Did Kirk command the Enterprise for a while after TMP?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by The Rock, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Still, they didn’t leave him alone. Still it almost worked. Still he relented eventually, accepting the titan.
     
  2. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In any case, Kirk could have been ordered off the enterprise for any number of reasons, just like Decker was removed from captaincy, it isn’t granted he got a saying in that. And then again that might have been the reason he temporarily left Starfleet.
     
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  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the precipitating event for both instances of Kirk's depression are actually slightly different. One is the fact that he is chomping at the bit to be back in the center chair, and behaves rudely to Decker because of it. The other is a much more subtle depression, a side effect of aging, and possibly transitioning to another life stage, and feeling like he had missed out on a lot. Thus, Bones' advice takes on a new meaning by telling him to get back to what had made him feel that contribution to society.

    It's a small difference, but I definitely can see Kirk slipping in to that trap more than once.
     
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  4. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    Well, if you believe as I do - that TWoK does indeed exclude TMP, and that there was no time lapse between TMP and TWoK (both start out with Kirk at a desk job, etc.) - then they are not the "same ship." The ship in TMP has just undergone a major refit, whereas the one in TWoK (although it looks identical) is old enough to be used as a training ship, and is set to be decommissioned rather than repaired after the events of TWoK. (This in turn suggests that the ship we see in TWoK is the old original ship from the TV series, the one Khan tried to commandeer 15 years earlier; despite its resemblance to the refit, it's just the fancied-up movie version of the 1966-69 Enterprise.)
     
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  5. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    This is all one reason I really enjoyed Christopher Bennett's "The Higher Frontier". It's a post TMP story that goes with the idea that Kirk commanded the Enterprise for a number of years after TMP. And it covers how and why he took a promotion to Admiral yet again. He gets the Enterprise assigned to trainee duty, encourages Spock to take a promotion to captain and this stint as Admiral would be different than the last. First he would not be chief of Starfleet operations, so he won't be a 'desk-bound' paper pusher. He was made Commandant of Starfleet Academy this time. And he would also be a troubleshooter. When problems arise he would take the Enterprise on missions, with Spock as captain, and take care of problems as they arose. The main point being, though, was that this 2nd stint of Admiral was not the same as the first, it was a much different job (which is consistent with TMP and TWOK, in the first we know he was chief of Starfleet operations and the 2nd he was with Academy training--now it wasn't stated he was a Commandant, but it's not an implausible scenario extrapolating from what we know). But it's a good book overall, and it links TMP with TWOK more directly than some other novels that take place during this era. Yet there is still plenty of time for other novels to exist during this period, such as the "New Earth" series that was a post-TMP book series, along with other novels during this time frame.

    Personally, as a novel reader, I've adopted the idea that there was close to 10 years between TMP and TWOK, and Kirk commanded the Enterprise as captain for another mission (5 years, possibly, or even a mission of indeterminate length), including the events of "Mere Anarchy", "The Higher Frontier", "New Earth" and some other novels of this era. It doesn't conflict with what we know from canon in any way. And it even makes sense that there was several years between the two because of the Enterprise being decommissioned in TSFS. It would seem to defy logic to overhaul the ship right down to the space frame and computer core to only decommission it 3 or 4 years later. 10+ years at least makes that more plausible. But just my take.

    BUT, that all being said, since it wasn't actually specified in canon sources if someone wants to believe TMP was 10 years later and TWOK was 2 or 3 years after that, well nothing's stopping you.

    I would add though, I also read a bit into the writers intent. Just as I noted I don't think TWOK would have said it's been 15 years of they didn't actually mean 15 years, I don't think TMP would have said 2 and a half years if they didn't want us to think it's been 2 and a half years since the 5YM ended. I think that dialogue is there for a reason, they want to give us some time frame of how long it's been since Kirk commanded the Enterprise.
     
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  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Same here as a non-novel reader.
     
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Now there's another bit of interest all right. Does Kirk get promoted?

    His sleeve braid of broad "flag" braid plus one in TMP should suggest the second-lowest flag rank (since broad without narrow was Commodore, the lowest flag rank, in TOS, and the TMP scheme more or less follows the TOS one, the somewhat unclear Ensign/Lt j.g. business notwithstanding) - that is, Rear Admiral.

    His collar pin in TWoK is supposed to read Rear Admiral, too, in a scheme that never really gets verified in dialogue (every flag officer we see is merely called Admiral) and sort of gets contradicted once (this Colonel West chap wears the supposed Vice Admiral pin - or is he Vice Admiral Cornell West?).

    So, promotion from Captain through Commodore to Rear Admiral prior to TMP, and then stuck at that rank until ST4:TVH where he's demoted back to Captain for the rest of his career? I could see Kirk wanting to move up in flag rank as the second best thing if he can't do the starship command thing. And I could see him being stonewalled, glass-ceilinged and generally dissed there for his rebellious antics. Or because he retires right after TMP, and only returns slightly before TWoK (but sufficiently long before that movie that he has time to grow bored again!).

    Then again, we don't need to assume Kirk ever retired. In ST:GEN, in a dream sequence that no doubt correctly portrays an event in Kirk's personal history (even if as part of a confusing montage of such), we merely hear him prevaricate whether or not to return to Starfleet. Might be he does that every Sunday, and nevertheless dutifully beams to the office every Monday.

    His career is a strange string of compromises in any case. Chief of SF Ops sounds like a top job, and something Starfleet might hand over to a celebrity officer - but Kirk gets it at lowly Rear Admiral rank, and doesn't get promoted for 2.5 years. Or gets it at Commodore and thus gets one promotion in that timeslot, whichever is more disturbing. The rewarding through demotion business fits right in, really...

    So perhaps Kirk is always wanting, and seldom getting? And chiefly because he is Kirk, not because Starfleet would operate that way?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  8. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    Spock served with Capt Pike for 11 years, 4 months, and 3 days. The events of The Cage took place 13 years prior to the surrounding story of The Menagerie. And just as an aside, 50 of the 64 minutes of The Cage were used in The Menagerie. It is doubtful that Pike and Spock left the Enterprise for anything but temporary assignments during that time so it is doubtful that there were any other Captains of the Enterprise between Pike and Kirk.

    And Decker has no experience in Command of a Starship. Decker knows the Enterprise and Kirk has the Experience. So it is doubtful anyone else commanded the ship during that time and it is implied that Kirk went from 5 year mission to Admiral (Fleet Captain and Commodore were dumped effective with TMP and are never mentioned again). Kirk is with Starfleet operations which sounds like it would be overseeing all exploration so I can see where Kirk would accept that, but then not like it.

    In TWOK, the Enterprise has become a training ship under Captain Spock. When Admiral Morrow says the ship will not be refit in TSFS, this confirms it is an older ship that is due to be retired and has served a good deal of time since the major refit. So it being a training ship makes sense and Kirk taking a promotion instead of Captaining a ship of students instead of real missions also makes sense. So both promotions make sense for Kirk's character.

    Then he gets officially demoted and given another ship. From the dialog in TFF, it is a new, but less than perfect Constitution class ship. At the end of TUC the ship is being decommissioned. What that means is not fully explained, but what it means for the crew seems obvious. They will finally go their separate ways. McCoy becomes an admiral. Spock ends up in diplomacy. We know the fates of Scotty and Kirk, but we never find out more about Sulu's missions or what Checkov and Uhura did after that. The ship was could have had several fates. But it is clear it was either scrapped or renamed as very soon after we have 1701-B in Generations. Ships do get renamed and they might have temporarily decommissioned it for a refit and rename. It might have gone to a museum. But I think scrapping or renaming are the likely fates. And scrapping would make sense when they have the Constellation Class coming online and the Excelsior Class ships taking over the major role.
     
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  9. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Only one note: there is no evidence of where in the timeline the Constellation fits, for all we know they might have been built anytime between the late 22nd to the early 24th century, all we know is that they were considered obsolete in the mid 24th century (but, given they still fly century old Mirandas and oberths and scrape 40 years old Constitutions, that doesn’t tell us much).
     
  10. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    TUC, the plans for Kirk's rescue list a number of ships. Constitution Class Potemkin, Kongo, and Republic. And Cosntellation class USS Constellation with an NX number. Plus the Hathaway was give a timeframe in TNG so we know it was developed in the movie era (in 2365 the ship was called 80 years old, taken literally that would make it 2285 - if we take the design as 80 years old instead of the specific ship that would place the beginning of the Constellation design then and place the Hathaway and Stargazer a few years after).
     
  11. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, didn’t know about that reference in TUC. All it means is that the Constellation existed by then, excluding the option for it to be an early 24th century design, but we don’t know for how long it has been around, it could have been brand new or a century old.

    Yes, the Hathaway is 80 years old, but that doesn’t say much on how old the design is. They did keep building excelsiors all the way up to the 2370s, after all...
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, we have gotten a season-long temporary assignment already (with Spock nicely tagging along for part of that, and the other part may be something nobody ever dares mention again).

    Or then he does; we have no data either way.

    ...The time before the refit? Might have been two weeks. Might have been seven years. In the latter case, somebody absolutely did command the ship. Might have been Kirk, might have been somebody else - but Kirk only refers to five years in his CV, not five plus this putative additional merit (regardless of which ship would be the venue of this additional merit).

    Umm, Commodore is very much a thing in TMP still. So we have no real reason to believe in either dumping or skipping of ranks. Kirk could, should and probably would have been promoted from Captain to Commodore to Real Admiral.

    The Okudagram that lists the specific ships also reveals an additional thing or two. For USS Constellation, we learn she's NX-1974 and is undergoing warp engine tests. This would support the idea of a new class, or else the class ship would already have an "operational" NCC registry and a mission no longer involving testing.

    Or does it support the idea of an ancient class, since the registry is as low as that of the TOS Constitutions? Perhaps the oldest ship in the class has been deemed no longer spaceworthy except as a testbed?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    it could. Or they might be testing modifications due to the trans warp experiments. Also, the Excelsior changed from NX to NCC, but the Defiant never did, so it’s not clear what that changes imply (of what the prefixes stand for, actuallly).
     
  14. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    The Hathaway and the Stargazer have close registry numbers and the Stargazer was in use about 20 years before TNG. So the Hathaway may have been used recently. And as we saw with Excelsior, the NX phase did not last all that long so the Constellation would be newer than the Excelsior. When the ship went from test to full service, the number went from NX to NCC. So its age is very much tied to other things and can be estmated. Also, the key design elements are clearly movie oriented (used in TNG to give it an old feel ... partly because they were not allowed to use the Constitution Class model). But that dates the desgin to post TOS and and the end of the TOS movie era, a period of 20 years. I see the Constellation as a late comer to the race to replace the Constitution Class. The Constellaton Class has a different set of features (more hangers, more internal space, 4 nacelles) than Excelsior so they may be suited to different missions. Both were in use a century later. So were the Miranda and Soyuz classes (same basic design). We really never saw the TV serious spend a lot on developing new Federation designs with the models and stock footage they had on hand. The first real designs we get are Voyager and Defiant and then the kit bash fleet.
     
  15. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    Well, in my mind the only way TMP was not after the original 5 year mission we see in TOS is if there was a second 5 year mission. I think it is clear that Kirk went from command of the Enterprise to Admiral (the lowest rank of admiral is Rear Admiral, not real). And we only hear Commodore applied to Commodare Probert in the opening dialog. It is not used in any meaningful way in TNG (once in dialog) and never in DS9 or Voyager. Probably linking to the US Navy phasing out that rank. In TOS the ranks went Captain, Fleet Captain, Commodore, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral, Fleet Admiral. Fleet Captain was only used in TOS. Commodore has also vanished from use.
     
  16. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Commodore has made a comeback in Picard, but that might be a recent thing as of 2399.
     
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  17. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm in the camp that prefers the longer gap between TOS and TMP, with this post from the last time the subject was discussed being fairly convincing for me (albeit in a fairly tongue in cheek way):
     
  18. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    this is speculation, though. Sisko’s defiant was very well in full service but retained the NX prefix.

    Also, the Oberth class looks quite “movie era”, yet Grissom has a pretty low registry. Not to mention that the movie era enterprise couldn’t look more “movie era” but obviously predates that period and nothing forbids a similar refit on Constellations.
     
  19. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I'm not going by the registry. I don't consider the registry to be sequential. Oberth/Grissom follows the early Excelsior design motif. So it would be slightly older than Excelsior but far newer than Enterprise or Reliant. The Constellation class follows the general Enterprise and Reliant design so it would be close to the same era. That Constellation was listed as NX in TUC materials shows that it would be slightly newer than Excelsior. Especially if it was listed as doing Engine tests. That would be the first part of the Shakedown process (re TMP and TVH). That was what Excelsior was going to do in TSFS. That puts the Constellation progression about 8 years behind Excelsior. Likely the Stargazer, Hathaway, and Victory were built not too long later.

    The Constellation class doesn't seem as adaptable as the Excelsior class as we don't see it still in use very much 80 years later. So in TUC the Constellation can't have been under development before the TMP refit started. And it can't have started any later than would result in a testable class vehicle in TUC. So that narrows down the range just from the external design and the sources. If we take other factors into consideration, with the Hathaway called an 80 year old ship in 2365 and it was derelict. And Stargazer was lost 6 years before Picard took command of Enterprise (he commanded the ship for 22 years). We only know of 4 ships in 3 appearances and the Ready Room model. So by TNG the design seems to have been phased out.

    For the Galaxy class they decided it takes 10 years to build one. They are massive ships compared to the 23rd century ships. But let's assume 10 years since that is the only number we have. TUC is 2293. That is 72 years before we see the Hathaway. The Constellation was undergoing its first tests. If they were planning on the design working (that is what the US Navy and NASA do) because it was based on sound technology, they would have more in production before the final tests of the class ship were done. So the Hathaway could have been laid down in 2285 like the TNG episode mentioned and it would not be complete yet. Even Aircraft get made this way. The first 3 747's off the production line became test vehicles. 2 of them were later delivered for commercial flights while the first one stayed at Boeing. Also Boeing did the same thing with the B-29 in WWII. They had made major design changes to the engines yet the planes coming off the production line had the original design. They changed the engines after flying the planes to an outfitting location because that was faster and easier. So even if major changes were made to the Constellation design after testing the lead ship, those changes could be retrofitted onto other ships in the series that were still in production or changed during final outfitting.

    So, using real world examples and in universe information it really pins down the Constellation class time period.

    Also, the information that Picard commanded the Stargazer for 22 years reinforces the idea that Kirk commanded the Enterprise for most of the 30 years between WNMHGB and TUC (Well, I count 28 years, not a full 30 - Kirk would have had to take command... maybe taking over at the end of a 5 years mission that Pike started before starting out on his own. I see the 5 year mission as a standard deployment of exploration starships in the TOS/TMP/TUC era. Enterprise launch in 2245. Four 5 year missions down by the time TOS starts a new one. The come back, the ship is refit, another 5 year mission and then another. Kirk is promoted, ship is reassigned to training duty under Spock, TWOK/TSFS and the ship is destroyed. A newly built ship is renamed Enterprise and Kirk goes out on another 5 year mission. What kind of mission they are on in TUC is anyone's guess. It is a special diplomatic voyage that is about 7-8 years after the ship went into regular service. I personally think the ship was pulled from service for a while, refit, renamed, and returned to service to get full value from it. But with new Excelsior class ships and a new Constellation class, it could have been retired early. But the Constellation Class is from this period. There is a maximum 20 year window. While the class ship might have remained in testing longer (the first 3 747's were still acting as test vehicles when the first regular production 747's were delivered to their airlines). And to put the two major time periods in perspective, Picard went into Starfleet Academy 30 yeas after TUC or 50 years after TMP. So it isn't too likely that it would be unusual for a ship to have one captain for 15 years in the 2260's and 2270's and another ship to have one captain for 22 years in the 2330's to 2350's.
     
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sulu's mission was only 2 years. I suspect 5 year missions are not that common.

    Plus there seem to be no hard rules against transferring off mid tour.
     
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