Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Star Trek
Byrne Robotics > Star Trek Page of 2 Next >>
Topic: Does The Prime Directive Count In Other Universes? Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 26 July 2017 at 3:05pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I finished reading the STAR TREK/PLANET OF THE APES trade recently (sold here as part of the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection). I really enjoyed a crossover that I did not think would work at all. And if you haven't read it, you should give it a go.

*MINOR SPOILERS*

For reasons that obviously protect the integrity/timelines of both franchises, the ape earth is in a different universe to the one where Starfleet exists. No spoilers, but basic premise is that the Klingons have discovered the ape earth in the parallel universe, Kirk enters that universe to find out what their recent activity entails - and Kirk and crew land on ape earth where they team with various characters against the apes and Klingons. I'll say no more.

There's a scene (is there a comic equivalent for the word scene?) where McCoy and Kirk wonder whether the Prime Directive applies in a parallel universe. They decide it does and look to create as little interference as possible.

So, the question is, does the Prime Directive apply in parallel universes? Should it?

From a real-world perspective, let me say this: if I travelled to Mars, far in the future, and suspected a Martian of causing trouble/committing a crime, with perhaps only circumstantial evidence, I would still want due process to take its course. Technically, I doubt the Geneva Convention would apply on a first mission to Mars - but on a humane level, I'd want a Martian I met to be given some 'human' rights. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Rob Ocelot
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 December 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 818
Posted: 26 July 2017 at 5:59pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I would say it applies.

There have been occasions where the people involved aren't even aware they are in a parallel reality or even a divergent timeline.  I would tend to think that the temporal prime directives that have been described (from the TNG era) would also cover parallel realities.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 26 July 2017 at 6:21pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I would tend to think that the temporal prime directives that have been described (from the TNG era) would also cover parallel realities.

***

Remind me, please. Been such a long time since I have watched TNG.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Joseph Greathouse
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 August 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 426
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 6:40am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Captain's and crew should act by it no matter where they are.  But, if there is an infringement, there really is no way to enforce it since most travel to parallel worlds is accidental.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Makes me wonder if Starfleet would punish a violation that took place in a parallel universe.

I think we should treat all others well (wherever we are), but I know the human mindset. There'd be a temptation for a captain to say, "Admiral, does it apply in a parallel reality?" 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Byron Graham
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 September 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 749
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The Prime Directive applies to Starfleet personnel. I would imagine their duty location is immaterial.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 168
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Was Kirk breaking the prime directive then when he urged Mirror Spock to revolt against the Empire?

(Regarding the Apes/Trek crossover itself, I loved the artwork but thought the script was terrible. Aside from the minor thrill of seeing Spock and Cornelius in the same room together the crossover really was not justified. Ridiculously convoluted fan w*nk.)
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108906
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 9:59am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

...is there a comic equivalent for the word scene?

Scene.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Byron Graham
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 September 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 749
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 10:13am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Was Kirk breaking the prime directive then when he urged Mirror Spock to revolt against the Empire?
-------------------

Of course he was. Kirk is a Starfleet officer and took an oath to uphold the tenents of Starfleet, of which the Prime Directive is one. Kirk, or any other crewmember, being in another universe doesn't change their obligation to uphold those rules.


Edited by Byron Graham on 27 July 2017 at 10:14am
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108906
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Of course he was.

Hold on thar, Sparky!

Kirk asks how long the Empire can last, and M'Spock says a few hundred years. That, by definition, exempts Kirk's actions from the Prime Directive. The Empire is not a viable society.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Marten van Wier
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 August 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 432
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I don't recall much of the crossover but I also was not very impressed of it.

There were some big plotholes in the story such as how the Klingons accessed the "Planet of the Apes" universe (oh I know about the devices but it was not explained where these came from and how the Klingons got them, sort of a chekov's gun that could easily have been replaced with just some spatial rift or wormhole) or the plot point on the end in which ones of the apes gets Spock's tricorder and discovers time travel slingshot effect through it (hint hint, it ties into PotA 3 * sigh *)

The story itself was also very average, playing on tropes of both franchises as well as how those tropes usually play out and like someone else also mentioned here felt more like a fan fiction story. (wouldn't it be cool if Captain Kirk met Colonel Taylor and fight the gorillas who are allied with the Klingons)

Around that point I stopped buying most IDW's Star Trek comics as they were doing nothing with the Original Series or Next Generation other than these crossovers with other franchises.
(hmm wasn't this around the time that Abrams wanted all the material on the original Star Trek franchise be canceled?)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 12:12pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Scene.

***

Thanks.

I was always concerned, when discussing comics with "civilians", that my terminology might be wrong. At least I only have to remember one word now! 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1638
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 1:05pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

The instant a "primitive" society (for sake of this discussion) discovers any other society about which they did not know, the Prime Directive has been broken. But technically, one might even consider that when a genius member of society makes a far reaching discovery.

That's by the strict word of the P.D., I feel. But I also feel that it should not be a hard and fast, unbreakable dictate. I'm hoping that we can agree that the Prime Directive, summarized, is that it is forbidden for observers to interfere with the internal development of "alien" civilizations.

Didn't much seem to bother the Organians to do so, though, now did it? Were they amoral? Unaware of the directive's nature? Or did the find it to be an unacceptable guideline? (Or yeah, maybe the writer didn't think about it...)

The point of the Prime Directive is one visited on Earth more than once, and was shown in the origin story of the Watchers - let an advancing society advance at its own pace and make its own discoveries.

If the principle and not the letter of the P.D. is followed, I think it applies to any society. Of course, how can someone possibly know if the civilization they are about to interact with isn't as advanced as the Organians were to Starfleet and the Klingon Empire, or in "Insurrection"?

I think it's a guideline and not a hard and fast unbreakable law. I think it's situational, and that's why exceptional people are chosen to be Starfleet officers.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Eric, are you a lawyer? I like what you've written, particularly about it being a guideline rather than an unbreakable law (I suspect Starfleet Legal would disagree, though).

Oh, and Marten, what's this about Abrams wanting TOS material cancelled?!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Marten van Wier
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 August 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 432
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 4:39pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Oh, and Marten, what's this about Abrams wanting TOS material cancelled?!

****

A few years ago, I think around the time of the 2009 Star Trek comic, Abrams wanted CBS to discontinue all the previous Star Trek material. DVD/Blue Ray boxes but perhaps also online episode streaming, and other related media tie in/merchandise material. (which probably would also include the comics)

Abrams, or at least his company people felt that having the old Star Trek still being continued in some fashion along side the new Star Trek universe would confuse the people like for example which actor portrayed James T Kirk and whose face would be put on magazines, posters, and so on.

The idea was to reboot Star Trek completely and start over with books, comics, video games, other merchandise, and perhaps eventually a new television series in the re imagined universe.
All of this under the control of Abrams company.

Well CBS did not want to play ball and that ended that plan for a media/merchandise empire.
But now I wonder if at the time that IDW decided to discontinue all comic material based on the original series, TNG, DSN, and so on. on the insistence of Bad Robot who may have wanted that the comics based on the movies would be the only ones.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 27 July 2017 at 7:58pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 4:55pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Thanks. Disgraceful, really.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ray Brady
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3653
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 8:58pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

On the subject of the Mirror universe: I was under the impression that the Prime Directive specifically applies to less technologically developed cultures. Since the Mirrorverse has pretty much exactly the same technology as the Trekverse, Kirk's suggestions to Spock couldn't be a violation of the Prime Directive, could it?
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14357
Posted: 27 July 2017 at 11:29pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

The Prime Directive serves very much the same purpose as Marvel's Watchers' non-interference oath: By contaminating a culture/planet with advanced technology and information, that culture/planet's natural progress would be altered or destroyed (as the Watchers learned the hard way). It's designed to allow nature to take its course in regards to the cultural and technological evolution of a planet. 


Something like the Empire surely falls outside that directive, I think. After all, the Empire is not a pre-warp, pre-technological society. It's a multi-planet, multi-species, evil counterpart to the Federarion, which goes out of its way to terrorize and conquer. There's no "natural development" to interfere with, there. It's not a growing, thriving culture contained on a single planet. It's a corrupt and evil military force which is disrupting the natural order for many, many planets. If anything, putting a stop to the Empire serves to affirm what the Prime Directive stands for--the fall of the Empire will leave planets and cultures to develop in peace.

Kirk knows--as does Mirror-Spock--that the Empire can't rule through fear forever, and so wants to plant the idea of revolution in Mirror-Spock's mind. This is a case of trying to minimize the damage the Empire causes in its death-throes by accelerating its demise.


Of course, as DS9 revealed, it all backfired horribly. Sigh.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1638
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 3:47am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Robbie - no, I'm not a lawyer. (Should I be insulted? :) :) :)

I DID get involved a lot in political science and model United Nations a LOT when I wore a younger man's clothes. Taught me to listen, to respond to what was said, to address the cogent points instead of the trivia, and the art of the compromise - that being, the deal is a good one when everyone is equally dissatisfied. (That's a good rule right there. Remember it in any dealings that you have, lads and lasses, and you'll have a better perspective on deals.)

I KNOW Stafleet Legal would disagree... but as was noted many times, Starfleet Captains were out of touch for months at a time and had to act autonomously. This, I think, automatically changes the nature of the rules governing such captains... they just couldn't wait 36 hours for a decision that had to be made in 10 minutes. Nor should they have to... there's a reason that being a captain had such stringent requirements. James T. Kirk was an extremely exceptional individual, as were most other Starfleet captains. There was no way to describe them as "mavericks", because the nature of their encounters DEMANDED that they determined their own actions - not a board of seventy year old men half a galaxy away who couldn't possibly understand any new situation that might arise. Thus, guidelines rather than unalterable, uncompromising laws had to be the way.

"Zero tolerance" is an untenable and unreasonable phrase regarding the actions of Starfleet captains... circumstances always had to be considered. (Come to think of it, that's true even today in businesses and schools... but it's SO much easier to not have to judge or maintain a set of personal morals when one can simply say, "Doesn't matter if your mother was dying... this is the rule.")

Does that make me a bitter pseudo lawyer? You bet your tort it does.
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108906
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 4:12am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I was always concerned, when discussing comics with "civilians", that my terminology might be wrong. At least I only have to remember one word now!

Thanks for asking! It makes me crazy when self-proclaimed "fans" insist on talking about "word bubbles" and "art boxes" and actually become quite belligerent when any attempt is made to correct them!

Back to Top profile | search
 
Rob Ocelot
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 December 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 818
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 5:19am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Remind me, please. Been such a long time since I have watched TNG.

Department of Temporal Affairs first appeared in DS9 and there's lip service paid to a "Temporal Prime Directive".  (TRIALS AND TRIBBLE-ATIONS)

I'm jogging my memory as to whether it's mentioned in VOY.  It's definitely established that Federation timeships like the Aeon and Relativity became commonplace at some point in the following centuries.  Braxton in FUTURES END hails from the 29th century.   It's entirely possible that incursions into the 24th century from the future lead to the creation of the DoTA and the TPD in the 24th century "present" (ironic, because they would have been temporal violations in the first place).

edit:  There's a lot of odd revisionist history in STAR TREK (well, not in TOS).  The DoTA in DS9 cites Kirk as one of the worst temporal violators, but it sounds more like he's being retroactively charged (literally!) under laws that didn't exist until after he was dead. I've always been a bit suspicious of the "past" shown in ENT as those Temporal Cold War incursions in Archer's time from the 30th century led to the creation of things like Section 31 and possibly even the DoTA.   TOS might as well be in it's own separate parallel reality because it has less and less to do with the hot mess the rest of STAR TREK has become as time marches on.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 28 July 2017 at 5:47am
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Rob Ocelot
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 December 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 818
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 5:49am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

BTW, I think a case could be made that the Earth Empire of the Mirror Universe may be sociologically immature compared to the Federation and thus interfering with it's natural development would be a Prime Directive violation.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8600
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 6:45am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Thanks for the update, Rob. I swear my memory is getting worse with old TV shows and films!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Casselman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 January 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 920
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 7:53am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Eric, I think a lot of what you describe could be boiled down to simply "discretion out in the field".

If there's one thing I think Star Trek Into Darkness got right (or at least had the right intent with not-so-great execution) was the scene where Kirk and Spock were called before Pike to explain the cold-open mission. If Starfleet had lingering questions about a mission that may have had a violation of an aspect of the Prime Directive, Starfleet Command could call the Captain and other witnesses and participants to 'hear out' what happened in the heat of the moment. An organization such as Starfleet could use each incident as a 'learning experience' to further train officers in what-to-do situations during first contact encounters or surveillance of pre-warp civilizations.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1638
Posted: 28 July 2017 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Micahel - I fully accept that description. Sure a lot less wordy than I am!

In the excellent novel "Federation", a splendid crossover novel, there is a situation where the Enterprise and Enterprise-D are in vicinity (inside a black hole, so it's kinda sorta wonky physics, which doesn't matter for this discussion.) The Enterprise is aware of the other ship, but the moment they realize it might be from the future, they shut down communications and reduce the viewscreen resolution to bare minimum... able to identify the other ship's location, but impossible to observe any details. Their rationale is a "Time Directive", wherein the Federation is fully aware of time travel, and intercourse with a future vessel is forbidden.

The Enterprise-D is aware of this as well, and the discussions are fascinating. Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens write a riveting scene, and if you're interested in a really terrific non-canon piece of work, "Federation" is a HONEY. I could read that book, go refresh my iced tea, sit back down, and read it again. The Reeves-Stevenses have a lot of good novels, and their Star Trek work is really nice to me. YMMV, of course...
Back to Top profile | search
 

Page of 2 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login