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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

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

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Old March 14 2010, 10:00 AM   #121
Arpy
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Dennis wrote: View Post
Because the movie's not a stupid episode of a TV series that employs arbitrary story logic, that's why Spock didn't do something nonsensical that had no dramatic relevance to this movie.

Not one out of a thousand people who would watch and understand a movie like this would ask a question like that.

The movie used time-travel as its central plot device. How many Trek movies and episodes used it? How many times has it been used in other movies, television, and literature? I don't think the question is that unusual, and would bet that a lot of non-sci-fi fans who just watched their first Trek movie casually asked themselves the same question.

It doesn't hurt the overall quality or enjoyment of the film to do so. Now harping on it like some on these boards, that's another thing.
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Old March 14 2010, 12:54 PM   #122
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
Why Doesn't Spock Travel Back in Time and Just Press that Big Red Reset Button?
Because it would totally suck?

Oh, it was a rhetorical question. I get it.

Death to the Big Red Reset Button!!!!!

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Old March 14 2010, 06:09 PM   #123
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
Death to the Big Red Reset Button!!!!!
The "reset button" is a basic problem of serial fiction (esp. on TV), in that those who sell the fiction as a product want to maintain a status quo that's consistently accessible to new customers.

In story terms, it's used all the time, certainly not only in time-travel stories. It can be annoying to audiences, no doubt, but that's more a matter of how (and how skillfully) writers employ it, not a matter of particular plot devices. (Certainly, putting Kirk in command and all the other crew members in their "familiar" posts at the end of this movie was another example of a "reset button" being used... yet fans of the film keep defending it.)

But in the particular case at hand... if (as a writer) one is concerned about not using time travel to solve the problems of the plot (via "resetting" history), then perhaps one ought not craft a story in which time travel is the source of those problems. No?

Instead, by asking viewers to buy into the problem but not ask questions about possible solutions that flow from the same logic, the writers are trying to have their cake and eat it too.
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Old March 14 2010, 06:13 PM   #124
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

lawman wrote: View Post
Instead, by asking viewers to buy into the problem but not ask questions about possible solutions that flow from the same logic, the writers are trying to have their cake and eat it too.
Except the so-called solutions don't flow from the same logic, if the viewer has in fact actually bought into the logic of the film instead of clinging to preconceptions.

lawman wrote: View Post
But in the particular case at hand... if (as a writer) one is concerned about not using time travel to solve the problems of the plot (via "resetting" history), then perhaps one ought not craft a story in which time travel is the source of those problems. No?
No. The above merely restates the old paradigm. The source of a problem is not necessarily also its "solution".
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Old March 14 2010, 06:29 PM   #125
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Set Harth wrote: View Post
Except the so-called solutions don't flow from the same logic, if the viewer has in fact actually bought into the logic of the film instead of clinging to preconceptions.
I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. Certainly I've discussed "the logic of the film" in some depth in this thread, and pointed out how it doesn't exactly correspond to what the writers have claimed in interviews.

As for "preconceptions"... are you perhaps echoing Shape-Shifter's claim that "It has to do with resetting the way time travel stories are told in ST"? Because the problem with that is that the writers didn't actually do a clean, from-scratch reboot... on the contrary, they took great pains to establish continuity between past Trek and this movie. (And, in fact, the time travel we're debating was the very device by which they did so.) Therefore, it's entirely reasonable to consider the logic of past Trek time travel when analyzing this plot.

Set Harth wrote:
No. The above merely restates the old paradigm. The source of a problem is not necessarily also its "solution".
Again, I'm afraid you're not making yourself clear. What "old paradigm" do you mean? After all, it's hardly unreasonable in any SF story, in or out of Trek, to expect that if time travel is used to set up the story's situation, time travel will quite likely have something to do with resolving that situation.

(If a writer wishes to sidestep such an expectation, he usually has to expend some effort explaining why it's not possible for time travel to be part of the resolution. This film offered no such explanation... hence, this discussion.)

Feel free to expound a bit. What sort of time-travel logic do you see in which the events of this film could come to pass, and OldSpock could be aware of them as depicted, yet he would demonstrate no interest in trying to undo the damaging changes to the timeline?
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Old March 14 2010, 06:33 PM   #126
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

lawman wrote: View Post
Therefore, it's entirely reasonable to consider the logic of past Trek time travel when analyzing this plot.
Only if one ignores the statements made by the writers.

lawman wrote: View Post
it doesn't exactly correspond to what the writers have claimed in interviews.
According to your assumption. There is no provable inconsistency; what is indicated by those statements does not conflict with the film.

lawman wrote: View Post
Again, I'm afraid you're not making yourself clear. What "old paradigm" do you mean? After all, it's hardly unreasonable in any SF story, in or out of Trek, to expect that if time travel is used to set up the story's situation, time travel will quite likely have something to do with resolving that situation.
Here you answer your own question.
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Old March 14 2010, 06:56 PM   #127
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Set Harth wrote: View Post
lawman wrote: View Post
Therefore, it's entirely reasonable to consider the logic of past Trek time travel when analyzing this plot.
Only if one ignores the statements made by the writers.
You're disregarding all the actual reasoning before my quoted "therefore." In what way do you see "statements made by the writers" as invalidating that reasoning?

(And why should offscreen statements by this particular pair of writers outweigh the work of countless other Trek writers, anyway, if the subject is the cosmology of the Trek universe?)

Set Harth wrote:
lawman wrote: View Post
it doesn't exactly correspond to what the writers have claimed in interviews.
According to your assumption. There is no provable inconsistency; what is indicated by those statements does not conflict with the film.
I'm not sure what you mean by "provable" in this context, but the logical inconsistency I described is fairly clear. If you disagree, then, again, please feel free to explain why. What exactly is the logic by which you see no inconsistency?

Set Harth wrote:
lawman wrote: View Post
Again, I'm afraid you're not making yourself clear. What "old paradigm" do you mean? After all, it's hardly unreasonable in any SF story, in or out of Trek, to expect that if time travel is used to set up the story's situation, time travel will quite likely have something to do with resolving that situation.
Here you answer your own question.
Okay, if that's what you meant by "old paradigm," fine: but with regard to that paradigm you have again disregarded my other remarks, and failed to explain why you think the paradigm isn't relevant here.

Without some more detailed elaboration, your position here seems to boil down to "it's all new, no rules or expectations from outside this story are relevant, the writers can do whatever they want, and we have to accept it at face value." But it's not, they are, they can't, and we don't.
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Old March 14 2010, 09:14 PM   #128
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

lawman wrote: View Post
(And why should offscreen statements by this particular pair of writers outweigh the work of countless other Trek writers, anyway, if the subject is the cosmology of the Trek universe?)
I thought the subject was how the plot of this film is meant to be understood.

lawman wrote: View Post
What exactly is the logic by which you see no inconsistency?
Are you kidding? You've failed to prove any inconsistency. If necessary, imagine me going through the scenes in the script one by one while declaring "no inconsistency detected". The lack of said inconsistency is due to the fact that the writers are merely describing what happens in their own film.
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Old March 14 2010, 10:10 PM   #129
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Regardless of which theory of time travel actually applies (though personally I'm a fan of the MWI), I've yet to see any reasonable theory as to how Spock could reset the timeline without running the risk of causing further disruption.

Theoretically, he'd need to journey into the past and somehow prevent the Narada from entering the past, all the while not being in any way detected by the Kelvin. The apparent size and power of the Narada only complicates this. Also, what's Spock supposed to do with himself afterward? Ideally either travel into the future or blow up his own ship in a way that also doesn't disrupt the timeline, I suppose.

Now, if there was a way he could journey into the original future timeline and make sure his plan to stop the supernova worked (or perhaps better yet, prevent the supernova from occurring to begin with), that might get the job done. If Romulus doesn't get destroyed, neither does Vulcan. Of course, this only works if the MWI theory is correct...if not, in whatever future he journeys into Vulcan is already destroyed.
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Old March 14 2010, 10:55 PM   #130
lawman
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Set Harth wrote: View Post
I thought the subject was how the plot of this film is meant to be understood.
...You've failed to prove any inconsistency. If necessary, imagine me going through the scenes in the script one by one while declaring "no inconsistency detected". The lack of said inconsistency is due to the fact that the writers are merely describing what happens in their own film.
Once again, I don't understand what you mean by the word "prove." I've laid out a clear logical explanation... what more do you want?

Here's the thing in a nutshell: the movie doesn't exist in isolation. Star Trek is bigger than just this one story, something the writers and the film itself explicitly acknowledge. Yet while they (and you) are saying on the one hand, "It's a reboot, changing how the rules of time travel work in Trek," they're also saying, on the other hand, "we're connecting this story to the pre-existing Trek universe via the time travel mechanism we invented."

That is a logical inconsistency. Either the story can be completely separate from past Trek, and use whatever temporal mechanics its creators like, or it can be logically connected to the past Trekverse, in which case the temporal mechanics of that universe should still apply.

The last-ditch position of the film's defenders is that Trek time travel has "always" operated according to the MWI; it's just that the characters (and the writers, and the viewers) never understood it properly. The problem with that, in the context of this thread's overarching question, is this: if OldSpock thought (based on past experience) that it was possible to correct changes to the past, then even if he was wrong about that, he should still have been motivated to try it in this story.

DonIago wrote: View Post
Regardless of which theory of time travel actually applies (though personally I'm a fan of the MWI), I've yet to see any reasonable theory as to how Spock could reset the timeline without running the risk of causing further disruption.

Theoretically, he'd need to journey into the past and somehow prevent the Narada from entering the past, all the while not being in any way detected by the Kelvin.
He doesn't need to remain undetected. To our knowledge, the only significant thing that happened differently in 2233 is that the Narada destroyed the Kelvin, and all subsequent differences (somehow) flow from that. All OldSpock has to do is go back and prevent that from happening. It's perfectly legitimate for him to make himself known to the locals if necessary to achieve that end. In the process he may change tiny details, but nothing significant enough to derail the timeline like Nero did. (Case studies: "Tomorrow is Yesterday." "Assignment Earth." "Star Trek: First Contact." "Trials and Tribble-ations." And many more.)
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Old March 14 2010, 11:28 PM   #131
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

^Isn't it a rather bold assumption that making the Jellyfish's technology and Spock himself available in that time period won't change anything significant?

No number of "case studies" can adequately -prove- that what we believe to be insignificant changes wouldn't have serious effects.

Also there's the issue of the Red Matter. I seem to recall in a few TOS movies the existence of a top-secret device fell into the wrong hands with tragic consequences.

You still haven't actually said how Spock could save the Kelvin in any case...are you suggesting, for instance, that he fire the Red Matter at the Narada? Because creating a big black hole right next to the Kelvin doesn't seem like a good plan to me. Though it could open some interesting possibilities for further time travel hijinks.

Perhaps he could arrive in the past significantly prior to the Kelvin's arrival at those coordinates and warn them not to approach. Of course, the Kelvin may not listen...or it may be the delay he causes that ensures the Kelvin arrives just as the Narada appears.
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Old March 14 2010, 11:37 PM   #132
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

lawman wrote: View Post
All OldSpock has to do is go back and prevent that from happening.
Show us how.

It's perfectly legitimate for him to make himself known to the locals if necessary to achieve that end.
Who are "the locals?"
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Old March 14 2010, 11:57 PM   #133
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

I would assume "the locals" are, at minimum, the crew of the Kelvin.
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Old March 15 2010, 12:10 AM   #134
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Devon wrote: View Post
lawman wrote: View Post
All OldSpock has to do is go back and prevent that from happening.
Show us how.

It's perfectly legitimate for him to make himself known to the locals if necessary to achieve that end.
Who are "the locals?"
Yes introducing himself to locals won't have any reprecussions. ( How many Star Trek episodes have explored the negative aspects of this?)
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Old March 15 2010, 12:55 AM   #135
Set Harth
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Re: Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

lawman wrote:
Star Trek is bigger than just this one story, something the writers and the film itself explicitly acknowledge. Yet while they (and you) are saying on the one hand, "It's a reboot, changing how the rules of time travel work in Trek," they're also saying, on the other hand, "we're connecting this story to the pre-existing Trek universe via the time travel mechanism we invented."

That is a logical inconsistency.
That is moving the goalposts. The inconsistency you originally alleged was supposedly between what the writers had said and what was depicted in the film. Now you're claiming their position is itself internally inconsistent.

Roberto Orci wrote:
In our Universe, as long as I am here, you can’t just slingshot around the sun and linear time is a misconception from the middle part of the 20th century.. A good analogy for what we have done here would be to imagine we were rebooting the modern adventures of a sailor, who at the time that his stories were told, it was believed the earth was flat. Now, years later, here in the re-whatever, we know the world is round. So our story exists in a world where the world is now round, despite that being a “canon” violation.
Roberto Orci wrote:
I don’t disagree that we are breaking with SOME canon in the way we treat time travel.

Last edited by Set Harth; March 15 2010 at 01:16 AM.
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