Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Noddy, Aug 17, 2013.
Is there any indication as to exactly how long Marcus had been a Section 31 agent?
Really, Section 31 is the Illuminati of Star Trek: anybody with any ambition at this Evil Overlord thing will claim to be one of their agents, or even their very boss, just for the prestige and notoriety. For all we know, the organization never existed, or only existed back in the ENT era - it's just a convenience and an excuse for all sorts of nefarious activity in the later eras.
Probably Marcus just gathered a team of like-minded Starfleet officers, organized them around a specific Starfleet Intelligence office, and told them to do his bidding under the S31 name. A dozen other cabals might have existed simultaneously, each claiming S31 identity or ancestry, and many working at cross-purposes to Marcus' cabal. (And perhaps, just perhaps, the real S31 watched it all happen from a safe distance.)
You must really like mazes, Timo.
Let's keep in mind that, in the film, Section 31 built a massive military starship, in secret, and that Adm. Marcus used it to try to destroy Enterprise when it didn't do what he wanted. Shades of the CIA, the Pentagons "black ops", or whatever, take your pick. Allegorically of course.
I've rewatched the film recently and this aspect is central to the subplot. I reckon if it was the actual plot, without Khan, it might have been a better plot for the film. But hey, state secret. ;p
State secret? The only thing we learn in the movie is that the project was unknown to Kirk and his (current and former) crew. As far as the rest of the universe was concerned, it may have been quite public, or at least no less public than Starfleet's other shipbuilding projects. Hell, Admiral Marcus had a tabletop model of the ship on open display at his office!
I watched the film again the other night. Marcus sent Enterprise on a one way mission. Hw was going to get rid of Khan and his crew, and Kirk and the Enterprise all in one mission. If Marcus was going to pull of his plan he would have needed to get rid of Pike and Kirk because they would have questioned his motivations. Sending Kirk after Khan was perfect up until Kirk captured Khan instead of killing him. Then Marcus had to make sure Enterprise never made it out of Klingon space.
...Which he already did, by sabotaging Kirk's engines so that when Kirk bombarded the Klingon homeworld with long range torpedoes, the Klingons would come and kill Kirk. And when that failed, he had a backup plan that thankfully didn't require a long lead-in time, because the Vengeance was a very fast ship...
This doesn't exactly tell us how long Marcus had been planning for this, though. All the hardware and personnel might have been at his fingertips already, without any need for him to be part of a secret cabal or anything.
Yea, But you were saying something about the Illuminati TIMO. lol! I must have misunderstood. I thought secret cabal was where you were heading with this.
Anyho', this is about how section 31 plays here.
Yea, he did have the Vengeance with the other model ships. And he did mention section 31 openly to Kirk (though the way Adm. Marcus says it implies he's telling Kirk something he doesn't know). Yet in the film the Vengence is built in secret, Scotty does seem to imply that strongly and earlier when Scotty finds his trans-warp device was used by Khan to escape to Qro'nos he is very surprised, but I forget the line.
I also noted that all the Vengeance crew were not starfleet.
I feel there's a conflict within the film here. If the Vengeance is a secret, why have the model? A lame film tease? Hubris? Hmm.
Personally, I find one of the biggest problems with the JJ.Trek scripts is that a lot happens and is sorta explained later... but not always satisfactorily.
Do we know for sure if the Vengeance crew was Starfleet or not? Scotty asks that big guy, but never really gets an answer, and then just assumes private security.
Well, none of them had starfleet uniforms. But, section 31 is part of the original starfleet charter. So, yes and no?
I think the uniforms or lack thereof are not helpful as evidence. Sloan on DS9 only wore a SF uniform in his first appearance, and it was as subterfuge. All the rest of his appearances, he wore that leather number, as did most of the other S31 folks we saw.
There was actually quite a bit of dialogue where Scotty questions whether these folks are Starfleet or not - and it appears they indeed are from a separate "security contractor", that is, mercenaries. Doesn't mean they would be the normal or intended crew of the Vengeance; they are just what Marcus employs for his one unofficial sortie with the ship.
Yes, there was also (somewhat vague) indication that Scotty is surprised by the very existence of the Vengeance, never mind her design specs and oddball crew and nefarious mission etc. But that doesn't mean the ship would have been built in secret. Secret from Klingons, no doubt, secret from Romulans, yeah - but Scotty not knowing about it doesn't yet mean she would have been built secret from the Federation.
Really, all that actually happens is that Khan gives Kirk an address for a dockyard, and Scotty checks out that dockyard. That Scotty is able to do so suggests that anybody is, meaning the dockyard isn't particularly secret after all. Hell, it's deep within the Federation, at the very heart of the Sol system!
Basically, Khan just told Kirk to send Scotty on a dinghy to have a look at a particular dock at Newport News, something any fisherman could do from his boat, and does every Sunday. But while the fisherman would see nothing of interest there, the very fact of Khan giving pointers to that specific dock would alert Kirk and Scotty into taking a closer look and realizing that there is more to that humdrum dock and its supposedly humdrum ship-under-construction than meets the eye.
Well, all other S31 folks we ever saw - namely, the background extras on the holodeck in "Inquisition". Everybody else associated with that organization was merely doing its bidding without actually being a member or paid employee, and even that list is extremely short: Admiral Ross and Julian Bashir. And out of those two, Bashir was faking it.
So basically we're still in the situation where Sloan is the only actual S31 member known to exist for real. That is, if his own feverish fantasies count for "real".
We saw another actual member in Enterprise. A former Starfleet Security officer named "Harris" had recruited Malcolm Reed to be a member of S31, and we saw Reed try to quit the organization.
The notion that S31 doesn't actually exist is overly complicated, IMO. I agree with Odo, I'd be surprised if S31 DIDN'T exist. Every major power (in the real world, and in Trek) has something like it. It seems to be a necessary ingredient of statehood.
Timo, not that i doubt you, because you're the king of this kind of stuff, but what was the dialogue that confirmed that they were mercs and not members of Starfleet? I'm drawing a blank on that.
I have only seen the film once, so until online transcripts start to appear, I can't really quote anything. The relevant bits I remember occurring when Scotty tries to open the hatch on the Vengeance to receive Kirk and Khan, and the big guy comes to challenge him at the console: Scotty asks questions and, since the big guy isn't forthcoming with answers, introduces his own answers as well.
I might be completely off base there, though.
Well, that's the ancient, pre-Federation organization that Sloan probably built his personal fantasy around - just like the secret societies of today that pretend to draw legitimacy from ancient origins. Anybody working for SF Intel would know about this old organization, and about half the agents would have wet dreams about reviving it. But whether those amounted to anything much in practice...
I like the analogy to Newport News (in particular because I used to work there and now work directly for the DOD). That's exactly right, Starfleet would know there is a new ship being built and it would be common knowledge. The particular specs on that ship would highly classified (weapons, propulsion, etc.). That's what the secret is - the ship's design, not the fact it is being built.
It does seem a bit irresponsible of Marcus to so casually tell Kirk about S31, even if he did plan on killing the young captain soon. What's to stop Kirk imparting this knowledge to others?
What harm would that do, though? Marcus is proud of the organization, and probably assumes that everybody in Starfleet would be. And if Kirk leaks the thing outside Starfleet, then he has betrayed his oath to Starfleet. Marcus doesn't have any reason to think that Kirk would be a disgusting traitor and oath-breaker, now does he?
Why would he be worried, from Marcus's description Section 31 sounds like its just some top secret think tank that specializes in developing defenses for possible threats, considering they were 6 months to a year after a nutty Romulan from the future with an all powerful pointy ship of death destroyed a major federation planet, sounds like something sensible to have not to mention what other big scary things from TOS we know are lurking around.
we only know different because we've seen DS9 and Enterprise, Kirk would not have this knowledge.
Section 31 is quite casually mentioned in the report into "John Harrison" going rogue, as can be seen in the prop created for the film. For an organization that prides itself on being undetectable, they sure aren't being very coy, are they?
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