Did Wesley Crusher Even Want To Attend Starfleet Academy?

  • Wesley Crusher's destiny to join Starfleet was assumed by Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew without considering other possibilities for his future.
  • Wesley's failure to initially get into Starfleet Academy made him question his path and fear disappointing others, leading him to realize he never questioned his future before.
  • Wesley's encounter with his father's vision and the guidance of the Traveler revealed that he was always destined for something greater than Starfleet.
Star Trek: The Next Generation's Ensign Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) seemed destined to have an accomplished career in Starfleet, but was this truly his dream? Much to the annoyance of some Star Trek fans, Wesley was introduced in early TNG as a child prodigy who regularly found solutions to problems that stumped the adults around him. Wes devoted himself to studying things like science and engineering, and knew almost as much about starship engines and warp drives as the experienced officers on the USS Enterprise-D.
Wesley's father, Lt. Commander Jack Crusher (Doug Wert), was an accomplished Starfleet officer before his death, and his mother, Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) served as the Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise-D. Although Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) disliked children, he developed a mentor-like relationship with Wesley. The young Crusher came to see Jean-Luc as a father figure, and he wanted more than anything to make Captain Picard proud. Since both his parents and his mentor were career-driven Starfleet officers, Wes seemed destined for a similar path.
Because of Wesley's intelligence and clear love of starships, Picard indulged him by making Wes an acting ensign before he ever attended Starfleet Academy.
Captain Picard & Enterprise Crew Just Assumed Wesley Crusher Would Join Starfleet Close In Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1, episode 19, "Coming of Age," Wesley takes the Starfleet Academy entrance exam for the first time. While he performs admirably, another candidate receives a higher score, meaning Wes will have to retake the exam. Although clearly disappointed by this development, Wesley seems more upset that he will let down Captain Picard than he is about not going to the Academy. No one ever really sits down and asks Wesley what he wants to do with his life, just assuming that he will join Starfleet. Wes, too, assumes that this will be his journey, not necessarily because it is what he wants most, but because he has never considered any other path.


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