Four Years War

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by King Daniel Beyond, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    After watching Prelude to Axanar, the fan film based on FASA's Four Years War booklet, I'm curious if there is any basis for the war in Trek canon. I was under the impression that the Klingon/Federation war in "Errand of Mercy" was their first.

    Not that I mind a bit of continuity tweaking, just curious if it's something referenced.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know whether TOS supported the idea of a full-scale war but there was a mention of a battle at Donatu V:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Donatu_V

     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I always kind of viewed that it was more of a cold war that featured a number of armed skirmishes between Federation and Klingon forces here and there. I think an all-out war between them didn't start until "Errand of Mercy," although they didn't get very far with it thanks to the Organians.
     
  4. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well "Whom Gods Destroy" implied that there was some type of conflict the Federation was involved with a few decades before TOS.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I just watched the Prelude To Axanar preview. I gotta say that while I could quibble with small things this does look intriguing. It certainly looks polished.
     
  6. skree

    skree Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I would like the Klingon words (phrases) spelled out (in Klingon) for the two words/phrases used in the film please. Here are the phrases/words "The strategy of least respect" and "devourer". The closest thing I can come up with to what Ramirez and Travis say is this vucha'chu'vItu = Strategy of least respect (strategy)
    naQcha' wIS = devourer (tactic)
     
  7. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, at one point in the episode, Kirk says to Garth: "I agree there was a time when war was necessary, and you were our greatest warrior. I studied your victory at Axanar when I was a cadet. In fact it's still required reading at the Academy."

    So Garth was a warrior at one point, and had an important victory at Axanar. You could use this to infer a possible war, but it's not explicit.
     
  8. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Those points suggest something fairly large happened before Kirk was a cadet.

    The probability it was the Klingons would be logical since a Cold War doesn't always start cold. It gets cold if the heated war results in a stalemate, or just a cease fire. The Korea War is more or less a Cold war between North and South Korea with various allies since the cease fire in 1953, but was a Hot War from 1950 to 1953 prior to that. The war itself never ended completely and has threated to heat up again from time to time.

    It couldn't have been the Romulans because there was no "official" contact between the Federation and Romulan Star Empire since the 2160s, and Garth is not that old. The Four Years War is the interpretation of what happened between the Federation and the Klingons to account for how the Klingons and Federation members deal and treat with each other by Kirk's time. The Klingons having somehow proven to be powerful and dangerous to even the USS Enterprise, but not so powerful that she can't deal with one Klingon ship by herself in a fair fight. A Klingon Battlecruiser showing up someplace means bad news most of the time.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I guess herein lies the problem, as he's Garth of Izar, potentially a multicentenarian alien. (This opposed to Cochrane of Alpha Centauri, whom McCoy explicitly confirms as a human being.)

    This is further complicated by the fact that Garth supposedly took treatments that radically affected his appearance (i.e. he became a shapeshifter of some sort). If he was a wrinkled old man prior to this, then went to the asylum for the incurably criminal, and then when Kirk and Spock arrived emerged triumphant but looking fifty years younger, this would not warrant extra comment - the ability to shapeshift would be impressive enough, and the ability (and desire) to look younger would directly and naturally follow.

    So Kirk might be speaking of reading on the adventures of Garth in the old war with the Kzinti 200 years before his time. (The only obstacle on that path is that TAS, our only source for wars older than 100 years, also says that 75 is the mandatory retirement age from Starfleet, and suggests it has never been higher than that. But perhaps this only goes for humans?)

    Personally, I'd like to put as much time between Garth's heroics and Kirk's cadet years as possible, to give credence to the idea that Kirk thinks war is a thing of the past. But that's probably a futile prospect, as Kirk in other episodes isn't nearly as pious about war; for all we know, he's just manipulating Garth here, and his facts may be grossly biased.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Steve Ihnat was only 3 years younger than Shatner, so something is definitely up with Garth.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But was the battle of Donatu Five a isolated incident, or was it like the "battle of Iwo Jima" one battle during the course of a larger war?

    :)
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It would help if we knew more about Sherman's planet. Is it a contested world at the border established by an inconclusive old war? Is it a neutral world somewhere else (not necessarily previously inhabited by humans despite the name, and no doubt going by a Klingon name in the Empire's records)?

    FWIW, Spock does speak of "almost seventy years of unremitting hostilities" in ST6. Contact with Klingons is older than that, so there must have been remissions before the 2230s. But if there's constant hostility from the 2230s on, and it includes an actual hot war of four years among other things, then "incidents" must also count as hostility, and Donatu V can be one of those. Yet it then further means that incidents like that have happened almost back to back, and remissions must then denote incident-free coexistence or even outright peace, which is a bit much to assume from the Klingons.

    On the other hand, the post-Organian TOS era counts as Spock's "hostile", despite formally being a time of peace (and lots of dirty Klingon tricks). So "remissions" of true and incident-free peace before the 2230s seem to be indicated anyway.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is why I said:

    I think it's open to interpretation. "Whom Gods Destroy" does seem to lean towards the Federation being involved in some type of full-scale conflict in the recent past. Whether Donatu V and Axanar are connected is anyone's guess?
     
  14. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think there's anything in TOS itself that explicitly rules out a full-scale war of the type discussed here. The only thing I recall that might discount it is Carol's line in TWOK where she said that Starfleet has "kept the peace" for a hundred years.

    OTOH, we know from "Errand of Mercy" that the Federation was in an official state of war with the Klingons in the 2260s, however briefly it may have lasted. Carol's statement seems to discount this war, too, so perhaps her claim is unjustified.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe it was "peace" as in Starfleet kept the wars out in the borderlands.

    :)
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    A further reference to war being a thing of the past comes from "Let That Be" where "the need to resort to violence and force has long since passed", although that may be more a reference to the abolition of truncheons and handcuffs now that the civilized option of apprehending troublemakers by shooting them unconscious with a phaser has been introduced.

    Kirk's propaganda talk about war being in the past would work just fine if the Romulan War were the last big nastiness for Earth or the Federation. It will start sounding a bit more hollow if there has been war within Kirk's lifetime, and becomes pretentious if there was war within his service time - but people did speak of the end of all wars immediately after WWI, and certainly just before it, despite there having been a big European confrontation as recently as in 1870.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The TOS era did seem more peaceful than the TNG era.



    :)
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Well, discounting movies, the TOS era was three years; the TNG era was seven or, if related spinoffs count, fifteen. More time for distant or short-lived wars like the "Errand of Mercy" one to pop up and then down again!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Based on its context, I've always interpreted that line as regarding the peace between the military and civilian scientists.

    link

    In other words, Starfleet hasn't raided scientists' laboratories for a hundred years.
     
  20. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I just want to say, the phrase "unremitting hostility" can mean more than one thing.

    It seems like most people are interpreting it as shooting each other and blowing things up, like a war undeclared.

    It can also mean just uncooperative hostility without actual violence on either side. For example, a Federation ship that's in trouble in that area of space and calls for help won't get any assistance from a passing Klingon. Not that the Klingon caused the distress or even used it as a reason to attack, just ignoring the distress call and having a good laugh about it is hostile in nature. Having neutral zones and minefields and other nasty things is also hostile without actual shooting wars. And assuming the Federation's new terraforming device is really a planet destroying torpedo and infiltrating Federation Space to steal it is hostile, yet not a war.


    I agree.