McCOY: Three months before retirement. What a way to finish.
KIRK: We’re not finished.
McCOY: Speak for yourself. One day, …one night, …Kobayashi Maru.
KIRK: Bones, are you afraid of the future?
McCOY: I believe that was the general idea that I was trying to convey.
KIRK: I don’t mean this future.
McCOY: What is this? Multiple choice?
Kobayashi Maru!!! Okay so for those who don’t know what Kobayashi Maru is, there is a small history lesson for you:
It is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and also appears in the 2009 film Star Trek. Screenwriter Jack B. Sowards is credited with inventing the test, naming it after a friend whose last name was Kobayashi. The test’s name is occasionally used among Star Trek fans or those familiar with the series to describe a no-win scenario, or a solution that involves redefining the problem and testing one’s character.
The notional primary goal of the exercise is to rescue the civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru in a simulated battle with the Klingons. The disabled ship is located in the Klingon Neutral Zone, and any Starfleet ship entering the zone would cause an interstellar incident. The approaching cadet crew must decide whether to attempt rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew endangering their own ship and lives or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction. If the cadet chooses to attempt rescue, the simulation is designed to guarantee that the ship is destroyed with the loss of all crew members.
Another fun little fact that James T. Kirk took the test three times while at Starfleet Academy. Before his third attempt, Kirk surreptitiously reprogrammed the simulator so that it was possible to rescue the freighter. This fact is revealed in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as Kirk, Saavik and others are marooned. Saavik accuses Kirk of never having faced the no-win scenario. Kirk replies that he doesn’t believe in such a thing. Despite having cheated, Kirk was awarded a commendation for “original thinking”.
ANYWHO!! Back to the book, sorry. The Kobayashi Maru (Star Trek: The Original Series #47) by Julia Ecklar. Great! There is something to be said about the classic crew of Star Trek and the story that were written for it. This Novel is more like a anthology of short stories. Mostly centering around Kirk, Chekov, Scotty, Sulu, McCoy. Full of character development and history, also the humor between everyone. A nice amount of action too, as each crew member talks about how they dealt with the infamous Kobayashi Maru test in the Academy. I loved Scotty’s go-for-broke solution to the no-win scenario.
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 cadet makes, and does not make.
I say grab this book if you find a copy! Great read! A most for every Trekkie out there.