STbtM 030: Kobayashi Maru Begins
Gaila is not happy that Uhura has started stripping in front of Kirk, hidden under the bed, and actress Ms. Nichols responds to Uhura's clothes removal and simultaneous story of the klingon distress calls with a perfectly deadpan "Oh no." "Yeah! A klingon armada was destroyed – 47 ships." "So, [nervously] you're not going back to the lab tonight?" "Gaila, who is he?" "Who's who?" "The mouth breather hiding under your bed."
Kirk jumps up and asks, "You can hear me breathing?" "You!?" As Kirk grabs his clothes in a bunch, he says in as serious a tone as he can "Big day tomorrow." "You're gonna fail," Uhura hisses, throwing some clothes at him with "Get out!" followed by pushing and all of it resonated authenticity of real dorm experience.
Kirk blurts out to Gaila "I'll see ya around…" at which she smiles like an imp and nods enthusiastically as Kirk stumbles backward looking at Uhura, and asks "If I pass, will you tell me your first name?" "No! Goodnight."
"I think the fact that you found that you picked up a transmission is very interesting!" as Uhura pushes him to the door and closes it in his face. This is the best comedy moment in the film, only marred by continuing a disgraceful media trend that admittedly is a sin of omission. Part of what I loved about Star Trek was that it tried to provide entertainment that uplifts our spirits, fires our minds, inspires our imagination, and moves our emotions. Roddenberry did not want to choose from the media options available to creators at the time. He did not want to have weak women, subservient Africans, conniving Japanese, evil Russians, and others augmenting a cast dominated by strong, intelligent white men who prevailed in endless barfights, gang fights, gladiator fights, space fights, gunfights, showdowns, and fights with fists, poisons, knives, swords, guns, bombs, and every other imaginable instrument of harm. All of them heroic victories over evil – just the kind of show advertisers prefer for "conditioning audiences" to look upon their product favorably, and war tends to be very profitable, as Adam Smith and notable others like Smedley Darlington Butler observed.
We cut to a closup of Uhura on the bridge simulator, "We are receiving a distress signal from the USS Kobayashi Maru, the ship has lost power and is stranded. StarFleet Command has ordered us to rescue them." Now, some purists voiced the objection that in the previous simulation from the movie, the captain could decide whether to attempt a rescue or not. I have no problem with this version however, since it is presumably an earlier version, and it seems reasonable that a later simulation would have more decision options built into it.
Kirk turns from her com station aft, to the forward viewscreen and corrects her with "StarFleet has ordered us to rescue them…Captain." McCoy, who is at the helm rolls his eyes and says "Two klingon vessels have entered the Neutral Zone and are locking weapons on us." The "skipper" smirks back at him: "That's OK." "That's OK?" "Yeah, don't worry about it." In the observation room, we see one male sim technician ask, "Did he say don't worry about it?" and another male asks: "Is he not taking this simulation seriously?" Back on the sim bridge, McCoy announces "three more klingon warbirds decloaking and targeting our ship. I don't suppose this a problem either?"
Kirk has no chance to respond as a crewman announces "They're firing Captain!"
Next: Cheating to Win