er, but ignoring something doesn't mean overwriting it. Also, two changes from TMP seem to affect TWOK- Spock's epiphany at the end of TMP seems intended to be the reason for the more comfortable and at-ease Spock in TWOK, also Kirk's still an admiral.
The Undiscovered Country doesn't acknowledge anything about TFF, but that doesn't mean that we were supposed to regard that as meaning that TFF never happened.(despite what some might wish to think)
Not everyone agrees that Spock in TWoK
is really that much more "comfortable"; Pauline Kael in her New Yorker
review, for example, refers to "Nimoy's ashen Spock." As for Kirk being an admiral, there's no reason that the "overwrite" (if it happened) couldn't also have featured Admiral Kirk - it's not as though he became an admiral during the Earth scenes in TMP
As for the last point, TUC
not referring to TFF
is just like one episode of the series not referring to the preceding one - nothing unusual. This isn't a parallel case to TMP/TWoK
, though, because (just as in any episode) in TFF
Kirk begins and ends in command of the Enterprise, whereas in both TMP
Kirk begins at a desk job and assumes command (and doesn't relinquish it at the end).
All efforts to deal with Kirk's in-between years (if there were any) have to begin with the question of why he would have relinquished command at the end of TMP
. But there's no reason for him to have done so, except perhaps in Trek novels about this period. He and his crew have just saved all life on Earth. No Starfleet higher-up would force Admiral Kirk, as someone above suggested, to give up command for some supposedly nobler purpose. Command of a starship is indeed Kirk's "first, best destiny" (per Spock's line in TWoK
) and Spock isn't the only one to recognize it.
In this context the "overwrite" hypothesis makes perfect sense.