Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Kane_Steel, Oct 30, 2017.
A bit of a moral dilemma for sure
How about becoming a Vulcan double agent.
These are Klingons we're talking about. That's all the information we need.
After being attacked by the torchbearer, Burnham attempted to depart, bumped into the torchbearer, the torchbearer then bounced off part of the Klingon ship hull. Striking the hull is most likely what killed him.
I just reviewed the section of the episode where this all takes place, when did Burnham shoot the torchbearer?
The Klingon entered federation space, disabled a relay satellite, attacked a federation officer sent to investigate and fired first ship to ship.
The Klingons were aggressive beforewards.
Agreed. All agreed. My apologies. I misspoke on the shooting...but only she and the late Torchbearer are aware of that. Too bad her GoPro wasn't working, eh? (And, believe me, I wish it had worked. It would've saved her, as a sympathetic character, in my judgement).
My point remains the same: unless Starfleet has some kind of intercept that details that the Klingons always intended to go to war, the fact remains that an encounter with the Klingons ended up with at least one dead and Burnham alive. Starfleet took into account the circumstances--and, yes, the Klingons did not belong there--and she was still lawfully convicted not for her actions there, but for her mutiny. The "she started the war" meme is just an unfortunate elision and that happens, sometimes. Hell, Burnham doesn't even try to deny it! Sure, that's survivor's guilt, but...she's not helping her case.
Personally, I don't care about that part. The war began; the Klingons took advantage of the strategic environment and made a masterful use of the Federation's tendency to drink their own Kool-Aid, mirror-image that everyone in the universe thinks like they were raised two blocks from Starfleet Command, and severely underestimated the tenacity of a species bred to war.
The point is she's a mutineer. You don't come back from that, ever. Period. She has shown bad judgement and, in the estimation of her commanding officer, was a broken person to begin with, because she was human child, raised as a Vulcan, to a standard impossible to fulfill. This would have left her with an enormous amount of issues that should have been resolved on a Couch but, no, Philippa arrogantly thought (at Sarek's suggestion) that simply giving Michael a good role-model would be enough to regroove Burnham's behaviour patterns. Sorry. Your personality is all-but-set-in-stone by your early adult years. By Michael's age...well, it stretches credulity to suggest she could make a turn-around like that after only seven years. And Philippa recognised that, at the end...right before she was assaulted by her protégé.
Now, I realise the show is likely not going to deal with this realistically. She's the POV character. I suspect the writers have zero experience with chains of command, the military, or practically anything outside of their epistemic bubbles on the West Coast. My guess is that she'll end up in the centre seat, sometime. I just don't think that's a respectable idea. I think it cheapens the enormity of the dishonour of her actions. And...for what? If you're going to signal that something is virtuous, at least have it be virtuous! What she did was in no way, shape, or form virtuous!
Does that mean she could not have a redemptive arc? No. She could. But I just do not believe that, at the end of that arc, we should give her the prize. Actions should have consequences. And, for the record, I felt the same way about Kirk in The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home. But he was already a starship captain, with decades of honourable service. Not so, Michael.
There's a needle to be threaded here. She should pay for what she did but, at the same time, it shouldn't be for life. Permanent demotion, sideline her to the warrant ranks, whatever. Just not the centre seat.
They don't need an "intercept". Everybody knows that Klingons live for war, and will do anything to get it. It's just what they do.
The simple fact is, Klingons are an inherently warlike species. They can't NOT fight.
(And no, it's not "racist" to point this out. You can't be racist towards a fictional species, after all...the Klingons are what they are simply because the writers made them that way.)
Perfectly agree, though apparently all the naïve peaceniks in that-era Starfleet--Lorca excluded--would not have. They were mirror-imaging their own naïveté when they thought they could negotiate their way out of a conflict, once it had started. Even Sarek cautioned that the Vulcan's solution might not be transferrable, but he did not deny that it had the potential to work. He was wrong and just as naïve as the admiralty, though to a much lesser extent.
But you misunderstand my point. My point was, unless there is some kind of intercept that proves that the Klingons wanted war and were determined to get one irrespective of what the Federation did, all that Starfleet had to go on was the forensic and testimonial evidence presented at Burnham's court martial. Nothing that we know, as an audience, matters. And so, the whole "Burnham started the war" meme is likely as not unassailable. She largely believes it, herself.
Ergo, it makes no sense whatsoever to believe that, at the end of her redemptive arc, she should somehow be in the centre seat. Even if she accomplishes actions worthy of her namesake, brings the war to a successful(ish) conclusion, or, hell, announces the Second Coming, it won't matter. There is no public evidence out there that she did not start the war and unless Starfleet Intelligence has something, the public will never know that it was a tragedy that was probably unavoidable.
There are two issues here we are dealing with: what she was court martialled for--mutiny, etc.--and the public perception that she started the war. On both accounts, she's at least partly screwed six ways to Tuesday because her GoPro was out and the narrative spread during her trial that she started the war. We, as the audience, know she's a good case against the "She started the war" but that's not what she was ultimately convicted for. And on that account--and that account only--I don't think she should be in the centre seat.
Just because Burnham thinks she started the war, doesn't mean she actually did. She may be so intent on wallowing in self-pity as to put up no defense whatsoever (indeed, given what little we saw of her court-martial, she didn't even retain her own defense counsel), but that doesn't preclude the possibility that she's simply WRONG in her assessment of her own actions.
If Burnham is to become Captain at some point then i think towards the end of the show or even the last episode would be a good idea. First thing the show will need to do over a period of time is redeem her in the federations eyes so that making her captain does not happen too suddenly.
I think we may be speaking past each other and if it's my fault, my apologies. I'll try once more.
Yes, you and I may think she's wrong--and likely is wrong, seeing how T'Kumva schemed--but the Federation does not know that or, if they do, that apparently hasn't gotten out yet. On that account, the narrative that Michael started the war is probably unassailable because there is no evidence to the contrary and plenty to indicate, circumstantially, that she was a hot-head with poor judgement that got in over her head. Her subsequent mutiny reinforces that perception.
But that isn't what she was convicted of. She was convicted of mutiny and other assorted, related charges. On that account, the facts were crystal clear. She was a mutineer. Even from the omniscient, audience, God's-Eye view, she was a mutineer. She might have thought she was right but she wasn't. She was lawfully convicted and rightly so. That is a separate issue from the perception--valid or not--that she started the war. The two blend together in the public's eyes because, after her encounter with the Klingons, she mutinied. Looking back retrospectively, it's easy to see where the public might say "Well, since she mutinied, I guess it's believable to say she started the war." It simply makes it more likely, their eyes, despite the fact that, logically, the two things are unrelated causally.
What I am saying is that I really don't care about the war-guilt part. I do care about the mutiny aspect. And on that measure, I think it's an easy disqualifier from command. Personally, having been a juror in a court-martial, I would've thrown the book at her (though life is a bit harsh). All of this talk about her being redeemed I find ethically and morally offensive. She was wrong. She should, therefore, serve an equitable punishment. In my service, that would've meant hard time, a dishonourable discharge, and being stripped of all ranks and privileges.
Look, I understand the desire of some to see her redeemed. I get that. When I heard that she would be on a redemptive arc, I thought we were going to see her give bad advice that led to a clash and, thencely, to war. I had no idea they were going to do the mutiny angle. It's shocking. It's also an incredibly bad writing decision. It makes her completely and thoroughly unsympathetic, in my eyes.
But, having said that, I realise that that's just me. There are alternatives to command and serving her full sentence. Commutation is always an option, combined with reinstatement at an appropriate rank. But to hand her command after being Starfleet's first mutineer? That would be bad for morale, corrosive to the chain of command, and it completely shatters suspension of disbelief.
But I don't suspect the writers care about that. They want a redemption story. Fine. They'll do what they'll do.
That doesn't make it logical, ethical, or, especially moral.
The OP asked when we wanted to see Burnham become the Discovery's captain. My reply was, for the reasons I've outlined, "Never." She doesn't deserve it. IF she is to be superficially redeemed, her arc should see her performing some glorious action, followed by a hero's welcome, a partial commutation of her sentence, and the offer to become a Warrant Officer in her specialty...and then being shuffled off to some anonymous science vessel in the backwaters of the UFP where she can actually do what she was trained to do...and do no further harm to the honour of her service or the Federation.
^If the writers are sticking to 'Starfleet is not the military' dogma then it would not surprise me if Burnham makes it to the Captaincy to end the show. In those circumstances, Starfleet Admirals are no more than shareholders who can reinstate captains like one can reinstate a Chief Executive, no matter what they have done.
Get ready to suspend belief....from cadet to Captain, from mutineer to Admiral. (Real military personnel must killing themselves with laughter).
Why not make her Captain of an insignificant ship?
...or grinding their teeth in disgust at a writing team who has the appalling taste to think such a thing is desirable...
But why a captaincy at all?
Let me try to use an example of why I think even that is a problematic choice.
Imagine you're on a real fire-team, slugging it out somewhere where you've the potential to get shot at. You've an XO who is pretty darned smart, seems a shoe-in for command school after this next hitch, and, suddenly, in the middle of a tactical situation, when things start to get hot, decides he or she has the proper frame and not the CO. What's more, the XO, rather than back down, as the chain of command dictates, or get someone else to go talk to CO, someone who might persuade him or her, actually assaults his or her commanding officer and, to boot, lies about it, and tries to give you what we call in the U.S. military an "unlawful order."
Now, think fast: your life may be on the line. What's more, even if your life isn't on the line, your career is. Disobeying a direct order is punishable by the UCMJ but...so is obeying an unlawful order. And, to top it off, if that unlawful order goes against something else--say, the Geneva Conventions--you can get charged for not only a UCMJ violation but also go down for war crimes or crimes violating the Laws of Armed Conflict.
But, since you get this training every year, you spot the problem with his or her story, and do the right thing and resist your XO's entreaty. The XO is subsequently overpowered or isolated. The truth comes out. The XO is charged and convicted--you may have even given testimony against him or her--and off you go to what is hopefully a successful career, having dodged a bullet with the siren's song of the now-convicted XO.
Let me ask you this: would you ever trust that person's judgement ever again?
The Admiralty, who have to make decisions based on the good of the service and the good of the Federation, will have to look at that and, to be honest, if they come to any other conclusion than she is not deserving of service, much less command...well, it just shatters suspension of disbelief. It also makes me wonder if the writers actually understand what the purpose is of a chain of command. If I were of a darker mindframe, I might even wonder if they are not sending a coded message, seeing how, when the plotlines for Discovery were lain down, Chelsea Manning was in the news, after her commutation by Pres. Obama. I would like to think no one is that crass, but...Hollywood truly thinks differently than other parts of the nation and what they believe is virtuous does not entirely comport with what other regions of the U.S. do.
I suspect, though, that a more parsimonious explanation is that they simply do not understand chains of command or how offensive setting something up like this would be to many of the people who have served under one.
Imo,she should never regain her former rank. But for plot reasons, I expect it to happen.
I wouldn't even be willing to serve under them and if forced... Well... Accidents happen.
Well... Lorca revealed as the true villain of the series, as everyone predicted.
Burnham as the Captain of STD is coming soon.
I knew there was no way they'd make straight, white male Lorca into a heroic character. Their agenda has been to elevate Burnham to the hero and 'Captain' of this series, and they haven't been subtle about it.
Kirk is probably already know throughout the Federation as 'the STD Captain'.
I don't think she should ever become a captain. The story would be more compelling if she doesn't.
I think at some point evidence is going to surface mitigating her actions in the eyes of her superiors and she will be able to redeem herself, but no organization likes to admit publicly that it was that very wrong.
With Lorca maybe staying in the MU,Saru is the Captain. Burham is still rankless, so how could She even get a field commission? Not from Saru.
Separate names with a comma.