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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old August 2 2014, 06:40 PM   #1
F. King Daniel
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Four Years War

After watching Prelude to Axanar, the fan film based on FASA's Four Years War booklet, I'm curious if there is any basis for the war in Trek canon. I was under the impression that the Klingon/Federation war in "Errand of Mercy" was their first.

Not that I mind a bit of continuity tweaking, just curious if it's something referenced.
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Old August 2 2014, 06:51 PM   #2
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Re: Four Years War

I don't know whether TOS supported the idea of a full-scale war but there was a mention of a battle at Donatu V:

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Donatu_V

The Trouble with Tribbles wrote:
SPOCK: Under dispute between the two parties since initial contact. The battle of Donatu Five was fought near here twenty three solar years ago. Inconclusive.
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Old August 2 2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Four Years War

I always kind of viewed that it was more of a cold war that featured a number of armed skirmishes between Federation and Klingon forces here and there. I think an all-out war between them didn't start until "Errand of Mercy," although they didn't get very far with it thanks to the Organians.
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Old August 2 2014, 07:13 PM   #4
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Re: Four Years War

Well "Whom Gods Destroy" implied that there was some type of conflict the Federation was involved with a few decades before TOS.
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Old August 2 2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: Four Years War

I just watched the Prelude To Axanar preview. I gotta say that while I could quibble with small things this does look intriguing. It certainly looks polished.
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Old August 2 2014, 10:15 PM   #6
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Re: Four Years War

I would like the Klingon words (phrases) spelled out (in Klingon) for the two words/phrases used in the film please. Here are the phrases/words "The strategy of least respect" and "devourer". The closest thing I can come up with to what Ramirez and Travis say is this vucha'chu'vItu = Strategy of least respect (strategy)
naQcha' wIS = devourer (tactic)
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Old August 3 2014, 03:55 AM   #7
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Re: Four Years War

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Well "Whom Gods Destroy" implied that there was some type of conflict the Federation was involved with a few decades before TOS.
Yeah, at one point in the episode, Kirk says to Garth: "I agree there was a time when war was necessary, and you were our greatest warrior. I studied your victory at Axanar when I was a cadet. In fact it's still required reading at the Academy."

So Garth was a warrior at one point, and had an important victory at Axanar. You could use this to infer a possible war, but it's not explicit.
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Old August 3 2014, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Four Years War

Those points suggest something fairly large happened before Kirk was a cadet.

The probability it was the Klingons would be logical since a Cold War doesn't always start cold. It gets cold if the heated war results in a stalemate, or just a cease fire. The Korea War is more or less a Cold war between North and South Korea with various allies since the cease fire in 1953, but was a Hot War from 1950 to 1953 prior to that. The war itself never ended completely and has threated to heat up again from time to time.

It couldn't have been the Romulans because there was no "official" contact between the Federation and Romulan Star Empire since the 2160s, and Garth is not that old. The Four Years War is the interpretation of what happened between the Federation and the Klingons to account for how the Klingons and Federation members deal and treat with each other by Kirk's time. The Klingons having somehow proven to be powerful and dangerous to even the USS Enterprise, but not so powerful that she can't deal with one Klingon ship by herself in a fair fight. A Klingon Battlecruiser showing up someplace means bad news most of the time.
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Old August 3 2014, 06:07 PM   #9
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Garth is not that old
I guess herein lies the problem, as he's Garth of Izar, potentially a multicentenarian alien. (This opposed to Cochrane of Alpha Centauri, whom McCoy explicitly confirms as a human being.)

This is further complicated by the fact that Garth supposedly took treatments that radically affected his appearance (i.e. he became a shapeshifter of some sort). If he was a wrinkled old man prior to this, then went to the asylum for the incurably criminal, and then when Kirk and Spock arrived emerged triumphant but looking fifty years younger, this would not warrant extra comment - the ability to shapeshift would be impressive enough, and the ability (and desire) to look younger would directly and naturally follow.

So Kirk might be speaking of reading on the adventures of Garth in the old war with the Kzinti 200 years before his time. (The only obstacle on that path is that TAS, our only source for wars older than 100 years, also says that 75 is the mandatory retirement age from Starfleet, and suggests it has never been higher than that. But perhaps this only goes for humans?)

Personally, I'd like to put as much time between Garth's heroics and Kirk's cadet years as possible, to give credence to the idea that Kirk thinks war is a thing of the past. But that's probably a futile prospect, as Kirk in other episodes isn't nearly as pious about war; for all we know, he's just manipulating Garth here, and his facts may be grossly biased.

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Old August 3 2014, 06:15 PM   #10
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Re: Four Years War

Steve Ihnat was only 3 years younger than Shatner, so something is definitely up with Garth.
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Old August 3 2014, 07:25 PM   #11
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Re: Four Years War

BillJ wrote: View Post
SPOCK: Under dispute between the two parties since initial contact. The battle of Donatu Five was fought near here twenty three solar years ago. Inconclusive.
But was the battle of Donatu Five a isolated incident, or was it like the "battle of Iwo Jima" one battle during the course of a larger war?

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Old August 3 2014, 07:49 PM   #12
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Re: Four Years War

It would help if we knew more about Sherman's planet. Is it a contested world at the border established by an inconclusive old war? Is it a neutral world somewhere else (not necessarily previously inhabited by humans despite the name, and no doubt going by a Klingon name in the Empire's records)?

FWIW, Spock does speak of "almost seventy years of unremitting hostilities" in ST6. Contact with Klingons is older than that, so there must have been remissions before the 2230s. But if there's constant hostility from the 2230s on, and it includes an actual hot war of four years among other things, then "incidents" must also count as hostility, and Donatu V can be one of those. Yet it then further means that incidents like that have happened almost back to back, and remissions must then denote incident-free coexistence or even outright peace, which is a bit much to assume from the Klingons.

On the other hand, the post-Organian TOS era counts as Spock's "hostile", despite formally being a time of peace (and lots of dirty Klingon tricks). So "remissions" of true and incident-free peace before the 2230s seem to be indicated anyway.

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Old August 3 2014, 08:07 PM   #13
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Re: Four Years War

T'Girl wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
SPOCK: Under dispute between the two parties since initial contact. The battle of Donatu Five was fought near here twenty three solar years ago. Inconclusive.
But was the battle of Donatu Five a isolated incident, or was it like the "battle of Iwo Jima" one battle during the course of a larger war?

Which is why I said:

BillJ wrote:
I don't know whether TOS supported the idea of a full-scale war...
I think it's open to interpretation. "Whom Gods Destroy" does seem to lean towards the Federation being involved in some type of full-scale conflict in the recent past. Whether Donatu V and Axanar are connected is anyone's guess?
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Old August 3 2014, 09:39 PM   #14
Avro Arrow
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Re: Four Years War

I don't think there's anything in TOS itself that explicitly rules out a full-scale war of the type discussed here. The only thing I recall that might discount it is Carol's line in TWOK where she said that Starfleet has "kept the peace" for a hundred years.

OTOH, we know from "Errand of Mercy" that the Federation was in an official state of war with the Klingons in the 2260s, however briefly it may have lasted. Carol's statement seems to discount this war, too, so perhaps her claim is unjustified.
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Old August 4 2014, 12:48 AM   #15
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Re: Four Years War

Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
Starfleet has "kept the peace" for a hundred years
Maybe it was "peace" as in Starfleet kept the wars out in the borderlands.

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