Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Captain Nebula, Mar 22, 2012.
Actually not one of my favorites. Far overrated, IMHO.
See, I don't get this. To me, Trek is about watching the character development. Each week, there was something new, and we saw how the characters developed. What difference does it make if the incident that caused the character development was a Romulan attack or a trip through time?
It's invincible, so what? If you think that the default response to anything is to throw photon torpedos at it until it goes away, then I think you;re missing the point.
Please turn your Trekkie/er card in to security on your way out.
A different thought about the glasses...
If we go with the idea it's the same set looping within a predestination paradox (hey, why not a pair of geese, or chickens?), the eyewear is effectively aging 300 years with each loop. If the loop is closed, then it is, in effect infinite, so the glasses should be inifinitely old. If they're inifinitely old, they should expereience "decay", first upon the macroscopic level, then the molecular level, then atomic, all the way down to universal "heat death". Ergo, they, in effect, don't exist...
Oy, yeah, contemplating temporal mechanics results in Excedrin headache # 42.
That's true. But since the glasses have no date of creation, they wouldn't be able to exist at all.
This does give me a headache. IT suggests that the glasses CAN'T be the ones that McCoy buys 300 years later on to give to Kirk, but there's no mechanism in place to prevent it from happening... And if it happens once, it MUST happen again...
Protected by chronitons?
The glasses first come into existence when they appear in the past, and vanish when they leave to travel to the past. So the glasses are 300 years old when Kirk gets them but turns new when they appear in the past, and that repeats itself.
Ah, but when the glasses appear in the past, they have already existed for some amount of time. If the glasses were alive, they'd have memories, so they aren't newly created glasses when the BoP arrives in 1986.
^ I didn't say it was bad. Just not one of my favorites. I've never been particularly fond of any of the love stories in Trek, and that is essentially what City is.
Because it's generally recognized that it's not a good idea. Too much potential to do more harm than good. And thus, there is the Temporal Prime Directive and the Department Of Temporal Investigations. When we do see it, it's usually accidental or the act of a rogue commander relying on his or her own judgment despite contravening regulations and orders.
Only problem here is that every writer who's written a time travel story had a slightly (and sometimes more significantly) different idea of how time travel works, often based on trends in popular thinking at the time. It's up to us to make sense of it in retrospect, and to adjust our interpretations based on new evidence where necessary.
We saw what the characters, themselves isolated, perceived as the universe changing around them. How do we know this "change" wasn't actually them shifting between parallel universes? How would we, or they, know? And what difference does it actually make? Not a dramatic one, since our identification is with the characters and their perceptions, even if they are mistaken.
What's to say that the difference between an "alternate timeline" and a "parallel universe" isn't merely one of semantics, or that one isn't a subset of the other, outside of our interpretations of the writers' interpretations of what they wrote?
I prefer not to buy into the "alternate universe" theory of time travel because, to me, it takes the urgency out of the situation. If what you're doing doesn't actually impact the people and things you know and love from your timeline, and no matter what you do, there's going to be 47 different timelines created each exploring a different possible outcome, then traveling back to get the whales and bring them forward to stop the probe, or preventing Edith Keeler from allowing Hitler to succeed, or making sure Captain Christopher's son goes to Mars, all are pointless exercises.
So people you know matter more than people you don't?
I mean, even if Our Heroes didn't save -their- Earth, they saved -an- Earth. I don't see how that doesn't matter.
Er... yeah. You don't care more about what happens to your family than what happens to Random Guy X three cities away? In the abstract, sure, I agree that every life matters. But in the real world, things that happen to the people I care about impact me more. What's so unusual about that?
Because they're not even really "saving" anything. According to the way the parallel universe theory works, as described by Data in "Parallels," every possible outcome that can occur, does occur in different universes. So I do everything I possibly can to fix a problem and in Universe A it works, in Universe B it doesn't work, in Universe C the problem never existed, etc. And we're all just along for the ride. I might as well just sit and do nothing because, no matter what, there's going to be a universe where everything's okay, another universe where everyone dies, and every possibility in between.
I think Angel said it best- "If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
I'm talking here as a viewer, not from an in-character perspective. If everything we see is alternate timelines and parallel realities, that guts the emotional core of the episodes and films for me.
Star Trek IV is fine. It's no more idiotic or illogical than II or III, it's just easier to dismiss as cotton candy because it's not so melodramatic. Yes, the message is too on-the-nose, but that's what makes it so like many of the original episodes. If anything, the film is hurt by rather lackluster direction and uninteresting camera work.
Something like this actually happened in a Quantum Leap episode. The beauty pageant episode, maybe?
Alternate universe theory seems to be Trek Canon, doesn't it? Mirror universe comes to mind as well as crazy Riker from the Borg dominated future. Cause and Effect didn't seem to play to that, though as they were more doing a roller coaster "loop de loop" actually learning from previous experience.
The problem with "San Francisco" and "London" glasses is actually one of conservation of matter: with two pairs of glasses introduced, the same material has doubled and now exists in more than one place (though one set is 300 years older). This has got to be a paradox of it's own since it has the implications to be a doozy. This apparently has an established sequel to go with the precedent of two pairs, though, as Data's head also existed in two spots, right?
One possible solution to avoid that is a singular "looping" pair, but then there's a causality paradox.
I've always thought the "butterfly effect" theory was overstated and think the "flowing river" theory is better. Most of the changes possible are just pebbles thrown in a river which don't appreciably alter it's course. Minor details get changed, but not much else. Certain events could be more like an avalanche or a dam to alter the flow but that requires BIG events at crucial junctions. The actual date or time of Nichols' invention of transparent aluminum, the delivery driver, etc all get "solved" by this theory. It doesn't matter. Ensign Slob in Astrography in the days of TOS is replaced by Ensign Slab and noone else really cares.
I like the Bender idea for it's ironic humor (and love Futurama!). The next question is who or what is pulling the strings behind the curtain. That could tie into the. God, fate, karma, the Preservers, etc or mojo making sure there's only one pair of glasses at a time ("the London" pair).
Interesting spinoff could be a day in the life of Temporal Investigations that puts Section 31 to shame. There have to be some rather unscrupulous enemies like the Borg, if not rogue crews doing stuff that's getting undone by TI...
But yeah, I found TVH most appealing in the 80's and early 90's when I was a kid. Nowadays I usually chapter skip past the 20th century period entirely and just enjoy the 23rd century. One of these days I'll make my own fan edit cutting out that stuff entirely and just paste it on the end of TSFS.
In regards to the last movie, the writers handwaved away the huge number of coincidences by saying that the universe was trying to heal itself. Since the first pair of glasses were already present when the second pair arrived on the Bounty they may have had more "Temporal inertia" and the later pair faded away shortly after Kirk sold them. The shop owner may have decided that he misplaced them or they were stolen.
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