So why doesn't Spock save Vulcan?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by YARN, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    Orci is claiming that he wishes to leave behind the past for a more realistic fiction in which there are no GRANDFATHER PARADOXES. He wants a more realistic Trek. Connecting old Trek to new via the overlap of universes and the causal connection of people hopping from one universe to another undermines this avowed intention.

    A hard reboot does not necessarily mean a more realistic universe. A soft reboot, however, involves swirling an unrealistic old universe into your new universe.
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Ghost of Tom Joad Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    He just wants to use a different piece of science.
  3. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    And that avowed intention would be better served by a hard reboot. Instead, he's mixed his peanut butter with his chocolate and we now have a Trek universe with closed-loop and branching time travel. Since closed-loop time travel is still available, so remains the problem of causal paradoxes, and so is the option fixing the past (as Old Spock has done in his past). And with that option comes the question, which I have asked.

    It is just a question. It is not a gotcha which undoes nu-Trek. It does not amount to a claim that nu-Trek is an "epic fail." It is simply a coherentist test of the narrative with which we've been presented. Is this an odd detail or isn't it?
  4. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

    Jan 10, 2007
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I think you are reading too much into what Orci, Kurtzman, or Abrams say in an attempt to catch them at some sort of inconsistency of thought, rather than simply watching the product as presented on the screen.
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Ghost of Tom Joad Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    In the context of Star Trek? No.
  6. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    1. Then the general context of Star Trek should be noted to be curious in this aspect. We should admit that Trek is generally flawed in how it deploys these lopsided narrative devices. And it is, therefore, unfortunate that Orci in wishing to improve Trek by leaving behind causal paradoxes left the back door open with his reboot.

    2. We have seen, as I have noted, that even though Spock has NOT cheated to save various colonies and alien worlds, he has been MORE than willing to cheat time to save Earth. Since Vulcan (and his mother) are at least as salient/proximate to Spock as Earth. And since Spock has been willing to correct incursions/alterations to timelines in the past, he should have more than enough justification and motivation to save Vulcan.
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    1) I like that Star Trek used to strive to tell the best story possible, despite what came before.

    2) That's not Spock Prime's mother. His mother and father lived and died in another timeline.
  8. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

    Jan 10, 2007
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Nu-trek can still be "more realistic" without being "real-world realistic". It is simply a more realistic slant on THE FAMILIAR STAR TREK UNIVERSE.

    For example, Casino Royale (2006) was certainly more realistic in tone than, say, A View to Kill, but it was still far from being a realistic representation of the actual world. Casino Royale was 'realistic' only within the framework of the James Bond world.
  9. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

    Jan 15, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    What Abrahms, Kurtzman, and Orci are too polite to say is, "Jesus H. Christ, shut the fuck up about the minutiae of temporal physics and just enjoy the movie. Or DON'T enjoy it; your choice. We liked the Original Series, too, but our primary purpose here, and the studio's, is to make money and get as much mileage out of the franchise as we can. If you think you can do it better, sell the powers-that-be a script and maybe they'll make YOUR movie."
  10. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    What is the best story? If it is the one which is the most realistic, then Trek has always been in trouble (which is why quoting Orci doing his best to justify Trek in terms of quantum physics is preposterous). If it is to tell a story which is most coherent, then Orci would have been better served by a hard reboot. Just start over and perhaps never even raise the prospect of backward time travel.

    If you're going to boldly go in a new direction, then just boldly go, and leave old Trek behind without a passing of the torch narrative.

    And yet Old Spock still reported that he was emotionally compromised. And this means he still had motivation as well as justification.
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    1) The best story is the most entertaining story. Period.

    2) Spock Prime was showing Kirk the avenue to take in order to gain command of the Enterprise. Yes, he was upset as well. But the whole point was to get Kirk into the captains chair.
  12. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    Curious. Why then in the extended quotation which was presented in this thread did Orci go on at length about the minutiae of temporal physics? If you wanted to direct attention away from physics and coherence, why then would you stand on them as justification for your story?

    Can't we ask these questions and still enjoy our stories?

    Why do we have to chose between asking narrative questions and enjoyment?

    Why should I respect the mere motivation to make money? I am sure that if one of the Harry Potter kids made a porn movie, it would make money, but I am unaware why I, for that reason, would be obligated to respect that purpose.

    I am sure that these people want to exploit the Trek franchise to milk it for every dime. I do not blame them for wanting to make money, but I do not - for that reason - feel any duty to praise their choices.

    In that case, every film critic in the world should be out of business. Every professor who ever analyzed a poem or short story or play should cease and desist. Any woman or man who never did or could play professional sports should stand mute and never again comment upon a sporting event.

    I don't own a factory. Do I need to own one to be able to note a defect in a product? I can't produce cars in my garage. Should I not, for that reason, criticize a Ford for having defective brakes.

    The list of informal fallacies in this thread is staggering.
  13. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    What is staggering is the amount of energy you are devoting to parsing out the flaws (real or otherwise) in a fluffy piece of popcorn entertainment. (Well, it's not really staggering, given some other stuff I've read around here over the years, but the degree of pomposity you are employing is rather excessive, even within these parts.)

    Feel free to point out whatever flaws you perceive. Feel free to offer up explanations for the flaws. Feel free to offer alternative suggestions to the flaws. Feel free to be exasperated that others don't have the same views as you.

    DO NOT feel free to presume you are somehow superior to those who disagree with you (a strong undercurrent of many of your posts--as is usually the case when pomposity rears its head).

    Besides, it not as if everyone disagrees with everything you've said. It's that many of us simply don't care enough to get in a tizzy over whatever flaws you've identified that we might also have seen.

    Critics and professors can of course continue of analyze and critique things to their hearts' content (as can you). But most of those I've known (in each category) also know well enough to categorize various forms of art and entertainment and apply standards accordingly. Star Trek simply isn't that high up the scale.
  14. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

    Aug 22, 2002
    Terra Inlandia, Kelvin timeline
    If "dealt with" means the same thing to you as does "skipped over without acknowledging," then yes, granted. But, to spell it out more fully than I did upthread:

    Slingshotting is not an available option. Period. The (then-current) model upon which the idea was based is effectively obsolete, and has been replaced (for purposes of this incarnation of Trek, at the very least) with a different model - one which does not allow closed-loop time travel. In practical terms, that mode of time travel never existed. To insist that it still does exist is to wilfully ignore The Way Things Are Now (according to the guys who are telling the stories).

    If you're interested in participating in discussion, then you're welcome to do so. However, the recurrent cataloguing of fallacies in which you've been engaging has the effect, more and more, of making it look as if this really is the "gotcha" topic you've insisted it is not. If the responses you're getting don't fit the answers you had already written on your checklist, it does not automatically render them invalid or fallacious; it only means that it would probably have been more realistic for you to be expecting those other answers and not now be trying to force them to fit into your predetermined "right answer" checklist boxes.
  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    But why hurry?
  16. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    LOL, it's a Trek forum. It's where we come to talk at ridiculous lengths about unimportant details.

    Because I asked the question? Because I've discussed my side of the question?


    But I am not exasperated. Indeed, how could I (allegedly) exude pompous superiority in the face of opposition if I were?

    OK, I am not superior. But it is kinda curious that Spock doesn't save Vulcan, ain't it?

    And I do not disagree with many things they have said.

    It is just a movie. It is certainly no worse a flaw (if that is what it is) than many Trek tale has exhibited. The makers were trying to appease the old while creating the new, a difficult challenge.

    So we're back to genre pleading? Strange then, that so many critics asked what the odds were that Kirk would just happen to stumble into the same cave as Old Spock.
    Someone should have told them that they only get to criticize high art.

    The standard I am applying is coherence, which is about as minimal as standards get.

    I think the healthiest thing to do would be to shrug, even admit that it is an open question, rather than respond as if the very question were a sign of an infection which needed to be purged.
  17. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

    Jan 10, 2007
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I feel as if this thread is picking at the nits that could be found in all of Star Trek -- if not almost all movies in general.

    Star Trek fans have a long history of shaping "Star Trek logical reality" based on what is presented on the screen -- and what is presented often required some creative shaping to fit what we thought we previously knew about Star Trek (and what was previously presented).

    Back on Saturday afternoons in the 1970s watching Star Trek reruns, my friends and I would sit around making up explanations for what we saw on TV that day, trying to make it fit into the "greater Star Trek Universe" that existed in our minds -- and quite a bit of rationalizing needed to be done to make it fit. I'd say the same thing happened with trying to fit TNG into the TOS universe.

    It seems we are abandoning that long-standing tradition with this thread.
  18. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2010
    I'd rather not repeat answers and analysis that are already freely available in this thread. If you really did not catch the response, ask the question again, and I'll cut-and-paste the response.

    Worship as we may at the altar of authorial intention, authors must still be held to account for what they accomplish, not just what they intended to accomplish. Indeed, we are nearing the old Intentional Fallacy (Wimsatt and Beardsley) if we presume that the author is the God with regard to the meaning and value of a work.

    Again, I have already detailed how both universes are intermingled and how we cannot suppose tout court that slingshotting is not an option. All the evidence present to us in the text indicates that it is.

    Star Trek is not reality, it is fantasy. There is no "physics of red matter," there is no actual "warp mechanics" which underwrites the function of the engines of starships. If Star Trek shows us in a film that there is red matter which magically creates black holes from nail polish, then in that universe, this is the case. If Star Trek shows us Spock slingshotting around the sun to go back in the same timeline, then this is simply the case.

    In short, what fiction posits has greater standing, in term of internal consistency, than what the real-world allows. Our test in this case is coherence. If you want to get all real-world on Star Trek, then the whole universe falls apart. We cannot preferentially defend Star Trek as being real world in some aspects, but then arbitrarily beg off that standard when Trek is not real world. Real world physics has nothing to do with it.

    In which case,

    The City on the Edge of Forever never existed, Assignment: Earth never existed,
    The Naked Time never existed,
    Tomorrow is Yesterday never existed,
    All our Yesterdays never existed, and
    Star Trek IV never existed.

    And it isn't just this. What else never existed? Let's see...

    Star Trek: First Contact
    We'll Always Have Paris
    Time Squared
    Yesterday's Enterprise
    Captain's Holiday
    A Matter of Time
    Cause and Effect
    Time's Arrow
    Time's Arrow, Part II
    All Good Things...
    Past Tense, Part I
    Past Tense, Part II
    The Visitor
    Little Green Men
    Trials and Tribble-ations
    Children of Time
    Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night
    Time's Orphan
    Time and Again
    Eye of the Needle
    Death Wish
    Future's End
    Future's End, Part II
    Before and After
    Cold Front
    Shockwave, Part II
    Future Tense
    Carpenter Street
    Azati Prime

    Zero Hour
    Storm Front
    Storm Front, Part II

    Indeed, it appears that the Prime Universe never existed! And I thought I was assured that it was still "there" and still "real." Now I find that Old Spock's history and Prime Trek history does not exist anymore. Perhaps it wasn't Old Spock who came through that black hole after all? It is rather, Old Spock lite, with only those historical details that uncomplicate the reality of nu-Trek. So much for the soft-reboot, this is more like getting the boot.

    What matters more than the confabulations and apologias of the guys who write the story are the details of the stories they actually tell.

    There is nothing about the topic which serves as a trap forcing my opponents to use fallacious arguments.

    It's not playing "Gotcha" when Sarah Palin cannot answer obvious straightforward questions about national policy. Likewise, it's not playing gotcha, when the opposition hastily reaches for bad reasons in response to questions.

    Of course not. Rather it is the fallacious nature of the arguments themselves which makes them fallacious.

    It's not that I object to an Ad Hominem because I'd rather hear agreement, but because an Ad Hominem is so often a weak argument.
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I've given you reasons why Spock can't just slingshot and save Vulcan, in-universe, and you chose to ignore them.

    If he goes back pre-Narada, he changes the course of the universe for billions of beings. He eliminates twenty-five years of existence.

    If he goes back to just before the destruction of Vulcan, Jim Kirk never makes it to the captains chair.
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    So if it turns out warp speed and beaming is impossible...
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