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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Devon

    Devon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Yep, that's what I meant with using his knowledge of events in the future.
     
  2. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    If the Prime Universe is gone, then we wouldn't have more TNG-era novels and Star Trek Online. Yet they exist. So there. (That's good enough for me.)
     
  3. EJA

    EJA Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Yes, but how can Spock know that the timelines have split and his home is safe? To him it would look just like all the other instances he knows where his reality was altered by time travel into the past.
     
  4. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Yes, but it's part of the same time-travel incident that brought Spock back. All Spock would need to do is travel an additional 25 years (plus a bit) into the past, to before Nero created the "fork in the road" that led to the altered reality, and prevent that from happening. And logically, knowing all this, he would feel a responsibility to follow through and act on it.

    If they'd just done a complete reboot, no connection to prior Trek, then any fan who cared would still assume it to be an "alternate reality" anyway (albeit without any connection to the original), and they'd still have their clean slate. Seems to me that would've been a lot simpler, and avoided the kinds of problems this thread is discussing.

    Ah, yes. That's ever so much more dramatically satisfying. Our heroes never actually accomplished anything in all their time-travels; they just deluded themselves into thinking they did. :wtf:

    What you're describing here is essentially the Marvel Comics approach to time travel (as retconned into effect in the '70s, anyway), and all it achieves is to leach all the dramatic impact out of time-travel stories while simultaneously making it next to impossible to make sense of what happened in them and what reality the characters are actually inhabiting.

    Excellent point. A lot of posters seem to be looking at this from the mile-high view of how (they think, or the writers say) the timeline works... but what the thread is really asking about is Spock's motivation, and from his point of view, he has every reason to try to fix things.
     
  5. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    To be fair, how do we know what Spock would perceive? For one thing, he is always ALWAYS smarter than the audience, often the talking point and a step ahead of the crew's explanations, and often the first to expect what we the audience consider to be the unexpected. Secondly, a lot can happen off screen -- maybe he's had a variety of time-related adventures that were simply off screen, and as was pointed out, there's a myriad of time travel possibilities out there -- linear and sideways. Lastly, even with the 2nd point, Spock already has experience with alternate timelines: the Mirror Universe. At least as far as I know, he (Spock Prime, that is) hasn't tried to change that.
     
  6. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    And just how the hell is he supposed to fix things? Nero would frag his ass the moment Spock was in Narada's weapons range, remeber his ship from the future blew up. Not to mention Trek time travel except when the Borg did it was never specific date accurate so actually getting there is kind of hard especially since Orci and Kurtzman have thrown out the slingshot around the sun time travel trick.
     
  7. EJA

    EJA Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Have they? I didn't notice anything in the film to imply this. IMO there's no reason to assume that particular method of time travel is no longer possible.
     
  8. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    By the time Spock gets close to an opportunity to change things, he sees that the changes are irriversible. He can't bring Vulcan back without the Grandfather Paradox coming into play.

    Even without the Alternate Reality, the change is obviously irriversible. Therefore, Time Travel simply would not be a viable option.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    How can he stop Nero from before he arrives? Everything changes when Nero arrives. Before there's nothing to change. His only option would be destroy Nero when he pops out of the black hole. (And add a third Spock to the timeline). Of course the Kelvin is still there and at risk. I dont know he has the tech to destroy the Narada.
     
  10. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    It came up in one of the writers Q&A sessions.
     
  11. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    And in such cases, his thinking is then explained to the audience so that the story makes sense. That didn't happen here; hence the very question that animates this thread.

    Assuming facts not in evidence, so not a very persuasive argument.

    No, but he tried to get home from it, which he also doesn't do here.

    So what? That doesn't establish anything authoritative about what's true in-universe. We've seen the technique on screen multiple times, so we know it works. Indeed, the very fact that O&K took such pains to (ostensibly) link this story to prior Trek canon means they can't say the technique doesn't work in this universe (as they could have if they'd just done a clean reboot).

    You keep saying this, but you still haven't explained your reasoning. (And it certainly isn't "obvious.") From a given point in the future, Nero and Spock both traveled backward. Nero arrived in 2233, at which point the timeline branched off/altered; Spock arrived in 2258. Prior to 2233, however, both timelines still share a common past. All Spock has to do is travel back to that period and devise some way to defeat Nero at the known moment of his emergence. Result: the Kelvin survives, the divergence doesn't occur, and everything snaps back to the familiar history. No paradoxes are involved, of the grandfather variety or otherwise.

    It's the same sort of approach he and Kirk took in "City" and he took solo in "Yesteryear," in both cases successfully restoring the timeline, even without the advantage of the considerable foreknowledge he'd have in this case. (The latter apparently turned out to be a predestination paradox, but even so the solution worked at achieving the desired goal.)
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Spock just needs to make sure Nero gets hit by a truck.
     
  13. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    If Spock goes back to a time before 2233, via ANY means, he will then create a divergent timeline in which he will exist.

    It would not affect the timeline created in 2233.

    Since either the Prime Reality, nor the Alternate Reality established Stardate 2233.04 would change, the exercise would be pointless from Spock's perspective.
     
  14. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Once again, I don't follow your reasoning here.

    Your premise seems to be that the very act of time travel into the past immediately and irrevocably creates an alternate timeline, and therefore that any attempt to undo a "previous" time alteration is inherently futile.

    If this were true, however, it would invalidate essentially every time-travel story we've ever seen on Star Trek.

    You may argue, of course, that O&K are "correct" in their assertion that the MWI governs everything and thus that all those past adventures involved our heroes jumping around from one timeline to another, without ever actually correcting anything or getting back "home." I think that's an unnecessary idea in scientific terms and an idiotic one in narrative terms, but regardless... even if it were true, it'd be moot here.

    Why? Because we're talking about what Spock's motivated to do, and from his point of view, all those past time-correcting jaunts worked. Spock, based on subjective experience, has no reason to share the writers' perspective and every reason to think the exact opposite.

    Let me return to my "fork in the road metaphor." There's a road: that's your "prime" timeline. Someone comes along and starts digging up and paving a fork that moves off from it in a different direction: that's your "alternate" timeline. The original road still exists where it was (per the terms O&K themselves laid out!), but once you've set off along the new fork, you can no longer get to it. However, you can travel back along the road to a point before the fork -- where there's still just one road, a common past -- and do something to stop the guy who started the fork. (Disable his earth-moving equipment, whatever. The metaphor gets strained.) Taking this trip back into the common past does not automatically create a new fork on which you're once again trapped. You seem to be assuming it does, but that's an unwarranted assumption.

    This is perfectly legitimate plan of action, based on all available prior evidence about temporal mechanics in the Trek universe, and all of Spock's knowledge of same. (Consider "Trials and Tribble-ations," to add another example to the time-travel episodes I've already mentioned. It worked exactly like that. Arne Darvin went back to change things, the DS9 crew also went back and worked to stop him, and the timeline remained unaltered.)

    Moreover, Spock could hardly ask for a more advantageous position. He knows the exact time and place of Nero's arrival. He knows Nero's capabilities, and his motivations (such as they are), and his weaknesses. He has the full resources of 23rd-century Starfleet at his disposal, as well as all the additional knowledge he possesses from an additional 130 years of experience with temporal mechanics. It would make all the sense in the world for him to try to go back and prevent the timeline alteration that led to the deaths of billions and the destruction of one of the Federation's founding planets (and also, by the by, ruined the childhood of his best friend).

    So why doesn't he at least attempt it?

    This is not a trivial question.
     
  15. Immolatus

    Immolatus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    maybe its not spock but really a changeling and doesn't give a damn
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Well, the movie's writers supplied the story for IDW Comics' "Countdown" and Picard, La Forge and Data (and an unconscious Worf) are still alive and kicking after Nero and Spock vanished into the black hole.
     
  17. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Land of Illusion
    Why doesn't Spock Prime go back in time to save Vulcan?

    Because this tale updates the way time travel stories are told to align with current scientific theory on the subject. Specifically; his trying to repair things would only create another new timeline.

    Forget the Single Timeline as you have known it, we ain't going back. I embrace it, goodbye Reset Button forever!
     
  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Exactly. Which is why I said this:

    Whether the OP gets this or not is not my problem.
     
  19. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    BINGO !!!!
    Not really. But it DOES shed an unexpected light on events.
    I'm a Programmer, not a physicist.
    I say this is incorrect. He simply cannot correct for 25 years of changes. He cannot, for instance, bring back Vulcan or George Kirk Sr.
    This is true.
    Actually, it does. The MOMENT you arrive back in time, there are at minimum two possibilities: One where you're not there, the other where you are. That is actually how Time Travel works under MWI.
    Just plain incorrect. It actually DOES work that way.
    The cat was still in the box. If we look at The Trouble With Tribbles, we see that:

    a) Nothing was established about an explosion off the station.
    b) In TOS, we never see Ben Sisko on the Enterprise.
    c) It was NOT Miles OBrien who got in trouble after the brawl.

    Therefore, a visual clue here helps support the idea of an Alternate Reality.
    Spock is not stupid. Since this timeline already exists, he's seen a few things that are different.
    It isn't. But even if you are correct, this is basically Monday-Morning quarterbacking, and it assumes Spock would think of it.
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    In "Yesteryear" (TAS), Spock attempts to reset a timeline and save himself and his mother, but permits a new timeline - where his pet sehlat died decades earlier than it should have - to continue. So where do you draw the line? Go back again and try to save the pet, and risk changing something else? Go back and save the mother and risk losing the father this time?

    Have you ever seen "The Butterfly Effect" with Ashton Kutcher?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.