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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 15 2015, 03:51 AM   #1
enterprisecvn65
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Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

So I'm no Vulcan and I realize by TUC Spock wasn't such a stickler for total logic as he was in his younger days.

Still though shouldn't even a regular amount of logic have told him that basically volunteering Kirk to be the leader of the peace mission was not a good thing to do.

Spock knew Kirk, he knew his son had been murdered by a Klingon and he'd lost the original Enterprise because of Klingons and he knew Kirk was about to call it a career. I don't know how deeply they'd ever discussed Kirk's true hatred of them but unless Spock was totally stupid he had to know Kirk's opinion of Klingons was "low" to say the least.

So, his stupid "Only Nixon could go to China" comparison aside, what in Spock's logical thought process thought it was a good idea for a nearly retired officer who hates the race they want to make peace to be the spearhead of this process. And for the Nixon comparison no one MADE him go to China,he chose to do it despite his past actions towards communists. It's not like Kissinger came in one day and said "surprise mr president. I just got off the phone with the Chinese and told them you were coming to thaw relations. isn't that great?

And logic aside, what about common courtesy and respect? Generally it's pretty bad form to volunteer someone for something without checking with them first. Why would he think it's ok to say his friend if 25 years. A man who risked everything to save Spock, would be cool with this without even asking kirk first? I mean screw logic doing that is just insensetive and disrespectful. Is it logical by any standard to do that to your best friend?
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Old March 15 2015, 04:10 AM   #2
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Volunteering someone for something they aren't aware about is generally bad form; but it did make for an exasperated Kirk, which I thought was a little fun to watch.

On the other hand, I think it's fairly clear that Spock volunteered Kirk because above all else, he had faith that Kirk could handle frankly such an historic mission. Starfleet likewise wouldn't have much objection, considering Kirk's recent reputation with both the Whale Probe and the Nimbus mission. He'd built up the reputation of being one of Starfleet's best and brightest; TOS never gave that impression concretely, and there was nothing special about the Enterprise compared to the rest of the fleet. But the movies really ramped up the idea that Kirk, his crew, and the ship were lightning in a bottle. Plus, as Spock is fond of repeating: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few -- and in this case, Spock's line of reasoning was perhaps that any courtesy and hurt feelings towards Kirk would be an easy trade compared to Kirk's proven ability to handle an intergalactic crisis that could affect billions of lives in the end.

On a broader scope, though, (and I'd say definitely outside Spock's intentions) I appreciate that the movie applied a little bit of reparative justice philosophy to Kirk. He hates the Klingons going into the movie, but by the end he's definitely learned a thing or two about his own prejudices and comes out in support and solidarity. So even if it doesn't make sense from a logical, narrative point of view, I'm okay with some adjustments here and there to make a larger point. And after all, the basic rule of thumb for storytelling is that your main character at the start of the movie and the end of it should be two different characters, changed by the story. Kirk definitely changed, and for the better.
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Old March 15 2015, 05:22 AM   #3
EnriqueH
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

I didn't like the line "Only Nixon can go to China."

Mainly because back in 1991, sitting in the theater watching TUC, I had no idea what the hell Spock was talking about because my 15-year-old-self was not yet well-versed in Nixon's presidency.

But I digress: Only Nixon can go to China *is* the reason is makes logical sense for Spock to volunteer Kirk.

In Treks III and IV, Kirk is seen by the Klingons as public enemy #1, so it was logical to assuage Klingon apprehension by having their most hated Starfleet captain be the guy who says, "Hey, let's shake hands and be friends."
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Old March 15 2015, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Mind you Kirk's mission is to escort the Klingons to Earth. The peace process will happen there.
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Old March 15 2015, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

"Only Nixon could go to China" means you send a hawk to meet the enemy, not a dove.
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Old March 15 2015, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Ithekro wrote: View Post
Mind you Kirk's mission is to escort the Klingons to Earth. The peace process will happen there.
I know kirk wasn't going to be doing the negotiations. But still Spock had to know this was going to put kirk in an extremely awkward and painful position even for the part he had to play.

Like I said logic aside it's just generally rude and disrespectful to volunteer another person for anything without asking them first. Let alone something so personally sensitive and a person who is your best friend of 25 years who laid his life on the line many times to save yours.

Would have much more in like with Spock's character to have a heart to heart with Kirk, lay out the reasons this is so important, tell Kirk he belives he's the best person for this part of the process and let him decide. If he agrees great, if not go back to Starfleet command and say sorry I tried but he won't and I respect his reasons why.
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Old March 15 2015, 04:08 PM   #7
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Maurice wrote: View Post
"Only Nixon could go to China" means you send a hawk to meet the enemy, not a dove.
Yeah but the contexts are totally different. In the 1950's Nixon was just some assistant to Joseph McCarthy in trying to dig up dirt on Americans showing their communiest sympathies and present them as a grave threat to America in what was a 20th century which hunt.

By the time Nixon went to China he was president and, despite his many flaws, he was smart enough to realize that, despite his past actions, his decisions were way more important now than in the 1950' and it wouldn't be in America's best interests to antagonize China despite his personally.

Kirk was just a regular line officer commanding a ship, same as he'd been 25 years ago. He hadn't become commander Starfleet or any other really high level position that would be making key decisions. He had a reputation amongst the Klingons apparently as a bad ass but he really didn't have a lot of say in the process itself. In fact if everything had gone as planned he would meet the Klingons, exchange some diplomatic courtesies, and drop them off at earth and say "nice knowing you good luck"
Starfleet seemed to think his presence would dissuade the Klingons from changing their minds and starting a fight. But really if they'd sent excelsior or some other ship with a formidable captain they make it seem like Kronos one would have just opened up with all weapons at first sight. Spock was going no matter what so he'd have been there to advise the captain. And why not just give Spock command of the Enterpise? He'd done it before and it's not uncommon for a captain to be an ambassador too. Hell Picard did it every 4th episode it seemed.

In fact having Kirk lead it played right into the conspirators hands. When Gorkon is killed it let the conspirators go "see Kirk is a man who had always hated Klingons and this is his ultimate act of revenge" and other Klingons would have a hard time disagreeing. If Spock was in command azetbur and others might have said "this doesn't make sense for Spock to do this and something smells fishy."

Obviously kirk had to go for film purposes. I just think it would have been in line with Spock character and been more powerful to have a big scene where Spock lays it out and tells kirk he needs him and Kirk, despite his feelings, decides to trust and help his lone time friend. Instead of just going "surprise I volunteered you for this without your knowledge."

Although it did make for some funny moments when kirk found out.
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Old March 15 2015, 05:17 PM   #8
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Kirk is a known commodity to Spock. That makes him the logical choice because Spock likely plotted out all the possible outcomes and Kirk's reaction to each.
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Old March 15 2015, 07:10 PM   #9
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Without the assassination of Gorkon, the trip would have been fine. Even the dinner went fairly well, all things considered. Kirk had experiance with Klingons in many ways including diplomatic (Koloth on K7). Sending Sulu on Excelsior may have worked as well, but there is a chance the Klingons would have sent a bigger ship (assuming they had bigger ships than a the D7 based Kronos One). Sulu is a know, but relatively new to command of a starship. Other ship captains might not have earned any respect from the Klingons. The other captains might be quicker to open fire than Kirk if faced with a Klingon aiming a photon torpedo at their ship. Other captains might not invite the Klingons over to dinner. (Other captains might not have a stock of Romulan ale for Spock to take his mind off things).

Spock would naturally request the Enterprise. It seems to be the only ships he's served on have that name. He was a young man under Captain Pike serving on Enterprise and he was a veteran captain commanding Enterprise until his death. Then by the time he gets a new Starfleet assignment it is again an Enterprise. He is most comfortable there.

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Old March 15 2015, 07:31 PM   #10
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Kirk is a known commodity to Spock. That makes him the logical choice because Spock likely plotted out all the possible outcomes and Kirk's reaction to each.
I don't question Spock wanting Kirk at all. I just think it would have more in line with Spock's character and better for the film for Spock to go to kirk, lay it all on the line tell kirk he knows his feelings and respects them but that Spock needs him and maybe even spock shows a little emotion and Kirk realizes he can't turn down something so important to him. I think if it was done right it could have been a very emotional and dramatic scene. Plus it would have shown more respect for Kirk's feelings instead of going "surprise!!!!"

The rest of the film could have played out the same from there
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Old March 15 2015, 07:48 PM   #11
Ithekro
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

It may have been that Spock asked for Enterprise as the ship to escort the Klingons in and it was Starfleet that assigned Kirk and his old command crew to the mission. This was with some misgivings, to which Spock personally vouched for Kirk to Starfleet Command, rather that take someone else, or get stuck with the chair again. It may not have been Spock's idea to have Kirk as the olive branch (though it is a logical choice).

He would later take responsibility for that mission and what happened to Kirk and McCoy. It was Spock's mission.
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Old March 15 2015, 09:58 PM   #12
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

enterprisecvn65 wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Kirk is a known commodity to Spock. That makes him the logical choice because Spock likely plotted out all the possible outcomes and Kirk's reaction to each.
I don't question Spock wanting Kirk at all. I just think it would have more in line with Spock's character and better for the film for Spock to go to kirk, lay it all on the line tell kirk he knows his feelings and respects them but that Spock needs him and maybe even spock shows a little emotion and Kirk realizes he can't turn down something so important to him. I think if it was done right it could have been a very emotional and dramatic scene. Plus it would have shown more respect for Kirk's feelings instead of going "surprise!!!!"

The rest of the film could have played out the same from there
I tend to like the movie the way it played in theaters. I loved that the characters had a bit of a racist attitude towards the Klingons after thirty of serving Starfleet.

Besides, Kirk is a soldier. He doesn't need to be coddled by Spock or Starfleet Command.
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Old March 15 2015, 10:16 PM   #13
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Ithekro wrote: View Post
He would later take responsibility for that mission and what happened to Kirk and McCoy. It was Spock's mission.

This is one of the things I appreciate about the script. Yes, the action and story all revolve around Kirk as CO of the Enterprise, but Spock's mission underlies it. In a sense, it was good to see Spock and Sulu in charge in their own right -- a real progression of careers.
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Old March 16 2015, 03:43 AM   #14
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

Maurice wrote: View Post
"Only Nixon could go to China" means you send a hawk to meet the enemy, not a dove.
After all these years Spock's proverb finally makes sense to me!
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Old March 16 2015, 05:45 AM   #15
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Re: Wouldn't logic tell Spock volunteering Kirk in TUC was bad?

enterprisecvn65 wrote: View Post
So I'm no Vulcan and I realize by TUC Spock wasn't such a stickler for total logic as he was in his younger days.

Still though shouldn't even a regular amount of logic have told him that basically volunteering Kirk to be the leader of the peace mission was not a good thing to do.
I think he was thinking of Day of the Dove. He knew Kirk had the strength to fight Klingons and the ability to make peace when the situation called for it.
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