Where's the Main Computer in STID?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Lapis Exilis, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know if this has been discussed yet - if so, please point me to the thread.

    I just saw Into Darkness for the second time and was struck by something that passed me by in the first viewing - Why doesn't the crew ever consult the main computer?

    Firstly - the warp core goes out of whack so suddenly that they have to do a full stop from warp and it takes hours to find the problem. OK - I can roll with the idea that Chekov consults the computer or other diagnostic electronic devices even though we never see that happen on screen.

    But secondly - Khan announces himself as a 300 year old war criminal and no one (not even Spock!) ever asks the computer what war, what crimes, what genetic engineering, who this Khan was 300 years before.

    It's a tad odd. It would have been odd in TOS (after all, in Space Seed, as soon as they have Khan's name they call up the history on the main computer), but it really stands out as weird in the age of Google.

    This is the kind of thing I point to about where Abrams misses the boat on creating Star Trek. I was impressed with Into Darkness for managing to really capture the flavor of TOS's relationships (except for the whole Uhura/ Spock thing, which stands out more and more as unbelieveable). But these movies seem to have an information-phobia where one of the things that has always distinguished Star Trek is its reliance on history, science - i.e. KNOWLEDGE.

    Did anyone else notice this? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    I didn't give it much thought except to speculate they didn't have the computer speak because Majel Barrett was not able to do the voice. With the major refit at the end, a new voice would be fine?

    Also, it allowed for a Nimoy cameo instead (regardless of how one feels about that, consulting the computer would have obviated the need for the cameo).
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's the most likely explanation. They're probably still looking for a voice to replace Majel. Although I think they should pick Judi Durand just to mess with people's heads. :cardie:
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You really think that they'd have hesitated to recast for a moment, given that the previous actor is dead, if they'd wanted for any reason to have a conversation with the main computer?

    No.

    It took half of "Space Seed" before they came up with a photograph of Khan Noonian Singh from the library computer, BTW, after he identified himself as "Khan" in Sickbay and Spock began to speculate and discuss the Eugenics Wars. This is because computers on Star Trek have always worked the same way as warp drive - as powerful or limited as the writer that week needed them to be.

    They didn't talk to the computer because talking to a computer is a boring and undramatic way to provide information or exposition. They had an opportunity to use it to find out about Khan, and came up with the far superior alternative of featuring Leonard Nimoy in a cameo. These people know what they're doing.

    For all the dramatic use it is, the Enterprise computer is welcome to shut the fuck up from here on out.
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Science Officer 0718 was sufficiently informative at at least one point.
     
  6. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    I agree with the points you make. In my defence I did say I didn't give it much thought--perhaps all of three seconds. I certainly would not have been bothered in any way if the voice had been recast.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Can't say I missed it.
     
  8. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I have watched Avengers, IM 3, and F6, in which both films have characters actually doing research on computers. We may not have seen the full process, but we know that they did it. It didn't detract from the films.

    I noticed this lack of doing research when watching the film, and I have commented on this on this board. For the record, Spock was already researching the computer before Khan revealed his name. The issue was the sparsity of records from that era, and not having a keyword.
     
  9. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Exactly. It's not as though we need to see some long scene of them consulting the computer, but having the characters not even consider it is a little forced. And even if nuSpock contacting Spock is arguably a more dramatic way of addressing it, it comes across a bit like teens in a modern horror film all trying to find a pay-phone without ever discussing an alternative.
     
  10. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    We know that Spock did research Carol Marcus' transfer and Kirk did research on John Harrison, so, we have precedents, so why didn't one or the other or both research Khan? Then, after the research, then have Spock contact Spock Prime.
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll be controversial here.
    I think the problem is in 'Space Seed' not in STID.
    Why would you store information about every single event in Earth history in the main computer of a Starship? And why would you have a ship's historian aboard? You have a ship full of explorers, scientists, diplomats - why clog up your main computer with details about things that are irrelevant to your purpose.
    I know it was all over TOS.
    Do current US warships have pictures of every criminal in history, any pictures?
     
  12. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    There's actually nothing on screen to suggest the computer was not consulted. It's just that we didn't see it (nor did we need to, really). Nothing in the exchange with Nimoy is inconsistent with doing a prior search. Spock asks Nimoy if they encountered and defeated Khan--something that would NOT be in their computer anyway. Nimoy's brief summary is for the audience not Spock.

    Yet another example of not providing explicit explanations that seems to frustrate people (to an alarming degree, IMO--the overall trend, not this specific instance).
     
  13. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even if it wasn't in the computer on the ship, the ship's computer could request the information from Memory Alpha, etc.


    -Chris
     
  14. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could they? Or could Admiral Marcus have been blocking their access to any Starfleet communications lines already?
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It doesn't matter. There was no part of the story that would have been better told through a scene involving people talking to a computer.

    Computers were kind of a neat skiffy prop back in 1966; they were the future. Now we use them to watch cat videos, so who's interested in watching people play with them in movies?

    You know what characters in television shows spend less time doing than almost anything? Watching television. ;)
     
  16. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    They knew how dangerous Khan was, and were sent to apprehend him, anything else could wait. And he already implied his past was secret and around 300 past, hardly fitting to waste time in Klingon space trolling for files that likely weren't even there.

    And the Warp core was damaged, Scotty's little animated diagnostic station couldn't give them a straight answer and it was hardwired into the core and its subsystems directly, a library database isn't going to help.

    Beside's, the one time the thing speaks is through a cyborg who can only muster "major damage, Captain" several minutes after the ship is sitting in a cloud of its own debris, no shit tin man.
     
  17. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    I guess you never know when it would come in handy? Obviously it did several times. And yeah, you could always say that such information could be stored elsewhere, but then that assumes that such information could always be accessed.

    I think the idea was that computers had such ridiculous amounts of storage space in the future that you could store all that you wanted on there without any problem. Did you know that you could store the compressed text of all the Wikipedia articles in just 9 GB? I have a memory stick I could fit that onto, so wouldn't it at least make sense to just bring that along?
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Heh, maybe Marcus had all identifying information concerning Khan purged from Starfleet's databanks. :lol:
     
  19. CitizenjaQ

    CitizenjaQ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It did strike me as a little odd, yes. But this crew seems to fly by the seat of its pants much more than the TOS crew. Have they ever conversed with the main computer in Abrams Trek?
     
  20. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not necessarily. I think someone else says in the thread that Spock Prime gives them information different from that which a computer would have given.

    (And for the record, just about anything would have been better than the cameo, which has the silliest, most obvious exchange ever. Hey, Spock - what do you know about this guy? *sigh* Spock, I told you I couldn't tell you anything. But watch out! He's a badass! *Cue "He's a badass" music*)

    Generally, in TOS, a consultation with the ship's computer for information takes up all of 10-15 seconds of screen time to proivde a bit of exposition which adds significantly to the world building, establish a certain tone - and give the characters a springboard to further action (as any good exposition does). And I'm not even saying they had to stop and ask the computer on screen, Spock could have a bit of dialogue where he says "Historical records indicate...." but it felt a little strange to have this superman drop that he was a war criminal and no one seems the slightest bit interested in finding out for what crimes he was exiled in which war.

    I bring all this up because the friend I went with, a total non-Trekkie, was very confused by the fact that the movie never fills in those facts. He was asking - what war are they talking about? What did that guy do? Why was he in space if it was 300 years before 2259, which would make it 1959 when he did whatever he did?
     

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