Good point about re-entry...but still, the Enterprise itself, with shields, couldn't stand the heat?
I'd be willing to bet that it COULD, and Sulu was just being a chicken.
Remember, he said the same thing at the end of the movie, actually: "If we don't get the shields up, we'll be incinerated when we hit the atmosphere!" (Guess what didn't happen when the Enterprise hit the atmosphere?)
Not that I necessarily blame him:Enterprise clearly isn't specked for exploding volcanos so there's really no way for Sulu to know one way or the other whether the ship can take it or not, but he knows it really
fucked up his shuttlecraft, and he has little reason to expect the Enterprise would be much better off.
I would have prefered some excuse about how the volcano's weird magnetic properties that messed up the transporters and sensors, also messed up the shuttles computers of something. Heat alone just seems...silly.
Actually, I would prefer heat.
Heat is simple. Heat is a real thing. You can speculate about what heat can do and what it won't do and under what circumstances and whether or not the kind of heat you're encountering will screw up your engines.
"Weird magnetic properties" is an asspull. It SOUNDS smarter because most people don't actually know anything about electromagnetism and can't comment either way. Star Trek usually takes it a step further and lists something like "The Volcano ash is composed of irradiated trellium-D, which will negatively affect our shields and sensors and will also block transporter functions along with whatever the hell else the writers can think of." THAT would be bullshit, and it would sound like bullshit.
IMO, if any further explanation is really needed for why heat is a problem it should be a line of dialog inserted where Kirk calls Scotty for a second opinion and Scotty replies "You can try it, Jim, but you'll definitely void our warranty!"
And maybe I am wrong. 23rd century Alternate Universe shuttles just may not be built for that kind of heat. (But I imagine that they have *some* sort of radiation protection...)
I mean that I think that Scotty's "Transwarp Beaming" is possibily some sort of the ultra-long-range "Subspace Transporter" that we saw in TNG, and that Ferengi Ex-Damon used to beam across light years into Picard's Ready Room.
Just saying that they may be two different names for the same technology...or two very similar technologies - like "Transwarp Drive" and "Slipstream Drive" are very similar technologies.
Someone recently suggested to me that Scotty's "discovery of transwarp beaming" is actually a reference to one of the Starfleet Corps of Engineer novels and relates to Scott's activities in the 24th century after the Dyson Sphere incident. I don't know exactly which book, so I can't really check to see if it's true. Either way, it's a more than plausible explanation.