In Star Trek Into Darkness, Khan invites Captain Kirk to punch him. Kirk does, repeatedly, and Khan is totally unaffected.

Suppose that Data were on the scene instead of Kirk, and Khan, thinking that Data is a Frenchman, extends the same invitation. Data puts his full strength into his punch and nails Khan in the face. Does Khan go down immediately?

If this is an outlawed sort of question, then I'm sorry. But I think that an objective analysis can be given, since both Data's strength and Khan's durability can be determined to some degree.

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    Data's strength is highly discussed and contested. He's been shown carrying a 300lb anvil in one hand, and easily bending a bar able to withstand 40k bars (580 000 psi, or lb per inch). Using either of these figures, since Data's hand is roughly hand-sized, I'd imagine he could have punched clean through Khan's face. Sep 24, 2014 at 17:08
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    Yeah, while no one could contest that Khan has super strength, that is relative to humans. Khan is still a human made out of flesh and bone. These things have set limits. Data's strength simply beyond human physical tolerances - enhanced or not.
    – xXGrizZ
    Sep 24, 2014 at 17:17
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    This is called 'Shark vs Gorilla' Sep 24, 2014 at 18:15
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    @JackBNimble - The defining feature of Shark vs Gorilla is that it transcends universes. Pitting two individuals within the same universe is better characterised as Shark vs Shark.
    – Valorum
    Sep 24, 2014 at 18:31
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    +1 for the Time's Arrow reference :)
    – bitmask
    Sep 24, 2014 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


I think it's reasonable to assume that Data could kill Khan with a single punch. For me, the real question is whether Data has enough strength to literally punch through Khan's head and out the other side. In short, I'd say that the answer is an unqualified yes.

  • Data is known to possess physical strength far in excess of a human and the ability to move at incredible speeds. He is described in TNG : Measure of a Man as having "mega strength" and in TNG : The Naked Now we see him moving his hands so fast that they literally become a blur.

  • In Star Trek : First Contact, Data punches through the wall of a coolant tank. Since this was almost certainly made of transparent aluminium, I think we can call this a good analogue for an Enhanced-Human's skull.

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  • We see Data punch Riker in TNG : Power Play. From a seated position, he literally smacks him eight feet across the room without any apparent difficulty.

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    Not to mention snapping Worf's wrist with no effort in "Clues".
    – Omegacron
    Sep 24, 2014 at 17:40
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    It was Paxan Troi that broke Worf's wrist. You don't think that Khan could knock Riker down, as Data does?
    – user30592
    Sep 24, 2014 at 19:18
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    I really hope when they filmed that scene they did a take where Jonathan Frakes flew back all campy like that and Patrick Stewart nodded his head approvingly and said "acting!"
    – Monty129
    Sep 24, 2014 at 22:43
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    You'd think a $45 million budget would buy a more realistic looking "deadly gas containment tube" than green acetate paper that flops around at the slightest touch. Sep 25, 2014 at 12:41
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    You are correct, sir. I remembered the scene with Worf (A warrior does NOT complain about discomfort) and him stating that Data was one of the few who could do it, but was thinking it actually was Data who did the deed. Earlier I thought you were referring to the episode where energy beings (prisoners) possessed Troi, Data, & O'Brien.
    – Omegacron
    Sep 25, 2014 at 20:46

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