Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...
And there's also the fact that all of the deaths in San Francisco are Kirk's fault, since he didn't kill Khan when he had the chance, thereby allowing a mass murderer to slam the Vengeance into the city (there's an Unintended Aesop here).
That's a bizarre argument. Kirk had no advance knowledge that Khan intended to do anything of the sort -- because Khan didn't
. The kamikaze run was not part of Khan's plan; it was just the only move left to him once the ship was crippled and his plan to recover his people had failed. The Vengeance
was already falling toward Earth, and all he could do was try to aim it at his enemies. There's no possible way Kirk could've anticipated something that even Khan had no idea was going to happen.
Indeed, Kirk did know that Khan was potentially a threat and he did make a reasonable effort to restrain Khan by stunning him, but he underestimated Khan's resilience. Spock then beamed him and the others back and used the torpedoes to disable the Vengeance
. As far as Kirk knew at that point, the threat was ended, and he had other priorities like keeping his ship from crashing (something that happened partly because of Marcus's sabotage, I believe), something he gave his life to prevent. Even if he had known that Khan still had enough control of the Vengeance
to put it on a collision course for San Francisco, he would've had no ability or opportunity to prevent it.
So it's completely nonsensical and factually wrong to blame Kirk for what happened. It was Khan who bears the primary culpability since it was his decision to commit the act; and Marcus bears secondary responsibility for driving Khan to that extreme, giving him the means to do so with the Vengeance
, and crippling the Enterprise
's ability to counter it.
I disagree, Christopher - Kirk is partially responsible
for the destruction and deaths in San Francisco, because he is the one who chose to form an alliance with Khan and let him out of his cell in the brig, after they had gone to such great lengths to capture him. Kirk was the one that brought Khan over to the Vengeance, thus setting Khan into a scenario when he coupd potentially manipulate the situation which he did -without planning for a continiency if Khan escaped, beyond stunning him. He had already seen Khan in action on the Klingon homeworld, so he should have considered that a stun might not be enough. He also risked Marcus getting his hands on Khan by bringing him over to the Vengeance, which seems to defeat the purpose, if Marcus captured them while aboard. Kirk planned no Plan B for stopping Khan if Plan A didn't work. Kirk saved his crew through his actions, but he set a strategy in motion thatcultimately doomed many people living in San Fransisco, because he let Khan out of jail and essentially helped him get to the bridge of the Vengeance. He may not have had time to come up with an alternative, if there was one, but we cannon deny that he bears some reaponsibility in what happened to the city, especially in the eyes of people who lost loved ones on the ground - they'd be asking, "You had him... then you just released him - why?? To save your ship? Ok ... but isn't it also your duty to protect our lives - by letting him go, how many of our lives did yoy put at risk, Kirk?"
He even did so by leading the Vengeance back to Earth - why did he head for Earth, instead of to a starbase somewhere? By heading to Earth with a potential hostile vessel on his tail, Kirk risked a battle in Earth orbit, where the possibility of collatoral civilian damage could be great - in Star Trek 09, they used the Jellyfish and Nero's hatred of Spock to draw the Narada away from Earth orbit, and led it to open space, where the Enterprise engaged it. Why did Kirk not stop the Enterprise at some place betweeen Klingon space and Earth - surely there are other based and ships that could provide support between locations. By going straight to Earth, Kirk put a lot of civilian lives at risk, especially if Earth's defenses hadn't recovered yet from the Narada attack, as they seem nonexistent in the film ... there is no fleet support, even though there is a giant spacedock in Earth orbit! Perhaps Kirk was anticipating the full strength of Starfleet to back him up ehen he reached Earth, or for Marcus to back down? It was a risk that put a gunfight right at the doorstep of his planet. Mainly, though, Kirk was the one who released Khan from his cell, so he bears some responsibility for the carnage that followed, when he lost control of the situation. I imagine there would be many people in San Fransisco who lost loved ones in the crash who would have been outraged at Kirk when they heard he had Khan in a jail cell, but then released him, and would demand some consequences for the captain, or Starfleet, for putting such an inexperienced young officer in charge. Kirk may have had no choice in what he did, and ultimately, his actions did save the Enterprise, but that might be cold comfort for civilians that had lost family members
I don't know if he had achoice in what he did, but I certainly think this would taint enthusiasm for Kirk and his five-year mission, considering how many lives must have been lost.
Last edited by Cadet49; June 3 2013 at 12:15 AM.