When it comes to ‘Star Trek’ characters, we all have our favorites, just as we all have our favorite series. Here’s a list of my favorites from all of them.
In making my list of favorite Star Trek characters, I imagine I’m like most fans of the series. I can’t make a list entirely from any one series. Instead, my favorites are a mix of different series and, therefore, different “generations” of the franchise.
1. Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
The ornery, gruff “country” doctor serves as the conscience of the Kirk-Spock-McCoy troika that has been such a mainstay of the original series since its debut more than a half-century ago. McCoy is the one I would probably most identify with if I lived in the 23rd century.
2. Engineer Montgomery Scott
It may help that I actually met the late Jimmy Doohan, the actor who brought Scotty to life in the original series. The Scottish engineer brought plenty of needed comic relief but was competent enough to maintain the nickname “the miracle worker” thanks to his last-minute fixes in a crisis.
3. Mr. Spock
The Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock always fought an internal battle, as most of do to some extent, whether we care to admit it or not. Though he preferred to present himself as a fully logical man unaffected by human emotions, that pesky human side couldn’t help but interfere, making him, as Kirk would say at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, one of the “most human” souls he’d encountered.
4. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
I know this might be a shocker for some, but I like Picard slightly better than Kirk. Kirk’s a bit too passionate while Picard is more of a diplomat, more likely to think things through before acting. I definitely identify more with Picard in that respect.
5. Commander Data
Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Tin Man wanted desperately to be human instead of a machine. That desire made him, ironically, one of the more human characters of the series. Like Spock, Data provided some comedic moments when he became confused by human customs and phrases.
6. Geordi LaForge
There was something admirable about Geordi, the chief engineer of the 24th century Enterprise. While technology would have made his Visor obsolete, he chose to wear it — at least for a while — not allowing his disability to keep him from doing anything he wanted to do. In fact, he turned the disadvantage of blindness into an advantage through his unique vision.
7. Capt. Kathryn Janeway
The sole member from Star Trek: Voyager to make the list, Janeway was an interesting combination of Picard and Kirk. She was a careful, calculating diplomat but one who was willing to toss aside normal procedures under the dire circumstances she found herself and her crew in as they fought to return to their home.
8. Beverly Crusher
Crusher — an odd name for a healer — was far less cantankerous than the original series’ McCoy. She was compassionate as any doctor should be. But she was a fighter and enough of a leader to have earned her own command, at least according to the series finale of ST:TNG. If I found myself in the future and in need of medical care, if McCoy wasn’t around, Crusher would be a fine substitute.
9. Nyota Uhura
Uhura had little backstory until the latest iteration of Star Trek films, but I always liked the character. I like her even more after hearing of actress Nichelle Nichols’ backstory. She planned to leave the series after the first season until a man who called himself her number one fan, none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., himself, insisted that she stay with the series. She would describe the encounter saying that King reminded her that her role was not a “black” role or even a woman’s part. Creator Gene Roddenberry could easily replace her with a white man or even an alien. Her character depicted black people as competent, beautiful professionals as they should have been depicted long before that, he told her. She said she made the decision then to stay with the series and never looked back.
10. Hikaru Sulu
Like Uhura, I tend to like Sulu more because of the actor than the actual character who was not developed nearly enough during the original series. But he was a swashbuckler at heart, as evidenced in the original series episode The Naked Time, in which Sulu chased crew members down corridors while under the influence of a virus that made him think of himself as a swordsman. The actor, George Takei, has certainly gained a considerable following in the years since Star Trek left the air. And he’s another character I had the chance to meet in person years ago when I covered a Star Trek fan convention.
That’s my list.