I was wonder why Kirk earned the rank of "Admiral" instead of "Commodore" in time for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I remember that in two episodes ("The Doomsday Machine" and "The Ultimate Computer"), there were two starship commanders that had the rank of "Commodore". I assume that part of the reason for Shatner returning for the role of Kirk as an Admiral, was: a) IRL, the US Navy did away with the rank of Commodore, and thus TMP followed suit. b) There would not have been that emotional impact of Kirk regaining his command for the V'Ger Mission, had he already had the Enterprise (i.e. the reveal of the refit Enterprise). c) And if Kirk was already in command of the Enterprise, there would not have been that sharp contrast between him and Decker, especially with Decker pointing out the fact that Kirk may be experienced, but he was also "rusty". Also, I want to imagine what would have been like had Decker and Ilia survived the V'ger Encounter, and if there could have been a trilogy of films that could have been made before TWOK happened, starting with TMP. Could we, as the audience, seen the transition from the pajama uniforms to the maroon red uniforms? Could we have seen a younger Saavik, introduced early on? And what about Sulu, who, somehow, managed to have a daughter named Demora? Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part, especially in hindsight, but there have been so many missed opportunities in how the movies within the franchise rolled out. Outside of the "Genesis Saga", I have to admit that the film franchise has been rolled out haphazardly, and without a plan that could create a cohesive series. I mean, couldn't they have Paramount released a new film every 18 months at least, or just film a trilogy back to back, and then release them one a year? But going back to the point of this thread, was there a reason why Kirk was made an Admiral, and not a Commodore, so that he could have kept the Enterprise?