The Captain's Rank: Less Important as Time Passes?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Clark Terrell, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. urbandefault

    urbandefault Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think it's reasonable to assume that Starfleet required constant updates on the status of the Genesis survey. But having said that, Esteban struck me as one of those "politician" type officers, and would probably have been on fast track to the admiralty.
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Of course given that by the time of the Grissom expedition to survey the Genesis Planet, it had become somewhat of a controversey. So Esteban might have been under orders to check with HQ before doing anything which could have the potential to make the contrvoersey any worse than it already was.
     
  3. Levi

    Levi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    With all the compairison with how many times Kirk and Picard contacted StarFleet for orders, brings up a point to mind.
    Wasn't Kirk supposed to be a rebel type? And Picard was a lot more, strict, or, by the books?
    I would think for these reasons alone the amount of times they each had contacted Command for orders would be greatly affected by this.
    Kirk was reprimanded plenty of times for things like disobeying orders was he not?
    And Picard was considered to be one of my most distinguished Captains in StarFleet?
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That came after TOS, starting with TWOK. During the actual series, Kirk was frequently toting the company line. He knew Starfleet regulations like the back of his hand and knew how far he could go with them.
    That was a retcon in later Trek productions, playing up a post-TWOK idea of Kirk as suddenly Starfleet's bad boy, when he was more a rule-follower than rule-breaker in the series. Sure, Kirk made judgment calls at times, but so did other captains.

    NuKirk, on the other hand, well...
     
  5. Levi

    Levi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Makes sense. I haven't seen the whole TOS yet. Just started so I'm sure I will see myself.
     
  6. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree. One would argue that you would have to know the rules in order to break them, something Spock did in TUC.

    I'm reminded of the various administrative higher-ups and VIPs with whom Kirk clashed over the years in TOS, but he had good reason to (ie, they had their own agenda, were more concerned about the trees than the forest, etc. etc.) rather than just for the sake of disregarding authority like a stereotypical rebel would.

    In stark contrast, it seemed like Picard was a personal friend of every other admiral or captain in Starfleet, for some reason. There was always some kind of story about how he and said-person went way back. He had plenty of his own initiative, but if he stuck to the book, I honestly believe it was because he had engrained Starfleet's values (and thus the reason for many of those regulations) in him to the core.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    But the backstory to Picard was that he had been a Captain for some time having previously commanded the Stargazer. So plenty of time to get to know other Captain's and Admiral's. Whilst in the case of Kirk it was more of his first command, but he was still knew several Captain's and Admirals.
     
  8. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure, but the Federation is supposed to be big and wide, with Starfleet covering all that space. Picard's camaraderie and common personal friendships with captains and admirals isn't something that's hinted as normal with other main captains, save for Archer, and that's because Starfleet just started. IIRC, there was only one episode in which he met other captains but only for the first time (Conspiracy). And while there's a difference between knowing someone by reputation, Picard seemed to know every other captain on a first name basis and on amiable terms of familiarity.

    For Picard, I feel like he could be at the edge of the quadrant or staring down the the Neutral Zone, and he'll come across a captain from his academy days or with shared hobbies or such, as if the same clique of friends was not only quite large, but spread out across the galaxy and became captains and admirals as well. "Donald! Robert! Walter! J.P.!" I get that it was to make Picard initially less stiff and cold, but it happened fairly often despite boldly going where no one has gone before (his friends got there first).*

    *Of course, I'm speaking figuratively, but you get the gist.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  9. Clark Terrell

    Clark Terrell Lieutenant Commander

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    Even in an organization as big as Starfleet, it's not surprising that Picard would bump into people he knew while on missions. As several of his friends appeared to be successful captains in their own right, it's possible they were assigned similar deep-space missions and could have encountered him that way. In the case of Walker Keel, the former deliberately sought him out.

    Starfleet was smaller in Kirk's time, but that didn't mean Kirk knew every officer of command rank. Terrell said he'd never met Kirk when questioned by Khan (though they eventually did meet) despite having several of Kirk's former officers on board his ship. Non-canon sources indicate Terrell and Kirk were in the same class at the Academy, but without knowing how big each class is, there's no way to know if it's reasonable that they didn't meet. OTOH, maybe they had and one or both forgot about it.
     
  10. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not saying it shouldn't happen, I'm saying it happened a lot, especially in a show set in deep space with gulfs of light years between ships in all directions. And Picard knowing someone by reputation is much different than Picard knowing sineibe because they partied together or dormed together or served together or trained together or knew Jack Crusher together.
     
  11. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think the Captain's rank was more important during Kirk era. It's rather that command positions (not only being a Starship captain) implied more discretionary powers because ships and stations were more isolated. As we can see in Court Martial, the a posteriori monitoring was really a posteriori because starship commanders had to bring the records themselves to superrior officers.
     
  12. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not that it matters much to the discussion, but could Kirk's perceived lack of cooperation and intimate relationships be due to his young age? If he was far ahead of his peers at the Academy, many of them would still be first officers and lower ranked officers. Therefore, "Command" would be made up of older officers and people who watched the young Kirk tear his way through the Academy.

    Picard on the other hand, had been in command sometime when we finally catch up to him on the Enterprise, and often passed on promotions that would have placed in him in Starfleet Command. So his peers were men, women, and beings that now were his "superiors" but who had a familiar relationship.

    I guess my point is that it is easier to call your friend for advice, even if he is your superior - than to call your Dad's friend for advice.
     

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