"Mind your Captain's chair, Mr. Sulu"

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by LMFAOschwarz, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In the course of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, we got to see, for the first time, Sulu in command of his own ship. The next time, so far as I know, was in that Voyager episode based on the events of this film.

    I don't know...how did you folks react to his apparent command style?

    I was rather put off by it, as I found him abrasive, short-tempered, and condescending. Granted everyone is 'their own man', but you'd think he would have taken a few pages from Kirk's book. Rather, he appears to have taken only one page: when Kirk was in his worst, preoccupied, snippy moods.

    I don't know...maybe this was one of those bad days for Sulu, as "Do you have a hearing problem, Mister?" is something I could picture Kirk saying under the right circumstances. Sulu in this movie and the Voyager episode, seems to echo Kirk's various comments to Sulu that he'd heard in his younger days. Things like "Mind your helm, Mr. Sulu", "If I'd wanted a russian history lesson I'd have brought along Mr. Chekov.", things like that.

    I know being a nice guy isn't a command requirement, but I know if I served under him, I wouldn't be likely to bring up a situationally-appropriate story about a meteor that once hit Siberia, lest history repeat itself! :lol:
     
  2. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Different command style, for sure -- he was closer to Jellico in that regard, now that you mention it, and so not like the five primary captains.

    It was a bit offputting for me considering the amount of comedy scenes he had in TOS and then the movies. Who would have thunk that he was such a hard-ass? But maybe 25 years as a driver might do that to someone.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral In Memoriam

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    In "Friday's Child", even Scott got annoyed with him-- "I'm well aware of a freighter's maximum speed, Mister Sulu."
     
  4. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not to mention his "Are you kidding?" reply to a legitimate question about contacting Starfleet concerning the Praxis explosion.
     
  5. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not much a fan of Sulu's command style either. I agree that he could be compared in some ways to Jellico, but even then, I liked Jellico better. In fact, in "Chain of Command," I find myself siding with him and not our heroes. They're in a military situation and unwilling to act like military officers. They just want to stand around and whine.

    In contrast, I'm not sure I see why Sulu has to always come off so curt and snippy. It's not a highly tense situation when Ensign Christian Slater comes to deliver the message, and he is understandably confused when Sulu orders him to lie to Starfleet. No reason to be so abrupt with him.

    Related, but OT, I absolutely hate that they gave Sulu a ship in TUC. In any other circumstance, I would have said it was reasonable character development. But at this point, we were at the end of the run, and giving Sulu the Excelsior meant that in the final emotional scene on the bridge of the Enterprise, he was absent. I think that was a horrible mistake.
     
  6. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    I don't know, guys. We need to consider the situation. Sulu was smiling over his tea when we meet him. He admits that this is his first mission as master of Excelsior. Then the Klingon moon explodes??? That would be enough to stress anyone into a strictly business, no-nonsense command style.

    This AND I was hugely relieved that he was NOT cracking the lame jokes which nearly killed the last film.
     
  7. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Good observations, guys. I'd respond to you all, except, well...oh, heck: I've got clothes in the dryer I'm waiting for, so I do have time! :lol:

    True about Jellico. Even though we'd just met Jellico for the first time, I respected him. He was authoritative, without it simply seeming like he had a bug up his ass about something. Big difference!

    That's right, he did! I'm almost wondering if Sulu is now unconsciously out to even the score!!

    "Are you kidding?" was not exactly a clear command directive, was it? One could take it either way.

    Yet another good example.

    You know, you're right. It reminded me of an awards ceremony, when a recipient isn't available to attend, because of illness or something, so they appear on a video message to the assemblage.

    Fair point!

    Probably just the late hour here, but you lost me. What/who's lame jokes? I can't recall...
     
  8. fonzob1

    fonzob1 Captain Captain

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    Maybe Sulu was just trying to overcompensate for some things. :guffaw:
     
  9. fonzob1

    fonzob1 Captain Captain

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    No. It wasn't just a single moment. He established a pattern of this behavior when he reacted in his quarters too, "Do you have a hearing problem, Mister?"
     
  10. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kirk would have said it with either more intensity or more humour. I think the problem is the acting, not the line.
     
  11. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting observation. Now it makes me wonder about some of his other lines, had they been delivered in a different style.

    On a different topic, I'm a fan of Sulu as captain of his own ship -- at least he went somewhere, and IIRC he was the last of the crew to actually do so in the movies. Almost everyone else came and went and returned for a variety of reasons, save for Scotty who more or less stayed because of his love of the Enterprise. Kirk was admiral with a desk job, Spock had Kohlinar in TMP and then joining the Federation envoy in TUC, Chekov was XO of the Reliant, McCoy retired and was re-drafted. And while Sulu had the least lines, he still had more of the memorable scenes than most of the other senior staff outside of the Big 3.

    Come to think of it, with Sulu gone, Spock in the envoy, and Scotty preferring engineering, who was Kirk's XO before the Praxis explosion? Could it have been Chekov? Or would it still be Scotty in a dual role and following rank? It's not unheard of for the XO to be of lower rank than other senior staff -- Riker considered Worf and Data as candidates for the position, even though they were under Shelby (who he picked anyway).
     
  12. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Really? Apart from his captaincy in TUC, and "Don't call me Tiny", I can't think of anything offhand.
     
  13. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't mind Sulu's reaction of "Do you have hearing problems, mister?!"at all.
    He gave an order. It was an order in defiance of Starfleet for someone whom his character considered a friend, as well as a mentor, and that (as he put it in the Voyager episode) he owed his life to Kirk a dozen times over. That Starfleet just hung Kirk out to dry, and are now inquiring as to any information about Enterprise's whereabouts, Sulu knew that his former crewmates were as ferociously loyal to Kirk as he was, and that they had to be doing something to try and help their captain and the ship's doctor. Sulu was not about to sabotage their efforts by disclosing any information about them, their location and/or possible activities. You could see the pensive look on Sulu's face after he solidified his order to his junior comms officer with his remark. Sulu didn't have to explain a damned thing to the guy.

    As he also said in "Yesteryear", "Let the regulations be damned!"
     
  14. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I meant primarily in TUC. All the other movies, I estimate, he had the same types of scenes as Chekov, Uhura, Scotty. To me he stood out more in TUC.
     
  15. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spock was still in Starfleet in TUC, still in uniform, and therefore still on assignment for them. His assignment was as XO and chief science officer on Enterprise. Remember, he told Valeris "This is my last voyage on this vessel as a member of her crew." That means he had Starfleet duties to perform, and was not merely the envoy and ambassador meeting with Gorkon. No matter if the ship was out in space on assignment, or in spacedock waiting for one, Spock was still serving aboard her as the XO. The whole envoy bit was an added responsibility.
     
  16. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suppose for me, it's muddled up by the fact that Spock had volunteered Kirk and the Enterprise for the mission with Gorkon (and without Kirk's consent or approval!), which goes wayyy above and beyond an XO's duties. Spock went over Kirk's head.

    I'm not saying you're wrong (I'm not), it's just that that's how the Enterprise's story starts in the movie, and so it confused me later on about the ship's hierarchy. Spock overseeing the Gorkon mission but Kirk in command of the ship.
     
  17. HigHurtenflurst

    HigHurtenflurst Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Yeah, the chain of command was a little muddied in that instance. Kirk's rather barbed "Far be it from me to dispute my First Officer" comment was a direct acknowledgement of it, and a rebuke.
     
  18. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It always seemed like a strange and silly question to me. Why wouldn't they report it?

    "Flashback."

    My favourite piece of Captain Sulu wisdom is from that episode; "You're absolutely right, but you're also absolutely wrong."
     
  19. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wow, I must've been tired when I responded here. You're referring to The Final Frontier when you say 'the last film'. I didn't even realize that! I get you now! :)
     
  20. Timby

    Timby Modster Zero Administrator

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    Precisely. Why the hell would a starship on the frontier not report A) a hella big shockwave, B) a Klingon moon blowing up alongside footage of people dying horribly and C) a transmission from the Klingons saying that it was merely an "incident."

    It's not exactly the most subtle reference to Chernobyl but Rand was an idiot for asking that question.