Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Mr Pointy Ears, Jun 7, 2013.
Picard himself said that he was captain of the Stargazer for more than twenty years.
Citation, please. I could check out the episodes on Netflix, one-by-one, or even review the transcripts at chekoteya.net, but I'll let you handle that, since you're the one with the memory of him saying that.
It might have been "Relics"
The only mention of Stargazer in "Relics" is that it was the first ship that Picard served on as captain. Doesn't say how long he served as captain or when he became captain.
In fact, after a quick search at chakoteya.net, I can't find anything that says "served as captain of Stargazer for twenty-two years". Memory Alpha makes the claim, citing "The Battle" and "Tapestry" as sources, but the transcripts of those episodes don't indicate any length of service as captain, either.
Picard's biography from Memory Alpha.
Disregard my post. It included a link to his Memory Alpha biography.
Yes, Memory Alpha says it, but where did they get that information? I can't find any dialogue in the episodes to support the 22-year-captaincy idea. I know it's a behind-the-scenes idea, probably from the TNG Writer's Bible that fans take as "canon", but it's just fanon, alongside other fanon ideas such as Spock being the first Vulcan in Starfleet or gold-pressed latinum being "unreplicable". I mean, the same Writer's Bible had Data as an Asian-looking android built by aliens, and a first officer named William "Bill" Ryker. So the Bible isn't the best source.
I have no idea where it came from. Memory Alpha is what I've always referred to when I need information. I'd suggest contacting one of the webmasters to find the answer to your question.
The question was rhetorical; I know where it came from - the writer's bible for TNG, where the character's "original" backstories were written down. But since those character bios weren't set in stone, the original backstories weren't "canonized", if you will. The idea that Picard had already established himself as a captain by commanding a ship for twenty-some years was (probably) in the bible, but since they didn't put it in dialogue, it doesn't "count". The fact that some fans wrote the fanon into the character bios at MA doesn't mean much, since most fans love writing fanon items into MA. You know it's a wiki, right? You know that MA is user editable, and that contacting the webmasters would be pointless, don't you?
Not a stretch, but still apocryphal. Also, we could just as well argue that Picard getting born resulted in his eventually getting the vessel; "Tapestry" lists two specific incidents that helped drive Picard along a steeply ascending career path, and this "taking command of the bridge when the skipper was out for the count" thing need not have been more decisive than the "away team saves ambassador" one.
Not that I'd absolutely object to the speculation based on the backstage bio. But it does seem to diminish Picard's character if he gets stuck commanding the same rust bucket for two decades, without any mention of major events that would punctuate the career the way several last-minute rescues of planet Earth, several cases of terminal boredom and resignation (figurative or literal), and several triumphant returns punctuated Kirk's.
Picard's bio is an attempt to give background to a man who is old when we first meet him. Realistically, then, it should be a complex collection of events and achievements, more so than the bio of a younger man. But even more realistically, it cannot be that, because this would be too much of a chore to write - so each achievement the writers invent is stretched out instead to fill the gaps in the story. And stretching a single captaincy to 22 years was a bad move...
I'm aware of that. The site does have regular contributors, however. The webmasters may know who entered the information and could put you in contact with that person.
Maybe, but it doesn't matter. It's just an ongoing crusade of mine to pinpoint fanon versus dialogue-supported "canon" whenever I have too much free time on my hands. Anyway, whomever posted it on MA probably posts here, too. No matter.
So - Riker finally accepted a posting on Titan. Why did he give up the dream of commanding an Enterprise? Official decree from above - "take a ship or you're out!" - or a decision to move on combined with a ship that he fancied as equivalent to an Enterprise?
Who says he gave it up? Not everyone lands his or her dream job at the first attempt. Riker probably thought that he would stand a better chance of getting the Enterprise by finally distinguishing himself as captain of another vessel. The idea is that when Picard finally stepped away from the ship that Riker could use his experience as Titan's skipper to bolster his claim on the vessel. That he would already have ties to any remaining Enterprise crew wouldn't hurt.
What's so special about commanding a ship named Enterprise though?
Enterprise was widely regarded as Starfleet's most famous ship by the time Riker was in Starfleet. More than that, the ship was his home for more than fifteen years. Its crew was his family. Why wouldn't he want to captain the vessel he'd once served on as first officer?
Beyond being the Federation flagship and one of the best ships in the fleet, they're the ones who get all the important mission. With the Aries, his mission was going to be months even getting there in what Picard termed an obscure mission. They were mentioned having docked at DS9 in their season 2 so they were back at least 5 years later. They were also mentioned in Nemesis as being part of a fleet deployed on the Romulan border. So... obscure exploration missions and routine stuff inside Federation space for the most part.
Riker turning down command of the Melbourne was cryptic in a way being it was later destroyed at Wolf 359. Sort of an eerie choice that he could've been there... wondering if he'd have fallen too or if he could've made a difference. Still it was an old Excelsior class. Still that it's an older ship that was mentioned in 11001101 as being available to chase the Enterprise, and is later close enough to mount a defense at Wolf 359 suggests it's kept in the core territories of the Federation on routine duties. That might not be what Riker wanted.
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