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

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Flying Spaghetti Monster, May 16, 2014.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Have you considered the possibility that the "warheads" in the torpedoes were rigged by Marcus only to prevent someone from tampering with and/or opening them in the first place? This is either because Marcus didn't want the torpedoes to explode either (see below) or because he was hoping that Khan would find the torpedoes, try to open one, only to have it blow up in his face and kill him?

    Think about that for a moment: Khan helped Marcus redesign the vengeance and the new torpedoes and (if you go by the IDW series) single-handedly destroyed Praxis, arguably spelling eventual doom for the Klingon Empire itself. Marcus' mistake wasn't in waking up Khan, it was in not keeping him under close enough wraps to be able to quickly terminate him when he started to turn. He wouldn't make that mistake twice; the next augment he woke up would have some sort of bomb or other form of kill switch installed that could allow Marcus to terminate him with a simple remote signal.

    Assuming, of course, that either Marcus or Khan were telling the truth about anything they told Kirk, which I highly doubt. I'm still privately of the belief that this whole fiasco is actually Admiral Marcus' "Bay of Pigs" and that Khan's people were supposed to soft-land on Kronos and take the place over. In that scenario, Khan would be the only one who was meant to open those torpedoes, and therefore, Khan would be the only one who knew the access code to properly open it (he probably set it as the coordinates of Io station, so that any other Section 31 operative would be able to open them safely without the password itself being detectable by, say, Klingon intelligence).

    Which, again, kind of supports the "Bay of Pigs" theory. If Marcus really knew what was in those torpedo tubes and wanted to dispose of them, he should have shut off their cryo tubes first and THEN given the torpedoes to Enterprise. There's no reason for the augments to still be alive while Enterprise is carrying them, unless the point is for them to also still be alive when they reach Kronos.

    True. They're potential slaves he can use to help run and/or repair the ship once the mamma eel has more babies.:evil:
     
  2. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    OK.

    I think any Star Trek fan knows this. As a fan, however, all those torpedo ports (they keep trying to make the Enterprise more butch - BIG nacelles, oodles of phaser turrets) invoke a different iconography. This imagery suggests a tension of identity. The fan remembers the E as a science/research vessel which could kick butt, when needed. The Enterprise in this film looks like a butt-kicking vessel that can also do science/research, when needed. The tension is between what she is (visually) and what she is supposed to be (the "spirit" of Trek).

    As a character embedded in the world of the text, Scotty should already know about all those phaser turrets and torpedo tubes. He should know that he's already on the U.S.S. Butt-kicker.

    The "modular" argument would cut Scotty a slight break on this account
    . That is, if they were installing the new tubes at the same time they are installing the new torpedoes. Perhaps the secondary hull is highly modular. Perhaps they installed 72 (or more) torpedo tubes just for this mission.

    I don't really buy the modular argument, as it is a speculative appeal to ignorance disguised as a plausible inference. If the ship were relevantly modular in this sense, then the audience should have been told--otherwise our most reasonable conclusion is that those ports were always there and the "new" thing which Scotty objects to are the torpedoes themselves (and this is what he explicitly objects to in the film).

    The only (alleged) evidence I am aware of in terms of the audience possibly be being shown such modularity is the claim upthread that we "might" see the torpedo tubes being removed at the end of the film. A couple of problems here. 1. We are still waiting on the actual evidence (e.g., sceen-caps, time-stamps, script references), so we cannot conclude anything until we see it. 2. It appears that the evidence which was recollected by a poster in this thread required some active interpretation (i.e., even if the evidence is there it might be ambiguous as to whether they were specifically removing torpedo tubes). We'll need to cover #1, before the modular argument really deserves a second look. Maybe I'm wrong, but let's have the evidence.

    I am not sure what the casual viewer knows. One who is just watching Trek for the first time might only get the sense that the Enterprise is a sort of "adventure ship" in the "space navy" or something. I'd like to think that Trek is well-known enough in the public mind that everyone knows what her mission is, but the new films don't spend much time with that. The nu-Enterprise slugs it out with Nero and then, in this film, slugs it out with Admiral Marcus. We spend more time watching Vulcan get plastered and ships crash into buildings, than we do with the theme of exploring strange new worlds.

    There are two clues, however, that the audience gets which indicate that maybe it's not all "pew pew." One is the opening bit where they save planet volcano with a "cold fusion" bomb (you know, because cold fusion is about making things freeze ;)). The other is Kirk talking about the prospect of a (future) five year mission of exploration.

    Overall, however, the Enterprise must appear to be a jingoistic ship. Fans of the original series spent years watching the Enterprise explore strange new worlds. Fans of the new franchise have seen her visit one new world - the rest has been explosions, villains, and big black ships. From the audience's perspective, Scotty has even weaker moral grounds for protesting the loading of these torpedoes on the ship. From they've seen, she is the U.S.S. Buttkicker -- they don't have the same expectations we do.

    As fans, we know that this is what she is about, that this is what she is meant to do. Then again, we remember a research/science ship which could hold it's own, when needed.

    If however, as you assert, this ship needs all those tubes and ports for her mission, it still doesn't make sense for Scotty to make a moral objection to actually having torpedoes on hand to load into those tubes.

    I remember a ship with multiple science labs, specialists and equipment. I don't remember the Battlestar Galactica's five-year mission on behalf of the UFP. In this world, however, with all those torpedo tubes and phaser banks it seems more like the Galactica's five-year mission. I hope they left room for other stuff, like those science labs, and specialists, and actual research equipment.

    The TOS Enterprise was never really a battleship. She was a perimeter ship. She got to do cool things like explore, but she was often stuck being a mule, carting around needed supplies and ferrying diplomats to and fro.

    ____________________

    I think I should note, to be fair, that the more action-oriented nature of the films is not unique to JJ's vision. TMP was a cerebral flop and since then Trek films have been increasingly "Pew! Pew!" with the notable exception of Star Trek IV.
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, because "the space navy" and "space is an ocean trope" are both anachronisms that have not borne the test of time particularly well. Partially, that's because depictions of the REAL Navy have become less romanticized over the years and bear less and less resemblance to their sci-fi counterparts.

    OTOH, "Adventure ship" is a nebulous enough term that it applies to just as accurately to the Millennium Falcon as it does to the TARDIS. When you combine that with the Clone Wars mythos of the Star Wars movies and TV series, the Transformers movies and even with Star Trek itself, the going trope for science fiction is much less "space is an ocean" and a lot more "space is a wilderness." There is a lot less imagery to associate science-fiction space agencies with real-world military organizations and a lot more to suggest that space is being pioneered by a bunch of supreme daredevils who are as heavily armed as they are only because everyone keeps shooting at them. At this point, the state of science fiction is that even CIVILIAN spaceships are assumed to be heavily armed, because "kick the bad guy's ass" is just what good guys do.

    I think it could be assumed that at least SOME of the viewers of those movies bothered to spend forty five minutes out of their week to watch some of the classic trek reruns on Netflix or Amazon Prime and watched one of those shows which -- much like the ending narration in both movies -- describes the ship's mission as "to explore new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

    Of course, that assumes that those viewers were not a race of over-stimulated nitwits who missed half the movie because they were too busy twittering one-liners to their facebook friends. I suspect that's only true of about 60% of them.

    From the generation that grew up with two wildly unpopular wars against legions of illusive and seemingly made-up enemies pushed by a bunch of incompetent old farts who mainly used those wars to distract from their own epic leadership failures? I don't think so. Actually, I think Scotty's objection to the mission resonates much more strongly to the kids who thought the same thing when they first heard about the Drone Strike program as teenagers: "Is this what we are now?"

    Enterprise isn't the jingoistic ship in this movie. Vengeance is explicitly given that role, both by plot logic, by analogy, by dialog, by historical parallel, by Kirk's closing narration, by the fact that the ship's straight edges and faceted design evokes the concept of armor plating and is therefore an Abrams MBT to the Enterprise's hotrod (and proceeds to CURB STOMP the Enterprise at the slightest provocation).

    I really think you're over-analyzing that singular element and ignoring the much broader context (namely, the entire movie and everything else that its viewers have been seeing on a day-to-day basis for their entire adult lives). Way too much has happened in the past decade for viewers to automatically assume "good guys = military" and way too much has happened in science fiction for the assumption to still hold that "has weapons = warship."

    I wouldn't be so sure.

    You are again putting way too much importance on a couple dozen torpedo tubes that never actually get fired at any point in the film.
     
  4. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am really amazed that this thread has gone 8+ pages. Wow.
     
  5. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    It's held up just fine, just ask "Admiral Adama."

    Really, I have no idea where you're coming from with this one.

    It is precisely the point that a new audience would not have a precise idea what sort of ship the Enterprise is intended to be. Their nebulous perception fits the nebulous term - they aren't all Trekkies. But they would take note of all the guns...

    There are a lot of tropes in fiction. The "space is a wilderness trope" you allege would be more likely to be primed in the case of nuTrek if they ever did any actual exploring (i.e., the more she starts acting like the prototypical Hornblower perimeter ship in the Royal Navy, the more we can also see the big E as an explorer alone in a wilderness).

    Whatever our new viewer would think of Star Fleet, she would have the sense that it is a military (there are familiar ranks in familiar naval hierarchies) ship doing military-type stuff (defending the Federation against the Neros and Khans of the universe with spaceships sporting turrets and gun ports).

    Except that the Serenity is an unarmed vessel. Except that most of the rag-tag-fleet in Battlestar Galactice (old and new) is unarmed.

    I'd like to think so, but I've talked to lots of people who have never seen Trek, or the Matrix, or BSG. Cultural memory is a funny thing. I think old-timers remember, but your core movie-going demographic is kids who were raised on Hogwarts and shiny vampires.

    Also the same generation that honors military service as the last remaining civic virtue, the same generation that partied when it was reported that Bin Laden was killed, the same generation that plays FPS in massively online arenas.

    I agree, and I think that message resonates with the older audience as well, but I still think you look at all those guns and think "warship."

    But again, Scotty should still have known that 72+ torpedo tubes on a ship require 72 torpedoes. That he would morally object to the presence of torpedoes on a ship with 72 torpedo tubes is a little off.

    Isn't she? Kirk runs across the neutral zone in a hot second and opens all her ports threatening to launch EVERYTHING at Khan-athan Harrison. When those ports open up after Sulu makes that threat? Yeah, she looks like a war machine.

    Sure, the Vengeance is the super-duper big black war machine, the Death-Star Class Dreadnaught which has come to kick-butt and chew bubblegum (and its all out of bubblegum BTW), but the Enterprise and behaves more like a ship of war in the last two films than a ship of exploration. The Enterprise looks like a cruiser or pocket battleship. The Vengeance looks like the Bismark.

    Just making a passing comment really. I have been pressed on this comment and analysis has followed, but from my POV it is just one of the odd quirks of the film.

    I think you're right on the money about Scotty asking a question allegorically about America -- what are we? I made the same comment in a prior post but nixed it because the overall length was too much.

    At any rate, here is to hoping that the next film finally gets to actual exploration of space and new worlds and all that. Revenge films are OK every once in a while, but I am ready for a switch.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  6. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The people with the money probably aren't thinking the same way. There's only one film in which the Enterprise does any exploring, and it's widely regarded as the worst of the series. (It's ironic that the ship has to be hijacked in order to do any exploring on the big screen.)

    Anyway, the next movie is Robert Orci's baby. Look at his oeuvre. He's not making a movie about exploration. It will be another movie about a villain with a dastardly scheme. This is Star Trek for the foreseeable future. Get used to it.
     
  7. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Well, Star Trek V isn't bad simply because it is an exploration film. It's bad because of the script, the acting, the directing (sorry Bill) and a few other minor details.

    TMP is not an exploration of space film, but V'Ger is a massive space unto itself (one AU across?) and the Enterprise sets out to exploring her. A classic Trek-type story, and not the worst Trek film ever made.

    Finally, we should note the Trek IV is considered to be one of the good ones and there is no revenge plot, there are no ship battles or firing of phasers. A BoP menaces a whaling ship at one point, but that's it. And it was also a classic Trek-type story.
     
  8. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It might also be worth noting that from the perspective of the characters, TVH actually is a mission of exploration. It's home to us, but a "strange new world" to them.

    Ultimately I agree that all these movies about evil villains with dastardly schemes are getting tired, and it would be nice to see some more stories in the classic TOS spirit, but I don't think that's going to happen with Bob Orci in charge. He's a conspiracy theorist who thinks that evil villains with dastardly schemes are the explanation for everything in the world, and his movies are going to continue to reflect that mindset.
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Erm.... Orci is on record saying that he wants an exploration-themed story for ST3.
     
  10. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He said something similar about ST2. I'll believe it when I see it.
     
  11. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Captain Captain

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    "It's not Khan, honest!"
     
  12. Louaxanafan1

    Louaxanafan1 Cadet Newbie

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    I wondered about that too. All of a sudden the cryotubes are out of the torpedoes.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, it's not like the very first scene of the movie involves the crew of the Enterprise exploring an uncharted world and using their technology to save the locals from a devastating natural disaster.

    Wait a minute... you're assuming that modern movie audiences know more about Horatio Hownblower than they do about Star Trek?:wtf:

    Hell, about the only thing I know about Horatio Hownblower is that it was apparently part of the inspiration for Wrath of Khan.:lol:

    Every kid I know who has seen STXI or STID has gone back and watched at least one episode of TOS, just to see what it was originally based on. Their reactions have been pretty mixed, depending largely on what episode they wound up watching.

    But that's just kids, who have no clear concept of the difference between military and nonmilitary anyway and don't think that deeply into it. Older viewers who HAVE seen Star Trek before (but never paid much attention to it) seem pretty clear on the fact that the ship's mission is "To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before." I have no idea where they could have gotten that impression, seeing how the most important thing in STID was a shot of its photon torpedo tubes opening.:vulcan:

    Also, I'm pretty sure that if I asked those kids if that scene reminded them of Horatio Hornblower, half of them would say something like "What is that, porn?"

    Is, paradoxically, the same generation that harbors extensive mistrust in its established institutions and authority figures, partly for cheapening the value of said civil virtue by blatantly and repeatedly using it as a political slogan. There is, in that regard, a VAST distinction between the military as an organization and the military as a collection of people; the former is something towards which (at least in America) many people have become suspicious, while the latter is something to be honored and protected independent of their political affiliation.

    Actually, that ethos was somewhat expressed in NuBSG as well during the Commander Cain fiasco. Bill Adama is depicted as one of the most honorable and wise men in the universe, but the organization he works for is cold, mechanical, at times even a little monstrous.

    "All those guns"? We saw all of five torpedo tubes for maybe eight seconds, none of which LOOKED like guns.

    Why would he have known that? The TMP Enterprise only needed two tubes for its 96 torpedoes. It is FAR from established that this ship has a single tube for every torpedo in its arsenal.

    And again, Scotty raised no objection to the Enterprise carrying torpedoes. His main objections were 1) not having any specifications for the torpedoes and no way to confirm if they were safe or not and 2) firing them at the Klingon homeworld in what could only be construed as brazen act of war.

    She's supposed to look (well, mainly sound) like a war machine. That was the whole point: Sulu was trying to intimidate Khan into surrendering peacefully so that Kirk and his crew (with their stolen K'normian shuttle) could take him without a fuss. Making a bluff of destroying one guy with an orbital torpedo strike is literally the most threatening thing the Enterprise does in this entire movie.

    Actually, Enterprise never does anything overtly warlike in either movie. The most aggressive thing it does in STXI is bomb Nero and flush his crazy ass down the gravity toilet. Their first response to the threat of the Vengeance is to RUN AWAY, and their second response is to sneak aboard and shoot the guy at the controls.

    All in all, the Enterprise no more "looks like" a warship than these guys look like a Navy SEALS (even though the girl in the dress assassinated two major political figures without the slightest hesitation).

    No, it looks like the Enterprise.

    No, the Yamato looks like the Bismark. Vengeance looks like someone subjected the Enterprise to an excessive dose of gamma radiation... and then made it angry.

    This wasn't a revenge film, though. At its core, it was actually a repudiation of the concept of revenge itself, reaffirming the fact that 1) Revenge and justice are not the same thing and 2) a good man should not lower himself to evil just because he is fighting an evil man.
     
  14. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    ^I thought the Vengeance looked like a bigger meaner Sovereign-class.
     
  15. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    And in the last two films, that IS our one scene, which is more of an action-oriented "saving" (jumping, running, falling, detonating) scene than it is an "exploration" scene.

    LOL, it is hardly necessary that the audience recognize the meaning of the particular literary reference to understand what would be generally depicted in that reference. Would you assume that people cannot speak in prose unless someone tells them what it is? ;)

    To be clear, I am assuming that the audience would recognize the conspicuous business and duties of such a ship (diplomacy, ferrying people and things around, checking out strange occurrences, charting passages, contacting far away peoples), and draw the conclusion I allege.

    I did assume, however, that you would, at least recognize the general cultural reference.

    I apologize for assuming that you'd listened to the director's commentary to TWoK, or watched the series starring Ioan Gruffudd, or ever read one of the books by C.S. Forester, or had ever talked to those who had.

    If, however, you've seen the film "Master and Commander," (based on books by O'Brian) then you have an idea of what the world of Hornblower is like.

    If even this is lost on you, then I would not propose boasting about such ignorance, but rather remedying it.

    Interesting, but anecdotal. The young people I've spoken with are basically oblivious to the original series.

    You mean, the target demographic?

    Yeah, yeah, I think we're all familiar with the bless the rhetoric by now and the widely acknowledged cultural debt of having to thank soldiers for their service. For a great many years now, military critics have consistently been careful to note that they are not criticizing "the troops."

    At any rate, this is not erosive to my analysis. The audience can still see the Enterprise as a military ship which is, nonetheless, a good-ship, because it is piloted by the good guys in the space-adventure navy.

    Lest we lose sight of the point, this analysis still works in my favor. Adama commands a military ship. The ship is good, because it is commanded by a good guy, but it is, for all that, still a ship of war even if it is merely a bucket in comparison with the Pegasus.

    Looked a hell of a lot like old-time gun ports, right down to the double-decker layout in a checkerboard fashion.

    The shot ends before more tubes go by, implying that there are more tubes to see, a supposition which is confirmed both by Khan's line of text and the infographic which accompanies that line.

    Moreover, if they've seen the '09 film, they also know that the primary hull is covered in phaser turrets. The prime real-estate on the surface of the ship is dedicated battleship turrets and gun-port-like torpedo tubes which can be opened at a moments notice.

    Because he is the chief engineer. The guy who signs off things like torpedoes getting loaded on the ship.

    So what?

    Except we have the line in the script, which is spoken by the actor on screen, which is accompanied with an infographic that depicts a great many torpedo tubes. There are at least, 72 torpedo tubes according to that line.

    I am not speaking here of Scotty's prudential objection to the devices (i.e., the safe operation of the ship), but rather his moral objection to the physical presence of these devices on the ship. In stating, "I thought we were explorers" he is statng that the presence of these devices run counter to that avowed identity. Also, your number 2) gets no purchase because Scotty had no idea what the game plan was for those torpedoes at the moment when they were simply being loaded on to the ship.

    And that's my point. The message the audience receives is "this is a naval warship." Thus, Scotty protesting to the presence of torpedoes on a warship is a bit goofy.
     
  16. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I do, but I can live with it.

    Indeed, though the cryotube must've taken up quite a lot of space in there.
     
  17. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why do you keep insisting that "All 72 Torpedoes are in their tubes" proves there are at least 72 tubes? If you put 4 per in 18 tubes or 3 per in 24 tubes, then all 72 Torpedoes will still be in their tubes.

    Of course this Starfleet is more prepared for a Military conflict. Look at what the Borg did to ramp up Militarism in TNG and it's spinoffs (And thank goodness, or they wouldn't have been anywhere near prepared for The Dominion). Nero is this timeline's equivalent to The Borg causing them to ramp up after realizing how truly vulnerable they were.

    Scotty's main complaint about the Torpedoes is that they were 72 of some Super-secret new Mega Nuclear Torpedoes, that he didn't have the specs for, they resisted scanning, and no one would give him anything to assure him, they didn't present a danger to his ship. For all he knew, a hard right turn of the ship might cause some instability and have them start going off on their own, inside the ship. Sure, he objected to the mission, but, his biggest complaint was that he didn't know exactly what was in the Torpedoes or how stable they were.
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How about having ever HEARD of that reference in the first place? Most of the people who go to watch a Star Trek movie have at least heard of it even if they never watched it before. How many people who went to see Star Trek also watched (or remembered) Master and Commander or any of the other Hornblower movie treatments from I-don't-know-when?

    I didn't. And I would venture a guess that, neither did the overwhelming majority of people who went to see STID in theatres.

    I did see Pirates of the Caribbean, though. Does that count?

    I hardly consider it ignorance to ignore a movie/literary genre that has ceased to be relevant either to ones own culture or personal interests, seeing how I am not a sailor, I am not British, and this is not the 19th century.

    On the other hand, I did see Crimson Tide opening night in theatres, and I grew up watching Final Countdown and Hunt for Red October. How sure are you that the torpedo scene wasn't a reference to THOSE movies?

    Not at all. The audience uses the usual trope mechanisms to identify "good guy being good." The connection to "good guy is military" is not an automatic one and arguably it never was; that's a trope unto itself, one that Star Trek dabbled with on and off over the years and finally went in full throttle in Wrath of Khan.

    Whatever the possible implications of the ship having weapons, having a rank structure, having badges, even having utility belts, the audience knows that these things for whatever reason do not make it a conventional "military" vessel mainly because of Scotty's line.

    Just for me, I also had the theory that Abrams' Starfleet was far more militarized than the TOS incarnation, mainly because of Pike's line in STXI about it being a "peacekeeping and humanitarian armada" among other things. But Scotty's line changes all that, and I trust Starfleet officers to know enough about their organization and how it's supposed to operate.

    Yes, because modern movie audiences know exactly what old-time gunports on sailing ships look like.:vulcan:

    "Covered in" six turrets that aren't even as prominent on this ship as they were in the TMP model?

    We don't know what it depicts, and by his own admission, neither does Khan. He knows the Enterprise is carrying 72 photon torpedoes, but he doesn't know for sure whether or not they are "his" until he beams them aboard and looks at them (hence his line "If they're not mine, I will know it").

    Khan understands the basics of 23rd century weapons and starship technology, but he doesn't seem to understand any of the terminology. (it's the same scene where he talks about the Enterprise's 'aft nacelle' after all. I'm not sure what he thinks the "aft nacelle" is but I wouldn't doubt his ability to hit it with his phasers).

    No, it was not the PRESENCE of the torpedoes that ran counter to that identity. It was the fact that the torpedoes were going to be used to bomb Kronos and almost certainly start a war. There was also the fact that Starfleet had confiscated his transwarp beaming equation and apparently had it weaponized, which is something he WOULD feel pretty strongly about.

    Of course he did. He knew where Khan was hiding and he knew the mission was to go there and kill him. That's what he means when he says "This is clearly a military operation!" And he's right: assassinating terrorists from orbit with a torpedo strike is not something Starfleet has EVER lowered itself to.

    And they also receive that it's a bluff. Sulu is going out of his way to look and sound like more of a badass than he (and the Enterprise) really is.
     
  19. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    "Aft nacelle" could define the region immediately aft of the pylons in the secondary hull, where a life support system would sorta make sense (though the sacer should have its own backup).
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Probably pumping the plasma exhaust through the air ducts.
     

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