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Star Trek’s Greatest Moments Fighting For Independence July 4, 2008

by Staff , Filed under: List,Trek Franchise , trackback

Today is Independence Day, a holiday commemorating the signing of a declaration of independence and sparking a revolution. The right to self determination is a strong theme in Star Trek. Regardless of the Prime Directive, Star Trek’s captain’s were known for getting involved and taking on causes. Today we look at some of their finest moments fighting for independence.


Original SeriesKirk sows seeds of revolution
"Mirror Mirror"
In the closing moments of ultimate alternative universe episode, Captain Kirk just cant help himself as he is leaving the ‘evil’ universe and does his best to inspire Mirror Spock to take up arms and fight for freedom against the tyrannical Empire.

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Honorable Mention: In “The Cloud Minders” Kirk embraces the cause of the Troglytes on Merak II by forcing the leaders to see that a gas created in mining conditions was turning the Troglytes into dumbed-down second-class subservients.


Next GenerationPicard uses tough love to free addicted race
Captain Picard manages to stay within the Prime Directive while still righting a wrong in the form of one race (The Brekkians) using a narcotic disguised as an unneeded vaccine in order keep another race (the Onarans) under their thumb. Once he uncovers the insidious ‘symbiotic’ relationship he stops providing the help that would keep the drugs flowing, knowing that it would cut them off from their addition.

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Honorable Mention: In the film “Star Trek Insurrection” Picard literally leads an insurrection against the Federation itself, after he deems their policy of forcibly relocating the Ba’ku to be immoral.


Deep Space NineSisko becomes homeless hero
"Past Tense" (2 part episode)
While three hundred years in the past, Benjamin Sisko one ups his predecessors by not only helping a revolution, but actually taking on the identity of the leader (after the original leader, Gabriel Bell, dies). Sisko (as Bell) goes on to spark the ‘Bell Riots’ of homeless and unemployed who have been put into a ‘Sanctuary Districts’ and he even gets himself martyred.

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Honorable Mention: In the episode “Paradise” Sisko demonstrates civil disobedience as he quietly (yet powerfully) defies the anti-technology zealot Alixus who has knowingly stranded her followers on the ‘Paradise’ colony. When Sisko refuses to back down and willingly walks back to his torture box, it is a true moment that celebrates the individual against the oppressive society.


VoyagerJaneway gives Borg freedom
"Unimatrix Zero" (2 part episode)
If any group of people have been deprived their right to self-determination, it is the assimilated drones of the Borg Collective. Through Seven of Nine, Janeway connects with and helps foment rebellion for a group of Borg who are able to find their individuality while ‘regenerating’ in a virtual place called Unimatrix Zero.

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Honorable Mention: In the episode “Nemesis” Chokotay is recruited into a war and trained to hate the ‘Nemesis’ only to find out that Janeway has allied herself with the opposite faction, and they may not be as evil as he was led to believe. This episode deals with how right and wrong in war and freedom are often a matter of perspective.


EnterpriseArcher sparks Vulcan Renaissance
"Kir’Shara" (3 part ‘Syrrannite’ arc)
After first believing the dissident Vulcan group the Syrrannites were responsible for bombing the Earth Embassy, Captain Archer ends up embracing their cause and (with the help of the Surak’s Katra) leading them to rediscover their Vulcan heritage and begin a new age of Logic.

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Honorable Mention: The episode “Dear Doctor” foreshadows the Prime Directive as Archer is faced with a moral dilemma over whether or not to help a dying race (Valakians) who are impeding the development of another race (Menk). It is Doctor Phlox that convinces Archer that in this case the right thing to do is to do nothing, and let nature take its course.

All video copyright CBS Studios



1. Wesley - July 4, 2008

Great episodes! First!

2. Wesley - July 4, 2008

The bell one is the best of these (except TOS of course!)

3. Irishtrekkie - July 4, 2008

The fight for freedom are the noblest of fights , i know alot of Irish people fought for America in their war of independence , and Ireland also had to fight and gain its indepencdence, i guess its shows people will always be willing to try for what they believe in. Happy 4th of July.

4. Marcellus - July 4, 2008

“Dear Doctor” might not be a good mention here. The decision Archer made in that episode is a misguided (evolution does not work that way…), morally ambiguous one.
Bernd Schneider of EAS sums up the reasons quite nicely:

I would rather choose “Marauders” as the honorable mention for ENT.

5. Harry Ballz - July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth Of July to all of our wonderful American friends!!!!!!

6. zirclet - July 4, 2008

4- The weird thing that I’ve observed about Enterprise since it’s been kicking around in reruns is that Archer’s pre-prime directive, half-baked decisions have actually inspired the most discussion over the years among friends that have re/discovered it this way…

7. Iowagirl - July 4, 2008

Mirror, Mirror is TOS at its best and it doesn’t pale.
That last scene between Mirror Spock and Kirk never fails to captivate me.

“What will it be, past or future? Tyranny or freedom? It’s up to you.”
“It is time.”
“In every revolution, there’s *one* man with a vision.”
“Captain Kirk, I shall consider it.”

8. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

Harry, I am so glad we Yankz bought our Independenze from you Canaderans. Although, I do miss that fine Canaderan cuisine.

Happy Four of Seven, everyone!

9. Relentless - July 4, 2008

Unfortunately, wasn’t it according to Kira in the alternate universe, those who formed the uprising Kirk proposed were defeated and the Bajorans took over?

10. Gary Seven - July 4, 2008

There is a moment in “Return of the Archons” in TOS when Kirk says to Marplon, who is worried he will be hurt by defying Landru:

“It’s time you realized that Freedom is never a gift, it has to be earned.”

Appropriate for Independence Day.

11. Gary Seven - July 4, 2008

Also, it’s kind of buggin’ me, in the story above:

It’s “Prime Directive”, not “Prime Direct.”

12. diabolk - July 4, 2008

But, but, but… what about “The Omega Glory?” Surely a 4th of July ep if there ever was one. I can’t believe it didn’t even get mentioned.

13. Captain Ron Tracey - July 4, 2008

Don’t forget “The Omega Glory” when Kirk and company actually have an American flag and the documents of our founding fathers on the set!

14. capt mike - July 4, 2008

Happy 4th to everyone and especially to the men and women of the armed forces. You are the reason we have our independence and we all thank you. Mirror mirrior is a great example of good vs eveil. One man can make a difference. Just like Gen George Washington did in the war of independence of the U.S. Im just glad it went better for america then it did for the mirrior spock.

15. Timncc1701 - July 4, 2008

OMEGA GLORY ANYONE???? Geez, E Plevnista ring a bell? American flag on an alien planet? Yangs overthrowing their communist overlords with the help of Kirk. You can’t get more July 4 than that.

16. Timncc1701 - July 4, 2008

12 and 13 you must have posted as I was typing.

17. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

Wish we could send phaser rifles, tricorders, and body deflectors to Iraq. That would shorten things a might over there. Don’t mean to make this political. Just supporting the troops.

18. blake powers - July 4, 2008

good mention of insurrection…. That is one of my favorite episodes…….. Oh wait.

19. AJCrane - July 4, 2008

Now that would be a GREAT collection of episodes to have, episodes that show that the fight for freedom us Universal and that the Prime Directive sometimes must be uphold and sometimes has to be broken for the good of all.

20. Ensign Ro- (short for Roland) - July 4, 2008

“Mirroe, Mirror”…always been my absolute favorite TOS episode…great choice!

A Happy and Safe 4th to all.

21. Andy Patterson - July 4, 2008


I’m with you sister. Me too.


I’m with you brother. Great episode.

13, 15

I’m with both of you. You saved me the trouble of bringing it up. “Omega Glory”. For some reason people don’t like this episode. “the parrales of the two worlds are too much the same….blah blah blah” ….Love it. Always have.

22. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

“Omega Glory” is classic Trek. Over the top! You bet yer butt! Love it. Good 4th of July ep, too!!!

23. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - July 4, 2008

I would love to serve under Ron Tracey hell of a guy. Loves his Chinese Food to if you know what I mean

24. Harry Ballz - July 4, 2008

Lord Garth, long time no read!! How goes it, old friend?

25. Uncle Rogi @ Denali - July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July my lovely Yankee Doodles.

Omega Glory!


; )

26. Montreal Paul - July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July my American friends… Live long and Prosper!

27. Ryan T. Riddle - July 4, 2008

“E Plebmnista; norcom, forcom, perfectumum.”

28. thebiggfrogg - July 4, 2008

Of course, that is what Trek is about: blasting people with phasers.

29. Andy Patterson - July 4, 2008

I-ee, Plegli-ian, for-com, perfectunum, like for stand……

30. thebiggfrogg - July 4, 2008

Yikes. In August I’m marrying a Com. Guess a generation later it is all peace and love, like Worf on the Enterprise. : ) My little Com is a cutie though. I’m sure even Captain Tracy would approve.

Reread the Constitution and, also, the Declaration of Independence today (everyone should read it now and again–vigilance!). Couldn’t help but thinking of ol’ J.T.K. and his hammy delivery.

Just another Yang thinking about home.

31. Andy Patterson - July 4, 2008

I, by the way, have a friend who wove into her Master’s Thesis – the doctrine of Landru, “The Way to Eden”, Vaal, and the E-Plebnista. She did this in a way so that the professors reviewing the work were not even aware she was doing this. It was approved.

Now THERE’s a true Trek fan.

32. Andy Patterson - July 4, 2008



I think you’re marrying a “Kohm”, but congratulations.

33. Bill Peters - July 4, 2008

“Omega Glory” is a great eposode, wish they would show it on the 4th of July once in a while….

34. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - July 4, 2008

Ballzio old bean I’ve been around here and there not much happening to rant about lately. Hope you are well

35. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

thebiggfrogg — I’m assuming you mean a Chinese gal.
Got me one of them. It’s nice.

36. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

Oh, and congrats!

37. m. c. - July 4, 2008

-‘ Independence day ‘ was pretty good ….i really hate the ugly little space frogs from the movie…”insurrection” was a good movie..with great fx and aliens…but the story is more suitable for a tv movie…

38. thebiggfrogg - July 4, 2008

Thanks. The funniest photo is of her in her army training (they all do that here in college) with her AK-47. I’d better be a good boy!

“Kohm” whoops.

Here’s to international brother and sisterhood and free-duhm.

39. chris pike should be played by chris pine lol - July 4, 2008

hello? honorable ST: ENTERPRISE mention should be “In A Mirror, Darkly, Parts 1 & 2″…the alien rebellion against the tyrannical Terran Empire…it eerily mirrors dissent against the Bush administration and how Bush views anyone who disagrees with him as terrorists…it also teaches a great lesson about how pride goeth b4 a fall, and how sometimes, standing up for whats right requires martyrdom, which Bush has made seem like terrorism itself, as if not sacrificing ur beliefs just because Bush said so makes you a terrorist even if ur a pacifist…even if u hate Al Qaeda as much as he does…

In Deep Space Nine, every episode mentioning or dealing with the Bajoran Resistance and their fight against the Cardassians or in season 7, Damar’s Resistance movement against The Dominion would qualify, as well as all TNG, DS9 and Voyager episodes dealing with The Maquis

40. chris pike should be played by chris pine lol - July 4, 2008

on the Maquis front it should be noted that they were RIGHT their rebellion was JUST, since the Cardassians later joined The Dominion…

also in DS9, the Section 31 episodes and Bashir and O’Brien’s attempt to expose/destroy Section 31 and Luther Sloane would qualify as would all of DS9s Mirror Universe episodes wat with the Terran rebellion against The Alliance would qualify

41. Wesley - July 4, 2008

Pike: Where are you from? You have some odd ideas! Bush does not view everyone who does not agree with him as a terrorist! (I mean, look at the Democratic congress! LOL!) Also, he never called Germany, France, etc. terrorists? They stayed out of Iraq. ‘standing up for whats right requires martyrdom’? Oh boy! Bush has martyred himself politically (22% approval rating down from 90% after 9/11) and historically because he did what he thought was right. History will not look at him well, alot of Presidents are worried about their legacy, but this one isnt. If we could compare the Terran empire to anyone it would probably have to be Nazi Germany.

42. Wesley - July 4, 2008

Pike:tell me where this quote came from:

‘Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation’s wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. The United Nations weapons inspectors have done a truly remarkable job, finding and destroying more of Iraq’s arsenal than was destroyed during the entire gulf war. Now, Saddam Hussein wants to stop them from completing their mission. I know I speak for everyone in this chamber, Republicans and Democrats, when I say to Saddam Hussein, “You cannot defy the will of the world,” and when I say to him, “You have used weapons of mass destruction before; we are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.[58]

43. Jeffrey S. Nelson - July 4, 2008

Eeb-pleb-neesta!!!!! This is the greatest Fourth of July episode ever! How can you overlook that? Captain Tracy drained all of his phaser packs to celebrate! But the Yangs kept coming and coming for the free hot dogs and hamburgers.
These are our high worship words. You will not speak it.

44. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

Trying to remember — are there any specifically Chinese characters in Trek, as opposed to “Sulu”-ish generic Asians? Chinese make some serious fun of the Japanese, who make fun of everyone else in Asia. I understand why, historically speaking, but don’t quite get why Trek doesn’t acknowledge the variety among Asian peoples. Of course, I am talking about the franchise with a Shakespearean-sounding Frenchman and a Russian whose russian would make Pyitter the Gritt shudder.

45. Wesley - July 4, 2008

Omega Glory! I forgot about that one! And William Shatner’s genous delivery!
A tour ‘d force!

46. Wesley - July 4, 2008

Sulu is not generic! he is clearly Japanese! Japanese people look different from Chinese! They dont ‘all look the same’ as some people think, when you have travelled overseas you pick up the differences.

47. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

George Takei is of course Japanese. Sulu is “Asian.” As in Sulu Sea. Takei uses judo and botany, but I can’t recall Sulu ever proclaiming himself Japanese.

48. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

Sorry, meant Japanese-American for George.

49. Kev-1 - July 4, 2008

Kirk;s defense of the US Constitution in “Omega Glory” should be here, too. I never thought of DS9 “Past Tense” as such, but that is a good show.

50. CmdrR - July 4, 2008

And Wesley — I am married to a Chinese lady, who frets when she gets a tan because she thinks it makes her look southern… as in southern China. The differences between Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and other Asians is striking. Though, there has also been a great deal of mixing, via war and migration; it’s a little tough sometimes for a Yanguize like me to see the difference between some ethnic Chinese and some Indonesians or Koreans.

Funny stuff — Chinese historical dramas! The Japanese are routinely played by overweight or dumb-looking Chinese. Chinese love anything that makes their former aggressors look bad.

I’m working on IDIC with my wife. Hasn’t happened yet.

51. commander diaz - July 4, 2008

Happy fourth of July to all Americans!!!

surely…the best of times

your mexican bro

commander diaz

52. Anthony Pascale - July 4, 2008

we did not forget Omega Glory (or the other episodes), we exercised our freedoms by not including them.

Happy 4th everyone, be safe and sane

53. Anthony Pascale - July 4, 2008

39 chris pike
warning for political trolling


54. ster j - July 4, 2008

Kirk “sews” the seeds of revolution? That statement alone put me in stitches! (Just teasing, Anthony. Homophones can be such a b’tch!)

I think that ST6 needs to be added to this list. Or maybe not. Chekov mentioned “unalien (human) rights,” actually quoting te Declaration of Independance. Of course, Azetbur calls them all racist in the next sentence.

55. Wesley - July 4, 2008

Cmdr: How true! My parents lived in Asia for 5 years! And you can tell the differences!

56. DJT - July 4, 2008

“They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing! Do you understand?”

57. Andy Patterson - July 4, 2008

Also…..some of the best Independence day celebrating ever, via some of the best Kirk Fu ever, in “Omega Glory”. The ‘to the neck’ karate chops that Kirk delivers on Cloud Williams and the manic, crazy fights with insane Ron Tracy that bookends that fight. . . . .that”s patriotic to me…..

. . . . . .”From Sea to Shining Sea”

58. AJ - July 4, 2008

“Mirror, Mirror” aside, I am not thrilled with these selections.

Trek tends to appeal more mainstream, and hence, can’t refer to US independence as the result of political upheaval. The 1960’s was Vietnam, and the ’80’s & ’90’s Reagan and Bush I, so primetime had to be fairly light on the interpretation of July 4th. Under Clinton and Bush II, the US was so divided, and international markets so important, that it always had to be referred to in a fairly bejign way.

One place to look is the DS9 pilot. The aftermath of a true occupation. Bajor must rebuild its institutions and infrastructure, and the people their faith after the Cardassians left. And can the Feds be relied on not to simply be a new set of occupiers?

How about “Courtmartial,” or “The Measure of a Man,” where freedom in a society must guarantee certain basic liberties for its citizens when wrongly accused or their existence threatened by their own governments. The Soviet Union had a constitution, or 5 or 6, but their was no real individual protection under its statutes.

“A Taste of Armageddon” where two planetary governments collude to wage an undending brutal virtual war which murders their respective citizenries to preserve culture. I don’t believe there is a parallel in our history besides the old Neuton Bomb. But Kirk freed two planets in his wonderful, and in 51 minutes.

All good stuff.

Anyway, Happy 4th, everyone!

59. classictrek - July 4, 2008

happy 4th july America from us all in Great Britain – the people you gained independence from!!

as you say-happy holidays


60. The Underpants Monster - July 4, 2008

AJ, I was also going to mention “Measure of a Man.” That’s a fight for independecne boiled down to its most elemental!

But “Symbiosis” is also one of my favorite TNG episodes, and definitely the cream of the first season. iN addition, it’s a sentimental favorite for being one of Merritt Butrick’s last performances.

61. capt mike - July 4, 2008

Hey there classic trek. I hope you have no hard feelings about us kicking your But we still love you guys on the other side of the pond.A taste of armagedden was a great one as well and Arena was great because kirk had to fight for his ship for it to be saved from the metrons.

62. Tango - July 4, 2008

52. Pascale

When I read this thread the first thing that came to mind was “Omega Glory”. Seems odd to omit it.

Enjoy the fireworks. It’s almost 9:00PM here. Time to watch the night light up.

63. AJ - July 4, 2008

Underpants Monster:

I remember it was one Butrick’s last performances before he died. I actually wish the character of David had survived in hindsight.

I only saw Symbiosis in first run over 20 years ago, but it never really grabbed me the way “Measure” did. I think “Measure of a Man” was the last great courtroom drama in Trek, and pulls a great performance out of Jonathan Frakes. “Mr. Data is a toaster.”

I think it was an early one under the auspices of Melinda Snodgrass, who helped to yank TNG out of the post-writers’ strike lull. Someone correct if wrong.

64. AJ - July 4, 2008

“Omega Glory,” for me is a fanboy “Oooh, another ship” episode more than a real statement about independence. Shatner is so overblown, and the story is just 3rd season cannon fodder, IMHO.

65. Andy Patterson - July 4, 2008


Guilty on all counts I suppose. How can you get any better than crazy Captain Ronald Tracy?

“He will if you order it. We must isolate the serum!”

66. classictrek - July 5, 2008

hey capt mike #61

no problem. I love America and have had some happy holidays there and met some great people. it was only a matter of time before we were shown the door LOL!!

we should have a great Britain day. theres talk of it here.

all the best
United Kingdom

67. MrRegular - July 5, 2008

“Past Tense” is an uncannily accurate prediction of where America could be in just a decade or so if longstanding social problems are not addressed asap, beginning with the next occupant of the Oval Office.
That said, Omaha’s KXVO is running “Omega Glory” tonight at 9pm. Time to celebrate the Spirit of America with Captain Kirk!!!

68. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - July 5, 2008

Hey you bunch of baboons!! Trek III is being shown in HIGH F-ing Def right now on Univeral HD. I am looking at High Def Shatner on my 65″ DLP right this minute!!!!! Can’t believe there was not a post on this. I think they will show First Contact this weekend as well. Can’t believe there was no heads up. All I can say is as beautiful as it looks they better scrub the grain for the Blu-Ray release it looks like it’s covered in fine sand. But High Def Shatner and the scene where the E enters the space dock in HD!!!!! Wow!!!!!

69. Tango - July 5, 2008


Wups. Turned KXVO on at 9:58. Oh well. I was watching Star Trek III “Search for Spock’s Brain” on Universal, HD. I rather had watched Omega Glory.

Stargate SG1 is on now. That’s good too. To bad about Don S. Davis past away. I will miss him. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.