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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old May 16 2010, 12:05 PM   #1
Warped9
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Where did Spock go?

There is an ongoing debate about whether ST09 is connected to TOS or whether it's a clean reboot. I think the latter and here's why: the onscreen evidence as opposed to whatever the filmmaker may or may not have intended.

In the far future TOS' Spock may have gone into a black hole and went somewhere. We needn't speak to that because we don't know.

What I do know is that future TOS Spock didn't emerge into the Abramsverse. Simply because TOS Spock well knows that Kirk didn't command the Enterprise until his early thirties. And for him to express surprise that young, barely out of Academy, nuKirk is not already in command of the Enterprise clearly illustrates that the Spock that emerges into the Abramsverse isn't TOS Spock.

It may be that Abrams wants to suggest that, but that isn't the evidence on the screen. That it isn't onscreen shows that Abrams either didn't really know and/or care about the original continuity and or he was just sloppy. Either way the onscreen evidence (or lack thereof) trumps whatever his intent.

The age of some of the characters are wrong as well. Most particularly Chekov. In the TOS universe Chekov comes aboard the Enterprise somewhere around the age 21 or 22. In the Abramsverse he is 17, and he's 17 not when Kirk is in his early thirties (as in TOS), but when nuKirk is in his early twenties. It means that nuChekov is born easily a decade earlier. In TOS Scotty and McCoy are easily about a decade older than Kirk, but in the Abramsverse nuScotty doesn't appear that much older than nuKirk. In TOS Kirk is older and attends the Academy several years before Uhura and Sulu, and yet in the Abramsverse they're all at the Academy at the same time.

The argument that the Abramsverse is TOS but altered at some point doesn't work either. No one expects a 2009 film production to look anything like a 1965 television production, but still there isn't one single nod to what things looked like during the TOS Pike era. And also in TOS no one in the Federation knows what Romulans look like until they're encountered in "Balance of Terror." But that's definately not the case in the Abramsverse.

One may try to argue that everything changed after the Nerada emerges from the future. But what is the present like when it does emerge? It doesn't look much like the Pike era even without considering production values. One can argue that the timeline was changed any number of times and most particularly during FC. But all of that is irrelevant because Abrams wants to suggest a connection between TOS and ST09. Whatever happens to Spock in the far future he must clearly remember his history and what he experienced, and most particularly Kirk's history. That the older Abrams' Spock remembers something distinctly different than what TOS Spock would certainly know clearly illustrates that the two are not the same person and not from the same place.

This isn't about whether you enjoyed the film or not. It's a question of the story's internal logic.
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Old May 16 2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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Re: Where did Spock go?

I really don't care if old Spock came from our universe, and there is evidence to suggest he didn't, for those who choose to believe it. But...


- Old Spock wouldn't necessarily have known what year he was in, and at 130+ years old, may not be able to tell a 25 year old from a 35 year old on sight. He does mention how many years in the future he is from, but that is after he initiates mind contact with Kirk.

-Simon Pegg is the oldest member of the new cast, ten years older than Pine.

-We don't know when Uhura and Sulu graduated from the academy or their ages. Nichols is only a year younger than Shatner IRL. Also, NuKirk enters the academy when he is 22 and completes it in 3 years, Uhura and Sulu were presumably several years younger than he was.

- We don't know how old Chekov was when he came on board the ship, just how old he was in season 2. NuChekov's age was fudged by 4 years, not ten (34-22=12, 25-17=8, 12-8=4)

-The Kelvin could very well take place 20 years before The Cage, given the different production values.
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Old May 16 2010, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: Where did Spock go?

The story logic? If there were any why didn't the Nero and co. just drop the red matter into the star then, or with Spock's help if needed, go forward in time to a day before it blows and drop the red matter in and make this whole movie unnecessary?
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Old May 16 2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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Re: Where did Spock go?

In TOS Chekov would have been about 7 to 10 years old in "The Cage" era of Pike. In ST09 he's 17. In TOS the Enterprise has existed for perhaps a decade or so when Kirk is about 25 and forging a career before he commands the Enterprise some years later. In ST09 the Nuprise is being built just as nuKirk goes to Academy and thus the ship has no prior service history with Pike. The nuPike is clearly older than TOS Pike. At a more roughly similar age TOS Pike would have been in his final years of commanding the Enterprise. And so when nuPike was closer in age to the TOS Pike seen in "The Cage" the Nuprise wouldn't even exist for some years.

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
The story logic? If there were any why didn't the Nero and co. just drop the red matter into the star then, or with Spock's help if needed, go forward in time to a day before it blows and drop the red matter in and make this whole movie unnecessary?
I'm not debating whether anything within ST09 makes any sense. I'm accepting it as it's presented. And if you accept it at face value then how does it gel with what has already been established in TOS? You can debate till the cows come home about when the timeline may have been altered. But my focus is on the older Spock--where did he come from? We can evaluate his behaviour and actions and what he reveals and from that get a better idea where he comes from. What we see of the older Spock tells me that he has different recollections than what the TOS Spock would surely know and thus I conclude that Abrams' older Spock isn't the TOS Spock from the familiar TOS universe. And the universe Nero and old nuSpock emerge in bears only a passing resemblance to the one previously established.

Hence it's a clean reboot.
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Old May 16 2010, 01:33 PM   #5
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Where did Spock go?

I'll take Leonard Nimoy's word over Warped9's.

It's TOS Spock. If you don't like the film, fine. But all the fanon theories in the multiverse won't make it some other random-universe Spock.

Using similar criteria to Warped9, here are some other epiodes that must exist in an alternate universes too:
"The Cage"
"Time warp" factors, "lasers", the ship going all transparent at warp.

"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
James R. Kirk

"The Minagerie"
Pike's described as "About (Kirk's) age", yet he flew a mission as Enterprise captain eleven years earlier.

"Space Seed"
No Eugenics Wars, superman or Khan ruling any part of the world in 1996. Furthermore we didn't have any of the tech seen on the Botany Bay, like stasis tubes or artificial gravity.

The Motion Picture
Everything looks different and Klingons have bumpy foreheads.

The Wrath of Khan
The Starfleet badge worn around Khan's neck is incorrect for the era, most of Khan's henchmen are either too young or too old for the fifteen-year exile.
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Old May 16 2010, 01:38 PM   #6
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Re: Where did Spock go?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
I'll take Leonard Nimoy's word over Warped9's.

It's TOS Spock. If you don't like the film, fine. But all the fanon theories in the multiverse won't make it some other random-universe Spock.

Using similar criteria to Warped9, here are some other epiodes that must exist in an alternate universes too:
"The Cage"
"Time warp" factors, "lasers", the ship going all transparent at warp.

"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
James R. Kirk

"The Minagerie"
Pike's described as "About (Kirk's) age", yet he flew a mission as Enterprise captain eleven years earlier.

"Space Seed"
No Eugenics Wars, superman or Khan ruling any part of the world in 1996. Furthermore we didn't have any of the tech seen on the Botany Bay, like stasis tubes or artificial gravity.

The Motion Picture
Everything looks different and Klingons have bumpy foreheads.

The Wrath of Khan
The Starfleet badge worn around Khan's neck is incorrect for the era, most of Khan's henchmen are either too young or too old for the fifteen-year exile.
Then you choose to ignore things as presented right before your eyes. Nimoy is an actor. It isn't his job to remember continuity events of something he did forty years earlier. And Star Trek's 20th and 21st century have never been ours--that was already clear back in 1966-69.
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Old May 16 2010, 01:46 PM   #7
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Re: Where did Spock go?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
In TOS Chekov would have been about 7 to 10 years old in "The Cage" era of Pike. In ST09 he's 17.
In season two, Chekov was 22 and Kirk was 34. If we assume that "The Menagerie" is a year earlier, Kirk would have been 33 and Chekov 21. 13 years before that, Kirk would have been 20 and Chekov 8 during the events of "The Cage.". XI takes place when Kirk is 25, oldChekov would have been 13. His age was fudged by 4 years, making nuChekov 17.


In TOS the Enterprise has existed for perhaps a decade or so when Kirk is about 25 and forging a career before he commands the Enterprise some years later. In ST09 the Nuprise is being built just as nuKirk goes to Academy and thus the ship has no prior service history with Pike.
The new Enterprise was launched later. In season one of TOS, it had been in service for at least 13 years. If we assume that this is a year earlier than "The Deadly Years," then the Enterprise would have been in service at least since Kirk was 20 years old. The new one doesn't launch until he is 25.


The nuPike is clearly older than TOS Pike. At a more roughly similar age TOS Pike would have been in his final years of commanding the Enterprise. And so when nuPike was closer in age to the TOS Pike seen in "The Cage" the Nuprise wouldn't even exist for some years.
Right. Bruce Greenwood was 14 years older when he played Pike than Jeffrey Hunter was. Of course, "The Cage" would have taken place about 5 years earlier than XI did, so age of the actor playing Pike was off by about a decade.

Of course, if we're going to quibble about the actor's age, Koenig is a year older than Takei.
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Old May 16 2010, 01:57 PM   #8
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Where did Spock go?

I choose to recognize that I'm watching a film and TV franchise, one that's never ever had a good track record for internal consistency. The points I listed were just the first off the top of my head. There are several websites detailing many, many more.

You can argue that Spock's behaviour is totally out of character, but with the exception of TNG's "Unification" two-parter, we haven't seen or heard from Spock since Star Trek VI. You can't tell me that he wouldn't change a little in a hundred years, especially if you count smiling Spock from "The Cage" in the same continuity as the rest of TOS.
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Old May 16 2010, 02:06 PM   #9
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Re: Where did Spock go?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
I choose to recognize that I'm watching a film and TV franchise, one that's never ever had a good track record for internal consistency.
Right. It can be easily argued that not all of the episodes of the original series took place in the same universe, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they didn't.
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Old May 16 2010, 02:28 PM   #10
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Re: Where did Spock go?

Spock Prime is clearly meant to be TOS Spock. Any mess ups with continuity, inconsistencies with character etc are down to the writers making a right cock-up of it.

I'm not willing to let them off the hook by saying it's a clean reboot.
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Old May 16 2010, 03:00 PM   #11
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Re: Where did Spock go?

TOS is fairly consistent within itself and just about holds together, placing the series in the early years of the 23rd Century. It's only with later incarnations that problems start to arise, beginning with TMP:

DECKER: NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Jim, this was launched more than three hundred years ago.
That would put TMP into the 2280s at least, assuming the Voyager Probe series continued (which it didn't of course)

Unless Decker was just lousy at history?

(Why the Okudas put the V-6 launch in 1999 is anyone's guess)
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Old May 16 2010, 03:11 PM   #12
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Re: Where did Spock go?

Mytran wrote: View Post
TOS is fairly consistent within itself and just about holds together. It's only with later incarnations that problems start to arise, beginning with TMP:

DECKER: NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Jim, this was launched more than three hundred years ago.
That would put TMP into the 2280s at least, assuming the Voyager series continued (which it didn't of course)

The most consistent TOS dating puts it in the early years of the 23rd Century.

Unless Decker was just lousy at history?
You're being too forgiving. TOS is not consistant with itself. At all. References dating the show vary from 200 to 900 years in our future, for starters. The design of the ship changes from shot to shot (when the pilot footage is reused). Yet as a fan you let it all slide.
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Old May 16 2010, 03:13 PM   #13
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Re: Where did Spock go?

i think the real question is: does it matter?
because, woooo everythings all shiny now....tattooed romulan spacegoths, etc
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Old May 16 2010, 03:14 PM   #14
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Re: Where did Spock go?

Shazam! wrote: View Post
Spock Prime is clearly meant to be TOS Spock. Any mess ups with continuity, inconsistencies with character etc are down to the writers making a right cock-up of it.

I'm not willing to let them off the hook by saying it's a clean reboot.
It doesn't matter what they meant. It's what's presented on the screen. For a long time many people assumed that shuttlecraft were strictly sublight vehicles and that ship's phasers were only for sublight combat, but the evidence onscreen clearly refutes both assumptions. People accepted that the warp speed formula is Warp Factor cubed because it was written somewhere, but the onscreen evidence refutes what might have been intended. Every later incarnation of Star Trek is assumed to happen in the same continuity and yet there is ample evidence to argue they don't, but rather exist is a somewhat similar alternate one. It doesn't negate their legitimacy or enjoyment factor. Indeed it makes the whole thing more complex and varied.

junxon wrote: View Post
i think the real question is: does it matter?
because, woooo everythings all shiny now....tattooed romulan spacegoths, etc
Well in the grander scheme of things nothing we discuss matters one whit, but we do it because we're interested and it exercises the brain in doing so.

TOS' inconsistencies aren't that hard to rationalize. You can explain Kahn's 200 year reference with time dilation. You can explain Kirk's 200 year reference in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" with him being dryly sarcastic. And you can explain the 900 year reference in "The Squire Of Gothos" by Trelane messing up and choosing to focus on roughly the Napoleonic era rather than the middle ages.
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Old May 16 2010, 03:25 PM   #15
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Re: Where did Spock go?

The idea of having a rebooted universe rebooted in the same film is insane. For this reason alone, it must be TOS Spock.

And going back to your original post:
Either way the onscreen evidence (or lack thereof) trumps whatever his intent.
Says who?
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