first contact phoenix landing capability?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by tavor, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And he said he doesn't like to fly, he takes trains. That means there is an infrastructure in place that can still operate them.

    Also, we know from an early TNG episode that the USA survives the war. There is a 52-star flag in that episode which is said to come from sometime between 2033 and 2079. The war took place in 2053, so therefore the USA was one of the survivors.

    FWIW.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or then not, and he's just referring to those things that existed back when going places still was a thing.

    This doesn't require any specific building, person or organization within the US to survive, though. Might be the place was a total loss and a bunch of Indonesians moved in.

    The more solid proof comes from us actually seeing the US cities in the 22nd, 23rd and 24th centuries, all intact. And only New Orleans might be considered a replica, rebuilt after total loss - the others feature a mix of old and new buildings, which would be quite out of place in a replica. If all those cities survived, while Riker specifically characterizes WWIII as the one that leveled all the cities, then the US survival here must be seen as the physical survival of a victor or bystander.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    How many American cities have we seen in (non-time-travel) Star Trek, though? San Francisco is the big one, and New Orleans, as you mention, but checking MA for some of the other big ones, it seems they're thin on the ground. It looks like aside from being listed as a birthplace, the only mention of New York city was Harry Kim going to Juilliard. Boston has a contemporary mention in Voyager, though "Future's End" states that Los Angeles was completely destroyed by an earthquake shortly before World War III. Dr. Crusher studied dance in St. Louis, and DSC mentioned Ash Tyler (ostensibly) grew up in a suburb of Seattle.

    So it seems like the only American city that we know survived (or had a significant number of landmarks rebuilt) is San Francisco. Many haven't been mentioned, and nearly all are totally unseen. We can assume the Vulcans helped out with decontamination and cleanup, so for all we know any or every other major American city mentioned could've been destroyed and in Trek is totally different, or rebuilt with a handful of landmarks recreated for sentimental reasons.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think we're underestimating just how long it would take to completely rebuild a city from scratch. Look how long it takes today just to build one skyscraper. We're talking years, if not decades. A whole CITY? That's a whole 'nother bag of snakes. I'd estimate that it would take at least a hundred years to completely rebuild a major city, like New York or Boston, from the ground up. And that's in a world that HASN'T suffered World War III of all things. Factor the war into the mix, and it'd be all but impossible.

    (Something like Independence Day: Resurgence gets a free pass, though, since it's just a straight-up fantasy without a shred of verisimilitude. And if pressed for details, they could always say they used alien technology to rebuild the cities.)

    I agree, absolutely, that the Vulcans must have helped in the cleanup. There's literally no other way that Earth could have possibly recovered from a global thermonuclear war in less than a hundred years.

    And there's one other mentioning of New York City that I'm aware of: Trip Tucker said he's been there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  5. uniderth

    uniderth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I like the reentry capsule idea, but not quite as much as there being some sort of space infrastructure that allowed them to return. Do we even know how they entered the Phoenix? There has to be a hatch somewhere.

    Also, Timo, seriously, almost all my replies are to you. haha

    I agree that it's odd and so perhaps the assumption that they had artificial gravity is a false one. In both cases the ships were close to our hero ship. Perhaps they "beamed" over gravity somehow. Or my favorite is that they began towing each object at 9.8 m/s^2. Since 90's era artificial gravity is such an outlier and There are alternative explanations I think we can dismiss it.

    I'd like to think there is considerable space infrastructure at this time. The fact that we didn't observe anything in the vastness of space doesn't mean it can be dismissed as a possibility.

    I love this idea. It makes tons of sense.

    [/quote]Or then they observed the launch. I mean, they were there to spy on Earth, despite their lies. Just rewind the sensor logs.[/quote]

    What lies?

    We know that in "First Contact" it says the Vulcanians were "passing through" the solar system, detected the warp signature and altered course to make first contact. They could have been passing right by earth at that exact moment and altered course to enter orbit.

    Unless the Phoenix was on a million kilometer long parabolic trajectory, any sort of orbital maneuvering is going to require that large engine. Also landing all of that dead weight is going to be a huge waste of fuel.

    Yes, but hovercar doesn't necessarily mean anti-gravity.

    Yes, his willingness to abandon the Phoenix shows that it wasn't as important to him at this point as later generations made it out to be.

    Or he traditionally rode trains during at least some point in his life prior to everything going to hell.

    Well, Riker says that MOST major cities are destroyed so I guess it depends on you definition of "major city." and at the same time it doesn't take a nuclear blast to destroy a major city. Just cut power and cities will tear themselves apart in no time, leaving most buildings intact.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not merely many, but a range of those. If we know the old buildings of cities as diverse in importance as San Francisco, New Orleans and Boston all still stand, and indeed no Earth skyline in Star Trek ever fails to show prewar buildings, then it appears that all cities were equally protected or perhaps equally untargeted. But the US didn't stay out of the war - Sloan thinks there's a renewed ECON attack. So apparently the US shot down all enemy missiles or whatever, not just over the best-protected cities but also over targets of tertiary importance at best.

    Well, all of "southern California"...

    But those don't mean the cities survived. Might be everybody died, and a new city by the same name was built fifty miles from the smoking pit. The visual evidence is more compelling. Why rebuild "landmarks" like the dump in which Barclay lives? And if you rebuild, why do you then ruin the effect with modern construction?

    Well, both spacecraft were built with onboard gravity in mind - no handholds or footholds, thus consoles you couldn't operate unless you had gravity. Or magnetic boots, but those wouldn't help Khan and his cohorts stay on their mattresses, or their bodily fluids flowing as required.

    But 2060s warp drive is an outlier, too. As are pointy-eared aliens. Trek is one big outlier, resting on assumptions such as humans cleverly inventing stuff.

    Well, superfast, supercapacious interplanetary travel was such old news in the 1990s already that they were retiring ancient junk like the Botany Bay. And then it got markedly better in 2018 somehow. I'd very much think there'd be something up there to show for all that.

    But there weren't colonies on Mars, for some reason. Possibly because with the superships, humans could reach to places that were actually interesting, such as the moons of the gas giants?

    Well, Troi's. She claimed the Vulcans were "passing through", which is astronomically impossible: you don't get into a star system unless you mean to go there and do something with it. Vulcans might have been studying Martians or mining Ganymede or pursuing a Tellarite burglar trying to hide in the clouds of Venus, but we already know they were in the habit of spying on Earth a century prior, and they seem obsessed about humans in the 22nd century...

    I doubt fuel or propellant would be an issue - if the lower half of a Titan-sized rocket can lift the upper half to Earth escape trajectory, then there's supertech involved, quite possibly enough to allow the rocket to go to Mars and back if needed. I mean, what does USAF have missiles for, at that time and age? If state of the art spacecraft are swift interplanetary, then the missiles might need to be, too, to strike at space targets. And conversely, if that Titan was merely intended to be intercontinental, why waste the supertech on its lower stage?

    It more or less means the ability to float the Phoenix, though.

    Certainly it would be difficult to find a "major city" in North America today, and probably harder still in the real 2050s (and possibly in the Trek ones).

    But the idea of folks just abandoning cities is a very nice way to reconcile with minor property damage, the as such minor 600,000,000 death toll, and the global scale and crippling nature of the war.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    New Orleans resident here, what in the episode makes you think it's a replica? Discounting the fact that they filmed on the back-lot so it doesn't actually match the architecture of the French Quarter. On a related note I always get a kick out of the horse and carriage, they use mules for the carriages in the Quarter not horses.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's not what I said. What I said is that it's the only one that could plausibly be a replica.

    If WWIII reduces all US cities to rubble, and the surviving mutant zombies decide to rebuild - yet not merely rebuild, but to painstakingly recreate in the old style - then the New Orleans we see in DS9 is the only one that could have been rebuilt that way. All other US cities in Trek show invasive construction of modern buildings that would ruin the replica effect and make the whole project unviable (because if you're so well off that you can spend time and resources replicating, rather than just housing the poor survivors, you won't settle for half-measures).

    Of course, even this is only because the DS9 New Orleans was the one US city shown without a skyline, merely portrayed by close shots of a backlot. Were they to have shown a skyline, they would no doubt have matted in a couple of weirdly shaped glass towers for effect.

    All this just goes to show that most of the portrayal of future US cities is incompatible with the idea of replicas, and only New Orleans might barely qualify if one really insisted. And even if one did, this still wouldn't carry the idea that all or most US cities were leveled and then rebuilt.

    Cool and curious! Perhaps all mules died in WWIII? (Or were outlawed in the aftermath of the Eugenics Wars?)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I see what you are saying now. Personally, I'm not a fan of the concept of replica cities. Especially in the case of New Orleans where the value is that the Quarter managed to survive mostly intact. A replica is pointless.

    I think the real issue is with how we interpret Riker's line:
    "Most of the major cities have been destroyed. There are few governments left. Six hundred million dead."

    I think you might be on to something here. Did he really mean destroyed, as in damaged beyond repair, or did he just mean heavily damaged and evacuated, but repairable.
     
  10. uniderth

    uniderth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not opposed to reinterpreting his line to mean 600 million dead on the first strike, but billions later died from the fallout and ensuing chaos.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why should more than 600,000,000 people die at all? That's not a particularly realistic casualty figure from WWIII if it happened today, or in the 1970s. Or if it happened in "our" 2050s, certain Trek divergences notwithstanding.

    I mean, mortality rate of humans is 100%. Everybody alive at the time of the war dies. But hastening of their deaths is unlikely to be significant beyond the figure given - and you'd need to level sixty cities of the ten million mark that would best serve to separate "small" (every city on US soil, known not to have been lost) from "major" (cities like Mexico City, Cairo, Beijing etc.). Earth in the 2050s might well have 60 "major" cities when it today has perhaps fifteen. But we know the war is "nuclear" (or at least includes a "nuclear winter" afterwards), and such a war wouldn't hurt people outside cities much. (Except through said winter, but if it really made crops fail for several years on end, Earth should be free of the human scourge now, rather than back to billions just a century later. Probably it was more like a nuclear late autumn in the end. I mean, Bozeman, Montana isn't particularly desolate ten years after the war.)

    600 million is "too much" already in the sense that Spock in "Bread and Circuses" said it was 37 million. He underestimates the combat dead of WWI and WWII by half or so in the same statement; if he uses the same criteria, the total dead from weapons use shouldn't go past a hundred million, but then again, nuclear weapons would have a more devastating effect overall. Perhaps Spock counted dead combatants, and WWIII is more civilian-casualty-heavy? But that would hardly be a sensible criterion for him to use in the context. Of course, given the 50% disagreement with "our" history, he could be ignoring the dead soldiers instead, and counting only the innocent. But no WWIII can kill 563 million soldiers - there aren't that many even in China!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Spock is speaking in context of McCoys comment about slavery, gladiatorial games, despotism, so maybe he's only counting deaths for people who experienced those things. So counting only deaths of powers that were dictatorships during the war, that gets him close to the 5.9 million civilian and military Central Powers deaths in WWI (not counting the flu epidemic). And I'm having trouble with exact numbers at the moment for WWII but Axis Powers civilian and military plus the holocaust should get you around 11 million, but I'm not sure if I'm counting some people twice.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's a bit artificial to separate the sides of WWI along those lines - Britain was every bit as despotic as Germany at the time, and probably a greater proponent of slavery and gladiatorial games overall (thanks to tolerating those in a wider range of colonial holdings, as long as it could assign the practices nicer names).

    The sides of WWII are more easily delineated in that two out of three prominent combatants, Germany and Japan, were big on slavery on one side while only one prominent combatant, the USSR, was big on slavery on the other. But analogies to this pseudo-Rome and its slave class are a bit stretched as WWII (mostly) only involved slavery in the sense of forced labor of defeated enemies.

    In the end, though, it's the alien Spock making these assessments, and he might have alien ideas or downright misconceptions. Such as the Earth's last World War being fought in the 1990s...

    (I wonder how often Spock simply pulls numbers and their decimals out of his ass, figuring they have zero relevance to the adventure at hand anyway?)

    Timo Saloniemi