Jаnewаy Beсаme Tһe Stаr Trek Admirаl Kirk & Piсаrd Could Never Be

Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from Star Trek: Voyager succeeded as an admiral where William Shatner’s Kirk & Patrick Stewart’s Picard could not.

Admiral Janeway, Kirk, Picard


  • Captain Janeway’s successful transition to becoming a Starfleet Admiral sets her apart from Captains Kirk and Picard, who were less suited to the role and had shorter stints at the rank.
  • Janeway’s experiences as the captain of Voyager uniquely prepared her for the position of Admiral, as she had to represent Starfleet’s best ideals and practices without the organization’s support.
  • Admiral Janeway’s lengthy record as an admiral surpasses Kirk and Picard, establishing her as the Star Trek Admiral that they could not be.

Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from Star Trek: Voyager successfully became a Starfleet Admiral in a manner that Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) did not. Though each attained significant accomplishments as a starship captain, only Janeway attained a similar level of far-reaching career success as a flag officer. Approximately one year after her return from the Delta Quadrant, Janeway first appears as a Vice Admiral in Star Trek: Nemesis. Although Kirk and Picard also experienced success at the rank of Admiral, they were individually less suited to the role when contrasted with their tenure as Captains, and experienced shorter terms with the rank.

Captain Picard left the USS Enterprise-E between Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek: Picard season 1 after over 20 years as Captain of the Enterprise-D/E. Kirk’s advice to Picard in Star Trek Generations may have contributed to the lengthy command, but comparatively, Picard’s initial time as an Admiral was short-lived. Though he would later return to active duty, Picard resigned to protest Starfleet, withdrawing to his family’s vineyard in France. Kirk also held influence as Rear Admiral and Chief of Starfleet Operations, with this rank introduced in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but James regretted the promotion and went to great lengths to self-sabotage his position. Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy) told Kirk flat-out that it was “a mistake to accept a promotion.”

Why Admiral Janeway Outranks Admiral Picard In Star Trek

Star Trek: Voyager’s Admiral Kathryn Janeway has had one of Starfleet’s most decorated careers, even outranking the legendary Jean-Luc Picard.

Why Janeway Succeeds As A Star Trek Admiral Where Kirk & Picard Failed

Janeway is a very different breed of Starfleet officer.

While Janeway, Kirk, and Picard are still each known best for their work as Captains, references to Janeway’s position as a Starfleet Admiral in Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek: Picard are met with respect and reverence, with Janeway’s featured role in Star Trek: Prodigy also underlining her considerable success. Though every Star Trek captain individually employed and developed exceptional talent during their tenures, no other command could have prepared for an admiralty rank quite like Janeway’s did. Stranded in the Delta Quadrant, Captain Janeway embodied the ultimate authority on – and outside of – the USS Voyager, required to represent Starfleet’s best ideals and practices without the safety net of Starfleet’s contact or support.

Kate Mulgrew played the dual role of Hologram Janeway and Admiral Janeway in Star Trek: Prodigy season 1.

Where Kirk’s captaincy in Star Trek: The Original Series leaned into his personal strengths, his role as Admiral necessitated different qualities. Dissatisfied with his administrative desk duties, Kirk rearranges assignments in Star Trek: The Motion Picture to take command of the Starship Enterprise and is ultimately demoted back to Captain in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, following events in the intervening movies. This reduction in rank, however, is both intended and taken as a reward rather than a punishment. Admiral Picard felt similarly restricted, as demonstrated by his resignation, a backfired attempted bluff to maneuver Starfleet’s official position. In contrast to these similar roles, Janeway’s lengthy record as an admiral decisively surpasses Kirk’s and Picard’s.

Admiral Janeway Exists In 3 Star Trek Timelines

Becoming an Admiral is Janeway’s first, best destiny.

Admiral Janeway in Star Trek: Prodigy

Kate Mulgrew’s Vice Admiral Janeway has previously been seen in two separate Star Trek timelines, with Star Trek: Prodigy’s Admiral set to travel into an alternate 25th century. Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 will follow Admiral Janeway and her young crew as they travel through the newly formed wormhole in search of the missing Captain Chakotay (Robert Beltran). The animated Admiral continues the adventures of Captain Kathryn Janeway, later Admiral, first seen in the Prime Timeline’s Star Trek: Voyager. In Voyager‘s finale, “Endgame,” an older Admiral Janeway travels back from an alternate future through a temporal wormhole to help the crew return home.

Admiral Janeway’s captaincy uniquely prepared her for a position in Starfleet’s Admiralty, with her achievements and professionalism commanding gravitas and great respect among her peers. In Star Trek: Picard season 3, Admiral Janeway is suggested as a proactive ally in countering an internal Starfleet conspiracy – usefully commanding access and influence to areas Admiral Picard could not. Better suited to the role in terms of personality than her starship commander predecessors – who separately found the bureaucracy and organization-heavy position somewhat confining and restrictive – Kathryn Janeway ultimately became the Star Trek Admiral that Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean-Luc Picard were unable to be.

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