Just how old is Capt Pike? (based on 1 line in Saints of Imperfection)

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Yistaan, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Yistaan

    Yistaan Captain Captain

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    Captain Pike says in the recent Discovery episode that he met Georgiou at the academy, that she won drinking contests yet knew every regulation by week 2.

    The first hint we ever got to Pike's age was Commodore Mendez telling Kirk he was "about your age" in the Menagerie. Going by Kirk being 34 in the Deadly Years, people speculated Pike was born as close to 2233 as possible while still being a realistic age to be captain of the Enterprise in 2254. Novels put his birth year at 2219, which is a good way of making Pike a realistic 30 something captain at the time of The Cage.

    But Pike going to the academy with Georgiou?? Memory alpha says Georgiou went to the academy from 2220-2224. Mendez's line about Pike being around Kirk's age has now been practically destroyed, and we'll have to assume Pike was born around the same time as Georgiou in 2202, making him 30 years older than Kirk, and a 50+ year old man at the time of The Cage.

    We also now must assume that since Pike's entrance to Starfleet predated the Kelvin timeline divergence, things like Carol Marcus' dad, Alexander Marcus, recruiting Pike happened to prime Pike too.

    It would better have been better if Georgiou was Pike's instructor for a class, not his classmate.

    Why did the writers feel the need to age Pike this much?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mendez must always have been saying that Pike was Kirk's age, not that Pike is Kirk's age. That's the very point of the discussion - that Pike once was, and no longer is (and, by dramatic extension, that this could happen to our hero as well). Indeed, in the preceding sentence, Kirk referred back to the day he met Pike; it is this day that Mendez is describing in the past tense.

    And always was, by very clear writer intent. After all, this episode is all about merging a past adventure with a present one, about showing us the Kirk before Kirk. More than a fictional decade separates the adventures; the separation is the thing, ruling out a shared birth year already.

    What is the dialogue reference that suggests Georgiou and Pike were classmates, rather than merely two people at the Academy?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Known Robot Sympathizer Moderator

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    He could have been from an older class and they just knew each other from that not that they were the same year.
     
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  4. Yistaan

    Yistaan Captain Captain

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    "Drank all of us under the table and knew every regulation by week 2" sounds a LOT like a classmate and not Pike just talking about an older senior he heard stories about. A cadet a few years older than Pike would not be competing with him to learn the same regulations--she would have learned them years ago.

    The Menagerie dialogue is as follows--
    Mendez: You ever met Chris Pike?
    Kirk: When he was promoted to Fleet Captain.
    Mendez: About your age. Big, handsome man, vital, active.

    Even if Mendez is talking about Chris Pike being about Kirk's age during the fleet captain promotion in 2265, that's still points to a Pike birth year of 2231.

    Honestly the novel writers did best by putting Pike's birth year to 2219, making him 31 on command of the Enterprise in 2250.

    But aging Pike another 17 years to be born in 2202 just to force a connection with Georgiou feels completely gratuitous and ridiculous to me, and throws the entire intent of Mendez's Menagerie line out the window.

    This bothers me far more than the tech "canon" violations (holograms, etc) supposedly in Discovery. I was fine with Discovery disrupting visual "continuity" (since that's not really a contradiction, just shows there were differing styles in the 23rd century).

    But contradicting dialogue, which to be fair they had avoided doing till now--well I feel this crossed the line a bit just to tie a Discovery character (Georgiou) closer to Pike.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  5. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Captain Red Shirt

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    Just because they were classmated doesn't mean they were the same age. As we've seen before, not everyone enters Star Fleet Academy at the same age. Its entirely possible that Georgiou had a different career before joining Star Fleet and could easily have been ten years older than Pike at the time, hence her ability to drink them all under the table.
     
  6. Jesse1066

    Jesse1066 Captain Captain

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    A scene in Nemesis seemed to imply that Dr. Crusher knew Picard when he was at the Academy, yet Picard started at the Academy before she was even born. It simply must be ignored or reinterpreted. I can't imagine Captain Pike was born much earlier than 2215, and it's still possible he knew Georgiou at the Academy somehow.
     
  7. Yistaan

    Yistaan Captain Captain

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    Georgiou is confirmed as attending 2220-2224. She was born 2202. See her memory alpha page. Pike had to be the same age if he was drinking alcohol with her.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, Pike did not need to be the same age for that reason. I can drink alcohol with my grandfather easily enough.

    That Pike would have knowledge of what Georgiou knew by the 2nd week would be the bit that implies Pike was there during Georgiou's 2nd Academy week, instead of Georgiou's 20th Class Reunion. But the implication could be false - Georgiou could merely have a reputation that young Pike is aware of, just like Beverly knows what Jean-Luc was like in his youth despite her not having been there.

    Assuming the promotion was in 2265, that is. But this is not a date given in the dialogue. Instead, we learn separately that Kirk met Pike at the promotion, and that Kirk got the ship from Pike. There could have been a decade between the events easily enough.

    This depending on decisions left to the audience:

    1) Did Kirk and Pike meet more than once? I don't see any reason why they would only ever meet once.
    2) What rank is Pike holding in "The Cage" and in "Brother"? By rank braid, it would seem to be Lieutenant first, Captain next. But Fleet Captain could merely be a fancy way of saying Captain, meaning the promotion has already happened before "Brother" (I mean, Starfleet would do well to have a way to distinguish the Starfleet rank of Captain from the status of captain, and putting 'Fleet there would be a good way to do it when veteran starship captain Pike finally gets promoted to Captain).

    This doesn't mean I'd desire to use the potential decade gap for making Pike and Georgiou classmates. I just don't see the need for that quite yet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  9. Xerxus

    Xerxus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It would be roughly in line with the Greenwood Pike's age.

    Secondary sources for KT has him being born 2205.

    Because different species mature at different rates, there probably isn't a bottom age limit to enter as long as they pass the entrance exam.

    Wesley Crusher took it at 16 and failed. It's possible that Pike got into the Academy early.

    It gives a little wiggle room for him being born 2205. He could have entered the Academy at 15 for the 2220-2224 class.

    "And despite being able to drink any of us under the table, you had every regulation down by week two."
    Which could mean that Pike observed that Phillipa out drank all the other classmates, but not necessarily having participated himself.Or it didn't have to be literal.

    If we set his birth at 2205...
    Hunter was 38 in The Cage, playing 49.
    Mount is 45 here filmed playing 52.
    Greenwood was filmed 51 playing a character 50 to 53.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  10. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Particurally if we imagine that some Federation members might retain the "army company commander" rank typically translated as "captain" in RW, it's certainly possible that "Fleet Captain" is the full title for "captain-by-rank", as opposed to the (lieutenant) commanders who are titled captain when in command of a starship.
     
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  11. Beagleman

    Beagleman Commodore Commodore

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    I'm a 34 years old university student and I have 20 years old classmates...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    Who has the higher tolerance for alcohol? ;)
     
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  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This Pike seems much more like a younger version of Bruce Greenwood's to me, and he was older than Jeffrey Hunter's version.:shrug:
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mendez's "about your age" line never made any sense. Kirk was 34 in "The Deadly Years," so he would've been 33 in "The Menagerie," and "The Cage" was 13 years earlier. No way was Pike 20 years old in "The Cage." No way would a 20-year-old be anything more than an Academy upperclassman. It's impossible. Mendez's line was just an error on Roddenberry's part and should be ignored. The intent was that Pike was about the same age in "The Cage" that Kirk was in TOS, in his early 30s. Which should've put him in his upper 40s as of "The Menagerie." But when he wrote that line, Roddenberry forgot the time interval between the flashback and the frame. TV writing is often very rushed, which lets mistakes slip through.

    If you insist on a Watsonian interpretation that everything in an episode "really" happened rather than being an error in a dramatic recreation, then just assume that Mendez was distressed over Pike's situation and misspoke. Or maybe he just wrongly assumed they were close in age because Pike looked young for his age or because Kirk was unusually young for a starship captain. Just because a character says something, that doesn't mean it has to be objectively true, because people are fallible. A lot of the things people say in real life are untrue, whether through error or deception, so the same should be true of fictional characters.


    In real life, "fleet captain" is an old naval title referring to the chief of staff of a flag officer. It's basically an administrative post with oversight of multiple ships, rather than command of a specific ship.
     
  15. Yistaan

    Yistaan Captain Captain

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    That still puts pikes birth year in the range of 2219 like the novels did. And i wouldn't complain about that.

    But discovery aged him 17 years to 2202 for a cringeworthy drinking line to make him Georgiou's classmate.

    It just hit me... Is this another Voq style trick? :eek: Could Pike have made up a fictitious line because he guessed right from the start Georgiou was an impostor? He made up that he was Georgious classmate knowing the real Georgiou would have said "I never drank, and i was your instructor not your classmate."
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  16. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Real Life Story. One time, I was assigned to record an event. Someone else was with me, never met him before. But the person who assigned us said "He's about your age." I was 35 at the time and this person turned out to be 21.

    So, basically, "he's about your age" means shit sometimes. Of course, I also still look like I'm in my 20s and didn't say how old I was, so maybe they didn't know.

    But still. "About your age" shouldn't be taken too literally.

    I think Pike is in his 40s in DSC. Jeffery Hunter was 38 when they shot "The Cage" and Anson Mount is 45. So Pike should be in his 50s in "The Menagerie" and Mendez has no idea what the hell he's talking about.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    This is Star Trek sir. Everything is literal, especially dates!!
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think it was more about consistency with the Kelvin Timeline version of Pike, which after all is probably better known to modern audiences, and frankly a more appealing version of the character. This is the nature of series fiction; ideas are refined and changed over time, which is why we don't still talk about James R. Kirk and Vulcanians and lithium crystals and UESPA. Things get reinterpreted, and sometimes the first-draft version gets replaced by something that works better. So I'm perfectly happy with Pike being reinterpreted as older. Heck, it actually works pretty well with Pike's burnout in "The Cage" if he's older and has experienced more pain and hardship in his career. The only things it contradicts are Hunter's appearance -- easily ignored, since he's just one of four actors to play the role now -- and Mendez's line which was obvious nonsense the moment it was spoken.

    So don't worry so much about dates and numbers. Fiction is not about numbers and facts and figures. It's about characters and emotions and interactions and ideas. The facts and figures exist to serve those more important things. Does an older Pike make a good character for the story being told? Then that's fine.


    Good point. People at my 20-year high school reunion told me I hadn't aged a day. Unfortunately, I can no longer say the same a dozen years later.
     
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  19. Yistaan

    Yistaan Captain Captain

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    Does Pike look 52 in the Cage to you? Jeffrey Hunter in real life then was 38, and the character age should match that at least regardless of whatever Mendez said.
     
  20. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Mendez's line about Pike being "about Kirk's age" was flawed from the very beginning, TBF.
    In my head canon, I chalk it up to Mendez being way older than either of them, so from his perspective they were both still a couple of young whippersnappers.

    Kor
     
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