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Idiot Plot / Star Trek

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The Star Trek movies are pretty bad in this regard:

  • Even the widely-regarded Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan relies on two blisteringly idiotic moments to drive its entire plot:
    • First, the Reliant crew are apparently incapable of counting planets, or looking up the name of a system in the Starfleet archives. Surely Kirk made a note at some point that there was a group of Augments, led by Khan himself, hanging out on Ceti Alpha V, the science officer and/or navigator noticed a new asteroid belt and/or missing planet from the charts last updated 15 years earlier. Then, once Khan's captured Reliant, he lays a trap so blatant even a cadet can spot it. Yet despite Saavik's insistent warnings, and despite everyone above her presumably being familiar with regulations (presumably drafted with a similar situation in mind), none of the senior staff think that any form of precaution is warranted. Dozens of dead or maimed cadets and one best friend be fair though, the whole point of this film is that Kirk is past his prime; a desk-jockey who has lost his edge and is suffering a mid-life crisis.
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier:
    • Sybok's Evil Plan is pretty dumb and only works because everyone else in the galaxy is apparently an idiot. He takes a Federation officer, a Klingon and a Romulan hostage so that a starship will be sent for him and his primitive followers to hijack. This plan relies heavily on only one of the three most powerful governments in the galaxy bothering to make a rescue attempt, that they sent one ship rather than a whole fleet, and that that ship would not have functional transporters.
    • Hilariously, Sybok is outraged when Kirk and company attack Paradise City, saying he didn't expect violence to result. Yes, how dare the Federation take the forced overthrow of Nimbus III as a hostile act! He apparently took the nickname "The Planet of Galactic Peace" too literally. And that's to say nothing of how the Klingons or Romulans would treat it...
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    • Let's not forget that the Enterprise-A is a malfunctioning mess that even Scotty is having trouble with. Nonetheless, Starfleet decides to send her into the conflict to save the day. Kirk himself asks why another ship isn't sent given the obvious problems with his. An admiral responds that there aren't any other qualified captains on-hand. So why not just loan Kirk and company a functioning ship? This is especially ridiculous as an exterior shot shows the Excelsior in the same dock as the Enterprise.
  • Star Trek: Generations: Has the infamous destruction of the Enterprise-D at the hands of a Klingon ship that is a quarter century old. These specific 'idiot plot' points are: 1) Geordi accidentally compromises the shield frequencies, because Beverly gave him the all-clear to return to duty without anybody thinking to check his visor despite it having compromised the ship before; 2) Worf fails to put up much of a fight against the Klingons, such as using the hundreds of phaser strips we know the ship has because we saw them used on the TV show... in fact he is ordered to fire a spread of torpedoes but we only see a single one launched, and Enterprise takes a ridiculous amount of time to come about and even face the enemy; 3) Nobody suggests rotating shield frequencies, a tactic which had been used successfully in battle situations on the TV series; 4) once the "battle" is over, Geordi is inexplicably unable to fix a coolant leak, or eject the warp core; 5) Riker, despite being repeatedly shilled as one of the best pilots in Starfleet, orders Deanna, the ship's counselor, to take the helm instead of doing it himself or getting another qualified pilot to take the seat instead. The combination of each of the characters having a firm grasp of the Idiot Ball is why the ship goes down, when by their usual level of professionalism there's no way it would've panned out that way.
  • Star Trek: Insurrection: There was absolutely no reason whatsoever for Data to have been on the Ba'Ku planet at the start of the film. Data is the third in command of the Federation flagship during an interstellar war that has killed billions, a war that Picard actually mentions fighting at the start of the film, as well as a whole load of other important diplomatic work such as first contact with an alien race that could prove very beneficial to furthering the war effort. And during all of this they just decide to send their one and only super intelligent android to study what appears to be a podunk pre-warp colony on an unimportant planet in the middle of nowhere. Remember that Picard and Data are not involved in the evil conspiracy in any way, shape, or form, so as far as they know the Ba'Ku should be way at the bottom of the list of priorities especially for the most important ship in the fleet. To put it another way; as far as anyone on the Enterprise knows, this is the equivalent of sending Albert Einstein to study Easter island during World War 2. In addition, when discussing the Son'a, one of their known activities is manufacturing a drug that is primarily used by the Dominion (The nation the Federation is at war with) to keep their Jem'hadar Super Soldier units in line, which means you could make a case that helping the Son'a at this time is an act of treason, killing the entire conflict of whether to save the Son'a or help preserve the Ba'Ku's way of life.
    • A good portion of this film only happens because the Admiral has nothing more than a scout ship and an unarmed holoship at his command, making him completely subservient to the whims of Picard and unable to defend himself in any way whatsoever from the Son'a and Data. As already mentioned above, this is a war situation and they are dealing with people who have known links to their enemy, and yet he doesn't bring even a single starship along with him for defence and support? A Galaxy or an Intrepid class would have completely changed the dynamic of this whole situation, and even a couple of lesser ships such as the Miranda or Excelsior class (which we know from Deep Space Nine seemingly number in their hundreds) would have been much better than nothing, and yet for some reason he figures that being completely at the mercy of his allies and of the Dominion is something that somehow makes sense.
  • Star Trek: Nemesis: Even assuming that the Enterprise really is the only ship standing between Earth and the entire Romulan Star Empire, we still run into certain problems. This is a movie in which redneck off-roading on a pre-Warp planet in broad daylight is considered the most sensible way to recover pieces of a dismantled android, and a villain who is dying has no problem with dicking around for 17 hours for no reason rather than trying to obtain Picard's blood, which he needs to survive.
  • Star Trek (2009):
    • First, Spock obviously didn't get out of bed soon enough to save Romulus. Nevermind that supernovae do not happen overnight. More important however, Nero went back further in time than Spock. He had decades to plan what he was going to do. If his IQ were larger than his shoe-size he simply would have waited for Spock to come back in time, and then seized him. At which point instead of going on some dim-witted revenge plot would have taken Spock, and the Red Matter ROMULUS! That would have given his people both the technology to save their planet (with an enormous lead-time to prepare), and given them the advanced technology in his ship thus giving them superiority over the Federation. Perhaps one can buy that Nero was too grief-stricken to think of this, but he had enough time for Kirk to mature from newborn to Starfleet Cadet! And even if Nero didn't think of it...did no one on his ship have two brain-cells to rub together which would have allowed them to point this out?
    • Conjecture that all of these things happen in an alternate universe rather than as a change in the prime timeline are even more idiotic as that means the Vulcan that Nero went to so much trouble to destroy in his dim-witted revenge scheme...wasn't even the one relevant to the Spock at whom he was pissed!
  • Star Trek Into Darkness:
    • First, Starfleet unfreezes a 300 year old guy who was sentenced as a war criminal to help them out with super dangerous weapons. Then they hold people he cares about over his head. Then he proceeds to not make much sense and puts his "family" in torpedos for some reason. Cue blowing stuff up so he can get all of Starfleet's officers into one room to blow them up. He blows them up then uses the beaming trick from the last film to go to the Klingon homeworld. Starfleet evil guy decides to send a diplomatic ship there instead of his cool new warship. So they go, not beaming there for some reason, with super ka-boomey torpedos that'll probably alert any Klingon on the planet that they're there. They go down, still refusing to use the beaming trick, get the bad guy up, hear his shit, and find that there's the warship that should have gone in the first place. It follows them through warp... somehow. The evil guy agrees to help them, they shoot him for no reason, then he gets up and promptly kicks all their asses. They can call old Spock, but somehow can't call for help or warn people down below of the warships. Anyways, Spock decides it would be a good idea to piss off Khan and blows the torpedos. Khan plows through San Fran and Kirk dies, and Spock goes after him because that's what Vulcans DO! Except there's this Tribble that was glued to the table and was dead before, so Bones needs Khan's blood, not like he doesn't have 72 perfectly good frozen dudes right there.
    • Everything about the torpedoes is a series of Idiot Plots. It starts with Section 31 thinking that a warlord from 300 years ago, when nukes were still the big thing, is the best person to help them design brand-new weapons, solely because he's genetically engineered. He somehow (supposedly) succeeds, but he "cleverly" uses the torpedoes as a way to smuggle his followers out, only designing enough torpedoes to contain his crew and no dummy ones make his plan less obvious. Section 31 then proceeds to foil the plan and confiscate the torpedoes, but between that and Marcus giving them to Kirk to use on Qo'noS, have apparently not tinkered with them at all, as all the torpedoes still contain the crew in stasis and none have been used. So Section 31/Marcus must have taken the baddie at his word that the torpedoes would work as intended, even though they had no reason to trust him and every reason to at least test them beforehand. And while the audience never finds out if the torpedoes have the all-important range or stealth capabilities that make them unique, they are shown to be explosive. Not exactly the safest feature in containers meant to smuggle people safely.
    • Who thought that hiding the Enterprise underwater on the planet in the Cold Open would be a good idea?! What purpose would that serve that couldn't be done by keeping the ship in orbit around the planet and beaming people back and fourth? Ok, the people on the planet might see a new star in the sky for a while, if the ship stayed in orbit until nightfall, but that's nothing compared to seeing a starship rise out of the water and fly over their tribe. If they had kept their space ship in space, Kirk wouldn't have been removed as captain from his ship, and that whole pointless subplot wouldn't have even happened.


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