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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 March 12 2014, 11:41 PM   #1
Clark Terrell
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Location: USS Reliant
Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

I watched The Wrath of Khan the other night and was bothered by something. Khan captures Reliant with the help of its captain and first officer but asks Kirk to give him information about Genesis? Reliant was assigned to find a test-site for the experiment. Wouldn't they have more data about the project than any other ship?

I know Khan wanted revenge on Kirk for what happened to him and his people, but his asking Kirk for the information makes no sense. The only reason Kirk had access was due to his position in the admiralty (as far as we know), but Khan had no way of knowing that beyond what Chekov or Terrell may have told him (and they wouldn't know for certain), as well his gamble that Kirk would have looked up the information after getting the garbled message from Marcus.

So the question begs asking, why didn't Khan just take the information from Reliant's computer? I suppose it's possible Terrell or Chekov shook off the effects of the eels long enough to delete any pertinent files, but we've no way of knowing that for sure. It's only speculation.
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Old March 12 2014, 11:55 PM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Genesis may have been such a top-secret project that not even the crew of the Reliant knew the full details, just the basics. Khan assumed that as an admiral, Kirk would have access to everything about Project Genesis (I doubt that anyone other than admiral rank could access it via computer).
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Old March 13 2014, 02:36 AM   #3
austen_pierce
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

The line about "data and materials" makes me wonder what "materials" Enterprise, a ship utterly unrelated to the project, would be carrying.
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Old March 13 2014, 02:52 AM   #4
Clark Terrell
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

austen_pierce wrote: View Post
The line about "data and materials" makes me wonder what "materials" Enterprise, a ship utterly unrelated to the project, would be carrying.
Which is why the whole things makes no sense. Kirk holding a flag rank wasn't a guarantee that he would have had access to the material. Khan took a gamble by assuming that Kirk would have any knowledge of the project-- although his assumption may have been based on Chekov's suggestion that Marcus would contact Kirk to confirm his supposed transfer order for the Genesis equipment-- because the Enterprise wasn't even remotely involved in the project, and Kirk was aboard only because he was supervising a training cruise.

All of that aside, your point is dead-on. Regardless of what Kirk knew about the project, what could the Enterprise possibly have given him that Reliant could not? As I said in my earlier post, it's possible Terrell or Chekov staved off the eels' influence long enough to delete the Genesis date from Reliant's computer, but that still wouldn't explain why the Enterprise would have anything Khan could use.
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Old March 13 2014, 03:41 AM   #5
Synnöve
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

The simple reason is that any information Khan can get his hands on concerning this device is of benefit to him, he used it as a bargaining chip as well. Maybe a flag officer might have more information concerning Starfleet's intentions for the device that wasn't given to the Reliant officers? There isn't a pressing need for it but why not?
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Old March 13 2014, 03:52 AM   #6
Clark Terrell
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Synnöve wrote: View Post
The simple reason is that any information Khan can get his hands on concerning this device is of benefit to him, he used it as a bargaining chip as well. Maybe a flag officer might have more information concerning Starfleet's intentions for the device that wasn't given to the Reliant officers? There isn't a pressing need for it but why not?
The bargaining chip angle makes sense because it forces Kirk to think beyond merely offering himself to Khan in return for the latter sparing the Enterprise. At the same time, Kirk had no way of knowing that Khan would actually keep his promise-- a point he makes while waiting for Spock to access Reliant's computer core-- even if he gave Khan the information he wanted.

Additionally, Kirk had to know that Khan getting his hands on Genesis would likely have meant the destruction of the Enterprise anyway. Even with Kirk vanquished, Khan would not have risked Spock alerting Starfleet to his having stolen a starship and secret Federation technology.
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Old March 13 2014, 04:51 AM   #7
F. King Daniel
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Maybe Khan saw the Jim Kirk version of the Genesis presentation from STIII and thus knew he was 'in the know'?

Wait, did Kirk even now about Genesis before watching the Carol version of the presentation in II? I don't recall.
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Old March 13 2014, 04:56 AM   #8
Clark Terrell
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Maybe Khan saw the Jim Kirk version of the Genesis presentation from STIII and thus knew he was 'in the know'?
If he did, shouldn't the DTI be notified?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Wait, did Kirk even now about Genesis before watching the Carol version of the presentation in II? I don't recall.
It seemed like he knew of the project by name but may not have had all the details until seeing the video presentation. He was surprised that Carol thought he was trying to take Genesis from her, not that there was such a thing.
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Old March 13 2014, 05:04 AM   #9
C.E. Evans
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

austen_pierce wrote: View Post
The line about "data and materials" makes me wonder what "materials" Enterprise, a ship utterly unrelated to the project, would be carrying.
It probably had less to actually do with the Enterprise and more to do with what information Admiral Kirk could access (it could have been on any ship he was on). On the Reliant, Khan could only access so much before security restrictions took hold.

In a way, it could have been a case of Khan's ego tripping him up. Khan could have dispensed with theatrics and just had Kirk beam himself over to the Reliant and forced him to access the Genesis materials from there instead of wanting him to do it from the Enterprise.
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Old March 13 2014, 05:11 AM   #10
Clark Terrell
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
It probably had less to actually do with the Enterprise and more to do with what information Admiral Kirk could access (it could have been on any ship he was on). On the Reliant, Khan could only access so much before security restrictions took hold.

In a way, it could have been a case of Khan's ego tripping him up. Khan could have dispensed with theatrics and just had Kirk beam himself over to the Reliant and forced him to access the Genesis materials from there instead of wanting him to do it from the Enterprise.
Which is exactly what he should have done. Kirk controlled by an eel would have given Khan exactly what he needed to get his hands on Genesis, and Kirk would have had the slow death Khan wanted for him. Kirk didn't so much as beat Khan as Khan beat himself by not taking Kirk into custody as soon as Kirk offered to beam aboard. It's possible Spock could still have used the prefix code to lower Reliant's shields, but would he have fired on them with Kirk aboard? We'll never know.
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Old March 13 2014, 06:36 AM   #11
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Clark Terrell wrote: View Post
It's possible Spock could still have used the prefix code to lower Reliant's shields, but would he have fired on them with Kirk aboard? We'll never know.
In this scenario, what would have happened is Starfleet dispatches the Excelsior (sans Scotty sabotage) to blast the crap out of the Reliant. A scene reminiscent of the Vengeance catching the Enterprise in STiD would ensue, only in this case with no one to halt the attack.
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Old March 13 2014, 07:28 AM   #12
Nebusj
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Clark Terrell wrote: View Post
Which is why the whole things makes no sense. Kirk holding a flag rank wasn't a guarantee that he would have had access to the material. Khan took a gamble by assuming that Kirk would have any knowledge of the project-- although his assumption may have been based on Chekov's suggestion that Marcus would contact Kirk to confirm his supposed transfer order for the Genesis equipment-- because the Enterprise wasn't even remotely involved in the project, and Kirk was aboard only because he was supervising a training cruise.
My assumption had been that Kirk was involved in Project Genesis, at least to some degree. After all, Chekov's message about the order to turn over Genesis coming from Admiral Kirk is plausible enough that the Genesis project scientists don't immediately dismiss it as nonsense (or irrelevant). If Kirk weren't someone who could direct the Genesis scientists to doing something the lie wouldn't even register.

Then, consider coincidental bits: we know Kirk to have close ties with Genesis's (presumed) project manager, Carol Marcus. He worked for a decade or so with the Reliant's first officer and with one of its bridge officers. Coincidence? Plausibly so. But mightn't he also be part of the Star Fleet panel that matched up Genesis with the Fleet resources it needed?
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Old March 13 2014, 07:37 AM   #13
MauriceNavidad
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Khan asked Chekov and Terrell and they doubtless told him of Kirk's involvement/knowledge, tidy as that was.
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Old March 13 2014, 11:18 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Let's look at this from Khan's end.

- Khan wants Kirk dead, suffering, humiliated, or preferably all three at the same time.
- Khan's escape coincides with him finding about this Genesis thing.
- It also coincides with him encountering an officer from Kirk's old ship.
- It further turns out Genesis is related to Kirk's old flame; this may turn out in eel interviews of Chekov already, or only be revealed when Carol Marcus hails Kirk in panic, an action Khan jams after obviously overhearing it.
- Khan wouldn't believe much in coincidences, either intellectually, let alone in his obsessed state of mind.

Why would Khan not ask Kirk for Genesis material? The superman has nothing to lose, and wins extra points even if it turns out Kirk has no Genesis stuff to offer.

In the end, Genesis means nothing to Khan. But if he's gonna get it, it will have to be before he takes Kirk aboard and slaughters his crew in front of his eyes, because if the valuable Genesis material is anywhere, it is obviously aboard that doomed starship rather than between Kirk's ears.

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Old March 13 2014, 11:52 AM   #15
Lance
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Re: Why Does Khan Assume Kirk Knows Anything About Genesis?

Yeah, judging by the conversation between Kirk and Carol about Genesis, I always assumed Kirk already had some kind of knowledge about the project. Of course, he wasn't personally involved... aside maybe from his taking some mild interest due to Carol being the project leader, and David being her deputy.

Of course, it still leaves the question of how Khan knows that Kirk knows about Genesis...
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