Cary L. Brown wrote:
But... can you imagine a "falling action" that wouldn't involve Kirk going almost immediately from "disgraced blackshirt" to "commander of the Enterprise?" I'd love to hear anyone's take on how to accomplish this in a way that won't turn off everyone but the most "hardcore" fans.
Assuming for a moment that Kirk is ever a "disgraced blackshirt" in this film, I would thing that he shook that ignominious stigma by the end of the cliamx and would easily be seen as someone worthy of (someday?)becoming captain. But, as you said, the trick would be to make the transition on film from cadet to Captain three years (?) later an interesting part of the film -- but, again, this is assuming that Kirk is a lowly cadet in most of this film.
HOWEVER, I'm not convinced that Kirk IS only a cadet during the climax of this film. There has been no official confirmation that this will be true. Perhaps Kirk is a Lieutenant Commander during the climax, then is immediately promoted to full Captain during the falling action with very little time passing in between. This would fall in nicely with the natural progression of a typical film's dramatic structure.
Or, as Ovation
pointed out above, it may be done with flashbacks and flash forwards.