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I remember a Star Trek: TOS episode in which Kirk was captured on a primitive planet and the head was asking Kirk to call Enterprise crews so that he could make them gladiators. Kirk also found a Starfleet captain there whose crew was already dead as gladiators.

The head of that primitive planet only had one weapon: The Prime Directive. Somehow, he knew that Starfleet had a rule called Prime Directive which doesn't allow any Starfleet guy to interfere with primitive civilization.

Now, my question is: Is Prime Directive really applicable here when a primitive civilization already knows about Starfleet and its technology? Also, if a primitive civilization is deliberately killing Starfleet officers, isn't it OK for Mankind to crush that civilization? If crushing entire civilization is too much, what was wrong with a special rescue operation?

Also, how important is the Prime Directive over survival? Maybe, Spock's logic was right in Star Trek Into Darkness (assumption: Both timelines have same Prime Directive), but wasn't this a point of survival of entire crew? I don't think Starfleet would have killed them just for that (Star Trek Into Darkness supports this too). Why were captains hesitating even to order abandoning him there or discussing about this special case of Prime Directive to Starfleet?

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The episode you are thinking of is Bread and Circuses.

Is Prime Directive really applicable here when a primitive civilization already knows about Starfleet and its technology?

I would say the Prime Directive applies because it appears that knowledge of the Federation is very limited, maybe only to Marcus.

Also, if a primitive civilization is deliberately killing Starfleet officers, isn't it OK for Mankind to crush that civilization?

In-universe the answer is No for Mankind/Federation, Yes for Klingonkind/The Glorious Empire.

If crushing entire civilization is too much, what was wrong with a special rescue operation?

Kirk ordered Scotty to NOT send in a rescue team. But using his Gaelic guile he still managed to rescue everyone without having to break the Prime Directive.

  • He didn't rescue by own. The other captain sacrificed himself to free Kirk and the team. – I Love You 3000 Nov 25 '15 at 17:17
  • Yes, Scotty managed to intervene indirectly, but what would have been wrong with him intervening directly? What motivated Kirk's order? – Politank-Z Nov 25 '15 at 18:48
  • @Politank-Z, from chakoteya.net/StarTrek/43.htm Kirk's motivation seems to have been to adhere to the Prime Directive and keep his skin intact. See the transcript about two thirds of the way down the page starting at "Kirk: Kirk to Enterprise." – Doug B Nov 25 '15 at 20:38
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    @SS-3.1415.... From the episode's transcript: "Captain's log, stardate 4041.7. Note commendation, Engineering Officer Scott. Despite enormous temptation and strong personal feelings, he obeyed the Prime Directive. His temporary blackout of the city below resulted in no interference with the society and yet saved the lives of myself and the landing party." And we all know that Kirk would never try to spin something that he is putting on the record :-) – Doug B Nov 25 '15 at 20:42
  • @DougB That would go nicely in your answer. – Politank-Z Nov 25 '15 at 20:45

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