Fridge Logic: Chekov left his phaser, communicator, and identification onboard the USS Enterprise... that is, the "nuclear wessel".
Chekov's phaser didn't work, the identification was laughed off as a fake, and the communicator useless to anyone without 23rd Century or later communicators to talk to. They were most likely tossed aside as useless props owned by a Commie agent. Conversely, given the Stable Time Loop that seems to happen with Scotty giving away transparent aluminum, the tech from Chekov's "props" could be used to found the technology Cochrane would need to build his warp drive.
Clarified in the novelization, where Chekov grabbed his things before leaving the ship, and threw them into the water before he was captured again.
And good thing, too, as The Original Series establishes that communicators are not useless without another communicator near — or more accurately, you can't use them as a tool, but you can reverse-engineer certain basic 23d century Federation technologies from them (even from a less developed starting point then that of the 1980s-era USA).
Wait a minute, during this timeframe, would Federation communicators even work with a Klingon ship? They were at war with each other. Or are they powerful enough transmitters to not require a ship or satellite relay? The movie mentions replacing the food packs, not rebuilding the communication system.
The movie's premise makes time travel in the Star Trek universe seem much too easy. We can only assume that that ship was special because it belonged to Christopher Lloyd.
Maybe, but it wasn't without precedent in the series — this was actually the third or fourth time they'd used that method of time travel. Plus it did have its limits, in that it caused huge stress to the ship that was attempting it, and the range was apparently limited to a few centuries in either direction.
Fourth, actually. They did it three times in TOS. Twice on purpose.
The movie does indicate that relatively small miscalculations could have bad effects in timewarp. They risk it here because, well, it is the only plan they manage to come up with.
The dream state is what effectively acts as the ultimate limiter. It only lasts a matter of minutes if you hop back a century or two, but beyond that you could spend days, weeks, or months just laying there asleep.
Time travel in Star Trek IS easy, it's just generally a bad idea.
So what happened to Maltz from Star Trek III? Surely if the Federation sent a ship to pick up a Klingon prisoner, they would have picked up Kirk and company as well. Did Maltz spend the entirety of Star Trek IV in the bird-of-prey's brig?
Dropped him off in a Vulcan prison, or at the Klingon embassy on Vulcan, most likely.
Given the Klingon mentality it doesn't seem likely that Klingon birds-of-prey would be equipped with dedicated holding cells—Maltz might have spent time in some sort of high-security closet.
Maybe they left him on Vulcan.
The film mentions that Sarek's diplomatic powers are what's keeping the Federation from just arresting Kirk and company. Odds are he wouldn't have been inclined to offer Maltz the same protection.
It wasn't even necessary to give the 20th century transparent aluminum. The guy at the factory said that they could build the whale tank with six inch thick plexiglass. So why didn't they just do that?
That's exactly what they did do. They traded the Transparent Aluminum formula for the materials they needed. They only had $100 in cash to begin with after all, so they bartered with information.
Fridge Horror: While it's great and all that the Planet is saved at the end, eventually, they're going to have to repeat this mission. At best, a humpback can live about a hundred years; if George and Gracie's kid lives that long, the humpback will go back to extinction around Picard's time.
Keep in mind that people in the 24th century seem to have mastered cloning.
The novelization explains that there are samples of humpback whale DNA preserved on Earth, but that without a pre-existing whale to teach the clones how to act like humpback whales, there would be no point. Presumably these samples are used to boost the population to a self-sustaining level.
Spock tells McCoy that he cannot discuss what it was like being dead unless the other person in the conversation has a similar frame of reference, i.e. has been dead themselves. Everyone seems to be forgetting that 2 members of the crew have been dead before: McCoy died on the Shore Leave planet, and Scotty was killed by the Nomad probe!
Except that the manner of Spock's death; the transfer and re-insertion of his Katra into a rejuvenated body is a kind of death-resurrection experience that only a Vulcan can possibly have.
Should Spock know how it feels to be dead at all? Forgive the flimsy computer analogy, but Spock uploaded his katra into McCoy's brain before his sacrifice, so if he remembers anything between that and the point his katra was downloaded back into his body, it should be memories he shares with Bones. Spock's body went through a second infancy, so it seems like the body wouldn't have retained any memories of the event—though to be fair, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Vulcans can recall their infancy with perfect clarity—so, if anything, Spock should be able to describe his experience to McCoy because they have the exact same frame of reference for the event.
Since its now been established that its perfectly fine to take a 20th Century person back to the 23rd....might there be some OTHER reason Spock insisted so strongly "Edith Keeler MUST die"?
Edith Keeler was from the 1930s, where the most advanced technology available was a lightbulb. Her entire life was devoted to caring for the men that came into the shelter. Gillian was from the 1980s, which would be a slightly easier transition culturally. Her entire life was given over to caring for George and Gracie. Besides, who's to say that the Guardian would have let them bring back Edith Keeler? (And yes, I got the Ho Yay implications of your post. I'm just not a Kirk/Spock shipper.)
Leaving aside that technology was slightly more advanced than "lightbulbs" in the 1930s, the Federation has established rules for dealing with time travel and people stranded thereby. One of them is that people from the past who come forward in time need to stay forward in time unless their absence in the past causes catastrophic consequences. Edith Keeler just "disappearing" rather than dying might have had greater consequences than some whale biologist who was already a bit of an overemotional flake (what? she is) disappearing.
The thing to consider is not just that the person in question is dead/missing but how the people who knew them react and how that will effect them and the people who know them. Sometimes it makes no relevant difference, other times the changes are more obvious. If Gillain wasn't particularly social then her disappearance will cause minimal change.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is famously the only Trek movie to have no body count. . .so don't think too hard about just how badly that probe was fucking with Earth's weather.
And it couldn't have been great for pacemakers.
Did you not pay attention to all the ranting during the medical scenes? The very concept of a pacemaker in the 23rd century would have made Bones hit the roof.
It was meant facetiously. I was trying to communicate the idea that a catastrophic power outage on a planet that is so heavily dependent on technology probably caused some deaths.
That would depend. With such advanced technology they may not have people who are dependent on constant care anymore so it would simply be a matter of if anyone was mortally wounded during that period.
Even Captain Picard has an artificial heart.
The headlines that day read, "Catastrophic Power Loss Worldwide" with the subtitle "Every Hovercraft And Aircraft Luckily In For Repairs."
Anyone else out there think that the old woman in the hospital is in for a lifetime of tests and probes as the medical establishment tries to figure out how she grew a new kidney (and how they can replicate the miracle).
Only if she wants to be. Voluntary and Informed consent is pretty important.
Considering all the crap we've put in the ocean, and that the whales' endangerment is kinda our fault, why would George and Gracie talking to the probe make things any better? "Well, they hunted us, caused all kinds of pollution, and apparently have driven us totally to extinction 'cause they had to go back in time and kidnap us to have someone to talk to you. Other than that, we're fine." Once whoever sent the probe found out to what happened to their pals, a Roaring Rampage of Revenge seems in order, especially when they realized all they had to do to accomplish it was leave the probe running. If anything, it'd be an ironic punishment. "See what happens when you carelessly put your crap in environment someone's kinda using? Suck on that, ape-boys!"
They seemed to get along decently with Spock during his mental discussion with them (they informed him Gracie was pregnant, after all), so evidently these particular humpback whales aren't all that angry with human-seeming people. Also, George and Gracie likely wouldn't have the full image of just how poorly humans were treating their species, seeing as they'd spend so much of their life in captivity (rather than being out hunted in the polluted waters alongside their gradually-driven-to-extinction kin).
Spock *asked* the whales to help and they said yes (I take issue with you saying "kidnapped"). Why would they have lied to him? Of course if the whales said no, Kirk might have taken them anyway and caused the scenario you mentioned, but that didn't come up.
Plus maybe the whales don't think punishing billions of innocent people (plus possibly lots of other animals as well) isn't a smart idea.
The line "Damage control is easy. Reading Klingon, that's hard!" is actually a in-joke. The original foundations of the Klingon and Vulcan languages stem from the first Star Trek film. And were actually put together by...James Doohan (Scotty).