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Old November 9 2011, 06:24 AM   #19
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

Captain Tracy wrote: View Post
Also I recall what you mean about there being a list in STONE'S office,.. but to have 3 of 12 Starships at one Starbase at the same time is a bit of a stretch
Well, to be fair, it's vague as to what the actual requirements are for a court-martial of a Starship captain. What we know is this:

To court-martial Spock required three officer of "command rank." Of the three present, Commodore Mendez, Fleet Captain Pike, and Captain Kirk were of "command rank."

I always assumed from context that "command rank" meant of grade Captain or above. Spock was at that time stated to be a Lieutenant Commander (though he wore full Commander's braid). Apparently a Lieutenant Commander (or brevet Commander, or whatever the heck he might have been other than a scriptwriter/costuming error) rates a court-martial with three officers grade Captain or above.

What we saw in Kirk's court-martial was four officers: a Commodore, two Starship captains, and a Space Command Representative (no grade given).

Now, given the age of the two captains, it's a fair bet they were also of grade Captain or above. It becomes confusing in Naval parlance because an officer of almost any grade can be captain of his/her ship. Lieutenant (Junior Grade) John F. Kennedy was captain of PT109.

But these guys are older. I think it's safe to assume we're seeing a Captain or Fleet Captain -- though Commodore isn't an impossibility as we've seen one commanding a Starship.

But if we call them both Captains in grade as well as title:

We've got Stone, C.O. of the base; Lindstrom, unknown grade, a Space Command Representative; and two Captains.

Now, it's stated they're Starship Captains, and in 1966, a Starship meant a ship exactly like the Enterprise. So from appearances, we can say there were two other Constitution-class ships at the base. The Intrepid is there, too, in the background. Then there's the Enterprise herself.

That's four Constitution-class ships at the base. Of a fleet of twelve, that's fully one-third of them. Wow.

The only way you can really resolve it is to use the broader definition of "Starship" as it came to be used in the 1970s: virtually any FTL ship ever seen in Star Trek.

With that definition, there's no reason that our Captains must be captains of ships like the Enterprise. For that matter, perhaps one of them is a Fleet Captain jockeying a desk at the base.

With the broad definition of "Starship," we're back to two Constitution-class ships at the base: the Enterprise and the Intrepid. The former was a totally unexpected visit due to the ion storm.

Dakota Smith
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