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The Kobayashi Maru

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Cover image
Author(s): Julia Ecklar
Publisher: Pocket Books
Series: Pocket TOS #47
Titan Books #30
Published: 1 December 1989
Pages: 254
Stardate: Unknown (2273; 2244; 2254; 2259; 2267)
Reference(s): ISBN 0671658174
ISBN 0743419987 (eBook)
Audiobook
Narrator: James Doohan
Running Time: 82 minutes
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audioworks
Published: 1 June 1990
Reference(s): ISBN 0671708953
See Kobayashi Maru (disambiguation) for related links.

Kirk and his crew face certain death... while journeying deep into their own pasts!

Summary

From the book jacket
A freak shuttlecraft accident – and suddenly Captain Kirk and most of his senior officers find themselves adrift in space, with no hope of rescue, no hope of repairing their craft, or restoring communications – with nothing, in short, but time on their hands.
Time enough for each to tell the story of the Kobayashi Maru – the Starfleet Academy test given to command cadets. Nominally a tactical exercise, the Kobayashi Maru is in fact a test of character revealed in the choices each man makes – and does not make.
Discover now how Starfleet Cadets Kirk, Chekov, Montgomery Scott, and Sulu each faced the Kobayashi Maru... and became in turn Starfleet officers.
Kirk's story relates how, after failing the test more than once and becoming more and more obsessed with it, he cheats and reprograms the test to make it think he was so famous and respected in battle, that the simulation adversaries instantly surrender and offer assistance.
Chekov's story begins the review of his decision to self destruct the ship so that it doesn't fall into enemy hands. It then relates his (and his classmates) rather humorous misinterpretation of a Starfleet Academy exercise in which the class is left on an empty space station and ordered to 'stay alive.' Many booby traps, ambushes, and hacking into computers later, Chekov ends the exercise by 'suicide stunning' himself and several of his former teammates (who had captured him) so that nobody wins. He later learns that Kirk successfully completed the exercise with high honors, having ensured that no one 'died
Scotty's account of the test relates how a teacher and mentor at the Academy recognized Scott's genius at engineering but also recognized Scott's family's need for him to complete command school for family honor. When Scott lasts longer than anyone else ever on the test, using his knowledge of engineering and theory, the same teacher has him kicked out of the school, pronouncing him unfit to command, as one of the theories he had used only worked in the program, but wouldn't in real life (Scott knew this). This allowed Scott to return to engineering full time...his true love.
Sulu's story relates his relationship to his great-grandfather. Soon after Sulu enters Command School, his grandfather makes the decision to stop taking treatments for a terminal cancer, thus choosing to end his life with dignity. While this estranges the pair for the final several weeks of the grandfather's life, it teaches Sulu the value of learning to let go...a lesson he uses to refuse to even try to rescue the Kobayashi Maru during the test.
Between each story is related how the four work together to survive and send a signal to call for help from the Enterprise

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background Information

  • The ship pictured on the cover is a Tritium-class ship, designed by Rick Sternbach for the Spaceflight Chronology. It is not clear if it was meant to represent the fictional space vessel Kobayashi Maru. In the original design it was a prototype Starfleet ship that only entered limited production, not a neutronic fuel carrier ship.
  • In the Interplay game Starfleet Academy, the Kobayashi Maru level can be reprogrammed as Kirk described in this novel. Even the dialog is similar.
  • The image of the KM itself on the cover would later be used as the basis for the design of the ship when it made a canonical appearance of it in 2009's Star Trek. [1]

Characters

James Kirk
Hikaru Sulu
Montgomery Scott
Pavel Chekov
Kojiro Yance 
Fictional character, captain of Kobayashi Maru
Kozar 
Fictional character, Klingon commander of IKS Kh'yem.
Kozar would appear again in a comic book issue of Star Trek (DC volume 2).
Howell 
Admiral who supervises Kirk's test and serves on the evaluation board for Scotty's.
Walgren 
Admiral who supervises Scotty's test and serves on the evaluation board for Kirk's.
Aldous Kramer 
Commodore, Chekov's cadet bloc instructor and test supervisor, also supervises a subsequent command scenario in which Chekov participates.
Rachel Coan 
Commodore, Sulu's cadet bloc instructor and test supervisor.
Hohman 
Commodore who serves on the evaluation board for Scotty's test.
Shoji 
Commodore who serves the evaluation board for Scotty's test.
Constrev 
Lt. Commander, member of Howell's staff and friend of Kirk's at the academy. Human, but born and raised on Vulcan.
Sasha Charles 
Chekov's academy classmate and girlfriend at the time of his Kobayashi Maru test.
Robert Cecil 
Chekov's best friend at the academy.
Alan Baasch 
Chekov's academy classmate and arch-rival.
Tetsuo Inomata 
Sulu's great-grandfather, affectionately called "Poppy".
Maria Theresa Perez-Salazar 
Sulu's academy classmate, and his first officer during his Kobayashi Maru test.

References

Halley 
Enterprise shuttlecraft.
IKS Kh'yem 
Fictional Klingon battle cruiser faced in the Kobayashi Maru scenario, commanded by Commander Kozar.
Kobayashi Maru 
Fictional 3rd class neutronic fuel carrier under Captain Kojiro Vance.
USS Yorktown 
Template:ShipClass ship Cadet Chekov commanded a simulation of.
USS Exeter 
Constitution-class ship Cadet Sulu commanded a simulation of.
USS Saratoga
Constitution-class ship Cadet Scott commanded a simulation of.
This would seem to be a reference to the heavy cruiser USS Saratoga mentioned in the Star Fleet Technical Manual and the Federation Ship Recognition Manual.

Timeline

  • 2244: Scotty's test.
  • 2254: Kirk's test.
  • 2259: Sulu's test.
  • 2267: Chekov's test.
  • 2273: The shuttle accident.

External links


Previous novel: Series Next novel:
#46: The Cry of the Onlies Pocket TOS
Numbered novels
#48: Rules of Engagement
Dreadnought! (#29) Titan Books release order The Trellisane Confrontation (#31)
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