Twelve Reasons I Love Star Trek Into Darkness

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by BillJ, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Lol. This is one issue I'm of two minds on. On the one hand, yes, Kirk could've used his position and pulled rank and say "Hey, you two, if you don't knock it off, I'm gonna turn the ship around!" :)

    But, OTOH, Kirk and Uhura basically came up through their classes together as classmates (if not, at first, as friends)...so their relationship, rank notwithstanding, is fairly informal. This is another thing I like about the Abrams Treks in that, even though I'm inclined to believe that Starfleet IS a military organization, the JJ films often avoid the military trappings on the Enterprise, especially since some of Kirk's crew are former fellow classmates and peers. Kirk and Uhura, in their more private moments, can speak more as friends, rather than CO and subordinate. (a dynamic that exists often in the real-world military). (witness the turbolift scene where Uhura let's Kirk know "it's not you." for an example.). Later, in the K'normian transport, when they are about to enter Ketha Province on Q'onoS, the "friends" relationship is a bit more prevalent rather than the Captain and crew dynamic. I thought it rather charming.

    I also liked the brief dynamic between Kirk and Mr. Hendorf (aka Cupcake). You can see the sort of Captain/subordinate dynamic between them (even though they both are/were also classmates), but it is not a grudging distinction from Hendorf...rather it comes across as a matter of heartfelt respect. Kirk got them through the Nero/Narada incident, and Kirk has a solid grip on the situation to try and avoid war with the Klingons, from Hendorf's POV. Something tells me that Hendorf would ferociously defend the life of his Captain not just as a matter of duty, but a matter of friendship.

    Personal opinions only.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    You're right. But then there's the flip side of the coin where people complain that they jumped right to the fighting on Kronos. That we didn't see them going there.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't. :lol:
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Never seen him bullshit with other members of the crew about a Chess match on the way to the bridge to answer a potential distress call. No sir. Never happened.
     
  4. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    NX01 Bridge
    Kirk never allowed a lovers spat to interfere with the mission.

    ...and the fact that Spock even acknowledged her selfish whining speaks to just how much the writers don't understand the character that is Spock.
     
  5. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Land of Illusion
    He often allowed spats between McCoy and Spock to go on before, during and after the mission.
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    Never seen his crew simply ignore him when tried to set the priorities of a mission or task, more like. Because that wasn't something he would put up with.
     
  7. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Much earlier in his career. Still learning as he goes. (Why do people never seem to remember this?)
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    I was kind of leaving that aside to avoid opening the whole "why is he in the Captain's chair at all?" can of worms.
     
  9. The Baby Stig

    The Baby Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Behind the wheel.
    The dynamic between Kirk and his officers is unquestionably different in the two Abrams films than it was before. Personally, this change works when viewed through the different set of events and experiences that brought them all together aboard the Enterprise.

    TOS Kirk would have probably put a stop to the Spock-Uhura fight but, then again, he also wouldn't have discussed Spock with Uhura earlier in the film. The relationships are different in many ways than they were before.

    In TOS, only Bones and (sometimes) Spock had the personal relationship with Kirk to call him out when it was required. Now, many of the senior officers share that relationship: Spock, Uhura, Scotty and (still) Bones.
     
  10. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    False equivalency. He's less experienced than in non-Abrams iterations. Full stop. And less experienced means A) not as good as at his peak and B) cannot be held to the same standards as at his peak. Why he's captain at all is immaterial to the point.
     
  11. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    I agree. Actually, most elements of most of the relationships make sense in context.

    I don't know where "equivalency" comes into it. He's less experienced, and logically, less experienced officers learn their trade at lower ranks before they're given heavier responsibilities. That's what ranks and chains of command are all about. Bringing up how his inexperience supposedly explains this or that will inevitably raise the question of why he's in command; sorry if that upsets or frustrates you, but it's a pretty natural and normal question to ask.

    (I mean, obviously the meta-reason he's in command is because He's Jim Kirk And You're Not. But one reason we see Jim Kirk in the Captain's chair in his mid-to-late thirties in TOS is to help make him believable as someone who's developed the experience to be there, someone who the stories can sell as a confident and respected leader. He isn't there because of brute Marty Stu-ism.)
     
  12. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    It doesn't matter why or how he got there for the purpose of this specific point. The ONLY point I raised is that we cannot hold Pine/Kirk to the same standards as TOS/Kirk because he is less experienced as a captain. Too many complaints about Pine/Kirk are made as though he should be just as excellent a captain as TOS/Kirk--including this issue of coping with "the argument". It's a crap complaint because it rests on an impossible standard. The entire reason we're seeing Pine/Kirk at an earlier stage, with flaws honed away by experience for TOS/Kirk, is to show that it took some doing to get from one to the other (leaving aside their rather different life experiences in each timeline). I'd expect TOS/Kirk to react differently than Pine/Kirk in the same situation. That's the whole freakin' point!
     
  13. The Baby Stig

    The Baby Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Behind the wheel.
    Kirk appears to be in command in large part due to Pike's influence in the fleet. Pike has decided (for whatever reason) that he believes in Kirk and has, as a result, persuaded the upper ranks to allow Kirk to continue on as captain. This is, frankly, ridiculous and totally not in keeping with military customs and traditions. It is in this way that Abrams Trek most closely resembles the Trek of yesteryear. :cool:

    Abrams Trek is full of little narrative shortcuts like this one that I don't really agree with but they don't stick in my craw long enough to ruin the experience. For example:

    All it would have taken would be a throwaway line and a brief change of scenery to move Trek '09 from the Academy to, say, five years into Kirk's career and many of the problems people have with his ascension to the captaincy would be rendered moot. Similarly, removing Scotty's "I've been gone one bloody day" line from STiD would fix the ridiculously compressed timeline of that film and leave it much more satisfyingly ambiguous.
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    Zing! :D

    It's not an "impossible" anything, it's just the consequence of an artistic choice. Having a younger, more inexperienced and more vulnerable Kirk makes him a widely likeable and relatable character (arguably better-adapted to today's media environment than some swaggering icon of Sixties masculinity). But it also means trade-offs in terms of how compelling the character is as a leader and how believable he is in the Captain's chair.
     
  15. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    None of which changes a single thing about the impossibility of holding Pine/Kirk to the standard of TOS/Kirk. I have been in my field of work for nearly 25 years. It would be grossly unfair to assess my abilities in my second year in the profession and expect me to have met the same standards of performance I could achieve in my tenth or fifteen year. To do so with my younger self would be holding that self to an impossible standard of performance. It really is no more complicated than that.

    This does not mean one cannot criticize either Pine/Kirk's performance as captain, or mine in my own field. Nor was I stating, explicitly or implicitly, otherwise. My point was, and remains, very specific and correct. To argue TOS Kirk would not have (insert complaint of your choice about tolerating types of behaviour, choosing to do or not do something in the face of specific conditions...) whatever Pine/Kirk would is to hold Pine/Kirk to an impossible standard and, therefore, wrong. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a fact.
     
  16. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    On the Grand Tour
    I just don't understand the age and experience issue. Napoleon had distinguished himself and had influential allies in the right places so that by the time he was only 27, he was named commander of the Army of the Interior in France, then given the head of the Arm of Italy, which is what he had always wanted. He got it through political allies in the Directory, which had overthrown the old government. So someone was pulling strings for the young guy. In 1799, he overthrew the Directory, and soon made himself First Counsel. He was only 30. By 35, he was Emperor of France.

    Of all people, Jefferson Davis was a backer of the young George McClellan, noting his accomplishments, including a dangerous reconnaissance mission Davis himself sent him on. By the time he was 29 in 1855, McClellan was a captain. A year later, he wrote a cavalry manual that was adopted by the U.S. Cavalry. By 35, he led the entire Union Army.

    Are we saying you can't sell a script to Hollywood where a 30 year-old leads a coup and becomes the leader of France? In the case of McClellan, are we saying a brilliant person can't be recognized for outstanding accomplishments and advanced quickly through the military?

    There are skyrockets. They are exceptional in every meaning of the word. Their quick advance is almost beyond explanation. Why in the world can't the great Jim Kirk be one of them?
     
  17. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    For that matter take a closer analogue: the American navy, whose youngest-ever Captain was Stephen Decatur in his mid-twenties. It's not at all "impossible" to conceive of a character arc that really sells that kind of meteoric rise and shows a young man as an extraordinary, genuinely convincing and out-of-the-ordinary leader of men.

    NuKirk's arc isn't it (they had other priorities for his character) but it's not impossible.

    Actually, it was always perfectly possible to write Kirk differently, so this fails. (It is of course "factually" true that TOS Kirk and NuKirk are different characters that have been formed by different experiences. That doesn't change the fact that one of them is believable as a leader of men and the other isn't. If you want to argue that it's "impossible" for NuKirk to have been written as a believable leader of men, that's your row to hoe, I'm not buying that.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  18. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral


    I agree with everything you've put here and I have no problem with Kirk "getting the chair" faster than a more conventional path would take him.

    The only thing about the "age and experience thing" that bugs me is not in the movies themselves, but rather in the complaints that explicitly or implicitly argue something like "TOS Kirk would never tolerate that kind of behaviour" or "TOS Kirk would never do something that reckless or immature or...)". Such complaints miss the entire point of showing us a Kirk that is less mature and experienced.
     
  19. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    You're still missing the point. I'm not talking about a "differently written NuKirk". I'm talking about the one we actually get. And the one we get onscreen can certainly be criticized. But he CANNOT be expected to show the same degree of maturity, experience and overall competence that TOS Kirk, a decade older and more experienced (as well as having different life experiences), shows. No more than a 14 year old Wayne Gretzky could be expected to be as accomplished as a 24 year old Wayne Gretzky. Or a 21 year old Abraham Lincoln compared to one in his mid-forties.

    So if someone is going to say that NuKirk should be criticized for not nipping the Spock/Uhura "argument" in the bud because someone with real leadership skills would have done so--fine. However, to argue TOS Kirk would have nipped that argument in the bud is not a fair criticism. A) He benefits from a decade of experience and maturity the other simply cannot have and B) if the suggestion is that TOS Kirk, at NuKirk's age, would have nipped it in the bud, there is no way to know that and so that too becomes an unfair criticism.
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    TOS Kirk is the most obvious alternative to compare him to, so I guess I don't really care whether that's "fair"? To whatever extent that even means anything given the many different ways NuKirk could have been delivered?