The Glaring Plot Hole of TWOK

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Bry_Sinclair, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    Because Nicholas Meyer loved all that nautical shit.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps as a training vessel manual systems were preferred to give the trainees more hands-on experience with things? Otherwise, what happens when the automation breaks? (Sidebar: I'm currently in a tug-of-war with a coworker who likes to put macros and other automation into Excel workbooks but can't seem to wrap his head around why it's important to document what the macros are actually doing, and when asked, talks about how difficult it would be to document every single line of a macro, nevermind that that's not even the point.)

    Alternately or in addition, perhaps the automated systems were damaged during Khan's surprise attack.

    I don't believe it's canonically established what torpedoes consist of prior to TWOK, but even if it was, is there a reason the technology couldn't have changed prior to this film?
     
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  3. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About that: look up “Tick tick boom-the Earth spits out a moon” at New Scientist and at the thread here called “A thought about Ceti alpha VI”

    Dead stars with “uranium snowflakes” are suspect.

    Scotty knew McCoy stayed on the bridge. In ST II the old hands got too familiar. Khan was like Q introducing the Borg…a reminder of the dangers of space…
     
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given the damage to the ship after Khan's attack...at one point Spock explicitly states the turbolifts are, at least at the time, inoperable below C deck...perhaps Scotty had every intention of bringing Peter to Sickbay but couldn't get through, and the bridge was the next best option available to him, or perhaps it wasn't intentional at all. I think it's reasonable to assume Scotty was emotionally compromised at the time.
     
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  5. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    yeah. in my head I always thought it was something like that, or sickbay was already overloaded and he was taking his worst triage to somewhere he thought he could get help.
     
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  6. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sometimes a movie is just a movie.
     
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  7. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I'd highly recommend the 3rd Khan novel written by @Greg Cox , To Reign In Hell.

    First, it's an excellent read, one of my favorite Star Trek novels in fact. First, it's a great story of Khan's time on Ceti Alpha V from when he was exiled until the events of TWOK.

    But Greg does a great job answering a lot of the inconsistencies that we see between "Space Seed" and TWOK. He also presents a possible explanation of how the Reliant 'lost' a planet. Now...it's not a perfect explanation. It does seem improbable that an advanced starship designed for scientific research would mistaken one planet for another. But Greg gives what I thought was the best possible explanation and at the end of the day it had to be consistent with TWOK.

    The novel also gives us additional explanations, like how Khan's band of merry supermen now resembled an 80's hair band (probably Scandinavian ;) ), and even why Khan was wearing a glove throughout the movie. And of course Chekov makes an appearance during Khan's initial exile (explaining how Khan recognized him--though I think on that front most fans just figured Chekov was already on the ship in a different capacity during the events of "Space Seed"--probably the easiest thing to explain). There were other things that I didn't even realize as well.

    The novel also gave us a deeper look into Khan's psyche. TWOK is my 2nd favorite Trek film (after TMP) and there were many things I loved about that film. However, one thing that bugged me (other than losing a planet) was Khan's singular focus. I couldn't help but agree with Joaquin...they had a ship and the means to go wherever they wanted. Why didn't Khan just take the ship and all that power and find new worlds to conquer? However, after reading the novel you can see how his mind became twisted with rage and the need for vengeance. You realize his obsession didn't happen overnight. At the beginning he had a grudging respect for Kirk, and he was even looking forward to taming their new 'empire.' But then after the disaster happened (depicted in the novel in graphic detail) he hoped Kirk would check up on them and relocate them. Then as the months and years passed and he started realizing his rescue was going to take longer he started getting angry. Then when he came to the realization Kirk was not going to check up on them he started becoming even more bitter. The death of McGivers was the last straw and his anger was replaced with rage. That combined with his genetic engineering made his obsession make more sense.

    For any fan of TWOK I highly recommend this particular novel. It really did help me enjoy the film even more.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It is indeed an excellent read. I somewhat prefer the earlier Eugenics Wars novels because they have a bit more going on, but it's something to read about how Khan got from "Space Seed" to TWOK. He's pretty easy to sympathize with given the horrific circumstances that have befallen him...or would be save for his murderous tendencies.
     
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  9. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'll add to the voices that say @Greg Cox novel trilogy about Khan is really good. I particularly liked "Reign In Hell," though, for all the reasons @Damian listed above. It's a very engaging story and I'm pretty sure I read it in a day. Great stuff.
     
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  10. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I'm a big Star Trek novel reader, having read almost all the Star Trek novels at this point. And I enjoy many of them.

    But this was one of those novels that actually added to what was on screen, and helped me enjoy it more. Not many novels go that far. A lot are great reads and great stories, and some resolve some inconsistencies seen on screen (though I should stress that's never the overall purpose of any book--just a bonus that usually feeds into the overall story in some way, though sometimes it's done just for 'fun'). To Reign in Hell really took it to the next level for me. It connected "Space Seed" with TWOK in story in a way that makes it feel like one continuous story from one to the other.

    Perhaps someday I'll do just that. Watch "Space Seed", then read To Reign in Hell, then watch TWOK to see how well it flows.

    While I'm on the subject I'd also highly recommend @Christopher 's post-TMP novels, Ex Machina, The Higher Frontier and the latest release, Living Memory, which takes place in the years between TMP and TWOK and helps link those two movies together better in story. I haven't read the last one yet but the first 2 were excellent books as well, and they have the added bonus of bringing those 2 movies a bit closer together (including how and why Spock accepted a promotion to captain despite saying in the past he wasn't really interested in being captain).
     
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  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Of all the things that I struggle with TWOK Khan's motivation is not one of them. Kirk's I actually struggle a it more with. People assume that if you are a genius you are somehow incapable of emotions, of having that logic warped and twisted due to grief? It always staggers my mind the sheer lack of humanity that is attributed to day to day humans with fictional characters. It's like people screaming at the quarterback in a football game as though that person doesn't have ten million things going on and isn't benefiting from the lack of panic that the fan in the chair watching a screen has.

    Also, a script combined from 8 different drafts and reworked by an outsider.
     
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  12. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The missing planet seems to bother a lot of people. I've studied a lot about how planets are detected and we see a lot of the process in TOS. It stands to reason that Ceti Alpha is remote enough that no one noticed what happened to the system. Khan couldn't say why it happened. Such cosmic events are not unreasonable. Starfleet not noticing is not unreasonable. They are looking for a remote lifeless world to test Genesis, so Ceti Alpha is remote enough for a secret test. So it should also be remote enough that no one would notice that a planet had been destroyed. Mostly likely by something colliding with it. The next planet was knocked out of its orbit (I would guess by debris crashing into it or the passage of whatever hit the other planet). And when Reliant arrives they find a planet where they expected to and don't question which planet it is because it seems to be in the right place. Also, how well was the system mapped. How detailed are the orbits? Is there room for error? Those complaining seem to assume that the system is close in rather than the middle of nowhere and that anything happening would be noticed. But the movie indicates that it is no. Also, there seem to be an assumption that Starfleet has the precise orbits of each planet, when that may not be the case. The system could have been quickly and inaccurately mapped and Reliant is going by what they have. So much wiggle room for this that I don't know why people are fixated on it.
     
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  13. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I find that most things don't need detailed analysis. You just need to listen to the dialog and watch the movie. The only thing that bugs me about TWOK is when Sulu's time count suddenly jumps backward. Everything else makes complete sense or has an easy explanation.
     
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  14. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    It probably wouldn't have been for me except for Joaquin's plea to Khan, twice no less, that they have a ship and the means to do what they will I thought to myself, 'yeah...why take the risk...get the hell out of Dodge, and then you can do pretty much whatever you want, why pick a fight with Kirk?' It was something that always kind of bugged me about TWOK.

    But reading the novel helped present why that didn't happen. Khan, despite being an Augment, is still a human being, and smart or not revenge became his primary motivator. I liked that the novel made it a gradual fall into madness. It's not something that just happened, but something that slowly simmered for years until McGivers was murdered--which was what finally drove him over the edge.

    It helped that the novel described in graphic detail the hell that Ceti Alpha V became. We got a glimpse of it of course, but the book really put it into much more perspective. I still remember the scene where they tried to reach one of the oceans to see if they can survive by fishing and one of his followers, so excited at seeing water, foolishly ran into the ocean without thinking and then started to melt before their eyes (the water had become highly acidic). There was one sort of amusing part there where another follower vomited and Khan 'graciously' allowed him the moment of weakness because, well, it was pretty disgusting to watch :barf2:
     
  15. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    As I recall that was more or less the explanation in the novel. We already know the orbit of the planet shifted from the film. And some things about Khan were classified and I believe Chekov was sworn to secrecy about it. He didn't give it much thought at first since they thought they were going to Ceti Alpha VI, not V.

    There were other things as well, I don't recall every detail, but Greg does provide a potential explanation for how they mistakened VI for V
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It clearly doesn't otherwise we wouldn't have this thread and references to novels.
     
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  17. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    You have to accept plot holes and inconsistencies in almost any movie, especially sci fi ones. I can't think of a Star Trek movie that isn't riddled with them. TWOK may have more than most, but it actually works because of them instead of in spite of them. The downside to all that is that it was relatively successful and so it's been retread by the franchise several times already, when it should have been left alone.

    TSFS / TVH already invalidated most of the important things set up by TWOK:
    Spock is alive
    Kirk is a captain
    "Genesis doesn't work" actual quote
     
  18. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Spock is only alive because of the Genesis device. Kirk is demoted after TSFS when they steal the Enterprise to find Spock.
    Genesis doesn't work as planned because David used an unstable compound. It would work just fine to destroy a planet.
    Do they don't invalidate anything. They continue the story and change the outcome. That is completely different. Invalidating it would be saying one thing and then in the next film ignoring that and saying something else.
     
  19. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never refer to novels. Only the movies and common sense. Most things that people cry "plot hole" over are not. Like Khan knowing Chekov. In reality it is a mistake, but Walter Koenig like the scenes so he didn't say anything. So we are left with the only explanation being that Chekov was on on the Enterprise before we see him. You get in trouble being too literal. Being flexible, researching what the movie actually says and portrays, and just thinking it though and nearly every single thing brought up here makes sense.
     
  20. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My prediction:

    Everything will be ok.
     
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