Christopher Pike, sometimes known as "Chris" or "Pike", was a 23rd century Human Federation Starfleet officer. During the 2250s, Pike served as an instructor at Starfleet Academy. In 2255, he convinced James T. Kirk to join Starfleet.
Pike also became the first captain of the USS Enterprise and served in that position when the starship launched during a crisis in 2258. After being held captive by Nero, however, Pike gave command over to Spock. Subsequently, Pike was promoted to the rank of admiral. (Star Trek)
Pike was killed in 2259, in a revenge attack by Khan Noonien Singh, though Kirk led the Enterprise towards the eventual capture of Khan. A memorial service was thereafter held to honor Admiral Pike and other fallen Starfleet officers. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Pike was born in the city of Mojave on Earth. As a child, Pike had two horses – Tango and Mary Lou – which he rode through parkland that surrounded the city. (DIS: "Saints of Imperfection"; TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I")
Pike's father was a science teacher, and when he wasn't doing that, he would teach comparative religion, and because of that, it led to a very confusing household for Pike and it caused Pike and his father to not agree on much. (DIS: "New Eden") At one point during his childhood, Pike heard a fable that described Hell-Fire, something that he carried with him into his adulthood. (TOS: "The Cage")
Sometime before 2224, Pike attended Starfleet Academy where he received top marks in all his classes, with the exception of an "F" in Astrophysics. He was part of the graduating class of 3201.14. He also met Philippa Georgiou, who during their time at the Academy, was able to drink Pike and their fellow cadets under the table. (DIS: "Brother", "Saints of Imperfection")
Following a devastating attack on the USS Kelvin in 2233, Pike wrote a dissertation on the ship and the actions of its final commanding officer, George Kirk. By 2255, Pike was a captain serving as a recruiting officer for Starfleet Academy. He was at the Riverside Shipyard in Iowa when he encountered George Kirk's son, James T. Kirk, who was involved in a bar fight with several cadets under Pike's supervision. After halting the fight, Pike dared Kirk to enlist in Starfleet in order to achieve more than his father.
Commanding the USS Enterprise
Also in 2258, Pike was assigned to command the new Federation flagship, the USS Enterprise, on her maiden voyage. The voyage was brought forward after Earth received a distress call from Vulcan, and Pike led a Starfleet taskforce to aid in the evacuation of the planet. Encountering the Romulan mining vessel Narada, Pike commanded the Enterprise in its first combat situation, before taking a shuttlecraft to the Narada at the demand of Nero, the Narada's captain. En route, Pike deployed Kirk, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, and Chief Engineer Olson to the Narada's drill platform to disable it. He also promoted Commander Spock to acting captain and Kirk to acting first officer.
Pike was interrogated by Nero and his first officer, Ayel, as to the codes for Earth's planetary defenses. Initially resisting, Pike was subdued by use of a Centaurian slug, which forced him to reveal the information Nero wanted. Soon after, however, he was rescued by Kirk and returned to the Enterprise. Even when weakened, Pike used a Romulan disruptor Kirk had acquired from Ayel to defend himself and Kirk when a Romulan attempted to prevent his escape.
Following the successful conclusion of the mission and the destruction of the Narada, Pike was promoted to admiral, with Kirk relieving him as captain of the Enterprise. Pike's injuries required him to use a wheelchair during the relief ceremony. (Star Trek) Pike oversaw Kirk's recitation of the Captain's Oath. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
The "John Harrison" incident
A year later, still using a cane to walk, Pike received a report from Spock that Kirk had violated the Prime Directive on Nibiru, and lied about it in his captain's log. Pike summoned Spock and Kirk to his office at Starfleet Headquarters, where he admonished Kirk for exposing the Enterprise to the planet's primitive inhabitants, and accused him of arrogance. He informed Kirk that the Admiralty had relieved him of his command, and that Kirk would return to the Academy.
Pike, after subsequently being reappointed as captain of the Enterprise, spoke to Alexander Marcus about appointing Kirk as his first officer. Marcus agreed, and Pike met with Kirk in a bar, informing him of Marcus' decision. He then told Kirk to get dressed for a summit in the Daystrom Conference Room regarding a bombing in London.
Marcus announced to those attending that they were being sent on a manhunt for the perpetrator, a traitor named John Harrison, who was actually the Augment Khan Noonien Singh. Kirk expressed skepticism over why "Harrison" had attacked somewhere as public as the Kelvin Memorial Archive, then realized the assailant would be aware protocol would dictate a summit like this one; Khan suddenly appeared in a jumpship and opened fire. Pike was shot in the chest, and Spock carried him to safety. As Pike lay dying, Spock attempted a mind meld to comfort him, but Pike suddenly died. Kirk, after disabling Khan's vehicle, returned to find that Pike was dead. The incident left Kirk consumed by grief and anger.
Marcus blamed himself for Pike's death and agreed to Kirk requesting a new mission to hunt down and terminate "Harrison" himself. Marcus, in order to cause a war with the Klingon Empire and cover up his actions ordered Kirk to kill "Harrison" using advanced long-range torpedoes. Upon retaking command of the Enterprise, Kirk announces Pike's death to the crew, calling him their former captain and friend but chooses to arrest "Harrison" rather than kill him. On Qo'noS, "Harrison" surrenders upon learning of the number of torpedoes and Kirk accepts his surrender in honor of Pike. However, he attempts to ineffectually assault "Harrison" before taking him into custody.
Afterwards, when Kirk was poisoned, he heard Pike's voice alongside his parents as he lay between life and death, until Dr. McCoy was able to heal him. Nearly a year later, Kirk presided over a memorial service for the lives lost because of Khan, including Pike. During the service, Kirk told the crowd that when Pike gave him command, he made him recite the Captain's Oath, which Kirk quoted as part of his speech. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
James T. Kirk
Even after Pike had to demote Kirk for contravening regulations, Pike wanted Kirk as his own first officer and did his best to encourage Kirk despite this setback. Kirk was later informed that Pike had done a lot to speak in Kirk's favor during the aforementioned disciplinary hearing.
When Khan Noonien Singh attacked the meeting of Starfleet brass in San Francisco, Pike was killed, and Kirk was distraught, weeping at the loss of his mentor and becoming consumed with vengeance. However, Kirk later recalled Pike having made him swear to the Captain's Oath, and how it called him to be an explorer, not an executioner. He later let go of his vengeance and arrested Khan instead in honor of Pike. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Nearly four years after Pike's death, Kirk reflected on his decision to join Starfleet on Pike's "dare" and considered giving up his command for a position at Starbase Yorktown, though he ultimately chose to remain and command the USS Enterprise-A. (Star Trek Beyond)
- c. 2202 – Christopher Pike is born in Mojave, Earth.
- Reassigned as commanding officer of the Enterprise
- Killed in an attack by Khan Noonien Singh
"So your dad died, you can settle for less than an ordinary life, or do you feel like you were born for something better, something special?"
- - Christopher Pike, to James Kirk (Star Trek)
"Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved eight hundred lives, including your mother's and yours. I dare you to do better."
- - Christopher Pike, to James Kirk (Star Trek)
"Maximum warp. Punch it."
- - Christopher Pike's signature command for engaging warp drive (Star Trek)
"Is the parking brake on?"
- - Christopher Pike, to Hikaru Sulu, when the ship failed to warp to Vulcan with the rest of a Starfleet armada (Star Trek)
" I'm Captain Christopher Pike. To whom am I speaking?"
- - Christopher Pike, introducing himself to Nero (Star Trek)
"Come with me. Kirk, you too. You're not supposed to be here, anyway."
- - Christopher Pike, assigning a landing party to accompany him (Star Trek)
"Kirk, I'm promoting you to first officer."
"Captain? Please, I apologize, the complexity of Human pranks escapes me."
"It's not a prank, Spock. And I'm not the captain… you are."
- - Christopher Pike, James Kirk, and Spock (Star Trek)
"What are you doing here?"
"Just following orders."
- - Christopher Pike and James Kirk, on Kirk rescuing him (Star Trek)
"Are you giving me attitude, Spock?"
"I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously, sir. To which one are you referring?"
- - Christopher Pike and Spock (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass you are?"
"Think so, sir."
- - Christopher Pike and James Kirk (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"You think the rules don't apply to you, because you disagree with them?"
- - Christopher Pike to James Kirk, about his demotion (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"I gave you my ship because I saw a greatness in you. And now, I see you haven't got an ounce of humility."
- - Christopher Pike to James Kirk, on why he gave command of the Enterprise to Kirk (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"That's your problem, you think you're infallible! You think you can't make a mistake. It's a pattern with you! The rules are for other people!"
"Some should be."
"And what's worse is you using blind luck to justify your playing god!"
- - Christopher Pike and James Kirk (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"NO! I can't listen. You don't comply with the rules, you don't take responsibility for anything, and you don't respect the chair. You know why? Because you're not ready for it."
- - Christopher Pike to James Kirk, on why he refuses to listen to Kirk's objections (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"They gave her back to me. The Enterprise."
- - Christopher Pike to James Kirk, referring to command of the Enterprise (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"I said if anyone deserves a second chance, it's Jim Kirk."
"I don't know what to say."
"That is a first… It's gonna be okay, son."
- - Christopher Pike, telling Kirk that he wants him as his first officer on the Enterprise (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"We need an air defense team. Daystrom Conference Room!"
- - Christopher Pike's last words (Star Trek Into Darkness)
- - His way of ordering the Enterprise to warp (Star Trek)
|Commanding officers of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Archer • T'Pol • Tucker • Lorian|
|USS Enterprise:||April • Pike • Kirk • Decker • Spock|
|USS Enterprise-D:||Picard • Riker • Jellico • Halloway|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Forrest|
|ISS Enterprise NCC-1701:||Pike • Kirk|
|USS Enterprise:||Pike • Kirk|
The alternate reality version of Christopher Pike was portrayed by Bruce Greenwood. This was the third actor to play the role of Pike, as his prime universe counterpart had been played by Jeffrey Hunter in Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage" and by Sean Kenney in TOS two-parter "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II".
Arranging for Bruce Greenwood to play this character began with Director J.J. Abrams calling him to invite him to appear as Pike. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 16; Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 16) Remembering the phone call, Greenwood related, "[Abrams] said, 'Hey, I think you might be right for this. Would you like to come in and read the script?'" Because Greenwood was meanwhile participating in a movie being shot in Toronto, he asked if Abrams would be able to send him the script instead. Continued Greenwood, "He said, 'Oh no, but when you come back to L.A., we can lock you in a room with a guy standing outside the door and you can read it then.' So that's what I did: I came home a couple of weeks later and sat in a locked room and read it. I worked out a few questions for J.J., then we had a conversation and the next thing I knew, I was being fitted for a space suit!" (Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 16)
As Bruce Greenwood wasn't very familiar with Star Trek canon prior to accepting the role, he readied himself for the task of portraying Pike by watching "everything there was to be seen," including the original presentment of the character. (Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 16) As a result, the role turned out to be one of the most revision-intensive acting assignments of his career. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 16) "People feel so strongly about every tiny little aspect of it," he observed, "so regardless of what I choose to do, I thought I'd better know what other people's frame of reference is [....] There are still the diehards who think I should look exactly like him, and have the same hair do, all of that." (Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 16) Owing to the relevant obscurity of Jeffrey Hunter's Pike (compared to the likes of William Shatner's Kirk and Leonard Nimoy's Spock), Greenwood was uncertain as to how similar he should make his own rendition of the character. "I wasn't sure if it would really be apparent to anybody if I was to try and salt Christopher with Jeffrey Hunter's Pike," he admitted. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 18)
Bruce Greenwood believed his character was "almost [the] opposite" of the prime universe version of Captain Pike, as played by Jeffrey Hunter. This was because, whereas that variant of the character is highly "ambivalent" and "torn" about remaining in Starfleet, "that's not the case with Admiral Christopher Pike at all." Nonetheless, Greenwood considered the role he played to be another side "of the same coin" as the earlier-established Captain Pike. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 18)
The way Pike is depicted in the script of the film Star Trek appealed to Bruce Greenwood. "I thought he was really well drawn. There was a sense of morality there that seemed appropriate. J.J. and I talked quite a bit about that. He's a very strong guy who, for the most part, has appeared to play by the book, but under his rather conventional exterior beats the heart of a guy who understands that he can't always play by the rules. He sees talent – he looks past the paint [....] Pike is not a kneejerk reactive who makes rash decisions. He gets put in very complicated situations and treats them with the respect they deserve [....] There are probably three or four scenes when I read the script that I thought, 'This is really going to be fun to play.'" The changes in the character, described in the script, not only excited Greenwood but also challenged him "to deliver what's intended." (Star Trek Magazine issue 143, pp. 17, 18 & 19) He considered it to be to his advantage that Pike's involvement in the film is limited to about an hour of screen time. (Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 16) Having Pike end up in a wheelchair at the end of the movie was an homage to the portrayal of Pike in the "The Menagerie" two-parter. "It was the one obvious tip of the hat!" exclaimed Greenwood. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 18)
Bruce Greenwood prioritized the possibility of his return in Star Trek Into Darkness. "I was pretty vocal about wanting to come back. I was also very vocal about wanting to stand up, should I come back," he laughed. "I didn't want to be that guy who is stuck behind a desk saying, 'I told you to go out and do X and you did Y! I'm going to lose my badge if I don't get some answers!' I didn't want to be that Chief of Police; not that that dynamic would ever happen, because these guys are much more careful writers. But I said I was desperate to come back and they said, 'I think you will.'" Meanwhile, Greenwood occasionally asked J.J. Abrams questions concerning whether he would be asked to reprise the role, to which Abrams assured him not to worry about it. The actor remained sure he would prefer some extra information which was more concrete. His return was finally arranged roughly two years before the film was produced. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 20)
While portraying Pike, Bruce Greenwood found that, as concerned to the character’s backstory, he was freely able to invent memories, attitudes, and points of view which he imagined the character having, such as for the scene wherein Pike admonishes Kirk. Recollecting some of his thoughts upon tackling that scene, Greenwood related, "I see what's written and intended, but then wonder what if I took a completely different tack where I'm gentle with him and choose not to tell him his ship is being taken away? I play that scene out in my head. And then what if I focus more on Spock and pillory Spock for not coming through sooner?" (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 20)
Shortly before filming the scene in which Admiral Pike dies, J.J. Abrams tried to prepare Bruce Greenwood for the news that Pike was to be killed off by sending the actor not only the film's script but also a text, asking Greenwood to call him prior to reading the script. At first, Greenwood was perplexed and considered he might have accidentally been sent the script even though Pike wasn't actually in it. Greenwood called Abrams straight away, and Abrams broke the news to him during that call. For about the next twenty-five or thirty seconds, Greenwood felt severely disappointed. Afterwards, though, he resumed an extremely grateful attitude towards the opportunity of reprising the role of Pike. (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 20)
Following his work on Star Trek Into Darkness, Bruce Greenwood realized he was most frequently being recognized by people who approached him and said, "There's Pike!" (Star Trek Magazine Special 2015, p. 21)
According to his biography on the Star Trek movie app, Christopher Pike was born in 2205 to Charles and Willa Pike. He spent part of his childhood living on the planet Elysium. He enrolled in Starfleet in 2223 and was commissioned as an officer in 2227. He served aboard several vessels, including the USS Olympus (β), the USS Aldrin (β), and the USS Yorktown (β). He was appointed captain of the USS Enterprise (β) in 2254. In common with his prime reality counterpart, this Pike had a medal named after him. After his promotion to Admiral, Pike was placed in command of Starfleet's Strategic Operations Center, at Starfleet Headquarters. He also chaired the review board for command promotion to ship's captain and above. He also reported directly to Starfleet Command.