Monday, January 22, 2007

O! Captain, My Captain! Starfleet's Greatest

Gene Roddenberry had what it took to command. This is evidenced by the most successful franchise in television history. A franchise that has begun to rival even James Bond at the movies. No series has a bigger cult following. What does it take to command the voyages of the Starship Enterprise? It’s more than just Starfleet training, it takes guts, determination, and a lot of alien sex.

KIRK: Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born March 22, 2233 in Riverside, Iowa. He entered Starfleet Academy at Age 17 and, after cheating to defeat the Kobiashi Maru, Kirk graduated in the top 5 percent of his class. (Deception and trickery were as much Kirk’s allies as Bones and Spock.) By 2260, he had been promoted to Captain. Three years later, was assigned to the Enterprise, the youngest academy graduate to command a starship, “its five year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Mostly, that meant that Kirk would completely disregard the prime directive, make it with blue alien women and fistfight Gorns, Klingons and eugenics scientists. Eventually Kirk would perform a resurrection on Spock, save the whales, meet God and die, but not before he made it with a few more blue alien women.

PICARD: Captain Jean-Luc Picard was born and raised in LaBarre France, where, apparently in 2305, the French speak the Queen’s English. Picard was admitted to the Academy in 2322, after a failed attempt the year before. Like Kirk, Picard was a top student, winning the Starfleet marathon on Danula II as a first year cadet. While not a cheat and liar like Kirk, Picard was a pugilist, picking a fight with a Nausicaan that resulted in a near-fatal knifing, leaving Picard with an artificial heart. This cured Picard of his pugilism forever. As Captain of the Enterprise, Picard rarely fought, capitulating, vacillating, even surrendering rather than engaging. Compared to Kirk, Picard is considered a puss, although Picard has saved the world three-and-a-half times, made it with a lot of women -- although few aliens.

SISKO: Captain Benjamin Sisko was born in New Orleans in 2332 and entered the Academy at 18. He met his wife Jennifer shortly after graduation and shortly thereafter, she was killed in a war with the Borg, actually led by Picard who was one-with-them at the time. In 2369, Sisko was assigned to command the port Deep Space Nine where he discovers a wormhole. He was named Emissary to the Prophets of the Bajoran People and either brokers, or as the mirror Sisko, interlopes the brokering of an alliance between the Bajorans, Klingons and Cardassians. Compared to Kirk and Picard, Sisko was a puss, but he was also a Chosen One. Sisko was more of a diplomat/bureaucrat than an asskicker, but when Picard’s former Klingon security officer Worf was assigned to DSN, the asskicking quotient increased. Sisko made it with more than his fair share of alien women including an alternate universe version of his wife and symbiont Trill, Jadzia Dax.

JANEWAY: Captain Kathryn Janeway was born sometime in the early 24th Century in Indiana. Her career at Starfleet Academy was unremarkable, but she was decorated for her service as Science Officer aboard the U.S.S. Al-Batani during the Arias Expeditions. When she took command of the USS Voyager in 2371, it immediately disappeared answering a Maquis distress signal. Compared to Janeway, Kirk, Picard and Sisko are all pusses. Never one to back down in a fight, Janeway engaged the Caretaker, Kazon, Vidiians, the Borg and species 8472 to name but a few. Janeway has never made it with a woman, but she has been seduced by a Q and, as a lizard, mated with Tom Paris, also a lizard at the time, and the two had lizard babies.

RODDENBERRY: Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso in 1921. Roddenberry’s Starfleet Academy was the US Army Air Corps, in which he served as a B-17 pilot during World War II in the early Twentieth Century. After the war, Roddenberry was a sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department, which earned him a commission as an ensign writer on TV cop shows Dragnet and Naked City. He was promoted to lieutenant on the series Have Gun Will Travel. He proved his mettle with the tour of duty on the popular Western, and the company commanders at NBC allowed Roddenberry to sit in the captain’s chair of a new series of his creation, Star Trek. He captained the Starship Enterprise and all Federation class starships long before and longer than any other Federation officer on that famous helm. He was the creative force behind Star Trek, behind the television series, the animated series, the movies, the novelizations, the comic books, the entire franchise. Roddenberry was definitely a fighter, battling both NBC and Paramount to have his humanist view of the future with its equality of races and sexes, humanoid or no, on the screen. Roddenberry made it with Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the Number One of the Star Trek pilot, the voice of the computer, and, of course, the beautiful Nurse Chapel.

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