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Headscratchers: Star Trek Into Darkness
Spock: I am Vulcan, sir. We embrace technicalities.

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     How was Scott Gone for one day? 
  • Scott gets back to the Enterprise and finds it falling apart, and in exasperation, exclaims, "I was gone for one day!!!" Knowing all we know about Warp speeds and the canonical distances between planets, How is that possible?
    • Qo'nos is five days away from Earth at Warp 5 (assuming that the new Enterprise goes Warp 8, that means it's about a day away.)
    • The Enterprise has gone there, had some shenanigans, and is trying to fix its warp engines. Say that takes another day (and we're being generous.)
    • Scotty manages to get from Earth to Jupiter in a shuttlecraft after being told to do so by Kirk in the Enterprise, which has already arrived at Qo'nos. Say that takes a day or so, again being generous.
    • The Enterprise comes out of warp just short of Earth (so, at least another day back.)
    • By the time Scotty has gotten back on the Enterprise, at the absolute least, three days have passed.
    • Scotty exaggerating for humour? Scotty shocked out of his mind? Writers too lazy with dialogue to at least be consistent?
      • To be fair, Scotty from the original timeline canonically exaggerates—and occasionally flat out lies—regularly to keep his reputation as a miracle-worker. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Relics, et al.).
    • Note that the movie - or at least, Kirk - seems to assume there is one 'Warp' speed, with the understanding that the Vengeance shouldn't have been able to catch up were it any other ship. Remember, they drop in, engage in a brief firefight, and come out near the moon. So by the film's understanding, it might have very well been a day, but it doesn't fit with this supposedly just being another timeline, that should still have the base rules in place.
      • Minor nitpick: I remember reading in the Star Trek TNG official manual that it's impossible to use phaser weaponry at warp because firing through the warp bubbles disperses the beams. So it wasn't Vengance's speed that was surprising, it was its being able to maneuver well enough to merge warp bubbles with the Enterprise, a necessity for two ships to fight at warp speed.
    • Further nitpick- Star Trek Enterprise is the canon source for "Qo'nos is five days away at Warp 5" (actually 4.5), which, according to either TOS or TNG Warp scales, means that Qo'nos is closer to Earth than Alpha Centauri. It's a bit too close for comfort...
    • Scotty's exaggerating. I think you guys are over-analysing his line.
      • It's exactly like saying, "I was gone for five seconds and you people ruined everything!"
    • Considering how quickly they get back to Earth when they jump into warp at the end (only a few minutes in warp) its safe to say that ships are much faster in the alt timeline, perhaps they're going by Original series speeds where the Enterprise could cross the galaxy.
    • And phasers are supposed to shoot long orange beams, not quick pulses of energy. And Khan's not supposed to be white. It's safe to say that any canonical sources about technology can be thrown out the window unless shown to be identical in the J.J. Abrams timeline.
      • Well, remember STII:Wo K and the Enterprise (and Reliant) firing their 'phasers?' They weren't streams or long uninterrupted beams. They were pulsed and you could see the breaks in the firing patterns. They were orange/red though.
      • I was under the distinct impression that the Enterprise had particle weapons, that had "tracers," as well as the traditional beam phasers (a new addition that I thought was pretty neat, actually.) The 2009 movie definitely had "proper phasers," and I remember that this movie had them too. Abrams clearly has *some* respect for Trek canon, the timing issue here seems more lazy scripting.
      • There's no issue with script. It's just people hell-bent on being pedantic and trying to be smug about how they totally outsmarted Abrams because they're taking a character's remark literally, even when he's established as being melodramatic and hyperbolic.
      • Actually it is entirely possible that this Enterprise's top speed is much greater than the TOS Enterprise. They did after all have a Borg enhanced future star ship and at least six months to reverse engineer it. Further enforced by The Vengeance's appearance which resembles the Narada to a disturbing degree.
      • Phasers were never orange in the original Star Trek, ship phasers were always blue. The episode "Balance of Terror" showed phaser pulses that exploded like depth charges, and of course the later Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had the Defiant, which (almost) exclusively used pulse phasers.
      • Phasers have been shown to shoot in pulses, beams, and even conical spreads, often within the same show. More likely it's just a case of what the particular phaser is set up for in terms of options (by DS9, we have rifles that are shown capable of doing all three). Presumably it's more complicated to make a phaser that can do two or more types of fire.

     Starfleet/Earth security - or lack thereof 
  • This film would have us believe that in the hundreds of years since the invention of cannon balls and the WWII Japanese kamikaze tactics, Starfleet HQ and San Francisco have no defence against a 9/11-style aerial attack, albeit with a spaceship? Despite force field shields having seemly been invented? This is particularly hard to believe given the threat posed by kinetic weaponry from space, since it means there is little to stop the Klingons or anyone else launching a ship or just a large lump of anything at the Earth at a fast enough speed to cause an extinction level event - or even planetary destruction if fast enough perhaps. Am I missing something?
    • The fact that the Vengeance was likely loaded with the defense codes mentioned in the previous film, same as the Enterprise.
      • But that implies that Starfleet is slightly more Too Dumb to Live than usual. Why would the defense codes be the only challenge to an incoming starship in a time of incipient hostilities with the Klingon Empire? If a real, live person were to scan those incoming ships, they would have seen a damaged Enterprise running like hell from a huge warship that, defense codes or no, doesn't match anything that would appear on Starfleet's registry and is running with weapons charged. Ether vessel approaching Earth should have triggered a system-wide red alert in any sane universe.
      • And said alerts would instantly be squelched by Marcus' presence on the ship, who would be transmitting authentication. The only thing that would be responding to the Vengeance's unexpected descent would be emergency rescue ships to either save the Federation ship descending from orbit carrying one of most important Admirals in Starfleet, or rescue craft to evacuate or rescue people trapped int he rubble from the ships crash. Unless you're seriously going to suggest that an extremely high-ranking Starfleet Admiral wouldn't transmit authentication when in Earth's orbit.
      • Wouldn't you think that the situation overrides the authentication, though? This is a universe where both the Klingon and Romulan Empires have technology that can forcibly extract information from an unwilling captive's mind. Also, at least in the prime universe, Starfleet would have already encountered species that can appear to be someone they're not, use their mental powers to convince you that they're someone they're not, or build androids that look exactly like, say, a high-ranking Starfleet officer. Given the unfamiliar warship, that ship's battle-ready status, the Enterprise that has clearly just escaped a Curb-Stomp Battle, and the proximity to Earth—a strategically invaluable Federation world and population center—it's prudent to maintain an elevated alert condition until it's certain that Admiral Marcus hasn't been compromised.
    • Even further: destroying San Francisco is exactly the sort of thing Section 31 would have a plan to do, should they feel it necessary. The Vengeance not only will have codes for literally everything, but Federation computers are probably programmed not to even acknowledge its presence.
    • Also, you can't simply vaporize an object on its way down. It would take an obscene amount of firepower to blow the Vengeance apart enough to avoid having massive pieces of flaming debris, possibly loaded with undetonated ordnance and a warp core that's notoriously volatile, still flying straight at the city. And that's still assuming they even have enough defenses to turn a dreadnought larger than any other ship in the fleet into debris, rather than just blowing chunks off and leaving a relatively intact capital ship to crash.
    • I'm not sure what they really could do. Cover every urban center on Earth with incredibly heavy shields? There are some types of attack which you simply can't realistically defend against- a giant kamikaze spaceship surely counts, if you can't manage to destroy it in orbit first.
      • What about tractor beams? Perhaps other ships could tractor the kamikaze ship, altering its course so it lands in the remote ocean or something.
      • That's a fair point. I don't know much about the mechanics of the Star Trek universe, do tractor beams work when they have to fight against gravity? Does the TOS-era even have advanced enough tractor beams? Also, if the beams need to be ship-based (to pull things away from the ground rather than towards it), it didn't look like there were enough ships in place at the time to do so. Why they don't have an emergency "tractor tower" or something set up, I don't know. Perhaps the cost and/or mechanical limitations make it impractical.
      • There simply wasn't time, the Vengeance went from either being ignored by Starfleet Computers or labeled friendly to crashing into San Francisco in pretty short order. After all nobody from Enterprise thought about calling Earth and saying "So yea there's a homicidal madman who just took over this super warship that doesn't officially exist and used to belong to one of Starfleet's Top admirals before his head was crushed like a tomato..." Mostly because they were fighting for their lives.
  • A thing that has been troubling me; the bomb goes off in London and the Captains and First officers congregate to plan how to react. They do so in the building that is the headquartes of the first line of interstellar defense for a multi planet orginisation. So, a bit like the Pentagon of the 23rd century. Now in the present day, one cannot simply drive a car right up to the pentagon without passing SOME kind of checkpoint, even just a rising barrier and a man with a clipboard. In the future flying cars and shuttles are somewhat commonplace and it's possible for a wanted figitive (even if he's a top secret one) to fly a hovercraft vehicle with guns RIGHT UP TO THE WINDOW? There's no mention of a force field or any anti aircraft measures on an important governmnent/ military building. Even a throwaway line about "he must have bypassed the security field" would have addressed this, but I didn't hear any such explanation. Was anyone else bothered by this?
    • Well, Harrison was former Section 31, and clearly several steps away from the people who were fighting him. So maybe if he flew up to the window in a normal everyday shuttle/skycar a blast shield would have dropped, a tractor beam would have turned on and pulled his craft in for questioning. But he's probably disabled all those defense measures prior to the attack.
    • I was more bothered by the fact that their war room has a great big window in the first place. This is the place where you want to discuss the man in your organization who has just gone rogue, most likely has an in-depth knowledge of Starfleet, no doubt aided by his superior intellect and the vast data resources Section 31 has at its disposal, and has just demonstrated that he is perfectly capable of striking whatever and wherever he wants, and you decide to have this meeting next to a giant, non bullet/phaserproof window overlooking San Fransisco which completely exposes those at the command table, provides no cover or protection should it get attacked (not even an emergency shutter or some form of AA placement nearby), nothing. You're just crossing your fingers and hoping Harrison doesn't use his super-augmented mind to figure out where the biggest sitting duck in all of starfleet is. You know what one of the more defining characteristics of one of the most iconic war rooms in history is? it doesn't have bloody windows!
      • You've also got to wonder why the window was made of glass rather than transparent aluminum.
      • The window raises another Swiss Cheese Security issue: holding their meetings in front of a great big window allows anyone who knows how to read lips and point a telescope to eavesdrop on them. Bonus points for having the window overlook a city, where there are a million places for the eavesdropper to set up in comfort and privacy.
      • You're assuming the window isn't vibration-proof or something. And given that this is a setting where sensors can scan things from orbit, a laser mic is actually low-tech. And remember, Harrison explicitly points out Starfleet's complacency.
    • This is likely due to the fact that, despite appearances, Starfleet is not a military organization. Don't think of this as a team of admirals and captains planning how to respond to a new enemy, think of it as firefighters and police officers planning how to respond to an emergency. It just didn't really occur to them that there might be a second attack. Kirk, Harrison, and Markus all bring this up, touching on the fact that living in times of peace has rendered the Federation complacent in many ways.
      • That's fair, but even though it isn't a military organisation, and is more akin to a combined Coastguard/Peace Crops/ Civil Defense, even the headquarters of those organisatons will have a fence and a gate, even if they aren't built like a fortress.
    • Not to mention this troper was under the impression that only Marcus knew the full extent of what Harrison actually was; to everyone else, he's just a very good human operative who's been completely cut off from Starfleet, and as such, they would have much lower expectations of what he's capable of. For Marcus to say, 'Sorry guys, he's actually got inside data on Starfleet and can do thing no other human is able to' leaves him having to explain what the hells going on, which he doesn't want.
      • Also, Starfleet is a multi-planetary defense organization, and as such most of the time a high level conference on Earth would be dealing with some threat on the boarders of the Federation. Which would at least be a couple of days away at warp speeds. They probably didn't have separate protocols for dealing with terrorist attacks in their own backyard, which would probably fall under local jurisdiction usually.
      • And what bothered me was the idea that Starfleet standing orders were to assemble in "this room" in event of a terrorist attack. Because it's always a good idea to maintain the same procedures when one of your own goes rogue (admittedly, it's unclear if they knew "Harrison" was no longer working for Section 31 at that point).
      • That was the point. Harrison knew what Marcus would do; call a meeting.
    • The Federation especially Earth has always been portrayed as a utopian society free of any disease, hunger, or crime. The Admirals have a meeting out in the open because they naively believe that no one would even WANT to attack them, not to mention do it in a manner as brazen as Harrison did.
  • It's probably worth mentioning that in Deep Space Nine, Earth actually has really strong planetary defenses and it's a huge shock when someone is able to get through them and bombard Starfleet HQ. At that point in Prime universe, there had been a war going on for a couple of years, but if Starfleet has been changed into a more militaristic organization by the Narada's attack on Robau's ship and then Earth itself, by rights it should still have a badass defense system.
  • I think the whole point of Marcus and Section 31 was to try and defend Earth by any means neccessary. But a couple things would prevent things from changing. First, they [Section 31] have not finished all their big plans and so are mostly in a state of change. But two, and most important to this headscratcher, is that Section 31 is still a big secret. It is black ops, hidden in the shadows, deep in a dark cave. No one anywhere is supposed to know about it except those that are apart of it and if you know... then they have to kill you. So keeping things "status quo" and not having anything overtly changing yet would be how it would all work. Until they started a war with the Klingons and were forced to change. Which is exactly what appears to have happened. Even if war is avoided, Section 31 has shown how vulnerable Starfleet is to threats (even tho this one was somewhat internal) and so things "should" change now... all a part of the plan.

     Super Harrison 
  • So despite still being the Khan from the Prime Timeline (who pre-dates Nero's incursion) he now has near invulnerability to phaser stuns, blunt force trauma, long distance falls, the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, can jump through a window and absorb a barrage of blows from a severely pissed off Kirk and is capable of fighting 1 on 20 with a gang of Klingons without visible injury. And this is the same guy who Prime Kirk beat up in the engine room of the original Enterprise with a small pipe how exactly?
    • The same as the way the Gorn are actually dangerous sauroids in the game instead of just guys in rubber suits. Artistic license, Rule of Drama.
      • Uh, no. The Gorn are Willing Suspension of Disbelief. The new superstrong Khan is a blatant Retcon, and not one that can be explained by an alternate universe.
      • Yes. It is also a good example of why retcons aren't bad. If you're going to build an invincible supersoldier you may as well actually make him invincible. Or at the very least, not easily defeated by one man with a small pipe.
      • The original Enterprise was also staffed by a number of over weight actors not exactly known for their physical prowess, with a budget that probably had to stretch just to afford that small pipe in the first place. With higher budgets, more physically capable actors, etc, more can be done on screen rather than left to the imagination.
      • And, again, alternate timeline. Everything we can see shows that the timelines are nowhere close to identical except for the base elements, like the crew of the Enterprise, the Prime Directive, and the design of the starships and some of the guns. Almost everything else is different in some fashion, occasionally massively. In Suspension of Disbelief terms, Khan is stronger than "Khan Prime" was because he's not that Khan. Nor is he simply a Caucasian clone.
      • Altered timeline, not alternate. Everything prior to Kirk's birth is the same as in the original timeline. Including Khan, as he's from the 20th century. He was awoken from suspended animation earlier, and under different circumstances, but he is that Khan.
      • And where is the evidence that everything prior to Kirk's birth is identical?
      • If it's not, then creating a diverging timeline in the first place seems pointless. They should have done a proper reboot instead.
      • If they had, no Old Spock. They will wring every dollar out of Nimoy they can.
      • Star Trek IV involves the Enterprise crew going back in time but would take place after the point of divergence (2233) set by the 2009 film, so really anything after 1986 is fair game.
      • Damn...I didn't think about this! So in the Alt-Trek timeline, the whales didn't get saved, as Kirk and the crew hadn't gone back in time at this point. So even though in the Prime timeline, 1986 saw the return of humpback whales...the Alt-Trek 1986 has not!?! MY HEAD HURTS...
      • The argument could be made that it goes back even further—in City on the Edge of Forever, Kirk, Spock, and Bones spent several weeks in the 1930s. The three seem to have left some Starfleet equipment behind—random bum even killed himself with McCoy's phaser.
      • I'm sorry but despite what we're repeatedly told by the producers you simply can not explain every change in these two films by that one single change in the timeline. Take the USS Kelvin as an example: Despite being a Prime Universe ship the uniforms are wrong, there is a window on the bridge and the set design has the I Pod look of the Alternate Enterprise. I can buy the updated for the big screen argument but they could have met us half way and made it have a half Star Trek 6 style and half white and flashy. Or how about the change in personalities that Uhura and Scotty have undergone? they never even met Kirk until they came on board ship in the Prime universe so how come they act so different? Frankly the Mirror Universe has more in common with the Prime Universe and they are all sodding evil.
      • The Kelvin is from the Starfleet of the 2230s. That was never depicted on screen before the first Abrams movie, so who knows what the uniforms "should" have been like? It does look like it might be a descendent of the NX-01 Enterprise and the uniforms the crew wore there, so it works for me. The Kelvin being destroyed by the Narada altered more than just Kirk's life - Starfleet had good sensor scans of advanced technology, for one thing, and now knew what Romulans looked like - so changes in personality of some members of Starfleet are not unsurprising.
      • There's no reason whatsoever why they should have to justify changing the uniforms or set design. The old film series swapped such things around at least three times and nobody complained then. Making things look better - hell, making things look not like crap - is part of the role of the film as medium. Visuals simply aren't subject to canon.
      • Uh, no. They didn't. They had minor set changes but everything generally remained consistent according to its own rules and style. Changes to uniform and the look of the technology generally happened over the course of several years in-universe. Whenever Deep Space 9 or the Next Generation looked back at the Original series they kept the same sets as did Voyager when they showed Sulu on the Excelsior. I'm not saying we should have the cardboard sets back; what i'm asking for is some consistency. A starship that was built in the Prime Universe in the mid 23rd century should in no way have a bridge that looks like the set of Minority Report and as such I refuse to believe it could ever have been built in the Timeline we know. What you seem to be missing is that it is perfectly possible to update a set for a 21st century audience and still keep it as dark and mechanical looking as it was in the Wrath of Khan; they did it with Battlestar Galactica and they sure can do it here.
      • You're utterly neglecting to account for the (in-universe) effects of Star Trek: First Contact. Compare what we knew of mid-22nd century ships as derived from TOS/TNG with the NX-01 Enterprise. Cochrane and Lily were clearly influenced by their exposure to the Enterprise-E and it shows in the design of the NX-01 both outside and in. Everything after 2063 is already an altered timeline, so who's to say that the logical evolution of the very modern NX-01 isn't what we saw of the Kelvin. And if you want to bring the Mirror Universe episodes of Enterprise into things, we can conjecture that the Enterprise-era Mirror Universe is derived from the altered 2063+, while the Constitution-Class Defiant is from the original prime timeline. Also, we're all huge nerds.
      • Actors who are more physically capable are now being allowed to participate in scenes that allow them to be more physically capable, rather than two out of shape old guys slugging at one another. You need to stop thinking of Star Trek lore as some sort of sacred cow, get a grip and realise different directors will have different visions. Gene Rodenberry never said everything would remain static at all times, forever.
      • This troper thinks that this is a matter of interpretation. In the 80's, the series had blocky computer equipment and "lame" super-soldiers because that is what the audience back then expected computers and super-soldiers to be. In 2013 the audience has higher expectations. Although it is a different interpretation to us, to the characters in-universe cant tell a difference. This is why Spock never says "Wow, this ship is way better than the Enterprise I'm used to." This is because to him the Enterprise is the exact same ship, and Khan is the exact same dangerous man. In his eyes it's all the same, but everything is presented to the audience in a way that they can comprehend.
      • Lame supersoldiers? How about realistic supersoldiers that aren't based on Wolverine's super healing factor and adamantium skeleton. Khan was supposedly created in the mid 20th century and was said in Wrath of Khan, to be a product of selective breeding. In the mid 20th century, genetic engineering was at its infancy. But I guess today's audiences expect a supersoldier to be created by "Vita-Rays" or "Super Soldier secret formula", just like in the comic books from the 1940s. .
      • The dissonance between Prime Khan and Alternate Khan isn't actually that much. Rewatching Space Seed, Khan still takes punches to the face without batting an eye, and Kirk beat the crap out of him with that pipe; at least as good a beating as alternate-Spock gave him. In Wrath of Khan, of course, he doesn't really get into any physical fights (and he's much older anyway).
      • Also, in Space Seed, Khan had just gotten out of cryogenic suspension. In this movie, Khan has had over a year to get back into prime condition.
    • Seriously? There's a trope for this.
      • Also, there is a much simpler answer to this... rewatch Space Seed and Wrath of Khan. He was always a super soldier with super strength and intellect and all that jazz. They just barely showed him using any of that stuff. Specifically in Wrath, he lifts up Chekhov like he is a bottle of milk. And later he lifts an entire section of broken bulkhead off his crewmate and tosses it aside. This movie simply SHOWS his physical capabilities for the first time in shocking (and amazing) scenes of action!
    • One could also argue that, in "Space Seed", Khan had just woken from a 300-year cryogenic sleep. He's only had a couple of days to get back on his feet, so naturally he'd be weaker. (The Wrath of Khan doesn't count because we never see him fight and he is shown to be rather strong.) Whereas in Into Darkness Khan has had nearly a year to get back into the swing of things.
  • Maybe Khan had plastic surgery or the future equivalent so no one recognized him. Plus some voice coaching the sound British, and he thought the accent was so cool he kept it up for the entire film.
    • In fact, changing Khan's appearance would be the only way for Section 31 to keep his true identity secret. In the original "Space Seed" Spock was able to come up with a recognizable picture of Khan with only a little research effort. "Harrison" needs to look different from the original Khan or he would be caught by the first person with a working library, so it's very likely that he did have future plastic surgery.
      • Then again, apparently nobody had ever heard of Khan in this movie. New Spock had to ask Old Spock about him, rather than cracking open a history book.
      • Saying "had" to ask might be a bit much. As an amateur historian myself, cracking open a history book and looking through it takes *time*, and you might not even get what you need. Time was one thing that nobody had at that point, and so rather than use it up to leaf through the umpteen million books that are probably out there on Khan, he went to get human intelligence right from someone who would've dealt with Khan before if anybody had, and from a source he trusted. That in no way means that the Federation does not have history books on him.
      • In addition, to Nu Spock, it's just a bit of historical trivia on another planet's history — what reason does he have to know about Khan up to this point? Real life comparison: I'll bet your average western troper can more easily recall Hitler's crimes than reasons why Pol Pot was such a bastard — and that's just on one planet.
      • We have these things called "Google" and "Wikipedia", but apparently that technology has been lost in the 22nd century. Kind of strange, since the inconsistent computers in Next Generation sometimes made it seem faster to find 20th century minutia than current personnel records.
      • Alt Spock was desperate and was taking a gamble that Prime Spock would know who Khan was. It was just as likely Prime Spock would have said, "Khan, who? Never met the guy." Had Prime Spock not known about Khan, Alt Spock would have been in the same spot regardless. Additionally, who's to say that Marcus didn't delete all references to Khan in the database...I mean the man can build a top-of-the-line secret starship in Starfleet's back yard with all the costs associated being obfuscated. Deleting Khan's history takes about 10 seconds...
      • And what, exactly, is he going to google? The name "Khan"? Just the one name, nothing else to add to it? Because that's going to turn up an awful lot of people whose names contain Khan in them but have absolutely nothing to do with some guy from 300 years ago, who Spock doesn't even know if he ever did anything notable.
  • The above discussion tackles the original question with a Doylist perspective. But maybe there's a Watsonian answer too? How about this: When Nero and Original Spock went back in time, they didn't just go back to 2233 and start altering things from there. Instead, the weird nature of time travel incurred the wrath of the Timey-Wimey Ball, altering many things about the new timeline, including events which happened prior to Nero's arrival. So in this timeline, way back in the Eugenics Wars, Khan and his cohorts were much more powerful. Now, obviously people time-traveled in TOS before without all these weird Timey Wimey effects. So how do we explain this weird new version of Time Travel? I'm gonna blame the Red Matter. After all, Red Matter created the black hole which allowed for time travel in the first place. Then Original Spock's ship went back in time, containing a massive ball of Red Matter during transit. My new headcanon is that the presence of Red Matter on board the Jellyfish during that trip screwed with the Timey-Wimey Ball, thereby explaining each and every difference in the new timeline which cannot otherwise be explained. Now, is that kind of a Hand Wave? Yes. Has it ever been confirmed by Word of God? No. But at least it's something.
    • The movies present support for that (as long as we're indulging this level of pedantry, lets go all the way.) Old Spock and Nero went into the anomaly minutes apart and emerged 25 years apart (which is actually plausible). If these two emerged decades apart, then maybe some other stuff emerged even further back in time than Nero. So anything is up for grabs.
    • There would probably be effects in the time before of Nero's arrival because it would have altered the future of that alternate reality, including affecting the actions of any time travelers from that point forward. For instance, the militarization of Starfleet and other changes caused by Nero's arrival might have caused some person integral to the very invention of time travel to have not existed or taken part, as a result time travel wouldn't have been invented or invented much later, as such, time altering events like the Temporal Cold War of Enterprise might not have happened.

  • Also, it's worth mentioning that Alt Kirk is repeatedly shown to be a much worse fighter than Prime Kirk. Presumably his dad gave him a lot of pointers in the original timeline (the dude was Thor, after all). Also, a piece of pipe to the face is what ultimately brings Khan down at the end in the new timeline too.
    • Kirk is nothing close to a "worse fighter" than Prime Kirk. Starfleet DOES, after all, teach some hand-to-hand fighting! It's more that Kirk's been fighting far stronger and more capable fighters, like Spock(who is both stronger than Kirk, being part-Vulcan, and a master of the Vulcan martial arts) and Khan(who is a genetically-enhanced super soldier)! When he's up against more typical fighters with similar size and strength, he does considerably better.

  • This Kahn also had been out of cold sleep for a long time under Marcus at this point. In the original timeline Khan had just woken up from a 300 year nap or had been barely surviving on a dead planet. Perhaps with several months to recuperate he is much stronger.
    • That, and he had Section 31 doing its absolute best to get him in his top mental and physical shape.
    • and Khan in the original timeline was always super-strong. He's just at full strength and fully acclimated to the 23rd century in this movie.
  • Nero's return could conceivably have altered events before it, albeit indirectly — how many times did the Enterprise crew interfere with the past, after all?
  • The summary of Khan as a savage, genocidal tyrant stands in contrast to his original depiction — though still ruthless, he was the most benign ruler in the Eugenics Wars, and generally peaceable. His original portrayal shows dismay and frustration that humanity rejected his orderly rule, whereas New Khan turns to murder quickly and readily, even when he has no need to kill. This is more consistent with the Wrath of Khan-era version, who's gone mad and cares only about his vengeance.
    • So why bother creating a diverging timeline for the new films if the writers feel free to alter events from before the divergence? Why didn't they just do a complete reboot without the baggage of prior continuity?
    • Khan didn't really go murder-happy until Kirk had him shot. That (in his mind) was clearly a fitting and measured response to betrayal: "You turn on me, I turn on you. Except I have the most advanced warship in the galaxy now." And then he thought his family had been murdered when the torpedoes went off, so again, just and measured response: "You destroyed everything important to me, I destroy everything important to you."
    • I was under the impression that Khan had always planned to betray Kirk, and specifically fed Kirk the information he did knowing that Kirk would eventually be forced to seek his help, and therefore free him. However, this still works with the Cumberbatch model of Khan being more inclined to murder - he may not have gone completely mad, but he's still raging furious at Marcus, and seemingly by proxy, Starfleet. The man who once ruled over a quarter of the planet has been forced to work for an entire year for an annoying, war-happy, inferior (in his mind) admiral, who only woke him up to exploit him and has in all probability previously threatened to murder his crew. He's extremely angry in general, and also has particular reason to dislike Kirk for screwing up his revenge earlier. And when the film opens, his state of mind is that of believing that all of his people - his "family" and his last ties to his old life - are dead and that the only thing really left for him to do right now is wreak havoc on Starfleet/Marcus in retribution. Even if he hasn't gone totally insane, he has a lot more focus on revenge and more reason to desire it than Space Seed era Khan ever did.
      • Kirk was under the impression that Khan always planned to betray Kirk. Khan himself gives no indication of this until after Kirk shoots him. Naturally, as the only one talking Kirk's position seems reasonable, but Kirk did see Khan try to murder Starfleet's senior officers and his mentor, he isn't exactly objective.
  • I feel that I may be opening a can of worms, here, but seeing as Khan left Earth in an interstellar sleeper-ship after a catastrophic war waged by genetically engineered super soldiers prior to 1996, isn't it fairly safe to assume that the timeline has been heavily altered at some point way before the USS Kelvin incident? I was alive in '96 and I really don't recall much of that happening.
    • How old were you in '96? Maybe your parents hid it from you.
    • You didn't know? It was a big deal at the time. My dad got a video as the pods flew past our moon colony. I'll see if I can upload it to Youtube for you.
    • Okay, in all seriousness here: Trek has been an alternate timeline for quite a while now. I want to say Next Generation was when they finally admitted the timeline didn't match real history, but a more serious Trekkie will have to check.
      • DAMN YOU, GARY SEVEN!
      • I don't know why people seem to insist on Star Trek being historically accurate to reality, when other media doesn't have to be. No one complains when they watch The Avengers and realize that aliens didn't really invade Earth under the direction of a Norse God in 2012.
      • I think it has to do with the way Star Trek presents itself. The best comic books—and movies they're adapted into—are often written as allegories for the societal problems of the time they were written. Fans understand this symbolic nature, so they don't worry about trying to reconcile real-world history with comic book history. Star Trek, however, presents itself as a vision of what humanity can become: Earth becomes a paradise, disease is gone, there is no poverty, and our benevolent nature is no longer hobbled by our baser instincts. Gene Roddenberry believed that Humans Are Special, and so he made Star Trek about, well, us; or, rather, us as we will be given three hundred years of development. Fans worry about Trek history because it is implicitly meant to be real-world history.

  • I can't believe everyone is trying to figure this all out about alternate timelines and how things are effected. If you are REAL Star Trek geeks you would know it is obvious! Janeway! She is the most nefarious time traveling messing with person in the history of the verse! She alters time like Garak alters clothes! It is ALL Janeway's fault!... this was not written by an angry time displaced former captain [Braxton] of a time ship [Relativity] in the 29th century (time is relative, but Janeway is a menace!).

     We need John alive to save Kirk 
  • So when Bones realizes that the augments blood can revive the dead, it suddenly becomes imperative that they keep Khan alive to obtain more blood. However couldn't they have just used blood from any of the 72 augments that they had in cryo-tubes in the cargo bay?
    • Possibly forgivable because they don't necessarily know if the other augments have all the same abilities as Khan, or to the same degree if they do. So in the time it might take to try the blood transfusion, they find out it doesn't work, and Kirk is dead.
      • This is confirmed in the novelization of the film. Bones doesn't know if all the augments have the same attributes as Khan. For all he knows, one of them could have blood that's poisonous to humans.
      • As Foster's book doesn't seem to go out of its way to expand on backstories and the like, it will likely end up that this is taken from a deleted scene as opposed to the writer filling in a plot hole.
    • It's mentioned soon after the torpedoes are revealed to contain the cryo tubes that you need to know the proper sequence to open the tubes without killing the person inside. Cryo tubes are also stated to be technology not used in centuries, so it's extremely unlikely that there would even be someone aboard the Enterprise who knew how to open them, and even then, knowing the right sequence that certain parts of cryogenic suspension need to be shut off or activated doesn't give you the ability to apply that knowledge to a 300-year-old control panel that may not even label all the buttons. They needed living blood, and Khan was the only one who was outside of a cryo tube and alive. Opening any of the other tubes would have almost definitely resulted in the person inside dying before they could extract anything.
      • Same guy from above: to answer the question as to why they still brought someone out of a cryo tube and put him in a medically induced coma to shove Kirk in a tube until he could be revived, freezing someone isn't the same as thawing him. Because they mentioned a "proper sequence" to opening the tube but almost instantly froze Kirk safely, it can be assumed that the process for thawing takes much longer and more care. Also, we never saw the genetically enhanced popsicle after they carted him away. For all we know, they failed to keep him alive.
      • The novelization confirms they all survive. And the sequence in the novel in which they discuss why unthawing another augment is a bad idea implies McCoy by that point had worked out the sequence.
  • Side query: is Kirk now part Augment? Can he regenerate damage like Khan?
    • It's a firm possibility. The blood seems to work by enhancing the body's own ability to regenerate, rather than acting like some kind of "miracle medicine."
      • It boils down to whether or not the blood altered his own blood production facilities to produce more of it. And if not, then how long it stays in his system. This does makes Bones' comment back in Space Seed more interesting, There quite literally was something in Khan that refused to accept death.
      • McCoy's comments to Kirk suggest he's expecting some sort of side-effect down the line.
    • My question is even if for whatever reason McCoy needed Khan specifically to get the regeneration blood, why does he need to be alive to get it? Couldn't McCoy get the blood just as well from a corpse?
      • He may not need him alive, but if he were to die any number of ways such as falling from a flying vehicle and becoming a skid mark or being disintegrated, obtaining a decent amount of uncontaminated blood would be hard. Aside from that, having Khan alive means that a renewable resource of that blood is available should you need more than initially expected.
      • Yes you would need him alive. They do not just use an injection like Bones did for the tribble, he mentions a complete transfusion and to get that much viable blood, they would need Khan alive to transfer directly.

     Kirk thinks Warp combat isn't possible... Why? 
  • Kirk seems to think that since he's in Warp, the Enterprise will be safe from the Vengeance. Dr. Marcus runs up to tell him that it isn't, because the Vengeance has special weapons that can be fired while the ship is in Warp and can go faster than the Enterprise. This is something that completely screws with Kirk's plans. While it is forgivable that Kirk thinks that his ship is the fastest in the fleet (it is the Flagship and newest one, after all) and has no idea about the specs of the Vengeance, he shouldn't think at all that his ship is safe in Warp... because while phasers are useless in Warp, he has at least 72 perfectly warp-capable photon torpedoes in the Enterprise weapons bay. Kirk shouldn't think his ship is safe at all, even if all he knew about was conventional weaponry.
    • The torpedoes weren't given to Kirk with the promises of being warp-capable. They were given with the promise of being undetected by Klingon defenses, so that they could kill Khan without starting a war with the Klingons. Of course, given that the Admiral wants to both kill Khan AND start a war with the Klingons and expected the Enterprise's engines to fail, this was likely Blatant Lies in an attempt to get the crew killed.
      • Which kind of touches on a question I had about the movie. Was Enterprise's entire torpedo loadout replaced with the new torpedos? If so, and those torpedos can't be used for (relatively) short-range ship-to-ship combat, that leaves the ship defenseless at warp speeds. A brief shot of a computer monitor in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country suggests that the Enterprise-A has a standard loadout of at least 96 photon torpedos, and while these torpedos are larger than those used on Enterprise-A, so is this movie's Enterprise. It also seems to have more torpedo tubes. How did Kirk plan to defend his ship on anything like an equal footing if the Klingons decided to come after him for, you know, bombing the capitol of their empire (as was the original plan)?
    • There's a big difference between torpedoes which are capable of their own warp drive, essentially FTL cruise missiles, and weapons which can be fired while the host ship itself is at warp. There's no reason to assume at first that the new torpedoes are capable of being fired while at warp, or would do anything useful if they could be. A good analogy might be trying to use a cruise missile to shoot down a jet fighter. Never going to happen.
  • Giving Kirk an out... it may be that he thinks he's safe because torpedoes have the same maximum Warp speed as his ship, warp 8... so relatively speaking, he's safe while he's in Warp. But you'd think that would lead him to consider how to deal with the blizzard of ordnance about to hit him the moment the Enterprise drops out of Warp.
    • He also planned to come out of warp at Earth. Marcus can't exactly fire on the Enterprise in front of Starfleet HQ with a top-secret ship that officially doesn't exist.
      • Except then he blatantly does. And the Vengeance's phasers seem to work perfectly well at warp speeds.
      • Well, you can't blame Kirk for assuming (or hoping) that Marcus would hold his fire when close to earth. There's a zillion witnesses around there, not to mention other Starfleet ships. As for the Vengeance's phasers, it's an advanced ship, and Khan has explicitly told Dr Marcus he's designed special phaser-like weapons that work in Warp. It's unfair to say it's a continuity error when they've explicitly told you that the Vengeance is packing special heat that works in Warp; the issue is that Kirk knows there's plenty of conventional weaponry that aren't phasers that DO work in Warp.
      • Also, Kirk had no reason to believe the Vengeance was faster then his ship. And those torpedos might work at warp but whats to say they had the same speed as Enterprise? They easily could travel at say warp 6 and not catch the Enterprise for DAYS if both were going at maximum speed. There would be no blizzard of ordnance right behind them when they dropped out of warp. It should be remembered that warp factors are not additive but instead multiplicative meaning that warp 6 would be 6 times speed of light and warp 8 would be 8 times the speed of light. So if warp 6 = 1,798,754,748 m\s and warp 8 = 2,398,339,664 m\s; those torpedoes would be 599,584,916 m/s slower then Enterprise. (Somebody may want to check that math just to be sure though.) Of course since the Vengeance was 3 times faster then Enterprise, its actually surprising Enterprise managed to make it to Luna before being forced out of warp.
      • Actually by the pre-TNG scale, Warp 6 is 6 to the power of 3 (6x6x6, or 216) times the speed of light, and Warp 8 is 512 times the speed of light, so over twice as fast. The Vengeance's "3 times as fast" would work out to about Warp 11.5 if the Enterprise's top speed is Warp 8.
  • According to Word of God, the "Advanced Warp Capabilities" are not so much the weapons - it's due to the fact that the Vengeance can apparently overcharge its warp coils for a short duration to catch up to any ship it's pursuing. In the end, it's irrelevant if weapons can be fired at warp, indeed, we can assume that all weapons can be fired at warp, it's most likely due to the fact that Kirk believed the Enterprise was travelling at the maximum possible speed, and that the Vengeance couldn't catch up to them because they'd be also travelling at that speed.
    • Also IIRC the Vengeance had the stated ability to (I can't remember the exact quote, so forgive me) break in to another ship's warp tunnel. To me that's also saying that you have to be in the same tunnel and within fireing range to be able to have ship to ship combat. (I remember there being something on this in either TOS or TNG...)
      • I've also mentioned this above, but you're perfectly right about the tunnel thing. It's mentioned in the TNG official canon manual that firing phasers through a warp bubble disperses them to uselessness. Vengence could only attack at warp because it could merge bubbles, which Kirk didn't know about.

     The rip-off ending 
  • Bit of an extremely unrealistic situation that the events played out almost exactly like it did during the Wrath of Khan isn't it? Kirk and Spock repeating the death scene in the engine room but on different sides followed by Spock imitating one of the most famous lines in Trek history (Khaaaaaan!) even though it made absolutely no sense in this context. Prime Kirk was trying to appeal to Khan's vanity to let his deception get off without a hitch; Alternate Spock was just... shouting his name for no reason. Real people don't do that when faced with a death of their friend.
    • Shouting the name of the guy who (indirectly) killed your friend? Spock was so pissed off he was barely thinking straight. Even when informed they needed Khan alive, he still considered killing him. If you want to talk about realism, it sure is an odd coincidence that the core crew of the Enterprise all ended up on it at the same time to stop Nero.
      • Not really, because Future Spock actively took steps to make sure they were all there. Without his interference, Kirk and Scotty would have been on the ice planet and Alt Spock would have been in command when they fought Nero.
      • Old Spock managed to manipulate the UFP duty roster to get almost all of the main cast onto the ship, including Uhura, who Spock nearly didn't put on the Enterprise in the first place, despite being across the galaxy? The only ones he really did anything about were Jim and Scotty. Old Spock even notes that their destinies have changed, but apparently not extremely so, despite the massive disruptions in the timeline.
    • Is it unrealistic that this situation was such a good mirror of Star Trek 2? Yes. But it was awesome nonetheless. And it makes perfect sense that Spock would scream the name of Khan. Khan just tried to kill everybody, and then succeeded at killing Kirk! Wouldn't you be a little upset at that point? And if you still think Spock's reaction was over the top, remember that it's cannon that Vulcans (or half-Vulcans) have extreme emotions unless they maintain self-control. Spock specifically states that he is failing to control his emotions, just moments before he screams.
    • A larger, less plausible element is that Kirk pulled the same stunt Spock did... in a vastly larger area... in an environment Spock entered because he was the only one who could survive long enough to do it.
      • I'm pretty sure Spock Prime was lying about being able to survive in an effort to convince Dr. McCoy to allow him entry to the room. Also, in Wrath of Khan the... whatever... Spock was fixing was actively shooting what appeared to be blue FLAMES into his face. I'm betting the radiation levels were much higher in that little room than inside that huge one with no glowy stuff at all in it.
      • Spock didn't say he was going to survive- his point was that he was the only person who could withstand the radiation long enough to actually fix the problem. Which is borne out by Scotty, in his radiation suit, passing out before he got a chance to start the repairs, while Spock stayed conscious the whole time.

     The Entire Plan 
  • What exactly was Admiral Marcus' plan?. He states that he believes war with the Klingon Empire is inevitable. A reasonable enough conclusion, even if fans know peace is possible. He then attempts to provoke this war, seemingly in the spirit of "Well, may as well get it over with". Uh, what? Let Me Get This Straight, you don't load up the Enterprise with any sort of destructive ordnance for a pre-emptive strike on Qo'noS (Given the film has already ripped off Wrath of Khan, this would be a good point to introduce a Genesis torpedo to the mix), he seems to build only one huge warship, which is less than useful on a strategic level and no one else is aware of his plot on a high level, so there's presumably little preparation on the Starfleet side of things. If you're going to provoke a war with a galactic power, prepare! You've got Section 31 on your side, have them fabricate intelligence reports that indicate imminent Klingon strikes to shift the fleet in the right direction, build at least ten more warships, encourage weapons development and medical advances etc. Don't just start a damn war because you're bored.
    • You're assuming that because we saw the USS Vengeance alone that's all which was developed. The Admiral made it clear - they've been preparing for conflict with the Klingons for a while now. It's obvious that Starfleet would have more up its sleeves than just one Dreadnought - one Dreadnought which, incidentally, was only brought down due to internal sabotage and seventy two cutting edge torpedoes being detonated inside its cargo bay.
      • Valid point, but you'd think Marcus would mention that, at least. Something along the lines of "I have two squadrons of ships like these hidden along the Klingon border" or something to indicate greater planning than we see. For another, he seems to have only had Section 31 available to him, presumably explaining his need to kill most of Starfleet higher ups. He can't have done too much without being noticed and called on it by his saner colleagues, so again I have to wonder what he had planned, if anything
      • The Federation is quite likely to have more ships like the Vengeance. It's a common, if not universal, Federation habit to name the class of the ship after the first ship OF that class. If the Vengeance is Dreadnought class, there is almost certainly a USS Dreadnought.
      • Oh, and minor quibble, but those were 72 regular torpedoes - The cutting edge ones had the corpsicles in them.
      • Actually, their payloads were still intact - it was the warheads that were dangerous, not the delivery system. Incidentally it wasn't Marcus trying to kill Starfleet's higher ups - if Khan's plan had gone smoother then Marcus would have ended up dead as well!
      • I was under the impression Khan was still forced to work for Marcus at that point, hence his beaming to the point Marcus would need him to be to start his war. Actually, if he wasn't still working for Marcus, that arguably makes Marcus even dimmer for progressing his plan way ahead of time.
    • He wants to start a war because he doesn't understand the concept of peaceful coexistence at all. If people aren't fighting openly, it must be because they're up to something... Pretty sure it's supposed to be a peek into the minds of extreme jingoistic chickenhawk nationalist types.
      • Oh, I don't much question his rationale. Like I say, I can understand his reasoning, even if I don't agree with it. My problem is with the seeming lack of a plan involved in it all.
      • The only parts of the plan we saw were that he had a plan to start a war with the Klingons. Just because we don't see how he intends to finish the war doesn't mean that it's all that exists. He was barely even willing to admit anything to Kirk when he was confronted with knowledge that he had been snitched on, apparently hoping that he could convince Kirk to peacefully hand over the man he wanted; that he admits to never intending to spare the Enterprise indicates that he was probably going to simply silence them after taking Khan aboard. There's likely much more information that hasn't been revealed to Kirk and company. But seeing as how the last contact Starfleet had with Klingons in the film appeared (to them) to be a shuttlefull of commandos wiping out a large number of soldiers, including an officer and at least one aerial craft, it's highly likely that any sequels will end up exploring the inevitable war and seeing just what Marcus was planning.
    • It's also likely that Marcus wanted Klingons to fire the first shot in order to justify the war to potential allies/higher ups. His plan was for it to look like an accident. The Enterprise goes after Harrison, blows him (and unintentionally his crew up), turn to go home and oops, the warp core is damaged. While the Enterprise is left stranded, a Klingon patrol comes along and engages them in combat. Meanwhile, Marcus and his new Dreadnaught show up to "rescue" the Enterprise and engage with the Klingons in a futile attempt to save their fellow officers. The Enterprise and all hands are lost and war with the Klingons begins with Marcus and Starfleet blameless.
    • Admiral Marcus also failed to take into account that Starfleet can't afford a war at that point. A good chunk of the fleet and graduating cadets were wiped out in the previous movie, and if that wasn't enough loss, almost all the commanding officers in proximity to Earth were killed. Starfleet wasn't prepared for two of its own ships duking it out and crashing into Earth at the end of the film, there's no way they could have repelled a full-on assault by the Klingons. The prototype long-range torpedoes might have helped even the odds, but Marcus's plan required sacrificing all of them and possibly letting them fall into the hands of the Klingons. His plan gave way too many potential advantages to the Klingons.
      • This was more or less my problem with Adm. Marcus's plan. As for Starfleet being unable to repel a full on assault by the Klinks after the beatings they have sustained, I would point you to the fact that the Japanese onslaught against the West saw similar damage, including several major ships and experienced (such as they were) crews lost, the major centers of the fleets hit (not merely Pearl Harbor), and up to allegations of duplicity that FDR allowed the Japanese to strike first in order to incite war. This still did not prevent the Western Allies from rebounding and turning the tide six months after, and considering how much the Federation draws from the West and the Klinks are Samurai that is something to keep in mind. That being said, it is still monumentally stupid on a number of levels. On a purely pragmatic, cold blooded level, if you wanted to start a war with The Effing Klingon Empire, there are way more efficient ways to do it! Ones that don't involve sacrificing a new ship and veteran crew while still retaining the "they shot first" advantage. The elder Marcus is an Admiral. He should have known this. He didn't seem to act like it.
      • This is a major problem with many Headscratchers: it operates on the assumption that the person involved is acting 100% rationally, considering all of the information and making the best possible decision unless plot gets in the way. Marcus was a warhawk who wanted an excuse to go to battle with a longtime Federation enemy. He didn't care about being especially pragmatic because he wanted what he wanted, and the Enterprise was the best way to accomplish that. Kirk's mentor had been killed by a guy who conveniently happened to be on the Klingon home world, and Marcus knew that Kirk was angry and out for vengeance. He's the perfect fall guy because he wouldn't question such a questionable mission or consider the political ramifications; he's too blinded with anger to think about anything but revenge. Not to mention that despite his heroism against Nero, Kirk's constant flouting of Starfleet regulations (dating back to before he ever met Nero) had seen him bumped from captainship and he likely could have been drummed out of Starfleet altogether if Pike hadn't taken him on as a first officer. He only regained command when Pike was suddenly assassinated, and it's doubtful that many of the people in charge respect him or his hotheaded behavior. Marcus may well have attempted to claim after the fact that his secret mission to Kronos was actually Kirk acting alone, going rogue to get revenge and inadvertently starting a war. The entire blame lands on an infamously impulsive captain who had motive to go rogue.
      • I don't see how this is a problem, especially since the above explicitly mentions it is a problem with *Marcus* in-universe as well as in the meta (and only maybe for the later). The problem isn't that Marcus can't pick the best choices and make rational decisions; he's not only a war hawk but a phenomenally unhinged and paranoid one. That's automatically going make his inability to even *comprehend* some choices- much less take them- a cornerstone of his character. The problem is that for an Admiral of Starfleet and a man who has apparently dedicated his life to starting a war with the Klingon Empire, he isn't thinking the most logically about actually fighting said war. The contrast to the design of things like the Vengeance and his ability to squirrel away resources is galling, and the fact that his master plan explicitly hinges on sacrificing a ship and crew is worse. Nobody's denying these are definite and very real character flaws that can come realistically from Marcus's character, it's just noting that by any standards it is pretty stupid.
  • It could have been set up that Section 31's plan was to land Khan and his followers on Quo'nos as a Fifth Column insurgency on the Klingon Homeworld. It would explain why they are fitted into torpedo tubes - there was never any intention of attacking Quo'nos directly, just to land Khan & co on the planet. Would it work? Khan's arrogant enough to believe so and Admiral Marcus doesn't need it to succeed, he just needs Khan & co to cause the Klingons to divert resources to putting down his insurgency. But war on the Klingon Homeworld would be hard to fit into a single movie.
    • The problem with that assumes that Khan was in any way inclined to support the Admiral at this point in time. Considering that this was right after Khan tried very hard to kill said Admiral, this is hardly likely.
    • First, the torpedoes did have a warhead in them. The reason Khan gave up so easily was that Kirk told him he had 72 special torpedoes ready to fire. Khan assumed correctly those torpedoes were his 72 crew and did not want them destroyed. That being said, all this talk about how stupid the plan is assumes way too much on the part of what the audience (and Kirk) is told. Considering the extreme black ops behind shadow ops under dark ops nature of Section 31, I only assume one of two things about the whole plan: One, it was not fully revealed, and two what of the plan we do hear and see is all going according to plan. We have seen Section 31 in action before and everything always seems to be going exactly how they want it to. Or is it? ... or... IS IT?!

     The Hunt for Red Enterprise 
  • What was the Enterprise even doing under the ocean of that planet at the beginning? Scotty mentions this is pretty damaging, particularly if it went on for much longer. It was almost guaranteed that someone would see it enter or leave the sea, which would violate the Prime Directive. Oh, and the Enterprise is a STARSHIP, designed to operate in SPACE!
    • Visit Trekmovie.com & read the article about how the writers think it's a cool idea and the fanboys will hate it but they're gonna do it anyway...
    • ...yes, congratulations, you've pointed out precisely what a character in the movie did. That entire bit was to show how reckless and above the rules Kirk felt himself and his crew to be.
      • No, not the point. It was reckless and above the rules, yes, but it was also pointless. Why do that at all?
      • Because in Kirk's mind it made the ship easy to conceal and quicker to react with should things go out of control. It's clear what his intent was, he even admits later in the film he's going by gut instinct not anything logic. You're fishing for problems with things that are explained within the movie.
      • So this isn't a problem, Kirk is just a raging idiot who shouldn't be in charge of a hotdog stand, never mind a starship?
      • Congratulations once again, you're closer than ever before to understanding the character arc Kirk undergoes during the course of the film.
      • Which I'm sure would be highly compelling if Kirk did any such thing. He got a dressing down from Pike for his idiocy... and they promptly never changed his behaviour at all.
      • Other than coming to rely on and trust those under his command, understand he wasn't ready for the Captain's chair, etc etc. Did you actually watch the film or just freak out because the aliens and space ships didn't match up to real life?
    • Ahem, let's dispense with the bickering and return to the original question. Perhaps they needed precise measurements of the volcano in order to calibrate the cold fusion device, and perhaps such precision could only be obtained by the Enterprise's own sensors at extremely close range. And the only way to get it close enough without making the whole thing visible was to hide it in the ocean. That's my theory, anyway.
    • I can't help but wonder how and why Enterprise would be designed in such a way that it would be capable of loitering under the surface of a saltwater ocean for any length of time. Personally, I loved the concept because it was both an amazing visual and something that we'd never seen in Trek before. Let's be honest, though, its a cool concept that's also kinda stupid and really didn't hold up to much scrutiny. The entire time, I couldn't stop thinking about a bit of dialogue from Futurama:
      Leela: at 45 hundred feet, 48 hundred, 50 hundred! 5000 feet!
      Professor Farnsworth: Dear lord, that's over 150 atmospheres of pressure!
      Fry: How many atmospheres can this ship withstand?
      Farnsworth: Well, it's a spaceship, so I'd say anywhere between zero and one.
      • Except for the fact that it's not really that stupid. Ocean diving on the average might exert astronomically more pressure than is found normally in the vacuum of space, but any spaceship has to be designed to deal with vastly more than just the vacuum of space, no? For one, it has to be able to survive re-effing-entry, which generates such pressure that (as we saw at the end of the movie) you usually have heat damage and need to account for/deal with it. On top of that, that's before we deal with all kinds of different atmospheric pressures, like that caused by trying re-entry in a world with a far heavier atmosphere than our own, or even being in the same general vicinity of something like Jupiter, a sun, or an effing Black Hole's distant neighborhood. The Enterprise was- from what we can see- lying at a depth that Kirk and Bones could *swim* to without the aid of breathing apparati (yes, part of that is probably rule of cool, but the fact that trained swimmers can hold their breaths for that long helps). The atmospheric pressure there is something that even *previous* ship designs laugh off, as shown by any Submarine with any level of function and even destroyed ships that are still relatively intact, like the USS Arizona. The atmospheric pressure acting there is negligible even when hauling tons of water upwards, and certainly negligible compared to the effing re-entry that these ships are designed for!
    • They did have breathing devices. Watch the scene again, they have little hand held devices similar to the ones used in The Phantom Menace. If you are wondering where they got the devices, I just assume they were standard kit for just such a need.
  • I'm still wondering how they got the Enterprise buried under all that water in the first place without anybody noticing. Did they magically beam the ship into water? Did they just cause some kind of giant tidal wave at night and hope that nobody noticed the sounds and splashing?
    • Planets are big. Oceans are big. If they came in at night several hundred kilometers off the coast, they could have eased the ship in, moved over the course of a few hours/days, and did all the reconnaissance they needed to.
      • Which brings us back to the first point: why leave orbit in the first place? The civilization wasn't even advanced enough to have glass or telescopes, staying in orbit could have let them do all the scans they needed, drop the bomb, and then leave within hours, with no chance of the locals seeing or hearing anything at all.
      • Which in turn brings us back to Starfleet's point: Kirk was being reckless and stupid. If they had been in orbit, then they would have been able to get line of sight on Spock without being more than a bright star in the sky to the locals, and Starfleet would have given him a lecture about being careful, but nothing worse.
    • Possibly Fridge Brilliance. Let's analyze the scene before they jump into the water more closely. They were disguised and riding local fauna (well Bones was at least, it seems Kirk had not seen the beast mount before, or at least not when it was rear back). The assumption was that they were not just performing scans with the ship but trying to figure out ways to move the villagers away from the volcano in case things went bad. Planting the ship close by allows them to not use a shuttle except for inside the volcano where they needed to since they could not beam in and out (apparently?). We only see the cliffs they [Kirk and Bones] dive off of to get to the water, but one could assume that is not the only feature on the island and that there might have been a way back to the ocean from the village (based on the fact Bones had "a ride"). So they do a little recon, then figure a way to get the villagers to move, plant the device, and leave with no one the wiser. They probably would not have even been in the ocean much longer than a day or two (from the point in the movie), but everything goes sideways when they discover that the volcano is much more volatile than they had anticipated and Kirk makes his rash decision and... we continue with our regularly scheduled amazing action sci-fi already in progress!
    • Even at that distance they couldn't beam Spock out until they were directly over the Volcano. The most likely answer is that they wouldn't be able to beam anyone out from orbit because of the distortion caused by the volcano, so they parked the Enterprise just under the sea so they could get a stronger lock in case anything went wrong (which it did, catastrophically). Even if they weren't expecting the need to have to beam people out of the Volcano the plan involved a shuttlecraft hovering in a situation where it's ability to make orbit could be compromised, so again having the Enterprise close at hand solves that problem. As for how it can withstand the ocean, it's only just underneath the sea level; Kirk and McCoy can swim to it with ease, it's not deep enough for the pressure to start to be an issue.

     The Mysterious Bag 
  • During the meeting of senior Starfleet officers, Kirk examines an image of 'Harrison' escaping the wreckage of the Archive he blew up with a bag, and openly wonders what is in it. Well, movie? What was in the bag? It never turned up again as I recall.
    • I think it was the transwarp thingy he used to escape. Seems to be about the same size as what Scotty recovered.
    • Wasn't it the portable warp drive thing?
    • It's definitely the transwarp device. The bag is the exact shape and size to hold it.

    John and Phasers 
  • So when Khan storms the bridge of the Vengeance, Kirk shoots him from behind with a phaser and he goes down immediately for a minute. But then later, when fighting Spock, Khan gets shot like eight times at point-blank with a similar phaser and stays upright. Was Khan running on super-adrenaline? Are his nipples made of phaser-resistant steel? Did he fake the first collapse so he could get the jump on Kirk?
    • Possibly faked it, since he seems to have sprung up at full strength as soon as everyone had their back turned. Or Uhura didn't have her phaser set to full stunning power when she beamed in and was too caught up in the fight to think about anything but plugging away as fast as possible.
    • Khan was planning to betray them all along - he knew that Kirk would go to him for help. Also, given that Augments have very good hearing (per Enterprise: 'The Augments') it's likely he heard Kirk planning to stun him and let him see what he expected so he'd turn his back on him.
    • Could be she purposefully had her phaser on the lowest, to prevent accidentally killing him as they needed him alive.

     Why start a war with the Klingons rather than the Romulans? 
  • You'd think in the new timeline, if hawks inside the Federation had a mad-on for murder against anyone, it'd be the Romulans, considering that it was a Romulan ship that destroyed the Kelvin, half the fleet, and the planet Vulcan, and is the entire reason the fleet is more militarized in the first place. Especially considering Section 31 named their new prototype warship the Vengeance.
    • Because Nero outright stated that his actions were independent of The Romulan Empire, The Romulan Empire itself is extremely isolationist and Starfleet likely knows next-to-nothing about them, and actual Romulan hostilities have been kept to a minimum up until that point? (If we're following The Balance Of Terror, they haven't been at war with The Federation for over a century, and most of Starfleet don't even know what a Romulan looks like) The Klingons, on the other hand, are actively hostile towards them, have a history of hostile actions against neutral worlds (which, unlike with Nero, they know are stunts the Klingon Empire themselves pulled), and even have a history of firing on Starfleet ships, and they know enough about them to be able to present a decent offensive against them should it come to war.
      • Don't forget that Nero was from an alternate timeline, too. So his actions don't directly reflect on the Romulans of the new timeline.
  • Considering the Klingons lost 40 warships against Nero in the last movie and are only about a day away at maximum warp, Marcus may believe it's the perfect time to take care of a problem that is eventually going to blow up anyway. He believes war with the Klingons in inevitable, so might as well do it now, when the Federation can win.
    • Also, we see a shot of Praxis which has exploded (although not as violently as in The Undiscovered Country) and at least one entire providence on the Klingon home world is abandoned. Not to mention the environment looks like hell. It's possible that with out the people in power who were in power during The Undiscovered the Klingon Empire is planning on attempting a military solution to their problem. Admiral Marcus's plan is basically strike first and before they are fully mobilized so he can put them down quickly with minimal casualties. Also, given that Nero took down 40 odd Klingon ships and the Vengeance looks disturbingly similar. It is not only possible but likely that the Vengeance is reverse engineered from Nero's vessel and therefore is capable of similar feats. After all look what it did to Enterprise, granted with the element of surprise, but there's nothing to say that Vengeance couldn't easily replicate that.

    The Torpedoes? 

  • What possible reason did Admiral Marcus have for supplying the Enterprise with torpedoes loaded with corpsicles? It was not at all useful for his goal of starting a war (compared to normal torpedoes) and it lead to his downfall in two separate ways (giving Harrison a reason to temporarily team up with Kirk and causing Scotty to be on the battleship to disable it.)
    • Marcus didn’t know that the torpedoes were dummies. Khan loaded the cryo-tubes into the torpedoes in order to smuggle them out of the facility, but Marcus never found out. That’s the reason why Khan freaks out so much about the possibility of them being fired. Marcus expected them to be used for their intended purpose.
    • Alternatively, Marcus did know and intended to destroy all evidence of Khan and his crew. Khan was the one element he couldn't fully control and, as seen in the movie, the one person who could reveal the truth about his efforts to force a war with the Klingon Empire. Having 72 more running around (let alone the original) was a huge risk. It comes down to killing two birds with one stone.
      • But all he had to do to get rid of the unwanted 72 was pull a hand phaser trigger 72 times, or perhaps just switch off their cryo devices. Loading the torpedoes onto the Enterprise was both far more effort and far more risky than a direct approach.
    • Except that those torpedoes should not have been able to fire - Harrison made several alterations to them, and I think I recall Scotty saying that he took out the fuel reserves to do it. The only thing that definitely worked was the ka-boom part.
      • Which raises it's own question: Khan's modifications of the torpedoes rendered them inoperable - without their fuel, they wouldn't have hit their target. So, if keeping them functional wasn't necessary to his smuggling ploy, why keep them loaded with a warhead? If you're trying to keep people safe, sticking them inside a living bomb when you can stick them into a dead one seems like an odd strategy.
      • I presume that, in whatever facility Khan originally concocted this plan, there were sensors to check if the torpedo's warheads were ok. If he'd removed the warheads, the sensors would have noticed and somebody would have inspected the torpedoes. He couldn't risk that, so he had to leave the warheads in place.
      • I was under the impression he intended to use the Khan's people as a living weapon against the Romulans, like lilo and Lilo and Stitch. The torpedo was just the delivery system.
      • ...No. N- no. Marcus had no idea that the torpedoes had been modified. Even if they were meant to be used as weapons, then not only would they be immediately killed when the torpedo exploded (and the torps WERE live, after the explosion Bones specifically points out the cryotubes that were taken out first), but they'd either all switch sides, or worse, Starfleet would face the New Augment Empire.
      • What do you mean Marcus had no idea that the torpedoes had been modified? Khan tells Kirk that they caught him in the act and that's why he had to escape alone, and Marcus later tells Kirk that he "didn't wish to burden him" with the knowledge of what was in those torpedoes when Kirk accuses him of sending them off to effectively murder all of the cryosleepers by firing them. I assumed that the torpedoes were still fully capable of firing even with a person inside - either, I suppose, because Khan designed them that way with the intent to smuggle his crew out without anyone going, "Hey, these torpedoes are non-functional!" or because Marcus had them modified after Khan escaped. Marcus knew full well that those people were in the torpedoes and also knew that the torpedoes could be fired without a problem, which is why he sent the Enterprise off to nuke Khan from space. Khan dies before anybody can talk to him, and all of the frozen augments go up in plasma, effectively destroying any solid evidence that Marcus found a ship of superhumans floating around and decided to defrost one to help Section 31 build Starfleet's new battleships and weapons.
      • Scotty didn't say they didn't have fuel. He said that he couldn't find the fuel with his scanner. And that would likely be a result of their stealth technology.

  • Carol mentions that the torpedoes had been fully erased from the records of Starfleet as if they never existed. This is why she went to the enterprise in the first place, she wanted to track down what happened to these undetectable high tech weapons. Marcus wanted the Klingons to appear to fire first to justify a war, Presumably regular, registered torpedoes would be a red flag that something was wrong. By keeping them off the books they will investigate and find the enterprise has been destroyed and never fired a shot as it left without torpedoes as far as the official record is concerned.

  • 72 torpedoes? Imagine a modern day equivalent. The U.S. president really wants to kill a terrorist, so he dispatches a warship and supplies them with 72 Tomahawk missiles (in addition to the ship's normal armament.) Even accounting for contingencies and desiring overkill, 6 should suffice. It may make sense to Marcus, but surely everyone else would query this?
    • At that point Marcus says he's working outside of Starfleet, specifically Section 31. No one is questioning him having or giving out 72 torpedoes. Plus, he's hoping to work off of Kirk's anger and desire for vengeance. He lost Pike, his mentor figure. It's no secret at that point that Kirk is foolhardy.
      • There Is No Kill Like Overkill is absolutely real. You *NEVER* want to get in to a fair fight, and given the nature of the mission to kill Khan on Quo'noS it makes absolute sense to pack more. Even from a conventional standpoint, Khan is superhuman and might not be killed by the first (dozen), never mind the potential need to eliminate Klingon forces if he flees to them in a hardened target, or to fight their way out if the situation went South like it was supposedly not supposed to. Of course, Marcus never intended the Enterprise to fight its' way out of the Neutral Zone, but all he has to do is make enough convincing lies to anybody asking.
      • During the early years of The 2003 Iraq War, the US military reportedly launched two dozen cruise missiles in a bid to take out Saddam Hussein (and his sons, and various lieutenants, natch). Some possible allusion there in this film. Not 72 torpedoes there, but Saddam Hussein was no Khan Noonien Singh.
    • As the previous responder pointed out, there probably wasn't anyone left to question Admiral Marcus giving the torpedoes to the Enterprise. But why did he give Kirk all of them? Half would have been overkill and he would still have some kept in reserve for use in the coming war. Torpedoes with that huge a range have to have some uses besides assassination. Plot-wise, the Enterprise needs to have all 72 so that Harrison will guess that they contain his crew and have a reason not to kill the landing party, but there's no in-universe explanation for Marcus not keeping some in reserve.
      • Because there were 72 superhumans that he wanted to get rid of, not 30 or 40. He's not going to keep a bunch of weapons that are secretly stuffed with centuries-old frozen people that he's planning on killing just so he can shoot them at more Klingon ships. They're probably not even decent weapons beyond their range, so it's not like he's missing out on some secret weapon that can turn the tide of the war. The point behind giving Kirk all of the torpedoes was to ensure the death of Khan AND his entire crew.
      • Then why didn't he just destroy the torpedoes himself? He had no problems doing the dirty work himself, and if he'd taken care of the torpedoes personally rather than giving them to Kirk, he wouldn't have had to worry about Kirk maybe not going through with the plan and disposing of the crew.

  • Assuming that putting the frozen augments inside the torpedoes replaced the fuel, when the Enterprise tried to fire them as planned, they would just explode destroying the Enterprise, i.e. "Klingons fired on a Federation vessel in the neutral zone unprovoked, lets go to war with them."
    • Except that would be counterproductive to Marcus's plan to kill Khan.
    • Also, Scotty mentioned that he couldn't detect what kind of fuel the torpedoes had, not whether they had any at all. I assumed the fuel being unknown had something to do with the "undetectable" aspect of the torpedoes. Scotty's main issue was he didn't know what kind of fuel the torpedoes had, so he couldn't calculate what kind of effects firing them would have on the ship, specifically the Warp Core. If he couldn't detect any fuel, he might have been suspicious, but I doubt it would have been such an issue.

  • Not sure why this is a headscratcher as it was all explained in film. Not well, but it was explained. The torpedoes would have worked as intended. Admiral Marcus knew they contained the 72 augments. The intent was at least triplefold. Kill Khan, destroy his augment army, and start an inevitable war with the Klingons in the process. Whether that war was started directly from them discovering the source of the torpedoes (that they were Starfleet), or by following the trail to the crippled Enterprise and blowing it out of the stars, or by swooping to the Enterprise defense as they were assaulted, or even destroying the Enterprise AND the Klingons to leave no witnesses and return with news of the Klingons having destroyed the flagship of the fleet... we will never know since it all went to shit in the end. Or did it? But all that aside, the facts remain that the launch and subsequent detonation of the 72 torpedoes WITH the augments inside was absolutely Admiral Marcus intent.
    • But would they have worked? Most of the inside of the torpedoes were actually the cryotubes, not leaving much space for propulsion systems. Harrison designed the torpedoes and put his crew in them, would he have bothered to also make them work as intended? (Well, he did bother to make them functional as explosives, which is another headscratcher, as it just put his crew more at risk.) The fact that there are exactly 72 torpedoes, all with cryotubes, means that none of them were used for testing. Marcus had no reason to think that the torpedoes would work as intended except for the word of a man he couldn't trust. He didn't bother to verify for himself that they were completely functional, just assumed that they were.

  • Why did Section 31 bother to commission the torpedoes in the first place? They're supposedly good for long-distance stealth bombardment, but how would that help Section 31's operations? They're a clandestine group that prefers to manipulate people from behind the scenes, not blow them up. What could the torpedoes do that an agent at the site couldn't?

  • Is no one gonna question the logic of hiding your closest friends in explosive devices? I mean, if you want to smuggle a bunch of folks to preserve their safety, maybe do so in a device that's not intended to be launched at a planet and blown to smithereens. This is doubly stupid since Khan's whole motivation is that he's pissed at Starfleet for killing his crew, and unless Khan is also assuming Starfleet found him out and killed them after removing them from torpedoes, than he's getting pissed at them for...firing torpedoes. Torpedoes they didn't know had folks in them. Because he made sure they didn't. He's trying to get revenge for something done to him out of ignorance that he personally reenforced.

    The Vengeance 

  • How, in an open democratic society, can a military officer secretly build a battleship?
    • Fridge Brilliance: Considering Starfleet has clearly tooled up significantly since the Narada altered the timeline, it's more surprisingly there aren't more of these flying around?! Likewise, in the wake of the loss of so many vessels at Vulcan, building this would not raise too many eyebrows!
      • This also can address complaints that this universe's Starfleet and Federation are more militaristic than the Prime ones were - after the Narada appeared, completely mopped the floor with everything they had (not to mention a major Klingon armada), and destroyed the homeworld of a founding member species, the Federation and Starfleet would very likely take a more militaristic position going forward.
    • Entirely realistic: consider the scale of the US Government's classified projects and black budgets and extrapolate for a galaxy-spanning civilization. There's probably far, far more than just the Vengeance out there.
      • But US government classified projects with a budget sufficient to build a battleship aren't secret from the US government! A rogue general can't spend billions of dollars and thousands of man-years of labour without higher-ups noticing.
    • No-one ever said it's an open and democratic society in any case. From what we see in these two movies it could easily be a military dictatorship; they certainly don't mention any authority higher than the admiralty, and all security and emergency services appear to be Star Fleet.
      • But it's supposed to be the same universe as the previous Trek series, which have established that the Federation is an open and democratic society. Why should we believe that that's changed in the reboot?
    • Also, its not just him, its Section 31 which does secrecy really, really well...
  • Have to say, governments across the world pour a lot of money into think-tanks devoted to the development of experimental military technology. Seems to me that Section 31 do a lot of work into more secret methods of warfare.
  • The situation mirrors the prime timeline post-Wolf 359. After lots of ships are utterly demolished by an Outside-Context Villain (the Borg and the Narada), Starfleet begins a massive buildup of its forces and moves to a less diplomacy-and-exploration, more military stance. The prime Federation starts constructing purpose-built combat vessels (the Defiant and the Prometheus, among others, in contrast to the flying-hotel-with-guns Jack-of-All-Trades ships like the Galaxy-class), and where 39 ships is considered a sizable loss at Wolf 359, by the Dominion War Starfleet is fielding fleets hundreds of ships strong. For unclear reasons the alternate timeline does its buildup largely in secret.

    Tribble Experiment 

  • Given how surprised he was at the outcome, why did McCoy inject the dead tribble with Khan's blood? Other than 'nothing happens', what other outcome could he been looking for?
    • He wanted to see what it would do to dead flesh, in hopes it would help him learn more about its healing properties. He says so. He didn't expect it to outright bring the little guy back to life.
    • Never mind that, how is there only one Tribble anywhere? Even a dead one?
      • It was dead before it was brought on board, perhaps, and dead tribbles can't reproduce.
      • When they're getting ready to fly down to Kronos, Kirk tells them to "get that ship from the Mudd incident last week" ready to go. The tribble is obviously :left over from whatever it is they stopped Harry Mudd from doing.
    • McCoy figured out how to keep Tribbles from reproducing in the original episode - just stop feeding them.
      • According to the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribulations," the tribbles multiplying like that was due to them feeding so much and getting into the food storage areas. If they just get a little food periodically, they don't have enough nutrients to start reproducing.
    • Tribbles in this continuity don't seem to be the mass-reproducing ecological menace that they are in the Prime timeline. Possibly because nobody has engineered them into Super!Tribbles yet.
    • It seems to me, based on that line about the ship they use, that said "incident" WAS the episode The Trouble With Tribbles and therefore that tribble could have been live OR dead and either way would not have been any issue since they knew how to keep them under control. As for sticking it with Khan's blood, see above. Just as easily explained as Bones just being a scientist and running weird experiments.

    Explosive used in London 

  • What was the explosive used to destroy the base in London? It was powerful enough that a ring sized amount was able to level a building and much of the surrounding area from several stories underground.
    • It looked like it was a chain reaction of explosions, like maybe the ring was one explosion that set off more around it. It was a base filled with secret stuff, it's not too much of a stretch to think they were developing/storing explosives and it, ahem, backfired.
    • This is a 'verse with readily-available antimatter, remember.
      • It's all very back-of-the-envelope but this website ( [http://www.edwardmuller.com/calculator.htm] ) seems to suggest something weighing around 25g could produce around a megaton of energy (yes, I know that doesn't equal a megaton explosion, but seriously.... Star Trek science... some slack please =)
      • Even 1/3d of a gram of anti-matter, combining with the equivalent amount of normal matter, would produce something like a 15 kiloton yield. In our world, that's enough to obliterate a small town, but let's assume that a deep-buried experimental weapons depot in the 23rd century is better built than that. If the ring was made of sodium, stabilized cesium, or some other metal that reacts with water, wrapped around a small anti-matter charge, that would make an extremely convenient just-add-water equivalent to a small nuclear bomb.
    • It's also revealed that the attack was on a secret weapons division. Some prototypes were probably set off by the initial explosion.
    • This troper assumed the ring was made of magnesium or some other metal that reacts explosively with water that then set off a chain reaction as described above.
      • Even the alkali metals with the strongest reactions to water wouldn't create a reaction strong enough to do more than break the glass the ring was dropped into... if that. It's much more likely that it was some sort of futuristic water-activated super-explosive.
      • I go with the ring being a dissolvable antimatter container. Remember, you only need milligrams to get a few tons worth of explosive, and you can scale it up or down as you need to reach the explosion found in the movie.
      • You know there's a problem with the logic here when people are trying to assume that common alkali metals are being used in a sci-fi series instead of a futuristic explosive that matches no known properties of modern materials.
    • It is worth pointing out that that may not have been water the ring was dropped into. We may have had a case of Phlebotenum + Phlebotenum = BIG KABOOM. Heaven knows this guy may have had access to some nasty chemicals in that secret base.

    Old genetic engineering still best? 

  • Why doesn't Federation medicine have anything that can match the effects of 300 year old genetic engineering? For that matter, why aren't said upgrades standard issue given how dangerous the job is?
    • A big part of Star Trek's backstory is that genetic engineering is outlawed, due largely to the actions of Khan himself and the other superhumans like him 300 years ago.
    • Except that Enterprise (if it's still canon, Archer did get a mention last movie) had an Augments episode where they clearly knew how it worked, even if it is outlawed. Bones is completely floored by it even after he knows who and what John is.
    • It's doubtful that any of the past shows and their films can be considered canon, seeing as how this universe happens to be firmly different from the Prime one (even though the same people still exist in most cases, like Archer and Spock). Even if genetic engineering technology was maintained after it was outlawed, the actions of Khan and his army showed how dangerous such modifications could be if applied to the wrong people. Giving people powers identical or even superior to that of Khan, a man who can absorb a ton of punishment and dual-wield vehicle cannons, is exceptionally risky.

    Model of the Vengeance in Marcus' Office? 

  • If the Vengeance is being built in complete secrecy by Section 31, why does Admiral Marcus have a model of it on his desk? Perhaps Vengeance is a modified version of an existing design, since she is referred to as "Dreadnought-class," and Starfleet normally follows the practice of most Real Life navies by naming classes after the first ship built. This would also make sense given that the model is in a more standard light gray paint scheme than the Vengeance.
    • It isn't uncommon for prototypes, or vehicles that never get past the planning stage, to have their own little construction kits and so on. Probably isn't too different here.
    • True, but Vengeance's existence is implied to be completely secret, so the man responsible for the project displaying a model on his desk seems like a potential breach of security unless the model actually represents a different ship of similar design that would be familiar to other Starfleet personnel.
      • I took this to be a Refuge in Audacity on the part of Marcus. Maybe he is?...was?...will be?...a troper!
    • It's somewhat plausible that Vengeance was a Starfleet sanctioned project that the admiral wasn't entirely honest about its full scope. Maybe he told one party one thing and a different party another.
    • Why shouldn't he have it? It would take a pretty big leap of logic to go from "model starship on the admiral's desk" to "secret black ops project". If someone asked him what ship it was, he could just tell them it's a concept, not an actual design. And even if someone suspected it was really a secret dreadnought, what exactly could they do about it? What would be their evidence? "Well, this guy had a little ship in his office..."
    • If you want a slightly more radical theory, he might have conceptualized Vengeance in full view of Starfleet and tried to sell the concept to them only to be shot down and taking his plans into black-ops territory. The model would then be seen as a project he still wants without hinting at the illegal work he's doing in the background.
      • From what we see of Admiral Marcus, it would be entirely consistent of him to pitch the Vengeance and try to get it built openly. When that didn't pan out, he just did it in secret as a fallback plan.
      • In this way, he could also openly use Starfleet resources in the design phase. It would be a lot easier to utilize Advanced Starship Design Bureau's designers and engineers early on than to run the whole project out of your own personal skunk works.

     Does Starfleet not have any robots? 
  • In two scenes: the opening with Spock in the volcano and later with Kirk in the reactor, I couldn't help but think to myself that these situations would be trivialized with robots. In the first scene, the Enterprise's equipment apparently includes an advanced environmental suit that can protect a human(oid) body from the intense heat of a volcano, and this situation places the life of the first officer of the ship in mortal danger, but they can't, say, have a robotic probe made out of the same material? And with Kirk in the reactor I couldn't help but think of the extremely disliked ending of Fallout 3, which was trivialized by sending a robot immune to radiation into a radioactive reactor to repair it... and it's not like Kirk did intricate repair, but just some old fashioned Percussive Maintenance, so you wouldn't need some advanced engineering robot to fix the coupling, just anything large enough and automated enough to slam into it a few times... and it's silly that an engineering bay on a 23rd century spaceship wouldn't have robots that we have right now in the 21st century. And the thing is, robots are shown in this very movie: there's either an android or a cyborg already part of the crew of the enterprise (the bald dude with the jack in his head and the deep voice), and the USS Vengeance is designed to be operated with a minimal crew, as low as one person... which implies that many systems are so highly automated that they would require AI. TLDR: Spock and Kirk's lives could have been saved from mortal danger by the application of god damn roombas.
    • This is a feature of the Star Trek 'verse. Very few robots. It doesn't really make sense.
    • In the second situation, there probably wasn't time/gravity anyway. The door on the front even says 'authorised personelle only' suggesting there are hazmat suits or something (since obviously, the ship's engine would need to be worked out sometimes), but Kirk just has no time for it.
      • Absolutely. Even if there was a robot available to fix the warp core issue, where is this robot? Kirk and Scotty had to book it through turning corridors as the ship's gravity was sporadically failing with all kinds of shit breaking and smashing and falling in the process. There wasn't necessarily time to get a robot, even assuming the robots they might have had didn't end up crushed or liquidated due to the crap that was going down. As to the volcano issue, they did send their Science Officer in there, the one person on the ship who is most knowledgeable about this stuff. It's kind of a weak explanation, given that the device he activated didn't look terribly complicated (and he didn't seem to do much with it), but the sheer fact that they sent the highest-ranking scientist on the ship in there indicates that maybe it was a hell of a lot more complicated than it looked like, and a robot wouldn't have sufficed. *Shrugs* Probably gonna have to chalk Spock in the volcano up to Rule of Cool and Rule of Drama. It's the same reason all of the most important officers on the ship always beam down in one group to get attacked by the Monster of the Week.
  • Forget robots, can't you just drop the device into the volcano (perhaps time it so it won't land in the lava before detonating).
    • Or put it in a casing with a laser rangefinder so it goes off seconds before impact, or lower it alone on the shuttle's cable, or put a little parachute on it... all of which are things we could do TODAY, let alone 200 years from now. Realistically, the only excuse they have is needing to know from Kirk when the aliens will be outside the "kill zone," and that's pretty flimsy. It's pure Rule of Drama.
  • Going off memory, here, when Spock shows up in engineering, there are two...uh, people, I guess assuming I'm wrong...with face plates that are similar to the motorcycle cop chasing Kirk in the first movie. I got the distinct impression that all three were some sort of robot. If they were robots, I'm not sure why they were unavailable to fix the warp engines, except possibly that 23rd century robots are no better at operating in radioactive environments than modern real-world robots.

    That volcano in the beginning 

  • The crew says that the volcano would destroy the planet if it was allowed to erupt. Assuming that "destroy the planet" is taken to mean "all life on the planet" (because there are bigger volcanoes, like Olympus Mons, which notably has not destroyed Mars), so let's say it's a supervolcano such as Yellowstone or Toba, but moreso. And they stop it with the context of a tiny box that somehow contains a "cold fusion" explosive that cools all the magma to rock, stopping the eruption... except that an eruption with the amount of energy that would be needed to wipe out life on a planet would not be contained just by freezing the magma in that volcano. More likely, it would shoot out somewhere else in a little while. (Also, cold fusion probably does not work that way, assuming that we figure out how to make it work by that time.) Admittedly, this is a pretty minor point compared to the rest of the things on this page, but it's still scientifically inaccurate!
    • 1: Supervolcanoes destroy all life on a planet by way of what is essentially a nuclear winter; smoke clouds the atmosphere, blocking out the sunlight everything on the planet needs to survive. Not sure what the effects of freezing the volcano would be, though. 2: Yes, cold fusion works absolutely nothing like that at all. Cold fusion is still hot, and produces large amounts of energy (well, in theory, we haven't actually done it yet), it just does so at temperatures low enough that we can control them easier, rather than "hot" fusion, which is how stars work. We have to assume it was just some oddly named device rather than actual cold fusion (maybe a super-advanced refrigerator powered by fusion).
      • Oh yeah, I know how supervolcanoes cause disaster—that's not the headscratcher part for me. (Although I think that any volcano would have a hard time wiping out all life—the closest Earth got to that is the Siberian Traps + some other stuff going on alongside it and that happened over quite a long timespan—but possibly the characters are exaggerating a bit). But let's say it's a hotspot volcano; they would need to cool down the whole hotspot, which is a pretty major alteration of geology. And for the narrative point that I forgot to include in my first bullet—why does it have to destroy all life on the planet? Just destroying that civilization would be plenty enough to test Kirk's (basically non-existent in any universe) commitment to the Prime Directive, and a volcanic eruption is always dramatic... on the other hand, I'm probably overthinking things for a franchise that detonates stars by shooting dinky little missiles into them.
      • This is the same movie franchise where a supernova can threaten the entire galaxy. Apparently disasters are somehow a lot more dangerous here.
    • They don't claim that the volcano will wipe out all life on the planet. They say that they have to stop the volcano or else "this species" will die. Presumably they're talking about the white-skinned people who were chasing Kirk. I presume that these people haven't yet mastered the entire planet. Quite possibly they're confined to a single continent, or maybe something smaller than that. So the volcano isn't as powerful as you think.
    • I don't think it's ever claimed that the lava was frozen - all we saw was it turning solid, which could be the result of a chemical reaction. We don't even know what it was made of in the first place - for all we know, it was magic lava that got turned into carbon with the other elements forming deposits, unable to move. Hell, maybe it wasn't cold fusion, but cold fission, with the heavy elements of the lava being transformed into carbon with a heat release.
    • Lava turning into a blue solid, with a distinctive crackling noise, is definitely supposed to be frozen. Kirk also flippantly describes the device as Spock's "super ice cube." And it's definitely not fission; Pike referred to it as a cold fusion bomb (which, again, is not how cold fusion works; see above).
  • There's no luminiferous ether, but a key Internet technology is called ethernet, and can be called "ether" for short. Given that cold fusion is actually impossible, I imagine the "cold fusion" device got that name in a similar fashion; like "Hey, this thing sorta freezes stuff, sorta fuses it, why not call it cold fusion, ha ha." (Then again, FTL travel is about as impossible as cold fusion, hmm.)

     Got Him Right Where We Want Him? 
  • I am confuse. After the attack on the captains, Harrison runs and hides on Kronos, suggesting he and the Admiral were still in cahoots at that point. But then on the Enterprise, Harrison claims he was convinced his people were already dead and immediately stops attacking when he learns of the 72 people torpedoes. His later actions seem to suggest he was legitimately surprised by this development. So, did the Admiral's entire plan hinge on Harrison warping to the Klingon homeworld? What if he tried to hide out literally anywhere else in the galaxy? Additionally, the warp core sabotage only worked because Scotty quit on the eve of the launch, and the Admiral could not possibly have predicted that.
    • The film explains this, "He's gone to the one place we can't go!" He went to an uninhabited section of a planet he believe no starfleet ship can safely attack except for Marcus, meaning that he can force Marcus out if he didn't succeed in killing him in his attack and if he did succeed in killing him he's in a location where he's unlikely to be found and no retaliation can be sent to him. Remember: He believes his crew is dead, which means that he believes the torpedoes have been destroyed. Meaning any starfleet retaliation would have to be by a ship capable of breaching Klingon space (like...say...a certain dreadnought class warship capable of destroying even the best that Starfleet has to offer without it even getting a shot off?) which would doubtlessly come under attack and result in the sort of chaos he could use to get aboard the ship and murder Marcus (especially given Klingon's love of boarding assaults against ships that outclass them, they'd basically ensure he could get aboard by boarding the ship for him and leaving the door open). Plus, given his obvious requisition of some sort of Starship grade cannon he has no difficulty obtaining technology for his needs on Kronos.
    • It seemed to me that from the beginning Harrison was perpetuating a plot for revenge, and not acting under the Admiral's orders. His going to the Klingon homeworld was probably part of his plan for revenge; Marcus would know what he was capable of, so to draw him out he had to give the Admiral something he wanted; namely an excuse to start a war with the Klingons.
      • So...what was the next part of Khan's plan? He doesn't know that his people are alive, at that point. And there's no way he can cause Marcus any grief by simply showing up on Kronos. How does he plan to get revenge?
      • Maybe he planned to tell the Klingons about all the fancy hardware he designed, so they would win in the war against Starfleet, and thus Marcus would die?
      • ^ But then, why would he go to an uninhabited part of Kronos? Why not land in the capital?
      • The team from Enterprise thought that they could capture Harrison in this remote corner of Qo'noS with minimal risk of alerting Klingon security, but they somehow blundered into a metric shit-ton of Klingon troops. I wonder if the Klingons, themselves were hunting Harrison? Or could they have been protecting him?
    • Regarding the warp core and Scotty: Presumably, Scotty wouldn't have been able to repair it in a timely manner either.
    • It's possible in spite of the plan, he was still on the Klingon homeworld as an attempt to hide safely as originally suggested rather than it being part of the admiral's plan. As far as I was concerned, nothing Khan does on screen is part of the admiral's plan, or else he wouldn't have blown up section 31, the place where he had all his cool secret weapons being built.
    • OP here: I guess my issue is that Khan seems to know what the Admiral's plan is (he built the torpedoes and leads Scotty to the Vengeance, after all), but yet plays right into it anyway. If Khan truly believed his people were dead and wanted to burn the Admiral with his last move, then hiding anywhere else would deny him the causus belli he wanted. If Khan was playing some kind of long game to get his hands on the Vengeance, then his whole plan relied on Kirk disobeying orders and leading a raiding party to Kronos, something Khan could not possibly predict considering he tried to murder all the captains. OTOH, the Admiral's plan required Kirk to be so hotheaded that he would fire on the Klingons while his engine was disabled and then derp around until the Klingons killed him. That's slightly more understandable since he knows Kirk personally, but if Kirk had simply said "We should probably wait to fix the engines, THEN fire" then the whole plan is buggered. (Of course, the Admiral doesn't know the torpedoes lack fuel and wouldn't even work but that doesn't affect his logic). And if Scotty would have been onboard, they would have repaired the engine faster and left the area before the Vengeance even arrived.
    • Honestly, this troper was under the impression that as he knew the Admiral wanted war with Klingons, both the blowing up of the Section 31 base and the attack on Starfleet higher-ups were revenge for how he'd been treated and a delaying tactic, so the admiral would need time to regroup before starting a full scale war. Following on from that, till the admiral was ready, hiding out in a place where the only means of disposing him were by starting the very war the admiral wasn't yet ready for was probably for the best. From there, he could plan further strikes, crippling Starfleet even more. He just didn't figure that the admiral actually WAS ready, or at least was willing to start the war anyway.
  • It is entirely possible that Khan, believing his people were dead simply planned to live out the rest of his days in peace. We see that the entire Provence he relocated to was abandoned and Praxis was partly blown up. The Klingon Empire could be on the verge of collapse and in the process of abandoning their home world.
    • Or, Khan's plan could have been to start over from scratch. What better place than the ruins of an empire to begin building a new empire? Especially considering he can grow new soldiers from his own DNA. Of course it was unusually sloppy of him to leave the trans-warp transporter behind. Also, he could have been in the dark about Admiral Marcus's plans for war, and believing himself safe from immediate reprisal planning on stealing a Klingon ship and relocating somewhere Starfleet couldn't track him. Or completely in character for him using the stolen Klingon ship to return to Earth and steal the Vengeance.
    • It seems highly unlikely that Khan, given who he is, would be interested in simply "living out the rest of his days in peace." He tells Kirk up front that he was awoken so that Marcus could exploit not only his intelligence, but his savagery. In agreeance with the troper above, Khan may not have known about Marcus' war plans (After all, Marcus would hardly explain all of his plans to him, and probably just said "Build me ships and weapons or I'll kill your people." Much of anything else he would have had to figure out for himself.) and simply went to Kronos because he believed he would be temporarily safe there. He chose an uninhabited area for the same reason (No matter how badass he is, does he really want to piss off an entire planet of Klingons?), and there's no evidence that he speaks Klingon so he couldn't really disguise himself if he landed in the middle of the capital city. He probably figured Kronos was a place where he could take a breather, recuperate, and restart his plans to wreak revenge on Marcus/Starfleet and begin conquering what he could of the universe, possibly in the ways that the above troper suggested.
    • My own personal theory is that the transwarp device already set to go to the Klingon homeworld no matter what and Marcus intentionally let it get stolen by Khan, knowing that he would see it as a useful means to escape if his assassination attempt was threatened. Khan picks it up, thinks it's taking him somewhere else, and he finds himself right where Marcus wants him.

     Starfleet does not care about Earth 
  • The Enterprise and the Vengeance jump out of warp very close to Earth. These are Starfleet ships, and they're heavily damaged. Does nobody care about this?. There's not the slightest hint of anybody else being aware of the situation. There's nobody from Starfleet HQ hailing the Enterprise to ask what the hell is going on. No other ships decide to investigate. Nobody offers support or technical assistance to either of the damaged ships. I could understand this if we were near some random planet nobody's heard of, but this is Earth. Surely there are a least a few ships in orbit! Surely there's somebody with a ground station who monitors incoming vessels for Starfleet. Hell, the two damaged ships start crashing to Earth, towards populated areas no less, and there is no official response whatsoever. The best we see is a bunch of civilians looking bewildered and frightened. Couldn't somebody swing by with a ship and a tractor beam, and try to save friggin' Starfleet HQ before Khan smashes it? Maybe that wouldn't work, but you'd think someone would try. The craziest part is that this is a rehash of the 2009 movie. In that case, Niro starts laser-drilling the Earth so he can blow it up, and only the Enterprise seems to do anything about it. Now, maybe in that case the fleet was busy somewhere else. Maybe they just didn't have alot of earthside security, I don't know. But you'd think that, in the aftermath of that incident, they'd buff up their security a bit! Instead, it seems that humanity's homeworld is utterly unprotected. And furthermore, if two heavily-damaged Starfleet ships show up nearby, nobody from Starfleet will bother to ask what's up, let alone actually offer assistance.
    • Maybe Admiral Marcus ordered them away specifically because he didn't want there to be witnesses to him destroying the Enterprise.
      • So, he told every ship near earth to leave the area before he arrived? And convinced everybody in space stations (and ground stations) to just look the other way for a few minutes? I know he's a top Admiral, but that sounds hard to pull off. Especially considering that he only has a couple minutes to accomplish all this.
    • In addition to the above, the Vengeance presumably had "defense codes" like those Nero wanted from Pike in the first movie, so its presence didn't immediately trigger alerts. Let's also note that this doesn't take place that long after the first movie, so maybe Starfleet is still working on buffing up Earth's defenses. Finally, the whole sequence takes place in no more than a few minutes (though movie time stretches this out considerably) - Starfleet may well have been scrambling but just not getting there in time.
      • Defense codes should signal everybody to refrain from shooting you; they shouldn't signal everybody to ignore you entirely. If 72 torpedoes exploded your ship from the inside out, you'd probably want someone to notice. Imagine if an aircraft carrier approached a friendly military base, signaled its identity, and soon after exploded. Shouldn't somebody from the base go try to help?
    • Ever time how long it takes rescue workers, firefighters, ambulances and such to show up to a situation? It takes several minutes to analyze, mobilize, and arrive, and that's after such a situation is noticed. They don't have any forewarning since the Vengeance is jamming the Enterprise's comms (except to Vulcan apparently) and two Fed ships showing up on sensors without any distress calls wouldn't arouse suspicion for at least several minutes, (and really, it's highly likely Admiral Marcus sent some kind of transmission to placate any officials in range) it's not until the ships actually begin to plummet that anyone in reach would think to go "Uh-oh, we have a problem" and by that point there just wasn't any time to do anything about it. That only excuses help arriving, you would think that major populace centers would have passive stuff like permanently staffed emergency tractor beams or something.
    • If help was on its way, or Starfleet was scrambling in the background or whatever, there should've been a shot of that happening. Just one shot of somebody in a command center becoming aware of the situation would have helped a lot. (And the same thing for if Marcus ordered everyone else to back off.)
    • One weak possibility: the meeting that Khan took out was the Captains and First Officers of every combat vessel in or around Earth. Aside from Marcus, Spock and Kirk, it's not clear that anyone else survived the attack - could be that there was a chain of command problem.
  • Space is rather big and if your scanning equipment tells you nothing is there why would you be looking? Its far more likely that instead of just signaling friendly to nearby stations and vessels that the Vengeance is running some kind of self redacting transponder. Basically the radar and traffic control computers pick it up but don't display it on their screens to the operators (if any even exist). It's not a stretch to see Section 31 operating such a system on Federation equipment. It could be possibly extended to what ever ships the Vengeance wanted ignored as well. Allowing it to go on trial runs despite being just behind Jupiter. Of blow up the Enterprise in near Earth orbit with out anyone sounding any alarms quick enough to get aide.
  • It's entirely consistent with Franchise history that the Enterprise is the only ship in Earth orbit. Dumb (this is Federation HQ!), but consistent.
    • Still doesn't excuse it. Especially when later iterations of the franchise tried to give reasons for why the Enterprise was the only ship in Earth orbit or wrote in other ships.
    • Let's remember this takes place 6 months after the first movie where most of the fleet was destroyed, how many people were at the defense meeting? Because that's half as many ships they have, and seeing as most of them died who knows how long it would take for official reassignment of crew, The Enterprise's mission wasn't on the books and all of the crew change (Kirk's demotion, Spock's transfer) wasn't official yet.
    • So, we have mass confusion due to a Decapitation Strike, (the attack took out a lot of the Captains and their First Officers who would normally be their replacements in an emergency), no forewarning that there a space battle was about to ensue in orbit, the whole Defense Code thing meaning that neither ship would necessarily flag an automated alert upon arrival, and then when the two friendly ships pop into existence above Earth and one starts whaling on the other... now what? If nobody is telling you what is going on, how do you even know which is the bad guy? For all you know, the Enterprise has been hijacked by John Harrison and is about to be plowed into the Earth except for this other Starfleet starship trying to stop them. Marcus might have even reported in and stated that he had the situation under control. Now tell me which wet-behind-the-ears lieutenant sitting in a Captain's Chair is going to question the Chief of Starfleet?
    • But wouldn't such events result in more paranoia across the board? Perhaps authorization codes were transmitted, but we didn't see this, implying that two starships just dropped out of warp on top of Earth, completely unscheduled and unexpected. Space battles aren't something you won't notice from the surface of a planet, either. Perhaps nothing could be done to help the Enterprise, but you would think someone would notice. There are plausible explanations, but none are actually given. It simply seems that Starfleet is even more lax about defence than Stargate Earth.
    • As mentioned above, Starfleet's chain of command (and indeed, those of the individual ships) had been gutted by a Decapitation Strike earlier in the film (Harrison's stunt with the gunship and Admiral Marcus's conference room). There would be quite a bit of confusion about what actions to take and who would be in command (does anyone know where Admiral Marcus is?). All that assumes that Admiral Marcus doesn't just send a signal from Vengeance along the lines of "We have the situation under control, standby for further orders", which would nicely preclude any intervention from other ships nearby, because he is their commanding officer..

     Klingons do not care about Qo'noS 
  • Due to Marcus' sabotage, the Enterprise drops out of warp at the edge of Klingon space. Somehow, the Klingons never seem to notice. They don't hail the Enterprise, and they don't send a ship to investigate. What's going on here? It's not like the Enterprise has a cloaking device. How do the Klingons fail to notice a Starfleet ship so close to the homeworld? Or do they simply not care? (Far less egregious than the "Starfleet does not care about Earth" example above, but still.)
    • Klingons seem to only patrol and defend the Neutral Zone and figure if anyone gets past them then they're supposed to be there. That would explain why in The Undiscovered Country the listening post doesn't seem terribly concerned about this unknown ship speaking bad Klingon flying deep inside their territory.
      • Klingons probably deal with smugglers all the time. In the novelization of The Undiscovered Country it's mentioned that the Klingons manning the listening post just figured it was smugglers and went back to their naps.
    • It's entirely possible the Klingons just weren't expecting (and so hadn't set up systems for detecting) an unannounced incursion inside their territory, because such a thing would mean full scale war. Whilst things between Humanity and the Klingons are tense, they don't seem to consider each other a high enough threat level to take such measures. Yet.
      • You think they'd want to deal with all incursions into their territory, whether they expect war or not. And it's not as if the Enterprise showed up in a remote corner of Klingon territory; it showed up near Kronos! You'd think that whatever ships and space stations they have at Kronos would detect the Enterprise by default, without the need for special war-readiness measures. The only way this works is if the Enterprise was actually a long way away from Kronos, but that doesn't make sense either because Kirk got from the Enterprise to Kronos on shuttle without a warp drive. (Unless it warped offscreen?) And besides, they were close enough to detect Khan, radio him, and threaten him with the torpedoes. So they couldn't have been all that far away to begin with. And since they weren't that far away from the Klingon homeworld, somebody should've detected them and hailed them (or shot them, or whatever).
      • Given that Mudd is an interplanetary trader if he didn't have warp drive on his ship it'd be just plain insane.
    • Are you sure they didn't notice? Robocop seems convinced later that war truly is inevitable, now that Kirk & Friends have left behind a couple dozen Klingon corpses. Given the pacing of the film, there's no time to depict the Klingon response, and it's possible it all gets worked out behind the scenes during the 1-year timeskip at the very end. Or will be a major factor in the next film. Alternative explanation: The Klingons may or may not detect the Enterprise and/or Vengeance, but are too disorganized to mount a force to investigate before everyone flees their space. They find a bunch of corpses left behind from the earlier fight scene, but lack any leads since nobody bothered to contact them at any point in the movie.
      • If they lack any leads then they really are incompetent. There is no way they did not have any recording equipment on those 4 or so patrol ships that Khan shoots down or did any calling for help when they were in the process of getting curb stomped. It's more likely that they suffer some other problem, Praxis looks like half the moon it used to be alluding to what that problem might be.
      • Yes, they really would be incompetent. Thing is,the Klinks have always been a mixture of Space Soviets and Space Samurai. Neither were something to laugh off, but neither had an untarnished war or intel record. In particular for the latter, a US submarine crew managed to surface, land *on the home islands of the Japanese Empire itself*, *destroy a train*, and leave before anybody could do anything. It was a botched mess; these things happen to vastly more competent organizations than we've ever seen in Star Trek.
    • The Enterprise was just outside of Klingon space. Since space is huge and three dimensional, one would think that effectively monitoring your own space would be challenging, but monitoring every piece of fringe space just outside of your territory would be beyond challenging. Add to this that the Klingon were potentially weaker from Nero and from the Praxxis' destruction, and that is more than considerable enough reason for the Enterprise to go undetected.
    • They seemed to be under the impression that the Klingons would detect them if they hung around too long or didn't skedaddle as soon as they launched the torpedoes. I assume the Klingons have border patrols, and a ship would have happened upon them sooner or later; they just didn't now how long they would have.

     72 Augments? 

  • In Space Seed, there are 84 Augments minus Harrison. In Star Trek into Darkness, Harrison mentions 72 Augments in coldsleep. What happened to the missing 12? Were they experimented on? Or were they killed every time Harrison acted up?
    • In the original episode, they were already dead thanks to equipment failure.
    • Well, this ISN'T Space Seed. This is an alternate timeline with a different Khan and his genetically engineered companions.
      • No it isn't. Where on earth did you get that from. It's exactly the same Khan and companions because they where only effected by the changes to the timeline when section 31 came in. You can claim further alternate continuityness but that's not backed up by anything in the film.
    • Bones explains it would be hard to undo the freezing of the 300 year old technology without knowing the proper sequence first. Failing to follow the proper sequence would accidentally kill them. Harrison is the first augment they successfully woke up, not necessarily the first they attempted to.
    • He said he was discovered in the middle of putting them into the torpedoes. Maybe the 72 were the ones that actually made it in, and the other 12 were left behind.
    • Seeing how protective Harrison is of the 72, chances are Marcus tried to revive the first 12 and failed. If so, this could explain why this Khan is different from the original. Perhaps Noonien Singh didn't survive the wake up process and Harrison took the title.
      • Having rewatched "Space Seed" the day before the movie, I can confirm that there were 72, not counting Khan, in the original episode.
      • In Space Seed when Kirk boarded the Botany Bay the system woke up Khan leaving the other 84 in asleep, 12 of the cryo-tubes failed during transit leaving only 72 + Khan. So basically in this movie the exact same sequence of events happened only it happened a few years earlier and it was Marcus and not Kirk who found the Botany Bay.

    The "Vengeance"? 

  • Sorry, but why is Vengeance given its name? Adm. Marcus wanted a war against the Klingons, not revenge on them. And Khanberbatch didn't want revenge on anyone in particular either.
    • Khanerbatch didn't want revenge? Revenge was his entire motivation for half the film! He was pissed off as hell because he believed Marcus had killed his crew off, which was why he brought together all the captains and commanders and attacked Star Fleet HQ in the first place. - "I responded in kind." - He only switched his motivations to recovering and protecting his crew once he found out they were still alive, and even so he maintained the desire to crack Marcus' skull open (and off the rest of the puny, non-augmented humans in the process). Also, he's quite arrogant about how much better he is than Kirk and Co. at *everything* - do you really think he enjoyed being forced to work for a non-augmented, equally arrogant, Insane Admiral who only woke him up from cryo to exploit him and no doubt held the safety of his crew over his head to keep him playing nice? If he named the ship, the name is entirely appropriate, and under Meaningful Name on the main page, someone commented that it might have hinted at what he planned to do with it if he ever got out from under Section 31's thumb.
    • Instead of a Meaningful Name, they went for the intimidation factor?
    • Marcus wanted the war started with Klingons firing the first shot. He sabotaged the Enterprise warp drive so that the Enterprise will be unable to escape and thus be destroyed by the Klingons, creating a justification of going to war with them. The "Vengeance" is likely named as the Federation ship intending to "avenge" the loss of the Enterprise crew by the Klingons.
    • The name is meaningful. If one continues along the "avenge" the loss of Enterprise line, and Marcus wanting Starfleet to be more militaristic, the ship was to be his weapon against the enemies, like "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord." Considering that Marcus is the head of Starfleet and the Vengeance is a powerful and mighty weapon, it seems like an apt name.
    • Marcus wants to punish the Klingons for the terrible crime of existing at all. In the film he's shown engaging in Insane Troll Logic that justifies him as a hero even when he's starting unprovoked atrocities; the fact he feels wronged or threatened doesn't have a whole lot to do with reality.
      • Marcus mentions how the Klingons have recently conquered two planets and were being increasingly belligerent.
    • It could be a shorthand way of saying "don't mess with the Federation," i.e. "We are peaceful, but we can afford to be bacause if you strike first then our vengeance will be this huge mofo battleship." Speak softly and carry a big stick, all that.
    • Another question is - was Khan merely generalizing when he called it "Dreadnought-class" or is there an actual prototype U.S.S. Dreadnought? If the latter, how many other Dreadnought-class ships are out there? One can't fight a war with just one ship.
    • For what it's worth, Vengeance has been a Legacy Name for fighting ships for around 250 years, it's entirely possible that tradition would carry forward into Starfleet along with such names as Enterprise, Defiant, Bellerophon, Yamato, etc.

    So where did the Vengeance crash? 
  • Khan orders the Vengeance to set it's crash course for the Starfleet Academy. Sure the computer states that the ship is too damaged to nail the position but when it crashes it looks like both the Starfleet Academy and San Francisco depending on the shot. So did Khan hit San Francisco or did Sausalito get really developed in the future?
    • It hit San Francisco, on or near Starfleet Academy as near as I can tell. Somebody identified the block of buildings he smashes into before reaching it as Alcatraz, and it looked like the Academy was being hit as well, what with all the Starfleet people near the buildings it crushed upon stopping.
      • But the Starfleet Academy isn't in San Francisco, it's on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. Alcatraz island is between the two possible crash sites and could be hit either way.

     Leverage on the guy with the sick kid 
  • Khan agrees to save the sickly child in the beginning, if her father will agree to blow up Section 31. He agrees, and Khan provides the cure, and the guy's daughter is saved. Then the guy checks in to Section 31. At this point, what motivation does he have for actually following through on the plan? His daughter is already ok. Khan hasn't kidnapped her or anything. If he's still concerned for her safety, why not send a message to somebody, telling them to go send a futuristic SWAT Team over to the hospital to protect his family? I mean, he manages to get that message to Admiral Marcus just fine.
    • Presumably, they skipped the part where Khan explained that he's a supersoldier who can kill a small army with his bare hands. Maybe there was a demonstration involved ("See how I can shoot myself in the face with your phaser to no effect? Yeah, bodyguards won't keep your family safe").
      • In that case, why send a message at all? It seemed to me that if Khan was betrayed by Mickey in that manner, he would be pissed off and likely kill his family in revenge. I would think the guy would assume that to be the case, and not attempt to do anything that would infuriate a massively powerful One-Man Army. Possibly the only reasons Khan didn't off the guy's family was because he had much more important revenge to enact (attacking Starfleet HQ), and then was a bit too busy dealing with everything else to get back to them.
      • Khan wanted Starfleet to know it was him. Sending off a message to the Admiral was probably part of the deal.
      • Sending the message was not only part of the deal, it was explicitly Khan's plan. Because if there was a massive explosion at a secret weapons lab, the natural first assumption would be an accident. But by sending the message, Khan tells them right away that it was terrorism which triggers the next phase: the meeting of the ship captains that was Khan's real target.
      • That makes a lot of sense, thank you.
    • Maybe he just felt he had to honor the deal? I presume it would only happen if he knew full well both sides of the deal before he made it, but it isn't outside the realm of possibility that there are people who, knowing they're trading their daughter's life for that of several others, would still make the deal and honor it.
    • When he's going to work, he pauses outside the library and looks across the road to see Khan right there, watching and making sure he goes through with it. It seems fairly heavily implied that Khan was going to make this happen one way or another. Where's a man of his rank going to run, anyway? The fact he works at Section 31 makes his position weaker, because Section 31's response to treason is even worse than Khan's.
    • Aside from the whole "I'm a supersoldier" thing, maybe the guy didn't even realize it was an explosive. Khan could have just told him it was a water-activated spying device. He does work in a secret weapons lab.
    • Answering the question "How did a 300-year-old eugenics program's regenerative blood suddenly pop up in your daughter's bloodstream, Mr. Section 31 Worker?" may have had the potential to be more embarrassing than being vaporized. He'd rather his daughter had a dead martyr for a father than a living, treasonous one.

     Gravity Physics 
  • When the Enterprise is tumbling towards the Earth, you see people falling in whichever direction is towards the planet when the Artificial Gravity fails. Problem: they are being depicted as falling in relation to the Enterprise, which is in freefall itself. By all rights, the entire ship should be in a state of weightlessness the second they lose Artificial Gravity thanks to everyone falling at the same rate as the ship.
    • Rule of Cool, maybe?
    • Maybe they don't lose artificial gravity so much as they lost control if it. What if suddenly what ever determines down is the deck decided it was a wall instead.
    • Sulu says he's trying to do what he can to keep the ship in orbit, so maybe despite the power outage he has some thrusters still working that are slowing the ship enough that the Enterprise isn't strictly in free fall.
      • When Kirk and Scotty were heading to engineering, they ended up having to run along the walls as well as the floor as the ship tilted. However, it never seemed to completely flip so that they were on the ceiling. That suggests that something continued to stabilize the ship, which may also have been slowing its fall.
    • Also, it's hard to tell what Enterprise's altitude is, but it would probably take hours to actually hit Earth's surface. A high orbit of Earth is usually considered to be around 22,000 miles above sea level, and Enterprise seemed to start its descent well outside even that mark.
    • The Enterprise was in no danger whatsoever. This article explains why. TL;DR, Yes both the Enterprise and the Vengeance were both in Earth's gravity, but from a standstill, it would've taken MONTHS, not minutes to reach Earth's atmosphere.

     Cryo Punishment 
  • Why, precisely, does Khan end up back in cryo at the end of the film? He killed numerous people, including top Star Fleet officers, blew up a building in London in an act of terrorism, and wreaked destruction on San Francisco by deliberating crashing his giant starship there. We missed two weeks of the film, so presumably he did stand trial and the cryo is his punishment...? According to the laws discussed in the TOS episode, The Menagerie, the death penalty in rare in the Star Trek universe (assuming they didn't change some laws based on what happened with Nero), but still exists in extreme circumstances. Killing more people than Loki single-handedly seems like pretty prime fodder for that sort of punishment, especially seeing as the guy was already considered a war criminal and is probably badass enough to break out of most prisons he could be put in. Cryo would technically be a death penalty, if they don't intend him to be woken up - but then why bother refreezing him at all? And if they are chucking the 73 augments back into space as seemed to be implied, then isn't that a damn dangerous thing to do, even if you put big red and mauve warnings on the ship telling people not to mess with it? Someday, somebody is gonna try opening Pandora's Box like Marcus did and then everybody's gonna be screwed. (Assuming they manage to wake a viable augment like Harrison without killing them, but with 73 people, including the one guy who came back before without dying, the odds of enough augments surviving to cause trouble are high. Since, ya know, you only need one augment awoken to cause trouble.)
    • If nothing else, the medical data gleaned from these people can be immense, and the only way that they can be awoken is through a very specific sequencing, which will kill them if not done properly.
    • So wait - are you saying that they're being kept alive for experimentation? All 73 of them? It's possible some of them may have different modifications, so keeping them all alive would make sense in that case, but it looked like they were just being tossed into space. And if Harrison survived coming out of his cryo, then obviously somebody figured out the correct sequencing after some experimentation, or Khan is just so badass that he survived anyway. Either way, if somebody does try waking them up, we're going to end up with a dangerous situation all over again.
      • Look, I'm throwing out ideas. It may just be that the jurisdiction Khan and his buddies are in don't use the death penalty. Maybe they hope future generations might be able to rehabilitate Khan and his buddies. Maybe they foresee an instance where Khan and co. can be broken out for a conflict on the scale of the Dominion War where every advantage is needed. I don't know.
      • I know you're just throwing out ideas - I'm just still asking questions. Sorry if my tone came across wrong in text. I was also just trying to define your suggestion, since I wasn't completely certain what you were getting at. It is certainly possible the Federation is tracking that ship and keeping tabs on it in case it might become useful in future. They might not be willing to destroy what could be a great resource, and deem it worth the risk.
      • I thought they were chucked in a storage facility, overseen by top men.
      • Who?
      • Top. Men.
    • Presumably, Khan was re-frozen so that if Starfleet decides they need him again, they can wake him up. Though I doubt they made that detail public. Officially, he was almost certainly executed.
    • That makes a lot of sense. Starfleet probably weighed its options, and possibly looking at the same potential war with the Klingons that Marcus did, decided that Khan was too valuable to toss in the bin - despite the ridiculous threat he poses if he's ever woken up again. You know those top men - they don't know what they've got.
    • Section 31 + Due Process + Learning From Their Mistakes = Not Going To Happen
    • Except does Section 31 even exist anymore? It was a top secret Black Ops section of Starfleet overseen by the Insane Admiral in charge, who died and would no doubt have been impeached even if he did survive. Section 31 is in no way in command of the situation anymore, and in fact, we don't even know who is now in charge of Starfleet. With half of their top captains and commanders slaughtered by Khan, and their leader gone, who's stepping up to the plate and what decision are they going to make?
    • It's not unknown in real life for governments to stockpile weapons that, in theory, they never plan to use, both for research purposes and in case your enemies do plan to use them.
    • It should be pointed out that Khan's blood can revive the dead. Killing him would be... complicated.
    • Not necessarily that complicated. He's not Claire Bennet. His cells simply seem to regenerate faster than the human norm. Also, it's never 100% specified what his blood exactly does. It cured the sick girl in the beginning, but she was merely dying, not dead, and we don't know what was wrong with her. When McCoy uses it later, he didn't use it straight, but rather synthesized a serum to save Kirk's life. Not to mention that McCoy puts Kirk in a cryo tube to preserve his brain function, indicating that Kirk's brain couldn't have been deprived of oxygen for that long. The tribble came back to life, but it was only shown for two seconds and it's a tribble, not a sentient being that can communicate. It probably had massive brain damage and Khan's blood merely reanimated those cells of the tribble's body that were still intact and hadn't yet reached the point of being completely destroyed by its own lysosomes. Most likely, the tribble was "alive", but essentially brain dead. Anyway, all you really have to do is behead him.
      • Even if his regeneration ability made him Nigh Invulnerable, it should be trivial to kill him with Star Trek technology. In absolute worst case scenario, they could just teleport him onto a star.
    • I figured they kept him alive (in cryo) in case they ever needed some of that magic blood again. (Actually, they should just stockpile that stuff. Chain him to a gurney and hook him up to a IV, maybe. In fact, that's a whole separate headscratcher: Khan's blood has just revolutionized medicine, but we're likely never going to see it used again.)
  • Perhaps John entered into what was essentially a plea bargain. They know what he did, he admits to it, they'd probably want to avoid a public trial and a court martial would probably appropriate anyways since he's a secret agent so the military would probably be allowed to handle that sort of thing, keeping him in a prison is probably difficult, execution's somewhat against their ideals, and the cryo-pod is probably the most merciful and pragmatic thing they could do. John gets to be with his family and he's incapacitated in such a way to prevent him from being trouble in the future.
  • The tie-in comics show Khan being put on trial in front of the entire Federation in the Trial of the Century, so the ending of the mini-series may address exactly how they ended up deciding to pop him back on ice.

     Ethnicities 
  • I don't mean to be "that guy" but did anyone notice that the most people shown are of Caucasian descent? I heard of different reports that there wouldn't be as many white people in 50 or so years from now but in the film it looked like the population of earth was mainly white. Just the usual Hollywood casual racism?
    • We saw a total of two cities on Earth: London and San Francisco. And we didn't even get a perfect sample of London. We mostly saw just the hospital and the "archive" that the (black) father visited early in the film. There were a few scenes on the street, but that wasn't a proper sample of the population demographics in London for that time period. In San Francisco, the scenes were mostly at or around the headquarters for Starfleet. Again, that would only represent a small portion of the population of that city. Or even a small portion of the members of Starfleet. Furthermore, assuming the Cat Girl and Green Skin Space Babe don't provide enough diversity for you (and I did spot at least one Orion extra during the chase scene between Spock and John/Khan near the end) and the human crew members of the Enterprise with different demographics aren't enough, let me point out that genetically speaking the idea that we will eventually all be a uniform brown or something doesn't actually work out. Assuming that no new genetic material is added or taken from a gene pool and that there are no outside factors favoring a particular trait, a gene pool will remain in a state of general homeostasis. Basically, if nothing interferes with the world, there'll still be generally the same number of white guys in the world in the future as there are now in theory. So, while there might be some Hollywood casual racism in play, it isn't unbelievable for there to still be plenty of white people walking around in areas that are known to have several white people currently living there.
      • Furthermore, on a second viewing, there are multiple background characters both on the Enterprise and on Earth who were of either African-American, Asian, or other non-white descent. Once you actually start looking, there is plenty of diversity present.
    • Also, as the above troper alluded to, Real Life Writes the Plot: Hollywood has lots of white actors, not so many actors from other races, and is not known for going out of its way to give minorities screen time. There's a reason Black Dude Dies First and so on are tropes.
    • This is in regards to aliens more so than human minorities, but I noticed that the film made a point of showing a few random Enterprise crewmembers reporting briefly to Kirk or Spock from their station, and those crewmembers being obviously alien or different so as to showcase the diversity aboard the Enterprise that we might not otherwise easily notice. And she didn't have any lines (and this is on the Enterprise, not in the background in Earth cities as you first mentioned), but there was also a woman at navigation who was black.
  • How exactly is Khan White? Yes the timeline was altered, but it was altered only after Nero went back and changed things hundreds of years after Khan was born and frozen, he should be unaffected. I know he was an Indian played by a Mexican to begin with but this still loses me.
    • Presumably, Section 31 gave Khan plastic surgery along with the John Harrison identity. Honestly, in other Trek series, surgery has been used to make people look like entirely different species; a simple change of ethnicity would be entirely possible, and would prevent any history buff who might run into Harrison from realizing that this guy really looks like an infamous war criminal. It's probably a case of Crazy-Prepared, but this is a top-secret black ops group trying to handle a barely-controllable Super Soldier we're talking.

     "Genocidal?'' John 
  • Granted that it's a single line of dialogue, but Spock accuses Khan of having been a genocidal leader back in the day. In the original series, the whole reason Khan inspired a grudging respect from Kirk and co. was that, unlike the other supermen, he had been a relatively benevolent despot who specifically didn't do things like that.
    • This would go along with the 'Super Harrison' part of this page as to why Harrison is so different to his depiction in TOS.
      • Again, if you're going to mess with continuity that precedes the beginning of your diverging timeline, why bother having a diverging timeline? Just do a clean reboot and avoid those issues. But if you're committed to this diverging timeline, and you really want the Enterprise crew to go up against Colonel Green, then use Colonel Green. Don't slap Khan's name on Colonel Green's character just because one of them was in a successful movie and the other wasn't.
      • It could also simply be the script having Spock use emotive language to get across to the audience what it is Harrison has done. At this point they're rapidly changing tracks villain wise, and 'genocide' establishes him as a serious threat much more quickly and easily than a lengthy debate on his tactics as a leader- not to mention in TOS Spock is the only one who doesn't understand why the rest of them seem to admire him, focusing on what he did rather that what he was like.
    • And a benign dictator is still a dictator. He may not have treated his own subjects that poorly, but we never find out how he treated those of his enemies, or what actions he may have taken to rise to such prominent power in the first place.
      • But being a dictator doesn't necessarily make him genocidal, which is a pretty loaded action. He was a despot, which he should be feared for, but not for practicing genocide if there isn't any evidence that he did so. Hate him for his actual crimes, not for imagined ones.
    • I'm not familiar with the backstory, but if the world at one point was dominated by genocidal genetic supermen, and Khan sympathized with and/or abetted the crimes of his warlord peers, he would at the least be an "accessory to genocide". Spock Prime outright calling him genocidal may just be him ensuring his warning comes across as clearly as possible.
  • There's also Values Dissonance between the 1990s and the peaceful future of Star Trek. You could certainly spin pretty much every world leader as genocidal by Technical Pacifist future standards, not just Harrison. If Abraham Lincoln appeared, hell, you could call him genocidal after the whole "Civil War" thing.
    • Yes, but they were not just calling him genocidal in any random sense. Spock explicitly accused him of planning to exterminate all others that he deemed inferior to him. That's a heck of a lot less open to dissonance.
  • Not to mention that Spock Prime might maybe be harboring a wee bit of a grudge against Khan for the whole attacking his ship, killing his students, and causing his painful death thing. He claims to have control of his emotions. It's a fundamental part of his character that this isn't always actually the case, whatever he might say.

     Uniforms 
  • This may be a nit-picky entry but here goes - what determined who wore the white and gray uniforms? Adm Marcus wore it with 5 rank devices, Capt Pike also wore it with 4 rank devices. Initially, this troper thought it was meant to be dress uniform or a Captain-specific uniform, but that didn't seem to hold up (this troper's understanding is that flag officers almost never wear the same livery as officers unless in the field). Also, Marcus' rank devices were identical to those of Kirk and the other officers - is there only one rank of Admiral in the fleet? Was Pike initially an Admiral who, like Kirk in the original timeline, reverted back to Captain rank? A similar nitpick - why did Uhura have a red spacesuit while everyone else had a gray one with division color stripes?

     McCoy's Medical Practice 
  • How did McCoy perform a C-section on an organism that reproduces by laying eggs?
    • Not all reptiles lay eggs. Some, like many species of Skinks, give birth to live young like mammals.
    • And some mammals lay eggs. It's complicated. And that's not even getting into the fact that Gorn are not from Earth and thus have no reason to function like Earth reptiles.
    • Besides, this is the kind of guy who'll inject super-soldier platelets into a dead tribble For Science!! Don't get stuck in an elevator with this guy or he'll swap your kidneys around just to pass the time!
    • Maybe an egg got stuck in its ovipositor and he performed an operation to remove it. Strictly speaking the correct term for this might not be "C-Section" but it's the simplest term to refer to it to a non-medical person.

     How far apart are planets in "New Trek"? 
  • This bugged me in the previous film too, but in this film, the Enterprise seems to be able to reach Quo'nos (apologies for spelling) in a matter of minutes. This may be more to do with the editing of the film etc, but very little time seemed to pass between the Enterprise leaving Earth and the warp core failure stranding it in/near Klingon space. I got the impression 1 to 2 hours at most. The Enterprise is a fairly large ship, I would expect it might take an hour to walk from the stern to the bow without using tubolifts, so is it really feasible that interstellar distances can be traversed in a similar amount of time?
This also niggled at me in "Star Trek" where the travel time from Earth to Vulcan seemed to be roughly 30 minutes or so. This is especially egregious since there are several examples in other Star Trek shows and films of the same distance taking at least a few days, if not a couple of weeks; for example the maiden voyage of the Enterprise B (in "Generations") was a "run around the block" to Pluto (or possibly Neptune) at warp that it seemed was intended to last an afternoon.
  • It's conservation of detail. No one wants to see the Enterprise Crew doing the tedious preparation work.
    • No, I think the filmmakers actually shrunk the travel time between planets. (You could justify this by saying that the ships in the new timeline are a lot faster than the original timeline.) The main evidence for this is when Scotty gets back on the Enterprise and says he's been away for "one day". He may have been exaggerating, but considering what we see on screen, it may have been the literal truth.
    • You're taking a statement from a man who openly exaggerates and even advises another engineer to do the same as proof instead of it being an exaggeration?
  • Word of God explained this after the previous movie came out. Abrams said that the shuttles that were evacuated from the Kelvin scanned the Narada and learned several technological advancements.

     Why did Kirk take the Nibiru scroll? 
  • Come to think of it, why were Kirk and McCoy ever among the Nibiru natives at all? The entire mission seemed only to require people being dropped into and lifted out of the volcano, and everyone basically seemed to agree with upholding the Prime Directive until it meant risking Spock's life.
    • They mentioned a "kill zone." They wanted to get the natives away from their dangerous proximity to the volcano while also making certain that their attention would be away from it. If they are busy chasing after the strangers wrapped up in disguises, they won't notice the shuttle if the smoke and ash wasn't enough to hide it. Kirk's plan was probably a vague "get the natives to chase me somehow" and he figured taking the scroll they were bowing to would work.
    • The temple was shown to be completely destroyed by the initial eruption. It looks like Kirk knew this (the "kill zone") and did whatever he could to remove them from the area.
    • As a semi-related aside, I got the impression that Abrams was trying to pay homage to every Indiana Jones movie at once in this sequence.
      • That would have required a screaming woman and a funny sidekick. Though I guess Bones was filling both roles for that scene in his own way.

     The "Uninhabited" Province? 
  • How, exactly, can a province be uninhabited? In most regions, subdivisions have to have a considerable number of people in them to be designated as governmental subdivisions. There's a reason why large areas like Arizona or Inner Mongolia aren't split up further; a good portion of that land area doesn't actually have a population. And before anyone tells me "it's different for Klingons", how, exactly, would an area set aside as a specific area for governmental jurisdiction be of any use if there wasn't anyone there for the government to care about?
    • The presence of buildings indicates it must have been inhabited at one time, so presumably it was a province first and uninhabited second, after some nasty accident. It's also entirely likely that it no longer exists as a governmental jurisdiction, but people still need to talk about it using some name and will presumably continue to do so. c.f. the city of Pripyat, which no longer has any administrative status on account of having no population, but it still has a name.
    • Given the presence of the uninhabited city, it would probably be more accurate to claim the province was abandoned or evacuated. With that broken moon in orbit, one can imagine why. Klingons dream of dying gloriously in battle. Getting killed by a falling piece of space debris while on the crapper is about as ignominious as you can get.
    • According to Spock in the novelization: "The Klingons make no secret of its long-ago abandonment. There was a plague in what was formerly a heavily developed region that their medical science could not counteract. The most ruthless methods were employed to finally stamp it out. [...] While the Klingon Empire has expanded to other worlds, this one province on their own homeworld remains deserted, rather like the obverse of a national park. Its extensive central conurbation and abandoned industrial facilities remain a place to be noted but shunned, not visited."
      • Which Spock? Because in DS9, the "Ketha Lowlands" are where Martok grew up.
      • Quinto-Spock. This is said as Kirk and Spock are telling Admiral Marcus where John Harrison has escaped to, when Kirk asks permission to go after him - Spock is giving details for how they know this area is totally abandoned.

     Qo'no S' Moon 
  • Was that Praxis? If so, why did it blow early, any why didn't they approach the Federation for help like they did in the original timeline? If its something that was always there, why the smeg did Praxis/will Praxis cause a problem, if they're already able to deal with something like this?
    • We know in the last movie that Nero destroyed a bunch of Klingon ships before his little trip to Vulcan. Maybe he did some more collateral damage. As for why the Klingon's never asked for help from the Federation... Maybe the Proud Warrior Race isn't quite far enough along to be willing to mention Praxis being at least partially destroyed.
    • By the time Praxis exploded in the original timeline, the Klingons had been running a war economy at full tilt for something like half a century or more. They were simply too spent to deal with it. In this timeline, it happened much earlier, so they hadn't run themselves into the ground. As for why it blew early... dunno, the Narada forced a lot of militarization in the Federation, you can imagine the Klingons stepping up their game.
    • Nero destroyed Vulcan. He very well could have destroyed Praxis in his escape from the Klingons.
      • We've seen Nero destroy worlds, and the moon—which I'm sure was meant to be Praxis—was damaged in a way that was not consistent with what we've seen. That said, a couple thoughts spring to mind: First, was it established where Nero and his crew were held while they were the Klingons' prisoners? Given Rura Penthe's reputation as an alien graveyard, it seems doubtful that Nero and company would have spent any time there; despite seemingly being the Empire's go-to gulag for outsiders. It would make sense to send them to Rura Penthe, because the Romulans were miners by trade, and should be uniquely skilled labor in the dilithium mines. That leads to the second thought: it's apparently not very hard to get the power plant on Praxis to make a really, really, really big boom (SF Debris jokes that they probably have a sign up bragging "428 Days Without a Workplace Apocalypse). It wouldn't be too much of a leap to speculate that Nero blew Praxis to hell to cover their escape, especially if they were mining in a labor camp on or near that moon.
    • according to this [1] article, one of the promotional websites for the movie had as an Easter egg a 'security memo' about Harrison that seem to suggest he was involved in something called the “Praxxis Project". so apparently Praxis is in such a bad shape because section 31 wanted it to be this way.

     How did the ship get underwater... 
  • ... without any of the Nibiru aliens noticing? Furthermore, what was their original plan for getting back out without being noticed?
    • They did it at night, from farther out to sea, and planned to get back out the same way. They just had to hurry to save Spock.

     Why was the ship underwater? 
  • Seriously, this was Theory of Narrative Causality in full force. There was no practical benefit to bringing the Enterprise down to the surface of the planet in the first place. The "cold fusion" device was going to be delivered by a small team in a shuttlecraft anyway. It would have been more practical to have the ship airborne or in space where it would have line-of-sight to the volcano, rather than underwater miles away with miles of solid rock between it and the volcano, thus making transporter usage more difficult. The whole scene is blatant Rule of Cool in that it makes no real sense and appears to only serve to provide action shots of Kirk and Bones jumping off a cliff, and the Enterprise rising out of the water. From a tactical perspective, it makes it seem like Admiral Pike had a legitimate argument about Kirk's recklessness and unfitness for command, because it really was a stupid thing to do, even if you overlooked the violation of the Prime Directive!

     Starfleet's stance on the Prime Directive 
  • Starfleet seems to be a little too anal about the Prime Directive. The natives of Nibiru had no idea what was happening or what they really saw. By the time they get to the point where they're reaching into space this incident will be little more than myth and legend, assuming they remember it at all. If Kirk had left advanced technology someplace where they could get it, that would be a more resonable concern, but just seeing the Enterprise, that seems to be a bit of a Conflict Ball. Let them have their occasional UFO sighting.
    • Considering the aliens are seen bowing down to a drawing of the Enterprise, it's pretty safe to say that the sighting did have some effect on them. At the very least, Kirk created a Cargo Cult.
    • One episode of ST: TNG had a group of aliens start worshipping Picard as a god over a brief glimpse. For all Kirk knew, the natives might have thought the ship as a god and started a religion. That leads to changing an entire society. That is what the Prime Directive is there to prevent. Kirk's flippant disregard for the rules demonstrated how he was not ready to be captain. The rules are there for a reason. If Kirk was allowed to get away with it this time then he would think he could get away with later. Same with other captains. They could always point to Kirk as an precedent. It also starts a slippery slope where a captain goes over the line a little each time. Before you know it you do have a major incident that could have been avoided if you has cracked down on rule violations in the first place.
      • Plus the whole "lying in an official report" thing. If he chose to claim exigent circumstances, that's one thing. But actively lying about it? Nope.
  • If you think this is anal, wait till you see other Treks - Tom Paris got demoted AND have 30 days a solitary confinement doing the exact same thing, while Picard chose to ignore the Chancellor of Klingon due to it being a civil war.
  • Starfleet is anal about the Prime Directive precisely so that we can have Kirk rebel against it onscreen, presumably as a way to make up for the crushing unpopularity of Janeway and Archer's decisions.
    • Probably more than a little truth to that. In the TOS days, and even early seasons of TNG, the Federation's attitude about the Prime Directive was noticeably lax, and many episodes dealt with the crews just casually beaming down to blatantly pre-warp planets and poking around without the slightest concern about the Prime Directive. It wasn't until later TNG seasons that the Prime Directive became a big deal. So this is another major change in the new continuity, as at this point in the original one the Prime Directive was only occasionally an issue.

     Both Admiral Marcus and Carol seem to have forgotten modern (Future) technology. 

  • Carol has a doctorate from the Starfleet Acdemy, a place where you have to be a certified genius to even think about applying, yet somehow doesn't remember that Matter/Energy transporters are as common as rocks.
    • The ability to negate transporters are even more common.
    • Her father was in charge of a top secret research division.
    • You mean a woman in a highly emotional state is grasping at any hope to save the ship without thinking it through? Several of the other people on the bridge, including Kirk, are also really smart. You'd have to blame them for forgetting too.
    • She didn't forget at all, and nor did anyone else. The Enterprise had its shields up, which means that no one should have been able to beam in or out. But since Marcus had special Black Ops technology, he clearly had something that was able to ignore/bypass another ship's shields. Kirk even asks somebody (Sulu, I think) when Carol first lights up if they detected the transporter signal, and they say no. Everyone seems duly surprised. If we're going to call anybody an idiot on this, we should blame Khan. He's the only person on board who truly knows what Section 31 is capable of, and while he reminds Carol about the warp technology, he doesn't say anything about the new transporters. Since he's going to die too if Marcus destroys the ship (and all 72 of his crew), you'd think he'd want to give the Enterprise every possible advantage, but I think at that point even he didn't really know what to do since the Enterprise was so badly outmatched (and he knew nothing about Scotty coming). And even if he DID tell them about the transporter tech, it's not like they could have stopped Marcus from beaming Carol out. It's also possible, though unlikely, that the transporter tech was something developed independently of Khan's own work, and he simply didn't know about it. Either way, not Carol's fault.
  • The Admiral pilots a state-of-the-art warship and constructs a terrifying work of Machiavellian Art, but forgets to put a GPS tag in his Super-Agent or that Phasers come with a stun setting. Is it genetic or something?
    • Super-Agent is Super and a genius and could have easily taken a GPS tag out or worked out a way to shield/neutralise it. When does Marcus forget that phasers come with a stun setting?
    • When Kirk takes the Bridge, Marcus delivers this ultimatum to the affect of "Let me start a War with the Klingons or kill me." To which Kirk responds that he doesn't to Kill him, the phasers have a stun setting.
      • I think he was just using that as an expression there... as in like, "Give me liberty or give me death." The war with the Klingons and militarising Starfleet was his passion, and essentially his life's goal at that point. If Kirk was going to take that away, then what was left for him? He would be taken back to Earth, impeached and imprisoned in disgrace, and his entire awesome Black Ops deal would go to hell. Plus, he'd MASSIVELY pissed off his daughter at that point - even his loved ones were turning against him. He was essentially saying, screw it, if I can't achieve the goal I've worked so hard towards, then at this point, just friggin' execute me. To which Kirk says, I don't have to because phasers have a stun setting, aka hell no I'm not going to execute you - I'm gonna take you to stand trial like he decided to do with Harrison back at Kronos. It's Marcus having a death wish and Kirk throwing his nobility in the man's face and refusing to do what he wants. They say mercy is the mark of a great man, but sometimes, mercy is the worst punishment you can mete out.

     Experimenting on prisoners is acceptable now? 
  • After HarriKhan surrenders to Kirk and is locked in the brig, McCoy demands a sample of his blood, for unspecified experimental purposes. But he shouldn't be able to compel a sample, at least under the current Nuremberg Code. McCoy's intentions aren't made clear to the prisoner, so he could not give properly informed consent. Even if that breath of ethics was allowed to slide, the climax has the crew needing to capture HarriKhan alive so they can use his blood to revive Kirk, which is a clear violation of a prisoner's rights. But that moral and ethical dilemma is never addressed; the characters just seem to take it for granted that HarriKhan's blood is theirs to use.
    • Probably got tossed to the wayside back in either the Eugenics Wars or the Third World War; probably the former, as experimentation was likely required to be able to do anything to the genetically altered Übermenschen, and it never got reinstated for various reasons - or a specific exception was instituted for Augments, for similar reasons.
      • Why would there be an exception for Augments, except to implicitly label them as lesser people with fewer rights? That's presumably the same way Augments treated non-Augments when they were in control. Shouldn't the winners strive to be better than that?
      • It seems like that would be exactly the point of such an exception: to imply that augments are not really people. Any genetic engineering of humans, even for thereputic reasons, is still illegal as of the late 24th century, and the products of such engineering looked at with suspicion even if they were children at the time. It's the major socially acceptable bias in Star Trek. That said, even without an exception there are laws on the books today where you are obligated to give a blood sample when arrested, such as when you're suspected of driving under the influence. It's called "implied consent." It's not implausible that that could be extended to any criminal arrested, especially one accused of war crimes. And McCoy doesn't cite any law, he just tells Harrison to put his arm through the hole; for all we know, Harrison could have legally refused.
    • Alternatively, they had tweaked it at some point to not cover removal of non-damaging quantities of blood for some reason, probably relating to first contact in war situations protocols (gotta take the blood and run tests to make sure you don't kill your new species prisoner with allergic reaction food). If the latter case, they were following the letter if not exactly the spirit.
      • Yeah, I just assumed that a blood sample was some kind of standard protocol the way they treated it, to register his DNA or something - which they do nowadays for any crime with a level of seriousness (I think it's a felony or above, but am uncertain), and obviously multiple murders would qualify. Hell, Harrison himself didn't seem to think it was a big deal - he didn't claim they were overstepping their bounds and demand a lawyer or anything, he just offered his arm. The argument could be made that injecting into the tribble was a violation of Harrison's rights, but nobody acted like it was a problem, so there might be some sort of clause permitting experimentation with unusual biomass, as long as it's within certain limits. For instance, it wasn't like McCoy demanded his sperm and started trying to grow mini-Harrison's in Sickbay - he merely injected some blood into dead tissue to observe its regenerative effects, which he certainly didn't expect to produce results quite like it did. And the blood he did use was clearly just whatever was leftover in that small syringe after they logged his DNA, and McCoy didn't show an intention to take any more of it until, of course, they needed it to save Kirk's life. And by that point, one of your greatest friends, the Captain of the Enterprise and young man in his mid-twenties who just sacrificed himself to save his entire crew is dying, and the way to save him is just to get some blood from a homicidal maniac who already murdered scores of people, provoked Kirk's sacrifice in the first place, and is a raging lunatic hell bent on causing Starfleet as much destruction as possible? Are you really going to be that concerned about the ethics of taking this nutjob's blood to save your friend's life? I'm quite certain that even if that was against the rules, McCoy would have done it anyway, and under the circumstances, I doubt he would have even been reprimanded for it.
      • "Are you really going to be that concerned about the ethics of taking this nutjob's blood to save your friend's life?" Yes, if you want to be better than that nutjob. Unethical is unethical, no matter the provocation. That was the message of the torpedoes and why using them would be wrong. But the film doesn't even acknowledge the ethical dilemma of using the blood, which has much more history behind it than the drone strike allegory. It's a glaring omission.
      • Fair point. But again, they didn't act like the blood thing was a big deal, so I simply assumed it was legal in the Star Trek 'verse. What's currently being cited is the Numerberg Code, in our universe – can someone suggest examples of a similar dilemma in other Trek lore? I can't think of one off the top of my head. The fact that Harrison didn't give informed consent onscreen is indisputable – McCoy didn't say, “give me your blood so I can go inject tribbles with it,” but merely asked for a blood sample. However, since Harrison has been working for Starfleet (so to speak) for a considerable amount of time, it's reasonable that he knows the rules and what McCoy is apt to do with his blood, and therefore offers his arm with a degree of understanding. It's difficult to believe that a reputable ship's surgeon on the flagship of the fleet is just going to blindly ignore the rules and do whatever he wants regardless. Kirk is the one with that character arc, not McCoy. Back to “being better than the nutjob” - again, fair point. The message of the film is that we should rise above the deeds of our enemies and strive to maintain our values in difficult times, and you have made me question my previous statement. But I guess, personally for me, I don't see saving someone's life as such an unethical act. (Killing someone in self-defence is okay, but taking their blood to save a life without actually harming the subject isn't?) Even if it does technically violate Harrison's rights – which the film never indicates that it is in the universe they're in – I don't see McCoy's use of the blood as inherently evil. What they did with the blood certainly didn't hurt Khan, and it was his fault Kirk was dying in the first place. Arguably, Starfleet now has a useful new medical serum that Khan gave no consent to the creation of, and widespread use of it in future would be in this day and age, illegal. But since Khan is a semi-crazy genocidal maniac who is highly unlikely to be interested in the betterment of mankind, asking him “Is it okay to use this new awesome life-saving stuff we have because we did originally synthenise it from your DNA?” is probably a pointless idea. It's possible that in the time Harrison stood trial while Kirk was out, they sorted out that legal issue and declared the whole taking Khan's blood thing part of his punishment for, you know, murdering countless innocent civilians by crashing a starship into San Fransisco – if that's something that can be done in the Trek 'verse. Every human has the right to life, but the death penalty is still in place in some areas because if you take that right away from someone else, the People reserve the ability to take that right away from you. But I guess I'm mixing the two issues now – at no point in the film are we given any indication that what McCoy did with Khan's blood, is, in-universe, considered wrong. But I think you're taking issue more with the fact that the film presents McCoy's actions as not being wrong, rather than whether or not McCoy did something against his own rules. Again, I guess I personally didn't see the use of a few drops of blood as anything terrible, when it in no way harmed the prisoner and had no malicious intent. But if it was my blood, maybe I'd feel differently. I just assume Harrison understood what he was getting into when he gave his arm and was unconcerned with it, since he didn't say anything like “For the record, I reserve the right to maintain my blood as mine and mine alone, and that it shall only be used for the purpose of DNA sampling and no other” when McCoy asked for his arm. It's also quite possible he was informed of his rights (actually, it's highly probable) as they brought him on the ship and escorted him to the brig, etc. etc. and there could easily have been plenty of legal rights dialogue that we as the audience missed, in which the issue was brought up. Uncertain. I hope my entry isn't too rambling.
      • "can someone suggest examples of a similar dilemma in other Trek lore?" Just off the top of my head, Up the Long Ladder, where characters are outraged on principle that their genetic material was taken and used without their knowledge. The Enemy, where Worf refuses to donate blood to save a Romulan's life, and it's implied that even if he agreed, the Romulan could have refused to accept and not allowed the procedure. Tuvix, where the Doctor refuses to perform a procedure that will kill his patient (who is pleading for his life) in order to save two others; the captain does it herself, and visibly takes on the moral burden of the choice. Contrast Equinox, where the crew killing beings for their sole benefit (to get themselves home quicker) is treated as their Moral Event Horizon and could easily be what happens with Khan and the other Augments if McCoy's actions go unquestioned and unpunished. If what McCoy did isn't considered wrong in-universe, when it would be considered wrong in the real world, that goes against the spirit of Star Trek, which is meant to be advancement, not regression, and taking away human rights is definitely regression.
      • Thank you for giving such good and specific examples. Given all of that, I'm going to have to assume that McCoy wasn't blatantly violating rules (since that would make him a jerk and a moron), that there are rules in effect in the Trek 'verse to avoid violating human rights in situations such as this one, and that Harrison knew Starfleet's rules and regulations in that quarter and was also informed of his rights, etc. at some point offscreen. But you've convinced me that you're right – they should have said something about it, and even if Khan is a mass murderer using his genetic material with a complete lack of consent, on the spot, with no discussion or anything (aka having his trial and deciding to allow the use of the serum as I mentioned earlier) is unethical and not something to be taken lightly. Although I do still feel that McCoy's use of Harrison's blood with the tribble is minimal, non-malicious, and non-harmful to Harrison himself, and that after the events of the Eugenics Wars it's possible there was some tweaking of the law to make something small like that legal... The original use was simply injecting it into dead tissue, which wasn't expected to do a lot and McCoy had no plans beyond it – it seemed more like just a small scientific curiosity than hardcore experimentation. I think by the time Kirk was dying, if there was no consent, McCoy would have been desperate enough to say to hell with the rules, I'm going save Kirk's life anyway, and, considering the emotional stresses and what Harrison did to the Enterprise, would have gotten away with it safely, but if so, it should have been touched upon. Of course, if they didn't need full-on consent for the tribble bit, but did need it for the serum, they had Kirk in cryo and had just knocked Khan out – they could have woken him up later and asked him if it was okay to use his blood to save Kirk, although I don't imagine he would have been keen on saying yes. Possibly if they told him his crew were still okay, he might have been soothed enough to agree, and he would understand the good guys' desire to save the “member of their family” but he's still evil, so yeah... But even if they did do that, they should have mentioned it. The film's best defence, I suppose, is how unconcernedly Harrison gave his arm, without complaint, questions, or demands for legal recourse, indicating, presumably, that he knew where his blood might go and didn't care. (Sorry if I'm just repeating myself here.) Although in any case I'm not entirely certain if that's in Khan's character to let the non-augmented humans play around with his awesome genome...
    • Alternatively alternatively, the Federation may follow Vulcan legal tradition in some areas for a variety of reasons, and maybe they don't have an equivalent policy.
  • Maybe they did ask him. It's possible that either Spock didn't knock him out completely or that he woke up by the time they got him to medbay, and they bargained with him to let them use his blood to save Kirk in exchange for keeping his people safe. Maybe even an agreement to make sure that Starfleet wouldn't try to wake anyone else up or use them as weapons anymore.
  • John Harrison is, as far as any of them know, a Star Fleet operative. Given that, they can assume he is fully aware of whatever regulations exist in regards to taking a blood sample. They don't force or compel him in any way, they ask him to put his arm through a hole in the glass. The fact that he offers no resistance to their request suggests he personally has no problem giving a blood sample. The fact that he does so despite them not telling him why suggest he doesn't much care what reason they may have for doing it. If John Harrison doesn't feel that his rights are being violated by the act, then there is no breach of ethics.
    • That might excuse the first blood sample. It does not excuse taking his blood to revive Kirk, which is the more serious breach of ethics.
      • Perhaps it was part of a plea deal. He gives them his blood to revive Kirk, he gets to go into stasis with the rest of his family.
      • Sigh. We're all forgetting a huge portion of the legal issues here, and the great Occam's Razor of all when it comes to this: Consent. Under most situations like this, Consent Uber Alles. Under just about all of the above examples that have been cited, the characters in question were acting without consent, or in circumstances where no sane person would agree. Khan's right there, more or less on top of the Tribble and McCoy, and he says jack all. Legally, they can compel several samples of his blood regardless of consent as standard procedure. Beyond that, it only becomes a problem if they A: use it for means other than those covered by the laws governing those samples (basically, everything other than fingerprinting and what have you) and B: The subject in question does not consent to the procedures. If Khan had taken issue with McCoy's actions like the others did, he could have very readily said something, but he didn't. End of Story, End of Controversy. And again, let's remember people: this is KHAN were talking about here. Do you *really* think he would say no to a bunch of lesser beings interested in examining the ways He is superior to them?
      • It's been a while, but didn't Bones synthesize a serum with the insight gained from Cucumberbatch's blood, rather than bleed him dry for a transfusion?

     Aft Nacelle? 
  • Khan describes Adm Marcus killing Kirk's crew by targeting life-support equipment located "behind the aft nacelle". How could this be true? Are the nacelles on this new Enterprise offset? Even if they are, why would the primary life support equipment be located there, over the shuttlebay and about as far from the primary living areas of the ship (the saucer) as physically possible?
    • Best Guess, he misspoke. Best I can figure is that what he actually meant was the area of the secondary hull immediately aft of the nacelle pylons. I'd imagine there'd be some pretty heavy air-handling equipment in that vicinity to pressurize and depressurize the hanger deck, and it stands to reason that this equipment would also be used to circulate air thorough the rest of the ship. If, like in the prime universe, the primary and secondary hulls are designed to operate independently of each other, there must be similar equipment in the saucer section, as well. . .so, I have no clue why that wouldn't kick in once the other system goes off line.
      • The primary and secondary hulls on a Galaxy-class starship are designed to operate independently. There has never been any evidence the same is true of the Constitution-class.
      • There were throw-away lines in both The Apple and The Savage Curtain that fans have taken to mean that Constitution-class has the ability to separate. The show's bible confirmed that to be true, but the maneuver was reserved for catastrophic emergencies—apparently, they required major repairs at a starbase to reconnect. I have no idea if the writer's guide is considered canon or not; but, then again, this is a completely different Enterprise from the one in TOS.
    • At the time, the Enterprise should still have been side-on to the Vengence. It's most likely when he said 'aft' he meant 'the one furthest from my ship'.
      • Except that still doesn't make any sense. 'Aft' means toward the rear of a ship, and nothing else. If Harrison meant that, he would've said 'their far nacelle' or 'starboard nacelle', based on the Enterprise being to the starboard of the Vengeance at the time.

     Jupiter Shipyard? 
  • Khan gives Kirk coordinates and tells him to go see what's there. Kirk sends Scotty who finds the secret shipyard orbiting Jupiter where the Vengeance is being hidden. How could anybody find Jupiter using coordinates? Jupiter is orbiting the sun at around 47000kph. Even if the coordinates were ever momentarily correct, within minutes the planet and the base would be thousands of kilometers away. It is a lot of trouble to make Khan seem more mysterious by having him provide cryptic information. The only way for Scotty to have found the shipyard based on instructions from Khan would be for him to just say "Go check out this secret shipyard orbiting Jupiter."
    • Distances of weapons fire are routinely measured in the thousands of kilometers in Trek, so Jupiter's speed probably isn't a huge deal for Scotty to correct for. "Coordinates" might be shorthand for the orbital planenote  Scotty needs to look at rather than a decimal degrees-like measurement of the shipyard's precise location in space (it's a term used a lot generally in Trek and now that you bring it up... the normal Earth definition of "coordinates" would be absolutely worthless in space, yeah). In that case, if he goes to that invisible orbit line around Jupiter and follows it for a while, he'll run into the shipyard regardless of when he gets there.
      • Jupiter would probably be a pretty good place to hide a shipyard, because it could hide among the planet's 67 natural satellites. It would, however, be pretty easy to spot it once you know you're looking for something there because all of the waste-heat that that equipment is radiating would make it stand out like a railroad flare.
  • Does this secret shipyard not have any sensors that would detect unauthorized spacecraft approaching? Scotty's shuttle just drops into line - apparently there was no identification check (the kind of thing their computers could do in a millionth of a second) and nobody in any of the other shuttles noticed the unidentified shuttle coming from the opposite direction the cutting into the line.
  • It could be that the coordinates are in relation to Jupiter. If I remember correctly, there were four sets of digits which would be more than enough to provide a general idea of where a space station could be in relation to the center of the planet. After that, Scooty'd just need to search for heat signatures.

     Forced out of warp? 
  • The Enterprise is attacked and forced out of warp, coming back to normal space somewhere near the moon. How far were they planning to go? If they had been at warp for even a second longer than they were, they would have overshot the planet.
    • They were probably planning to drop out of Warp sooner but were distracted by the giant warship baring down on them.

     We have to bring Harrison back to Earth for a trial! Or just put him on ice, that's cool too 
  • On the trip to Qo'noS, Kirk decides not to use the long-range torpedoes to kill Harrison, opting instead to capture him so he will face justice and stand trial. He makes a big deal about the standing trial bit, refusing to hand Harrison over to Admiral Marcus if it meant he wouldn't get a trial. Yet at the end of the film, HarriKhan is put back in cryosleep, with no mention of him having a trial or being punished for all the harm he's done, or for the apparent outstanding war crimes on his head.
    • Harrison was captured, alive, on Earth, and out of Marcus' hands. Presumably his trial was during the two weeks that Kirk was out, and the cryo deemed as his punishment. See the Headscratcher tab for "Cryo Punishment."
      • I don't buy that. First, two weeks (or even a year, if we go by Kirk's closing speech) is too soon for the trial to be properly conducted. Just look at how long it takes for high-profile crimes to make it to court and how long the trial lasts now, and that's for single-homicide, single-incident crimes. So unless Harrison had a show trial (which would be almost as much of an injustice as no trial at all), he probably didn't have a trial. Second, if cryo is his punishment, then what about his crew? They have the exact same punishment, but they didn't bomb an archive, assassinate Starfleet's top brass, and crash a starship into San Francisco. Is cryo a punishment for their outstanding war crimes? If it is, then Harrison should be getting a much harsher sentence, since he has the war crimes and all the new ones. If it isn't, then them being in cryo is wrongful imprisonment. Third, cryo isn't much of a punishment. There's no chance to reform, since they come out exactly as they went in, as if no time passed.
      • Buy it. For one, this is not exactly a criminal trial. This is a military war crimes tribunal and court martial. Those things happen *WAY* quicker, especially when there is a state of siege, and that's assuming Khan didn't plead or plea bargain (and given Khan's personality it's quite likely he would gladly plead to several, and do so with gusto and pride). Secondly, Khan is already a war criminal by anyone's definition in this universe apparently, which means that in addition to being (by his own definition) genetically modified (which is illegal) he was presumably tried already. Since War Crimes have no statute of limitations, the court can impose a *pre-existing* sentence without any legal or ethical troubles so long as they had some other way of getting the rest of the crimes charged. And as for the rest of the crew, no, they are not being kept in cryosleep to punish them. They are being kept in Cryosleep because *not keeping them there without knowing how to awaken them would likely KILL them.*
      • Even assuming that HarriKhan was getting a military tribunal (which there is no evidence of), would that also cover his crimes against civilians? Would the public learn the truth behind his actions? The film's indicting some aspects of how the War on Terror has led to extralegal measures being taken, but supports others implicitly, like secret military tribunals and indefinite imprisonment. As for the rest of the crew, there has to be a way to safely wake them (as they did so for one), and it's Starfleet's duty to find that way to safely wake them, not keep them in cryo indefinitely as if they were MacGuffins.
      • Harrison and his ilk are war criminals. They would probably have life sentences or executions pending if they were ever dethawed outside of black ops.
      • What he said. To start with, the idea that there's a problem with it indicting some aspects and implicitly supporting others is a nonstarter. Do you think that they suddenly created this stuff from whole cloth? We have *centuries* of legal issues dealing with what is and what is not over the line, which will be centuries more by the time of the movie. Yes, military tribunals and indefinite imprisonment would be *absolutely kosher* under these circumstances according to the legal systems of just about every Western nation you can think of, and while I'm sure the Federation is more lenient and enlightened in some areas, the very existence of Section 31 indicates that it probably is even less so in other areas. These measures (and many, many, MANY others) have been deemed valid and necessary in order to safeguard our liberties and freedoms by people who are not all as stark raving mad as Adm. Marcus, and if you seriously wish to dispute that, you had best be prepared to research and dispute 300 years (at least) of the matter, dating back to the Continental Congress in the American Revolution, Grotius in the Netherlands, and even the trial and execution of Peter von Hagenbach (which helped define exactly what *isn't* permitted). Secondly, whatever Federation obligation that might exist to dethaw Khan's crew would have no basis or standing in existing law. Given that all of them went into deep freeze voluntarily and only Khan was awakened, there was no legal coercion involved, and so therefore the existing law would allow them to continue slumbering as they are. And even if they were somehow not, the Federation does not owe them a duty of care to get them out of deep freeze, especially since they would almost certainly undergo trials for previous crimes that it's quite likely they were already sentenced on.
      • The problem is that the protagonists are claiming to have the moral high ground at the end, but they're succumbing to the same extralegal moral measures Section 31 did. They're sweeping the Augments under the rug and treating them like popsicles instead of humans, even human prisoners. Why are drone strikes so wrong, but indefinite imprisonment and secret military tribunals just fine and dandy? Because drone strikes are new? Because the film says so? That's the problem; it's saying that this one thing is wrong, but it doesn't even touch on other, very related issues. Also, how would dethawing the Augments undo trials? They went into cryo to escape justice. Leaving them in cryo would simply allow them to continue to escape the punishments they were sentenced to.
      • Either listen to an answer when it is given, or spare us all from a further response. "succumbing to the same extralegal moral measures Section 31 did..." If you do not bother to do the research about what "extralegal" means, please do not try to use it. To start with, A: The existence of "dirty business" and outfits dedicated to it (by which I mean "intelligence outfits whose purpose and activities are designed to do bad things to bad people within the confines of due oversight and command responsibility, but and are not always subject to the same rules, regulations, and laws as the norm) is absolutely legal in both this world and apparently both the Prime and new movie incarnations of Star Trek. Section 31 itself is apparently quite legal even in this on. It was in the first timeline, and the fact that Section 31 operatives actually have several installations openly known by all echelons of the Federal government (even if under false pretenses by people who are not cleared to know this or that, which again is also perfectly legal) and wear Star Trek uniforms like non-Section 31 operatives. As such, we can assume that the laws of the Federation of Planets and its' government permit the existence and operation of such a unit. B: Section 31's legal violations come from it overstepping the bounds it is legally allowed to operate in, not from operating or even doing bad things in and of itself. It illegally used and interned Khan by awakening him and holding him and his crew defacto hostage on pain of death *without the legal authority to do so*, organized the production of warships that the government had vetoed, it authorized a circumvention of Federation law *without permission* (since assassinations- even if nominally extralegal or even illegal- are precisely what you want something like Section 31 for; you just have to have it go through the proper channels), it sought to provoke a war *without authorization*, and it conspired to murder a Federation crew for no justifiable reason whatsoever. This is beyond extralegal, this is just plainly Illegal and represents mutiny against the legal authorities of the Federation. It is why Section 31 deserves condemnation, not the mere assistance and function. C: Kirk and his crew do none of the above. This much should be self-explanatory. Even if they somehow were "succumbing" to something other than what has been allowed and codified for three plus centuries at present, they still held the moral high ground by dint of not doing anything like what Section 31 (or more properly, Admiral Marcus) did. D: The culpability of Section 31 as a whole is dubious. We have no direct evidence that the entire organization was complicit, as opposed to Marcus and a select splinter faction of it. It is in fact quite possible that most of the S31 organization were not knowledgeable about the Admiral's blatantly illegal actions, and in fact assumed on good faith that they were in fact carrying out the legal functions assigned to them by the Federation government. We do not even have definitive proof (beyond a very few elements that are explicitly told, like the Vengeance and Marcus's efforts to start a war) which parts are illegal and which are not; it is quite possible things like the "Moon Shipyard" were in fact perfectly legitimate Federation installations that Marcus co-opted illegally. Now, it's clear that not everybody is innocent (the crew of the Vengeance had to know they were acting illegally), but it's hardly not as cut and dried as you make it out to be. "They're sweeping the augments under the rug..." No, just no. The AUGMENTS swept themselves under the rug and chose to became Popsicles, as is testified to by the only one of their number who was awoken. It was their own choice to do so, and while the extent that war criminals in this Trek universe would be granted the right to self-determination is questionable, by the barometer of private citizens it was their right to go into cryosleep and the Federation can choose to respect that, as shown by present legal cases dealing with the cryogenic ally frozen. The only issue is whether or not they are actually war criminals, which might change things and override their choices. This is confirmed by Khan when he really doesn't have much motivation to lie about that particular detail, and he even confirms in the heat of the moment that Marcus should have let him sleep. As for Khan himself, we can very readily imply that justice was indeed carried out by the way it is presented. In light of the entire rhetoric of Kirk etc. al., they had no intention of not turning him over to the Federation to stand trial, and thus we can deduce that that is exactly what happened, in accordance with Federation principles and law. We do not know the exact details of the sentencing, but the result was all but foreordained by the facts (and probably by Khan's personality making him likely to own up), which resulted in him being sentenced to or pleaing for being cryogenically frozen. Justice Served, Due Process Happened, No Legal Outrage Here, if You Have An Issue take it up about the ethics of being sentenced to cryogenic sleep *in accordance with the law*, the Developers, and Khan himself. "Why are drone strikes so wrong, but indefinite imprisonment and secret military tribunals just fine and dandy? Because drone strikes are new?" This rambling does not deserve the response I am about to give it. To start with, your claims here are hardly clearcut even in the eyes of the law today, and in fact the laws governing drone strikes are in large part *Very, VERY, VERY* old. To the point where the legal issues surrounding Golden-Age privateering come up (which have been upheld in the modern day time and time again in spite of them not being used for around a century in the US). The idea that just because a technology is new means that there is no old precedent is not just dubious, in most cases we have seen it is flat out wrong, as you would be damn well aware if you paid any attention to the names and events I cited before. I will not go into my personal opinions on these subjects, but suffice it to say the issue is less about "Drone Strikes vs. Indefinite captivity" compared to "Indefinite Captivity vs. Being routinely raped while in prison as part of a strategy to break the prisoner." Or "Drone Strikes vs. Drone Strikes using Illegal WMD." Which is again, something that frequently comes up in regards to the actual law. "Because the film says so?" The film is giving a Star Trekized version of the law, something that has been worked on, refined, and duly constrained time and time again over the course of centuries. It is giving us the guidelines and raw reasons to dumb down insanely complex issues that even most lawyers are not qualified to give judgement on to the audience, not the least of which issues involve morality and ethics. You can disagree or believe a given law is unjust and that is fine, but that doesn't mean you can make broad judgements of misconduct on the Federation or Kirk for following the same laws Marcus flagrantly abused. "That's the problem; it's saying that this one thing is wrong, but it doesn't even touch on other, very related issues." Because those "very related issues" have separate and related corpuses covering them and their application, which is what went into the formation and refinement of the law if this version of the Federation follows anything like Common Law or Judicial Review. It's dumbing it down for the audience to keep the movie as short as it was, because that is well above the story's paygrade. "Also, how would dethawing the Augments undo trials?" It wouldn't. I don't know where you got that. "They went into cryo to escape justice. Leaving them in cryo would simply allow them to continue to escape the punishments they were sentenced to." Assuming they were criminals. Assuming that they weren't sentenced to cryosleep in the first place. Assuming that the sentences (IE: 50 Years in prison) are still in force. Assuming that they aren't just being kept there pending another trial. Really, we could spend a loooong time going into the legality of keeping them in Cryosleep, but Occam's Razor indicates that for whatever reason their presence in Cryosleep is legal. If the Federation really wanted to, they could simply issue pardons to the offenders so that they can continue to sleep indefinitely in Cryo without any of the other issues. It is complicated.

     Radiation Suits? 
  • Why wouldn't Star Fleet have radiation suits or something similar hanging down and easy to put on just in case somebody does have to go into the reactor room for whatever reason? I mean, it's the far future, it should be a pretty easy thing for everybody to make.
    • They did have something like that in Wrath of Khan, but only the glove were used because there wasn't time to suit up properly. That's probably the case for this too, although you're right, they ought to have them closer to hand. Maybe they wound up on the other side of Engineering while the ship was going ass-over-teakettle.
    • Zoom on over to the Wrath of Khan headscratchers page to see a pretty thorough discussion of (read: nerds like me complaining about) this very point.
    • Two guys were seen in Sickbay behind McCoy after he opened up the bodybag wearing elaborate suits - I assume those were radiation suits, and probably not easy to get into or out of.

     Distance: How far can torpedoes travel or warp and other things? 
  • Was distance as a whole screwed up in this film? Some like the distance between Earth and Kronos can apparently be made in a day and the Enterprise crashing on Earth have already been covered.. But since when is the distance between the neutral zone and the Klingon homeworld close enough Starfleet can shoot torpedoes at it. Since when could torpedoes cross light-years or go to warp? Or was the Enterprise in the Klingon home system and the Klingons have really poor security? For that matter how was Kirk able to use his communicator to contact Scotty? Since when did handheld communicators have that sort of range unless he was channeling it through the ship's systems? Either way, why wouldn't the Klingons have detected it? Was the portrayal of distance as a whole screwed up in this film? Also, given the sheer amount of times the transporters fail how is it Khan can beam himself all the way from Earth to Kronos across light-years...again without the Klingons noticing? I know the writers do not want to have the audience sit for ten minutes while the Enterprise goes from point A to point B, but couldn't the writers have done a better job of depicting distance traveled?
    • Torpedoes have been shown to maintain warp speed if fired at warp at least since Star Trek: The Motion Picture. They had not previously been shown to enter warp on their own, but that was the whole point of these special torpedoes.
    • The Klingons were all over that sector, with too much boots and birds to have just gotten there in response to Kirk's arrival. They noticed the transport, and were searching for Harrison.

     Why didn't Spock try to stop/slow down Harrison by telling him his people were still alive? 
  • At the end of the movie, when Spock and Harrison are fighting on top of the ship, why did Spock not even attempt to tell Harrison that his people weren't dead? Even if he couldn't have used that to talk him into surrendering at that point, it would have at least distracted him from trying to crush Spock's head like a grape. Honestly, I thought that's what Spock was doing when he mind-melded him. The knowledge that he still had something to fight to protect could have made him back down and agree to surrender. Was Spock just too emotionally compromised to think of using that knowledge against Khan?
    • Yeah, Spock's logic was long gone by the time he beamed down to start personally beating Harrison to a bloody pulp.
    • I figured the mind-meld was because he wanted to scramble Khan's brain, using his telepathic ability as a weapon.
    • If someone had just led you to believe something that not only wasn't true, but completely ruined all of your plans, would you believe a single word that came out of his mouth? Harrison would really have no reason to believe a word Spock said, even if he told him the truth.
      • On the flip side, if someone told you that your family, who you were willing to commit mass-murder for, was still alive, wouldn't you feel obligated to entertain the possibility that they might be telling the truth before writing them off as dead and committing another atrocity that might well lead to their executions? Khan's supposed to be a warlord, a military genius; he should know that enemies are just as capable of telling the truth as of lying, and not always assume the latter.

     On Harrison Crushing Heads 
  • I can buy Harrison crushing the head of an aged and weak admiral against whom he has a personal score, but trying to kill super-strong Spock that way twice, even after it failed the first time? For someone as brilliant as Harrison, it seems like a very inefficient way to apply his super strength. Why not a neck-snap or choke-hold, for instance?
    • He had a personal grudge against Spock, since he was the one (he thought) was responsible for killing the rest of his crew. He wanted to make Spock die a gruesome death for his betrayal, just as he did with Marcus. Neither person in that fight is clear-minded and rational at that point.
    • In the same way that (classic) Khan was unaccustomed to three-dimensional tactics, (new) Khan probably hasn't studied up on alien anatomy. He has had other priorities since he was thawed. Or, if you prefer, he assumed a half-human's bone stress limits would not be particularly greater than that of a human. Still doesn't explain why he tried twice, though.

     Why is Jim addressed as 'commander'? 
  • In the ten minutes when Jim is demoted, he's addressed by Spock (and Marcus too, I think) as 'commander'. Now, why? It wasn't his rank at the academy, so why is everyone calling him that? I think it should have been just 'Mr. Kirk'.. or does being First Officer automatically makes you a commander?
    • It's the First Officer position. Which is why Spock, and Kink once demoted, is formally reffered to as Commander.
    • Isn't the 'rank' a different thing than 'position', though? Like, if Uhura were to be made First Office, wouldn't she be still a Liutenant?
    • Since rank is different from position... do we ever actually see anything to prove that Kirk holds the rank of Captain at the start of the film? While it'd be odd to give a ship like the Enterprise to a low-ranking officer, they are supposedly on a routine and relatively uninteresting mission that might otherwise be good for training and shakedown of a newbie crew.
      • We know he holds the rank of captain as of the end of the previous movie—the duty fatigues have modified, but still very recognizable gold braids that conform to the TOS era rank insignia. By my reckoning, there are two possibilities as to why Kirk would be refereed to as 'commander,' and both assume that, like in the real-world armed forces note , it's really pretty difficult to demote an officer (it's usually easier to just drum out of the military all together). If Kirk were demoted to commander, it could indicate held a brevet rank, meaning his authority was granted by a warrant rather than a commission, making it much simpler to demote him. The second recalls the established naval tradition: if a Marine detachment on a Navy vessel is commanded by an officer who holds the Marine Corps rank of captain, he is addressed as major because a Navy vessel only has one captain: the ship's commanding officer. Kirk might still be a captain, but he no longer holds that office, so he's now addressed as 'commander.'
      • This is a very good answer, and I concur. The rank insignia notwithstanding, a commander can be a "captain" of a ship and this happens much more frequently than people think. Also, it is possible that the position of "first officer" can only be held by a commander (though in Prime Trek, Spock (a Captain) was Kirk's XO...however this may have been an exception given the fame of the Enterprise crew), thereby necessitating Kirk's demotion. Most likely, Kirk was given a brevet (or temporary) promotion to Captain after the events of the last movie and his failure at Nibiru necessitated his demotion. Note that his "demotion" was still a relative promotion, as he'd never really finished the academy (as I remember) and Pike threatened to send him back there. Commander rank for never officially finishing school is a good day's work in anyone's book!

  • Hold on a second. I'm confused as to why Kirk insisted on being called a 'commander', when it was never stated he was actually demoted in rank, just position. His captain had the rank of an Admiral, so it is perfectly legit for his First Officer to the rank of Captain. This is actually supported by the fact that Kirk still has a Captain rank insignia on his dress uniform after his demotion. And I believe a similar situation happened in Wrath of Khan, where we had Admiral Kirk and Captain Spock (although, a point was made when Kirk refused Spock's offer of officially giving command of the ship to Kirk, but Kirk technically acts as a captain anyway). On the other hand, The Motion Picture has both Admiral Kirk and Captain Decker temporary demoted to the rank of Captain and Commander (although, in that instance, Kirk DID officially ask for command of the Enterprise). But this aside, the only reason I can think of Kirk insisting on Spock calling him a Commander was just to spite Spock and make him feel guilty for getting them in trouble.

  • As per naval tradition, the captain of a vessel, regardless of rank, is always addressed as "Captain". Conversely, any captain aboard who is not the commanding officer is verbally bumped in rank to avoid missteps and confusion. Considering that Pike is an admiral, Kirk could not have been bumped "up" in rank and so was verbally dropped one level instead.

     Section 31 exploiting Harrison is wrong, but when the heroes do it, it's the right thing 
  • The whole conflict in the movie happens because Section 31 searches for HarriKhan in order to use him to further their own purposes, and when he rebels, they let him think that his crew is dead. That's what motivates him to exact revenge on Starfleet. Near the end of the film, Spock sends HarriKhan the torpedoes that used to contain his crew, set to explode... except he intentionally lets HarriKhan think that his crew are still inside them. Then, in the final confrontation, they need to take him alive, so they can use his blood to revive Kirk. In other words, exploit him. The main characters are wronging him in the same ways, but Spock's deception is treated as a clever move, while taking HarriKhan alive so they can use his blood is treated as the morally right thing (as opposed to letting Spock beat him to death). But the film doesn't even acknowledge that our heroes are doing the same sorts of things to him as Section 31, nor do the heroes themselves realize that. Kirk's speech at the end is the closest nod to anything of the sort, but it's too generalized and focused on revenge and violence to actually assume culpability for using HarriKhan. (On a related note, Spock's deception might well be responsible for HarriKhan's decision to crash the Vengeance on San Francisco - a consequence that also isn't acknowledged as his fault.)
    • For one, you are utterly mulching the definitions of "Exploit" and their meanings. Exploiting a 7 year old (by forcing If you do not bother to do the research about what them into prostitution/whipping them/raping them) is wrong and illegal, no? Well, does that mean "exploiting" a rich mining vein or fishing area is the same? (Again assuming they followed the actual laws). Admiral Alexander Marcus and Section 31 (or the elements of it that conspired with him at least) were acting in contravention of the law to unfreeze a war criminal outside of the bounds of the law and without proper authorization, produce things they had no legal right to produce, and generally overstretched their bounds. All of which to a truly despicable end using despicable means, no matter *what* one things of the Klingon Empire and whether or not it would be best to have it smashed and reformed. That is why it is wrong, legally and morally, and that is the kind of thing they were doing specifically, which Kirk and crew did not. In contrast, Spock was acting as acting Commander to save his crew in the middle of a goddamned *battle in which Khan was the enemy.* It is perfectly legal to trick your enemy, mislead him, play on his faults, generally screw with his head, and in general *exploit* him that way; that is *exactly* what Kirk and crew did in Space Seed and the Wrath of Khan, after all. It was perfectly legal to send him explosive laden torpedoes (*to eliminate an imminent threat to the crew and god knows how many innocent lives*) and mislead them about their contents. If anything, it would have been probably legal (given current laws at least) to keep them in the torpedoes and send them over. It is nasty. But war can be legally nasty so long as it is followed cleanly; you do not and never want to be in a fair fight, and as a terrorist Khan had even fewer rights or guidelines to engage than something from-say- the Klingon Empire would have. Secondly, it is perfectly permissible under the current law to take a blood transfusion from a dead or unconscious enemy, especially to save a life. As such, by our present barometer it would be perfectly legal to do that. Of course, we have countless other issues that make this questionable, like the aforementioned episodes dealing with the legality of using genetic items. However- even assuming these are still in play, and they might well not be in this different continuity- at the very *worst* Spock and the rest of the crew could claim acting in good faith in light of Khan's previous consent to McCoy's tests (see the above). Finally, some basic ethical and legal responsibility: HarriKhan's actions are above all his own damn fault when regarding things like the suicide bombing of the Vengeance, and there is nobody responsible for it but him. The only possible Grey Area there is when he was under Marcus's thumb and could rightfully claim to not have full ability to defy due to the threats, but this is clearly off the table in the event we are talking about. So no, ladies and gentlemen: The Laws are not there to *prevent* you from exploiting or using someone, it is meant to govern how they are used, and to prevent *specific types* of exploitation of use. Section 31 used Khan in an illegal, immoral, and unauthorized fashion; the crew of the Enterprise at worst did nothing that cannot be understood as acting in the best of faith and in accordance with the law as they understood it. Khan and Marcus cannot even remotely say the same.

     When did Harrison slip his leash? 
  • From his account, it sounds like he had escaped Section 31 control before the start of the film and was acting on his own for all his actions that we see. But almost everything he did furthered Marcus's plans to start a war with the Klingons: Making himself a threat, eliminating the other top brass, fleeing to Qo'noS. It's strongly implied if not outright stated that he knew Marcus's plan, which is how he knew that the warp core "accident" was nothing of the sort. So why did he do so much to further Marcus's goals? At the very least he could have picked a different planet to run to.
    • He most likely slipped his leash the time he said, since all the actions we see in the movie are clearly direct at both Starfleet and Marcus. As for the reasons why they are so convenient to the latter... offhand, when it's clear that Marcus wasn't killed in his initial attacks Harrison had to have known he would have to draw him out (and away from Earth and its' umpteenbajillion Federation forces). He knows one way to do that is to dick with Marcus's plan, and he doesn't hesitate in the least. Beyond that, it's not unlikely that Harrison had his own designs and uses for the Klingons, and so his own reasons for going to Quo'Nos (not the least of which being the possibility of seeking an alliance with them for protection and mutual benefit, or seeking to spark a war that would weaken both and allow him to conquer). So while he had slipped his leash when he said he did and was acting against Marcus for the movie, he had very good reasons for acting in ways convenient to Marcus's agenda.

     Lack of cryo in Star Trek society? 
  • So Bones explains that people don't have cryo anymore because they don't need it to travel to other planets. But wouldn't their futuristic society still need cryo for other purposes? Such as preserve a desperately ill patient until they can get help? It seems like the need for that would come up a lot.
    • By the 24th century, starships carry cryo equipment, and there is one instance of Voyager putting the entire crew in stasis. Tuvok even uses a thermos-sized stasis device to preserve a crewman's corpse during an away mission. The irritating truth is that Trek Doctors never use bio-stasis to save lives for the same reason that transporter technology isn't a panacea for everyone with a transporter pattern on file: it would interfere with the drama.
    • They have cryogenic technology in the future but it's not often used to put a whole person into indefinite stasis. They use other forms of stasis technology that are presumably safer and more reliable, generally.

     "What's that even like?" 
  • A very small nitpick, but: When Kirk finds out that Uhura and Spock are fighting in the elevator, he's flabbergasted and asks "What's that even like?" He should know, he fights with Spock all the time!
    • Not as Spock's girlfriend.
      • We obviously haven't read the same fanfics.
      • ^ (Troper rolls over laughing)
    • Also, Spock and Uhura are both very reserved, at least around (or when compared to) Kirk. Kirk is just trying to wrap his head around the concept of either of them actually being in any kind of heated discussion with each other.
    • Considering that Uhura and Spock proceed to demonstrate exactly what that is like almost immediately, and that it is very different from Kirk and Spock's arguments, it's a fair question.

     "Kirk reasoning" 
  • A funny thought. Kirk reasons that the London attack must have been a ruse: the only reason Harrison could have to bomb a library was to get together the captains so he could strike at them. But Kirk is wrong: that was not a simple library: it was a very good tactical objective, and Harrison even had good personal motives to attack at Section 31. So Kirk has just a lucky uninformed guess about Harrison plan.
    • Kirk was Right for the Wrong Reasons. Harrison had concrete and immediate reasons to attack Section 31, but getting all the Captains and Admirals together so they could be Board to Death was also one of his goals, Harrison basically running a massive Batman Gambit against Starfleet.
  • Not to mention that Kirk isn't told the target is Section 31; Marcus tells them it was a data archive containing information that was openly available to the public. With no classified stuff or anything else of import, it makes logical sense to assume that he has reasons for attacking it that are nothing to do with what the archive contained.

     Why would the Federation think their world is safe? 
  • The film seems to be going for a We Have Become Complacent theme for the Federation, with the trailers using the villain's "You think your world is safe. It is an illusion. A comforting lie, told to protect you." But the film takes place maybe a year after a single enemy ship wiped out a huge chunk of Starfleet, destroyed Vulcan, and almost destroyed Earth. Most people would be feeling less safe and secure after such unprecedented disasters and seeing threats in every shadow. So just who is being complacent? Maybe the main characters, against all logic, but the rest of the population, no.
    • One attack from one ship, which was thwarted pretty quickly, in a situation that is borderline impossible to repeat (a ship from the future), after about a century of no attacks on Earth period. Yeah, Nero's rampage was scary, but he was a one-of-a-kind threat and Earth is at the heart of the Federation, protected by layers of defences all across space that any attacker would have to get past. It doesn't hurt that nobody died in the attack on Earth; as far as your average citizen knows Nero got to Earth and then was promptly steam-rolled before he could threaten anyone.
      • There is some support from canon that Earth would feel less secure. Its canon in the original series that after V'Ger attacked earth in TMP that starfleet went very military afterwards. The difference between TOS and TMP and the later Trek films like Wrath of Khan is marked, almost like two different services. Perhaps in the Abrams versions the Nerada just has the same mobilizing effect that V'Ger did in the canon films.
      • Because the movie's all about 9/11 parallels, compare Nero's attack to that. One relatively small terrorist group, the major attack lasted one day, has never been replicated. It's still had a huge effect on our sense of security. Nero's rampage, on the other hand, is more like 9/11 had destroyed all of NYC instead of just the Twin Towers, and a year later, everyone is still complacent and doesn't think anything bad can happen to them, while NYC is still a barren crater. People are more prone to overdo the paranoia, not less. Besides, how many Federation citizens know that Nero was acting alone with a super-advanced ship from the future? Why wouldn't they assume that was a coverup, that the truth was that the Romulans (or maybe some unknown power) had more ships just as powerful and another attack could come at any moment?
      • That doesn't work because Nero did nothing to Earth. A more apt comparison would be that Vulcan was some European ally that got attacked by a foe that was defeated before he could do any real damage to NYC. You're also taking modern-day attitudes and trying to apply them to a completely different society; the Federation makes a big deal about being open, transparent, a free society where there are no secrets, no cover ups, the leaders are truthful and serve the public good. They don't assume it's a coverup because that just doesn't happen anymore. It'd be like trying to convince someone today that Italy feeds Christians to Lions using the Roman empire as an example. Your argument makes sense when applied to a modern-day perspective, not to a future Utopia where such thoughts are considered relics of a bygone age.
      • What do you mean "Nero did nothing to Earth"? He tried to do to Earth what he did do to Vulcan, which was collapse it into a black hole! The whole climax of Star Trek was built around stopping him from drilling into Earth's core to insert the red matter. Your analogy breaks down in that this would the the functional equivalent of somebody nuking the U.K. and everybody in the U.S. shrugging it off as trivial! Indeed, because this is such an open society, people would know exactly how close they came to obliteration and would thus be even more concerned about threats. The issue Marcus probably had was that people were not being proactive enough for his tastes. He wanted to preemptively destroy potential threats to the Federation, not just build stronger defenses, which was what most people were probably advocating.
      • Firstly, the modern West *also* makes a big deal about being an open/transparent/free society with honest and truthful leaders who try and serve the public good without secrets and coverups. And at the risk of sounding naive for someone who knows a lot of corpse burying, I think they do try. It's just that there isn't a 1-1 correlation between the ideals and reality as we saw in Star Trek (TOS, Deep Space 9, etc). So I would say the point can still be valid even given The Federation as space utopia.

    Radiation 

  • Kirk's radiation exposure is absurd to anyone who knows anything about radiation. To die within an hour of exposure, you'd need to experience in excess of 100,000 REM, which would probably require bathing in an active nuclear reactor, and I'm not sure even that would do it. Even people who had been near an enhanced radiation (i.e. neutron) nuclear bomb would have several days of life left to them before they keeled over.
    • My explanation for this is that warp cores use entirely different fuel than our modern nuclear reactors (a matter/antimatter mix of materials with exotic properties, which involves extremely high irradiation to keep the reaction stable. On top of that, the energies contained and generated in the warp core are ridiculously high. I consider it entirely possible Kirk (and Spock in TWOK) was killed by a combination or form of radiation far more potent than we know.

     Shuttles are not a tactic 
  • After Scotty works his magic on the Vengeance, leaving it helpless for a good 15 minutes in the movie (rough guesstimate). Why doesn't Kirk just hop in a shuttle and disable the Vengeance's weapons permanently? I mean unless all of the Enterprise's shuttles are completely defenseless, in which case he could have just flown to the hangar and made a 5 foot leap to the door. Star Trek's lack of shuttle use just seems to baffle me.
    • Considering that the Enterprise never even gets a real chance to fight back against the Vengeance, we don't know how effective weapons might be against its hull... shuttlecraft weapons might not even scratch it. Plus seeing an approaching shuttlecraft might prompt someone aboard the Vengeance to say "Oh hey, that's a pretty good idea" and hop into one of whatever war machine nightmare fighters it probably has stored in one of its bays.
    • Thanks to the OP it occurs to me in Star Trek even if shuttles don't have weapons, they do have warp, so why not suicide them under remote control? For instance, launch a shuttle, point it at the enemy ship, and set it to warp whatever.

     The Spock/Uhura relationship 
  • How is relationship supposed to work? I mean in an army kind of way, where a relationship with a superior and a lower ranked person on the same squad get into a relationship? I hear its against military protocols and it seems like it would be easy to show favoritism. Why in any discussions of this movie series does this get ignored?
    • Note that even as far back as the original series, romantic relationships were OK among crewmen, sometimes even encouraged so crew work better together. Kirk had flings with god knows how many women, and the episode "Balance of Terror" had two crew members getting married (the boy was even the girl's commanding officer). Besides, there are lots of other military protocols nowadays which are either different or non-existent compared to the Trek universe. This is probably one of them.
      • This. There is NO WAY Starfleet has an anti-fraternization policy. Half-human he might be, but Spock thinks and acts largely Vulcan, and respects the rules. If there was a rule saying a superior (or teacher, given the two of them were involved when Uhura was a cadet and he an instructor) could not get involved with a subordinate/student, their relationship would not exist, period.
      • As Janeway states in "Elogium," "Starfleet has always been reluctant to regulate peoples' personal lives." There is little anywhere to contradict this statement; even though episodes like "Lessons" or "Change of Heart" indicate explore how romantic entanglements can conflict with and complicate duties, it's clear that they're not outright forbidden.
      • The franchise has even deconstructed it a few times—notably in the TNG episode Lessons and the DS9 episode Change of Heart—showing why it's a really, really bad policy on Starfleet's part.
      • There is a practical element to consider here, and that is that starship crews are often far from home, on self-contained vessels, with few romantic opportunities. It may be that concern over the potential problems of Boldly Coming due to sheer desperation makes allowing the crews to fraternize preferable to, for example, the Kirk & Riker tradition of studying alien biology through sexual first contact. One wonders how many sick bay scenes about alien sexually-transmitted diseases ended up unfilmed...

    How did the Enterprise even survive the pounding she took from the Vengeance? 
  • After she's knocked out of warp, the Enterprise is torn apart by the Vengeance, literally. We see the BF Gs on the Vengeance literally overpenetrate the engineering hull and come out the other side. Seeing that the previous movie established that there's absolutely no compartmentalization in the engineering hull with hard bulkheads or even dropdown emergency bulkheads, that'd leave forcefield seals. But... main power died. Even if anyone was alive in the engine hull after it was torn through, they'd die after main power failed along with any kind of containment forcefields. And then there's all the hull bits flaking off during the big fall. How does the Enterprise even have any habitable volume left?
    • Uh, where does it show that the Enterprise has no bulk heads? Remember, just because it doesn't look like there's no compartmentalization doesn't mean there isn't. This is a world where they can unfold a sword and still have it be battle ready, it's not hard to believe that a similar bulkhead could slide out from those those cylindrical protrusions along the wall...not to mention there are, you know, doors on the enterprise.
    • Emergency forcefields are probably connected to independent backup power supplies (in other words: Batteries). In fact, for something like that, it'd pretty much be a requirement.

     No translator microbes? 
  • Why did they need Uhura to talk to the Klingons? Did they not have Universal Translators? In Enterprise they had the technology to translate alien languages they had never heard before.
    • I interpreted that as Uhura hoping that addressing the Klingons in their own language would earn her a measure of respect from them (presumably they'd know the difference because she was struggling a little). It's pretty common in real-world diplomacy, and many people appreciate the extra effort that it takes from a non-native speaker—just not Klingons, apparently. It was also another explicit Take That at Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and the Klingon translation scene that irritated Nichelle Nichols so much in that movie.

     Khan the weapons designer 
  • What makes Khan better at weapons and starship design than the researchers Admiral Marcus would already have available to him? I know he's an Augment, a super mad wicked genius, but all the same there's a 300 year gap between the science he knows and the science Carol Marcus knows. One would think he'd need a little studying to get up to speed on things before he can go fiddling with transwarp torpedoes and the like. It would be like resurrecting Einstein and asking him to work out string theory; no matter how brilliant he is, he'd need a little time to familiarize himself with research since his death before he could meaningfully contribute, and it's been way, way less time since Einstein's death and current times than it was between when Khan was active and when Marcus revived him. A better analogy would be to resurrect Newton in present day and have him work on string theory; it would take him probably the length of a doctoral degree program to get him caught up enough to meaningfully contribute. If the response to this is, 'Well he's an augment and therefore just really, really smart,' consider the following. Prime Khan was remarked upon by Spock as having 'two-dimensional thinking' and outsmarted by Kirk during the Wrath of Khan. Even Benedict Khan was tricked fairly easily by Spock during Into Darkness. He just doesn't demonstrate super genius attributes in either film that would justify him making a nearly instantaneous leap across 300 years of scientific advancement.
    • Yes, he is a genius, so he could catch up that quickly. But more importantly, it's the way he thinks. Khan is a soldier and a warlord who conquered and held the world with pure military might. Starfleet is basically a bunch of civilians who happen to be armed. They've been at peace for so long, they don't know how to make war. Note that Vengeance's biggest advantages weren't super secret cutting-edge technologies (though those helped), but just that it's a big ship with a lot of guns, completely computerized so that it can be run by one person.
      • I didn't realize it until right now, but Into Darkness is only one step removed from being a movie who's antagonist is Stupid Jetpack Hitler.
      • Khan may be a military genius for the twentieth century but that doesn't translate into being able to design superweapons. Khan is supposed to be a strategist and Chessmaster, not a mad scientist. Khan's mad skillz lie in outthinking his enemy and political maneuvering. That's a different kind of genius from inventing Wunderwaffen. Those WWII technical geniuses that invented the V2 rockets weren't charismatic politicians (like Churchill) or brilliant strategists (like Erwin Rommell). Their genius was limited specifically to one thing that they did well, not everything. It's just a matter of how in real life, people just don't understand what a genius is and how it works. Khan in TOS couldn't win the crew over to his cause because they couldn't be bought with promises of personal gain, nor could they be indimidated by his Alpha Male physique or attitude. His outdated form of charisma and masculinity (outdated by 23rd century standards) caused only one person to betray the Enterprise but she was an exception due to the fact that she didn't reside in the real world much as it was. That was Khan's real power, his animalistic primal instincts. Not intellect in the sense of being able to do differential equations in his head (he probably can't). But his ability to tap into something that the 23rd century man (who probably can) has lost.

     Khan the Anti Captain America 
  • Khan has the exact same back-story as Captain America. Is he supposed to be a commentary about something?
    • No, they only have superficial resemblances. Captain America was made a super soldier by chemical formula, IIRC Khan was engineered from before birth. Captain America fought against nazis in WWII, Khan effectively was his generation's equivalent of nazis who led WWIII. Captain America was accidentally frozen disarming a missile, Khan and his fellow supermen were frozen intentionally and launched themselves into space.

     How did Carol recover so quickly? 
  • Within maybe twenty minutes of being in severe agony with a broken leg, strapped down to a sickbay bed and actually shaking from pain, Carol is back on her feet with zero mention of her injury. Sure it's possible that there's some quick way to heal bones, but it seems rather odd that the injury was given such focus and then was dropped entirely and not even somewhat explained.
    • I may have missed it, but I didn't notice her again till they jumped to events 1 year later?
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