Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by EJA, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    First off let me state that I am a fan of having a single, malleable timeline. From a drama standpoint it is just more satisfying that everything that was and everything that will ever be is at stake in a time travel tale.

    Second, you have to work from the assumption that the older Spock as depicted in this film isn't from the Prime timeline and is from a timeline where him and Jim Kirk didn't flaunt the timeline at will. It just doesn't make sense any other way. The man let his Mother die decades earlier why precisely? My Mom died when I was ten and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish for a way to fix it (and I'm 38). Why would he leave that burden for his younger self to carry if he has all this knowledge of ways to change the past? Exactly what good is it going to do Spock-2 to have his mother and his people stripped away from him? Does Spock Prime see this as necessary for his younger self? If he does it is one hell of a price to pay to rectify some flaw he sees in his younger self.

    Third, it would be unlike Jim Kirk not to start digging around what Spock Prime knows about restoring the natural order of things. He's practically lived a life that he was never meant to live based on meddling from the future. and if time travel and changing the past can be accomplished once... who's to say it can't be accomplished a second time?
     
  2. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Commodore Commodore


    Do We know for sure that the Romulan Home world will be destroyed in the future of NuTrek?

    Wouldn't it be more logical to think that Spock-Prime would do something now, to prevent yet a Third Alternate Time line being created??

    Will Nemo even be the same personality in this reality???

    Isn't speculation to a migraine level fun???? :cardie:
     
  3. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Problem: GRANDFATHER PARADOX. This means that Spock remembering different events that cannot be corrected is impossible in a linear timeline. Cause and effect can NOT be ignored, dispite wishful thinking/assertions otherwise.
     
  4. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

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    QFT.

    I'm inclined to agree. As I've mentioned elsewhere, there are other clues that OldSpock's future is not that of the primary timeline with which we're familiar, and thus that this whole thing is set in an alternate reality even before Nero's intervention.

    I'm honestly not clear on what you're trying to say here. Fictional time travelers routinely remember events from their original history, whether they've changed it or not. This has nothing to do with what "cannot be corrected"; so long as time-travel further backward remains possible, anything can theoretically be corrected.
     
  5. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nevertheless, more information in the movie supports MWI over a linear timeline.

    All you are telling me is that most time travel in Star Trek has been innacurate with regards to current prevailing theory, and somewhat inconsistent anyway.

    UHURA: An Alternate Reality.
    SPOCK: Precisely.

    Rather than argue against it based on preference, how about based on contradictory, on-screen evidence from the movie?
     
  6. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

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    All you're doing here is repeating O&K's claims about "current prevailing theory." There is no "current prevailing theory" about how time travel would work (although there are plenty of speculations), so realistically they were misrepresenting what the MWI means in order to rationalize their story choices about how to execute a reboot.

    This bit of expository dialogue was, obviously, O&K's attempt to get the point across to the slower members of the audience, slightly less blunt than having the writers themselves walk in front of the cameras and say "this is what we mean." However, at that point in the story it can realistically be nothing more than speculation on Spock and Uhura's part ("alternate to what?" is the obvious question from their POV), and moreover it provides no evidence one way or the other as to the status of the "prime" universe.
     
  7. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    Actually, time travel is not exactly the same in all episodes. For example, in Assignment Earth, it's almost described as fatalism, since the outcome was set, and they basically couldn't fail. A single timeline, where incursions actually are a part of the events. It's like in The Time Traveler's Wife. Illogical, to say the least, since time traveling has to start somewhere.

    Moving on, in The Future Guy-episodes, we have a single timeline which in fact can be altered. It's pretty much the same in TBOBW, First Contact and Year of Hell.

    In Paralles, which isn't really a time travel episode, but relevant non the less, we have multiple universes, each for one possible outcome of actions. It would support the idea that it might exist a prime and an alternate universe, as in Star Trek XI.

    I prefer the Future Guy one, but saying that Star Trek XI time travel is unprecedented isn't really true.
     
  8. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If you are correct about the evidence about the fate of the "prime" universe, then we have insufficient data to test the idea that the movie portrays an overwritten/singular timeline.

    Since Star Trek in general is inconsistent with it's implied portrayal of Time Travel, we cannot look to the rest of Star Trek as a guide to how it worked in this movie, so outside precedent carries no weight.

    we are thus reduced to using the movie in and of itself to suggest whether it is an Alternate Reality, or whether linear time has been overwritten so that events after 2233 do not happen as depicted in the rest of Star Trek.

    In order to accept the linear timeline theory, we have to accept the following:

    - Cause and Effect have absolutely no meaning, since Spock CLEARLY observed and remembered events that simply can NOT happen since Nero's arrival.

    Since the Grandfather Paradox comes in, the integrity of Spacetime is simply no more. Younger Spock would have different, contradictory memories to Older Spock, so when it comes time to go back in time, he may not do so, or would likely come back with something different to say to kirk, and the causality loop would go on indefinately.

    Either that, or Spock would have to lie to kirk about events of the future.

    Since this breaks cause-and-effect, it is thus not logical to assume this model.

    Therefore, MWI must be the only logical alternative.

    Given MWI, and Spock's generally analytical and logical approach, it is reasonable to assume that Spock:

    a) Cannot go back in time to fix anything;
    b) Relatively quickly reasons this to be true.
     
  9. thumbtack

    thumbtack Commodore Commodore

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    Illogical. Illogical. Does not compute.

    Did Spock travel back in time within the same universe, or did he emerge in an entirely different universe? Seems clear he's now in an entirely nu universe, in which case, it would be highly immoral for him to try to change it into an exact copy of the old universe just to please a few trekkies.



    .
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. It would be highly immoral to try and save six billion who didn't die before. :guffaw:
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes the film does use the many worlds theory, of that I have no doubt. But to me it was a cop-out on the part of those making the film.

    We killed Kirk's dad! But he still lives his normal life in the Prime Timeline.
    We blew up Vulcan! But it's still there in the Prime Timeline.
    We killed Spock's Mom! But she still lives her normal life in the Prime Timeline.

    And these changes didn't due anything to the spin-offs... they're still out there (in universe).

    When you really think about it... they didn't change anything anyone really cared about. When I watched the three skydive to Vulcan I found myself more impressed with the effort that went into pulling off the shot than any sense of danger the crew was in.

    And I think that is the biggest problem these films have going forward. For all the talk of how the franchise has stagnated... they didn't really change anything. It almost feels like Enterprise all over again. But instead of blaming the Temporal Cold War for changes they blame the Many Worlds theory.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    They're alive in Spock's home universe. If he does this why not just have a whole corps of time travelers going back to the past and save everyone who's died?
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Missed the point entirely. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I got the point, its just that if Spock does it for Vulcan then all victims of disasters in the past or future should be saved as well. Right?
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wrong. Because Vulcan was a victim of a madman from another time using technology from another time. Creating a situation that should have never existed to begin with.

    Get it?
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Nero's incursion happend 25 years prior. Its part of the history of that Universe now.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Considering Nero had little issue dispatching Starfleet, I'd say he still held a distinct technological advantage. And that doesn't even include Red Matter, which was a 24th century creation.

    I do remember a line from Spock-2 that states that the technology did not currently (23rd Century) exist to create a black hole.

    So Vulcan fell prey to a madman and technology that did not belong in that time period.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Yes and?
     
  19. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's interesting, because I'm kinda the opposite.

    What you call a cop-out is a simple solution to a seemingly unresolvable conflict: Creating something new, while retaining the full integrity of ALL established history (Canon).

    Also, the fact that it is an Alternate Reality means that anything can happen.

    A direct prequel would mean that at the back of everyone's minds is the idea that the future is set. No drama that anyone could be killed.

    Of course, it is actually unlikely that a character would die anyway, but the idea puts the possible doubt in your mind.

    For one thing, they could quite legitimately kill of Captain Pike, since the character would not be needed after the first movie.

    And destroying Vulcan actually WAS a surprise to those familiar with Trek who avoided spoilers.
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Spock Prime is in a different reality now. He can't return to his own reality. He can travel in time in this new reality, but what's the point? Vulcan will never be his Vulcan.

    Sure, he could try to save Vulcan just because it's a good thing to do. But he knows about a lot of other catastrophes that are likely to happen, simply because this reality is so close to his own. He could stop the Doomsday Machine without bothering to travel through time at all.

    That sucker ate up who knows how many planets before Kirk & the gang stopped it. Spock could remember the system where they encountered it and most likely figure out where it would be in this reality.

    If Spock wants to do the greatest good for the greatest number, he shouldn't waste any energy on devising methods of time travel. He's got a full plate as it is.

    It's not a cop out if they never take advantage of the alternate realities to shortcut the drama and the characters' angst. Sure, Spock's Vulcan is fine and dandy somewhere, but as long as he's never allowed to go there, and the audience is never allowed to see that it's all right, the emotional impact is still that the only Vulcan we're going to see has gone kablooey.

    The nice thing about the many-worlds approach is that it's a nice way of avoiding the annoying aspects of time travel - the reset button, the illogic of the grandfather paradox, etc. Technically speaking, it's not even time travel, but rather space travel - between realities rather than star systems or galaxies. The new reality's timeline could be offset compared with the Prime reality by a few decades so that travelling directly from one to the other appears to involve time travel. But we don't know that's even the case.

    Yeah, they hit upon the one and only way to give Trek a fresh approach while mollifying the canonistas. Of course they get zero credit by the canonistas. :D

    Nobody knows "how time travel works," so there's no basis for criticizing their choice of one method over another. I prefer the Many Worlds method of time/space travel because it's an internally consistent theory that avoids paradoxes, actual real-life physicists treat it seriously, and Trek's time travel is inconsistent and incoherent anyway and therefore can't be used as a standard for anything. I'm happy to see them jettison all that reset button nonsense.

    One of my pet theories is that Star Trek time travel has always worked under Many World's logic, it's just that they never realized it. Like so:

    1. Starfleet crew accidentally travels to the past or future.

    2. Either they step on the wrong butterfly in the past, or they see that the future isn't to their liking; either way, they know They Must Make Things Right.

    3. After much ado, they Make Things Right and return to their own time.

    What if they never travelled in their own universe at all, but rather to a parallel universe where of course some details of past or future would be different just because that's the way that universe is.

    Under Many Worlds theory, every possible thing that could happen must happen in one of the infinity of parallel universes. The Borg must take over some universe. If our intrepid crew happens to land in that universe, they will be understandably upset and try to change things, without realizing, this isn't their universe at all, and in fighting the Borg, they are fighting the laws of physics, and anyway there's probably ten trillion realities where the Borg have taken over, so what's one more or less?

    When they return to their own reality and see that everything is all right, they might delude themselves that their actions made everything all right. But isn't it just as likely their own reality was never changed at all, and the reality they left behind hasn't changed either? They have no way of knowing whether they are accomplishing anything at all by their so-called "time travel."

    I think that all possible realities have already been spawned, in which every conceivable thing that could happen, has/is/will happen. With an infinite number of realities already in existence, you can't create another unique reality through time travel; none are left to be created. I think that this is simply the structure of the cosmos.

    I don't think it's possible to travel within your own timeline (due to the grandfather paradox). It is possible to jump realities and end up at another point in that reality's timeline. You might even be able to travel in another reality's timeline, since your grandfather isn't in that timeline and you can't kill him. If the reality happens to be one very close to your own, you might be fooled into thinking you're time travelling within your own reality.

    Ironically, the reality you were born in - where there are places, people and things you might care about safeguarding or rescuing - is the only one you can't change. You can change all the others, but since there are infinite variations on those realities, why bother with any particular one? Save Vulcan and there are twenty quadrillion realities where it still goes kaboom. There's a message in there somewhere...
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
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