Why did the Xindi test their weapon on earth (and not another planet)?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by at Quark's, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    The thing is there were so many factions in the TCW.

    Sulliban
    The Xindi
    Sphere Builders
    Tholians
    Vosk and his faction.

    I keep thinking that maybe there were others involved that were never mentioned in the show.
    For instance which faction had that ship that was bigger on the inside in the episode "Future Tense," that even the Tholians got involved trying to recover the ship. It seemed like everybody knew about it and what it was for except for the people on Enterprise.

    But yes the Xindi testing that weapon on Earth is kind of messed up because it gave them a big red flare to go looking for them.
     
  2. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Captain

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    Maybe they figured that if the big weapon didn't work, the little weapon might muck us up bad enough that we wouldn't be able to destroy them.

    Of course, it more likely would have made us so mad, we would destroy them sooner.

    Never said they were smart.
     
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  3. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't Enterprise come across a weapon testing site in one episode?
     
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  4. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    Yes they did..... It was where the smaller weapon that got to Earth was being tested.
     
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  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not quite. Okay, so perhaps the first, smallest weapon was once tested there, too. But when our heroes got there, the Xindi were testing a larger weapon, which as far as we can tell was never going to go operational. The midsize device seen in "Proving Ground" was just a test rig for the final, largest Death Star, the one that was going to blow Earth to bits. Degra was under a lot of pressure to finish the biggest weapon specifically, and the midsize one was no good except as a subscale test - there never was any talk of yanking it out of the testing program and deploying it against Earth.

    For some weird reason, all the three weapons shown were called "probes" in some context or another. But the only reason our heroes had for thinking that the first attack was a mere test was because Future Guy told Archer so. The Xindi themselves never admitted to such a thing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    Future Guy was a dick.
    He probably could have helped our heroes a lot more instead he seemed to play all sides.
     
  7. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Captain

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    There are two occasions when things that should have REALLY messed up the timeline are just "let happen". One was the death of 3000+ in "Shockwave". The other was the initial assault and 7 million deaths in "The Expanse". 7 million fatalities, 700 years earlier in history, plus the butterfly effect, would have deleted basically everyone from the future timeline. Hell, Kirk and Picard would've been deleted as well, along with every other human on any later Trek, just because history would have changed so much.
     
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  8. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    We don’t really know if Daniels was really a good guy. Compered to Vosk, yes, but in general? Future Guy & Silik seemed to be more helpful to Archer than Daniels ever was, even though they were supposed to be the antagonists. Yet, Silik still owed Daniels for something.

    When the timeline was resetting itself at the end of the TCW, the probe was still attacking Earth. Either the timeline never really reset, or that event was always supposed to happen.

    Whether those 3000+ in "Shockwave" were resurrected after the timeline reset was never brought up in the series.
     
  9. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    It was always meant to be because when they did finally return to Earth after all this the Xindi attack was mentioned.
     
  10. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Florida should always be a useful launch place, unless anti-gravity is so cheap and easy that the rotational boost it provides is totally unneccessary.
    Patching the cracks, a shuttle could go up to orbit from San Francisco, but heavier launches might still be based at Canaveral.
     
  11. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A general attitude among the losing sides of wars is:
    "We are brave, and adversity will only strengthen our resolve."
    "They are weak, and will surrender in the face of adversity."

    The Xindi might under-estimate human stubborness in that way.
     
  12. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    The Xindi were stupid.... For a technological race they believed the sphere builders were gods so they are also superstitious by nature.... That wasn't ever going to work out well for them.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The resolution to the two was dissimilar. Daniels was fine with patching up the "Shockwave" incident so that it happening was still compatible with the history he knew: all that mattered was that Archer's team was absolved of blame and guilt. OTOH, Daniels never indicated that the events of "The Expanse" would have been contrary to his preferred timeline: apparently, this preferred timeline included a well-fought Temporal War (read: his side won) rather than the negation of one.

    Time in Trek works without a butterfly effect anyway, for whatever reason. Minor changes such as the death of one, or the deaths of 3000+, do not cascade into big changes but instead get damped out. A couple of models for how this could be:

    1) Time is the sum total of all time travel, and time travel happens a lot - infinitely so, in fact. Most time travelers in the Milky Way are humanlike, so time in these parts reflects human beliefs and mores. And humans are petty, so time is, too: change might benefit others, so change gets squashed, and status quo promoted.

    2) Our heroes always end up "altering the past" in ways that "restore" their preferred present/future, not because the stuff done in the past would result in restoration, but because the mechanism of time travel makes our heroes prefer whatever outcome they create. If they go to the past to stop Billy Bob Nowan from being assassinated, they will return to a future where him being alive and well in 1998 is desirable and important to this future - and they retroactively end up having started from such a future as well, even if another set of Kirks, Spock, McCoys and so forth was perfectly happy with the world where Billy Bob Nowan died and the world saw two centuries of unbroken peace and calm as the result.

    3) The butterfly effect simply doesn't exist: there will always be a Jim Kirk, even if somebody stomping on a lepidopterioid made a zillion people die and Jim Kirk look more like Chris Pine or Lloyd Bridges than William Shatner. Or, rather, everything changes when something changes, but down the timestream, the changes accumulate in infinitely many ways, and the camera always follows the one way that results in an essentially unaltered future.

    Florida isn't on the equator, though. Out of the places hit by the first weapon, all the others would be superior, with free ocean to the east but better torque from the latitude. Unless one assumes the island of Cuba won't have the infrastructure access the two continental spots would enjoy (it's a big place with room for said infrastructure, but perhaps it's a natural preserve, or again a political pariah, or full of dinosaurs, or zombies from the last biowar, or all of the above) And if overseas transport is not a problem, then perhaps spaceports should be mid-oceanic to begin with?

    Nothing wrong with using Florida as a North American spaceport location, though.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. garakvsneelix

    garakvsneelix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Of course, on the one hand, there are many ways to fill this plothole and I don't want to say, that there aren't good ideas about it out there. On the other hand, nothing of it ever found its way into the narrative. For me, it will always feel like the authors did one of the dumbest thing, authors could do: They wanted to create a mystery (Why did the Xindi attack Earth?) without knowing the answer at this point of the production.

    For being in this situation, they really worked it out, yes, but the beginning of this story with a (for ST's case) unusual stringent plot always will be its 'Achilles heel'. While watching, I always waited for a point, where they send the purified Degra back in time to convince the council, that the chosen planet for the test must be Earth, just using some far-fatched arguments. I'm not sure if this would have been the best way to explain this dumb move, but it easily would have been better than nothing.