Thanks for all the feedback. I appreciate the thoughts. Since I asked people to read and respond to a massive bit of text, I will do my best to respond to everyone.
Belz: for #32, I was under the impression that the Vengeance was totally powered down and rebooting. I don't think they could detect anything at that moment.
For your other comments, mostly the ones that say "addressed in the movie" I don't see it. When I ask what is Marcus' plan or what is Khan's plan, I am not asking "what is it stated as in the movie?" but "given what is shown on screen, does the stated plan make any sense?" and I tried to include arguments based on on-screen evidence that they don't.
30: on stasis tubes: no, it is not a real objection. I understand they want to avoid overuse of stasis because it removes tension and stakes, but I still do object to not even attempting to use one of the other augment's blood. They are just sitting there, ready to donate blood.
29: minor, agreed, but just a question.
28: maybe a minor quibble, but a logical extension of the technology JJ/Orci/et all have included. They don't carefully consider the implications of the technologies they introduce.
27: maybe you are being sarcastic, but this isn't a door he is realigning.
26: I think it is sloppy plotting, and significantly messes with their ability to capture Khan or avoid Klingons.
25: name one thing that wouldn't have been accomplished without her there? Khan had all the same torpedo info, and more info about the Vengeance and Section 31. She didn't even stop Marcus from attacking the ship, for more than 5 seconds anyway.
24: yeah, but did Marcus make any attempt to find Khan? Didn't he just want to blow up the whole ship killing everyone on board anyway?
22: yeah, not too important overall. I just wonder when they invent all this very capable technology, they then do not use it at all when it could be used.
20: sure its standard fare. They do it in Best of Both Worlds when the Borg cube and the Enterprise are in orbit of earth, but at least then 39 starships died trying to prevent the Borg from getting there. In this movie, no one even tries to talk to or from Starfleet or any other installation anywhere in the solar system.
King Daniel: Yeah, Kirk made the ultimate sacrifice. But did something he experienced in the movie change him so that he would do this now, but he wouldn't have before? That is what I am trying to get at. Did Kirk learn? I think the movie, says "yes, he did. Look, he is now willing to possibly die if needed." I just don't see the evidence in his experiences that he did something or learned something that made him change his mind. Maybe you see more in the actions in the movie than I do.
Alex: as above, in reply to Belz, I am not asking what his plan was, but rather does it make any sense given what is then portrayed on screen?
Gabby J: good point on Kirk learning actions have consequences. I can see that he could learn that in the situation. I don't think he learns not to work with Khan as he already seemed to know that going in (given his dialogue with Scotty). As for Scotty's role in the movie, did he do anything that was Scotty like? Was anything he did based on his skills or experience or personality? My position is no, that his actions could have been carried out by anyone. I guess you can argue that maybe only Scotty would have enough knowledge to disable the Vengeance in that way...that could be a good point.
solariabsg25: I appreciate the big, thoughtful reply.
1: Yeah, I agree, those moments were there, but they were so quick. There was no time to savor them, there was no call back to any of those moments, no resolution for them beyond the moment. I just have a problem with the pacing being so fast and action being so primary, that everything else only gets lip service.
2: as above, I can agree that Kirk is tempered. I just don't think his experiences in this movie show him being tempered. Stuff happens, he makes bad decisions, but in the end he has supposedly reformed. I just don't see it as much as others do apparently. I think it is probably a little bit that I just don't like the rest of the movie so just don't see Kirk's moments as very teachable ones.
3. No, I am saying the big, heroic sacrifice between major friends doesn't pull the heartstrings as much if one realizes these guys only knew each other for 1 year as opposed to a lifetime of friendship. Yeah, I thought it was a touching moment, but it just comes too soon in the lives of these versions of these characters; it just doesn't mean much as it did with the old ones. I think this kind of sacrifice plays better with more history and age. It just means more.
4. Chekov did nothing in this one except not find the engine trouble for a long time, not fix it for a long time, and push a button at the end only to find it didn't work.
5. agreed, being underwater, and flying near volcanos are minor compared to major combat with Romulan ships and flying near blackholes. But my point is that it strains credulity that these other events are fine, but some new torpedoes are not.
6. I still think Carol effectively did nothing. Scotty can resign, and Kirk can choose to accept or not accept it. I just didn't think that they reasoning for the resignation and acceptance was very plausible or justified by the situation. From the very moment it started, I found it completely ridiculous. I agree that this is just my opinion on it, but it was awkwardly shoehorned in.
7. Yeah, she makes the attempt, which is good. I guess it seems a little hollow for Star Trek that she was making no headway. More to the point, I just don' t think Uhura got much to do.
9. But if the point is that Kirk is reckless and will get people killed, but Kirk sees himself as infallible (not that I am claiming he is), then the first time that he (maybe) loses crewmen under his command should be important. Isn't that why Kirk felt remorse at the end, cause he realized that people were going to die because of him?
10. I agree that TOS-style ships would look dated, but isn't that the point of making this alternate universe offshoot? Make the only pre-change ship we see in the old style (but make it with a more modern production value, etc.) and therefore further emphasize the effect that Nero's incursion makes in the timeline.
11. He was dangerous, just like a lot of TOS adversaries. He just wasn't THE threat until Star Trek II.
12. Yeah, the Prime Directive is not consistent. Not between TOS and TNG or even within TOS. I guess I would need to see the movie again to determine if Spock was really arguing against effect or appearance. I currently think he was arguing against being seen but for the purpose of preventing changes to a foreign culture - but saving them is still a change. I would personally argue that saving a culture from destruction is more important that not influencing them in any way; but then you get into the issue of which/how many cultures do you save, what constitutes savings, etc., which is why the Prime Directive becomes more rigid in TNG.
13. Good point about Kirk's broadcast to the crew. I forgot that he hadn't yet determined that they were all going to die. As for the Vengeance crew, I can see staffing it with loyal Section 31 members, but none of them balk at murdering 400+ people for no real reason?
14. Got to include the total lack of security at the Jupiter shipyard and everywhere on board leading up to the confrontation with Scotty in the bay.
16. I am not arguing for him to act unlike Khan, just not like a boring, maniacal madman. Give a little nuance to the character. He wants to save his crew, that is a good motivation for cooperating with Kirk for a little while. Then again, I guess you could say that he was going to do that, until Kirk has Scotty stun him on the bridge. Maybe at that point Khan decided Kirk and crew should be killed instead. I guess I would have to see the movie again to determine if there was any hint that Khan meant to keep up his end of the bargain before Kirk betrayed him.
17. I am saying that JJ and crew didn't give a lot of thought to what San Fran would look like in the future Federation. They just threw in cars, industrial landscapes, etc. whatever they wanted to fill the space. I know it is a minor nitpick. (I almost included the fact that has bugged me ever since Star Trek IV that there is easily breakable glass everywhere - shouldn't they be using something transparent and durable like transparent aluminum? But that is always an issue even into Next Gen. So Khan shouldn't have been able to plow through that glass pane.)
18. I pointed out they may not have replicators, but dumping valuable processes material into space isn't energy conservative or environmentally friendly.
21. Kirk had no incentive to fire the torpedoes while his engine was broken
. He would have fixed it, then fired the missiles. And, unless I missed it, at no point did Marcus order Kirk to fire 72 missiles at Kronos. Kirk was ordered to kill Khan with the missiles, not that all should be used. Plus it would be stupid to fire them all in one go. What if you missed or Khan got away? I just don't see any plausible scenario where Kirk would fire all 72.
22. Fine, we don't know the details of transwarp beaming, but they don't ever indicate that it acts differently than other transporters except in terms of range. I was just taking the technology as it was presented in the movie. And I wasn't arguing about whether or not Kirk can make the call, just that since it was possible, Kirk should have been able to call Scotty and get the equation if he wanted.
23. But I think we can all agree that his primary goals would have been (in this order), kill Marcus, harm Section 31, harm Starfleet. He may have achieved the Section 31 goal in the bombing, and harming Starfleet in the assassination attack, but he certainly didn't kill Marcus. A man he was so intent on killing later that he crushed his head, even after he knew that his crew wasn't dead. I was never concerned about Khan's plans on Kronos, just that he didn't seem to have coherent plans either on Earth or on the Enterprise.
24. I guess you are right in that Kirk was operating under the assumption that Marcus just wanted to take Khan away and kill him. Giving him misdirection at that point was still reasonable. Good point. And like I said, I haven't seen Space Seed in a while, but I thought that his motivation was once he found out the power of the ship to try to take it over not the other way around.
25. They still would have opened the torpedoes because of what Khan told them about it, or would easily have. And Carol only stopped the attack for about 5 seconds. My point was that if she was removed from the movie, other than having something pretty to look at, no other plot points would have to have changed.
26. I just don't see it. How does telling Khan the Enterprise is coming help in any way?. Yeah, Khan may have assumed someone was coming, but you are now confirming when and how. Also, Sulu tells Khan to surrender to the landing party or he will fire, so much for distracting Khan from Kirk's secret landing party capture maneuver.
27. Still don't buy it. Realigning this massive piece of complex equipment by kicking it, just wacky. It just goes back to the "if you can't figure it out, just have a character punch something" approach. Not totally out of character for Kirk, sometimes, but I found it totally ridiculous in fixing the warp core.
28. "so just beam the bombs to Kronos"
29. Yeah, it's a minor quibble, but you had to have taken something out of the torpedo. I guess Khan just replaced the normal warheads with less powerful ones or Marcus did after he found out what Khan did. Or they have less fuel than they used to, or something. Maybe. I just think it is silly that torpedoes with people inside was both Khan's plan for the smuggling, and Marcus' plan for getting rid of the bodies. There have to be dozens of better, more logical, more plausible ways to achieve either goal.
30. I don't know how McCoy knows that Khan's human blood will have any effect on a dead Tribble, but he tries it. I guess I am just thinking that McCoy might think to look toward the 72 potential sources of superblood sitting in his ship at the same time at least that they go after Khan. Not a big point, but a point none-the-less.
31. Yeah, I guess you can argue that the fast moving transport is an easier target than a running man if the transport moves straight and doesn't accelerate, but the transporter troubles were just conveniently and inconsistently applied. Targeting the transport is ok, Khan running is not, Kirk and Sulu falling is ok, Amanda starting to fall is not, Carol starting to run is fine, transporting to the surface of Kronos 10's of lightyears away is fine, transporting to the Enterprise moving at warp is fine...
Thanks again everyone for the discussion.