Coming July 2013: STAR TREK ENTERPRISE — RISE OF THE FEDERATION

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Christopher, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Zero Hour really was odd. No ships in Earth orbit at all, and the only ship near the Sol system was an Andorian warship. And this is with a year's warning that aliens are preparing to attack the planet with similar but legally distinct Death Star. And to make matters worse, at the end of Storm Front Part 2 when the NX-01 returns to Earth, there is a massive combined fleet of Earth and Vulcan ships in orbit to greet them.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^No odder than TMP, where an unfinished starship in drydock was Earth's only defense against V'Ger. Or The Best of Both Worlds, where the Sol system's entire defense force seemed to consist of three small Martian ships.
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    True, but then where did all those starships come from in Storm Front and why weren't they on hand in Zero Hour? Even if we accept that was a fleet amassed in response to the arrival of the Xindi weapon, there should still have been something in Zero Hour. Doesn't Starfleet usually keep a minimum of one ship in the Sol system, or is there nothing when the Enterprise is away?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  4. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The worst offender is still the Enterprise-B in Generations, sitting in a Terran spacedock being the only ship in the sector.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The "only ship in the sector" trope makes sense in the vastness of deep space, but it was never a good idea when applied to Earth.
     
  6. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Exactly. Naval Captain in our navy has four broad braids, Cdr has three broad braids, and LCdr has two broad braids with a narrow one in the middle. Different coloured pips would work well to convey the same idea.
     
  7. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think I can do you one better. Star Trek 5! Starfleet had to send a ship that was literally falling to pieces to a planet that was on the border of Romulan, Klingon and Federation space, because there were no other ships capable of being taxi for Kirk and crew while the A was put in shape (come on, the Excelsior was in the next berth, Starfleet couldn't have transferred Kirk and crew to that ship for the mission)?
     
  8. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Haha, wow… I think I did actually consider that, but somehow felt it wasn't valid because "commodore" was being phased out or something... I dunno. Clearly it was past my bedtime! :bolian:

    But yeah, Archer seems to be giving Kirk a run for his money in the department of Freaking Awesome™, so similarities in rank history would not surprise me.
     
  9. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    And, hasn't Trek already introduced the concept of half-a-pip? So a Lieutenant Commander could have two-and-a-half pips.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    TNG had half a pip, sort of (one with a black center), but we never saw one in ENT. The costume designers for that show only created insignias for four officer ranks and three enlisted ratings.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ We can still fill in the blanks.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, the novels have established that there was a lieutenant commander's rank in Earth Starfleet at least after the timeframe of the series. But I see no reason to retcon the existence of one during the series. I mean, when are we ever going to see another story set during the series' timeframe? The novels are far beyond that timeframe now, there are no anthologies in the foreseeable future, and nobody's bothered to get the ENT comics license. It's just not something that's ever going to come up, outside of fanfic.

    And I don't see why it's desirable. Why insist that Earth Starfleet do everything exactly the same way the UFP Starfleet does? Heck, tons of fans have complained about how it wasn't different enough as it was. But one of the differences that the creators clearly intended it to have was a much simpler rank structure. I see no reason to ignore that conscious change.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I can reply to that massive wall of text with two words:

    "Why not?" ;)
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    My response:

    "Why bother?"
     
  15. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the UFP Starfleet's ranks were distinct, that would be one thing. But they're (at least for the officer ranks) identical to US Navy ranks. I don't see any reason to assume there was a "zig-zag" in the lineage instead of just letting that straight line go through.

    I'm not convinced it was conscious. I don't recall (nor has anybody posted in the thread that I noticed) any proof from the show that there those ranks didn't exist.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You're forgetting that there was no lieutenant junior grade rank in TOS -- it went straight from ensign to lieutenant. And commodore was evidently phased out sometime in the movie era. So there's already precedent for Starfleet changing its rank structures over time.


    They designed four pins for four ranks. Design reveals intention. If they'd wanted there to be a lieutenant commander's rank, they would've designed a rank pin system that included it, that would've had some recognizable gap to allow for it even if it wasn't seen. And surely it would've been seen somewhere in the course of 98 episodes, even if just on a background extra.

    And "no proof it didn't exist" is a nonsensical argument when talking about a fictional series. If you postulate the existence of something beyond the canon, that's something new that you are making up and adding to the fiction, like I do when I make up a new character or a new alien world. And such a creation ought to serve a purpose. I see no reason to add this particular idea to the fiction, especially when it clashes with the insignia design. It's a poor fit. And I don't see what benefit there is to it, what you gain by having it, other than conformity to what other Trek series have done, and where's the value in conformity?
     
  17. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That depends on whether you accept Fleet Captain as a rank, or just a position. I like to think it is a distinct rank in TOS, just because it makes things a little different than our present-day naval rank structure.

    Although it was never called out by name, there does appear to be a Lieutenant J.G. rank in TOS. The only example we ever saw was Joe Tormolen, who wore a single broken line of braid in "The Naked Time".

    Now, it may be that Lieutenant J.G. was removed from the structure by TMP, because IIRC they changed the ensign braid to a single broken line for that movie. But then it would have been back again by TWOK.

    If we accept the Fletcher design notes, then IIRC, the commodore rank wouldn't have been phased out until sometime after the movie era, but before TNG. My memory could be a little shaky on this one, though.

    I agree with this. Actually, one of the things I liked about the Cardassian rank structure on DS9 was that it seemed to be a very simplified structure (Glinn -> Gul -> Legate) that was different than the fleets of the other nations. But then the novels added Dalin, Dal, and Jagul (and the DS9 Technical Manual added Gil), so now I think the Cardassians have just about as many grades as everyone else. (Although I would have preferred if the novels had left Glinn immediately under Gul, since we saw Damar promoted from Glinn to Gul.)

    EDIT follows:

    I'm not sure about this, but did we see Kelby as a lieutenant before he took over as Chief Engineer after Tucker left? Once he was in the position, he was a commander, but I can't remember if we saw him at a different rank before that.

    Not that it would be completely conclusive anyway, I guess, since you could always say he was bumped up two ranks. :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    ^^Kelby was first seen in Affliction where he was already chief engineer and his rank was commander. He stayed a commander in all his apppearances, even after Trip returned to the Enterprise. The only excpetion is the Mirror Universe where Kelby was an ensign.

    I'll admit, the exclusion of Lt. Commanders probably wasn't intentional at first, especially since Reed was originally going to hold that rank. But obviously costuming or props never made any pips a different colour in the first season when that sort of thing would have been done and in the later seasons it was probably considered too much of a bother when the characters they wanted to be juniour lieutenants of Lt. Commanders could just as easily be full lieutenants or commanders.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.
     
  20. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Christopher, I agree with your basic premise in this discussion, but I just want to differ slightly with you on this point. There was an apparent Lieutenant Junior Grade rank in TOS, as evidenced by the broken braid on Joe Tormolen's cuff in "The Naked Time." We know that Ensign denoted by no braid (see Chekov) and a solid braid signified Lieutenant (Uhura and Sulu). There would appear to be some grade between the two:

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: I see Avro Arrow beat me to it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013