Picard and Kirk were two opposite captains of the Star Trek universe. A presentation by William Shatner showed us the same. One was reckless and ready to jump to face the danger, whereas the other had a cerebral and intellectual personality. Their natures were not the only differences between them. Many other captains emerged after the completion of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They gave us several other reasons to appreciate Kirk and Picard. Here are a few facts that will enable us to settle this argument once and for all.
Let us begin from the very root of both captains. There are quite a few differences when we look at the childhood of both the captains. Kirk was born in Iowa. He is the son of George Kirk, a Star Fleet officer. Kirk was on board a starship even when he was an embryo. His mother, Winona was on board the USS Kelvin when she was pregnant with him. Her husband was the first officer of the Starship. The family had to travel around the galaxy due to Kirk’s career. George Kirk is the inspiration for Kirk to serve in Star Fleet.
Now let’s consider the contrasting childhood of Jean-Luc Picard. His father was a vineyard owner, who faced the daily challenges the farm-life threw at him. Picard unsatisfied with his rural life fled to the Star Fleet Academy. He even thought of being an archeologist at a point of time. He gained recognition for his athletic and academic excellence.
So Kirk was born to be a captain considering the way he grew up. Here the point goes to Kirk because Star Fleet held a pre-eminent position in his life.
2) Tactical Ability
It is quite evident that Kirk is a tactical genius. His versatility in handling tactical stuff varies and is visible at various levels. He can beat a Vulcan at chess and can outrun many alien species while facing enormous odds. Every once in a while Kirk has emerged victorious and the one who can adapt to his environment. One such example is his encounter with Gorn in ‘Arena’ when he creates an alternative, rudimentary gunpowder weapon from nothing but bamboo and base elements.
On a contrary, Picard has no excellence in the starship combat arena. He is rather a grand strategist. He makes his overall decision by looking at the big picture. He is not a top-notch captain when it comes to face to face combat. At one time, he even ends up losing the Enterprise to an attacking Klingon. On the other hand, the only time when Kirk ended up losing the Enterprise was when he was saving his crew and Spock, but still managed to capture the ship of the enemy. The obvious winner between the two is Kirk.