Nearly 50% Of Fans We Polled Said This Was The Best Star Trek Captain

(Welcome to Survey Says, a feature where we conduct a movie-related survey for a random group of people and explain why they're completely right, completely wrong, or somewhere in-between.)

Greetings, Jellico fans! Our time has arrived! 

The good people at /Film have conducted a poll of their favorite "Star Trek" captains, and I suspect a new epoch is nigh. Everyone's favorite captain, Captain Jellico (Ronny Cox) is undoubtedly at the top of this list, and we, his legion of fans, will be able to solider into the thicket of this article, comforted that the unvarnished truth shall be revealed. Captain Jellico, the stern, unfatherly, angry, ultra-professional who took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise in the two-part episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" called "Chain of Command," is — without argument — the single best character in "Star Trek," making him perhaps one of the single greatest creations in all of fiction. Becky Sharp, Atticus Finch, Falstaff, Electra, and Raskolnikov can retire now. They are no longer needed. We have Capt. Edward Jellico and we need nothing more. 

So let us take a look, my Fellicows (a portmanteau of Jellico and fellows; it's what we call our tribe), and see the truth come to light. Let us see the facts laid bare. Let the veil drop from the eyes of a blinded planet, and let them come in. Let us all join together in a celebration of Edward Jellico. All power to Jellico. 

Wait... It's James T. Kirk?

According to /Film's poll of 619 random people, 49.92% voted for ... hmm, I would think Edward Jellico would have commanded a greater percentage than 49.92%. I suppose some have yet to see the light. Anyway, Jellico received ... Wait, the 49.92% went to Capt. James T. Kirk. 

James T. Kirk, the third captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise (after Capt. Robert April and Capt. Christopher Pike) will be born in Riverside, IA on March 22, 2228. You can visit his birthplace today. Played by William Shatner, Chris Pine, Jimmy Bennett, Vic Mignogna, James Cawley, Paul Wesley, and several others, Kirk was the first captain seen on screen by the public. While Kirk has a pop culture reputation for being a reckless cowboy who regularly breaks the Prime Directive, Kirk was, in fact, a judicious and sterm captain who regularly enforced rules and brought an essential balance to the ship. His first officer, Spock, offered logic and intellect. His best friend, the ship's CMO Dr. McCoy, offered gut feelings and anger. Kirk was able to listen to both and choose a path forward. He was authoritative and largely clear-headed, rarely giving over to passions in a crisis. His reputation as a ladies' man, however, is a matter of record. 

I have heard it said that Kirk was the best role model of all Trek's captains, and emulating his confidence and behavior would be very becoming an authority figure. The character has been part of the popular consciousness for 55 years. I suppose we Jellico fans can let this one slide.

The other Star Trek captains

In second place, Jean-Luc Picard earned 30.37% of the vote, although those polled clearly meant to vote for Edward Jellico. Picard (Patrick Stewart) was Jellico's colleague, and he commanded the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and -E in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," as well as the films based on that show. If one is in a management or command position, one couldn't do much better than to emulate Jean-Luc Picard. He is open to ideas from his crew, always quick to make a wise command decision, and aloof enough to keep the bridge of his ship professional at all times. Picard is the professor you do not want to disappoint because you admire their intelligence so much. Picard is such a beloved character, he was the first to get a TV series devoted exclusively to him. 

In third, with a mere 7.59% was Christopher Pike. Played by Jeffrey Hunter in the original "Star Trek" pilot, Pike stumbled his way into "Trek" canon when the episode was edited into a two-part episode called "The Menagerie." The fate of Pike was to end up severely scarred and bound to a wheelchair. This fate was glimpsed by the new version of Pike (now Anson Mount) on "Star Trek: Discovery." Hunter was an aggressive, angry captain. Mount plays Pike as far more dashing and personable. He'll soon be seen turning on the charm in "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." 

Fourth place goes to Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), the captain of the Enterprise in, well, "Enterprise." He gained a mere 5.33% of the vote. Deliberately archetypal, Archer rested on a matrix somewhere between a Kirk-like Starfleet captain and a chuckling old-world NASA astronaut. In fifth was Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from "Star Trek: Voyager," with 3.88% of the vote. Janeway was a bold authoritarian who puts her crew in danger to get coffee. And in last place is Capt. Benjamin Sisko from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," with 2.91% of the vote. Even Jellico fans can see Sisko's low rank on this list as a grave injustice. Sisko's passion and willingness to put himself in difficult command positions made for a vital strength in an unstable time. 

Captains left off

I have come to peace that Jellico did not appear on this poll. That is my burden to endure. Perhaps it's like leaving "Citizen Kane" off of lists of the best movies of all time: It's simply too obvious to include. Yes, that's it. Jellico was too obvious a choice, so the rest of the poll is a runners-up list. Yes, that is how it goes. In my mind. 

Also excluded from the list is Capt. Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), Capt. Saru (Doug Jones), Capt. Lorca (Jason Isaacs), and star Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) from "Star Trek: Discovery." Capt. Carol Freeman (Dawnn Wells) from "Star Trek: Lower Decks" is also absent, as is Capt. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) from the same show. Capt. Rios (Santiago Cabrera) from "Star Trek: Picard" is not on this list. Capt. Hikaru Sulu of the U.S.S. Excelsior is not here, nor is Will Decker (Stephen Collins) from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." Capt. Richard McKenzie, who blew up on the U.S.S. Yamato, is not polled. Commodore Decker (William Windom) wasn't technically a captain, even though he was in charge of the Enterprise and the Constellation. There's no word of Capt. Balthazar Edison (Idris Elba), who was transformed into the evil villain Kroll in "Star Trek Beyond." I do love me some Capt. John Herriman (Alan Ruck) from "Star Trek: Generations," as he was in command of the Enterprise-B. Although credit to Capt. Rachel Garrett (Tricia O'Neil) of the Enterprise-C for enduring what she had to. 

And that's just captains of Starfleet vessels. Klingons and Vulcans also used "Captain" as a rank. Absent from the list are Guls, Daimons, Commanders, and other species' command structures. 

I think we need to go back in. For the good of Jellico.