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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old July 26 2013, 09:53 PM   #31
Sran
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Well, Decker and Sonak ended up being unavailable for duty.
Even so, there were people who insisted that the Enterprise would have been better off with them in place of their more established counterparts. Christopher includes a narrative that reads something like this: "If Decker were here, such and such wouldn't have happened..."

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Old July 26 2013, 09:57 PM   #32
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Here's the text in question for anyone who's interested. Credit goes to Christopher for writing this novel:

Christopher L. Bennett wrote:
Kirk could guess what it was about. They weren't the only two in the crew who were grumbling about the decisions made by the "old guard." Most of these people had been picked by Decker, had expected to serve under him, and had then had their command crew shoved aside without warning. And so far, it seemed, they'd found little reason to approve of the change. Kirk heard things, kept abreast of the ship's discussion boards, and so was aware of the various threads that were recurring. "If Decker were here, he would've sent the troops in sooner." "If Decker were here, he wouldn't have sent in the troops at all." "If Chapel were in charge, Spring Rain wouldn't be fighting for her life." "McCoy's too close to Natira--he's swaying Kirk too much to her side." He'd even heard "If Sonak were here"--there were no tangible grounds for finding fault with Spock's investigations, yet some still wondered if a full Vulcan not struggling with a spiritual crisis might have done something differently, seen something Spock had missed--or missed something he had seen, something better left unrevealed.
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Old July 26 2013, 10:13 PM   #33
marksound
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Sran wrote: View Post
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, Chappel) 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?

--Sran
Granted, Kirk wanted Enterprise back.

But if there hadn't been an emergency, with this particular ship the only one in range, would he have muscled his way onto the bridge? Maybe, maybe not.

Kirk saw himself as the best option to lead this particular crew into this particular situation. Wanting his ship back was in the back of his mind and did influence his initial attitude, but his instincts turned out to be correct.

It doesn't matter who was already assigned to the crew. Once he took command it was his call to place who he thought were the best people in those jobs. It happens in the real world all the time, like it or not. The boss calls the shots.

Not having a working knowledge of the ship's redesigned systems is at most inconsequential. It happens in real world situations daily. Decker's countermanding of the phaser order was correct, and Kirk acknowledged that. Kirk was wrong to assume that Decker was competing with him in that instance, and his defensiveness was wrong. He acknowledged that. McCoy asked to accompany the two to Kirk's quarters because he saw what was coming. Bones acted to reign in Kirk's, for lack of a better word, "enthusiasm."

Having a legendary captain on the bridge would not have inspired mutiny. Everyone on board was surely familiar with the missions of the Enterprise under Kirk's command.

Kirk's competence should only inspire confidence in the crew. His confidence in his capability as a commander might cause others to see that as arrogance, but as they say, "it ain't bragging if you can do it."

Placing his trusted confidants in positions close to him should not be seen as a slight to any crewmembers who might have been displaced. They are professionals, there to do a job. Personal feelings have to be put aside. Yes, even Decker.

As Uhura said, paraphrasing, "Our chances of returning from this mission in one piece may have just doubled."
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Old July 26 2013, 10:54 PM   #34
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Sran wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Well, Decker and Sonak ended up being unavailable for duty.
Even so, there were people who insisted that the Enterprise would have been better off with them in place of their more established counterparts. Christopher includes a narrative that reads something like this: "If Decker were here, such and such wouldn't have happened..."

--Sran
Well if Decker had been there, they wouldn't have been because V'Ger would've digitized the Enterprise when Decker scanned it the first time.
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Old July 26 2013, 10:58 PM   #35
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

^Not necessarily. As Decker himself says, his job as first officer is to point out alternatives. In Ex Machina, Kirk wonders about his decision to enter the V'Ger cloud and decides that Decker may only have been playing devil's advocate because his position as XO called for it. Had the latter been in the captain's chair as Kirk was, he may have made the same choices.

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Old July 27 2013, 12:11 AM   #36
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Sran wrote: View Post
But why is Scotty there waiting for him?
Does the TMP novelization expand on what Scotty was doing there?
According to the book, Scotty was surprised to see Kirk and surprised that Kirk orders him to take him in the travel pod over to the Enterprise. Scotty must have been to the Centroplex (which is what it's called in the book) on some official business. But it doesn't say.
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Old July 27 2013, 12:37 AM   #37
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Jesus you people worry about some nit-picky stuff.

It was a story-telling device. It intros Scott, it makes for a nice 2001-ish twirly space sequence and lets us get a beauty look at the new Enterprise.

Having said that, everybody on the ship looked busy when they got back. We know the ships transporters aren't working. Spacedock appears to be a skeletal structure without the space or ability for its own transporters. So it's very possible the station was like "Hey, we've got a VIP coming to Enterprise, we need somebody to make a pickup" and Scott volunteered because everybody else was doing hands-on work.

After all, we all know the supervisors are usually ones doing the least amount of physical labor.
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Old July 27 2013, 10:30 AM   #38
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Workbee wrote: View Post
The problem is, even if this is what the intent of the line is, we are left with the problem that everything we know about transporter technology as of that film suggests that Enterprise's transporters not working shouldn't prevent Kirk from beaming aboard. Starfleet must have a few dozen working transporters at least, and even if for some reason the ground transporters couldn't beam him up to a ship, the transporter room on the Orbital Complex certainly should.
Actually, to that point in the series, which is basically just TOS, had we ever seen a fully-functioning transporter room that wasn't on a starship? I remember seeing receiving pads at a ground location or two, but no independent beaming from such places (or even visible controls for independent beaming). It's possible that beaming from a planet-based location wasn't practical in those days, whatever the technobabble reasons.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:55 AM   #39
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

The one option wee need to consider: Scotty was on a beer and pizza run.

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
Sran wrote: View Post
But why is Scotty there waiting for him?
Does the TMP novelization expand on what Scotty was doing there?
According to the book, Scotty was surprised to see Kirk and surprised that Kirk orders him to take him in the travel pod over to the Enterprise. Scotty must have been to the Centroplex (which is what it's called in the book) on some official business. But it doesn't say.
That's where that's word [centroplex] is from. Been rattling in my head for days after I read something about the ISS serving as a launch hub and couldn't figure out why.
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Old July 28 2013, 09:45 PM   #40
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Kirk saw himself as the best option to lead this particular crew into this particular situation. Wanting his ship back was in the back of his mind and did influence his initial attitude, but his instincts turned out to be correct.
Or then he just wanted his ship back, and for that was ready to stake the entire planet Earth. Two ways to view Kirk's massive hubris, not all that different from each other in the end.

What was Kirk's input in defusing the crisis? None that we can discern. Spock did all the crucial things: he understood how to communicate with the cloud and get it to suck the starship in instead of blowing her up; he understood how to communicate with the thing inside the cloud; and he understood what the weaknesses and desires of the thing were, and how to exploit them.

Perhaps Kirk should be thanked for bringing Spock aboard the hero starship so that the Vulcan could save the day? Well, not really - Spock seemed determined to meet with the cloud anyway, and had a spacecraft at his disposal already. Sure, it helped that the Enterprise had shields capable of withstanding V'Ger's first bolt, buying time for Spock to discover the solution; but Spock might have approached the cloud differently in the first place, coming up with a solution before any bolts were fired.

Make no mistake - I don't fault the movie for making Kirk seem completely redundant, in addition to being rather repugnant. Rather, I appreciate that! It's an atypical treatment of a hero, and a welcome one for the sheer variety...

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Old July 28 2013, 11:00 PM   #41
marksound
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

^^^Call it a chain reaction of events. If Kirk hadn't taken command, Spock might not have been there, and McCoy definitely wouldn't be there (however inconsequential his presence was). Decker might have been distracted by Ilia's presence on the bridge and made the wrong call during the "lightning" scan. That might have caused Enterprise to be digitized, and there would be no one to decipher V'Ger's origin, and no one to enter the transmission code. Earth would have been destroyed.

So maybe sometimes a little hubris ain't so bad.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, showing Kirk to be out of touch (growing old?) might have been the inspiration for the theme that continued through the next several movies. Maybe, maybe not, but it's something to consider.
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Old July 28 2013, 11:07 PM   #42
Sran
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
^^^Call it a chain reaction of events. If Kirk hadn't taken command, Spock might not have been there, and McCoy definitely wouldn't be there (however inconsequential his presence was). Decker might have been distracted by Ilia's presence on the bridge and made the wrong call during the "lightning" scan. That might have caused Enterprise to be digitized, and there would be no one to decipher V'Ger's origin, and no one to enter the transmission code. Earth would have been destroyed.
Well, we don't know that Spock wouldn't have come back had Kirk not been there. He was already in communication with V'Ger before anyone knew Kirk wanted the Enterprise back. If Decker had stayed in command, it's possible Sonak doesn't die in the transporter accident because Decker doesn't rush the ship's launch, making Spock's presence as science officer unnecessary, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have come along as a special Starfleet observer. Decker certainly knew his background and probably would not have objected to his being present for the mission. What Decker may have done after Spock's spacewalk is another matter, however.

Kirk's presence made the difference in TMP not because of his tactical brilliance (not that he's Picard or Sisko to start with) but because of his guile and determination. How many captains would have had the guts to enter V'Ger despite knowing next to nothing about the entity? Picard and Sisko would likely have done the same thing (perhaps for different reasons), but would someone like JT Esteban have taken the chances that Kirk did? I doubt it.

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Old July 28 2013, 11:34 PM   #43
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
EDIT: Now that I think about it, showing Kirk to be out of touch (growing old?) might have been the inspiration for the theme that continued through the next several movies. Maybe, maybe not, but it's something to consider.
The theme of aging was an important part of both the TOS and TNG films, though TOS handled the subject in a more believable way, IMO.
  • TMP sees Kirk struggling to adjust to life back aboard Enterprise after more than two years away. By the end of the film, he and his friends seem much more like the characters we remember from the TV series.
  • TWOK shows Kirk in crisis because he believes he's too old to command a starship despite it being the only thing he wants to do.
  • TSFS showcases Kirk reeling from the loss of his best friend, the suffering of his next closest friend, and coping with the impending end of the Enterprise and his new (but brief) relationship with his son.
  • TUC features Kirk on the verge of retirement and thinking about the end of his days as Enterprise captain, even as he struggles to come to terms with his son's death and help establish peace with the Klingons.

I always thought TOS made Kirk into something of a Gary Stu character. He was liked by almost everyone- and those who didn't like him were made out to be incompetent or insane- and had his pick of any woman he wanted. The films did a nice job of showing his flaws, things that made him a more likable character, IMO. That the hero of the story wasn't perfect was something I found much more realistic. It also made his eventual triumphs in spite of his weaknesses that much more fun to watch. To me, Kirk was a hero not in spite of his fallacies, but because of them. Each movie saw him reinvent or reinvigorate himself in some fashion, changes that were essential to his overcoming whatever obstacles were in his path.

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Old July 29 2013, 01:17 AM   #44
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

^I disagree. Kirk was a very flawed, human character in TOS -- that was what made him interesting. He was often insecure and doubting himself, needing McCoy to give him pep talks (see "Balance of Terror"). He sometimes tended to default to overly aggressive or impulsive responses and needed Spock's advice to rein him in and guide him toward the right decision (see "Arena," "The Devil in the Dark," "The City on the Edge of Forever").

And he didn't have every woman he wanted, not always. He got nowhere with Eleen in "Friday's Child" -- true, he wasn't really trying to romance her, but she wouldn't even let him touch her, while she warmed up to McCoy. His attempt to seduce Kelinda in "By Any Other Name" didn't work as well as he'd hoped; rather than bowing to his influence, she became interested in exploring kissing for her own pleasure and was more interested in making out with Rojan than Kirk. And Miranda Jones in "Is There In Truth No Beauty?" shot him down in flames when he tried to seduce her. (It's worth noting that all three episodes were by female writers.)
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Old July 29 2013, 06:32 PM   #45
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Re: What Was Scotty Doing There?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Why waste transporter power beaming such a short distance? The travel pod is probably more efficient at that range.
Agree. Most important, I think Scotty wanted to give Kirk a flyover inspection of the work done on the exterior of the 1701. A transporter can not give you that.
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