American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

Star Trek The Original Series - "Return to Tomorrow" (1968)


Captain James T. Kirk on Risk and Progress


They used to say if man could fly, he'd have wings.

           But he did -- fly.

           He discovered he had to.

Do you wish that the first Apollo mission hadn't reached the moon, or that we hadn't gone on to Mars, and then to the nearest star? That's like saying that you wished you still operated with scalpels and sewed your patients up with catgut like your great great great great grandfather used to.

I'm in command. I could order this.

But I'm not because Doctor McCoy is right in pointing out the enormous danger potential in any contact with life and intelligence as fantastically advanced as this.

But I must point out that the possibilities, the potential for knowledge and advancement is equally great.

Risk: Risk is our business.

That's what this starship is all about.

That's why we're aboard her.

        You may dissent without prejudice.

              Do I hear a negative vote?


Further Reading on this episode:

Movie Speeches

Online Speech Bank

American Rhetoric Home

Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.