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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Too Smart for Your Own Good "Too Smart for Your Own Good"
Star Trek #19
Written by: Mike Johnson
Story Consultant: Roberto Orci
Artist: Claudia Balboni
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
March 2013


Scotty's destined path as an engineer is revealed as he tells the story of his life.


Didja Know?


This issue does not have an official title. The title I've used here was inspired by a line of dialog repeated throughout the story. When this issue was reprinted in a trade paperback, it was titled simply "Scotty".


Notes from the Star Trek Chronology


The end of the issue reveals that Scotty is telling the story of his past to Keenser while they are still stationed on Delta Vega, so it must take place some time before he beams himself off the planet with Kirk in "The Vengeance of Nero".


Didja Notice? 


The cover of this issue features a mini-schematic of the Enterprise which labels the main bridge as being located on top of the saucer section, though a scene in the movie (see "The Vengeance of Nero") seems to depict the bridge on the bottom of the saucer! The schematic also reveals a battle bridge located on the central strut; the concept of a battle bridge on Starfleet vessels was introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, mainly for use when the captain deemed it necessary to separate the saucer section from the rest of the ship, either due to damage or to protect the civilian families aboard during space combat.


The issue opens with Scotty's memories of a story his mother used to tell him about an ancestor's time aboard the sailing ship HMS Enterprise in 1787, off the coast of Gibraltar. Possibly this is the real world ship of the British Royal Navy, launched in 1774. Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea.


The captain of the HMS Enterprise commands to "check the bastays" and "watch for the broach". "Bastays" is a corruption of "backstays", standing rigging in the rear of a sailing vessel. "Broach" is a term used in sailing; a sailing vessel heading into the wind which, if not steered carefully, can cause the vessel to roll and possibly capsize, "broaching" the vessel.


On page 2, the captain of the HMS Enterprise comments that their orders are to push the French back to Biscay. At this time in history, Great Britain was in a series of skirmishes with both France and Spain. Biscay is a province on the northern coast of Spain.


On page 3, Scotty's ancestor and the captain trade exclamations that are foreshadowings of those shared by Kirk and Scotty in the 23rd Century:

"I need more from these sails, Mr. Scott!"

"I'm sorry, Captain, but she's givin' us all she's--"


Also on page 3, the captain of the HMS Enterprise is worried they'll lose the crossjack in the storm damage. The crossjack is the lowest yard (spar) on the mizzenmast of a sailing ship.


Scotty grew up in Linlithgow, Scotland. Linlithgow is a real town in northern Scotland.


On page 4, we see that Scotty, as a boy in 2231, has holographic representations of three vessels projected under the ceiling of his room. One is a space shuttle (possibly Enterprise), the second an airplane, and the third a sailing ship (possibly the HMS Enterprise). There also appears to be a Rubik's Cube on his nightstand.


We see that, as a boy, Scotty's mother called him Monty, short for his first name, Montgomery.


On page 6, we learn that Scotty's full name is Montgomery Christopher Jorgensen Scott.


On page 7, Scotty's grandfather brags that the Scott family has produced the greatest engineers in history for centuries. Whether that is exactly true or exaggeration due to familial pride is unknown.


This issue reveals that Scotty has a younger brother called Robbie (presumably, short for "Robert").


On pages 8-11, young Monty is wearing a t-shirt with the logo of the Ramones, a 20th Century punk rock band. The logo is similar to the Great Seal of the United States. The words appearing in the ring around the logo are RAM*NE* HEY H* LET'S GO; the stars are taking the place of letters that would properly spell out RAMONES HEY HO LET'S GO. The words "Hey ho, let's go" are the opening lyrics of the Ramones band's first single "Blitzkrieg Bop".


  Robbie is wearing a t-shirt with the logo of Video Games Live, a pixelated digital character inspired by the classic video game Space Invaders, wearing headphones. Video Games Live is the name of an ongoing series of concerts, since 2005, sponsored by the worldwide video game industry, in which a symphony orchestra performs music from video games.


On page 13, Scotty applies at the Starfleet recruiting office in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland.


On page 14, panel 3, notice that the captain of the old trading freighter has a hula dancer figurine on the dashboard of the ship.


This issue reveals how Scotty came to use Admiral Archer's prize beagle in a transporter experiment gone awry, as originally mentioned in "The Vengeance of Nero". According to Scotty on page 18, most believe there is a hundred-mile beam limit for a transporter, but he plans to prove them wrong with his experiment.


Scotty plans to beam Archer's beagle from Starfleet Academy on Earth to Cydonia Station on Mars. The Cydonia region of Mars is also the site of the so-called Face on Mars and nearby "City" structures according to some fringe researchers of the modern day.


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