Image from Star Trek: Generations © 1994 Paramount Pictures

Fans of Star Trek, and geeks in general, are very familiar with the battle of Kirk versus Picard. In honor of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s 25th anniversary on September 28, 2012, let’s pit three additional Star Trek: The Original Series senior officers against three Star Trek: The Next Generation senior officers. Who wins and why?

Kirk versus Picard
I’ll probably be called a cheater for this one, but I have never been able to choose. To do so would be like picking a favorite child. I simply do not have one. They are both nerds — though the fact that Kirk is highly intellectual often gets overshadowed by the fact he is having sex with every female alien he encounters, and spends a lot of time talking with his fists. But when Kirk isn’t busy participating “cowboy diplomacy,” he is not only intellectual, but sensitive. Picard is every bit as forceful as Kirk, however he is ever the eloquent diplomat. They were men representing two different eras, both equally effective for their time.

Spock versus Data
Yet again, you can call me a cheater because I cannot choose. That would be like asking which part of my personality I love more. I love each aspect of myself equally. Like Spock, I, too, have emotions. However, they are not readily accessible. When the emotions do appear, I never know what to do them. I feel like I’m malfunctioning. Up until the character of Data, I, like Spock, had a really difficult time accepting the human part of me. Then Data showed me that it is okay to both not understand humans — their emotions, their humor, be driven by logic, and more — but still want to strive towards humanity.

Doctor McCoy versus Doctor Crusher
Hands down, McCoy wins. He was sarcastic, and, at times, cantankerous. Even though Crusher was more level-headed than McCoy, McCoy has more experience. McCoy could probably MacGyver his way out of medical emergency better than Crusher, even though Crusher does know quite a bit about old-fashion medicine thanks to her grandmother. Plus, McCoy has some of the best one-liners. And we must not forget his relationship with Spock. I always enjoyed watching the interactions between the emotional McCoy and the logical Spock. It helped me to better understand how others may feel about their interactions with me.

Scotty versus La Forge
Hands down, Scotty wins. As he reminded La Forge in Relics, Scotty was driving starships while La Forge’s great-grandfather was still in diapers. Scotty was born an engineer. That is all he ever wanted to be. Again, as he told La Forge in Relics, “Oh, I may be captain by rank; but I never wanted to be anything else but an engineer.” However, La Forge started out as a navigator and never seemed to miss engineering when he was left in command. Sure La Forge loved being an engineer, but it wasn’t in his blood like with Scotty. Like McCoy, Scotty could probably MacGyver his way out of a crisis much better than La Forge. Also, Scotty wrote the impulse engine specs La Forge was often quoting. If you are still unsure who is the better engineer, watch Scotty school La Forge in Relics.

Who would you choose and why? What other characters would like to see pitted against each other?

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