Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 068: Sushi

STbtM Posts: First - Previous

Nero explains "My purpose Christopher, is to not simply avoid the destruction of the home that I love, but to create a Romulus that exists free of the Federation." How is it that the destruction of Earth, Vulcan, the Federation, etc. prevents a supernova on a distant star? Of course, to even ask this question we have to forget that supernovas do not "threaten the galaxy", and forget that stars going nova is the process by which the elements for planets and life are made available.

Nero continues: "You see, only then will she be truly saved. That is why I will destroy all the remaining Federation planets, starting with yours." It hardly makes any sense to worry about Federation planets in this time when the Narada is perfectly capable of time warping back to a time prior to the defense grid and destroying Earth and any other planet on the list. Is there something special about this time? Is there something special about Captain Pike? Is there something special about the Enterprise? After all, the Narada was happily blowing apart the Federation fleet with no problem, but as soon as Nero suspected an antique starship might have a particular name, he treated it as an emergency, which was never explained.

Pike answers: "Then we have nothing left to discuss." Apparently, Pike has no clue regarding astrophysics, supernova, temporal continuity, or basic sanity as he seems to accept Nero's inaccurate & contradictory explanations, as well as his obviously ineffective plan. His reactions make as much sense as Captain Robau's, or George Kirk's, or Bones, or James Kirk, Spock, his mother, and the others.

Nero insists "You will give me the frequencies to disable Earth's defenses," as he walks over and picks up a wriggling alien leech with a pair of tongs while it makes sounds suspiciously like Khan's Ceti eels. In an interview after the film's release, the writers claimed that this was another homage to Wrath of Khan, and that they wanted to avoid directly lifting the plot device from that previous film. I suppose the difference between creative homage and getting caught in a direct ripoff can be a matter of opinion.

Nero holds up the black creature allowing us to examine it and his disgustingly dirty fingernails. "Centaurian slugs," he says, "they latch onto your brain stem, and release the toxin that will force you to answer." He dangles the quivering invertebrate above Captain Pike's face. "Frequency please, sir?"

"Christopher Pike, Captain of the USS Enterprise."

"As you wish..." Out of nowhere, a henchman grabs Pike behind the jaw, which normally would not force one's mouth open, however in this case it works instantly. Nero grabs a hook and latches it on to Pike's lower jaw, and in a very shaky camera shot, he drops the chattering escargot into Pike's mouth.

As this segment closes, in a long shot of the torture sewer we see Pike struggling against his restraints.

One thing that is never contested for some reason, is that Pike would have a series of frequencies memorized, meaning that something so secret and vital to the survival of the Federation would be simple enough to memorize, the captain would be doing the memorizing, and that they would not change randomly. We are to believe that a futuristic space armada has less security than it takes to buy the action figures from this film off Amazon. Silly, lazy writing.

No women appear or speak in this segment.

Spock boots Kirk out of the big chair in our next episode, Star Trek by the Minute 069: Angry Future Romulan


muser said...

"It hardly makes any sense to worry about Federation planets in this time when the Narada is perfectly capable of time warping back to a time... "

Other than the ACCIDENTAL time travel caused by the red matter Spock was using to try to save Romulus, we have no evidence that the Narada can travel through time, or that Nero knows any of the methods for doing so that TOS Kirk knows such as the slingshot effect, the Guardian of Forever, or the implosion formula. Time travel via Red Matter may be damaging or highly unpredictable (two ships went in a few seconds apart and emerged 25 years apart, for instance).

"... Nero suspected an antique starship might have a particular name, he treated it as an emergency, which was never explained... "

As I mentioned in another comment, I believe it is because he knew a younger Spock was on the Enterprise, and he has a personal hatred for Spock, all Spocks, any Spocks, and left him alive to suffer along with his older self who is stranded on Delta Vega.

BurntSynapse said...

The evidence that the Narada can travel through time seems obvious.

Nero's understanding that red matter was used to create singularities also seems to have much evidence, including his apparent training of his crew to prepare and deploy the stuff.

"Highly unpredictable" seems contradicted by Nero's ability to "calculate" (according to Ayel) the exact time and position of Spock's exit from the singularity many years later.

muser said...

He was able to calculate it, but it took him 20 some years. Also, initially he is surprised that he's traveled back in time, although he figures out pretty quickly that something has happened and asks Capt. Robau for the stardate. As for red matter, if the Romulans had it, they would have used it and not needed Spock to intervene. They may have learned to handle it once they captured the Jellyfish, from the onboard computer. The fact that they traveled through time once doesn't mean they can do it again. Also, as you know, I believe they traveled to a different universe, like when the "Defiant" in the Tholian Web ended up in a different universe, and, as we found out in "In A Mirro Darkly" also ended up 80 years or so in the past to be discovered by Mirror-Archer. One of my theories is that in this new universe, time travel may not be possible by any means that is known in the TOS universe. This might explain why Spock Prime never proposes going back and saving Vulcan in this timeline/universe. Of course, the evidence of all this in the movie is indirect at best. But I think Abrams, Orci and Kurtzmann may have something like this in mind and are keeping open their option to keep the time travel option closed. I'd actually kind of like that, much as I love the time travel episodes. Star Trek should be about space travel. If not, let's just admit it and rename it Time Trek.

BurntSynapse said...

Let me be clear: you claim that after having been sent through the singularity, Nero spent the next 20 years calculating an event that as far as he knew, did not occur, i.e.: Spock's time warp? Is there anything presented in the film to consider that plausible?

BurntSynapse said...

The (or a) mirror universe theory might have been a better setting for this film, but still would not have covered up for the internal inconsistencies.