Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ThatsMrCaptaintoyou, Apr 4, 2021.
Of course there is always the Earth defense system mentoned in the movie.
...And DS9 then shows that such systems will cut a thousand starships to duranium toothpicks unless somebody finds a way to pull the plug. So we have our answer for "why no constant planeticide even in major wars?" right there.
Intercept would be a matter of speed. V'Ger might simply have been too fast, several times faster than any projected Klingon invasion fleet, and thus defeated a doctrine where Starfleet pulls its forces from their busy assignments everywhere and mounts an increasingly strong defense as the Klingons penetrate deeper.
For a big peacetime navy that was heavily tasked with policing the sea lanes and supporting far-flung colonies, I tend to look at the late Victorian Royal Navy. In that era, the force was about one-third cruisers of various sizes, and the battle line half or maybe two-thirds of the cruiser number, depending on how you want to count reserves. By WW1 the cruisers' role had been pretty much reduced to working with the battle force, and the two types are closer to parity. Of course by then the destroyer was firmly established and could take over some of the peacetime duties that had formerly gone to the small cruisers, so maybe Starfleet has destoyers (or corvettes or frigates or what you prefer) that handle some of the burden of policing and patrol, leaving the bigger jobs to the cruisers.
I think we're all on similar pages. Whether we take the numbers from Hornblower-era, mid-Victorian or late Victorian, the numbers come out pretty similarly, and cruisers have a role similar to that of the Enterprise.
In the 21st century it seems the US cruisers' days are numbered. There are only twenty-one Ticonderogas still in service and eleven of them are slated for retirement by 2026. With no current replacement program in the works, it would be the mid-2030s at least before a new class could even be in service. If the Navy goes that way at all.
Well you'd think that the Federation would have more than twelve or thirteen Starships wouldn't you!!! But in the original series we never see anything else and any other ships that turn up or are being looked for are Merchant ships or the like or Freighters! In TNG era we see a Borg Cube destroy forty Federation and Klingon ships at wolf 359 and from voyager we learn there were Romulan vessels in there too so maybe even a century after TOS things hadn't worked out better! Maybe their politicians are as inept as 'ours' and they closed all the shipyards for monetary concerns too?
Then again, pretty much every USN non-flattop surface combatant out there is a Ticonderoga-analogue anyway; the Navy fights with twenty carriers, some random 'gators, and then some ninety cruisers, of which some seventy are arbitrarily called "destroyers".
If it is felt one day that a destroyer-only navy doesn't sound prestigious enough, it's back to the seventies and suddenly every ship is a cruiser again.
@LOL the seventies was a one-time bit of political theater which occurred because the American Navy called their ships by different names than what the rest of the world did. There is no longer a Cold War adversary to compare our terms too.
This was always my take as well. V'Ger was able to go "trans-warp" or something but slowed on approach to the 3 Klingon ships and Epsilon 9 station.
V'Ger would have to be pretty fast to get a good look at the universe before making its triumphant return to Earth, mere 300 years after its conversion into this powerful knowledge-seeker. So yes, slowing down is implied.
But also yes, it probably slowed down before breaching the Klingon/UFP border, since the Klingon ships were able to intercept it. They'd just have gotten a bit luckier with having three ships in range, rather than just one. The way Trek maps are currently drawn, V'Ger probably dropped out of superhyperspeed close to Qo'noS, in the best-defended core regions of the Empire - and then moved out, making an early intercept likely and any bringing in of reinforcements exceedingly unlikely, in a mirror of the UFP defensive position.
Yet even warp seven, something individual starships could match, would probably suffice to defeat those UFP defenses. Starfleet would expect advance warning of any Klingon invasion, and OTOH Klingons are known to stop for rest and recuperation even during Blitzkrieg ("Errand of Mercy") or surprise invasion ("Way of the Warrior")... A Klingon warfleet wouldn't just cross the border and proceed straight to Earth at warp seven, so there'd be time to amass the defenses against them.
One would still expect Starfleet to be able to put something in V'Ger's path in the time allotted. It's just that the Klingons already did that, and a fat lot of good it did! So what Starfleet needs to do is put the superweapon known as Jim Kirk in that path, and there's no point in vectoring in any sacrificial starships before that can be arranged.
^ You lost me here. If Starfleet could dispatch another ship, it absolutely would in a heartbeat.
1) Delay tactic
2) Intelligence gathering
3) Possible success without resorting to the "superweapon" Kirk
There are absolutely many reasonable points for vectoring in any starships - sacrificial or not.
If three Klingon battle cruisers at superangry-suicidal mode achieve less than nothing, what's the delay Starfleet could hope for?
OTOH, perhaps two lesser ships and a dinghy were indeed sent. Since they would achieve nothing, they wouldn't really warrant a mention, either. And Kirk had already seen the demoralizing effect of informing his crew of V'Ger-inflicted casualties; he wouldn't assemble them at the Rec Deck again.
You are confusing perspectives. We know it would not have made a difference in the least, but in their POV, they could not have known and it would make no sense NOT to try if they could evean as "superweapon" Kirk was being scrambled out of San Fran..
Which is why it makes the most sense that V'Ger was traveling too fast towards Earth so that no other ship could possibly vector in after the Cloud paused to contact Epsilon 9. As originally stated and agreed here.
Why would Starfleet not have been aware that three battle cruisers is too little? That's the exact specific bit of intel they had.
Of course it makes sense to not try. That's what you do with unstoppable enemies: you retreat and regroup until you can meet them in strength. Otherwise you just give an easy victory to the enemy by allowing yourself to be defeated in detail.
V'Ger being too fast in absolute terms is the bit that doesn't work. We know Klingons intercepted it. So we know Klingons can travel at that speed. Starfleet must be capable of the same if it hopes to stop Klingons. So it cannot be a matter of speed alone - it must be a matter of deployment patterns and doctrines that somehow conspire to prevent Starfleet from stopping what is essentially just a funnily shaped Klingon invasion fleet coming from the direction of the Empire.
Sure, we could argue the speed of V'Ger varied further. But if it somehow went faster, then this would be immensely relevant to Kirk's attempt at intercept, and would be foremost in the dialogue: "It's now moving towards us at warp 18. Let's scrap this mission and start evacuating Earth instead." At most, V'Ger can go slower at times, such as when offing Epsilon 9.
It's harder to compare Hornblower-era numbers because that was a wartime navy in a period when the peacetime service would be drastically reduced. In that period the fleet was almost half frigates and sloops, which would probably be a range from cruiser to frigate today. The 1805 fleet went from 508 vessels in commission with about 46% cruising vessels to an 1820 fleet of 127 that was 89% cruising vessels!
Yep. The cruiser line of development ended with Long Beach, and the name was picked up by big destroyers. But that line was only about 50 years old at that point, and we're going on 46 years since the big DLG/CG switch. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised if a nifty handle like "cruiser" gets passed along to some other type again.
As faras I rmember, the only specific speed of V'ger mentioned in the movie is warp factor seven.
And much later V'ger slows down when approaching Earth.
According to the official TOS war scale, which is not exactly canon, but close to canon, warp speeds equal the speed of light muliplied by the warp factor cubed. And of course there are questions about ohow such speeds fit the episodes.
In any case, warp facotor seven equals the sped of light times seven cubed, or 343 times the speed of light.
If V'ger traveled 343 times the speed of light, lt would travel 343 light years in one year, 3,430 light years in one decade, and 34,300 light years in one century.
So if "more than three hundred years" is between 300 and 400 years, and V'ger can travel at about 343 light years per year, the maximum distance V'ger could have traveled since being launched would be 102,900 to 137,200 light years.
So the galacitic barrier around the Milky Way Galaxy probably hugs the surfaces of the galactic disc of the Milky Way Galaxy. It is possible that V'ger could have possibly have entered the disc of the Milky Way Galaxy thorugh the galactic barrier. But there is no evidence that it did so. Thus it s possible that V'Ger has been heading to Earth from some point within the galactic disc of the for 300 to 400 years - or perhaps only for a proportion of that time span,. Voyager 6 might have spent years, decades, or even over a century wandering space before finding the Machine Planet, and then being rebuilt from Voyager 6 into v'ger. at the Machine Planet.
So is it possible for someplace within the galactic disc of the Milky Way Galaxy to be 102,900 to 137,200 light years from Earth - or maybe a much smaller distance?.
According to Wikipedia:
Since the diameter of the galactic disc of the Milky Way Galaxy has often been given as about 100,00 light years, the farthest that any place within the galactic disc can be would seem to be about 72,860 light years, a distance which V'ger could travel in 212.419 years..
So if the Machine Planet was directly across the galactic center from Earth, and was at the outer edge of the galactic disc, The galactic disc would have a radius of about 75,760 to 110,060 light years, and thus a diameter of about 151,520 to 220,120 light years for the Machine Planet to be 102,900 to 137,200 light yearsfrom Earth.
And if V'ger took many years, or decades to wander to the Machine pPlanet and be rebuilt, it might have traveled a much smaller distance at warp factor seven than 102,900 to137,200 light years.
Why would Kirk think that a black hole womrhole which could lead to anywhere would lead to "the far side of the galaxy" instead of to any other place in the universe?
Possibly because the speed at whcih V'ger was observed to travel, warp factor seven, was a speed which the Enterprise could travel at, and so Kirk must have sometimes idly calculated how far the Enterprise could travel in a decade, a century, or a millennium, at warp factor seven, and how long it would take the Enterprise to reach the Magellanic Clouds, or the Andromeda Galaxy, at warp factor seven.
Thus when Kirk learned that V'ger was a very enhanced Voyager 6 which had been launched "over three hundred years ago" Kirk could immediately get a rough idea of how far V'ger could have traveled in that time.
And Kirk certainly knew what direction V'ger was reported to be coming from. If V'ger was coming from a dirction which was within the galactic disc and thus a direction very close the plane of the galactic disc, Kirk would naturally assume that V'ger was coming from some palce within the galactic disc.. And in my opinion V'ger probably was also reported to be coming from a direction very cloe to the direction to Saggittarus A West, the supergiant black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
So my opinion is that V'ger was reported to be coming from the direction of the galactic center. And considering how long V'ger had been gone, and how fast it was travelling, V'ger probably came from beyond the galactic center, from somewhere that can be considered part of "the far side of the galaxy".
So it is my opinion that V'ger was coming from the Machine Planet, straight to Earth, and that the Machine Planet was on the far side of the galaxy, beyond the galactic center, and almost directly across the galactic center from Earth.
What? Who said that? Not me.
If you say so. Why send any other ships? We have "superweapon" Kirk. If I saw this the way you do, I would not like this movie near as much as I do.
No we don't. We know the Klingons interacted with it.
They are not mutually exclusive - in fact, those two factors are always linked as one and the same.
What? What doctrines? What?
Nope, under my hypothesis it slowed to warp 7 as it came in as the movie tells us it did.
V'Ger was hyper-warp speed through the Beta and most of Alpha Quadrants making all starships ineffective and incapable of intercepting it. It slowed to sub-light vs. Klingons and Epsilon 9 and cruised towards Earth at warp 7 in the last 2 day stretch allowing Kirk to quickly get the Enterprise and go see what's up.
In the modern US Navy, the role of cruiser had transitioned to a command role for the battle space. That role seems to be destined for the Burkes (especially since Congress gutted funding for the Future Large Surface Combatant Program.) The Constellation-class frigates are slated to start construction this year, and while there is a certain amount of development underway for a Burke replacement, there is none for the Ticos (other than more Burkes.) While I agree that Burkes are arguably "cruisers" in all but name, the Navy is seems determined to stick with the "destroyer" moniker for the foreseeable future.
Umm, what? That's exactly what you said: "they couldn't have known". They did watch the video so they did know - to wit, the minimum strength you need to make an impact. Or, more accurately, the maximum strength that still doesn't make an impact of any sort. That is, nothing on that video or its later onscreen commentary suggests V'Ger would have slowed down for the "fight", just like nothing about Kirk's travels within the multi-AU cloud later on suggests V'Ger would be traveling more slowly to allow for Kirk's movements.
The take-home message from the video is not "if we somehow manage to send four of our own battle cruisers, perhaps the beast will then slow down a bit". It's more like "Uh, until we can gather fifty starships, slowing down is off the menu altogether". So they have to try something else. Can they try it with random ships and people, or do they need something specific?
The movie works if Starfleet decides that the something specific they need is Kirk, who previously managed to talk invincible foes to destruction on multiple occasions. It doesn't work quite as well if Starfleet thinks a random skipper could rise to the occasion and achieve a Kirk and for that reason should be sent in harm's way. But Starfleet is an organization that has been fighting weird space monsters for 200 years - and it still thinks Kirk is special. So it probably has authentic knowledge there.
You mean they didn't reach it by warping to it? That it instead warped to the trio of ships, like it warped to Epsilon 9? To seek knowledge on Klingons?
A good idea that removes some of the limiting parameters on the scenario. It's just that if Klingons can't intercept the thing, Starfleet then shouldn't delude itself into thinking it could, either: the right choice would be to remain on Earth orbit for a last stand. So even if V'Ger did help out the Klingons there, Starfleet must never learn about it, and it cannot affect their decisions.
The immense problem with any varying-speed scenario is that if it involves speeds in excess of this warp 7, it makes intercept hopeless at a fundamental level. Any model where our heroes could plausibly be in the (likely false) belief that V'Ger is interceptable is to be preferred here. But what models can we have?
1) The heroes would be totally unaware of hypersuperduperwarp. This is acceptable since the first they hear of the cloud is when the Klingons fight it. But the reason they would then believe that it can be intercepted would be that they believe the Klingons intercepted it. They mustn't be dissuaded of that belief at any point. So we're at a Goldilocks situation here: V'Ger has to be faster in observed practice, and on average, than an invading Klingon armada at a strategic level, but not too fast at any point for individual starships to intercept it.
2) The heroes would suspect hypersuperduperwarp. They could still send Kirk and hope they are wrong about the speed thing, but they wouldn't waste any other assets on such a bet when they could be sent rushing to defend Earth instead.
The former model probably better accounts for the apparent fact that no starships reach Earth despite the preferability of gathering all ships there. Perhaps Starfleet still thought V'Ger would be like a Klingon armada, and vectored its starships so that they would mount an increasingly effective defense in depth - meaning every single starship was late since V'Ger was that doctrinal tad faster than an armada, even if theoretically defending Earth just as planned. Only ships vectored to meet V'Ger head on would dodge the being-late issue, and so Kirk's was it.
We still have to accept that the very existence of other ships can go unmentioned in the movie, save for the initial "we're the only starship within intercept range" remark. So it's not particularly difficult to further accept that those other ships are making all sorts of efforts, but ones that everybody recognizes will be futile and irrelevant. We don't need to hear that the Hood will be late from intercept despite trying, that the Extravagant just blew up trying to beat speed records to get there, or that the Sixth Fleet will be assembled from its peacetime deployments just in time to save Earth if V'Ger agrees to wait for 18 hours. But no matter what, there's the lingering issue of an invader from Klingon space making it to Earth unopposed despite not being supernaturally fast; it's all Goldilocks where "slightly faster than predicted" must cinch the issue.
That's not particularly unrealistic, either. US mainland defenses against nuclear bombers in the 1950s depended on certain assumptions about Soviet bomber speeds. Those assumptions were false or outdated, and US mainland defenses could not have coped with the Soviet nuclear bombers of the day (and it was a rather good thing that assumptions about the very existence of those bombers, in the numbers needed, were also false!). The US still didn't give itself any slack, but created the best intercept system it possibly could. It just wasn't enough, by a slght margin.
Movie plots relying on Goldilocks are somewhat unsatisfactory. But not fundamentally poor: something depending on the stars aligning just right has extra justification for being a rare and remarkable event, while something that could happen basically any day begs the question of why it hasn't happened already and why anybody would have difficulty coping with something so mundane...
Hahaha. Imagine being THIS invested in deconstructing a fan hypothesis to answer why the Enterprise ALONE had to go and Earth was not able to evacuate.
No it doesn't. Not when the trajectory is determined to be Earth once it enters the Alpha Quadrant heading for Epsilon 9. Knowing the destination allows far more vectors than not knowing it. You do realize that a slower object can reach a spot sooner than a faster object using basic trig, yes? Especially since the slower object is starting from the spot the faster object wants to get TO in the first place, right?
A criticism for me? When your idea is that Starfleet just wants to hold everyone back and use Kirk as the "One" a la Matrix, Babylon 5, etc? Irony thick as syrup here.
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