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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 August 27 2013, 06:18 PM   #1
Noddy
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Humpback whales

Why was the Cetacean Probe in TVH only interested in humpback whales? We know the humpbacks were intelligent, but what about all the other species of cetacean on Earth? If humpbacks were intelligent, I'd think it quite likely that other kinds of whale would be too - so why did the Probe ignore them? Remember, it was only said to be humpbacks that were extinct by the 23rd century; in an episode of TNG, I remember Picard making a reference to sperm whales as though they still exist.
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Old August 27 2013, 07:03 PM   #2
BillJ
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Re: Humpback whales

Probably because whatever race sent the probe had seeded the Earth oceans with humpback whales and it came to see how they were progressing.
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Old August 27 2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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Re: Humpback whales

So humpback whales are aliens? Erm....not too sure what to make of that.
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Old August 27 2013, 10:04 PM   #4
Kirk the Jerk
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Re: Humpback whales

What (surprisingly) bugged me more was how easy it was for them to travel back in time.
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Old August 27 2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Re: Humpback whales

Well, it was easy for Spock. Which is consistent with him having done it several times before. Quite possibly, the know-how was never allowed to leak to the wider audience, and even within Starfleet very few people know how Spock accomplished the feats of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth" and ST4:TVH.

We know very little about the motivations of the Probe. Spock recognized the voices he heard as those being made by humpback whales - but perhaps any whale would have done, and Spock just failed to realize that the Probe started talking blue whale a few minutes later, and switched to sperm whale not long thereafter?

We don't know if the whale sounds were actual communication, either. Perhaps they were just unintelligent noises, and the Probe was satisfied with hearing some being emitted from Earth's oceans, meaning the whole time travel effort was for nothing. Kirk's original idea of responding with "gibberish" would have solved the whole problem already!

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Old August 27 2013, 11:41 PM   #6
Kirk the Jerk
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Re: Humpback whales

Timo wrote: View Post
Well, it was easy for Spock. Which is consistent with him having done it several times before. Quite possibly, the know-how was never allowed to leak to the wider audience, and even within Starfleet very few people know how Spock accomplished the feats of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth" and ST4:TVH.
Well... If it was so easy for him as you say, he seemed pretty accepting of the destruction of Vulcan and allowing the whole alternate Abrams tosh to take fold, why not just go forward, kill Nero and save the day especially If it just involved flying around a sun at warp.

Didn't Kurn fly a bird of prey into a sun, destroy a couple of other Birds of Prey and then fly off at warp in TNG: Redemption, yet no time travel (I realise they were entirely different circumstances and Kurn didn't fly 'around' the sun using it's gravitational pull)

Just seemed an empty plot to me, an 'easy' way to 'save the day' and i don't particularly like the idea of time travel as being 'easy'; there has to be some sort of catalyst.
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Old August 27 2013, 11:51 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Humpback whales

If it was so easy for him as you say, he seemed pretty accepting of the destruction of Vulcan
Well, that Spock had never seen "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

The trick is said to involve careful calculation and even the sort of fine tuning that calls for "thruster control". Odds are that a Vulcan would do better there than a Klingon...

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Old August 28 2013, 12:01 AM   #8
Kirk the Jerk
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Re: Humpback whales

Timo wrote: View Post
If it was so easy for him as you say, he seemed pretty accepting of the destruction of Vulcan
Well, that Spock had never seen "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

The trick is said to involve careful calculation and even the sort of fine tuning that calls for "thruster control". Odds are that a Vulcan would do better there than a Klingon...

Timo Saloniemi
That's somewhat true, however we have 'primeline' Spock and 'alternate' Spock present in the alternate timeline and both seemed pretty okay with it.
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Old August 28 2013, 11:50 AM   #9
Noddy
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Re: Humpback whales

Timo wrote: View Post
Well, it was easy for Spock. Which is consistent with him having done it several times before. Quite possibly, the know-how was never allowed to leak to the wider audience, and even within Starfleet very few people know how Spock accomplished the feats of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth" and ST4:TVH.

We know very little about the motivations of the Probe. Spock recognized the voices he heard as those being made by humpback whales - but perhaps any whale would have done, and Spock just failed to realize that the Probe started talking blue whale a few minutes later, and switched to sperm whale not long thereafter?

We don't know if the whale sounds were actual communication, either. Perhaps they were just unintelligent noises, and the Probe was satisfied with hearing some being emitted from Earth's oceans, meaning the whole time travel effort was for nothing. Kirk's original idea of responding with "gibberish" would have solved the whole problem already!

Timo Saloniemi
The Probe didn't stop attacking Earth's biosphere until the humpbacks starting singing though, so it does appear as though no other kind of whale would have done.

And the humpbacks are definitely intelligent (at least in the Trekverse) as Spock conversed with them in a mind meld, and they informed him how upset they were at their species' plight, and agreed to be taken into the future!
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Old August 28 2013, 12:00 PM   #10
Deckerd
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Re: Humpback whales

In the Trekverse the humpbacks obviously fared a lot worse than the humpbacks in this universe.
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Old August 28 2013, 12:49 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: Humpback whales

The Probe didn't stop attacking Earth's biosphere until the humpbacks starting singing though, so it does appear as though no other kind of whale would have done.
Yeah... No kind of surviving whale, that is. Sperm whales apparently still eat cuttlefish in Earth's oceans at the time of "Silicon Avatar", suggesting other toothed predators might have survived as well; perhaps it's just the baleen whales that have disappeared due to changes in plankton?

Spock conversed with them in a mind meld
For all we know, Spock could converse with Spot just fine, too.

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Old August 30 2013, 04:12 AM   #12
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Re: Humpback whales

Noddy wrote: View Post
Why was the Cetacean Probe in TVH only interested in humpback whales? We know the humpbacks were intelligent, but what about all the other species of cetacean on Earth?
Well, the others are just boring. Humpbacked whales have a better sense of narrative style; they could make getting their diver's license renewals a compelling story. A sperm whale? Man, they could make a story about being abducted by aliens to repopulate the species three centuries in the future sound dull.
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Old August 30 2013, 04:34 AM   #13
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Re: Humpback whales

Nebusj wrote: View Post
. . .A sperm whale? Man, they could make a story about being abducted by aliens to repopulate the species three centuries in the future sound dull.
"Oh... I saved the whale race once. Yeah, that was me. Hey baby! Looks like you gotta little sperm whale in ya."
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Old August 31 2013, 11:51 PM   #14
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Re: Humpback whales

Noddy wrote: View Post
Why was the Cetacean Probe in TVH only interested in humpback whales? We know the humpbacks were intelligent, but what about all the other species of cetacean on Earth? If humpbacks were intelligent, I'd think it quite likely that other kinds of whale would be too - so why did the Probe ignore them? Remember, it was only said to be humpbacks that were extinct by the 23rd century; in an episode of TNG, I remember Picard making a reference to sperm whales as though they still exist.
The aliens must have liked them best or for some reason could communicate with them easier.

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Timo wrote: View Post
Well, it was easy for Spock. Which is consistent with him having done it several times before. Quite possibly, the know-how was never allowed to leak to the wider audience, and even within Starfleet very few people know how Spock accomplished the feats of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth" and ST4:TVH.
Well... If it was so easy for him as you say, he seemed pretty accepting of the destruction of Vulcan and allowing the whole alternate Abrams tosh to take fold, why not just go forward, kill Nero and save the day especially If it just involved flying around a sun at warp.
Since its a different timeline, I don't think killing Nero in the Abrams timeline would change anything in the Prime timeline. That Nero might not even be a miner.
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Old September 1 2013, 10:47 PM   #15
Kirk the Jerk
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Re: Humpback whales

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Noddy wrote: View Post
Why was the Cetacean Probe in TVH only interested in humpback whales? We know the humpbacks were intelligent, but what about all the other species of cetacean on Earth? If humpbacks were intelligent, I'd think it quite likely that other kinds of whale would be too - so why did the Probe ignore them? Remember, it was only said to be humpbacks that were extinct by the 23rd century; in an episode of TNG, I remember Picard making a reference to sperm whales as though they still exist.
The aliens must have liked them best or for some reason could communicate with them easier.

Kirk the Jerk wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Well, it was easy for Spock. Which is consistent with him having done it several times before. Quite possibly, the know-how was never allowed to leak to the wider audience, and even within Starfleet very few people know how Spock accomplished the feats of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth" and ST4:TVH.
Well... If it was so easy for him as you say, he seemed pretty accepting of the destruction of Vulcan and allowing the whole alternate Abrams tosh to take fold, why not just go forward, kill Nero and save the day especially If it just involved flying around a sun at warp.
Since its a different timeline, I don't think killing Nero in the Abrams timeline would change anything in the Prime timeline. That Nero might not even be a miner.

Ahh time travel gives me a headache haha, I see what you're saying but again, if it was 'easy' for him, he could have gone back a few months (in the Abrams universe) warned everyone on Vulcan of their imminent destruction (or at least his own Mother) and saved many thousands of lives, his fellow Vulcans... Not just sit in hiding as he eventually does. It does open up a possible reboot of a reboot though
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