RJD, could you elaborate on what program change PrimeKirk could've made that you would find commendable in contrast to what NuKirk did in his change to the program? The test wasn't to challenge you to win, the test was to examine how you would react to losing. Once you go into the program and change it to allow you to win (No matter how you change it, IMHO) there is no difference whatsoever, it's still cheating and it's "pissing" on the purpose of the test. What would have been a acceptable way for nuKirk to have cheated that would have made him just as commendable as PrimeKirk?
Well, if I could beat the no-win scenario, I'd be Captain Kirk.
But, basically, it would have to be something that could happen in the real world. No commander would be able to make a bunch of Klingon ships blow up just by smirking at them like Q.
But that's not what happened. Kirk (or Gaila on his behalf) simply reprogrammed the scenario to drop the Klingon shields. Kirk then ordered one (presumably fully energized) torpedo to each unshielded
Klingon ship, destroying them all. From the transcript
MCCOY: Our ship is being hit. Shields at sixty percent.
KIRK: I understand.
MCCOY: Well should we, I don't know, fire back?
KIRK: No. (he eats an apple)
MCCOY: Of course not.
(the power seems to go out for a second)
INSTRUCTOR 2: What is this? What's going on?
KIRK: Hmm... arm photons, prepare to fire on the Klingon warbirds.
CADET: Yes, sir.
MCCOY: Jim, their shields are still up.
KIRK: Are they?
MCCOY: No. They're not.
KIRK: Fire on all enemy ships. One photon each should do it, so don't waste ammunition.
CADET: Target locked and acquired on all warbirds. Firing.
(the warbirds are easily dispatched)
CADET: All ships destroyed, Captain.
KIRK: Begin rescue of the stranded crew. So, we've managed to eliminate all enemy ships, no one onboard was injured, and the successful rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew is underway.
As I said upthread, that's equivalent to the very same thing Kirk Prime did to the Reliant
Another point that just occurred to me. Using the prefix code to order Reliant to lower her shields sounds exactly like what nuKirk did in the simulation: nuKirk eliminated the Klingon shields. If Klingon ships use a system similar to the Federation ships, then the prefix codes of Klingon ships would be all that would be needed to eliminate Klingon shields, out of simulation. Is spying really cheating, in war?
If what Prime Kirk did to save the Enterprise from the Reliant in their first engagement was good, then why would it be utterly bad for nuKirk to use the same principle in the simulation?
Perhaps the problem some people are having is just in the execution?
Would the film have depicted something more praiseworthy, if instead Gaila had stolen simulated prefix codes for the warbirds, that Kirk handed to an operations cadet in the simulation to use to order the warbirds to lower their shields?
No, that likely wouldn't even be possible to do in the simulation. Saavik didn't know that trick. It's probably highly classified. Kirk Prime cleared the bridge of nonessential personnel before discussing prefix codes in TWOK.
In the Abrams version, Kirk programmed in a no-win scenario for the opponent. Since the original Kirk doesn't believe in the no-win scenario, the distinct implication is that is not what the original Kirk did. The difference does show a difference in the Kirks' characters, and it is a difference that reflects badly on the new version.
That's not what not believing in the no-win scenario means. It doesn't mean that you always deliberately give your enemy an out, due to some misguided sense of fair play. It means you believe that in real life you always have a chance, if only you can find it in time.
Did you have a problem with Kirk Prime's ethics, when he lowered the Reliant
's shields with the prefix code and fired on her? Or, do you think that Kirk fired on an unshielded ship only because he knew he had weakened phasers?