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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 September 28 2013, 08:53 PM   #151
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
grendelsbayne wrote: View Post

That's true, and the whole thing taken together is actually my biggest problem with the story (aside from Nero) - not just Kirk. The discussion around Kirk is more extreme because he is the most ridiculous outlier, but the others' rise in position is fairly weird as well. The only one I really believed was Uhura, since she was flat-out stated to be a communications prodigy.

But how exactly did McCoy end up the second highest ranking doctor when he hadn't even been in space yet? And while I get that you have to make do with what you have in a crisis, how does Sulu become the permanent helmsman of the enterprise when he hasn't even trained to fly a full sized starship? Not to mention Scotty going from some kind of apparent exile to chief engineer of the flagship with seemingly no difficulty...
Because "You are the best and brightest and have truly earned this job through years of exemplary performance" is dull even once, let alone seven times. Give me the colourful origin stories any day.
That is your argument? You don't even deny grendelsbayne's argument regarding the ridiculousness of the situation. You merely say you have no problem with the situation being ridiculous.

Personally, I would have preferred a movie that doesn't require turning my brain off.
Sulu was a qualified pilot, nothing says he wasn't trained. McCoy was a doctor before he even joined Starfleet. Scotty was dabbling in super-advanced transwarp technology six months before coming aboard. Spock graduated from the academy four years prior to the attack on Vulcan and was "one of [Starfleet's] most distinguished graduates". How they reached their posts were abnormal, but all were qualified.

Kirk may have lucked his way to the top (although he was supposedly a genius and was acing the academy in 3 years), but I'd say he proved himself.

grendelsbayne wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
The "known internal logic" of the Federation and Starfleet no longer applied after the Narada arrived in 2233. There are broad similarities, of course, but after a quarter century deviation from that point, all sorts of differences were bound to emerge. There are other reasons to criticize the swift promotion of Kirk, but "known internal logic", based on what went on in the "prime timeline", is not especially compelling as an argument.
Nonsense. The known internal logic of the shows stayed mostly the same all the way in to the late 24th century and beyond, and there's no reason to think the arrival of 1 insane romulan and the passage of a measley 25 years would suddenly change the way everyone has run things for almost a century already.
Take a look at airport security post-9/11. Take a look at the Enterprise-D and Starfleet 22 years after Narendra III (where one ship made the difference) in "Yesterday's Enterprise"
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Old September 28 2013, 09:00 PM   #152
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Take a look at airport security post-9/11. Take a look at the Enterprise-D and Starfleet 22 years after Narendra III (where one ship made the difference) in "Yesterday's Enterprise"
Yep.

The actions of a single starship changed the destinies of millions of people and the objectives of Starfleet.
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Old September 28 2013, 10:17 PM   #153
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

grendelsbayne wrote: View Post
His heroic act showed him capable of the kind of leadership needed for the missions he was running, which was a very specific type of mission. And his physical abilities were both unique and key to the success of those missions, which is why he was legitimately irreplacable within the logic of that story.
Were they? What did Cap do that showed "him capable of the kind of leadership needed for the mission he was running?" How were his physical abilities "both unique and key to the success of those missions"? Every member of the Howling Commandos had more combat experience and at least two were in leader ship roles already. The Howlers were also going on the exact same missions as Cap following their rescue ( which they aided in). The only story logic that demands Rogers be given a leadership role and the rank of Captain is the fact "Captain America" is in the film's title.

Honestly, I don't see too much in the way of real thinking going on in Kirk's character in ST09. They seem, to me, to have taken him to the rather extreme end of Kirk's penchant for solving problems by hitting things and being generally abrasive. The only moment that stands out to me at all, is when he stopped the ship because he realized the Vulcan distress signal was a trap. But the fact that he realized that and not someone else merely proves he's not a complete moron, not that he's in any way brilliant or insightful. Every other character would have come to the same conclusion, except that the plot conveniently prevented anyone else from having all the necessary information.

So tell me, then, what specific actions did Kirk take while in command that proved in any way he was fully ready for command leadership of a starship?

Because we all know he saved earth, but we also know that he couldn't have *not* saved earth. That's just what the movie is about. And I don't see that many other reasons for starfleet to suddenly decide he's a wunderkind.
1) The film tells us via Pike, that Kirk has a genius level intellect.

2) Kirk, presumably aided by Galia, rewrote the Kobyashi Maru Test. (The same action that in the Prime Universe gets him a commendation for original thinking)

3) Kirk puts the pieces together that saves the Enterprise from the fate of the rest of the fleet at Vulcan. The only other person who could have but it together was Pike. But he seemed to lack the data Uhura provided.

4) Kirk decides not to go to the Laurentian system and to Pike.

5) He's also smart enough to listen to others when formulating a plan. (Chekov's suggestion) That what leaders do.

6) He tells Sulu to fire on the Narada, if he gets a chance, even if Kirk and Spock are on board. Sacrifice, also part of leading.

7) He comes up with the plan for Spock to take the Jellyfish to use against Nero.

8) He rescues Pike. (with a little help from Scotty)

9) He offers Nero a chance to surrender, Nero refuses.

10) he takes a chance and listens to Scotty and saves the ship from the Narada black hole. (see number 5)

So Kirk does think, plan and lead in the film. He does engage in fisticuffs though, with mixed results. Though on two occasions he works that to his advantage: compromising Spock and getting Ayel's gun. Thinking again.

Is that enough to give him command of the Enterprise? Probably not in the real world. In an action adventure film that requires a Captain Kirk by the end credits, it does. Would I have things differently? Probably.

.

The problem is you're looking at them purely in terms of plot generalities while I'm talking about the internal logic of the story. Captain American more or less stays within the bounds of its own internal logic. ST09, when understood as a continuation of the same Starfleet/Federation we've always known, doesn't even try to.

No it's not believable in real life. In an action adventure film it meets certain needs and expectations.
As stated, I'm not comparing it to real life. I'm comparing to the known internal logic of the Federation and Starfleet.
You'll have to explain what internal logic was violated and how it was violated.
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Old September 28 2013, 11:07 PM   #154
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

What we've learned: You can take Kirk away from the Enterprise, but you can't take the Enterprise away from Kirk.
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Old September 28 2013, 11:14 PM   #155
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

I think the militarization of Section 31 and it exploring near space which had them come in contact with Khan and his people is one such example of how this universe's priorities are quite different than those of the Prime Timeline.
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Old September 28 2013, 11:47 PM   #156
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

grendelsbayne wrote: View Post
Honestly, I don't see too much in the way of real thinking going on in Kirk's character in ST09. They seem, to me, to have taken him to the rather extreme end of Kirk's penchant for solving problems by hitting things and being generally abrasive. The only moment that stands out to me at all, is when he stopped the ship because he realized the Vulcan distress signal was a trap. But the fact that he realized that and not someone else merely proves he's not a complete moron, not that he's in any way brilliant or insightful. Every other character would have come to the same conclusion, except that the plot conveniently prevented anyone else from having all the necessary information.

So tell me, then, what specific actions did Kirk take while in command that proved in any way he was fully ready for command leadership of a starship?.
Exactly. The same luck that took Kirk to the top held sway thoughout his stint(s) on the Enterprise. In particular he was prevented by Spock from getting everyone killed and later came back when he had "found" a means of getting on to the Narada "safely".

I'm not using "real world logic" as the baseline for my criticism. If I were, I'd be asking why the hell every single fully manned ship is conveniently off somewhere leaving nothing but cadets to save the world. ...
Movie logic is fine up to a point, so long as it doesn't make you go:


King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Because "You are the best and brightest and have truly earned this job through years of exemplary performance" is dull even once, let alone seven times. Give me the colourful origin stories any day.
Great euphemistic use of "colourful".


BillJ wrote: View Post
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Take a look at airport security post-9/11. ...
Yep.

The actions of a single starship changed the destinies of millions of people and the objectives of Starfleet.
Problem is, making Kirk captain, is akin to reducing security after 9/11. It is effectively a vast reduction in the standards by which Captains are selected and trained. Worse, it makes Starfleet look incompetent and panicked.

Yes, destines may change, but those changes should still make sense within the story, not just be a means to excuse any desirable plot point.


Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
1) The film tells us via Pike, that Kirk has a genius level intellect.

2) Kirk, presumably aided by Galia, rewrote the Kobyashi Maru Test. (The same action that in the Prime Universe gets him a commendation for original thinking)
Being a extreme academic is not a requirement for Captaincy and is no substitute for proper training and experience in a much more varied and demanding job.

3) Kirk puts the pieces together that saves the Enterprise from the fate of the rest of the fleet at Vulcan. The only other person who could have but it together was Pike. But he seemed to lack the data Uhura provided.
Already "accepted" I believe.

4) Kirk decides not to go to the Laurentian system and to Pike.
When he made the second "attempt" to do go after Nero, he had a chance of success. The first time he would have been killed (almost certainly we are lead to believe). Emotional stubbornness isnít always a virtue. The plot, of course, was set up to make it look like his stubbornness was vindicated

5) He's also smart enough to listen to others when formulating a plan. (Chekov's suggestion) That what leaders do.
So would anyone who didnít have a plan themselves. It would be standard procedure at SF I'm thinking.

6) He tells Sulu to fire on the Narada, if he gets a chance, even if Kirk and Spock are on board. Sacrifice, also part of leading.
True. He doesnít have a problem sacrificing his or others lives. His problem is being able to tell when it makes sense and when it doesnít

7) He comes up with the plan for Spock to take the Jellyfish to use against Nero.
No. Actually it was Spockís plan to "steal back the black hole device". Kirk did very little here but agree with everyone. A lot of people could do that.

8) He rescues Pike. (with a little help from Scotty)
So Ö he didnít personally save the Earth then? Yes, I know, he agreed a lot. But seriously, while I accept his coordinating role, it wasn't spectacular or unique.

9) He offers Nero a chance to surrender, Nero refuses.
The fact he thought Nero might accept proves his lack of intelligence or at least maturity (assuming he wasnít just going through the motions). His petulant reaction to Nero proves his lack of suitability, at this time.

10) he takes a chance and listens to Scotty and saves the ship from the Narada black hole. (see number 5)
Risky move given how many other more reliable options he had available right then.

No Kirkís main claim to fame was his double edged sword of determination. A sword that still needed a lot of tempering, to reinforce nuSpockís horsey metaphor. At least Starfleet should have thought so if the plot hadnít interfered.
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Old September 28 2013, 11:50 PM   #157
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

UFO wrote:
His petulant reaction to Nero proves his lack of suitability, at this time.
No.
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Old September 29 2013, 12:04 AM   #158
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Set Harth wrote: View Post
UFO wrote:
His petulant reaction to Nero proves his lack of suitability, at this time.
No.
Well argued sir! I doff my cap to you.
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Old September 29 2013, 12:20 AM   #159
Nerys Myk
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

I really hate it when the BBS quote function eliminates part of what I said
UFO wrote: View Post
Being a extreme academic is not a requirement for Captaincy and is no substitute for proper training and experience in a much more varied and demanding job.
The point of the list was to show Kirk thinks with more than his fists.

Already "accepted" I believe.
Not by everybody.

When he made the second "attempt" to do go after Nero, he had a chance of success. The first time he would have been killed (almost certainly we are lead to believe). Emotional stubbornness isn’t always a virtue. The plot, of course, was set up to make it look like his stubbornness was vindicated
Of course it is, he's the hero. Their hunches, gut feelings and wild plans are usually vindicated.

So would anyone who didn’t have a plan themselves. It would be standard procedure at SF I'm thinking.
Never said it wasn't. Again the list is a response to the idea Kirk isn't a thinker.

True. He doesn’t have a problem sacrificing his or others lives. His problem is being able to tell when it makes sense and when it doesn’t
The theme of the next film.

No. Actually it was Spock’s plan to "steal back the black hole device". Kirk did very little here but agree with everyone. A lot of people could do that.
I was going by a quick review of the script. My read seemed to indicate it was Kirk.

Not saying any of this places Kirk at the top of the list.

So … he didn’t personally save the Earth then? Yes, I know, he agreed a lot. But seriously, while I accept his coordinating role, it wasn't spectacular or unique.
Yes it was a team effort lead by Kirk. Leadership. Again not trying to prove Kirk unique or spectacular, just that he's a leader and can think. Being leader usually means you get the credit and accolades.

Reread what I wrote after I presented the list (which you did not quote):

Nerys Myk wrote:
Is that enough to give him command of the Enterprise? Probably not in the real world. In an action adventure film that requires a Captain Kirk by the end credits, it does. Would I have things differently? Probably.


Hey, it actually include something I wrote! Yay!

9) He offers Nero a chance to surrender, Nero refuses.
The fact he thought Nero might accept proves his lack of intelligence or at least maturity (assuming he wasn’t just going through the motions). His petulant reaction to Nero proves his lack of suitability, at this time.
What a difference four years makes. Back then Kirk was a bloodthirty goon for killing poor defenseless Nero. Now he's dumb and immature for going all Picard and being a gracious winner. And petulant because Nero said "No" and decided to go all out.

10) he takes a chance and listens to Scotty and saves the ship from the Narada black hole. (see number 5)
Risky move given how many other more reliable options he had available right then.
If you say so. What were those options? None were presented in the film.

No Kirk’s main claim to fame was his double edged sword of determination. A sword that still needed a lot of tempering, to reinforce nuSpock’s horsey metaphor. At least Starfleet should have thought so if the plot hadn’t interfered.
Sounds more like a metallurgy metaphor.

Starfleet thinks what ever the plot tells it to think. Starfleet is actually unaware there is a plot or writers for that matter.
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Old September 29 2013, 01:56 AM   #160
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
The point of the list was to show Kirk thinks with more than his fists.
I'm not sure it does that overall but that is not the same as justifying Kirks pormotion

Already "accepted" I believe.
Not by everybody.
Those who matter. But its still more luck that skill.

Of course it is, he's the hero. Their hunches, gut feelings and wild plans are usually vindicated.
I said it made it look like he was vindicated, not that he was.

Never said it wasn't. Again the list is a response to the idea Kirk isn't a thinker.
OK, so he fits the requirement for being a Starfleet cadet. One hopes SF would have weeded him out if he didn't (not so sure actually now) or sent him to work in security, but cadets aren't immeditately promoted to captain.

The theme of the next film.
Still doesn't argue for making him a captain in ST09.

I was going by a quick review of the script. My read seemed to indicate it was Kirk.

Not saying any of this places Kirk at the top of the list.
Technically I don't think it is mentioned who had the idea to fly the Jellyfish away but Spock was already aware he would need to fly it when Kirk asked him if he could. And stealing the black hole device (which Spock mentioned after Chekov's suggestions) was more a no-brainer than a plan. Spock seemed to decided on his next actions, but who knows.

Yes it was a team effort lead by Kirk. Leadership. Again not trying to prove Kirk unique or spectacular, just that he's a leader and can think. Being leader usually means you get the credit and accolades.
Credit and accolades I have no problem with.

Reread what I wrote after I presented the list (which you did not quote):
I would strongly disagree that what he did was enough to give him command of the Enterprise in any movie, book, comic, children's show etc etc at any time in any form. I believe it makes a mockery of Starfleet. Claiming that it is OK in modern action adventure, is no endorsement or consolation to me. I hope that makes my position clear.

What a difference four years makes. Back then Kirk was a bloodthirty goon for killing poor defenseless Nero. Now he's dumb and immature for going all Picard and being a gracious winner. And petulant because Nero said "No" and decided to go all out.
I never said he was "dumb and immature for going all Picard". I doubt many people did. Personally I consider that to be a vast improvement. Part of the better, but not perfect, future. My only issue is that the "better future" only rest on individual commanders rather than being a social norm. My views on how Kirk "should" behave haven't changed and I commend the writers for the above mentioned improvement.

UFO wrote:
Risky move given how many other more reliable options he had available right then.
If you say so. What were those options? None were presented in the film.
My point exactly. You made it sound as though he was doing something especially captainy and risky ("he takes a chance and listens to Scotty") and yes, even inspired, by "listening" to his chief engineer about how to get out of a jam they were in that involved moving the ship. What indeed were his other options?

No Kirkís main claim to fame was his double edged sword of determination. A sword that still needed a lot of tempering, to reinforce nuSpockís horsey metaphor. At least Starfleet should have thought so if the plot hadnít interfered.
Sounds more like a metallurgy metaphor.
You don't remember Spock and Bones' horse analogy about Kirk after he is thrown off the ship?

Starfleet thinks what ever the plot tells it to think. Starfleet is actually unaware there is a plot or writers for that matter.
A truism that doesn't address let alone resolve the issue I'm afraid, because Starfleet is still left looking bad and the decision is still ridiculous IMO, however it came about.
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Old September 29 2013, 02:17 AM   #161
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Since I have made a strong stand on this issue, does the decision to only demote Prime Kirk to Captain also make a mockery of Starfleet? I would say no because there is a difference in deciding not to really punish someone in light of services rendered and deciding to give them a command for which the are not yet properly trained. The first is a matter of discretion, the latter is simply irresponsible, not the least because it places other peopleís lives at risk.
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Old September 29 2013, 02:20 AM   #162
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Hey, I'm on record (multiple times) as saying the promotion was a bad idea scripting wise. You don't need to convince me of that. I'm only addressing the idea that Kirk isn't a leader or a thinker.
My point exactly. You made it sound as though he was doing something especially captainy and risky ("he takes a chance and listens to Scotty") and yes, even inspired, by "listening" to his chief engineer about how to get out of a jam they were in that involved moving the ship. What indeed were his other options?
No I meant its being a good leader by listening to the guy who knows more than you. That's what smart leaders do. It's not risky, but it's usually better than not.

I figured you had some treknocanonical method that would have been better.

ou don't remember Spock and Bones' horse analogy about Kirk after he is thrown off the ship?
I do, but when you talk about swords and tempering I think metallurgy not equine.

A truism that doesn't address let alone resolve the issue I'm afraid, because Starfleet is still left looking bad and the decision is still ridiculous IMO, however it came about.
Nah, in-universe all is good and Kirk is hero who saved the Galaxy from two flavors of madman. Starfleet looks good for recognizing his potential. Out-universe, very few people care how Starfleet looks. They had a good time at the movies.
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Old September 29 2013, 04:05 AM   #163
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Without Kirk, Earth and Starfleet would be gone, he was right, Spock and Pike were wrong.
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Old September 29 2013, 07:07 AM   #164
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

BillJ wrote: View Post
Probably not "non-sense". Starfleet was confronted with something they had never seen before and it crushed one of their ships. Over the next few years, all it would take would be for a few promotions to go differently than they did in the Prime timeline and you would have an organization that would have far different priorities.
That description fits probably at least a third of all major incidents ever shown in Star Trek. The arrival of the Narada was a one time tragedy on a personal level. On a professional level for an organization like Starfleet it would barely be a blip on the radar - especially since the attacker wasn't heard from again for 25 years.
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Old September 29 2013, 08:33 AM   #165
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Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Sulu was a qualified pilot, nothing says he wasn't trained.
Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, as the copy of the script I can find online differs significantly from the final film, but wasn't there a line right after Sulu screwed up the Enterprises launch that said he'd been trained to fly shuttlecraft (And therefore, not Starships)?

McCoy was a doctor before he even joined Starfleet. Scotty was dabbling in super-advanced transwarp technology six months before coming aboard. Spock graduated from the academy four years prior to the attack on Vulcan and was "one of [Starfleet's] most distinguished graduates". How they reached their posts were abnormal, but all were qualified.
Those three were qualified, yes. Any one of them would make perfect sense as an exception to the rule, coincidence, whatever. Except for the fact that Scotty apparently has enemies high up who don't want him to succeed. But hey, maybe they forgot about him or whatever. All three of them together, however, achieving their positions in such strange circumstances sets up a story which is fairly hard to believe to begin with - and becomes impossible to believe on Kirk's fantastic promotion.

Kirk may have lucked his way to the top (although he was supposedly a genius and was acing the academy in 3 years), but I'd say he proved himself.
In terms of the story, maybe so. In terms of proving to Starfleet command he was clearly ready to take full control of a starship? Lucking your way to the top is pretty much the exact opposite of proving yourself.

Take a look at airport security post-9/11. Take a look at the Enterprise-D and Starfleet 22 years after Narendra III (where one ship made the difference) in "Yesterday's Enterprise"
The Enterprise D was in a perpetual war with the Klingons. The Narada was an isolated incident, no different than a thousand other isolated incidents where starships or even entire colonies were destroyed by random alien of the week. Starfleet has never reacted to any of those incidents by changing its fundamental rules of operation.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Were they? What did Cap do that showed "him capable of the kind of leadership needed for the mission he was running?" How were his physical abilities "both unique and key to the success of those missions"? Every member of the Howling Commandos had more combat experience and at least two were in leader ship roles already. The Howlers were also going on the exact same missions as Cap following their rescue ( which they aided in). The only story logic that demands Rogers be given a leadership role and the rank of Captain is the fact "Captain America" is in the film's title.
He successfully infiltrated and destroyed a highly advanced Hydra base - and retrieved important intelligence from it as well. Every mission he's shown leading is about successfully infiltrating and destroying Hydra bases and their technology (except the kidnapping of Dr. Zola, which is really an even simpler type of mission).

When the job description is: must be able to type 80 wpm, then all you have to show to prove someone deserves the job is that they can type 80 wpm. Unfortunately for ST09, the job of Starship Captain is a hell of a lot more complicated than handling one specific crisis - even if you accept the idea that Kirk deserves most of the credit for saving Earth in the first place.

You might have a point in that cap didn't necessarily have to be the leader - even though he had shown himself capable of leading that kind of action - but if his physical abilities didn't make the difference in making that kind of mission possible, why did the apparent expert, Col. Philips, believe the mission completely impossible to achieve, even with an entire battalion running around the base?

1) The film tells us via Pike, that Kirk has a genius level intellect.
But the film doesn't really prove to us that Pike actually knows what he's talking about.

2) Kirk, presumably aided by Galia, rewrote the Kobyashi Maru Test. (The same action that in the Prime Universe gets him a commendation for original thinking)
That's one. Though not a particularly impressive reason for promotion.

3) Kirk puts the pieces together that saves the Enterprise from the fate of the rest of the fleet at Vulcan. The only other person who could have but it together was Pike. But he seemed to lack the data Uhura provided.
That's the only moment that stood out to me, but, as I already said, it doesn't constitute insightfulness so much as 'working memory'. Still not a reason to consider Kirk at all extraordinary, much less worthy of the promotion he got. Pike, Spock, or Uhura even would all have made the same connection if they had been allowed by the plot to have the same information.

4) Kirk decides not to go to the Laurentian system and to Pike.
Classic Kirk gut feeling. As the case always has been in Star Trek, his gut feeling proves correct, but that does not magically turn it into some kind of brilliant strategy worthy of unprecedented promotion.

5) He's also smart enough to listen to others when formulating a plan. (Chekov's suggestion) That what leaders do.
Sure. But this is still not even remotely extraordinary. Isn't Kirk supposed to be off the charts, most promising cadet ever? Where is the proof of that?

6) He tells Sulu to fire on the Narada, if he gets a chance, even if Kirk and Spock are on board. Sacrifice, also part of leading.
Sounds like the exact same thing every commander would say. In fact, it sounds like the kind of thing that would be actively taught at the academy, making it the same thing any cadet would say.

7) He comes up with the plan for Spock to take the Jellyfish to use against Nero.
I've noticed another poster disputes that one. I can't remember specifically, myself, and the copy of the script I'm looking at doesn't really specify who came up with the plan at all - or if there even actually was a plan and not just dumb luck and improvisation.

8) He rescues Pike. (with a little help from Scotty)
This isn't an example of thinking, strategy or leadership at all.

9) He offers Nero a chance to surrender, Nero refuses.
Proving he's not a douche, but not proving he's in any way brilliant or exceptional.

10) he takes a chance and listens to Scotty and saves the ship from the Narada black hole. (see number 5)
Not sure if the final version was exactly the same, but the script for this is:

" SCOTTY (last desperate thought)
IF WE EJECT THE CORE AND DETONATE, THE BLAST COULD BE STRONG ENOUGH TO PUSH US AWAY BUT I CAN'T PROMISE ANYTHING!

KIRK
DO IT DO IT DO IT!"

So, Scotty got a lucky hunch at the last second and Kirk grasped at the only straw available to save his ship. Not exactly a well considered decision to take a chance on a theory.

He does engage in fisticuffs though, with mixed results. Though on two occasions he works that to his advantage: compromising Spock and getting Ayel's gun. Thinking again.
Compromising Spock was Spock's (Nimoy) plan, not Kirk's. Using fisticuffs to do so seemed simply the most natural way for Kirk to have a confrontation. As for getting the gun, I don't remember that moment off the top of my head, and I can't seem to find it in the script. What part of the movie was that?

So Kirk does think, plan and lead in the film.
After going through all these examples, I still don't see any real thinking or planning, and only a very little leadership. What Kirk shows, above all, in this film is a lot of courage, a strong moral compass and an incredibly accurate gut feeling.

Which makes him a great hero, but doesn't do anything at all to set him apart from the rest of Starfleet as some extraordinary officer whose potential is so wonderful that he must be promoted straight to captain.

As stated, I'm not comparing it to real life. I'm comparing to the known internal logic of the Federation and Starfleet.
You'll have to explain what internal logic was violated and how it was violated.
The internal logic of how the Federation and Starfleet have always worked. Over four shows and ten movies we've seen far more spectacular heroics than Kirk's one day command of the Enterprise in ST09, several times over, and it's never resulted in anything even close to the ridiculous promotion he is rewarded with.

Opus wrote: View Post
I think the militarization of Section 31 and it exploring near space which had them come in contact with Khan and his people is one such example of how this universe's priorities are quite different than those of the Prime Timeline.
The militarization of section 31 was a response to the attack on Vulcan and Earth. Kirk's promotion happened what, two days after those events took place? Starfleet reassessed it's entire way of doing business that fast? And did so in a way that makes it less militarized, allowing an almost entirely unproven officer to take control of the most important asset in the fleet?

UFO wrote: View Post
Since I have made a strong stand on this issue, does the decision to only demote Prime Kirk to Captain also make a mockery of Starfleet? I would say no because there is a difference in deciding not to really punish someone in light of services rendered and deciding to give them a command for which the are not yet properly trained. The first is a matter of discretion, the latter is simply irresponsible, not the least because it places other peopleís lives at risk.
I would agree with that and moreso, because it's not just a matter of discretion - it's a long standing pattern in Star Trek, presumably related to the basic philosophy of the Federation. The Federation is extraordinarily lenient in punishment in almost every case I can think of.

Dr. Bashir is allowed to remain in Starfleet despite being lying about his genetic enhancements.

Spock isn't punished at all, despite breaking the Talos IV quarantine which supposedly carried the death penalty.

The Maquis are treated with kid gloves for years before Starfleet gets serious about them.

There are no consequences for the Fundamentalist group that sabotaged Risa's weather control system, and not even a reprimand for Worf for helping them.

Starfleet even actively tries to rehabilitate Borg (Hugh and Seven).

I would also expect that, in the case of Kirk's demotion, whatever Hardline elements there may exist in Starfleet command/federation council, would in fact also be inclined to go easy on him, as a form of diplomatic retribution against the Klingons who, let's not forget, launched an unprovoked assault on a bunch of barely armed scientists at the Genesis planet, and killed dozens of Federation citizens, destroying 2 starships. Which nevertheless still did not launch the Federation into open warfare with the Klingons. Even more leniency.
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