'Star Trek' Writer Settles Capt. Debate ... Kirk vs. Picard

EXCLUSIVE

There was no way in the world "Star Trek" writer Brannon Braga would dare pick sides in the eternal nerd debate of who was the better "Trek" captain between James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard ... oh wait, YES HE DID!!!

Our photog caught up with Braga in New York City on Wednesday night and popped the question, 'cause let's face it ... dude's qualified. Braga's written for the TV shows ... "Next Generation," "Voyager," "Enterprise" ... and two of the Star Trek movies!

So, yeah ... no one is better suited to weigh in on the battle of the captains. He admits his choice might be controversial, but also explains why he made the pick.