Star Trek – the All Star Edition – Part 3

In my first all star post I annointed Chief Miles O’Brien my all star Chief Engineer. My second posting, I gave the nod to Dr. Beverly Crusher as my head medical crew(wo)man. In this posting I’m going to reveal my pick for First Officer. I’m afraid this one is a bit of a no brainer, but here goes:

The candidates are (in order of appearance)

First the losers in order:

Major Kira Nerys of Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  The thing about Kira is not that she was incompetent or a bad first officer. In fact she was highly efficient in her duties. Even though she initially butted heads with Commander Benjamin Sisko, she eventually came to respect him as both her commanding officer and as the Emissary to the prophets.

Kira was not a member of Starfleet but rather an officer in the Bajoran militia who was assigned as the liaison to station Deep Space 9. Before that she had been a freedom fighter during the Cardassian occupation. My whole issue with her though, is that she is angry. I suppose I might be too, if I had witnessed the atrocities she had under the tyranny of the spoonheads, but all I have to say is lighten up major. It’s not healthy to carry around all that self-righteous anger. In her favor, however, she hated Kai Winn Adami as much as I do.

Next in the hierarchy is Commander Chakotay.  In his favor is that he was cool enough to only need one name. Also in his favor is the fact that his Star Fleet Academy sponsor was the legendary Captain Hikaru Sulu. But he went downhill from there. He joined the terrorist outfit the Maquis and commanded the ship the Val Jean. Voyager was sent to hunt down the Val Jean and both of them ended up in the delta quadrant.

Now instead of fighting to the death like any respectable freedom fighter, Chakotay accepted Janeway’s invitation to join her Starfleet crew and serve as the first officer aboard Voyager. Talk about selling out. Whatever happened to believing in a cause? I guess his character was okay, but he just seemed like a big pansy to me, readily and joyfully taking orders from the institution he opposed and commanding his former mates from the Val Jean to do the same. Had I been him, I would have killed Janeway immediately, took over Voyager, and used the Caretaker array to get back to the Alpha Quadrant. Imagine what the Maquis could have done with an Intrepid class starship as part of their arsenal. Spoonheads beware!!

Now we come to the Vulcan first officer of the Enterprise NX-01 Sub Commander T’Pol. With her, cold, unemotional logic never looked so good. Early on when Captain Archer became incapacitated, T’Pol assumed command of the ship and proceeded to execute Archer’s wishes even though she personally found them illogical. Archer was so impressed he asked her to remain about Enterprise as his first officer. (ENT: Broken Bow) Eventually they came to respect and admire each other.

Then who can forget T’Pol showing up at Trip Tucker’s door and initiating a sexual relationship between the two of them. (ENT: Harbinger) How un-Vulcan!! How lucky for Tucker!!! Regardless of this aberrant behavior (she had contracted an illness known as Pa’Nar Syndrome  during a forced Vulcan Mind Meld ENT: Fusion), T’Pol proved to be a capable and efficient first officer.

It would be easy to dismiss Commander William Thomas Riker as a light-weight. After all he was too familiar with the crew, he tended to chase skirts as much as Kirk ever did, and he had a great big old safety net above him by the name of Jean Luc Picard. While Riker was all that, he was so much more.

While serving on the Klingon vessel Pagh, in the Officer Exchange Program, Riker endured insults to his manhood and stomach with good humor and demonstrated a knowledge of Klingon military protocol, eventually tricking the captain by beaming him over to the Enterprise and taking command of the Klingon vessel. (ST:TNG: A Matter of Honor)

For my money Riker’s finest moment came at the Battle of Wolf 359. Picard had been abducted and assimilated by the Borg, leaving Riker in command and field promoted to Captain. With bravery and cunning, Riker rescued Picard from the clutches of the Borg. Due to Data sending a command to the collective (sleep), the Borg cube self-destructed but only after destroying 39 starfleet vessels and 11,000 casualties, dead or assimilated. (ST:TNG The Best of Both Worlds Parts 1 and 2)

And that brings us to the winner for this edition. I could not in all good consciousness select anyone other than Mr. (Commander) Spock  for my All Star First Officer. It can be argued that virtually no character in the Trek universe is as iconic and well known as Spock. While easily Kirk’s intellectual superior, Spock nonetheless respected and deferred to his captain, rightly understanding that the human gut feeling could often be just as right as his Vulcan logic.

There are many fine Spock episodes. Of course Amok Time immediately springs to mind. For the non-Trekker, that is the one where Spock undergoes pon farr and then ends up battling Captain Kirk. There is also a devious Vulcan female named T’Pring involved who pretty much out logics everybody. Then in Journey to Babel we get to meet Spock’s parents, Sarek and Amanda. And who can forget Spock jamming with the space hippies in The Way to Eden. Finally we have Spock’s Brain. Well okay it was a stinker of an episode. Forget I mentioned that one.

But in my opinion, Spock’s finest moment came, not in a series episode, but in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan where we learn the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. In heroic fashion, Spock saved the Enterprise from certain destruction at the cost of his own life (although he did play his ace in the hole by leaving his katra in McCoy’s noggin.) His dying words were:

“I have been…and always shall be your friend…. Live long…and prosper.”

I’ve got to tell you every time I watch that movie, when Kirk gives his stirring eulogy,  I just tear up.

“We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet, it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world. A world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this…of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most…human.”  James T. Kirk

So there you have it. Next time I will anoint my all star captain. I promise that one will be interesting!!

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7 Responses to “Star Trek – the All Star Edition – Part 3”

  1. debeyepps Says:

    Oh…I tear up every time too Mojo. I think Mr. Spoke is my all-time favorite Star Trek character. I enjoyed everything that had to do with Spock, but I especially love the episode where they go back to depression-era America (City on the Edge of Forever). I crack up every time Spock has to cover up his ears.

  2. theworldofmojo Says:

    City on the Edge of Forever is available to view online at Netflix. I watched it while Emily was in the hospital. While Kirk is walking Edith Keeler, they walk right by Floyd’s Barber Shop since that scene was shot on the Andy Griffith Show set.

  3. I love Mojo, but think he is wrong….but he already knows that….and as for the next installment…CAN’T WAIT!!!!

  4. Mojo,
    We talked about this already, but I give my nod to Ryker. He’s the man. I know not as near thought out as yours.

  5. I teared up just now, reading that eulogy. We can never watch it together, Emily would have to roll her eyes and bring us big bed sheets for hankies…

    • theworldofmojo Says:

      Are you kidding? Emily would be right there tearing up with everybody else. She LOVES Star Trek.

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