NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Brutal Strudel, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The strength of the new movie franchise is in its characterisation (except Scotty IMO because he is just to much of a departure). I could give a pass to Kirk on your analysis if there was some indication that it was a brutal decision based emotion and inexperience except that Spock is baying for blood up there with him and he gets a massive reward for his actions. They both have reasons to want to kill but Spectre of the Gun rears its head again. They failed the test.

    I think they were trying to back-pedal after the first movie to try and underscore that Kirk's arrogance and self-belief are not always good things. The way you succeed is as important as the success.

    I am perfectly happy with Spock losing it, since it is not portrayed in a positive light. I'm less happy with Kirk's brutality against his prisoner earlier in the movie while standing next to several other officers. Police officers would be prosecuted if one of their prisoners took a beating like that after surrendering.

    However, I am willing to give Uhura some credit. She knows Spock. She knows why he's gone berserk and she knows that it will be hard to reason with him so she personalises her pitch to make it specific to the cause of his grief. It's smart and Uhura is smart. It also justifies sending her down instead of just a security team, although her AND a security team would have made more sense.
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    A departure from the Scotty of "Tribbles", "Wolf in the Fold" and ST IV?
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Too much of a departure overall - yes. TOS Scotty was left in charge of the Enterprise on many occasions. NuSulu would make an excellent officer of the watch. NuScotty seems to lack the discipline and focus to carry that off. This plays into the fallacy that being a fabulous engineer means you should be chief engineer. Being a good officer means you should be chief engineer. You can use the brains of your more qualified sub-ordinates where necessary. TOS Scotty was both. NuScotty so far has only been a fabulous engineer.
     
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I have only seen the movie once, so my memory is flawed.

    But the one thing that grew on my mind reading this discussion was this: Who won?

    Kirk offered him a chance to live but obviously as a prisoner.

    Nero didn't like this idea and rather wanted to die, thus replied in a fashion to Kirk that he knew would provoke Kirk to kill him.

    Basically, the antagonist was in control of the "encounter" and manipulated the protagonist to do what Nero wanted.

    Wouldn't this mean that Kirk lost because he allowed himself to be manipulated to do the thing Nero wanted?

    The victory, IMHO, would have been Kirk replying "No, you bastard. You don't die, yet. You are coming with me!"

    Bob
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Nero never got what he wanted, which was Romulus and his wife back. So, we can disavail ourselves of the notion that the destruction of the Narada was any sort of victory for Nero. He simply chose the manner of his own defeat. That can't be twisted into Kirk losing.

    In chess, your opponent always has multiple choices, right up until the game ends. (Even if there is only one move available among the pieces, there is still the choice to move or resign.) That fact of chess, that your opponent might choose to be checkmated by queen or rook, that doesn't rob victory from the winner.

    Similarly, the point here, to the degree that there's any here at all, is simply that rescuing Nero and trying him (we don't know what the sentence would have been, by the way, it could have been life or death) would have been a different sort of victory than the one Kirk and company had.
     
  6. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Welcome to modern cinema.
     
  7. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    This guy gets it.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, I understand what you're saying; it's not that I'm missing anything, it's that I think you are wrong. I do not think that the film is portraying Spock's loss of control as a good thing, nor do I think that acknowledging that doing the right thing (apprehending rather than murdering Khan) has both inherent moral benefits and practical benefits is a bad thing or something that undermines morality. And it makes perfect sense for Spock's character that the thing that would bring him back to sanity would be his brotherly love for Kirk.
     
  9. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    I think at the end of the day the basic justification for killing Nero is "he's an evil man who did evil things and therefore he deserves to die".

    In essence, it's the same question whether you support the death penalty or not. Is it justifiable to do to an "evil" man what he has done to others? Or is such an action also evil in itself?

    And to say that Nero was maybe still a threat and therefore it was necessary to kill him is just a rationalization for those who are getting uncomfortable facing that question.
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    And a man of great principles, who challenged his captain not to take a particular risk in STiD, put his own position on the line, got dismissed for it, and helped save the day in ways that the Enterprise crew could not.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm anti-death penalty and probably about as non-violent person as there is. But there are some special circumstances where I'd pull the trigger myself.

    There are simply some people who have earned their fate. In universe, Nero earned those photon torpedoes Kirk lobbed at him.
     
  12. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Spock needs to stop Khan. He's not berserk. He had a job to save Federation lives.

    Khan has feinted before.
    He has pretended to be unconscious and then straight away broke Carol's leg and Marcus' neck.

    If Spock let up on Khan and then Khan overwhelmed him, I'd be complaining about Spock being so stupid to fall for his tricks again.

    And you know if he took some personal satisfaction from beating in Khan's face after Khan tried to kill him then - bonus. IMO Spock did nothing morally or legally wrong.

    Nope I'm not rationalising and genuinely believed that Nero was still a threat.

    I don't support the death penalty but I wouldn't hesitate in shooting a killer who was escaping if I were a policeman/military. Once the person is rendered safe then its not necessary to kill them IMO no matter what they've done.

    This is not the case with Nero as he was in a superior ship with unknown weapons who had killed many times before, vowed to kill again and was basically insane. To let him escape would be a crime.

    Plenty of times Prime Kirk, Picard, Archer, Janeway, Sisko killed for the greater good. They acted as judge, jury and executioner. And killing is evil but they did it because that's their job.
     
  13. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Well, Nero wasn't a threat because he's not a real person.

    The question is rather whether Abrams intended to still make him look like a threat that moment.
     
  14. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That was not the point, it was about how Nero was still in control of the situation - not Kirk - to either chose imprisonment or death by provoking Kirk.

    That wasn't the point either.

    Kirk may have won the battle, but ultimately Nero decided whether he was going to die or live - and not Kirk, who apparently hadn't really made up his mind before whether he wanted to save Nero or not.

    Bob
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Not a real person? Are you saying these historical documents are flawed?

    He was a threat. The whole movie shows he was a threat, even at that moment.
     
  16. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    nope,not at all, totally off base


    I'm against the death penalty, but the situation in STXI wasn't criminal justice it was battle. Also, Arguing that actual reasons are just "rationalizations" isn't an argument. Either Nero was escaping and WAS a threat, or he was dying and what Kirk did didn't matter.

    I'm not uncomfortable with the question at all-I don't even think it was a big dilemma.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    It doesn't change who won or lost, and I was very specific about why. All it changes is the natures of Kirk's victory and of Nero's defeat.

    Kirk.

    No.

    That's the victory that evidently you would have preferred. That's not the one they chose to put in the film.
     
  18. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    Does anyone here think that in STID Kirk should have just fired the torpedos at Khan on Kronos?

    To me it seemed like STID wastrying to rectify some of the mistakes of ST09, and I think that the morality aspect was one of them. Kirk wasn't going to just engage in an execution of Khan, but he was going to bring him to trial because he was able. And that felt good to me, despite all the Kirk-Khan punching.

    For ST09, I'm left wondering what purpose the scene with the discussion of what to do with Nero serves. Is it to show that new Spock has a bloodlust? Is it to show that Kirk is willing to entertain alternatives? Is it to show that Nero is an asshole? Is it to show that they even have time to entertain such decisions? I think it's primarily to make the audience feel good by toppling the bad guy they so easily built up. Everyone loves to see the bully get his comeuppance in a movie, and this is just playing to that trope.

    I just think that the way they handled the scene didn't work out. Kirk was realistically going to offer assistance when they could barely escape themselves? Why even offer such a thing if it's truly just a battle situation? That the alternative is even raised is why this is an issue. It implies there is actually time or ability to do something. If it had cut from the Jellyfish colliding to the Enterprise opening fire, I don't think I would have a had a problem with it.
     
  19. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Right. That's one of the major reasons against capital punishment -- the routine and institutionally sanctioned execution that's theoretically supposed to be applied equally on paper but is disastrously unequal in reality. Special circumstances are one thing, but if you have "special circumstances" twice a week, that's not special anymore.

    Which is all the more reason why it's significant when Kirk Prime does it. Over how many episodes and how many movies does he actually kill in passing judgement? Very rarely. He didn't even do that in STID (I think), and anyone that he did fight was out of self-defense.


    While I've come to think that ST09 is the stronger of the two, I don't think that scene in STID was meant to "correct" anything outside of it. There's a difference between correction and character development after all -- Kirk was eventually persuaded by his crew and Pike's memory to take the somewhat more legal route -- but both Nero and Khan had Kirk making a judgment call where he gave the choice to his opponent. One took him up on his offer, the other didn't. Not coincidentally, one is alive and the other isn't.

    But also, when Kirk offered his assistance to the Narada, at that point they didn't know that they were going to have trouble escaping; after they blast the Narada into the hole, Kirk commands Sulu to take them home, and Sulu treats it as a routine command. When the ship goes to warp but they find that they're stuck, THEN they find out that they can barely escape. So 20/20 hindsight might be clouding some analysis. EDIT: Also, even in the modern day, a battle can cease, with that ceasefire called by either side, in order to surrender. After all, this is the primary way that non-civilian military prisoners are apprehended. So why offer such help if it was a battle situation? Well, first off, there's historical precedence and tradition; and besides, if you've realized that you've beaten your foe enough, it's logical to cease further action unless provoked.

    Lastly, one vital thing I've learned on these boards: no matter who the captain is, there will always be a number of posters who disagree with that captain's decisions. I certainly have on a number of episodes. And that's totally fine, but what we see on screen is the decision that matters, and it's a decision that's obviously made for story reasons.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is the difference between TV and Movies. I doubt we would have Kirk passing judgement in such a manner every week. I think it sticks out more here because we only have four hours of material to analyze over the last five years.

    People would probably be far more scrutinizing of Kirk's actions in "Where No Man...", if they didn't have another seventy-eight episodes to compare the characters actions with.