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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old January 21 2014, 09:02 AM   #16
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Maurice wrote: View Post
(since that was Gene's baby, it wouldn't surprise me if it got closer scrutiny by The Bird).
Ouch. Good point.
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Old January 22 2014, 01:51 PM   #17
Robert Comsol
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Never get tired re-reading this memo, thanks Harvey

"Whilst sitting in Dailies today, it was noticed that a Starship Captain (from another Starship) was wearing an emblem unfamiliar to yours truly. I have checked the occurences out with Mr. Roddenberry, who has reassured me that all Starship personnel wear the Starship emblem that we have established [in "Court Martial"] for our Enterprise Crew Members to wear."

While Commodore Decker's Constellation insignia may have slipped under Justman's radar, how comes that Gene Roddenberry apparently didn't (want to?) remember it, too?

Or was the USS Constellation not or no longer considered to be a "starship"?

Bob
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Old January 22 2014, 01:58 PM   #18
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Or was the USS Constellation not or no longer considered to be a "starship"?

Bob
No.

SPOCK: I have it on the sensors, Captain. By configuration, a starship stopped in space. She appears to be drifting.

[...]

KIRK: Matt. Matt, listen to me. You can't throw your life away like this. Matt, you're a starship commander. That makes you a valuable commodity.

[...]

KIRK: Spock, listen. Maybe Matt Decker didn't die for nothing. He had the right idea but not enough power to do it. Am I correct in assuming that a fusion explosion of ninety seven megatons will result if a starship impulse engine is overloaded?
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Old January 22 2014, 02:15 PM   #19
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

^^ Thanks. Gene Roddenberry remembered all this?

Interesting that Kirk knew rather well the amount of energy released by overloading the impulse engines, a rather hypothetical scenario (probably scored an "A" at the Academy during "How to self-destruct my starship should the need ever arise" ).

Bob
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Old January 23 2014, 06:13 AM   #20
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

When I was a young'n watching the show for the first time in the early 70's back in the glory days of UHF, I always figured the reason that Decker and Tracey had different patches was to show that these other officers were obviously NOT from the Enterprise. This made perfect sense. And they both looked kinda neat, better than the Enterprise patch even.

Conversely, until years later when I read an interview with Win De Lugo, I never understood why Enterprise crewmembers--junior officers no less--in the Starbase 11 bar were harassing their own captain over Ben Finney's death. And why did Kirk claim he hadn't seen them for a long time? What a bad commanding officer, not interacting with all his crew on a regular basis! Were they stuck working in remote areas of the ship for years and only now got shore leave so they actually could talk to (or more accurately, harass) their captain???

It's amazing how that all confused an eleven year-old watching "Court Martial" for the first time.
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Old January 23 2014, 03:03 PM   #21
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Well, for decades, all of fandom assumed that ships were supposed to have different insignias. There are plenty of in-universe reference books, comic books, and fan films depicting conjectural insignias for other starships, and multiple books putting forth the idea that the arrowhead insignia wasn't standardized until shortly before ST:TMP -- the usual line being that it was adopted fleetwide to honor the Enterprise, which I think is pretty disrespectful to all the other accomplished Starfleet crews that must be out there. Essentially, fandom ignored the "Court-martial" evidence altogether. (Well, mostly. I think there was one fan reference book I knew of that treated the insignia as representing different fleet divisions rather than individual ships, similarly to how I'm treating the 2160s Starfleet insignias in my Rise of the Federation novels.)

But now we have Voyager's "Friendship One" showing the arrowhead as a UESPA logo in the 2060s, we have Enterprise including a teeny version of the arrowhead on enlisted crew's rating patches, we have the Abramsverse showing the insignia in fleetwide use in the 2230s and '50s, and we have the Justman memo proving it was meant to be that way all along. So the old belief has been pretty thoroughly overwritten/discredited by now.
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Old January 23 2014, 04:59 PM   #22
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

@ CrazyMatt

interesting anecdote, thanks for sharing!

Christopher wrote: View Post
The usual line being that it was adopted fleetwide to honor the Enterprise, which I think is pretty disrespectful to all the other accomplished Starfleet crews that must be out there.
Why can't they have a little competition? What's disrespectful about it? Every seven years or so one starship will turn out to have accomplished the most. Disappointed it's not the insignia of your ship? Double your efforts and next time your starship may turn out to be the one honored?

Besides, different insignias emphasize it's about individual ships out there in the unknown making individual decisions and not asking for approval from Starfleet Command each time a difficult decision has to be made.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Essentially, fandom ignored the "Court-martial" evidence altogether.
And why not? By the time of "The Doomsday-Machine" and "The Omega Glory" (and "The Ultimate Computer", for me at least) it inevitably looked like a changed premise.

It boils down to the philosophical question whether we should honor the original intentions or what actually ended up onscreen, which usually is the common base of reference because it doesn't exclude those that are not that familiar with all the behind-the-scenes production anecdotes.

Christopher wrote: View Post
So the old belief has been pretty thoroughly overwritten/discredited by now.
The old "belief" had been established within the same body of work (i.e. TOS).

The arrowhead has become a trademark for Star Trek, so it doesn't come as big surprise that productions claiming to be Star Trek make use of it, IMHO.

Bob
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Old January 23 2014, 10:09 PM   #23
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
The usual line being that it was adopted fleetwide to honor the Enterprise, which I think is pretty disrespectful to all the other accomplished Starfleet crews that must be out there.
Why can't they have a little competition? What's disrespectful about it?
Because it isn't a sports team.
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Old January 23 2014, 10:33 PM   #24
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Maurice wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
The usual line being that it was adopted fleetwide to honor the Enterprise, which I think is pretty disrespectful to all the other accomplished Starfleet crews that must be out there.
Why can't they have a little competition? What's disrespectful about it?
Because it isn't a sports team.
"Captain! The U.S.S. Hood is hailing us--an emergency distress call! Their warp engines are about to flare up like an exploding sun with no way to stop it. They have only about an hour left, and we're only a half hour away. Shall I lay in a course for their position to begin rescue operations?"

"Negative! Next week is the every-seven-years Insignia-Picking Week. If the Hood and its crew are out of the running, our ship will be a shoe-in to win the friendly competition! The hell with 'em. I want the entire fleet to be proud of our ship, our insignia. The Hood (well, the Hood II) will just have to redouble their efforts at avoiding catastrophic warp engine failures seven years from now.
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Old January 23 2014, 10:35 PM   #25
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Another reason is it's probably cheaper to create different patches, as opposed to different metal broaches.
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Old January 23 2014, 10:59 PM   #26
Robert Comsol
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

@ GSchnitzer

Actually, any ship not assisting the Hood would be instantly out of the "competition".

Seriously, since when has it become "disrespectful" or whatever you wanna call it not to acknowledge and/or reward accomplishment?

Do I have to assume that it was disrespectful of Kirk to display his achievements on his chest?

"Commendations: Palm Leaf Of Axanar Peace Mission, Grankite Order of Tactics, Class of Excellence, Prantares Ribbon of Commendation, Classes first and second.
Awards of valour: Medal of Honour, Silver Palm with Cluster, Starfleet citation for Conspicuous Gallantry, Karagite Order of Heroism" (etc.)

Bob
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Old January 23 2014, 11:51 PM   #27
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

I liked the idea of different ships having different insignias.
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Old January 24 2014, 03:09 AM   #28
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

I would be surprised if Starfleet were to make its officers contest with other officers for Commendations and Awards of Valor in the way that you suggest ships might vie for the fleet's septennial insignia award.

I think we all understand and appreciate pride in individual achievement. But I'm not wild about the idea of awarding the fleet insignia like it's a zero sum game.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
@ GSchnitzer

Actually, any ship not assisting the Hood would be instantly out of the "competition".

Seriously, since when has it become "disrespectful" or whatever you wanna call it not to acknowledge and/or reward accomplishment?

Do I have to assume that it was disrespectful of Kirk to display his achievements on his chest?

"Commendations: Palm Leaf Of Axanar Peace Mission, Grankite Order of Tactics, Class of Excellence, Prantares Ribbon of Commendation, Classes first and second.
Awards of valour: Medal of Honour, Silver Palm with Cluster, Starfleet citation for Conspicuous Gallantry, Karagite Order of Heroism" (etc.)

Bob
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Old January 24 2014, 04:17 AM   #29
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Awarding individual achievements is fine. Having the entire fleet adopt just one ship's individual insignia is implicitly saying that one ship and crew are the only ones that matter.

Besides, it's fannish. It undermines the reality of the fictional world by superimposing our perception of the Enterprise as the center of all things. It's shortsighted when fans assume that the characters within Star Trek's universe would perceive and feel about things in the same way that Star Trek fans do.

And of course, as we now know, it was based on a misconception. That's the crux of it: The belief that the arrowhead was unique to the Enterprise prior to TMP was simply wrong, as "Court-martial" proves. It was always meant to be fleetwide, and there's now plenty of canonical evidence affirming that it was in fleetwide use long before TOS. So there's no sense debating the legitimacy of an idea that we know is conclusively wrong.
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Old January 24 2014, 04:18 AM   #30
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Re: Starfleet Starship Insignia was all supposed to be the same?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post

Why can't they have a little competition? What's disrespectful about it? Every seven years or so one starship will turn out to have accomplished the most. Disappointed it's not the insignia of your ship? Double your efforts and next time your starship may turn out to be the one honored?
And then, at some point, the competition stopped and the familiar Enterprise delta became a standard logo for Starfleet for over 100 years.
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