How much time passes between TMP and TWoK?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Amasov, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've been a Trek fan since the age of 3. I'm 28 now. I thought I knew almost everything, but this is seriously the first time that I've heard the postulation that STII "overwrites" STI. I really never knew some looked at it that way.
     
  2. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Something like this unused novel cover, in other words?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    Not everyone agrees that Spock in TWoK is really that much more "comfortable"; Pauline Kael in her New Yorker review, for example, refers to "Nimoy's ashen Spock." As for Kirk being an admiral, there's no reason that the "overwrite" (if it happened) couldn't also have featured Admiral Kirk - it's not as though he became an admiral during the Earth scenes in TMP.

    As for the last point, TUC not referring to TFF is just like one episode of the series not referring to the preceding one - nothing unusual. This isn't a parallel case to TMP/TWoK, though, because (just as in any episode) in TFF and TUC Kirk begins and ends in command of the Enterprise, whereas in both TMP and TWoK Kirk begins at a desk job and assumes command (and doesn't relinquish it at the end).

    All efforts to deal with Kirk's in-between years (if there were any) have to begin with the question of why he would have relinquished command at the end of TMP. But there's no reason for him to have done so, except perhaps in Trek novels about this period. He and his crew have just saved all life on Earth. No Starfleet higher-up would force Admiral Kirk, as someone above suggested, to give up command for some supposedly nobler purpose. Command of a starship is indeed Kirk's "first, best destiny" (per Spock's line in TWoK) and Spock isn't the only one to recognize it.

    In this context the "overwrite" hypothesis makes perfect sense.
     
  4. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My take on the 'in-between' years:

    From all indications, Kirk went willingly back into the Admiralty after the post-TMP five-year-mission. He would have been about 45 at that point, and (given his 'game for the young' line in TWOK) may have been burned out and simply decided "I'm getting too old for this shit."

    If Generations is to be believed, he left Starfleet a few years later (again, fed up with the desk job) and retired to his family home in Iowa where he tried to settle down with a lady named Antonia. But for whatever reason (Spock/McCoy's prodding?), he couldn't go through with it and returned to Starfleet a year or so before TWOK, where he got the Academy job. (I think Spock was already there with the Enterprise as a training ship, as he would have no taste for active command.) The Academy was probably Kirk's condition for coming back - "I'd rather be a schoolteacher than a bureaucrat." And Starfleet, as gottacook mentioned, would hardly be in a position to refuse him and just be glad to have him back in any capacity.

    The way Spock and McCoy had to talk him into taking command, it's clear Kirk wasn't harboring any secret desire to get back in the chair - he simply didn't think he had it in him anymore. Maybe the 2'nd FYM wasn't as successful as the first (hence why no writers seem to want to cover it), or he suffered one Edith/Miramanee-style tragedy too many. Or, again, he was simply burned out.
     
  5. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed on all points.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    TWOK was more indiscriminate than just trying to pretend on some level that TMP never happened. TWOK blew right into TOS and bulldozed anything that stood in its way. It put Chekov aboard ship during Space Seed and inserted yet another serious love interest into Kirk's past with a crowbar, just for starters.

    TWOK, even more than TMP (with its valiant but ultimately futile attempt to retcon Klingon appearance), tried to unburden itself of the continuity porn that would eventually sink the Prime Universe part of the franchise.

    I was in high school when TWOK was released. Originally, there was no "II" in the title. That was added in a later release, and everybody noticed. It's wrong to say it was originally "omitted" (ETA: not directed at 00, someone else said that). It was simply absent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I think TUC ignored TFF more than WoK ignored TMP. Wheras nothing in TMP contradicted by WoK, putting TFF and TUC together does leave you with some head scratchers...

    -Kirk is suddenly a Klingon-hater, despite showing no particular animosity toward them in V. His hated is explicitly stated to stem from David's death in III.

    -Scotty/Uhura is never mentioned.

    -The Enterprise-A looks less advanced, particularly the bridge which has sprouted lots of push buttons, had the carpet torn out and most of the lights turned off. Engineering also looks totally different.


    TUC also sits awkwardly next to "Yesterday's Enterprise" which explicitly states and shows that Klingon/Federation peace only came about after the heroic death of the Enterprise-C. One can fudge that the peace broke down after VI and YE saved it, but that's rather unsatisfying (not to mention implausible, since the Klingons were crippled by the Praxis explosion). They're more like two different versions of how the Federation and Klingons made peace.
     
  8. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I'm paraphrasing, but ISTR somebody who was on the production saying they asked Nick Meyer at the time how they were going to explain the uniforms being different. Meyer's response was, allegedly, "We don't. The first movie doesn't exist."

    (I don't think there was ever anything malicious in that statement, nor that anybody involved was seriously trying to "overwrite" the first movie, despite the fact that TWOK obviously originally went out without a "II" in the title. But I do think it's an indication that to those who mattered, ie. the directors and producers, TMP was irrelevant. Certainly despite it's box office success the executive level at Paramount seemed to look at TMP as being an embarrassment.)
     
  9. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    An astute point. It's possible, however, that someone who saw the post-release advertising and the posters just outside the theater (all of which would have used the "II") and then saw a "II"-less title on the big screen, synchronized with the first grand statement of Mr. Horner's main theme - well, such a person might think in terms of "omitted."

    (As I've mentioned in some old thread: I recall seeing a four-page color spread in one of the Time Inc. magazines just before the movie opened in May 1982 - probably Time or People - that featured art and photos from the movie and definitely did not use the "II".)
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The Empire Strikes Back didn't have a "II" in its title, either. Except before anyone knew what it was going to be called, no one called it Star Wars II, and once it came out, no one called it Star Wars V, or even Star Wars Episode V. It was always The Empire Strikes Back or just Empire for short.

    A decade earlier, there was no Planet of the Apes II, either. The Ape sequel was called Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

    James Bond II? No. From Russia with Love.

    And so forth.

    At that time, there was no hard-and-fast rule that sequels had to have "II" or "2" in the title. I don't think you can make anything out of not having it, except that they chose not to put it there. They might have just thought it sounded classier without it; it does, by the way.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Internet reviewer SFdebris, in his reviews of the TOS films, says that it actually makes more sense from a logical perspective if you go straight from TVH to TUC, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. Still, I don't think TFF should be discarded from continuity-there's some good exploration of the Big Three that would be tossed out with it.

    As for YE and TUC-Yes, yes, yes! I've often observed that as well. They don't mesh together very well. TUC makes it seem like they're on their way to peace, and then in YE we find out that two generations later, not only are they not at peace, but by that point, the Klingons are actually STRONGER than the Federation.
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    The error there, if any, is in TUC. YE predates it, so its version of Klingon peace should take precedence.

    But then, YE has got its own contradictions. Why is the 1701-C engaging the Romulans in battle, when it was outright stated in earlier TNG episodes that Starfleet hasn't had contact with them for a looooooong time? :confused:
     
  13. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My opinion is that Spock is the bridge between TMP and Khan. His characterization seems to continue where TMP left off. His sacrifice at the end of Khan is kind of the finishing off of the epiphany he had in TMP, about logic not being the be-all-end-all and that friendship (the hand-holding scene in TMP) was more important. There isn't as much of a setup for Spock's transition in Khan alone, merely the Kobayashi Maru theme. But in Spock's very first appearance, he is altogether friendly, offering Kirk a gift, where Kirk is troubled. This may be a trick of the imagination, but when you play both films back-to-back, that is what flows between them.

    In other respects, it feels like a do-over, by taking Kirk and putting him back behind a desk, and then reusing the dry dock footage. If Kirk really wanted the Enterprise so much, then certainly he had to have spent some time commanding her again and not been so keen to take another desk-job. So there had to be far more of an interim between the two than the chronological time between the release of the films.
     
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    quite right-my post made it seem like YE contradicted TUC, when it actually came out first. Still, the two stories don't gell very well alongside each other.
     
  15. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just watched these two films back to back again to make sure. It's about 5-10 minutes. Switching DVDs and a bathroom break.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Minor hiccups:

    But the year on the bottle must be different from the year TWoK takes place; that's the only possible reason Kirk would express amazement and perhaps apprehension at seeing the year on the label.

    But TMP says no such thing. It only says Kirk has been desk-bound for 2.5 years, and the only reference to the 5YM is that Kirk considers it a unique qualification of his for confronting the threat of the week. So it would seem that most Starfleet skippers never do 5YMs, which means they do something else, which means Kirk may well have been doing something else for X years between 2270 and TMP.

    To the contrary, Starfleet could easily flat out refuse to let Kirk the Savior to ever set foot out of a padded and shielded display case, uh, office, again. John Glenn was refused further spaceflights, and so was Yuri Gagarin...

    ...Or was thinking of retiring, but never got around to it.

    This was stated in one episode, "The Neutral Zone" - after previous episodes such as "Angel One" had established ongoing contact with the Romulans!

    The contact established in those was of the "warships confront each other" type, the same as in the "Yesterday's Enterprise" backstory. Presumably, that doesn't count as the sort of "direct contact" discussed in "TNZ", but comes under the heading of "indirect contact".

    The overall feeling I get is that the movies steer clear of each other to such a degree that they never really manage to contradict each other - unlike the episodes.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. golddragon71

    golddragon71 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jarod, I can shorten that to about Two-point-five minutes as I have both on my iPad and I can just hit the bathroom and grab a fresh soda.

    lol Seriously, I have always figured there was at least 8-10 years subjective time between TMP and WoK
    There had to be at least enough time for what is known as "The Second Five-Year Mission" (featuring the Movie Refit Enterprise and the soft uniforms
    after that I estimate about One or two years of happenstance missions before Starfleet decided to retire the pastel uniforms and go on to something a tad more militaristic, turn the Enterprise into an academy training vessel and giving Kirk and Spock teaching missions on Earth.
    ad to that the Five to Seven years from Space Seed to The Motion Picture, and you have the Fifteen Year Fill-in.

    as to Final Frontier and Undiscovered Country I'm hesitant to have TFF be immediately after TVH due to the radical redesign of the Bridge. Particularly as it applies to the Placement of the Turbolifts For one thing, the exterior of the 1701-A doesn't look any different but the interior of the Bridge is at least twice as wide as it's predecessor in TMP-TVH
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  18. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    But neither Glenn (who did return to space, in 1998) nor Gagarin were Defenders of All Life on Earth - a function Kirk could not perform other than on a spaceship.

    As soon as the decision was made to finally visit present-day Earth in TMP, the default plot for further movies became Threat to Earth; not only TMP but the fourth, eighth, and tenth movies (as well as the Abrams movie) had this plot. Naturally, this implies Kirk (or Picard) Must Stop Threat to Earth.
     
  19. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ This :guffaw:

    Shorter if you have digital copies. :p

    But when Kirk says he's been desk-bound for two and a half years, does that actually mean that's when the original five year mission ended?

    It's almost as if the Phase II series DID happen in that time, if you count TMP serving as the pilot as originally-intended. Then TWOK serves as the first film in the series.

    Wow. I have NEVER seen that before. Are there any pictures online?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  20. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always felt (and I'm not sure if anyone involved has even given their thoughts on the relationship between the two films beyond a general dislike for the first one and the need to do better) that there wasn't an intentional effort to wipe out/ret con TMP when they made Khan as such. At least not in the sense of that episode of Voyager which is supposed to contain dialouge that is specifically there to say "Threshold never happened".

    I think everyone was pretty unhappy with the first film (though the paying punter can more than disagree) and just decided to ignore and do their own thing for the sequel. Which might sound the same as deliberately overriding it but there's a subtle difference in that Bennett and Meyer just did what they thought was best, if it fitted in with the first film fine, if it contradicted it, fine. But either way they weren't that bothered and likely didn't notice because Paramount were unlikely to be encouraging them to use TMP as a reference point (again, fairly or not).

    To a certain extent, there was no need to out and out officially retcon the first film whatever the studio thought of it because we're just before the breakout of home video. Any slight discontinuity between the two films wouldn't be a problem for most of the audience because it would have been nearly three years since any but the dedicated fans would have seen the first film and the memory gets hazy.

    That's a get out clause not really available anymore (and Trek wasn't the only film series to use it, the Planet of the Apes movies for example tweak the details of their future history with the absurdity most of the viewers won't remember the exact details as well), so you get things like the last Rocky film being released with Official Statements some of the previous sequels didn't count because there was more than a good chance the people going to see it had the DVD set on their shelves and would have even the bad movies much fresher in their minds.

    Whatever the actual thinking, I do think it's actually a pleasent surprise (at least for us anal fans) the two films fit together as well as they do. You may have to squint a bit and use some lube but things could have been a lot worse considering the attitude towards TMP at Paramount at the time.