Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by rwoods81, Nov 25, 2009.
They had those ranks when serving under Pike.
Also, for what it's worth, Kirk-Prime's first assignment after the academy was as a lieutenant on the Farragut. Prior to that, he served as an ensign on the Republic with one of his instructors (Ben Finney)- this was apparently before his graduation.
According to the script, Sulu is 25 and has a PhD in astrophysics. So he´s probably already graduated.
Ensign is after graduation by default.
But Ensign need not mean Kirk would have left the Academy. After all, it's also known that he stayed there as instructor until Lieutenant (jg?) rank. So logically, Farragut would follow only after Kirk ceased to be instructor and went to space for real.
Kirk would probably have served on dozens of starships before the Farragut - it sounds like a routine thing for a cadet to do, during his or her training. The service under Captain Garrovick would simply be the first time he was practicing his profession as a commissioned officer after leaving the Academy.
As for the STXI ranks, hey, everybody is wearing a uniform. And a familiar one, too - virtually identical to the ones we saw in TOS. So it's a no-brainer that Sulu is a commissioned Lieutenant, as his uniform clearly says so. McCoy wears Lieutenant Commander braid. Spock wears full Commander.
These ranks are the same these people held when we first saw them together in "Corbomite Maneuver" (or "Man Trap" if we think airdate order). That was in the mid-2260s, so they seem to be suffering from some career stagnation. Or alternately, they all had much faster career progression in the STXI universe, and in that universe will all be Captains or Admirals by the end of the 2260s.
Pike is Captain, except in the final scene, where he curiously wears what looks like flag braid for full Admiral. That is, two thin lines, one thick, then one more thin. Hoever, the thick one is not as thick as in TOS flag ranks, so perhaps this is what a Fleet Captain wears?
Scotty is Lieutenant Commander. Uhura seems to have forgotten her sleeves in her cabin, so we can't tell her rank. And Chekov wears no rank braid. Both are potential Ensigns, while Uhura could theoretically hold some other rank as well. And by "in theory" I mean "in practice", because dialogue no doubt solves this problem for us, and I don't think she was ever called Ensign there... Anybody remember any relevant bits?
Kirk never wears any sort of rank braid until he gets the Captain braid for the final scene. Which, considering the fact that the others appear stagnated, could take place half a decade after the other bits in the movie.
Well, one man's stagnation is another man's bliss. They are on the Enterprise, you know.
From what it seemed when Pike was asking Sulu where 'Helmsman MacKenna' was, it seemed that Sulu was already assigned as a backup/beta shift helmsman and had to go up as replacement helmsman, since the 'proper' helmsman was ill (and probably not aboard and before the alert went out) so it seems likely he already had his rank for a while.
It is defnitely possible to graduate with a rank higher than ensign, particularly in medical and science divisions. I think Bashir was meant to be straight out of the Acadamy and he was a Lt(jg).
Sulu was probably an officer. He may have transferred from physics to helm, which was why he was a bit rusty when he first sits in the chair.
It is silly that Spock is a full Commander at the age of 23-26 ish. Although this isn't impossible (TOS Kirk, Will Decker, and Will Riker were young commanders). They should have left him as a Lt as in the Cage, and promoted him to Lt-commander at the end of the movie. As it is Kirk leaps from Lt(jg) to Captain for saving the Earth and Spock gets nothing. Harsh, especially when you consider the number of new captains they need to promote from the ranks after the fleet destruction at Vulcan.
The promotion aspect of the plot was a bit too High School Musical for me but I think it's a weakness in cheesy US writing generally rather than a problem you can lay at the door of Trek.
As an example, I watched 2012 last night and there's one scene in that movie where they need an engineer to effect repairs to a vessel. They seem to have no engineers on duty and no commanding officer with the common sense to keep or get a damage control team in place, so a scientist and an artist volunteer to run on foot FROM THE BRIDGE to save the day and then everybody stops doing their jobs driving the ship to see if anybody survived so that they can all cheer and hug (do Americans really enjoy that stuff - because it is cringeworthy to the max?)
There is one hilarious scene where one character suggests that the middle class American professionals should give up their tickets to some working class Chinese who built the thing (they both decline). I was reminded of the telephone sanitisers in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I was thinking, 'If they haven't given any tickets to the Chinese mechanics, who is going to maintain and repair the ship?' Luckily they had decided to save lots of politicians who could organise a committee to argue about whose job it had been to select workers while they all die. Good riddance if that's the future of the human race!
The point is, they opted for cheese rather than realism to the detriment of the story in my view. There will be many others, mostly children, who think it is great that Kirk gets to be captain, just like they thought there was nothing wrong with Padme spending her entire role just being pregnant in the third Star Wars movie.
In Canada it goes Naval Ranks <Army/Air Force Ranks>:
Naval Cadet <Offr Cadet>
Acting Sub-Lieutenant <Second Lieutenant>
Lieutenant (Navy) <Captain>
Lieutenant Commander <Major>
Commander <Lieutenant Colonel>
Captain (Navy) <Colonel>
In the real world, you can expect it'll take in the range of 20-25 years to make it to Captain (N). Many, many never get that far and finish up a LCdr or Cdr, even after 30 - 35 years of service.
That being said, screw the real world, I don't like or watch Star Trek to see the real world. If I want that, all I need to do is walk out the office door (literally).
That is a handy list; thanks!
The egalitarian UFP society might frown on its Starfleet doing that, though. Those with academic training get higher graduation ranks today because that gives them higher pay for their greater skills. But Starfleet doesn't pay its workers, not in the conventional sense. And everybody might be an academician in Starfleet. I don't hear of Starfleet engineers graduating as Lieutenants, even though they probably all hold doctorates...
(FWIW, there's a fun bit in an unused version of the ST:TMP script, a very preliminary one, where it was suggested that all Vulcans graduate as junior Lieutenants, just like MDs.)
That said, I have no real trouble believing Bashir might have graduated as Lt(jg), although he's supposedly older than 22 when we first see him. But McCoy apparently graduated at two ranks higher. Does this mean that he had special skills on top of being a full MD? In TOS, he's a specialist in space psychology - does this count in the alternate timeline?
OTOH, I have no trouble accepting Spock's high rank, either. Starfleet seems to award precious few citations, but in turn is quite willing to dish out promotions as rewards for heroics. Spock might have been quite the heroic type in his alternate youth, despite his uptight instructor appearance.
Really, the only thing that jars here is Kirk's rapid promotion at the end of the movie. And in theory, we may say he got promoted more gradually than it seems - that he was already a Lieutenant Commander when he received the captaincy, and that several years had passed after the other events of the movie. Although that's certain to be contradicted in the next movie, if we get one.
Spock was still around for Kirk's commendation and promotion ceremony, so I don't think it was several years later -- when Spock would have already been off working on the planet suitable for Vulcan colonization that he found. Spock has the final dialog in the movie from the gallery above the assembly.
According to Memory Alpha Bashir would've been 27 at the start of the DS9 and I've seen it mentioned on other Trek sites that Medical officers spend another 3 years (I think) at Medical Academy.
I think Bashir was 27 (ish) but then a medical qualification to be a CMO would tke 7 years instead of 4 so we can assume that he spent 7 years training and as a junior doctor and then maybe a couple of years on post-grad study.
McCoy is a bit of an oddity. He was an experienced doctor but not an experienced astronaut so it isn't clear why that justifies being such a high rank after such a short naval career. Probably he came in as a Lt and demonstrated very good command and admin skills that warranted a fast-track to a CMO position.
I only make the distinction with Spock because he is essentially the same character but two ranks senior. It also stretches credibility that he helped save the Earth and yet wasn't promoted to his own command like Kirk, let alone Kirk being promoted above him (although he is a Vulcan and has no ego to bruise). If nothing else, then he could have been promoted as a token the the masses of Vulcan dead. There was no real need for him to be a full commander throughout the movie and I just found it strange that they chose to make him that rank. Number One, Pike's original first officer was only a lieutenant as well I think.
I don't remember a rank for Number One ever being established. Not in dialogue, anyway. And the sleeve stripes weren't really reliable in The Cage.
It was in dialogue, just after Pike turns around and bumps into Yeoman Colt.
The bracketed bits are my additions, from checking the text against the episode (not that I've ever found much in the way of errors in Chakoteya's transcriptions.)
Sulu, Chekov and Uhura are all addresed by their ranks in ST09, so we know what they are.
Going by a couple of other fictional medical officers, McCoy's rank doesn't seem that unusual. in MASH Burns is a Major and Hawkeye is a Captain. In Starfleet they would be a Lt. Commander and a Lieutenent respectively. Neither is "regular Army" but given rank based on being Doctors.
To me, I just chalk it up that Starfleet doesn't do everything exactly the same way today's navies do. Saves me a lot of headaches...
Maybe it helps to give a doctor a little weight (having higher than normal sounding ranks) when they feel the need to start using medical regulations to get higher ranked officers to comply? So a captain being medically relieved by a doctor isn't brought down by the ship's chief medical officer hoding the lowly rank of ensign or lieutenant.
Sounds like a plan.
That shut my mouth. Damn, this is embarassing.
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