Locutus of Bored wrote:
All that we know is that Kirk distinctly says he "reprogrammed the simulation" and "changed the conditions of the test to make it possible to rescue the ship" in TWoK. It's explicitly stated in both cases that he reprogrammed the computer to allow him to win. Anything else you're tossing in there to make TWoK Kirk look better in this situation because of your dislike of ST09 is just baseless speculation.
No, nuTrek did not exist when TWOK came out. When I-- and everybody I've ever known or spoken to until this thread-- understood is that Kirk found a way to beat the no-win scenario. He came up with his own option that the Academy had not considered. He beat the conditions of the test. That was the whole point of the scene
and why it was punctuated with the unexpected rescue. The idea that he simply hacked the program and stuck in a dumb-ass cheat code never occurred to anybody. How would that earn him a commendation? If anything, retconning what PrimeKirk did is an attempt to make excuses for the reboot.
It's not retconning anything. It's simply not filling in the blanks with a bunch of bullshit we can't possibly know and insisting it's fact.
It earned Kirk a commendation because as Spock said "Your final solution was, shall we say... unique" and Kirk reiterated "It had the virtue of never having been tried." The commendation was for "original thinking"; thinking outside the box. Every previous student just takes the test and accepts the loss, but Kirk went so far as hacking the program because he couldn't accept that.
It possibly could have resulted in the same disciplinary hearing nuKirk goes through, and since it would presumably not have been cut off at the start of proceedings by a crisis Kirk could have defended his point more clearly, thus convincing Starfleet that this was not a simple case of cheating but rather a cadet taking extraordinary and creative measures to solve a problem.
The whole movie is full of Kirk using creative little cheats and cat and mouse games like that. Kirk using the prefix code to lower Reliant's shields. Kirk and Spock "lying" --using the (world's worst) code about Enterprise's repairs to turn hours into days and fool Khan-- unlike "by-the-book" Lt. Saavik. Kirk going into the nebula to cloud their tactical displays and render shields useless, thus making the odds even. The Kobayashi Maru test wasn't an isolated reference, it was one of the main themes reiterated over the course of the movie: How you face death, and how it will eventually catch up with you no matter how long you cheat it.
Kirk didn't seem offended by his son's accusation of cheating on the Kobayashi Maru test; almost as if he'd heard it many times before.
The only actual supposition on the part of the filmmakers in ST09 was that Kirk used a tactic similar to the prefix code in TWoK to disable the Klingon ships' shields. But it's a logical supposition seeing as how Kirk might have thought of the prefix code in the first place in TWoK because the KM Test was already on his mind before and during the mission. Everything else about the hacking and changing the conditions of the test and some people considering it cheating is spelled out right in dialogue from TWoK.