It’s the birth week of James T. Kirk himself; the Star Trek icon, William Shatner
Star Trek did a nice nod to William Shatner on his birthday. They looked at 12 of the wisest moments from James T. Kirks’ career. Considering Kirk and Star Trek was a series that pushed the envelope, Kirk became a pioneering force for many. He was given many lines of dialogue that tackled all sorts of social issues.
That means Kirks’ got a lot of great lines, and those lines are delivered fantastically by Shatner.
So what quotes did Star Trek.com think was Kirk’s wisest?
"Well, here’s one thing you can be sure of, Mister. Leave any bigotry in your quarters, there’s no room for it on the bridge"
– “Balance of Terror”
A fine quote, no doubt. Done to smack down a member of the bridge crew who was given guff to Spock, after the revelation that the Romulans were somehow distant cousins of the Vulcans. Yet, was it the best quote possible?
Was the “Balance of Terror” quote the best?
The “Balance of Terror” quote is among the best, and may even be the best line of the episode, but the best line that Kirk ever uttered, at least with regards to it being wise, was what he said to Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Generations.
"Don’t let them promote you, don’t let them transfer you, don’t let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you’re there, you can make a difference."
– Star Trek Generations
While it’s specifically about the Enterprise, it’s also a reminder that the closer you are to the action, the more direct influence you can have over the events surrounding you. You might be able to help those in a broader capacity the higher up you go, with more long-term aid coming over time, but if you’re in the thick of it, you can enact real, tangible change in the instant.
Very true words, indeed, Captain Kirk.
Happy 91st Mr. Shatner. Hope it’s a good one.