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Kobayashi Maru

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Interesting thought:

Our conversation centered around whether or not Dr. Holmes is correct in asserting that that peace time militaries shy away from making scenario’s too difficult, and whether or not our Navy should “make the simulation harder than real life.”

My reply to the good LT was that I agree with Dr. Holmes, we should be making our training harder than real life. But, I also want to know what the logical limit to such a line of thinking is–that we need to falsify ‘harder than life’ before we can say what our training should really be.

The Kobayashi Maru is a striking example from science fiction of a no-win scenario used to train a ship’s crew. But, such training immediately runs into the limits of human endurance already strained by the daily routine of shipboard life.

Tangent: I’m not sure that the purpose of the Kobayashi Maru scenario is to create a situation more difficult than those that Starfleet officers would face in real life. Rather, it was to prepare them for eventualities that some significant percentage could expect to face in the line of duty. Numerous Constitution class starships were lost, for example, even in the absence of a major war. The idea, I think, was that an appreciation of mortality could inspire a certain sense of grace in defeat.

On the broader point, there are surely benefits to making practice harder than real life, but there are also downsides. Simulations which produce unrealistically poor chances for success can serve to demoralize, as well as to make policy unnecessarily cautious. These questions came up often during the “Red Eagle” period of US fighter training, in which USAF pilots almost certainly flew MiGs with skill and tactics that typical Soviet pilots could not match. It’s not obvious that American pilots benefited from flying against MiGs using tactics that actual MiGs might never use.

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  • Sly

    The idea, I think, was that an appreciation of mortality could inspire a certain sense of grace in defeat.

    It struck me that the test was designed to make cadets think about the implications of their actions beyond the immediate circumstances; either way the civilians on the Kobayashi Maru die, but one choice doesn’t provoke the Klingons into an interstellar war, and that’s more important than the feeling of personal shame from abandoning them.

    • mark

      I’m with you on the first half of the response, but I think you are off on the specifics on what you’re supposed to get out of it. It’s certainly not a Homer Simpson style “kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

      • Sly

        It’s certainly not a Homer Simpson style “kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

        Didn’t mean to imply that it was. At least not how it was depicted in Wrath of Khan, though I suppose that could be said of the Abrams interpretation. Rather, that the Kobayashi Maru is a sort of personality test for aspiring captains. The point isn’t to pass it in the conventional sense – I don’t remember that “failing it,” i.e. getting blown up by the Klingons, prevented the cadet’s advancement (both Saavik and Kirk “failed” it, the latter three times) – but to gain insight into command decisions.

        • James

          The point of the KM test is that you can’t pass. Which is probably why the crew we saw was on the whole made up instructors rather than cadets: it is part of the Starfleet equivalent of the perisher course for prospective COs: here is a situation you might face, one in which ever action will be the wrong action. Partly to teach them some of the lessons above, and probably also to help match different types of commanders to different types of ships and assignments: the Enterprise-D would require a different sort of CO than the Defiant, to engage in some very high level nerding.

  • OhioDocReviewer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N-H1lz3OJ4

    “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.”

  • The Pale Scot

    we should be making our training harder than real life.

    Well, that’s how they do it in Tactical Simulator at Saganami Island training the officers of the Royal Manticoran Navy

    • rea

      Well, naturally it’s harder than real life–real life doesn’t have starships . . .

    • Lurking Canadian

      I had exactly the same reaction. The Manties don’t use the Kobyashi Maru scenario, but they sure as hell do the equivalent of giving ace US fighter pilots souped up MiGs.

      Always seemed sensible to me. Holding exercises in which you say, “Well, sure, their *planes* can do it, but we don’t think their *pilots* can” seems like a really bad idea.

  • The Pale Scot

    they do it in the

  • Tracy Lightcap

    Right before the Third Gulf War (US invades Iraq, ect.) story has it that the sand exercises for the war included a scenario where the Navy and the invasion force were sent into the Gulf. Unfortunately for them, the DoD put LTG Paul Van Riper in command of the Iraqi forces. He sunk an entire carrier task force and forced the withdrawal of the invasion. Then – of course – the DoD re-did the simulation outlawing the methods Van Riper had used to achieve victory and – of course – the Navy won the second round.

    It isn’t so much that armed forces commanders are intent on winning the last war. It’s more that they are intent on not learning the lessons from them. If Sadaam had had anyone like Van Riper on his staff – and, thank Jesus, he didn’t – we would have been sucking wind for a couple of months before we even got ashore.

    • I am very disappointed that Van Riper’s first name is not Jack.

      • James E. Powell

        I have no idea what he looks like, but I am going to imagine him with an eye patch.

        And with a cane like Richard Münch as General Marcks in The Longest Day.

        • Warren Terra

          I am going to imagine him with an eye patch.

          Or maybe a great big dueling scar. Or both.

    • Craigo

      Actually, from what I read Van Riper cheated in such ridiculous, blatant ways that the umpires were dumbfounded and rebooted the entire exercise. He claimed, with a straight face, that he had mounted anti-ship missiles on fishing boats that would have sank beneath their weight, and that his motorcycle couriers moved at the speed of light – among other such nonsense.

      You know that kid, who, when everyone was playing cops and robbers, would insist that he never got hit and that he himself never missed? That kis id Van Riper.

      • Bill Murray

        from Wiki

        Van Riper adopted an asymmetric strategy. In particular, he used old methods to evade his opponent’s sophisticated electronic surveillance network. Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World War II light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications. Van Riper used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of the opponent’s fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, he launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces’ electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of the opposing navy was “sunk” by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue’s inability to detect them as well as expected.

        • Barry Freed

          Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World War II light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications.

          Damn those light signals going at the speed of light. That’s cheating.

        • If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’

          • rea

            I suppose if the Iranians take out a carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf the next time we have a Republican in the presidency and a manly urge for warfare, we can always accuse them of cheating. Maybe the Commissioner will order the battle replayed.

    • mark

      Even assuming that the tactics weren’t unrealistic in the way Craigo described there was nothing wrong with that. The point of simulations is supposed to be to learn from it; if someone wins early on a ‘trick play’ then of course you restart and see what else you can learn.

      Spinning this as vaguely underhanded on the part of DoD is looking at it the wrong way. If Sadaam had anyone like Van Riper there’d be a good chance it wouldn’t matter, because we were game planning against Van Riper.

      • Warren Terra

        There certainly was a case to be made for entertaining the more outlandish ideas of how Iraq might defend itself.

        Take for instance the example of our Apache attack helicopters. According to what I read in the summer of 2003, our forces had the idea that their brand-new Apaches would be incredibly effective because they were relatively stealthy, the Iraqi air-defense networks had been bombed, and the Apaches could sweep in at night using their night-vision equipment to destroy their targets from low altitude with near-impunity. And then, in the event, they ran into an unanticipated tactic: the Iraqis lacked sophisticated air defenses such as guided missiles or anti-aircraft artillery, but they had functioning communications, they could detect the Apaches flying overhead (if only by hearing them go by), and they had a lot of people with AK47s. Solution: plot the likely time for the Apaches on their current trajectory to fly over a spot, and have a lot of people shoot straight up, flying at low altitude and within small-arms range, not even trying to cleverly aim exactly where the helicopter will be. According to what I read at the time, this tactic damaged enough Apaches badly enough that the plan to use sorties of attack helicopters to destroy Iraqi targets behind the front line was scrapped.

        • Warren Terra

          er, the helicopters would be flying at low altitude and thing range, not the gunmen.

        • That’s called “sector barrage fire”. The Iraqis used it even in 1991. Fill the air with lead and hope something flies through it.

          They did with bigger stuff too, in addition to small arms. Usually everything up to 57mm flak guns.

          • Barry

            I’ve seen diagrams of Soviet Army AAA stuff. They had a barrage.

            I’m not sure of the results, since the commanders were probably more casualty-averse than in a more desperate situation. The real conclusion might have been then in medium to high intensity warfare, helicopters get shot down a lot.

            • If you were an Iraqi AAA gunner or SAM operator, would you want to have missiles still on the rail or unfired guns when the senior officers come by after the battle?

              Better to fire ’em off and at least look like you tried to do something.

      • Scott P.

        Well, the first time the Japanese wargamed the invasion of Midway, the officers playing the US sank 3 IJN carriers. The exercise was reset due to the absurdity of the results.

        • ajay

          That sounds like a myth. I’d heard the opposite: that the US naval academy had wargamed Midway year after year in the 50s and 60s and never managed to get the US to win.

          • Andrew

            This I would find more plausible. The US win at Midway was spectacularly lucky, and depended on two things: Admiral Nagumo’s decision to re-arm his planes once the US fleet had been discovered, rather than launching to destroy them immediately; and the chance spotting of the Japanese fleet by a US recon plane at just the right moment, so that the US air wing caught the Japanese fleet with cluttered decks in the middle of re-arming their aircraft.

            • Anonymous

              And the late discovery of the US fleet due to a delay in launching a particular scout plane.

            • hickes01

              Recent book called, “Shattered Sword” argues US was in perfect position to ambush and almost screwed it up. Very, very good book.

              STH

              • David Haasl

                If I remember correctly, “Shattered Sword” disputes the idea that the IJN carriers were cluttered with aircraft when the SBDs made their dives. I think the rearming was done below decks in the hanger.

            • Plus the arrival of the dive bombers after the Japanese air cover had dropped down to go after the torpedo squadrons.

              Likewise the AAA guns were all pointing down to fire at the torpedo planes.

              • Alex Hall

                Shattered Sword argues that the CAP failed because it was laterally out of position, not vertically. Note that the Zeros were all on the same frequency on their unreliable radios, so coordination was very difficult. The cruisers and battleships were regularly directing them by firing their main guns towards incoming aircraft. Also, once their 120 rounds of 20mm were gone, the Zeros were reduced to two 7.7mm MGs, which was really not enough to take out US aircraft.

                Except for Akagi (attacked by all of three SBDs, and hit once), it didn’t really matter where the heavy AA was pointing. None of their AA suites were good enough to hold off several dive bombers at once. Kaga’s archaic FCS could only barrage fire. The others weren’t much better off.

          • Ahuitzotl

            It may sound like a myth, but it actually happened. Moreover, the gamed-out loss happened largely due to a decision to rearm, i.e. exactly as Nagumo then proceeded to do.

    • wengler

      If Saddam had been a halfway competent military commander, he could’ve cut off a US military offensive that had far outstripped its supply lines and had soldiers starving on the front lines 10 days into the war.

      Instead he buried his planes in the sand and dug trenches around the capital in which to burn oil. Because the US military doesn’t have infrared.

      • We expected much heavier losses in Desert Storm than what we encountered.

        General Horner told my unit (4300 Provisional Bomb Wing) to expect to lose 6 bombers.

        The KC-135s were told to expect 20% losses on Night One.

        • Gwen

          Was that because the expectations really were so dire, or because they were lowballing the situation so that anything better (“hey *only* three of your fellow crews didn’t return last night”) would boost morale?

          • No, that’s what the Pentagon considered a reasonable estimate. They also figured 15,000 casualties on the ground.

            Losses during the first week of the air campaign were roughly equal to the same time period in Vietnam. After that it went down significantly.

            We had several planes come back with battle damage the first few nights.

        • ajay

          We expected much heavier losses in Desert Storm than what we encountered.

          On the ground, a moderate degree of competence on the Iraqi side would have meant much heavier casualties.
          http://www.comw.org/rma/fulltext/victory.html

          • wengler

            There are a lot of cultural obstacles that prevent Arab militaries from being an effective organized force against a western-organized military.

            They seem to do pretty well as an irregular force though.

            • I trained a number of Saudi and Kuwaiti pilots when I was a T-38 instructor.

              Their pilot candidates were picked for political reasons (being from the right family) rather than based on aptitude.

              Every T-38 instructor from back then has at least one “Saudi student almost killed me story”.

    • Donalbain

      Was that the same guy who won a Gulf War simulation using coded messages from Mosques?

  • Prob w the K Maru is that, unlike Fight Club, everyone talks about it. So if you go in knowing it’s futile, then you go through the motions. Of course, Starfleet cd be looking for those who don’t do that … but whether to promote them or cull them is hard to say. (At least the new movies show some skepticism about whether a Kirk is a good idea.)

    • Murc

      Well, if you were to implement it in the real world, “Kobayashi Maru” would be shorthand slang; you’d never actually encounter a ship of that name within the simulation itself, because that would give the game away. You would only realized afterward “… oh. I wasn’t supposed to win. It was just my turn to be Kobayashi Maru’d.”

      • Taking the reboot as canon, the crew certainly seems to know just what they’re in. Even changing it up, that just makes every simulation carry a question mark; every problem carries the thought, ” am I really supposed to solve this?” Not good. (Compare the golf joke about the two-gotcha handicap.)

        • Barry Freed

          Taking the reboot as canon…

          I’ll see you at dawn. Pistols or swords, sir?

          • Warren Terra

            Phasers, surely?

            • Barry Freed

              Or diamond-shooting bamboo cannon versus obsidian dagger.

            • Richard Hershberger

              Or bat’leths.

              • Halloween Jack

                Self-sealing stem bolts!

                • Barry Freed

                  +9

        • Murc

          Taking the reboot as canon, the crew certainly seems to know just what they’re in.

          Hence my qualifier, “if you were going to implement it in the real world.”

          Even changing it up, that just makes every simulation carry a question mark; every problem carries the thought, ” am I really supposed to solve this?” Not good.

          I disagree. That’s very good. You want commanders in the field to be thinking “perhaps this situation is completely untenable and it’s time for me to preserve the lives under my command by getting the fuck out of dodge.” One of the hardest things to do as an officer, as I understand it, is to know when to retreat.

          One of the in-universe “failure states” of the Kobayashi Maru scenario is abandoning the ship to its fate and deciding that a lone ship that was so staggeringly dumb to violate the Neutral Zone isn’t work risking another war with the Klingons over. (Hikaru Sulu’s solution, in fact.) That’s only a failure inasmuch as Starfleet would prefer to always save everybody, though.

      • ST:TOS

        Or many scenarios feature a Kobayashi Maru. It’s the default ship name. You never know, but it’s in the back of your mind that this might be the one. Just like every new encounter in the depths of Federation space should prompt you to think “is this the one?”

        • Scott P.

          Sponsorship by the Kobayashi Corporation is how the Federation paid for its simulators.

      • Maybe I’m being more than usually dense, but isn’t “Kobayashi Maru” in that sense pretty much the future’s version of “The Lady or the Tiger”?

  • Sagas

    From a careerist standpoint, any graded inspection is something COs have a huge need to pass by any means necessary. Failing is on the CO, which means he won’t get promoted. Which means he gives the XO a ‘meets expectations’ evaluation, so the XO won’t get promoted, and on down the line. It looks bad upstream too- they put a non-performer in command. You end up with inspections/scenarios that 80-90% of crews pass, and there is zero institutional desire to make it more difficult – that is, have more failures.

  • malindrome

    “an appreciation of mortality could inspire a certain sense of grace in defeat”

    Was the goal grace in defeat? Or desensitization to tragic loss, such that even a defeated crew would not become paralyzed or confused? There might be many scenarios where even 5-10% of the crew could be saved, so long as the command staff didn’t completely go to pieces.

    • Another Holocene Human

      I always got the impression it was a sort of screening for personality disorder issues or other psychological problems that would disqualify a cadet from command.

      • So, Kirk?

        • Scott P.

          Reboot Kirk, yes. Canon Kirk, precisely not.

    • max

      Or desensitization to tragic loss, such that even a defeated crew would not become paralyzed or confused? There might be many scenarios where even 5-10% of the crew could be saved, so long as the command staff didn’t completely go to pieces.

      Yes?

      I’m with you – if you experience the consequences of possible defeat, the consequences of facing overwhelming odds, in theory you might be more cautious in situations which might turn disastrous, and you at least have some experience of dealing with situations in which defeat looks certain – hopefully giving the trainee some calm if they ever face that situation.

      Enterprise-type star ships aren’t fighter planes, engaged in mass combat, they’re capitol ships, often traveling alone, so you want to value getting the crew & ship home safely. Not to mention learning something of the value of avoiding wars with alien civilizations that might kick your ass.

      max
      [‘I think there was a B5 episode about just that subject.’]

  • ploeg

    One of the themes of ST2:WOK is the growing appreciation of the main characters of their own mortality, but the point of the exercise in itself seems to be to expose the cadets to their own morality (or values, if you like). Something that Chester Bowles said about the Kennedy Administration after the Bay of Pigs captures this idea nicely:

    Anyone in public life who has strong convictions about the rights and wrongs of public morality, both domestic and international, has a very great advantage in times of strain, since his instincts on what to do are clear and immediate. Lacking such a framework of moral conviction or sense of what is right and what is wrong, he is forced to lean almost entirely upon his mental processes; he adds up the plusses and minuses of any question and comes up with a conclusion. Under normal conditions, when he is not tired or frustrated, this pragmatic approach should successfully bring him out on the right side of the question.

    What worries me are the conclusions that such an individual may reach when he is tired, angry, frustrated, or emotionally affected. The Cuban fiasco demonstrates how far astray a man as brilliant and well intentioned as Kennedy can go who lacks a basic moral reference point.

    Obviously, there is a use for exposing the basic decision-making framework of cadets in such a way. But just as obviously, these sorts of exercises can’t make up the bulk of your training. You must deal with things as they are or things as they will become in the foreseeable future, and it’s important to know where things stand in reality and to figure out how to succeed in that reality.

    • Chris

      One of the themes of ST2:WOK is the growing appreciation of the main characters of their own mortality, but the point of the exercise in itself seems to be to expose the cadets to their own morality (or values, if you like).

      Pretty much.

      Kirk says “there’s no right answer, it’s a test of character.” For the two people that we actually know took it, sounds about right. Saavik goes in and does everything by the book. Kirk gets his ass kicked, gets up and goes at it again, gets his ass kicked, gets up and goes at it again and this time wins by changing the rules. Tells you everything you need to know about each of them.

      I really do love that movie. So very very good in so many ways.

    • cpinva

      possibly so.

      “The Cuban fiasco demonstrates how far astray a man as brilliant and well intentioned as Kennedy can go who lacks a basic moral reference point.”

      except the Bay of Pigs invasion was initiated, approved and planned during Eisenhower administration, not kennedy’s. he only learned of it after he was sworn into office. he expressed skepticism about the whole thing, but was convinced by the CIA that it would work, in spite of the fact that kennedy made it clear there would be absolutely no overt military support provided. as it turns out, he should have trusted his instincts, and killed it.

      • malindrome

        Expressed skepticism about the whole thing? I don’t know what you are talking about. The Bay of Pigs operation was the perfect expression of the Kennedy modus operandi. It was supposed to be covert, deniable, and effective. Kennedy loved, above all else, aggressive action. It blew up in his face. Kennedy’s instincts were always to send in the Green Berets. He just didn’t want to get caught.

        • Gregor Sansa

          Also, something pretty much identical to the Bay of Pigs had already been successful in Guatemala — the 1953 PBFORTUNE, followed by the 1954 PBSUCCESS coup. And that’s in fact part of the reason it was such a fiasco in Cuba, as Che Guevara had been there in Guatemala to learn the lessons.

          Without hindsight, the Bay of Pigs was not such an obviously crazy plan as you might think.

          • malindrome

            “Without hindsight, the Bay of Pigs was not such an obviously crazy plan as you might think.”

            Well, it was crazy enough that Arthur Schlesinger, Chester Bowls, William Fulbright, and Dean Acheson (among others) immediately recognized it would be a fiasco. Supposedly Acheson told Kennedy before the attack, “You don’t need Price Waterhouse to tell you that 25,000 Cubans beat 1500.”

          • Jay C

            SRSLY, Gregor? Operation Pluto may not (obviously) have been considered “obviously crazy” at the time, but even “without hindsight”, its principal flaw still confirms the tenor of the OP: that inadequate or overly-optimistic “war-gaming” of military missions can have disastrous results. The CIA organizers of the Bay of Pigs invasion made numerous errors of planning and execution, but the biggest one (AFAICT) was that they never seemed to have adequately planned for any serious resistance by the (regular, Castro-led) Cuban military.

            And no, the Guatemala interventions of 1953-54 weren’t the “identical” situations at all. Che Guevara might have learned something there, but more importantly, the CIA learned the wrong lessons, and assumed (without much self-searching, apparently), that they could replicate their success in Cuba. With results which were apparent.

            • Barry

              Wasn’t Guatemala a US-sponsored military coup?
              In that case the situations were the opposite.

  • Another Holocene Human

    Thanks for spelling Kobayashi Maru correctly for once!

    If I see “Kobiyashi” one more time I think I shall scream.

    • cpinva

      in space, no one can hear you scream, so go ahead!

  • BigHank53

    I’d just like to raise the point that the author of the original piece is talking about whole-crew training exercises on physical ships, not simulators. The Star Trek scenario is specifically a command simulation, whereas pushing people beyond their limits in meatspace will inevitably result in injuries and damage to equipment.

    Besides, all of us have direct experience with people who have spent months being Kobayashi Maru’d: airline pilots. Before any of them gets in the command seat of a jumbo jet, they’ve crashed the simulator hundreds of times.

    • Besides, all of us have direct experience with people who have spent months being Kobayashi Maru’d: airline pilots. Before any of them gets in the command seat of a jumbo jet, they’ve crashed the simulator hundreds of times.

      I’d like to think they’ve flown the simulator without crashing once or twice.

      • wjts

        Or at least cracked the high score list on the Zaxxon machine at the 7-11.

        • Col Bat Guano

          +1

      • ajay

        I’d like to think they’ve flown the simulator without crashing once or twice.

        “I’ve flown five hundred and seventy combat missions. Crashed every time. Come to think of it, I’ve never landed a plane in my life.” John McCain Admiral “Tug” Benson

    • Actually we train not to crash the simulator.

      We treat the simulator as if we were flying the real jet.

      • BigHank53

        Well, yes. The point is that it’s a hell of lot cheaper to (a) make mistakes in the simulator, and (b) have those mistakes evaluated by your trainers. Nobody wants a repeat of Air France 296.

        • BigHank53

          Which on reflection is a terrible example, since that crash wasn’t due to pilot error.

          • Actually it was. The A320 autopilot responded exactly the way it was designed to. The pilots had put the plane into a flight regime where the autopilot wouldn’t let them pull the nose up any further because it was close to a stall.

            The fact that only three people were killed shows that Airbus builds a sturdier plane than people give them credit for.

      • hickes01

        I’m curious, do they ever lock you in the simulator cabin and then pause the machine for an hour or two with no explanation? That is the passengers’ Kobiyashi Maru.

        • I don’t like riding as a passenger any more than you do.

          If I have the option I’ll take the jump-seat on one our freighters rather than go commercial.

          • hickes01

            Just remember what happened to Tom Hanks. If you have to ride jump-sheet on a freighter, always take a volleyball with you.

            • If you have to ride jump-sheet on a freighter, always take a volleyball blow-up girlfriend with you.

              Fiqqst, for extra pleasure.

  • Heliopause

    “I’m not sure…”

    You needn’t be. Capt. Kirk is not a character given to a great deal of subtlety and he straightforwardly states the purpose of the KM scenario.

  • jkay

    Isn’t the right way to kill them ALL out so God can sort them out, even though I’m an atheist? I’m consistent and always also want to fail ALL my wife’s students.

    Seriously, learning to die in games did help my son’s maturity. Not that I’m good at dying in Civ or Tropico…

  • Matt_L

    “Light training, difficult combat. Difficult training, light combat.” Suvorov (or really Tolstoy channeling Suvorov)

    • rea

      “What is difficult in training will become easy in a battle”–Suvorov, not Tolstoy.

  • Well, now I’m wishing my TV wasn’t busted so I could watch Wrath of Khan for the billionth time. Such an amazing movie.

    • toberdog

      Right down to the casting of Christopher Lloyd as the Klingon captain. He was great.

      • hickes01

        Wrong movie. Khan is the steroid bad-ass, Dr. Brown killed Kirk’s gay son. (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

        • toberdog

          Oops. Lloyd was in Search for Spock!

          But he was great.

          • OhioDocReviewer

            Speaking of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, I wonder what the chances are that ST:TSFS will be provide some of the narrative inspiration for the third reboot film set in the Abramsverse?

            After all, the original reboot film kind of paralleled ST:TMP (in both films, an immensely powerful ship or probe threatens Earth). Obviously, STID was very influenced by the storyline of ST:TWOK. Abrams and company seemed to have laid the groundwork by implying that war between the Federation and the Klingons is increasingly likely and the plot point of the Enterprise crew in battle at the Klingon homeworld Kronos.

            • OhioDocReviewer

              …and the plot point of the Enterprise crew in battle at the Klingon homeworld Kronos only makes a Federation-Klingon conflict more likely.

      • ajay

        Christopher Plummer. The Georg Von Trapp one, not the “Great Scott!” one.

        • toberdog

          That was ST VI.

  • sad

    More or less difficult is beside the point.
    In an emergency scenario, like combat, your brain doesn’t work properly.
    Don’t bother training to get “better”.
    You train using the exact same movements of the real thing. And you repeat it till it’s an unconsious responce. You train to be “predictable”.
    Harder or easier is pointless. Use the same movements.

    Peace and love and shit… sad

  • Halloween Jack

    It’s worth noting that Kirk really did encounter a real-life Kobayashi Maru scenario himself, in Star Trek: Generations, which could have been a great film (well, great for Star Trek films) if not for an incredibly clumsy script–it’s not encouraging when you have to have the preview audience tell you that you shouldn’t have one of the two iconic characters in the franchise die by being shot in the back.

    • Gwen

      Just imagine if someone like Christopher Nolan did “Star Trek: Generations”

    • EliHawk

      Actually, Generations is the exact opposite of a “no-win scenario” with the Nexus that can pop you out of it at any time, in any place, as many times as you want. Even if you fail to stop Malcolm McDowell, if you’re still alive when the Nexus shows up again, then you can start the process over and over again until the dozen or so Kirks and Picards you have just overwhelm him. Or you could have gone back to when McDowell was on the Enterprise early in the movie and just stick him in the brig. You really have to work hard to turn that into a scenario where people die. It’s like a must-win scenario.

      • Halloween Jack

        Actually, Generations is the exact opposite of a “no-win scenario” with the Nexus that can pop you out of it at any time, in any place, as many times as you want.

        Kirk didn’t know that when he went to fiddle with the thingamajiggy in the Enterprise-B.

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