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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 25 2014, 04:52 PM   #46
Lance
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

I've always assumed that Shinzon simply had a plan to a point -- that point being overthrowing his Romulan captors and using his newfound power to lure Picard to Romulus to ask for his help in the medical problem -- but after being in a position to meet the man and talk with him over dinner, Shinzon's inner phychoses are unsatisfied and he began instead to resent his 'mirror image'. Hence why his motivation changes abruptly halfway through the movie, from "get Picard to Romulus on some pretext so I can get a sample of his blood" to "Let's destroy Picard and everything that he stands for".
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Old May 25 2014, 06:18 PM   #47
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

^Interesting thought, but I think that Shinzon's obsessions and resentments were too deeply rooted in his upbringing. I mean, he was literally created to be a copy of Picard, but then was cast aside as irrelevant while Picard went on to greatness. (Well, further greatness. Sometimes people ask what would've been so special about Picard at that point in his career that he was seen as worth cloning, but they forget that he was already an accomplished captain who'd commanded the Stargazer for a couple of decades. Getting the Enterprise wasn't the start of his career, it was a reward for the great career success he'd already had.)

I think that Shinzon needed to get Picard to Romulus not only for his blood, but because he needed to look Picard in the eye before destroying him, needed him to know who had bested him and why. It was too intensely personal a resentment to fulfill from a distance.
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Old May 25 2014, 06:44 PM   #48
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

A key issue here is Shinzon's possession of a thalaron-armed ship. Supposedly such things are difficult to come by, so how did he get one?

Shinzon first overthrowing his Romulan guards and then spending several years in secrecy building the ship on Remus is a fairly ridiculous idea - the rebellion would be discovered much sooner than the ship could be finished. But Shinzon couldn't build a ship for his own use when Romulans not allied with him were still guarding him; the Scimitar is not a makeshift boat being cobbled together from raincoats at the Alcatraz attic.

So either his Romulan allies were already building a thalaron ship on a Reman slave yard under some pretense but with the ultimate intention of giving it to Shinzon for use in a coup (a great way to blackmail the rest of Romulus to submission), or then they arranged for Shinzon to capture a Romulan ship being built (perhaps by Shinzon and his closest friends, although supposedly they were warrior slaves with privileges rather than builder slaves) on a Reman slave yard for purely Romulan purposes, with the apparent intent of letting Shinzon fulfill said purposes in addition to doing the dirty work involved in the coup.

(Or with the intent of letting Shinzon get blood in his hands with the coup, after which he would be eliminated and the ship put to its intended purpose. But since the Romulans never manage to eliminate Shinzon, this is a bit unlikely - what happened to the putative dead man's switch?)

In either case, Romulans wanted to rain thalaron dust on some world, and it can't have been Romulus. So the "Shinzon has a change of heart" model has to accommodate the idea that an enemy world was always going to be destroyed with the ship in Shinzon's possession.

Now, the Romulan allies of Shinzon squabble over two things: "Why isn't Shinzon attacking our enemies already, as agreed upon?" and "Should we really let him destroy Earth?". This makes it difficult to decide whether things proceeded as planned until Shinzon was stopped by Picard - or only until Shinzon decided to destroy Earth...

But what other world could have been the intended Romulan target? Letting a "rogue" Reman slaughter the Earthlings with thalaron would be a great maneuver for Romulans who had just been victimized by the horrid weapon themselves!

Sometimes people ask what would've been so special about Picard at that point in his career that he was seen as worth cloning, but they forget that he was already an accomplished captain who'd commanded the Stargazer for a couple of decades. Getting the Enterprise wasn't the start of his career, it was a reward for the great career success he'd already had.
Also, Picard could have been but one out of dozens or hundreds of Starfleet personnel cloned. His clone would uniquely survive the termination of the cloning program, but that would be the only unique thing about him.

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Old May 26 2014, 12:08 AM   #49
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Timo wrote: View Post
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?
Meh. His plan was mostly successful because of the help of both his Reman allies and the Romulan renegades, who did all the work for him. All he did was hide B4's parts on Kolarus. Once the coup happened, Shinzon just putzed around.

Honestly, both the Romulan renegades and the Remans would have been better off and would have carried out a mostly successful plan without Shinzon. All he really did was screw things up for both of them with his self-centeredness.

...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.
The Romulan renegades did not know that Shinzon was dying. And the only Reman who probably did, the Viceroy, was keeping mum, because a) he was completely loyal to Shinzon, and b) he probably didn't think Shinzon would be wasting time once the plan was set in motion. He is clearly uncomfortable with Shinzon's antics throughout the entire time.

...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.
No, I'm pretty sure that Shinzon wasn't deliberately wasting time. He's not the military genius you're making him out to be here.
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Old May 26 2014, 01:25 AM   #50
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Meh. His plan was mostly successful because of the help of both his Reman allies and the Romulan renegades, who did all the work for him.
And Picard's plans succeed because of help from his crew, who do the work for him. That's how command works. You come up with the ideas and convince other people to carry them out for you. It was Shinzon's charisma and leadership that rallied the Remans and Romulans behind him, that let him fool them into thinking he wanted to serve their interests. It couldn't have been easy to convince both the oppressed Remans and the revanchist faction in the Romulan military that he supported their respective goals, especially given that he was genetically human. That would take one hell of a strong personality with a knack for persuading people to follow his lead.

Remember, the whole idea is that Shinzon is Jean-Luc Picard. Genetically, they're the same person; the nature is the same, but the nurture was profoundly different. Shinzon is who Picard could've been if he'd been raised in hellish conditions, fired by anger and hate rather than curiosity and idealism. He has the same intelligence, drive, and natural leadership skills, but directed to much worse ends.


Honestly, both the Romulan renegades and the Remans would have been better off and would have carried out a mostly successful plan without Shinzon. All he really did was screw things up for both of them with his self-centeredness.
Exactly. It was his strength of personality that convinced them he was on their side when he was really using them. Command is about persuading people to follow you willingly. Corrupt Picard's ability to command, twist it to selfish and destructive ends, and you get Shinzon.
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Old May 26 2014, 01:40 AM   #51
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Christopher wrote: View Post
It was Shinzon's charisma and leadership that rallied the Remans and Romulans behind him, that let him fool them into thinking he wanted to serve their interests.
I remember when I got the DVD of Nemesis and watched the film again (with the foresight of already having seen it in the theater, and a few months to absorb what I saw), and when Shinzon says the line, "Everything I've done has been for them [the Remans]," I laughed out loud, since it was such a blatantly false statement.
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Old May 26 2014, 04:07 AM   #52
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Shinzon's motivations were arbitrary, idiotic and implausible.
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Old May 26 2014, 04:20 AM   #53
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Dennis wrote: View Post
Shinzon's motivations were arbitrary, idiotic and implausible.
I disagree. As discussions in this thread have already demonstrably proved, Shinzon's motivations are in fact explainable and are certainly plausible... it just requires a bit of mental gymnastics to fit all the pieces together. What we're given on-screen seems contradictory, but it really isn't.
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Old May 26 2014, 04:41 AM   #54
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

AgentCoop wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
Why did Picard violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis? At the beginning of the movie, he takes a shuttle down to Kolarus III, where he, Worf and Data drive around in a dune buggy and start gunning down the locals. I know plot radiation prevented them from using the transporters to obtain the android parts scattered across the planet, but why didn't Picard wait till night fall, then send teams under cover of darkness to obtain the pieces, without alerting the locals? A little stealth would have went a long way.

Heck if Shinzon needed the Enterprise crew to find B4, why did he hide in pieces on a planet full of hostile natives, instead of putting B-4 in an easier place to get to?
Because Patrick Stewart wanted to drive dune buggies.
Same thing happened in "Masterminds."

Patrick Stewart has a thing for dune buggies.
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Old May 26 2014, 08:49 AM   #55
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

It was Shinzon's charisma and leadership that rallied the Remans and Romulans behind him
Hmm. It could just as well be that the Romulan military conspirators wanted a coup, checked the Reman records for some random prisoner or slave who would make for a good Spartacus, and told him to become a great leader. Since they also arranged his escape and the success in the coup, he would certainly have started to believe in his "abilities" even if he had none...

Shinzon was the leader of a Reman military force of unknown size, and that one was probably loyal enough to him and would fly the starship for him. But nobody else need have "rallied behind him" in order for the movie events to take place.

The truth IMHO would be somewhere in the middle: Shinzon would be picked by the Romulans for his military abilities and fame among Remans, and they'd take him for a puppet, while he himself would actually have ambitions and plans and ways to outsmart his handlers - but both sides would be much less in control than they thought.

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Old May 26 2014, 02:00 PM   #56
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Lance wrote: View Post
As discussions in this thread have already demonstrably proved, Shinzon's motivations are in fact explainable and are certainly plausible
No. Nothing of the kind has been "proved."

... it just requires a bit of mental gymnastics to fit all the pieces together.
"Mental gymnastics" are required because his motivations are arbitrary, idiotic and implausible.

What we're given on-screen seems contradictory...
Yes.
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Old May 27 2014, 03:15 AM   #57
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

That's the nature of "discussion". You know, any of us can just sit on our ass and say 'Shinzon is shit because Shinzon is shit', and the evidence on-screen will back us up (because, well, Shinzon is shit ). But that's not exactly in the spirit of discussion, the spirit of sharing ideas. We must have the ability to put aside the fact that Shinzon is a weak excuse for a villain (we can take that for granted!), and instead ask for ways in which his inherent shit-ness can be explained. Because the movie itself sure doesn't.
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Old May 27 2014, 04:19 AM   #58
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

I think Shinzon is an excellent villain, because the quality of a fictional villain isn't just about whether his plan makes sense, but whether he has an interesting character and relationship with the hero. The relationship between Picard and Shinzon intrigues me, because it's both a rumination on nature vs. nurture -- who would you be if you'd led a very different life, and is your nature predetermined or under your control? -- and essentially a father-son conflict, with Picard as the father trying to guide the son he never knew onto the right path and Shinzon as the bitter young prodigal who despises living under the shadow of his father's great achievements. Shinzon had a strong personal relationship with Picard, which makes him more interesting to me than most Trek movie villains.

Besides, really, was Khan's plan in TWOK any better? Steal Genesis, kill (or strand) Kirk, and then what? We never got any sense of what he intended to do afterward. And he was making all sorts of rookie mistakes like thinking 2-dimensionally and not catching on to the obvious "hours could seem like days" code. He was driven by irrational resentment and shortsighted rage even more than Shinzon was.
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Old May 27 2014, 06:33 PM   #59
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think Shinzon is an excellent villain, because the quality of a fictional villain isn't just about whether his plan makes sense, but whether he has an interesting character and relationship with the hero. The relationship between Picard and Shinzon intrigues me, because it's both a rumination on nature vs. nurture -- who would you be if you'd led a very different life, and is your nature predetermined or under your control? -- and essentially a father-son conflict, with Picard as the father trying to guide the son he never knew onto the right path and Shinzon as the bitter young prodigal who despises living under the shadow of his father's great achievements. Shinzon had a strong personal relationship with Picard, which makes him more interesting to me than most Trek movie villains.
I don't know that that's true, since Shinzon had never actually MET Picard before putting in motion his plan to kill him and drink his blood.

Of course, I'm one of those guys who saw the bald guy and saw the look on Picard's face and immediately thought "Holy shit, the Romulans kidnapped Rene!" I was deeply disapointed when it turned out to be a stupid clone (the Romulan plan of cloning Picard makes even less sense than Shinzon's scheme, IMO).
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Old May 27 2014, 08:55 PM   #60
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Re: Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Had the original Romulan plan proceeded as planned, Shinzon would certainly have studied his "father" very closely indeed!

I doubt he had time for any of that before being dumped on Remus, though; any opportunity for that on (in!) Remus; and again time for that after taking control of Romulus. But that doesn't preclude him forming a very tight if one-sided relationship with daddy.

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