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Old June 6 2013, 05:29 PM   #1
Location: Silver Spring, MD
My thoughts on and gripes with Star Trek Into Darkness

I have been a Star Trek fan forever and it is my favorite fictional universe. I really enjoyed Star Trek (2009), still anticipate rewatching it over and over, and have been looking forward to Into Darkness since 2009. As a pure summer actiony movie, Into Darkness is good. As a Star Trek movie (even a rebooted universe movie) it is terrible.

The 2009 movie, despite its stupid script elements and lack of time for true character development and exploration, still had fun and novelty and good emotional elements. Into Darkness has been distilled down and has lost a lot of that promise.

I can only applaud this movie for the reason that as long as these new movies are successful it means more quality Star Trek is still on the horizon somewhere - this alternate universe version just isn't it. Someday Star Trek will get back to exploring the human condition, and I look forward to that day.

As I sat in the theater, my enjoyment of the movie went from “NEW STAR TREK!”, to “this is pretty and fun”, to “wait, these things make no sense or are poor done”, to “maybe they can pull out something redeeming”, to being disappointed and frustrated, to ultimately “this is a total wreck that I don’t really anticipate ever watching again”.

To get all my frustrations off my chest, I sat down and wrote out all of the issues I had with the movie. And now that I have done that, I figured I would share with others. I know there are like-minded people on this board and figured some of you might enjoy a discussion or might provide alternative thoughts.

So, thanks for reading and beware the long, long rant below. [Most was assembled without seeing other commenters' stuff, but I have since added a few things.]

1. In this movie, everything is bigger and the villain is better, (but what wouldn't be better than the valiantly acted, but ultimately lame Nero from the last movie). The actors, score, and classic TOS hat-tips are there, but the movie is ultimately a house of cards. If you even lightly probe the movie, it all collapses.

This movie is all action, leaving the few character moments that exist to barely a blink of time and have no impact on the plot, and the hat-tips are either minor mentions that just fly by with no real importance or are over-played and clichéd references Star Trek II.

In the 2009 movie, the character scenes (for example, Spock and his dad Sarek commiserating over the death of Spock's mom, oh and by-the-way their entire planet) go by in about 2 minutes max. After that Spock is better and ready to act as first officer again, after just moments before resigning his position as captain due to his emotional distress; similarly after being told he has to emotionally compromise Spock, Kirk confronts Spock and gets him to leap into a homicidal rage in also about 2 minutes. JJ Abrams and crew just have no time to build up characters or explore the effects of the story on them.

In "Into Darkness" the pacing is even faster in that the only real character-to-character scenes take place at the beginning of the movie between Kirk and Pike (good scenes both, but with no real conclusions or bookends later); once the action gets started there is no room to really explore any of these characters. Kirk suddenly decides that he cannot make the best decisions for the ship (only those that feel right to him) and leaves the ship/command to Spock - Spock doesn't even respond. Why? Probably because any real character-to-character interaction here would slow the pace of the movie and who really cares what Spock thinks about his friend and captain apparently losing faith in his command ability and giving up the one thing he most cared about - the command itself? Certainly not the screenwriters and director. But I cared.

2. Kirk in this movie violates orders not because he knows what is right, but because he just does what he feels like doing. The Kirk of the original series went on his gut a lot of times, and while it is perfectly valid to attempt a different take on the character, the question is does it hold up here?

So by the end of the movie, has Kirk learned anything, has he regained confidence in himself through good decision making or relying on the input from his staff or other Starfleet officers? No, he violates all orders, loses in a fist-fight and is kicked off of an enemy's bridge only to be saved by his first officer. Kirk doesn't learn any lesson from that.

How about lessons learned from dying in the engine room? Kirk sacrifices himself to save his ship and crew - is this any different from what the Kirk of the early movie would have done? No, he is never portrayed as that selfish or unwilling to do what is necessary. Nor is he different from the Kirk of the original universe who just didn’t believe that death or destruction were the only options – and was always shown to be right. So the only lesson Kirk learned was that Pike was right, he was unfit for command and would make decisions that would get his crew killed - but he never learned how to make the right decisions.

The one really strong character moment for Kirk is when he apologizes to the crew that he screwed up and they are all going to die - but then they don't, so everything is status quo again.

3. Zachary Quinto played a great Spock in the last movie, and he plays it differently than Nimoy does/did. Quinto has approached it as though Spock understands emotions but just rejects them as beneath him. Again, like Pine's Kirk, it is a perfectly valid way to approach reimagining the character, if it were consistent. But despite seeming to understand emotions and accept some of them in the first movie, in this one he suddenly doesn't understand the meaning of friendship. Furthermore, if it had been done correctly, the emotional scene of Kirk's death and Spock's understanding of friendship would have been really powerful - but these characters (as opposed to the versions in the 1982 movie) have only known each other for about 1 year at this point (2258 in Star Trek (2009) to 2259 here). With these characters just starting to know each other, the emotional connection between them and with us viewers just isn't there to really invest so much in one person's death (which is reversed 5 minutes later). This is a one year friendship ending, not a 20+ one.

4. McCoy is underserved in that instead of offering a third perspective or a mediating element between the extremes of Kirk and Spock, he is simply there to comment sarcastically on the situation and provide a little comic relief. Uhura does a little more in the role as the mediator between Kirk and Spock, but her one little heroic act with the Klingons of attempting diplomacy over killing people gets undercut by everyone getting shot.

None of the secondary cast really gets the added screentime and importance that was expected from a sequel that was supposed to build on the first movie. The writers of these movies claimed they had to spend valuable screen time setting up the universe and bringing our characters together, and that in the sequel we would see them operating as a team, finely honed and interworking. But we don't see this.

Scotty is gone; Checkov is moved out of his normal station immediately and I think only has 1 scene in the rest of the entire movie where he is in the same room as any of the rest of the main cast, and he doesn't even do his temporary job well. Uhura gets the one scene where she has to remind the Captain that she is there to speak Klingon, but fails to do any good. Sulu doesn't really ever get to pilot the ship except in a straight line to Klingon space and back again (total flight time about 10 minutes), and when he gets to step up and be acting captain for a minute McCoy thinks he won’t be able to do the job. Hardly a smoothly working crew.

Spock and Kirk are the only ones who work together well and that is only because Spock uses his intellect to deduce the most likely course of action - it isn't portrayed that they have worked together enough that they know the way each other work - Spock is just smart enough to figure out what Kirk is doing when Kirk tells no one of his intentions.

5. More points on Scotty. He really only serves as comic relief; will he ever do any engineering or display command ability? He refuses to sign for the torpedoes because he is worried that they could upset the engine. This is the first sign of this issue. Flying near blackholes, fighting Borg-enhanced Romulan ships or advanced Federation ships, warping into the atmosphere of Titan, camping under water, and flying by a volcano are all fine and dandy for the engine core, but bring a few new torpedoes onboard and it’s going to risk the ship?

6. Also, Section 31 continues to be so inept (as compared to their first portrayals in DS9): why wouldn’t Section 31 just falsify the torpedo schematics (heck, they would probably be able to set up a scan spoofer to fake the contents on top of that). I know this is a minor nitpick, but it really stood out awkwardly to me that Scotty and Kirk should have this conflict and falling out for a transparently poor reason. In any normal (i.e. non-script-required) scene, Scotty would just have lodged a protest in his official log (as senior staff has done on TNG and DS9 for various reasons). If Scotty felt strongly enough to resign, Kirk probably would not have accepted it due to the crisis mission they were about to embark on - Scotty could resign after. Why was this done this way? Because the script says that Scotty has to resign and get kicked off. It just seemed really contrived.

Dropped plot threads:

7. I applaud the screenwriters for trying to include some element of Star Trek ideals (or simply human ideals) in the story with the whole “don’t kill Harrison with a drone from deep space without a trial”, but the rest of the movie just reinforces that action and violence are the ways to go. Uhura fails with the Klingons; Khan and Kirk just shoot, punch, or kick things; the whole movie is about killing, fighting, and destroying (even Scotty kills a security guard who is just doing his duty) until the last scene where Kirk suddenly says “we shouldn’t kill, we should just go explore”. Tell that to the previous 2 hours of movie.

8. McCoy claims Kirk is not well after the attack on Starfleet Headquarters, scans him on the shuttle up to the Enterprise, and he seems to be a lot more winded/injured on "Kronos" than would result from the fight with the Klingons - but this is all forgotten about and never mentioned again.

9. Maybe I missed them getting killed, but the two security officers that go with Kirk and crew to "Kronos" get on the shuttle and are never heard from again. Did they die? If so, did Kirk not learn anything from that since in an earlier scene he was proud about never having lost a crewman yet?

10. Just like in Star Trek 2009, there are elements to this universe that shouldn't have been altered by the change in the time line. [The Kelvin looked like no other TOS ship, uniforms were different, weapons were different, etc.] The Klingons here look and act different. And here, Praxis has already been destroyed in orbit of Kronos, and it is apparently not a recent event. As this event originally occurred when Kirk and crew are 65+, what caused it to happen since the time of the Kelvin’s destruction and how are the Klingons still a threat to the Federation if the destruction of Praxis originally spelled the end of the Klingon's way of life without Federation help? I am guessing this will be told in the next movie, hopefully they have a good explanation.

11. So Spock Prime vowed never to reveal future information? Except when he gave Scotty and all of Starfleet a magical equation for transwarp beaming that allows people to apparently beam anywhere in the galaxy that they would like. And now he violates that oath again by telling NuSpock all about Khan; except that what he tells NuSpock is all about Khan Prime who is not at all the same Khan as this one; this one is 20+ years younger and hasn't gone through all the trials and tribulations as the old one, fermenting his hatred for Kirk. This Khan, while skilled and strong, isn't "the most deadly threat to the Enterprise" they ever encountered and shouldn’t care at all about Kirk.

Other Issues:

12. In the opening scene (which along with the moments with Pike and the monologue of Khan’s about his mission/fate, are the best bits of the movie), Spock goes on and on about not violating the Prime Directive to the point where he is willing to die to do so; yet his entire mission in the volcano violates it, it is just the people on the planet don’t know that he is doing it. It is still a violation and logical Spock would know this.

13. So the whole, small crew of the USS Vengeance is perfectly accepting that they are going to destroy the flagship of the Federation and all her crew because the Enterprise was trying to stop a preemptive war? I know the Star Trek of JJ Abrams is lightyears from the utopia of The Next Generation but I didn't think it was this far from the coherence of TOS. Sure there was a similar situation in Deep Space Nine where one ship was ordered to fire on the Defiant and destroy it, but that ship was told that the Defiant was crewed by changelings bent on destroying the Federation, not simply another crew with differing social-political perspectives. And during his conversation with Admiral Marcus, Kirk has it broadcast throughout the Enterprise. Why? There are no consequences to this. Not a single crewmember reacts to the head of Starfleet baldly stating he is going to murder some 400+ people and start an interstellar war. Not a single decision is changed or thought expressed differently due to this broadcast. What was the point?

14. So Section 31, the most efficient and most secret intelligence organization in the galaxy, so secret that only one person from 4 starships and a space station (The Enterprise, Enterprise-D, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise (NX-01)) knew about it (Malcolm Tucker, having worked for Starfleet Intelligence) even had heard about it - this organization managed to build a giant complex underground in the heart of London with no one knowing, but then their giant ship construction yard out in space is so totally unprotected that a lone officer with no information but a set of coordinates wanders into it, gets onboard their megastarship and sabotages it. The one security guard to confront this person, instead of stunning them and taking them to the brig stands around like a doofus listening to a communicator chattering on the floor and does nothing for about 5 whole minutes. Great intelligence agency.

15. What kind of galactic coordinate system uses four two-digit numbers? Three sets of coordinates could provide position (either via an X-Y-Z orthogonal grid, or a radial system (xxx mark xxx, distance xxx)) but for a whole galaxy you would need more than two digits per set. Since our sun, Jupiter and the space station are all moving, you would also need some information to determine time, cause if you don't you could show up in the orbit of Jupiter just way ahead or way behind it. So maybe the fourth set of digits convey this info, but again I don't see how using just two digits. Maybe Khan plotted the orbital mechanics of the station, Jupiter, and our sun and was able to determine on the fly the current location of the station when he gave the numbers to Kirk. [why the current location? because at the last time he would have had access to a computer where he would be able to access the data, he wouldn't have had a cause to know the specific location of the station at that particular point in the future. He had to have calculated it.] Wouldn't it make more sense just to say "check in the orbit of Jupiter just past Europa" or something like that? But that wouldn't be as mysterious as JJ's mystery box approach requires.

16. John Harrison was Kahn. When I first heard the rumors that Khan was in this movie, I was disappointed. I held on to the hope that it wasn't true. What is the point of rebooting an entire universe so that you won't be held to the limitations of the old continuity if all you are going to do is rehash the same villains and stories? I had hoped for something new. The director, writers, and cast all said that he wasn't Khan. It was all a big lie, a not very well kept one, and totally counter to the whole premise of the reboot. [With the evidence of superhuman abilities, I was hoping for the rumored Gary Mitchell even though it was an original series element, as it would be a wonderful breath of fresh air and something that could really be taken in new directions.]

The one element that would have redeemed Khan’s reuse would have been some innovation, some alternative approach to the character, and for a moment I really thought that it might happen. When Khan is telling his story of woe in the brig he is pretty convincing that he is only seeking vengeance against someone who wronged him, Admiral Marcus. All thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch, this monologue comes off as perhaps the strongest single moment in the film; as it is presented, Khan seems like the lesser threat to the Federation, Marcus the greater. I was totally hoping that Khan would convince Kirk that he was fighting the good fight, that they would join forces, defeat Marcus, save Khan's crew, and Khan would then accept punishment for his crimes.

That would be the best way to use the established characters and plot - Kirk could learn to go against his own emotional reactions, his quest for vengeance to instead pursue the logical, correct, and greater good; Khan would best serve his people as he claimed to want; Kirk and co. would get the eventual trial and prosecution that was due for the events at the beginning of the movie. Kirk could even reject Khan's offer, then suffer his regret moment on the bridge with Admiral Marcus, and then realize that putting aside his vengeance with Khan is the only way. The plot of the movie remains intact and Kirk learns his lesson.

Instead, the movie went the clichéd route and had not one but both of the villains swear destruction on the Enterprise because hey, why not, they are both just evil guys after all. How about imagining instead of Khan frozen in a cryo-tube at the end, he is stewing in a max security jail cell having been sentenced for his crimes and knowing that his crew is somewhere out there awaiting reawakening.

17. So much for the vaunted utopia of the future. Even back on the Enterprise NX-01, we learned that Earth is a very nice place: war, poverty, hunger, all wiped out in a couple of generations after first contact with the Vulcans. Now let's look at the earth of Into Darkness: the best scene for this is the dumb chase scene at the end. Khan runs across a pedestrian crosswalk nearly being hit by (hover?) cars. In a world where you have antigravity hospital gurneys, transporters, hoverbikes, shuttlecraft, and super-mega-advanced engineering, you still have pedestrians sharing the same road space as apparently manually driven cars (since the cars Khan runs past have to break and dodge to avoid him it doesn't seem like there is any computer controls in this situation detecting jaywalking pedestrians or managing car timing and breaking - no shielding preventing pedestrians from jaywalking or crossing against the light)?

Then after running along street level San Francisco, Khan leaps onto a ship lifting off from some heavy industrial pit. It’s all pipes and steam and metal everywhere, like some kind of foundry or chemical plant in the middle of downtown SanFran. And there isn't just one of these ugly, industrial transports but two in close proximity, so they must be shipping a lot of ore around the city center.

It's just like in Star Trek Nemesis: when the Reman falls down a very deep pit starting from the lowest deck of the ship. The writers just didn't care enough there - they needed the fight scene and fall for their action and they got it. In Into Darkness, they needed a fight over a gritty, industrial landscape so they made it up, screw logic. That is how the rest of the movie goes, the script calls for something illogical because they need an action set piece, so it just happens even though it makes no sense.

18. A further item, I know it’s just a nitpick but why does the Enterprise has a waste disposal port? (And wouldn’t an airlock have worked just as well for the space jump?) The Federation is into recycling right? They may not yet have replicators, but surely dumping material into space is both a waste of valuable material on long voyages and is an environmentally poor decision.

19. So the Flagship and the Vengeance have a firefight in space, basically in orbit of earth. Two issues with this, first they were traveling at warp to get from the edge of Klingon space to earth, but they only were at warp for about 5 minutes before they got home. How do I know? Because right after they jump to warp, Kirk is warned that it won't work because Marcus has advanced warp drive and weapons and almost before the warning can be given, the Vengeance attacks and knocks the Enterprise out of warp. So the Enterprise comes crashing out of warp, totally out of control and totally unexpectedly, but despite making no plans or there being any indication that they were nearing earth, they end up only 200,000+ miles from earth. If they had stayed at warp for another second they would have either crashed into earth or blown right past it and had to circle back. Was Sulu flying the ship with his eyes closed?

So, back to the firefight - the flagship and some other ship are duking it out in orbit of earth and no one comes to the rescue, no other Federation ships attempt to check out the situation. No one even calls up to see what is going on. Sure maybe the Vengeance and Admiral Marcus somehow blocked communications before they left earth (about 10 minutes earlier), but all you have to do is look up in the sky to see the fireworks. What about all the ships that are normally used for Academy training as in the last movie? What about the bulk of the Fleet? After Nero's attack, wouldn't you station some more ships near earth? Additionally, we know that there were at least 5 or 6 or more starships at earth at the start of the movie - all the captains and first officers of the key ships in the sector were at earth for the emergency meeting at Starfleet HQ. Additionally, seeing as how some of those key officers were killed in Khan's attack, it is more than likely they were still hanging around for memorials, getting new command officers, investigating other leads on Khan and the attack, etc. But, I guess not, because they held a space battle and no one showed up.

20. Where is everyone else? Everywhere is deserted throughout the whole movie. There just isn't anyone anywhere. No one shows up in time to stop Khan's attack on Starfleet HQ except a couple of security redshirts. No one shows up at the Klingon border. Only a couple of small, random patrol craft show up on Kronos - the capital of the entire Klingon Empire. No one shows up to stop Scotty outside the shipyard at Jupiter. Only 1 security officer shows up to stop Scotty in the hanger bay.

No one communicates to anyone else what is going on, no one asks for help anywhere (unless they need to make a very long distance telephone call to have a chat with Spock on New Vulcan or Scotty in a bar at earth, then there is no problem). Where are the Vulcans, the Andorians, or any of the other species of the Federation? Where is the starbase in orbit of earth? What about the shipyards on Mars, the colony on the Moon? Where is everyone?

21. What was Marcus's plan exactly? Start a war with the Klingons by getting them to destroy the Flagship of the fleet - yeah, he has one advanced warship that wasn't even done being constructed by the time Scotty showed up, and do you really want to lose your best regular ship before the war has even started?. So does he accept Kirk's offer to fly directly the Kronos to kill Khan and get the war started? No, he has a super complicated plan to get Kirk near Klingon space, have him attack from long range, get stranded and then get destroyed. And how does that work out with sending the guy who never follows orders? First the Enterprise is disabled before they complete their mission, but luckily Kirk manages to violate Klingon space in another manner.

Why disable the Enterprise before their mission succeeds? Kirk has no incentive at that time to fire the torpedoes - Khan doesn't know he is coming until Sulu sends his asinine message. Why wouldn't he just fix the engine, then fire the torpedoes and not get killed by the Klingons at all?

So Kirk flys in, destroys three or so D4 patrol ships and crews, and gets out; no Klingon ships follow up on this attack, no one tracks him? The Enterprise is hanging there is space, immobile for a long time and nothing happens. If Kirk had fired the secret, special long range torpedoes, no one would have apparently come then either (they have to be faster and more secret than an old trading ship). Doesn’t this argue that the Klingons aren’t much of a threat when you can fly to their homeworld, destoy multiple patrol aircraft, take people up from the surface, and leave – all at a leisurely pace with a trading ship and with your major starship disabled.

And why would Kirk fire 72 torpedoes? Wouldn't 1 do it, or 5, or 10, or 25, or 50, or 70? Who in their right mind would fire 72 torpedoes at Kronos to kill one guy? Can Khan survive a multimegaton explosion thus requiring multiple attacks? Wouldn’t one torpedo be less offensive to the Klingons and less dangerous to the Enterprise than 72?

22. How can you possibly detect and track one man on a planet lightyears away? I guess with new transwarp beaming you can do anything. Why, once Kirk decides to capture Khan do they not use the transwarp equation to grab him from Kronos? (Also, why even fly to Kronos, just beam there from Earth, or heck just beam Khan from Kronos straight to earth using the transporter. Apparently they know where he is the whole time and know that he is alone.) And clearly any regular transporter system can be quickly and easily modified to do the job (as seen in Star Trek 2009). And apparently the equation is simple once you know the trick. It takes Scotty about 2 seconds to understand where previous formulation had been incorrect, so he should know the equation by heart.

If only they had Scotty on board to help. Oh, right, Scotty isn't on the ship; if only Kirk could call him up and get the equation from him. Oh, that's right, he can. A simple call from the edge of Klingon space to a bar on earth is easily doable. Also, I am sure super genius Chekhov and Spock can make the modifications to the transporter.

23. So what was Khan's plan? This is the trickiest part. Based on his dialogue with Kirk, he tries to smuggle his crew away from Section 31 by hiding them in the torpedoes. With that amount of access, he could have woken them up or simply taken them away, but instead he goes to all the time and effort of swapping out the internals of 72 super torpedoes and replacing them with cryo-tubes. This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard of! When he is discovered, he believes the crew was killed and he is forced to escape. He blows up Section 31 in London (apparently to get the transwarp transporter, and maybe the attack ship from Section 31), then attacks Admiral Marcus and escapes to Kronos (it's Qo'nos, dammit). But he didn't even manage to kill Admiral Marcus! His overriding goal in life. He could have transported into the building and walked right up to him at any time earlier and shot him and them beamed out with his backpack sized transporter, but he didn't. He failed in his mission to kill the one person he most wanted to kill, then he just runs away without a second thought?

Why does he run to Kronos? Because the Federation cannot go there is the stated answer. How convenient, the one place Admiral Marcus wants to attack. Why didn't he go to Romulus or hundreds of other worlds outside of the Federation that Starfleet can't get to? Why not simply transport to the farthest place reachable so no one comes for you? This all makes it seem like Admiral Marcus was still controlling his actions - that the Admiral wanted the attack on Section 31 and then wanted the attack on himself. But the attack on Section 31 would do damage to his own ability to defeat the Klingons, as would the attack killing himself and the senior commanders for the key ships in earth's sector, so that doesn't make sense either. So either Marcus is a terrible war planner or Khan is a terrible assassin and doesn't care that he failed.

24. More on Khan. So Kirk orders Khan moved to sickbay? Why? No reason. He tells Marcus that Khan is in engineering. Why? No reason. Khan just sits around in sickbay for a while. What is his goal? Nothing, he just sits there. What is his long term goal? Apparently to sit around until Kirk decides that they need to go on an away mission to the Vengeance which he can take over as it is the only ship that can be manned by a small crew compliment (i.e. Khan). Furthermore, if Khan knew about the Vengeance and that he could crew it, why didn’t he just beam there after the failed assassination, or before the assassination attempt?

Does Khan have any goal once he gives up to Kirk on Kronos? No, beyond not wanting his crew to be killed via detonated torpedoes, he has no plan. At least not until he gets on a ship he can take over, then he just wants to kill everyone. [It's been a long time since I've seen Space Seed, but Khan's motivation there was to get his people and leave the Federation, to find someplace else for them to live. Only once he knows he and the others will be tried for their past crimes does he try to take over the Enterprise. This Khan should have similar motivation once he has killed Marcus as he doesn't need to seek vengeance against Kirk.] So ultimately the bad guy just sat around with no motivation between his first couple of actions and the end of the movie where his motivation was try to kill everyone – awesome characterization.

25. Carol Marcus does nothing. She shows up and tells Kirk only things that he gets also from Khan. She doesn't even know as much info as Khan does about the torpedoes, nor are her skills needed to open the torp. McCoy does that; she doesn't know the first thing about them until she scans them. Also, she claims she knows everything about her father's technology developments. This would apparently include Khan and his backstory, because that is the source of the new weapons tech (of course, who doesn’t want a guy who hasn’t seen technology in 300 years to design your new supestarship?). Except if that is true, then she doesn't care about any of that stuff - none of the coercion or hostage holding, none of the secret military ship building, or plotting against the Klingons. She either knows all of this, but doesn't care or she doesn't know anything about anything - I think that is it. So what is she here for again? Oh yeah, to take off her clothes for no reason.

26. Kirk warns Khan that he is coming. Maybe. Kinda. He apparently has Sulu broadcast some random message directed at a random person in some random province of Kronos. Does Khan have a communications device? Unknown. Will Khan receive the message? Unknown. Will Khan care about the message? Unknown. Isn't giving the fugitive very advanced notice that you are coming to arrest him really stupid? Wouldn't he be able to then hide, get on a ship, transport away, block your sensors, or any of a dozen different things?

Well, how about why does Kirk order the warning transmission? Does he think Khan will give up? I guess so. Someone who bombed a major Earth city, attacked a Starfleet HQ session killing many people, who then beamed to Kronos to apparently live a life on the run amongst bloodthirsty Klingons - I am sure that person is just going to give up when you say you can possibly, maybe kill him with torpedoes sometime in the future, if he doesn't run away, if he hears you. And what about broadcasting to the whole planet of Klingons that you are about to invade their planet? Is that not a worry?

And coincidentally, they haven't gotten to Khan yet when they are attacked and forced to land by some Klingons, and somehow despite how large the province should be given that it is agricultural, Khan shows up on foot within about 3 minutes of them landing. I got over Kirk, Spock Prime, and Scotty running into each other on Delta Vega in Star Trek (2009) because it was fate bringing them back together, but fate also decided that Kirk and Khan needed to meet on Kronos?

Technology in JJ's Star Trek universe.

27. Kicking the warp core is the way to fix the most complex technology on the whole ship [I loved the look of the new core]. So much for a torpedo somewhere far away in the ship risking the core.

28. So now the Federation can beam to any location in the galaxy. A single Iconian gateway (which allows the equivalent of transwarp beaming) was cause for the Federation and Romulans to nearly get into a war in Next Gen; similarly hunting down a sect of rogue Jem'Hadar with access to a gateway was so important that the Federation and Dominion teamed up as allies. Now everyone and their brother can do it with a transport unit that fits into a backpack. Also, so now you can beam torpedoes anywhere in the universe that you want. You don’t even need soldiers, just beam the bombs to Kronos and Romulus and take care of all your enemies at no risk.

This is similar to but worse than Voyager where the writers would come up with a neat technology, but one that would be too powerful in the hands of our heroes because it would get them home too soon. Instead of revising the technology before it is initially presented to reduce its power or coming up with strong story-based reasons why the technology wouldn't or couldn't work, the writers just waived their hands at the last minute and said "oh, but then it broke/got stolen/stopped working". That was the way the crappy writers chose to avoid the whole premise of the series, the reality of the situation, and so that the implications of the technology wouldn't collide and come crashing down around their heads. JJ takes the opposite approach. He doesn't even care that these technologies wreck any continuity or sense of danger and reality - they are cool, so they are used and all consequences are ignored.

29. The special torpedoes. If Section 31/Admiral Marcus realized Khan was attempting to smuggle the rest of the augments in the torpedoes, why do the torpedoes still work? They are man-sized (and pretty much always have been), yet they can take out 75+% of the internals and they can still fire, fly through space, target people, and explode. So either 75% of the space on a torpedo is wasted space or the torpedoes don’t work and Admiral Marcus knows it.

30. Getting Khan’s blood. There wasn’t a real need to keep Khan alive. Just capture him or his body and take the blood to Kirk. Or take the blood from one of the 72 other frozen augments. Some people claim there isn’t time for this because Kirk is dying and Bones doesn’t understand the cryo technology well enough to assure a safe thaw of an augment before Kirk dies, but Bones takes at least one augment out of storage and puts that guy in a medical coma so that he can put Kirk in instead, to preserve Kirk’s brain. This should give Bones all the time he needs to figure out how to get blood from another augment. (Plus as a long term gripe about Star Trek medical technology: it has been long established that the Federation has stasis tubes, yet they never use them to “freeze” dying people. Memory Alpha says because the technology requires time to prep/thaw the person, it is unsuitable for saving dying people, but I have never seen any story element that supports this claim. Stasis tubes just aren’t used this way because it would remove the dramatic threat of character death – except via vaporization or total system failure, etc. Yet, 300 year old cryo-tubes are superior in this way and can be used to store dead/dying people for later revival. It seems like the governing condition is the underlying medical cause of death and whether or not we can fix it, not the stasis technology itself.)

31. Problems with beaming. Conveniently, whenever needed, and inconsistently, people cannot be beamed up or down. Either break the transporters or have them work, but none of this ‘I can’t beam Khan up because he is running but I can bean Uhura onto a fast moving transport ship.’ Also, does no one planet-side have any transporters to grab up Khan? Other ships, starbases? Anyone? Just call them, dammit.

32. Why the space-jump? You can’t take a shuttle over? Oh, I forgot, you can only use shuttles to unnecessarily drop someone into a volcano using a wire (so they can drop a “cold fusion” device in it) or to do a glory pass on the ship (why not just beam up to the ship?).
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