With the year 1987, Star Trek fans were witnessing the inclusion of a new captain in the series. Now the previous portrayal of James Tiberius Kirk by William Shatner was vastly different from the now French Jean-Luc Picard presented in here. The latter, played by Patrick Stewart was more of a methodical captain who would prefer strategy over instinctive genius.
Now, amidst all the fandom, this article aims to seek out definitive criteria to establish- who in fact, is the better captain?
By introducing the main question above all, we have to clarify that we are excluding the 2009 reboot and the following sequel for this one time. This is because the reboot occurs in another dimension, in which Picard hasn’t even taken birth.
When we take both of the characters’ childhood into account, Kirk is the son of George Kirk, a Starfleet officer. He was even conceived aboard the USS Kelvin. On the other hand, Jean-Luc Picard comes from the rural area of France, being the son of a vineyard owner. Feeling that he was destined for greater things, he went to Star Fleet Academy.
So, summing it up, it seems as though Kirk had spent the better years of his life in Star Fleet, and owing to his father’s heritage, it was no surprise that he ended up as the same. Here, the advantage carries over to Kirk, because he has been conditioned to think like a Starfleet captain since birth.
9. Tactical Ability
Deducing from the number of episodes and the movies that Kirk has been a part of, it is no surprise that he comes around as having a genius tactical IQ. He is one who can easily outsmart a Vulcan, can pull out impossible bluffs against several species, and even having more tactical intelligence than Khan. His greatest strength is his adaptability to any situation, and thus, turning it into his advantage. For example, the KobiyashiMaru scenario is one that is pretty-much self-explanatory. What matter to him is winning by any means possible!
In regards to Picard, he is one who does not lack any strategic skills, but he is certainly no frontrunner either. In the arc “Redemption, Parts 1 and 2, in which he places the starships in a formation, so as to lure the Romulan force and trap them in. However, it does not go as expected as they figure it out, and it is actually Data’s quick thinking which saves the day. So, he is one captain who is certainly not built for the battlefield maneuvers.
So, major points go to Kirk in this one aspect.