Commodore Kirk?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Commodore_Rook, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Commodore_Rook

    Commodore_Rook Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Imagine, if the rank "Commodore" was not phased out by TMP, Kirk would have been a Commodore. Would the movies have been as effective if he was not an "Admiral" and was a Commodore instead?

    Imagine Khan being "corrected" by Terrell, "I've never even met Commodore Kirk"

    Khan: "Commodore? Commodore.... Commodore Kirk"

    Khan: "He never told you how Commodore Kirk sent seventy of us into exile on this barren sand heap with only the contents of these cargo bays to sustain us?"

    Technically, he should have been a Commodore in TMP as it was only a few years later that TMP took place from the TOS series. Plus we know Commodores were still around in TMP time as evident by the back ground chatter at Eplison 9, http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/1/1f/Tmp_cdore.png and rank insignia designed.


    and also there is a rank pip for it during TWOK.
    http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/b/b2/Mov_cdore.png


    So why did Kirk bypass Commodore in TMP? Or was it for dramatic effect he was an Admiral?
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    How do we know that he bypassed Commodore? Kirk may have held the rank briefly as a starbase of task force commander before returning to Earth and becoming Chief of Operations.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, walla in ST:TMP referenced one Commodore Probert, suggesting the rank had not been "phased out" at that point. But we could argue that this Probert guy or gal or BEM was given that form of address because it was his/her/its retiring rank from a few years back, or because he/she/it was a civilian Convoy Commodore, or somesuch alternate explanation.

    How do we know? All we're told is that it's a few years since Kirk last logged star hours. But it could be a decade after TOS, and indeed the physical appearances of all the characters suggest that this much time has passed. Kirk could easily have spent three years as Commodore and then three more as Rear Admiral before TMP took place in 2277 or thereabouts, the TOS 5-year mission having ended in 2270 already.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Commodore" is a wannabe rank. All the superstars (Kirk, Janeway, Pike) bypass it like... erm... a Christmas tree;).
     
  5. SMC

    SMC Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Commodore has never really been regarded as a permanant rank anyway
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Except in the TOS/TAS (and ENT?) Starfleet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    As a commodore, Kirk could have stayed in command of the Enterprise. But if there was some Starfleet politics behind his promotion, he may have been promoted straight into the Admiralty to get "that cowboy" off the bridge of a ship as quickly as possible and on the leash of a senior admiral (say Admiral Nogura).
     
  8. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral In Memoriam

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    I don't recall where I read it -- it might have been in one of the TOS Lost Era novels, or in Rodenberry's novelization of TMP -- but supposedely, Admiral Nogura promoted Kirk to Rear Admiral because he wanted him to remain on Earth and become a kind of informal recruiting poster boy for Starfleet. And he couldn't do that going off on another dangerous five-year mission.

    Also, I believe Nogura manipulated Kirk by having him work with the character Vice
    Admiral Lori Ciani because he thought they would hit it off romantically. This is also in the TMP novelization. In fact, it turns out Ciani was the other person beaming aboard with Sonak when the transporter malfunctioned.

    Now, back to the rank of commodore. I believe that Rodenberry was trying to get the ranks more in sync with the American Navy, which by that time, had gotten rid of the commodore rank. I confess to a fondness for the rank myself, and am even considering using it for a main character in a short story I'm working on.

    C.E., you're right that according to everthing established in TOS, Kirk could have remained a commodore and commanded Enterprise. Also in TOS, it does seem, like in the historical sense of the rank, that commodores commanded not just single ships, but small fleets, as Commodore Wesley did in The Ultimate Computer. I submit that's probably an additional responsiblity of TOS Commodores -- the ability to command more than one ship in certain circumstances.
     
  9. Jeff Tube

    Jeff Tube Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    Can't see what difference it would have made TBH.
     
  10. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Hard to say how long he should have served as a commodore. It does seem a little rapid to have skipped a grade (or two, if you count fleet captain) while most of the other officers we know only got one promotion in the same period.

    Sleeve braid insignia, anyway. It's interesting to specualte on what the TMP shoulder tab insignia for commodore would be, since one star has been taken by rear admiral.

    From backstage material reproduced in the book on Star Trek Phase II, it seems that the grade of commodore from TOS was simply forgotten, and by the time somebody remembered it Kirk was already established as an admiral and nobody thought it was worth changing. That character info was then continued in TMP.

    Commodore was a permanent rank, equivalent to brigadier general, in the US Navy from 1862 to 1899.

    From Register of the commissioned and warrant officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps to January 1, 1898:

    [​IMG]

    By the time of TOS, too.

    Indeed, to explain single-ship Commodore Decker I have always theorized that every three or four starships were organized as a division (or squadron if you will) with one of their COs holding a commodore grade and the additional position of division commander. Normally starships are employed by themselves and the commodore functions more like a regular starship captain, but if the need arose and the division was assembled to work as a group (as in "The Ultimate Computer") he would be in charge.

    --Justin
     
  11. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If Kirk was a Commodore wouldn't he have to work the night-shift all the while?
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or then not - perhaps the epaulet star is simply a generic flag rank indicator for evrybody from Commodore to Grand Admiral of the Universe? After all, Kirk's one and only flag uniform does not rely on the epaulets, but also features prominent cuff braid for displaying his exact rank.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    It seems very unlikely that the shoulder tabs would show rank for most officers but mean something completely different for others. And we know that there are working uniform variants that don't use cuff stripes. The short sleeved shirts don't even have the option, which would leave all grades of admiral indistinguishable in that form of dress.

    Kirk's uniform at first is a more formal dress uniform, but is not limited to flag grades: A lower-ranking officer can be seen wearing one in the "tram station" scene.

    --Justin
     
  14. Nuadu

    Nuadu Ensign Newbie

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    I was a USN officer for 9 years until 2009. It is quite true that Commodore is no longer a rank in the fleet - its modern equivalent is Rear Admiral (lower half). The Royal Navy does, however, still use Commodore as an actual rank.

    But, the TITLE is still used, unofficially, even today in the US Fleet. For example, in my last tour, I was on the staff of a destroyer squadron. We referred to our boss as "Commodore" even though he held the rank of Captain.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OTOH, there doesn't seem to exist any other uniform that would have rank markers in two places - shoulders and cuffs both. It's either or.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sang backup for Lionel Richie?

    -------

    If you delete the animated series from existence, as Roddenberry seem to want to do, then James Kirk could have made Commodore immediately following Turnabout Intruder. Plus Timo right (who knew?), we assume that after the original five year mission Kirk became a Admiral and the Enterprise was torn apart to become "The Refit."

    Actual following the five year mission with Kirk, the command of the Enterprise could have been transferred to Will Decker who took her back out, with the eighteen month refit occurring years later, by which time Commodore Kirk had became Rear Admiral Kirk.

    :):):):):):)
     
  17. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm glad that didn't go over everyone's head. :)
     
  18. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think most people got it, we're just used to these commodore threads having Lionel Richie and old computer jokes.

    --Justin
     
  19. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There was a rank pin for the rank of Commodore in the TWOK movie uniform era. It made at least one appearance on-screen, in TVH. No one calls the person Commodore; in fact it's just a nameless guy in the Federation council chamber. But it's still definitely there.

    http://www.st-spike.org/pages/uniforms/2278-2350/ranks.htm
     
  20. Tom

    Tom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey they made Janeway a vice-admiral in Nemisis! Ranks work at the speed of the plot. lol