Armored Saint wrote:
For me, TWOK is the real start. TMP is more a kind of cute reunion. Hey look, I'm now admiral and I don't really like it, so I decided to kick the kid from my old chair and to interrupt Bones's disco solo career. It's really TWOK that established the universe of TOS movies where the Enterprise and her crew are both aging.
While I do appreciate the dramatic pathos that the 'Kirk, his crew and their ship are all dinosaurs in a new age' vibe the rest of the TOS movies work so hard to perpetuate, I also think it's such a shame that TMP is the only time we see the refit Enterprise as fresh, shiny and in mint condition. By TWOK, even the Enterprise is seen as a raggedy-ann starship whose best days are behind it (hardly a dignified bearing for the old girl). And while the 1701-A is a spruced up ship in TFF, nothing on her works
in that movie, so she's really just as knackered as the old model.
There is something to be said for the simple majesty the ship carries itself with throughout TMP. Sure, she has teething issues. But they aren't major, and they certainly don't imply the ship is a has-been on the fringe of retirement.