A Private Little War

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Vulture, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Given how many goodies get packed in the version we get, I'd expect any "worse consequences" version to be longer in the plot, thus having to ditch some of those goodies...

    But I could also see such a version getting cropped to omit explicit consequences. It's just that no part of the adventure we get feels much like filler, thankfully enough.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

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    I seem to recall that Kirk's argument on the problem was that providing overwhelming weaponry to one side would create a massacre, but by creating a stalemate, it would prolong the war, but it would preserve Both sides.

    I don't remember: Did we ever find out why the Klingons wanted the planet?
     
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  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't recall that it's explicitly stated, but I took at as implied by McCoy's dialog from the teaser [http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/45.htm]:

    "Hey, Starfleet was right. These roots and soil cultures can be a medical treasure house."​

    And, of course, we witnessed their potency later on.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Back in the day, there were rumors that TNG's "Too Short A Season" was to be a sequel to this episode, with Admiral Kirk returning to Neural to face the blowback from his actions.

    I wonder if that ever had a chance of actually making it to air.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or how they expected to get it? It doesn't seem as if it would matter one way or another whether the hill people or the village people controlled the planet (the village, really!). Klingons could simply take what they wanted - or then not, if the Feds saw them doing it and cried foul, and again it wouldn't matter whether the hill people or the village people were the ones from whom the Klingons took.

    That is, either there are rules to the game (as dictated in the Organian Peace Treaty, perhaps), and those then get enforced (either by the Organians, although nothing about "Errand of Mercy" suggests they would have the slightest interest in doing so, or then by the Feds themselves) - or then there are no rules, and the strongest side wins. Either way, Klingons would have to resort to smuggling their gains out lest they be caught. In which case why bother playing silly games with the natives?

    Let's say it's the plants. Perhaps the Klingons need the cooperation of a local Medicine Woman to identify the right ones, but that's over and done with after a single walk in the forest or a single session in the torture chamber. Klingons can then stop talking to the natives, except from the barrels of their disruptors. Same with minerals. If the locals sit on those, killing them all is prudent and simple. Local labor, even if perhaps useful in the gathering of rare plants, only hinders proper modern mining. But if any of that is against the rules, the Klingons are screwed, and Organian or Federation retribution will be raining on them.

    What scenario allows the Klingons to capitalize on the victory of the hill people?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Movie era Shatner back in the role, de-aged to tackle the crisis? I would have been all over it. His death at the end would have been better than what we got in 1994.

    But at this stage, I feel like that, other than a brief mention or two, they wanted to stay far away from the original series as they found their own way.
     
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  7. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

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    It's easier to control and rule urban areas than it is rural ones.

    As for Medical Technology, it didn't seem like the TOS Klingons were interested in it.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why control and rule, though? ...Is the question I ask with "Errand of Mercy" as well, since the illusion of Organia doesn't seem to offer anything of value to the modern conqueror. Does the Empire just want to provide entertaining targets for the troops to practice their kicks and disruptor draws with?

    If controlling a planet is all about controlling its people, the Klingons would probably better enjoy rebellious guerillas than meek subdued villagers anyway.

    Then again, if it's all about the pleasure of the kick, perhaps the hind end to be kicked here is the Federation's, and the whole operation is all about violating everything the Federation claims it believes in?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

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    There's no way he dies at the end, he survives de-aged to have more adventures in the 24th century.
     
  10. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

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    If I recall correctly, Organia's value was it's strategic location:
    A Class M Planet "On the natural invasion route."
     
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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So why stop a good invasion on its tracks? To let the troops enjoy the local taverns after a strenous fifteen minutes of Blitzkrieg before they move on? To build repair yards for starships so that they could be quickly returned to the fight, only having to wait for the couple of months it took to set up said yards on an empty non-industrialized world? To stockpile munitions so that they wouldn't reach the battlefronts too quickly?

    If the war was all about taking Organia and then stopping because the Empire couldn't afford to move any further for the next fifty years, fine. But instead it seemed that Organia was a surprising first step in a campaign that was moving fast towards bigger gains, too fast for Starfleet to properly respond. Had such a campaign succeeded, Organia would have been left deep within the newly gained territory, becoming strategically useless as there would be proper former frontier planets with proper dockyards and industries and whatnot just a few backward hops away, at the former border.

    As Kirk should have asked, "What does a starship armada need with a planet?"...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

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  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Those ships stopped every two days to refuel and replenish, though. A starship might slow down after five years.

    Organia had nothing on its surface but mud huts (and, suddenly, a castle popped up when one was needed). A lot like the Pacific islands, then. But in the Trek scenario, importing a forward operating base would take more time than concluding the war! Indeed, island-hopping stretched what might have been a two-month war into one years long, as worthless islands were conquered even though the US could simply have ignored all of them and sailed all the way to, heck, Iwo Jima and swiftly built a forward operating base there that would dwarf Truk, Rabaul and the Greater Tokio Industrial Area put together. And this only because their ships didn't quite have the range to bombard Tokyo directly to submission with one sortie - unlike starships.

    A better WWII comparison, then, would be the Germans landing in their gliders on top of the Eben-Emael fortress in the smashing surprise strike - and then digging in, carefully enslaving the fortress troops, and setting up camp for future stages of the campaign, all while the French and the BEF proceeded to win the war and march into Berlin.

    How swift was the war? Well, the moment the negotiations broke down, Kirk's ship was surprised with her pantaloons down. She survived, and rushed at best possible speed to establish defenses at Organia, one of the many leaky parts of the border, those clearly being so numerous that Starfleet could only afford to send this one cruiser, rather than the "fleet" that later was sent - the expectation apparently being that Kirk would first talk with the locals to get permission, and Starfleet would next haul in some hardware. Well, the Klingons didn't oblige, but simply took the place while Kirk was still trying the preliminary niceties on the locals. It's really difficult to see them stopping there, then, and squandering their strategic surprise.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  14. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    Ingalls' draft wasn't very good, IMO, and it needed substantial rewriting. He was too on-the-nose with regards to the Vietnam war so the producers toned it down. His draft was also very talky, e.g., there are long stretches of dialogue between McCoy and Kirk and then Apella and Krell, and he didn't know what to do with the characters. Kirk continually reminded us that he was following orders from Starfleet, and Spock, who didn't get shot in Ingalls' version (it was a red shirt), was there basically to remind Kirk that he needed to follow orders. McCoy was reasonably written but exaggerated.

    Here's are two excerpts that summarize Ingalls' script (the first from Act I and the second from the end of the script):
     
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  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I gather that, had this version been aired, it would be simpler to buy the idea that wars by proxy are valid in the Trek universe; further stories would have been written on the premise, then.

    But we don't see a Cold War stalemate with the Klingons elsewhere in Trek or TOS. If there were a need and a want, the Feds would go to Hot War instead, and indeed do (Kirk and his superiors are obviously well past itching to, and need to be restrained by their superiors, in "Errand"). They play nice in "Tribbles" because they are nice people. In "Private", they wouldn't need to be - they could go stun all the planetside Klingons and drag them to a humiliating trial or at least a press conference, after having blown their silly battle cruiser out of the sky first. And they would have all the more incentive to do so if this wasn't their very first exposure to the Klingons using proxy war tactics.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I remember liking this episode a lot as a kid, because it had a lot of action and fighting scenes. As an adult, it invokes nostalgia, and is also fun in a way. As Timo so eloquently wrote, the plot points don't make much sense.

    But, my favorite aspect of the episode remains Nancy Kovack as Nona. Despite the embarrassing skin-darkening and goofy wig, she was genuinely gorgeous and obviously enjoyed hamming up the part.
     
  17. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As George Mallory said: "It is there."
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
  18. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Klingons wouldn't need the medicines according to Kras in Friday's Child as the Klingons believe only the strong should survive. I think Krell and his team were just supporting the aggressive tendencies of the Villagers and that Neural would one day fall under their domination! This episode is very similar to Friday's Child and Capella IV also has a agreement with the Klingons although the Capellans seem to be the only people we saw there! Do we know just how far the planet Neural was away from Klingon space? :klingon:
    JB
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I guess that's the really relevant question. Any such planet would "fall under Klingon domination" without much in the way of machinations - all it would take would be a single starship in orbit. But whether the Klingons would be able to keep the planet... Driving the starship away would be trivial for the Feds, unless the planet lay deep within the Klingon sphere of influence. And in TOS, those planets presumably never do, since Kirk gains access so easily. But there's gonna be some region of space where the Klingons can drive away the Feds with equal ease, and neither side can expect to hold on to the turf without devoting major resources to fortifying the position and deploying fleets and whatnot. So what good is conquest?

    Quite possibly TOS is a time of uneasy peace that even the Klingons are afraid to disturb, not being ready for a true rematch. But why are the Klingons tinkering with these planets if they can't move in for a true conquest? There's no point in "softening" the worlds first, when crushing them without softening is always trivially easy when the time is right. Are the Klingons just "nuisance bombing", making life difficult for the Federation purely to annoy Starfleet and force it to devote resources to protecting the innocent - resources thus unavailable for fighting later on?

    Or are they really hoping for the natives to deliver the local resources and delicacies once the native rulers are made Klingon-friendly or Klingon-fearing? Are they counting on the Federation respecting the native decisions, even when those are made under duress, and not preventing the shipment of bitterberries or unobtainium?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My take on things is the Klingons would unite the planet under their puppet state and then have them "invite" The Klingons to stay and make the planet their own. Basic Imperialism 101.

    (See the Terok Nor trilogy for how the Carddies did it in the Expanded Universe)

    If the Klingons just invaded, the Federation would defend the locals.