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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 September 17 2011, 01:20 PM   #1
MarsWeeps
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Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

One of the strange things I thought about Star Trek VI was the "2 pairs of gravity boots" line.

When Spock determines the assassins came from the Enterprise, he asks Valeris what they should be looking for.

Her reply: "2 pairs of gravity boots."

Why would that be such an unusual thing to look for? Wouldn't gravity boots be part of standard equipment on a Starship and there would certainly be more than 2 pair?

Why couldn't the assassins simply clean them up and return them to the equipment locker?
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Old September 17 2011, 01:28 PM   #2
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

Because it's a dumb movie.

I'm sorry, but I'm serious, that's the answer I think.

STVI:TUC did have its moments, and it helped redeem Trek from the mess of STV:TFF, but sheesh, the whole search for evidence subplot was--sigh--most illogical.
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Old September 17 2011, 02:03 PM   #3
Timo
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

Why couldn't the assassins simply clean them up and return them to the equipment locker?
They could. But if the boots were personal, rather than something you could loan without signing anything, a search through all the gravity boots would turn out two pairs that showed signs of having been cleaned of blood, thus pointing at the owners/users of the boots, or at least at that start of the trail of evidence that was left by their attempt to use the boots incognito. Forensic science is that good today already; no reason for the audience to assume otherwise for the 23rd century.

Of course, our heroes ultimately didn't realize the boots found at Crewman Dax' locker weren't the property of Dax. But even though they jumped to conclusions, records might have existed on the matter; they just didn't bother checking on those.

The idea of the boots being damning evidence is sound as such. The rationales our heroes and villainess offer for the thugs' inability to get rid of that evidence are less so! Sure, it makes sense that vaporizing with phasers would get the thugs in worse straits than not vaporizing with phasers, but dumping the things in an incinerator would only leave a record of them having been dumped, not raise an immediate alarm. And the conspirators knew how to forge computer records, so the incineration could have been covered afterwards. Either that, or the assassins could have taken off their gear when they beamed back to Kirk's ship, and beamed it out immediately thereafter.

However, obviously the villains didn't want to get rid of the evidence - the whole point of the exercise was to leave behind evidence that two people working for Kirk had been guilty of gunning down Gorkon. The heroes thus did have a good reason to keep looking for the boots. It just wasn't a reason any of them voiced out. (And even that could be seen as a perfectly logical move, although obviously the writers weren't thinking that far).

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Old September 17 2011, 03:22 PM   #4
MarsWeeps
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

Timo wrote: View Post
Why couldn't the assassins simply clean them up and return them to the equipment locker?
They could. But if the boots were personal, rather than something you could loan without signing anything, a search through all the gravity boots would turn out two pairs that showed signs of having been cleaned of blood, thus pointing at the owners/users of the boots, or at least at that start of the trail of evidence that was left by their attempt to use the boots incognito. Forensic science is that good today already; no reason for the audience to assume otherwise for the 23rd century.
I'm willing to bet that boot cleaner has advanced significantly by the 23rd century. Also, why look for just boots? Why not the entire spacesuits which would be more difficult to hide? Since the Klingon ship had no gravity and Klingon blood was floating everywhere, you would think that the suits also got blood on them, but for some reason the assassins felt (correctly) that the boots would be the only thing searched for and so they hid them in a crewman's locker who apparently couldn't wear them.

Timo wrote: View Post
Of course, our heroes ultimately didn't realize the boots found at Crewman Dax' locker weren't the property of Dax.
Sure they did, one look at Dax's feet told them the boots couldn't have been his. (A side note...I wonder if Crewman Dax had any connection to DS9's Dax?)


Timo wrote: View Post
The idea of the boots being damning evidence is sound as such. The rationales our heroes and villainess offer for the thugs' inability to get rid of that evidence are less so! Sure, it makes sense that vaporizing with phasers would get the thugs in worse straits than not vaporizing with phasers, but dumping the things in an incinerator would only leave a record of them having been dumped, not raise an immediate alarm.
Must there be records for everything? Are objects scanned and recorded prior to being incinerated?

Timo wrote: View Post
However, obviously the villains didn't want to get rid of the evidence - the whole point of the exercise was to leave behind evidence that two people working for Kirk had been guilty of gunning down Gorkon.
I'm not so sure about that. If 23rd forensic science could determine the boots were used in the assassination attempt, it could probably also determine who was wearing them. I doubt the assassins would want themselves identified (not knowing they were going to be assassinated themselves.)
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Old September 17 2011, 04:50 PM   #5
malchya
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

This entire subplot is poorly considered and even more poorly written. When I first came out of TUC I admit I was thrilled. The ships were gorgeous, just gorgeous. I didn't like the Excelsior when I first saw her in III, but she was simply beautiful in this one. David Warner had delivered an excellent performance, as indeed had Shatner. Plummer had devoured furniture with wild abandon and all of the original cast had had at least a little something to do.

Then I actually thought about it. It really wasn't all that good. And the "translation" gag was probably the single most embarrassingly absurd scene in any Trek media. The conspiracy was juvenile in both its execution and conclusion. Sigh.

But the ships are still gorgeous!
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Old September 17 2011, 05:08 PM   #6
Trekkie2
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

I can't imagine each and every person aboard the Enterprise being authorized a pair of gravity boots. They would only be needed by the engineering people involved in restoring gravity, and only until gravity was restored.
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Old September 17 2011, 05:31 PM   #7
MacLeod
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

malchya wrote: View Post
This entire subplot is poorly considered and even more poorly written. When I first came out of TUC I admit I was thrilled. The ships were gorgeous, just gorgeous. I didn't like the Excelsior when I first saw her in III, but she was simply beautiful in this one. David Warner had delivered an excellent performance, as indeed had Shatner. Plummer had devoured furniture with wild abandon and all of the original cast had had at least a little something to do.

Then I actually thought about it. It really wasn't all that good. And the "translation" gag was probably the single most embarrassingly absurd scene in any Trek media. The conspiracy was juvenile in both its execution and conclusion. Sigh.

But the ships are still gorgeous!
I didn't like the translation gag either. I thought why couldn't the computer to a written translation you type in what you want to reply and it shows you on screen.
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Old September 17 2011, 05:46 PM   #8
Timo
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

but for some reason the assassins felt (correctly) that the boots would be the only thing searched for
Hmh? They did hide their coveralls, too. And probably the helmets as well.

At least one pair of supposedly bloody boots was hidden to implicate a random innocent crewman. The coveralls were hidden in the officers' dining room, where they would nicely implicate high-ranking conspirators and further damage Kirk's and Starfleet's reputation. The helmets could have been elsewhere still.

Sure they did, one look at Dax's feet told them the boots couldn't have been his.
The point is, if boots can be connected to people via records, then Valeris and Chekov could have checked the records on these particular boots and found out that they did not belong to Crewman Dax, long before Dax himself arrived. If boots cannot be connected to people via records, then finding them would prove absolutely nothing, no matter where they were found.

Must there be records for everything? Are objects scanned and recorded prior to being incinerated?
Probably not. But incidents of somebody incinerating something ought to be fairly easily traceable, as the logs of the incinerators could be read and incidents of something heavy being destroyed could be isolated and connected with times and locations. After that, it would be standard sleuthing: what do the security cameras show, were there witnesses, did somebody punch in a telltale door code, were fingerprints left on the controls? Etc. etc.

I doubt the assassins would want themselves identified (not knowing they were going to be assassinated themselves.)
The plot probably involved lots of double-crossing of that sort. Valeris had been tampering with the computer records; she might have promised to cover the guys' tracks that way, but would instead be tasked with exposing them at a suitable moment.

I can't imagine each and every person aboard the Enterprise being authorized a pair of gravity boots. They would only be needed by the engineering people involved in restoring gravity, and only until gravity was restored.
Wholeheartedly agreed. The very fact that Crewman Dax had such boots in his quarters was considered damning...

Which is why I think the idea of people having to sign a form for gaining access to the boots, or at least punch a code or otherwise ID themselves at the lock on the special locker, carries merit.

Similarly, while Valeris could access phasers in the kitchen easily enough, I guess she left a mark of her actions: the locker IDd her and decided it could safely open for her. Which would explain why she pulled her crazy phaser stunt: she erased the evidence of the previous users - who had been the assassins! What better cover than a pair of cooks? They'd have access to the Klingon diplomatic party, they'd have access to officers' dining room and perhaps even their accommodations, but they wouldn't be particularly missed during alert situations and the like. And more importantly, the phasers at the galley wouldn't be missed...

See, with a little bit of retroactive thinking, ST6 becomes quite an intricate and intriguing whodunnit!

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Old September 17 2011, 06:28 PM   #9
MarsWeeps
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

Trekkie2 wrote: View Post
I can't imagine each and every person aboard the Enterprise being authorized a pair of gravity boots. They would only be needed by the engineering people involved in restoring gravity, and only until gravity was restored.
Nobody claimed that each and every person was issued a pair of gravity boots, but I'm willing to bet that on a ship of 430+ people, more than 2 pair exists.
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Old September 17 2011, 06:39 PM   #10
MarsWeeps
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

Timo wrote: View Post
Hmh? They did hide their coveralls, too. And probably the helmets as well.
Yeah, I forgot about the coveralls...hidden in the air vent or someplace like that?


Timo wrote: View Post
The point is, if boots can be connected to people via records, then Valeris and Chekov could have checked the records on these particular boots and found out that they did not belong to Crewman Dax, long before Dax himself arrived.
Didn't Dax arrive shortly after they found them? Did they even have time to check the records if any existed?

Timo wrote: View Post
If boots cannot be connected to people via records, then finding them would prove absolutely nothing, no matter where they were found.
Unless there are DNA traces on the boots that could tie a person to them. Even if they discovered that the boots were assigned to "John Smith" it doesn't necessarily mean that he was the one wearing them. Sure, it give them someone to question but doesn't necessarily prove anything.
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Old September 17 2011, 07:02 PM   #11
Mr Silver
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

Maybe the two pairs of boots were missing from the ships inventory? It's possible that Burke and Samno could have made an error and instead of returning the boots, could have stashed them somewhere (like Dax's locker).
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Old September 17 2011, 07:12 PM   #12
Timo
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

I'd rather argue that everything else the assassins were observed donning or carrying was commonplace, but gravity boots were a rare item only found in very low numbers aboard the starship - so that's what Spock wanted the search to be concentrated on. He didn't know whether the thugs would want to get rid of the evidence, or plant it, or perhaps be caught because they were stupid enough not to care. But in all of those cases, his only logical course of action was to search for the boots.

Although a better course would have been to go through internal security visuals. But TOS and TNG alike were insistent that no such thing existed - otherwise, all the whodunnits of these shows would have been solved through the heroes browsing the records. Perhaps it's a matter of privacy policy, or perhaps a logistical necessity, that only key locations like the bridge or, in S2/3, engineering were visually monitored with recording equipment?

Spock also pursued other lines of inquiry, but he didn't really have that many handles on the assassins themselves. His arguments for supporting his logical lines of inquiry were always flimsy, though. Which makes one wonder if he weren't baiting the conspirators he knew must be among the top officers. Valeris and Chekov would both have been among prime suspects, for their access to key computer data. By throwing nonsensical ideas at them, Spock might have been evaluating which one of them was ready to deliberately drag down the inquest. Of course, both suspects behaved suspiciously, so the tactic produced no immediate results...

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Old September 17 2011, 10:55 PM   #13
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

MarsWeeps wrote: View Post
Her reply: "2 pairs of gravity boots."

Why would that be such an unusual thing to look for? Wouldn't gravity boots be part of standard equipment on a Starship and there would certainly be more than 2 pair?
What Valeris leaves unsaid is: "... that have evidence on them as having been used in the murders of the Klingons."

They won't be searching for the only two pairs of gravity boots on the ship, because obviously there are others, but they'll be searching all such boots to determine which two pair were used (or perhaps even destroyed?), and who originally owned them, and who'd worn them recently.

Today's police would do the same if they found bootprints in mud outside a soldiers' dormitory in which a crime was committed.
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Old September 18 2011, 01:34 AM   #14
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Because it's a dumb movie.

I'm sorry, but I'm serious, that's the answer I think.

STVI:TUC did have its moments, and it helped redeem Trek from the mess of STV:TFF, but sheesh, the whole search for evidence subplot was--sigh--most illogical.
.

Amen, brother. I thought I was the only one.
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Old September 18 2011, 08:31 AM   #15
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Re: Star Trek VI: 2 pairs of gravity boots

I kind of thought that boots and uniforms would show signs of use (and blood) and that was why they were looking for them. It also seemed like Valeris had planned on revealing the two gunmen eventually, and was using the gravity boots search to lead the others to the gunmen. The two gunmen had initially seemed like basically grunts, not very bright and they only served one purpose. Killing the Klingons. Once their purpose was done the two gunmen were merely a liability at that point. Valeris and the other conspirators knew that Spock and the others wouldn't stop till they found the true culprits. So Valeris sets up the two gunmen to take the fall. Maybe she told the two gunmen that she would properly dispose of the boots and blood-stained outfits, but instead hides them in a place that would implicate the two gunmen.

Of course this still leads to the question of why she shot them. Because once shot, Spock and Kirk then realize that there is a third conspirator. I wonder if she could have mind-melded with the two and removed evidence of them knowing her as a conspirator, or if she could have communicated with them in a way so that they had no idea who she was.
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