RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 135,670
Posts: 5,212,592
Members: 24,197
Currently online: 564
Newest member: Trek's Offender


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 18 2013, 07:26 PM   #61
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

^But there's no reason to call it "Ceti" anything unless it's located within the Cetus constellation. The word "Ceti" has no meaning besides "of Cetus." So regardless of word order, "Ceti Alpha" is going to mean "the Alpha star of the constellation Cetus," and that's Alpha Ceti.

In fact, in Vonda N. McIntyre's novelization of the movies, she corrected Ceti Alpha to Alpha Ceti.

And who says TOS wanted to avoid disparities with real astronomy? They constantly used the names of prominent real stars: Rigel, Vega, Antares, Deneb, Aldebaran, Capella, Canopus, Altair, Arcturus, Izar, Merak, Regulus, Alpha Centauri, Pollux, Omicron Ceti, Gamma Hydra, Gamma Trianguli, Epsilon Indi, etc. And they quite commonly put inhabited planets around stars that are too young and hot, or too far past the Main Sequence, to support them, since they went with well-known stars and those are usually the abnormally big, bright ones.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 1/21/14 including non-spoiler discussion for Rise of the Federation Book 2

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18 2013, 10:55 PM   #62
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Random opinions:

"Khan doesn't see through Spock's silly code". Who says he doesn't? His actions wouldn't be influenced by this one way or another - indeed, he seems positively delighted when the Enterprise is "not so crippled after all", and might well have been anticipating the revelation.

"Planet can't become lifeless so quickly". Nonsense - all life could be lost in mere seconds in suitable circumstances. But we need not assume that. Our heroes thought there was nothing but us lichen down there when there were dozens of live humans inhabiting the surface - so it was a matter of sensor performance, and the cataclysm that nearly killed Khan's colony had made the planet impermeable to the usual sensors. There might have been life aplenty, our sidekicks were just unable to see it.

"Ceti Alpha" must be "Alpha Ceti". Further nonsense, especially in view of the TOS and general Trek habit of using extremely truncated star names. We have places called "Omega" or "Alpha", indicating that omission of "generally known data" such as the constellation being discussed is common in Starfleet. It would only be in keeping with Trek tradition that Epsilon Ceti A would be truncated to Ceti A(lpha), while Omega Eridani B might become Omega Bravo or the fourth planet of 334 Reticuli could become planet 334-IV.

As for membership in a certain constellation placing limitations on where a planet must be... Well, hardly. Constellations may span huge swaths of the celestial sphere, and cover basically an infinite range of distances. Cetus certainly caters for real targets near and far, but Trek offers a range of potential "new" targets as well - stars hidden behind (real or fictional) dust clouds or space anomalies when viewed from Earth but visible when viewed from Vulcan, and falling nicely within an established Earth constellation.

"Inhabited worlds around unsuitable stars". Yup, common scifi mistake - but Trek has the perfect excuse. Some 99% of inhabitable planets in that universe would by all rights be the result of terraforming anyway (humanlike creatures have been at it for billions of years!), and there are several cultures quoted with the ability to construct planets from scratch.

"Starfleet doesn't know about Ceti Alpha events". Well, it shouldn't - there's no evidence of a realtime scanning mechanism across distances greater than a couple of lightyears. And the "lightspeed shadows" of distant past events are so conspicuously absent from all Trek that we might just as well postulate a damping medium - one also responsible for hiding the radiation signatures of civilizations and spacecraft from 20th-21st century Earth observers. Heck, perhaps this medium also damps the color of stars and nebulae as it passes into our star system, so that they shine so brightly in close (starship) view in contrast to what they really look like as viewed from Earth... And is responsible for occasionally making it necessary to slow down to impulse when approaching Earth. We're the London of the future, with the infamous subspace smog problem!

Finally, "Reliant doesn't establish facts diligently enough". Why should she? It's not as if Kirk ever bothered to do surveys of entire star systems when homing in on a specific planet, either. Star systems really are a dime in a dozen, and the Reliant crew is bored out of their skulls already in this stupid hunt for these strange Goldilocks deserts that apparently have to be life-compatible but still lifeless. Anything but a quick in-and-out would be contrary to their mission goals, and any wasted time might well mean horrible death of a distressed colony or a successful Klingon raid somewhere down the line.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18 2013, 10:57 PM   #63
Sran
Fleet Captain
 
Sran's Avatar
 
Location: The Captain's Table
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

^

--Sran
__________________
"Many things seem clever to an imbecile." --Captain Thelin th'Valrass, USS Enterprise-- "The Chimes at Midnight"
Sran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 05:26 AM   #64
TREK_GOD_1
Fleet Captain
 
TREK_GOD_1's Avatar
 
Location: Delta Vega
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Christopher wrote: View Post

Of course, this is far from the only plot or conceptual flaw in TWOK. The movie is full to the brim with flaws. How come Khan's followers, who were multiethnic adults when they were stranded 15 (or 18) years earlier, are now a bunch of blond Nazi-recruiting-poster types in their 20s?
In no way do the WOK followers look like Nazis.

How can a tiny torpedo terraform an entire planet?
How are starships able to travel through time, and return to the point of departure? None of what we see on screen is even remotely plausible, but it is accepted in the framework of far-future storytelling. If you buy the endless never-going-to-happen things common to Trek tech, the Genesis torpedo is not something out of the norm for fictional late 23rd century technology.

Why does Scotty bring his bloody, dying cadet/nephew (depending on the cut) to the bridge instead of sickbay?
As Sran pointed out:

People do strange things when they're in shock. Scotty may not have realized what he was doing until he actually stepped onto the bridge with Peter, so traumatized by his nephew's injuries was he.
Tragedy in can produce what observers see as strange behavior in the moment. In reality, why did Jackie Kennedy reach for a piece of her husband's skull/brains on the back of the limo? Someone being hoplessly clinical would say, "why did she do that? It makes no sense" as many a witness knew JFK was dead at the moment of the head shot. So, if she believed that piece would be instrumental in saving what obviously could not be saved, then her actions could be described as trauma-induced, "strange" behavior, however under the circumstances, it is easy to understand.
__________________
"...to be like God, you have the power to make the world anything you want it to be."
TREK_GOD_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 11:27 AM   #65
solariabsg25
Captain
 
solariabsg25's Avatar
 
Location: Bristol, UK
View solariabsg25's Twitter Profile
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

As to Scotty's actions, yeah trauma does make people do strange things. The scene in Saving Private Ryan where a soldier pauses to retrieve his severed arm is a case in point, and based on actual events. Major Reno at the Little Big Horn wandered off for a good hour or so to find the body of his friend while he and his men were trying to prepare for the Indian attack.

With regard to not noticing a missing planet, if they knew Ceti Alpha VI was their destination, and they plotted a course to there, apparently finding it where it should be, would they really have been counting planets? It someone charted a course to a specific Caribbean Island, and had never been there before, would they notice if another island just happened to have gone missing?
__________________
"A perfect organism, unclouded by remorse, or human illusions of morality." - Ash, Alien
solariabsg25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 04:01 PM   #66
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
With regard to not noticing a missing planet, if they knew Ceti Alpha VI was their destination, and they plotted a course to there, apparently finding it where it should be, would they really have been counting planets? It someone charted a course to a specific Caribbean Island, and had never been there before, would they notice if another island just happened to have gone missing?
Again, Earthbound analogies don't work in space. Earth has horizons, so you're only in the direct line of sight of things that are within a few kilometers. In space, the whole universe is in your direct line of sight. Sure, you need a sensitive enough telescope to see most of it, but Starfleet vessels have great sensors, and it stands to reason that they'd be scanning ahead to get an overview of any system they neared, especially if it were largely uncharted. Heck, at the very least they'd want to scan for navigation hazards like, say, a huge cloud of debris from an exploding planet.

And as I've said two or three times before, light travels at a finite speed. If the explosion happened fifteen years earlier, then as soon as they came within fifteen light years, they should have actually seen the planet blow up. The sensors should've detected a massive disruption/energy release in the system and alerted the crew. Basically the story as written only works if the Reliant is the 18th-century sailing ship Meyer wanted to pretend it was, a primitive wooden vessel with no sensory capability beyond the crew's eyes. It doesn't make one damn bit of sense for a 23rd-century starship.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 1/21/14 including non-spoiler discussion for Rise of the Federation Book 2

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 05:48 PM   #67
ssosmcin
Rear Admiral
 
ssosmcin's Avatar
 
Location: ssosmcin
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Timo wrote: View Post
Random opinions:

"Khan doesn't see through Spock's silly code". Who says he doesn't?
Khan himself.

"Ahhhh, not so wounded as we were led to believe!"

Not "meant" but "led." In other words, he and the others believed what Spock wanted them to.
__________________
"Tranya is people!"
ssosmcin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 06:32 PM   #68
TREK_GOD_1
Fleet Captain
 
TREK_GOD_1's Avatar
 
Location: Delta Vega
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Basically the story as written only works if the Reliant is the 18th-century sailing ship Meyer wanted to pretend it was, a primitive wooden vessel with no sensory capability beyond the crew's eyes. It doesn't make one damn bit of sense for a 23rd-century starship.
..and somehow, the audience did not get up in protest about this ultimately minor point, and it did not strip the story of it strength.
__________________
"...to be like God, you have the power to make the world anything you want it to be."
TREK_GOD_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 09:55 PM   #69
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Khan himself.

"Ahhhh, not so wounded as we were led to believe!"

Not "meant" but "led." In other words, he and the others believed what Spock wanted them to.
But that's what I mean. Khan knows he was being led; it doesn't follow he allowed himself to be led. To the contrary, it might follow that he knew all along that he was being led. His actions have not been visibly affected by the coded exchange: he simply conducts his repairs and immediately launches into action at the completion of those. Surely he'd do that regardless of whether he believed Kirk and Spock or not.

it stands to reason that they'd be scanning ahead to get an overview of any system they neared, especially if it were largely uncharted
Yet it is a common feature of Star Trek before and after this movie that starships do not do such things. Spock only scans for the dramatically interesting after Kirk specifically asks him for this exceptional action, or a sidekick character indicates confusion. Take for example "The Doomsday Machine", where the heroes get "within" a star system in their search for a distress call and only then does Spock point out that there's rubble around them. Sulu was at a loss to explain his difficulties in locating... whatever, before Spock did his scan.

This actually makes sense for starships that perform quick in-and-out missions to dozens of star systems per month. Surveying is for wimps, and a planet never suddenly bumped into anybody despite not having been scanned (at least unless Trelane was steering it).

Heck, at the very least they'd want to scan for navigation hazards like, say, a huge cloud of debris from an exploding planet.
There didn't seem to be any hazard to the Enterprise from the rubble of multiple planeticide in "The Doomsday Machine", either before or after our heroes realized they would be facing such a phenomenon.

Probably the only true hazards to starship navigation are exceptionally energetic phenomena such as tri-isophasic subspace manifoldatrons, and there's a passive sensor rigged for detecting those.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19 2013, 10:49 PM   #70
solariabsg25
Captain
 
solariabsg25's Avatar
 
Location: Bristol, UK
View solariabsg25's Twitter Profile
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

The problem is, sensors in Trek have always worked exactly as the plot requires. In The Immunity Syndrome Chekov was able to detect that all life had been wiped out from a star system when the Enterprise was nowhere near it. On other occasions, they started to scan for lifeforms from orbit.

As to visually seeing the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI at fifteen light-years out, why would they? Do starship main viewers reach that far? What exactly does the "visual range" mentioned in all Treks mean? Also, how much of a "flash" did the explosion generate?

It also works the other way, where the crew see an explosion in real-time from a distance where the light should have taken hours to reach them, and this isn't just due to the viewscreens, as events have been witnessed in a similar way by just looking out the window (from Ten-Forward for example).
__________________
"A perfect organism, unclouded by remorse, or human illusions of morality." - Ash, Alien
solariabsg25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 20 2013, 12:02 AM   #71
Sran
Fleet Captain
 
Sran's Avatar
 
Location: The Captain's Table
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
As to visually seeing the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI at fifteen light-years out, why would they? Do starship main viewers reach that far? What exactly does the "visual range" mentioned in all Treks mean? Also, how much of a "flash" did the explosion generate?
All Federation ships are equipped with long-range sensors. Presumably, anything the sensors detect could be used to generate a visual image on the viewscreen. Hell, Spock was able to get an image of the Romulan bridge in "Balance of Terror" by intercepting a communication from the BOP.

--Sran
__________________
"Many things seem clever to an imbecile." --Captain Thelin th'Valrass, USS Enterprise-- "The Chimes at Midnight"
Sran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 20 2013, 12:17 AM   #72
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
As to visually seeing the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI at fifteen light-years out, why would they? Do starship main viewers reach that far? What exactly does the "visual range" mentioned in all Treks mean?
It means that the writers are trapped by Earthbound thinking, the unquestioned assumption that horizons exist. Asking how far your view "reaches" in space doesn't make any sense. If you're in a dark, clear enough area at night and look in the right part of the sky, then you can see the Andromeda Galaxy, 3 million light-years away, with the naked eye. Our best telescopes can see all the way to the edge of the observable universe, 13.8 billion light-years away. It's not a question of how far your vision reaches, just a question of how bright the thing you're looking at is and how sensitive your detector is. We can see a galaxy 3 million ly away with the naked eye because it's big and bright enough, but our best telescopes are still discovering red dwarfs less than 10 ly away because they're really, really dim.

So "visual range" would have to mean the resolution limit of whatever cameras/telescopes you're using. It probably refers to sufficient proximity to make out detail, as opposed to simply seeing a speck of light and getting spectroscopic data from it, say.


Also, how much of a "flash" did the explosion generate?
Anything powerful enough to destroy a planet would have to involve a hell of a lot of energy. The gravitational binding energy of the Earth, the amount of energy you'd need to pump into it to blow it to pieces, is equivalent to the Sun's total energy output for one week. A week is about 10,000 minutes, so if we assume that Ceti Alpha VI was comparable in mass to the Earth (since it and Ceti Alpha V could be so easily confused) and that it took, say, 10 minutes for the planet to fully disintegrate, then the energy involved would be about 1000 times the intensity of Sol's light. This would be nearly as bright as the star Alpha Ceti itself.

Not to mention that as the debris and dust spread out, it would create an observable debris disk, or -- depending on the angle of the orbital plane relative to the ship -- occult the star and cause a dimming of its light. The effect of the dust cloud might also affect the spectrum of the star's light passing through it or reflected off it. And the dust and debris itself would radiate in infrared, creating a detectable signature. These are the kinds of things that let us detect protoplanetary nebulae and debris disks around distant stars.


It also works the other way, where the crew see an explosion in real-time from a distance where the light should have taken hours to reach them, and this isn't just due to the viewscreens, as events have been witnessed in a similar way by just looking out the window (from Ten-Forward for example).
The technical term for that is "mistake." Which is kind of the point -- that TWOK is loaded with them. As indeed is most SF film and TV, because its writers think that SF allows a level of sloppy research that would rarely be considered acceptable in any other medium. (I've never seen a story set in Paris that assumed it was in Antarctica, its people spoke a made-up language, and the Eiffel Tower was a thousand miles high. People writing in other genres generally do at least a modicum of research rather than just pulling random nonsense out of a hat.)
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 1/21/14 including non-spoiler discussion for Rise of the Federation Book 2

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 20 2013, 04:24 PM   #73
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Anything powerful enough to destroy a planet would have to involve a hell of a lot of energy.
But that would definitely be a "blink and you miss it" thing. Not because the event would only take an eyeblink, but because passing through its image in a starship would.

Before and after the event, the star system might look pretty much the same from a distance. Planets at first, rubble later, but the difference would not be all that noticeable, especially as the Reliant would be maintaining the "blink-and-miss" speeds well past the 15 ly distance where the explosion itself would be visible, and only slow down at a distance corresponding to a date allowing for a full decade of cooling and settling.

Supposedly, studying of targets by their "onion shells" of historical vistas is not something Starfleet would be bothered to engage in anyway, as they can get realtime information with FTL sensors at certain distances (in TNG, typically less than a dozen lightyears) and can reach those distances easily enough if they are interested in the target in the first place.

The ability to say "there's a Class F planet in this system, with signs of early industrial era" at a distance is consistent with "realistic" scanning techniques: information like this can easily be decades old and divined from low-resolution spectrography. Yet it is very rarely that our heroes are able to tell that such a planet has been recently bombarded, deserted or made to disappear, unless they utilize FTL techniques reserved for targets of established interest. And "going there" is a good FTL technique, trumping "looking" because eventually you are going to go there anyway!

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24 2013, 12:26 AM   #74
Nebusj
Rear Admiral
 
Nebusj's Avatar
 
View Nebusj's Twitter Profile
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

The problem, obviously, is that that records in the 23rd century are kept by a Wikipedia-style system, and the attempt to enter in a line about ``Ceti Alpha VI exploded'' was immediately flagged and then deleted as violating the Original Research policy.
Nebusj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24 2013, 12:29 AM   #75
Sran
Fleet Captain
 
Sran's Avatar
 
Location: The Captain's Table
Re: Has anyone else noticed the major plot flaw in TWOK?

Nebusj wrote: View Post
The problem, obviously, is that that records in the 23rd century are kept by a Wikipedia-style system, and the attempt to enter in a line about ``Ceti Alpha VI exploded'' was immediately flagged and then deleted as violating the Original Research policy.
Why are you assuming there would be a record in the first place? How do you know any Federation ship visited the system before Reliant traveled there?

--Sran
__________________
"Many things seem clever to an imbecile." --Captain Thelin th'Valrass, USS Enterprise-- "The Chimes at Midnight"
Sran is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
star trek ii, twok

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.