Why did Picard Violate the Prime Directive in Nemesis??

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by The Overlord, May 20, 2014.

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Again, I know all that. That wasn't my point. My point was that he should have just dispensed with the silly revenge plan and focused on his own mortality first. But by not asking for Picard directly, he was taking a huge risk that Janeway would sent anyone else other than Picard. Then worrying about revealing his weakness would have been pointless.

    And that's where he screwed up, because it turned out that it should have been his highest priority since he started dying during his silly revenge plan.

    Then it's a good thing that you'd most likely die before your plan came to fruition, if Shinzon was any indication ;)

    Or the more likely scenario, as I keep explaining, was that Shinzon was just a dumb kid who wasn't thinking at all rationally.

    But that's just speculation on your part. Nobody in the movie said, "you should probably stop getting so angry, Shinzon, or it might hasten your death." The vein-popping seemed to be the effects of the accelerated aging process, not because he was getting angry.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, sure, you could say the same about many fictional villains -- and real ones, for that matter. People often doom themselves by being unable to see past their hangups and obsessions.

    And really, most stories aren't about a clash of plans, they're about a clash of personalities. The heroes triumph by not having the same character flaws and personal failings as the villains. Particularly in this case, where the villain was a clone of the hero, the same nature shaped by a very different nurture. And so the core contrast in the film was between Picard's enlightened approach to self-improvement and Shinzon's wallowing in bitterness and resentment.
     
  3. trekshark

    trekshark Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    thanks. guess I totally forgot about that scene
    guess the Soongs didn't care where they ended up though after shutting them down
     
  4. NeroShrimp

    NeroShrimp Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well, I understand that Geordi didn't recommend using the transporters due to the ion storm, but come on...the way Picard really disrupted the land on Kolarus III was just a mess. It really had to do with the poor writing and lack of understanding on Baird's part. I don't understand why they just couldn't get Frakes to direct the film again. I heard he was willing to direct another one. I mean, Frakes understands Trek and it would have been fitting to see him direct the film. Oh, well...
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Umm, not.

    Shinzon breaks out of an inescapable prison, overthrows the Romulan government, and launches a complex plan that e.g. involves destroying Earth. And you are essentially saying that this happened on a whim, rather than as the result of lifelong planning and thinking involving rational associates?

    The rebellion must have been an element in a vast master plan (which admittedly may have contained idiotic elements, like vast master plans in the real world often do, but cannot have been completely idiotic as it did achieve great success), and it would be unthinkable for Shinzon or his backers and planners not to take into account the timetable of Shinzon's approaching death there. The "stupid kid" scenario would still assume that pure chance brought Shinzon's death and the rebellion together in temporal terms, and the odds are too low for that.

    ...Or that Shinzon deliberately chose to act when there would be insufficient time to complete the job, and nevertheless further deliberately wasted time for not just one frivolous activity, but at least three. That's not plausible stupidity - and it's not something the movie would require us to believe in.

    Everything here is speculation anyway - but the vein-popping is always associated with Shinzon becoming angry with setbacks or displays of dissent.

    There may be additional gradual worsening of his condition, as when his Romulan associates start a worried discussion about it behind his back (they didn't yet witness scenes of vein-popping rage AFAWK, although they certainly contributed to Shinzon's feelings of failure and dissent). But that doesn't countermand the idea that Shinzon's woes deepen at an accelerating pace - and that the acceleration is directly tied either to his actions or to his failure to control himself, factors he would have been blind to when planning his timetable.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I've always assumed that Shinzon simply had a plan to a point -- that point being overthrowing his Romulan captors and using his newfound power to lure Picard to Romulus to ask for his help in the medical problem -- but after being in a position to meet the man and talk with him over dinner, Shinzon's inner phychoses are unsatisfied and he began instead to resent his 'mirror image'. Hence why his motivation changes abruptly halfway through the movie, from "get Picard to Romulus on some pretext so I can get a sample of his blood" to "Let's destroy Picard and everything that he stands for".
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Interesting thought, but I think that Shinzon's obsessions and resentments were too deeply rooted in his upbringing. I mean, he was literally created to be a copy of Picard, but then was cast aside as irrelevant while Picard went on to greatness. (Well, further greatness. Sometimes people ask what would've been so special about Picard at that point in his career that he was seen as worth cloning, but they forget that he was already an accomplished captain who'd commanded the Stargazer for a couple of decades. Getting the Enterprise wasn't the start of his career, it was a reward for the great career success he'd already had.)

    I think that Shinzon needed to get Picard to Romulus not only for his blood, but because he needed to look Picard in the eye before destroying him, needed him to know who had bested him and why. It was too intensely personal a resentment to fulfill from a distance.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    A key issue here is Shinzon's possession of a thalaron-armed ship. Supposedly such things are difficult to come by, so how did he get one?

    Shinzon first overthrowing his Romulan guards and then spending several years in secrecy building the ship on Remus is a fairly ridiculous idea - the rebellion would be discovered much sooner than the ship could be finished. But Shinzon couldn't build a ship for his own use when Romulans not allied with him were still guarding him; the Scimitar is not a makeshift boat being cobbled together from raincoats at the Alcatraz attic.

    So either his Romulan allies were already building a thalaron ship on a Reman slave yard under some pretense but with the ultimate intention of giving it to Shinzon for use in a coup (a great way to blackmail the rest of Romulus to submission), or then they arranged for Shinzon to capture a Romulan ship being built (perhaps by Shinzon and his closest friends, although supposedly they were warrior slaves with privileges rather than builder slaves) on a Reman slave yard for purely Romulan purposes, with the apparent intent of letting Shinzon fulfill said purposes in addition to doing the dirty work involved in the coup.

    (Or with the intent of letting Shinzon get blood in his hands with the coup, after which he would be eliminated and the ship put to its intended purpose. But since the Romulans never manage to eliminate Shinzon, this is a bit unlikely - what happened to the putative dead man's switch?)

    In either case, Romulans wanted to rain thalaron dust on some world, and it can't have been Romulus. So the "Shinzon has a change of heart" model has to accommodate the idea that an enemy world was always going to be destroyed with the ship in Shinzon's possession.

    Now, the Romulan allies of Shinzon squabble over two things: "Why isn't Shinzon attacking our enemies already, as agreed upon?" and "Should we really let him destroy Earth?". This makes it difficult to decide whether things proceeded as planned until Shinzon was stopped by Picard - or only until Shinzon decided to destroy Earth...

    But what other world could have been the intended Romulan target? Letting a "rogue" Reman slaughter the Earthlings with thalaron would be a great maneuver for Romulans who had just been victimized by the horrid weapon themselves! :devil:

    Also, Picard could have been but one out of dozens or hundreds of Starfleet personnel cloned. His clone would uniquely survive the termination of the cloning program, but that would be the only unique thing about him.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Meh. His plan was mostly successful because of the help of both his Reman allies and the Romulan renegades, who did all the work for him. All he did was hide B4's parts on Kolarus. Once the coup happened, Shinzon just putzed around.

    Honestly, both the Romulan renegades and the Remans would have been better off and would have carried out a mostly successful plan without Shinzon. All he really did was screw things up for both of them with his self-centeredness.

    The Romulan renegades did not know that Shinzon was dying. And the only Reman who probably did, the Viceroy, was keeping mum, because a) he was completely loyal to Shinzon, and b) he probably didn't think Shinzon would be wasting time once the plan was set in motion. He is clearly uncomfortable with Shinzon's antics throughout the entire time.

    No, I'm pretty sure that Shinzon wasn't deliberately wasting time. He's not the military genius you're making him out to be here.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And Picard's plans succeed because of help from his crew, who do the work for him. That's how command works. You come up with the ideas and convince other people to carry them out for you. It was Shinzon's charisma and leadership that rallied the Remans and Romulans behind him, that let him fool them into thinking he wanted to serve their interests. It couldn't have been easy to convince both the oppressed Remans and the revanchist faction in the Romulan military that he supported their respective goals, especially given that he was genetically human. That would take one hell of a strong personality with a knack for persuading people to follow his lead.

    Remember, the whole idea is that Shinzon is Jean-Luc Picard. Genetically, they're the same person; the nature is the same, but the nurture was profoundly different. Shinzon is who Picard could've been if he'd been raised in hellish conditions, fired by anger and hate rather than curiosity and idealism. He has the same intelligence, drive, and natural leadership skills, but directed to much worse ends.


    Exactly. It was his strength of personality that convinced them he was on their side when he was really using them. Command is about persuading people to follow you willingly. Corrupt Picard's ability to command, twist it to selfish and destructive ends, and you get Shinzon.
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember when I got the DVD of Nemesis and watched the film again (with the foresight of already having seen it in the theater, and a few months to absorb what I saw), and when Shinzon says the line, "Everything I've done has been for them [the Remans]," I laughed out loud, since it was such a blatantly false statement.:lol:
     
  12. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Shinzon's motivations were arbitrary, idiotic and implausible.
     
  13. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I disagree. As discussions in this thread have already demonstrably proved, Shinzon's motivations are in fact explainable and are certainly plausible... it just requires a bit of mental gymnastics to fit all the pieces together. What we're given on-screen seems contradictory, but it really isn't.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same thing happened in "Masterminds."

    Patrick Stewart has a thing for dune buggies.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. It could just as well be that the Romulan military conspirators wanted a coup, checked the Reman records for some random prisoner or slave who would make for a good Spartacus, and told him to become a great leader. Since they also arranged his escape and the success in the coup, he would certainly have started to believe in his "abilities" even if he had none...

    Shinzon was the leader of a Reman military force of unknown size, and that one was probably loyal enough to him and would fly the starship for him. But nobody else need have "rallied behind him" in order for the movie events to take place.

    The truth IMHO would be somewhere in the middle: Shinzon would be picked by the Romulans for his military abilities and fame among Remans, and they'd take him for a puppet, while he himself would actually have ambitions and plans and ways to outsmart his handlers - but both sides would be much less in control than they thought.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    No. Nothing of the kind has been "proved."

    "Mental gymnastics" are required because his motivations are arbitrary, idiotic and implausible.

    Yes.
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    That's the nature of "discussion". :p You know, any of us can just sit on our ass and say 'Shinzon is shit because Shinzon is shit', and the evidence on-screen will back us up (because, well, Shinzon is shit :D). But that's not exactly in the spirit of discussion, the spirit of sharing ideas. We must have the ability to put aside the fact that Shinzon is a weak excuse for a villain (we can take that for granted!), and instead ask for ways in which his inherent shit-ness can be explained. Because the movie itself sure doesn't. ;)
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think Shinzon is an excellent villain, because the quality of a fictional villain isn't just about whether his plan makes sense, but whether he has an interesting character and relationship with the hero. The relationship between Picard and Shinzon intrigues me, because it's both a rumination on nature vs. nurture -- who would you be if you'd led a very different life, and is your nature predetermined or under your control? -- and essentially a father-son conflict, with Picard as the father trying to guide the son he never knew onto the right path and Shinzon as the bitter young prodigal who despises living under the shadow of his father's great achievements. Shinzon had a strong personal relationship with Picard, which makes him more interesting to me than most Trek movie villains.

    Besides, really, was Khan's plan in TWOK any better? Steal Genesis, kill (or strand) Kirk, and then what? We never got any sense of what he intended to do afterward. And he was making all sorts of rookie mistakes like thinking 2-dimensionally and not catching on to the obvious "hours could seem like days" code. He was driven by irrational resentment and shortsighted rage even more than Shinzon was.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know that that's true, since Shinzon had never actually MET Picard before putting in motion his plan to kill him and drink his blood.

    Of course, I'm one of those guys who saw the bald guy and saw the look on Picard's face and immediately thought "Holy shit, the Romulans kidnapped Rene!" I was deeply disapointed when it turned out to be a stupid clone (the Romulan plan of cloning Picard makes even less sense than Shinzon's scheme, IMO).
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Had the original Romulan plan proceeded as planned, Shinzon would certainly have studied his "father" very closely indeed!

    I doubt he had time for any of that before being dumped on Remus, though; any opportunity for that on (in!) Remus; and again time for that after taking control of Romulus. But that doesn't preclude him forming a very tight if one-sided relationship with daddy.

    Timo Saloniemi