ST:TOS "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

I just saw this episode and had wondered why Kirk and the crew seemed to hold both Bele and Lokai in an equal amount of contempt. I never saw the two sides as morally equivalent at all, but judging from how the show played out, the writers clearly expected I would. Also wasn’t Kirk acting like a dick to Lokai, continuously calling him prisoner for taking the shuttle craft, however he let Bele slide for stealing the Enterprise (twice).

Did anyone else who seen this episode feel the same way?

Well, when Bele demonstrated the ability to steal the Enterprise, the situation changed dramatically. At that point, it was no longer a matter of simply tolerating the two chuckleheads until they could hand them off to some REMF.

As for morally evaluating their “sides”, I figure Kirk etc. simply had no knowledge of their past activities or whose account was more accurate (which is a bit odd for two highly unusual humanoids playing a 50,000-year cat-and-mouse game that apparently wasn’t at all shy about entangling the “mono-coloured” along the way).

I’m personally more inclined to side with Bele, at least until the serious craziness got underway, but the episode is a tad undermined by its exaggerations. Fifty thousand years, really? If Lokai’s cause is still relevant after that much time, what kind of absurdly static society spawned these two? If their planet’s ecosystem is slow, too, maybe a tenth the speed of Earth’s temperate (or even polar) zones, the mass annihilation must have happened very recently (i.e. a lot less than 50,000 years) for infrastructure to still be visible. Even 500 years would erase much of human development after a species die-off.

Anyway, aside from the story benefiting from a few tweaks and ditching some of the more heavy-handed crap (“There’s no prejudice on Earth. That’s a 20th-century thing.”), I don’t have any particular problem with this episode. It’s a tad annoying that the camera kept zooming in and out whenever the Red Alert light was flashing, but… meh… 1960s TV budgets and such.

But, but Bele was black on the right side!

The entire ep was a heavy handed morality play. “Prejudice is BAD.” Yeah, we get it.

All the problems you noted are due to sloppy writing. As said above: “60s TV”

Frank Gorshin, tho … Comedy gold, man. You should see some of the out takes I’ve seen from this ep at cons. Watch this ep as an absurd comedy. It works that way.

I’ve never been able to figure out why the racism. When these fellows look in the mirror, they see one of the bad guys!

The invention of the first non-reversing mirror was a watershed event in their history. Additional designs followed, of course.

Thanks for clearing that up!

If SDMB had a like button, this would’ve been a liked post.

I guess we can assume Bele had superhuman tracking abilities. It’s not like Lokai was leaving footprints through the Enterprise’s corridors.

I have it on good authority that Bele was a 20th level ranger.

Half-drow, obviously…

That must be all the more reason for them not to take sides. I immediately sided with Lokai. Sure, his idea that he wasn’t stealing because he needed it was a little odd, but it was trumped by Bele’s inability to wait. Only by the end did he have a logical reason for that, and, by that time, it was too late for him to regain my sympathies.

Plus it was always clear that Bele was a racist. It wasn’t so clear that Lokai, again, until the end. Sure, he seemed a bit speciesist, but so was Bele.

No, the fact that Bele couldn’t follow the rules even when they were going to get him what he wanted (even if it took a little longer), combined with his willingness to use force without provocation, I just couldn’t side with him. I seriously believed that he and his people were racist enough to say that Lokai wasn’t really responsible for the killing. Obviously, being the Black analog, he was given an unfair trial, like many others would have been at the time of the show.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want an investigation, just that I was disinclined to believe Bele. If he was so sure Lokai was guilty, surely he had a ton of evidence from the original trial. Only when he voiced that his concern was that Lokai would sneak off did I actually have a somewhat legitimate reason.

Plus, if he’d have had his way, he would have been responsible for the death of millions.

I haven’t watched this episode in a while.

I assumed Kirk initially lookd more favorably on Bele (as per the OP) because Bele claimed to be some type of law enforcement, while Lokai was a high strung agitator.

Kirk, even though he bends the rules a lot himself, seems to be a stickler for regulations and order.

Yeah, and to me that makes the 2009 reboot even more offensive in a way. New-Kirk is a stereotypical rebel. He may as well be genetically engineered to have two extra middle fingers so he can better display contempt for “your rules, man!” Not only would he side with Lokai, he’d think Lokai was a wimp for not fucking the system even harder, man! You, like, ran away from Bele?! Fuck that shit, you should jump him and fight it out and even if you get beaten, keep trying because it’s all about respect, man! That fucking ass-clown with his fucking stupid rules fucking better fucking learn to respect me when I say him and all his fucking rules are fucking stupid.

I was not a fan of the movie.

Nor I.

No Fan I

I enjoyed but defintiely understand the problem. new Kirk definitely would have said, “Screw you. Screw you both, but screw him more, just because.”


The new movie was not of the body.

They worship the Sun, not the Son.