Star Trek VI. the stupidity of Starfleet and Spock for choosing Kirk to meet with Gorkon

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by urrutiap, Apr 22, 2022.

  1. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Chang if anything seemed more interested in human culture, reading the exploits of Kirk as Patton read Rommel. He was the closest any Klingon ever came to Thrawn…more dangerous than Dukat even. Kirk was older, had seen enough of battles. That made him cantankerous.

    The younger pre-David TOS Kirk would have been perhaps more open…but he might not have surrendered after the false flag…like Chang was hoping for in his Gulf of Tonkin ploy.

    It could be a more relaxed style that worked against Kirk during Reliant’s silent approach worked in his favor here. Younger Kirk would have raised shields…
     
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  2. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    And not just Kirk, sadly.

    Selling out the characters to create artificial drama is really a big comedown from the men who were once capable of so much more. TWOK is such a solid script, its setups solidly paid off with nothing wasted, it's hard to believe this mess came from the same people.
     
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  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was extremely antagonistic and it showed through. What is more frustrating is that despite the Klingons being imperialistic, enslaving and violent, only Kirk is treated as being in the wrong.
     
  4. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    Not sure that's actually true. Valeris herself points out that Chang is untrustworthy and dishonorable, since he conspired with her to kill Gorkon.

    And as far as Gorkon goes, he doesn't advocate genocide. He doesn't hold an entire species responsible for the sins of individuals. He doesn't toss around racial slurs. That puts him a step above Scotty, Chekov, and well above Kirk.
     
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is my problem-there's no acknowledging past Klingon problematic behaviors in the past, stating that anyone who opposes it is wrong.
     
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, Gorkon has to die to show that he's sincere.

    Even so, would the story be remotely satisfying if Kirk reacted to the proposal with nothing but, "Yes, this is great! Peace is awesome. Klingons are good!"

    I say thee nay.
     
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  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Reaction to murder of a loved one does not work in so simple a manner; killing Kruge and most of his crew was not being "fully avenged" / going to ease the unimaginable pain of David's murder; at the point of his decision to destroy the Enterprise, Kirk was in survival mode / plotting to do whatever was necessary to escape, but the deaths of the Klingons was not going to settle his deep, more than justified hatred of the Klingons. The fact he had decades dealing with the unrelenting evil the Klingon's imposed on others (brought to the brink of galactic war on a few occasions) were just underpinnings of Kirk's animosity toward them, but David's murder was no political matter--it was personal, leading Kirk to conclude the Klingons were evil beyond any notion of redemption or understanding.
     
  8. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Animosity. Of course Kirk had shown that from the episodes dealing with certain Klingons, and was displayed in V but for Kirk to want all Klingons to die because of his son's murder after clearly avenging it doesn't make any sense. Could an event where innocent Federation citizens were victimized by Klingons draw those kinds of feelings? Absolutely. I needed context before Kirk's introduction in TUC to present justification for him to want all Klingons killed. From the scenes in the beginning of the movie through the assassination, the Klingons were portrayed as victims while the Enterprise crew were seen as ill fitted for such an important assignment and were conspirators. I didn't buy into it, the movie required more context, and it desperately needed a moment where Kirk meet Klingons who were not what he thought of them in the context of TUC.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    One more time, with feeling...
     
  10. JamesRye

    JamesRye Commander Red Shirt

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    The answer to the OP is that Starfleet and Spock want 'brand recognition'. What better way to make a statement and advocate for peace than by sending the enemy of the Klingons to meet with their chancellor and escort him through Federation space. After all, they think it's glorified escort mission. And what a way for Kirk to retire.

    Kirk is upset that he is to be the first olive-branch to peace as he is so close to retirement. Spock retorts with the line “Only Nixon could go to china…” meaning that as Kirk is infamous in the Klingon Empire, no-one could accuse him of being sympathetic to the Klingon cause or doubt the sincerity of the Federation towards peace.

    I love this scene, Kirk and Spock are at opposite ends of the table, never further apart. Shrouded in darkness (a budget limitation maybe). It's very powerful and Shatner is awesome in it.

    I happen to unabashedly love TUC - I think it's a masterpiece and even better than TWOK. Here's a nice article for those who want to dig a little deeper:
    https://ew.com/article/2016/06/07/star-trek-vi-undiscovered-country-geekly/

    and my own take (back when I used to blog about such things):
    https://ryesofthegeek.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/star-trek-vi-the-undiscovered-country-film-review/
     
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  11. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    The film is also way too ham-fisted and amateurish to develop the kind of nuance you're looking for. That would have required a fairly extensive rewrite.

    This is where I really mourn the loss of Saavik in the film. She as a character could have straddled the line and offered a deeper and more pointed criticism of the Klingon Empire than the "they're evil subhuman creatures who deserve to all die" garbage we got.

    Saavik could have had a real justification to hate the Klingons for David's death, since unlike Kirk we never saw her move beyond it. The last time we saw her was in the throes of her grief, and it makes sense that she could have remained trapped in the amber of pain and vengeance. Kirk's racism made no sense for the character, but hers absolutely could have. And using a beloved established character instead of cardboard cutout that was Valeris would have given her argument actual weight. Cartoonish moustache-twirling evil would have been a deep moral conundrum. Saavik might even have been right to do what she did.

    I maintain that once they decided to ditch Saavik, they should have also ditched that whole treason/conspiracy plot. But now again we're getting back to the whole "ham-fisted and amateurish" problem.
     
  12. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I find it just fine.
     
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  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Again, killing Kruge did not "avenge" David's murder. There is no "one for one" satisfaction for the death of someone who murdered a loved one. It simply does not work that way. TUC realistically depicted Kirk as someone who had justifiable hatred for the Klingons for the ultimate, unforgivable crime (and a history of barbarism that left no self-correcting light at the end of the tunnel).
     
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  14. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    <Snickers>, Trek_God_1, realistically--really??? There was nothing realistic about Kirk's depiction in TUC; it was more as an exaggeration of blind hatred, and that's okay. The movie's weakness is its lack of support from Kirk's antagonists, or so called antagonists; the Klingons were not displaying hatred - just him and his cohorts. Decent movie btw but the substance was lacking, great SFX tho. At least that doesn't get old.
     
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  15. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Centering hatred of a group who count a murderer of a loved one among their number is more realistic than you can imagine, and has happened time and again, no matter the culture or region. Kirk's realistic reaction was just one of the reasons he was the most textured, relatable lead characters (certainly among captains) in the franchise's history. He's not standing on the steps of an ivory tower, droning professorial, soulless BS shared by no one else. Instead, he represented a familiar balance--of the troubles of heart and mind, which is just one of the reasons he's as much a representation of ST as anything or anyone.
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yup. The psychology of Kirk, regardless of the film's other failings Kirk's complexity is perfectly on display. Kirk is a flawed man and will take that as part of growing.
     
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  17. JamesRye

    JamesRye Commander Red Shirt

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    Everyone changes over time. In general, people get more conservative as they age (in general). Who knows what else happened to Kirk between V and VI. In the novel, Carol Marcus is also killed by the Klingons at the beginning! making his hatred more understandable.
     
  18. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    It was set just a couple years after TFF. That's one of the problems. The second problem is that we shouldn't have to extrapolate and make up events to fill their plot and character holes; the film itself should have done that.

    If only they had put that in the film, Kirk wouldn't have been so wildly out of character. But unfortunately, we can only go with what they gave us. And what they gave us was both clumsy and insufficient.
     
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  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk's half-hearted acceptance of Klingons at a light reception on the Enterprise is about as indicative of a change of heart as Kang and Kirk laughing at the end of "Day of the Dove."

    I agree that would add one more motivator, but I don't think he needed more. Watching Trek from TOS to the films makes his hatred understandable from the jump. The only difference is that the Kirk in the film contradicts prior fan assumption of a rather flawless hero with a winning smile.
     
  20. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TUC did not need Carol to be killed by Klingons to justify Kirk's hatred--his son was murdered by Klingons, and that was more than enough to support Kirk's feelings. Again, it was one of the most realistic reactions / motivations for behavior in the franchise's history, as it parallels real world reactions / emotions.
     
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