s stun gun over the years and sit in the captain’s chair including Chris Pine, Jimmy Bennett, Vic Mignogna, James Cawley, and Paul Wesley. But for every top captain, there’s also a top crew, and Capt. Kirk certainly had that as well. Surrounded by legacy characters: Spock, Dr. “Bones” McCoy, Pavel Chekov, Lt. Nyota Uhura, Lt. Hikaru Sulu, and Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, it took the entire team to win Captain Kirk this most high honor.
Coming in with 30.37% of the vote for the second-best Star Trek captain was Patrick Stewart’s, Jean-Luc Picard. A mild-mannered, intellectual, tough-as-nails man, Picard stood at the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise during the smash series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and all of its subsequent films proving – you just can’t replace Patrick Stewart! When CBS and their streaming platform, Paramount+ approached Stewart to make an entire series based on his character after The Next Generation had been off the air for over two decades, the award-winning actor said, “Make it so!” and they did. Star Trek: Picard was recently renewed for a third and final season which will air in 2023. A leader with another stellar crew, The Next Generation brought us the characters William Riker, Data, Worf, Geordi La Forge, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar, Dr. Beverly Crusher, and of course… Wesley Crusher.
From here, the percentages surrounding the race for the best Star Trek captain begin to dwindle a bit. Third place goes to Christopher Pike with a 7.59% vote. While Jeffrey Hunter was the first to play the captain in the show’s pilot, a new actor has taken on the role to breathe new life and new adventures into the rough and tumble captain. Anson Mount will soon be seen playing Pike in a spinoff series, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds which is gearing up to hit Paramount+ in May. Mount’s Pike was first seen in Star Trek: Discovery for a short time with fans eagerly awaiting his return during Strange New Worlds.
The rest of the percentages are completely underwhelming with the leader of the Enterprise in Enterprise, Scott Bakula’s Jonathan Archer nabbing 5.33% of the vote, Star Trek: Voyager’s Captain Janeway played by Kate Mulgrew claiming 3.88%, and finally, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Captain Benjamin Sisko, portrayed by Avery Brooks with 2.91%. No matter how you cut it, people love a classic, and that’s why we suspect both Kirk and Picard received such crushing percentages for the top honor of best Star Trek captain.