The starships of Star Trek have seen many Captains and almost all of them has uttered a catchphrase when preparing the ship for Warp speed. The moment a starship jumps into Warp is a moment full of endless possibilities. It seems fitting that most Captains would choose to punctuate this moment with a memorable saying. The Warp catchphrase has become such a staple that Star Trek: Discovery showed the crewmembers eagerly anticipating what a new Captain would say (and then poking fun at them if their chosen phrase didn’t quite work).
Star Trek: Picard played with viewers’ anticipation for the recently promoted Captain Seven of Nine’s (Jeri Ryan) catchphrase by cutting the scene right before she speaks. Even the trailer for Strange New Worlds season 2 jumped on this idea by having Lt. Spock (Ethan Peck) say “I would like the ship to go… now” after Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia) asks him what his catchphrase will be. While that particular phrase might be a bit too clunky to stick, here are 16 Warp catchphrases that have been used by various starship Captains.
Star Trek Captain catchphrases don’t get much simpler than this. In Star Trek: Discovery season 1, Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) simply says “Go” just before the Discovery engages its spore displacement hub drive. Everyone on the ship is nervous to use the spore drive, but Lorca delivers his concise command in a way that communicates his authority and confidence. While it’s not a particularly creative catchphrase, it serves to get his meaning across. Taking into account Lorca’s no-nonsense demeanor, it’s possible he simply couldn’t be bothered to come up with a lengthier Warp catchphrase.
Captain Kirk (William Shatner) made use of this catchphrase in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but he’s not the only Star Trek captain to have said it. Saru (Doug Jones) tries this one as Captain of the USS Discovery to signal the use of the spore drive. Saru struggled to find his perfect Captain’s catchphrase, and “Execute” just doesn’t quite stick. It’s not an elegant word, and it feels clunky to shout when in the middle of a potentially tense situation.
14 “Carry On”
After having previously tried “Execute” out as his potential catchphrase, Saru then chooses to go with “Carry on.” While this one arguably works better than “Execute,” it feels almost too passive. “Carry on” is not an authoritative command so much as it is a suggestion to keep doing what you’re doing. Perhaps, nothing will ever top the simplicity and punchiness of Captain Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) “Engage,” but it seems Saru still has some workshopping to do when it comes to his catchphrase.
13 “Let’s Go”
Simple, and to the point, it seems fitting that the first Captain of the Enterprise would say this to send his ship, the NX-01, to Warp. Not so much a catchphrase as a thing Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) just says sometimes, this doesn’t feel like the order that it should be. He says it as if he’s excited to set off on this journey through space, but not necessarily as if he’s commanding an entire ship full of people.
12 “Take Us Out”
In the 2009 Star Trek movie, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk uses “Take us out,” but as will become apparent by this list, Kirk doesn’t have one particular catchphrase. Kirk orders his crew to initiate Warp Drive in many different ways, often specific to the situation he and his crew are in. This catchphrase, for example, works best when the Enterprise is leaving a ship dock or otherwise heading out into the stars. “Take us out” might be more appropriate for impulse engines; it doesn’t feel strong enough as a command to go to Warp.
Admiral Kirk responds with this one at the end of Star Trek: The Motion Picture when Sulu (George Takei) asks for a heading. As he says this, he gestures vaguely at the stars, suggesting that there will be more adventures ahead for Kirk and his USS Enterprise crew. Though this one didn’t exactly catch on, it wouldn’t make sense in every context anyway. However, here, it’s perfect. As the send-off for the first feature-length Star Trek film, this phrase encapsulates the wonders of exploring the stars.
10 “Let’s See What She’s Got”
As the final words said in the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, this catchphrase works so well. Kirk and his crew have just successfully traveled back in time and saved the Earth. This phrase not only hints that there are more adventures to come, but also celebrates Kirk’s new USS Enterprise-A and what she’s capable of. It’s also reminiscent of the popular Scotty phrase, “I’m giving her all she’s got!” Kirk’s line feels like a fitting end for this movie and a way to commemorate the many achievements of the ship called Enterprise.
9 “Do It”
Star Trek: Voyager‘s Captain Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew) Warp catchphrase may be simple, but she says it with such a commanding air that it’s impossible not to want to follow her orders. While it’s more than just the word “Go,” this one is still a simple catchphrase that serves to get the point across without any flowery language. As the first female starship Captain to lead her own show, it makes sense that Janeway would have a catchphrase that commands authority. Something about the way she says it also makes it feel like it must be obeyed, which works well for her job on Voyager.
Spanish for “Go ahead,” this was Captain Rios’ (Santiago Cabrera) catchphrase of choice in Star Trek: Picard. While at one point, Rios also lovingly mocks Picard by saying “Make it so,” his “¡Dale!” is direct and effective regardless of whether his crew speaks Spanish or not. The way he says it communicates his meaning clearly enough, and it’s a word that has the same punchy quality as Picard’s “Engage.”
7 “Punch It”
Used only by the version of Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) from 2009’s Star Trek, this catchphrase acts as an homage to the Star Wars franchise. “Punch it” is Han Solo’s preferred way to tell Chewie to send the Millennium Falcon into hyperspace. It’s not a bad Warp catchphrase, and it’s always fun to see connections between two of science fiction’s biggest franchises, but this phrase will be forever associated with Solo and the Millennium Falcon. A good Star Trek Captain should come up with their own catchphrase, not just borrow from another franchise.
6 “Let’s Fly”
When Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) became the USS Discovery’s Captain, she went with “Let’s fly” as her catchphrase. This phrase captures her idealism and desire to explore the stars. While it doesn’t fill as commanding as something like “Hit it” or “Engage,” that’s not really Burnham’s style anyway. This phrase works well for her as a character and as a Captain. It conjures the wonder and pure fun of getting spend your time exploring space in a starship.
5 “Step On It”
Captain Picard only uses this one once, after just returning from a Holodeck program as Dixon Hill. While it’s fitting for the outfit he’s wearing and the concept of driving a car, it doesn’t really make sense as a Warp catchphrase. No one has to step on anything to make a starship go. Still, it works here because everyone on the bridge is in on the joke. It’s a fitting end to an entertaining episode that allowed the normally serious Picard to have a little fun.
4 “Warp Me!” & “It’s Warp Time!”
Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) experienced a lot of Captain envy on Star Trek: Lower Decks, and that includes trying to think up an iconic catchphrase of her own. As Captain of the California Class USS Cerritos, Freeman’s Starfleet career is perpetually in the shadow of more prestigious ships like the USS Enterprise. Freeman tried out both “Warp Me!” and “It’s Warp Time!,” and she seems to prefer the former to launch the Cerritos into action.
3 “Hit It”
One of the newest additions to the list of Warp catchphrases, Captain Pike’s (Anson Mount) “Hit it” has already hit it off with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds fans. Somehow this phrase feels punchier than many of the others, and it just fits this version of Pike so well. Of all the catchphrases on this list, this one might come the closest to achieving the iconic status held by both of Captain Picard’s famous phrases. It’s not especially different from many of the other chosen catchphrases, but for whatever reason, when Captain Pike says it, it just works.
2 “Make It So”
One of the most iconic Star Trek phrases of all time, Captain Picard’s “Make it so” was first used during The Next Generation series premiere. It is perhaps Picard’s most known well-known catchphrase, and it feels fitting for the type of captain he is. He’s professional, diplomatic, and to the point, and this catchphrase perfectly encapsulates that. Often used after a crewmember has suggested a course of action, this phrase also shows Picard’s regard for his crew. Fans have jumped on this phrase as well, going so far as to make a parody video for the holidays called “Make it snow.”
Though the warp catchphrase, “Engage,” may be most associated with Captain Picard, many starship Captains have used this one. Captain Pike used it all the way back in The Original Series unaired pilot, Captain Kirk used it over the course of TOS, Captain Sisko used it on the Defiant, Janeway and Tuvok both used it on Voyager, and of course, Picard used it often on The Next Generation. It’s no surprise “Engage” is as popular as it is. For one thing, it’s a more realistic command, as the starship engines are, in fact, engaging as they start up. It’s also satisfying to say and has the ring of a true order, so it’s no surprise it has become such an iconic Star Trek phrase.