Currently rewatching all of Voyager, and remembering how callous Janeway was in ordering Tuvix's death. And how many times she threatens to, and actually activates the Self-Destruct Sequence.

I wonder, which Star Trek series or captain has actually ordered the most Crew to their death? (not actually dying, but at least knowing that it was most probable outcome, ala Troi's bridge officer training exam)

Alternatively, which Captain threatens/orders the most Self Destructs?

  • My gut tells me high to low, Janeway, Sisko, Picard/Kirk. Don't even know where Archer would stand in this.
    – user16696
    Jul 16, 2015 at 22:35
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    Loosely speaking, I think Janeway wins just with the order to destroy the Caretaker's array in the first episode. Her entire crew condemned to near-certain death in a 70+ year trip through uncharted space Jul 16, 2015 at 22:53
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    Zapp Brannigan beats them all, hands down. Aug 2, 2015 at 13:25
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    If we were to stretch the parameters of the question to include orders that unintentionally caused the death of crew members, I'd say Matt Decker from the TOS ep "The Doomsday Machine." He ordered his entire crew down to the third planet of a system to save them, but that planet was then destroyed by the Doomsday Machiine.
    – Helbent IV
    Mar 11, 2017 at 19:25
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    Sisko started a war that the Federation needed the Romulans to win...and had casualties in the billions. That has to count for something.
    – geewhiz
    Aug 5, 2018 at 3:34

3 Answers 3


My vote goes to Picard

First of all, Picard is no stranger to the auto-destruct sequence, as in "11001001" and "Where Silence Has Lease". The crew complement of the Enterprise-D is much higher than those of the other primary Star Trek ships that we encounter, and also includes families and civilian employees. (See this answer for crew complement information regarding the Enterprise-D.)

In "Lower Decks", Picard sends Ensign Sito on a mission for which the chance of survival is known in advance to be extremely low. In fact, she does not survive.

Finally, in Star Trek: Nemesis, Picard rams the Enterprise-E nose first into the Scimitar, without ordering an evacuation of the forward saucer section (nor did he give time for one).

At best, there was:

All hands, brace for impact.

In fact, I had previously raised a question about this:

Warning regarding forward saucer section in Nemesis?

  • See here where you can get some numbers on the number of people Picard was going to sentence to death aboard the D ;) Bear in mind the E was actually a smaller ship than the D Jul 17, 2015 at 1:27
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    Not to mention whatever mayhem Picard caused as Locutus.
    – Spencer
    Dec 10, 2019 at 16:41
  • The question asks about crew not civilians, do we actually know how many were crew and not civilians?
    – Matt
    Feb 7, 2020 at 4:00
  • @Matt : Yes, we do. Unlike the Enterprise-D, there were no families aboard the Enterprise-E (see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/84849). Barring the possibility of a few civilian staff or scientists, etc., the ship was by and large populated by active crew.
    – Praxis
    Feb 9, 2020 at 17:46
  • @Praxis fair enough, your first 2 paragraphs focused on D, which made me think of D while reading the rest +1
    – Matt
    Feb 9, 2020 at 20:31

Well, according to a contribution to Cracked (entry #7) by someone calling themselves RogerRamjet:

An overview showing photos of Enterprise captains, with percentages of crew killed, represented by red-shirted crew members. Information is transcribed below.

Percentage of the Crew Killed While They Were the Captain

  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard: 7%
  • Captain James T. Kirk: 22%
  • Captain Kathryn Janeway: 37%
  • Captain Jonathan Archer: 67%

...not counting the books, comics, movies, post-death revivals, dream sequences, parallel universes, or multi-death timeloops.

  • 6
    Using percentage here isn't really fair for Archer considering that they had a complement of ~80 each death is more than 1%. Picard could lose a few dozen per each percent.
    – CJK
    Aug 8, 2015 at 23:43
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    No entry for Captain Sisko?
    – RichS
    Mar 11, 2017 at 19:26
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    @RichS: I know it's been a while since you asked but... I would imagine that measuring Sisko's percentage is very complicated. First, you have to figure out DS9's crew complement (does Rom count?), then you have to figure out what fraction of that is Federation vs. Bajoran (or do we care?), and then you have to do the exact same calculation for the Defiant and somehow combine it with the DS9 number. Also, what the heck do you do with "The Siege of AR-558"? Do any of those people count, or are they not part of DS9's crew and therefore not counted?
    – Kevin
    Sep 15, 2020 at 18:26
  • 'what the heck do you do with "The Siege of AR-558"' — personally, I watch it just before a Better Call Saul rewatch and imagine the weird time-travel shenanigans that resulted in Vargas being resurrected in the 20th century as Tuco Salamanca. Aug 19, 2021 at 10:43

Personally, I'd vote for Commodore Matt Decker, in "The Doomsday Machine" (TOS). He attempted to save his crew by beaming them all down to a planet, only to then watch helplessly as the machine then consumed the entire planet. That means he managed to kill off his ENTIRE crew in one shot (and went a bit off the rails due to the resulting grief).

  • 1
    he wasn't expecting them to die though - I think OP is asking about deliberately knowing crew deaths would happen
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 10, 2019 at 16:06

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