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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 May 21 2014, 04:28 PM   #31
Lance
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Timo wrote: View Post
But it's the bit where they open fire on the Kolarans which doesn't strike me as being particularly right.
Well, Worf is probably firing a phaser. So for all we know, a direct hit at a local would only have stunned him!

We've seen phasers at apparent stun setting achieve interesting things such as cutting through metal ("Legacy"), so this setting overturning an enemy buggy need not be a contradiction. OTOH, Worf could probably toggle...

Timo Saloniemi
While I definitely appreciate the distinction you suggest there, and find it a very plausible explanation actually, I do still have to wonder if there could have been a contingency plan, any kind of contingency plan, apart from 'pull out the big gun and start shooting at things until the Argo can reach the escape shuttle'. I admit that the suddenness of the attack called for going off-plan anyway, and that Starfleet phasers have got all kinds of non-lethal options (as we all know). But still, it just doesn't feel right somehow. It doesn't feel in the spirit of the Prime Directive for our guys to go down there and then open fire on members of a pre-warp civilization, even if they are under threat at the time and we assume the Argo weapon is set to a "minimum damage" setting of some kind.
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Old May 21 2014, 11:37 PM   #32
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Timo wrote: View Post
Exactly. Which is why it looks like a setup. Because if it weren't, Picard would be dead.
Not following your logic here. The natives were continuously shooting at the Argo throughout the entire scene. The Argo was a fast moving vehicle in motion the whole time. The bullets were hitting the Argo. When someone in a fast moving vehicle is shooting at someone else who is also in a fast moving vehicle (and still hitting said vehicle), then the chances of intentionally missing your target are zero, because there is no control whatsoever for where your bullets end up (unless you're shooting nowhere near the target, which wasn't the case).

The way the events transpired (regardless of whether it was Shinzon's doing), Picard was not invited to Romulus. Rather, Starfleet sent a "random" ship with a "random" skipper. Which might be important for Shinzon, whose explicit and sole goal was to invite Jean-Luc Picard, the man on whom his own life depended.
That's my point. Because he didn't ask for Picard directly, how would he know that Janeway would send him? For all he knew, she'd have sent any other ship. But as you said, he needed Picard. So I ask again, why didn't he just ask for him directly?

Shinzon was the product of a Romulan plot to duplicate Starfleet personnel. The Romulans no doubt also wanted a Soongian android of their own, either as part of this program or then in an unrelated effort. They would have tried to acquire one, or build one; and while B-4 was a failure in that regard, he would naturally have come to Shinzon's attention through the duplication program.

Why not use B-4? As said, Shinzon wouldn't have wanted anybody to know about his need for Picard specifically (you don't reveal your one fatal weakness early on if you are an Evil Overlord, and the fairy godmother wasn't around to reveal it, either), so asking was out of the question. But with B-4, he could kill half a dozen birds with one stone. Or hammer, as it's probably also a case of "everything looks like a nail": Shinzon, a tool in an agent insertion program, would now complete the project to insert a Soongian agent aboard a Starfleet ship! He gets Picard, he gets access to Starfleet data, and in the best-case scenario, he even becomes Picard and might be able to take over the E-E - either as a further tool for his nefarious purposes, or then as a Plan A that secures his retirement (with the wrecking of everything in vengeful anger, starting with Earth, being but a Plan B).
That's absurd. Shinzon was dying. He wasn't interested in trying to impersonate Picard. He was trying to save his life in the most idiotic way possible. If you knew that you only had a few days to live, and you also knew that there was a person who's blood could definitely cure you, and that person was, say, the President of the United States, and say, that through some quirk of fate you looked exactly like Mr. President, and furthermore, that you had some object that the President wanted but which you could also potentially use to infiltrate the White House with, what would you do? Would you try to kidnap and kill the President by stealing his blood, then impersonate him and take over the White House? Or would you try to ask the President to help you, knowing he's a good and decent man that would most likely do whatever he could to save your life, and that just kidnapping him and stealing his blood is a pretty lousy idea?
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Old May 22 2014, 02:40 AM   #33
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

But Shinzon wasn't just trying to save his own life. He needed to destroy Picard and wipe out his legacy. To quote the article I wrote on the subject for Star Trek Magazine:

“My life is meaningless as long as you’re still alive,” he tells the captain. There is literal truth to this; without a transfusion of Picard’s genetic material, the clone is doomed to die young. But more fundamentally, he resents Picard as the original of whom he is a mere copy. He cannot truly embrace his adopted identity as Shinzon of Remus as long as he is merely an echo of a human voice. His assault on Earth is the final act he must perform to gain total freedom. Before Shinzon can truly emerge as his own man, he must eradicate both Picard and his achievements, his legacy. Picard has earned greatness by saving Earth and the Federation; so Shinzon must outdo him by destroying them. “And my voice shall echo through time long after yours has faded to a dim memory.”
...
Essentially, Shinzon is a son rebelling against his father, resenting his overshadowing influence even while craving his recognition.
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Old May 23 2014, 01:56 AM   #34
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Christopher wrote: View Post
But Shinzon wasn't just trying to save his own life. He needed to destroy Picard and wipe out his legacy.
And that was the entire problem with his motive: He put his own selfish ambitions even above his own life. And that was just stupid.
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Old May 23 2014, 02:18 AM   #35
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But Shinzon wasn't just trying to save his own life. He needed to destroy Picard and wipe out his legacy.
And that was the entire problem with his motive: He put his own selfish ambitions even above his own life. And that was just stupid.
If you mean it made the writing of his character implausible, I can't agree, because lots of real people do have such irrational and self-defeating motivations. Shinzon's hamartic flaw, the blind spot that doomed him, was his envy and resentment toward Picard, his belief that he was trapped so long as Picard existed. He was Ahab and Picard was his whale -- he would give anything to destroy the thing he hated, even his own life. I don't see how that makes for a stupid or unbelievable story, when so many fictional villains have been just as driven by obsessive hatred.
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Old May 23 2014, 02:29 AM   #36
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

^No, that's not what I meant. I did some incredibly stupid things when I was 20 years old too (although my life was never in danger of ending in days because I needed the blood of someone I hate to survive). When it comes down to it, Shinzon was just a kid with a victim complex, who also is now in charge of everything and has a big shiny ship to command. My point is that if he had been thinking like a rational person, he would have realized how dumb his plan was. But that wasn't Shinzon. He thought that since he was now in a position of power and strength that he could get what he wanted, and he was wrong.
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Old May 23 2014, 03:01 AM   #37
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Yes, Shinzon was a character doomed by his fatal flaw. Which was basically that he blamed his problems on everything and everyone except himself, and so he thought he had to destroy everyone who held him back before he could really achieve anything on his own.
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Old May 23 2014, 03:43 AM   #38
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yes, Shinzon was a character doomed by his fatal flaw. Which was basically that he blamed his problems on everything and everyone except himself, and so he thought he had to destroy everyone who held him back before he could really achieve anything on his own.
In support of this interpretation, I have definitely known people who would be willing to destroy their own lives, and the lives of their families, over a stupid point of pride.
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Old May 23 2014, 04:34 AM   #39
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Melakon wrote: View Post
The only reason the Prime Directive exists is so that it can be ignored when convenient for the plot.
Yep.
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Old May 23 2014, 08:50 AM   #40
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

That's my point. Because he didn't ask for Picard directly, how would he know that Janeway would send him? For all he knew, she'd have sent any other ship. But as you said, he needed Picard. So I ask again, why didn't he just ask for him directly?
By asking, he would be revealing his weakness, and would have no future even if cured. All his plans about revenge would be ruined.

By setting things up so that Picard was the closest to the seldom-visited RNZ, he'd get his cure, he'd get it his way (Picard dies), and he wouldn't need to reveal his weakness to anybody (perhaps not even Picard).

Shinzon was dying. He wasn't interested in trying to impersonate Picard. He was trying to save his life in the most idiotic way possible.
Well, no. He was in no hurry in that respect: he spent what looked like at least a day just twiddling his thumbs and doing all sorts of utterly unrelated things, such as toying with Mrs Troi, intimidating his Romulan supporters, having tea and space crumpets with Picard, and hacking into Starfleet datanets. Plus he kept Picard waiting for seventeen hours for unknown reasons!

Clearly, getting Picard's blood was pretty far down his list of priorities.

If you knew that you only had a few days to live, and you also knew that there was a person who's blood could definitely cure you, and that person was, say, the President of the United States, and say, that through some quirk of fate you looked exactly like Mr. President, and furthermore, that you had some object that the President wanted but which you could also potentially use to infiltrate the White House with, what would you do? Would you try to kidnap and kill the President by stealing his blood, then impersonate him and take over the White House?
If it so obviously was my lifelong ambition to either run the United States or then bring about its doom, sure I would...

Incidentally, it's a bit doubtful that Shinzon actually had only a few days to live when he launched his rebellion. Sure, the slowly approaching premature death would motivate him to act, but if the timing was of his choosing, he would have acted sooner. If the timing was not his choosing, then it would be too much of a coincidence that he would only have a few days to live.

Rather, it would seem that his bouts of anger hastened his demise (see all those vein-popping scenes!). Hence, a plan launched at an arbitrary moment would result in him approaching death at an accelerating pace.

(Personally, I think that the moment for the Spartacus rebellion was dictated by orbital mechanics: Remus needed to be next to Romulus, which might only happen once per a few decades if the two worlds indeed orbit the star at very close yet independent orbits and Romulus has a slightly faster angular speed... The moment of proximity would be psychologically important if not logistically crucial for a slave rebellion intended to topple the Romulan government.)

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Old May 23 2014, 08:47 PM   #41
Dukhat
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Timo wrote: View Post
By asking, he would be revealing his weakness, and would have no future even if cured. All his plans about revenge would be ruined.

By setting things up so that Picard was the closest to the seldom-visited RNZ, he'd get his cure, he'd get it his way (Picard dies), and he wouldn't need to reveal his weakness to anybody (perhaps not even Picard).
Again, I know all that. That wasn't my point. My point was that he should have just dispensed with the silly revenge plan and focused on his own mortality first. But by not asking for Picard directly, he was taking a huge risk that Janeway would sent anyone else other than Picard. Then worrying about revealing his weakness would have been pointless.

Well, no. He was in no hurry in that respect: he spent what looked like at least a day just twiddling his thumbs and doing all sorts of utterly unrelated things, such as toying with Mrs Troi, intimidating his Romulan supporters, having tea and space crumpets with Picard, and hacking into Starfleet datanets. Plus he kept Picard waiting for seventeen hours for unknown reasons!

Clearly, getting Picard's blood was pretty far down his list of priorities.
And that's where he screwed up, because it turned out that it should have been his highest priority since he started dying during his silly revenge plan.

If it so obviously was my lifelong ambition to either run the United States or then bring about its doom, sure I would...
Then it's a good thing that you'd most likely die before your plan came to fruition, if Shinzon was any indication

Incidentally, it's a bit doubtful that Shinzon actually had only a few days to live when he launched his rebellion. Sure, the slowly approaching premature death would motivate him to act, but if the timing was of his choosing, he would have acted sooner. If the timing was not his choosing, then it would be too much of a coincidence that he would only have a few days to live.
Or the more likely scenario, as I keep explaining, was that Shinzon was just a dumb kid who wasn't thinking at all rationally.

Rather, it would seem that his bouts of anger hastened his demise (see all those vein-popping scenes!). Hence, a plan launched at an arbitrary moment would result in him approaching death at an accelerating pace.
But that's just speculation on your part. Nobody in the movie said, "you should probably stop getting so angry, Shinzon, or it might hasten your death." The vein-popping seemed to be the effects of the accelerated aging process, not because he was getting angry.
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Old May 23 2014, 09:19 PM   #42
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Dukhat wrote: View Post
My point was that he should have just dispensed with the silly revenge plan and focused on his own mortality first.
Well, sure, you could say the same about many fictional villains -- and real ones, for that matter. People often doom themselves by being unable to see past their hangups and obsessions.

And really, most stories aren't about a clash of plans, they're about a clash of personalities. The heroes triumph by not having the same character flaws and personal failings as the villains. Particularly in this case, where the villain was a clone of the hero, the same nature shaped by a very different nurture. And so the core contrast in the film was between Picard's enlightened approach to self-improvement and Shinzon's wallowing in bitterness and resentment.
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Old May 24 2014, 05:08 PM   #43
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
trekshark wrote: View Post
I like that idea more than the retcon of him being a prototype prior to Data or Lore that real Soong, dream Soong, interactive hologram Soong, and android Mrs. Soong all failed to mention to Data during his interactions with them over the years of the show.
His mom mentioned them. Why isn't that good enough? It sounds like she's talking about B-4 exactly in Inheritance, actually.

JULIANA: But... how do you know the same thing won't happen? Creating a stable positronic matrix is very tricky -- your Father lost several prototypes before Lore.

DATA: I was not aware that he created any androids before my brother.

JULIANA: There were three of them... they were like children to us... losing them was very painful. When Noonian decided to try again, I was very much against it. I didn't think we had the right to bring a life into the world that had so little chance of surviving.
thanks. guess I totally forgot about that scene
guess the Soongs didn't care where they ended up though after shutting them down
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Old May 24 2014, 07:34 PM   #44
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Well, I understand that Geordi didn't recommend using the transporters due to the ion storm, but come on...the way Picard really disrupted the land on Kolarus III was just a mess. It really had to do with the poor writing and lack of understanding on Baird's part. I don't understand why they just couldn't get Frakes to direct the film again. I heard he was willing to direct another one. I mean, Frakes understands Trek and it would have been fitting to see him direct the film. Oh, well...
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Old May 24 2014, 08:18 PM   #45
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Or the more likely scenario, as I keep explaining, was that Shinzon was just a dumb kid who wasn't thinking at all rationally.
Umm, not.

Shinzon breaks out of an inescapable prison, overthrows the Romulan government, and launches a complex plan that e.g. involves destroying Earth. And you are essentially saying that this happened on a whim, rather than as the result of lifelong planning and thinking involving rational associates?

The rebellion must have been an element in a vast master plan (which admittedly may have contained idiotic elements, like vast master plans in the real world often do, but cannot have been completely idiotic as it did achieve great success), and it would be unthinkable for Shinzon or his backers and planners not to take into account the timetable of Shinzon's approaching death there. The "stupid kid" scenario would still assume that pure chance brought Shinzon's death and the rebellion together in temporal terms, and the odds are too low for that.

...Or that Shinzon deliberately chose to act when there would be insufficient time to complete the job, and nevertheless further deliberately wasted time for not just one frivolous activity, but at least three. That's not plausible stupidity - and it's not something the movie would require us to believe in.

But that's just speculation on your part. Nobody in the movie said, "you should probably stop getting so angry, Shinzon, or it might hasten your death." The vein-popping seemed to be the effects of the accelerated aging process, not because he was getting angry.
Everything here is speculation anyway - but the vein-popping is always associated with Shinzon becoming angry with setbacks or displays of dissent.

There may be additional gradual worsening of his condition, as when his Romulan associates start a worried discussion about it behind his back (they didn't yet witness scenes of vein-popping rage AFAWK, although they certainly contributed to Shinzon's feelings of failure and dissent). But that doesn't countermand the idea that Shinzon's woes deepen at an accelerating pace - and that the acceleration is directly tied either to his actions or to his failure to control himself, factors he would have been blind to when planning his timetable.

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