There isn’t a Star Trek episode I haven’t seen. There isn’t an actor from the multiple series or of the many movies who I don’t know their name. I grew up with Star Trek. I love the idea of universal peace and a Prime Directive that includes not interfering with third-party affairs. The technology may look dated, but the overall ideas remain valid even today. Can anyone argue that the idea of the tablet and cell phone did not come from the series?
For today’s Wednesday Warriors, I would like to take a few minutes to talk about Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
When Captain Picard took the helm of the newly christened U.S.S. Enterprise, he knew he had a crew capable of great things. For instance, his first officer William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) graduated Starfleet Academy with the ability to navigate a starship into a manual dock. The second officer, Commander Data (Brent Spiner), an android, can do what humans can’t do, but wishes he could become human nonetheless. Counsellor Deeana Troy (Marina Sirtis) is equally amazing as Jean-Luc’s telepathic aid. She has rescued the captain on more than one occasion by sensing the feelings of others. Then there are the other crewmembers that although they may occupy side stories, play an important role in the Captain’s compliment.
As for Captain Picard, his focus is on the Prime Directive. The rule simply stipulates that no member of Starfleet shall interfere in the domestic policies of societies or civilizations, no matter how primitive or advanced they are. The rule also prevents the captain from interceding on behalf of a weaker civilization, should the threat of war mean the extinction of their entire species.
Picard abides by a strict code of ethics that other captains would do well to adopt. Characteristics such as loyalty, integrity and honor are the captain’s currency for a disciplined life. Part of his duties is to instill a sense of confidence in his crew in order for them to act in accordance with their pledge to his leadership.
I can think of two examples that would emphasize Picard’s ability to lead.
First, the captain and Riker become prisoners of Bynar, aliens that have melded their intellects with computers. They have captured the ship and Picard enacts his right not to allow the ship to fall into the Bynar’s hands. Riker didn’t have to think twice. Realizing he would die, he follows the captain to take action against the Bynar threat by enabling the vessel’s self-destruct sequence.
Second, has all to do with how the captain takes a young ensign under his wing and rears him as his own son, leading his growth, which eventually leads to a placement into Starfleet Academy. Often times, Picard appears as a totalitarian, but it is necessary since his goal is to train the boy Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) in the way he should go.
There are other instances I could use to show how Picard as a leader, but I’ll save it for some other time. For now, I’ll leave you with the this thought:
If there was no Star Trek, do you think we’d have cell phones or tablets?
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Are you a fan of Star Trek? What do you think of Jean-Luc Picard?
9 thoughts on “Captain Jean-Luc Picard”
Picard is so badass! He definitely believes in the prime directive, but he knows when the exceptions are and when the rules can be broken.
And don’t forget Skype! They look like they’re on Skype all the time 😀
You are right about Skype. I totally forgot!
Heh. I haven’t seen all of the Star Trek series yet, but I’m sure my fiancé has that as one of his long-term goals for our relationship. 😛
Picard is one of my favorite characters on television, then and now. I suspect we would still have tablets and something like cell phones (because both had clear precursors Gene Roddenberry didn’t ‘invent’–computers and telephones, respectively) had Roddenberry never written Star Trek, but his imagination was still one-of-a-kind. And Patrick Stewart as an actor: stellar!
Picard, as a character, was truly a good person. He wasn’t always right; he made mistakes like everyone else. Yet you always knew that his decisions were based on something more than personal consideration. He had the Prime Directive to consider, and the lives of all the people on his ship, and all the people he encountered.
When we walk into someone dithering on their mobile phone in the supermarket we can all blame Gene Rodenberry for that.
I found some of the issues tackled by Star Trek interesting. One episode from the William Shatner era was about two civilisations at war. They never destroyed anything, simply announced an attack and calculated the number of deaths and casualties. The attacked side would then round up that number of people and kill them. The reason was to protect the cultural artefacts of their civilisations, putting all that before life.
And you can see parallels today such as the outcry over the destruction of Palmyra in Syria, or the bridge at Mostar during the Balkan conflict. Never mind the people, we have to save this bridge!
I think that’s what I’ve always enjoyed about Star Trek. The show has never been afraid to tackle issues and present them in a form that would allow the audience to think. The show was definitely ahead of its time.
I too grew up with Star Trek and I aspired to be worthy of the concept. There were stellar role models. We could use a little of the ST philosophy in the world today: honour, loyalty, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, understanding . . . .
Cool and calm. The best series piece was the alien of immense power who could crush worlds and Picard does not arrest him. He walks away. He knows he is limited. The alien says, ” I did not erase those attacking my world, I erased all of their species.” Length of time to do that. One minute. Power can be hard to control. Look at Trump. What would he do with that power?