They are described as being:

  • 5x as strong as humans
  • 2x as intelligent as humans
  • 2x as long lived as humans
  • Quicker (better reflexes) than humans

This sounds great. I'd feel honored to have them overthrow my civilization and rein in a new age. You'd expect them to be stronger than Vulcans, marginally more intelligent, and almost equally long lived. Truly superhuman.

Except... they keep failing so hard. I don't get it.

I understand how in-fighting could give the dumb, weak, but well-armed basic human beings a chance to win a war against them.

What I don't understand is how people like Capt. Archer and Capt. Kirk repeatedly win fights with them (both captains), knock them unconscious with a back of the hand slap (Archer), and outsmart them (both).

Is it a simple case of 'the good guys always win' or is there some more reasonable explanation?

1 Answer 1


They lack knowledge and experience.

Khan failed to defeat Kirk in "Space Seed", for instance, because Kirk knew something Khan did not: that there is a removable pipe-shaped tool in a console in Engineering that he could use to beat Khan unconscious with.

In The Wrath of Khan, Kirk wins again because Khan, while brilliant, has never fought a space battle before:

SPOCK: He's intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates...two-dimensional thinking.

  • 1
    Thanks. Starfleet officers are trained in various forms of self-defense, so again knowledge can trump intrinsic abilities. Also, there is no reason to assume that all of the Augments are equally able. Khan is obviously more cunning than the rest of his followers, and they acknowledge his superiority ("yours is superior", as one of his followers insists in TWOK).
    – Praxis
    Feb 28, 2016 at 0:19
  • 9
    Also noteworthy is that in TWoK, Khan was hell-bent on revenge against Kirk even if it got himself and all of his followers killed ("For hate's sake... I spit my last breath at thee!"). He could've very easily "won" half an hour into the movie if he just settled for escaping Ceti Alpha V and left in search of a more habitable planet. So Kirk had the advantage of being rational.
    – Ixrec
    Feb 28, 2016 at 0:23
  • @Ixrec : Very true. :-)
    – Praxis
    Feb 28, 2016 at 0:39

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