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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 October 29 2012, 11:11 PM   #1
Pawleygirl
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Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

There is something that I've wanted to know for a while now. So Valeris won't tell the names of her co-conspirators, so Spock uses a forcible mind-meld on her to get the names. Then Kirk asks for the location of the conference, so Spock digs deeper (which causes great distresses for them both). She doesn't know, so Kirk contacts Sulu, and he knows. Why didn't Captain Kirk or Spock just get in contact with Captain Sulu for those details?
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Old October 29 2012, 11:15 PM   #2
Pawleygirl
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

One more question about TUC...When Uhura and crew were trying to speak in Klingon, shouldn't they have Klingon translation computers onboard the Enterprise by now, rather than thumbing through actual hardbound books?
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Old October 29 2012, 11:17 PM   #3
MacLeod
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Well that would make more sense, type into the computer what you want to say and have it translate it into Klingon for you to speak.
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Old October 29 2012, 11:19 PM   #4
R. Star
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Pawleygirl wrote: View Post
There is something that I've wanted to know for a while now. So Valeris won't tell the names of her co-conspirators, so Spock uses a forcible mind-meld on her to get the names. Then Kirk asks for the location of the conference, so Spock digs deeper (which causes great distresses for them both). She doesn't know, so Kirk contacts Sulu, and he knows. Why didn't Captain Kirk or Spock just get in contact with Captain Sulu for those details?
If someone in the room might know the answer to a question, you usually ask them first before picking up the phone to call someone else. Really a better question is, why did Sulu know where the conference was? He wasn't involved in any way and they wanted to keep the location secret supposedly.
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Old October 29 2012, 11:22 PM   #5
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Esp. when there is a lot of subspace static on that line.

But more seriously with an enemy out looking for you, sending a trnasmission could disclose your location.
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Old October 30 2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well that would make more sense, type into the computer what you want to say and have it translate it into Klingon for you to speak.
I always thought that a perfect translation would be more likely to tip off the person on the receiving end that something was up.

As for the original question, maybe Excelsior ferried delegates to the conference. Which would be how Sulu knew where the conference was...
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Old October 30 2012, 03:29 AM   #7
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Perhaps Kirk wasn't certain that Sulu would break the regulations?
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Old October 30 2012, 09:42 AM   #8
R. Star
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

BillJ wrote: View Post
As for the original question, maybe Excelsior ferried delegates to the conference. Which would be how Sulu knew where the conference was...
But in Flashback, Excelsior was trying to rescue Kirk and McCoy while they were held captive by the Klingons. Not much time for them to be ferrying diplomats.
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Old October 30 2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
As for the original question, maybe Excelsior ferried delegates to the conference. Which would be how Sulu knew where the conference was...
But in Flashback, Excelsior was trying to rescue Kirk and McCoy while they were held captive by the Klingons. Not much time for them to be ferrying diplomats.
Much like Threshold, Flashback is so bad I tend to ignore it.
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Old October 30 2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

There is no outright reason why either Sulu or Valeris should be aware of where this top secret conference is going to be held. Supposedly, all three top schemers (Cartwright, Chang, Nanclus) would be involved in the conference and aware of its location - but Valeris would be out of the loop, isolated from her secret superiors ever since the ship left spacedock, and thus unable to contact them for details once the conference location was changed from Earth to Khitomer.

On the other hand, Kirk is out of the loop, too. Perhaps everybody else in Starfleet already automatically knows this "secret" location, what with being part of organizing the event and all? But Kirk is no longer in Starfleet, not in practice. If he just contacted home base, the response to his question would be "Thank you for calling, now stand by to be arrested".

So his best choice is to ask the resident traitor; his second best choice is to ask a Starfleet member he trusts not to betray him. Whether either of these actually is a likely keeper of the secret is sort of unimportant.

As for the translation scene, the novelization IIRC offers the obvious explanation: Valeris, already known to have sabotaged the torpedo count computers, would have sabotaged the translator program as well, as a precaution to hinder Kirk in his possible attempts at contacting the Klingons and exposing the plot to Azetbuhr.

The movie claims that use of the translator program would be "recognized" but doesn't explain how, so we're ready to invent our own reasons for why our heroes use physical books rather than computer databases.

The penultimate script version, found at TrekCore (with Saavik still the traitor), omits all explanations as to why books are used, making it even easier to dream up explanations. Spock cutely just asks Uhura for "a feat of linguistic legerdemain", and the books apparently are it. Perhaps Starfleet just plain doesn't have translation programs for Klingonaase at this point of history: every encounter with Klingons involves the adversaries speaking English to their counterparts of captives, and other sources to the language are difficult to come by. So, all the Feds have is fragments and speculation, bound in books by competing scholars with competing ideas, and never amounting to a reliable translation program. The clumsy "subtitling" in ST:TMP might be a state of the art best guess, and might be completely incorrect...

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Old October 30 2012, 12:40 PM   #11
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Maybe the UT speaks a "trade language" type of Klingon which is why the Klingons would catch on that it was a UT. Choppy, crappy, spoken, "proper" Klingon could come off as a smuggler or a trader trying to bullshit his/her way across the border and nothing to really worry to much about (it's a theory anyway).
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Old October 30 2012, 11:02 PM   #12
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Pawleygirl wrote: View Post
One more question about TUC...When Uhura and crew were trying to speak in Klingon, shouldn't they have Klingon translation computers onboard the Enterprise by now, rather than thumbing through actual hardbound books?
As Timo says this was explained in the the novelization. The conspirators disabled the universal translator, forcing Uhura to use the actual textbooks for translation. The filmed version was an attempt to do a comedic scene, but it falls rather flat. It doesn't make sense to me that there would be a worry about the UT being "recognized" since there's no reason to assume the Klingons and other races wouldn't have their own equivalents.
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Old October 31 2012, 12:02 AM   #13
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

^ What's weird is, the line of dialogue in the film which states that the UT would be recognized, is obviously an overdub. So why would they replace a perfectly logical explanation (Valeris erasing the UT's record of the Klingon language) with a STUPID one?
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Old October 31 2012, 12:25 AM   #14
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Perhaps the UT could be recognized as *specifically Starfleet* because of a pattern in the word choices it would make. Perhaps they wanted a bad translation so the Klingons would think they were a smuggler ship.

Or maybe it is completely idiotic to think that Uhura can't speak Klingon, and it was a dumb comedy bit.
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Old October 31 2012, 01:06 AM   #15
Armored Saint
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Re: Why didn't Kirk just contact Sulu?

Of course, the Klingon chief of staff knows Shakespeare very well, but no one on board of the Enterprise-A can't speak Klingon.
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