Headscratchers / Star Trek (2009)

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     Excuse me, but your ship is leaking. 
  • Just what did the Narada need with all that bilge water?
    • The Narada could've been designed to stay out for years at a time. Hence, they'd need a lot of water. It saves energy to not just replicate water whenever you need a drink.
      • Well, if it's drinking water, why was Nero wading in it?
      • He's been driven a bit bonkers with his desire for revenge, and not contaminating the water supply is not his biggest priority.
      • Maybe the ship had been in a state of disrepair when it was sent back?
    • Maybe they like the extra humidity. Or trench foot is a big thing on Romulus.
    • Well, if you find you have to resort to physical drilling as opposed to laser-based, you'll need some drilling mud. And who says that's water? That could be just some inert liquid.
  • Not justifying it at all, but it goes with the aesthetic. Engineering spaces were given a "steamship-era" look, or, more properly, a look reminiscent of the boiler/steam turbine age (early 20th century). Open bilges are a part of that aesthetic.

     Don't mind us peaceful miners. 
  • Does anyone else wonder why the Narada, a mining ship, was carrying sufficient ordnance to destroy 47 well armed Klingon warships, AND several Federation ships as well?
    • That could have been some of the mining equipment put to more industrious uses. True the Narada was a mining ship, but it was some 400 years ahead of its time. A modern bulldozer may not be a military vehicle, but take it back in time to the 1600's, use a little bit of imagination, and I bet you could do some serious damage.
      • What? It was 2387 when the movie started. 400 years earlier would mean mean that Star Trek 2009 happened in 1987. I know Nero fought Kirk, but I'm pretty sure it was Young Kirk, not I'm Going To Save The Whales Kirk.
      • Exactly. It was 2387 when the movie started, but the Narada travelled from the future...400 years later. So it's 400 years ahead of the rest of the galaxy.
      • No, no. The Narada is from 2387, eight years after Nemesis. Star Trek 2009's first scene happens in 2233, presumably on March 22.
      • Actually, this Jim's date of birth is January 4th - 2233.04 being the current stardate at the beginning of the movie. Gives more reason why Winona and George were so worried over his birth! He would have possibly been premature!
      • The Narada was a (possibly Borg enhanced) Romulan mining ship from the year 2387 that was sent back to 2233. It attacked the Klingons in 2258, and at that time was 129 years more advanced. Just to clear things up.
    • Hell, a modern bulldozer now can be a military vehicle with only slight modifications. The Narada was the Killdozer IN SPACE!!
      • Here's another way to put the theory. Those same weapons that curbstomped a 23rd century Federation fleet would have been like squirt guns if fired at the Enterprise-E.
    • The prequel comics mention that the Narada was fitted with prototype Romulan-Borg hybrid technology after the destruction of Romulus by the Vault's commander D'Spal.
    • I'll admit it's an impefect analogy, but even the firearm I carry for personal defence would dominate 100+ years ago. Given the mindboggling jumps in technology in the Star Trek universe, something as simple as a mining (ph/l)aser would dominate technology from the same step backwards.
    • It's a Romulan ship, they carry enough weapons to wipe out 47 Klingon fighters when they go out to the grocery store to pick up eggs.
    • Because it was carrying enough ordinance to break up a lot of large asteroids? I suspect the Nerada's "torpedoes" were actually mining charges. They lacked the characteristic photon torpedo glow, and were vulnerable to point defense. Both of which suggest they lacked the shields that Trek torpedoes normally have. Which would make sense if they were designed as a tool rather than a weapon.

     Our Captain is mad with revenge. We shall continue to follow him. 
  • It might be conceivable that Nero was so obsessed with revenge against Spock that he waited twenty plus years for his foe to appear, but none of his crew questioned his commitment to that goal in all that time? Or suggested going to the Romulan Star Empire and giving their people a head's up about the impending supernova?
    • Who says they didn't? At some point Nero sent the intergalactic equivalent of an email saying "Sup Romulus and Remus, there's a star nearby probably gonna go supernova in a century or two, might wanna get ready."
    • Going by the prequel comics they might not have had much of a chance; Narada arrives in the past, gets badly damaged when the Kelvin rams into it, is "dead in the water" essentially until being found by Klingons, crew gets taken to Rura Penthe for 25 years, right after the escape the Narada (seemingly partially sentient at this point) takes itself to meet up with V'Ger (a machine entity that had been calling out to the Narada as it's "kindred spirit") in Delta Quadrant, Nero used V'Ger to determine Spock Prime's exact arrival date, Narada goes to meet Spock Prime and the destruction of Vulcan and all that other stuff in the movie happens. Or if you prefer; they were all driven a bit mad by grief and the desire for vengeance, and saw it that their home, their families and their Romulus had been destroyed regardless of what they did now, so only sought retribution rather than trying to warn the "past" Romulans.
      • What the hell comic were you reading? I don't remember any of that.
      • I second that. Crappy fanfic meets WMG? Sentient ships? It might be hybrid Borg tech, but even Borg tech isn't sentient.
      • Agreed - there's WMG and then there's just making up technology to fit random plot ideas.
      • I have the compiled Star Trek Nero comic series by IDW sitting in front of me and the above poster is correct, when he/she talks about the Rura Penthe, the sentient machine entity, etc. In fact, "kindred spirit" was the exact term Nero used to describe the sentient ship/machine that started calling to the Narada.
    • In the comics Nero saw Spock warning the Romulan senate about the supernova in his original time period. They ignored a prominent scientist when there were clear indications of an imminent danger. It would make sense for Nero to think that a bunch of guys claiming to come from the future to warn about something that won't happen for more than a century yet isn't going to make a difference.
      • 'Cause he can curbstone them into nothing if they don't?
      • First, Romulans are too arrogant to believe they could be curbstomped if they haven't already been curbstomped first (and even then they'd probably just say "We seem to be at a minor tactical disadvantage"). Second, Nero beating the shit out of Romulus and laying low its fleet would kind of fuck up his attempts to protect it. But third and most importantly, Nero no longer gives a shit about Romulus. He's driven purely by hatred and revenge, his love for his planet and his family has become an excuse, not a reason. He says it himself at the end, "I would rather see Romulus destroyed a thousand times than be helped by you!"
    • Nero's crew is as driven and insane as he is. Again, prequel comic shows this. Those tattoos and shaved heads and whatnot aren't because they're miners... they used to look like perfectly normal Romulans. The tattoos and shaving came after Romulus was destroyed and set on their course, it was a ritualistic sign of their dedication to vengeance. Basically, there's a gap between Romulus getting vaped and Spock successfully stopping the supernova cascade that the movie doesn't really convey. Presumably any of the crew who didn't want to follow Nero on his mission of revenge just left the ship to join one of the Romulan refugee flotillas sometime between Romulus' destruction and Nero's arrival at the Vault to have the Nerada refitted.

     Cadets to the rescue! 
  • Does anyone else find it odd that the flagship of the fleet is crewed by two flag officers and an inordinate number of cadets?
    • That one's actually explained in the film — the primary fleet was dealing with a crisis in the Laurentian system, which meant that the upper-level Academy cadets, Academy instructors, and Starfleet Command had to crew the eight ships in spacedock — including the not-yet-launched USS Enterprise. Even so, it's made clear that most of the bridge crew — including Chekov and Sulu — were already graduated. Scotty had been banished to Delta Vega, and Uhura, unlike the original comm officer, spoke all three variants of Romulan fluently. Even McCoy — the only cadet in a real position of power before everything went to hell — was, unlike most of the Medical cadets, already a fully qualified doctor.
      • McCoy wasn't actually in a position of power, to note. He was just one of the ship's doctors, the CMO dies within moments of their arrival on Vulcan. Spock appoints McCoy replacement CMO largely because he seems to have already taken charge.

     You beam there, and I'll take the long way on this ship. 
  • If, as Spock claimed, Montgomery Scott HAD developed transwarp beaming, allowing a single transporter to beam you across interstellar distances from one planet to another, why were they still using starships by the twenty-fourth century? Such a device would have made starships a costly, and unnecessary, expenditure of resources.
    • Transwarp Beaming doesn't allow planet to planet beaming. Scotty discovered two things: Transwarp Beaming and Planet to Planet Beaming. Transwarp Beaming allows you to theoretically transport someone on or off a ship while it is in Warp. Planet to planet beaming (which New Scotty had already proven) usually only works to transport someone within the same solar system. It's not possible to explore the universe with transporters. And besides which, how would you check the next planet over for breathable atmosphere, or poisonous radiation, or local life forms, or anything at all? Are you suggesting we just blindly transport to every planet?
      • Actually Trans-warp Beaming does allow planet to planet beaming which is demonstrated in the sequel when as Harrison does it to escape the crashing attack fighter.
      • There are these cool things called 'drones' and 'robots' . . . Not that you could tell from watching Star Trek, where apparently there are no robots EXCEPT androids.
      • They do have sensor probes, though, which they use with some regularity (at least on the shows). Anyway, a human(oid) is better at thinking on his/her/its feet than an unmanned probe. And ultimately, even if you could accomplish the mission with drones and robots, as you put it, what's the point? By that logic, a postcard of the Eiffel Tower is just as good as the real thing.

     How to set your Phasers from stun to kill. 
  • It's worth noting that in the original series, the settings on a Phaser could be adjusted while firing, meaning that if you had to switch from stun to kill, you could do it without having to cease fire. So then, how much sense does the flip-tip phaser make?
    • The massive changes Nero's arrival in the new timeline wrought. You know how in the Prime timeline, Starfleet was a peaceful expeditionary force meant to "boldly go where no man has ever gone before?" That entire thing was scrapped because of the Narada's slaughtering of the Kelvin and many of her crew, which is illustrated when Pike refers to Starfleet as a "peacekeeping military taskforce." In so doing, the original timeline's phasers, which were made more for exploring rather than fighting, were altered into the more easy-to-use military-style pistols that Kirk and Spock utilize.
      • I still don't buy it. Why introduce moving parts into a design that doesn't need them and in fact would function better without them? Plus, just as a matter of opinion, the spinny thing just looks ridiculous.
      • Maybe you get a more powerful kill beam with the second emitter/barrel.
      • The Kelvin also took scans of the Narada and its technology. That is why the technology in the movie is different from the original show.
      • You want to argue about weapon practicality? On Star Trek? The guns still don't even have iron sights.
      • SF Debris often points out that real-world weapons are superior to Star Trek weapons in almost every way; the biggest way being that current small arms can actually kill people, where as phasers and disruptors regularly fail to stun or kill an enemy even at pointblank range in center-mass.
      • What show has he been watching? Phasers are known to regularly vaporize people.
      • Ah, but real-world weapons in movies are still less effective.
    • If the comics are canon, and Nero and his men were incarcerated on Rura Penthe for 25 years by the Klingons, wouldn't The Klingons have stripped his ship and used its technology for themselves? Or at least blown it to bits?
      • "Over the next quarter of a century Klingon engineers did their best to understand the Narada, but made little progress; despite their best efforts the ship remained offline, and when they tried to take it apart it would repair itself." — Memory Beta wiki
      • The scenes of Nero and crew being captures by Klingons were filmed and are on the DVD, and there is one scene of Nero working in the prison camp still in the movie, during Spock's mind-meld.

     The rest is useless. 
  • If a droplet of Red Matter is enough to destroy the supernova, why did Spock bring a few tons of it along with him?
    • It's probably more stable when you have that much of it together.
    • Spock demonstrates how a few well-placed energy blasts are enough to tear the whole drilling apparatus to bits. How can it be, then, than in the whole of Vulcan nobody thought "hmm, there's this huge needle-shaped thing drilling a hole in our planet, why don't we send a few fighters against it?"
      • Who said they had any fighters? And who said they didn't try and get blown up by Nero's ship?
      • Look at Star Trek: Enterprise, which takes place before the Kelvin attack and is, therefore, still valid in this timeline. The Vulcans have a large fleet of their own in the 22nd century. Granted, it was later integrated into Starfleet, but they'd probably keep some ships for defense.
    • For that matter, why drill at all? If the red matter can create black holes all by itself, surely a missile containing a drop of it slamming on the surface of the planet (or hell, just blowing up a good distance away) would destroy it?
      • The energy of the centre of the Planet starts the reaction with the Red Matter.
    • Why didn't they just slam a shuttle against the drill?
      • If they had launched a shuttle from the Enterprise, Nero's ship would've just shot it down and retaliated against the Enterprise.
      • Which would have already fled as soon as they launched a shuttle.
      • Yeah, but you still wouldn't have destroyed the drill.
      • Don't forget that the Jellyfish was equipped with 24th-century weapons.

     Besides him wearing a red jumper... 
  • Why was the Chief Engineer being sent on an away team right after a battle? Shouldn't he be supervising the repairs? Couldn't someone else handle the explosives to destroy the drill?
    • He was the one they thought most capable of destroying the drill. If the explosives failed somehow, he'd presumably find another way. Thankfully that wasn't necessary.

     "Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock..." 
  • Young Kirk is seen stealing his father's car, all to the sound of the Beastie Boy's classic, "Sabotage". How does this mesh with the fact that the first single on their next album was "Intergalactic", a song which mentions Mr. Spock by name?
    • Maybe they were talking about that childcare guy?
      • In the Trek timeline "Intergalactic" doesn't mention Spock by name.
      • Celebrity Paradox.

     "17, sir!" 
  • Chekov is a technical genius?
    • This Troper actually read an interview with J.J talking about that. Apparently, he was considering why Chekov was the youngest guy in TOS. So he decided the logical reason was that he was some sort of prodigy (of course, the real reason he was so young was that Walter Koeing was Mr. Fanservice, but there you go).
      • Everyone is a technical genius. That's how you -get- into Starfleet.

     The Alternate Timeline. 
  • If the new film is a Continuity Reboot (as it's looking to be) does this mean it's not "canon"? After all, if it's creating a new canon then it can't be part of the old canon. Did, in essence, the "official" Star Trek canon end on May 13, 2005?
    • Update: The new movie will be an Alternate Continuity thanks to the new villain going back and changing the timeline. According to one of the people working on the film, the old Star Trek continuity is still Canon as the new timeline is an Alternate Universe. More explanation here. And this editor now seriously hates Romulans.
      • So that means that every time we saw the timeline reset in a Trek episode that we thought had never happened, we were just switching over to a universe that was more to our liking? So somewhere in the space-time continuum Voyager really did crash into a Class-L planetoid because Harry screwed up the calculations, and he wasn't able to save them? There really is a timeline where Sisko was killed in that accident in "The Visitor," and one where Picard didn't survive his time with the Borg, and so on and so forth? And we're just choosing the one we like better? Well that's pretty cheap.
      • You basically summed up a rather good episode of TNG, where Worf kept skipping from one alternate universe to the next for some reason. Started with small changes early on, and by the end of the episode, we got to see an Enterprise which was severely damaged after the Borg conquered the Federation in Best Of Both Worlds, complete with a desperate Captain Riker with a Beard of Sorrow.
      • Potentially Truth in Television as there are physicists who theorize this is how time actually works in Real Life.
      • Invoked, in this case, as Data mentioned the Many Worlds Interpretation in the episode. Granted, the Many Worlds Interpretation deals with subatomic particles, but what's the fun in saying "History was altered because an electron spun up instead of down?"
    • Strangely enough, Enterprise is now the only series that is still part of the new movie timeline, since it all happened before the movie is set.
      • Considering that ENT ended with "Computer, end program," this troper is sometimes amused to give it the St Elsewhere treatment and say the TNG crew made the whole thing up. In which case, that's not safe, either. Of the 32,861 moments of Star Trek, only one episode survives, by that standard: Voyager's "11:59," the only episode set in the past that doesn't involve time travellers from the crew of whatever series the episode is a part of.
    • The original canon is still ongoing in Star Trek Online.

     Do not mess with the Butterfly Effect. 
  • What precisely is the timeline change moment in the new film? Its implied heavily that it was George Kirk being killed (hence why James Tiberius grows up to be Jimmy Dean instead of a large ham). But even before this, the command structure and technology of the USS Kelvin when it first encounters Nero's ship is way ahead of anything that would have been in the original series timeline at around the same time. So do we know exactly when the timeline diverged? Did it become an altered timeline the moment Nero's ship passed through the black hole (ala TNG episode "Yesterday's Enterprise")? I guess I would have just found all this timeline change stuff easier to swallow if the pre-timeline change ships looked (even vaguely) like they did in the 1960s series, so we've got some kind of "before" and "after". It really bugs me.
    • Not really canon, but I just decided that in addition to traveling backwards in time they also shifted over to a parallel dimension that, aside from slightly different technology, would have been almost identical had Nero not done his thing.
    • I say the initial moment of divergence is the Borg incursion of 2063. The events of Enterprise are in this timeline, not the "original" timeline. Nero diverged it much further, though.
      • But this doesn't explain why Nero and Spock went back in time to the new Enterprise/First Contact timeline, rather than creating some weird, third timeline. And it also doesn't explain why the Enterprise E, when they went "back to the future" at the end of First Contact ended up in their original timeline to carry on their adventures in Insurrection and Nemesis. Nor does it explain the Enterprise finale, in which the events of Enterprise appear to have taken place in the same continuity as the Next Generation. All these timeline and alternate reality shenanigans make me think the Temporal Cold War from Enterprise makes a lot more sense now than it did at the time.
    • I figure the seemingly more advanced technology of the Kelvin is like the technology of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. It certainly looks way ahead of the stuff that's supposed to come after it, but it isn't really.
      • Exactly, it's just because we can make more futuristic-looking stuff nowadays.
      • I'd always figured that the Kelvin, which in the words of Kirk, had formidable and advanced weaponry, survived in the first timeline but had some sort of problem with power consumption or something so they decided to tone down the weaponry since most starships didn't need quite that much dakka. However in this timeline the Kelvin was bested by the Narada and destroyed (albeit on purpose by George Kirk) so they figured that all that advanced weaponry was necessary.
    • Also of note: the "family-friendly" Starfleet culture would not arise until the 24th Century in the original timeline. Even if Kirk's mother were a Starfleet crewman, it is highly unlikely that she would have been allowed to remain aboard ship so late into her pregnancy. They would have almost certainly had her disembark at a starbase or planet before she was too far along. That she was still aboard the Kelvin when she gave birth would suggest that Starfleet policy in this timeline was already significantly different. Jim Kirk was supposedly born in Iowa, presumably while his mother was on maternity leave, in the original timeline. It almost certainly would have been mentioned multiple times in past series and movies if he had literally been born aboard a starship, since that would be a very significant character point.
    • Presumably, the Kelvin was already situated in a different timeline thanks to all the mucking around in the timeline that everyone has already done. Between the Borg attack, Voyager jumpstarting the home computer era, and the aftermath of the Temporal Cold War (including Archer now having a computer that shows the next 900 years worth of technological advancements), it stands to reason that this timeline was seperate from the 'real' Star Trek timeline before the Narada showed up.

     What happened to Sam Kirk? 
  • Also, can we assume that Kirk doesn't have a brother in the new timeline? Or, at least, not the same brother (he might have step siblings)? In the original series he had a brother named Sam, who was killed in the episode Operation: Annihilate.
    • Sam Kirk is the older kid walking down the road whom Kirk drives past and yells to. A deleted scene gives this context: Sam runs away and leaves Jim behind. Jim is told that his uncle is going to sell the car (which originally belonged to his father George, so Jim doesn't want it sold), and Jim is told to clean it. This combined with Sam's running away prompts Jim to rebel by stealing the car; when he sees Sam, he yells out to him.
      • I can see why they deleted that scene: When the first thing we see our hero doing is stealing and destroying someone else's property, we certainly would NOT want any information allowing us to see this on-the-face-of-it reprehensible action in the light of extenuating circumstances that make it okay. Otherwise, the hero would be in serious danger of setting a sympathetic first impression.
      • 1) We're supposed to have a somewhat negative impression of Kirk in this version, they're very much playing up his "renegade bad boy" aspects, and 2) some of us grew up watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off back before NuMorality decided the Dean Bitterman principal was the real hero, so we're not inclined to demand a rowdy kid dance a gallows jig just because he bent some rules and busted up a car.

     The future is now. 
  • Aside from the aesthetic differences, Earth in the 23rd century doesn't seem very different from Earth in the 20th century. Bars look and function in the same way, San Francisco Bay hasn't changed at all (take THAT, global warming!), the flag of the state of California is still in use, and people apparently still listen to the Beastie Boys.
    • This seems very much in keeping with the prior installments. See also Star Trek V (Yosemite and "camping out" are still the same), Star Trek: Generations (Kirk and Picard's houses in the Nexus are very 20th century), and Star Trek: First Contact (Roy Orbison lives after World War III). Not to mention all the '60s fashions on the original show. And space hippies.
    • My theory is that it was a subversion of I Want My Jetpack. It was perhaps meant to be a more realistic vision of what the future would be like. Honestly, I could see that atmosphere happening in the 23rd century.
    • Someone must've gone back in time and altered it. It must be -wait for it-Sabotage! Seriously, I could walk into a bar in 1809 and it'd still function pretty much the same way, except I'd be thrown out for being a Negro who came in through the front entrance. Or maybe meet a Barbarian and a Bard.
    • Why wouldn't California still have a flag? The Federation is just that: a federation that various planets' governments sign on with, not an empire that supplants them. National and state governments can still exist on Earth, they just quit fighting each other and have entrusted planetary diplomacy and defense to a broader authority. As for global warming, in Picard's day they'll be raising continents from the sea, so it's possible the sea levels rose as predicted, but people in Kirk's era have since lowered them back to their historical levels.
      • Or the extra seawater all flowed into that gigantic trench in Florida that the Xindi probe's attack had created, bringing global sea levels back to normal...
      • If they needed a trench that badly, there wouldn't have been a Florida. See this map for what sea level rise will do to the Sunshine State.
      • Obviously the trench was formed first, then the flooding from global warming happened. Perhaps environmentalists let it happen to make up for falling sea levels.
      • Alan Dean Foster's novelization makes reference to government officials from Washington, Beijing and Moscow junketing to Iowa to inspect the Enterprise under construction. That's an indication, though not a conclusive one, that the United States, Russia and China all still exist as national entities in the new Trek universe.
    • Personally, this troper cringes every time he sees San Francisco in the background when the shuttle carrying the crew to the Enterprise takes off. They've left the Golden Gate Bridge alone, thank God, and Starfleet Academy seems to have nice design, but San Francisco itself is butt ugly in the future, almost City Noir.
      • And it looks like some of the really beautiful old areas of the city and green spaces were heavily devloped with office towers. My thought was "wow! the developers sure did a number on San Francisco before the Federation got rid of that whole Capitalism thing". Then again, we don't know what happened in those centuries between now and then. There was a third World War and for all we know San Francisco suffered a major earth quake or other natural disaster leading to new patterns of development.
      • Given that World War Three was a flat out nuclear exchange those old areas and green spaces were probably atomic glass that were later replaced by the new construction.

     That random gorge will sneak up on you from out of nowhere. 
  • Oh, and what was up with that giant gorge dug through the middle of the Iowan prairie?
    • It was opened by an earthquake?
    • It kinda looked like a quarry to me. Maybe that's where they were getting raw materials to build the ships?
      • They build starships out of LIMESTONE?
      • Well, you can do that in Dwarf Fortress...admittedly, it doesn't work, but Treknology is decidedly superior to "gears made of rock", so...
    • Yep, definetely a quarry.
      • It seemed way too deep to be a rock quarry. Plus the sides were too steep.
      • The quarry has been in use for centuries. It'd get pretty deep after 300 years.
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0c54ALBvk8 In this video, the car goes over the edge at 3:26, and we hear it hit bottom at 3:33. That's 7 seconds; assuming no recontact with the edge of the quarry, the formula for the distance fallen is d = 1/2 gt^2. g is 9.8m/s/s and t is 7 seconds. Additionally, the speed of sound is approximately 340 meters per second; we should hear the sound slightly after the car actually hit bottom. The depth of the quarry should be about 200 meters, give or take - it's a fairly deep one, but far from the deepest ever dug.
    • Why the hell wouldn't there be a giant gorge of death in the middle of a prairie? Huh? Yeah. Think about it.
    • Obviously, they needed some physical feature to make Iowa interesting. It was a government-sponsored attempt to boost tourism.
    • That's where they got the rock to make the mountains for the terrorists to hide from Jack Bauer in in 24.
    • It's a hole they dug to build starships in. If you're going to build a star ship in a gravity field (which has certain conveniences in terms of construction techniques), it is helpful to have a starship-shaped hole to stick the parts in. The Enterprise is kind of frontheavy.
      • And she has rather ample nacelles, too.
    • At one point during young Kirk's joy-riding, you see him crash through a closed gate and if I remember correctly, the sign on that gate said something about a quarry. So therefore it would make sense that after smashing through the gate to the quarry, Kirk would come upon a deep chasm of DOOM and nearly kill himself.
    • Speaking of Iowa, did the movie's relocation of Kirk's birth cause the entire real-world population of Riverside, Iowa, to say It Just Bugs Me!? That was their town's one self-proclaimed claim to fame!
      • The original one was still born there; they've got nothing to worry about!
      • Not to mention that in the alternate universe, Riverside seems to have stolen San Francisco's title as the place of Enterprise's birth (though SF keeps the title of "place of launch"). So, one main "character" was still born in Riverside.
    • This Iowan troper would like to point out that the real Iowan countryside is nowhere near as flat as the one in the movie. Iowa has rolling hills.
      • Beware Small Reference Pools. Kirk doesn't traverse more than a handful of miles of his own part of Iowa. Are you saying there are no flat stretches of land in the entire state and the whole thing is composed of rolling Ghibli Hills? If so, that must do a real number on your gas mileage.

     Nero's a fan of overkill. 
  • About the new Star Trek film.
    • If you can create black holes, why would you need to drill to the planet core to use it? Wouldn't it be easier to just make it near the planet or something?
      • I don't think they said they had to. Nero didn't fully understand how Red Matter works, but he knew that drilling got the result he wanted, so he stuck with that.
      • The movie makes a point of saying it has to be ignited, presumably by very high temperatures.
      • I actually think I've figured out this whole 'drilling' thing. Stuff that went through the black hole whole, like the Jellyfish and the Narada, was just sent back in time. (Because black holes do that. They just DO, okay?) But if you put the hole in the center of the planet, you ensure that it will crumble into rubble BEFORE it goes in, just due to the pull. Even if those six billion Vulcans end up 139 years in the past, they'll be floating in a field of rubble in a vacuum.
      • Which brings up an interesting point, wouldn't the Vulcans of 139 years ago be a BIT curious about the planet sized field of rubble randomly appearing in their system? Did it created yet ANOTHER alternate continuality where the Vulcans figured out what was going to happen and prevent it in someway?
    • Also, does Vulcan and Earth not have any sort of planetary defense? I remember they got Earth's defense code or something, but there has to be civilian ships trying to stop them.
      • What civilian ships? And if there were any, most likely the pilots would be trying to get away, rather than fight a gargantuan battle/mining ship.
      • It makes more sense to assume that civilian space craft are common than that they aren't in a universe where space travel is so casual, especially within the home systems of two of the founder races of the Federation, and - even given how common habitable worlds are - there should be at least some space based industries. Besides when the whole planet's at stake there's no reason to stop throwing everything you've got at the problem, shouldn't there at least be waves of desperate surface to orbit shuttles making kamikaze runs at the drill while it attacks Earth?
      • And have you seen what that thing was capable of? Seriously, it tore through Federation battleships like hot knife through butter. A hot knife at least twice the size of whatever you can find. With missiles. Plus, how do we know all that debris around Vulcan was just from the Federation ships?
      • Well, none of the major planets have Planetary Defenses circa the Dominion War, so, I would assume not.
    • And a star nova-ing is threatening the entire galaxy? And Starfleet just sends Spock?
      • They sent Spock to deliver the Red Matter device, but they had a bunch of other scientists and engineers working on the project. When the U.S. nuked Hiroshima, only one plane went, but that doesn't ignore the personnel in the Manhattan Project.
      • Right, and Harry Truman was the pilot.
      • I haven't read the comic, but it's probably a case of "who was qualified that the Romulans trusted."
      • Essentially, Nero has discovered the ultra super-mega-galaxy-eating supernova and things play out that Spock basically knew about it and had been doing research. The Romulans don't believe him for some reason but Nero makes Spock promise he'll save Romulus and his wife - because Nero couldn't just get his family out of dodge... and this is the flimsy reason for Nero having a bee in his bonnet about Spock... even though it was the Romulans that wouldn't let him do his thing when he needed to... but then, Nero's motivation essentially amounts to him being batshit crazy and no amount of attempted backstory handwaving can cover that up.
      • Maybe the fact that those other Romulans laughed off his warnings is why we have the absurdity that Nero didn't try to avert his homeworld's destruction, instead of coming after the Federation. He was pissed at both his own superiors and their Federation rivals.
      • Actually this always seemed plausible to me. Even if he saved Romulus in the new timeline he would never have * his* wife/child/friends/world back. Also what are the odds that the Romulan high command would let him keep his super ship? In fact I think it is likely they would welcome him as a hero and then have him killed as the threat to the existing power structure.

     Dear 2009 Star Trek Film... 
  • BLACK HOLES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!!! ...Yeah, that's all I got. Frikkin' loved that movie.
    • Well, the scientists who studied red matter had to call the Negative Space Wedgie something. "Black hole" works as well for a name as any name.
    • That made my day. You, troper, get a shiny internet ;~D
    • It is pretty much an established fact of the Star Trek universe that just about any spatial distortion can allow ships to travel in time. Even our own Sun. And space doesn't get much more distorted than around a black hole. Probably the biggest surprise is that they didn't travel farther in time.
      • Ker-wrong! Star Trek may have acquired a large bestiary of assorted Negative Space Wedgies, but showing a black hole as a two-dimensional... hole that you just fly through (not "near" — through) is very squishy soft, even for Trek. They've never gone back in time by flying through a black hole. They went back in time by flying around stars and black holes at warp speed, and that is actually more plausible. I remember reading a book on time travel years ago that actually put forth travel around a very massive object at a high enough speed and with the right trajectory as possibly leading to time travel (within the object's lifetime).
      • Say what now? What book was this? (If it's The Physics of Star Trek, that really doesn't count.) I mean sure, if you go fast enough, you'll get relativistic effects, but a) that doesn't really count as 'time travel'; you're still going at one second per second, it's just that your seconds are shorter than those in other reference frames, and b) you don't need to orbit something massive to do that; you just need to go really fast. I'd also note that, if you could time-travel by doing a forced solar orbit or something, then there's no reason why you couldn't do the same thing around a black hole; if it's gravitational distortion of space-time you need, then as the person you responded to said, you could hardly do better than a singularity.
    • Furthermore, what was with that last scene when the Enterprise almost got sucked in? I mean, we've seen that the black holes created by Red Matter destroy planets and galaxy-crushing supernovae, but the only two actual ships to fall into one just went through time, no worse for wear. So why was the Enterprise almost destroyed by the black hole? And while we're at it, how in the hell was Nero's ship able to sit in the middle of a black hole for several minutes without being crushed the way Vulcan or the supernova was?
      • I think that's just Rule of Cool. If I remember rightly that sequence was shot in counterpoint to the sequence near the start of the film where the Kelvin fires its escape pods.
      • Isn't the whole thing an artificially created "Black Hole" anyway? Standard physics need not apply.
      • There is actually a relatively simple explanation. the Enterprise was attempting to fly away from the black hole. Now, that doesn't seem to explain a lot, so I'll make an analogy. If you take say, the paper from a drinking straw, and pull it in opposite directions at the same time, it tears in half. Why wouldn't this apply to, say, a starship, if the forces are great enough? (Say, the thrust from the ship's engines versus the black hole's gravity.)
      • Fair enough. One would think though that the two ships we saw, not having prior knowledge that this was actually a time traveling device but a pure death black hole would have tried to do the same thing then. Beyond self preservation both had legit reasons for wanting to live, revenge and confirmation of success.

     Real Women Wear Dresses. 
  • About the new film (this is coming from someone who hasn't seen the original ones, but i did greatly enjoy the movie): So in the future, women aren't allowed to wear pants in the academy? No I'm not bitching out of some sense of Real Women Never Wear Dresses, but it's just... impractical. Yeah, yeah, Rule of Sexy and all, but this really does bug me!
    • Miniskirts are Star Trek tradition. It's not like they ever said it wasn't allowed for them to not wear pants.
    • This Troper could've sworn there were at least a couple women wearing pants. Background, non-speaking roles, yeah, but they were still wearing pants.
      • There was at the very least that woman who yelled at McCoy in that shuttle, she was wearing pants.
    • Yeah, that annoyed me too. It's not that bad when people are standing, but when female characters are trying to sit down, it just looks kind of... stupid. Uhura's got really long legs, too. Perhaps it's a normal length skirt made for short people. Skirts, I can understand. Miniskirts gotta be fanservice. (But the male uniforms aren't too bad either. Still, Uhura's legs.)
      • It's Star Trek. You need the miniskirts. If you take them away, next you'll turn the phasers into machine guns, give everybody military uniforms, and make them all hate each other!
      • You're being sarcastic I hope?
      • Go buy a meter.
      • Wait, so pants couldn't hypothetically show off female leg to the same effect? You could keep the whole long tunic deal, just slap something under it. Bike shorts, even. (Also, nerdy question— I can actually see why some female crew might prefer miniskirts, but if you wanted to, or your planet had a stronger nudity taboo, could you wear the male uniform?)
      • Miniskirts have the possibility of flashing, and are thus, hotter than tight pants. Anyway, it's not strictly a Fanservice reason. It's a TOS/60's setting quirk. Other Star Trek series have gender neutral and really boring jump suits.
      • Except the first season of TNG, where they have miniskirts for the men.
      • Here for your viewing pleasure.
      • I think it's plenty safe to assume that that was a horrible mistake by the costume designers, or else a prototype for a two-piece uniform that ended up getting thrown over in favor of the jumpsuits. Given the context (middle of the night, during an evacuation, two women in nightdress right behind him), I figure some blithering twerp on the costuming crew figured they'd throw it in as sort of a Starfleet standard-issue men's nightshirt, or something like that. (Which is stupid to begin with; how the hell would anyone be able to sleep with a comm badge digging into their nipple?) Presumably the responsible party was fired, because we never see it again. It's just one of TNG's many, many first-season experiments which didn't pan out, much like Troi, though at least the writers were smart enough to drop the men's miniskirt nightgown after a single outing — frankly, though, I'd much rather have seen seven seasons' worth of men's bare legs than one episode's worth of tiresome nosy fanservice telepath with no function other than to state the plainly obvious.
      • Sadly it's not. Earlier in the episode, Encounter At Farpoint FTR, you can clearly see a man wearing a skirt working in Engineering.
      • I've read in (I believe) the Trek Encyclopedia that the male miniskirts were a conscious Shout-Out to the microskirts in TOS. I don't think they were intended to be taken seriously, but they certainly weren't a mistake.
      • Okay, speaking as someone who has actually watched the original series, I'm going to blow your mind: there were women on the Enterprise who wore pants. No, not just in the pilot episode. You would occasionally see a female crew member in the background wearing the regular men's uniform. Of course, all the prominently featured women still wore miniskirts, but at least it looks like pants were an option for everybody, just as skirts were an option for everybody in Next Generation.
      • From what I remember reading Gene intended for the women in TOS to wear pants just like the men and the leading female actresses vetoed the idea. They didn't want to look like men and came up with the miniskirt uniforms.
      • Not what I heard. Zoe Saldana (Uhura) talked about the skirts, saying she personally would've liked them to be longer but that they added a youthful touch and brought back the whole 60's skimpy outfit thing and that it was a necessary addition. See it here at about 3:40.
      • But that doesn't have anything to do with the uniform styles in TOS! Zoe Saldana wasn't even born then!
      • Timey-Wimey Ball!
      • In the future, all female officers will be required to wear '''TINY MINISKIRTS!!!!!'''
    • Point of interest, in the movies, only Uhura wore the skirt with the new uniforms, all the female crew members wore pants. Its probably like modern military dress uniforms, where you get the choice of what type of uniform you want to wear, just as long as it looks professional, and the 23rd century is experiencing a call back to short skirts and old styled hair styles.
    • They had to leave Earth in a hurry. Pants were due to be delivered on Tuesday.note 

  • When Kirk and Sulu were transported back onto the Enterprise, why didn't they turn into paste when they slammed against the floor? They were still going the same speed!
    • "In layman's terms, speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out."
    • Inertial dampeners?
      • There's actually a component within the transporter known as the "Doppler." It compensates for this sort of thing. If it didn't, and a ship tried to beam a person up or down while the ship was orbiting in the opposite direction of planetary rotation... bad stuff would happen.
    • Chekov mentions, "compensating for gravity."
      • That explanation is actually unnecessary. The way a transporter works is by copying the patterns of a person, disintegrating said person, and then using the patterns to create a perfect replica of them elsewhere (if I recall the Deep Space Nine episode "Our Man Bashir" is the first time this is made clear). It's not a wormhole effect, where they people are actually physically transported. Therefore, the physical forces exerted on them while they were falling would no longer exist anymore than if you dropped a ball over a canyon and then dropped an identical ball over your kitchen floor. The second ball would not hit the ground with the same kinetic energy. Same goes here.
      • This explanation is 100% correct, but it opens up its own whole separate can of Headscratchers... gets kind of philosophical, but isn't everyone who gets transported somewhere essentially being murdered? What emerges from the destination pad is a perfect copy, one that thinks it's you, and to all intents and purposes is you... but you're dead. The copy will even step off the pad saying Whew, guess I was wrong, it doesn't kill you after all... and, when that copy is transported/murdered, the next copy will think the same thing, and the next, and the next... Long story short, you'd never get me in one of those things.
      • Do a Google search - this has been a topic of conversation for decades. If you can't be bothered to do a search, stardestroyer.net is a good place to start.
      • The answer to that question is actually very simple. A clone is not made - the matter is broken down into subatomic particles, those same particles are beamed to the destination, then reassembled into the original configuration. So it's the same object, person or creature, it's just been taken apart then put back together again.
      • Really? Tell that to Thomas Riker.
      • The troper above you said "perfect replica", implying it's a copy. In any case it's a Hand Wave that started because they didn't have the budget for shuttles. Best not to examine it took closely.
      • Tell that to the Vulcan serial killer from Deep Space Nine's "Field of Fire", who put a mini-transporter onto his rifle and had the bullets preserve their velocity, allowing him to shoot people through walls.
      • While real world theories suggest that if a real transporter were invented, it would work by creating a replica of the original person, that isn't how it works on Trek. In Trek, the person/thing being transported is broken down into subatomic particles, physically moved from one site to another, and reassembled into the same person/thing. There are two things that support that fact. The first is that if they were merely creating a clone, then beaming someone onto a ship through shields wouldn't be a problem. They could simply scan the person, destroy them, and the transporter pad would create the replica. But, since they are physically moving the subatomic particles of the person from one place to another, they can't (usually) move those particles through the shields. The second thing that shows this is the episode of TNG where Barclay was seeing lifeforms in the transporter beam while transporting. The effects of the transporter beam didn't represent one person being destroyed and a clone being created. The effects were consistent with the physical matter of a person being moved through space. Also, as far as how Sulu/Kirk weren't turned into a smear on the pad, that's easy. The transporter operator compensates for motion, and when the person is beamed, they appear stationary on the pad. If the situation with Sulu/Kirk had been optimal, then Chekhov could have had them appear laying on the pad, instead of a foot above it. However, conditions weren't optimal. While it is probably relatively easy by then to compensate for the ship's motion, it's probably uncommon to have to add in compensation for a person (much less two) in free fall, and would likely take a little longer. However, the free fall wasn't eve the major issue, and under even slightly better circumstances, Chekhov probably could have managed the transport in his sleep. The issue Chekhov had was that the gravitational field of the planet was in flux, and rapidly changing. That was what he had to compensate for. As far as the lack of pad smear, once Chekhov got the lock, the transporter worked normally... it disassembled Sulu/Kirk, moved their subatomic particles to the pad, compensated for motion and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and reassembled them, relatively motionless. The only reason they hit the pad was because they were reassembled a foot above it, thereby falling, and possibly a little because Chekhov may not have had time to completely compensate for their free fall, so they may have still had SOME downward motion, however their velocity wasn't nearly as much as it had been during the free fall.
      • So where does all that kinetic energy disappear to? Energy can only change form, it can't be destroyed.
      • If you didn't give the new particles the same kinetic energy and momentum, things like your bloodstream would stop moving. Every single transport would be simultaneous heart attack, stroke, and lung failure.
      • It stays right where it was, and the sub-atomic particles that used to be Kirk and Sulu plowed into the ground with the equivalent energy of two grown men at terminal velocity.
      • The transporter removes excess kinetic energy and banks it into the ship's power system. In case you haven't noticed, their technology is really, really good at converting energy and moving it around.
      • Though this makes me think. Repeatedly beam something metal to the top of a long shaft in the middle of the ship ringed with magnets == instant free-energy device.
      • And you also waste a lot of energy on the teleportation and artificial gravity.
      • I read a short story, unrelated to Star Trek, in which, rather than disassembling the original, the person's DNA code is recorded, transmitted, and a replica assembled out of random(?) particles. The original is then deemed a nonperson (because obviously you need to be where you've just gone, generally) and disposed of. It was somewhat chilling, but fairly accurate to how such a thing would work, if it did. It spares the energy of having to disassemble the original; the nuclear strong and weak forces are extremely difficult to overcome. Physicists have to accelerate molecules to relativistic speeds and bang them together to accomplish that. Obviously this isn't how it works on Star Trek, but it was a great concept.
    • Wasn't maintaining the lock and compensating for their velocity the whole reason that beaming them in was treated as such a problem?
    • Same speed relative to what? The transporter normally has to compensate for (at least) the relative velocity of a ship in orbit compared to a point on the ground, which is several kilometers per second. The speed of somebody falling down is barely a rounding error.
    • And while we're talking about Transporters, how come no one has mentioned "Transwarp Beaming?" I mean, transporters were already a little too handy in the old continuity, which was one of the reasons this troper was looking forward to the new film being set before they had so many transporters they seemed on the verge of installing them in bathrooms. So suddenly, when Kirk is stranded on Hoth and needs to get back to the Enterprise which is currently dozens of lightyears away, warping to earth faster than the speed of light, Spock Prime introduces the equation for Transwarp Beaming, which Scotty would later invent, allowing them to achieve their goal of getting Kirk back on the Enterprise. First of all, Scotty invents this in the future? Is this the same future where they could never just beam things onto the ship because they were "out of Transporter range?" Even well into the TNG era, they never had this capability, since the writers weren't complete morons. Think of the ramifications of Transwarp Beaming for a second. If Scotty can beam Kirk from one planet across dozens of lightyears to a ship moving faster than light, why do we even need starships? Why not just beam whole colonies to distant planets, since transporters no longer have a range limit? Why worry about having to catch up to enemy ships in a fight, since Transwarp Beaming vastly supercedes the fastest warp speeds? Why not beam a whole fleet of warships into enemy territory to perform a surprise attack? Transporters were already a problem for creative drama, since when taken logically most problems could be solved with them. Now, thanks to Transwarp Beaming, there are even more ways transporters can solve everything. Anyway, it doesn't really matter since Abrams and crew won't even remember having thought it up by the next movie. Whether that's something to be thankful for, or just annoyed by remains to be seen.
      • The above last sentence is Hilarious in Hindsight.
      • Just because they have some formula that allows them to transwarp beam, doesn't mean it's safe. Scotty ended up in the coolant system, and Spock been a fraction of a meter further off, they could have ended up embedded in the tube itself, in a wall, or in the deck. For all we know, they got REALLY lucky that they didn't, and it was only due to Spock's intelligence that he was able to get them there as safe as he did. Some random, normal, human operator would not have been able to plug in all the variables for the formula (ship's speed, position, etc) to make it work. Even planet to planet, there are variables that have to be accounted for. So Spock could do it (and was lucky to an extent), they could beam them from a ship standing relatively still to another ship standing relatively still (Enterprise to Narada), but it is probably a very unsafe thing to try as a regular occurance. Also, being as their mission is to "explore strange, new worlds", they couldn't very well beam onto a planet they'd never been to, not knowing anything about it (air, water, temperature, etc...).
      • That particular transport had certain parameters that could easily be simplified if we're talking planet to another planet. Safely dropping into the middle of a ship obviously being one, could readily make a cleared out space with an order of magnitude more wiggle room. Especially since they had to drop into somewhere lightly populated to prevent immediate detection, and thus had to target a specific region of the ship. The fact Enterprise was going at warp and course corrections (due to various gravitational bodies along the way) happen all the time is another. How were they even tracking Enterprise for that matter? And if they were, what is the accuracy and tolerances of those devices? All would be expected to be improved from even nuTrek 2250's (especially a backwater listening post deep in Fed space)to the TNG era at least.
    • Consider how much of the future we have to play with. Spock Prime comes from about twenty years after the end of Voyager. Scotty stumbled into the mid-24th century in his late 70s, in a time when humans living to 175 was common. Scotty had the time and the technology to solve the problem he may have tinkered with his whole life. As for why this may well never show up again, have you ever read something that made perfect sense, then come back to it later with little understanding of why it made sense? He'll definitely remember the targeting breakthrough, but a few of the simpler details he hadn't worked out yet may be lost for years. Also, it's hardly the safest way to travel, due to not being able to pinpoint where you end up at your target. Scotty just half-drowned and nearly got turned into Aberdeen Soup. He could just as easily have been materialized half-in a wall.
    • Given that Scotty was suspended in a transporter for 75 years, he was still likely alive in 2387, and possibly only recently (i.e. post-Nemesis) discovered the transwarp beaming formula.

     "I am now part of an endangered species." 
  • exactly how does the destruction of Vulcan reduce the Vulcan population of the galaxy to — what was it? 11,000? "Endangered species" my *** . Does this technologically advanced space-faring civilization not have, like, colonies? And what about Romulus in the 24th Century? No colonies there, either? Does this "alternate continuity" really expect me to believe that vast political entities called the Romulan Star Empire and the United Federation of Planets never got around colonizing any of the systems under their control?
    • Considering how very Roman-esque the Romulans were, I'm assuming, even in the 24th century, with their home planet and capital destroyed, the heart had been cut out of the empire. Sure, they had colonies, but they'd be reduced pretty quickly into feuding houses I'll wager. As for Vulcan...your point stands. No idea. I'd expect a few hundred thousand populating other planets at the least. Then again, they did seem very insular. I dunno. I got nothing.
      • Also re: Romulans, the semi-canon Star Trek Online establishes that millions survived the nova on colonies, but went through heavy political upheaval and a couple civil wars. Regardless, the problem wasn't that every Romulan died, the point was that lots died, including Nero's family.
      • Vulcans were always a very isolationist, traditionalist species. They probably don't have that many colonies set up, since everything they consider important is back home.
      • Also, don't forget that Vulcans are like salmon; they've got to go home to mate. That sort of thing would put a crimp in any long-term colonization projects.
      • Vulcan does have a colony: it's called Romulus.
      • That's like saying the US and Canada are still colonies of Great Britain. They're the same species, but not the same culture. And ten thousand is a drastic dip from a population that was probably in the billions, and not all them necessarily in condition to breed healthily. Spock was in shock, so I can imagine that "endangered" seemed the appropriate term to him.
      • Didn't Starfleet only learn that Vulcans and Romulans were so closely related in a TOS episode? I seem to recall Kirk's gang being surprised when they saw how similar Spock looked to some Romulans. So perhaps Vulcans before that time assumed that the exiles who fled to Romulus had simply died out, rather than built an empire, and young Spock had no idea such an offshoot of his own people existed.
      • Though of course this Spock noted the common ancestry between Romulans and Vulcans. Alternate Timeline, I s'pose?
      • The Kelvin took detailed scans of the Narada prior to it's destruction. Presumably, the shuttles that made it to safety carried that information with them. Given that at least some of the technology Starfleet uses after that is based on the Kelvin's scans, it's reasonable to assume that the scans also copied some of the ship's database and the biosigns of the ship's crew, which would reveal that the crew was an offshoot of the Vulcans. The information copied from the Narada would presumably reveal that the crew were self-identified as Romulans. 2+2=the Federation learning this information several years earlier than in the show.
    • Also, um, how many do you think is reasonable? The average Earth colony in TOS seems to have a population of a few dozen. Have you ever noticed that in the entire history of 'Trek, there's only been about four characters who weren't born on the homeworld of their species? (Beverly Crusher; Tasha Yar; Neelix; Kevin Riley)? In the Trek Verse, the vast, overwhelming majority of each species lives on their home world.
      • Which actually makes a lot of sense, at least for humans. The exact reason why is debated, but it is a cold hard fact that first-world economies, without exception, have little to no population growth (not including immigration), and some even have population decline. It's entirely possible that colonies take centuries to grow from the original few dozen colonists to a few hundred. It wouldn't surprise me if the human population in Star Trek was something like Earth: 5 billion, Colonies: 10,000. So of course most humans are going to be from Earth, then.
      • Specious reasoning - this is assuming dropping a bunch of people on a colony means they're not going to change breeding habits etc. One assumes that those going to set up colonies would be intent on the business of procreation.
      • Riker established 50 million living on Luna and Alpha Centauri was sufficiently progressed to be considered a separate founding member of the Federation. Going with TOS numbers, Kirk lived on Tarsus IV with 8,000 colonists. To put the numbers in perspective assuming a stable 5 billion humans on Earth over the course of Trek let's assume something outlandish like 1 billion colonists. In that average then we'd assume roughly 4-5 human cast members to be born elsewhere than Earth. We have Tasha, Beverly, and Chakotay and many that aren't explicitly mentioned one way or the other, so it's entirely possible. Even assuming a relatively paltry 1:20 ratio in the TOS era would only grant an "average" of .35 senior officers born elsewhere than a homeworld, so even then it's not conclusive. And that's using a still huge number of colonists. Among the aliens we have Neelix, Tuvok (Vulcan lunar colony), and Ezri Dax (New Sydney) confirmed. So we'd expect a massive downgrade to the absolute number of Vulcans and their contributions in time as they adapt and rebuild, but they are almost certainly not as dire as suggested by the 10,000 figure and Spocks' ruminations imply.
      • Word of God is that there were only 10,000 Vulcans rescued from Vulcan, not only 10,000 Vulcans left in the universe. Since Vulcans have been in space for centuries, it's likely that there are several thousand more out there.
      • Even ignoring colonies, there must be hundreds of thousands of Vulcans in Starfleet, and millions in the various civilian fleets and living as expats on Earth and other Federation worlds. That might sound like a lot, but fewer than seven digits and you have to start asking if the Federation can really even be called a unified organisation, with tens of thousands of ships in Starfleet alone and planetary populations in the billions.
      • Actually Spock was the first Vulcan to graduate from the academy this distinction is actually made in TOS, meaning he's probably the only one currently serving.
      • The vast majority of service members never set foot in their branch's academy. That figure includes the officer corps. Given the arrogance inherent to Vulcan culture in latter-day Trek, it's very possible that most Vulcans choose to attend a Vulcan university; many of which probably have the Starfleet equivalent of ROTC programs.
    • After genocide on that scale, even if our strictest definitions don't include Vulcans as an endangered species, I think Spock's entitled to a bit of dramatic license there.
      • Nonsense! A full Vulcan would have eschewed hyperbole, and said, "I am now one of the thousands of survivors, which is still an adequate number for all practical purposes, though it is not my intent to downplay the tragedy involved."
    • Just because a species is spacefaring doesn't mean that they establish colonies. T He Bajorans didn't colonize outside their own solar system, and they were travelling at warp speed when the Vulcans were still trying to figure out fire. Between Vulcan isolationist tendancies, the environmental requirements (Vulcan has an atmosphere is half as thin as Earth's, with twice the gravity and an average temperature on par with the Middle East).note , and the tremendous loss of life and culture (odds are that artifacts weren't an evacuation priority once they realized that their planet was turning into a singularity), it's fair to say that the Vulcan race is endangered both in terms of numbers and in terms of their survival as a culture.
  • At any given time, there are a lot more than 10,000 Americans engaged in international travel in the real world! Sure, the Vulcans were fairly insular. But we also know that they liked to engage in scientific exploration, and that they had their own starships independently of Starfleet. Indeed many of them favored serving on all-Vulcan ships, with Spock being an anomaly for joining human-dominated Starfleet. Even if you just allow for the number of Vulcans serving as crews or traveling aboard Vulcan ships, attending conventions on other planets or engaging in field research, you should end up with way more than just 10,000 survivors!
    • Incidentally, that should be even more true of the Romulans, who, before the Hobus Event were running an expansionist empire.
  • By IUCN Red List criteria, Vulcans are endangered. Any one of five criteria is enough to class a species as endangered; Vulcans meet the first, and possibly also the fifth.
    • A) Population reduction. On the reasonable assumption that most of the population lived on Vulcan, the species has been reduced by over 70%.
    • E) "Quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in the wild is at least 20% within 20 years or five generations, whichever is the longer (up to a maximum of 100 years)." This one's a bit of a leap, but there's a genocidal maniac with a super-powerful spaceship on Vulcan's doorstep, and none of the 10,000 refugees have made it to safety. Unscientifically vague, but Mr "7,824.7 to 1" Spock may well have performed the quantitative analysis himself. Finally, consider that Vulcans have very long lifespans, which usually means slow reproduction and a higher risk of extinction (since the populations take longer to replenish themselves). The remaining population is fragmented in colonies: less at risk from a single catastrophe *coughNerocough* but more vulnerable to small-scale catastrophes that could wipe out a small population.
    • Note that a species is still endangered even if we anticipate a rescue attempt. If 80% of Earth's cows were to be abducted overnight by aliens, there'd be a massive effort to restore the population, but until the numbers bounce back they'd still be listed under E.

     The Birthday Mix-Up. 
  • About the new movie again: a whole bunch of chronological issues bug me, and all of them come down to the fact that the movie takes place when Kirk is 25 years old, in the year 2258. If Kirk is in the same graduating class as Sulu and Uhura, that means he is only three years older than them - which doesn't really square with the original series, where they seem rather younger than him. Also, Chekov's birth year has been established as 2245 - in 2258 he should be 12 or 13, not 17 years old. And Pike looks older than he should be if only four years have passed since "The Cage". Plus, it kinda feels wrong that the whole crew is together some seven years before it happened in the "prime" timeline. Thing is, all that could've been solved if they'd bumped up the timeframe to when Kirk is, say, 30 years old, in the year 2263. It's not a major error, but as they tried to make the new timeline coherently fit with the overall Star Trek universe, it does still stick out to me.
    • Alternate universe, etc.
      • I guess the only way it could make sense is if Sulu, Uhura and Chekov aren't really the same people as in the prime timeline, but are instead those characters' "unborn siblings" (like, for example, the Chekovs had a kid four years earlier than in the prime timeline and named him Pavel). Still doesn't explain Pike's age though.
      • I think that's the point. Sulu was born in 2237, Uhura in the 2239, and Checkov in 2245. All three happened after the key event of the destruction of the USS Kelvin in 2233, creating the discrepency. Who's to say what happened to anyone. Since the stardate of the distruction was 2233.04 (different from "normal," but taken to mean 2233 (year) .04 (04/100 of a year into it)). That would mean that the event caused Kirk to be born a month or two premature (since his Canon birthdate is March 14). George Kirk may have saved 800 lives, but who knows the actual cause 1 starship destruction and 2+ deaths (i'm pretty sure more than 2 people died) has on the timeline.
      • I personally am in agreement with the above Troper. I think of Nero's antics as a very extreme version of the Butterfly of Doom. If one single woman's life being spared could cause the Nazis to take over the world in 'The City On the Edge of Forever', I think a massive mining-craft-turned-warship blowing up a Starfleet vessel and causing the deaths of probably quite a few people could cause some less than obvious changes. That still doesn't explain Pike's age, though.....This may belong in Wild Mass Guessing, but perhaps this Pike is rather the father of the one in 'The Cage'?
      • Star Trek has established the existence of infinite possible universes before. In an episode of Next Generation Worf is sent jumping through dozens of alternate realities, some with differences barely noticeable. Given that Nero and Spock went through a very big Negative Space Wedgie, we could assume that they not only traveled through time but also into an already alternate universe, thus explaining any other discontinuities not covered by the changes in the timeline.
    • In the original timeline, Kirk was probably not in the same class as McCoy, Sulu, and Uhura. Had George Kirk survived, James would have shipped out to Starfleet Academy when he was 18. Since he instead became the "only genius-level repeat offender in the Midwest" he ended up shipping out when he was 22, meaning that he was in the same class with people that were years younger than him. In the original timeline, he would have been a Senior when the others were all Freshman.
    • According to what I read, Uhura was born in 2233 (same year as Kirk), Sulu was born in 2230 (same year as Spock) and Chekov was born in 2241 (which would make his age correct). I'm not sure where the other troper got their dates from, but there would be no need for this Headscratcher if these dates are correct.

     Free-Fall of Awesome. 
  • This applies to pretty much any situation where a planet's atmosphere is involved, but the freejumping scene in Star Trek brought it to the front of my mind. Is simply being up in the atmosphere enough to fry a person, or is it a speed/friction deal? I have absolutely no idea how this kind of thing works, and I can't find any real consistency to it - be that popular culture or otherwise.
    • It's friction.
    • Actually, it's air compression.
    • Yeah, it's about speed. Spaceships burn up because they're coming in so fast that the air in front of them can't get out of the way. It gets hella compressed, which heats it up so much that it ignites. The reason they do this is because it slows the ship down to a safe speed without having to use fuel. Since Kirk, Spock and Ensign Moron were only at falling speed, they weren't going nearly fast enough to burn. The movie's a bit inconsistent about its science, but it got this one right.

     Back from Black. 
  • Okay, so... how did they get away from the black hole at the end of the new movie? Other than that, I got nothin'.
    • Warp, by definition, distorts time and space. Releasing all that energy at once, instead of in a controlled fashion, might just be enough to get them out of a situation.
    • Given that it was an artificial black hole, the explosions might have caused it to collapse in on itself. It's not the first time that a Negative Space Wedgie has been kill via the application of More Dakka.

     The rest is also dangerous. 
  • What bugs This Troper in the 2009 movie is that red matter. Spock created it to save the Romulans by destroying the star that was... whatever. The problem is that if he intended to destroy JUST ONE STAR and he only needed JUST ONE DROP of the stuff why did he have a giant ball of death on his ship, instead of a prepared ampule ready to be launched at a moments notice (somehow having a giant ball of death seems both impractical and illogical). Another thing is that Big Bad travels back through time and instead saving his homeworld he hides and broods for 25 years and decides to take revenge for something that has yet to happen (admittedly from his perspective it did happen), and even comments that he waited 25 years for his revenge and that he can't even lead a normal life when he spent the last 25 years brooding and planning his revenge.
    • 1. That could be the minimum amount it was possible to refine, and/or the big red ball could be more stable than smaller amounts. 2. Really, really pissed off, remember?
    • The Big Bad had no means by which to save Romulus after travelling back in time, it was only when he captured Spock's ship and the Red Matter that he had any way to do anything (admittedly through total overkill rather than just black holing the star, but then he's really, really pissed off).
      • This needs to be pointed out: phoning your isolationist, militaristic homeworld and saying "Hi, I'm from the future. In 150 years, you'll all be dead unless you take preventative measures!" may not actually help all that much. The Romulans at the time didn't even have outside contact with anyone for years, unless the change in the timeline somehow changed that and got them outside their bubble before "Balance of Terror."
      • Not to mention the fact that there was still no way for Nero to get his "normal" life back - he quickly changed history so much that it's doubtful he and his wife would ever be born and, even if they were, and if he hadn't died of old age by that point, he'd have to effectively steal his wife away from himself to get her. He could save the physical planet (which is what he planned to do - presumably he would warn the Romulans about the star once he'd gained his revenge) but, as far as he was concerned, his world was destroyed and it was Spock's fault.
      • Nero didn't hide for 25 years, he spent them stuck in Klingon prison. God only knows what he would have done if he'd been free all that time—and, as the tropers above have said, showing up at Romulus with knews that the planet was going to go boom in a century and a half might not have gone over so well. It's been established in several of the series' that Romulans are extremely paranoid; if somebody who looked like one of them showed up with a gargantuan ship claiming everyone was going to die (even 150 years later) would have almost certainly ended...badly.
      • According to the supplementary materials, sure. But to paraphrase SF Debris: "You don't get credit for what you don't put in the movie because, and I'll try to explain this carefully, you didn't put it in the movie". Even if you didn't have time/the budget to show Nero's capture, you could have the crew talk about how the Klingons had cost them all that time they could have used to save Romulus.
    • 2. Given that the supernova was (let's just accept it) threatening the entire galaxy, Spock may have been working from the assumption that if anything went wrong, he might need another droplet of red matter to try again. And if you're a Vulcan, and the stakes are that high, and, let's face it, there's nothing else to do with all that red matter, well, it's easy to get carried away.
      • This troper is quite surprised that everyone who watched the movie assumed that the threat posed by the supernova was that it would blow up the galaxy. I read that line completely differently — the threat to the galaxy was that the destruction and irradiation of the capital of a major power would destabilize the political situation and lead to war. As mentioned above, the Romulan Empire would probably dissolve into a bunch of competing warlords, and I have no doubt that the Klingons, Cardassians, Federation, maybe Breen, and possibly even Dominion would end up supporting different warlords, and then suddenly you have a war across two, maybe three quadrants.
      • That explanation is probably the closest thing to making sense. It falls short at points (like how a supernova catches an FTL society like the Romulans off guard), but still, you should WMG that one.
      • It could be a reasonable handwave that a neighboring star would catch Romulas as off-guard as it did. They did detect it, after all, and Spock Prime's mission was to stop the supernova before it reached Romulas, but he failed. The fact that the Romulans of that time weren't killing everything in sight (Spock Prime seemed to be ambassador in an official capacity) suggests that the movie is subtly acknowledging "Nemesis," which means the Romulans are trying to get over their recent losses in the Dominion War, Shinzon's coup, and the military's coup against Shinzon. Remus probably didn't just slink back into its former slave role, which is why suddenly there are giant Romulan mining ships, so there's also a massive change in the economy, plus there's possible political ramifications over the fact that Shinzon managed to build the Scimitar and its WMD right under their noses and then tried to use it while acting as the leader of the government. The Romulas Nero comes from couldn't possibly have been well enough on its feet to just "deal" with a crisis, even/especially one of apocalyptic proportions. What were they going to do, use all the new mining ships like the Narada to evacuate the planet to somewhere safe before the supernova hit? There were probably more of them than Warbirds at the time. Seeking outside help doesn't necessarily solve the problem, either; aside from the aforementioned possible political problems (which would be more akin to red tape; nobody would ultimately consider Shinzon an excuse to just let the planet be disintegrated, but the subject would inevitably come up), The Undiscovered Country dealt with evacuating a homeworld and the best they could do was be certain that the evacuation would be complete sometime within the fifty years they have. If the supernova was a neighboring star, Romulas wouldn't have had enough time.
    • Speaking of red matter, why is it that, in a movie where they're vomiting weird-looking CGI effects onto the screen till you'd think Lucas was involved, they couldn't bother coming up with a Maguffin that looked any more exotic than a lava lamp?
    • Given that the Romulans have no shortage of enemies both inside and outside the Federation, who's to say that someone didn't step in to stop the mission? Perhaps Spock carried it all with him out of hopes that he'd be left alone for fear of igniting a black hole big enough to inhale a galaxy.
    • I got the impression that it wasn't just one supernova that was the problem... it was the fact that one star went nova, and due to one of the myriad weird sorts of radiation or whatever that populates the Trek universe, it was setting off a chain reaction of other stars going nova. The large amount of red matter might have been for all the various other reasons AND making sure he had enough to go back and completely disarm the chain of destruction to make sure it didn't get any worse. And it clearly didn't catch the Romulans completely unaware. In Star Trek Online, they're soon to reemerge as a faction in their own right.

     "Screw three years, let's do it in three days!" 
  • Really. No one's mentioned the cadet to captain thing yet? I mean, sure, This Troper and his friends always made jokes about low-ranking ensigns making admiral in Star Wars given Darth Vader's violent tendencies. But they never expected Abrams and company to play this straight in the new film. Kirk goes from an admittedly talented officer candidate to captain of the Federation's most prized warship? In a few days. And no, being a big damn hero isn't enough of a justification. Most people get a nice medal and a promotion for that - not a medal and six promotions. Also, Spock was just as important in the overall victory and outranked Kirk to begin with, already holding the rank directly below captain? So why didn't, by the same logic, he get promoted to Starfleet Command? Honestly, this troper really liked the film overall... but this bugs the crap out of him.
    • In the history of all real militaries ever, it is universally the case that if you save the planet Earth from certain destruction, you get promoted to Captain. No matter what. Name a single historical figure who saved he entire planet earth from literal destruction and didn't get promoted to captain as a result.
      • The above comment made This Troper smile. :)
      • Um ... James T. Kirk, Admiral of Starfleet? Little film called "Star Trek IV"? (Okay, okay, he was demoted to captain instead...) :D
      • Surely the real problem is not Kirk getting promoted to captain after the event, it's him being promoted from cadet to First Officer by Pike in the first place, despite there being no possible reason to do this.
      • Also, it seems the WHOLE crew basically go from cadets to crewing the Federation flagship if the end of the episode is anything to go by.
      • That doesn't matter. Heroics =/= command ability. In order to be an effective commanding officer it is essential (as several fans serving in the military have said in their reviews of the film) to have extensive ground experience. Command is more than about luck and leadership ability. It's also about having experience. Kirk does not have experience. There may be no precedent against said situation (since said situation has never occured, thereby meaning it is neither evidence against, nor for) but there are similar incidents in history. Napoleon, for instance, is reputed for having an exceptionally quick rise in the chaos of the French Revolution, where officers were being killed off left and right, going from lieutenant to general in eight years. That's more ranks than Kirk jumps, to be sure (though not by much), but the ratio is overwhelming and vastly different. The only circumstance This Troper can come across that resembles the situation at all is Nathan Bedford Forrest, who did indeed rise to the rank of colonel (the equivalent rank within the army and air force) within a few years of his enlisting as a private. But I've still yet seen anyone who did it in a matter of days and whose multiple superiors were overlooked (Uhura, Scotty, McCoy, Sulu, even Chekov, Spock, etc, etc.).
      • Jimmy Stewart (yes, that Jimmy Stewart) went from Private to Colonel in four years, a rise that's considered extremely rapid. Cadet to Captain in five seconds is beyond ridiculous.
      • To quote Pike from the novelisation: "You two make a swell team." He saw the potential of Kirk and Spock together and made a snap decision based on gut instinct. Clearly, it worked. Besides: 1)Everyone else was needed where they were, i.e. Uhura at communications, Chekov at navigation, Sulu at the helm, etc, and Kirk had nothing to do; 2) he probably had no expectation of it being anything but a temporary promotion; and 3)Kirk was born to command and Pike knew it. You can't teach that kind of instinct, and you get it maybe a few times in a generation.
      • The last guy to do the same thing in-universe was Jonathan Archer, and he practically was promoted to king. Or, at least, to unofficial patron saint of the new Federation.
      • On top of that, just how many people did Starfleet lose in the defense of Vulcan? It probably wiped out an entire generation of captains and first officers, leaving a dire need for more officers, even given the loss of ships and the fact that it takes at least three years to build a capital-class starship.
      • Fewer people than died in "Best of Both Worlds." They would have been at least as justified in bumping up junior officers in the aftermath of that battle, but they didn't. Shelby got promoted one rank and seemed to be on the fast track to fill a vacant captaincy, but she wasn't a captain yet and for all we know she never became one. Sisko went another six years before becoming a captain, though he was so shell-shocked for the first three years that that was surely for the best, at least at first. A year later you see they need to come up with a fleet in a hurry, but can't—which by the way is a nice aversion of the magic reset button, at least by Trek standards. Even when they're able to scrape up twenty-odd ships, they don't have enough senior officers to command them. Riker and Data get temporary captaincies for the duration of the emergency, but no actual promotions, which would have been bumps of just one and two grades, respectively.
      • But if they'd started handing out captaincies left and right at the end of the episode, even giving one to Wesley would have made more sense, both because he was a commissioned officer and because he'd been on a starship infinitely longer than New Coke Kirk.
      • That's right—if saving the day let's you skip through the ranks, then make way for Captain Wesley!
      • Then you have to factor in how this plan revolved around a non-graduate of Starfleet Academy who gained access to the ship on illegitimate grounds and who had been ejected from the crew by his commanding officer on charges of attacking his vessel's crew, verbally assaulting said officer in a blatant attempt to get him to withdraw from a leadership position, thus allowing himself to take the position and thereby order everyone to completely disregard the Federation's orders and send his sole ship (crewed by a skeleton crew of new cadets) directly against the aggressor, with his only advantages being a clever new transportation technique, the "owner" of the enemy's Phlebotinum, and it being personal. And it being the sole reason the Earth survived. At this point, we can safely say that Kirk's promotion to captaincy is most influenced by their being in an over-the-top action movie.
      • Unless countermanded by orders from higher up, a captain is effectively God. Any lawful order he gives has to be obeyed, on pain of court-martial, such as promoting Kirk to first officer. Ejecting someone from the ship isn't a reasonable course of action, since without Spock Prime's assistance Kirk very well might've died. Spock was no doubt acting just within the confines of Starfleet regulations. Also, Kirk was under advice from Spock Prime himself. If what's basically an older and wiser version of a guy you know tells you the "present" him is unfit for duty, you believe him. As for the plan, joining the fleet would've wasted time, and even if the fleet believed them and made it, they probably would've gotten killed. Chasing the Narada was their best bet.
      • But if Kirk was effectively captain when he was going after Nero, wouldn't Spock have been effectively captain when he threw Kirk off the ship? And if Spock was relieved of duty for attacking Kirk, why wasn't Kirk relieved of duty for attacking the security men?
      • I can name several reasons why Spock already deserved to be relieved of command by that point, starting with abandoning his post in the face of the enemy solely because of having a personal interest in what was happening on the planet. He followed this up by blatantly disregarding all advice from his crew (particularly his first officer, whom he failed to properly relieve when he returned to the bridge; "Out of the chair" doesn't count) and following an order that clearly had not taken into account the situation as developed out of pure autopilot. Spock was in command, but when the time came to take decisive action, he froze.
      • It wasn't that Spock attacked Kirk, it's that he revealed he was "emotionally compromised" enough to try and choke the life out of him. Kirk's actions can be seen as plain ol' frustration. And, yes, Spock was Acting Captain when he threw Kirk off. The logical course of action would be to hold Kirk for court-martial, not throw him off the ship. I'd also like to retract my earlier statement: Spock could reasonably expect the base Scotty was in to send someone out for Kirk. I'm still wondering what Kirk told the Admirality. "Well, I met Spock. From the future. And he told me..."
      • Please don't resort to ad hominem attacks. Calling us 'fanboys' is not arguing your case. Anyway, as far as promoting Kirk to captain, I would call it "daring and controversial," absolutely. I would also call it the right choice. One of the prime criteria for a Starfleet Officer is, or seems to be, knowing when one's orders are wrong. There's even a mission early in the Starfleet Academy PC game where you're ordered to destroy an object — and if you do it, you get chewed out for your superiors for blindly obeying orders. (The object is a relic from a star system where all the relics are protected and not supposed to be removed; the right action is to return it to the star system and leave it be.) Yes, Kirk disobeyed standing orders, in a rather flagrant way; but the point of the matter is he was right. Essentially, everything he did onboard that ship was something that saved lives, and his willingness to be bold and take risks ended up saving the Earth. He displayed bravado and cunning befitting the finest Starfleet officers, where Spock's strict adherence to orders and clouded judgement nearly got them all killed; however, with Spock as his first officer, cold logic to balance him out, he became, if anything, an even better captain. Frankly, I think they'd have been fools not to promote him. Sure, he's got a newbie crew, but he's a newbie captain, too — they can all grow and learn together, and become closer-knit than some random crew thrown together by assignment.
      • Except all that success was predicated on Spock Prime and fighting an opponent from the future. Any of those facts change and they likely all die and the rest of the whole fleet is absent while Vulcan, Earth, and probably more core worlds burn. The point being he was right this one time. Why not you know see if he can establish a track record of being right before handing him the most advanced ship of the fleet? Cause ANYONE can beat the best poker players in the world on one hand, that takes all skill out of the equation and it's just a matter of getting the right cards. I'd say future knowledge as well as specific intel on the enemy from a close "associate" while luckily also being alive (Sulu's gaff that saved all their lives) qualifies as luck even in the face of overwhelming odds. Unless they plan on hauling Nimoy around with them I don't see why anyone would expect similar results in situations that would present themselves in the galaxy of the 2350's. More to the point that still just points to Kirk having the tools to be a good Captain. That in no way proves he's a good Captain right now. Captain's have a lot more responsibilities and duties than risking everything on a one in a million plan. They have to operate limited resources on fulfilling the principle missions of Starfleet like that whole diplomacy t hing that Kirk has shown zero capacity for on the level of the Captain's chair, while fostering and advancing promising junior officers to positions of authority (Spock, Sulu, and Scotty all becoming Captains themselves). He has no experience nor track record for any of that. Promoting Kirk? Obviously that's reasonable. That's not the point of contest. Making him Captain of the Enterprise is. Justifying making a recent cadet a Captain because his crew is ALSO inexperienced while putting them on the new Flagship of the Federation is a little specious at best. SOMEONE there should have some experience actually running things and maybe even having been out there.
    • Also, Spock is in the process of resigning his commission when Spock Prime talks him out of it. They probably tried to give him his own command and he turned it down.
    • This is going to sound dumb, but are we sure that Kirk was still a cadet? There is no contention that he wasn't still an academy student, but then again, so was most of (if not all of) the crew of the Enterprise. Thus, what I'm wondering is if it is possible to attain the rank of ensign, lieutenant, etc., while remaining an academy student.
      • Yes, it is possible to achieve ranks while still a cadet. Red Squad is one group of cadets shown to do this in Deep Space Nine.
    • Throughout the whole movie, Kirk was pretty much the only person acting. Everyone else was just reacting. Having a plan (no matter how weak or vague it might be), and getting others to follow it, is called leadership. The fact that he was right and saved Earth just means he has good instincts (or got really, really lucky).
      • There are times that you don't want rogues or hotheads in leadership positions, but take him and his loyal crew and send him out on a 5-year mission to the more dangerous or unexplored portions of space, and it's pretty much a win-win situation for Starfleet.
      • Unless, y'know, he gets them embroiled in a bunch of wars. So you do have to keep some sort of control over him. Maybe a calm, logical person like a Vulcan?
      • The entire "promotion structure" in this alternate universe reminds me of the ways officers were promoted in TOS's mirror universe (by killing their superior and simply replacing them). In that alternate universe, even an Ensign like Checkov can immediately become Captain, so long as he directly replaces whoever is Captain that day. The only difference in the 2009 film is that it works without having to actually kill the guy who is higher up the ladder than you. It also bears an uncanny resemblence to Klingon Promotion.
    • Besides, this is Star Trek, when has it ever been even remotely realistic about military structure?
    • With regards to Pike making Kirk first officer, I think it's perhaps fairly safe to say that Kirk is in many ways Pike's protege here; Pike's the one who got him to enlist, and has presumably taken an interest in Kirk's development over the years, so presumably he feels like something of a mentor to Kirk — and more importantly, probably has a reasonable understanding of Kirk's abilities. Kirk's grounded because of academic suspension — but then, part of Pike's whole recruitment pitch to Kirk is that Starfleet needs more people to go by instinct rather than just strictly following the regs, so we can presumably classify his on-spot promotion here as an example of this; it goes against the regs, but Pike's got someone he's aware is a pretty capable guy to have around in a crisis and is making a gut judgement. Not the best reason, maybe, but he's the captain and in any case, it pays off and that's what counts.
    • There's more to commanding a vessel of any kind besides occasional heroics. A military vessel and its crew is a very expensive resource and you don't just hand it over to someone who hasn't demonstrated proficiency in the day to day management of everything that goes on in such a ship. By way of comparison consider the daily life of the captain of a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. It's not all about launching Hornets. There's the mundane management of the personal needs of some 5000 crewmembers and the trouble they can cause. It's understanding every department in the ship and how they effect the overall mission. It's learning how to lead people and to get them to do things their common sense and survival instincts are screaming at them to avoid. Just because Kirk has shown great potential as a commander doesn't mean he's fit to command the Federation flagship. Ship command is a highly specialized skill that has to be learned. At best his career would be fast-tracked up the ranks with an initial command of a smaller vessel. Once he's honed his command chops in such a vessel with a smaller crew Starfleet might see fit to bring him into the big leagues.
      • In real life yes. In Star Trek starships seem to exist mainly to get the captain around so he can be the "big damned hero" when needed. I mean, in real life has one ship/vessel ever 'single-handedly' saved a nation? Yet in the ST-verse that happens all of the time so I'd imagine the qualities they look for in a captain would be a little different.
      • For one thing, what that guy said. For another, I don't in theory, have all that much a problem with Kirk being jumped to first officer, AKA executive officer. It's a job description, not a rank, even if he has zilch experience it's vaguely on the same continent as plausible. Him being jumped subsequently to captain (the rank OR the job description, I don't care) from cadet is asinine. Still more asinine is that everyone is assigned ranks apparently at random. Okay, so Spock was a commander. Everyone else— definitely Uhura and Kirk, Chekov and Sulu as well, were cadets. Why were they all assigned seemingly random ranks? Chekov is an ensign, but Uhura is a lieutentant... why? Sure, she could be, I don't know, a senior and them juniors, but why not make them all Probationary Third Lieutenants? Or Officer Candidates? Or SOMETHING?
      • Sulu and Chekov weren't cadets. Sulu was a Lieutenant, Chekov an Ensign (and a child prodigy at that), as specified on the Star Trek Movie website. Uhura was a lieutenant because she is quite possibly the sharpest linguistic mind in the Federation, cadet or not, and has probably earned a collection of advanced degrees while at the Academy. Moreover, she was not commissioned as Chief Communications Officer, she is told to "replace the lieutenant" who previously served as the communications officer because she knew all three dialects of Romulan when he couldn't distinguish Romulan from Vulcan even after two thousand years of linguistic evolution, and if you don't know what that means go try and read the untranslated Beowulf - and that means he was bad at what he did. Please check your facts first.
      • Kirk is in no way qualified to be First Officer. The job of the First Officer or Executive Officer (XO) is to see to all of the little details that are needed to get the captain's orders carried out. This means that Cadet Kirk will be required to give orders to department heads who may be Lt. Commanders or Commanders. It means that Cadet Kirk will need to understand all of the various departments on a starship and the functions they perform so he can coordinate them. The XO of a ship is just one step below the captain in experience and will be expected to step in take command should the captain be no longer able to carry out his duties.
      • He does, it's mentioned that before he cheats he's one of the best students in Starfleet, excelling in most, if not all his command classes. That's why he was so frustrated with the Kobayashi test.
      • Kirk's job was a temporary promotion for the duration of the current crisis. Pike was basically telling Kirk, "Play devil's advocate for Spock since you don't actually have an assigned position on board but you're a sharp tactical mind and you know more about what's going on here than anyone else." That's it. This wasn't a long-range mission, it was an emergency rescue performed by a slapdash fleet of cadets, teachers and officers who had been Earthside for several years with starships that still needed repair work or were completely unfinished. There were no other options. There was no Plan B.
    • And more about ranks. Look, officers in real-world militaries usually require four-year degrees or a fuckton of experience in the enlisted ranks. Chekov, for one— a 17-year-old is already in college? Fine, he's brilliant? Already in college long enough that they pull him out and slap him on a warship and then leave him there? I mean, none of these guys finished their education (okay, maybe McCoy, since he already had medical training) but they were partially-trained nitwits. Brilliant and naturally gifted partially-trained nitwits, the kind who get their men killed when they're dealing with angry men with guns, let alone angry men with phasers and the entirely separate issue of big, expensive, complex spacecraft that it's really easy to get killed on.
      • A few monkey wrenches in that point.
      • First: all the main characters were graduating seniors.
      • Second: Starfleet had just lost 80% of their upperclass cadets, a large fraction of Starfleet academy staff that were spaceworthy, all bases on Vulcan, at least 7 starships, and both Vulcan's and Earth's system and orbital defense craft (which were plentiful). The Federation had lost less in actual wars. They were stretched too thin to do anything other than staff the Enterprise with the graduating class of 23XX. The only thing that REALLY bugged me was why Pike resigned as Captain.
      • They had the whole rest of Starfleet to choose from. They lost cadets, some teachers that likely weren't frontline officers, and Vulcans. That IS a huge hit, but that can't possibly mean there aren't deserving commanders or even Captains that could have been selected. Because very few of those categories would actually impact that level of command. You've lost some semi-retired officers and a new crop of ensigns. Maybe if Pike was representative you lost 7 Captains. Even if it was with the understanding that if Kirk proved himself he'd get command eventually that would be one thing. Basically, if Starfleet is so undermanned that a cadet is the best option to be Captain of the most advance ship likely in their region of space, the flagship responsible for basically being the Federation's representative (and even this era knows of a few of the god beings and dangers out there in space) on the frontiers between hostile neighbors and new civilizations, there is some serious fundamental problems with how they conduct advancement and recruitment.
      • Pike didn't resign as Captain — he got promoted to Admiral. Kirk refers to him as such in his promotion scene. In any case, even if he could remain on board as commander of the Enterprise, the fact that he's in a wheelchair in his last scene indicates to me that even if he did want to be on active duty, he's probably not up to it; Nero's torture has probably had very serious side-effects to his health.
      • Poor Pike. In all three universes that have a version of him. The real Pike became a quadriplegic who couldn't communicate beyond answering "Yes" or "No" questions despite having all his mental faculties intact. Mirror Universe Pike was killed in a mutiny, though in that universe he had plenty of company at least. And now New Coke Pike gets permanently paralyzed by brain parasites.
      • Realistically, Pike's got at least a year of physical therapy (more likely two or three) before he's spaceworthy again. Promoting him to Admiral and putting him on a temporary planetside post until he's got the physical ability back to handle space duty seems like the best idea for everyone involved.
    • Another problem: even if you want to go ahead and assume that the cadet to captain promotion is kosher, there's another problem: jealousy. There must be dozens of ranking officers all throughout the fleet with more experience than Kirk that were just aching for their chance to command the flagship. But then this hotshot little punk comes out of nowhere and snipes the chair out from under them. It's been shown in other Star Trek shows / movies that rivalries within Starfleet are common, and that's just friendly, not someone vastly less experienced being given the Big Chair on the biggest, newest, most awesomest ship in the fleet. Good luck next time you need to ask a fellow captain for a favor, Jim.
      • This is Jim Kirk we're talking about here; modesty doesn't exactly come easily to him anyway, and he's probably cocky enough not to be too put out about jealous would-be captains stink-eying him; hell, he probably flaunts it.
    • A thought occurs; the only reason Cadet Kirk wasn't legitimately aboard the Enterprise in the first place was because he was on academic suspension for cheating on a test no one's supposed to be able to pass anyway. For all we know, he could have aced his other exams and simulations and studies, including those dealing with the administrative matters that would naturally arise in the captaining of a starship-class space vessel (not entirely outside the realms of possibility, seeing as Pike acknowledges that Kirk's supposed to be something of a prodigy with a genius-level intellect) and could have been headed for being assigned a fairly good post on that ship anyway (again, not entirely out of the realm of possibility considering that Pike, the captain of his ship, would also appear to be his rabbi). Kirk could have been on a career path leading to that chair on the Enterprise anyway (also probable, given how fate seemed to be steering everyone in that direction); events just fast-tracked it. Of course, it's still a massive jump, but not necessarily one entirely out of the blue. Granted, passing an exam is different to the real world, but considering that Starfleet puts it's cadets through real-world simulations designed to test them and their command abilities it's probably slightly different to just getting the answer right on a piece of paper. And, of course, we never saw any of this, but let's face it; seeing him ace a load of exams on starship administrative management would probably be fucking boring.
    • As hard as it is to believe, the whole "rapid rise through the ranks" was actually part of series creator Gene Roddenberry's backstory for Kirk in the original 1960s tv series, and is even mentioned in the series bible written by Roddenberry. The difference, of course, is that we simply hadn't seen it until the new movie...
      • He specified that Kirk was the youngest captain ever at age 31. He is not 31 in the new movie.
      • His "rapid rise through the ranks" took years the first time around, not hours.
      • Assuming a 4 year Academy degree and commission at 18, 23 for Ensign... 8 years to Captain is rather fast, but certainly not unfeasible.
      • Everyone has fogotten what kirk is told when Pike is talking him into joining starfleet. He says "you can have your own starship in four years." Pike expected him to have a ship of his own in four years under REGULAR circumstances. Kirk then says "four years? I'll do it in three." Next thing we see is "three years later." And what happens after that? Everyone (or nearly everyone at least) from the school with seniority over him DIES in the first engagment, he gets temporary assignment as captain (eventually), saves earth and destroys a huge threat to the rest of the galaxy at the same time, spock (the next logical choice) Nearly leaves starfleet entirely (only coming back to be under kirk) and Pike, the former captain, gets promoted to Admiral, and since he was pretty into the idea of kirk getting a ship in the first place, would have certainly dropped a heck of a recomendation.
      • "Your own starship" != "The largest, most expensive, most advanced, most incredible, of design yet untested, ship IN THE WHOLE FLEET".
      • But then there's that whole everyone who outranked you died at the beginning of the movie thing. And then our new admiral who loved you to death recommended you. And you have experience commanding it. And of course, since we owe you a favor for that whole save the galaxy thing, I guess we can let you continue to captain our new ship. We're going to be building a whole fleet of ones just like it anyways so it's not like it makes a big difference.
      • Kirk was a third year cadet, unless Starfleet got a LOT smaller, there are plenty of people that would still outrank him. The whole business with the Fleet in the Laurentian system being one example of a large source of experienced and tested Captains. Maybe they haven't saved the Federation, but a similar token, Kirk hasn't shown he can successfully do any other duties that a captain would be expected to perform. Babylon 5 has shown the dangers of unqualified personnel undertaking first contact. Not that Starfleet command would know of that, but the fact the Klingons are hostile neighbors is an in universe example.
      • Kirk was a third-year senior, which means he busted his ass (either taking full-load summers or 1 1/2 load semesters; given how abusive his uncle was, the former seems more likely) and got amazing grades (instructors and school admin don't let you deliberately overload yourself unless you're already pulling at least an A- average). It's fair to say that he was probably already a superstar at the Academy, which is why he got away with so much. "Works hard, plays hard" is a pretty common archetype for that kind of student.
    • A lot of you seem to miss the full scope of everything behind his promotion. Not only does Kirk save the entire fucking planet, he also has Admiral Pike's recomendation, Spock Prime's recomendation (who has the benifit of being from the future and thus his words carrying a lot of weight), the fact that he's already served with the entire bridge crew and has experience working with them, the decimation of the new fleet and it's crews narrowing down the amount of captaions, Spock turning down their offer (since he was in the process of resigning) and he might have recomended Kirk himself, Kirk already showing promise by taking a four year course and already doing the Koshi Marou during his third year, and well, being James T. Kirk. With all these things adding up Starfleet probably said "Fuck it, he's already Captain of that ship and has a working relationship with it's crew and understands it's capablities, might as well keep him there and save us the headache of trying to sort it all ourselves." There's a lot of things going for Kirk and it's a very extraordinary situation so they likely made an exception. At the very least, it's a good PR story after the utter destruction of a founding species' homeworld.
      • So granting the flagship of the Federation to a 3rd year cadet is a PR move? They lost 7 ships. I would hope Starfleet has far more ships at their disposal than that, with potential captains that have earned their commissions. Yes, maybe all of them COMBINED haven't accomplished what Kirk did with his newb crew. But by that same token anyone can bust the best poker player in the world if it was all put down on one hand. There is literally zero harm in seeing if Kirk's rise to fame wasn't just an insanely lucky gambit and wait to see if he has the chops to be on the frontier exploring new worlds and new civilizations and not accidentally embroiling the Feds in a war or two...or risking conflict with some advanced beings like the Talosians. Especially since even if Spock Prime vouched for him, unless he plans on going on their adventures as well, his word doesn't really mean much, ie without access to his future and intimate knowledge of Nero's capabilities the plucky crew wasn't going to win the day.
      • 1. Kirk has the recommendation of an Admiral, something that is a HUGE deal. 2. He is already experienced with the crew and the ship. 3. That experience literally saved the galaxy, including the entirety of the federation, against a ship that hours before wiped out an entire armada with no trouble. 4. He was going to get a ship anyways probably within a month. There is a reason kirk says "I'll do it in three" and then we flash to three years later instead of four. 5. He probably had Spock's recommendation as well, and they were going to give command to him at the end. 6. Everyone who was graduating ahead of him was dead, and a very large portion of the people who outranked him were too. Hoping that Starfleet has "far more ships" doesn't make it true. Starfleet is very young at this point. If all you can send for a full scale evac of a planet is 8 ships, "abundance" is not the word to describe Starfleets resources. Basically, if there was anyone left they were considering for captain, that person must have turned it down, because Kirk IS captain. 7. Yes, it also works as a good PR move. Waiting, even for a little bit, would destroy that. Timing is everything when holding up heroes in the limelight. This sort of thing happens all the time NOW, I doubt it'll be any less infrequent just because we leave the planet every now and then. 8. Flagship or no, they'll build more of them. Infact, they'll make better ones, that how tech works. All those other captains out there were at some point piloting the most advanced ship in the fleet as well, and they aren't going to just pack up and shuffle one ship over every time Starfleet builds a new one. Bottom line, Kirk as captain seems pretty reasonable to me.
    • Kirk is an absolutely brilliant officer candidate who has, in his time at the Academy, presumably passed — no, aced — hundreds, if not thousands of starship command sims and tests. He has studied hundreds of thousands of texts about how to run a starship, probably down to what color the toilet water will be if someone on board fails to fix the plumbing. In short, he is not a B.S. Communication major or a B.A. Arts Management major — he is taking a Bachelor of Science in CAPTAINING STARSHIPS, and his final exam was saving the Federation from certain destruction. The only thing he doesn't have that higher-ranking and (supposedly) more experienced candidates for captaincy would have is time logged in performing actual missions for Starfleet — assuming the Academy doesn't have some sort of outreach or learn-on-the-job program.
      • This is not very convincing. First, every other Starfleet Academy graduate on the road to command has had to go through the same lessons and exams, aside from the whole saving the Federation thing, which seemed a bit coincidental in his favor. Second, and this is admittedly subjective, it's hard to take his exemplary academy performance as evidence to strengthen the outcome when the movie chooses to make it an Informed Ability. The only things we ever see him actually doing at the Academy are breaking rules. Repeatedly.
    • All of this ignoring a basic premise (and one that Star Trek has always done): flagships are commanded by flag officers (translated: Admirals), and are ships operating as command ships of entire fleets. Not solitary exploration vessels commanded by Captains.
    • The old series didn't exactly hold hard-and-fast to strict and accurate military procedure when it got in the way of a good story either — the very fact that the Captain of the ship was always the one who led the exploration crews rather than sending someone else to do it is evidence enough of that. Ultimately, I think the answer lies simply in the fact that the story was about watching the new Jim Kirk become captain of the Enterprise in the most interesting and exciting way possible, not watching the new Jim Kirk become captain of the Enterprise through studying hard for all his exams on starship management and acing them and slowly progressing up the chain of command in an appropriate and realistic fashion for a member of a military organisation. That would be more realistic but also, as mentioned above, more boring to watch. Yes, it's unlikely that Kirk would instantly go from academy cadet to captain of the Enterprise, but that's what made the more exciting story so if you can't cope with that, I think you're just going to have to accept that this movie probably isn't for you and leave it at that.
      • It is possible to write a good story about Captain Kirk's adventures. After all, that was the premise of the original series. Or we could have a story about Kirk's first mission out of the Academy, in which he saves the day. Or even a story about the Starfleet-saving mission that convinced them to promote him to captain once and for all. Nothing was improved by making them the same story, let alone adding aspects like how he never even formally graduated because of his jerkish tendencies.
      • Firstly, this is a new movie, not a new series. Slightly different plotting and pacing is required. Second, as has been pointed out, if you're going to adhere to a demand for realistic military procedure of promotion and behavior to the point of making a headscratcher and refusing any and all possible explanations for it while just going "No it's wrong it's wrong it's wrong", then Star Trek is just not for you. Star Trek is and always has been a light touch on military ranks and protocol to give some organization to exploration fantasy... it is not a primer on realistic military advancement through the ranks, is not intended to be, and if that's going to be such a bone of contention for you just give up on the series now.

     I'll just wait here on this ice planet. Vulcan will be fine. 
  • Why did old Spock wait around on a frozen planet instead of taking action against Nero? Why not just walk down to that Starfleet outpost and warn the Federation that a Romulan from the future with a giant death ship and a vengeful streak a light-year wide was on the loose? Apparently, it was more prudent to wait for the one-in-a-trillion chance for Kirk to show on the right spot on the right planet so he could meet him after Vulcan was destroyed.
    • Oh, goodie, I've been waiting for this. Nero dumped Spock down farther from the station than where Kirk landed. Spock Prime was heading toward the station anyway, from a different direction, and happened to meet Kirk.
      • A different direction? Seems likely that Nero would have dropped Spock in a place fairly close (by planetary standards) to where Kirk landed — basically the point closest to where a ship traveling to or from Vulcan would pass (Nero wanted Spock to have a "good view"). He was just hours ahead of Kirk on the, um, trek, to the outpost, and had ducked into a convenient cave to have a good cry about the destruction of his planet. (I sort of wonder — had Kirk not happened upon Spock, maybe Spock was planning to just let himself freeze to death in that cave.)
      • I forgot that Spock arrived twenty-five years after Nero. I am made of fail. That would mean that Nero waited years for Spock to appear so he could force him to watch the destruction of Vulcan, which makes sense.
      • Allegedly, there is some deleted footage explaining that Nero spent most of the past twenty-five years in a Klingon prison (Rura Penthe from The Undiscovered Country), while his crew repaired the damage from the Kelvin's suicide run. All that survived into the final film was Uhura's radio intercept about a Romulan attack on a Klingon prison.
      • An attack? Wouldn't that imply that the Klingons took Nero into custody and then went "OK you crazy Romulans from the future with the uber powerful ship, you just be on your way and don't cause any trouble!" Even they aren't that stupid.
      • It would more imply that the account of events got garbled al la Chinese Whispers; the message instead of "Romulans breaking out of Klingon prison, things kicked off" became garbled in the confusion to be "Roumlans attacked Klingon prison, things kicked off". No doubt because when you hear "Klingon prison" the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that Romulans are involved probably isn't that they were escaping prisoners.
      • Also fate itself was trying to bring Kirk and Spock together.
      • But that's even worse! Not only is it the laziest kind of writing crutch, pretty much the equivalent of saying "we needed to bring them together but couldn't think of a better way to do it," but it also breaks the movie's own rules of time travel. The whole idea behind the "changing history" thing was to make it so they could take the series in a different direction, free from the constrictions of future canon. So changing the past creates an alternate universe. But apparently the universe is trying to root out internal inconsistencies? Or Time Paradoxes? Or the universe will explode? Or something? Why would "fate" care what happened in this alternate universe? As far as this universe is concerned, things were meant to happen this way. Why would it care about Spock and Kirk being together, but not about Vulcan being destroyed, or Spock's mother dying? The population of an entire planet seem to me radically more important than whether two starfleet officers like each other.
      • I find it works better if you substitute "Fate" for "Q." Wouldn't be the first time one of them interfered with the progression of history.
    • It makes sense Nero only dumped Spock Prime on the planet hours or days before attacking Vulcan. Spock Prime was captured by Nero, so it would be quite stupid of Nero to give him an opportunity to warn Vulcan. perhaps he only dumped him until after they had already begun drilling.
    • Most likely Spock Prime was on his way to the outpost when he was either attacked by the same thing that came after Kirk and sought shelter in the cave or, being 200+ years old on a planet where the temperature is a fraction of that on his homeworld, needed to stop for a breather. While he's debating what to do for dinner, some kid comes running into the cave chased by an Eldritch Abomination. Once he realizes that it's the younger version of his twice-dead friend, he starts to hatch a plan to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
    • Then there is the issue of original!Spock bringing the Applied Phlebotinum — the "transwarp transporter" knowledge, which apparently because Awesomeness Is a Force he can just casually tweak an existing 23rd Century transporter unit and enable it to perform this radically-advanced new capability. Which means that, at the very least, he could have beamed to Vulcan (or possibly even to Earth itself) from Delta Vega and warned the Vulcan government and/or Starfleet. One would thus expect his highest priority having been to reach the outpost, since even with its limited resources he had the ability to leave the planet and go almost anywhere!
    • After watching Wrath of Khan and the new movie back to back, I noticed something that resolves this in my view, even disregarding Pike's "four years" comment: The first person we see take the Kobayashi Maru test, Saavik, is referred to interchangeably as "Cadet" and "Lieutenant". Though Kirk is also a cadet, he's also called "Lieutenant" a few times. Captain Pike's promotion of Kirk was from Lieutenant to Commander, which, while still out of the ordinary, is much more plausible than academy student to Captain.

     "Where's my yellow jumper got to...?" 
  • Why does Kirk go through the whole movie wearing nothing but a black undershirt? McCoy makes a big deal about getting him changed when he comes aboard, presumably the plan was for him to blend in (which he immediately ruined by barging into the bridge), but why would they only steal 2/3rds of a uniform? No one else was just wearing black so that wouldn't help him to blend in at all. Did the Enterprise wardrobe have extra pants, extra boots, extra undershirts but not a SINGLE extra shirt?
    • Bones was waiting to get Kirk the right shirt until after he finished treating Kirk. Kirk promptly ruined that plan, and then getting the right attire was the last thing on their mind.
    • Yet Scotty had time to towel off, change out of his wet arctic gear and into a snazzy Red Shirt before the big final battle?
      • Who said anything about time? I'm talking "priorities". Scotty couldn't go around sopping wet in the wrong clothes, and Engineering had been managing fine without him, up to that point. As long as his clothes weren't stinky or damaged, why would Kirk bother to change?
    • You mean, besides the obvious answer of "making sure Kirk has a unique costume so we can always find him amidst all the Crayola chaos going on on the bridge"?
    • Because it's symbolic. Everyone else is a legitimate Starfleet officer. Kirk, on the other hand, doesn't appear in colors until we see him striding onto the bridge wearing command gold. It makes that moment just that much more of an emotional gut-punch for old fans, as we see that the wild boy of the film has become the Captain we fell in love with. (Why yes, it is sentimental. So sue me.)

     Shocking News: America isn't the only country in the world. 
  • Why are the European posters for the new movie so much cooler than the American ones? We've got a bunch of colorless mugshots of the actors and a blurry outline of the Enterprise, while Germany, for example, has this.
    • I'm in Canada and you can get that one here. I saw it in my local Wal* mart. Maybe the stores near you just aren't carrying it.
    • It's to make up for decades of getting movies, TV shows and games months after the US.

     The Bucket List. 
  • Lots of blatant errors in the new Star Trek, I'll try not to repeat the ones mentioned already
    • Military stuff
      • Enlist in Starfleet Academy? No, you don't enlist to become an officer, and I don't believe that would have changed for Starfleet.
      • Spock did not "resign his commission" after beating the crap out of Kirk, he relieved himself of duty. Resigning one's commission is a lot more permanent.
      • He was going to resign his commision after the mission was over. Spock Prime talked him out of it.
      • Spock wouldn't request "permission to come aboard" at the entrance to the bridge, he'd request permission to enter the bridge. He might ask "permission to come aboard", even if already aboard, at the transporter pad or the shuttle bay entrance, but not the bridge.
      • ^You're complaining about a lack of adherence to actual military behavior? In a Star Trek movie? Really?
      • ^ It seemed to me like that was more a formality, a Spock-like way to break the ice and let Kirk know he was here to stay.
      • Yes, really. I accept a lot of things as part of Trek (like the near total lack of enlisted personnel in the first place), but that stuff smacks of poor research rather than deliberate departures from reality for drama's sake.
      • It's easier to attribute it to
      • The first one is consistent with how things have been shown on Star Trek in the past and the last two are simple errors in the script. Some simple wording errors are far from something to get so worked up about.
      • It was a sign of respect. Remember, Spock tried to have Kirk expelled, then tried to choke him to death after jettisoning him to die on a frozen planet. By asking permission to come aboard, he was acknowledging Kirk as the proper Captain.
    • Physics stuff
      • Red matter was made up for the show, so I'll assume it has qualities to explain anything explainable. For instance, it's of very low mass until "ignited". But the resulting black hole clearly has a LOT of mass, and a lot of mass just appearing somewhere is going to affect things.
      • For instance, if Spock was near enough to Vulcan that it appeared to be the size of a moon, the planet he's on will have been affected.
      • ^One theory is that that was Spock's visualization of the psychic impact of Vulcan being destroyed. He was once able to feel a 400-Vulcan ship being taken out in TOS, much less a planet with six billion.
      • The mining ship would have been instantly destroyed, seeing as it was half-in and half-out of the singularity
      • And why was it portrayed as 2-dimensional in that last case?
      • Drilling down to the mantle of a planet, let alone the core, is going to produce an instant volcano, not a nice neat hole. While the drill was operating you could handwave that away with applied phlebotinum, but once it was shut off, no excuses.
      • ^Because it's not like ships have energy shields or anything, right?
      • The speed of Spock's ship should have been well known. As should the speed of expansion of the supernova. Arriving not-quite-in-time (without knowing that would happen) should not have been possible, Traveling at the Speed of Plot notwithstanding.
      • ^According to the backstory comic, Nero and Spock were both hamstrung by the boneheaded decisions of their planetary leaders.
      • And yet, Nero still goes and blames it all on Spock but then as his plot motivation amounts to insanity that makes about as much sense as anything else he does.
    • Miscellany
      • Nero's mining ship had enough weapons to destroy an entire fleet? A drill and tractor beams are reasonable, but torpedoes sufficient to breach starship shields?
      • ^The Narada had Borg-derived tech and weapons from a Romulan research center in the future.
      • ^A mining ship would often be carrying extremely valuable cargo and so would need to be able to defend itself from anyone who wanted to steal it. The kind of weaponry that could fend off a moderate-sized group of Space Pirates in the 24th century should also be enough to take on 200 year old starships.
      • Pike was known to have been captured. So why didn't Starfleet change any sensitive frequencies and codes he had? They did in The Next Generation when Picard was captured.
      • Starfleet didn't know that Pike had been captured. Only the Enterprise crew knew and they had no means of communicating with Starfleet, either due to jamming or damage (as far as I recall). By the time they arrived at Earth, the Narada was in orbit and they had other priorities.
    • And the BIG one... Ambassador Spock, on a ship carrying a superweapon (for perfectly good reasons), is going to let it fall into the hands of an insane Romulan? I don't think so; that would be illogical. Spock would have had to have been dead or disabled before anything like that happened, yet his ship didn't have a scratch on it. And it's not like Nero had repair facilities for Federation ships.
      • ^Nero and Co. had 25 years to figure out the best way to incapacitate Spock but leave the ship intact.
      • ^Then again if you're going to be prancing around with what is arguably the most dangerous matter in the universe, why not have an escort? Like a Battleship (or two).
      • ^^It was a largely unsanctioned mission. Aformentioned boneheaded Vulcan High Command, remember?
      • There's also not much point in sending your fastest ship if it's got to be escorted by slower vessels.
      • It's not that hard to figure out how Spock got captured without a fight. He comes out of the black hole, sees the Narada, and flies to it hoping to explain. He offers his own life as penance for failing to save an entire species, hoping that it will quell Nero's anger and assuming that the crew wouldn't be able to make use of the Red Matter with A) him dead and B) the lack of a supernova to ignite it. However, that's the same error in thinking that the Genesis designers had: they failed to think of how their tool could become a weapon in the wrong hands.
    • Logic
      • ^Is it possible that the term "logic" is just a poor translation of term for a similar, but distinct Vulcan cultural construct, rather than a representation of "logic" as presented in human culture. Many of the actions taken by Vulcans would seem to be illogical.
      • The Expanded Universe novel "Spock's World" agrees with this, claiming that a better translation would be "Passion's mastery". The franchise, of course, waffles a bit on whether The Vulcan Way is more a matter of "suppressing" emotions or of "controlling" them. Enterprise tried to explain the situation by having the Vulcans themselves be conflicted on the subject.
      • ^The head of the Vulcan academy choosing to toss a veiled insult at Spock. How is taunting someone that you are hoping will spend his life dedicated to furthering the knowledge of Vulcan and making a better life for the entire planet considered "logical"?
      • ^^ I don't think he was 'tossing a veiled insult' - he was stating exactly what he believed, and thought that he was giving Spock high praise. However, in doing so, he revealed to Spock the underlying bias of the council, and Spock basically went "...you know what, no, I don't want to study with these racist jerks."
      • ^Spock-Prime's entire solo trip with the red matter.
      • ^Vulcan reluctance to discuss their culture, physiology and psychology with non-Vulcans, especially those in a medical position to help them.
      • ^Not to mention, within the human concept of "logic", we consider most of the things we do to be "logical". We will admit to emotional outbursts and mistakes, but we do not disdain "logic" in favor of these things, despite how Vulcans may feel about the situation.
      • ^^Ahem.
      • ^And perhaps, just maybe, Vulcans are not perfect. There are many examples where a Vulcan just isn't being as logical as you'd expect them to be. Like Solok who goes to the trouble of forming an all-Vulcan baseball team just to show up Sisko. Or anything T'pol does toward the end of Enterprise. Plenty of individuals fail to live up to their cultural ideals.
      • ^ Though in T'Pol's case it had more to do with her long-term exposure to a non-Vulcan culture, a phenomena not uncommon among real life expats living in a culture with different values from that of their native society.
      • ^ Honestly, the film merely followed the trend that started in Enterprise - which is to say, Vulcans are dicks.
      • ^^Really? That started with Enterprise? I think you need to go back and watch the forementioned "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" from season 7 of Deep Space Nine in which a Vulcan captain puts together a baseball team just to further a personal grudge he has against Sisko that goes back to their academy days (and which was ironically, both in universe and in the context of this conversation, based around the Vulcan captain believing his culture's logic made Vulcans inherently superior to "emotional" species like humans).

     That's a priceless antique! 
  • Young Kirk is displayed stealing a car and driving it off a cliff as a means of establishing what a reckless character this boy is. Firstly, this is several hundred years in the future, this is like stealing a horse and cart, it wouldn't be percieved as cool, it would be percieved as bizarre. Secondly, what is that car running on? It has been stated that in Star Trek, fossil based fuels are no longer used or produced, and gas goes bad if left in the tank for too long.
    • Because, of couse, in Real Life the actions of kids who are angry at the authority figures in their lives are always perfectly explicable and never at the least bit bizarre.
    • It probably was perceived as bizarre. We only get four reactions: that of Kirk who is doing this as a youthful act of rebellion, his friend who just stands there looking dumbfounded, the stoic cop who was chasing him, and his step-father, who was pissed he just stole an antique. As for fuel... maybe it was converted to use Hydrogen fuel cells or some other clean fuel. There was an episode of Babylon 5 where Lennier, after building a motorcycle on Garibaldi's behalf, put in a non-polluting fuel source in it so they could drive around the station. Or maybe I'm just overanalyzing it.
    • The backstory states that Kirk's grandfather was a collector of antique cars.
    • But why the hell did Kirk have to drive the car off the cliff? OK, he was a rebellious youth but this was the equivilent of a teenager today stealing his grandfather's (probably one of a kind and therefore priceless) Ming Vase and destroying it for no other stated reason than he was full of piss and vinager?
      • From what I've heard, the car had been George Kirk's, and his stepfather was planning to sell it. Young Jim seems to have hated his stepdad's guts, so might well have preferred to see his real father's precious antique destroyed than to let it be auctioned off like some meaningless eBay knicknack.
      • If someone was hoping to sell that antique Ming Vase — or cherished it, even — then if you hated them and wanted to spite them, smashing would be a good way to piss them off, no? Why does he need another reason?
    • There's a deleted scene that reveals that the car used to belong to George Kirk but was passed to the boys' uncle, who they were living with whilst their mother was off-world (not, apparently, a stepfather) and was a bit of a jerk. The kid walking down the road is apparently Kirk's brother, who was running away from home and challenged Kirk with the fact that he was a goody-two-shoes who was always living by the rules. Kirk stole the car to finally do something to rebel and do something wild for a change. As for the destruction, I get the feeling that driving it over the cliff was something of an accident; Kirk doesn't appear to have had a well-thought out plan here, got spooked by the cop and turned into the dirt road to the quarry, and when he sees the cliff decided "What the hell, I hate him and he's pissed off at me anyway — why not go all the way?"

     Just stick to the Doylist explanation. 
  • Why on Vulcan does switching to an alternate timeline give Sarek a British accent?
    • Because the actor who plays him (Ben Cross) is British, and Sarek's original actor (Mark Lenard) has been dead since 1996.
    • He was never speaking English to begin with, we've just been hearing it as such due to the Universal Translator; presumably, there's also Translation Convention for us viewers for the alien-only scenes. A translator technician must have gotten killed in the attack on Kirk's father's ship, and the translator who did maintenance on the camera's translator instead in this new timeline programmed it slightly differently, affecting accents.
    • No timeline shift is necessary. The Translation Convention uses a British accent, while the Universal Translator Sarek (a diplomat) carries in TOS and TNG was programmed by an American.
    • Alternately, there is a translation convention, but it has to do with the way that Sarek actually does speak English. Perhaps in the original timeline he learned English from an American, but because of some quirk of fate or whatnot he learned it from an Englishman in the alternate timeline. Better, O Watsonian?

     He's a doctor, not an equestrian. 
  • In the 2009 film, there's a metaphor about not keeping your stallion in the barn for the Kentucky Derby (I'm sorry, my details are fuzzy). But the Triple Crown mostly uses colts, not stallions - by the time a racehorse is old enough to be classified as a stallion, it's too old to race in the Crown.
    • Maybe that changed by the twenty-third century or maybe McCoy screwed up. Or maybe "your prized colt" doesn't sound as cool as "your prized stallion".
    • If it was intentional, it's definitely an application of the Rule of Cool. Kirk's supposed to be a stallion or (Stallyn!), not a colt.
    • Damnit, he's a doctor, not an equestrian.
      • To the above troper, that quote is made of more win than James T. Kirk. Well, not really, but pretty close.

     Nero is smarter than he looks. 
  • How did Nero know when Future-Spock would appear out of the wormhole? I mean, how did he know to wait the 25 years and show up at the wormhole at the exact moment that Future-Spock would reappear?
    • He didn't. I got the distinct impression that he'd been waiting patiently that whole time.
    • There was a mention of "calculations" when they went to the spot just before Future-Spock appeared. When they first came through, Nero was confused that Spock hadn't shown up at the same time and place. Apparently they spent a lot of time crunching the numbers on it.
    • For that matter, Spock Prime would have had to have gone into the wormhole first, not second, to arrive later in time.
    • If its spitting people out at random - which it seems to be - order has nothing to do with it. It could have spit them out at once, or even thousands of years apart.
      • That's assuming the time you entered has an effect on the time you exit. It could be something else, such as the mass of the vessel and/or the speed at which it entered, the Narada exceeding the Jellyfish in both of those variables.

     I'm only going to Romulus. I won't need weapons. 
  • Why does Spock's ship need weapons? It wasn't like he was going to meet unfriendlies on the way there...and even if he did, his ship has speed on it's side.
    • It's said that they "outfitted their fastest ship" - it was likely built for some other purpose, which did require weapons, and then modified to contain the red matter. It's also possible that unfriendlies were expected - there are certainly some in the galaxy who could benefit from Romulus's destruction. Alternatively, Spock, having had about 200 years of experience in dealing with weird space anomalies, was Genre Savvy enough to add a little firepower, just in case.
    • Even Federation shuttle craft have some weapony if I remember right. It's a dangerious galaexy why wouldn't they put a few weapons on it?
    • Let's be honest: there's probably a good number of races that wouldn't mind seeing Romulus get vaporized. If nothing else, the Breen sure as hell won't shed any tears over it (Spock probably became a hero to them for not getting there in time). He needed the weapons to hold off anyone who decided that Romulus was better off as free-floating molecules instead of a cohesive planet.

     That giant freaking hole in the bay. 
  • Why doesn't the hole in Earth cause collateral damage? It's great that they got rid of the drill and all, but it's going to leave a GIANT FREAKING HOLE that, not only can water get into, but also leads to damn near close to the middle of the earth.
    • Did we ever find out how far down the drill actually got? It was firing for, what, a few minutes? So the water level in San Fran bay drops a bit. They can fix it; they have the technology.
      • They can make it better, stronger, faster... Wait, my bad. Wrong series.
    • Compared to how long it was fired on Vulcan, the drill into San Francisco bay was only firing for a few minutes, probably not even long enough to really break the crust; there's probably a new oceanic trench underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, but nothing critical. They seem to have been firing into Vulcan for a while by the time Starfleet gets there.
    • For that matter, why doesn't the falling HUGE drill (we're talking almost space elevator size, even if the head was halfway up) wipe out LA/the entire West Coast?
    • The drill wasn't that big, about the size of a yacht at the head, and Spock cut the cable near the head. What was left of it might have started a decent wave, but nothing terribly dangerous.

     My mining ship is better than yours...and it only has one drill. 
  • Are you seriously telling me that a mining ship only has ONE drill on it? Nero's reaction to seeing the drill he used get destroyed implied there really WAS only one drill.
    • Maybe there was only one (or only one left, given the extensive damage and repairs the Narada had gone through) which had the power or modifications necessary to drill to the core of a planet, or swapping them out (it doesn't seem like the kind of thing you'd need two of going at once) was so time consuming that it was impossible in the situation.
    • For that matter, why would a space miner need to go around drilling holes in planetary surfaces, in the first place? Has Romulan space run out of asteroids?
      • On Earth (and I'd assume most other planets and asteroids), most of the minerals that people are look for and consider valuable exist in quantity under the surface of the planet; you might find a few examples on the surface but if you want to get more the good stuff you still have to dig to find it. And if you had to dig into a planet to find something, what would you prefer — a pickaxe or a big-ass drill that can burn entire tunnels into a planet's surface within a few minutes?
    • Why bother drilling for minerals at all, if you have transporters? Get a fix on the resources and beam them right out of the ground.
      • Transporters can be blocked by everything and their dog. Also it is possible takes much more energy to transoprt minerials out then does to get them the old fashoned way.
      • The thing about mining is that the minerals you're after aren't always clumped together in one big convenient place just waiting for someone to just extract them; often, you have to dig and sift through a whole load of useless minerals and rocks that you don't need and have no use for in order to find the useful and / or valuable stuff. You're unlikely to get a huge load of, say, coal if you just teleport it from the surface of the planet, even if you teleport something the size of a mountain; you're more likely to get a huge rock composed of numerous different minerals that you'd have to dig through to find the coal and get rid of the useless stuff anyway. Presumably isolating and teleporting numerous small lumps of coal from the rock surrounding it is just as difficult and time-consuming as mining for it the old fashioned way.
    • It's a pretty big drill; looks quite cumbersome and time-consuming to switch over if anything happens to it. Particularly if you're also under attack and / or trying to destroy something else at the same time; the Naruda didn't exactly have the luxury of time in that situation, since an assault on Earth's probably going to generate a swift response after what happened to Vulcan.
    • Or maybe it one has one drill capable of going all the way down the the core of an Earth sized planet. It could easily have numerious smaller drills used on asteriods etc.

     Rule Of Cool wins here. 
  • How does firing at the base of the drill with hand weapons disable it?
    • Awesome, that's how. Or maybe they just didn't harden it against their own rifles. Also, wouldn't the more appropriate weapon be less bulky, the equivalent of an SMG?
    • Perhaps the ship's designers deliberately left the drill susceptible to weapons fire, in case the tether controls malfunctioned and the Narada's crew needed to blast themselves loose in a hurry. Mining, even from a starship, is still bound to be a dangerous profession, due to the sheer brute force needed to break and haul minerals en masse.
    • I always assumed that it wasn't armored and all they needed to do was enough damage to trip whatever safeguards it had to shut itself down. After all it took very little time to repair too.

     There's a reason the cadets were sent... 
  • I've patiently scrolled through the entire page to see if this was addressed. Forgive me if it already was, but here's goes......Is Starfleet the biggest bunch of retards in the Alpha Quadrant or what?!?! I mean the fact that a bunch of college kids had to save the day while a Space force of the best and brightest minds on several worlds couldn't is just baffling. Consider...
    • Kirk had to be the one to point out that the situation at Vulcan was vaguely similar to one that got the Kelvin destroyed 25 years ago. But you mean to tell me nobody else in Starfleet made the connection??? What the hell kind of analysts to they have on payroll???
      • Analysts who do not instantly remember obscure details from a single event 25 years ago that have only a vague similarity to current events. Kirk would of course remember the details of his father's death much more easily, and more often, than a Starfleet intel desk jockey who was probably in grade school when the Kelvin was lost.
      • I see where you're coming from, but I mean, an armed Federation starship got stomped by a ship that literally jumped out of a lighting cloud in space. That's got to be the kind of thing that would remain on Starfleet's books. Hell, it was probably all over the news of that era: "Today, a Federation starship was brutally destroyed. The captain and first officer died trying to save 800 people, including a newborn baby boy..." It would be like the Titanic sinking, we know about it and we weren't born yet.
      • Yes, but most people's knowledge of the Titanic even around about the time probably didn't extend far past "It hit an iceberg and sank." Similarly, at that point all most people probably remember of the Kelvin is that "it was attacked by a strange Romulan vessel and the First Officer bravely sacrificed his life to enable everyone to escape." No one's saying it's been forgotten, but they're unlikely to have every single detail of a relatively distant tragedy committed to memory for instant recall in the case of anything roughly similar happening again, and the detailed stuff is probably buried deep in the files where it would take some digging to uncover it — and in an emergency situation, your first response usually isn't to go exhaustively digging through historical records.
    • And then you have Uhura (again, a student) who picks up a transmission that forty-seven Klingon warbirds got * punked* all at once. And yet....nobody at Starfleet said, "Gee, since the Klingons got their asses handed to them, and they're pretty badass, maybe we should rethink sending a bunch of our ships all willy-nilly". No, they send them anyway, and surprise! surprise! They get owned too!
      • Doylist explanation for all this — seeing Kirk put these pieces together establishes his character more effectively (showing he's not just a cocky rebel but that he actually has some smarts and the ability to persuade people to follow his lead, to foreshadow his eventual promotion) and also makes for a more tense and effective scene as he tries to persuade Captain Pike and Spock that he's right (since he's not even supposed to be there) than seeing Random Starfleet Analyst Spods #1, #2 and #3 put it together back on Earth and communicate it to the Enterprise straight away. It also shows the crew beginning to unite; as well as demonstrating Kirk's abilities, it's Uhura's skills that enable Kirk to make the deductions, it's Spock's willingness to acknowledge Kirk's logic that demonstrates that he's competent and rational, it's Pike's flexibility and competence as a captain that allows him to take this on and prepare the crew for the worst rather than going straight into a trap, and so forth.
      • But they didn't follow Kirk's lead. Watch the scene again. Kirk came to the bridge to get them to stop, because they were walking into a trap. He was able to convince Pike that they were walking into a trap, but Pike never actually stopped the ship.
      • Being a little pedantic there, aren't you? They might not have done exactly what he told them to do but he was clearly able to convince them to come around to his point of view and thus prepare accordingly; it's the same sort of thing, surely. In any case, the above clearly says that it's used to 'foreshadow' his abilities to do this for when he is able to order people around.
      • Watsonian explanation(s) for all this: who's to say they didn't figure this all out? But consider the following:
        1. In this case, Starfleet are essentially getting a lot of different facts from different sources that have to be put together to form any kind of pattern; in any bureaucratic organisation like Starfleet, it's going to take some time to put the dots together. Over here you've got a report about a Klingon prison break; hmm, interesting how the Klingon ships got spanked, but not immediately relevant at first glance to a distress signal about a bizarre phenomenon which is apparently causing earthquakes on Vulcan (since no one's said anything about massive ships being there). Although that does sound vaguely similar to a dissertation someone once wrote about what happened to the U.S.S Kelvin — better check that out (and remember, notable though it was it did happen thirty years ago; not necessarily the first place anyone's going to look). And hang on — did someone happen to mention Romulans? Unlike the Starfleet analysts, who are getting lots of different bits of data from different sources and piecing them together gradually, Kirk happens to already have this information and the sources of it on hand, and so is going to be able to make these connections quicker.
        2. Given the above, by the time it takes the analysts to put everything together and draw a conclusion, the fleet — which is travelling at full warp to get there quickly — has already discovered first-hand what's going on. Furthermore, communications between Vulcan and Starfleet Command are fritzed because of the drill, so even if Command is desperately hailing the fleet with this new information, it might not even reach them in time.
      • That still doesn't explain why Pike (and every other Federation captain) at least didn't know that 47 Klingon ships had been destroyed mysteriously by a single Romulan vessel a day ago. You can be sure that if that kind of thing happened today, with 20 Russian cruisers destroyed by a single Chinese cruiser, every US captain in the fleet would know about it within hours. Hell, it'd probably even be on CNN.
      • Going with this analogy, think of it this way: there's a report about a bunch of Russian ships are sunk by a Chinese ship in the East China Sea. Later that day, Wales sends out a message that they are having a wicked killer earthquake and need help. Would you expect that the Chinese ship would be off the coast of Wales hitting it with a bombardment? The message from Vulcan reported only heavy seismic activity and the need for humanitarian (Vulcanitarian?) aid. It wasn't until Kirk managed to out all the pieces together that anyone realized everything was connected. The only other person who would have had all that information on tap would have been Pike (since he did his dissertaion on the Kelvin, and he was too busy overseeing the mission to Vulcan to sit and think about it the way Kirk did.
      • Not a perfect analogy, but when Chernobyl exploded, the Soviet government was able to the West from finding out exactly what had happened for a couple of days, and their hand was only really forced when countries close to the incident began to notice it affecting them. Never underestimate the ability of a totalitarian government (like the Klingons) to keep potentially embarrassing information under wraps as long as possible.
    • And this doesn't address the biggest question, since when is Starfleet is so understaffed that they have to crew their flagship with a bunch of rookies anyway?!?! I mean, how royally screwed would the United States have to be if the first step to an all-out war ... was to get all the 2nd and 3rd year kids from Anapolis and West Point and sending them out to fight??
      • Note that this is the early TOS era, with its lower warp speeds. In this era ships do not cross the width of the Federation in just a few days. The starships nearby in the sector are the only starships you have available to respond to an emergency right away. And this is the core sector of the Federation, the one with Earth and Vulcan in it. Why would there be large chunkos of Starfleet stationed here? The bulk of Starfleet would be out on the Neutral Zone and the Klingon border, where it was needed. Add in another emergency going on nearby, that apparently drew off most of the starships available, and Starfleet is reduced to a situation where everything sitting in Earth orbit has to be sent, even if that means pulling ships out of spacedock or mothballs and staffing them with skeleton crews made out of every available pair of hands you could scrounge.
      • Also, note that the Federation is coming off a relatively long period of peacetime here, and there is nothing smaller or more understaffed than a military that hasn't fought a war in decades. Compare the pre-WWII US military to the massive force that we had once World War II had started, for example.
      • Besides, the Enterprise technically hadn't been launched, or even christened yet. She was probably sitting in spacedock waiting for the fleet in the Laurentian System to get back and more experienced crew and officers to transfer over to her. The distress call from Vulcan was major, but believe to be a natural disaster, so Starfleet probably felt reasonably safe sending her, even under-manned, if there was little perceived danger.

     "Russian whizz-kid." 
  • Maybe I'm missing the obvious answer but in the 2009 movie Pike says that Kirk could be an officer in 4 years (the length of the academy training). Chekhov is a Lieutenant and claims to be 17. Did Chekhov enlist in Starfleet at age 13 or earlier
    • Yes. I don't recall any minimum age limit to apply to the academy ever being mentioned.
      • Also, it's been mentioned on this wiki (though not necessarily in the movie) that Chekov is some sort of child prodigy, so maybe he too zipped through at higher-than-normal speeds. (Also note that Chekov is not a lieutenant but rather an ensign, so he's not really an officer, he just gets to call himself one.)
      • Pike does describe Chekov as the "Russian whizz-kid" at some point, so this is a fair assumption.

     To preboot your franchise... 
  • Why do some people insist on calling the new movie a prequel? It clearly is not a prequel but people keep calling it one.
    • Adjusted Continuity Re-boot just doesn't have the same ring.
    • It was a prequel for about 2 seconds, before George Kirk's ship gets attacked.
    • I've been calling it a "preboot", since that seems to cover the salient topics.

     The Shields. 
  • There's some major Phlebotinum Contradictions in the new film surrounding how transporters interact with shields. The hard line in standard canon is that you cannot beam to or from a ship that has its shields up; but the Enterprise engages transporters during several combat situations (once above Vulcan, and again in the final battle when Scotty retrieves Kirk, Spock and Pike). The only possible answers are that 1) the shields were not up on the Enterprise or the Narada; 2) there are no shields (doubtful, since the Narada at least should have brought theirs from the "mainline" canon), or 3) you can beam through shields. Which works, since this is a reboot. But J. J. Abrams, could you at least mention that on screen?
    • Late in the TNG era Federation ships develop the ability to beam through their own shields. But it doesn't make sense in TOS era. However JJ Abrams isn't a former trek fan and might have only had experience with late TNG era shows where you can.
      • But that's the thing: even in TNG, you can't. It was O'Brien taking advantage of Applied Phlebotinum ("'seams' in their shields") and, if you want to be technical, beaming around the shields, not through. Plus, he never did it again, so it's not like this became a widespread technique. Oh well, I don't know why I'm bothering. This is Star Trek: when have they ever let canon be important to storytelling?
      • TNG era not TNG itself. Federation ships are shown beaming through their own shields consistently (though not through enemy shields) from "Caretaker" on.
      • They most certainly are not. In the Voyager episode "Resolutions", it is an important plot point that they can't beam through their own shields. Because they're in a fight and dropping their shields to beam would get them killed. So they have to finangle the situation so that they can drop their shields and re-raise them quickly. Nothing on Voyager was ever shown "consistently".
      • The movie makes a fairly big plot point about how Scotty Prime solved a whole bunch of problems with his "transwarp" equations, which is what allowed Kirk and Scotty to jump back onto the Enterprise. If those equations can lock and beam onto a ship that's probably a light year or more away and moving at warp, I'm sold on them being able to get through shields. Scotty seemed to understand the equations Spock Prime was showing him, so I'd guess he remembered and used them to do the rest of the transporter tricks in the movie.
      • As for the scene above Vulcan, the Enterprise was so wrecked by the Narada by the point that I'd take it as a given that the shields were down. Even if they weren't, their defenses were so useless anyway that I don't see Spock having a problem with lowering them to get the crew aboard.
    • It's clear that there's an arms race between transporter technology and shield technology, so perhaps the film is set at a time when transporters are edging into the lead (with Scotty's help). By TOS, shields have been improved to rectify whatever flaws Scotty's solution took advantage of, making it impossible to beam through shields (again) until O'Brien finds another loophole.
    • Face it - while GENERALLY, protagonists can't beam through shields - it's a case of as the plot demands.

     Because the leaders of Romulus are assholes. 
  • More 2009 film bugging. Okay, so Romulus and Remus's star was about to go supernova. Spock was planning on using the red matter to collapse the star into a black hole before it could explode, destroy the star system and flood god knows how many sectors of space with gamma radiation. Okay, good plan so far. He didn't make it in time, the supernova happened, and the Romulans were wiped out when their planet was destroyed. Here's the problem: why the heck was anyone still on Romulus? Spock's plan for averting the supernova was to turn their star into a friggin' black hole! Even if he succeeded, the Romulan star system wasn't going to remain habitable. So why hadn't they already packed up and left?
    • It wasn't the Romulan star, it was an entirely different star that made a Negative Space Wedgie that threatened to destroy the galaxy. And if you think that's far-fetched, that's just what the Romulan government thought, which is why they didn't start evacuating until it was too late to save all that many. (Spock stated in the movie it was "a star" threatening to "destroy the galaxy," the Romulan response is in the companion comic book.
      • But then that raises the question of how a shock wave from a star that has to be at least several light-years away could've reached and destroyed Romulus in just a few seconds and... oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.
      • I think it should have been a remnant of the Negative Space Wedgie from All Good Things myself.
      • A shock wave wouldn't destroy adjacent planetary systems, but a gamma ray burst certainly could render them uninhabitable. The timing is still preposterous, but the idea that it could threaten nearby systems (and disrupt galactic peace, due to the Romulan Empire's collapse) isn't so implausible.
      • As I understood it, there was a bit of time between the star exploding and Romulus being consumed. It might not have been instantaneous, since there was apparently time for Spock and the other Vulcans to put together a plan to use the red matter.
      • Maybe the unleashed gamma rays passed through the same temporal anomaly that swallowed Spock's ship and the Narada, but the radiation went backwards through time instead of forwards, just far enough back so it'd reach Romulus a few seconds after the star blew up?
  • Without going into any significant Star Trek Online spoilers: it was the star of the Hobus star system, a neighboring system to Romulus. The shockwave from the supernova kind of dipped into subspace and basically enabled it to travel at warp speeds/distances, which even the people who are investigating it in the Prime timeline note kind-of defies all of physics. The game eventually reveals the whole story for any interested parties, but as stated; trying to avoid spoilers.

     Intruder Alert! 
  • When Kirk and Scotty transwarp beam onto the Enterprise, Chekhov doesn't notice them until Kirk opens the emergency release thing. Shouldn't an intruder alert have gone off in the first place?
    • Perhaps the sensors in the part of the ship aren't necessarily fine-tuned to detect people beaming in during mid-warp? It's established that this is something that hasn't happened before, so perhaps the sensors wouldn't be expecting it and wouldn't pick it up. Plus, they're deep in the engineering decks at the time, so presumably it's a part of the ship which isn't as well-protected from that kind of thing.
    • Also keep in mind that they were likely still repairing damage from Nero's attack. If internal sensors were damaged, they were probably a low priority since the ship was going at Warp (during which no one can board the ship) straight to rendezvous with the fleet (where they will be surrounded by allies). It wasn't until Kirk opened the hatch that the computer registered unauthorized access and alerted them.

     More Black Hole Stuff. 
  • Am I the only one who noticed an inconsistency within how black holes are portrayed? The first insistence take Spock and Nero's crew back in time, albeit with their ships intact. However, every later insistence, anyone who gets sucked into the black hole created by the red matter are implied to be DEAD. Well, Vulcan was all fragmented up, would it still be able to hold some kind of atmosphere? Plus the Narada was nonetheless destroyed, being pulled in a black hole aside. Can someone clear me up on this?
    • Note that with Vulcan, the black hole started within its core, causing it to implode. With the Narada and the Jellyfish the (first) black hole wasn't started from within them. That or starships have seriously better structual integrity than planets...
      • Let me clarify. I'm saying that victims of the red matter black hole are NOT treated like they were sent back in time, and I'm unclear about why, other than the other characters not knowing that red matter works that way.
      • Due to the structural integrity detail proposed two slots up, the people on Romulus and Vulcan would most likely have been dead before getting through the singularity. The ships remain intact (most of the time) so the people in them would be able to time-jump just fine.
    • You might as well treat the Vulcans as dead, even if they survived going through the black hole they went to a different timeline and it would be impossible to get them back. As for the Narada, the second time it went into the black hole the Enterprise was firing like crazy at it, which presumably would do some damage and maybe weaken the ship enough for the black hole to finish it off. But if this is not the case, then it's the same as the Vulcans. The Romulans got dumped in another timeline, not the Federation's problem anymore.
      • This clarifies this. Plus it makes me think about a Doctor Who storynote  where victims are sent back in time far enough so that when the present day rolls around, the victims are too old to live, a secondary meaning to "impossible to get them back"
      • Not to mention that the second black hole opened up inside the Narada—it was literally splitting the ship in half. Not much going to survive that, though Kirk was still wise to Beam Spam it into oblivion. Just in case.
      • Personally I like the believe that it is the interaction between the balck hole and warp drive that allows the ships to survive and travel back in time. This explains why neither the planet or the Narada the second time survive. Also even if it went back in time everything on Vulcan is dead, the planet was turned inside out and would be a cloud of mostly rock.

     His face is not compatible for wide screen. 
  • Why is Nero's face stretched when displayed on a Federation ship's viewscreen? It's kinda creepy and the only reason I can think of is that it's to show off the...incompatibility... between ships from two different eras.
    • Probably right; also, different resolution sizes on the screens. Note that on the Kelvin when the Romulans open communications it only takes up part of the screen, so it's a bit more normal looking. With the Enterprise, it's using a smaller image that isn't properly formatted for a large screen as a desktop background; it kind of stretches it to compensate.

     Kirk is a descendant of Thor. 
  • Is it just me, or does Kirk have inhuman stamina? Even if he is the very model of a perfect human Starfleet specimen, in the course of the day, he: Loses a fight with a Romulan guard, gets nerve-pinched by Spock, gets an indeterminate amount of rest in a little pod, walks through fourteen kilometers of snowstorm (broken up by an adrenaline-draining race for his life), is nearly killed by Spock, gets rifle-butted in the head by Ayel, beaten up further by Nero, defeats Ayel, returns to the Enterprise for the finale, and I'm not exactly sure where I think he should have run out of gas there, but it just bugs me.
    • This isn't necessarily in one day. In particular, even at maximum warp it probably takes more than one day to get from whatever point between what used to be Vulcan and the Laurentian System to the Solar System for either the Narada or the Enterprise (the former is from the 2380s, yes, but it is also a mining vessel that had to undergo extensive repairs and probably, at best, gets a maximum warp roughly equivalent to the Enterprise's). Kirk no doubt slept on the way to Earth.
      • Just on the 'inhuman stamina' part, the scene where Kirk provokes Spock into showing emotion works very well in-story. But here's the thing: Vulcans are strong. First punch - broken jaw; second punch - shattered ribcage; third punch (which Kirk blocks) - broken wrist; fourth punch - crushed oesophagus. And then Spock even grabs Kirk's neck and squeezes - Kirk would at the least require medical attention, but all we see is a bloody nose and a little dizziness.
      • :Shrugs: Maybe Spock was unconsiously holding back? For some reason? Yeah....
      • Chris Hemsworth (The actor that played Kirk's dad) DOES play Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

     Uhura the Lieutenant Cadet. 
  • Just what is Uhura's rank anyway? She was assigned to the Enterprise as a cadet but during the scene where Kirk explains the Romulan trap awaiting them at Vulcan Spock refers to Uhura as lieutenant. Then Pike refers to her as cadet again.
    • There's no reason she can't be both. Cadets have been promoted to officer ranks in the past (IIRC the original Kirk was a Lieutant J.G. when he left the Academy).
    • Uhura may be a mustang and is attending the Academy so she can fill in gaps in her education and further her promotion potential (as most mustangs have been in the service for a while, they tend to be older than newly-minted officers; thus their career path is shorter and they usually can't expect to rise as far in grade). She's certainly competent enough (probably the most competent line officer on the Enterprise after Spock) to have drawn that kind of notice from her superiors.

     "Yes, I believe you are." 
  • And, in the spirit of the above question, what the hell is up with the scene where Uhura gets herself assigned to the Enterprise? Spock was afraid of being accused of favoritism? He is a Vulcan! Favoritism is illogical!
    • I think you just answered your own question there.
      • No, no, he has a point. Why would anyone suspect Spock of favoritism when he constantly goes on about logic? Wouldn't people just assume that he thought puttiing Uhura on the Enterprise was the "logical" thing to do?
    • Considering Spock actually is having a relationship with Uhura (and considering Kirk was pretty surprised about it it's probably not something either have been broadcasting) and, as events show, is not entirely as logical and free from emotion as he'd like others to believe he is, he's probably just being extra-cautious and sensitive about the whole thing. Vulcans are logical, but that doesn't mean they don't have any concerns about how they appear to others, and it only takes one jealous cadet to kick up a stink to make things difficult. It's not how something is, it's how it looks.
      • ^This. The appearance of favoritism, even when it is proven that there wasn't any, can destroy a career. That's why modern militaries have regulations against fraternization, which would have banned Spock and Uhura from seeing each other (teacher-student is verboten in most militaries).
      • you can show the appearance of favoritism even if, say, your first officer and chief medical officer are both your best friends...
    • so is the vulcans discriminating Spock just because he's half human. If he knows that the vulcans themselves can be lead by prejudices, how can he even hope that the humans at the academy won't have prejudices about Uhura and speculate that she got on the best ship just because she was his girlfriend? Her records proving that she's one of the best cadets and deserved that would be as useless for those ignorant humans as his own records on vulcan were useless for the vulcans that still discriminated him because of his human mother.

     You're younger, less experienced...and now I serve you. 
  • If Kirk's heroics were of such a magnitude that he warranted promotion from third year cadet to captain in one jump and being given command of Starfleet's most advanced and powerful starship, why did Spock, who was no less heroic and actually held command of the Enterprise, remain a Lt. Commander? At minimum he should have been promoted to full Commander and given a vessel of his own. He certainly displayed more and better command judgment than Kirk did at this stage.
    • Spock's initial reaction after the crisis was to resign his commission and join his people on the Vulcan colony, until Spock Prime advised him to remain in Starfleet — and specifically, aboard the Enterprise alongside Kirk. Presumably Starfleet offered him a commission, but he turned it down.
    • No, Spock's initial reaction after the crisis was to have a member of Starfleet subdued and jettisoned on an icy world on the edge of Vulcan's star system for the crime of disagreeing with him. A planet that, by the way, is inhabited by a 2-being Starfleet team (with a Tribble), a marooned time-displaced Vulcan, and an odd assortment of Eldritch Abominations that view bipeds as food. Even if Jim didn't press charges, Spock was undoubtedly denied promotion based on that, if nothing else.

     Any Vulcan will do, I'm too mad to care. 
  • Just wondering if this is an alternate timeline, why didn't Nero try to get back to the "Prime Timeline"? What use is it destroying Vulcan in the alternative timeline if it doesn't affect the timeline Nero came from?
    • Because he has it in for Spock Prime, not his planet. Since Spock Prime is in this timeline with him, this timeline's Vulcan will do just as well.
      • Maybe so, but wouldn't it cause more emotional pain if Nero returned to the Prime Timeline and destroyed Vulcan there?
      • He did arrive in the Prime timeline, but diverged it merely with his presence. Since Nero didn't exist during the TOS era in the Prime timeline, his presence in the TOS era is by definition an alternate timeline.
    • Nero and his crew were likely stuck in that timeline, since they had made irreperable changes to it. Much like in Back To The Future where Doc explains that the future would be based on the changes made in the past, meaning that, if Nero found a way to return to the future, he would jump to a future nothing like what he had left behind because of the changes he had already made in destroying the Kelvin. Also, if there was a dimensional jump involved (possible, given that a black hole was involved), then he might be lost in the Multiverse, unable to get back to his original timeline.
    • Also, Nero was more than a little bit off the deep end. Like Kahn in Star Trek II, he was not thinking rationally. When Pike insists that Romulus still exists (which it does in his timeline), Nero screams that it was destroyed and that he saw it be destroyed. While this is partly true; the Romulus in Nero's alternate future timeline was destroyed, he is not connecting it with the Romulus in the 23rd Century of this new timeline. Probably because if he went to Romulus, the AU versions of most of his friends and family have not even been born yet.

     Do you want the short answer or the long one? 
  • What does the destruction of Romulus 20 years after Voyager do to the Star Trek MMO's setting? Are they just going to ignore it?
    • Short Answer: No. Longer Answer: The destruction of Romulus and the subsequent Romulan Civil War feature prominently in the game's backstory — in addition, it's been mentioned in-universe that the Hobus Supernova makes no damned sense at all (scroll up for details), presumably setting it up to be the work of the game's Big Bad.

     You call that a ship? 
  • The size of the Enterprise. J. J. Abrams seems to love saying things are huge without actually showing us. First there was Cloverfield, where he insisted the monster had to be the biggest movie monster ever, bigger than Godzilla. But we don't get much evidence of that in the movie. With all the brief shots of the thing, it's hard to tell how big it's supposed to be. And then for this movie he insisted his Enterprise had to be three times bigger than the original. But how does he illustrate this? From the outside we only ever see the ship next to things much bigger than it is, so it looks kind of small. The Enterprise D and E had more windows all over them to help give the sense of a larger ship, but this one has the same number of windows as the original that look to be the same size. So are these windows like three stories tall? The only evidence we really get of its scale is in the cavernous interiors, but from the outside it doesn't really look any bigger than the original. People complain that the drydock scene in TMP was boring, but it did a great job of illustrating the scale of the ship. You get to see it from every angle with smaller craft and people floating around working on the ship.
    • This Enterprise is a lot more militaristic than the old one. Military warships don't have a whole bunch of windows - a window is a weak point in the hull, a joint between two different materials and an easy place for a minor hit to turn into a Golden BB.
      • Plus the original Enterprise didn't have many windows in the first place.

     Phasing through this question. 
  • The "new" phaser design just bugs This Troper. To switch from stun to kill (or vice versa), the entire nozzle/emitter has to flip 180 degrees. Who in their right mind would design something like that?! If A. Something gets stuck, and it can't flip, then B. It crushes anything in order to successfully flip, thus C. Fingers (and anything else in the way) get crushed. Plus, what happens if the nozzle/emitter gets stuck partially turned around?
    • In addition to that, the whole two setting only is bad too. If you're encoutering all new alien species, what happens if you run into a species that the stun setting kills, or conversely the kill setting just makes them madder?
      • Well how are you to know, if a species is not known to you, whether to put the thing on simmer or roast anyway? There will be many occasions on which you don't have time to try it out at the lowest setting and then say "Oh, hang about, that didn't work, just give me a second to try it on No. 2. There, now you're stunned, thank you very much." You either risk killing them or being reduced to a smear of grease yourself.
      • On the TOS Type 1 and on the TNG "dustbuster" types the intensity control was right next to the trigger, so you could easiy increase the setting.
      • But you'd still have to give it a go first and see whether it worked. If it didn't you may have lost your only chance, hower easily you could make the adjustment.
      • The new phaser (compared with Starfleet phasers in the original ST franchise) is less flexible and has a more complicated mechanical design. It's a change which can happen in an alternate reality/universe. Why the change? It could be for many reasons considering the process of military equipment design and approval in our own world. From within the lore of the franchise; Maybe the new design is more powerful, or it was promoted by important figures in the Federation. We don't know for certain. All we do know is that alternate reality/universe episodes in the ST franchise did show equipment differences between universes. And because ST 09 takes place in an alternate reality/universe, the equipment, ships, and people don't have to look exactly like their counterparts in the original ST franchise. BB ;-)
      • "Plus, what happens if the nozzle/emitter gets stuck partially turned around?"
      • The Original Series seemed to have at least four different phaser settings: "stun," "heat," "kill" and "vaporize completely." It could kill without leaving a mark, or it could heat rocks, or it could make the target go "POOF!" The "stun" setting didn't even always act the same. Robert Crater in "The Man Trap" wasn't knocked out. "Stun" just made him woozy and his speech got draggy. It had to wear off. After that, it usually seemed to knock people cold for a few minutes, after which they'd recover quickly and bounce to their feet. Don't get arrested - even Seth knew that and he used to point at planes.

     An eye colour complaint? Really? 
  • This is so unbelievably trivial that I feel a sense of shame by even mentioning it here. The fact that Kirk and McCoy seem to have switched eye colors. I suppose the only reason it bugs me is that they very easily could have changed that to fit with the original actors' eyes, with either CGI or even two pairs of contacts from Sam's Club. There's nothing we can do to explain it, it doesn't matter in the slightest, but it just bugs me.
    • There was an in-joke that Kirk's mother took some form of medication to prevent James from being born in space, but when the Kelvin was attacked it caused the early labour. This did something to Jim and caused him to get blue eyes. Of course, it's a joke, so take it with a grain of salt.
      • Clarified by the writers; Kirk's eye color changed because of low level exposure to radiation due to the Narada's arrival and being born in a shuttle. His mother had been on meds to hold off his birth until they got back to Earth, and the attack triggered early labor. So yeah, you can blame Nero of the color change, at least on Kirk's side. Can't say McCoy's is justified really yet.

     Was that a warp core or an antimatter containment pod? 
  • In the film's climax, Scotty ejects the Enterprise's warp core(s) to escape the black hole. Okay, I can accept that it causes some explosion that alters space-time and allows them to get away. But if they eject the core, wouldn't that make the warp field collapse and have them fall into the black hole?
    • According to some resource (I can't remember which), the Enterprise is actually ejecting some of its antimatter containment pods. I don't know if Scotty changed his plan the instant after he told Kirk, or if it was a writer error, but that explanation makes more sense.
    • Ejecting the warp core doesn't always bring you out of warp. The saucer section on the Enterprise-D was able to coast in warp after seperation for almost a minute before it came out of warp, so it's possible that something similar happened. Odds are, though, that it was the containment pods.

     Alas, poor Scotty... 
  • Spock Prime showing Mr. Scott his own equation...blegh. I know they needed it right then, and "cheating" seems to be a mini-theme in the movie, but it just strikes me as discordant that Scotty's famous equation won't 'technically' be his (well, kind of...). Spock says he hadn't "yet" invented it, but now he will never really discover it; he just kinda saw it. I know, I know, not exactly complaint-worthy...still, though, seems like he'd be just a little miffed he had that denied, regardless of the immediate "holy shit" reaction to seeing such an equation. (And this is coming from a guy who wasn't a Trekkie before '09.)
    • Mr Scott pulled the same trick in Star Trek IV, so he technically invented Transparent Aluminium as well, instead of the (undoubtedly very rich) 80s engineer he gave the formula to. Give the poor Scot at least ONE achievement!

     Some crazy tattooed Vulcans... 
  • How did anyone onboard the Kelvin know that the Narada was crewed by Romulans? In TOS it's established that no one has ever actually seen what a Romulan looks like, prior to Kirk's encounter with them near the Neutral Zone. It's not like the Narada has a distinctly Romulan design. If anything, they should have been wondering when the crazy tattooed Vulcans had turned up.
    • Watch again; during the Kelvin attack, nobody actually references Nero's crew as Romulans. It's only once we've skipped forward 20-odd years that anybody mentions Romulans at all. This Troper is of the opinion that the Kelvin's crew probably did complain about crazy tattooed Vulcans, but were set straight by the Vulcans themselves.

     Defying Gravity. 
  • How much gravity does an artificial black hole have? When it's inside a planet, we see people on the surface walking normally.
    • That depends on the mass of the black hole and one's distance from it. A black hole is formed when matter is compressed to a certain point. Usually this requires a lot of mass compressed to a (relatively) small space. But it can also occur with much less mass compressed into a very small space. There is a value called the Schwarzschild radius that describes how small a space a particular mass has to be compressed into. The upshot of this is that the actual black hole may not be very massive at all, while still consuming the planet. In that case, there wouldn't be any particular increase in the surface gravity, as the overall mass is nearly unchanged, and the people standing on the surface are no closer to or farther from the center of mass of the whole thing.

     It's the fake accent. 
  • How is it that the Federation is made up of people from over 150 different planets yet the computer on the Enterprise still cannot understand a Russian accent?
    • It can understand a regular Russian accent however I like to believe that instead of being an obvious fake he just has a very specific regional accent.
    • It's a joke.
    • Or, if you want to play it straight, perhaps the Enterprise had not yet been programmed with Chekov's voiceprint (he is a cadet who's being put on the ship in an emergency; it's not like they had time to update the files). Or maybe voice recognition technology is still lagging behind the curve (as it is today; try using some voice response systems today!)

     It makes him look more Adorkable. 
  • Really superficial, but: why is Chekov's hair curly? Seriously, This Troper could deal with pretty much every military/physics/timey wimey situation listed above, but Chekov's hair is still bugging me a year later! It seems like an Unnecessary Makeover. I would almost even prefer the terrible TOS Monkees wig make a comeback.
    • His hair is curly because hair is primarily composed of keratin, a protein, which grows from a sac called the follicle. Cells in the hair follicle generate keratin, and various other proteins, which become a part of the hair shaft. These proteins contain sulphur atoms, and when two of these sulphur atoms pair up and bond, they form a disulphide bond. If the two sulphur atoms in the same protein are at a distance, and join to form the disulphide bond, the protein will bend.
    • On the other hand it may be because Walter Koenig's real hair has probably never been seen on screen anyway and asking Anton Yelchin to wear a Beatles wig is a step too far.
      • Like Shatner, Koenig doesn't have any real hair (or not much, anyway).
      • No, making him look like Davy Jones would be an Unnecessary Makeover.
      • It's a change which can happen in an alternate reality/universe. Why the change? In ST 09 Chekov was born after the branching of the timeline to the alternate reality/universe.
    • Due to the "butterfly effect" (which was also shown in many ST alternate universe and time travel episodes) the actions of a few can lead to drastic changes in what happens to a planet or in the culture of the sector. So, Chekov's parents in the alternate reality did not conceive him at the same time as Chekov in TOS. He is genetically similar but not identical. So, his hair is different.

  • Why did the Jellyfish computer state its manufacturing origin was in stardate 2387 (the alternate reality stardate = actual year)? If it came from the original universe, shouldn't it use the old stardate system, not the new one?
    • What old stardate system? In previous Trek productions, the stardates were just random numbers the writers pulled out of thin air. "Stardate 2387" might just as well be following the old stardate system for all the sense it made.
      • True for TOS, not quite so true for TNG onward - although there was some oddities, especially with episodes that showed the stardate for events that happened years before TNG began a general rule was that the first two numbers remained untouched until a year (that is, a season) had passed, at which point it went up by one, and episodes in general tended to have stardates go up as the season progressed, rather than fluctuate widely as it did in TOS.

     The further adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise...starring Spock Prime. 
  • What about all of the cosmic threats out there that wouldn't have been affected by the altered timeline? V'Ger, the humpback whale probe from Star Trek IV, the giant space amoeba, those Denevan neural parasites, Khan and his crew sleeping peacefully in the Botany Bay, the Borg, the Dominion, Armus (the tar monster that killed Tasha Yar), and so on and so on and so forth. Doesn't Spock Prime have a moral obligation to warn people to watch out for those? He can hardly claim to be trying to maintain the Temporal Prime Directive; the timeline is pretty well screwed as it is. If he doesn't warn people about those things, then he's effectively murdering all of those threats' victims through inaction. Not cool, Old Spock. Not cool.
    • Where is it stated Spock Prime doesn't give the alternate Star Fleet a rundown of the major dangers they'll be facing over the next hundred years? We didn't see Prime Spock's debriefing at Star Fleet HQ. Of course, given how much the time line has changed, how much use that information will be is questionable, but there is no evidence he didn't provide Star Fleet with what information he knew.
    • You're forgetting that Spock Prime could make things worse by warning the Federation about future threats. Not to mention that many of those events could have been butterflied away. And in any case, it looks like the Federation is much more prepared than it would be, seeing as Starfleet is no longer a scientific and exploratory force, but a peacekeeping and defensive armada.
    • Also, just to throw this out there, there's nothing stopping him from warning them when the warning becomes relevant; there's no point in the movie in which Spock's knowledge of future perils would have helped in the Nero plot, so he hadn't mentioned anything at that point. Later, however, he can say what would logically need to be said.
    • Two points: (1) Spock has never actually encountered the neural parasites, the Borg or the Dominion (on-screen) or Armus in person. How is he supposed to warn Starfleet about threats he knows next to nothing about? (2) Nero and his crew encountered V'ger in the comic book tie-in series of the same name. That right there is already an alteration of the original timeline. There's nothing that says all the future events will play out exactly the same way.
      • How could Spock not know about the Borg or the Dominion? He lived through two (canon) Borg invasions and the Dominion War. It's absurd to say that because he wasn't personally involved that he would have no knowledge of major current events. The neural parasites or Armus (serious, Armus? For real?) probably aran't common knowledge outside of Star Fleet, from which Spock has been retired since probably before the start of TNG, but the Borg wiped out half of Star Fleet and the Dominion War was basically World War II on a interstellar scale. There is literally no way Spock could not be aware of those events in explicit detail.
      • Spock did know about the Denevan parasites, they first appeared in "Operation: Annihilate!", episode 29 of TOS. That was also the episode where the Vulcan inner eyelid was introduced.
    • The sequel explains this, and also addresses the Khan problem...

     Kirk is just a Magnificent Bastard. 
  • The Kobayashi Maru. In the original timeline, Kirk reprograms it so the Klingons are awed by his reputation. He's cheating, but it shows he doesn't believe in unwinnable situations and intends to earn that sort of reputation, and turns him from a cheat to a potential hero. Here, he just turns off the Klingon shields. Again, it shows he doesn't believe in unwinnable situations, but he just expects the universe to go his way, showing him to be an entitled brat. I know the film's supposed to show him growing into a hero, but this level of arrogance just makes it seem like he shouldn't even have got that far in the academy, given that Starfleet's supposed to have numerous tests of character. There's "potential hero with bad qualities he can overcome" and there's "arrogant jerk".
    • Um, I'm sorry, but is "disable the Klingon's shields" really more arrogant than "make the Klingons worship the ground I walk on and run away in fear"?
      • Is that canon, though? I didn't know the exact way Kirk fiddled the KM was established. My preference is for the version in the EU novel 'The Kobayashi Maru', which I think might be what you're referring to (though Kirk's storyline in that novel isn't as good as Sulu's - "Foul, Menak!"). Either case it doesn't really matter - it all gets butterflied away by the retcon, and for me personally the scene is done perfectly, a CMOA candidate even.
    • No, it isn't. "Disable the Klingons' shields" is basically a rejection of the actual realities of a situation. "Make me infamous and feared among the Klingons" is something he could theoretically control—and funny enough, he fulfilled that projection. Besides, he would also have made a point that people don't react to everyone in precisely the same way; get yourself a reputation, and people will respond to THAT first. "OMG, that's Famous Guy Who Kicks Our Butts a Lot" would reasonably cause someone to hesitate before engaging, if not make him suddenly remember that he needs to go wash his goldfish.
    • I got the feeling it was more a protest than anything else; Kirk doesn't believe in a no-win scenario, and doesn't like the fact that the Academy a test specifically programmed to be unwinnable.
      • Exactly. I thought the entire thing was stupid. If the aim was to see how cadets react to the situation (similar to the tests in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet; some test trustworthiness, for example) and how they improvise, then it makes sense. If the aim is to teach cadets to feel fear, then it fails, because there's no way you can feel fear when you're completely safe.
      • The real purpose of the test is to make sure the cadet doesn't freeze up with indecision and do nothing. A CO will face situations where there's no good answer, but they still have to bite the bullet and make a decision. The fear to be overcome isn't the fear of dying, just the fear of getting the answer wrong and flunking the exam. (The test only works that way, though, so long as the cadet doesn't already know it's an unwinnable situation going in, like Kirk did - by the TNG era, they were using a few other secretly unwinnable tests to play the same role.)
      • That answer works pretty well in the Prime universe; however Spock specifically states "The purpose is to experience fear; fear in the face of certain death." Either the test is stupid, or Spock was the one who failed to see its purpose.
      • I'd chalk it up to Spock using inappropriate hyperbole, since he's still a cadet and, being half-Vulcan and raised by Vulcans, has a wonky understanding of human emotions anyway. As said, there's no way it can really create a fear of death, anymore than a grueling Halo level can terrify anyone into thinking they're going to die. Besides, fear of death might not even factor into it for some cadets; they can choose not to rescue the Kobayashi Maru. The most it can hope to simulate is the fear of failure.
      • To be honest, I'd chalk it up to the test being stupid; Spock isn't even a cadet at this point, he's a full blown commander, and soon-to-be XO on Starfleet's new flagship. As he's the one who programmed the stupid test for the last few years, I'd assume he knows it back to front, so I'll lay the blame on whoever came up with it.
      • It depends on how the test played out in the movie, which I can't really remember. If the only option was to go rescue the Kobayashi Maru, then yeah, the test is dumb and serves no purpose. And even if it's designed well, it only works so long as the cadet doesn't know there wasn't any right answer - Kirk already knew that, so his reprogramming the simulation was really a more honest approach than playing it straight (it at least clued Starfleet into the fact that the gig's up).
      • Who says it's the Captain's death he was referring to? Someone is going to die. You either fear dying, and you fear letting people die.
      • I thought it was supposed to test your decision making skills. You weren't supposed to walk away unscathed (what Kirk wanted to do), hell you weren't even supposed to win. But you were supposed to make the best decisions for your ship and Starfleet. If that meant you dying, so be it, if that meant the people you were trying to rescue dying? So be it. But you need to be able to make that choice in the first place.
    • Two things: one, it is never stated in canon just how Kirk (Kirk-Prime, let's call him) reprogrammed the Kobayashi Maru test to be winnable, only that he did — the explanation you're given is Fanon at best. Second, and more important, this is a different Kirk. Indeed, the fact that he's kind of a brat who needs to mature to become the natural leader inside of him is kind of his plot arc, no?
      • It's not Fanon, it's part of the Expanded Universe canon. In the game Star Trek: Starfleet Academy the player is given the option to alter the Kobayashi Maru scenario by choosing to weaken the Klingon shields, dumb down the AI or make the Klingon captain fear and respect the player personally. Since the last option is the only one that works it is fair to assume this was what Kirk did too.
      • In Star Trek, Expanded Universe (with a few exceptions like Uhura's first name that end up being given the imprimatur of canonicity) frequently has zero relationship to canon. Choose to believe that Kirk-Prime used one or another method to beat the Kobayashi Maru in your Personal Canon if you're so inclined, but accept that we don't know, because canon does not say one way or another.
  • Another point that's not been mentioned here as I see: Kirk-Prime was given a commendation for original thinking (this is mentioned in Wrath of Khan), where as Kirk-Alternate is taken up in front of the review board. This seems to say one thing: Starfleet takes issue with HOW Kirk did it, not what. Regardless of anything else, the alternate-timeline Kirk is clearly more of a rebel. He retook the test to give the brass a middle finger, not because he wanted to win it. Kirk-Prime makes no mention of being put before the review board, and the cheating generally comes off as more downplayed. Even if alternate Kirk were given a commendation like his Prime self was, it's clear this was all to be a problem to everyone around him, and not simply because he disagreed with the purpose of the test, giving at least some weight to the idea that Kirk-Prime didn't just drop the Klingon's shields and torp them.

     Captain Kirk...meet Captain Kirk. 
  • The Narada's incursion into the timestream obviously affected everything that happened after that event. So, what would happen if the Chris Pine Kirk and Co. went back in time to 1980s San Francisco and snooped around a bit? Would they run into Bill Shatner Kirk? And if not, then just who in the hell invented transparent aluminum in this timeline?
    • According to the official explaination, yes. When the Narada went back in time, its appearance caused the timeline to split in two at that point, meaning Shatner Kirk and co would still be in San Francisco if Pine Kirk went back.
    • Does that mean that when the Space Whale Probe comes to Earth in the new timeline, Pine etc will time warp back to the 80s where they might meet Shatner?
      • One would have to assume Prime Spock warned alternate Star Fleet about the whale probe in advance and the Federation has a Space Whale Task Force hard at work on a solution for when the probe arrives. This would have to be the case, otherwise when the same situation happened in this timeline, Pine Kirk would have to go back and stop Shatner Kirk from taking the whales back to a now non-existent future. ...Or would the Shatner Kirk who appeared out of nowhere in the '80s end up traveling forward to the new timeline, and thus end up coexisting with Pine Kirk? And of course, past prime Spock would end up coexisting with his own future self as well as his alternate past self. This is all getting rather Homestuck.

     Stars going nova. 
  • Given that the Romulans power their starships with minature black holes, shouldn't they have probably been able to do something to prevent this entire situation in the first place? I mean, it's sort of their shtick. For that matter, given that every one knows Trilithum makes stars go Supernova at this point, shouldn't most Alpha Quadrant factions have spent years scrambling to find a way to stop said novas? I mean, random Maquis almost did it to the Cardassians in Deep Space Nine.
    • Well, given that Orci and Kurtzman can't be bothered to read anything other than what they have written, they wouldn't know.
      • The only way I recall in a ST story that the creation of a supernova was prevented was in ST Genesis when Picard used the Nexus. But the Nexus is out of anyone's control and comes and disappears in one story in ST Canon. And in ST Genesis the Nexus uses time travel to prevent the supernova but doesn't affect the star. So, the Nexus is not a technology within the franchise.
    • If ever there was a ST story where a technology was needed to stop a supernova it would be in ST Genesis. But there is no Federation technology shown which can prevent a supernova in the film. In fact in one timeline in the movie the Enterprise and all of her crew are destroyed by a supernova - Therefore in ST Genesis the most advanced Federation ship has no way to stop a supernova. And this story is after TOS, the original cast films, after TNG series and a couple of seasons of Deep Space Nine.
    • Until the red matter idea was introduced in ST 09 I cannot recall any technology in the ST franchise which could stop a supernova. If my recollection of the facts are wrong, please correct them.
    • So, your conclusion that since "most Alpha Quadrant factions have spent years scrambling to find a way to stop said novas", they must have been successful doesn't fit the facts of the franchise imo.
      • But in the movie it's established that black holes can do just that, and creating black holes is something that the Romulan shipyards seem capable of doing given that their warships are powered by such.
      • Bottom line; ST O9 having the Romulans not being able to stop the supernova does not contradict ST Canon.
    • But what is canon is that the blast wave from a (super)nova is limited to the speed of light. So unless the star in question were really close to Romulus they should have seen it coming years in advance. After all, this is a civilization with Casual Interstellar Travel and Subspace Ansible technology!

     "I'm sure Alt. Me won't kill Alt. Kirk after kicking him off the ship, and then finding him on the ship again. We're best pals!" 
  • Spock Prime's line of thought, put somewhat uncharitably: "I can't just visit Alternate Me and provide my knowledge to help save the day, because it's far more important that Alt-Kirk and Alt-me become Fire-Forged Friends. And the first step Kirk must take to become so closely bonded with Spock is to rub in the loss of Spock's planet, people, and mother to the point that he wants to kill Kirk. What Could Possibly Go Wrong??" My real peeve here is Spock's insistence on conflating the alternate characters with the ones from his universe, for example, telling Scotty that "you haven't invented it yet" and telling Quinto-Spock that "my customary greeting would be oddly self-serving". The thing is, these are truly different people, with different backgrounds shaping their characters! At best they have the same DNA, and in the case of people conceived after the divergence, that's not too likely either. On what basis can he assume that, for example, this Kirk and this Spock will work great together? (He hasn't seen any of them until Kirk shows up.) And Kirk simply must become the captain, because he's Kirk. Is Spock Prime in his old age just afraid of change and trying to recreate his glory days?
    • For your first point: IIRC, Spock Prime urges Kirk to challenge Spock's authority not just because it's Kirk's place to become Captain, but because Young Spock, for all he tries to hide it, is emotionally compromised in the mission. People who are emotionally compromised tend to let their feelings get in the way of their better judgement, which can lead to them making mistakes.
    • For the second: maybe so, but who are we to begrudge him that? Spock Prime is an old man trapped possibly about as far from home as you can get; several hundred years in the past, in an Alternate Universe to boot. He's been separated from everything he knows and shunted into a timeline that, for all it shares similarities, is nonetheless significantly different. Plus, his home planet in the past has been wiped out and there are hardly any Vulcans left. All he really has left are the memories of the past; his life-defining friendship with Jim Kirk and his experiences on the Enterprise among them. And lo! He has the opportunity to influence a younger version of himself to follow this path which ended up arguably making him a better person and defining his life. Why would he want to deprive the younger version of that? Yes, it's a (slightly) different universe and Spock probably understands this full well, but from his point of view it probably can't hurt.
    • He could've also assumed that although the universe seems to be significantly different, certain events that occurred in the prime-verse could still happen. The last thing their universe needed was no Kirk and Spock to deal with, say, V'Ger or the Whale Probe.

     Immunity Syndrome Spock. 
  • Inconsistency between verses that might not be accountable by the Alternate Universe:
    • In TOS episode The Immunity Syndrome Spock is able to feel a whole ship of Vulcans die a great distance away from the Enterprise. Apparently he felt physically sick, nauseated, when he felt the combined shock and terror in the minds of the 400 Vulcans on that ship. If this was continued in the new verse couldn’t it be assumed that the Vulcans would have some sort of physical reaction to the multitude of individuals’ combined reaction to their imminent death? (Could it also be assumed that the physical feelings could be amplified by the increased number of imminent deaths? Or is this just projection?) It was implied in the episode that this effect was due to Vulcan biology (or something that is particular to Vulcans). If it was biology then shouldn’t it transcend the Alternate Universe’s ability to change, as it usually only changes the timeline (with exceptions like personalities, relationships, technologies and etc. that the timeline could change in a short amount of... time.... {if they decide to go with evolution it takes a lot longer than the time that Nero changed}) changes?
      • Who's to say they didn't? They just didn't bring it up in the movie because, well, we actually saw the planet being destroyed, so it'd be bizarrely redundant to have Spock say "oh, and I'm also feeling really physically ill from having watched my homeworld blowing up, not just because of the obvious fact that it's my homeworld and I just lost my mother and almost everyone else I ever knew, but also because of an empathic awareness of the event". It might have made for more drama with Uhura if they'd dealt with that onscreen, but as it is, we can just assume he did telepathically feel it happening and just didn't mention it because he's trying very hard not to lose control.
    • There are two big differences between the destruction of the Intrepid and the destruction of Vulcan: 1) Spock was witnessing the destruction of Vulcan, so he could prepare himself for it, and 2) he was in command and had to maintain his facade in front of the crew. Odds are that it was part of why he snapped so brutally at Kirk: he was already on the breaking point from being hit with the psychic onslaught of billions of Vulcans dying.

     What's the matter with the Red Matter? 
  • Okay, so the whole thing that kicks the story off is the red matter. But, it never functions the same. Through the course of the movie, it's shown to be capable of sending ships through time (undamaged), destroying planets, stopping stars from being destroyed, and destroying ships. Regardless of whether it had something to do with structural integrity or where it is detonated, wouldn't the pieces of planets or ships destroyed by said matter just appear out of nowhere in the past and cause more havoc (possibly changing the course of the whole story in the first place)? And on that matter, what detonates it? It seems to be simply contained matter, yet, only explodes when it touches it's target? How exactly do you create a detonation system to a blob? Even if it is supposed to detonate when leaving containment, shouldn't it blow up in the face of it's user? And it if it's a time thing, wouldn't they need to be an exact distance with an exact velocity? Or am I forgetting something?
    • It creates a black hole when exposed to intense heat, like explosions or supernovas or a planet's core. Now, how this is used produces different effects. Drop it in front of a supernova, bye bye supernova. The star isn't fixed, it's gone. That matter, even if it ends up somewhere, is crushed into paste. Then two ships fly into it and travel through time. They have shields so they come out intact. Then it's shot into the core of a planet, devouring it. Again, paste. Nero's ship suffers that fate thanks to the black hole opening up inside the shields the second time.

     Ships begin somewhere... 
  • The shipyard at the beginning. What kind of space navy, even one only a tenth as organised and technologically advanced as Starfleet, build a shipyard on the surface of a planet? That puts it well within said planet's gravity well, and it's not like the ships themselves are necessarily designed to hold their own in those conditions...
    • They're building ships to be stronger in this timeline so they're not only able to stay together in a planet's gravity well, they're now being specifically designed to do so.
    • Doesn't excuse this. Building a starship on the surface is beyond stupid. In the entire pre-2009 canon, the Intrepid-class (e.g. Voyager) is the first Federation starship of any reasonable size able to land on a planet. That's 100+ years more technology than ST:2009, and in a ship maybe a quarter the size of the ST:2009 Enterprise. There are hundreds of good reasons why building a starship on a planet surface is ludicrously inefficient, and also why any design which allows for planet-side construction results in a noticeably sub-par startship (i.e. design compromises to allow for building/flight deep in a gravity well are severely non-optimal for space travel). It's a gratuitous break from canon (and logic), all for the sake of a single shot, not even plot-relevant.
      • I would have to say that since 1) every ship we currently have that has gone into space was built on the surface and 2) you have no real idea what Federation technology is like that would make the process efficient, inefficient, or anything else, your definition of stupidity is merely your own opinion. It's not that they didn't care, it's that they didn't agree with your viewpoint, the same as the replying troper didn't.
    • Rocket lift-off requires a ship built to resist very high G-stresses; impulse drive doesn't seem to work that way. The fact that Starfleet's ships aren't built to land does not necessarily mean they're unable to withstand atmosphere and G-stresses: more likely the invention of the transporter obviated the last reason to install "landing" designs. By assembling ships planetside one avoids the need to automate (or work in spacesuits), to say nothing of saving power costs on radiation shielding, artificial gravity generation and so forth. Slightly less vulnerable to sabotage or enemy assault, too. If you have the capacity to built both orbital and planetside shipyards, why not do so?
  • How about the fact that those Starships are really, really heavy? The Enterprise, at least from the specs this troper could find on beta memory wiki, weights 190,000 metric tons. Can Starfleet tech accelerate that much mass to the 11 kilometers per second required to escape Earth's gravity without damaging the surrounding area as that would require a lot of force? Second observation, their tech also needs to be able to compensate for stuff like drag if it spends any time going through atmosphere since that ship might not be the most aerodynamic thing ever constructed.
  • Starfleet has anti-gravity technology. So yes, it can indeed accelerate that much mass into orbit. Quite easily, in fact. The next movie features the Enterprise launching directly into space from underneath a planet's oceans, adding the weight of all the water that clings to it as well with no problem.

     Excuse me, I'm feeling a little space sick... 
  • Spock and every vulcan you see is... pinkish, for a better word. If their blood is green, shouldn't they have a green tinge? Would it have killed them to make them put on greenish lipstick and blush? Or was that too time consuming and costly?
    • That's exactly why the Vulcans and Romulans in the rest of Trek usually have a greenish tint. I guess Abrams just wanted to break away from that look this time around, for aesthetic reasons.
    • Young Spock does have green bruises after getting in a fight, and older Spock's face appears green (if only slightly) in the one scene after the death of his mother. Most likely it's just very subtle this time around.

     Two-Timing Vulcan! 
  • Where's T'Pring? Spock's backstory wasn't really affected by Nero until the main events of the movie. Why is he macking on Uhura? If by some coincidence T'Pring was on the Kelvin, she would have only been two so Sarek would have betrothed Spock to someone else instead. Spock's just a big ole slut in this movie.
    • I think an even bigger question is why the hell was Spock okay with a teacher / student relationship.
      • That's a bit of a taboo today, but it was much less of one even a generation ago. There's no particular reason to think it should continue to be in the 23rd century.
      • It's taboo for a reason and even Spock makes note of it in the movie. A teacher/student relationship can attribute to favoritism, which is why it's frowned upon especially in militaristic places where promotion is highly regarded. This goes back to the main point of why Spock of all people, thought this was a super idea. Not only was Uhura his student, but she's now his subordinate. Your credit goes down the tubes when people find out you're banging a superior officer and you'd be resented for it, possibly even transferred to another ship.
      • All taboos are taboos for reasons that make sense to a given society, but might not to the next. I would be hard pressed to think of any indication anywhere in all of Star Trek that teacher/student relationships are a particular problem: as Janeway says in "Eloqium," "Starfleet has always been reluctant to regulate peoples' personal lives." (and frankly if one hangs around the corridors of academia long enough, one will observe that it happens plenty, taboo or not. I can't speak for the military, but I doubt it's unheard of). The film plays it like Spock is being a stick-in-the-mud and that Uhura is a freethinking woman who has made her choice... why second guess this?
    • To actually answer the above question: the events of the Kelvin kicked off a chain reaction, changing who-knows-how many events in this new Alternate Timeline. T'Pring could have been killed at some point, and no one else was willing to betroth their child to this half-human hybrid (it seemed that a fair amount of Vulcans weren't OK with him). As for the Student-Teacher relationship, it has been said officially that while Spock did teach Uhura at some point, their relationship began after she had moved on from his class, meaning that it wouldn't be that big of a deal (although they were still keeping it secret; Spock obviously didn't want to draw attention to it). Also considering that he probably hasn't been betrothed to anyone in this timeline, it would be logical for him to at least consider finding himself a human mate. And having been turned down by the Vulcans for being half-human, to him, what's to say that human's won't turn him down for being half-Vulcan? Then along comes Uhura, showing interest in him... Yeah, he's going to at least give it a shot, just so he's prepared when Pon Farr comes around...
    • The After Darkness comic answers the question; T'Pring is alive and was bonded to Spock, but when Spock joined Starfleet, he broke off their engagement in order to allow her to bond with someone else.
    • What's new? In tos T'pring had another boyfriend all the while being betrothed to Spock. The arranged marriage thing didn't stop T'Pol from romanticizing other people either.. The arranged marriage is established when they are seven years old and then they never talk to each other until pon farr happens and then they have a choice between keeping the bond mate chosen for them by their family or challenge the whole thing and choose another. This is the stupidest complain one can have about the Spock/Uhura relationship because there is nothing in canon that might even vaguely suggest that Spock or any vulcan wouldn't be able to find alternatives to a stranger that their parents chose for them. That said, the person above me already mentioned that the comics made it clear he wasn't bonded with T'Pring anymore.

     Everyone is required to speak the insanely hard three Romulan dialects. 
  • Uhura replaces a communications officer on the bridge because she's fluent in multiple Romulan dialects. This part makes sense, given the ship's requirement to know what the Romulans were doing. However, the officer she replaces apparently can't even tell Romulan from Vulcan. How would anyone get a position as a Starfleet communications officer without speaking the Vulcan language fluently? Given Vulcan's importance, it arguably ought to be a mandatory course for all officers.
    • Romulan and Vulcan are similar due to their shared ancestry. He could understand Vulcan. What he could not do was pick out similar-but-not-identical Romulan speech in all the mess. Plus, given that they seemed to be short on crew at the time, maybe this guy just got shuffled to a posting he would not have qualified for otherwise.
    • Not to mention, why does Starfleet even need linguists on the bridge anyway? They've had universal translators for over a century, and Romulan isn't even a new language. I suppose the dialect of Nero's Romulans could be different enough after two hundred years to make a difference (imagine 19th century English speakers trying to make sense of leet-speak) but it's never mentioned that the translators are having trouble compensating. What gives?

     One ship was destroyed, let's prepare for war! 
  • Why does the Kelvin getting destroyed make Starfleet scramble to make super-tough, super-sized Starships? Or rather, whey does it make them make their ships tougher than the original continuity? We know from TOS and various other episodes in later series that Starfleet lost ships before, and that didn't suddenly produce super-starships or militarism outweighing exploration in response to those losses. The Kelvin was just one lost ship amongst many, was there an Admiral's grandkid onboard or something?
    • The Kelvin wasn't destroyed by some random superweapon or energy being or bacteria or any such nonsense like that. It was destroyed by Romulans. They knew this. One of the most belligerent superpowers in the galaxy just pulled a superweapon that could curbstomp a presumably top-of-the-line ship with no effort. That screams militarization. Same thing happened when they met the Borg and the Dominion in the first timeline.
    • I guess the question is what is it about the Narada (a powerful but single ship that was disabled by the Kelvin ramming it, later leading to its capture by the Klingons) that caused such a profound change in ship design and doctrine? Starfleet has faced existential threats by the Xindi, Borg and Dominion but none of these seemed to prompt a departure from conventions in quite the same way as the arrival of Nero.
      • Look at the most advanced ship in TNG, the Enterprise-D. Then look at the most advanced ship after the Borg have attacked, the Defiant. Then look at the most advanced ship after the Dominion have attacked, the Enterprise-E. I don't think convention is quite as conventional as you think it is.

     Audiences are stupid, and get bored easily. 
  • Alright, all of the points about how Nero could have used those twenty five years more constructively can be explained away by the fact that in the deleted scenes he was a prisoner of the Klingons. His reasons for hating Spock make more sense because he felt personally betrayed by Spock in the novelization. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why this wasn't included in the film shown in theaters. The audience could easily notice that Nero had plenty of time to avert the annihilation of his people but apparently did nothing. Why was this cut and left for the book? Did J. J. Abrams think that the audiences would revolt over an extra fifteen minutes making things more comprehensible?
    • Blame that on sacrificing exposition for a concise run-time with more explosions.
    • Studios hate having movies too long because the "3 - 15 minutes" that would be left in otherwise add up, and the longer length results in it playing less times in the day. Snip a good 8 minutes or so out, and you might be able to squeeze in one more showing per day.
    • It's not just the showings per day, those minutes start to add up towards the audience wondering if they really want to spend that long in a movie theater. Remember that in the nineties, a three hour movie was considered the height of ridiculousness by many critics who denounced an over-two-hour runtime the same way they'd denounce bad casting or poor film quality. It's taken awhile for the three hour movie to not only become accepted but commonplace, but studios probably don't want to start pushing it to where it sounds like "three and a half hours".

     Emotionally Compromised. 
  • Not getting into whether or not Kirk was correct in his actions, why was he given command of the Enterprise when he forced Spock to give up control? From the perspective of the crew Kirk not only assaulted two security officers when they escorted him off the bridge but had moments ago taunted Spock about the death of Spock's mother and what might have been 99% of all Vulcans. Even if Spock felt he had to give up command because he was being emotional that in no way meant that Kirk had any place in command.
    • One can assume the crew stuck up for him after saving Earth. Plus, y'know, saving Earth. Kirk proved his mettle.
      • The events of Kirk's apparent mutiny and taking command happened prior to saving Earth. Afterwards it might have been enough to get the entire thing swept under but why were they listening to anything he said before then?
      • Kirk was named first officer, and Spock willingly removed himself.
    • Kirk also did not emotionally compromise Spock. Kirk revealed that Spock was already emotionally compromised and thus was not making rational decisions. At first they just disagreed about which was the rational course of action, and Spock proves he's irrational by not just having Kirk put in the brig but removed from the ship, against regulations, as Kirk points out. At the second confrontation, Kirk knows that he has to show that Spock is irrational because he's acting on information that says it's vital that he does so. Once Spock removes himself, Kirk is in command. It's not just the troper above who says that, y'know... Sulu, who was there when it happened, points out "Pike made him first officer."

     "We're best friends in my timeline. They can sort themselves out." 
  • Why didn't Spock Prime go with Kirk to talk to his younger self? That would have sounded more reasonable than telling Kirk 'taunt my younger (and physically stronger) self about the loss of everything he's ever known'. He couldn't have been worried about altering history because Vulcan had just been destroyed by a black hole and Spock Prime is going to actively be a part of world anyway.
    • This is explained in the film itself, by Spock Prime at that. He didn't come because he wanted Kirk and other!Spock to become friends, which would be less likely to happen if he'd just done the job himself.
      • He sent Kirk to taunt his younger self until Young Spock lost control of his emotions, and it was done by bringing up the destruction of Spock's people. This was supposed to make them friends?
      • Worked, didn't it? Prime!Spock obviously knew that however Kirk went about it, Alt!Spock would be forced to accept his feelings and get over it.

     Can I call you 'Captain' or 'Jim'? 
  • This has been bothering me for a while, but why does Spock call Kirk "Jim" when they're onboard the Jellyfish? If you don't believe me, the specific line in question is: "Jim. The statistical likelihood that our plan will succeed is less than 4.3%. [interrupted by Kirk] In the event that I do not return, please tell lieutenant Uhura-" He's interrupted there, again, by Kirk telling him that their plan will work. Why this bothers me is that Spock doesn't refer to Kirk by Jim AT ANY OTHER TIME during the entire movie as Jim. It's especially weird to see it there when he refers to Uhura – who he's in a relationship with - by her rank and last name. It's just so out of place and almost feels like it's meant to bate the Kirk/Spock shippers (not that they needed it anyway). So, why the hell is it in there?
    • Given the situation, maybe he just didn't feel comfortable calling him Captain or by his last name.
    • Maybe to show the beginnings of the respect and friendship between them? Spock calling him Jim for the first time means that he sees him as a friend, given how bad Spock has fracked up and the speed with which Kirk not only forgives him, but starts to show him respect in return.
    • maybe he calls him Jim because what he's about to ask him (the message for Uhura) is personal. As for him referring to Uhura with her rank: are you really surprised by THAT? He calls her Nyota only when he's talking to her and he made it clear in the previous scene ('I have no comment on the matter') that he won't tell/confirm Kirk what her first name is especially when she apparently hadn't done that herself. Spock is Spock.

     "I'm beaming, I better stand up..." 
  • A minor one: near the end of the movie, when they transport Spock to Enterprise, why is he standing? He was sitting in the chair. He should have emerged from the transport in the sitting position and fall on his ass. If the transporter can "correct" one's position, why didn't it work for Kirk and Sulu?
    • Some versions of the transporter show that you can move a little bit as the beam begins to lock on to you. Spock may have stood up from the chair specifically to avoid that. Or, a more pragmatic out-of-universe explanation, Spock falling on his ass would have been accurate, but served no purpose to the story other than getting a cheap laugh at the expense of the character's integrity.

     The many ways in which one can warp. 
  • Why is warp travel suddenly this strange white-misty realm thing, whereas the shows pretty consistently showed it as simply moving through space with star-streaks (or debris-streaks, whatever)? Being in alternate timeline shouldn't change the laws of warp physics, should it?
    • Evidently the shows' representation was inaccurate.
    • Studies of the scans of the Narada might have led to a more advanced warp system which causes a different effect when viewed from inside the warp field.
    • I'm willing to overlook this as an Acceptable Break from Reality, considering warp effects have changed from movie to movie before. Compare the warp effects in The Motion Picture and Wrath Of Khan, for instance

     Where did all these new aliens come from? 
  • The existence of a whole bunch of new alien species really bugs me. The only previously-established species we directly see are Vulcans, Romulans, and single Orion woman (as well as mentions of Klingons and Cardassians), but where did all the rest come from? Every new species implies a separate planet of origin, million of years of independent evolution backing it up. If they also existed in the original universe (which they must have. The timelines only diverge in 2233), where did they go?
    • This is a problem all over the franchise — the same could be said of TMP, which introduces a whole lot of new species standing around like they've always been there. ENT is perhaps the most egregious of all, but TNG will also often introduce a new race as a case of Remember the New Guy (the Cardassians, for example).
      • The Alpha Quadrant probably has hundreds of minor species that never caused any trouble or colonized other planets.

     Time Travelling and Parallel Realities. 
  • I thought it had been established within the Star Trek setting that time travel into the past does not cause a parallel reality to split off from the one where the time traveler originated. The clearest indication of this would be near the beginning of First Contact where Earth turns into Borg central before everyone's eyes due to the past changing. "City on the Edge of Forever" handles time travel similarly, as the Enterprise winks out of existence when history is changed. At the same time, the existence of parallel realities has also been demonstrated, most notably with the Mirror Universe and the TNG episode "Parallels". However, the franchise up to this movie seems at least to me have been pretty consistent about keeping time travel and parallel universes separate. So what's all this talk about Nero's time travel causing an alternate reality to split off?
    • Addendum to the above: One more or less internally consistent explanation could be that the universe where this film takes place was always an alternate reality from the main series universe, and Nero did indeed alter his native reality. Just don't cause your head to implode thinking too much about it.
    • Easiest explanation: The method of time travel matters. Perhaps time travel via red matter-created black hole/wormhole causes spacetime to fracture, resulting in an alternate timeline where other methods do not.
    • The whole alternate reality thing really confused me too, and there seems to be nothing that would make a red matter wormhole different from something like the wormhole in "Yesterday's Enterprise", where the time travel immediately causes the altered timeline to overwrite the original one without anyone (except special cases like Guinan) even realizing that something's wrong. This film flies in the face of whatever sense you could have previously made of Trek's already-confusing time travel mechanics, which seemed to work on a "Back to the Future"-esque system.
    • Maybe the Delayed Ripple Effect/Stable Time Loop occurs in Star Trek when a divergent reality is created but isn't strong enough to remain its own, separate universe, Thus, it collapses back onto its parent universe, overwriting it (in some cases, more gradually or severely than others). That's why the crew of Picard's Enterprise saw the Borg assimilate Earth in Star Trek: First Contact and yet Prime Spock was able to follow Nero without being affected by Nero's incursion.

     This meal I caught is bigger and already dead, but that tiny tooth-pick looks tastier. 
  • So after Kirk is marooned, he gets chased down by a big predator. Soon that predator is killed by another predator that tosses aside its kill and chases Kirk. My question is why? If it's hunting, why bother with the toothpick when you just scored a decent meal? Territory? The chase seems to go on for a while longer than you'd think the beast would call home if it's a tunneler/ambush predator.
    • Kirk turns and runs. Which is generally what you're advised not to do when faced with a predatory hunting animal. Basically the monster in question's brain probably wasn't developed enough to go through the process of thinking "Hm, I don't need that little running thing, lots of food here, it makes much more sense to just ignore it and start eating my original kill." It just went "SOMETHING IS ALIVE AND RUNNING THAT MEANS I CAN EAT IT!"
    • I believe it's pointed out on this film's entry in Super-Persistent Predator that it appeared to be initially chasing Kirk out of its territory. Once Kirk rolled off the cliff, the creature stopped chasing him and roared for him to stay away. However, it then slipped and fell, and presumably got mad and decided to kill him.
    • Maybe it's tasted human before and liked it. If you bite into a Lima Bean, and realize there's an ice cream cone nearby, wouldn't you spit it out? Or, more simply, it really wanted Kirk in the first place and just didn't want the other thing to get it.

     Why bullies are just asking for it. 
  • Why did the bullies try to get an emotional response from Spock? Would succeeding in that have made them feel happy, or proud of themselves, or some another feeling?
    • Perhaps they were hoping his emotional outburst would get him kicked out of the class.
    • The series has driven home time and again that the last person you want to believe about the Vulcan dedication to rationality and logic is a Vulcan. To quote from Bones, "The danger of a hyperrational mind is that it can rationalize anything." Vulcans can and frequently do rationalize all sorts of behavior as "logical" because they can manage to come up with an excuse that sounds logical. Why did the bullies taunt Spock? Because they're assholes. How did they justify this? The same way any other Vulcan justifies being an asshole, with rules lawyering for how their bullying was "logical".
    • Indeed true. Just because Vulcans are naturally logical doesn't mean their logic is always correct.
    • Not even naturally. We've seen how much work each individual Vulcan goes to to get properly Vulcan-ish. This on top of the whole My Species Doth Protest Too Much bit.
    • Because Kids Are Cruel, and Vulcans are not naturally unemotional, just the opposite, they are very emotional. Vulcan children have to be taught to rein in emotional behavior, it does not come automatically. So the bullies were actually demonstrating their own failure to behave unemotionally by taunting Spock. Note that Vulcans as a species are in denial about this, because their adults tend to do this sort of thing too. They have a cultural policy of overlooking their own emotional lapses so long as they can pretend there was a "logical" reason for them.

     Did Nero move Delta Vega? 
  • Basically, there are a few shout-outs that really don't work and you can't just say "alternate universe" to everything. One, in the original series, Delta Vega was the closest planet when the ship was damaged by the barrier at the edge of the galaxy. That makes it impossible that it's a front row seat to anything happening on Vulcan. Also, Scotty got Reassigned to Antarctica because he beamed "Admiral Archer's prize beagle" somewhere. However, Enterprise predates all this by about as much as TOS predates TNG. Even if humans can live over 120 years by TNG (and look every minute of it) can a beagle live that long by TOS? These things seem quite nitpicky because most fans new to the franchise wouldn't know these things, but if you do know the franchise well enough to recognize the shout-out, that same memory tells you why it's all kinds of wrong.
    • In reply to the question regarding "Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle" they never specify that it's the dog from Enterprise. Archer could have gotten another beagle during those 100 years.

     Why is Spock so much more comfortable with his emotions in this universe? 
  • He's grown up basically the same as Spock did in TOS (both were bullied and rejected the Vulcan Science Academy to go to Starfleet — which pissed off Sarek). But…in TOS, Spock was ashamed for merely feeling friendship for Jim. He couldn't even tell his own mother that he loved her. And yet, here, he's comfortable enough with his emotions that not only can he admit to himself that he's in love, but he can act on it and get in a relationship with a former student. I just don't get it — Spock in TOS is almost a decade older and yet Spock in the JJ Abrams film is already infinitely more comfortable with his feelings and expressing them. What made the difference? There's no death of George Kirk here to really explain it the way you can for Jim...
    • Because these movies are meant to have a faster pace than a television series, and thus there is no time for gradual character development. Spock's emotional ties to his friends developed over the course of years (or even decades) in the original timeline. Here the writers needed him to bond with people he only just met. So they went massively out-of-character (for both Spock and Vulcans generally) by making him more overtly emotional.
    • if you think that Spock is comfortable with his feelings you missed the point. It's made clear by canon that Vulcans do have relationships and fall in love (his own father married a human because he loved her) so it's not surprising that he can have a relationship or fall in love and that Uhura can be allowed to see his feelings, in private. To the rest of the world he still maintained a cold facade like the other vulcans do and I don't think he'd be comfortable kissing her in public if he weren't in an emotional state where he saw his mother dying and felt guilty for not telling her he loved her. Maybe he didn't want to make the same mistake with his girlfriend and it also helps him that his father admitted having emotions ('I married her because I loved her') just one moment ago. Spock's arc in the movie definitely is him pretending he is the proper vulcan without feelings even knowing that it's not true and then coming into terms with the fact that him having feelings, or rather people seeing that he has feelings, is not bad and even his father says it's ok. They accelerated his emotional development, but then the other Spock didn't experience the same things this Spock did (even before the destroyed vulcan, e.g., his relationship with Uhura) so it makes sense that they can't be carbon copy of each other.
    • In the original timeline, Spock would have been serving with Pike on the Enterprise at the time this movie is set, and in The Cage Spock does appear more emotional than he would later on - he smiles when they discover a plant causing the "alien noise" on the planet, for instance. Maybe young Spock was more emotional while serving under Pike and became more "Vulcan" later.

    "Did you disengage the external inertial dampener?" 
  • It's a funny line, but does it make any sense? As pointed out on the Techno Babble page, "external inertial dampener" is just a fancy way of saying "parking brake", but wouldn't that be pointless in space? There's no such thing as external inertia in a vacuum; one brakes in zero-g by applying thrust in the opposite direction. It would make more sense if the parking brake were a safety preventing them from activating the warp drive, but that's not what Spock says. What would an external inertial dampener on a starship be used for?
    • It's probably there to allow the Enterprise to safely dock with that big space station. Presumably having the "external inertial dampener" on reduces the forces on the physical docking points between the ship and the station, but it also prevents the warp drive from working if it's left on.
    • You know how in Star Trek, when a ship's power goes out, it stops instead of coasting or spinning? My theory is that this is the External Inertial Dampers kicking in, thus preventing a ship from drifting or spinning out of control. Of course, Trek being Trek, this will fail occasionally for plot reasons.

    Border Protection Grid 
  • Why exactly did Nero need information on Earth's border protection grid from Pike? While this might seem like good tactical planning on his part, it hardly seems necessary: the Narada just tore through an entire flotilla of top-line Federation capital ships like a fire axe through wet tissue paper. It seems incredibly unlikely that some automated sentry guns or shields (I assume) could even slow him down, much less pose a threat to him, or that the defenses around Earth would be more comprehensive than those around Vulcan (both are extremely important Federation systems). Does he have a limited supply of torpedoes or something?