Since Star Trek: Picard (ST: PIC) began in 2020, there has been a constant question on everyone’s mind. Who is commanding Enterprise E? When Star Trek: Picard returned in 2022, the new question was, “When will we learn about the fate of the Enterprise?”. And now, in 2023, the latest question is, “Who is commanding the Enterprise F?” It’s fairly open-ended. Therefore, we dive into the possible theories about who is commanding the Federation flagship in Star Trek: Picard Season 3.
We have had no spoilers regarding who could be behind the legendary seat. However, knowing showrunner Terry Matalas, it’ll likely be another surprise guest. But for now, we have to settle with speculation. And speculation is just what we are going to do! Before we get into the article, this is your spoiler warning! The characters we discuss here will have some of their expanded universe lore explored, so you have been warned!
The hair-colour-changing, no-nonsense first officer of William T Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Christine Vale, made her first appearance in the expanded universe in the Starfleet Corp of Engineer (SCE) novels. Eventually, making a big impact during the Star Trek: Gateways miniseries and the Star Trek: A Time To.. series as the Enterprise E‘s Tactical Officer. She made her name by joining the freshly Captained Riker to Romulus on the first of many assignments.
When Captain Riker became Rear Admiral against his will, she gained temporary command of the U.S.S. Titan for several missions before Riker made it official. The two had a solid working relationship, usually working in tandem with each other and occasionally butting heads. She remained Captain of the Titan until the final Star Trek: Coda trilogy. Regarding the canon universe, Vale was the first officer under Captain Riker on the U.S.S. Titan during its mission to assist the Jazari, further complicated when Romulans showed up.
Not much is known about Vale’s Starfleet career in canon, although she does begin as a peace officer on Izar. With all the lore, slight nods and heartfelt tie-ins that ST: PIC Season 3 has offered so far, it would not be surprising to see Christine Vale at the helm of Enterprise F. At the very least, it may reference her being Captain of the U.S.S. Titan after Riker. She has proven to be a capable leader, a critical thinker and well-versed in command and tactical decision. She would be a perfect choice to lead the Enterprise F into battle.
The brilliant engineer famous for spilling hot chocolate on Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), Sonya Gomez (Lycia Naff), rose through the ranks. She eventually joined the Corp Of Engineers and was assigned to the U.S.S. Da Vinci. She was the vessel’s first officer under Captain Gold in the expanded universe. She eventually became Captain when he ultimately retired. She commanded the vessel for many years, from the Borg Invasion of 2381 to the tensions with the Typhon Pact.
However, Gomez finally went down with the ship during the universe’s collapse in the events of Star Trek: Coda. In the Prime Universe, Gomez continued progressing, becoming Captain of the U.S.S. Archimedes, featured in Star Trek: Lower Decks. A hard worker, and an engineer by heart, she would be the perfect choice to Captain a The Enterprise F In Star Trek: Picard.
Ensign Harry Kim
Bright, daring, and a natural adventurer, Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) survived the Delta Quadrant and rose to be the most impressive Ensign in the fleet. In all seriousness, Harry Kim grew into quite an impressive officer. He grows from a brash young, ready-to-please ensign to a seasoned, well-skilled Ensign ready for anything. Upon returning to Earth, Harry was promoted to Lieutenant in the Expanded Universe, serving as Tactical and Security officer onboard the U.S.S. Voyager.
He protected the ship during the Borg Invasion of 2381 and its eventual return to the Delta Quadrant under the Full Circle Fleet. Harry Kim proved himself a capable officer, sometimes taking on the role of First Officer when required. A natural leader, he had a promising career ahead of him. In the Star Trek: Online timeline, Harry Kim did become a Captain, taking command of the U.S.S. Rhode Island. This season, we’ve seen many connections to all Star Trek Series, so who knows? Maybe a few surprise cameos may return, even if by mention only? And let’s be honest. It’s about time Harry Kim had an onscreen promotion!
Born rebel, outsider and all good round guy, Tom Eugene Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) was a brilliant pilot. But his cocky, sometimes defiant attitude always managed to get him into trouble. He navigated the U.S.S. Voyager during its journey through the Delta Quadrant. Tom Paris was more than a rebellious officer, coming into his own and leading away mission. He also served as a nurse and medic, becoming a genuine crew member they could rely on.
In the Expanded Universe, when Voyager returned, Paris was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He became the First Officer onboard Voyager under Chakotay’s (Robert Beltran) command. Paris remained in that position all the way up until Voyager began a journey outside of known space, where he and B’Elanna returned to Earth for the sake of their family. Paris later rose to Commander and became assigned to the staff of Fleet Admiral Leonard James Akaar.
On Star Trek: Online, Tom Paris is Captain of the U.S.S. Mercury, taking a demotion from Admiral to command a task force of pilots against the invading Iconian threat. In the Prime Timeline, Tom Paris is currently piloting the U.S.S. Theseus under the command of Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks). Tom Paris has proven across all medians that he has grown into a confident, well-seasoned Commander who, thanks to his previous posting on Voyager, maybe the perfect Captain of the Enterprise, the home of second chances.
The first non-human Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Shon proved his leadership time and time again, commanding the U.S.S. Belfast for many missions before her loss at Facility 4028 against the Dominion. He was offered the Captaincy of the U.S.S. Enterprise F. However, he refused at first, believing Captain Data (Brent Spiner) should take the command. When meeting with Data, the two agreed that Shon was a perfect fit, and with Data’s blessing, Shon accepted.
This allowed many Andorians to feel validated in the Federation. Shon repeatedly proved that he could carry the named vessel on his shoulders. He strode into battle and defended the ideals of the Federation time and time again. He proved that, without a doubt, the name Enterprise truly did have some big shoes to fill. Seeing him take command of his vessel on-screen and off-screen would be a genuinely lovely surprise. It would solidify a sort of unique consistency between the two universes.
With The Enterprise F In Star Trek: Picard, even a passing mention of Shon once being the captain would make Star Trek: Online players proud. There are already so many STO ships included in the series’ second and third seasons. Who knows? Maybe it’s time a few characters turned up too!
Red Shirt 87 A.K.A Canon Fodder
While returning a uniquely named legacy character would be ideal, perhaps we will see a brand new character that doesn’t have any connection to the previous series. This would certainly leave open the door for a brand new series, which we would all love. However, with the story of the season being espionage, cloak and dagger and infiltration, maybe the Captain of the Enterprise is a Changling, and the computer failure which crippled the vessel wasn’t so innocent after all….
Elizabeth Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy)
Head of Borg Research, First Officer to Captain Riker temporarily and eventual Captain, Shelby had quite the career in the expanded universe, as first officer on board the U.S.S. Excalibur to Mac Calhoun, before becoming a Captain herself on board the Exeter, Excalibur A and the Trident. She was a formidable officer, eventually becoming an Admiral and participating in defence discussions during the Borg Invasion of 2381.
A genuine legend among legends, it would be most welcome to see another familiar face from Picard’s past rise up and command the vessel she once nearly fought Commander Riker for a posting on! Star Trek: Lower Decks established that Shelby had risen to the rank of Captain by 2381. Elizabeth Dennehy portrayed Shelby in her two-episode appearance.
Aneta Smrhova (Expanded Universe)
Chief of Security and Chief of Tactical on board Enterprise E, Aneta rose through the ranks from relief officer to Lieutenant Commander. In the novel Collateral Damage, she was the temp First Officer to Commander Worf (Michael Dorn), who was in temporary command as the Captain. The novel began setting up a genuine working relationship between the two, laying the foundations for them potentially taking on the Enterprise had the events of Star Trek: Coda not happened.
Worf took command of Enterprise E during Picard’s absence thanks to the tie-in novel The Last Best Hope, so who knows? Maybe the once relief Tactical Officer rose through the ranks, became First Officer and passed on the Enterprise F on Worf’s blessing? A rather out-there suggestion, I will admit…
Will We Ever Know?
And that’s it! A small (There are so many choices!) list of who could be the Captain of The Enterprise F In Star Trek: Picard. The ship has a legacy, so whoever Captains has some serious boots to fill, following in the steps of James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Jean-Luc Picard, Rachel Garret (Tricia O’Neill), Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and John Harriman (Alan Ruck). With only two episodes of Season 3 remaining, it will be interesting to see what surprises Terry Matalas has in store.
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 airs on Thursdays via Paramount+ for those in the United States. Additionally, on Crave and the CTV Sci-Fi channel for viewers in Canada. However, new episodes air Fridays via Amazon Prime Video in international regions like the United Kingdom. Paramount+ also streams the episodes in select locations, such as Italy, Germany, and France.
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