What do we know about the years between ST5 and ST6?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Roboturner913, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always found this interesting. IIRC the events of Star Trek V occurred in 2287, with VI coming in 2293. A pretty significant gap.

    Do we have any idea of what the Enterprise's mission was like in those years? Did they do another 5-year type mission of exploration? Or were the ship's functions more ceremonial (ferrying of diplomats, etc). I would imagine a fair amount of Starfleet command still has issues with Kirk's insubordination, considering the end of ST6. Maybe that played a role in giving him a junker ship, maybe they were given all the crap missions too.

    Despite that, we're not really presented with the idea that the E-A is just a pale imitation of the original by ST6. Did the EA have a time to build its own legacy?

    You might conclude that there has been a military buildup in the intervening years given the differences in the ship. Obviously the bridge was much different and more militaristic-looking, and you have crewmen sleeping in bunk beds which suggests there were a lot of people on board. But then again the Excelsior is the most advanced ship they have and it's off on a survey mission forever far away from Starfleet.

    Just a lot of missing gaps and inconsistencies between the two movies. In the real world I would imagine that's more a function of the studio/writer/director having much different visions for each movie. Similar to the gap between TMP and Wrath of Khan, which I find pretty interesting as well.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Interesting topic. I've been flirting with the idea of setting a book in that period . . .
     
  3. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

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    Whatever happened, Sulu left and was given command of the Excelsior during 2289 at the latest.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    STVI makes it pretty clear the crew have been broken up for at least 3 years (McCoy didn't even know Sulu was a Captain - and the film opens with him returning from a 3-year mission!) and are reuniting for the peace mission.

    That still leaves a possible 3 years of TOS-style adventures after STV.
     
  5. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to think that relations between the Federation and the Klingons really went sour during that time, perhaps triggered by an event that caused even once moderates in Starfleet to have an extremely low opinion of Klingons.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Might be longer still - ST5:TFF seems to occur mere weeks after the ending of ST4:TVH, and ST2 through ST4 appear to only cover a few months of action. The earliest plausible date for the ST2-ST4 thing is 2284... Although we could argue that there was a year or more between the main body of ST4 and the final scene of ST4.

    Well, Starfleet might have dug up the ship (and Kirk!) from deep mothballs for this specific mission of insulting the Klingons with the Nixon-in-China thing.

    We don't know how many of our original heroes have been active with the new ship, but Spock seems sincere about wanting to pass his legacy to Valeris. He probably wouldn't be doing and saying all those things if he and Starfleet were only intermittently dusting off the starship and performing a milk run or two.

    Would this be any different from how things were previously? The camera never slummed in the quarters of mere crew; the lowest-ranking accommodations we visited were those of Ensign Garrovic in "Obsession".

    ..."Cataloging gaseous anomalies" right next to the Klingon Empire! Might be the most militaristic mission Starfleet has ever undertaken, perhaps comparable to Curtis LeMay's attempts at starting WWIII with massive "recce" flights into Soviet airspace in the fifties.

    The novelization of ST6 mentions major Klingon provocations in the preceding years, largely as an excuse for Kirk being so disgusted with them after the apparent detente of ST5. Whether such a thing would in any way differ from the average UFP/KE relations in the seven decades of hostility Spock speaks of, we don't know.

    The really interesting thing is how Romulans now have ambassadors all over the place, including in secret top level UFP military meetings. Did the UFP go for the apparent "enemy of my enemy" alliance because the Klingons became worse than ever before - or because the Romulans played it nice?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    more hints:

    - "this crew is due to stand down" - implies that they were all still on active service, or at the very least some kind of reserve status.

    - "all that equipment we have onboard to record gaseous anomalies" - why would they have this equipment on board if all the Enterprise did was sit around in spacedock only to be dusted off for the occasional milk run?

    - "a supply of Romulan ale on board" .... "one of the advantages of being a thousand light-years away from headquarters" - seems the Enterprise had been on a deep space mission relatively recently. Also if Romulan ale is so illegal then why have it sitting around in the ship if it's parked in Spacedock long-term?

    - on the other hand, Spock has been acting as the Federation envoy to the Klingons, Scott just bought a boat, and Uhura was supposed to be heading up a seminar.

    Lots of confusing information.
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Please do. I'd love to read it. In any case, I'd guess that the Enterprise still had its share of missions, though nothing approaching their original five-year mission during TOS. Sulu would have left by 2290 to command Excelsior. The rest of the crew would likely have stayed aboard during the intervening years, as they're all in their normal places by the time TUC rolls around.

    --Sran
     
  9. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Remember that the Romulans were considered the "good" bad guys of the TOS era. It's not too surprising that they'd be on better terms with the Federation than the Klingons, especially after the Genesis fiasco and the UFP's unwillingness to let the Klingons try Kirk for his alleged crimes against their government. How or why things changed after that (again with the Tomed Incident) is still a mystery as far as actual televised or filmed footage is concerned.

    --Sran
     
  10. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I think you're reading too much into McCoy's statement. He probably said that because it would seem only natural that if every other Enterprise crew member were summoned to a meeting that Sulu should be there, too. It's possible that Sulu may have collaborated with Kirk and the Enterprise on assignments after taking command of Excelsior. These assignments wouldn't necessarily interfere with his mission in the Beta Quadrant. Perhaps McCoy assumed his crew would be coming along for the ride because it happened before.

    --Sran
     
  11. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I get the impression that Starfleet used them more like galactic troubleshooters rather than have them on general duties. After then-Admiral Kirk's criminal acts, they'd keep him on a tight leash. It feels like it was only a PR stunt to keep him around, because after saving the Earth, they couldn't exactly lock him in a stockade. It certainly seems that by the events of TUC, they've been kicking around Earth for quite a while. Spock's been off negotiating with the Klingons, Scotty's all set to retire, Uhura's moving into academia... an early draft had Kirk reassembling his retired crew for one last mission, and that's a feeling that endures into the final film, even if it's not explicitly stated.

    The "gaseous anomaly" survey might be a red herring; all Uhura says is that they are carrying the equipment, not that they've necessarily used it of late. I like Timo's suggestion that it's a euphemistic cover story for the Excelsior's real mission. Sending their newest battlecruiser on a three-year survey mission seems an odd use of resources.

    TUC is a bit nebulous as to whether the ship is being decommissioned, or if it's Kirk and his senior staff who are stepping down from active shipboard service. The damage didn't seem to be too severe, so if it's a newish ship, maybe she's going to be patched up and renamed, as some think she was in the first place? I prefer the idea that the Enterprise-A was an old, refurbished ship, which happened to be surplus when Kirk and company needed a new vessel.

    On the other hand, maybe it's the whole Constitution line which is being scrapped, per the Khitomer Accords? Ditching a load of ageing, unwieldy battleships in favour of the newer Excelsior-class probably makes sense. We never see Constitutions after TUC, with the exception of the wrecked hull in the BoBW graveyard. Maybe they were mothballed, as the admiral in the briefing predicted?

    I'd love to read Greg's book to find out his take, should he ever write it!
     
  12. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    That was the original idea, that the crew in retirement had to get back together one last time, but it was changed for one reason or another to be that the crew were going to retire. Unfortunately, they didn't change some of the dialog they should have to reflect the change in the script (like McCoy wondering where Sulu is) so it made the whole thing confusing.
     
  13. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Which was in keeping with GR's dictate (probably in the ST Bible, certainly voiced more than a few times) that everybody serving aboard had their own stateroom. The bunkbed thing is pure Meyer, and to put up an in-universe explanation requires some major rethinks of Starfleet, like having resource shortages and perhaps changing overall thrust of agency.
     
  14. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Do it! I want to read it. Have it ready by September!:techman:
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    DC Comics covers the time period during their second Trek run. Peter David was the writer for the first nineteen issues, including "The Trial of James T. Kirk" in issues #10-12.
     
  16. arch101

    arch101 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Always thought the crew were back on standard exploration duty. But, I like some of the thoughts expressed above.
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    This. :techman:

    My pet theory, based on what we see on screen, has always been that following the Earth probe situation in STIV, Kirk and crew aren't exactly on the 'active duty' roster. On both occasions that we see the 1701-A, the crew are initially seen/said to be seperated from each other, and it's only a unique crisis situation which sees them all being recruited for a mission. I hold that this is pretty much it: the Excelsior was still undergoing tests in STIV and STV, hence why Sulu is still hanging out waiting for her to become available and is able to come back to 1701-A for the Nimbus II mission, and 1701-B is obviously on the drawing board as well. 1701-A is not an 'active ship' and incidents like the crisis at Nimbus III or the Khitomer accords see Kirk and crew being wheeled out, almost ceremonially, because they've got the peculiar skills needed for that one mission, and then afterwards they probably all go back into semi-retirement. Scotty talks about such in STVI, McCoy has no idea where Sulu is (and the others all act like they haven't seen each other in years), and Spock is away doing diplomatic stuff.

    I understand the need for fandom to fill in the gaps, but I've always thought maybe the 1701-A Enterprise had at best only a small handful of "special assignments" during that period, but was otherwise a ship that just didn't get out all that much.
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    McCoy also makes the claim of having been the ship's CMO for what, 26 years? Does that mean he was still considered to have had that role after he had resigned in the years between TOS and TMP? (I know, it is like the Meyer films don't even acknowledge TMP happened. They seem to think Kirk never saved Earth till TVH or somesuch. But even so.)

    I've always figured they had another couple 5 year missions between TMP and TWOK, with Kirk stepping down or forced down toward the end of that 3rd set of 5, and then it being back to biz as usual, perhaps an openended mission, after TVH & TFF. But the 'save them for special assignment' notion does have some credibility, I'll grant you.
     
  19. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This makes a ton of sense to me and is probably the most realistic picture of what went on, but there's just enough conflicting info to leave doubts.

    I guess that's why the 1701-A has always been interesting to me; that ship could have built its own legacy, or it could just be regarded as nothing more than a vanity and a big joke.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That the heroes are only "about" to retire doesn't mean they would have been spending their last active months or years in field assignments. For all we know, the ship has seen constant and demanding service, but under a variety of commanders, with Kirk being sent only when there was a special need to provocatively show off Starfleet's greatest hero.

    Various offhand remarks suggesting continuity need not be taken quite so literally. "The first Enterprise without Kirk in command" is a valid statement (by newspaper tagline standards anyway), without having to mean that nobody else but Kirk ever commanded starships named Enterprise. "Been starship CMO for 27 years" doesn't mean doing 27 times 365 times 24 hours of that work, only that McCoy first became a starship CMO 27 years ago. And so forth.

    There's definitely room for both the interpretations on the nature of the E-A, then. If she's kept running even when Kirk is off womanizing and Spock talks peace with Klingons, then she's unlikely to be a pariah ship. But it might still be a 23rd century fact that older ships are more expensive to operate, and best kept inactive until really needed.

    As for the bunk beds, there's nothing about them that would run contrary to what was actually seen in TOS. Roddenberry didn't really have all that much influence over his very own show in the end: the ship doesn't have an all-officer crew, for example. Really, most of Roddenberry's supposed dictations were probably done well after the fact, contradicting his own original thinking.

    Now, bunk beds for key officers who sleep in their service uniforms in VOY "Flashback" can be argued to be contrary to TOS. But they are also contrary to ST6:TUC (where only enlisteds had bunk beds, in which they slept in pajamas), and to common sense. Then again, that was just a dream sequence... Perhaps the most embarrassing thing a Vulcan can dream of is wearing full clothes when not appropriate?

    Timo Saloniemi