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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 27 2014, 02:33 PM   #1
Kobayshi Maru
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Picard's age:

I don't get how he needed to be this old to get to be a Captain, for reference Kirk was more than twenty years younger during TOS. Plus he had to get stabbed in the heart to even get there!!! Otherwise he would have been Lieutenant Junior grade!! What kind of organization has officers still with a rookie rank when they are ten years (at most) from retirement! I mean it took Nog a couple of years after he graduated to get there! Granted he got shot in the leg... but still! I mean even Kirk saw that in Generations when he talked to Picard about his retirement. He told him to refuse promotion (In reference to the earlier movies).
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Old July 27 2014, 03:13 PM   #2
borgboy
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Re: Picard's age:

I'm not sure how old Picard was when he made captain, but he was the Captain of the Stargazer for many years before he was assigned to the Enterprise.

Kirk was supposed to be exceptional that he was made Captain at such a young age. He was an exception, not the standard of most of Starfleet. It wasn't expected, or desirable, for most of the captains to be so young, they seem to prefer a more experienced seasoned officer for that position - and rightly so imo.
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Old July 27 2014, 03:42 PM   #3
Ithekro
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Re: Picard's age:

Picard was around 28 when he became Captain of the Stargazer. He is round 58 or so when we see him take command of the Enterprise.
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Old July 27 2014, 03:48 PM   #4
Mojochi
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Re: Picard's age:

More seasoned, to command the Enterprise by the time of TNG, yes. They wanted someone with experience there

By all accounts of profiles I've seen, Picard was in his late 20s when he took command of the Stargazer. Late 20s/early 30s is about standard for new captains. He was in his late 50's when he got the Enterprise, which stands to reason, given the prestige of the posting, after 4 other ships had held the title, & the fame it incurred under Kirk.

Now, Riker only first becoming a captain in his mid 40s is just his own personal dragassery
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Old July 27 2014, 09:20 PM   #5
Chairslinger
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Re: Picard's age:

It makes sense that in the 2370's it became a lot easier to gain rank for a character like Nog. When you have millions dying in the Dominion War, that opens up a lot more opportunities.

Wesley's attempts to get into Starfleet in the first two seasons of TNG also portray it as much, much harder to get in than later TNG and DS9 do.
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Old July 27 2014, 09:27 PM   #6
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: Picard's age:

The reason we keep seeing Captains who are in their early twenties is, I suspect, just due to the need to present young, strapping characters to the viewers at home and in the theaters. Case in point: Kirk's meteoric rise from Lieutenant straight to Captain in ST XI (bypassing LCDR and CDR).

As for Picard, IIRC it took awhile before his birth year of 2305 was ever established. So the writers had a lot of room to move, so to speak, about his early career.
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Old July 27 2014, 09:30 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Picard's age:

Kirk was supposed to be exceptional that he was made Captain at such a young age.
...But this was never made explicit in the shows or movies. For all we know, everybody in the line officer business gets his own starship at twenty-two, and everybody also falls in love with that job and refuses promotions for the next fifty-three years when mandatory retirement hits (as per "The Counter-Clock Incident").

Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. "Conspiracy" asserts that at 25, Tryla Scott was the youngest-ever starship captain (although we don't learn whether this means the commanding position or the four pips on the collar). But nothing in Kirk's backstory suggests he would have been that young; his command history doesn't extend beyond the second pilot (where he was in his thirties already, apparently), and there he seems to sport Commander rank on his sleeves...

Picard was around 28 when he became Captain of the Stargazer.
We never learn when Picard gained command of the Stargazer or attained Captain rank. All we know is that he did command that ship, eventually with Captain rank, and that she was his first starship command.

The idea of Picard having commanded that old rust bucket for 22 years is an unused concept from the writers' guide. The closest this bit gets to real application is in "Tapestry", where Q confirms that Picard (at an unknown date, at unknown rank or position) heroically took command of the ship's bridge when the skipper of that time was out for the count somehow - but realistically, such a thing would not make Picard the next captain, and certainly not immediately, and happily none of the episodes suggest such a thing.

Wesley's attempts to get into Starfleet in the first two seasons of TNG also portray it as much, much harder to get in than later TNG and DS9 do.
Well, Wesley was underage for a human. He seemed to be competing in some sort of a special supergenius quota, whereas at seventeen or eighteen (the entry age quoted for several human characters, even if there's no canon mention of this being an official limit) he no doubt could have just waltzed in.

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Old July 27 2014, 10:23 PM   #8
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Picard's age:

Nog made lieutenant because Sisko gives his personal friends special treatment.

I don't know how advancement works in the real military but in Starfleet all officers are career officers. So advancement mostly comes to officers who stand out somehow due to lack of room at the higher ranks.
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Old July 27 2014, 10:30 PM   #9
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Re: Picard's age:

Chairslinger wrote: View Post

Wesley's attempts to get into Starfleet in the first two seasons of TNG also portray it as much, much harder to get in than later TNG and DS9 do.
Wesley faced stiff competition early on from a number of quality candidates.
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Old July 27 2014, 11:41 PM   #10
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Re: Picard's age:

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
[...] in Starfleet all officers are career officers.
Says who? I doubt this was ever stated on screen. Given the size and scope of Starfleet as an organisation I'm sure it commissions officers from all kinds of backgrounds for all kinds of durations and for all kinds of ranks and positions. I would think career officer is only one of many ways one can serve in Starfleet as an officer (although it might be the most straight forward). However, even in today's militaries commissions aren't bound up with this.
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Old July 27 2014, 11:47 PM   #11
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Picard's age:

Have we ever seen an officer on screen who was not a career officer, or have we ever seen a character who entered Starfleet without the intent to spend their whole life there?

And have you ever once heard the word 'Tour' to describe a finite assignment?
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Old July 28 2014, 12:11 AM   #12
Jefferies
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Re: Picard's age:

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Have we ever seen an officer on screen who was not a career officer, or have we ever seen a character who entered Starfleet without the intent to spend their whole life there?

And have you ever once heard the word 'Tour' to describe a finite assignment?
I don't see how we can assume this. We rarely get to hear the backstory of how someone ended up in their current post if they aren't a member of the main cast. Sure many of the main cast are career officers. However, that doesn't prove everyone is.

It makes little sense to think that in a future where people can live to 130s+ with good health that they would want to have only one career. Also the main characters we see rarely had families. I'm pretty sure many of those who do will not be single-mindedly dedicated to a career in Starfleet for their entire life with no wish to take a break or do something more settled. I'm sure in an enlightened future like that they will have part time work, materniety/paternity leave, family friendly working conditions etc.

From what we certainly do know is that Starfleet does embrace diversity and with that comes diversity of life styles and thus to offer only one path to being a comisisoned officer makes no logical sense.
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Old July 28 2014, 01:03 AM   #13
Mojochi
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Re: Picard's age:

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Have we ever seen an officer on screen who was not a career officer, or have we ever seen a character who entered Starfleet without the intent to spend their whole life there?

And have you ever once heard the word 'Tour' to describe a finite assignment?
They use the word mission synonymously, as in 5 year mission. Both Spock & Bones had left Starfleet after the initial 5 year tour, and resigned their commission prior to the events depicted in TMP

I'm not as well versed in ENT, but Archer left to become president or something right? In TNG's "All Good Things..." both Data & Worf have left Starfleet, & I think maybe Geordi too
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Old July 28 2014, 08:07 AM   #14
Ithekro
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Re: Picard's age:

Archer becomes an Admiral after Enterprise and later becomes President of the Federation.
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Old July 28 2014, 03:48 PM   #15
Kevman7987
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Re: Picard's age:

Ithekro wrote: View Post
Archer becomes an Admiral after Enterprise and later becomes President of the Federation.
Didn't he die the day after the Enterprise NCC-1701's commissioning?

I always figured that you could resign from Starfleet at any time and come back without much fuss. (Though they probably still have that "little known, seldom used reserve activation clause" for wartime or something)
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