Captain James Cook (November 7, 1728 - February 14, 1779) was an 18th century British explorer who made many successful trips all over the Earth, including voyages to Newfoundland, the Pacific Ocean, Australia and New Zealand.
In 1778 Cook's ship was the first European ship to visit the Hawaiian Islands which he named the Sandwich Islands. Cook returned to Hawaii a year later, stayed for a month, and then attempted to leave but was forced to return when his ship, the HMS Resolution, was damaged. Soon after his return, Cook was killed by native islanders.
Some scholar's believe that Cook arrived in Hawaii at a time when the indigenous people were celebrating an annual ritual commemorating the arrival of a conquering god from overseas. The Hawaiians incorporated him smoothly into the role of the deity and treated his crew well for the duration, then sending him on his way. But when Cook's crew returned, the ritual was over and it upset the balance of things for the god to return at that time. So the Hawaiians killed him.
In 2380, the USS Titan witnessed an alliance led by the Pa'haquel attempting to save the Shalra from destruction by a harvester. The Shalra were a pre-warp society that had little scientific knowledge and did not know of the existence of life on other worlds. This caused Deanna Troi to worry that the alliance could use the fact that they were perceived as gods to dominate the Shalra, but the Rianconi Oderi noted that societies get upset when gods do not behave as they are expected to and they are typically overthrown as false gods. This caused Troi to reflect on what happened to Captain Cook in Hawaii as well as what almost happened to James T. Kirk on Miramanee's World. (TTN novel: Orion's Hounds)
- NOTE: The above story about Cook being treated as a god is accepted by Orion's Hounds author Christopher L. Bennett and is the basis for Troi's reflections (see his annotations for the novel ) but is not universally accepted. See the wikipedia entry on James Cook for more details.)