What happens between TMP and WOK?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Commander Kielbasa, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think there was much support for the idea that TMP would be in 2273 until the Okudas suggested it in their Chronology. Back when the movie was made, the idea of "Star Trek happens 300 years after the airdate sharp" was going strong among the fans, and TMP was made by fans, sort of. And the movie itself contains the tidbit that it happens over 300 years after the launch of Voyager 6, while Voyager 1 and 2 went up no sooner than 1977.

    OTOH, five year missions are problematic overall. Supposedly, nobody performed one of those before Kirk, because he lists this as a unique qualification for challenging the mystery cloud - even though Earth, the de facto home of Starfleet, ought to have thousands of officers qualified to command a starship and not hobbled by being Chief of SF Operations. Certainly Kirk didn't perform two of those before TMP, because he only refers to one.

    That there would exist a "five year mission" is a concept only ever mentioned in ST:Into Darkness. There, Kirk is excited that this is how long he will be spending in deep space if/when chosen for the mission. Elsewhere, five years apparently is just what the mission clock says when Kirk, for unrelated reasons, says it's time to go home - and is only commented on ex post facto.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Longinus

    Longinus Commodore Commodore

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    Right. So it is a bit weird that Okudas decided to set it in 73, even though in many ways a later date would make more sense.

    Well yeah, the whole five-year mission term is a bit weird. But the main question is who commanded the Enterprise and when, regardless of how their mission was defined.

    In any case, I have really hard time accepting that SF would allow an admiral to have the command of an starship for years.
     
  3. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The whole "five year mission" thing is a bit nebulous anyway, as the Enterprise never seems that far away from home, given the number of Starbases they pass, and the various Federation dignitaries they ferry.

    If it weren't for the opening monologue, there would be no such concept. The Enterprise-D's "continuing mission" is better because it makes it sound like the search for new life is a standing order that they follow when not otherwise engaged. That fits with what we see on screen much better.

    True deep space assignments seem much rarer. The Olympia in The Sound of Her Voice is one I guess.
     
  4. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    The temporary grade reduction may have been a loony concept, but maybe he used his influence to make it stick for a while.

    Kor
     
  5. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Wind Premium Member

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    Bennett and Meyer came along and rebooted the universe. :)
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or perhaps it wasn't all that temporary, but a permanent price Kirk had to pay for getting that brief command, and it took him years to work his way back to Rear Admiral.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Landru1000

    Landru1000 Ensign Red Shirt

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    He lists this as one reason why he's better qualified than Decker, along with his familiarity with the ship and crew. I don't think he's claiming he's the only captain to oversee a five-year mission.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Basically, his list contains just two items: "five years out there dealing with unknowns like this", plus familiarity with the ship. He himself must know the latter point is moot, as the ship has been rebooted. So the five years do appear very significant in setting him apart from the competition.

    Although it's not as if he's really up against any competition. He has already won the race unfair and unsquare, and now he's making excuses. But it does seem likely that his five years trump Decker's knowing the ship in formal and objective terms, too.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You mean working his way back to a job it was clear he didn't want?
     
  10. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kirk's rank was the same in TWOK, but his job was not. From what we saw in TWOK, Kirk's position at the Academy was quite different from what he did as the Chief of Starfleet Operations.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Is there any indication that Kirk is at the Academy? I always thought he was more of a mentor to that particular class.

    I just doubt that an Academy administrator would have access to sensitive material like the Genesis Project.
     
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  12. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    That has become the standard wisdom, but there's really nothing in the movie to support it. Kirk was on an inspection tour, which almost any high-level brass could do. He could have been, for instance, the flag officer over that region, or over that ship, or over Starfleet training overall, or he could be like an inspector-general and looking into many different aspects of Starfleet.
     
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  13. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only indication we have is Chekov telling us Kirk is part of the "general staff". He doesn't seem to have much to do with the Academy - Saavik and the rest of the cadets don't appear to have met him before.

    His role on the mission seems to be that of an external examiner for want of a better term. Spock seems to have basically invited him on to the ship as a birthday present, and he's going to grade the performance of the cadets.
     
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  14. Garth Rockett

    Garth Rockett Commodore Commodore

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    Well, there were a couple of schools of thought on the dating of TOS (and by extension, TMP) at the time. The Spaceflight Chronology (published by Pocket to coincide with TMP) has Kirk's original five year mission from 2207-2212, and TMP around 2217. In the Okuda's chronology, they went with 2271. The first time I remember the 2273 coming up in an officially licensed publication was Voyages of Imagination (2006), which took Voyager's 2270 date for the end of the five year mission and adjusted the Okuda date accordingly.
     
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  15. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's an interesting thought. Kirk does refer to them as "your cadets" when he's speaking with Spock. And Kirk does ask Spock later how they'd handle real pressure when the Enterprise is heading to Regula I. You'd think he'd have an idea if he'd been dealing with them more actively.

    Yeah, I think you folks have convinced me. So if Kirk wasn't doing something connected with the Academy, what were his duties instead? I'd like to think that Kirk wasn't so foolish as to accept a desk job again, considering how unfulfilling he found it before.
     
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  16. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    As has been argued by me and others before: There is no "again"; no time passes "between" TMP and TWoK because they are not sequential, the Okudas and the followers of their Chronology notwithstanding. That is, TMP takes place in a pocket universe that went its own way, with no possibility of communication between that universe and the one where the further original-crew adventures take place. (My analogy in written SF is to Gregory Benford's 1980 novel Timescape, which I unreservedly recommend - specifically, what happens to the people in the UK of 1997 whom we've gotten to know.)
     
  17. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Whilst I agree that TWOK basically ignores TMP, there's no reason they can't coexist in the same universe.
     
  18. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    But they can only exist in the same universe if one occurs before the other. If we postulate (as I have since 1982) that it's utterly unlikely that the Kirk of TMP would give up the hard-won return to starship command - that he would somehow let the unseen Nogura prevail upon him to resume a desk job, etc., after having saved Earth - then it follows that there is only one desk job in which Admiral Kirk begins either story; that is, one story does not take place before or after the other, and they indeed cannot coexist, hence a new timeline is formed.

    Trying to make TMP and TWoK fit together is, in my view, as doomed to failure as trying to make the Simpsons episode where Marge gets an incredibly elaborate kitchen remodel (which costs $100,000 and is never seen again) fit in with the continuity of that series. Of course, in that case a Simpsons fan will say "Heck, it doesn't have to fit in"; that's how I feel about TMP and TWoK.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  19. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Simpsons doesn't claim to have a continuity, as the characters haven't aged or progressed in 30 years. Bart will always be 10 years old.

    Reconciling TWOK with TMP isn't impossible. TMP sees Kirk regretting his promotion, as he still feels he has a lot to offer with Starship command.

    That's changed by TWOK. He feels old, he's bristling and making barbed comments about starships being a "game for the young". I'd suggest something happened to make him feel this way, probably some incident towards the end of his tour of duty. Perhaps he blamed himself for not reacting fast enough (which would be in character)?

    Perhaps Beyond points to another reason. After a possible second five year mission, did he start to have a crisis of confidence and self-belief? Was he depressed? It takes TWOK and the death of his friend to get him over that slump, whatever the cause was.

    You're right that the Kirk of TMP wouldn't have found himself in the position of TWOK Kirk, but a lot of time has passed. It's an unexplored period in Kirk's life, aside from the Antonia episode.

    TLDR - Something happened to Kirk between TMP and TWOK that made him accept another desk job.
     
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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see Kirk having all that much influence over his own career. And Captain Kirk would have even less of that than Rear Admiral Kirk, "voluntary" rank reduction or not.

    That Kirk is a celebrity is probably more a curse than a blessing here. He may have skyrocketed to Chief of SF Ops due to some heroics associated with the TOS mission (provided Starfleet wanted to make those public), or due to some unknown heroics; after ST:TMP he would certainly be famous, and after ST4:TVH, even more so. But celebrities would be special assets to Starfleet, and quite possibly kept on a short leash. "Up or out" could apply after the first incident, "Head down or out" after the second.

    In ST:Beyond, Kirk is being asked pretty please, and there he's a celebrity and a renegade all in the same package - much as after ST4 but at a younger age. But since he doesn't make a choice Starfleet would disagree with, the short leash concept can still apply.

    Timo Saloniemi