Oh, and the best way to drill on a planet is to dangle the thing all the way from orbit?
Nothing to scoff at there. Orbital tethers
are an idea that many scientists and engineers take very seriously. Things dangling from orbit may one day be of immense value to human achievement in space.
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are actually quite science-savvy; they do their homework, and it's clear from interviews with Orci that he knows what he's talking about science-wise. But it's Abrams's prerogative as director to choose to disregard the science if he thinks it serves the story, just as Roddenberry himself often disregarded the advice of the technical advisors he consulted for TOS if he felt something less scientific would be more dramatic or reach the audience better. Because Roddenberry knew that he was making a work of fiction, not a dissertation. The appearance of credibility could help sell the drama, but the science should never be allowed to undermine the drama.
And how is Abrams's decision to make the Enterprise
look like a hot rod any less valid than the TMP production designers' decision to make it look Art Deco? Or ILM's decision to base the Klingon Bird of Prey's forward silhouette on a football linebacker? None of those are practical engineering decisions; they're just different aesthetic choices.
Puh-LEASE! Hey, I'm all for orbital tethers. It's a great possible way to gather energy. But to drill on an exactly specific site? Heck, we saw it swing wildly. Give me two 49ers with pick axes and a mule any old day, rather than drilling a vertical shaft from space. And do think that veins of valuable ore run perpendicular to a planet's surface? Apologists aside, that seems to defy everything I learned in geology 101. I welcome your new theory of plate tectonics.
Sure, GR disregarded science fact when it got in the way of good storytelling. Problem is, the recent wildness gets very much in the way of good storytelling -- for me, at least.
As for the "art deco" look of the previous Enterprise, there is nothing art deco about it at all, unless you count the original curves (which vanished from the nacelles). I assume you mean art moderne, and even then I think you mean the "Aztecing" of the hull plates. I chalk that up to a higher resolution view of what must have been there all along. If we had gotten a better view of the TOS Enterprise, we would have seen the same hull finish. Anyway, there's nothing about the plate finish that is art deco or moderne in any way at all. You seriously want to argue surface niceties of design art as a very necessary element of storytelling? If so, let's talk about the Budweiser engine room.
The point is: gather the science. Listen to the advice. Then if, as a filmmaker, you choose to ignore it? Fine by me! But first maybe go out of your way to take advantage of all the real-world rocket scientists who are fans and who want to help.
I kind of think that the advice previously gathered from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory might still have been worthwhile in the new effort. Or do you think that the contributions of Harvey Lynn of the Rand Corporation were so worthless to TOS? He essentially invented the fictitious transporter. He changed "laser" to "phaser." He replaced impossible star systems with real ones. And he had a tremendous grasp of, and appreciation of, the necessities of drama.
Yeah, Orci and Kurtzman are "quite science-savvy." Giant robots that defy gravity, mass and impetus, and become cars. Red matter. Vulcan gyro ships. Vulcan now mere minutes away (gee, that sure increases suspense). And let's not even get into their grasp of characterization.
Why is it so wrong to ask for the help of real-world science advisers? Who have helped so much before?