Picard: great captain?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by WarpFactorZ, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Picard's career path seems unusually stunted for someone who is supposed to be one of Starfleet's greatest leaders. He was given command of the Stargazer in 2333 and remained there for 22 years. Nine years later, he's given command of the Enterprise-D. Almost a decade later, he's still the captain of the Enterprise-E.

    A few questions come to mind:
    1. When did he actually get promoted to Captain? It seems doubtful that it was in 2333, lest he be stuck at that rank for over 40 years. It is said that he was promoted at this time, however, becoming one of Starfleet's youngest captains.
    2. Where was he during the nine years between the Stargazer and Ent-D? Memory Alpha is blank on this.
     
  2. Handsomeyoungensign

    Handsomeyoungensign Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Not sure u wanna ask these questions here.. According to those whom frequent this site... Memory Alpha knows not what they know (see cause and effect thread) apparently you can't delete your account and Tasha Yars 30 or less says on the ship counted like she lived several lives over... Impressive site .. BRING KN THE POPCORN


     
  3. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    It's hard to really pass judgement, as we don't have a Starfleet. In the US Navy, a captain usually has a 4 year tour. There may be exceptions to that. For a captain to command the same vessel for 22 years must be unheard of.

    Anyway, I think they scripted Picard's command service aboard the Stargazer to account for his age. Who knows... maybe he was a mediocre captain that, in time, leveraged sufficient experience to excel and be worthy of commanding the USS Enterprise D.
     
  4. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It would make more sense if he was given command of Stargazer, but remained a Lt Cmdr. Maybe it wasn't one of the leading ships in the fleet. More of a service vessel. Eventually over the 22 years, he worked his way up to Captain.

    It would have been nice to see him promoted during TNG, maybe to Commodore or Fleet Captain following BOBW. Then he could have been Admiral by the movies (though in my head canon, there are no TNG movies!).
     
  5. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    ^ Agreed, technically Lt. Cmdr, but with a field grade appointment of Captain due to the sudden required replacement of his former captain. Also, 22 years... the Stargazer was definitely not a leading ship of the fleet, being a Constellation class vessel. Picard has described it as "overworked, under powered vessel, always on the verge of flying apart at the seams." That wouldn't be a leading ship! If Picard was an exemplary captain all those years, would Starfleet have kept him chained to that sub-par ship? Of course, Picard may be exaggerating about the condition of it. And who knows, that may have been how he got it and later on it was retrofitted and brought "up to spec"... but his memory is strongest about those earlier days. But the way I like to interpret his service aboard the Stargazer is that Picard gradually became an excellent captain, and Starfleet was just slow to recognize it. Then, when the Galaxy Class Enterprise D was built, they gave him the captaincy to kind of make up for all those years he was stuck commanding the Stargazer.
     
  6. doylem1

    doylem1 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Not much is known about his service record prior to TNG, so I can only comment on his posting aboard the Enterprise as this is the time in his life where the focus is. To be given command of the most powerful, state of the art vessels and the Federation Flagship no less, must mean his service record prior to this posting must have made him standout above other Captains. He certainly seemed to be well respected within the Admiralty other than Alynna Nechayev.

    When you compare him to Captain " We come in peace" "Shoot to kill" Kirk, Captain "War crime" Sisko, Captain "Nut job" Janeway and Captain "punching bag" Archer. I'd say he was a good, more rounded and balanced Captain until we hit the Movies,
     
  7. Longinus

    Longinus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It is possible that Picard's rank was commander during first years as the captain of Stargazer, he probably got promoted at some point.

    Picard most likely commanded a ship between Stargazer and Enterprise. His first meeting with Tasha happens during that time, and he refers to 'his ship'.

    As for his later career, he was offered promotion to admiral early in TNG, but he turned it down. It is possible that later his temporary borgification made the Star Fleet bosses reluctant to promote him to a flag position.
     
  8. Herbert

    Herbert Commander Red Shirt

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    Can someone point me to where it is documented that Picard Captained the Stargazer for 22 years?
     
  9. Longinus

    Longinus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think it is ever stated on screen.
     
  10. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not directly, but it can be inferred from the dialogue in "The Battle". He takes command of the Stargazer in 2333 when the captain was killed. The Battle of Maxia occurs in 2355, at which point the Stargazer is lost. Memory Alpha also says something about this duration being documented into the Writers' Guide.
     
  11. Herbert

    Herbert Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you. That's damned odd that he would be captain of a small obscure ship like the Stargazer for 22 years and then be given command of the fleet flagship. Something doesn't add up here
     
  12. Longinus

    Longinus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Picard's Stargazer career is a bit muddy. He was a flight controller while he took command while the captain was killed. Yet, it was stated in "Encounter at Farpoint" that he has acted as a first officer. But if he went straight from the flight controller to captain, then when was this? Perhaps after the incident when the captain of the Stargazer was killed a new captain was assigned, and Picard became their first officer, getting the command only later. This would shorten the time he commanded Stargazer.

    And of course there is the unnamed mystery ship he commanded between Enterprise and Stargazer, which is only tangentially mentioned in one episode. Perhaps it was just some special assignment and he did not command the ship for a long time or something.
     
  13. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From the first season writer's bible (pg. 23):

     
  14. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    That's why I assumed he might have "gradually" become an excellent captain. Or, maybe Starfleet had some administrative issues and left the poor fellow commanding a near garbage scow, with nary a complaint. Then when they realized what they did, they recognized how great he is (or had become), and gave him a shot at commanding the Enterprise D to make up for it.
     
  15. Herbert

    Herbert Commander Red Shirt

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    You've got a hard lip, Herbert
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You have to take into account the notion that maybe Picard didn't want to be an admiral. He was an adventurer and explorer and wanted to be out in space doing what he loved rather than sitting at a desk telling people to do what he wanted to be doing.
     
  17. JesterFace

    JesterFace Captain Captain

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    Perhaps Picard didn't want to be a meanie and baddie like 82% of admirals in Starfleet seem to be.
    He didn't want to risk it, being promoted to admiral seems to turn people into the dark side.
     
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  18. Aaron McGuire

    Aaron McGuire Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps Picard got the Enterprise because he took the Stargazer from a mediocre ship and turned it into a great ship.
     
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  19. Prax

    Prax Commodore Fleet Captain

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    Didn't Picard abandon the Stargazer? If only I could abandon my Yota and get a nice new BMW.
     
  20. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Jean-Luc Picard was an outstanding Captain and a credit to STARFLEET!

    A natural leader who Men would gladly follow into battle. Now ... I know I'm not supposed to say this, but that's never stopped me from expressing myself, before, but ... he's a far better CO than James T. Kirk was! Yes, Picard idolised Kirk and viewed him as a hero. Note when he first gets a load of Kirk chopping wood in The Nexus. He's all in awe and shit. But Jean-Luc surpassed his hero and became the best Captain in the entire STAR TREK franchise.