Let me preface this post by making clear I am not here to criticize or bash. I need help in appreciating one of my favorite childhood movies. I am sincerely asking for help.
When I was a kid, I loved the "Genesis Trilogy" of films. I still do, but recently I noticed something that started nagging on me about The Search for Spock
. Let me also make clear that I do not think that anything is wrong with TWOK on its own
. Without any future continuity to consider, Spock died and his body being launched from the Enterprise was fitting for a Starfleet officer and beloved character's funeral.
The problem comes in with TSFS and the retroactive continuity (or discontinuity) to explain how Spock comes back to life. I understand the normal Vulcan way when they are near death is transfering the katra to someone, and then that person goes to Mt. Seleya on Vulcan to transfer the katra to a katric ark, the Vulcan afterlife.
Bones, possessed by Spock's katra, asks Kirk why he left Spock back on Genesis. And then a moment later refers to going to Mt. Seleya on Vulcan. Later, Sarek also gets upset with Kirk that he left Spock on Genesis and then (believing that Kirk had the katra) said that Spock would have asked for him to be brought to Vulcan, just not openly (perhaps through his mind like when McCoy was acting posessed). Then when they discover that McCoy had the katra, Sarek says that Kirk should bring "them" to Vulcan. As far as we know at that time, Kirk, McCoy, Spock's katra and Sarek do not know that Spock's body had been regenerated on Genesis.
My issue is this...
the body of the deceased Vulcan is not needed to transmit the katra to the Vulcan afterlife, then there was no reason go back to Genesis. It makes sense that Spock just willed a burial in space since his essense was either in someone else or not, but the body had no value either way. Kirk, not knowing that Spock's body lived, could have brought McCoy to Vulcan and then they both would be at peace (but of course Spock would have stayed dead).
But Spock's katra speaking through McCoy referred to Spock's body, the only part of him that had been left on Genesis. And when Sarek still believes Kirk has the katra, Sarek very emphatically refer to Spock's body being left behind right before stating Kirk denied Spock his future. After they discover McCoy has the katra and Sarek says to bring them both to Vulcan, Kirk's reply is clearly about the difficulty in getting the body due to Genesis being forbidden. If the body wasn't necessary, Sarek would have clarified in reply to just get McCoy to Vulcan, don't bother with the body, etc.
So it is clear the body is needed for Katric transfer to the Vulcan afterlife, which of course only serves the plot by giving the heroes a reason to go back to Genesis to discover Spock's body alive.
My problem is, if the body is necessary along with the katra-holder for the ritual to transfer a Vulcan's katra to the Vulcan afterlife at Mt. Seleya, then why wouldn't Spock have willed his body to not
be launched into space in the Starfleet officer "burial at sea" type of ceromony. It is illogical for Spock to allow his survivors to get rid of the body, just to have to go back and get it (or if there had been no body because it had burned up in the atmosphere).
Sarek attacked Kirk for leaving Spock's body on Genesis, and then after their mind-meld, Sarek refers to "the Vulcan way
when the body's end is near". And Kirk says, "If there was that much at stake, Spock would have found a way.
" Well my question is, if there was that much at stake, then why take a chance on the body being burned up or lost?
Of course I know the behind-the-scenes reality that they hadn't thought that far ahead when making TWOK, but I'm looking for an in-universe
explanation that makes the two movies make sense together as a series.
I really have a soft spot in my heart for TSFS. The rebellion against Starfleet authority, theft of the Enterprise, sacrifice of Kirk's son and the destruction of the Enterprise really move me, along with the resurrection of Spock. I'm normally very good at coming up with explanations to fill plot holes and discrepencies. I really can hand-wave a lot of stuff. But this is a major issue for me and I can't resolve it on my own.
Does anyone have any possible suggested explanations? Perhaps from the novels or homespun? Please, help!