Captains and first officers all start somewhere – most of the time at the rank of Ensign! With time and experience officers climb up the ranks, and may one day find themselves sitting in the center chair.
There are captains who have come from every Starfleet background imaginable. Captain Picard was originally the flight controller aboard his first command, the Stargazer. Before serving on the Enterprise Captain Kirk worked on a phaser crew. Captain Janeway was a science officer during her early Starfleet career.
This week’s poll asks for your opinion on which duty post you think would best prepare a person for a command role. Is there a specific duty post that provides unique experience that would be useful to a member of the command department? Maybe experience with multiple departments is better and makes for a more well-rounded skill set? Do you think that no department holds the advantage?
Click here to head to the forums and register your vote now. Make sure to leave a comment once you’ve voted!
There’s something quintessentially beautiful about Federation starships. Their curves, symmetricality and proud bearing provide a sense of awe. With the exception of a few, special cases (looks furtively at the Yeager class) most of these vessels carry on a long lineage of amazing designs. With that said, Starfleet isn’t the only organization that knows how to sculpt a shapely ship. The Klingons, and their bold, imperious designs have struck fear into the hearts of enemies for centuries. Romulan warbirds dwarf their competition with sweeping wings and imposing, almost beak-like hulls. Even the Borg offer something to the obsessively compulsive- who doesn’t enjoy perfectly geometric shapes?
This week’s poll asks you which galactic civilization has the most pleasing ship aesthetic. Do you enjoy the horseshoe shaped crafts of the Ferengi? Or do the jagged, asymmetrical combat barges of the Breen catch your eye?
Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and be sure to leave a comment in the thread.
The Kobayashi Maru Scenario is the most notorious test at Starfleet Academy. This test is the famous no-win scenario that tests the character of a Starfleet officer as much as it tests the technical skills of command – not to mention that no matter what course of action you take, the outcome is always the same. Only one Starfleet officer ever beat the Kobayashi Maru, and it’s only because he cheated.
While the exact elements of the simulation have changed from era to era the basic setup remains the same. The version that we are most familiar with strands the civilian freighter Kobayashi Maru in the Klingon Neutral Zone after striking a mine. Once the cadet’s ship enters the Neutral Zone multiple Klingon battle cruisers converge on them and attack. It’s considered impossible to both survive the attack still intact and save the crew of the Kobayashi Maru. In a possible variant in the 24th century, a Ferengi transport and an ambush by Romulan warbirds are used in place of an attack by the Klingons.
It is obvious that there is no “right” answer when it comes to facing the infamous scenario. That’s why it is considered unwinnable, and what makes it an excellent tool for teaching command-track cadets. How the cadet chooses to proceed is more important than finding a path to a complete victory.
This week, we’d like to know what you think is the best answer to the no-win scenario, if there is one. While you might not be able to win, do you see a strategy that is superior to the others?
Click here to head to the forums now and register your entry in the poll. And be sure to comment in the thread on what you think is the best approach to the Kobayashi Maru scenario!
Embracing others, despite cultural differences, is a key aspect of Star Trek’s message and enduring legacy. Though Gene Roddenberry was loathe to include any sort of strife, negativity, or conflict among crew members in his scripts, there have nonetheless been some superior character relationships that blossom from early dislike.
In The Original Series, Spock and McCoy quickly despised one another’s perspectives and mentality, but over time, despite (or because of) the many arguments between them, mutual admiration and respect starts to underpin their association. Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien are good examples of this phenomenon as well. The grizzled, business-like chief found Bashir’s outgoing and excitable nature almost intolerable, but sharing in danger and serving together for a period of time sees them grow into acquaintances, than friends, then inseparable brothers.
Which friendship started through adversity did you find most enjoyable and compelling? Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll and be sure to leave a comment in the thread!
The United Federation of Planets is a union made up of hundreds of member worlds. Starting as an alliance between Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites, the Federation grew outward as more and more worlds joined. Planet by planet and sector by sector the United Federation of Planets expanded its reach across the Alpha Quadrant. Hundreds of species live in harmony and cooperate together to operate the Federation and its military arm, Starfleet. Many governments of varying attitudes and governing styles call the Federation home.
But some governments aren’t well-suited to giving up their autonomy and becoming just one part of a larger whole. They may be too paranoid to give up their power to a higher organization. Others might consider some of the core ideals of the Federation too restrictive. Joining the post-scarcity Federation without a strong unified currency would be a hard sell for the business-friendly Ferengi. Many of the enemies and allies of the Federation probably wouldn’t smoothly transition from autonomous government to Federation member.
This week’s poll asks you which government you think could make the change easiest. Would the Klingon Empire be able to set aside their more aggressive military policies and merge together with Starfleet? How much work would have to be done to reform Cardassia’s government until it could be accepted? The change would be difficult for any of them, and some might not be able to do it.
Which government do you think would make the easiest transition into Federation membership? Click here to head to the forums now and respond to this poll of the week.
The worst has finally happened – the alternate future seen in The Next Generation episode “Parallels” has come to pass. The Federation is no more, the Borg are swarming the Alpha Quadrant, and the only thing holding them at bay is Riker’s uncontrollable beard. Amidst this madness, you are determined to survive at any cost. But you can’t do it alone!
In this desperate hour, you need a security officer by your side that you can trust, someone who has served Starfleet faithfully. The list is long and varied, and you may use any canon security officer from any time period. With that in mind, who would you pick? The disciplined yet somewhat trigger happy Malcolm Reed? Worf, who’s hand to hand skills might be extremely useful? Maybe a Changeling might be your style – Odo would be a formidable ally. Or perhaps you’d prefer a random redshirt from The Original Series? Hey, if they’re focused on him, they’re not focused on you!
This week’s poll asks you which security officer you’d want at your side the most in an apocalypse. Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and let us know your rational in the thread.
Happy Halloween everyone! Previously, a poll of the week asked what your favorite scary episode of Star Trek is. This week we wanted to envision what a pure horror story would look like in the Star Trek universe. Typically, when an episode tells a horror story it is usually through a monster or strange anomaly haunting the crew. However, horror is not traditionally focused on powerful characters in an advanced military ship. Horror is about the characters being forced to overcome an unknown superior force, be it a masked killer or a ghost haunting their home.
One of the most important parts of a horror story is the location. Often these places are secluded, dangerous, or associated with bad history. Haunted mansions, abandoned hospitals or asylums, and isolated places out in the woods are all popular choices. If Star Trek ever produced a standalone horror story, what would be a frightening or secluded setting? Space provides no shortage of hazardous environments that could make for threatening settings for a story. Perhaps a ghost-like anomaly could haunt the two-person crew in the cramped quarters of a relay station or some alien monster of the week could try to drive a group of colonists off of its planet.
What location in the Star Trek universe do you think would make the best horror story setting?
Click here to head to the forums and register you vote in the polls. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread below the poll!
In an organization as diverse, multifaceted and accepting as Starfleet, there’s bound to be a variety of different reasons to make the commitment to the fleet. For some, it’s the mission itself. More noble goals than Starfleet’s are difficult to come by, and their pursuit contributes to the expansion, continuation and improvement of an astonishing interstellar civilization. Other characters might have joined out of a sense of familial obligation. The fleet has been around in some form or fashion for centuries, and a tradition of service exists in many families, sometimes reaching back three, four or even five generations. Some might feel a desire or a need to protect the Federation, especially considering the many conflicts and dangers that exist in the not so empty depths of space.
Other, less personal reasons might have been an impetus as well. Serving aboard a starship is an excellent way to get the feel for a society, and appreciate its positive and negative aspects. This is especially true with newly discovered species, or those that wish to be the first of their kind in a Starfleet uniform.
The reasons are, naturally, varied, and can say a great deal about a character before we even get to know them. So what was your characters’ impetus to join Starfleet? Was it a desire to contribute to the Federation and be a part of something bigger? Was it to protect and defend? Explore? Something not mentioned here?
Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in this poll of the week. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread below the poll!
In Star Trek most members of the crew interact off duty as well as during their regularly assigned duties. Entire stories can be based around the interactions between the crew when there isn’t a Romulan Warbird or an exploding star driving the action. While some members of the crew are simply colleagues or may even dislike each other, others share a much stronger bond.
Aboard Deep Space Nine, if you see Doctor Bashir it’s a good bet that Chief O’Brien is nearby. Whether they are storming the Alamo together or playing darts in Quark’s, the two are almost inseparable. Meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise-D, Captain Picard could always turn to his old friend Guinan for advice. In the 23rd century, Captain Kirk and Commander Spock went through a lot together. They stuck together throughout their historic mission of exploration that saw them encounter all manners of hostile aliens, new civilizations, and even sent them back in time on multiple occasions. These trials forged a strong friendship between the two that went far beyond colleagues or even captain and first officer.
This week’s poll asks you to look back at the friendships between characters that developed throughout the franchise and pick your favorite.
So what was your favorite Star Trek friendship? Head to the forums to register your answer in this week’s poll, and be sure to leave a comment in the thread!
Starfleet officers are saddled with an immense amount of responsibility. It seems like each day is just another chance to be vaporized, tortured, spaced, sucked into a black hole, or anything else in the pantheon of untimely demises. And yet, the beloved organization of exploration and defense grows its ranks and carries on a legacy of honor and optimism: boldly going where no one has gone before.
These risks are accepted by all aboard, but there seems to be one duty description more hazardous and unpredictable than any other, and that’s the specialists who handle first contact with new species.
A variety of Star Trek episodes show us what happens when first contact goes horribly wrong. In “Tin Man” an entire Starfleet landing team was massacred due to a cultural misunderstanding. The risks and dangers of first contact, and the numerous ways it can be performed poorly, inspired Starfleet to insist on creating General Order 1, otherwise known as the Prime Directive. While this mitigated certain issues, the fact that someone would still need to speak for the entire Federation in truly precarious situations remained. That’s probably why Starfleet captains are vetted on the basis of their ability to diplomatically and tactfully introduce an entirely new race to the people of the United Federation of Planets, among other things.
So this week’s poll asks: Do you believe your character would be comfortable handling first contact situations on a regular basis? Would they relish the importance and the strain? Would they collapse under pressure? Perhaps something in between?
Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Then let us know your thoughts in the comments below the poll!