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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!

View Poll Results: Is Kirk:
Incompetent 10 19.61%
Rusty 18 35.29%
Neither - Kirk is epic, always. 23 45.10%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 4 2012, 05:57 PM   #1
Shikarnov
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Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

This weekend, my wife and I took a break from chores, popped some popcorn, and had a little Trek Marathon consisting of Star Treks II, III, and IV.

And it just seems like blunder after blunder.

First Kirk fails to raise shields when Reliant approaches, in violation of both regulations and his better instinct, and ends up with a bunch of dead crewmen.

Second, after the Klingons decloak, why doesn't he keep firing? The enemy clearly wasn't disabled, and the Enterprise had far less than even a skeleton crew onboard (which is hardly the time for taking gambles in battle). And then when Checkov notes the shields being nonresponsive, does Kirk order evasive action, a retreat, or even an all-out assault? Nope.

Are these the repeated demonstrations of unswerving command ability to which the president later referred? If so, the rest of the fleet must have been filled with grossly incompetent Captains. It pains me to imagine a fleet filled with more Harrimans and Estebans than Kirks and Sulus.

As an aside, it's interesting to think how events might have played out if Kirk did blow Kruge straight to Hell at first sight. Would the Klingons on the surface kill the prisoners immediately? Would they decide surrender is preferable to hanging out on a dying planet? Would they have been able to save Earth in the Enterprise (which is far less easily hidden than a BoP), or without Spock at all?
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Old September 4 2012, 06:17 PM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

Well Kirk did order the defense shields, energised if memory serves.

Would a modern Naval ship goto Battlestations, if approached by another vessel in the same fleet if they couldn't raise her on radio?

Sure he may have violated a regulation, but I suspect most commanders in the same situation wouldn't be expecting to be fired upon.

As for TSFS, and the Klingon BoP. Kirk couldn't be sure what had happened to the USS Grissom, there could have been hostages onboard the BoP.

Scotty says later he wasn't expecting to take the ship into combat,so even with automation the ship might have been sluggish to respond.
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Old September 4 2012, 06:28 PM   #3
NrobbieC
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

Just incompetent.
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Old September 4 2012, 06:43 PM   #4
22 Stars
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

I think he did the best with the resources available to him. In the case of ST III the better question is why didn't he beam over to the BoP instead of down to Genesis? He could have simply beamed up the people on the planet once he was there and secure the ship by taking John Laroquette by force if necessary.
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Old September 4 2012, 07:28 PM   #5
BillJ
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

NrobbieC wrote: View Post
Just incompetent.
Nothing like someone who doesn't like the character to chime in and skew the results...

In the case of The Wrath of Khan, he was rusty/incompetent. In the case of The Search for Spock, we simply don't know if the torpedoes would've even responded to a second order to fire. His shields quite responding before the Klingons got their first salvo off. The automation system may have simply been fried.
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Old September 4 2012, 07:28 PM   #6
JarodRussell
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

Competence of plot.
Complotence.
Plotpetence.
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Old September 4 2012, 07:35 PM   #7
NrobbieC
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

BillJ wrote: View Post
NrobbieC wrote: View Post
Just incompetent.
Nothing like someone who doesn't like the character to chime in and skew the results...
Could be worse, I could be someone who's never seen it and chimes in to critique. As happens fairly often with ENT/VOY.
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Old September 4 2012, 07:42 PM   #8
C.E. Evans
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

22 Stars wrote: View Post
I think he did the best with the resources available to him. In the case of ST III the better question is why didn't he beam over to the BoP instead of down to Genesis? He could have simply beamed up the people on the planet once he was there and secure the ship by taking John Laroquette by force if necessary.
If the Klingon ship had shields up, a transporter beam from the Enterprise wouldn't have made it through.
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Old September 4 2012, 08:59 PM   #9
Shikarnov
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well Kirk did order the defense shields, energised if memory serves.
Actually, he ordered a Yellow Alert, which triggered a series of protocols that included energizing defense fields (which Saavik announced).

He didn't order shields up until Spock informed him that Reliant was locking weapons.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Would a modern Naval ship goto Battlestations, if approached by another vessel in the same fleet if they couldn't raise her on radio?
I have no idea, but my understanding from friends that serve is that regulations are not so easily discarded in the contemporary military as we see frequently in Star Trek.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Sure he may have violated a regulation, but I suspect most commanders in the same situation wouldn't be expecting to be fired upon.
If it was just Kirk thumbing his nose at the regs, that would be one thing. But you could see that he was wrestling with it, and thought the situation unusual enough to order the Yellow Alert. His instincts were definitely telling him something, or at least they were trying to.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
As for TSFS, and the Klingon BoP. Kirk couldn't be sure what had happened to the USS Grissom, there could have been hostages onboard the BoP.
Good point...

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Scotty says later he wasn't expecting to take the ship into combat,so even with automation the ship might have been sluggish to respond.
BillJ wrote: View Post
In the case of The Wrath of Khan, he was rusty/incompetent. In the case of The Search for Spock, we simply don't know if the torpedoes would've even responded to a second order to fire. His shields quite responding before the Klingons got their first salvo off. The automation system may have simply been fried.
I suppose it's possible that it could have happened that way. An offscreen remark, Chekov cursing the inability to fire more. Maybe something to that effect is in the novelization?


C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
If the Klingon ship had shields up, a transporter beam from the Enterprise wouldn't have made it through.
Doesn't the transporting-through-shields rule work for both sending and receiving (TNG's The Wounded, notwithstanding)?
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Old September 4 2012, 09:24 PM   #10
sonak
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

the Reliant thing with the shields has always bothered me. It's pure plot-induced stupidity. Raising shields is just a precautionary measure, not a rash move, and if it did turn out the Reliant was okay, I think their captain would have understood the move.
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Old September 4 2012, 11:20 PM   #11
C.E. Evans
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

Shikarnov wrote:
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
If the Klingon ship had shields up, a transporter beam from the Enterprise wouldn't have made it through.
Doesn't the transporting-through-shields rule work for both sending and receiving (TNG's The Wounded, notwithstanding)?
Transporting through shields only works if you know the sensor window frequency of the other vessel's shields.
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Old September 4 2012, 11:37 PM   #12
sbk1234
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

I answered he's awesome as ever, but the more I think about it, I think he was still a bit rusty. He had been flying a desk for a while there. Like all things, if you don't practice, you lose some skills. To me, that doesn't make him any less awesome, though. Only more human and realistic as a character.
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Old September 4 2012, 11:41 PM   #13
NrobbieC
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

BillJ wrote: View Post
NrobbieC wrote: View Post
Just incompetent.
Nothing like someone who doesn't like the character to chime in and skew the results...
The same can be said about Kirk fanboys and she-fanboys
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Old September 5 2012, 12:40 AM   #14
Admiral James Kirk
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

BillJ wrote: View Post
NrobbieC wrote: View Post
Just incompetent.
Nothing like someone who doesn't like the character to chime in and skew the results...
How about someone who loves the character and is chiming in just to skew the results in Kirk's favor?

Kirk is epic - Always!
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Old September 5 2012, 01:48 AM   #15
teacake
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Re: Is Kirk incompetent or just rusty?

Epic is winning!
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