Star Trek's Admiral Picard Updates Spock's Kobayashi Maru With 'Diplomatic Approach'

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Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise that was long introduced by Spock in J.J. Abram’s Star Trek film in 2009. The training exercise was rendered to be unbeatable in order to test out the Starfleet Academy cadets’ resiliency in an unwinnable scenario. Only one was able to get through—James T. Kirk, who famously won by cheating. Considering how the Kobayashi Maru has yet to be changed, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard returned to alter the training exercise with a more diplomatic approach in a story set between the second and third seasons of Star Trek: Picard.

Fans finally get to see how Admiral Picard changed Spock’s Kobayashi Maru as Seven of Nine’s time to face it approaches, and fans can watch its special altercation in Star Trek: Picard - Stargazer #1 by writers Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson, artist Angel Hernandez, colorist J.D. Mettler and letterer Neil Uyetake.

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Before officially getting to join the Starfleet, Seven is required to pass multiple tests before earning a spot. Part of the process when enlisting in the Starfleet is accomplishing Picard’s Kobayashi Maru. Seeing as Seven has a broader background upon serving the U.S.S. Voyager, Admiral Picard decides to increase the difficulty to test their true skill limitation. This is where Picard’s altered Kobayashi Maru comes in.

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In any fantasy or sci-fi shows and films that involve some sort of entrance examination before any protagonist or potential recruits get to join a particular group or team, physical and super abilities are usually utilized in testing out their limitation, to be assessed by the commanders on whether they have what it takes to become a part of the fleet. In Picard’s case, he’d decided to maneuver the test differently by yielding an unconventional method on future cadets.

Seven’s test involves having to mediate peace between two races at war. Given that Picard values diplomatic sensibilities over the original ‘kinetic’ test, rather than being all-action and physical attributes, Picard’s Kobayashi Maru relies on civil negotiation, psychology, and philosophy — hence, the diplomatic approach.

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