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Robert April was a prominent 23rd century Starfleet officer who was perhaps most famous for his stint as the first captain of the USS Enterprise. He was considered to be one of the most decorated captains in Starfleet history as of the mid-23rd Century. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")
During the 2240s, April oversaw the construction of components for a Constitution-class starship at the San Francisco Naval Yards. That vessel eventually became the USS Enterprise which April later commanded from 2245 to 2250; his wife Sarah served as his chief medical officer.
Following the end of his five-year mission, April was promoted to Commodore and became a respected Federation ambassador-at-large for the next twenty years, until 2270, when he was forced to retire from Starfleet. Exceptional circumstances made Starfleet consider his appeal to have his mandatory retirement rescinded. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")
"No matter where I've traveled in the galaxy, Jim, this bridge is more like home than anywhere else."
"Yes, Commodore, I know the feeling."
"To me she was always like my child. I was there in the San Francisco Navy Yards when her unit components were built."
"Captain Kirk, the Capellan flower."
"I'm sure Captain Kirk has other problems besides your flower, dear."
"You don't understand. Before we entered this universe it was about to die and-and now it's in full bloom again."
"How is that possible?"
"It's as if it were growing younger again. I-I can almost feel it while I-I'm holding it."
"In her universe a nova is a dead star which comes to life. And when the explosions of a nova in her universe and one in our universe occur together it's possible to travel between the two universes."
"Then we must return the same way, through the two novas."
"What a blessing to be able to live one's life over again, if the life you've led has left you unfulfilled. No, Sarah, I don't want to live it all over again; I couldn't improve one bit on what we've had together."
|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|
Background information Edit
The name Robert April originates from the first Star Trek pitch, as the name of the lead character ("Robert M. April"). On StarTrek.com and in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 36), his name is listed as "Robert T. April." Prior to this, the name Robert April was used by Gene Roddenberry for a prison chaplain in two episodes of Have Gun – Will Travel. The name for the featured Enterprise captain was later changed to Christopher Pike for "The Cage" and then to James Tiberius Kirk for later episodes. The Star Trek Encyclopedia uses a photo of Gene Roddenberry in an early-style uniform to illustrate its entry on April, as does the Star Trek Chronology for its entry on 2245.
Unused material for Jonathan Archer's bio, featured in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", stated that Archer passed away one day following the christening of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), in 2245. If canonical, it would suggest that April and Archer knew each other.
In the books Final Frontier and Best Destiny, both written by Diane Carey, it was stated that Captain April was born in Coventry, UK. In addition, it was stated that James Kirk's father, George Kirk, was the first officer of the Enterprise during April's captaincy. In developing April for Final Frontier, having only the Animated Series episode as a basis, Carey decided to give him "a warm, funny, visionary personality, and made him a gentle and wise counterpoint to the very volatile and action-oriented George Kirk. [... The] idea is that somehow James Kirk is the composite of the better qualities of both April and George Kirk, the visionary wisdom with the proactive reactionary hero." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 122)
In the Star Trek: Early Voyages comic series, April made several appearances and was often referenced. The first issue, "Flesh of My Flesh", established that April commanded a USS Tiberius for three five-year missions prior to commanding the Enterprise on his fourth five-year mission and that J.M. Colt and José Tyler served under April on the Tiberius. In the same comic, April walked Christopher Pike to the Enterprise in spacedock, and in another scene, set two years later, it was shown that it was due to April's recommendation that Pike recruited Spock to the Enterprise crew.
The fourth issue, "Nor Iron Bars a Cage", stated that April, then a commodore at Starfleet Command, personally reassigned J.M. Colt to the Enterprise to take up her position as yeoman. In the final story in the Early Voyages series, presented in the comics "Nemesis" and "Thanatos", April, then an admiral, returned to the Enterprise to temporarily take command while Captain Pike conducted an undercover mission. April displayed questionable conduct in the story, but the tale was never concluded, as the series was canceled.
The alternate reality version of Robert April (β) appears in the IDW comic mini-series Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness. In the new timeline, he was captain of a previous starship Enterprise (β), which existed subsequent to Enterprise NX-01, but prior to the new USS Enterprise launched in 2258. While surveying Phaedus IV in 2239, he was declared killed in action, when in reality, he deliberately went against the Prime Directive to assist the planet's inhabitants in an ongoing rebellion until he was discovered by Captain Kirk and Spock twenty years later. Additionally, April recalled he had been captain "going on 10 years" in 2239, suggesting his prime reality counterpart would have also achieved the rank of captain in or around 2229, as this occurred before the creation of the alternate reality.
April later reappeared in the twentieth issue of IDW's Star Trek: Ongoing comic series, in which Captain Kirk visited April to let him know that his plan to start a war with the Klingon Empire had failed.