Star Trek's on-screen product in 2023 was as good as it got since the start of the Nu Trek era in 2017. We got a bunch of shows this season, like Prodigy, Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds, and Lower Decks. A show for basically every type of fan. But even though the shows were as good as they've been since Discovery first debuted, only one show stood out among the rest.
But what makes a good show? Well, in Star Trek, it all comes down to the characters and no show had a character as good as Strange New Worlds' Captain Christopher Pike. While the entire series is filled with very good characters, filled with very good moments, only one show had the character who has become the face of the franchise; Pike, as played by Anson Mount.
Mount's Pike is as beloved as any character in franchise history at this point and while people would still lean towards William Shatner's James Kirk or Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard as the more notable faces of the franchise, Pike's Mount is quickly climbing the mountain, so to speak, as he finds a place to plant his flag.
What separates the three men is their views on the world around them. Shatner's Kirk was an adventurer who wanted to push the bounds of the known. Picard was a diplomat who wanted harmony among the species, as a conductor does with a symphony. For Pike, it's all about the beauty of hope. And that's why his quote in the season finale of Strange New Worlds' second season is our quote of the year.
Surrounded by the Gorn, on a planet that is overrun with the pesky lizards, Pike repeats his famed words from a prior episode, as he tells La'an Noonien Singh the words that have come to define him.
"Sometimes, hope is a choice."
Pike's optimism is his greatest strength, and his greatest line is a testament to the type of character that he is. It's why we picked it for our quote of the year. Because it's true, and when Star Trek embraces truth, its a franchise that can't be stopped.