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Already I am drifting away from Bipolar, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!
When most people discuss their favorite Star Trek captains they focus Picard or Kirk. Picard for his nobility and dignity, and Kirk for his general heroism. Both of these characters are great captains, but in my opinion Captain Janeway needs to be considered as a worthy competitor for the title of “Best Captain” not just for her leadership style and personality, but also for her amazing achievements on her journey with the USS Voyager.
On the maiden voyage of her first command (Voyager), Captain Janeway and her crew are not only sent to the other side of the galaxy, they are forced to make the journey home with the people they were sent to arrest. Captain Janeway is not only able to unite the crews, but is able to uphold the principles that the Federation holds dear, even when they may lengthen their journey home. She is able to make contact with more alien species than any other captain in Federation history, but is also able survive without having the support of the federation fleet which all the other Star Trek captains relied upon. And while surviving Voyager does more to hurt the Borg than any vessel in Starfleet
Perhaps the most enjoyable trait about this captain is her personality. She has a sophisticated sense of humor that Picard and Kirk both lacked, but is also incredibly serious when it comes to the safety of her crew. She also is unafraid to break protocol when she deems it necessary, but she is unwilling to compromise her principles. She has a stubbornness that seems to pull Voyager out of every deadly situation it encounters.
Picard was inspiring, Kirk was courageous, and Janeway is nurturing. She takes a personal interest in the lives of her crew, she personally rehabilitated Seven of Nine, she guided Tom Paris and gave him a second chance with is life, she took Harry Kim under her wings from day one, she even took the three most underperforming crew-members and mentored them to improve their performance. Janeway let her crew know that she cared for and valued them, and they would have followed her anywhere.
This woman took two crews from opposing sides, and merged them into one. She got almost all of them home safely in one tenth of the time it should have taken, and achieved more than any captain could have dreamed of all during her first command. Kirk and Picard are wonderful captains, but Janeway had fewer resources, a divided crew, less assistance, and less experience, and still managed to accomplish more than the other captains.