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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 December 17 2014, 10:57 PM   #1
mahler
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In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

Can anybody please provide a credible in universe explanation as to why Picard ignored the prime directive with the whole Argo Dune Buggy Chase? This just seems so out of character and really gets in the way of enjoying this movie. Thanks in advance for your ideas.
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Old December 17 2014, 11:12 PM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

They didn't exactly interfere with (change forever) the development of the planet, IMO. The Kolarans might have seen some "foreigners" in a fancier dune buggy and possibly an aircraft, but I think it would have been akin to such things seen on Earth around the 1950s or 1960s. It probably was dismissed as a UFO story.

IIRC, Kolarus III also had lots of segregated populations here and there. Picard and gang might have been mistaken as interlopers from another settlement (which would explain why they were fired upon at first sight maybe). Perhaps if they had got a good look at them and realized they weren't actually Kolarans...
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Old December 17 2014, 11:54 PM   #3
Ithekro
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

Probably inspired one of the locals to write a car chase centric TV show. One with lots of mad chasm jumps.
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Old December 18 2014, 12:11 AM   #4
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

THe whole B4 storyline could easily have been dropped and not harmed the story much.
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Old December 18 2014, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

mahler wrote: View Post
Can anybody please provide a credible in universe explanation as to why Picard ignored the prime directive with the whole Argo Dune Buggy Chase? This just seems so out of character and really gets in the way of enjoying this movie. Thanks in advance for your ideas.
Actually it seems to me that Picard was trying to preserve the Prime Directive by fleeing from and firing upon the Kolarans. After all, if the away team had been captured, the Kolarans would've had proof of alien life, which would've transformed their world. As it is, they just have an unverifiable story of a UFO encounter, which will probably just be dismissed by most Kolarans.
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Old December 18 2014, 12:18 AM   #6
Timo
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

The Prime Directive has never stopped Starfleet or the Federation from spying on primitives. Quite to the contrary, it seems that such spying is vital for protecting the primitives from interference; we see this raping-for-virginity mentality in action basically every time the PD is mentioned. In a typical TOS case, our heroes make no effort at camouflage and simply trust that nobody will spot them when they wander about in their uniforms; in TNG, with higher makeup budgets, surgical camouflage is occasionally used.

Picard was consistent in landing on that planet. He could not have plausibly expected the Kolaran Inquisition in the middle of a desert. Indeed, it seems this was part of Shinzon's plan: bury B-4 on the planet, then pay the locals to start shooting at Picard as soon as he has picked up the android pieces, so the Captain has no time to assess the situation and realize he's being had.

(In that sense, I feel the episode was quite central to the story and established the lengths to which Shinzon would go to pursue his agenda, as well as the resources at his disposal. Said agenda only crumbles later on when the story completely loses aim.)

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Old December 18 2014, 01:31 AM   #7
arch101
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

A plausible explanation could have been that, while a pre-warp civilization as described, the people of that planet had already been visited by another warp-capable civilization. Maybe that allows some leeway with the Prime Directive. This must have happened all the time when the Klingons were adversaries and didn't give crap about contaminating a society.
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Old December 18 2014, 03:22 AM   #8
eyeresist
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

DATA: Isolated pockets of humanoids. It appears to be a pre-warp civilisation in an early stage of industrial development.
Presumably the landing site was well away from these "isolated pockets", so they didn't expect local encounters. Also, those raiders seemed awfully well equipped for someone at "an early stage of industrial development". Possibly they weren't even locals, but aliens there for whatever reason.

My main issue with the scene is that the raiders look very similar to the Remans, except brown and not troubled by bright sunlight. Maybe they were in fact planted by Shinzon to stop the Ent team examining the site too closely?
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Old December 18 2014, 04:17 AM   #9
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

^ Good thinking. They did look like Remans, but did Shinzon know that he Enterprise was looking for B4?
And their weapons were rather advanced, as you write, this could point towards several possibilities:

1) They were some sort of space vagabonds/pirates who don't care about the Prime Directive and simply had made that exact art of that planet their base (or were also looking for B4)
2)Their civilization developed at different rates than ours with weapons being very advanced but other things still primitive. They might have just been in their equivalent of WW I with huge advances in weapons technology (though their weaponry and vehicles seemed advanced even for that, it did look contemporary for when the movie was made)
3) Another alien race had previously interfered with that planet and ntroduced the weapons to the natives, or a fraction of the natives.
4) Their definition of "early industrial" is very lose (just like their definition of "ancient") and the planet was at late 2oth century/early 21st century levels.

In the case of 2), 3) and 4) it's likely the aliens they were gunning down were the local military, trying to defend their world against an alien invasion. This might have led to something as innocent as their equivalent of Rosswell. Or it might have led to their version of a Cold War entering a hot face and millions being killed as different factions blame each other for the attack. Yay :-/

Still B4 served a role in the movie, he emphasized the "same make genetic/anatomical make up doesn't mean we're the same person" theme and prompted Data to shut up Picard's "I am Shinzon! Shinzon is me! Shinzon and I are one!" nonsense.
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Old December 18 2014, 04:21 AM   #10
Lance
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

I must agree with C.E. Evans in that, you could make the argument, the natives didn't really get a good look at the Enterprise crew (going too fast, heat of battle, distance, etc), and that the Argo itself was of a similar technological level, at least to outwards appearances, to the buggy driven by the natives themselves.

(Having said that, Worf unshackling the Phaser Cannon and unloading on the natives is perhaps admittedly going too far over the line. )

Obviously the Prime Directive is being, shall we say, "stretched" throughout the mission. But the boundries to which it is outright broken are often overstated. On some level, Picard and crew are doing the Prime Directive a service by removing B-4 from the planet before any of the locals can get their hands on him, and as I said it's debatable how much the confrontation in the desert actually has any effect at all on the local population.

It isn't like they were dealing with f**knuckles who haven't discovered fire yet. The planet's natives were clearly already a post-industrial age society, which (obviously) opens up a lot more scope in terms of how you can go down there and assimilate without calling attention to yourself. The Argo is probably within the guidelines on that.

Ultimately we don't really learn enough about the planet to be able to make an accurate call one way or another.
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Old December 18 2014, 04:47 AM   #11
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

I think that the Kolarans were actually working with Shinzon all along - that he had approached them, they allowed him to 'plant' the pieces of B-4 on their world, in the hopes of luring Picard and crew in.

It's the final look that the one Kolaran gives when he removes his goggles (after the Argo lifts off), that does it for me. He looks kind of smug, like "Everything's going as planned."
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Old December 18 2014, 04:56 AM   #12
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

^ Yes, that's my theory.

Orphalesion wrote: View Post
They did look like Remans, but did Shinzon know that he Enterprise was looking for B4?
Well, he planted B4 for them to find, and apparently had very good intelligence on Starfleet operations, so probably knew where the Enterprise would be.
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Old December 18 2014, 05:08 AM   #13
Christopher
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

The Kolarans do not, in fact, look like Remans:

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Kolaran.jpg

Their head shape is sort of a cross between a Ferengi and the front half of a DY-100-class ship.
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Old December 18 2014, 05:30 AM   #14
eyeresist
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

^ You are correct, the sculpted sides of their heads are quite different, though they have a similar mean-and-bumpy attitude. The Kolaran is only in close-up for half a second, so it's an easy mistake to make.
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Old December 18 2014, 10:47 AM   #15
Timo
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Re: In universe explanation for Prime Directive violation in Nemesis

I don't see the difference between this movie and, say, "Bread and Circuses" in terms of PD. Our heroes have a pressing reason to visit a planet at a low level of industrialization, that is, folks like us. So they go and visit, half-heartedly quoting the PD obligation not to make too much of a show of themselves. They take minimal precautions, expecting no difficulties. They meet an armed party in the middle of supposedly safe nowhere nevertheless, for reasons they could not have foreseen.

That's really bread and butter for Starfleet vs. natives. It just has this nasty habit of turning into circuses instead.

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