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Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old July 21 2013, 06:13 AM   #391
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Darkwing wrote: View Post
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Eddie, remember Trek was based on the age of sail.
No, Trek was based on the age of American colonization (hence Rodenberry's "Wagon Train to the Stars" pitch and the treating of whole planets as simply larger-than-normal adventure towns). As such, Enterprise' mission was originally conceived as a group of professional explorers opening up space for Earth expansion on "the final frontier". The military nature of whatever organization the Enterprise belonged to wasn't really even a question (nor had they completely decided what kind of organization that really was, e.g. UESPA vs. Space Central vs. Starfleet).
Yes, Roddenberry explicitly based it on the Hornblower novels. The "wagon train to the stars" bit was his pitch to the networks BECAUSE it was a current show they could grasp as a metaphor.

Meyer based Khan on submarines, not age of sail.
I'm not sure you really have that right. Rodenberry drew inspiration from the hornblower novels (very loosely at that) for the character of Kirk and his tendency to lead away missions all the time. The Adventure Town conception, however, is straight out of the Wagon Train formula (and copied just as closely, sometimes inexplicably so, in shows like Lost In Space and Wild Wild West). It was one of the more common tropes in the 1960s because the only successful TV shows at the time were, in fact, westerns.

Meyer, on the other hand, is said to have depicted Starfleet as "Horatio Hornblower IN SPACE!" hence the change in uniforms and costumes, the bridge layout, the whole "Peter Preston always wanted to go to the sea... cough cough... er go into space" thing, and the depiction of photon torpedoes as basically flaming cannonballs. The mutara nebula scene borrows some inspiration from submarine movies in a highly convoluted and convenient way (in exactly the same way and for the same reason as "Balance of Terror") but that wasn't his overall basis for his depiction of Starfleet.

No, I'm saying that you seem to assume a military starfleet MUST look like the Macarthur.
Significantly, I'm saying the Macarthur is a very clear example of what a military organization looks like on a mission of exploration. Starfleet wouldn't have to copy it precisely, but some of the differences between them would be somewhat harder to explain.

It could just be that "The Mote" is one of my favorite science fiction stories (as you can probably tell) and I tend to hold it as the gold standard for imaginative space opera in general. But when a comparison to other stories produce so many similarities (e.g. "Abbadon's Gate" or Seaquest DSV) I tend to believe that the basic structure of the Macarthur's exploration mission would be at least partially reflected in a military Starfleet were that actually the case. Especially since we have "Yesterday's Enterprise" as a glaring example of what a military Starfleet would actually look like.

In summary: for all the characteristics people keep listing of modern militaries, the one thing they all possess -- the one thing Starfleet lacks -- is absolute clarity over the fact that they ARE the military. That there's even room for the question suggests everything we need to know.
That tells me you know nothing about the military.
If you are suggesting that there are active members of the military who do not believe that the military IS the military?

If that's really the case, you might just be right.

I didn't say "strange", I said inane, as in stupid and irrational.
A French guy with a British accent is stupid and irrational. A non-military Starfleet is just a different spin on future geopolitics.

Why are you so devoted to "proving" the non-military nature of a patently military organization?
I'm not "devoted" to anything of the kind, I just call it like I see it. It's an organization whose ranking officers have several times referred to it as a non-military in nature; its founding goal is said to be the peaceful exploration of space; several of its officers have at times alluded to a set of core beliefs that all life forms -- even hostile ones -- have a right to live and have gone out of their way to avoid the deaths of even implacably hostile life forms.

Taken as a whole, this tells me that Starfleet is a space agency created for the peaceful exploration of space and for scientific research. They are equipped with defensive systems and weapons due to the inherent dangers of space exploration itself; they are tasked with peacekeeping and emergency response duties due partially to the weapons they carry and their overall capabilities but largely because of their high profile and extensive presence in and around Federation space, and because it tends to be staffed by officers of uniquely high moral character (with a few highly notable exceptions).

It's not just a point of semantics. It's a very different kind of organization with a very different kind of background. Starfleet wasn't created because the Federation needed someone to fight for their interests in space, Starfleet was created because the Federation wanted to explore space.
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Old July 21 2013, 06:27 AM   #392
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
I haven't watched the first episodes of VOY for a while but my understanding was that Voyager was a science ship.
Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant while attempting to recover an under-cover agent who had infiltrated the Maquis.

Which would, IMO, be a rather unseemly mission for a science vessel in any organization but Starfleet.

And the Marquis were against the Federation because they were on lots of exploration missions?
The Maquis were against the Federation because the Federation couldn't muster the requisite military power to force the Cardassians to give up their claims on several disputed colony worlds and let themselves get roped into a bad peace deal that left the Maquis colonies twisting in the breeze.

So, basically, yes.
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Old July 21 2013, 06:55 AM   #393
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant while attempting to recover an under-cover agent who had infiltrated the Maquis.

Which would, IMO, be a rather unseemly mission for a science vessel in any organization but Starfleet.
Yes but the British Navy - military were always picking up James Bond from his undercover missions.
So a perfectly acceptable job for the military if you believe in Ian Fleming or the movie adaptions
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Old July 21 2013, 08:32 AM   #394
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant while attempting to recover an under-cover agent who had infiltrated the Maquis.

Which would, IMO, be a rather unseemly mission for a science vessel in any organization but Starfleet.
Yes but the British Navy - military were always picking up James Bond from his undercover missions.
So a perfectly acceptable job for the military if you believe in Ian Fleming or the movie adaptions
And yet, when was the last time 007 was recovered from one of his missions by an oceanographic research vessel? Even one belonging to the Royal Navy?

More importantly: if you were the President of a pan-galactic alliance of like-minded races with the goal to recruit more and more alien species to your cause and a strong desire not to alienate new candidates by coming off as imperialistic or threatening, wouldn't you want to try and disguise your armed forces as something totally innocuous?
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Old July 21 2013, 09:59 AM   #395
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

As I recall, the UFP could have beaten the Cardassians militarily, but the council was more willing to appease than fight.

On rThe current military being confused, we have current leaders who do not understand our purpose and forget our missions. The navy was rebuilt to take the fight to the Barbary pirates, yet we now have an admiral who doesn't think we can get involved in Somali piracy. When the Iranians captured the British sailors, instead of expanding freedom of navigation exercises, we drew new lines miles outside their illegal claims and couldn't sail inside those new lines. We're more worried about hearts and minds than being able to fight, we totally freak over urinating on dead enemies, and yet give the enemy a pass on beheadings, castrations, and mutilation of our dead. Our generals are more worried about supporting a political narrative on sex crimes in the military and showing training metrics than actually doing anything concrete about it. Most forms of discipline are now illegal or restricted to senior officers. I had more authority as an E-4 than as an E-6. We failed to heed Heinlein's warning about pt norms and political correctness.
I say all that to illustrate a military that no longer thinks like one, not to argue those specific points.
Oh, and many oceanographic research ships are also electronic intelligence gathering ships; the soviets weren't alone in hiding behind "civilian research" flags.
Roddenberry expressly used modern US navy structure to make it easy for the audience to grasp, but the situation was based on Hornblower: no comms, diplomatic authority, the ability to start, fight, and negotiate an end to a war all before home even knew about it, exploration, etc.
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Old July 21 2013, 10:10 AM   #396
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Interesting video, but Starfleet doesn't disguise their weapons like that normally. A better way is to go the way of the Society of Cinncinatus. Show the civil control of the military is a key element of said force, reinforce by oaths to the founding document, NOT to the principal political leader, and civil government that isn't based on conquest. As a foreign government being courted, disguised weapons systems would make me question their non-aggression stance MORE than an openly armed force. Deeds matter more than words, and hiding things like that are pretty loud voices suggesting false flag and other hidden aggression. It makes the UFP sound like a protection racket.
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Old July 21 2013, 10:39 AM   #397
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
That still doesn't explain how a ship like Voyager would immediately default to a mission of exploration the moment their ASSIGNED mission is completed.
Oh that one's easy: Janeway is insane.

Which is weird, because "checking on remote colonies, investigating lost colonies and ships, dealing with diplomatic crisis" also falls under the category of "exploration."
You and I have very different definitions of "exploration".
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Old July 24 2013, 05:16 PM   #398
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Interesting video, but Starfleet doesn't disguise their weapons like that normally.
The Federation kinda does: they give their most powerful weapons to "explorers" operating deep space survey/science vessels. Though not exactly camouflaged, the idea in this case is that the explorers can be everywhere, and that the nation is a lot more comfortable funding a massive exploration fleet than a combat force, especially since the exploration fleet can take care of the combat if you need them to.

A better way is to go the way of the Society of Cinncinatus. Show the civil control of the military is a key element of said force, reinforce by oaths to the founding document, NOT to the principal political leader, and civil government that isn't based on conquest.
That's basically what they did in Babylon 5 and Mass Effect, with impressive results.

In the latter case, the Alliance Navy actually shows itself to be (IMO) a more effective exploration agency than Starfleet, especially since the Alliance has a set of very realistic and concrete exploration goals: identify natural resources, locate lost artifacts our friends are looking for, chart new planets whether they're habitable or not, and smoke out any pirate scumbags you might stumble upon. During Wartime, their exploration goals shift to strategic concerns: "Find things that could give us an advantage against the enemy." They even have the famous "Alliance Exploration Flotilla" that specializes in this sort of thing.

Deeds matter more than words, and hiding things like that are pretty loud voices suggesting false flag and other hidden aggression. It makes the UFP sound like a protection racket.
Which is why the Federation doesn't hide its weapons, it just keeps them under the control of a non-military agency which is forever dedicated to what seem to be peaceful purposes. Take the video from above and insert a context: a nation with a large government-owned freight corporation, where most of the freighter captains and freight train engineers are part of a large government agency. Their main job is to haul freight and ensure efficient commerce, but the government also has them carry at all times at least one container with a weapon system.

This would basically be a modernized spin on the traditional "militia," civilians whose right to "keep and bear arms" basically includes Exocets and cruise missiles. Scary as that is, the fact that in the Trek universe most commercial transports, ships and even cities can be equipped with forcefield defenses adequate to defend against misuse of those weapons might make that idea somewhat more tenable. It MUST, in fact, due to the implications of replicator technology and the tech level involved: 24th century science is advanced enough that a high school kid could construct a nuclear warhead on his own over a single afternoon, and some method of quickly detecting, disarming or defending against such shenanigans would be inherent in a secure society.

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
That still doesn't explain how a ship like Voyager would immediately default to a mission of exploration the moment their ASSIGNED mission is completed.
Oh that one's easy: Janeway is insane.
Not that I disagree with this in any way shape or form... but if that's the case, why did Starfleet promote her to Admiral???

Which is weird, because "checking on remote colonies, investigating lost colonies and ships, dealing with diplomatic crisis" also falls under the category of "exploration."
You and I have very different definitions of "exploration".
Not so much. Traditional navy expeditions have followed this pattern as well; the search for the lost Roanoke Colony, for example, or the Navy expedition to make first contact with Japan. The Apollo-Soyuz test project was arguably more of a diplomatic mission than an exploration one, as was the shuttle mission to the Mir, to a certain extent, a relief mission for the space station and an olive branch to the Russians. Poilitical outreach and diplomacy has been one of NASA's unofficial missions for several decades.
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Old July 24 2013, 09:05 PM   #399
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

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Not that I disagree with this in any way shape or form... but if that's the case, why did Starfleet promote her to Admiral???
Have you ever watched _any_ Star Trek ? Being insane is a requirement for flag ranks.
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Old July 24 2013, 09:14 PM   #400
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Not that I disagree with this in any way shape or form... but if that's the case, why did Starfleet promote her to Admiral???
Have you ever watched _any_ Star Trek ? Being insane is a requirement for flag ranks.
Just ask Admiral Komack:



Or was it Admiral Westervliet?
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Old July 24 2013, 10:17 PM   #401
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Not that I disagree with this in any way shape or form... but if that's the case, why did Starfleet promote her to Admiral???
Have you ever watched _any_ Star Trek ? Being insane is a requirement for flag ranks.
No wonder Bob Wesley retired early.
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