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Old July 26 2013, 10:46 PM   #29
Captain Clark Terrell
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Location: The Captain's Table
Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Timo wrote:
Exactly - and that is why he went to Scotty in the first place, to accuse him of everything that was not going smoothly with the impossible assignment. It's the classic "leadership by arrogance" approach that Kirk practices throughout the movie (even though the writers try to convey that he would be practicing it only for the first half).
I'd agree with this except that leadership by arrogance really isn't leadership at all. Kirk took the Enterprise away from Decker merely because he wanted it in spite of not having spent so much as five minutes aboard the vessel (or so we're lead to believe) during it's eighteen months in drydock. He had no idea about the modifications to the ship's engines or its weapons array (phaser intensity improved by using warp power), nor did he understand why the transporter system wasn't functioning properly (hence his accusatory question to Scotty). Decker not only knew these things, but he also had a hand in tracking down and fixing some of the problems in question (he found the faulty sensor associated with the transporter while repairing a computer console in the engine room).

Kirk was fortunate that so many of his senior staff were still serving aboard the ship, or he'd likely have faced a mutiny over his boneheaded decisions. Even so, it's amazing that only Decker (and to lesser extent Scott and McCoy) call him out for his unfamiliarity with the refitted vessel.

And as usual, Spock was left to clean up after him by helping Scotty correct the warp engine imbalance, something of a small miracle given that Spock hadn't been on the ship, either. Then again, Spock did say he'd been studying the Enterprise engine design and was aware of their difficulties. This suggests he'd tracked down the problem himself and was prepared to help Scotty fix whatever was wrong.

Christopher does a nice job following up on some of these issues in Ex Machina by depicting Scotty nursing something of a grudge against Kirk for pushing Decker aside. Their confrontation over Scotty's alleged "perfectionist jag" is one of my favorite parts of the novel. Moreover, the rest of the crew seems split on whether they want to accept the return of the Old Guard (Kirk, Spock, McCoy) after the new group (Decker, Sonak, Chapel) was swept aside so easily because Kirk wanted it that way. Of course, we'll never know what might have happened had Sonak lived and Spock had still tried to board Enterprise while en route to V'Ger. Would Kirk have pushed the younger Vulcan aside in favor of his best friend?

"He clapped his captain—his friend—on the shoulder. Yes, this man was very much like James Kirk, in all the ways that mattered." --Christopher L. Bennett-- Star Trek: Mere Anarachy, The Darkness Drops Again

Last edited by Captain Clark Terrell; July 26 2013 at 11:04 PM.
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