Problem with Kirk's immediate promotion to Captain

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Sisko_is_my_captain, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You won't find where there's a new chance every other week, nor a lieutenant who can do it. Kirk's unique.

    The case is not that none could do the job, but that none deserves it more.

    The last thing Pike said to Spock was "you're the captain." Pike gave Spock the discretion to make his own decisions.
     
  2. Londo

    Londo Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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  3. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Two points here:

    You seem to be making the assumption that no other Starfleet captain could become the commander of the Enterprise because they didn't come to Earth's aid? But I thought the whole point of this particular point of the film was that no one outside the Enterprise knew what was going on? I can't fault the Commanders' in the Laurentian system for not responding to a threat they didn't know existed.

    Never was the Enterprise mentioned as the flagship in TOS. The Enterprise was never referenced as such until TNG.
     
  4. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To repeat, I plainly said that other officers could do the job, but that no one deserved it more. No one else's orders saved Earth, whether they were absent due to bungling or of no fault of their own.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    By doing something that stupid (promoting Kirk to Captain), you're essentially promoting that you prefer a rule-breaker who got lucky once to those who were loyal and did things the right way. That's a very dangerous precedent to set in a military organization. Especially for those coming up through the ranks.

    Now you're going to have every kid trying to find that moment where he can break the rules to make his own mark.

    There's an issue of DC Comics first run that actually deals with how a kid interprets Kirk's career and nearly gets his crew killed when his Captain is killed by Romulans.

    As others have said it could have been fixed with a "Four Years Later" tag. Or maybe they fix it in the next film. But standing on its own it doesn't work.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    And just to take this a step further...

    The administrative duties on a (brand new) ship with 1,100 crew must be daunting. When we think of a Captain, we just think of him in that chair ordering barrage after barrage of phasers and photon torpedoes.

    If you put any thought into it at all, you'd see just how wrong it is...
     
  7. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What's wrong is viewing saving every living and non-living thing on Earth as nothing. That's not thinking. No Earth even effects the other planets in the Solar system. No one else in the fleet gave orders that achieved this; no one else deserves the job before Kirk. They were all lucky Kirk did.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    No military organization in its right mind is going to give Jim Kirk (fresh out of the academy) the command of a starship based on one outing. The Starship Enterprise is a weapon of mass destruction with enough fire power to wipe out a planet.

    So let's give it to a person we're not sure whether he can handle it or not (and doesn't have the training)...

    Take a look at sports. All the teams that bet the farm on a player based on one performance.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Which goes back to the major problem with the film to begin with: all of the coincidences and luck needed to move the film forward.
     
  10. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's right: they were all off in the Laurentian system for conveniently ambiguous but presumably legitimate reasons, doing their duty rather than running off half-cocked on what was by all rights a futile and suicidal solo mission. You're suggesting that the latter is what should be rewarded? You're committing the fallacy of viewing it in hindsight, judging the means legitimate because the results happened to work out.

    Indeed. Given that they assumed (wrongly) that they could sneak on undetected, and also that they knew how powerful the enemy was, why on earth didn't he and Spock take a larger landing party with them?

    Where did you get that impression? Any particular dialogue to point to?

    Besides which...
    Absolutely.

    I have to disagree with you there, however. To me, Picard all too often came across as a "bureaucrat in space."

    No, he's not. Kirk was always very good at his job, but part of the reason for that was that he came up through the ranks (albeit quickly) and learned from experience. That's part of the problem with this movie: that's all been stripped away and replaced with the notion that Kirk's unique, "destined" to be captain, a better leader than anyone else... even though the actual decisions he makes given the information at hand don't demonstrate particularly sound judgment at all.

    Indeed. Moreover, who was it who made the decision that it wasn't important to let them know? Kirk. If his foolhardy plan had failed and Earth had been destroyed, the rest of the fleet would have been at a huge disadvantage in getting up to speed and devising a back-up defense.

    Also true.. (Even acknowledging the fact that Starfleet isn't a strictly military organization, and chain of command has always been presented as a rather looser thing than in present-day militaries... the fact is, Starfleet has to think of the precedent this would set and the way it would affect morale, and both are bad.)

    But at this point we all seem to be arguing against the vociferous defenses of just one poster, so perhaps there's pretty widespread agreement that this was a genuine shortcoming in the movie. (Merely one of many, IMHO, but that's another discussion...)
     
  11. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which, as someone has already pointed out, is consistent with the television show.

    They would all be off in the Laurentian while Earth was being destroyed; not even they would defend that. Any military not present would also view their absence unfavorably in hindsight. Kirk's indefatigable determination is what's rewarded. To quote TOS, he "wants that third alternative." Kirk makes his luck; he creates situations where he can take advantage of opportunities that arise. He always has the success of the mission in view and does not give up.

    Kirk was unique in the television show, too; he was the youngest captain in Starfleet at that point. His personal situation was stable, which contrast to the movie Kirk was clearly shown.

    They are thinking of how it will affect morale; that's why they made Kirk a captain. Better not be thinking of all the officers who did nothing to save Earth and promoting them.

    Not vociferous and not just one. This is not a new topic; it comes and goes, but mostly those on your end stick around.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Essentially what the new movie has postulated is this:

    Jim Kirk isn't Jim Kirk because of life lessons he has learned.

    The new movie postulates that as long as the name on the birth certificate is the same... it's all good. Should have just put him in the center seat at 12 after the Grand Theft Auto incident since life experience doesn't matter.

    How anyone can say its the same character amazes me. The life experience is what defines the character and this version of Jim Kirk has none of the life experience that defined Jim Kirk on the Original Series.

    The Jim Kirk we have now is a caricature of the character we saw in the Original Series. No fault of Mr. Pine who played the character the way it was written.
     
  13. I agree that they should have had some kind of time passing indicator before showing Kirk as captain.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Or have Kirk be given the position of captain but not the rank. Kirk is a Lieutenant for most of the time he's on the ship (as evidenced by the transporter screen), so a promotion to Lieutenant Commander would make sense.
     
  15. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    Well, see, the problem is they don't have 79 hours to get into all that. And, the point for this reboot, was to create a new series that doesn't have the weight of 600+ hours of TREK discontinuity (which is what it had become) on its shoulder.

    All I know is that I saw the movie many many times and it entertained the audience it was made for; meaning not us.

    I can see your issue, but this is a whole new timeline and I think its off to a good start.

    Rob
     
  16. npsf3000

    npsf3000 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It is vital to for EVERY captain to go through the normal procedures to gain the experience that is critical in being a Captain. Without this indoctrination you have a loose cannon that can upset the natural order!

    It is quite evident that without the requisite experience a starship Captain cannot function properly, posing risk to his ship, crew and the Universe!

    Just look at the evidence:

    Captain of the U.S.S. Newton:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.
    Captain of the U.S.S. Odyssey:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.
    Captain of the U.S.S. Farragut:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.
    Captain of the U.S.S. Wolcott:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.
    Captain of the U.S.S. Endeavor:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.
    Captain of the U.S.S. Antares:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.
    Captain of the U.S.S. Truman:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Vulcan Destroyed.

    Captain Robau:

    • Dead - Ship Lost.

    Captain's of 47 Klingon Ships:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost.

    Captain Nero:

    • Dead - Ship and All Hands Lost - Destroys Vulcan in Rage.

    Captain Pike:

    • Captured - Crippled - Gives up Earths Defense Codes.

    It is easily apparent that Kirk cannot hope to equal these great Captains!

    Lieutenant (Cadet?) Kirk:

    • Ship and Crew Saved - Sulu Saved - Captain Saved - Earth Saved - Federation Saved.
     
  17. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No... it's only consistent with a handful of the worst episodes of the television show. To say that the movie is no more contrived or implausible than the worst depths Trek has descended to in the past is hardly a ringing endorsement.

    I think it's conspicuous that even the film's fans have given up on trying to claim it doesn't have these plot shortcomings; they just try to excuse them, or insist they're not bothered by them. Almost no one claims it lives up to the show's high-water marks, though... much less to the best that other TV, movies, and/or SF has to offer.

    You hit the nail on the head, Bill. I agree with every word. You touch on one of the many things that bothered me about the film (although in this case it's a thematic flaw, less obvious than the plot whoppers): there's really no character arc for Kirk. This is supposed to be an origin story, yet he shows no evidence of having actually learned anything from his experience, beginning to end. He's an arrogant, short-sighted wiseass at the start and still an arrogant, short-sighted wiseass at the end; he's just been lucky enough to have it pay off and save the day, and thus (with the help of some nepotism) get him promoted. What's worse, he's been explicitly told he has a Grand Destiny, so he no longer even has any incentive to change.

    Another way of phrasing that problem is that the needs of the story were made subservient to the needs of the product. Which is, IMHO, always a bad thing.

    Well... speaking as part of "us," I consider that something of a problem.
     
  18. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I keep wondering if you folks who want to hang laurels on Kirk were watching the same film I was. In the one I saw, Spock saved the day. Kirk just got all the credit.
     
  19. npsf3000

    npsf3000 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As Spock isn't an official captain I didn't include him, but it goes something like this:


    According to the Movie I watched.

    First Officer Spock:

    • Saved some of the Vulcan High Council - Marooned Kirk - Abandoned Earth - Relieved of duty.

    Thats all he did, everything else was under the command of Kirk.

    Note: The reason I include "Ship and Crew Saved - Sulu Saved" was because while he did these while technically not in command, the former he did against traditional command and the latter while he was the officer in charge.
     
  20. startrekrcks

    startrekrcks Fleet Captain

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    What do you want Kirk to act like he's young I'm sure he will get better in the sequels don't you agree or is he not Jim Kirk ever to you?