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  #51  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:32 AM
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Well the Nazis gave that order after a German U Boat Commander attempted to save the passengers and crew of a ship that I believe was misidentified as a target and sunk. They had made a mistake and the Commander tried to fix it. I believe it was called the Laconia Order after the ship in question. Plus the Allies had also left people to die after sinkings as well. But that may be a whole other conversation about wartime High Ground.

The Narada was not an innocent ship. Far from it. And if the assumption of guilt on a whole crew or ship is swimming against the tide of Federation idealism it would seem our man Kirk is not the only Starship Captain or Starfleet officer to take that stance.

So, one can either assume the crew were innocent apart from the the top and thus were victims. Or one can assume they were not innocent. Since we will never know then it becomes a circular discussion informed more by personal opinion than evidence made available. As perhaps is the question of whether the Narada was no longer a danger or not.
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Last edited by kevin : 12-26-2012 at 06:46 AM.
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  #52  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:46 AM
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Well the Nazis gave that order after a German U Boat Commander attempted to save the passengers and crew of a ship that I believe was misidentified as a target and sunk. They had made a mistake and the Commander tried to fix it. I believe it was called the Laconia Order after the ship in question.

The Narada was not an innocent ship. Far from it. And if the assumption of guilt on a whole crew or ship is swimming against the tide of Federation idealism it would seem our man Kirk is not the only Starship Captain or Starfleet officer to take that stance.

So, one can either assume the crew were innocent apart from the the top and thus were victims. Or one can assume they were not innocent. Since we will never know then it becomes a circular discussion informed more by personal opinion than evidence made available. As perhaps is the question of whether the Narada was no longer a danger or not.
I don't doubt that both sides made 'errors of jugdment' in the real world but we are talking about a movie here from a franchise with a message about an idealistic future.

It was extremely unikely that any of the crew were completely innocent victims (leaving prisoners aside). However, the point I was making was about the assumption that they were as culpable as the command crew and thus 'deserved' summary execution. There are a wide number of possible crimes of which the crew could have been guilty that could have fallen short of the death penalty (leaving aside the issue that the death penalty only exists for treason ).
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Last edited by Pauln6 : 12-26-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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  #53  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:58 AM
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There could indeed have been other options if the crew could have been rescued.

Not that Star Trek movies have ever been fond of that course of action anyway. An idealistic future certainly never stopped the bad guys and some of their (innocent?) henchmen going out in a big bang before. Certainly not where Kirk is concerned (there's a triumphant final torpedo fired at Chang after he has already been pummeled by not one but TWO Federation starships instead of arrest and trial). But that ability to rescue is also debatable and since you can't in this instance get the crew off then you don't really have any way to explore them before you make a choice.

I mean, in theory if someone wanted to try beaming over to a ship being bisected by an artificial black hole and wander around bringing people over then with the Captain's permission you could give it a try!
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Last edited by kevin : 12-26-2012 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Boxing Day TV sucks.
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  #54  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Pauln6 View Post
Kirk was right to offer assistance and, in fact, he did not need Nero's permission to provide assistance and what he was effectively trying to do was to take Nero into custody. This is absolutely the Federation way. Apart from that, the ship contains important technology, details about Klingon defences, etc. There may also be prisoners on board. Saving the ship is high on a list of priorities, although not as high as bringing Nero to justice.

However, what Kirk should not do is endanger his own ship while trying to efect an arrest/rescue.

In staying as close as he does in order to actively destroy the ship, he is carrying out a summary execution of everybody on the ship without an individual assessment of their innocence or guilt of any particular crimes. That is definitely not the Federation way and conjures echoes of indiscriminate attacks by drones on legitimate targets that kill civilian bystanders i.e. Kirk has no knowledge of innocent prisoners on the ship and therefore assumes that there are none. He also endangers his own ship and crew. That is also not the Federation way.

There are passable reasons for destroying the ship - if it travels through time again, the technology could cause havoc but dialogue suggests that the singularity will destroy it. The singularity will also prevent the ship from firing weapons. It's not clear how comms still work either but the fact that they do could mean that people could have been beamed off the ship and, given the range of the transporter established earlier in the same film, this could have been attempted from a much safer distance (or while travelling to amuch safer distance).

To summarise, the scene was very sloppily handled. Kirk doesn't explore his most obvious and safest options, and executes helpless prisoners. Not the Federation's finest hour.
The best post in the thread.
I do not totally agree that Kirk executed them as I think that he has good reasons to guarantee that the ship will not survive another singularity.
But Kirk's lack of consideration of the two main points you mentioned, that the ship as well as the people on it are a) assets to the Federation and b) deserve to be treated according to Federation rules (people who defend the stupidity of the Tattoomulans usually like to emphasize that they are civilians / INS neatly showed how Picard distinguishes between the madman at the top and his crew and even saves the latter), reflect poorly on his command abilities. Show how or at least that he thinks! After all Kirk is meant to be the guy who does not merely consider his options but even transcend them (Kobayashi Maru, talking computers to death).
And as you pointed out the worst thing was that the vibe of this scene is pure insincerity and trigger-happiness. Kirk enjoys a good fight but never felt great about kicking a man who is already down. And yes, we have to point out that the new Trek movies both feature "terrorists" and the neo-con "we can do with a mass-murderer whatever the fu*k we want" message is definitely inappropriate for Trek. If the protagonist gloats when the enemy goes down the writers missed the most important part of the movie they tried in vain to copy.
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  #55  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:37 AM
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I agree, I don't think there was anything that Kirk could have done but a line of dialogue to establish:

a) That they could not beam anybody off, and;
b) That they could not risk any part of the ship surviving atrip through time;

would have run truer than Spocks objection to standard Federation procedures.

And again, it would have sent a clearer message if Nero had destroyed himself.
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  #56  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:50 AM
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Well, sure we all have different ideas of what makes a scene suitable for consumption. Given previous films and a generally different appraisal of the scene as it exists I wouldn't insist on it as a requirement this time. The second suggested line would probably be the one I would 'add' if I had to choose between them. I think that would defuse some of the different ways different people view it.
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Last edited by kevin : 12-26-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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  #57  
Old 12-26-2012, 08:35 AM
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Here's the bottom line:

It's a story. In the story, the writers have decided that the good guys are good, flaws and all, and the bad guys are bad, flaws and all.

The good guys win, after suffering a horrible loss (billions of Vulcan lives)....the bad guys lose (they all are rallied behind Nero, and what he says, goes). They die no less horrible a death than the billions of Vulcans whose lives they took....justice is done. The good guys save the day, the Earth survives, and the U.S.S. Enterprise continues boldly going forward....'cause they cannae find reverse!

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  #58  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:09 AM
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Trek has always avoided this good guys vs. bad guys simplicity. I don't wanna imply moral relativism, there is good and evil in the work and most of the times it is clearly recognizable from an objective point of view. But when we have to make decisions it can become very difficult to avoid the temptation to do something wicked.
So there aren't good guys and bad guys (I have done good and evil things in my life but I am neither a good nor an evil person precisely because I am free to do good or evil and not condemned to always be evil or blessed to always be good) but there is good and evil and all of us have to continually struggle to do good.

If this sounds slightly Christian it is not coincidental, it is after all Christmas. I stick to the words written by my favourite Catholic author who has ironically often been accused of portraying a simplified good vs. evil story (usually by dumba*ses who never read his work) :
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
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  #59  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
Here's the bottom line:

It's a story. In the story, the writers have decided that the good guys are good, flaws and all, and the bad guys are bad, flaws and all.

The good guys win, after suffering a horrible loss (billions of Vulcan lives)....the bad guys lose (they all are rallied behind Nero, and what he says, goes). They die no less horrible a death than the billions of Vulcans whose lives they took....justice is done. The good guys save the day, the Earth survives, and the U.S.S. Enterprise continues boldly going forward....'cause they cannae find reverse!

Well that's only because we've diverted into the supposed plight of nameless crew (who I might add we've never had given great consideration before since almost none of the previous films ever asked us to care either) who now may or may not be innocent of the fate dealt them.

The primary villain in a Trek film has always had motivators and reasons for their acts and always pays the price of death (by this measure the movies themselves stand in opposition to the normal TV series route of not always killing off the villain but this is more a function of the difference between TV shows and movies anyway) either by the action or inaction of the crew of the Enterprise. Sure these reasons are not usually complex or even always entirely logical (you just have to accept some things are as they are in Trek!) but they do exist. It's not usually overtly simple (and indeed Nero's reasons are roughly par for the course based on past performance) but neither is it too murky either.

In Star Trek villains remain mostly clear cut.

But I've never been asked to cry for henchmen before so I'm really not going to start now.
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  #60  
Old 12-26-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Trek has always avoided this good guys vs. bad guys simplicity. I don't wanna imply moral relativism, there is good and evil in the work and most of the times it is clearly recognizable from an objective point of view. But when we have to make decisions it can become very difficult to avoid the temptation to do something wicked.
So there aren't good guys and bad guys (I have done good and evil things in my life but I am neither a good nor an evil person precisely because I am free to do good or evil and not condemned to always be evil or blessed to always be good) but there is good and evil and all of us have to continually struggle to do good.

If this sounds slightly Christian it is not coincidental, it is after all Christmas. I stick to the words written by my favourite Catholic author who has ironically often been accused of portraying a simplified good vs. evil story (usually by dumba*ses who never read his work) :
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
Wise words to be sure. You have peaked my curiosity . . .might I ask whom this author is?
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