My Grievances of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Mycroft Maxwell, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. UFO

    UFO Captain Captain

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Since I have made a strong stand on this issue, does the decision to only demote Prime Kirk to Captain also make a mockery of Starfleet? I would say no because there is a difference in deciding not to really punish someone in light of services rendered and deciding to give them a command for which the are not yet properly trained. The first is a matter of discretion, the latter is simply irresponsible, not the least because it places other people’s lives at risk.
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Hey, I'm on record (multiple times) as saying the promotion was a bad idea scripting wise. You don't need to convince me of that. I'm only addressing the idea that Kirk isn't a leader or a thinker.
    No I meant its being a good leader by listening to the guy who knows more than you. That's what smart leaders do. It's not risky, but it's usually better than not.

    I figured you had some treknocanonical method that would have been better.

    I do, but when you talk about swords and tempering I think metallurgy not equine.

    Nah, in-universe all is good and Kirk is hero who saved the Galaxy from two flavors of madman. Starfleet looks good for recognizing his potential. Out-universe, very few people care how Starfleet looks. They had a good time at the movies.
     
  3. Khan444

    Khan444 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Without Kirk, Earth and Starfleet would be gone, he was right, Spock and Pike were wrong.
     
  4. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    That description fits probably at least a third of all major incidents ever shown in Star Trek. The arrival of the Narada was a one time tragedy on a personal level. On a professional level for an organization like Starfleet it would barely be a blip on the radar - especially since the attacker wasn't heard from again for 25 years.
     
  5. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, as the copy of the script I can find online differs significantly from the final film, but wasn't there a line right after Sulu screwed up the Enterprises launch that said he'd been trained to fly shuttlecraft (And therefore, not Starships)?

    Those three were qualified, yes. Any one of them would make perfect sense as an exception to the rule, coincidence, whatever. Except for the fact that Scotty apparently has enemies high up who don't want him to succeed. But hey, maybe they forgot about him or whatever. All three of them together, however, achieving their positions in such strange circumstances sets up a story which is fairly hard to believe to begin with - and becomes impossible to believe on Kirk's fantastic promotion.

    In terms of the story, maybe so. In terms of proving to Starfleet command he was clearly ready to take full control of a starship? Lucking your way to the top is pretty much the exact opposite of proving yourself.

    The Enterprise D was in a perpetual war with the Klingons. The Narada was an isolated incident, no different than a thousand other isolated incidents where starships or even entire colonies were destroyed by random alien of the week. Starfleet has never reacted to any of those incidents by changing its fundamental rules of operation.

    He successfully infiltrated and destroyed a highly advanced Hydra base - and retrieved important intelligence from it as well. Every mission he's shown leading is about successfully infiltrating and destroying Hydra bases and their technology (except the kidnapping of Dr. Zola, which is really an even simpler type of mission).

    When the job description is: must be able to type 80 wpm, then all you have to show to prove someone deserves the job is that they can type 80 wpm. Unfortunately for ST09, the job of Starship Captain is a hell of a lot more complicated than handling one specific crisis - even if you accept the idea that Kirk deserves most of the credit for saving Earth in the first place.

    You might have a point in that cap didn't necessarily have to be the leader - even though he had shown himself capable of leading that kind of action - but if his physical abilities didn't make the difference in making that kind of mission possible, why did the apparent expert, Col. Philips, believe the mission completely impossible to achieve, even with an entire battalion running around the base?

    But the film doesn't really prove to us that Pike actually knows what he's talking about.

    That's one. Though not a particularly impressive reason for promotion.

    That's the only moment that stood out to me, but, as I already said, it doesn't constitute insightfulness so much as 'working memory'. Still not a reason to consider Kirk at all extraordinary, much less worthy of the promotion he got. Pike, Spock, or Uhura even would all have made the same connection if they had been allowed by the plot to have the same information.

    Classic Kirk gut feeling. As the case always has been in Star Trek, his gut feeling proves correct, but that does not magically turn it into some kind of brilliant strategy worthy of unprecedented promotion.

    Sure. But this is still not even remotely extraordinary. Isn't Kirk supposed to be off the charts, most promising cadet ever? Where is the proof of that?

    Sounds like the exact same thing every commander would say. In fact, it sounds like the kind of thing that would be actively taught at the academy, making it the same thing any cadet would say.

    I've noticed another poster disputes that one. I can't remember specifically, myself, and the copy of the script I'm looking at doesn't really specify who came up with the plan at all - or if there even actually was a plan and not just dumb luck and improvisation.

    This isn't an example of thinking, strategy or leadership at all.

    Proving he's not a douche, but not proving he's in any way brilliant or exceptional.

    Not sure if the final version was exactly the same, but the script for this is:

    " SCOTTY (last desperate thought)
    IF WE EJECT THE CORE AND DETONATE, THE BLAST COULD BE STRONG ENOUGH TO PUSH US AWAY BUT I CAN'T PROMISE ANYTHING!

    KIRK
    DO IT DO IT DO IT!"

    So, Scotty got a lucky hunch at the last second and Kirk grasped at the only straw available to save his ship. Not exactly a well considered decision to take a chance on a theory.

    Compromising Spock was Spock's (Nimoy) plan, not Kirk's. Using fisticuffs to do so seemed simply the most natural way for Kirk to have a confrontation. As for getting the gun, I don't remember that moment off the top of my head, and I can't seem to find it in the script. What part of the movie was that?

    After going through all these examples, I still don't see any real thinking or planning, and only a very little leadership. What Kirk shows, above all, in this film is a lot of courage, a strong moral compass and an incredibly accurate gut feeling.

    Which makes him a great hero, but doesn't do anything at all to set him apart from the rest of Starfleet as some extraordinary officer whose potential is so wonderful that he must be promoted straight to captain.

    The internal logic of how the Federation and Starfleet have always worked. Over four shows and ten movies we've seen far more spectacular heroics than Kirk's one day command of the Enterprise in ST09, several times over, and it's never resulted in anything even close to the ridiculous promotion he is rewarded with.

    The militarization of section 31 was a response to the attack on Vulcan and Earth. Kirk's promotion happened what, two days after those events took place? Starfleet reassessed it's entire way of doing business that fast? And did so in a way that makes it less militarized, allowing an almost entirely unproven officer to take control of the most important asset in the fleet?

    I would agree with that and moreso, because it's not just a matter of discretion - it's a long standing pattern in Star Trek, presumably related to the basic philosophy of the Federation. The Federation is extraordinarily lenient in punishment in almost every case I can think of.

    Dr. Bashir is allowed to remain in Starfleet despite being lying about his genetic enhancements.

    Spock isn't punished at all, despite breaking the Talos IV quarantine which supposedly carried the death penalty.

    The Maquis are treated with kid gloves for years before Starfleet gets serious about them.

    There are no consequences for the Fundamentalist group that sabotaged Risa's weather control system, and not even a reprimand for Worf for helping them.

    Starfleet even actively tries to rehabilitate Borg (Hugh and Seven).

    I would also expect that, in the case of Kirk's demotion, whatever Hardline elements there may exist in Starfleet command/federation council, would in fact also be inclined to go easy on him, as a form of diplomatic retribution against the Klingons who, let's not forget, launched an unprovoked assault on a bunch of barely armed scientists at the Genesis planet, and killed dozens of Federation citizens, destroying 2 starships. Which nevertheless still did not launch the Federation into open warfare with the Klingons. Even more leniency.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Nope, there's nothing like that in the final film. www​.chakoteya.net is usually an excellent resource, providing transcripts of all the episodes and movies, but it would seem they're having some problems at the moment.
    Be he still proved himself once he was there. Would Earth and the Federation still be there if somone else commanded the Enterprise? A dodgy way to get there, sure. But the right man for the job.
    A war which sprung from one incident with the Enterprise-C at Narendra III. The Butterfly Effect in action.

    See also the Borg encounter in "Q Who" which led to Starfleet Prime building their first warships, the Defiant-class and Peometheus-class. One could also argue that the TMP refit and Excelsior class were responses to the many threats faced in The Original Series, like the Doomsday Machine.

    Remember also that those "random alien of the week" attacks from TOS havent (yet?) happened in this timeline, so they're a non-factor. The first time something like that happens (i.e. the Narada's appearance) causes the biggest reaction.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    All I know is that were likely a few people on the Kelvin who never became Admirals, Captains and First Officers in the new timeline.

    The first step in a radically different Starfleet.
     
  8. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Then I withdraw the idea of Sulu's strange unsuitability. I must have misheard something in that scene.


    He proved himself a great action hero. He did not prove himself an ultra-special best leader/strategist ever who must obviously be promoted to the height of responsibility without any further training or experience.

    I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I'm not saying Kirk is an idiot. I'm not saying he shows no special qualities whatsoever. I'm not even saying that he didn't demonstrate any of the qualities that a good captain should have. But he certainly did not demonstrate all of the qualities a good captain should have, and the qualities he did exhibit do not back up the film's very determined (but entirely offscreen) narrative of him being an ultra intelligent golden boy.

    That's not the Butterfly Effect. It's direct cause and effect. The incident with the Enterprise C was a highly charged encounter involving large powers with a very long history of antagonizing each other. It was a very natural turning point in history.

    The destruction of the Kelvin was an almost completely random event, with no known context (until after the attack on Vulcan) and not even any known enemy (since the Narada disappeared from history for 25 years). Sure, somewhere some long term strategists would probably be wetting their pants over it, but it would not have that large an effect on the Federation in general.

    Comparing an entire alien race with a repeatedly demonstrated obsession with destroying the Federation to one ship that showed no real motive or intention to continue its destruction for decades is a bit hyperbolic. Especially considering the Narada still doesn't seem to really match the terrifying unbeatableness of real Borg technology.

    And I don't see any reason to suspect the Enterprise refits or the excelsior class were initiated for any reason other than normal technological progress.

    How does it make any sense to say Starfleet has never had an incident of this nature in 100 years of exploration? Space in the Star Trek universe is dangerous. It's just as dangerous in every series, including Enterprise, which incidentally, according to the on screen logic of ST09, remains fully canon even in the new universe. Captain Archer dealt with a temporal cold war (bizarre future technology) and had to trek into a completely unknown region of space to stop a completely random alien race from destroying earth out of fear (it was fear, wasn't it? Long time since I've seen enterprise).

    And yet during his lifetime, the Federation was created, according to canon, with all the same high ideals we know it for. And I'm supposed to believe a nation founded in this kind of environment, which must have grown in this same kind of environment - or did space conviently become far less dangerous for the hundred years between enterprise and st09? - that this same nation is going to start jumping at shadows every time a ship is destroyed?

    The difference is - those films didn't try to claim that these actions were so amazingly outstanding that Geordi or Spock should be immediately promoted to Admiral and placed in charge of the entire fleet.

    And that would be great, if the immediate results of the plan were the only relevant concern. But the way the story is written introduces more problems than solutions by trying to pretend Kirk was so exceptional, yet failing to ever present any real proof of that.

    All makes sense, no problem with that. But none of those things touch on something like relaxing promotion policies to such an absurd degree - the promotion of competent officers being one of the most important core processes/protocols that starfleet has. Right up there with the Prime Directive (which STID confirms is still in place, entirely unchanged, even after Vulcan). This isn't a question of putting slightly more emphasis on starship design or having less trust in the Klingons. Those kinds of things are constantly subject to the will of whoever happens to be in charge, and therefore easily changeable by the butterfly effects of the Kelvin attack.

    But the proper procedures for promoting officers go to the very core of what Starfleet is. Sure, they can be altered in all kinds of minor or medium details, but a few different people in powerful positions cannot magically turn the Federation as we know it into a society where major success is instantly rewarded with starship command, without any critical review of the actual actions involved, or any proof of sufficient experience.

    And what's even more important: that kind of promotion culture clearly doesn't exist in the films, anyway. Especially when you take into account STID. The entire story sets up Kirk's case as the mother of all exceptions. So how does it make sense that the Kelvin attack changed the way starfleet promotes this one guy, and no one else?

    And again - another question that has yet to be answered - how does it make sense that an increasingly militaristic starfleet taking shape in response to the Kelvin attack would result in such an incredibly lax promotion policy?
     
  9. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    The real result of theses new movies has yet to be fully seen. Will new fans who are unfamiliar with Trek's past explore the old series and say "Y'know, this is much better than the movies" or will they turn their back on 40+ years for Hollywood glitz and action?
     
  10. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Kirk had already got himself to the point of being a part of the graduating year 3 years after starting, as he promised Pike which must be pretty exceptional.

    His rise to the big chair is partly by chance of being in the right place at the right time and a big part due to Pike rolling the dice at making him First Officer with little or no reason.

    After saving Earth, saving Pike and likely getting a glowing report from all involved as I can imagine a newly promoted Admiral Pike pulled a few strings to see how the kid does... this may not be the most realistic but some would argue neither is discussing the reality of a TV show or movie which involves Warp Drive, Transporters etc.
     
  11. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Why not both, like so many have done?

    Besides, Trek is not just classic/new. It's also TOS/TAS/TOS Movies/TNG/DS9/VOY/TNG Movies/ENT. Fans can split that in a great many ways.
     
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    CBS reported that they expected TOS DVD and Blu-Ray boxed sets to sell in renewed large quantities after the 2009 film. What happened was that there was a noticeable spike in sales of all Star Trek boxed sets: TOS, TAS, the movies, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT!
     
  13. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    I confess I am guilty of being one of these buyers. :D While waiting for STiD to arrive on home video I got myself all three seasons of TOS on Blu-ray. Such an excellent purchase!
     
  14. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    A couple of hundred years ago you could buy and sell your commission. Applying modern methodology for to a fictional future is narrow-minded at best.
     
  15. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    And to add - The film makers gave us a big hint that Section 31 became militarized after the Kelvin attack - their secret facility was under the Kelvin Memorial Archive.
     
  16. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Actually, one of the best innovations of the original Trek was the commitment to making the human institutions involved believable to a contemporary audience. It was permissible to extrapolate, but the ideal was not to have people behave in completely unbelievable ways for an audience today and then say "Well, it's science fiction." It was one of many smart Trek ideas that helped differentiate the show from the pure camp that went before it and that the NuTrek version of the franchise has forgotten.

    (I don't think it's really possible to come up with even a purely sci-fi version of Starfleet's behaviour in NuTrek that makes a lick of sense, either. But that's a different question.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  17. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Actually Kirk's arc so far is pretty much standard issue Joseph Campbell monomyth writing. So Starfleet's actions fit well within the guidelines of the "Hero's Journey". It doesn't have to work within the realm of reality, cause it fits within the mandate of the monomyth.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    Because Starfleet has always been a believable institution in relation to how the modern military operates. From the TOS crew serving together for thirty years, to the TNG guys working together for fifteen years straight, to officers being able to reject promotions (especially during times when Starfleet needs a certain type of officer), to officers being able to do whatever they want without any regard for regulations and no repercussions when breaking them and Kirk going from Captain to Admiral to Captain to Admiral to Captain.

    Starfleet has always been bent whichever way the story needs.
     
  19. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    I've always thought this was a lame excuse for George Lucas' bad writing, too, and Campbell something of an overrated charlatan as a scholar of "myth." So I can't really buy it.

    In some fairness to NuTrek, though, the breaking-of-believability with Kirk didn't start with Abrams. Kirk-as-Gary Stu began to grow in the decade after the show's cancellation; by the time TNG rolled around he had been inflated into virtually the most important carbon-based lifeform of his time, rather than just the outstanding member of a prestigious "space navy" that he was originally conceived (Horatio Hornblower-style) to be. So, the Kirk Myth has been stupid for a long time. It's just gotten extra-stupid with NuTrek, where even the foundation of relative believability that Kirk at least started with has been stripped away.
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: My Greivences of Nutrek. What makes me a hater...

    It started out as one, relatively speaking, yes. I completely agree with you that that believability was abandoned by stages over the years in pursuit of profits and in the service of sentimentality (cf. my last post); TNG recovered a bit of it, subsequent shows frittered it away, and the loss of that believability was a big reason for ENTERPRISE's final flop. Believability has not always been a trait of Trek, but the lack of it has always been a mark of bad Trek.