There have been many captains seen on screen across all series of Star Trek, Captain Ransom, Captain Rixx, Captain Bateson are a few that spring to mind, and thier characters are explored in a little more detail across an episode than what would be possible in one of the movies.
There were 7 different captains seen on screen in the 10 prime universe movies, all seen in the first seven movies featuring the Original series crew.
“But there were more” I hear you cry, well technically yes, but no, and here is the reason.
During the Kobayashi Maru simulator tests, Saavik held the rank of Captain, but as a cadet in training I don’t think should count. She did take the con on several occasions throughout the Wrath Of Khan, techincally becoming the ranking officer on the bridge, but again, she was never comissioned as an official captain.
Captain Sulu was omitted as this character already has a known back story from the TOS series and previous movies.
Worf was still at the rank of Commander when he took temporary command of the USS Defiant in First Contact, but as with Sulu, we already know plenty about this character.
So, on to our list of Starfleet Movie Captains, and first up…
Willard Decker: (USS Enterprise during refit)
Willard Decker (known familiarly as Will), was a Human Starfleet officer. He was the son of
Starfleet Commodore Matthew Decker and his wife Jane.
Decker was known for being a romanticist but still “well-disciplined” and “well-groomed’. He
liked to write poetry. At Starfleet Academy, he has relationships with several female
Early in his career, Lieutenant Commander Decker was stationed on Delta IV, serving under
Commander Spock, where he had a romantic relationship with the Deltan Ilia; the couple met
due to his ballads and poems.
The relationship came to an end when Decker departed Delta IV without saying goodbye.
As of 2266, Decker held the rank of commander, and was stationed to Starbase 6, where he
served as adjunct to Admiral Borck. Following this assignment, he was offered the first
officer position of a starship.
Decker did worry, and became depressed, over being the son of “the ‘mad Commodore'” and how
that would affect his career. He worked with the crew of the Enterprise to free the Talosian
people from a Klingon invasion, ending the depression and starting a friendship between Kirk
Following the end of the USS Enterprise’s historic five-year mission in 2270, Decker, then a
Captain, was given command of the ship. The ship was decommissioned for the upcoming refit
and Decker commanded it on an intergalactic tour until the start of the refit. He also
oversaw the eighteen-month refit.
During the refit, Decker personally recruited his entire crew, making the crew the most
diverse of species ever seen aboard a starship up until that point. While doing so, Decker
personally recruited Nyota Uhura to help him with recruiting many of the nonhuman members of
the crew. According to Hikaru Sulu, Decker was even considering making Uhura his executive
As the Enterprise neared the completion of her overhaul in 2273, the entity V’Ger was
approaching Earth. The then Admiral James T. Kirk returned to the Enterprise and took
command of the ship, temporarily demoting Decker to commander and first officer. Decker
resented Kirk using the emergency to retake the Enterprise and didn’t believe Kirk,
unfamiliar with the vastly redesigned Enterprise, was the right man to be in charge.
Decker’s suspicions turned out to be true at first when the Enterprise accidentally entered
a wormhole at warp speed and was almost destroyed when Kirk ordered use of the phasers (now
with power channeled from the warp engines) to escape. Fortunately Decker was able to
prevent this and Enterprise escaped using photon torpedoes.
This voyage of the Enterprise also saw Decker reunited with Ilia. Unfortunately it was all
too short a reunion, as shortly after Ilia was digitized by V’Ger. V’Ger later replaced Ilia
with its own probe in her form. The Ilia probe not only mimicked her appearance but also had
Ilia’s memories. Decker’s previous relationship with Ilia was subsequently key to
understanding V’Ger and establishing first contact. Two of his best audio/visual re-
association techniques (with help from Doctors Leonard McCoy and Christine Chapel) were
playing a game she almost always won on the recreation deck. The other was an ornamental
headpiece Ilia wore when they first met on Delta.
As V’Ger approached Earth it demanded to meet its creator or destroy the planet. Decker and
the probe Ilia joined an away team to the heart of V’Ger where they discovered its true
origins: an old Earth space probe, Voyager VI. V’Ger was hoping to evolve by merging with
its creator. Having lost his love and his ship, Decker volunteered and joined with V’Ger
becoming a glowing entity: a new non-corporeal lifeform. Following the incident Kirk
officially listed Decker as “missing in action”.
Later, in a conversation with Sulu, Uhura described Decker as a “real renaissance man and a
man of great imagination.” She said Decker, while having big ideas and working hard to make
them become real, never lost sight of the people who worked under him. Uhura said that
Decker was the kind of commander who really would bond with his crew and treat them like
family. Uhura believed Decker would have been a very good captain, if fate hadn’t taken him
Clark Terrell (USS Reliant)
Terrell graduated from the Academy in 2255 and was assigned as junior helmsman aboard the
USS Columbia. Following two years of diligent service, Terrell was promoted to lieutenant,
junior grade in 2257 and made chief helmsman aboard the Columbia.
In 2259, Terrell was assigned as second officer aboard the USS Ardent. In 2261, Terrell was
left stranded alone on Derus VI when the Ardent was destroyed in orbit by Orion pirates.
Although other crewmembers managed to escape via escape pod they all landed on a highly
volcanous region of the planet. However, Terrell was stranded for the next several years,
but when he was recovered, the rescue team discovered that he had established exclusive
trade rights and an alliance with the natives of Derus VI.
When Terrell was finally rescued from Derus VI, he was promoted to lieutenant commander, and
also awarded the Palm Leaf of Derus and the Federation Star for Distinguished Service.
By 2265, Commander Terrell was assigned as first officer aboard the Archer-class starship,
In 2268, Terrell was promoted to Captain of the Sagittarius and began a tour of exploration
in the Taurus Reach.
By 2273, Terrell was serving as first officer aboard the USS Pacifica under the command of
Captain Mahtani. By this time, Terrell was regarded as an expert on first contact situations
after successful missions on Yuria III, Olaras Prime, Mizar IV, and the Pilurran Colonies.
For these efforts he was awarded the Four Palm Leaf and the Palm Cluster. In 2275, Terrel
was promoted to captain and was granted command of the Pacifica following Mahtani’s
promotion to admiral.
As of 2282, Terrell was commanding officer of the USS Reliant. In that year, they were
assigned as election monitors on planet Mestiko. When troops loyal to the mar-Atyya
threatened to use deadly force to stop the voting, Terrell was able to talk down the troop
leader and, via a global newslink, ensure the voting was allowed to continue.
Later in 2282, the USS Reliant was scheduled for a supply stop at Starbase 34. Captain
Terrell decided that this would be a good time to accompany Commander Pavel Chekov, Doctor
Bianca Wilder and two enlisted crewmembers on a medical mission to stop the Symbalene blood
burn at the Te Awamutu VII outpost. The mission was a success, however on the return trip
the shuttlecraft Kepler (NCC-1864/05) crashed on a Gorn training planetoid. Unfortunately
Crewman Skiles was killed before a misunderstanding could be resolved. General Rellk then
instructed his troops to assist Captain Terrell and his crew.
In 2285, Terrell and the Reliant were assigned to support Project Genesis, surveying planets
is search of a suitable testbed for the Genesis Device. While surveying the surface of
planet Ceti Alpha V—which they had believed to be Ceti Alpha VI—Terrell and his first
officer, Pavel Chekov were captured by Khan Noonien Singh, who had been exiled there
eighteen years earlier.
Terrell was interrogated by Khan using parasitic Ceti eels, inserted into his ear canal and
insinuated into his cerebral cortex. Khan was then able to control Terrell and Chekov
through suggestion, and used them to take control of the Reliant. After attacking the Regula
I space station, Khan ordered Terrell to kill Admiral James T. Kirk, who had arrived to
investigate the attack. Terrell was able to resist Khan’s influence, however, and turned his
phaser on himself instead.
The starship USS Clark Terrell was named in his honor.
J.T. Esteban (USS Grissom)
Jonathan T. Esteban, a Starfleet officer, was captain of the USS Grissom in 2285. A “by-the
-book” commander, his vessel was assigned to survey the Genesis Planet, but he and his
entire crew (except for Lieutenant junior grade Saavik and Dr. David Marcus) were killed by
Madge Sinclair-Alexander (USS Saratoga)
Margaret Sinclair-Alexander (neé Margaret Alexander) was a Human female born in Jamaica on
Earth in the early 23rd century.
As a lieutenant in Starfleet, Margaret Alexander (known familiarly as “Madge”) served for
one year aboard the USS Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk in the 2260s. Her performance
aboard the Enterprise was such that she earned a field promotion, and transferred to the USS
Firenze to serve as its second officer.
Later, she was promoted to the rank of Commander, and was assigned as executive officer of
the USS Freedom. She then was promoted to Captain and took command of the Freedom, a
position she held until that ship was decommissioned.
By 2285, she commanded the Miranda-class USS Saratoga. In 2286, Sinclair’s Saratoga was
assigned for a key mission to the Romulan Neutral Zone, carrying Captain Styles who was sent
by Starfleet to relieve James T. Kirk from command of the USS Excelsior.
Later that year, she took Saratoga on a patrol of the area near the Zone, where they
encountered, and were disabled by, the Whalesong probe.
She was still commanding the Saratoga in 2289 when it was to bring Sarek to a Klingon-
Federation peace conference, but was substituted for by the USS Excelsior.
By 2293, Sinclair-Alexander had risen to the rank of Admiral, assigned to Starfleet
Headquarters. That year, she persuaded Kirk to take part in the launch ceremonies for the
new USS Enterprise-B.
After Kirk was apparently killed aboard that vessel, she spoke his memorial service in the
grounds of Starfleet Academy, where she recalled the time she spent serving with Kirk and
all she had learned from him.
By 2311, she had risen to the position of Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet. That year, she
approved Captain John Harriman’s plan to capture the Romulan flagship Tomed, and also
recruited both Drysi Gravenor and Los Tirasol Mentir to assist with the mission.
Although Sinclair’s character is the first female captain seen in Star Trek, she is not the
first female character to be depicting commanding a starship. In “The Lorelei Signal”, Uhura
assumed command of the Enterprise. The first female character depicted commanding a starship
in live-action Trek was Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
In-universe, the first female captain known is Erika Hernandez, the captain of the Columbia
NX-02, though T’Pol was seen in command of the Enterprise NX-01 several times as science
officer, and made captain in more than one alternate timeline before Columbia launched.
Joel Randolph (USS Yorktown)
Joel Randolph (USS Yorktown)
Joel Randolph was a Human male, a career officer in Starfleet in the late 23rd century. In
the mid-2280s, Randolph had achieved the rank of captain, and was the commanding officer of
the Federation Constitution-class starship USS Yorktown.
In 2268, the Yorktown was scheduled to deliver vaccines bound for the colony on Theta VII
after a rendezvous with the USS Enterprise.
In 2286, Yorktown was present at Earth during the crisis created by the call of the
Whalesong probe. Captain Randolph sent a message to Starfleet Command stating that the
probe’s communications emissions had completely nullified all energy sources aboard the
Yorktown and that all non-essential crew were given hiber-sedatives to slow down consumption
of life support reserves. Randolph’s chief engineer had been attempting to deploy a
makeshift solar sail with which to focus and absorb radiation from a nearby sun they were
Randolph’s last message before Command lost the signal was that he had high hopes for the
In 2293, Tuvok’s father was a Starfleet officer serving aboard the Yorktown.
Lawrence H. Styles (USS Excelsior)
Lawrence H. Styles was a Starfleet officer in the 23rd century. Throughout his career he
became known for his pompous and self-righteous attitude. He also became known for the
swagger stick that he once took from a Klingon in personal combat.
By the mid-2250s, Styles was serving aboard the USS Farragut under the command of Captain
Garrovick. Also serving aboard at the same time was Ensign James T. Kirk, and the two had a
very keen dislike of each other. When the Farragut was attacked by the dikironium cloud
creature in orbit of Tycho IV in 2257, Styles was one of two hundred crewman who survived.
By 2269, Lieutenant Styles was serving aboard the USS Monitor, when he was reassigned to
take temporary command of the USS Enterprise to oversee the refit of her engines following
the Talin IV disaster. He became an annoyance to Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott for
his arrogant attitude, proclaiming himself to be a ‘real’ captain compared to Kirk, and
attempted to wreck Kirk’s chance at clearing his name.
However, after Kirk discovered evidence that outside intelligences had been responsible for
escalating the Talin IV disaster, Styles ruined his image when he vehemently protested to
his superiors when they agreed to give Kirk the Enterprise- Kirk pointing out that the
Enterprise was not currently warp-capable in the Talin system as her new nacelles needed to
be tested outside of a gravity well to prevent the ship hitting a wormhole- despite Styles’s
belief that the ship was his.
Although Styles promised that he would catch up to Kirk some day, Kirk simply amusedly noted
that the important thing was that some day was not today. With Kirk having officially
regained command, Styles was sent back to the Monitor.
By 2285, Styles had risen to the rank of captain and was assigned command of the prototype
transwarp vessel, USS Excelsior. He took great pride in his command and was determined that
he would break the speed records of the USS Enterprise and all other starships. He even
managed to poach Captain Scott as his chief engineer as the Excelsior was getting prepared
However the triumph was short lived, when Admiral Kirk and his command staff plotted to
hijack the Enterprise from Spacedock in order to retrieve the body of Captain Spock. Knowing
that the Excelsior would be the only threat to the Enterprise, Kirk had Scott sabotage the
Excelsior’s transwarp engine so they could not pursue.
Styles was humiliated by the Excelsior’s engine failure, which was magnified by others in
the fleet who had taken to calling the man “Styles Without Substance” as well as “Drydock
At some point between 2287 and 2289, Captain Styles announced a decision to retire (along
with Lt. Commander Darby) in November 2289, Styles reversed this decision, remaining in
command of the Excelsior alongside Commander Hikaru Sulu as his new executive officer. Three
weeks later, Styles was killed during a peace conference at the Korvat Colony in an attack
by the Albino.
John Harriman (USS Enterprise-B)
John Jason Harriman II, the son of Admiral John “Blackjack” Harriman, was a Human male who
served in Starfleet during the late 23rd and early 24th centuries. He rose through the ranks
rapidly, in part due to his father’s influence, eventually being assigned command of the
newly commissioned USS Enterprise-B in 2293. Despite a rocky start, he became one of the
most well-regarded captains in the fleet.
Harriman was born aboard the USS Sea of Tranquility and lived most of his childhood on a
series of starships. Until his entrance into Starfleet Academy, he had never spent more than
a few weeks planetside. This was a uncomfortable experience for Harriman as he found the sky
in particular to induce agoraphobic reactions. After a few months however, he recovered and
excelled in his studies. He studied the Romulan Star Empire in depth, an interest he had
maintained after hearing stories of his grandfather’s participation in the Earth-Romulan War
as told by his father. He graduated in three years on an accelerated program.
As a Lieutenant, Harriman served on the USS Hunley as the Conn Officer. During a disastrous
conflict with the Romulan Vessel Daami and its commander Aventeer Vokar, the vessel was
disabled and severely damaged, the majority of the senior staff killed during the attack.
With a Romulan boarding party on the way, Harriman was able to beam over to Daami and hold
Vokar captive at gunpoint. Though Harriman was tempted to kill Vokar for what he had done,
he was unable to, but was succesful in capturing the Daami and returning both ships to
Federation space. This incident would spark a fierce rivalry between Harriman and Vokar for
over two decades.
Harriman was noted for inviting questions on the bridge and mixing both strength and
decisiveness with patience and informality. This duality allowed him to keep a very open but
functional relationship with his crew without employing an unnecessary amount of harsh
Still rather young when he took command of the Enterprise in 2293, Harriman was somewhat
ineffective in rescuing transports from the energy ribbon known as the Nexus. He was able to
swallow his pride and ask James T. Kirk, a guest of honor on the shakedown, for advice.
Unfortunately, Kirk was apparently killed during this encounter.
Several weeks later, while investigating an apparent distress signal on planet Askalon V,
Harriman was forced to kill his helm officer, Ensign Demora Sulu, when the young woman
appeared to have lost her sanity and attacked the rest of the landing party. An unauthorized
investigation by Excelsior Captain Hikaru Sulu revealed that Harriman had in fact killed a
clone created by alien technology employed by agents hostile to the Federation.
The Askalon mission marked a turning point in the relationship between Harriman and his
father. The Enterprise was charged with enforcing the quarantine of Askalon V, and the
admiral ordered weapons use against the Excelsior when Sulu violated that quarantine. The
younger Harriman contravened that order, and had the admiral beamed from the bridge to the
brig. Given the discovery of Ensign Sulu and the cloning technology, no formal mutiny
charges were initiated, but the relationship between the two men remained strained for years
In approximately 2294, Spock visited the Enterprise. Harriman met the other Starfleet
captain in the transporter room, and took him to the dedication plaque for James T. Kirk in
the ship’s engineering section.
In 2296, while defending the “rim worlds” near the Romulan Neutral Zone, the Enterprise-B
captured the vessel of Tal Shiar High Examiner Rokan while he slept, and placed him in the
ship’s holochamber, programmed to resemble his ship. A Federation agent who had been posing
as a Romulan then told Rokan that Captain Harriman had been captured. Under the belief that
he was interrogating the captain, the torturer revealed the names of four Starfleet officers
who he had re-programmed into Romulan “sleeper agents”.
In 2311, The USS Enterprise-B was serving as the Federation flagship, and frequently
patrolled the Foxtrot sector along the Romulan Neutral Zone, this during a time of rising
tension between the Federation and Romulans. Harriman was considered an expert on the
Romulans, and was thus one of the most important people involved with this situation. In
particular, he believed Aventeer Vokar to be the most dangerous man in the Romulan fleet,
and the heaviest proponent for war with the Federation.
This was due to his staunch chauvinistic nature, the allies he had in the Romulan Senate,
including the praetor, and his position as commander of the entire Romulan fleet. Some of
his important missions on the Romulan border included an investigation of Koltaari,
escorting the USS Universe during its trial run, and delivering the Universe specifications
to the Romulans after the destruction of that vessel.
Uneasy over the amount of blood that would surely be shed were a Federation/Romulan War to
take place, Harriman devised a plan that would lure the Klingons into an alliance with the
Federation, therefore forcing the Romulans to stand down. Since the Klingons had declared
that they would fight for peace, and thus side against whoever initiated a conflict, all
Harriman had to do was fake an attack by the Romulans in Federation Space. This attack would
later be referred to as the Tomed Incident. Harriman enlisted the aid of Special Ops Agents
Drysi Gravenor and Elias Vaughn and the three of them together infiltrated the Romulan
Flagship Tomed. They gained entry onto the ship by stowing away on Enterprise, who was to be
escorted out of Romulan space by Tomed. They sabotaged the equipment regulating deuterium
temperature, and radiation began to leak on Enterprise before the problem was fixed. During
this time, Tomed’s shields had been lowered in case it was necessary to evacuate Enterprise,
and the Special Ops team beamed aboard.
Once there, they sabotaged the containment field around Tomed’s quantum singularity warp
drive, causing a gradual breakdown in the containment field that would eventually result in
the destruction of the vessel. Harriman hoped that the Romulans would all abandon ship as
soon as this was discovered, but Vokar suspected Federation treachery and insisted on
staying behind with a few other officers. Harriman, Gravenor, and Vaughn were indeed
successful in capturing the vessel after a lengthy showdown with the Romulan officers.
Harriman was intent on keeping this plan bloodless, as he saw no morality in killing to
prevent a war, and thus gave the Romulans the option of being taken captive or remaining on
the Tomed, where they would be killed when the vessel was destroyed. When two of the
officers attempted to defect, Vokar and Akeev killed them. In spite of even this, Harriman
found himself unable to kill Vokar and simply left him on the Tomed when his team fled the
vessel. After escaping in a shuttle, Gravenor, Vaughn, and Harriman were secretly beamed on
board the Enterprise.
He resigned his command in 2311, following the Tomed Incident. Command of the Enterprise was
given to his former first officer Demora Sulu. Harriman then departed the vessel and married