New and Improved Star Trek Movie FAQ - v 2.1.1

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by cardinal biggles, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Patron Saint of Dangerous Driving Premium Member

    Sep 7, 2001

    Originally compiled by Lord Garth
    Revised by cardinal biggles
    Version 1.0 — June 4, 2006
    Version 1.1 — May 20, 2007
    Version 1.2 — January 4, 2009
    Version 1.2.5 — July 29, 2009
    Version 2.0 — January 19, 2017
    Version 2.1 — August 14, 2019
    Version 2.1.1 — December 8, 2019
    Lord Garth offered special thanks to cardinal biggles for his encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek movies, Zeppster for the encouragement to type this, and Sir Rhosis who planted that insane idea into his head in the first place.

    cardinal biggles offers special thanks to Lord Garth for doing the main grunt work on this FAQ all those years ago; I would never have had the patience to see it through.

    The purpose of this FAQ is to provide information about questions asked frequently. It's not intended to be comprehensive and assumes you're already familiar with the movies. Categories are divided by subject.

    Discussion of the "Kelvinverse"/"Abramsverse" Star Trek films belongs in the Kelvin Universe Forum. This forum remains for discussion of the six TOS movies and four TNG movies.

    Table of Contents
    Part I. Khan
    Part II. Saavik
    Part III. Timeline
    Part IV. Uniforms/Ranks
    Part V. People
    Part VI. Miscellaneous

    Part I. Khan (Ricardo Montalban)

    1. Is that really Ricardo Montalban's chest?
    Yes, believe it or not, it is. He was in pretty good shape.
    2. Khan had a baby?
    There is a picture of a small child in the transporter room of the Reliant when Khan detonates the Genesis Device which has circulated around the Internet. The child was part of the film's shooting script, appearing twice: first, on Ceti Alpha V when Chekov and Terrell explore Khan's shelter (scene 18), and later in the Reliant's transporter room during the Genesis countdown (scene 213A). The scenes were filmed but cut (resulting in some jump cuts and looped dialogue between Chekov and Terrell), and the script was not clear who the child's parents were.
    3. How does Khan know about Klingon proverbs?
    "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold" is actually a French proverb but, if the Klingons had a similar proverb, by coincidence, then it's possible that Khan got the information while he was reading the Enterprise's computer library in "Space Seed".
    4. How does Khan know Chekov in The Wrath of Khan?
    Quite right. "Space Seed" was a first season episode and Chekov wasn't introduced until the second. Two common rationalizations are that Chekov was in the lowerdecks at the time or that he just wasn't seen. Any other rationalizations can be used as well. Although not canon, Greg Cox's 2005 novel To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh has a brief scene at the beginning of the book with Chekov assigned by Kirk to give supplies and a phaser to Khan and his followers before the Enterprise warps away.

    Part II. Saavik (Kirstie Alley, Robin Curtis)

    1. Saavik is half-Romulan?!
    That depends. It's written in the script for TWOK that she's half-Romulan but it's never mentioned on-screen. TSFS and TVH treat Saavik as a full-Vulcan. If you want to use the scripts to fill in gaps, then she's half-Romulan. If you only want to stick to canon (i.e. what's said onscreen), she's not.
    2. Why the change in actresses from TWOK to TSFS?
    Blame Kirstie Alley's agent.
    3. Valeris was originally supposed to be Saavik in TUC?
    Nick Meyer originally wanted to use Saavik in TUC and he wanted to use Kirstie Alley. There were two problems with that: Kirstie Alley had become too expensive (thanks to her co-starring role on Cheers), and Gene Roddenberry was complaining Saavik was a beloved character who shouldn't be in a conspiracy. So, to avoid having to cast Saavik a third time and to make Gene shut up, he changed the name to Valeris and cast Kim Cattrall (his first choice to play Saavik all the way back in 1981).
    4. Did young regenerating Spock and Saavik get it on?
    "It is called pon farr." ;)
    5. Saavik was pregnant with Spock's child?
    That's what's in the commentary for TVH says and is what's implied in cut scenes from the script. Like the half-Romulan story, if you go by the script, then yes, if you go by canon, then no.

    Part III. Timeline

    1. Wait a minute. Are you telling me a decade passed between TMP and TWOK?
    Before I answer, TOS and TOS movie chronologies are among the most hotly debated subjects. Continuing on. TMP is said to take place only two-and-a-half years after the five-year mission. TWOK is stated to take place 15 years after "Space Seed". So imagine the 10-year break Star Trek had in real life as happening between TMP and TWOK instead of between TOS and TMP.
    2. What are the official dates of the TOS movies?
    According to the Star Trek Chronology, written in 1993 by Michael & Denise Okuda, the conjectural dates are:
    • TMP: 2271
    • TWOK: 2285
    • TSFS: 2285
    • TVH: 2286
    • TFF: 2287
    • TUC: 2293
    3. So what's the dispute?
    • TMP taking place 2.5 years after the five-year mission is iron-clad, but the dispute was over whether or not TOS showed the first three years of the five-year mission, the middle three, the last three, or all five in three seasons. There was even debate over what calendar years TOS takes place. VOY's "Q2" states the five-year mission ended in 2270. So, the earliest TMP can take place, canonically, is 2272 or 2273.
    • TWOK, TSFS, TVH, and TFF all take place one right after another, with the longest established gap being between TSFS and TVH (the latter includes Kirk's log entry "We are in the third month of our Vulcan exile"). There are arguments that TWOK takes place in the early-2280's, 2283 at the earliest (based on the vintage of Kirk's Romulan Ale), as well as arguments that TVH takes place in the mid-2280s, specifically 2286. What affects one movie affects all four. Other dates have been suggested as well, but they're all within the 2280s.
    • In TUC, McCoy states he's served aboard the Enterprise for 27 years. It's assumed he's including time off. If the five-year mission started in 2265, then a case can made for 2292. 2291 if McCoy's rounding up and 2293 if McCoy's rounding down.
    4. When do the TNG movies take place?
    This one's much easier:
    • GEN - 2293* and 2371
    • FC - 2373
    • INS - 2375
    • NEM - 2379
    * If you think of TUC as taking place in 2293 then one common thought that goes along with it is that TUC and the 23rd Century porition of GEN take place on opposite ends of the year.

    Part IV. Uniforms/Ranks

    1. Is Scotty a Captain or Commander?
    Scotty is promoted to "Captain of Engineering" in TSFS and wears a Captain's pin on his bomber jacket for most of the movie. He wears a Commander's pin again in TVH. From TFF on, he's back to Captain. Maybe Scotty thought he lost his promotion after stealing the Enterprise and was relieved to find out otherwise when the charges were dropped.
    2. Is Colonel West a marine?
    According to Memory Alpha: "West was named after Lt. Colonel Oliver North, who participated in the Iran–Contra Affair. In fact, West was styled after North and was essentially a thinly veiled political jab made by [writer-director] Nick Meyer."

    As to whether West was a Starfleet Marine, it remains uncertain. There's also the issue of West's uniform: West wears the rank insignia of a Vice Admiral, which would be equivalent to a Lt. General if there were Starfleet Marines and their ranks had the same parallel with Starfleet as the modern-day U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. If West were a Lt. Colonel or Colonel, he should be wearing the insignia of a Commander or Captain.
    3. Who was wearing a DS9 uniform on the set of GEN?
    Riker, Data, Geordi, and then Picard switch over to DS9 uniforms. Since the uniform changes always went from TNG-style to DS9 and not the other way around (though Picard is wearing his TNG movie in the final scene on the wrecked Enterprise bridge), it's speculated that GEN caught the Enterprise-D crew in the middle of a uniform switchover. Only Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner had DS9 uniforms custom made for them; Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton borrowed costumes worn by Avery Brooks and Colm Meaney, which explains why theirs don't fit so well (especially the sleeves).
    4. Why was Worf back in a Starfleet uniform? Didn't John Logan bother to watch DS9?
    In a cut line from NEM, Worf said he wasn't suited to life as an ambassador.

    Part V. People
    For the actors who played Khan and Saavik, see their respective categories

    1. List of major actors/production figures from the films who have passed away:
    • Phillip Richard Allen (Captain Esteban)
    • Dame Judith Anderson (T'Lar)
    • René Auberjonois (Colonel West, extended version of TUC)
    • Majel Barrett (Christine Chapel in TMP & TVH; computer voice in GEN-NEM & ST '09)
    • Harve Bennett (Producer, TWOK-TFF; story, TWOK & TFF; writer/co-writer, TSFS & TVH; "Admiral Bob" in TFF)
    • Bibi Besch (Carol Marcus)
    • Merritt Buttrick (David Marcus)
    • James Doohan (Scotty)
    • Miguel Ferrer (Excelsior first officer/helmsman, TSFS)
    • Denny Martin Flinn (co-writer, TUC)
    • Jerry Goldsmith (composer, TMP, TFF, FC-NEM)
    • James Horner (composer, TWOK & TSFS)
    • DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
    • Persis Khambatta (Ilia)
    • Richard H. Kline (cinematographer, TMP)
    • Mark Lenard (Sarek; Klingon commander in TMP)
    • Barbara March (Lursa)
    • Hal Michelson (production designer, TMP)
    • Mike Minor (production illustrator, TMP; art director, TWOK)
    • Ricardo Montalban (Khan)
    • Leonard Nimoy (Spock; director, TSFS & TVH; story, TVH & TUC; executive producer, TUC)
    • Bob Peak (poster art, TMP-TFF)
    • Brock Peters (Admiral Cartwright)
    • Michael Piller (writer, INS)
    • Gene Roddenberry (producer, TMP)
    • Leonard Rosenman (composer, TVH)
    • Jack B. Sowards (writer, TWOK)
    • Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand)
    • Paul Winfield (Captain Terrell)
    • Robert Wise (director, TMP)
    • Jane Wyatt (Amanda Grayson, TVH)
    2. Why was Judson Scott (a.k.a. "Joachim") uncredited in TWOK?
    Blame it on his agent.

    Part VI. Miscellaneous

    1. How did the Borg Queen survive Wolf 359?
    Presumably every cube has a Borg Queen and, if the Borg have a hive mind, then the information from one Borg Queen would be known by another.
    2. Why is the Klingon blood purple in TUC?
    So Colonel Worf could tell Colonel West's blood wasn't Klingon. True story.
    3. What's with the Klingon under the toppling tree shot in TSFS?
    It's called a blooper.
    4. Will the TMP Director's Edition ever be released on Blu-ray?
    It's possible! During a panel at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con, David Fein (one of the producers of the TMP DE) announced that Paramount Pictures is in official discussions with the TMP DE team to remaster the film for 4K Ultra HD. At this point, these are still just that: talks. The new visual effects created for the DE would have to be re-created (even though the models were of HD quality, the effects were only rendered at standard definition), so a release date is still way off in the future.
    Source: TrekCore

    DISCLAIMER: Permission to reproduce this document anywhere on the Internet is granted so long as the author is credited.

    Suggestions for future updates, though not promised, should be posted in this thread.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  2. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

    May 12, 2001
    Peach Wookiee
    Thank you, Biggles! Stickying this thread now!
  3. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

    Apr 27, 2005
    This in my opinion needs an edit, because its question-and-answer format implicitly suggests that the Okudas were the sources providing "official" dates, given their employment on several Trek series. All they did was to concoct a book that would, and did, sell to a publisher that was pretty confident that Trek fans would find it interesting.

    Moreover, I would respectfully ask for acknowledgment of the fact that any effort to make a coherent chronology is futile. The originators of the series knew about the implications of relativity for interstellar spaceships traveling above light speed. Star dates were invented to get around the problem of episodes sometimes being shown "out of order" by NBC, and had the side benefit of obscuring the relativity problem and not needing to provide Earth years for present-day events. Quoting from Roddenberry in The Making of Star Trek:

    Unfortunately, however, the episodes are not aired in the same order in which we filmed them. So we began to get complaints from the viewers, asking, "How come one week the star date is 2891, the next week it's 2337, and then the week after it's 3414?"

    In answering these questions, I came up with the statement that "this time system adjusts for shifts in relative time which occur due to the vessel's speed and space warp capability. It has little relationship to Earth's time as we know it. One hour aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise at different times may equal as little as three Earth hours. The star dates specified in the log entry must be computed against the speed of the vessel, the space warp, and its position within our galaxy, in order to give a meaningful reading." Therefore star date would be one thing at one point in the galaxy and something else again at another point in the galaxy.

    I'm not quite sure what I meant by that explanation, but a lot of people have indicated it makes sense. If so, I've been lucky again, and I'd just as soon forget the whole thing before I'm asked any further questions about it.​

    Thinking of the passage of time in terms of "years" only became an issue starting with TMP, because that's when the Enterprise was first shown to visit present-day Earth. Yes, of course "years ago" appeared in dialogue in occasional episodes, but that's not the same thing as counting from a baseline number; also it would have been confusing to speak in terms of "star date units ago" and not worth the trouble to do so.

    (partly adapted from my response to an early-2016 thread)
  4. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Patron Saint of Dangerous Driving Premium Member

    Sep 7, 2001

    Thanks, I think we'll stick with what's there.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  5. Odona Kirk

    Odona Kirk Commodore Commodore

    Feb 8, 2005
    NW Alabama
    There was a recent post at a music forum I belong to from the producer of the TMP Director's Edition saying that Paramount only had to give the green light for a Blu-ray of this version of the film to go ahead. The gentleman, David C. Fein, added that "All of the shots in the film were created with HD in mind so the quality of the models and elements were much higher than the SD renderings. We have everything, and when the time is right, we'll use them. Again, there is no truth that anything is missing." The URL for his post is if you wish to read his extensive remarks.
    cardinal biggles likes this.
  6. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Patron Saint of Dangerous Driving Premium Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Thank you for finding that. I've updated the answer accordingly.
  7. My Name Was Taken Twice

    My Name Was Taken Twice Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Oct 25, 2017
    While it's possible TSFS was late 2285 and the three months on Vulcan put TVH into 2286 how would it be 2287 by TFF? Kirk said Scotty required 2 weeks to get the 'A' into shape however he was given 3. After Kirk was given the ship did it sit around for a while and all of a sudden Kirk tells Scotty he has three weeks to fix all it's issues?
  8. My Name Was Taken Twice

    My Name Was Taken Twice Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Oct 25, 2017
    Picard switched back to TNG uniform for the closing scene, Riker was still in DS9.

    He should have been wearing gold though as he was stationed at tactical.
  9. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 17, 2009
    You're forgetting the shakedown cruise, which would have been anywhere from a week to six months, to figure out everything Scotty needed to fix. Remember, Kirk said "Let's see what she's got." They had to do that before Scotty could even begin to fix it.
  10. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 7, 2011
    Aug 10, 1999
    That's the reason why I said "conjectural" in the answer to the question, even though it asked for an official one. There is no true answer so I had to use "conjectural" as a qualifier. "Official" is only what's said on-screen. Period. Wording is everything.

    Even in 1993, when I bought the Star Trek Chronology, there were things in it where I myself disagreed with some of what they speculated.

    Nevertheless, people on these boards referred back to those dates a lot, and probably still do (I haven't kept up as much in recent years) so I felt we should acknowledge the Star Trek Chronology but still include other opinions, then let the reader make their own decision.

    This is true, but questions about when the movies took place kept coming up. I wrote an FAQ for TOS in 2004 and when cardinal biggles and I decided to do a Movie FAQ in 2006, it seemed foolish not to address it.

    How many times can someone see a new "When does TWOK take place?" thread in a year, where everyone says the same thing over and over and over again, without going crazy?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  11. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Patron Saint of Dangerous Driving Premium Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Updated to add the news about a possible 4K UHD remaster of the TMP Director's Edition (announced in July at SDCC), and, sadly, to add actor Barbara March to the list of cast & crew who have passed on.
  12. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 27, 2018
    Back on the Shelf
    Who says waiting around for Kirk's court martial then waiting around for the E-A to be finished and given to Kirk didn't take time? Six months to a year could have easily passed at the end of the TVH.
  13. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 17, 2009
    Once again, TFF occurred after the shakedown cruise, which itself could have taken six months. Three weeks was how long Kirk gave Scotty to fix it.