I think WarpFactorZ
touched on these quite well, but I thought I would add a little to the last 3 questions.
Gotham Central wrote:
4) Why does V'ger fire torpodes on both the Klingons and the Enterprise, but seems to simply "eat" or disolve Epsilon IX?
It was certainly less dramatic, but I believe they were hit with the same methodology. Since the Enterprise crew was watching by broadcast on the Rec Deck, we missed the initial "pow," though the bright light and intense shadows of the "torpedo" are seen just as Kirk orders "External view!" and everyone is a aghast. Everything switches to the "real time" event at that point, but the station is already in plop-fizz mode. Epsilon IX station was probably a bit larger than the Klingons and thus took a little longer to reduce to data patterns as well, so it does appear to be a long dissolving process. (What gets me is that after both the Klingons and Epsilon IX are gone... the cloud it still visible in observing view screens. Must be that Quad L-14 sensor drone working overtime.
5) Given all of the rereleases of older material with new edits, do we know what is considered "canon" about these movies? For instance...was V'ger's cloud REALLY 82 AUs or was it a mere 3 (which is still enormous...Earth should have been engulfed in the cloud long before V'ger arrived in orbit).
Uhura was able to receive faint Starfleet signals as V-Ger closed in, and there is direct dialogue referring to the slowing and dissipation of the cloud (rapidly no less) as it approached Earth. While I don't like all the changes done to the Directors cut, (computer voices and other dialogue cuts; major scene editing for pacing) I personally am
a fan of the reduction of the cloud diameter from 82 to 2 AUs.
6) This is more of a trektech nitpick but it seems reasonable to point out....V'ger obviously has some form of FTL propulsion in order for it to cross the vastness of space. Indeed it arrives in Earth orbit from Klingon space in mere days. Yet oddly enough, both the Klingons and the Enterprise approach V'ger at impulse. How are they not getting "run over."
I've always seen this as the Enterprise circling around the behemoth cloud and approaching it from behind. Considering the Enterprise pierces the last of the cloud only to close in on V'Ger's aft section, this seems to be supported. Now this may have been intended or a direct result of the wormhole deviation, but they are under warp power at the very least until they've entered the cloud boundary. The cloud was unquestionably an energy field, and there is some nice dialogue available on only certain versions of the film that indicate the object at the heart of the cloud is generating more energy than Earth's sun. Possibly the kind of power necessary for all of V'Ger's functions and
the propulsion of such an enormous vehicle at FTL speeds. The cloud itself may have just been trapped galactic riffraff energized and ionized by V'Ger's form of warp propulsion. Then again, it might have been far more complex and utilitarian. Still, after Enterprise broached the barrier, they might have be within the intruder's propulsive influence, perhaps even taken along for the ride before piercing the veil at the heart of the cloud.