Star Trek: TMP questions and observations

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Gotham Central, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd thought so, particularly as the on-screen evidence seems to suggest that Star Fleet prefers to train teams (which justifies why we should see Our Heroes sticking together for decades instead of everyone getting their promotions or transfers and going off to other posts).

    In that interpretation, doing things even the most ridiculously old-fashioned way is of benefit, as it gets people in the practice of thinking how to work out a task, organize the necessary steps, and distribute them to your team so everyone's able to do what they need when they need it. It's a different view to organization from the way modern militaries work, but I can't say it's an obviously foolish one, especially when an active starship crew is going to have to do all kinds of nonsense like figure how to rework the deflector dish to send a beam of pure margarine at the Borg or something.

    And, after all, the simulator said the bridge was for the ``Enterprise Class''; is that the kind of bridge inside the simulator, or the simulation facility for the class that's slated to take the Enterprise?
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Starfleet certainly emphasizes the team approach. But my impression is that the TOS cast was kept together because of their popularity and because it was more convenient in terms of each film's plot. It's much easier to use established characters with whom the audience is already familiar than it is to break in new characters. One of the reasons why TMP is vilified is because of the inclusion of characters (Decker & Ilia) whom the audience doesn't know.

    The type of bridge inside that particular simulator was a replica of the Enterprise bridge. The cadets using the simulator at the beginning of TWOK were slated to board the real Enterprise for their mission, so it makes sense that they'd be trained on that simulator first. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess there were simulators of other ships available for cadets to use. They weren't shown because only the Enterprise simulator was needed for the Kobyashi Maru test.

    --Sran
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    That's an interesting theory. I always wondered whether it had anything to do with the fact that systems were still down after Khan's first attack, given that they only had two hours and all to get things working again. I never saw or heard anything in the film to tell us why they were doing it.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, we see it in the metal pin on Kirk's admiral's uniform, and in Sulu's first scene where he's obviously just arrived on board, still wearing his casual "ground" jacket with the same metal insignia pin used as a "button" on the front. All the principal actors had these jackets made, but never used onscreen.

    But there was a Paramount press release about TMP's uniforms that mentioned that the Enterprise's insignia had been adopted by the rest of the fleet in recognition of its successful 5YM, Justman's earlier forgotten memo notwithstanding. (Perhaps to explain away the previous errors?)

    Then why not vilify ST II for Saavik and David, who were similarly groomed as the new, young, heart throbs? ST VI for Valeris? "First Contact" for Hawk?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  5. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In fairness to that bit though, their two standard computerised systems of counting the torpedoes are giving contradictory information, actually going to look at the things to make absolute sure is probably the best bet. I'm sure he used a SPACE calculator to keep track whilst he was counting (I know from bitter experience at work there's nothing worse than getting halfway through a big count and suddenly losing your place for no readily apparent reason).
     
  6. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This never bothered me since we were already told that the ship's main systems were offline.

    Besides its no more silly than the fact that TOS showed that the Enterprise had "phaser gun crews" that had to manually fire the phasers after receiving verbal orders from the bridge.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, yes, it goes without saying that that's the real-world reason. The point is to try to concoct an in-universe reason why Starfleet would do things that way, so that it doesn't feel so artificial.


    I've been hearing people vilifying TMP for decades, but I don't recall that being a major theme in the criticisms. It's more that people feel the familiar cast members were out of character and lacking in their old rapport (although that was justified in-story by their years apart and their changed circumstances). After all, TOS frequently built stories around its guest stars, including dozens of one-shot Enterprise crew members, so there's no reason why adding a couple of unfamiliar characters would've been anything unusual for the fans.



    Paramount's publicity department is not a canonical source. By 1979, the myth about the insignia being unique to the Enterprise had become commonly accepted in fandom (despite the contradictory evidence in "Court-martial"), and the Paramount publicity writers probably just picked it up from there. There were a lot of things that were unquestioned conventional wisdom in fandom in the '70s and '80s but that we have since learned to be false.
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I can think of any number of reasons why Starfleet itself would opt for that approach. Certainly, groups used to working together are going to function much more efficiently than people still growing accustomed to one another. Beyond that, I'd say that Starfleet seems to be a lot like other organizations in that officials in supervisory positions deliberately select those individuals whom they know they can work well with and who will do a good job.

    The Enterprise crew stayed together for several years (albeit with other assignments in between on-screen adventures) in large part because they worked so well together. The circumstances of their being together after TVH are different because it may be that no one else was willing to work with any of them. David R. George has an interesting take on this in his Crucible books.

    George depicts the crew staying together after Star Trek IV because Kirk informed them that they would be unable to return to the positions each occupied before The Wrath of Khan. He offers to let each join his senior staff because the Enterprise was without a full crew compliment.

    --Sran
     
  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    That's merely one part, and is not indicative of the overall design of the 1701, unlike the entire Epsilon design, which looks very much like something projected by 20th century NASA.
     
  10. drt

    drt Captain Captain

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    The aforementioned choices made by Meyer are the reasons that for my "personal canon" I've assigned ST2-6 to take place in a different continuity from ST/TAS/TMP.

    I never had any issue with the Epsilon station, until now, lulz.

    Although, now that it's been brought up, the drydock and orbital office don't really have much of a "Star Trek" design aesthetic either. Heh, maybe I need to reconsider where TMP fits in my personal canon.

    Although, really, everything looks so different in TMP it seems more like at least 10-15 years have passed in universe, not the three or so stated in the dialogue.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which can be rationalized given that the Enterprise was out on the frontier for five years, so it was still using older designs while the newer stuff was being phased in back in the core systems.
     
  12. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Absolutely. The comic series depicting the end of the five-year mission has Decker coming aboard wearing a uniform similar to what he's seen wearing in TMP. It's not unlike Voyager's crew wearing the early-DS9 uniforms because they weren't in contact with Starfleet when the change to the FC uniforms was made.

    --Sran
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Someone once posted pics of the opening days of the EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World, and the uniforms that were projected by NASA to be futuristic space station attire were incredibly similar to the uniform designs Robert Fletcher had come up with for TMP.
     
  14. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    I believe TMP's scientific advisor "sold" the concept of TMP's uniforms on the premise that this is how NASA would dress for the future and I happen to LOVE their costumes. They really look great (unfortunately, they cannot hide, or contain cannonball guts, pouches of flab and so forth).

    But NASA's fixation with STAR TREK has always disturbed me, very deeply. Not for any other reason except that NASA is REAL. This is space in all of its kind of "glory," if you will.

    THE RIGHT STUFF to me ... that's what NASA should be like. Real people with real grit creating man's purpose in space. Somehow, it kind of morphed into this agency of TREK nerds, always trying to ape some STAR TREK design, even incorporating elements of STAR WARS. Like, I saw this one Boba Fett-looking robot one time. It just seems kind of sad, to me ...
     
  15. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is so true. I remember how embarrassing it was to watch those mission scientists (was it from the Mars Rover mission?) naming rocks they'd found things like "Yogi Bear" and "Fred Flintstone". Come on guys, this is science. Grow up.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But the things we create in reality have always been inspired by our dreams and imaginations. This is the role that myths and legends have always played in our society: they've symbolized and codified the things we believe in, the things we aspire to and seek to build, and the things we fear and seek to avoid.

    Or, to be less highfalutin about it, fiction like Star Trek popularizes space in the minds of the public and helps build interest and support for NASA's work -- something that a government-funded agency needs in order to stay funded. And it can inspire people to go into space or science or engineering. Pretty much every female and "minority" astronaut NASA had for decades was recruited by Nichelle Nichols. If there had been no Lieutenant Uhura, the United States space program would've stayed the domain of white men for considerably longer.
     
  17. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    ... Unlikely, at best.

    Yes, I know all about Nichelle Nichols being asked by NASA
    to encourage minorities and women to join NASA. A job she
    excelled at and I have read interviews with some women (plural) who made it as astronauts, crediting her. That is a fact ...

    It's also a fact that STAR TREK was not needed to inspire the military to integrate minorities between WW2 and Korea. STAR TREK was not required to inspire MLK on his mission for equality. And NASA, like the military, wanted equality in its own ranks.

    Now, using STAR TREK was a help, yes, in getting people's attention, especially children. But if NASA wasn't so aweful at Public Relations on its own, it wouldn't need celebrities to help push it. NASA made even the moon landings look like an expensive outing to collect rocks.

    And if there hadn't been STAR TREK, some Amelia Earhart wannabe would've been the standard NASA's targeted group would've rallied around. STAR TREK was never known for its "cool" factor, until the reboot. Let's not pretend about that. Yes, the show's been popular for decades, but during most of that time, fans were branded as friendless geeks, living in their parents' basement, going to work in their "uniform" and making everyone call them "commander."
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, but it helped promote his ideas. Fiction may not be "needed" or "required" or other such gratuitously exclusionistic terms, but that doesn't mean it isn't valuable in spreading ideas. After all, if you want to promote a belief, you need to communicate it to the people and convince them that it's worth buying into. Sure, you can do that with speeches and news articles and the like, but you can also do it through fiction, and it's foolish to dismiss that vector for spreading ideas out of some elitist notion that fiction is somehow unworthy.


    Again, it makes no sense to treat it as some absolutist, zero-sum choice between the two options. It makes the most sense to use both approaches.


    Among the general public, yes. But those "geeks" you're talking about are the kind of people who would be inspired to become scientists and engineers and astronauts, and we know that many of them were indeed inspired by Star Trek.

    Right now, NASA is pursuing proof-of-concept experiments for what's called the warp field interferometer, a test of a theoretical method for warping spacetime in a way that could hypothetically lead one day to real stardrive applications. The idea of a warp field, once dismissed as unachievable, has been taken more and more seriously by theoretical physicists ever since the pioneering work of Miguel Alcubierre in 1994, in which he calculated how to solve the equations of General Relativity in order to create a spacetime metric that would behave as a warp drive. While it required physically impossible states of matter and amounts of energy, later theorists have found possible ways around those problems, so now we're to the point that it's taken seriously enough to have crossed from abstract theory to the first tentative experiment. If this pans out, we may someday, in the distant future, have an actual stardrive -- if not FTL, then at least a greatly improved sublight drive. And it will all be because of Miguel Alcubierre...

    ...who is a major Star Trek fan and has acknowledged that the show inspired him to devise his warp metric.

    Of course, that's still pretty much pie-in-the-sky, but there's a long history of real-world inventions inspired by science fiction, from the submarine to the taser to the mobile phone to the computer virus. The relationship between scientific progress and science fiction has long been a mutual symbiosis, with each inspiring the other. After all, science progresses through the communication of ideas, and fiction is an effective way of doing that.
     
  19. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    Both of these points are only true and very full of proof.
    As Kirk said to Decker in STAR TREK: The Motion Picture:

    "I stand corrected."
     
  20. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm wondering if DeForrest Kelly had a clause in his contract that required him to appear on screen a certain number of times. How else can you explain the fact that on several occasions, Dr. McCoy just wanders onto the bridge, looks around and then leaves. Frequently without saying a word. Its odd.

    One cannot help but notice that the one time there is actually a medical situation on the bridge, its Dr. Chapel that does the treatment. McCoy just seems bored for most of the film.
     

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