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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old June 5 2014, 01:20 AM   #1
Sran
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Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

*Warning! Potential Spoilers!*

The Fall hinted at something that everyone knows will eventually happen, but when it happens is still up in the air. There were several paragraphs of text dealing with the subject of Captain's Picard's eventual retirement from active duty. Although it's not likely to happen immediately--he just accepted a long-term exploratory mission from Riker and Akaar--it will happen sooner rather than later, as Picard is not a young man.

And so the subject of who replaces him comes into play. The Enterprise is Picard's ship. Before that (in terms of TV and films), she was Kirk's ship. But the Enterprise really belongs to Star Trek's fans, as she has been the one constant amid numerous changes in the universe we all know and love. Therefore, I think fans should have a voice in who replaces Picard in the center seat, as the ship shouldn't be given to just anyone. It has to be someone up to the task, an officer who understands the responsibility he or she is taking on, and the legacy he's responsible for maintaining.

One route would be to create an entirely new character and have that person eventually gain command of Enterprise, but if that's the way the writers decide to go, it seems appropriate to establish the character by having the person in question appear in at least few novels so that fans are familiar with him (or her). Another option would be to choose from existing characters who've earned a command or deserve one. Here's a list of viable candidates whom I think should be considered:

Worf: Picard's first officer seems the easiest choice, as he's already aboard the Enterprise and has earned the respect of her crew. What's more, he's proven he can command vessels on his own (Defiant) and would have the backing of both Picard and Sisko (and likely Riker, as well) to get a ship. There is the matter of what happened in "Change of Heart," but I think Worf's service since that incident would merit the brass reconsidering his situation before decided if he deserves a ship or not.

Riker: Since his promotion, Riker has been channeling James Kirk, in that he's been using his rank as a means of retaining commanding of the Titan, as opposed to remaining behind a desk at headquarters. Like Kirk, he clearly prefers being in the center seat as opposed to a ground assignment, but it's not likely such a thing will last. Even an admiral without portfolio has more responsibilities than even the most senior captain so Riker's almost certain to find himself knee-deep in paperwork sooner or later. But he has strong ties to the Enterprise and was her captain for a brief period while Picard was held captive by the Borg, and the Enterprise crew would certainly welcome him back with open arms.

Vale:
Although she's never appeared on screen, Christine Vale has established a loyal fan following and merits a command of her own based on her recent performance. But her being posted to Enterprise seems unlikely, as she's much more likely to get the Titan once Riker's situation is sorted out.

Data: An intriguing possibility (no pun intended), but unlikely given that Data has never been first officer on a permanent basis and would need to complete that phase of his career before being given his own ship.

Sisko: He has the experience and is extremely well-regarded by Starfleet. The idea of Sisko commanding the Enterprise is a neat one.

Dax: Given that Aventine is slated to get at least one standalone novel, it doesn't make sense to move her.

Calhoun: New Frontier's main man would be an interesting choice, as well. With NF on the back-burner (forever?), Calhoun's character could be used elsewhere. Picard sponsored his Academy application and has followed his carer. It makes a lot of sense that Mac would take over for the man he admires so much, and he has both the toughness and the know-how to make things work. Additionally, his being on the Enterprise would give other NF characters a chance to make an appearance. Zak Kebron and Worf were close friends at the Academy, and characters like Robin Lefler have ties to the ship, too.

Decker:
You read that correctly. Will Decker as captain of the Enterprise, a position he's held before and may have again had fate not taken him elsewhere. There is the not-so-small matter of returning him to normal space, but stranger things have happened in Star Trek, and as he's part of the Enterprise lineage, fans would accept his being (back) in the center seat.

For the non-TNG characters, I wonder if there are legal considerations given that they would essentially be switching series in order for their character to be used on TNG's ship.

--Sran
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Old June 5 2014, 01:41 AM   #2
Lonemagpie
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Jack Sparrow. Yeah.
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Old June 5 2014, 02:15 AM   #3
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Right now, if and when it happens, I'd put Worf as the frontrunner. Despite his own doubts and discomforts, reignited in the aftermath of Choudhury's death in Cold Equations, I think if Picard put it as 'I want you to be my successor,' Worf would take it almost as a matter of honor, that this man who he trusts and believes in, who has supported him in his greatest times of need, wants him to take command of the Enterprise.

My other top contender for the spot could start slipping into the realm of story ideas, so for any authors reading this thread's sake, behind the spoiler cut it goes.

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Old June 5 2014, 02:40 AM   #4
HIjol
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Jack Sparrow. Yeah.
Captain Jack!?!?!?!....Oh, BABY!!!...stop the cameras...stop the writing...total reboot, complete with temporal displacement...shit, man!...genious!!!...brilliant!

Captain Jack
Commodore Barbossa

...can you just see it?

...this shit would write itself!!!!!

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Old June 5 2014, 03:01 AM   #5
Christopher
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Okay, so, granted, as of The Fall, Picard is 80 years old. But longevity is greater in the 24th century. Elias Vaughn was still vigorous and capable in his early 100s. So I'm not convinced Picard has to go anywhere. I don't think audiences would really want to see a version of TNG that didn't focus on Picard.
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Old June 5 2014, 03:13 AM   #6
RoJoHen
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

I admit I am waaaaaaaaay behind on my Trek reading (like, I'm still somewhere in 2003), but I think the next captain of the Enterprise should be a new person in a new ship. Let TNG retire when Picard does.
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Old June 5 2014, 03:29 AM   #7
Leto_II
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

The notion of Data being given command of the Enterprise is not a far-fetched one -- as we see on several occasions during the TNG television series, he held the center seat when Picard and Riker were off-duty (such as during "Data's Day"), and likewise took personal command of at least one starship outright (during the Klingon Civil War, in "Redemption").

He's already got the decades of command experience under his belt; note too that we technically never saw Commander Sulu ever serving out a first-officer period onscreen prior to gaining the Excelsior, and post-Cold Equations, Data has at least as much experience as Sulu did at that point.

Indeed, the Countdown mini-series from 2009 extrapolated an eventual Data-captaincy of the Enterprise-E, so it's a notion that's been floating around out there for a while now already.
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Old June 5 2014, 03:30 AM   #8
Sci
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Who should become the new captain of the Enterprise? The Doctor. Not the EMH -- the one who rides in the TARDIS.



More seriously -- as Christopher says, I'm not interested in any version of TNG that doesn't star Picard. I suppose you could do a TNG series where Picard is an admiral active in the field, or a diplomat, and the Enterprise-E frequently appears, sort of like what Christopher's doing with Archer and the Endeavour. But I'm not sure that would be a good idea.

David Mack has posted about how back when Pocket thought it was going to drop the Star Trek license, they tapped him to write the "grand finale" of the Star Trek book line, and he built the end of the TNG era around Picard's death. To me, that makes intuitive sense -- the final absence of Picard from a meaningful storytelling position (be it death or retirement) strikes me as the place where TNG books ought to end.

If you're going to do a "future of the Enterprise" line of novels, I think it would be better to essentially do what TNG did to Star Trek and what Star Trek Online did for the TNG era -- jump ahead decades into the future, with a new astropolitical setting, a new crew, a new Enterprise, and a new captain. Star Trek: The Next Next Generation, so to speak.
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Old June 5 2014, 05:58 PM   #9
Echtzeit
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Worf: (...) There is the matter of what happened in "Change of Heart," (...)
There was a line in some book when Picard told Worf that Starfleet would offer him his own command eventually. Doubt it would be the flagship, though.

If they go with the comics, then maybe it could be Data.

Personally, I'd like to see a new character. A female captain. Andorian, perhaps.

(Getting déjà-vus here...)
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Old June 5 2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Personally, I wouldn't mind an ending of TNG as a series of novels with Worf becoming captain of the Enterprise-E. No more TNG bannered novels, except for perhaps things set between Encounter At Farpoint and Nemesis. Any appereances with the E-E would be standalone novels, no new series.

That being said, I doubt Pockets will retire the TNG series anytime soon, since it seems to be the most populair, together with TOS, in terms of sales. From what I gathered, that is, no sources for that.
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Old June 5 2014, 07:55 PM   #11
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

A non-human, for sure.

Given that I trust the collection of authors we currently have writing in the Trek 'verse, I'd love to see them work together on something like Sci suggested - a series (or two) set a few decades down the line from Hobus. You could have Natasha and René involved, to retain the link to familiar characters, and maybe a few other descendants. I think the lit-verse continuity has established itself well enough that a sizable leap forward would be intriguing and not just gimmicky. It would also let the authors really flex their imaginations, and surprise us with what new spin they put on the universe...

Let's say the captain of the Enterprise-F is a Cardassian female. Yes. I like that.
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Old June 5 2014, 08:37 PM   #12
otomo
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Wait wait...Troi has seniority greater than a number of those folk on the list, just sayin'.
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Old June 6 2014, 04:47 AM   #13
Elias Vaughn
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Gul Dukat.

Make it happen, Treklit writers.
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Old June 6 2014, 06:56 AM   #14
Slyvon
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

Boy, from a pure fanboy perspective I would love to see Sisko take the center seat! His character should be anchoring novels, and the Enterprise is just the boost the Captain needs!
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Old June 6 2014, 07:42 AM   #15
Skywalker
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Re: Who Should Be the Next Captain of the Enterprise?

I think it would either be Worf, or maybe Data, depending on how his story develops. Geordi as a long shot candidate. Either way I think it would be a familiar face from the show who casual readers will recognize when they seem them on the cover.
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