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Old June 21 2013, 04:06 PM   #13
Locutus of Bored
The Mod Awakens
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Location: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Re: It's weird, I have only one complaint about ST (2009)...

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
I just did a review here: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blo...09-review.html

My problem isn't Kirk, Spock, the plot, or anything. It was, overall, very much a great ball of fun wrapped in chocolate with huge amounts of fanservice to the series (in its myriad incarnations). Except, one part really rubbed me the wrong way. The scene where Kirk offers Nero and his crew mercy only for Spock to ask him what the hell he was doing.

Yes, it was funny. Yes, by any cultural standard which believes in the death penalty, Nero deserved to die.

But that seemed needlessly antagonistic to Trek's philosophy of peace and understanding. It seemed deliberately there to make fun of Roddenberry's attitude towards space combat and battle.
Let's unnecessarily Godwin this bad boy.

Instead of hiding out in his bunker and eventually taking his own life, Hitler makes a desperate escape attempt and boards a U-Boat bound for Argentina or somewhere else that might offer refuge.

You're the captain of a British cruiser that sees the fleeing U-Boat and knows Hitler is aboard. If it submerges, it might be destroyed or captured later on by other patrols, but there's also a good chance it could get away, and Hitler can possibly kill more people and spread his evil elsewhere. But you decide to offer terms of surrender first.

Your first officer surprisingly objects to your decision to offer mercy, contrary to his usual logic and code of ethics in such situations. He's Jewish and he recently witnessed the aftermath of the genocide of his people and the death of his mother in a now liberated concentration camp firsthand. Because of this, he's understandably angry and vengeful, but he's also not willing to even allow the remote possibility of a madman like Hitler escaping while you arrange the surrender or escaping from prison later on when you can finish him now, once and for all, and prevent further loss of life or the spread of his hateful rhetoric.

Hitler then gets on the radio, talks some trash, and that coupled with your XO's recommendation makes you say "good enough for me" and you blow the sub to bits.

Now, the XO's situation is roughly analogous to what Spock had just gone through with the destruction of Vulcan and the murder of a huge number of his people. Isn't his reaction completely understandable in that context, his normal feelings about the death penalty and offering terms of surrender notwithstanding? It's not antagonistic to the idea of allowing enemies to surrender in general, it's antagonistic to the idea of allowing this one way over the top evil genocidal bastard to surrender (possibly buying him time to escape through the wormhole).

Spock even states as much when he says "No captain, not this time" in response to Kirk saying that he offered Nero surrender because he thought that's what Spock would want him to do. So, I don't think the message of Nero's destruction was hostile to the idea of offering surrender to enemies in general. It was just terrible extraordinary circumstances for Spock at the time, so his reaction makes sense in that context.
'First Contact' is the tale of a man who just wants to cash in on his creation so he can get wasted on an island full of naked women, but his fans keep insisting that he's a saintly visionary who has profoundly altered the world. AKA - 'I Don't Want to be a Statue: The Gene Roddenberry Story.'
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