ignore the guys performing Japanese puppet theater and focus on the puppets.
But at least it's understood that those are puppets. Science-less science fiction would confuse the viewers into thinking they were watching LOST IN SPACE.
Again, STAR TREK features many things beyond known physics, but there is usually some foundation for believing in the exotic technology. For example, concepts accepted by mainstream physics include tachyons, hyperspace and wormholes, all of which might explain the Enterprise's
FTL "warp drive."
However, ion propulsion is a known quantity. Would anyone still accept it if Scotty had been gushing over a starship powered by water wheels? (Or a brewery, as in JJ TREK.) The writers could make it sound technical by saying "hydro power." I suppose if someone could
reach relativistic speeds with water wheels, then Scotty would be right to say, "They could teach us a thing or two."