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An interesting question about Star Trek popped up deep in another thread ("Worst movie with a great score"), and it brought to mind a question of my own. I thought it would make for a good open discussion in a thread of its own.

So this is the official Star Trek Questions and Nitpicks thread. Essentially, if something from any of the movies or TV shows ever made you scratch your head, some plot hole or inconsistency or seeming wrong turn, bring it up here. One of the many ST experts that frequent these boards might be able to fill in the gap for you. Maybe not. It'll be fun to see what happens, anyway.

This is not a clarion call to shred the ST franchise, any more than the Nitpicker's Guide books were. The idea is for fans to discuss one of their favorite fictional enterprises (heh).

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Here's what Whill asked in the other thread:

Oh good, big TSfS fans. I am a Star Trek fan, but a couple things don't make sense to me about TSfS, and no one so far can answer my questions. Stefan or John, maybe you can help me appreciate this movie more? I'm being serious. I want to enjoy this film. It connects TWoK and TVH, two classics in my book.

I buy that Spock's body was regenerated by the Genesis Wave. But what reason would Kirk and company on Earth have to go get Spock's body? They didn't know that Spock's body was alive on Genesis. They discovered that McCoy had Spock's katra, and why would they need Spock's dead body to transfer his katra to the katric ark or whatever on Vulcan? Why didn't Kirk just take McCoy strait to Vulcan? Why would Sarek or Spock's katra (can't remember which right now) be offended that they "left" Spock's body on Genesis? If the body was required for some ceremonial (yet illogical) purpose, then why did they just eject his dead body into space in a photon torpedo tube? Wouldn't Spock have a will with instructions for what Starfleet was supposed to do with his body if he died? If not, wouldn't Kirk know? Or wouldn't Saavik at least know about Vulcan customs dealing with death?

Everyone says plot holes, but I'm open to explainations. It does seem like they just needed to get Spock's katra reunited with his body and couldn't contrive any plot device to explain why Kirk took McCoy to Genesis in the first place. Please help me!

Now, here's my own question: In Star Trek II, the promotional video for the Genesis device says that it reorganizes matter on a subatomic level into life-supporting matter of equal mass. In other words, it doesn't create any new matter, just shifts around what's there to make life feasible where it wasn't before.

So where did the Genesis planet come from, anyway? Khan's ship didn't just inflate to planet size. I suppose the "wave" could've expanded out of the region of the nebula and reached Regula 1, but in the FX shots it didn't look like much more than a planetoid, an oversized asteroid, hardly big enough to turn into a habitable world. And I'm nt sure I see how the edge of a wave detonated several thousand kilometers away could've made enough of an impact to have that sort of effect.

So what's the deal?

- Scott

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I don't think the audience would buy it if McCoy and Kirk just turned up on Vulcan for Spock's Katra to be given a shiny new body/host. The existence of such a thing would either throw open more questions regarding Vulcan lore (do they have a factory line of clones in case they die?) or moral quandaries (i.e. if they had pulled out some poor guy to have his memories wiped and replaced with Spock's, which wouldn't have been satisfactory as he would have to look like Nimoy). I suppose it's possible the Katra Ritual could regenerate the body as well, I'm not sure, I guess it would have to. As for the issues with Spock's knowledge of the Katra, given that this is - to my knowledge - the one and only time we've seen a Vulcan go through it, it may not be open to some members of Vulcan society (for example the half-Romulan Saavik), and if he did have the key to immortality, it's not the kind of thing that he would want to tell Starfleet about, especially with how the Vulcans are about outsiders and Spock's initial defection to Starfleet in the first place.

Now, here's my own question: In Star Trek II, the promotional video for the Genesis device says that it reorganizes matter on a subatomic level into life-supporting matter of equal mass. In other words, it doesn't create any new matter, just shifts around what's there to make life feasible where it wasn't before.

So where did the Genesis planet come from, anyway? Khan's ship didn't just inflate to planet size. I suppose the "wave" could've expanded out of the region of the nebula and reached Regula 1, but in the FX shots it didn't look like much more than a planetoid, an oversized asteroid, hardly big enough to turn into a habitable world. And I'm nt sure I see how the edge of a wave detonated several thousand kilometers away could've made enough of an impact to have that sort of effect.

So what's the deal?

- Scott

Unsure about this one, but it's possible the proto-matter David used - and which ended up dooming the planet - could have caused the effect to create matter as opposed to just modifying it. But I'm not sure, it's something I'm used to just ignoring and listening to Jamie Horner's music instead.

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I suspect the Protomatter was an intermediate step in the transformation of subatomic particles from one form to another, if that is how Genesis works.

In the movie, the Reliant was destroeyed within the Mutara Nebula, which is essentially gas and dust.

There's more than enough matter in a Nebula to coalesce into a Star, so the explosion may have heated and fused some of the particles, and started the gravitational chain so some of the Nebula's matter could clump up into the Genesis planet.

When fired normally, I'd imagine it reorganizing the crustal layers of a planet or dead moon.

Of course, just where all of the information needed to create living matter on a planetary level is a very interesting question ;)

Well, that's my thinking on that point.

Oh, Kirk going to get Spock's body:

They sent the Casket there, and they were expecting to take Spock's corpse back to Vulcan, with Dr. McCoy so they could help both find peace.

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How in the hell does the ending of Generations make ANY sense? Picard enters the Nexus, finds Kirk and then LEAVES (I guess). He returns to reality at an earlier point in the timeline BEFORE he entered the Nexus. Technically, there should be two Picards at that point. The Picard that is native to the timeline and Picard who traveled back in time via the Nexus. In the process of defeating Soran, they STOP the missile from launching into the sun and the Nexus never arrives. There you have one of those time paradoxes that should destroy the universe. Picard would never have entered the Nexus and therefore never gone back with Kirk and been able to defeat Soran.

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I buy that Spock's body was regenerated by the Genesis Wave. But what reason would Kirk and company on Earth have to go get Spock's body? They didn't know that Spock's body was alive on Genesis. They discovered that McCoy had Spock's katra, and why would they need Spock's dead body to transfer his katra to the katric ark or whatever on Vulcan? Why didn't Kirk just take McCoy strait to Vulcan? Why would Sarek or Spock's katra (can't remember which right now) be offended that they "left" Spock's body on Genesis? If the body was required for some ceremonial (yet illogical) purpose, then why did they just eject his dead body into space in a photon torpedo tube? Wouldn't Spock have a will with instructions for what Starfleet was supposed to do with his body if he died? If not, wouldn't Kirk know? Or wouldn't Saavik at least know about Vulcan customs dealing with death?

I never thought about it this way. It does speak volumes about human-Vulcan relations -- something Starfleet had enjoyed for nearly 100 years by the time of TWOK -- that one of Starfleet's best doctors did not know enough about Vulcan physiology and religion -- and didn't even ask! -- to never question why Spock nerve pinched him; to never check the tape until *after* returning to Earth with a massive headache; and then to simply eject Spock's body down to Genesis, to rot inside the torpedo.

It speaks of gross medical neglect. Kirk, Sarek, and McCoy did not expect to find a conscious but confused Spock alive on Genesis. They expected to find his lifeless, mindless body reasonably well preserved inside the photon torpedo.

Spock's photon torpedo was fired from Enterprise with a high initial velocity at Genesis. It survived re-entry, a testament to strong metal, but rested safely on the ground of the new planet. Should it not have smashed into the ground like a meteor and disintegrated? (If there was a parachute that I don't remember, please correct me.) There should not have been a Spock-in-one-piece to return to. (And don't tell me that Genesis put him back together, or I'm going to tell you that David Marcus should have been reborn after getting shot by a disruptor.)

I chalk it up to the test audience walking out of a "Spock dies and that's it" movie with tears in their eyes like their best friend just died. When the test audience walked out a "Spock died, but they showed his casket and he spoke the intro monologue" and were more upbeat about the blatant subliminal message about the impending sequel, they knew they had a better ending for the film.

We all criticize Indy IV for launching Indiana Jones in a refrigerator from a great distance and height, and he survives. Well, Spock crash landing on Genesis from a spaceship in orbit is the same damn thing. The same damn thing.

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How in the hell does the ending of Generations make ANY sense? Picard enters the Nexus, finds Kirk and then LEAVES (I guess). He returns to reality at an earlier point in the timeline BEFORE he entered the Nexus. Technically, there should be two Picards at that point. The Picard that is native to the timeline and Picard who traveled back in time via the Nexus. In the process of defeating Soran, they STOP the missile from launching into the sun and the Nexus never arrives. There you have one of those time paradoxes that should destroy the universe. Picard would never have entered the Nexus and therefore never gone back with Kirk and been able to defeat Soran.

Alternate Reality created by Picard going back in time ;)

I buy that Spock's body was regenerated by the Genesis Wave. But what reason would Kirk and company on Earth have to go get Spock's body? They didn't know that Spock's body was alive on Genesis. They discovered that McCoy had Spock's katra, and why would they need Spock's dead body to transfer his katra to the katric ark or whatever on Vulcan? Why didn't Kirk just take McCoy strait to Vulcan? Why would Sarek or Spock's katra (can't remember which right now) be offended that they "left" Spock's body on Genesis? If the body was required for some ceremonial (yet illogical) purpose, then why did they just eject his dead body into space in a photon torpedo tube? Wouldn't Spock have a will with instructions for what Starfleet was supposed to do with his body if he died? If not, wouldn't Kirk know? Or wouldn't Saavik at least know about Vulcan customs dealing with death?

I never thought about it this way. It does speak volumes about human-Vulcan relations -- something Starfleet had enjoyed for nearly 100 years by the time of TWOK -- that one of Starfleet's best doctors did not know enough about Vulcan physiology and religion -- and didn't even ask! -- to never question why Spock nerve pinched him; to never check the tape until *after* returning to Earth with a massive headache; and then to simply eject Spock's body down to Genesis, to rot inside the torpedo.

It speaks of gross medical neglect. Kirk, Sarek, and McCoy did not expect to find a conscious but confused Spock alive on Genesis. They expected to find his lifeless, mindless body reasonably well preserved inside the photon torpedo.

Spock's photon torpedo was fired from Enterprise with a high initial velocity at Genesis. It survived re-entry, a testament to strong metal, but rested safely on the ground of the new planet. Should it not have smashed into the ground like a meteor and disintegrated? (If there was a parachute that I don't remember, please correct me.) There should not have been a Spock-in-one-piece to return to. (And don't tell me that Genesis put him back together, or I'm going to tell you that David Marcus should have been reborn after getting shot by a disruptor.)

We all criticize Indy IV for launching Indiana Jones in a refrigerator from a great distance and height, and he survives. Well, Spock crash landing on Genesis from a spaceship in orbit is the same damn thing. The same damn thing.

McCoy probably figured Spock knocked him out to get to the Engine room, and so did everyone else.

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Spock's photon torpedo was fired from Enterprise with a high initial velocity at Genesis. It survived re-entry, a testament to strong metal, but rested safely on the ground of the new planet. Should it not have smashed into the ground like a meteor and disintegrated? (If there was a parachute that I don't remember, please correct me.) There should not have been a Spock-in-one-piece to return to. (And don't tell me that Genesis put him back together, or I'm going to tell you that David Marcus should have been reborn after getting shot by a disruptor.)

Don't photon torpedoes have navigational systems or am I thinking of something else? It could have been programmed to land on the surface if it does.

What never made sense to me are the Borg. Why do they keep sending just one ship into The Federation's territory? Why wouldn't they come with every available ship they have? We learned in Voyager that there are thousands.

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How in the hell does the ending of Generations make ANY sense? Picard enters the Nexus, finds Kirk and then LEAVES (I guess). He returns to reality at an earlier point in the timeline BEFORE he entered the Nexus. Technically, there should be two Picards at that point. The Picard that is native to the timeline and Picard who traveled back in time via the Nexus. In the process of defeating Soran, they STOP the missile from launching into the sun and the Nexus never arrives. There you have one of those time paradoxes that should destroy the universe. Picard would never have entered the Nexus and therefore never gone back with Kirk and been able to defeat Soran.

Star Trek is full of paradoxes like that. In this case, the screenwriters ignored the possible plot that arises because of Picard's entry into the Nexus. Soran would also be in the Nexus. Hell, I think the whole crew of Big D should be in the Nexus as well. But Picard and other humans do not have any telepathic abilities, so he can't sense them, he has his little Christmas scene. But we know Guinan does, based on her vibes in "Yesterday's Enterprise," or it's possible her echo in the Nexus wandered around for 78 years and noticed Jim Kirk out in the woods. The point is that Soran, an El-Aurian like Guinan, should have had the opportunity to sense Picard inside the Nexus and stop him, unless he was too caught up in his utopia.

So yes, I think there should be two Picards. We suspect this is so from Back to the Future: Marty McFly returns to 1985 early, just in time to watch himself making the original trip back in time. For that moment, there are two Martys in the same time, but were they to interact, it would unravel the entire 1955 adventure, resulting an a universe ending paradox. That's why Doc warns Marty not to interact with his "original" 1955 counterpart when he returns to 1955 in Part II to retrieve the Almanac. Those are the rules set forth by BTTF: don't interact with your original counterpart in a way that screws up what your counterpart originally did.

Star Trek has no such rules. Picard returns to Veridian III with Kirk before the Nexus arrives, and we watch Big D crash again, and they stop Soran. Except the movie removes that other "original" Picard that should be waiting in the wings to die when the Nexus crashes. Because the missile gets destroyed, the Nexus never shows up, and so the timeline with Picard entering the Nexus and retrieving Kirk should never happen. Boom! Paradox.

The only lesson to take away from Generations is that the screenwriters wanted to kill Kirk. It doesn't have to make sense, Kirk had to die. If Kirk had been on the ball, he would have emerged from the Nexus in time to stop the Big B (see what I'm doing?) from entering the Nexus and dying in the first place. Except that with the early death of Soran, there is no movie, and with the death of Guinan, there is no TNG as we know it.

The same kind of thing was done in Voyager's final episode. "Future" Janeway goes back in time to directly interact with her "present" counterpart and send Voyager home decades early, and deal a crippling blow to the Borg in the process. As a result, "future" Janeway is killed and "present" Janeway is sent home to a plot line that in no way, shape, or form will lead to an event in the future requiring her to travel into the past to send Voyager home. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

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Star Trek has never handled time travel well, except for The Voyage Home and maybe Trials and Tribblelations. They need to watch some Doctor Who and get this time thing right.

I watched Tomorrow is Yesterday with the TOS S1 set and wanted to bang my head on the wall at the end. Beaming future versions into past versions of themselves? Seriously? And where exactly did the past Enterprise go?

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What never made sense to me are the Borg. Why do they keep sending just one ship into The Federation's territory? Why wouldn't they come with every available ship they have? We learned in Voyager that there are thousands.

It makes no sense to send your entire armada into a battle where at least one captain has specific strategic knowledge of your fleet, enough of which to make quick work of your ships. Look at the ease in which the Enterprise-E took care of the cube in FC. Arm every ship you have with quantum torpedoes, have Picard in command of the fleet and you're done. Just make sure there's a few ships on hand to shoot down any spheres. Strictly speaking, as long as the Federation have Picard, the Borg are better staying in the Delta Quadrant.

The same kind of thing was done in Voyager's final episode. "Future" Janeway goes back in time to directly interact with her "present" counterpart and send Voyager home decades early, and deal a crippling blow to the Borg in the process. As a result, "future" Janeway is killed and "present" Janeway is sent home to a plot line that in no way, shape, or form will lead to an event in the future requiring her to travel into the past to send Voyager home. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

And then she gets made a freakin' Admiral! No wonder they rebooted the whole thing.

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What never made sense to me are the Borg. Why do they keep sending just one ship into The Federation's territory? Why wouldn't they come with every available ship they have? We learned in Voyager that there are thousands.

A couple reasons. When you create a near-invincible opponent, you have to put something into the equation to make them beatable. In this case, the Borg have both poor planning and overconfidence. They enter Federation space with inferior numbers and don't bank on getting whooped in any number of far-stretch ways.

Another reason is that if you make the Borg smart enough to swarm the Federation with thousands of cubes or tactical cubes or transwarp conduits or any number of high-tech toys they have in Voyager, then you destroy the Federation. And if you do that, there is no more Star Trek.

I figure the Borg were extremely expensive. As fascinating as it would be to show the Federation in a post-Borg-apocalypse society, in the 90s on the TNG budget, it was not practical.

The last answer is that, beginning with "First Contact," ST: Voyager kept changing and adding onto the Borg as they went, making them completely different from their original debut back in "Q Who?". The brightly lit cubes, emphasizing a palette of black and white colors, had morphed into dimly lit, steaming corridors emphasizing a green and black palette. Instead of recognizing that Borg show no class, no gender, and no individuality, we get multiple Borg queens, children Borg, women Borg in tight revealing outfits, and Borg who come and go into the Collective far more than just Locutus. And then you get the things that make the Borg shake in their sleep, Species 8472, an even more unbeatable foe for Voyager to face.

In short, they "sexxed up" the Borg.

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It's like ALIENS, in a way. As cool as the alien queen was, the aliens' power was diminished because they were all pretty much undone after the queen was killed, which immediately kills that pocket of aliens because their ability to breed is taken away (not to mention the very alien nature taken away as they're immediately given the nature of an Earth-based insect lifestyle). As soon as you kill the Borg queen, all the borg are taken out and that saves the day, as opposed to having to fight a collective. Unless that pesky Hugh was involved.

The idea of Picard having to fight himself and his Melville/Khan-esque psyche was far more interesting.

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Thinking of all the nitpicks in Star Trek makes my head hurt so I just prefer to enjoy them as is, for the most part.

The whole Spock's coffin debate stems from Paramount's insistance that Spock come back for Star Trek III. Meyer's version ends without showing Spock's coffin on Genesis, he's dead and not coming back. But since Paramount got their way, the writers for III had to scramble and come up with a story. The explanation Sarek gave to Kirk works for me and makes sense.

As for the rest of the effects of Genesis and whatnot, well that's why it's called Science Fiction.

And yes, Kirk would have gone back to his time to stop Soran because unlike Picard, he can handle himself in a fist fight. Picard gets his ass kicked rather easily.

Just chalk that up to the writer's stupidity of trying to get Shatner and Stewart on screen together. So in both versions Kirk goes out with a whimper. They should have let Kirk take out Soran like a man and live. Then they could allow him to share a goodbye with Picard and ride off into the sunset like he deserved.

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Just chalk that up to the writer's stupidity of trying to get Shatner and Stewart on screen together. So in both versions Kirk goes out with a whimper. They should have let Kirk take out Soran like a man and live. Then they could allow him to share a goodbye with Picard and ride off into the sunset like he deserved.

I agree with the concept, but I'm sure no one (the writers, the producers, Shatner, etc.) wanted to deal with the implications of a living Kirk in the Next Gen universe.

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Why not? They did it with Spock and Scotty. Just let Kirk ride off into the sunset, as cliched as it might be, and let him "retire" and explore the galaxy or something like that.

Wha?

Young, agile, nimble Kirk maybe, but not old, tired, starting to look like Denny Crane Kirk.

Well old, tired Kirk kicked Soran's ass while Picard got taken down with a few punches.

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Soran's missile seems to reach the Veridian sun in mere seconds. Yet it is clearly a convention rocket propelled missile, so it cannot have faster then light capability.

Would you prefer that Soran's missile take a few days to reach the sun, as if it were an Apollo-style rocket?

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Star Trek III's chronology was shuffled around in post-production. The shooting script started with the Grissom arriving at Genesis (which is why it's the only sequence in the movie with an on-screen stardate). They find Spock's coffin and report back to Starfleet. That's how everyone knows that Spock is on Genesis. In the final edit, Kirk asks to go back to Genesis before the coffin is discovered!

Neil

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No, it is technically impossibly for a conventional rocket (liquid or solid fuel)to achieve faster then light velocity.

In All Good Things, if the Anti-time anomaly goes in opposite direction of our own linear time, so growing larger the further it goes into our past.

How come by the time Picard arrives at the point were the anomaly will form, it's not there yet, and suddenly, a few minutes later it starts to appear.

It's BACKWARDS in time, it should have been there and THEN dissapeared!

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Star Trek III's chronology was shuffled around in post-production. The shooting script started with the Grissom arriving at Genesis (which is why it's the only sequence in the movie with an on-screen stardate). They find Spock's coffin and report back to Starfleet. That's how everyone knows that Spock is on Genesis. In the final edit, Kirk asks to go back to Genesis before the coffin is discovered!

Neil

There are pros and cons about it being either way, as you present its "might have been" logic, and the way it turned out.

On one hand, if Starfleet knew that Spock's body had survived the landing -- and then got up and walked away -- there would be no reason to restrict Kirk and crew from traveling to Genesis. Even if Starfleet didn't buy the Vulcan religion thing and the katra (and with Vulcans in high command, they ought to), they owed it to Spock to not leave this celebrated officer behind if his body had returned to life. The scientific ramifications of that are enormous.

The final version portrays Kirk and crew traveling to Genesis on a hope and a prayer, hoping they'll find Spock's body intact. His decision is presented as breaking countless Starfleet regulations, setting up the trial in the planned sequel. I think the final movie version makes better sense, with Starfleet not knowing about the body rather than knowingly conspiring to keep Spock dead.

No, it is technically impossibly for a conventional rocket (liquid or solid fuel) to achieve faster then light velocity.

I realize this. To make a rocket go faster, you need to add more fuel. The more fuel you add, the bigger the body of the rocket needs to be, which in turn requires more fuel to move. Eventually you'll need a rocket the size of the universe, which is too large for Soran to carry around incognito.

In All Good Things, if the Anti-time anomaly goes in opposite direction of our own linear time, so growing larger the further it goes into our past.

How come by the time Picard arrives at the point were the anomaly will form, it's not there yet, and suddenly, a few minutes later it starts to appear.

It's BACKWARDS in time, it should have been there and THEN dissapeared!

Remember, they were probably writing Generations at the same time. They goofed.

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Universal Translator: My Technical Sounding Fanboying Explanation ™

The Universal Translator is a combination of advanced voice recognition technology coupled with an extensive sampling of syntactic and phonetic samples, combined with a word and phrase translation matrix, so that a phrase in language X can be recognized as being from that language, translated to the Linguacode equivalent, then to a destination language.

The early sources for the Linguacode and translation matrix framework can be traced to the life work of Enterprise (NX-01) Communications technician Hoshi Sato.

By the 23rd Century, the technology had sufficiently advanced to search for base patterns and constructs common to many galactic languages that are used with complex learning algorythms to learn and refine on the spot.

On a regular basis, learned translation data is distilled and trasnmitted to Starfleet's central language database, where it is refined.

The updated database is then sent out to all of the ships in Starfleet as part of the standard data upload/download/merge cycle, thus ensuring that translation is as accurate as possible for Federation starships, stations and facilities.

This translation data is also available to all Federation citizens and allies to aid in communication.

In some situations, universal translators have certain characteristic properties when generating audio translations, which can be detected electronically.

This detection technique was known to be used by Klingon monitoring and traffic control stations (Star Trek VI).

cool.gif

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Sweet . . . I like how everyone's taken to this one already. Some fascinating discussions right out of the gate. . . .

In the movie, the Reliant was destroeyed within the Mutara Nebula, which is essentially gas and dust.

There's more than enough matter in a Nebula to coalesce into a Star, so the explosion may have heated and fused some of the particles, and started the gravitational chain so some of the Nebula's matter could clump up into the Genesis planet.

When fired normally, I'd imagine it reorganizing the crustal layers of a planet or dead moon.

I like your thinking on this. Very clever, something I'd never considered. My only problems with it: 1) The actual FX shot shows the Reliant explosion dissipating the nebula completely. 2) Even with the idea that the matter in the nebula could've done an about-face and collected together at the "center" (although given the outward velocity of the explosion, that's probably unlikely), gathering enough dust together to form a planet would've taken time. Gobs of it. Years at least, maybe even centuries. They wouldn't have been staring at that huge ball of fire a few minutes later on the viewscreen.

However, your answer is original and brilliant enough to have earned you points with me. :lol:

How in the hell does the ending of Generations make ANY sense? Picard enters the Nexus, finds Kirk and then LEAVES (I guess). He returns to reality at an earlier point in the timeline BEFORE he entered the Nexus. Technically, there should be two Picards at that point. The Picard that is native to the timeline and Picard who traveled back in time via the Nexus. In the process of defeating Soran, they STOP the missile from launching into the sun and the Nexus never arrives. There you have one of those time paradoxes that should destroy the universe. Picard would never have entered the Nexus and therefore never gone back with Kirk and been able to defeat Soran.

I'm with you on this one. There are actually three other problems with this whole sequence: 1) Guinan specifically told Picard to avoid the Nexus because his desires would trap him there. "You won't want to leave," she said. Apparently bald men are immune to the effect; Picard is there all of five minutes before he starts looking for the door. 2) Apart from the whole double-Picard issue, the timing itself is wonky in this scene. The first time around, Picard gets his ass whooped off the little bridgeway. He falls to the bottom of the crevice, looks up, and sees the Nexus ribbon approaching. The second time around, Kirk plays with Soran on the bridge for a bit, then Soran takes off, Picard and Jim talk a bit, more fighting, more music, etc., until Soran finally makes it up to where Picard has spent a couple of minutes buggying around with the control panel. About that time . . . the Nexus ribbon finally wanders into the scene. What took it so long the second time? 3) This is a really picky one, but it's always nagged at me a bit. Kirk said in STV, "I've always known I'll die alone." He sounded so sure of himself, too. . . .

Soran's missile seems to reach the Veridian sun in mere seconds. Yet it is clearly a convention rocket propelled missile, so it cannot have faster then light capability.

Hah! I've got an answer for this one! Well, a potential, speculative one, anyway. . . . Soran's missile does indeed begin as a conventional rocket-propelled missile. However, it's possible that it converts to a warp-capable device once it's clear of the atmosphere (much like Zephram Cochran's rocket in First Contact). It wouldn't be able to go to superlight speed within the atmosphere; it would burn up before it reached space. We don't know for certain, of course, but since it's possible. . . .

- Uni

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Now, here's my own question: In Star Trek II, the promotional video for the Genesis device says that it reorganizes matter on a subatomic level into life-supporting matter of equal mass. In other words, it doesn't create any new matter, just shifts around what's there to make life feasible where it wasn't before.

So where did the Genesis planet come from, anyway? Khan's ship didn't just inflate to planet size. I suppose the "wave" could've expanded out of the region of the nebula and reached Regula 1, but in the FX shots it didn't look like much more than a planetoid, an oversized asteroid, hardly big enough to turn into a habitable world. And I'm nt sure I see how the edge of a wave detonated several thousand kilometers away could've made enough of an impact to have that sort of effect.

So what's the deal?

Yeah, I'll agree that the nebula had lots of gas matter that could be reorganized into a star and Genesis planet. In real life, nebualae are the building blocks of stars and planets.

I don't think the audience would buy it if McCoy and Kirk just turned up on Vulcan for Spock's Katra to be given a shiny new body/host. The existence of such a thing would either throw open more questions regarding Vulcan lore (do they have a factory line of clones in case they die?) or moral quandaries (i.e. if they had pulled out some poor guy to have his memories wiped and replaced with Spock's, which wouldn't have been satisfactory as he would have to look like Nimoy). I suppose it's possible the Katra Ritual could regenerate the body as well, I'm not sure, I guess it would have to. As for the issues with Spock's knowledge of the Katra, given that this is - to my knowledge - the one and only time we've seen a Vulcan go through it, it may not be open to some members of Vulcan society (for example the half-Romulan Saavik), and if he did have the key to immortality, it's not the kind of thing that he would want to tell Starfleet about, especially with how the Vulcans are about outsiders and Spock's initial defection to Starfleet in the first place.

No. I wasn't suggesting that Spock's katra be entered into someone else. I think you misunderstand Vulcan mysticism. Forget about ST:III for a moment. When all Vulcans are about to die, they put their katra into someone else if possible. Then what normally happens is that person goes to the Mt. Seleya temple on Vulcan and the usual ritual puts the katra into an katric ark: an artifact that can somehow store katras of dead Vulcans. Vulcans leaders have the privelige of going to the temple and mind-melding with arks posessing the souls of dead Vulcans to gain some of their wisdom.

That being said, with the discovery that McCoy posessed Spock's katra and no knowledge that Spock's body survived, they had no reason to go to Genesis and no hope of putting Spock's katra back into any living body. Spock's katra (through McCoy) told Kirk to take him to Vulcan. This was so Spock's katra could join the ranks of all the other dead Vulcans that were there (in katric form). That is the normal "afterlife" of Vulcans, which is all that Spock's katra expected. Spock's katra also didn't seem to know that his body had regenerated on Genesis.

The torpedo tube is not so much an issue. From reading the movie novelizations, I remember that Saavik was supposed to program Spock's tube for a trajectory that would make it burn up in Genesis's atmosphere, but there was still some background Genesis wave raditation putting the final touches on the planet's biosphere and at the last minute she programmed the tube to instead intercept the Genesis wave, so that the dead matter of Spock's body would be reorganized into new life. She thought it was a fitting way to destroy Spock's dead body, but she didn't tell anyone that she had done that. She succeeded in shooting spock's tube into the Genesis wave, but of course no one including Saavik expected the tube to soft-land on the planet, and I'm ok with that little detail going unexplained.

Oh, Kirk going to get Spock's body:

They sent the Casket there, and they were expecting to take Spock's corpse back to Vulcan, with Dr. McCoy so they could help both find peace.

But if Spock's body was supposed to go to Vulcan, then why was it launched into space at all? I still think if Vulcans have a burial or cremation ritual for dead Vulcan bodies, that someone should have known about Vulcan death culture on the Enterprise (like Kirk or Saavik), or Spock would have had a Will with final wishes. Afterall, Kirk knew that Mt. Seleya was on Vulcan. As I stated above, McCoy only needed to go to Vulcan to for both he and Spock's katra to find peace. The body of the deceased Vulcan is not required for that ritual, or they wouldn't have jettisoned it in the first place.

When they showed up with Spock's body still alive, instead of the normal everyday ritual of transmitting the katra from the person carrying it and to the katric temple (Vulcan afterlife), they had the option of performing the rare ritual of ages past where someone thought they were going to die but didn't, so the katra could be put back into the original body.

Star Trek III's chronology was shuffled around in post-production. The shooting script started with the Grissom arriving at Genesis (which is why it's the only sequence in the movie with an on-screen stardate). They find Spock's coffin and report back to Starfleet. That's how everyone knows that Spock is on Genesis. In the final edit, Kirk asks to go back to Genesis before the coffin is discovered!

Neil

Thanks for that info, Neil! That makes more sense than anything I have heard, except for one thing... Why did they change it?! It makes more sense for Kirk to discover McCoy had Spock's katra, prepare to take him to Vulcan so Spock's katra could achieve Vulcan afterlife, but then discover that Spock's body may have been regenerated on Genesis, so then they went there on a hope and a prayer that they could somehow restore Spock's katra to his body and bring Spock back to life. But being that it was dangerous territory near the Klingon Neutral Zone, they had to disobey orders and steal the Enterprise as portrayed in the final edit of the film to do so. Damn that would have made so much more sense. Why didn't they keep that? Why? :)

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BTW regarding about Kirk knowing he'll die alone. Technically he did, he didn't know who Picard was. He didn't know him like he knew Spock and McCoy. Picard was a total stranger to Kirk.

Also regarding the temporal paradox's for Generations...let me quote Captain Janeway from the episode "Future's End" and "Timeless"... "Time travel, I swear the first day as a Starfleet Captain I'd never get myself involved in one of these god forsaken paradox's. The future is the past, the past is the future it all gives me a headache". I can't quite remember what she said to Harry in "Timeless" but basically said for making sense in time travel paradox's was simple... "Don't even try".

Yes there's a lot of nit picking to be done in Star Trek...but honestly it's not worth it. I just sit back and enjoy the shows.

Edit: Yes Back To The Future was basically the only films I've seen so far that what could happen if you frack around with the time line. Either to screw around with your own history, or even history in general. They took a real big gamble on those three films.

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Yes Back To The Future was basically the only films I've seen so far that what could happen if you frack around with the time line. Either to screw around with your own history, or even history in general. They took a real big gamble on those three films.

Love the films to death, but they're so unrealistic in how they portray time travel. You wouldn't be able to change the past or future. No matter what you did, everything would still end up happening the way it was "supposed to"...all you've done is travel to a different point on the line to experience it. If I were to travel back to 1985 right now and try to sneak in as an extra in BTTF, I somehow wouldn't make it. Why? Because we've already seen BTTF, and we know I'm not in it. Er, I know I'm not in it. Y'all don't know what I look like. Come to think of it, I haven't really studied the extras that closely, though...anyway, whatever happened happened. Humans just get hung up on this persistent feeling that we should trust our own perception of time. If I'm sitting here at my desk in 2009 and then I perceive myself as being in 1985 a few moments "later", my instinctive tendency is to believe that 1985 is happening "after" 2009 - like it hasn't happened yet, which means I could do anything I want. But all I'd be doing was going back to experience events from earlier in the timeline. I haven't created a "new" 1985 in which I visit it, as if the 2009 version of me "originally" hadn't existed in 1985.

That being said, because BTTF isn't trying to be realistic, and because we do have such a strong emotional attachment to that instinctive view of time travel in which anything could be changed, it works. Like I said, I adore all three films.

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Love the films to death, but they're so unrealistic in how they portray time travel. You wouldn't be able to change the past or future. No matter what you did, everything would still end up happening the way it was "supposed to"...all you've done is travel to a different point on the line to experience it. If I were to travel back to 1985 right now and try to sneak in as an extra in BTTF, I somehow wouldn't make it. Why? Because we've already seen BTTF, and we know I'm not in it. Er, I know I'm not in it. Y'all don't know what I look like. Come to think of it, I haven't really studied the extras that closely, though...anyway, whatever happened happened. Humans just get hung up on this persistent feeling that we should trust our own perception of time. If I'm sitting here at my desk in 2009 and then I perceive myself as being in 1985 a few moments "later", my instinctive tendency is to believe that 1985 is happening "after" 2009 - like it hasn't happened yet, which means I could do anything I want. But all I'd be doing was going back to experience events from earlier in the timeline. I haven't created a "new" 1985 in which I visit it, as if the 2009 version of me "originally" hadn't existed in 1985.

Apparently I was wrong that I could think "fourth dimensionally".

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Universal Translator: My Technical Sounding Fanboying Explanation ™

The Universal Translator is a combination of advanced voice recognition technology coupled with an extensive sampling of syntactic and phonetic samples, combined with a word and phrase translation matrix, so that a phrase in language X can be recognized as being from that language, translated to the Linguacode equivalent, then to a destination language.

The early sources for the Linguacode and translation matrix framework can be traced to the life work of Enterprise (NX-01) Communications technician Hoshi Sato.

By the 23rd Century, the technology had sufficiently advanced to search for base patterns and constructs common to many galactic languages that are used with complex learning algorythms to learn and refine on the spot.

On a regular basis, learned translation data is distilled and trasnmitted to Starfleet's central language database, where it is refined.

The updated database is then sent out to all of the ships in Starfleet as part of the standard data upload/download/merge cycle, thus ensuring that translation is as accurate as possible for Federation starships, stations and facilities.

This translation data is also available to all Federation citizens and allies to aid in communication.

In some situations, universal translators have certain characteristic properties when generating audio translations, which can be detected electronically.

This detection technique was known to be used by Klingon monitoring and traffic control stations (Star Trek VI).

cool.gif

How come peoples lips movements matches the translated words?

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Star Trek has never handled time travel well, except for The Voyage Home and maybe Trials and Tribblelations. They need to watch some Doctor Who and get this time thing right.

I watched Tomorrow is Yesterday with the TOS S1 set and wanted to bang my head on the wall at the end. Beaming future versions into past versions of themselves? Seriously? And where exactly did the past Enterprise go?

you seriously need to stop this recent trend of stupid comments.

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Star Trek has never handled time travel well, except for The Voyage Home and maybe Trials and Tribblelations. They need to watch some Doctor Who and get this time thing right.

I watched Tomorrow is Yesterday with the TOS S1 set and wanted to bang my head on the wall at the end. Beaming future versions into past versions of themselves? Seriously? And where exactly did the past Enterprise go?

you seriously need to stop this recent trend of stupid comments.

I'm saying what I think, if you think it's stupid that's not really my problem. Maybe if you'd go to a little trouble to explain your reasoning on why it's stupid I could comment.

I did neglect to add City on the Edge of Forever to my "good" list, that does time travel well. Even with a great lesson: pacifism destroys the world!

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Star Trek has never handled time travel well, except for The Voyage Home and maybe Trials and Tribblelations. They need to watch some Doctor Who and get this time thing right.

I watched Tomorrow is Yesterday with the TOS S1 set and wanted to bang my head on the wall at the end. Beaming future versions into past versions of themselves? Seriously? And where exactly did the past Enterprise go?

you seriously need to stop this recent trend of stupid comments.

I'm saying what I think, if you think it's stupid that's not really my problem. Maybe if you'd go to a little trouble to explain your reasoning on why it's stupid I could comment.

I did neglect to add City on the Edge of Forever to my "good" list, that does time travel well. Even with a great lesson: pacifism destroys the world!

why explain when I made you think a little. City On the Edge of Forever is hands down the finest hour of Star Trek. Its time travel, and it's done well. But since you asked.

Star Trek did time travel well with First Contact. The Naked Time was done well, Tomorrow is Yesterday is excellent despite your reservations, Yesterdays Enterprise, All our Yesterdays, Assignment Earth, The Voyage Home Cause and Effect are others.

Star Trek handled all those Time Travel stories poorly........um NO.

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I thought this thread would already be to page 50 by today

It was . . . but a couple of us went back in time and changed it, deleted the whole annoying flareup of useless, bickering comments. When I got back to the present, I didn't have a dog any more. Not sure what happened there.

- Uni

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought this might be better here.

Sorry I was not clear, but that's not what I meant at all.

This illustrates what I basically meant: shoot a handheld phaser directly at the warp core within engineering.

19.jpg

That breach of the warp core would achieve what's known as "auto-destruct sequence without countdown."

Because if you have an auto-destruct sequence for such situations, to keep enemy ships out of the wrong hands or to take the other guy down with you, but it can fail in the situations when it is needed the most, it's not designed very well.

It would probably have crippled the Scimitar enough that the cavalry could show up and finish the job.

If you watch the YouTube review of Nemesis by RedLetterMedia, you would understand. He even managed to rip First Contact a new one so convincingly it made me realize how messed it really is.

That still gives you two situations:

1 - Destroy the core and kill everyone on the ship

2 - Evacuate the ship and hope that the last reserves of phaser power or any remaining shuttlecraft are enough to defend the escape pods against the Scimitar.

I don't think Picard would ever choose the first unless there was strictly no other option. There's a possibility that the Scimitar would ignore the escape pods, but he's an evil villain so you'd think he'd at least try. Also, it's not as if they have anywhere else to go, although I suppose given enough power supply, replicators could provide enough food or water for you to wait for a prolonged rescue.

I haven't seen the review, so I'm not sure where he goes with this, but cinematically, I think the battle comes off pretty well, especially with the whole ramming business. And I'm not sure ending the TNG franchise by killing everyone on the Enterprise would be the most appropriate ending, although it would certainly kick ass in its own way. Maybe have Picard stay on the bridge himself and go down with it, which is how Kirk should have died in GENERATIONS.

Wojo, I am happy you have seen the light about FC.

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Oh I still like FC. It's my favorite of the TNG movies. It's the most accessible of those films, it's got great humor, action, and music. But I can objectively dissect a movie for its flaws and still enjoy it. It butchers the characters, it invents ridiculous plot holes and circumstances for the sake of advancing the "story," and it leaves way too many questions unanswered. It's a great action science fiction movie, but is not a great "Star Trek" movie. I don't want to get into that too much without first explaining the situation in Nemesis.

In Nemesis, RedLetterMedia's review gets to the part of the battle where the Scimitar has pulled itself out of the Enterprise, leaving both ships crippled and without weapons. Picard wants to auto-destruct the Enterprise to destroy the Scimitar and prevent it from reaching Earth. But the auto-destruct system is offline, and then they realize that they have only seven minutes before the thalaron radiation weapon is fully activated.

The reviewer questions why Picard and Data beam over to the ship to shut it off, rather than simply shoot the warp core with a handheld weapon. Such a breach would be the same as auto-destruct. That's option #1: destroy the Enterprise, everyone aboard, and the resultant explosion would take out the Scimitar.

Option #2 (Evacuate the ship and hope that the last reserves of phaser power or any remaining shuttlecraft are enough to defend the escape pods against the Scimitar) is irrelevant at this point. The Scimitar's weapons are not the threat at this point. The escape pods would not have time to clear either the effects range of the thalaron weapon, or the blast radius of the impending two-ship warp core breach, and everyone would die anyways.

But Star Trek cannot kill off all of its main characters in one single event. Even if the movie was planned to be the crew's swan song, you can't kill them all like that. So invoking auto-destruct is a cheat. It's one-round Russian Roulette: that chamber was empty, but Picard doesn't pull the trigger again. He finds another way.

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And that's what the best Captains are great at: turning death into a fighting chance to live.

And yeah, auto-destruct really is the final option, which is why it was so dramatic in TSFS, but is only ever a veiled threat any other time. While sacrificing the Enterprise and her crew to save Earth would be a noble effort and would certainly be interesting dramatically, Picard would never do it, probably because he would feel that none of them would be in the situation if it weren't for him, whether he had any choice in the matter or not.

Plus, Picard would have to leave his dune buggy behind.

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What do you mean he'd never do it? He's attempted it several times already, only to be thwarted by convenient plot contrivances. It's the writers who'd never do it, not Picard.

I mean he'd never willingly sacrifice the lives of however many people serve on the Enterprise. Evacuation, yeah, but not without it. That would be out of character for Picard.

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I mean he'd never willingly sacrifice the lives of however many people serve on the Enterprise.

Actually there were a couple of episodes in TNG where things were so bad that he'd be willing to destroy the Enterprise. One was "Where Silence Has Leased" but as stated the plot at the last minute changed it and the auto destruct was cancelled.

Actually what an auto destruct sequence is basically an overload of the score, it just takes longer as you can set the time interval.. If you had a direct breach of the core then the destruction of said ship would go A LOT quicker, depending on the situation (see Generations as an example).

Janeway though...she actually destroyed the ship with everyone on board...all though it was to save the duplicate Voyager that had been heavily damaged. I'm talking about the one episode "Dreadlock".

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