Kirk's rank in STII-IV

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by garak1, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. garak1

    garak1 Captain Captain

    Jan 1, 2003
    I am posting regarding James Kirk's rank in STII to STIV.

    My understanding is that Kirk was promoted to Rear Admiral and held that rank at the time of TMP.

    However, by STII he appears to wear the rank insignia of a full admiral (admiral with four bars).

    He holds this rank until his demotion in STIV.

    Whilst in dialouge, Kirk is only ever referred to as 'Admiral', there are appears to be a promotion between TMP and STII.

    Given the hypothetical 15 year gap between TMP and STII (as proposed by the ST Chronology), then it would seem reasonable that Kirk achieve full admiral rank in that time.

    Just curious, is there any background of behind the scenes information to back this up?
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    I don't think it's clear as to what insignias are worn by each specific grade of admiral in the ST II-Generations uniforms. We don't know, for example, what makes a Vice Admiral different from a Rear Admiral as far as costuming goes.

    The only thing I can remember offhand is that very senior admirals, such as Cartwright and Smillie in ST VI, wear two gold stripes on the inside of the uniform jacket sleeves, as opposed to most admirals who only wear one. But beyond that, it's variable.
  3. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 14, 2003
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    Even if Kirk is referred to as Admiral despite being a Rear-Admiral it's simply a normal practice - same as at Lieutenant-Colonel is addressed as Colonel or a Lieutenant Commander addressed as Commander.
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    Part of the problem is that it's really hard to distinguish onscreen the difference in rank insignia between the admiral grades. We can clearly see a difference between the insignias between Kirk and the C-in-C, but without some background information, it's almost impossible to tell from just watching the movies if there are different insignias for any admiral in between (you can't even fault people for thinking that there only two admiral grades during that time--admiral and fleet admiral).

    But for all intents and purposes, Kirk never advanced beyond the rank of rear admiral.
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    I think that posting an accurate chart of what sort of rank pins were really created for those movies would be prudent here. This one has it down pat, with the original mistakes and omissions, their later remedies, and all:

    The fuzzy pics also demonstrate how hard this would be to reproduce without backstage information. But the latest HD screencaps at TrekCore are almost good enough for verifying most of this stuff.

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. garak1

    garak1 Captain Captain

    Jan 1, 2003

    Many thanks for this link. I was not aware that such detailed information existed on the fletcher uniform system. I was still operating under the 'mike okuda 1' system where a RADM wore a 'two bar' pip. Hence my belief that Kirk was a ADM by STII.

    Given the information on the original design of the fletcher uniforms, then it would seem likely that Kirk remained a RADM until his demotion. This is also fitting with the writer's intent of having Kirk as an 'unhappy desk jockey' by STII.

    I am surprised that there is such ambiguity about the 'maroon jacket, ranks and insignia. It seemed like a reasonably logical and consistent system during my recent rewatch of the TOS movies.

    Thanks for the discussion.