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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 June 25 2013, 11:57 PM   #91
The Mighty Monkey of Mim
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Here's what happened:

Before ENT ever even aired, a summary of the first episode's script was posted online, mentioning among other points that the heroes were Starfleet and they'd make first contact with the Klingons. At the time, many people were using the Okudas' Chronology for reference, and it said that Starfleet was established in 2161 with the UFP and that first contact with the Klingons took place only 50 years before TOS. Cue a bunch of people crying "continuity error" and then trying to come up with explanations for these "inconsistencies."

But they never were inconsistencies to begin with, since the timeline of these events had never actually been pinned down in canon and the authors of the Chronology had merely conjectured based on the little specific information available. People simply hadn't yet adjusted their thinking to accommodate the new data presented in the new series, leading to this fandom notion (never espoused on the show or by anyone directly involved with it) of two Starfleets.

Don't believe me that this is how the whole idea came about? The record is out there on the internet, probably on this very board and certainly on others. It's pure "fanon."

It was natural to presume that Starfleet was founded at the same time as the Federation before we were shown otherwise because up until then we'd always seen SF as part of the UFP, and the Starfleet Academy logo originally seen in "The First Duty" (TNG) had MMCLXI (2161) on it. But in retrospect, that really need only be seen as indicating that the San Francisco campus of Starfleet Academy was founded in 2161.
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Old June 26 2013, 01:14 AM   #92
The Wormhole
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
That's more a reflection of ignorant writers than it is any canonical fact.
What's ignorant about it? The writers CONSCIOUSLY chose to depict Starfleet as being something other than a military organization. There are alot of reasons for this, the main one being an attempt to start a conversation about the nature and scope of militarism in civilized society (a conversation that Americans are uniquely uncomfortable having).

OTOH, your position is that it is inconceivable that any organization could participate in combat WITHOUT being a military; it is a possibility of which you are choosing to remain ignorant.
Except that Starfleet is very clearly military. It was depicted as one in TOS. In the other shows it still does everything that militaries of today do. Okay, during TNG Roddenberry was on some utopian hippy high and felt militaries weren't civilized or some such nonsense and therefore declared that Starfleet isn't a military. It doesn't make sense, and totally flies in the face of everything established about Starfleet in TOS. And unfortunately, everyone who has been in power over Trek since, Berman, Braga, and now Abrams have clung to this idea. Ironic, really, since so many of Roddenberry's other ideas were considered disposable, yet Starfleet not being a military seems to be some sort of sacred cow which no one will ever sacrifice.
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Old June 26 2013, 07:19 AM   #93
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

There was a Starfleet in the Earth-Romulan Wars. This was established in the episode "Balance of Terror".

There was a Captain Stiles in the space service then.
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Old June 26 2013, 09:00 AM   #94
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Btw, rewatched the episode of DS9 where Section 31 is testing Bashir. The Weyoun hologram (programmed by Section 31) tries to convince Bashir that he was a traitor, and that he came around to their side because he realized that there was no way that STARFLEET could defeat the Dominion. Not "The Federation Military", not MACOs nor any other armed service.
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Old June 26 2013, 11:49 AM   #95
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I was always under the impression that Earth Starfleet and Federation Starfleet were the same thing.

They just changed the name when the UFP was founded in 2161. Just like the Coalition of Planets seen in the last few episodes of ENT was the predecessor to the UFP (like the League of Nations and the United Nations, in real life history)
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Old June 26 2013, 08:56 PM   #96
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Except that Starfleet is very clearly military. It was depicted as one in TOS.
And not in any other production since, as every later TV series has explicitly described Starfleet as a non-military organization for whom combat is an important but secondary role.

Okay, during TNG Roddenberry was on some utopian hippy high and felt militaries weren't civilized or some such nonsense and therefore declared that Starfleet isn't a military. It doesn't make sense, and totally flies in the face of everything established about Starfleet in TOS.
There's a dizzying number of things that contradict what was established in TOS. The nature of Starfleet is only the most subtle, especially since that depiction could easily go either way.

As for Rodenberry's "hippy high" that sort of illustrates my point. TNG was written and produced in the 1980s, when psychological and political scars of Vietnam were still fresh in everyone's mind; DS9, on the other hand, came out in the aftermath of the Gulf War when "Yay for the military!" was again a popular sentiment, only to have that transform into "Yay for... soldiers" during Iraq and Afghanistan where Americans were less supportive of the military than they were of individual soldiers in it.

And unfortunately, everyone who has been in power over Trek since, Berman, Braga, and now Abrams have clung to this idea.
There's nothing unfortunate about it. We as a country have had put up with a lot of stupid bullshit due to of influence of our military-industrial complex. We are living proof that a government that HAS a powerful military will have a tendency to misuse that power at the expense of both the citizens and members of said military.

It's a theme that has been repeated in Star Trek over and over and over again: EVERY time Starfleet has been compared to "the military" it has been in the context of Starfleet doing something it isn't supposed to be doing.
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Old June 26 2013, 09:14 PM   #97
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And not in any other production since
And yet nothing's changed between TOS and TNG-era. Haven't we had this discussion, now ?

There's nothing unfortunate about it. We as a country have had put up with a lot of stupid bullshit due to of influence of our military-industrial complex.
Please don't bring US politics into this.
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Old June 26 2013, 10:01 PM   #98
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And not in any other production since
And yet nothing's changed between TOS and TNG-era.
Really?

The man who claims that "Starfleet is not a military organization" is the Captain of a spacecraft whose crew includes several hundred civilians, many of them children. This does not appear to be a feature unique to galaxy-class starships, since several years later we see this is also true of the USS Saratoga.

Are you suggesting the original Enterprise had children and families on board during TOS? (Other than, say, Charlie X or those Children of the Space Corn?)

There's nothing unfortunate about it. We as a country have had put up with a lot of stupid bullshit due to of influence of our military-industrial complex.
Please don't bring US politics into this.
The non-military nature of Starfleet is a REACTION to U.S. politics. The topic is unavoidable.
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Old June 26 2013, 10:08 PM   #99
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

throwback wrote: View Post
There was a Starfleet in the Earth-Romulan Wars. This was established in the episode "Balance of Terror".

There was a Captain Stiles in the space service then.
The term "space service" could mean anything. It doesn't imply a specific name being used. It's totally generic. Remember, 'Starfleet' hadn't yet been chosen as a name when that episode aired (that's why the early TOS eps had a wide assortment of often comical pulp-ish names like "Space Command" and "Star Service" and all that).

In any case, it seems obvious that the two Starfleets must be different, for at least two reasons:

- Military organization. The original Earth Starfleet isn't military, but the Federation Starfleet is.

- Jurisdiction. A Starfleet that is reponsible for Earth alone cannot possibly be the same one that holds sway over hundreds of Federation member worlds. We have no idea why the Federation chose the name 'Starfleet' for its military, they must have thought it sounded good or something.

As for why (out of universe) the writers of ENT chose the name Starfleet? I don't know the answer to that either. They may have been ordered to do so by the network (same reason why transporters exist in that show - they didn't want to have them, the network made them do it).
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Old June 27 2013, 12:30 AM   #100
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The man who claims that "Starfleet is not a military organization" is the Captain of a spacecraft whose crew includes several hundred civilians, many of them children. This does not appear to be a feature unique to galaxy-class starships, since several years later we see this is also true of the USS Saratoga.
This is like saying that military bases adjacent to a neighborhood built specifically for the soldiers and their families isn't really military because of that fact, or is somehow fundamentally different from a base without said neighborhood.

Are you suggesting the original Enterprise had children and families on board during TOS?
Why don't you question what I said rather than your straw construct of my argument ?

The non-military nature of Starfleet is a REACTION to U.S. politics.
Prove it.
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Old June 27 2013, 12:52 AM   #101
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I'm simply not sure when 'military' became a dirty word? It would've been more in line with Trek for the military to have grown from its mistakes of the past.
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Old June 27 2013, 01:49 AM   #102
The Wormhole
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
There's nothing unfortunate about it. We as a country have had put up with a lot of stupid bullshit due to of influence of our military-industrial complex. We are living proof that a government that HAS a powerful military will have a tendency to misuse that power at the expense of both the citizens and members of said military.

It's a theme that has been repeated in Star Trek over and over and over again: EVERY time Starfleet has been compared to "the military" it has been in the context of Starfleet doing something it isn't supposed to be doing.
Whatever mistakes any modern day militaries may have made is not automatic proof that militaries are evil and is not a reason for why anyone should delude themselves into believing Starfleet is anything other than a military. I don't care what Roddenberry said, he's not God and he was wrong on this matter.
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Old June 27 2013, 04:12 PM   #103
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The man who claims that "Starfleet is not a military organization" is the Captain of a spacecraft whose crew includes several hundred civilians, many of them children. This does not appear to be a feature unique to galaxy-class starships, since several years later we see this is also true of the USS Saratoga.

Are you suggesting the original Enterprise had children and families on board during TOS? (Other than, say, Charlie X or those Children of the Space Corn?)
So help me understand your basic argument. Are you stating that StarFleet is not the military arm of the Federation and that despite their offensive and defensive capabilities (and ability to clearly engage in military combat) that the Federation has a separate and clearly distinct military service dedicated to that role? Or are you saying that the Federation has no military organization at all and because of this any military level entanglement has to be handled by StarFleet - the Federations Scientific and Exploration Service?

What exactly are you stating?
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Old June 27 2013, 09:24 PM   #104
throwback
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

For the statement from "Balance of Terror", I feel that I shouldn't have brought it to the discussion if I knew before hand that we would be arguing semantics.

Should I bring in a statement from "Too Short a Season" about families on Starfleet vessels? I don't know - will that too be subject to a semantics test?

In regards to US politics, when threatened with a cessation of trade rights if it offered Snowden asylum, Ecuador has told the US to keep its trade and offered $23 million for education in human rights.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...95Q0L820130627
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Old June 28 2013, 01:41 AM   #105
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

It seems that the whole argument revolves somewhat around semantics, and this (along with internal inconsistency of the way things have been portrayed in various productions) is partly we may never reach a satisfactory resolution. Starfleet (both in the 22nd and 24th century) has explicitly been stated to be something other than a military. Some argue that because it is structured like one and often behaves like one, it must be a military. It seems to me that the distinction others are making is that a military's primary purposes are combat and defense, with its other roles being incidental to those. Its raison d'être is fighting enemies and defending against potential enemies, even though it may also do other things. Starfleet seems to be the opposite, its primary purposes being exploration and peace-keeping, with its combat roles being taken on reluctantly when necessary, perhaps because there is simply no other organized force capable of fulfilling them.

On the other hand, in the 23rd century SF has been referred to explicitly as a military. This is of course because that's how the writers/producers were thinking of it at the time, but it makes me wonder if during periods of conflict Starfleet might somehow be "militarized," and then "de-militarized" when there is no active conflict. The UFP was portrayed as being continually on the brink of outright war with the Klingons and Romulans, which would naturally be a reason to ramp up Starfleet's defensive and offensive roles, whereas in the 24th century when the Klingons became allies and the Romulans went into isolation these roles were downplayed and SF returned to its original purpose of exploration. Later, after the Borg and Dominion threats presented themselves, it was re-militarized. (Conveniently, Picard's statement in TNG precedes this turn of events.)

In other words, perhaps the UFP of the mid-24th century might indeed have been operating under a "no standing space military, beat ploughshares into swords when needed" attitude, as it might have done in other periods when there was no pressing need to wage war or prepare to wage it. Whether this idea is realistic or not, I don't know, but it seems to at least roughly fit the guiding concepts the showrunners were working under at the time, and moreover seems to fit with those of the people responsible for the new movie, where we see Marcus pushing for greater militarization in response to looming threats. Could the answer be as simple as "SF is a military when acting as one and isn't when it's not," potentially with some grey areas during transitional periods?
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