What is Kirk's defining characteristic that makes him such a good complement to Spock and Mccoy?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by RookieBatman, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    I've been pondering the "trifecta" dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, the way all of their personalities play so well into each other, and the way Kirk just wouldn't be Kirk without drawing from the alternate perspectives of both Spock and Bones.

    I'm trying to boil it down to primary defining characteristics, in the same way that red, blue and green are primary colors on the color wheel. For Spock, the primary defining characteristic is obviously logic. For McCoy, I would say passion. But what is the primary defining characteristic for Kirk, that is distinct from those two and complements them so well? My first thought was boldness, but that's kinda along the same lines as passion. My second thought was wisdom (as in, the wisdom to know which one to listen to at any given time), but that seems too similar to logic. Maybe discernment, but that seems a bit too passive for a man of action like Kirk.

    Anyone else want to brainstorm for the best term that describes the primary defining characteristic which makes Kirk's relationship with Spock and McCoy so complementary?
     
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  2. Thowra

    Thowra Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I’ve heard them referred to Id, Ego and Superego before now. Not sure which is supposed to be which, though! The work because they represent the 3 sides of human personality and we see the sides in ourselves. Not sure how much I go along with it...

    ETA:

    Id= passion
    EGO= logic
    Superego= Morals

    Therefore Kirk is the balance between passion and logic

    ???
     
  3. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I've got two, not sure which would be better.

    First one I thought of is Flexibility, he adapts and uses the logic and passion.
    The second is Agency, he puts the logic and passion into motion. Although Spock is first officer, only Kirk gives the orders.
     
  4. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    Hm, that's an interesting way to think about it. I guess that's kinda what I was getting at when I talked about the wisdom to know which one to go with. I don't know, it doesn't feel completely dead-on to me.

    I feel like he's just the one who puts them into motion because he's the captain, though. I would say that's more of a role than a character trait.
     
  5. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe "decisive" might be a good spin on that idea of "agency." LIke, he's the one who makes the decisions and puts the logic and passion into action because he's the captain, but he's also good at doing that successfully because he's decisive, not just because he happens to be in charge.

    Certainly, "decisive" would be a firm counterpoint to Commodore Stocker in The Deadly Years. But of course, it's not always enough if it isn't coupled with logic, as we saw with Decker in The Doomsday Machine, or if it isn't coupled with passion as we saw with half-Kirk in The Enemy Within.
     
  6. Sareesataka

    Sareesataka Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I would say balance. Kirk was an effective balance between the 2 extremes of logic and passion. We've seen a few episodes where Kirk used logic to outwit a machine. And a few episodes where his passion got them out of scrapes. In the episode The Enemy Within, one half had the ability to reason, and the other half, the animalistic urges. So even within himself, Kirk bridged the logical and passionate sides of himself...then he died under a bridge. There might be some irony in there if you looked hard enough.
     
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  7. Herbert

    Herbert Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "We will call you Cygnus. The god of Balance you shall be" - Neal Peart, Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres
    ;)
     
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  8. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reason.
     
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  9. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    That's great, Spock is Apollo! Bones is Dionysus!

    No wonder Apollo didn't want Spock to beam down!
     
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  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well - technically - Green is NOT a primary color on the color wheel... It's Red, Blue and Yellow...

    I'll let myself out...:crazy:
     
  11. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    Technically, there are two sets of primary colors: red, green and blue are the additive or light primary colors (which is why they're generally the three colors that you change the values of to make a custom color in a graphics program, or to change the color balance on a TV screen). Red, blue and yellow are the subtractive or pigmentary primary colors (which is why they're the three colors of ink you load into a printer), but technically it's not even red, blue, and yellow; that's just what they told you in elementary school to make it simpler. It is more accurately cyan, magenta, and yellow. That's why they call it CMYK (the K stands for "key," which basically just means black), not BRYK. If you're curious, you can read more here.

    Life lesson: never try to be pedantic when you're not absolutely sure of your facts. Especially not on a Star Trek message board.
     
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  12. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  13. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Drive

    but we'll overlook 'A Piece of the Action' :shifty::lol:
     
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  14. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The most obvious; leadership
     
  15. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    Your own link admits that there's nothing sacrosanct about the "classic" red/yellow/blue standard, saying "In reality, any color circle or color wheel which presents a logically arranged sequence of pure hues has merit."
     
  16. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    That certainly is an essential characteristic of Kirk, but I'm looking for something more specific than that. Picard certainly has Leadership as a core quality as well, yet Picard and Kirk are very different. So, I guess another way to phrase it would be, what is the primary characteristic that defines Kirk's leadership style?
     
  17. 1001001

    1001001 Boorish Jackass Moderator

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    He invented the Butt Hat Fighting Style

    [​IMG]

    Later perfected by Barry Goldberg.
     
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  18. Sareesataka

    Sareesataka Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    HahA! That had to be the most awkward flying kick ever. Not sure what the hell Kirk was thinking. Not to mention looking really painful for The Shat.
     
  19. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Spock is our logic. McCoy is our passion. Kirk is our reason.


    Jason
     
  20. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    I'm guessing what somebody was thinking is, "we only have the budget for one take."