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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Who’s your favorite ‘Star Trek’ character?

So Star Trek is back. Beam me right up. I saw J.J. Abrams’ reboot last night, and I cannot wait to see it again (which I’ll do on Saturday — already bought my ticket). And it’s got my head full of the original Trek again, which my foundling geekiness was nurtured on via afternoon reruns during the late 70s, and later evening and late-night reruns in the 80s. The geek I am today was shaped by Kirk, Spock, Uhuru, Bones, Scotty, and the rest of the crew of the Starship Enterprise.

With all this in my head, I’ve got an easy question for you today: Who’s your favorite Star Trek character?

If you wanna talk about characters from across the Trek-trum, go for it. But I’m thinking specifically about the original series and the reboot. And to answer my own query, while I often fell briefly in love with Spock, I always had a soft spot for Scotty. And Simon Pegg in the role makes me love him even more.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • I’m in for Dr. McCoy.

    I’m still not all sure about the whole movie pseudo-reboot-whatever-it-is thing. But what McCoy clips have come out so far, I’ve liked. And there seems to be a buzz that Karl Urban nailed the part. If this is all true, I would be a happier man.

  • Hank Graham

    Scotty! I can’t wait to see Simon Pegg playing him.

  • Feli

    Definetely Spock. Always has been, always will be. Period.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Spock was also my fave, because of his interesting duality. But, truthfully, so much of their likeability comes from the way the characters bounce off each other. McCoy and Spock, Spock and McCoy, and Kirk with them. Unfortunately, in the original series, none of the others were as well developed to me as these three. Hope that changes with the new movie!

    Being the huge dork I am, as an adult I found it fascinating to liken Kirk, Spock and McCoy to Freud’s Id, Ego, and Super Ego, respectively. Kirk the Id, focused on pleasure, prone to rashness and temper. Spock, the Ego, in Freud’s words: “an ego thus educated has become reasonable; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also at bottom seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished.” Because Spock was always seeking to sublimate and tame his more feral “human” side with his relentless pursuit of logic. And McCoy, the Super Ego, who was often the “moral center” of the show.

  • Cate

    Spock, Spock, Spock. Always Spock. Like Dax watching him walk by in the DS9 Tribbles episode…Kirk who?

    As excited as I am for this “reboot” movie, I’m a little afraid that Sylar and his eyebrows will never come close to Nimoy. Karl Urban as McCoy? I am SO there.

  • Kathy A

    Karl Urban as McCoy? I am SO there.

    Oh, my, yes!! I’ll admit that, as funny as I found Deforest Kelley’s dry snark as Bones, I never found him attractive. Karl Urban, OTOH, is the definition of “yummy,” especially his eyes. And yes, I am being exceedingly shallow!

    I also love the idea of Simon Pegg as Scotty, so I will be seeing this film this weekend.

    If Abrams managed to give the secondary characters the snark that they had in TOS, I’ll be happy.

  • t6

    Uhura.

  • Rob

    Not TOS, but my all-time favorite Trek character, now and forever, is Guinan. I absolutely adore the concept of a practically immortal, eternally youthful character who has the calming presence and wisdom of an old woman but the vitality and humor of a young woman. I particularly loved her relationship with Picard, and “Time’s Arrow,” when she first met him.

  • CBN4ct

    Are we talking the original series? Ummm…..probably Captain Kirk then. Whenever I think of TOS, first episode that comes to mind is the one with pon farr (“Amok Time” maybe?) where Kirk and Spock battled each other. Kirk’s ripped shirt.

    All-time franchise favorite character? Trip Tucker from “Star Trek Enterprise”. I hadn’t watched any Trek for YEARS until he came along. He brought me back to the Trekiverse. *huggles Connor Trinneer*

    As for the upcoming movie…..from the clips I’ve seen so far…..Mr. Quinto as Spock looks “fascinating”.

  • Paul

    When I was a kid, Spock was my hero. There’s a bit of a shortage for models for intellectual kids, and looking back maybe emotional suppression wasn’t the healthiest route, but nobody seemed to want me to be emotionally expressive anyway. But you can’t really be a Vulcan, so I turned out more like Worf: grumpy, and my primary emotional outlet was a punching bag. But you can’t really be Klingon, so I tried to relax and be more like Data, just nice and confused and intellectual. But you can’t really be a robot, and I never identified with any of the humans, except for that moment when Scotty was confined to quarters and all he did was smile and say, “That gives me time to catch up on my technical journals.” Insert “books” instead and there you go.

    Anyway, to make that long story short, someone at my college actually did say to me, “You remind me of someone on Star Trek, I just can’t figure out which one.”

    And for the record, I thought Classic Trek Uhura was the sexist woman on TV, but my girlfriends were a lot more like Major Kira.

  • Again not TOS, but my favorite Trek characters, by far, are Quark and Garak from DS9 – possibly the most dishonest main characters in Trek history.

    I was actually never a big fan of the original series. I’m too young for one, it wasn’t actually on when I was a kid in the early 90s. I grew up on Next Generation (and my favorite characters were Geordie-whom I knew from Reading Rainbow-and Data). As I grew up though, I only really LOVED Deep Space Nine, and I don’t consider myself a Trekker so much as a Niner.

    Voyager bored me, I never bothered with Enterprise. But I did eventually catch the original series, by then horribly dated and cheesy. I have to agree with all the love for Spock and McCoy there.

  • Dan Beit-Halahmi

    In the original series Spock was my favorite, but my real favorite was captain Picard from the 2nd series, which to me was much more realistic. Never the less I am a fan of the star trek series, and always will be

  • Paul

    I have to admit, whenever Garack showed up on a DS9 episode, I knew it was going to be great. And in some ways, DS 9 was my favorite. It puts me in the minority, I know, but the very fact that they stayed in the same place most of the time meant they had to deal with ramifactions of past actions in ways that the other crews of starships didn’t. That added a dramatic depth to the show the planet hopping starships lacked, except for Worf’s continuing tension between his human and Klingon backgrounds.

  • amanohyo

    Like Paul and joey, I’m also a big DS9 fan. Other than the cornball overacting of Avery Brooks which never fails to make me cringe, the characters and performances were surprisingly subtle. Also as Paul said, being stuck in one place forced the writers to work a little harder. They were able to stretch story arcs and really flesh out most of the characters to a far greater extent than any of the other series.

    I was always waiting for Sulu and Uhura to get more involved in the original show, but my favorite character was probably Spock. Out of all the series, my favorite would be Gul Dukat, because he somehow manages to be arrogant, powerful, pathetic, disgusting, and suave all at the same time (and his name is fun to say).

  • Dr. McCoy. Hands down. I was going to marry him and everything. I think it is because I thought he was funny. Kirk was hawt, but Bones McCoy had my love.

  • I concur with those citing DS9 as their favorite/best series. I think it was terribly unappreciated and underrated in its time, and to some extent still is.

  • PaulW

    I was a huge fan of Kor.
    …what…?

  • Kenny

    Hmmm.. this is a tough one. Wesley Crusher? (Ahahah.. no..)

    Picard for his mental delivery of the “The line must be drawn here! This far and no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!” line in First Contact..

    Scotty for “I know this ship like the back of my hand!” *THUNK*

    Kirk, Spock and McCoy for every line they uttered in the Wrath of Khan..

    Spock on his own for doing the Vulcan neck pinch on the punk in the bus..

    Checkov for “Keptin! Eet ees the Enterprise!”

    And finally… Kira, Dax, Seven and T’Pol… for.. no reason. :)

  • t6

    Oh…and while I love Uhura, I hate, haaate Kirk. For many, many reasons. And I just hope they don’t give me the incompetent, arrogant, sexist, hotdog, jerk Kirk of the series for the new film…but they probably will.

  • blake

    7 of 9
    Man, she’s cool !

  • Victor Plenty

    The other day I ran across a “collectible” set of Star Trek Pez dispensers with all the major characters from the original series. It was tempting, but I didn’t buy it because it didn’t include Nurse Chapel or Yeoman Rand. I’ll bet none of you can top that!

    Oh… this isn’t a Trek geekiness contest?

    I see. Well, then, my favorite character is Spock, because my personality is just like his, as you probably couldn’t help noticing.

  • Althea

    Sorry to be redundant, but, yes, Mr. Spock. If not for him the whole show would have been interesting but not exciting.

  • Tony

    I was never a TOS guy myself, but Spock was my fave of that crew. Otherwise, DS9 all the way, baby!

    Garak’s my fave Trek character overall. He somehow made me believe that dishonesty, cunning, and cheating can be admirable traits when they’re done well enough.

    “Lying is a skill like any other, and if you want to maintain a level of excellence you have to practice constantly.” -Elim Garak

  • PaulW

    As Trek is a cornerstone of Geek Culture, it’s gonna be hard to winnow out who our favorite Trek character is. It’s equally hard to even come up with a Top Five Favorite Episodes. Or even a Top 50.

    And I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth regarding DS9, and for what it did for Trek. It got Trek muddy. Rodenberry’s overarching rule of “No Conflict: Starfleet is one big happy family” meant that conflicts had to come from external sources, making it hard to come up with genuine threats/excitement for a television series. DS9 was able to provide that, first via the Cardassia/Bajor strife that echoed the post-Cold-War European/Middle East environs, and eventually the Dominion War, which excelled in creating a struggle of shifting alliances and at last internal conflict of a Starfleet hero dealing with the moral ramifications of trying to do the right thing (“In The Pale Moonlight” may be a hotly-contested episode among the hardcore Trekkers, but it’s arguably the best episode Trek did since “Best of Both Worlds”).
    DS9 also opened up the Trek Universe by questioning whether or not Human/Starfleet culture was *honestly* as noble and uplifting as we thought it could be. Via characters such as Garak and Quark, we got critiques of what other races would think of Hew-mans (the analogy to Root Beer is scarily apt). And through Quark and his kin we got a clearer view of the Ferengi race, and that even for their greed and sexism, they still had ethics and in their own twisted way a morality that in some cases made them more honorable than us (DS9 should be praised for rescuing the Ferengi from being a joke threat as portrayed in TNG).
    BTW, anyone else notice that Ron D. Moore (BSG revamp) was heavily involved in DS9…?

  • Jurgan

    Have we seen this? Apparently Obama=Spock:

    http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2009/05/07/obama_spock/print.html

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