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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

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

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Old May 30 2013, 07:51 PM   #16
Greg Cox
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

The meaning of the Prime Directive shifted a bit over the years. Back in the day, TOS never suggested that the PD meant that you had to stand by and let a people get wiped out by natural disasters. (See "The Paradise Syndrome.") It just meant that Starfleet personnel weren't supposed to meddle with the historical development of other cultures by, say, turning them into Nazis or teaching them how to use gunpowder. (Oops!)

Later Trek shows sometimes took the PD to ridiculous extremes (See "Homeward"), but what I got from the new movie was that the issue was revealing themselves to the natives, not saving them from the volcano.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:53 PM   #17
RoJoHen
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
but what I got from the new movie was that the issue was revealing themselves to the natives, not saving them from the volcano.
I got the impression that it was both. Pike says something along the lines of "playing God" and "not changing a planet's destiny."
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Old May 30 2013, 08:05 PM   #18
Flake
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

From what I can gather:

Enterprise assigned to observe planet Nibiru and the natives before it blows up.

Kirk disobeys orders and decides to save the planet but I assume Spock says they cannot reveal themselves to the natives and Kirk goes along with it.

Planet is saved but Enterprise revealed.

Kirk loses command because of breaking the prime directive, disobeying orders & falsifying the logs?
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Old May 30 2013, 08:05 PM   #19
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
The Prime Directive pisses me off. What defines "natural evolution?" We're all a part of nature.
Cortez would have appreciated the logic, if not the science.
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Old May 30 2013, 08:09 PM   #20
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
The Prime Directive pisses me off. What defines "natural evolution?" We're all a part of nature.
Cortez would have appreciated the logic, if not the science.
Science is for nerds anyway.
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Old May 30 2013, 08:27 PM   #21
Franklin
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
The Prime Directive pisses me off. What defines "natural evolution?" We're all a part of nature. Just because I come from another planet and have more advanced technology than you doesn't mean I'm not natural! If a volcano threatens to wipe out all life on a planet and I have the means to stop it, not doing so would just be douchey.
What about a war? To you interfere and end it?
No. That would be called an invasion. Now, if by chance you're pulled into it, I'd say you do what you need to within reason to get out, but that's all.

Phily B wrote: View Post
There is a huge difference between a war about political ideologies and saving a civilization who has just discovered the wheel.
I promise not to get on my soap box, again, but yes, this is basically the correct perspective. Otherwise, the PD is completely amoral and there's no way Starfleet can call itself a humanitarian armada.

Think of it this way, there's a difference between going into a healthy culture, proselytizing and teaching the missionary position is the only way God wants you to have sex, and rendering aid to people after a disaster, or giving food and medicine to a sick and starving people without any conditions. Or, by the way, saving their planet from a natural disaster.

Even Spock apparently thought it was OK at least as long as they weren't discovered. It's not, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, unless you don't have warp drive, then suck it, buddy!
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Old May 30 2013, 09:17 PM   #22
-Brett-
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
The other issue that I have is since they said anyone can watch this film and understand it without any Trek knowledge, did they even cover what the Prime Directive is in this film? Did I miss that?
I would think there's enough there for the audience to figure it out from context without too much trouble.
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Old May 30 2013, 09:17 PM   #23
Greg Cox
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

Flake wrote: View Post
From what I can gather:

Enterprise assigned to observe planet Nibiru and the natives before it blows up.

Kirk disobeys orders and decides to save the planet but I assume Spock says they cannot reveal themselves to the natives and Kirk goes along with it.

Planet is saved but Enterprise revealed.

Kirk loses command because of breaking the prime directive, disobeying orders & falsifying the logs?
It's a bit ambiguous, I admit, but here's my take on it:

The Enterprise is on a routine survey mission when they stumble onto the crisis on Nibiru. Saving the planet wasn't on the agenda, but it wasn't expressly forbidden either. Kirk, acting on his own initiative, decides to intervene. Spock agrees to go along with it, provided they don't break the Prime Directive by revealing themselves to the natives.

But the best-laid plans . . ..

Later, a frustrated Pike complains that Kirk was just supposed to be on a goddamn survey mission, but the real issue seemed to be that he let himself be seen by the natives. I didn't get that he had been ordered to let the natives die.

How would Pike have reacted if the plan had gone smoothly and Kirk had saved the planet without the natives being any the wiser? Hard to say.

I think the confusion here reflects a larger confusion as to what exactly Prime Directive covers--which, alas, carried over into the new movie.
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Old May 30 2013, 09:22 PM   #24
Belz...
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
The Prime Directive pisses me off. What defines "natural evolution?" We're all a part of nature. Just because I come from another planet and have more advanced technology than you doesn't mean I'm not natural! If a volcano threatens to wipe out all life on a planet and I have the means to stop it, not doing so would just be douchey.
Thing is, the prime directive is meant to prevent captains from playing god, messing up entire civilizations, etc. But the way it's portrayed in Star Trek, even saving a race from extinction is some form of monstrous act.

I just think the thing is ill-defined because of lazy writing.

The entire "destiny" thing is nonsense.
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Old May 30 2013, 09:33 PM   #25
Greg Cox
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

Belz... wrote: View Post
Thing is, the prime directive is meant to prevent captains from playing god, messing up entire civilizations, etc. But the way it's portrayed in Star Trek, even saving a race from extinction is some form of monstrous act.
I would amend that to say that a few Star Trek episodes (and writers) portray it that way, but that hasn't been consistent over the decades. Certainly, that wasn't how it was ever portrayed on TOS.

Honestly, I remember when "Homeward" first aired, pretty much every Trekkie I knew thought it was ridiculous. I'm inclined to ignore that one. Lord knows Kirk would have!
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Old May 30 2013, 09:40 PM   #26
knine
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
In this film, Kirk "earns" the 5-year-mission by hiding the ship under water for no reason and against Scotty's opinion, violating the Prime Directive <snip>
No, these first reasons are why he lost the Enterprise and ends up getting assigned as first officer to Pike. Then Pike and bunches of other captains and admirals are killed. So of course, Admiral Marcus, with the best of intentions and no other motives at all gives him back the ship so he can take out Khan.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
<snip> and eventually killing thousands of people in San Francisco.
The actions and orders of Spock are what mainly caused Khan's ship to fall from orbit, Kirk was busy saving the Enterprise during those events.
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Old May 30 2013, 09:51 PM   #27
JarodRussell
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

knine wrote: View Post
No, these first reasons are why he lost the Enterprise and ends up getting assigned as first officer to Pike. Then Pike and bunches of other captains and admirals are killed. So of course, Admiral Marcus, with the best of intentions and no other motives at all gives him back the ship so he can take out Khan.
I was talking character arc. The movie starts with "Look, Kirk is still immature." and ends with "Look, Kirk gets his 5-year mission." but in between, there is nothing that makes him earn that.

knine wrote: View Post
The actions and orders of Spock are what mainly caused Khan's ship to fall from orbit, Kirk was busy saving the Enterprise during those events.
The commanding officer takes responsibility for the actions of his subordinates. Kirk & Spock saved the Enterprise at the cost of 10,000 innocent lives. Even if you say Spock takes all the blame, why the hell was he around at the start of the 5-year mission then?
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Old May 30 2013, 09:59 PM   #28
Flake
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

Actually its all Scotty's fault.

Infact I think Simon Pegg in MI4 was supposed to watch a prisoner and he fucked up there as well!
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Old May 30 2013, 10:06 PM   #29
Franklin
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
knine wrote: View Post
The actions and orders of Spock are what mainly caused Khan's ship to fall from orbit, Kirk was busy saving the Enterprise during those events.
The commanding officer takes responsibility for the actions of his subordinates. Kirk & Spock saved the Enterprise at the cost of 10,000 innocent lives. Even if you say Spock takes all the blame, why the hell was he around at the start of the 5-year mission then?
Spock didn't control where the Vengeance went down. Khan sent the Vengeance on its trajectory towards SF. And, what was Spock supposed to do different?

Would it have been OK to not destroy the Vengeance, and then Khan responds by destroying the Enterprise, then opening up fire on every Starfleet facility on Earth? That's a real alternative.
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Old May 30 2013, 10:15 PM   #30
StarMan
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Re: Oh come on Spock, it sucks! Big Deal. (SPOILERS)

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
but what I got from the new movie was that the issue was revealing themselves to the natives, not saving them from the volcano.
I got the impression that it was both. Pike says something along the lines of "playing God" and "not changing a planet's destiny."
Correct. Pike stated he would never put his first officer in that situation in the first place, which gave me the impression it was Kirk's idea to graduate the mission from survey to rescue. Given how it played out in Pike's office, it renders Spock's objection all the more baffling on the transporter pad. Whatever the details may be, there's little doubt - within the context of this movie - that the whole mission was a violation of the prime directive.

Granted, it's well within Kirk's profile to do this sort of thing. However, his total nonchalance and juvenile choice of words irked me more than anything. Big deal? Well, given their reaction afterwards (deifying the Enterprise - you're not going to worship a scroll after that are you?) yes... big deal.
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