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Maltz

Pike's dissertation on the Kelvin

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In the 2009 movie, when Kirk and Pike first meet, Pike tells Kirk that he wrote a dissertation on the USS Kelvin and George Kirk's sacrifice. But does this really make sense? Pike is about fifty years old in this scene and, assuming he entered Starfleet Academy at eighteen (as his official bio states), he would have already been an officer at the time of the Kelvin's destruction. Why then would he have needed to write a dissertation?

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Starfleet Continuing Education Credits makes as much sense to me as anything.

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When Pike made Captain, he had to write a thesis on his own 'Kobayashi Maru' scenario and picked George Kirk as his hero. Why else would he take such a special interest in a proven hard-luck story like young James T?

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Is Starfleet for all crew members or only for officers? If its only for officers maybe Pike was in the service for a few years before he went to officers training. Or maybe you have to have some kind of training for certain positions. Like when Deanna Troy wanted to be in the line of command she had to take a Kobayashi Maru test. Maybe there is also a dissertation involved that they didn't talk about in the episode.

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When Pike made Captain, he had to write a thesis on his own 'Kobayashi Maru' scenario and picked George Kirk as his hero. Why else would he take such a special interest in a proven hard-luck story like young James T?

^
Good as any explanation.  Works for me.

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Maybe they do co-op (work experience in the field). Technology changes all the time, it would make sense to return for an academic term every few years to stay fresh and on top of the latest discoveries. SF officers could be out on a long term mission doing repetitive tasks rather than learning about the latest breakthrough. I think it would make sense that SF officers wouldn't just graduate and never have to go back, they would do regular post-grad academics to keep up. 

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Maybe they do co-op (work experience in the field). Technology changes all the time, it would make sense to return for an academic term every few years to stay fresh and on top of the latest discoveries. SF officers could be out on a long term mission doing repetitive tasks rather than learning about the latest breakthrough. I think it would make sense that SF officers wouldn't just graduate and never have to go back, they would do regular post-grad academics to keep up. 

^
This.

I feel that an organization that exists to seek out the unknown would value continual academics throughout one's career; in effect, you're always learning.  You're a student of the universe.   And perhaps, as suggested above, the dissertation was part of an application to apply for the captaincy (much as Troi had to take a no-win Kobayashi Maru-style simulator test to become a full commander).

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