The Volcano Problem

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Franklin, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What's below might be spoilerish if you haven't seen the first nine minutes or read a summary of them.













    First, I don't know if Orci and Kurtzman meant it, but there's a neat parallel between what Spock is doing in the volcano and what Spock Prime's mission was.

    Second, the whole thing is so wreckless, which I think it was supposed to be in order to show us how raw (and cocky) Kirk is as a commander. I can't imagine a 50-ish Kirk coming up with a plan like this. So, it's a good scene from that point, too.

    That said, I do have a couple of nit-picky observations about the scene.

    The shuttle may not have been built to withstand the heat inside a volcano for a long period of time, but Scotty tells Kirk that if the volcano blows, he's not sure the Enteprise itself can withstand the heat. Hmm. Lava is about 2000 degrees F. That's a little under the hottest temperatures reached on parts of the surface of the space shuttles when they re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. (The most insulating of the tiles were good up to about 2300 degrees F.) So, we're saying the tritanium outsides of a 23rd century starship are no better than 1970s technology at heat resistance? Even for short periods of time?

    Sulu also says he's not sure he can maintain "that kind of altitude" over the volcano. So, after boldly going to the bottom of an ocean, Sulu thinks he can't hover the Enterprsie above a volcano for a few seconds to beam Spock out?

    And again, the transporters are no good. Two movies, and two times the transporters couldn't be used when they'd have been most useful. I can see why McCoy never trusted the damn things.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know what actually happens in the nine-minute spoiler thing, but I would imagine the volcanic thing is threatening the entire planet somehow - else why bother messing with it? That would mean things bigger than just "lava". If the eruption or whatever has global scope, odds are the starship might get buried under hot rock, the constant heat of which pressing against the (shieldless) hull (thousands of degrees Celsius) might indeed do a lot of damage.

    As for hovering with a starship, I guess there are buffeting issues to be considered, something that would be absent underwater.

    And I like the consistency in the transporters never working. :p

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The shuttle problem seemed to be an intake problem - like it was sucking up too much ash. Which is a nitpicking problem in and of itself. Who knows - maybe the shuttles need air intake in atmospheric flight.
     
  4. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Don't starships routinely rely on shields to diffuse heat? If so, would not lowering the shields to beam up Spock expose the ship to an unusual degree of heat? (just doing my best "geek" response here--I'm not up on "my technical manuals" like Scotty).

    As for altitude, hovering might be quite a bit more difficult than simply submerging in water (where, again, shields and deflectors can help maintain position in the water), particularly if the volcanic explosions make the altitude variable, to some degree.

    Anyway, I don't really try to reconcile such minute details all that often (it would make a lot of movies, not just Trek, become a lot of work instead of entertainment) but I am trying to avoid the pile of marking staring at me, so I thought I'd give it my best (uninformed) shot.
     
  5. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Older Spock gave Scotty the calculations on how to transport at warp with the shield on, correct? So that would be irrelevant.
     
  6. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Correct up until the transport at warp part.
    Doing it while the shields are on wasn't mentioned as far as I can remember.
     
  7. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Don't remember a discussion of shields (I haven't watched the film as often as the TOS episodes, so I can't recall). However, it would not be the first time that a planet's natural environment somehow interfered with transporter technology, so if that's in play AND the shields are in place…voila--Orci's "the fans will reason it out" applies here.
     
  8. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I quickly rewatched the relevant scenes since my last post and didn't see any mention of shields.

    In any case, the Narada was about to start drilling and wasn't threatened by anything so it probably had the shields down.
    After all, the whole point of the Titan maneuver was to catch Nero with his pants down.
     
  9. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah. I don't mean to take it too seriously, myself. And yes, the Enterprise would have to be fully exposed to the elements (shields down) to beam Spock up.

    In "Operation Annihilate!", as they chased the ship Denevan ship heading for the sun (shields up or not, it's not said), Spock says the hull temperature of the Enterprise is 480 degrees, then a few seconds later, it's 1000 (I looked that up, by the way, it was not in my head).
    Since my oven can do 480 F, and since he says degrees (he wouldn't if it were the Kelvin scale), I'm assuming it's degrees Celsius. One thousand Celsius is almost 2000 degrees. So at least for a short time, the hull was withstanding that heat and probably a little more until Kirk finally ordered the ship to do a 180. In any case, 2000 degrees must be near the limit of hull tolerance. So in the nine minute clip, Scotty is erring on the side of caution.

    As far as marking papers goes, any distraction from that is a good distraction.
     
  10. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Plus, Mr Scott has been known to exaggerate a wee bit.
    Got to maintain that miracle worker reputation after all. Or start building it in this universe:p
     
  11. Garak

    Garak I Will Not Bow To Any Sponsor Premium Member

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    Yeah....when I see the movie, this definitely won't bug me.
     
  12. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The nuEnterprise has the capabilities of plot. Underwater? No problem, because cool. Heat? A problem, because dramatic. And the transporters, which were previously able to transport across several astronomic units and faster than light, suddenly don't work here either. I guess if someone aboard uses a hairdryer, the transporters malfunction.

    It also makes no sense to hide a space ship from indigenous javelin throwers under water instead of, like, I dunno, space.

    A shuttle having an intake and/or an overheating problem is ridiculous.
     
  13. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Meh. All of Trek has been guilty of that to a greater or lesser degree. Time travel is one of the most over used plot devices in all Trek lore. And lets not forget the Borg - once a huge menance now are easily defeated by just Voyager.

    Then there is the magical engineering solution of the week only to be forgotten about just two episodes later when a like problem arises. There are too many to mention but just off the top of my head one would be armband transporter devices oh and personal shields created on the holodeck by worf simply using his communicator.

    J.J. is no more or no less guilty of using plot devices for dramatic effect and/or as a lazy writing to circumnavigate a problem then they did in TNG, DS9, Enterprise and all the other films.

    Oh, and lets not forget when Janeway and Paris go to every part of the universe - DE-evolve - mate -and then are reanimated.

    Or in Star Trek V when in a matter of a few hours the Enterprise travels to the center of the galaxy to do battle with God.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I'm really hoping they have a good reason for the Enterprise to be hiding underwater. :scream:
     
  15. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The calculations Spock prime used to modify the transporters were used on the shuttle on delta Vega. Scotty looked at them but didn't write them down. If Spock decided to erase them, or the transporter doesn't save that sort of input, after Kirk and Scotty beamed out, it might take Scotty quite some time to redevelop them.
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Did they even try to explain why the holo-ship was hidden underwater in Insurrection? When it not only could have beamed the Ba'ku up from orbit, but it had a cloaking device too?

    It's whatever that was.
     
  17. Dick_Valentine

    Dick_Valentine Commander Red Shirt

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    It looks cool and it's a good place to hide, that's good enough for me :)
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    But that sunk Insurrection for me because it made absolutely no sense.
     
  19. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Pretty much. Especially since this isn't even part of the main story, who cares?
     
  20. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

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    What sunk Insurrection for me was the fact that it felt like a 2-hour TV episode; it would have been fine as a TV episode, but it didn't feel like a theatrical release. That feeling had nothing to do with the lack of explaining why the cloaked ship was there in the water. I suppose they had their (unspoken) reasons to hide there.

    If the explanation for why STID's Enterprise was under water could be done quickly and not sound forced, then fine. Otherwise all I need to know is that they had a reason for being there. The details of that reason may not really matter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012

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