Everyone remember when Kirk was going to leave Gillian Taylor in 1986? This may have been talked about before, but I'm rewatching The Voyage home and thinking about it just made my jaw drop. I'd like to explore the implications of it with two scenarios. All the facts I'm presenting are taken from Memory Alpha. First scenario: Kirk knew about the rise of Khan in 1992 and the eugenics wars. Maybe it was like the real world conflict in the middle east with groups like ISIS, but also encompassing India and China with militant groups actually succeeding in forming new nation states with social darwinism instead of religion as the primary driver. Whatever the case, thirty million people died in that conflict in the Trek universe, which may have included people in western countries. Second scenario: Kirk knew about World War III. Catherine Hicks, the actress who played Gillian is 67 years old as of 2019. That means she was 34 in 1986. For the sake of argument, let's assume Dr. Taylor was also 34 in The Voyage Home. In the Trek universe, the third world war started in 2026, ended in 2053, involved nuclear weapons, and had a death toll of 600 million people. I will restate: Kirk would have had some basic knowledge of this. Assuming Gillian was still alive at the ripe old age of 74 and wasn't vaporized in a nuclear exchange in those 27 years of war, she and her family including any children and grandchildren she might have had, would likely have died a slow painful death from radiation poisoning, living long enough to see the utter collapse of humanity and the glorious age of the post-atomic horror. She wouldn't have lived long enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel with Zefram Cochrane's warp drive and the arrival of the Vulcans. And Kirk was happy to let Gillian live through those events. What in the goddamn. This is the kind of thing that happens when you build a fictional world up to be so large with such a detailed history, and just have too much history built in so that everyone who writes stories for it can't possibly keep track of everything in that world. It relies on the audience not knowing all the history and details so that they can buy into each self-contained story and enjoy it for what it is. Sometimes it really hurts my brain to be a nerd.