Is Captain Picard arrogant?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by fenwyk79, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. fenwyk79

    fenwyk79 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I happen to highly like Cpt. Picard and if I had my choice between serving between him, the womanizing Cpt. Kirk, or the bipolar disorder madwoman Cpt. Janeway who murdered someone to get her friend back ("Tuvix") I'd pick him in a heartbeat. It would be a toss up between him and Cpt. Sisko. I like Cpt. Sisko outside of his temper he doesn't do well at controlling but he also equally seeks to do the right thing (with coming across as far less of an arrogant ass). I think Cpt. Picard genuinely cared about his crew and serving Starfleet honorably as well and he's much (deserving) respected. This is part of the reason Wesley was so drawn to him as he was such a father figure in being a respectable person of authority who wasn't afraid to lead (see "Final Mission" as the best example). But, at the same time, there are some times when he genuinely bugs me because of his pretensions.

    Arrogant may be too strong a word but elitist may fit better. I'm reminded of the episode "Q Who" where Cpt. Picard basically tells Q that the Federation can basically handle anything thrown its way (in so many words). Was this really wise in saying this to a being like Q? I'm wondering if he brought up this same speech to the families of those killed by the Borg in this episode in letting them know their sacrifice wasn't in vain. In relation to the Borg in "Family" Jean Luc yells out: "I should have been able to stop them!" - really? You as one man against the entire Borg having that power? That's not even to get into the whole issue of his basically becoming Ahab in a personal vendetta against the Borg for personally slighting him in "First Contact" against the better nature of his crew. The Borg really served as his Achilles Heel in bringing out the worst nature from him. It was a powerful force he couldn't moralize/manipulate to his enlightened philosophical framework and it bugged the shit out of him to obsessive degrees.

    I'm also reminded of his moralizing speeches he regularly gave about how the Federation was basically "superior" compared to other species/entities out there in how much more evolved they were. As opposed to any other captain in other series he reminded me more of Gul Dukat in seeing himself as an enlightened leader charged with the ruffians beneath him in order to bring them to the light of the wisdom of the Federation (much like a colonial power when confronted with a Third World country). I could actually imagine Jean Luc sitting around for hours with Gul Dukat discussing things until he finally got tired of Dukat out of moral contempt for his approach to life which Picard would see as fundamentally beneath him (as opposed to Sisko who actually understood that the Federation's "paradise" wasn't realistic outside of the Sol system). And his arrogant posturing against the man who gave up his own family for love of his people (Admiral Jarok) in "The Defector".

    I'd be very interested in how Dukat and Picard would have interacted with one another as my personal opinion would be they would have attempted to compare male genitalia sizes much more as opposed to what we had with Sisko who wasn't concerned with such moralizing bullshit and who was superior to whom. And I don't think Picard would have lasted on DS9 as the commander as the Bajorans would have run him off as not someone they wanted to work with for his ideological beliefs. Likewise, Picard would have had Kira dismissed and Odo removed from security within a few weeks because they would have annoyed him too much in being too outspoken. I do think Dr. Bashir and he would have gotten along well though.

    This isn't even touching on the disgusting signs of his moral "superiority" in "The Neutral Zone".

    There's probably much I'm leaving out here. But I think this could certainly be a lively discussion. All things said, I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm merely curious as to the opinions of others regarding this. As I said earlier, I'd have been honored to serve with Cpt. Picard far more than most of the other captains on Star Trek as I'd probably have a better chance of not ending up dead somewhere. Likewise, I think his heart was in the right place. Just because he may be arrogant doesn't mean he's a bad person or doesn't care about doing the right thing overall. If anything, he's a product of much of his surroundings in always known comfort without true struggle. It would have been most interesting to see how he would have evolved (or not evolved at all) if he had been put into a situation of someone like Sisko in charge of DS9.
     
  2. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, Captain Picard is arrogant.

    Kor
     
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  3. Salinga

    Salinga Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Arrogant is a subjective classification. Usually the ones are arrogant who go the most against personal interests. I stopped discussing these matters a long time ago, since everyone has a different definition of what "arrogant" means or is (since everyone has different interests). There is no objective ground to discuss on.
     
  4. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Pre Borg incident, probably, especially in Seasons 1 and 2. Post Borg incident, I don't think so.
     
  5. fenwyk79

    fenwyk79 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Funny how that coincides with Roddenberry giving way to Berman/Piller/et. al. I've outlined many different points that were after "Q Who" above, but I can definitely agree someone changes over time. I still think his treatment of Jarok was deplorable.

    Of course, there's always the incidence of yelling out: "THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!" as a point of pride. And that's one situation where I'll be damned if I don't applaud his arrogance/elitism in cheering it onward.
     
  6. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    That wasn't arrogance, and if it was, than I applaud him even more. He was tortured and still never broke. That deserves a little arrogance/eliteism.
     
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  7. fenwyk79

    fenwyk79 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Agreed. And that's why I cheer it. It was basically his saying "F- you" to the Cardassians as eloquently as Jean Luc Picard, and only perhaps Jean Luc Picard, could.
     
  8. Catarina

    Catarina Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm trying to put myself in a crewman's shoe. We've seen these Captain's in the privacy of their quarters, crew, and friends. Now strip away what we see when the crew isn't around. Be as limited as the crewmember and would that change the way I view them personally and professionally? Sure. Picard isn't very personable. He's very private but I think he's starting to see a shift. Janeway seems personable but I think she's more selective than meets the eye. She tries to be maternal whereas picard of course would not. But he sure did great with those kids in a turbo lift. Better than I and I have them. XD Janeway takes some pretty insane risks at the stake of getting home. How bad would *I* want to go home. Probably not high. So I wouldn't share her risky viewpoints.

    I'd choose to serve on Picard's ship. I think he can be arrogant but not unbalanced about it.
     
  9. Paradise City

    Paradise City Commodore Commodore

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    He's quite arrogant in the first and second seasons. Certainly rates highly on the curmudgeon scale. I attribute that to the skin tight uniforms.

    But he achieves a saner equilibrium from then on in and he is even inclined to mellow a bit in the 6th and 7th seasons.
     
  10. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    No Picard is not Riker is the arrogant one.
     
  11. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd say he was more ignorant than arrogant. When he pontificates on the superiority of 24th century humanity, I think he believes what he's saying despite personally witnessing that it's not true. He's forced himself into a bubble of Federation propaganda and refuses to come out no matter how many times it's contradicted.

    He's a little myopic at times and condescending (that means talking down to someone) but he's also self-aware enough to get over it and adapt if need be.
     
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  12. fenwyk79

    fenwyk79 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I'm curious how you see Cmdr. Riker as arrogant? I could see Riker as being a womanizer and overly direct with people at times (especially with his stern brow grimace he does that could frustrate anyone) but I don't see how he could be seen as arrogant exactly?
     
  13. Paradise City

    Paradise City Commodore Commodore

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    Admiral Jarok was a very suspicious character though. Of course, Picard should've sussed he was being stitched up from the start. I mean they did spot that the warbird was only pretending to give chase but for some mysterious reason our heroes didn't add one plus one together and get two. There's some strong acting in that episode so I forgive it.
     
  14. In_Correct

    In_Correct Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Captain Picard says he is certainly no Family Man, but I think he is more of a Family Man than he admits to. But I think he has some issues about confronting history.

    With Captain Picard ordering Jack to his death he basically became Wesley's fat her. Otherwise how could Wesley get away with using The Enterprise as one big science project? Eventually Picard had episodes involving kids bonding with him even if he thinks it is not his place. Jonoe from "Suddenly Human" imprints simply be cause Picard is the captain; the Officer In Charge Of Radishes episode; and even Captain Picard Day.

    So his tension he claims to have with children is probably connected to his arrogance towards anything from the past. Ironically, he loves archaeology but other wise he hates the past and it makes him a little too uncomfortable. I'm guessing he is repressing something traumatic from his past. It could be bitterness towards the mistake of being impaled through the chest or perhaps it is some thing from earlier in his child hood.

    As for Picard being in charge of Deep Space Nine, he would have been different from Sisko but I don't think he would have replaced the Bajoran officers. He seemed to be sympathetic towards The Bajorans. I don't think he would have been appointed as Emissary to The Prophets.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Riker's the first officer. He has never, that I'm aware of, been arrogant; but if he had been, he has the right to be. As Saul Tigh once put it, "if the crew doesn't hate the XO, he's not doing his job".

    Picard, OTOH, is quite obviously arrogant, but mainly when talking about anything or anyone from the 20th/21st centuries. He has a weed up his ass about things like that.
     
  16. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Robert Picard's even described his own brother as an "arrogant sonofabitch," which is canon, having been established in the episode "Family." Though we don't see him actually saying it, this information came from his son, in fact ... and, apparently, not meant as a term of endearment, either.
     
  17. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't know if he's arrogant, but he is sure of himself.
     
  18. Shikarnov

    Shikarnov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was actually thinking along similar lines. You noted in your OP that "arrogant" might have been a strong word, and that "elite" would be more appropriate. I agree. I also agree that's probably deliberately how Picard was conceived. Consider TOS's oft stated position that "Starship Commanders" are both exceptional and rare -- and how perfection (or, rather, the appearance thereof) was an essential element to command. I'm pretty sure that mentality would have carried over when conceiving TNG, and particularly its captain. But as Roddenberry's influence (direct and otherwise) began to lessen, things changed, and I think that's no coincidence either.

    This is way off topic, but... I wonder whether that change was reflecting a change in culture... It seems to me that over the history of Star Trek, we've moved from this idea that our leaders should be the best of the best, and behave like it too. We see how Picard changes in TNG, and in DS9, we have Sisko's behaving as a normal man, father (with a bit of a temper problem), followed by a whole array of questionable actions by Janeway, Archer's bumbling around refusing to take any advice until he gets his ass kicked, and finally NuKirk being a crude bar-hopping at-risk youth who ends up skipping five grades to get command of Starfleet's newest ship. It seems to me that the Starship Commanders are getting ever more deeply flawed, and yet the result is the same: power and prestige. If this is art reflecting reality, I wonder what it says about us that these are our heroes...
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
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  19. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Captain Captain

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    I can't help but feel that lesser minds would find Picard arrogant. He is simply intelligent and perfectly capable of articulating his thoughts. He never denies someone their right to disagree or argue with him and he does not claim to always be right. He simply speaks with conviction and strong rationality.
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Picard is arrogant in the movie Insurrection. No one get's to have a point of view differing from his without being wrong