Originally Posted by Yagami Crewman
I think the scenario format DOES matter in that it changes what is learned about the cadet in the center seat... Take Sulu's Kobayashi Maru for instance. According to the novel Kobayashi Maru Sulu indeed chooses NOT to go in and backs up his reasoning while his crew mostly pretty much treats his decision as not only questionable but subject to vote. This would have told the instructors much about Sulu's AND their characters as potential starship crew.
Spock MAY well have studied the Kelvin incident in depth but drew vastly different conclusions from it than Pike did. Spock sees George Kirk taking command and facing his certain death... (Which was not certain until the autopilot was destroyed) and maintaining order and composure to do the necessary.
Pike saw a man who did not accept a hopeless situation and turned death into a fighting chance to live.
So it seems that not only cadets and viewers are torn over just what lessons these situations do and are supposed to teach. Kirk Prime's instructors saw in his actions and arguments the spirit of a man who would not just say "I've done everything I can... I guess that's it." but one who would pull a starship out of a hat to find the win. Pike saw that in both Kirks.
Spock saw an unruly cadet who did not appreciate self control. To Pike... Kirk's talents needed to be explored and harnessed. To Spock.. Kirk needed to "Be broken" first. It's Poker versus Chess all over again. Spock is a chess player but sometimes you have to bluff when all your chips are in the pot...
Agreed, Starfleet needed bold explorers, and risktakers. Pike saw that in Kirk.
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