So just how old WAS Pike?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by feek61, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    Something about "The Menagerie" has always bothered me; and it is a line that Mendez say to Kirk as they are going to see Pike for the first time. The line after Kirk says he met Pike once; Mendez says "About your age, big, handsome man; vital, active". Then Spock says that he served with him for "11 years, 4 months, 5 days." Later on when we start seeing the images from Talos 4 Spock says that "this is 13 years ago."

    Ok, we know that Kirk is around 35 years old so if Pike was about the same age as Kirk then during the time of "The Cage" Pike was only about 22 years old? I think someone goofed unless of course I am missing something.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think Pike was about ten years older than Kirk. "About your age," was a very figurative remark by Mendez and not to be taken as literal.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Considering that Mendez speaks in clipped sentences, it seems likeliest that he meant Pike at timepoint X was the age Kirk is now. Remember how the exchange goes? Mendez asks if the two have met; Kirk says they met at Pike's promotion; and then Mendez launches into this line where he describes the man Pike was.

    It would make sense for Mendez to emphasize how alike Pike and Kirk are, despite their considerable age gap - both in terms of the plot of the episode (Mendez wants to tell Kirk what a loss Pike's injury is to him and Starfleet) and of the drama (the audience draws the obvious connection between the two skipper characters, separated by decades but subject to similar whims of fortune - they already care for Kirk, but now they have to start caring for Pike, too, and that's easy because Pike is Kirk).

    I can't for a moment think that the writer would literally have meant to say that Pike is the same age as Kirk. He was the same age once, though, and what we hear is a valid expression of that.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    "The Talosian flashbacks we are going to be seeing of him later in this episode took place back when he was 'about your age'."

    That's what Mendez was trying to say. Of course, Kirk, having met Pike, knows exacly how old Pike is. The line was meant for us, not for Kirk.
     
  5. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    No, I get that. I have always considered Pike during "The Cage" to be about Kirk's age. It was just a confusing way to introduce Pikes age IMO.
     
  6. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's how I always figured it, but it was a careless bit of writing that could have been clarified with a few more words. If Mendez had described Pike as "about your age when he took command of the Enterprise," we wouldn't be having this discussion. :)
     
  7. HarryM

    HarryM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, so he's about 45 in "Menagerie" if he was Kirks age when the events at Talos IV took place. FWIW, Jeffrey Hunter was about 38 when "The Cage" was shot.
     
  8. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I never accepted that James T. Kirk was in his early 30s at the beginning of TOS. I know there was that line in "The Deadly Years" when he insisted he was 34, but that seemed ridiculous to me. While I suppose it is not impossible for a naval officer to rise to the rank of Captain (equivalent of an army colonel) that fast, it still seemed a bit of a stretch, even for an over-achiever like Kirk.

    I always assumed Kirk to be in his 40s.

    This would suggest Pike to be in his 50s.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I'll stick to what the show says.
     
  10. golddragon71

    golddragon71 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Kirk has been recognized by many sources as the Youngest Captain in Starfleet and the apparent ages of the other captains we meet seems to bear this out. Decker, Tracey, Merrick, etc... are all in their mid 40's-Early 50's. Kirk seems to be the only Constitution Class Starship Captain to be lacking any grey in his hair
     
  11. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    "Must...restrain...self! Making hair-related joke would be too easy! Like...shooting...fish...in...barrel! Must...hold...back!"
     
  12. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I saw TOS Kirk as about 30, Pike around 38/42.
     
  13. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe Mendez meant that Pike was about Kirk's age—mentally. Both in their teens. They both like to rassle with green women, female crew members...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Although surprisingly, these sources do not include onscreen Star Trek itself. The only reference to a "youngest Captain" or perhaps "youngest captain" establishes that by 2364, the record is set at 25 years. Plenty of margin for somebody from the 22nd or early 23rd century to have outdone Jim Kirk.

    Since Pike wore less glitter on his sleeves than Kirk did during the respective early adventures of the characters, we might argue he was a bit younger in "The Cage" than Kirk was in "Where No Man".

    Or then simply less driven or otherwise slower to climb the rank ladder. We have no real idea when Pike made Captain, and whether he already held that rank in "The Cage" or merely served in the position of captain.

    Basically, Pike is a blank slate, and every theory about him can be assumed to be more or less correct. Even Greenwood's take on the character offers virtually nothing new, except perhaps slightly more grey to favor the upper end of age estimates.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see about your age as meaning Kirk in his mid thirties and Pike at around fifty are both middle aged.
     
  16. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We'll never know: Kirk is not a naval officer.
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But he is a commissioned officer in an armed services organization with the exact same rank structure as the 1960's US Navy. Kirk is the equivalent of a O-6.

    While the terminology might be different, Kirk is a "naval" officer.
     
  18. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You got it the wrong way around: the terminology is the same, everything else is different. Starfleet is not the U.S. Navy. It has some similarities, but you can't infer anything about Starfleet by refering to the U.S. Navy: they don't have the same origin, they're not active in the same century, they don't have the same objective, they don't use the same kind of equipment.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    For all appearances, they do have the very same origin: the United States Navy, which for some reason becomes the United Earth Starfleet and then the UFP Starfleet, merely adding on various details along the centuries...

    But there are known differences that are very relevant to the matter at hand. The length of academic studies required for attaining officer commission is flexible in Starfleet, including at least three-, four- and five-year study structures. The (human) entry age to the Academy varies as well, at least between fifteen for Wes Crusher and twenty-two for nuKirk, although there are also many gray-haired Ensigns in evidence, and some combination of the above two ambiguities allows nuChekov to have attained Ensign commission by the age of seventeen.

    Whatever we don't know about Starfleet is secondary to these things. And especially to the explicit fact that Starfleet gives captaincies ("Conspiracy") and promotions to Captain rank (STXI) to 25-year-olds.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    Ok, so this brings up the question; just how old was Mendez? The Actor at the time was only 38 so if you are saying Pike was around fifty how old was Mendez suppose to be. It's kind of weird to say something like "About your age" when the guy he is talking about is as old or older than he is. Is Mendez suppose to be 55 or 60 years old? I just think it is a bad line of dialog personally. Logically Pike should be at least in his mid-40's by that time and I imagine that Mendez was around 50 years old.