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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old June 24 2010, 07:42 AM   #16
xortex
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

Katras are a lie. They don't actually exist. Wanting to believe or not sure if you believe is not a sin.
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Old June 24 2010, 08:02 AM   #17
Timo
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

That sounds a bit conflicting. Why would the concept of "sin" even exist if one's an agnostic in general? It exclusively refers to doing things God doesn't want you to do, after all.

Or is it that God and katra are somehow incompatible?

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Old June 24 2010, 08:07 AM   #18
SRFX
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

It's a plot hole created by poor editing - deal with it. :P
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Old June 24 2010, 08:23 AM   #19
Timo
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

We are.

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Old June 24 2010, 08:44 AM   #20
xortex
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

God exists. Katras don't. Spock wanted to play it safe either way. If you believe in them, then it ironically saved his life.
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Old June 24 2010, 09:06 AM   #21
Timo
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

God exists.
Or at least did, until Chekov served Him with a photon torpedo.

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Old June 24 2010, 02:05 PM   #22
Therin of Andor
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

xortex wrote: View Post
The katra is not canon...
Yes it is. Sarek and T'Lar both mention the word in its context in ST III. We also so a version of the transfer of Spock's essence into Christine Chapel, to hide Spock from Henock, in "Return to Tomorrow".

The term "Hall of Ancient Thought", though, is not canonical.
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Old June 24 2010, 03:09 PM   #23
Broccoli
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
xortex wrote: View Post
The katra is not canon...
Yes it is. Sarek and T'Lar both mention the word in its context in ST III. We also so a version of the transfer of Spock's essence into Christine Chapel, to hide Spock from Henock, in "Return to Tomorrow".

The term "Hall of Ancient Thought", though, is not canonical.
Also lets not forget the whole Enterprise Vulcan arc.
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Old June 24 2010, 05:55 PM   #24
Whill
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

xortex wrote: View Post
Katras are a lie. They don't actually exist. Wanting to believe or not sure if you believe is not a sin.
Thanks guys, but this thread was not intended to be about whether katras, sin or God is "canon" or not.

My intention was to ask a question about the storyline of the movies and the motivation of the characters to help me make more sense of it so I can enjoy it more. Furthemore, suggested non-canon explanations are even welcome.

Thanks.
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Old June 25 2010, 07:35 AM   #25
KarmicCurse
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

This is sort of a stretch that attempts to unite in- and out-of-universe explanations:

The sequence of events presented in the final edit don't necessarily represent the in-universe events. Perhaps days elapsed between Grissom's arrival at Genesis and Sarek's arrival in San Francisco. Maybe we were shown the events on Genesis pre-Enterprise as flashbacks? Once the Enterprise arrives both stories catch up to the "present". (I know this is probably not what the editors intended but it kinda works!)

By the way, this whole thread is a good catch! I never noticed this. You may have ruined this movie for me! LOL. But I just learned about the last minute editing changes, so it's been interesting.
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Old June 25 2010, 05:55 PM   #26
ssosmcin
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

xortex wrote: View Post
God exists.
God only exists where there is faith. Without faith, there is no God.

Katras don't. Spock wanted to play it safe either way. If you believe in them, then it ironically saved his life.
Since Star Trek is not The Real World and is a work of fiction, then Spock, Vulcans, and Starfleet don't exist either. But since we're talking about the confines of an established fictional universe, you're blowing smoke. According to Star Trek, the katra exists. You don't live in the Star Trek universe, so your own religious beliefs don't count.

Whether or not God exists in the Star Trek universe is a different dicussion.
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Old June 27 2010, 01:09 AM   #27
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

What does God have to do with katra?

Isn't the katra the Vulcan "soul" per say? it holds the memories, personality, etc. after all, Spock on the Genesis planet lacked a katra, therefore a soul, and was an empty shell, going through the motions of living without any animation.

(BTW, your sig is exactly right, ssosmcin! )
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Old June 27 2010, 01:28 AM   #28
Saquist
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

Timo wrote: View Post
I don't really see how any of the extra material from the novels would be helpful here. It seems superfluous at best, and dubious at worst - why would Saavik conspire, and why would the details of Spock's will be an issue?

When Sarek confronts Kirk, it's initially for Spock's katra. The issue of Spock's body does not arise. Sarek probably has no use for that piece of rotting meat - and moreover, he says he has read Kirk's report, so he has reason to believe that Spock's body is now buried in space, or burned to ashes in atmospheric entry.

Sarek only starts yearning for the body after melding with Kirk. In that event, Sarek's conviction about the survival of Spock's soul and Kirk's conviction about the possibility of Genesis reviving Spock's body come together for the first time. It should be no wonder that Sarek at that moment changes his plan, then: he now wants to bring Spock back to life, not merely deposit his katra in some moldy old pot. And Kirk is of course immediately up to speed, too, since mind melds work both ways.

The only thing that needs explaining is Kirk's conviction that the body does survive. And in both the script and the final edit of the movie, the Grissom has already observed and reported the soft-landing of Spock's coffin, and the fact that it is now empty. So... Does Kirk know what Starfleet knows? This sounds reasonable, but OTOH Kirk isn't jumping with joy when Sarek arrives, so perhaps he doesn't know. Or perhaps his belief is not strong enough that mere empty tomb would convince him.

But all the same, ST2 already had Kirk expressing his belief that Spock might be resurrected: "If Genesis really is life from death" and all that. Combine that with Sarek's knowledge of Vulcan rituals, and everything makes sufficient sense.

Timo Saloniemi
That's actually a sufficient explanation.

Spock also says through McCoy. "You left me...on Genesis why did you do that? Help me!" ...well before Jim talks to Sarek. It's almost like it was known. Sarek says the same thing...

No one ever says that body isn't necessary in the story SO...there is no problem. Unexplained yes, and the thread starter was most perceptive.
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Old June 28 2010, 07:39 AM   #29
Timo
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Re: The Search for Plot - please help me!

Isn't the katra the Vulcan "soul" per say?
Probably not in the most conventional sense. After all, Spock donated his to McCoy and still was able to save the ship and have a nice death scene afterwards. Not a "soulless" performance at all!

Probably one can dump a copy of one's katra contents through touch telepathy to some extracorporeal receptacle such as a fellow humanoid or a katric ark when one wants to. Doesn't mean the katra inside one's noggin would be diminished by the act.

Probably one's katra also "grows" through life, so that the katras of two adults would be in conflict if crammed in the same head for long (as we see with McCoy or Archer), but the katra of an adult could easily displace that of an infant (as we probably see with Spock-from-McCoy's-head and Spock's-body-reborn-through-Genesis).

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Old June 28 2010, 08:28 PM   #30
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From TSFS novelization...

I have taken the TSFS movie script, and then added dialogue lines and a little bit of other explaination from the novelization. The movie dialogue is in bold, while the novelization dialogue is not. Italics mean I have paraphrased, summerized or described the book's descriptive text.

KIRK: ...Come. ...Sarek! Ambassador, I had no idea you were here. I believe you know my crew.
SAREK: I will speak with you alone, Kirk.
KIRK: Please excuse us. ...Ambassador, I would have come to Vulcan to express my deepest sympathy.
SAREK: Spare me your human platitudes, Kirk. I have been to your Government. I have seen the Genesis information, and your own report.
KIRK: Then you know how bravely your son met his death.
SAREK: Met his death? How could you, who claim to be his friend, assume that? Why did you not bring him back to Vulcan?
KIRK: He asked me not to.
SAREK: I find that unlikely in the extreme.
KIRK: His will states quite clearly that he did not wish to be returned to Vulcan, should he die in service of Starfleet.
SAREK: I am also aware that Starfleet regulations specifically require that any Vulcan’s body to be returned to the home world. Surely this would override the dictates of the will…
KIRK: …I’ll tell you why I followed Spock’s request rather than the rules of Starfleet! It’s because in all the years I knew Spock, never once did you or any Vulcan treat him with the respect and regard that he deserves… He spent his own life living up to Vulcan ideals - and he came a hell of a lot closer to succeeding than a lot of Vulcans I’ve met. But he made one choice of his own - Starfleet instead of the Vulcan Academy - and you cut him off! …For nearly 20 years I watched him observe the slights and subtle bigotry of the Vulcans! When he died, I was damned if I would take him back to Vulcan and give him over to you so you could put him in the ground and wash your hands of him! He deserved a hero’s burial and that’s what I gave him - the fires of space!
SAREK: Why did you leave him behind on Genesis?! Spock trusted you. You denied him his future!
KIRK: I saw no future.
SAREK: You missed the point, then and now. Only his body was in death, Kirk. And you were the last one to be with him.
KIRK: Yes, I was.
SAREK: Then you must know that you should have come with him to Vulcan.
KIRK: But ...why?
SAREK: Because he asked you to! He entrusted you with his very essence, with everything that was not of the body. He asked you to bring him to us ...and bring that which he gave you, his katra, his living spirit.
KIRK: Sir, ...your son meant more to me than you can know. I'd have given my life if it would have saved his. Believe me when I tell you ...he made no request of me!
SAREK: He would not have spoken of it openly.
KIRK: Then, how was...
SAREK: Kirk, I must have your thoughts. May I join your mind?
KIRK: Of course.

At the beginning of the mind-meld, Kirk feels that the recent message from Grissom that Spock’s deceased body may still exist gives Sarek a strong resonance of hope that there is still time to recover the body and thus save Spock’s katra for the Hall of Ancient Thought on Mt. Seleya. To continue, here is a direct quote from the book:

“And James Kirk understood that even if Sarek found what he sought, Spock was lost to the world he lived in. Only a few individuals trained for years in Vulcan philosophic discipline, could communicate with the presences that existed within the Hall of Ancient Thought. If Sarek found what he was looking for, he would give Spock a chance at immortality… but not another chance at life.”

The mind-meld sequence then plays out as it did in the movie, reprising the death scene dialogue from TWOK…

SAREK: Forgive me. It is not here. I had assumed he mind-melded with you. It is the Vulcan way ...when the body's end is near.
KIRK: We were separated! He couldn't touch me.
SAREK: I see. ...Then everything that he was. ...Everything that he knew ...is lost.
KIRK: Please wait! ...He would have found a way! If there was that much at stake, ...Spock would have found a way!
SAREK: Yes. ...But how?
KIRK: What if he joined with someone else?

The engine room flight recorder sequence plays out as it does in the movie…

KIRK: McCoy!
SAREK: One alive, one not. Yet both in pain.
KIRK: One going mad from the pain! Why did Spock leave the wrong instructions?
SAREK: Do you recall the precise words, Kirk?

Sarek then “repeated a phrase from Spock’s will as he had plucked it from Kirk’s mind”…

SAREK: “Failing a subsequent revision of this document, my remains are not to be returned to Vulcan.” Spock did not believe that his human heritage would permit the transfer of his katra. He did leave the possibility open.
KIRK: But he never made a revision. He only left-
SAREK: -The good Dr. McCoy, who if the process had worked properly, would have known what to do… He is undergoing an allergic reaction.
KIRK: What?
SAREK: It is unusual, but not unprecedented. McCoy’s mind is rejecting what Spock gave to him. …the result is McCoy was unable to assimilate the information even so far as to rescind the provision of Spock’s will that may not destroy them both. It would have been better if Spock had been near another Vulcan when he died. He did not prepare well, Kirk. He left too many factors open to chance-
KIRK: This is hardly the time to criticize Spock! …What do we do to make things right.
SAREK: It may already be too late.
KIRK: Sarek-!
SAREK: The fact that McCoy even retains even a semblance of sanity gives me some cause for hope. You are fortunate that you failed in your plan to burn my son like a barbarian chieftain. Had it succeeded, McCoy would surely be lost to us now. The mind and the body are a duality, they are parts of a whole. If one is destroyed, the other must disintegrate. If they are separated… the greater the difference, the greater the strain, until it become intolerable.
KIRK: The strain on McCoy, you mean.
SAREK: Precisely.
KIRK: What must I do?
SAREK: You must recover Spock’s body from Genesis. You must bring it, and Dr. McCoy to Mount Seleya, on Vulcan. Only there the passage is possible. Only there can both find peace.
KIRK: What you ask ...is difficult.
SAREK: You will find a way, Kirk. ...If you honor them both, you must.
KIRK: I will. I swear it.

And the book shows a final discussion in which Kirk attempts to gain an understanding from Sarek about what exactly will Spock’s immortal existence will be like if his deceased body is successfully recovered from Genesis allowing his katra is successfully transferred from McCoy to the Hall of Ancient Thought (the Vulcan afterlife). Sarek tells Kirk that he would have to learn the Vulcan language and take ten years of his life to study Vulcan mysticism to even begin to understand. Kirk gets angry again and explains that he needs more details to tell Admiral Morrow when he asks for permission to return to Genesis, but Sarek refuses to elucidate.

And I’ll also add that although it as not revealed by the film, the novelizations states that Saavik is only half-Vulcan (and half-Romulan). She was 10-year-old orphan when she was rescued from an abandoned Romulan colony by Spock sometime in the years after the five-year mission of TOS. Spock made sure she was taken care of and sponsored her enrollment in Starfleet Academy. Despite the fact that she was trained in the Vulcan language and general (logical) way of life, she had never actually been to Vulcan before the end of TSFS and had not learned about Vulcan mysticism regarding death and afterlife...
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