star trek

“He learned to play it safe. And he never, ever got noticed by anyone.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Q

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Star Trek: The Next Generation. A worthy successor to the franchise, The Next Generation introduced a new cast of characters taking control of a new USS Enterprise as they boldly go where no man has gone before.

This week’s quote comes from the 6th season episode, Tapestry. In the episode, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is shot in his artificial heart. Ironically, if he has his normal heart, he wouldn’t be dying. The god-like being Q (played by John de Lancie) gives him an opportunity to return to that bar fight that made him lose his original heart in the first place. Picard does so but, when he is returned to his original time, he is no longer the Captain of the USS Enterprise, but a simple junior officer. He confronts Q about his current situation and Q explains that, because he never had that brush with death in the bar, Picard never took the risks that made him a daring captain in the first place.

Geek wisdom:  It seems easy to take no chances. While you may leave a comfortable life by doing this, the only way to really get ahead is to seize opportunities when you can and take risks. It may seem difficult but the most successful people in life have taken the more perilous route to get where they are. The gamble may be risky but the payout is high.

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“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.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: James Kirk

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the original Star Trek television series. The television that launched a multi-billion dollar franchise and one that has endured for decades. With the latest television show, Star Trek: Discover, set for release tomorrow, I think it would be a good idea to give a quote from the show that started it all.

The quote comes from the episode Amok Time, frequently mentioned to be one of the best episodes of the series. In the episode, Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) desperately needs to return to Vulcan to complete the right to pon farr, which is essentially the Vulcan mating ritual. However, when he does return to the planet, Spock finds out that his future wife has fallen in love with another man. She enacts the right of koon-ut-kal-if-fee, wherein she picks Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) as her champion. At the end of the episode, Spock renounces her claim on his supposed bride-to-be and delivers the quote to the man she fell in love with.

Geek wisdom: There’s an old adage that goes “Be careful what you wish for. You may receive it.” There are times when you want something so badly that it’s all you can think about. But, once you do get that thing you crave for, you may find out that it’s not all that’s it’s cracked up to be. By then, it’s too late and you may have spend all that effort trying to get something that you actually didn’t want or need in the first place.

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: There are already several quotes from the old Star Trek cast. Now, it’s time to give a little respect to The Next Generation, the successor to the franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation successfully introduced new fans to the sci-fi world where humans explored the final frontier. The series also gave us many memorable characters and, thankfully, lots of great quotes.

This week’s quote comes from The Next Generation Episode entitled Peak Performance, wherein Picard and Riker (played by Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, respectively), take part of a series of war games to test their mettle as part of their training. During the episode, Lt. Commander Data (played by Brent Spiner) plays a competitive game against the the war games observer in a strategic game aptly named Strategema. To his surprise, Data, who just so happened to be an android, loses. This makes Data start to lose faith in himself as a strategist as there was supposedly no way he should have lost.

The quote happens during the second act. Picard asks Data to come to the bridge but the android has second thoughts. This is when Picard, after ordering him on to the bridge, gives the quote.

Geek wisdom:  Life isn’t fair all the time. Sometimes you will given lucky breaks and sometimes unlucky ones. There are also going to be times when, even if you think you’ve thought of every possible bad thing that could happen and prepare contingencies for them, things may still not swing your way. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try things anymore. The important thing is that you try.

“I don’t believe in a no-win scenario.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: James Kirk

The story behind the quote: This is actually the second time I’m getting a quote from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The quote comes from the beginning of the film where Lt. Saavik and the crew of the Enterprise receives a distress call from the Kobayashi Maru, a Starfleet vessel that is stranded in the Klingon Neutral Zone. As Saavik attempts to rescue the crew of the crippled ship, the Enterprise is attacked by waves upon waves of Klingon starships, resulting in the eventual deaths of the crew of the ship.

It turns out the entire scene was just a test for Saavik to see how she would handle a “no-win” scenario. However, it’s revealed shortly after that there was actually someone who “beat” the Kobayashi Maru simulation; Admiral James T. Kirk managed to complete the scenario on his third try.

Geek wisdom: When you think you can’t succeed, chances are you’ll fail because you already let yourself think it’s okay to not succeed. Sometimes, it’s even better to fail so that you can have an excuse for not trying something again. But if you believe that you have to perform a task and actually do it correctly, you will push yourself harder to do so.

“I have been – and always shall be – your friend.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Movies/ Television

Who said it?: Spock

The story behind the quote: This is a first! Not only am I using another Star Trek quote from the second film, The Wrath of Khan, but I’m also going to use the exact same clip from one of this blog’s earliest entries! So, I won’t really be writing that long of a set up for this one.

Spock had to enter the warp core of the ship to repair the engines so that they could escape destruction. Because of this, he has been exposed to a fatal dose of radiation and is dying. Kirk rushes to his aid but is unable to help his friend. As he’s dying, Spock tells Kirk about how he “feels” about his relationship with the Captain of the USS Enterprise.

Geek wisdom: It’s easy to cherish your friends when you’re with them all the time. But what about the time when you don’t meet up with them every day? The sad part of this is friendships can fade away, no matter how many times you check their status message on Facebook.

Still, even if this does happen, you will always be their friend. When you see each other after ages of being apart, it’s easy to rekindle that friendship. All it takes is that one time.

“Never give up. Never surrender!”

From: Galaxy Quest

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Jason Nesmith playing Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart

The story behind the quote: The quote comes Galaxy Quest. Now, the premise of the film is pretty unique, to say the least. Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, a washed-up character actor who had one big hit: the sci-fi television show Galaxy Quest (which, in itself is a parody of the original Star Trek series). Nesmith played Commander Peter Quincy Taggart who commanded the starship known as the Protector. Things get complicated when a group of aliens mistake the Galaxy Quest broadcast as a record of real events. The aliens capture the entire crew of the show and ask them to help them fight a warlike race. Assuming that the aliens are just play-acting, Nesmith agrees to “help” them.

The quote is actually the catchphrase of Commander Taggart. Whenever the Protector is facing seemingly insurmountable odds, Taggart will deliver the quote as seen in the clip below.

Geek wisdom: This is pretty self-explanatory. We shouldn’t give up wherever we hit a minor problem. Even the biggest success stories of our time have hit a few speed bumps along their way to greatness. But they never let these roadblocks stop them as they persisted with their endeavor until the did succeed.

We should also have the attitude to not give up and push through hardship. Because if we surrender at the slightest hint of trouble, we’ll never get anything done!

“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Television, Movies

Who said it?: James T. Kirk, Jean Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This quote is probably something everyone is familiar with. It comes from the opening narration of Star Trek. But first, let’s talk about Star Trek.

The basic premise of all Star Trek iterations is that a huge spaceship, the USS Enterprise, goes around the universe attempting to make brand new discoveries and encounter new alien races to communicate with. One of the things that made each version of Star Trek memorable was the diverse cast and the attitudes of the crew of the Enterprise. The original 1966 series had James T. Kirk, the captain of the ship, who was usually led by following his instincts. However, his First Office, a Vulcan named Spock, who only works with pure logic.

The second series, called Star Trek: The Next Generation, added more diversity. The crew of the new Enterprise now had a Klingon (a race of aliens that were actually the main antagonists of the original series) named Worf and a full-fledged android named Data joining an entirely new cast.

Anyway, every series would always have the same intro, with a narrator stating the full mission of the USS Enterprise.

Here’s the original version from the first series…

Now, here’s the introduction from Star Trek: The Next Generation…

Geek wisdom: We all want to play it safe and stay in our comfort zone and, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s when we don’t explore and do new things once in a while is when we stagnate. We all have to eventually try new things and go to new places. In fact, this is the best way for us to keep learning new things.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: James Kirk and Spock

The story behind the quote: The quote was actually mentioned twice in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The first time is relatively early in the film. Spock is actually in command of the Enterprise when it receives a distress call from another starship. Kirk, now an admiral decides to take command due to the emergency. Spock then derides his friend, saying that Kirk shouldn’t have taken the promotion since this has taken him from what he actually loves: being the commander of a starship. However, he will still follow Kirk since he is not only his commanding officer, but, more importantly, his friend.

The 2nd time this is mentioned is the more remembered. Spock had to enter the warp core of the ship to repair the engines so that they could escape destruction. Because of this, he has been exposed to a fatal dose of radiation and is dying. Kirk rushes to his aid but is unable to help his friend. Spock asks his friend not to grieve and starts the phrase only to be completed by Kirk.

It is important to note that this is possibly not the true origin of this quote. Greek philosophers have been noted to mention something along these lines. However, most people, especially movie buffs, remember the quote coming from this film due to the emotional weight it carries.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, self-sacrifice is important in the scheme of things. A lot of heroes know this and this is why we remember them. Its through their sacrifice that we get to live our lives. Think of the soldiers who fight for our freedoms. They are fighting for you so that you don’t have to.

We can still do little things, such as volunteering for tasks that no one likes to do (taking out the trash, for example). Or, if your friends wants to go rock climbing and you don’t want to, go along with them still. We don’t have to give up our lives to follow Spock’s example.