Star Trek has been well known for some of the most memorable, and some would say over the top, speeches heard in movies or TV episodes. They are moments which help to make Star Trek endure, and today Les and I will count down our ten favorite speeches from nearly 50 years of Star Trek!! This covers all films and series and I will provide YouTube links to these whenever possible.
RichB:Hello Les, welcome to the blog my friend!
LES: Jo Lan Tru, my friend Thanks for having me aboard for this one.
RichB:The pleasure is mine. Let's not waste any time and get right to it.
#10."We Need Our Pain" from Star Trek V
This is a simple one but I really like it. If the whole movie had been a good as this brief speech, it would have helped. Kirk makes a very true statement here, that pain is something that makes us who we are.
"You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us--the things that make us who we are. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain."
Les: I agree with you, my friend. Star Trek V was a God-Awful film, but this one moment was powerful, and well acted by William Shatner.
And speaking of which....
#10. "The Corbomite Bluff" from Star Trek: The Original Series episode,"The Corbomite Maneuver."
James T. Kirk was always a master of finding ingenious ways to take a hopeless situation and change it into a chance to survive. Using the poker bluff here, is a brilliant example of Kirk at his best.
Captain Kirk: "This is the Captain of the Enterprise. Our respect for other life forms requires that we give you this... warning. One critical item of information that has never been incorporated into the memory banks of any Earth ship. Since the early years of space exploration, Earth vessels have had incorporated into them a substance known as... corbomite. It is a material and a device which prevents attack on us. If any destructive energy touches our vessel, a reverse reaction of equal strength is created, destroying -...
Balok (voice): "You now have two minutes."
"-DESTROYING the attacker. It may interest you to know that since the initial use of corbomite more than two of our centuries ago, no attacking vessel has survived the attempt. Death has... little meaning to us. If it has none to you then attack us now. We grow annoyed at your foolishness."
And, of course...Kirk wins this hand
(This scene is immediately after the speech, I figured I would include it since it's all I could find)
RichB:Of course he does! Truth is the bluff is silly, but Kirk (or Shatner) absolutely sells it and makes the scene work.
#9."She is yours" from Star Trek (Amok Time)
Another short one but Absolutely one of my favorite lines of dialogue. Especially as I grow older and realize that what Spock says here is true. It is not logical, but having isn't as pleasing as wanting. The whole exchange betwen T'Pring and Spock just works.
Spock: Logical. Flawlessly logical.
T'Pring: I am honored.
Spock: Stonn, she is yours. After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.
LES: Absolutely! Mr. Spock always seemed wisest when he let his Human half intrude in his Vulcan logic, and this moment really shows it.
And for my #9, I'm going with a bittersweet moment with Dr. McCoy's chronological last scene in Star Trek.
In a brilliant cameo in Star Trek The Next Generation's pilot episode, DeForest Kelly in amazing age makeup does a passing of the torch scene with new trek actor, Brent Spiner as Mr. Data.
Admiral McCoy: “Well, it’s a new ship, but She’s got the right name. Now, you remember that, boy, Y'hear?”
Mr. Data: “Yes, Admiral.”
Admiral McCoy: “You treat her like a Lady. And She’ll always bring you back home.”
This one scene brought a profound legitimacy to the new show that it was a continuation of the Star Trek we knew and loved.
RichB:Beautiful scene! When I fist saw Next Gen I wasn't impressed. But that momemt made me take notice, and is probably the best moment in the episode.
#8.Sisko tells Worf not to quit "Way of the Warrior"
This is probably not the first speech most people think when they think of DS9, but I love it. It's basically Sisko telling Worf why quitting will not solve anything.
Captain Sisko: I understand you're headed for the Nyberrite Alliance?
Lt. Commander Worf: Yes, I leave this afternoon.
Captain Sisko: For me, it was a job on Earth - directing construction of orbital habitats.
Lt. Commander Worf: Why did you change your mind?
Captain Sisko: I finally realized that it wasn't Starfleet I wanted to get away from. I was trying to escape the pain I felt, after my wife's death. I thought I could take the uniform, wrap it around that pain and toss them both away. But it doesn't work like that. Running may help for a little while. But sooner or later, the pain catches up with you; and the only way to get rid of it is to stand your ground, and face it.
Lt. Commander Worf: But wearing that uniform must remind you of what you have lost.
Captain Sisko: Sometimes. But it also reminds me of what I've gained, and who I am. Oh, I can throw away the uniform, resign my commission, run all the way to the Nyberrite Alliance. But it really wouldn't matter. A Starfleet officer - that's what I am, and that's what I'll always be.
LES: You bet your last bottle of Romulan Ale it was!
For my #8, I'm going with an exchange between Admiral Kirk and Captain Spock that mirrors a speech you're going to use a little later here, I believe,
that demonstrates the friendship between them both, and, where it could've been cheesy and insincere, Shatner and Nimoy play it true and warmly believable.
Spock: “If I may be so bold, it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a Starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else, is a waste of material.”
Kirk: “I wouldn’t presume to debate you.”
Spock: “That is wise. In any case, were I to invoke logic, Logic, clearly dictates that the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.”
Kirk: “Or the one.”
Spock: “You are my superior officer. You are also my friend. I have been, and always shall be yours.”
A great moment between two great friends.
RichB:It is, there are so many moments from that movie and we will get back to that in a bit. First....
#7.Picard debates temporal logic "A Matter of Time"
This is one of the classic Picard speeches. While I admit I have problems with this scene, it's kinda pointless, you can't deny the writing or the acting. There is no way I am copying this entire exchange, so here is the end and I will link to a video if you want to see it all.
Picard:A person's life, their future, hinges on each of a thousand choices. Living is *making* choices! Now, you ask me to believe that if I make a choice other than the one that appears in your history books, then your past will be irrevocably altered. Well... you know, Professor, perhaps I don't give a damn about your past, because your past is my future, and as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't been written yet!
Strong scene in an ok episode
LES: YES! and I love how Rasmussen(Matt Frewer) visually deflates under Picard's attack.
For my #7, I'm going with Captain Picard's best Shakespeare quote.
In "Hide and Q, Picard is having an exchange of opinions with Q in his ready room on the Enterprise D.
Q: "Or would you prefer, Hamlet?"
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “Oh, I know Hamlet. And what he might say with irony, I say with conviction: "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god!"
Just how did Shakespeare know how to write a line that would put an omnicsient being in his place 700 years hence?
RichB:That is a fanastic scene the way Picard just shoves it to Q. I think that is one of the better season 1 episodes.
#6.McCoy's talk with Kirk (Balance of Terror)
What a great Kirk/McCoy moment. This is
one of the more tense episodes of the series, as the heated conflict between Kirk and the Romulans has everyone on edge. After Kirk confesses how overwhelmed he feels, we a beautiful response from McCoy.
Captain James T. Kirk: I wish I were on a long sea voyage somewhere. Not too much deck tennis, no frantic dancing, and no responsibility. Why me? Bones, I look around the Bridge and I see the mean waiting for me to make the next move. Bones, what if I'm wrong?
I don't really expect an answer.
McCoy:But I've got one. Something I seldom say to a customer Jim. In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that... and perhaps more, only one of each of us.
Don't destroy the one named Kirk.
LES: Beautiful! DAMN! can McCoy take a moment and make it poetic! The genuine admiration and love he has for his friend is touchingly powerful in this scene. Great pick.
My #6 is Q getting some of his own back after Picard's beat down in #7....
In the episode Q-Who, Q teaches an arrogant Picard a lesson in galactic humility by sending the Enterprise 75,000 light years away to meet the Borg for the first time. Naturally, they are completely outclassed, outpowered and overwhelmed. When it looks like they're going the way of the Kobayashi Maru, Picard begs Q for help, and Q saves their lives.
Q: "That was a difficult admission for you to make, Captain. Other men couldn't have made it. Many others would rather have died."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “I understand what you've done here, Q. But I think the lesson could have been learned without the loss of 18 members of my crew.”
Q: “If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.”
AND BAM! Q wins this round with the truth. It's a powerful moment to see Captain Picard learn this difficult lesson.
RichB:Fantastic speech! I really kick myself for not including, but that's why we are doing this together.
#5.Sisko admits he lied (In The Pale Moonlight)
It was this or his speech in "Far Beyond the Stars". I almost didn't include "In The Pale Moonlight" because you really have to see the whole episode to appreciate it. I also wanted to add a Janeway clip, but with recent cirucmstances the subject matter was kind of touchy. So here is DS9 at it's best!
Captain Sisko: So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Garak was right about one thing: a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it... Because I can live with it... I can live with it... Computer - erase that entire personal log.
LES: YES! Captain Sisko is one of the under rated captains, but at moments, his humanity was so powerful and real, you take notice and truly admire him, and this moment is one of them.
My #5 goes back to Kirk doing what he did best. This time, shining on an opponent into losing their temper.
In this scene, Kirk has just fooled the Klingons into boarding the Enterprise after he sets it to self-destruct and escaped to the planet. Needing the get newly resurrected Spock off the Genesis Planet, he calls Kruge on the communicator.
Admiral James T. Kirk: “Klingon Commander! This is Admiral James T Kirk. I’m alive and well on the planet’s surface. I know this will come as a pleasant shock to you, but our ship was the victim of an unfortunate accident. Sorry about your crew, but, as we say on Earth...Cest la Vie! I have what you want...I have the secret to Genesis....You’re going to have to bring us up there to get it...WELL??? I’M WAITING!! WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER!?!?”
Does Kruge get pissed off? Duh?!? He's a klingon!
Les, I apologize I could not a suitable pic or clip for this one
RichB:Fantastic moment in an underrated film!
#4.Janeway at the end of "Caretaker"
I really liked Janeway, and Voyager wasn't so bad. But the pilot episode ended with one of my favorite speeches ever. It really got you ready for the series...which didn't live up to the build. But the speech is still good.
Janeway:We're alone - in an uncharted part of the galaxy. We've already made some friends here... and some enemies. We have no idea of the dangers we're going to face. But one thing is clear: both crews are going to have to work together if we're to survive. That's why Commander Chakotay and I have agreed that this should be one crew - a Starfleet crew. And as the only Starfleet vessel assigned to the Delta Quadrant, we'll continue to follow our directive: to seek out new worlds and explore space. But our primary goal is clear. Even at maximum speeds, it would take 75 years to reach the Federation. But I'm not willing to settle for that. There's another entity like the Caretaker out there somewhere who has the ability to get us there a lot faster. We'll be looking for her. And we'll be looking for wormholes, spatial rifts, or new technologies to help us. Somewhere, along this journey, we'll find a way back.
LES: YEAH, Janeway was a great speechmaker, and this was a great start to a new series. Good pick, my friend.
My #4 is a great villain speech from one of Star Trek's all-time best villains...
Mr. Chekov(Walter Koenig) and Captain Terrell(Paul Winfield) have just been captured by the survivors of Alpha Ceti V, and are being interrogated by their leader.
Khan: “Allow me to introduce you to Ceti Alpha V’s only remaining...indigenous species....What do you think?...They killed 20 of my people...including my beloved wife. Oh, not all at once...and not...instantly, to be sure. You see, their young enter through the ears...and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. Ah, this has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to, ah...suggestion. Later..as they grow...follows madness...and death."
Mr. Chekov: “KHAN!...Listen to me!”
Khan: “These are, pets...of course...not quite domesticated.”
Mr. Chekov: “Khan...Keptin Kirk was only doing his duty.”-Khan(Ricardo Montalban) and Mr. Chekov(Walter Koenig)
Ricardo Montalban is so powerful with a supremely subtle performance. Walter Koenig's last plea and ultimate, resignation is also wonderfully acted.
RichB:That scene in TWOK is just amazing, it gave me chills as a kid and props to the writers. I had never seen the original episode but I was never lost or confused. And Montalban played it perfectly.
#3.Star Trek II (Spock Eulogy)
It's tough to pick a favorite from here, but I always loved the eulogy. This is the most perfect death scene in any Trek episode or film, followed by the following speech. There is a reason this has been parodied to death (including in the lastes film, but I am not discussing that again!)
Spock:Ship out of danger?
Spock:Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many, outweigh...
Kirk:The needs of the few.
Spock:Or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?
[Spock sits down]
Spock:I have been, and always shall be, your friend.
[he places a Vulcan salute on the glass]
Spock:Live long and prosper.
Captain Kirk:We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human.
What else can I say?
LES: One of Kirk's most emotional scenes ever. William Shatner absolutely sells this scene. Great moment.
My #3 is going to give some props to the reboot of the film series.
In this scene, Captain Christopher Pike(Bruce Greenwood), having broken up a barfight between young Kirk(Chris Pine) and 4 of Starfleet's finest, is attempting to recruit the troubled youth.
Captain Christopher Pike: “Riverside Shipyard. Shuttle for new recruits leaves tomorrow morning, 0800. Now, your father was captain of a Starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mother's and yours. I dare you to do better.”
And you can see the wheels turning in Kirk's head at the challenge thrown down.
Well, I guess we should acknowledge the new movies. There were some good moments in them and this was sue one of them.
#2.The Measure of a Man (TNG)
This speech is just perfect. This a season two episode which makes it even more amazing. Picard defends the fact that Data is a sentient life form in one of his best moments ever.
Capt. Picard: A single Data - and forgive me, Commander - is a curiosity. A wonder, even. But thousands of Datas - isn't that becoming... a race? And won't we be judged by how we treat that race?
Now, tell me, Commander, what is Data?
Commander Bruce Maddox: I don't understand.
Capt. Picard: What is he?
Commander Bruce Maddox: A machine!
Capt. Picard: Is he? Are you sure?
Commander Bruce Maddox: Yes!
Capt. Picard: You see, he's met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know. Do you?
Capt. Picard: [to Riker] Do you?
Capt. Picard: [to Louvois] Do you? Well, that's the question you have to answer. You're honor the courtroom is a cruicble in it we burn away irelevancies until we are left with a pure product, the truth. For all time. Now, sooner or later this man or others like will succeed in replicating Commander Data. Now the decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this... creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of a people we are, what he is destined to be; it will reach far beyond this courtroom and this... one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty and freedom - expanding them for some... savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life; well, there it sits! - Waiting.
LES: One of Picard(and The Next Generation)'s finest moments.
Speaking of which....here's Picard attempting to save the Federation back in time when the Borg attempt to stop first contact between Humanity and the Vulcans.
Lily: “Jean Luc, blow up the damn ship!”
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “No! Noooooooooo!”
[Smashes glass and model ships with his phaser]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: “I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, NO FURTHER! And *I* will make them pay for what they've done!”-Captain Jean-Luc Picard(Patrick Stewart) and Lily Sloan(Alfre Woodward)-Star Trek: First Contact.
It literally is the fate of humanity riding on what Picard does and this scene demonstrates definitively how serious HE takes it.
RichB:It is a powerful scene though a tad out of character. But that doesn't mean the speech isn't freaking awesome!
Ok, here it is. My favorite Star Trek speech of all time. And it comes from the original series, and from an episode that may not be the most popular. But the speech...is just great!
#1."Risk is our Business" from Return to Tomorrow
This is the perfect Kirk speech. It's hammy, it's long but not to long, and it basically shuts up everyone in the room. This is Kirk at his best:
They used to say if man could fly, he'd have wings, but he did fly. He discovered he had to. Do you wish that the first Apollo mission hadn't reached the moon, or that we hadn't gone on to Mars and then to the nearest star? That's like saying you wish that you still operated with scalpels and sewed your patients up with catgut like your great-great-great-great grandfather used to. I'm in command. I could order this, but I'm not because Doctor McCoy is right in pointing out the enormous danger potential in any contact with life and intelligence as fantastically advanced as this, but I must point out that the possibilities - the potential for knowledge and advancement - is equally great. Risk! Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her. You may dissent without prejudice. Do I hear a negative vote?
Well Les, I am dying to see what your #1 is
LES: You are going to kick yourself that you didn't think of this one....
What speech typifies everything the Star Trek series stands for?
“Space, The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her 5 year mission to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life, and new civilizations. To boldly go, where no one has gone before.”-James T. Kirk(Chris Pine)Star Trek: Into Darkness
Why use Chris Pine's version? Because the phrase "Where no MAN has gone before" used by William Shatner was counter to the philosophy of the United Federation of Planets. Captain Picard(Patrick Stewart) was the first to use the new phrase "Where no one has gone before," but I'm looking to the future of the franchise, and the next Star Trek film.
RichB:Why didn't I think of that?? I guess that does make sense, after all those are the words that kicked off the franchise. Those words mean so much that I could be here all day talking about it.
While I understand why you chose the vesrsion you did, I want to leave one last clip from a different version. I feel bad that nothing has been said about Enterprise. It sucked but had its moments. So here is that famouse monlogue from the final episode of that series. The final episode actually sucked except for the last thirty seconds which I loved:
I do hope Star Trek continues on for many more years. It has brought decades of entertainment and joy, and going over these old clips with you has been a ton of fun. Thanks again for joining me today Les.
LES: It's been a pleasure, my friend. Peace(and long life)
RichB:Live Long and Prosper!!
The funny part is that Les and I barely scratched the surface! There are so many great moments that it's impossible to list them all. This has been a blast my friends! Till next time, be good to yourselves.