These explanations are extremely contrived, but they still work for me. Saavik was not raised on Vulcan and didnít know anything about Vulcan death traditions. Sarek expected Spock would prepare for following all Vulcan death traditions. Spock had a will to not have his body returned to Vulcan because he believed at the time he wrote it that he couldnít perform the katra transfer due to him being half-human. Spock changed his mind when the moment came and tried it anyway. It worked but not perfectly, so Spockís katra did not clearly communicate to McCoy what had happened, or to save his body. The body was required for the Vulcan afterlife ritual, so they had a reason to go back to Genesis to get it without suspecting or hoping the body had been regenerated.
Of course even with the added dialogue between Sarek and Kirk in the novelization, the conversation still seems a bit disconnected in parts. For the book and more importantly the movie, I think I can now write this off as Sarekís logic faltering when it comes to his son. I suspect the author writing the novelization was given the script and added dialogue with explanations in an attempt to make it make more sense. Since the movie is disconnected on its own, I am willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt in that she is largely responsible for working out the details more than the possibility that the script had all this dialogue and it was shortened during filming or editing.
Either way, Iím still critical of the film for not including essential details to make TSFS make more sense with respect to TWOK. This is the first katra transfer we have ever seen in Trek. The movie mentioning Spockís will and how he changed his mind would have explained why he didnít will his body to be returned to Vulcan even though the body is needed for the Vulcan afterlife ritual. From the movie alone, we had no idea that the katra transfer mind-meld didnít work correctly and McCoy would have been able to explain things if it had.
But the point of this thread was always to help my appreciate of the movies. I think after first reading the novelization in my childhood the movie made sense to me, but after going so many years without watching the movie I forgot those details. This discussion and my rereading of the TSFS novelization (for the first time since 1984) completely resolves things for me. When I create a new custom DVD cover for the movie, I will include some of this essential information in the plot synopsis on the back! I love this movie on its own, and now I can fully appreciate it again as part of a larger continuity of films and series I enjoy.
And Iím so extremely thankful for the author including these essential details. In my mind, this completely redeems her for later writing an absolutely awful original Star Wars novel based on a rejected DS9 script (Crystal Star
). Vonda N. McIntyre, I thank you again, and I finally forgive you!