"...all 72 torpedoes are still in their tubes."

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Flying Spaghetti Monster, May 16, 2014.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    We saw one ship. Earlier Khan says he was developing "ships (plural) and weapons."

    But of course you're just deflecting because a smaller and less powerful Starfleet ship would not have fitted the story of ID at all. And as for Wrath of Khan's Reliant, lots of blueprints and manuals available after the movie's release (which called it an "Avenger-class Heavy Frigate") talked about "megaphaser cannons" which were more powerful than the Enterprise's phaser banks, although I don't know if that was based on behind-the-scenes movie notes or was just from the blueprinter's imagination. Reliant definitely had aft-firing torpedoes, which the Enterprise seemingly didn't.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, well. Actually going back and watching the movie as a whole, rather than as a series of snippets, was both fun and informative...

    - The original question of why 72 torpedoes would be needed is a misguided one. The movie never features the concept of firing 72 torpedoes.

    Rather, Kirk's ship is stocked with torpedoes, either as many as she can carry, or then as many as there exist. We see plenty of room for more torpedoes in the shuttlebay, so the logical answer is the latter. And Khan, as part of his plan, could easily have seen to it that only 72 torpedoes (the special ones) would survive his bomb strike.

    But having those 72 torps aboard is Khan's plan, not Marcus'. Marcus would be within his dramatic rights to simply order the loading of all existing long range torpedoes on the Enterprise, in hopes that Kirk expends as many of them as he can before being martyred. That is, the Admiral might plausibly miss the fact that the number is a familiar one.

    Sulu never says he is going to fire all the torpedoes; indeed, at that point, some still reside on the shuttlebay deck. It's just that, after triumphing in the planetside fight, Khan suddenly asks Kirk a complete non sequitur, and Kirk sees no reason not to answer (as this might save his life for the moment). Khan wants to know how many torpedoes there are, not how many should be fired at him.

    So we don't need to try and rationalize why Marcus wanted that many torps fired. That isn't part of the movie; Marcus just provided Kirk with ammo and told him to finish off Harrison with it, and Kirk would no doubt have used his tactical judgement in the actual firing.

    Which probably means he was given some sort of specs on what the torpedoes could do, as a basis for such judgement. Possibly false specs, even, so that he would think in terms of a surgical strike but would end up massacring a planetful of cute Klingon babies.

    - Khan says he was exposed, but he never says his plan was. So odds are that the plan proceeded as, well, planned (at least in its v 1.1 form, the one that included saving that girl's live, bombing the archives/arsenal, and shooting at the admirals): the crewsickles in the torpedoes got delivered the way Khan intended, even if he temporarily may have lost hope.

    - There's quite a bit of screen time, never mind in-story time, for Spock to take the cryotubes out of the torpedoes. The last time we see sickbay free of cryotubes is fifteen screen minutes before the torps are beamed over to Khan, and that must be at least half an hour of in-universe time - but the existence of the cryotubes is revealed much earlier and gives Spock hours to perform the act behind Khan's (and, necessarily, Kirk's) back.

    - Nothing suggests the Vengeance would have been unique or even supersecret, or that the dreadnought category of ships would have been. All we learn is that the specific dockyard wasn't open to public and that Kirk wasn't among the Starfleet personnel informed of the project.

    - Khan's rambling about the aft nacelle isn't a fumbled line - it's a (fumbled?) looped line, spoken while the camera is pointed elsewhere. It almost looks as if the line originally was shorter and didn't have the "located" bit, but was artificially extended in the editing phase to allow for a reaction shot that was deemed important.

    - While Kirk's ship gets some momentum from Khan's phaser blasts just before the torpedo detonations, we don't get the things I was hoping for: absence of the Moon from the shots when the firing commences, or plausible slots for extra time in the sequence. So the aphysical plunge from the Moon to Earth still is about a day or three too fast.

    - OTOH, that detonation scene shows pitifully small explosions in terms of what would be needed to really bring down Harrison at Ketha... Unless we assume the Vengeance hull contained the explosions superbly (but they don't get appreciably bigger even after the hull is ripped open).

    Make of all that what you will. But we really don't have to worry about the plan being to fire exactly 72 torps at Harrison, because that's never specified.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He knows that Khan's people are in the torpedoes. They are given to Kirk deliberately. There's nothing for him to "miss".

    Yes, he does.

    That makes no sense whatsoever. How can Khan be exposed without his plan being exposed? Without his plan, what is Khan being exposed as doing?
     
  4. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Well you can see more torpedo launchers and phaser cannons on it. And the higher registry was meant to show that it's more advanced. I read this in an interview in the official fan club magasine back in the 90s. I don't have that anymore.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But once again, there's no sense in him giving Kirk Khan's crew, when what he wants is the Klingon war. So any excuse for him accidentally giving Kirk Khan's crew is preferable to him doing it deliberately. Otherwise we have an idiot plot, even when we are supposed to be dealing with supersmart criminals.

    No, he doesn't. The number "72" only pops up when Khan specifically asks Kirk.

    Marcus thought Khan was working for him, on pain of his crew getting killed. But then Marcus found out Khan had stolen the crew and hidden it, and thus was in the process of betraying Marcus. End of Khan's usefulness, beginning of Khan as a threat.

    So Khan fled and started plan v 1.1, a plan that only makes sense if Khan still expects the crew-torps to be delivered to him - a plan in which Marcus must be played for a sucker, just like Marcus plays Kirk for a sucker.

    Really, this isn't a case of us taking what is on screen for granted, for two very pressing reasons:

    - There are two villains who lie to Kirk, to each other, and to the audience. We cannot believe what they say, except perhaps at the very end of the movie (and their lives).
    - There is a complex and unlikely plot that can only work in a select few ways, all of which require us to accept things that weren't spelled out in dialogue.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We're talking about a conspiracy theorist (Orci). Their imagined conspiracies don't even make sense when they think they're talking about real life, so why would you expect them to make any more sense when imagining a conspiracy for a movie?

    You can try to rescue the writing with fanwanks, but you really have to stretch a lot.

    As for me, I simply accept that while STID has many good qualities, the screenplay isn't one of them. I enjoy it for what it is: an enjoyable ride for a couple of hours, not a movie that holds up very well on reflection.
     
  7. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Khan disagrees with you. Why would he think Marcus killed his crew if the idea of Marcus killing Khan's crew is so implausible? Obviously the Klingon war does not depend on Khan's crew being alive.

    At least you know it's an excuse.

    You're the one making Marcus out to be an idiot who gives torpedoes to Kirk without knowing what's in them.

    The information can be conveyed without using that number.

    Khan explains that he thought Marcus killed his crew. Thus, the crew were discovered.

    So far, so good...

    Scotty's dialogue adequately explains why Khan went to Kronos. Anything else is your own invention - and it's not especially noteworthy that such invention requires further assumptions.

    Who's "we"? You may not believe what they say, yet you lack the ability to prove their statements false. Villains are as capable of telling the truth as anyone else.
     
  8. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    It's often the case with writers who try to pass off their characters, especially villains, as super-smart, that they simply mangle the logic of the movie, partly or wholly, instead. It doesn't necessarily make the movies bad, but it's a bit obnoxious. Examples include The Dark Knight, Skyfall, Star Trek Into Darkness.