Make It So: 58 Captain Picard Quotes from Star Trek The Next Generation

The best and most commanding quotes from Captain Picard.

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captain picard quotes

About Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Portrayed by British actor Patrick Stewart, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was born on July 13th, 2305 in La Barre, France. Despite having a very obvious English accent, Captain Picard is of French descent and so is fluent in the French language – both in reading and writing.

Throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation he is the Captain of the Star Trek Enterprise NCC 1701-D. However, he is portrayed as the Captain of the Stargazer in a variety of ‘time jumps,’ and he also goes on to Captain the Star Trek Enterprise NCC 1701-E in the Star Trek films featuring the Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Due to his vast interests, he is often recognised as a scholar, diplomat, amateur archeologist, writer and historian – in addition to his duties as a Starfleet Officer. From those interests has sparked a wide range of memorable one-liners from the intrepid Captain. Below is some of our favourites.

Captain Picard’s funniest moments

Captain Picard Quotes and One-Liners from Star Trek: The Next Generation

“We humans know our past, even when we’re ashamed of it. I recognize this court system as the one that agreed with that line from Shakespeare: ‘Kill all the lawyers.’”

“Space… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Ship, ‘Enterprise’. Its continuing mission… to see out new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone, before.”

“Lieutenant! Do you intend to blast a hole in the viewer?”

“We’ve no fear of what the true facts about us will reveal.”

“I put it to you all. I think we shall end up with a fine crew – if we avoid temptation.”

“Captain’s log, supplemental. it is no longer an inconvenient, childish prank. Young Wesley Crusher, admittedly a victim of the Tsiolkovsky infection, is now in control of my starship.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: By our standards, the customs here, their… code of honor, is the same kind of pompous, strutting charades that endangered our own species a few centuries ago. We evolved out of it because no one tried to impose their own set of… I’m sorry, this is becoming a speech.
Counselor Deanna Troi: You’re the Captain, sir. You’re entitled.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Hmm – not entitled to ramble on about something everyone knows. Carry on.

“Attention all decks. This is to inform you that, with your support, the Traveler has returned us to our own galaxy; however, he has now left us. Wherever he has gone – we wish him well.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The immortal Sherlock Holmes would have an interesting view of our mystery, I believe.
Commander William T. Riker: But I’m afraid we’re going to have to find our solution… without history’s greatest consulting detective.
Lt. Commander Data: Holmes…?

“I don’t know how to communicate this, or even if it is possible to do so… but the question of justice has concerned me greatly of late. And so I say to any creature who may be listening: There can be no justice, so long as laws are absolute. Life itself is an exercise in exceptions.”

“Whatever the object or vessel in orbit with us, it hangs there like a nemesis.”

“Let the dead rest – and the past… remain the past.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I am not Dixon Hill! I just look like Dixon Hill!
Lt. Commander Data: He speaks the truth, sir. From your point of view, he is only a facsimile. A knock-off. A cheap imitation…
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Thank you, Mr. Data.

“You’ll feel uncomfortable about aspects of your duplicate, Data. We feel uncomfortable too, and for no logical reason. If it feels awkward to be reminded that Data is a machine, just remember that we are merely a different variety of machine – in our case, electrochemical in nature.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Data? Are you all right?
Lt. Commander Data: Yes, sir. I’m fine.
Capt Jean-Luc Picard: Then get rid of that damn twitch! And put on the correct uniform.

Commander William T. Riker: I could develop feelings for Minuet. Exactly as I would for any woman.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Doesn’t love always begin that way? With the illusion more real than the woman?

RELATED: 69 Best Commander Data quotes from Star Trek TNG and Star Trek Picard

Captain Picard at Captain Picard Day
Captain Picard at Captain Picard Day

“Our ship has been commandeered by a force of unknown size and intent. We’re here alone. We must assume the worst.”

“The quest for youth, Number One – so futile. Age and wisdom have their graces, too.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We do not condone your actions. You’re attempting to salve your conscience by offering us goods in exchange for our children.
Radue: Why do you want them back so badly? You can always have more.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: You are trifling with the primal instincts of our species. I must warn you that human parents are quite willing to die for their children.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Beverly, the Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proved again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well-intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.
Doctor Beverly Crusher: It’s hard to be philosophical when faced with suffering.

“Friendship must dare to risk, Counselor, or it’s not friendship.”

Lt. Cmdr. Data: I have a question, sir.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Yes, Data, what is it?
Lt. Cmdr. Data: What… is death?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, is that all? Well, Data, you’re asking probably the most difficult of all questions. Some see it as a changing into an indestructible form, forever unchanging; they believe that the purpose of the entire universe is to then maintain that form in an earth-like garden, which will give delight and pleasure through all eternity. On the other hand, there are those who hold to the idea of our blinking into nothingness – with all of our experiences and hopes and dreams merely a delusion.

“His insubordination is growing by leaps and bounds.”

“And, Doctor, God knows I’m not one to discourage input, but I would appreciate it if you’d let me finish my sentences once in a while.”

“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.”

“The victors invariably write the history to their own advantage. There is an unfortunate tendency in many cultures to fear what they do not understand.”

“Demons of Air and Darkness indeed.”

Captain Picard on the Bridge of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701D
Captain Picard on the Bridge of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701D

“Captain’s personal log, supplemental – I have just witnessed the total destruction of the USS Enterprise, with the loss of all hands, save one – me.”

“We may be on a road that has no turns.”

“Before we can go forward, the cycle must end.”

“I can spell out for you, albeit crudely, what you’re choosing between. As the First Officer of the Enterprise, you have a position of distinction, prestige, even… glamor of a sort. You are the second in command of Starfleet’s flagship; but still second in command. Your promotion will transfer you to a relatively insignificant ship in an obscure corner of the galaxy. But it will be your ship; and, being who you are, it will… soon be vibrant with your authority, your style… your vision. You know… there really is no substitute for holding the reins.”

“You see, the Prime Directive has many different functions, not the least of which is to protect us – to prevent us from allowing our emotions to overwhelm our judgment.”

“To learn about you is, frankly, provocative. But you’re next of kin to chaos.”

“Wishing for a thing does not make it so.”

“I had this one Nausicaan down in this, uh… somewhat devious joint lock, when, uh, unbeknownst to me, one of his chums drew his weapon and… impaled me through the back. Curious sensation, actually…”

“Sometimes, Number One… you just have to… bow to the absurd.”

“Whenever Starfleet gets enigmatic, I know we’re about to face a challenge.”

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

“We’re not qualified to be your judges. We have no law to fit your crime. You’re free to return to the planet. And to make Rishon live again.”

“We’ve all been inflicted one time or another with that melody that won’t go away.”

“If you believe I am all-powerful, then you cannot hurt me. If, however, I am telling the truth, and I am mortal… you will kill me. But if the only proof you will believe is my death… then shoot.”

“You know, Number One, you missed something not playing with model ships. They were the source of imaginary voyages, each holding a treasure of adventures. Manning the earliest spacecraft, flying an aeroplane, with only one propeller to keep you in the sky. Can you imagine that? Now the machines are flying us.”

“Thrilling. That was… absolutely thrilling. And I was right, Number One. There were ghosts on board that old ship. One of them actually spoke to us.”

“Lieutenant – sometimes, the moral obligations of command are less than clear. I have to weigh the good of the many against the needs of the individual, and try to balance them as realistically as possible. God knows, I don’t always succeed.”

RELATED: 36 Antagonistic “Q” quotes from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Captain Picard and Q
Captain Picard and Q

“Commander, both our ships are ready to fight. We have two extremely powerful and destructive arsenals at our command. Our next actions will have serious repercussions. We have good reason to mistrust one another; but we have even better reason to set those differences aside. Now, of course, the question is… who will take the initiative? Who will make the first gesture of trust? – The answer is, I will. I must lower our shields to beam those men up from the planet’s surface. Once the shields are down, you will, of course, have the opportunity to fire on us. If you do, you will destroy not only the Enterprise and its crew, but the ceasefire that the Romulans and the Federation now enjoy.”

“Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king, who led them to it.”

“In your own words, this is not our affair. We cannot interfere in the natural course of your society’s development. And I’d say it’s going to develop significantly in the next few minutes.”

“Prime Minister, even the most comfortable prison is still a prison.”

“History has shown us that strength may be useless when faced with terrorism.”

“Let’s make sure history never forgets… the name…’Enterprise’!”

“One more ship will make no difference in the here and now. But 22 years ago, one ship could have stopped this war before it started.”

“There are times, sir, when… men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but… you ignore their personal liberties… and freedom. Order a man to hand his child over to the state? Not while I’m his Captain.”

“It’s ironic, isn’t it? All this magnificent technology, and we still find ourselves susceptible to the ravages of old age… loss of dignity… the slow betrayal of our bodies by forces we cannot master.”

“It is our mission to seek out life in all forms. We’re privileged to have been present at the emergence of a new species.”

“I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life, as it has been – is over. From this time forward, you will service us.”

“We may yet prevail. That’s a… a conceit. But… it’s a healthy one. I wonder if the Emperor Honorius watching the Visigoths coming over the seventh hill truly realized that the Roman Empire was about to fall. This is just another page in history, isn’t it? Will this be the end of our civilization? Turn the page.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: You don’t know, Robert. You don’t know… They took everything I was. They used me to kill and to destroy and I couldn’t stop them.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I should have been able to stop them. I tried… I tried so hard. But I wasn’t strong enough! I wasn’t good enough! I should have been able to stop them, I should’ve, I should…!
Robert Picard: So – my brother is a human being after all. This is going to be with you a long time, Jean-Luc. A long time. You have to learn to live with it. You have a simple choice now: live with it below the sea with Louis – or above the clouds with the Enterprise.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: You know, I think you were right, after all. I think I did come back so that you could help me.
Robert Picard: Yeah… Do you know what? I still don’t like you, Jean-Luc.

“Make it so.”

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Captain Picard reading a book

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