Captain Kirk is the most well-known of all the Star Trek captains because of the character’s longevity with the franchise.
On Star Trek: The Original Series, Captain Kirk was portrayed by William Shatner, and though the character had his moments of crossing the line, he was, for the most part, a strong, confident captain who trusted his crew and did whatever it took to keep them and the Enteprise safe. Did he have some less than favorable moments? Of course, but none that makes him deserve the title of “worst captain of them all.” Yet, Screenrant has provided a list of reasons why he is just that.
The writer of the article points out that Kirk cheated at the Academy, that he put himself in jeopardy on away missions, that he broke the Prime Directive, he lost many members of his crew, and the list goes on. But in considering these “reasons,” we should also consider that all of the captains of the various Star Trek series have made poor decisions at one point. Many fans still believe that Captain Janeway made the wrong call with Tuvix, and Captain PIcard nearly sacrificed the crew because he would not abandon the Enterprise during First Contact.
Captain Kirk has had his failures, but were they any worse than another captain’s?
And we can’t forget how Captain Sisko covered up the assassination of a Romulan diplomat to get the Romulans to join a war they didn’t want. And there’s also the issue of Captain Archer, who, many believe, committed genocide in Dear Doctor.
So let’s look at this reasonably. All of the captains have done things we might not agree with. Mistakes have been made and lives lost. Can we really say that what one has done is worse than the other? We all know these are fictional stories, but if we were to be able to put ourselves in these fantasy worlds, we have no idea what we would do when faced with the same scenarios.
I believe the characters were written to be believable and human. And humans make mistakes, disobey rules, and do some really dumb things that seemed smart at the time. And sometimes, desperate people do desperate things. For what it’s worth, I think Captain Kirk was a great captain, but then, I believe there are reasons whey all of them are great.