COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by King Daniel Beyond, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think that when Kirk saved Eleen, he was thinking "I need to ensure this baby is born so that there is a legitimate claimant to the throne and Maab's claim will be invalidated." I think he was thinking "I can't let them execute a pregnant woman because that's just wrong." He was imposing his personal and cultural morals onto a society with different morals -- and specifically he was forcing rescue on Eleen herself, who wanted no part of it. Of course personally I agree with his position, but the Prime Directive means respecting other cultures' right to their own laws and customs even when you find them abhorrent.


    Not to mention all the other starfaring civilizations out there that don't honor the Prime Directive and wouldn't hesitate to contact a pre-warp world.
     
  2. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is what I mean by the TOS version of the PD versus the TNG version as while the TNG version made it apparent that what Kirk did would be a violation of the Prime Directive, the TOS version only seems to cover not screwing with pre-spaceflight planets, they never said anything about it affecting dealings with species they already made contact with who the majority of which knows they're from outer space.
     
  3. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given what we know about Kirk, I'd agree that his motive was probably guided more by his morals than by politics. We also don't know for sure if his attitude towards this law was atypical in that culture. Look at the death penalty debate in the U.S. Maybe Kirk was acting out a form of civil disobedience. The question is, if he had failed and been caught, would he have been willing to face the punishment on that planet for violating their laws?

    I'd think that in the 23rd century among multiple worlds full of sentient people and civilizations, there would be highly intellectual political and philosophical writings and discussions about basic universal rights of sentient beings at any level of development, too. Much like human rights, today. And some practices in some cultures may be condemned and discouraged. I don't know.

    The problem I have is that the Prime Directive is completely amoral. To me, it's ridiculous to be relativistic to the point where everything is relative and every cultural practice or interpreation of truth or law deserves the same level of respect.

    Out of universe, I'm not sure why the Prime Directive was created for the show other than to be employed as a dramatic device within stories, and to also show that imperialsim didn't go out into space with mankind in a time period on Earth (the mid-1960s) when imperialism and self-determination were big geo-political buzz words.
     
  4. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    That's really all the Prime Directive is, a dramatic point of conflict. In any reasonable organization, it would never have been followed so dogmatically.

    Hell, Into Darkness might just be about a rebellion against the Prime Directive if the comics (and the nine minute preview) are any indication.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    On the contrary, they said something about it in "Friday's Child" itself. "And the highest of all our laws states that your world is yours and will always remain yours." It was made quite explicit in that very episode that, regardless of whether a society had been contacted or not, the Federation respected its right to self-determination. It's not about spaceflight. It's about not being cultural imperialists, about being humble enough to recognize that other cultures are better qualified to know what works for them than you are, and have more of a right to make decisions for their own society than you do.



    Kirk was not in a position to engage in civil disobedience, because he was not a member of that culture. He was an outsider imposing his values without consulting anyone within the culture, without acknowledging any agency on their part or any right to choose for themselves. However well-intentioned it was, it was blatant cultural imperialism. It was the Capellans' place to defy the custom. It wasn't his place to force change upon them.

    (Besides, civil disobedience entails unresistingly accepting the penalties for violating the law. Thoreau and Gandhi and King let themselves be arrested and tried when they defied immoral laws. Kirk and company ran for the hills and violently resisted capture.)


    That's not what it's about. Look at British and American cultural imperialism. These societies went into other cultures with the best of intentions, with the belief that they were acting in the name of positive morals. But they ended up badly oppressing and damaging those cultures, because their own cultural biases blinded them to the fact that the solutions that worked for them wouldn't necessarily work for another culture, that some cultural differences are not morally wrong but just different, and that even if there are genuine wrongs that need to be corrected in another culture, the people who are part of that culture and understand how it works are the ones who need to solve those problems. Outsiders who don't understand the culture may end up imposing solutions that do more harm than good. And change imposed from without can't really work; it only works if it comes from within.

    So it's not about amorality. It's about recognizing that other people need to sort out their own problems, that you can't always fix things for them, and if you try, you can do more harm than good.

    When I was in college, I had a friend who broke off contact with me because her boyfriend didn't want her having male friends. I recognized this as a warning sign of a possible abusive relationship, so I went to the campus women's center to ask for advice about how to deal with it. And what I learned from them is that there were limits on what I could do, what I should do. Even if she was in an abusive relationship, I couldn't make her change. I couldn't impose a solution. Not only would it not work, but it would make me no better than the boyfriend, because I'd be trying to control her choices too. The only way her situation would get better was if she decided for herself to make it better. I could (and did) send her a letter expressing my concerns, send her brochures from the women's center, but otherwise the only viable, ethical solution was to respect her wishes and keep my distance, to give her the space to make her own decisions rather than trying to make decisions for her. It meant that things might never get better for her, but the reality of the situation was that it simply wasn't my problem to solve -- it was hers. (And I eventually heard from her again and learned that she'd left that boyfriend on her own, without my intervention.)

    The Prime Directive is based on the same principle. Cultural imperialism is to nations what abusive relationships are to individuals. It's about thinking you're entitled to make decisions for someone else instead of respecting their right to make decisions for themselves. And it's never the right way to help them. If they have problems, they need to take responsibility for solving those problems themselves. If you try to fix things for them, to make them change the way you think they should, you'll probably just make things worse, and it's more about serving your own self-interest than respecting theirs. You can offer advice and support if they're willing to seek it out, but the choice to act has to be theirs, because the responsibility for their fate is theirs.


    I think the latter was the primary reason. It was TNG that turned it into more of a dramatic device. Particularly in "Pen Pals," which introduced the awful, nonsensical "Better to let them die than risk damaging them" interpretation. There's no way that makes any kind of moral statement about our world; it was introduced purely to create a philosophical challenge for the characters to wrestle with.
     
  6. crucifixion

    crucifixion Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well tm has the review of #4 up. Can't say any questions are answered. Little annoyed the issue ended and didn't really provided anything that would encourage someone to buy it and get rewarded for loyalty. Instead we have to wait for the movie then we can be like oh I see what happened in the comics now.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't read the comics yet, but am I right that April's code is a massive plot hole? He installed it on the old Enterprise and it magically worked on the new one too? And THAT is the thing Harrison steals, that's important to the film?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    Or it's just the report on what happened that makes him mad. We do know he believes Kirks superiors committed some sort of unforgivable crime, it could be that they left the Phaedians to the Klingons. I'd guess Harrisson has some sort of connection to either April or the planet in question.

    The access thing can't be that important to the film, since any sane person would make sure the security hole is fixed as soon as possible. Star Fleet is not stupid enough to let it sit there to be used later.
     
  9. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    More or less, yeah.

    Not really. I'm not sure how you reached that conclusion.
     
  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps I misinterpreted + jumped to a conclusion. I assumed Harrison is going to get April's classified command code from the security console in London.
     
  11. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Ah, ok. I had not read Trekmovie's article, I've only seen the preview pages.

    I'll wait to see how this is handled when I read the last issue. But I don't think they'd have Harrison do the same thing April does in the comic.
    At least I hope not. Unless they offer another explanation for it, that deviates from Countdown and makes sense.
     
  12. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    April offers the Klingons the Enterprise in exchange for being governor of Phadeus IV. Where's April's leverage? Like the Klingons wouldn't double-cross that agreement? April wouldn't know that? It's stupid.

    How in the world would the codes April knows work on the new Enterprise twenty years later?

    There's certainly nothing in the story that hints Harrison is Khan. Why would Khan have a dog in this particular fight? What vengeance would he be seeking based on what happened on Phadeus or to any of the other characters in the comic?
     
  13. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    It's coming out tomorrow, right?
     
  14. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There is no honor in double-crossing an agreement. It would bring shame on their Houses. :klingon::p

    Yeah.
     
  15. SoM

    SoM Commander Red Shirt

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    Presumably, the ideas are that (1) it wasn't just a backdoor to his Enterprise, it was actually in the core OS of all Federation starships and (2) it was never deleted, possibly because someone else who knew about it [Admiral Marcus? Section 31?] managed to prevent it being changed.

    Hell, it may not have been April's *own* backdoor, but something he discovered that was already there.
     
  16. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In issue 3 April says:

    "I had this control program built into the computer of the previous Enterprise. My Enterprise. It was a failsafe in the event that an enemy took control of the ship. Even if they wiped out my crew, I could retain control of the central computer and all ship systems."
    "I gambled that failsafe was duplicated in the new ship, and that my old command code would still work."

    Also, the program he uses is called Emergency Protocol 31.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I get it....
     
  18. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished Countdown 4, it was out on ibooks. Here are some screenshots

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    This story looks like it has awesome potential! Please, don't fuck it up.
     
  20. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Like say some sort of 5 digit computer code which can allow a person to hack another starship and oh I don't know make it lower its shields :)