The Top 20 Sci-Fi Starship Captains of All Time

Kirk, Picard, Solo, Adama, Zaphod Beeblebrox--who is the greatest starship captain in sci-fi history? Your friendly neighborhood Trivia Geek found a list that claims to declare a winner, but you just know there's a million arguments to be had first. Join in.

The Top 20 Sci-Fi Starship Captains of All Time, according to, are as follows:

  1. Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  2. James T. Kirk (Star Trek)
  3. Han Solo (Star Wars)
  4. Kathryn Janeway (Star Trek: Voyager)
  5. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly)
  6. William "Husker" Adama (New Battlestar Galactica)
  7. Bruno J. Global (The Super Dimension Fortress Macross)
  8. Turanga Leela (Futurama)
  9. Jacob Keyes (Halo)
  10. John J. Adams (Forbidden Planet)
  11. Wilhuff Tarkin (Star Wars)
  12. Christopher Pike (Star Trek)
  13. Creideiki (Startide Rising)
  14. David Bowman (2001: A Space Odyssey)
  15. The Doctor (Doctor Who)
  16. Zaphod Beeblebrox (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
  17. Exeter (This Island Earth)
  18. John Robinson (Lost in Space)
  19. Adama (Old Battlestar Galactica)
  20. Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
I hate almost this entire list. I'll accept that some serious heavies don't qualify because they are primarily station commanders or one-man pilots, not starship commanders (Sorry Sisko, Sheridan, and a whole bunch of Skywalkers). I'll even accept (nay, support) Picard over Kirk, no matter what this video has to say about a throwdown between the two Trek captains. But Janeway over Mal Reynolds? Seriously? Mal weakened a repressive regime decieving all of humanity. Janeway rescued a crew that she got lost. And I like Futurama as much as the next guy, but no way Leela gets a higher spot than the entire list of Doctors.

That said, take the top six, throw out Janeway, and you've got my a pretty decent top five, in probably the right order. I'm curious to hear the consensus, so let's hear it, people:

Who are your top five sci-fi starship captains?

Comment away.

By Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...