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Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old March 6 2010, 04:37 AM   #31
BillJ
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
lawman wrote: View Post
OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
All you are telling me is that most time travel in Star Trek has been innacurate with regards to current prevailing theory, and somewhat inconsistent anyway.
All you're doing here is repeating O&K's claims about "current prevailing theory." There is no "current prevailing theory" about how time travel would work (although there are plenty of speculations), so realistically they were misrepresenting what the MWI means in order to rationalize their story choices about how to execute a reboot.

UHURA: An Alternate Reality.
SPOCK: Precisely.
This bit of expository dialogue was, obviously, O&K's attempt to get the point across to the slower members of the audience, slightly less blunt than having the writers themselves walk in front of the cameras and say "this is what we mean." However, at that point in the story it can realistically be nothing more than speculation on Spock and Uhura's part ("alternate to what?" is the obvious question from their POV), and moreover it provides no evidence one way or the other as to the status of the "prime" universe.
If you are correct about the evidence about the fate of the "prime" universe, then we have insufficient data to test the idea that the movie portrays an overwritten/singular timeline.

Since Star Trek in general is inconsistent with it's implied portrayal of Time Travel, we cannot look to the rest of Star Trek as a guide to how it worked in this movie, so outside precedent carries no weight.

we are thus reduced to using the movie in and of itself to suggest whether it is an Alternate Reality, or whether linear time has been overwritten so that events after 2233 do not happen as depicted in the rest of Star Trek.

In order to accept the linear timeline theory, we have to accept the following:

- Cause and Effect have absolutely no meaning, since Spock CLEARLY observed and remembered events that simply can NOT happen since Nero's arrival.

Since the Grandfather Paradox comes in, the integrity of Spacetime is simply no more. Younger Spock would have different, contradictory memories to Older Spock, so when it comes time to go back in time, he may not do so, or would likely come back with something different to say to kirk, and the causality loop would go on indefinately.

Either that, or Spock would have to lie to kirk about events of the future.

Since this breaks cause-and-effect, it is thus not logical to assume this model.

Therefore, MWI must be the only logical alternative.

Given MWI, and Spock's generally analytical and logical approach, it is reasonable to assume that Spock:

a) Cannot go back in time to fix anything;
b) Relatively quickly reasons this to be true.
Yes the film does use the many worlds theory, of that I have no doubt. But to me it was a cop-out on the part of those making the film.

We killed Kirk's dad! But he still lives his normal life in the Prime Timeline.
We blew up Vulcan! But it's still there in the Prime Timeline.
We killed Spock's Mom! But she still lives her normal life in the Prime Timeline.

And these changes didn't due anything to the spin-offs... they're still out there (in universe).

When you really think about it... they didn't change anything anyone really cared about. When I watched the three skydive to Vulcan I found myself more impressed with the effort that went into pulling off the shot than any sense of danger the crew was in.

And I think that is the biggest problem these films have going forward. For all the talk of how the franchise has stagnated... they didn't really change anything. It almost feels like Enterprise all over again. But instead of blaming the Temporal Cold War for changes they blame the Many Worlds theory.
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Old March 6 2010, 04:52 AM   #32
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

They're alive in Spock's home universe. If he does this why not just have a whole corps of time travelers going back to the past and save everyone who's died?
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Old March 6 2010, 04:54 AM   #33
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
They're alive in Spock's home universe. If he does this why not just have a whole corps of time travelers going back to the past and save everyone who's died?
Missed the point entirely.
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Old March 6 2010, 05:00 AM   #34
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

I got the point, its just that if Spock does it for Vulcan then all victims of disasters in the past or future should be saved as well. Right?
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Old March 6 2010, 05:05 AM   #35
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I got the point, its just that if Spock does it for Vulcan then all victims of disasters in the past or future should be saved as well. Right?
Wrong. Because Vulcan was a victim of a madman from another time using technology from another time. Creating a situation that should have never existed to begin with.

Get it?
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Old March 6 2010, 05:14 AM   #36
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I got the point, its just that if Spock does it for Vulcan then all victims of disasters in the past or future should be saved as well. Right?
Wrong. Because Vulcan was a victim of a madman from another time using technology from another time. Creating a situation that should have never existed to begin with.

Get it?
Nero's incursion happend 25 years prior. Its part of the history of that Universe now.
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Old March 6 2010, 05:21 AM   #37
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I got the point, its just that if Spock does it for Vulcan then all victims of disasters in the past or future should be saved as well. Right?
Wrong. Because Vulcan was a victim of a madman from another time using technology from another time. Creating a situation that should have never existed to begin with.

Get it?
Nero's incursion happend 25 years prior. Its part of the history of that Universe now.
Considering Nero had little issue dispatching Starfleet, I'd say he still held a distinct technological advantage. And that doesn't even include Red Matter, which was a 24th century creation.

I do remember a line from Spock-2 that states that the technology did not currently (23rd Century) exist to create a black hole.

So Vulcan fell prey to a madman and technology that did not belong in that time period.
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Old March 6 2010, 05:47 AM   #38
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Yes and?
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Old March 6 2010, 06:01 AM   #39
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

BillJ wrote: View Post
OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
lawman wrote: View Post
All you're doing here is repeating O&K's claims about "current prevailing theory." There is no "current prevailing theory" about how time travel would work (although there are plenty of speculations), so realistically they were misrepresenting what the MWI means in order to rationalize their story choices about how to execute a reboot.

This bit of expository dialogue was, obviously, O&K's attempt to get the point across to the slower members of the audience, slightly less blunt than having the writers themselves walk in front of the cameras and say "this is what we mean." However, at that point in the story it can realistically be nothing more than speculation on Spock and Uhura's part ("alternate to what?" is the obvious question from their POV), and moreover it provides no evidence one way or the other as to the status of the "prime" universe.
If you are correct about the evidence about the fate of the "prime" universe, then we have insufficient data to test the idea that the movie portrays an overwritten/singular timeline.

Since Star Trek in general is inconsistent with it's implied portrayal of Time Travel, we cannot look to the rest of Star Trek as a guide to how it worked in this movie, so outside precedent carries no weight.

we are thus reduced to using the movie in and of itself to suggest whether it is an Alternate Reality, or whether linear time has been overwritten so that events after 2233 do not happen as depicted in the rest of Star Trek.

In order to accept the linear timeline theory, we have to accept the following:

- Cause and Effect have absolutely no meaning, since Spock CLEARLY observed and remembered events that simply can NOT happen since Nero's arrival.

Since the Grandfather Paradox comes in, the integrity of Spacetime is simply no more. Younger Spock would have different, contradictory memories to Older Spock, so when it comes time to go back in time, he may not do so, or would likely come back with something different to say to kirk, and the causality loop would go on indefinately.

Either that, or Spock would have to lie to kirk about events of the future.

Since this breaks cause-and-effect, it is thus not logical to assume this model.

Therefore, MWI must be the only logical alternative.

Given MWI, and Spock's generally analytical and logical approach, it is reasonable to assume that Spock:

a) Cannot go back in time to fix anything;
b) Relatively quickly reasons this to be true.
Yes the film does use the many worlds theory, of that I have no doubt. But to me it was a cop-out on the part of those making the film.

We killed Kirk's dad! But he still lives his normal life in the Prime Timeline.
We blew up Vulcan! But it's still there in the Prime Timeline.
We killed Spock's Mom! But she still lives her normal life in the Prime Timeline.

And these changes didn't due anything to the spin-offs... they're still out there (in universe).

When you really think about it... they didn't change anything anyone really cared about. When I watched the three skydive to Vulcan I found myself more impressed with the effort that went into pulling off the shot than any sense of danger the crew was in.

And I think that is the biggest problem these films have going forward. For all the talk of how the franchise has stagnated... they didn't really change anything. It almost feels like Enterprise all over again. But instead of blaming the Temporal Cold War for changes they blame the Many Worlds theory.
That's interesting, because I'm kinda the opposite.

What you call a cop-out is a simple solution to a seemingly unresolvable conflict: Creating something new, while retaining the full integrity of ALL established history (Canon).

Also, the fact that it is an Alternate Reality means that anything can happen.

A direct prequel would mean that at the back of everyone's minds is the idea that the future is set. No drama that anyone could be killed.

Of course, it is actually unlikely that a character would die anyway, but the idea puts the possible doubt in your mind.

For one thing, they could quite legitimately kill of Captain Pike, since the character would not be needed after the first movie.

And destroying Vulcan actually WAS a surprise to those familiar with Trek who avoided spoilers.
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Old March 6 2010, 07:47 AM   #40
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Spock Prime is in a different reality now. He can't return to his own reality. He can travel in time in this new reality, but what's the point? Vulcan will never be his Vulcan.

Sure, he could try to save Vulcan just because it's a good thing to do. But he knows about a lot of other catastrophes that are likely to happen, simply because this reality is so close to his own. He could stop the Doomsday Machine without bothering to travel through time at all.

That sucker ate up who knows how many planets before Kirk & the gang stopped it. Spock could remember the system where they encountered it and most likely figure out where it would be in this reality.

If Spock wants to do the greatest good for the greatest number, he shouldn't waste any energy on devising methods of time travel. He's got a full plate as it is.

Yes the film does use the many worlds theory, of that I have no doubt. But to me it was a cop-out on the part of those making the film.
It's not a cop out if they never take advantage of the alternate realities to shortcut the drama and the characters' angst. Sure, Spock's Vulcan is fine and dandy somewhere, but as long as he's never allowed to go there, and the audience is never allowed to see that it's all right, the emotional impact is still that the only Vulcan we're going to see has gone kablooey.

The nice thing about the many-worlds approach is that it's a nice way of avoiding the annoying aspects of time travel - the reset button, the illogic of the grandfather paradox, etc. Technically speaking, it's not even time travel, but rather space travel - between realities rather than star systems or galaxies. The new reality's timeline could be offset compared with the Prime reality by a few decades so that travelling directly from one to the other appears to involve time travel. But we don't know that's even the case.

What you call a cop-out is a simple solution to a seemingly unresolvable conflict: Creating something new, while retaining the full integrity of ALL established history (Canon).
Yeah, they hit upon the one and only way to give Trek a fresh approach while mollifying the canonistas. Of course they get zero credit by the canonistas.

The problem with the "writers' intent" explanation is that (A) their theory of how Trek time-travel works is dicta, coming more from interviews than from anything in the film, and (B) it's incompatible with essentially every other Trek time-travel story we've ever seen.
Nobody knows "how time travel works," so there's no basis for criticizing their choice of one method over another. I prefer the Many Worlds method of time/space travel because it's an internally consistent theory that avoids paradoxes, actual real-life physicists treat it seriously, and Trek's time travel is inconsistent and incoherent anyway and therefore can't be used as a standard for anything. I'm happy to see them jettison all that reset button nonsense.

One of my pet theories is that Star Trek time travel has always worked under Many World's logic, it's just that they never realized it. Like so:

1. Starfleet crew accidentally travels to the past or future.

2. Either they step on the wrong butterfly in the past, or they see that the future isn't to their liking; either way, they know They Must Make Things Right.

3. After much ado, they Make Things Right and return to their own time.

What if they never travelled in their own universe at all, but rather to a parallel universe where of course some details of past or future would be different just because that's the way that universe is.

Under Many Worlds theory, every possible thing that could happen must happen in one of the infinity of parallel universes. The Borg must take over some universe. If our intrepid crew happens to land in that universe, they will be understandably upset and try to change things, without realizing, this isn't their universe at all, and in fighting the Borg, they are fighting the laws of physics, and anyway there's probably ten trillion realities where the Borg have taken over, so what's one more or less?

When they return to their own reality and see that everything is all right, they might delude themselves that their actions made everything all right. But isn't it just as likely their own reality was never changed at all, and the reality they left behind hasn't changed either? They have no way of knowing whether they are accomplishing anything at all by their so-called "time travel."

Therefore, travelling back in time changes nothing, and merely spawns another reality.
I think that all possible realities have already been spawned, in which every conceivable thing that could happen, has/is/will happen. With an infinite number of realities already in existence, you can't create another unique reality through time travel; none are left to be created. I think that this is simply the structure of the cosmos.

I don't think it's possible to travel within your own timeline (due to the grandfather paradox). It is possible to jump realities and end up at another point in that reality's timeline. You might even be able to travel in another reality's timeline, since your grandfather isn't in that timeline and you can't kill him. If the reality happens to be one very close to your own, you might be fooled into thinking you're time travelling within your own reality.

Ironically, the reality you were born in - where there are places, people and things you might care about safeguarding or rescuing - is the only one you can't change. You can change all the others, but since there are infinite variations on those realities, why bother with any particular one? Save Vulcan and there are twenty quadrillion realities where it still goes kaboom. There's a message in there somewhere...

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Old March 6 2010, 08:38 AM   #41
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

daveyNY wrote: View Post
Do We know for sure that the Romulan Home world will be destroyed in the future of NuTrek?

Wouldn't it be more logical to think that Spock-Prime would do something now, to prevent yet a Third Alternate Time line being created??

Will Nemo even be the same personality in this reality???

Isn't speculation to a migraine level fun????
Yep, that's what I meant with using his knowledge of events in the future.
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Old March 6 2010, 10:57 AM   #42
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

If the Prime Universe is gone, then we wouldn't have more TNG-era novels and Star Trek Online. Yet they exist. So there. (That's good enough for me.)
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Old March 6 2010, 12:03 PM   #43
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Spock Prime is in a different reality now. He can't return to his own reality. He can travel in time in this new reality, but what's the point? Vulcan will never be his Vulcan.
Yes, but how can Spock know that the timelines have split and his home is safe? To him it would look just like all the other instances he knows where his reality was altered by time travel into the past.
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Old March 6 2010, 02:10 PM   #44
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I got the point, its just that if Spock does it for Vulcan then all victims of disasters in the past or future should be saved as well. Right?
Wrong. Because Vulcan was a victim of a madman from another time using technology from another time. Creating a situation that should have never existed to begin with.
Nero's incursion happend 25 years prior. Its part of the history of that Universe now.
Yes, but it's part of the same time-travel incident that brought Spock back. All Spock would need to do is travel an additional 25 years (plus a bit) into the past, to before Nero created the "fork in the road" that led to the altered reality, and prevent that from happening. And logically, knowing all this, he would feel a responsibility to follow through and act on it.

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
What you call a cop-out is a simple solution to a seemingly unresolvable conflict: Creating something new, while retaining the full integrity of ALL established history (Canon).

Also, the fact that it is an Alternate Reality means that anything can happen.
If they'd just done a complete reboot, no connection to prior Trek, then any fan who cared would still assume it to be an "alternate reality" anyway (albeit without any connection to the original), and they'd still have their clean slate. Seems to me that would've been a lot simpler, and avoided the kinds of problems this thread is discussing.

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
The nice thing about the many-worlds approach is that it's a nice way of avoiding the annoying aspects of time travel - the reset button, the illogic of the grandfather paradox, etc. Technically speaking, it's not even time travel, but rather space travel - between realities rather than star systems or galaxies. ...

One of my pet theories is that Star Trek time travel has always worked under Many World's logic, it's just that they never realized it. ...

What if they never travelled in their own universe at all, but rather to a parallel universe where of course some details of past or future would be different just because that's the way that universe is.

When they return to their own reality and see that everything is all right, they might delude themselves that their actions made everything all right. But isn't it just as likely their own reality was never changed at all, and the reality they left behind hasn't changed either? They have no way of knowing whether they are accomplishing anything at all by their so-called "time travel."
Ah, yes. That's ever so much more dramatically satisfying. Our heroes never actually accomplished anything in all their time-travels; they just deluded themselves into thinking they did.

What you're describing here is essentially the Marvel Comics approach to time travel (as retconned into effect in the '70s, anyway), and all it achieves is to leach all the dramatic impact out of time-travel stories while simultaneously making it next to impossible to make sense of what happened in them and what reality the characters are actually inhabiting.

EJA wrote: View Post
Yes, but how can Spock know that the timelines have split and his home is safe? To him it would look just like all the other instances he knows where his reality was altered by time travel into the past.
Excellent point. A lot of posters seem to be looking at this from the mile-high view of how (they think, or the writers say) the timeline works... but what the thread is really asking about is Spock's motivation, and from his point of view, he has every reason to try to fix things.
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Old March 6 2010, 06:40 PM   #45
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

EJA wrote: View Post
Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Spock Prime is in a different reality now. He can't return to his own reality. He can travel in time in this new reality, but what's the point? Vulcan will never be his Vulcan.
Yes, but how can Spock know that the timelines have split and his home is safe? To him it would look just like all the other instances he knows where his reality was altered by time travel into the past.
To be fair, how do we know what Spock would perceive? For one thing, he is always ALWAYS smarter than the audience, often the talking point and a step ahead of the crew's explanations, and often the first to expect what we the audience consider to be the unexpected. Secondly, a lot can happen off screen -- maybe he's had a variety of time-related adventures that were simply off screen, and as was pointed out, there's a myriad of time travel possibilities out there -- linear and sideways. Lastly, even with the 2nd point, Spock already has experience with alternate timelines: the Mirror Universe. At least as far as I know, he (Spock Prime, that is) hasn't tried to change that.
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