View Single Post
Old June 14 2013, 03:14 AM   #28
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Sran wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But that's ridiculous. There are no horizons in space, no obstacles.
No obstacles that we know of. Our working knowledge of space is extremely limited. It's impossible to know what a ship might detect while on approach to another system. Now, one would assume that another solar system in our galaxy would have physical properties comparable with our own, but we don't know for sure.
That is complete and utter rubbish. Like I said, we have already discovered planets in hundreds of distant star systems, and we're finding more all the time. To date we know of over 700 confirmed extrasolar planets, and the Kepler telescope turned up over 3000 additional candidates.

So no, our working knowledge of space is not that limited, because for Pete's sake you can just look up and see it, and astronomers spend their whole careers doing just that. We can see galaxies that are billions of light-years away, because there is nothing in the way to block our view. One of the fundamental defining properties of outer space is that it's really, really empty.

The Ceti Alpha star system is, by and large, a blank canvas. What we know is that there were at one time at least six planets in the system, but that's about it. There's no mention of nebulae, asteroid fields, or other phenomena that might interfere with starship sensors. But absence of proof is not proof of absence.
We do, in fact, know enough about Alpha Ceti (as it's more correctly called) to know it isn't surrounded by a nebula -- although we also know it's a post-main-sequence red giant, a dying star that couldn't support a habitable planet to begin with. And no real asteroid field is remotely as dense as the portrayals thereof in fiction; it couldn't hide a planet, or obscure the number of planets observed.

Besides, you don't have to see a planet to know it's there; you can detect it by its gravitational influence. Neptune and Pluto were predicted to exist based on their gravitational effect on other planetary orbits, which let astronomers calculate where to look for them. And many or most of those 700-plus exoplanets were detected by the wobble their gravity induced in their primary stars' motion -- which is why most of the planets we've found so far are really big and/or really close to their stars, thus exerting more gravitational effect on them.

Christopher wrote:
How can the supposedly ingenious Khan fail to see through Spock's screamingly obvious "hours could seem like days" code?
Theoretical knowledge and practical experience aren't one and the same. Khan's intelligence may have been superior to that of any other human, but he still didn't have Kirk or Spock's experience. What's more, even genetically enhanced supermen aren't perfect.
It's still a ridiculously simplistic code. I can't believe Starfleet doesn't have more sophisticated, less improvisational code protocols for communication on open channels. Come on, a fourth-grader could see through that one.

In each case, a person died for a reason having to do with Kirk, but none of them chose to sacrifice their lives to save Kirk. As captain (either in title or role after TMP), Kirk had always assumed the responsibility for his crew himself and was willing to die to save the Enterprise. But Spock took on that role in place of Kirk in TWOK, and the knowledge of this combined with the then-reality that he'd lost his best friend forever undoubtedly drove home a new meaning of "facing death" to Kirk. Perhaps that's what he meant.
That's actually a decent retcon. But the real-world truth is that it was just sloppy writing, or at least writing with little regard for past continuity.

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
The Ceti Alpha system was apparently remote maybe not well charted. Wasn't that why Kirk left Khan and Co. there?
See, this is one of the fundamentally dated things about the Trek universe -- this idea that you can't chart a system unless you go there directly. Right now, today, in real life, we're charting planetary systems around stars dozens or hundreds of light-years away, and we don't even have to leave the vicinity of Earth to do it. (We've mostly relied on space telescopes like Kepler, but there's a lot we can do from the ground, and we'll be able to do even more in the not-too-distant future.) If we ever travel to the stars in real life, then we will have their planets charted well before we actually get there.

I don't spend a lot of time dissecting these things, but it makes sense to me. I'd think that the Khan incident was not "required reading" so I'm not surprised that the Reliant captain wasn't familiar with it.
As much as Nicholas Meyer may have wanted to pretend that these were 18th-century mariners in wooden sailing ships, they did actually have access to computers. It stands to reason that there would've been some alert that popped up when they looked up the Ceti Alpha system, something saying "Caution: Beware of the Exiled Augment War Criminals." You'd think that's an important enough caveat that there'd be a notation in the file.

As I said in an earlier post, if CA5 was near where CA6 was supposed to be, why look any further? Planets don't just line up for roll call when a ship approaches, so if there's a planet where you're looking you might assume that it's the right one.
Like I said, planets don't just sit still. Right now, this planet you and I are sitting on is hurtling through space at nearly 70,000 miles per hour. To get into orbit of a planet, you have to catch up with it. You have to match its velocity, meaning the speed and direction of its motion. And that means you have to measure that velocity very carefully. That's not optional. Just being "in the general vicinity" doesn't cut it. Astrophysics is not a matter of rough estimates.

Kirk "never faced death" himself. Sure, he's seen it plenty but it was always someone else. He had never faced a situation that he couldn't BS his way out of. I'm pretty sure that's what he means.
Ummm... it was someone else this time too. How is this different? And how did he "BS his way out of" losing his own brother and sister-in-law, both loves of his life, and his unborn child? How was he any less helpless in those situations than he was with Spock here?

Again, I have a ton of respect for what you do and I'd like to know how you might have written it differently.
Ohh, that would take hours....
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote