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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 August 31 2013, 11:12 PM   #1
MarsWeeps
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Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

In STII: TWOK, we see Chekov as First Officer of the Reliant but that's as far as his on-screen career went. Shouldn't he have gotten his own ship by the time of ST:VI or even Generations?

On the other hand, Sulu still seemed to be a helmsman in ST:V and then one movie later, he's Captain of the Excelsior. We never see him serve as First Officer, which would seem a logical step even if it wasn't required.

I wonder if the events of TWOK put a damper on Chekov's career path? Maybe he was indirectly blamed for some of the things that happened and kept getting put at the end of the promotion queue.
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Old August 31 2013, 11:32 PM   #2
Sran
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

MarsWeeps wrote: View Post
In STII: TWOK, we see Chekov as First Officer of the Reliant but that's as far as his on-screen career went. Shouldn't he have gotten his own ship by the time of ST:VI or even Generations?

On the other hand, Sulu still seemed to be a helmsman in ST:V and then one movie later, he's Captain of the Excelsior. We never see him serve as First Officer, which would seem a logical step even if it wasn't required.

I wonder if the events of TWOK put a damper on Chekov's career path? Maybe he was indirectly blamed for some of the things that happened and kept getting put at the end of the promotion queue.
You're overlooking the obvious. Nothing in TWOK would have affected Chekov's career. Khan's escape was unfortunate but could have happened to anyone who visited Ceti Alpha V. The likely reason for Chekov's inability to gain a command of his own is due to his participation in Kirk's hijack of the Enterprise in TSFS. The formal charges against the former Enterprise crew were dropped in TVH (except Kirk's insubordination charge), but that doesn't preclude Starfleet holding off on any promotions for the foreseeable future. Whatever Kirk and his friends accomplished, the UFP wasn't likely to let them get off almost completely unscathed.

Sulu finally received his captaincy in 2290, but there's no telling what he had to do make that happen. Original drafts of TWOK had him already being promoted to captain of the Excelsior: the Enterprise training cruise was supposed to be one last joy-ride before he took command of the vessel. This was dropped by the time the film was produced, but the novelization has a scene depicting Kirk congratulating Sulu on his upcoming assignment. That his ascension to the center seat was delayed suggests Starfleet wasn't entirely forgiving of everyone who aided Kirk in his efforts to save Spock.

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Old August 31 2013, 11:34 PM   #3
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

If I remember right, they were going to give Chekov a Captain's rank in Generations, then thought better of it. Probably figured everyone would ask "then why isn't he the one commanding the Enterprise-B?"
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Old August 31 2013, 11:38 PM   #4
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

^Which is what I think should have happened. It would have made for a touching scene on the bridge when Kirk decided to head to the deflector control room. I could easily see him saying to Chekov, "That's your chair now, Pavel. Take it."

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Old August 31 2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

Sran wrote: View Post
You're overlooking the obvious. Nothing in TWOK would have affected Chekov's career. Khan's escape was unfortunate but could have happened to anyone who visited Ceti Alpha V. The likely reason for Chekov's inability to gain a command of his own is due to his participation in Kirk's hijack of the Enterprise in TSFS. The formal charges against the former Enterprise crew were dropped in TVH (except Kirk's insubordination charge), but that doesn't preclude Starfleet holding off on any promotions for the foreseeable future.
Now you're overlooking the obvious. Why single Chekov out and punish him for participating in the hijack of the Enterprise? Sulu made Captain, Kirk got a new ship for his demotion (reward), even Scotty made Captain (of Engineering, whatever that is) but poor old Pavel is held back? Sorry, that doesn't make sense.
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Old August 31 2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

In future Soviet Russia, Captain makes you.
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Old September 1 2013, 12:16 AM   #7
Sran
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

MarsWeeps wrote: View Post
Now you're overlooking the obvious. Why single Chekov out and punish him for participating in the hijack of the Enterprise? Sulu made Captain, Kirk got a new ship for his demotion (reward), even Scotty made Captain (of Engineering, whatever that is) but poor old Pavel is held back? Sorry, that doesn't make sense.
No need to be defensive. My post wasn't meant as an attack. Calm down.

Scotty had already been promoted to captain of engineering by the time the hijack took place (Morrow's conversation with him at the film's beginning). Unless he was demoted off-screen, he'd already achieved the rank, so there was no need to promote him further. Scotty was never a first-officer, but his expertise in engineering was known throughout the service. His promotion was a reward for his dedication.

Why did Sulu make captain? It's not clear because his promotion didn't happen on screen. I don't think his being promoted was a case of Starfleet holding Chekov back as much as it was rewarding Sulu for his own hard work aboard Enterprise and elsewhere.

Again, I think it's likely Chekov's involvement in Kirk's hijack in TSFS played a big role in his not getting a command of his own. But I don't think he was in any way singled out or punished unfairly compared to his shipmates.

One thing that's forgotten about Chekov is how young he was compared to his crewmates (even Sulu, who was his closest friend). Even after serving as first-officer aboard Reliant, it's possible Starfleet didn't think he was ready for a command of his own, whether it's because of what happened to Reliant or for reasons we don't know about. He wouldn't be the first person to serve as XO on multiple ships. Riker did it (though he turned down several commands in the process).

Not everyone who serves in the military reaches the rank of captain (or the equivalent). Ranks are earned through a combination of experience and outstanding service. Chekov certainly had the experience, but his performance may not have warranted his getting a ship. Kirk and Spock's opinions would certainly have carried a great deal of weight when it came to his suitability for command. Although both seemed to value him as a member of their crew, that doesn't mean they thought he was leadership material. It's not a conspiracy. It's not because he's Russian. That's just the way it is.

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Old September 1 2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

MarsWeeps wrote: View Post
Sran wrote: View Post
You're overlooking the obvious. Nothing in TWOK would have affected Chekov's career. Khan's escape was unfortunate but could have happened to anyone who visited Ceti Alpha V. The likely reason for Chekov's inability to gain a command of his own is due to his participation in Kirk's hijack of the Enterprise in TSFS. The formal charges against the former Enterprise crew were dropped in TVH (except Kirk's insubordination charge), but that doesn't preclude Starfleet holding off on any promotions for the foreseeable future.
Now you're overlooking the obvious. Why single Chekov out and punish him for participating in the hijack of the Enterprise? Sulu made Captain, Kirk got a new ship for his demotion (reward), even Scotty made Captain (of Engineering, whatever that is) but poor old Pavel is held back? Sorry, that doesn't make sense.
Yes but Scotty was promoted to Captain prior to them taking the Enterprise.

As for Captain of Engineering, it was basically you'vve been promoted to Captain and re-assigned to the Excelsior as Chief Engineer.

Though remember whilst only Kirk was charged with disobeying orders everyone else was guilty of the same offense except McCoy. I can;t remember the exact lines bu they were something like

Sulu: The Word?

Kirk:
The Word is no, I am therefore going anyway.

Sulu: You can count on us.

So they clearly knew they were all disobeying orders as Kirk had made it clear they didn't have permission. But I suspect the real reason is why any promotions might have been delayed is they wanted the whole Genesis fiasco to be settle down and be forgotten about.
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Old September 1 2013, 12:26 AM   #9
Sran
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Though remember whilst only Kirk was charged with disobeying orders everyone else was guilty of the same offense except McCoy.
Don't you mean except Spock? McCoy may not have been privy to the actual plans because he was incarcerated, but he went along with them and was part of the formal hearing at Starfleet Headquarters after Earth was saved. Only Spock- based on the President's words- wasn't accused of any wrongdoing.

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Old September 1 2013, 12:31 AM   #10
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

Chekov got to be captain in the fanfic movie Of Gods and Men. Although he didn't do any actual captaining.
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Old September 1 2013, 12:32 AM   #11
Sran
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

^Not canon.

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Old September 1 2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

As written and portrayed, the character never came across as having command abilities. Simple as that for me, though others may disagree.

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Old September 1 2013, 01:06 AM   #13
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

Maybe Chekov never aggressively pursued a command of his own. He might have been happier just firing weapons or something.
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Old September 1 2013, 01:27 AM   #14
SchwEnt
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

^^^ Right on.

Is this a matter of Chekov making Captain (by rank) or Chekov making Captain (as in, commanding a ship)?

They're not necessarily the same thing.

As mentioned, Scotty became a Captain by rank but didn't command a ship of his own. Perhaps Chekov also should have had Captain's rank by his last appearance.

As far as commanding his own starship, yeah, maybe he was content to stay at the helm or weapons station or security (he wore a lot of hats).

But then again, he was XO and seemingly on the command track. But never got his own command. He changed his mind?
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Old September 1 2013, 01:49 AM   #15
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Re: Why didn't Chekov ever make Captain?

Nightowl1701 wrote: View Post
If I remember right, they were going to give Chekov a Captain's rank in Generations, then thought better of it. Probably figured everyone would ask "then why isn't he the one commanding the Enterprise-B?"
No, that's not quite it.

Koenig's costume had the Commander's insignia, and he convinced the extras who were playing the reporters and shouting questions to call him "Captain Chekov." I've tried listening for "Captain Chekov" in the opening scene over the last (almost) twenty years, and I've never heard it. It was probably looped out in the editing room.
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