Picard is the kind of captain who can energize his crew with an inspiring speech right around the climax of an episode. Is Picard the best speech-giver in all of Star Trek? This week, the Shuttle Pod crew take a look at Picard’s best speeches.
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Listen to the podcast to hear Picard’s best speeches and our thoughts on each, plus rewatch these classic moments below.
“In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, for they in thee a thousand errors see. But ’tis my heart that loves what they despise, who in despite of view are please’d to dote. Shall I compare the to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”
“You even sat in my chair. I was annoyed. Presumptuous child playing on my ship. But I never forgot how you already knew every control, every display. You behaved as though you belonged on the Bridge. And then later when I decided to make you an acting ensign, I was convinced you could be an outstanding officer. I’ve never questioned that conviction, until now. The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth. Whether it’s scientific truth, or historical truth, or personal truth. It is the guiding principle upon which Starfleet is based. If you can’t find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened you don’t deserve to wear that uniform. I’m going to make this simple for you, Mister Crusher. Either you come forward and tell Admiral Brand what really took place, or I will.”
And, the obligatory “Picard Song” that pulls heavily from this speech:
A Matter of Time
“I know, Professor, “What if one of those lives I save down there is a child who grows up to be the next Adolf Hitler or Khan Singh?” First year philosophy students have been asked that question ever since the earliest wormholes were discovered. But this is not a class in temporal logic… It’s not hypothetical, it’s real. Can’t you see that? A man’s life, his future, hinges on each of a thousand choices. Living is making choices.”
“I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here, …this far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done.”
Star Trek: Generations (ending)
“Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives, but I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, reminds us to cherish every moment, because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not is important as how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.”
Measure of a Man
“You see, he’s met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third. Consciousness in even the smallest degree. What is he then? I don’t know. Do you? (to Riker) Do you? (to Phillipa) Do you? Well, that’s the question you have to answer. Your Honour, the courtroom is a crucible. In it we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a pure product, the truth for all time. Now, sooner or later, this man or others like him will succeed in replicating Commander Data. And the decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of a people we are, what he is destined to be. It will reach far beyond this courtroom and this one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty and freedom, expanding them for some, savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him to servitude and slavery? Your Honour, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life. Well, there it sits. Waiting. You wanted a chance to make law. Well, here it is. Make a good one.”
“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” from ‘Peak Performance’ That one stays with me. There are a lot of times (more than I care to think about) when I waste time looking for my own screw-ups rather than getting on with it. Maybe by the 24th century, I’ll figure it out.
I’m very fond of that one as well. So true.
Slight revision on Picard’s part.
“He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.” Ahab, Moby Dick
“And he piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon he would have shot his heart upon it.” Picard, First Contact
I’m also partial to the Internet meme, “WTF is this sh!T?!?”
“You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy: ‘With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured… the first thought forbidden… the first freedom denied – chains us all irrevocably.’ Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom… and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged. -The Drumhead.
How could you guys have missed this one?!
Agree!! My favorite one!
The whole episode I was thinking of this speech…I’m like HOW can that not get an honorable mention.
“Jean-Luc, sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to these wonderful speeches of yours.”
Always this one by Patrick Stewart
I was actually admiring Picard’s speech in “The Measure of a Man” as one of the best dramatic speeches of all time while watching that episode, just the day before you posted this article.
But, I feel the need to reiterate how much I hate “Darmok.” I hate it sooo much…
It, it, the fee–, it, flame…
Flames, on the side of my face, breathing—breath—heaving breaths, heaving…
It’s been too long since I’ve heard a reference to Clue!
my bad, I picked the wrong clip-
Wow, they left his speech in ‘The Drumhead’ out. My favorite one.
Please, someone buy Jared a better microphone. I love the ShuttlePod but “I find your lack of sound fidelity disturbing.”
We’re posting a new show later today, and you’ll find the audio MUCH improved.
Thank you for listening and for the feedback.