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Quotable Star Trek

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About The Book

"...Good words. That's where ideas begin."
-- Dr. David Marcus to Admiral James T. Kirk, Star Trek® II: The Wrath of Khan™

It makes us wonder. It makes us smile. But most of all, it makes us think.
More than any other single aspect, Star Trek is defined by the strength of its ideas. For decades this television and movie phenomenon has reached out to its audience, spanning generations and inspiring them not simply with the power of its voice, but with the meaning behind it.
Quotable Star Trek demonstrates the truly universal appeal of Gene Roddenberry's extraorinary creation. Words of wit, wisdom, and compelling insight applicable to everyday life from The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation®, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek Voyager®, and eight Star Trek motion pictures have been meticulously researched and collected in one volume. Intensely thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining, Quotable Star Trek has something for everyone, and is a must-have resource for every devoted fan.


Chapter 1: The Human Condition
"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
-- Dr. Philip Boyce to Captain Christopher Pike
Star Trek: The Original Series/"The Cage"
"Charlie, there are a million things in this universe you can have and there are a million things you can't have. It's no fun facing that, but that's the way things are."
"Then what am I going to do?"
"Hang on tight. And survive. Everybody does."
-- Captain James T. Kirk and Charlie Evans
TOS/"Charlie X"
"In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that...and perhaps more, only one of each of us."
-- Dr. Leonard McCoy to Kirk
TOS/"Balance of Terror"
"Being a red-blooded human obviously has its disadvantages."
-- Commander Spock to McCoy
"Here you stand...a perfect symbol of our technical society. Mechanized, electronicized, and not very human. You've done away with humanity, the striving of man to achieve greatness through his own resources..."
"We've armed man with tools. The striving for greatness continues."
-- Anton Karidian and Kirk
TOS/"The Conscience of the King"
"We're a most promising species, Mister Spock, as predators go. Did you know that?"
"I've frequently had my doubts."
"I don't. Not any more. And maybe, in a thousand years or so, we'll be able to prove it."
-- Kirk and Spock, on the Metron's judgment
"Sometimes pain can drive a man harder than pleasure."
-- Kirk to McCoy
TOS/"The Alternative Factor"
"Improve a mechanical device and you may double productivity. But improve man, you gain a thousandfold."
-- Khan Noonien Singh to senior staff
TOS/"Space Seed"
"Maybe we weren't meant for Paradise. Maybe we were meant to fight our way through, struggle, claw our way up, scratch for every inch of the way. Maybe we can't stroll to music of the lute, we must march to the sound of drums."
-- Kirk to McCoy
TOS/"This Side of Paradise"
"We're the same. We share the same history, the same heritage, the same lives. We're tied together beyond any untying. Man or woman, it makes no difference. We're human. We couldn't escape from each other even if we wanted to. That's how you do it, Lieutenant. By remembering who and what you are, a bit of flesh and blood afloat in a universe without end and the only thing that's truly yours is the rest of humanity."
-- Kirk to Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas
TOS/"Who Mourns for Adonais?"
"It's the custom of my people to help one another when we're in trouble."
-- Kirk to Shahna
TOS/"The Gamesters of Triskelion"
"She seems very vulnerable."
"We're all vulnerable in one way or another."
-- McCoy and Kirk, on Dr. Miranda Jones
TOS/"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
"How compact your bodies are. And what a variety of senses you have. This thing you call...language, though...most remarkable. You depend on it for so very much. But is any one of you really its master? But most of all...the aloneness. You are so alone. You live out your lives in this shell of flesh. Self-contained. How terribly lonely."
-- Spock/Kollos
TOS/"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
"Well, when the personality of a human is involved, exact predictions are hazardous."
-- McCoy to Spock, on the long-term effects of the Zetarian possession of Mira
TOS/"The Lights of Zetar"
"But you can't deny, Captain, that you're still a dangerous, savage child-race."
-- Q to Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Star Trek: The Next Generation/ "Encounter at Farpoint"
"You see of all the species, yours cannot abide stagnation. Change is at the heart of what you are. But change into what? That's the question!"
-- Q to Commander William Riker
TNG/"Hide and Q"
"I know Hamlet. And what he might say with irony I say with conviction. 'What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god...'"
"Surely you don't see your species like that, do you?!"
"I see us one day becoming that, Q. Is it that which concerns you?"
-- Picard and Q
Source: William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2, scene 2
TNG/"Hide and Q"
"You humans are puny. Weak."
"But our spirit is indominatable."
-- Armus and Picard
TNG/"Skin of Evil"
"A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of 'things.' We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We've grown out of our infancy."
-- Picard to Ralph Offenhouse
TNG/"The Neutral Zone"
"It's a blessing to understand that we are special...each in his own way."
-- Woman to Lieutenant Geordi La Forge
TNG/"Loud as a Whisper"
"Haven't we grown beyond the point where we resolve our problems with physical conflict?"
-- Dr. Katherine Pulaski to Riker
TNG/"The Icarus Factor"
"You see, lad, every moment of pleasure in life has to be purchased by an equal moment of pain."
-- Danilo Odell to Lieutenant Worf
TNG/"Up the Long Ladder"
"They're so different."
"It is the differences that have made us strong."
-- Prime Minister Granger and Picard, on the group of people about to join Granger's colony
TNG/"Up the Long Ladder"
"Different in appearance, yes. But we are both living beings -- we are born, we grow, we live, and we die. In all the ways that matter, we are alike!"
-- Picard to Nuria. The captain tries to convince Nuria that though he is an alien to her world, his people are no different from her people TNG/"Who Watches the Watchers?"
"There are creatures in the universe who would consider you the ultimate achievement, android. No feelings, no emotions -- no pain. And yet you covet those qualities of humanity. Believe me, you're missing nothing. But if it means anything to're a better human than I."
-- Q to Lieutenant Commander Data, on Q's punishment to live as a human
TNG/"Deja Q"
"Being afraid all of the time of forgetting somebody's name. Not...not knowing what to do with your hands...I mean, I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there's a party. And then when he finally gets there, he winds up alone in the corner trying to look comfortable examining a potted plant."
-- Lieutenant Reginald Barclay to La Forge
TNG/"Hollow Pursuits"
"All this magnificent technology, we still find ourselves susceptible to the ravages of old age. The loss of dignity, the slow betrayal of our bodies by forces we cannot master."
-- Picard to Data
"Is that not part of the human experience -- growth and change?"
-- Data to Wesley Crusher
TNG/"Ménage à Troi"
"When the Borg destroyed my world, my people were scattered throughout the universe. We survived. As will humanity survive. As long as there's a handful of you to keep the spirit alive. You will prevail. Even if it takes a millennium."
-- Guinan to Picard
TNG/"The Best of Both Worlds, Part I"
"You know what the worst part of growing old is? So many of the people you've known all your life are gone...and you realize you didn't take the time to appreciate them while you still could...."
-- Dr. Dalen Quaice to Dr. Beverly Crusher
TNG/"Remember Me"
"There is something to be learned when you're not in control of every situation."
-- Counselor Deanna Troi to Riker
TNG/"The Loss"
"If being human is not simply a matter of being born flesh and blood...if it is instead a way of thinking, acting...and feeling...then I am hopeful that one day I will discover my own humanity. Until then, Commander Maddox, I will continue...learning, changing, growing...and trying to become more than what I am."
-- Data's log
TNG/"Data's Day"
"You know, almost everyone has a moment in their lives when they exceed their own limits...achieve what seems to be impossible...."
-- Troi to Barclay
TNG/"The Nth Degree"
"We should not discount Jean-Luc Picard yet. He is human...and humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them."
-- Sela to Toral
"Poverty was eliminated on Earth a long time ago. And a lot of other things disappeared with it: hopelessness...despair...cruelty..."
-- Troi to Samuel Clemens
TNG/"Time's Arrow, Part II"
"Young lady, I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the backs of the poor...where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace...and power is an end unto itself....And you're telling me...that isn't how it is anymore?"
-- Clemens to Troi
TNG/"Times Arrow, Part II"
"You see, one of the most important things in a person's life is to feel useful."
-- Picard to La Forge
"Part of being human is learning how to deal with the risk new experiences even when they don't fit into your preconceptions."
-- La Forge to Data
"They say, time is the fire in which we burn...right now, Captain, my time is running out. We leave so many things unfinished in our lives....
-- Dr. Tolian Soran to Picard
Source: Delmore Schwartz, "For Rhoda"
Star Trek Generations
"You know, Counselor...recently I've become very much aware that there were fewer days ahead than there are behind....But I took some comfort from the fact that the family would go on."
-- Picard to Troi
"It unites humanity in a way that no one ever thought possible...when they realize they're not alone in the universe."
-- Troi to Zefram Cochrane
Star Trek: First Contact
"The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."
-- Picard to Lily Sloane
First Contact
"Someone once said...'Don't try to be a great man...just be a man. And let history make its own judgments."
-- Riker, quoting Zefram Cochrane
First Contact
"In my century we don't succumb to...revenge. We have a more evolved sensibility."
-- Picard to Lily
First Contact
"Every choice we make has a consequence...."
-- Commander Benjamin Sisko to wormhole alien
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"Emissary"
"Doctor, most people in my experience wouldn't know reason if it walked up and shook their hand."
-- Security Chief Odo to Dr. Julian Bashir
"It's not your fault that things are the way they are."
"Everybody tells themselves that...and nothing ever changes...."
-- Bashir and Lee
DS9/"Past Tense, Part II"
"I wasn't aware that humans saw growing old as a negative experience. On Cardassia, advanced age is seen as a sign of power and dignity."
-- Elim Garak to Bashir
DS9/"Distant Voices"
"Being an outsider isn't so bad. It gives one a unique perspective."
-- Odo to the female shape-shifter
DS9/"The Search, Part II"
"I finally realized that it wasn't Starfleet I wanted to get away from. I was trying to escape the pain I felt after my wife's death. I thought I could take the uniform, wrap it around that pain, and toss them both away. But it doesn't work like that. Running may help for a little while, but sooner or later the pain catches up with you. And the only way to get rid of it is to stand your ground and face it."
-- Sisko to Worf
DN9/"The Way of the Warrior, Part II"
"In the meantime let me give you some free advice, just to show you I'm on your side. You people should take better care of yourselves. Stop poisoning your bodies with tobacco and atom bombs. Sooner or later, that kind of stuff will kill you."
-- Quark to General Denning. Having traveled back in time to twentieth-century Earth, Quark resolves to form a business relationship with the humans using what little knowledge he has of the time period
DS9/"Little Green Men"
"'There comes a time in every man's life when he must stop thinking and start doing.'"
-- Benjamin Sisko to Joseph Sisko, quoting his father's words back to him >DS9/
"Paradise Lost"
"We all have scars. Of one kind or another."
-- Kira Nerys to Kira Meru
DS9/"Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night"
"My people taught me a man does not own land. He doesn't own anything but the courage and loyalty in his heart. That's where my power comes from."
-- Commander Chakotay to Kar
Star Trek: Voyager"Initiations"
"The past is a part of you, no matter how hard you try to reject it!"
-- Kolopak to young Chakotay
"The human fascination with 'fun' has led to many tragedies in your short but violent history. One wonders how your race has survived having so much 'fun.'"
-- Ensign Tuvok to Dmitri Valtane
"In my time, Mister Starling, no human being would dream of endangering the future to gain advantage in the present...."
-- Captain Kathryn Janeway to Henry Starling
VGR/"Future's End, Part II"
"Families, societies, cultures -- wouldn't have evolved without compassion and tolerance -- they would have fallen apart without it."
-- Kes to the Doctor
"When your captain first approached us, we suspected that an agreement with humans would prove impossible to maintain. You are erratic...conflicted...disorganized. Every decision is debated...every action questioned...every individual entitled to their own small opinion. You lack harmony...cohesion...greatness. It will be your undoing."
-- Seven of Nine to Chakotay
VGR/"Scorpion, Part II"
"We all have a past. What matters is now."
-- Lieutenant Tom Paris to Seven of Nine
VGR/"Day of Honor"
"I realize it may be difficult for you to help save this creature's life...but part of becoming human is learning to have compassion for those who are suffering...even when they're your bitter enemies."
-- Janeway to Seven of Nine, on a member of Species 8472
"A single act of compassion can put you in touch with your own humanity."
-- Janeway to Seven of Nine
"Your people have faced extinction many times. But you've always managed to avoid it....You seem to recognize the need for change."
-- Alpha-Hirogen to Janeway
VGR/"The Killing Game, Part II"

copyright © 1999 by Paramount Pictures

About The Author

Jill Sherwin is the author of The Quotable Star Trek and The Definitive Star Trek Trivia Book. She is also a former assistant to the producers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


Product Details

  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (March 1, 1999)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780671024574

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