At the end of Star Trek Into Darkness, Captian Kirk is speaking to a large group of people (perhaps a service for the recently-deceased Captain Pike?). He says the following:

When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship, he had me recite the Captain's Oath, words I didn't appreciate at the time. Now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were, and who we must be again.

Those words?

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

It seems absolutely absurd that the "tv show intro" would actually be used as any type of official "oath" for Starfleet captains.

Was this "captain's oath" concept totally invented to make the end of the movie more appealing to fans of the original series?

If not, and it's an actual oath:

  • Were the parts about the "USS Enterprise" and the "five-year mission" some kind of fill-in-the-blank parts of the oath? They obviously wouldn't apply to other ships with different missions.

  • Or was this some kind of Enterprise-specific oath? Perhaps something that Pike had recited for his predecessor when he took command of the Enterprise?

  • 6
    Of course it's made-up movie crap. That said, as long as there are enough people willing to watch a crappy Star Trek movie dozens of times, why bother to write anything good? You want good writing, try something by Vance or Shakespeare.
    – user14111
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 9:37

2 Answers 2


The entire thing doesn't seem to be the oath, just specific parts of it. And most of it isn't unique to the Enterprise, it's part of the Federation charter and Starfleet's general orders.

Seeking out new life

JANEWAY: By adhering to the oath you took as Starfleet officers to seek out life, not destroy it.

VOY: Equinox

Boldly going places

Mudd: The moment you decided to boldly go where no one had gone before.

DIS: Choose Your Pain

Seeking out new civilisations

Janeway: And as the only Starfleet vessel assigned to the Delta Quadrant, we'll continue to follow our directive to seek out new worlds and explore space.

VOY: Caretaker

  • I already accepted your answer, but just for fun - do you think the ship name and the mission length are the only "fill in the blank" parts? Or do you think any of the actual mission objectives changed between captains?
    – LevenTrek
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 3:33
  • @LevenTrek - The oath is probably something like "I do solemnly swear to explore space and seek out new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to uphold the values of the Federation Charter and to boldly go where no one has gone before." The mission-specific bit at the front is just for audiences.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 6:52

I add to the existing answer that this quote is based in part on Zefram Cochrane's speech at the dedication of the Warp 5 program facility, therefore predating the Federation:

ZEFRAM: On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it – thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips... and we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds, and seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly... where no man has gone before.

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