It’s not easy being the captain. Managing the safety of one’s ship, and seeing to the success of important missions without fail is a most trying task. Each decision carries the potential for disaster, and a captain on the fringes of known space must rely on his or her experience and training. However, Star Trek has shown us multiple instances where venerated Starfleet captains have made questionable choices and command decisions.
On most occasions, these unusual choices take place in the shadow of desperate circumstances, where lives, planets, even entire civilizations hang in the balance. Examples include Ben Sisko’s three man conspiracy to rid the Romulan Empire of one of its senators, in order to bring them into the war, and Jonathan Archer’s blatant piracy of a warp coil from an innocent and uninvolved vessel. One of the most famous, and controversial decisions ever made in Star Trek, however, is Kathryn Janeway’s alliance with the Borg. In an attempt to make it past Borg space unharmed, Janeway proposes a temporary ceasefire with the Borg, who are locked in a brutal and failing war against interdimensional beings known as Species 8472. Janeway offers the desperate Collective help to defeat their seemingly invincible enemy, despite being fully aware of the consequences that would ensue from supporting the Borg. Many have criticized this course of action harshly, and most Trek fans seem to be in agreement, but there are two sides to every coin.
This week’s poll asks you to place yourself in Janeway’s situation. Do you agree with her decision? Given the same circumstances, would you do the same thing? Why or why not?