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Spoiler Talk: Explanations For 10 Gripes People Have About The New ‘Star Trek’ Film
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Week of Geek: Star Trek banner

Ok, so I’m extending the Week of Geek Star Trek edition by one more day, because after two viewings of the new film and countless comments and forum posts I’ve read about it, I felt I should address some of the likes and dislikes about the JJ Abrams‘ prequel/reboot that people have expressed.

When I went to see the new Star Trek twice this weekend, I snarked not. I’m not saying that it’s a perfectly crafted story with no plot holes and no highly improbably scenarios. I’m just saying that the film was so entertaining for me on a whole that while watching it, I was never taken out of the story by those “WTF?” moments that every single film has. And, I really thought I would, because I typically can’t get down with time-travel stories. Yeah, I love me some Back To The Future and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but those are comedies. You don’t fear the time-travel complications the way you do in a movie like Star Trek, where lives can be altered permanently and you can’t just laugh off the consequences.

But, like I said, every film has those “WTF?” moments, and for Star Trek, I’m seeing posts and comments all over the internet about people’s issues with the film. Some of these queries into the film are more easily answered than others. Therefore, here’s some possible explanations for 10 issues consistently noted by people who’ve seen the film, as well as a list of why the new Star Trek film is all right with me.

WARNING: This article contains mega-SPOILERS, so if you haven’t seen the new Star Trek, enter at your own risk. There be SPOILERS here, Admiral!

Possible Explanations To Top 10 Gripes

1 – How can they beam people aboard a starship that’s traveling at warp speed, but yet they have trouble beaming back two people falling from a drill platform?

It’s because that transwarp beaming, which allowed Kirk and Scotty to beam back on to the warping Enterprise, was what only Scotty knew how to do and he was not aboard the ship when Kirk and Sulu were freefalling onto Vulcan without a parachute. The real question is, if Chekov could beam two people freefalling back to the ship, why did he have trouble beaming the Vulcans up quickly when they weren’t even moving? Obviously, they had to make Spock’s mom’s death dramatic, and it certainly was, especially afterwards when Spock is staring at the spot she should have been beamed to on the Enterprise transporter pad. Perhaps it was the seismic conditions on Vulcan making it difficult to quickly beam them aboard.

2 – Kirk being stranded conveniently near a Starfeet outpost on Delta Vega.

Spock did NOT maroon Kirk on the ice planet Delta Vega to die, he just wanted Kirk off the Enterprise and out of the way, as it was obvious that simply placing Kirk in the Brig would not be enough to stop him. (Plus, Kirk was never even supposed to be on the Enterprise to begin with.) So, Spock had him ejected to the surface of Delta Vega right near the Starfleet outpost. Why Nero dropped Spock in that same location, that I don’t know. Perhaps that was the only real inhabitable area on the surface (think Greenland, can’t just land anywhere there) and since Nero wanted Spock to live to see the destruction of Vulcan, it would make sense to leave him somewhere he would survive, at least for a little while.

3 – Why didn’t Scotty know about the destruction of the planet Vulcan if Delta Vega and Vulcan were so close to each other?

Looking back, I don’t think Scotty mentioned anything about Vulcan and he seemed only concerned with getting a sandwich. Maybe Vulcan’s destruction hadn’t yet effected Delta Vega, so the computer did not bring up an alert. Or, perhaps there’s no alert system in place for that. I mean, if I google something, my computer brings up the information, but if a building collapses a block away from me, my computer does not alert me to it (and I’m in Manhattan where there are building and crane collapses all the time — and yet I don’t find out about them until I turn on the news). But, yeah, it does seem strange that Scotty doesn’t know AND that Spock and Kirk didn’t bother to tell him — although, they had more pressing matters at hand.

4 – If it was a Starfleet outpost, then why didn’t Scotty have food?

He clearly did have food, but it seems like the only food he had left were military rations — not exactly appetizing. It’s possible that he was only supposed to be stationed there for six months, which would mean he was at the end of his time on that assignment (hence why he wasn’t surprised to have visitors). This was an outpost, not a base — think International Space Station, not a ton of people up there. Obviously, getting stationed there is not ideal, but since he pissed the wrong person off, that was the undesirable assignment he got.

5 – Chekov’s thick Russian accent.

Ok, here’s the thing. Chekov’s Russian accent in the original series and subsequent movies IS strong. Remember in Star Trek IV, he kept saying “nuclear wessels”? Actually. He’s younger in this new film, so it would stand to reason that his accent would be stronger and he’d still have problems pronouncing the English V’s. Also, Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov in the new movie, IS Russian and was born in Russia. It’s not just some American guy putting on a thick Russian accent; if anything, he knows what he’s doing. I’m familar enough with Russian accents to know that he wasn’t really putting it on that thick (my stepmother and her family are from Russia and after speaking English for over 30 years already, they can still be hard to understand). I think over time, people will get used to Chekov’s speaking and it an issue anymore after several viewings of the new Star Trek.

6 – The Spock and Uhura relationship and why were they kissing in the transporter room in front of people?

I had no problem with relationship between Spock and Uhura and thought it was great to actually see Spock in love. But there’s only one reason why I think this relationship would be improbable — because Spock was her instructor at the Academy. It’s doubtful that Spock would go against a code of conduct to have relations with a student. But, we don’t know the origins of their relationship. They could have meet when he was in a teaching assistant-type role where there would have been no conflict. Or, maybe he had been her instructor at one point and they got together much later and she was never his student again. As for the kissing scene in the transporter room, I think the only person there was Scotty and he didn’t even know them. It makes sense that Uhura would go to see him before he left and since Spock basically thought he was on a suicide mission anyhow, there was no reason to hide. He thought he was never going to see her again, so what did it matter if Scotty and later Kirk knew about them? Plus, that scene spouted some great comedic reactions from Kirk and it was really fun to see Spock get the girl for a change.

7 – If Kirk finished the Academy in only three years, how did the other cadets advance as fast?

Pike says to Kirk that he can finish the Academy in four years; Kirk vows to do it in three and he seemingly does. Before he enlists, when Kirk meets Uhura at the bar in Iowa, she is already a cadet at the Academy, presumably a year into her studies. Bones, who enlisted when Kirk did, possibly advanced quicker as well because he was already an experienced doctor, so perhaps he got to skip the more basic medical training, thereby making it possible to graduate from the Academy in three years also. We meet Chekov and Sulu on the bridge of the Enterprise, so we never knew their status when Kirk enlists. Scotty we know was already in Starfleet and obviously out of the Academy since he was already out on assignment.

8 – Why was the Enterprise crewed by cadets? Where were the senior officers?

When the alert came in at the Academy about seismic activities on Vulcan, it was stated that most of the fleet was stationed elsewhere, presumably not in range of Vulcan. (So, the bigger question would be, isn’t it unwise to place most of your fleet in one area, leaving so many places unprotected — including Starfleet Academy?) Therefore, they had to resort to the cadets going on the mission, which — don’t forget — seemed to be a relief effort from a natural disaster on Vulcan, NOT an active combat mission. If there was an earthquake in California, but most of Red Cross workers were already providing relief to a previously stricken area — say, China — hit even harder by an earthquake, don’t you think they’d send out less experienced workers to California if that’s all they had to send? That’s what happened with the Vulcan situation. And, there were Senior officers on the ship — like Spock, Pike, and the Senior Medical Officer who was killed, as well, I’m sure, as many we didn’t get to meet.

9 – “I canna change the laws of physics…” Problems with the physics of black holes, supernovas, warping, starship construction, and more.

Physics was never my best subject in college, so I won’t even try to explain this one; I’ll leave that up to the likes of Dr. Geek, PhD. But, I will say that while everyone has a problem with the changing of the laws of physics in science fiction movies, no one seems to acknowledge the super-human strengths of the heroes of these kinds of movies. Kirk started out the mission with all those injections from Bones, which had harsh side effects; he then space jumped to the drill platform and nearly fell off of it and had to fight mano-a-mano with a huge Romulan, ending in a near-death parachute-less freefall from the platform; back on the Enterprise, Spock gave him the Vulcan nerve pinch, then he was ejected from the ship onto a frozen wasteland where he had to outrun TWO ice creatures, followed by a walk through harsh surface conditions to get to the Starfleet outpost; Spock later gave him a beat down, complete with the mythical death grip choke; when Kirk went to the Narada to face Nero, he got another beat down from the Nero and his first officer. All of this takes place in a relatively short time-span. Don’t you think he would have dropped dead from exhaustion or even at least passed out at some point? But, we accept Kirk’s super-human ability to maintain his strength and never weaken because he is the action hero of the film; therefore, we should probably allow for the breaking of the laws of physics in scifi movies.

10 – How could Kirk be promoted from Cadet to Captain? How would all those cadets be assigned to the Enterprise under him?

It’s a little unclear to me how long AFTER the events with Nero that Kirk was promoted. Was it right away? Was it much later? That was really the one issue that stuck out to me in the entire film — that he would be promoted right to Captain. I don’t think any amount of heroics and valor would get your rank moved up so quickly (outside of combat, that is — in combat, we see how easy it is to move up, if your senior officers are killed, but your rank doesn’t stay that way forever; it’s only temporary). I can see Pike going from Captain to Admiral without a problem, it actually makes sense because of his performance in combat, and he probably put in enough time to earn that rank, and he couldn’t go back into active duty with his injuries. Near the end of the film, Spock tells Kirk “Tell Lieutenant Uhuru…” but I’m not sure if that was her rank for that mission only, or she had already earned it. Spock and Scotty were already officers; we never knew Sulu and Chekov’s status when we met them and in the end, they took their places at the helm, so it’s still unclear what there ranks were. It’s possibly that Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, and Chekov all were promoted too because of their actions during the battle with Nero. Regardless, it’s obvious that this was a way to get the original crew back on the Enterprise so that in the sequel they can get right back in action.

One Part I didn’t Understand Too Well:

Spock Prime and Nero go through the time warp in their relative ships. Nero goes through first and he’s there for 25 years before Spock Prime comes through. When Spock Prime comes through, only minutes have passed. Huh? I’m quite confused about the time-traveling part with these two characters, so feel free to explain it to me.

Why I Loved Most Of The New Actors… and Not Others

“Buckle up!” and Chris Pine’s rise to action hero heights. While I thought Kirk’s final Kobyashi Maru test would have been more epic than it was, I did love Chris Pine‘s acting in this scene — it was pure Shatner and very reminiscent of Wrath of Khan (even had the apple and everything). The amazing thing about Pine’s performance throughout the film is that while it wasn’t a mimic of William Shatner, it had that same charisma. You see him as Captain Kirk. You trust that knows how to handle every situation — whether it’s seemingly a no-one situation or not — or he at least will make the attempt to handle it, even if the odds aren’t in his favor. The filmmakers did the right thing by putting this relatively unknown actor in the spotlight — they’ve discovered a true gem.

“You will not lecture me…” and all things Zachary Quinto. Zachary Quinto totally rocked the young Spock role. He is Spock. No, he’s not at the point of Spock’s life that we are used to, but you can see that this young Spock will grow into the Leonard Nimoy character. His chemistry with Chris Pine’s Jim Kirk is spot-on and exactly what was needed to make us love Spock and Kirk together in this film and want to see their relationship evolve into the blood-brother one we love so much. One of my favorite lines from Spock to Kirk: “Out of the chair…”

“Damnit, I’m a doctor, not a physicist” yet you can’t keep a good doctor like Bones in Sick Bay. Basically every bit of Karl Urban‘s performance and dialogue as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy was amazing, perfect, beyond belief f’n fabulous. How he almost never has to stay in Sick Bay where he belongs is still mind-boggling, but the Bridge would surely be no fun without him.

“I’ll be monitoring your frequencies” and the liberation of Uhura. Zoe Saldana‘s Uhura is strong and capable and luckily not living under the same sexist constraints of 1960’s U.S. television as Nichelle Nichols. Saldana shows us why Uhura would land a coverted spot on the Enterprise — NOT because of her affair with Spock (that almost cost her her desired assignment), but rather because she’s a linguistics master. Who wouldn’t want an officer who can speak all three Romulan dialects and be able to intercept and translate Klingon transmissions? She is basically C3PO! Oh, and she’s sexy as hell.

“Ready for warp” and Sulu’s unique combat skills. While John Cho is typically the funny man in his films, in Trek he plays it straight as the helmsman of the Enterprise. I loved it when we find out that Sulu’s experience in combat is in fencing! It got a laugh from the audience, but everyone cheered when he pulled out that folding Katana sword and did his best Jedi impression. (It reminded me a lot of the scene in Return of the Jedi on Tatooine with Luke Skywalker fighting on the skiff). Back on the bridge, we know this Sulu will maneuver the hell of those thrusters!

“Wictor, Wictor…” and Chekov’s wiz-kid abilities. It’s established right away that this teenager is really a genius, so it’s a great way to place him aboard the Enterprise again at the end. Anton Yelchin does his best as the young, enthusiastic ingenue, whose advanced knowledge saves the day at least once (even if it wasn’t enough on Vulcan).

“I like this ship” and every scene Simon Pegg is in. It’s clear that Simon Pegg, who plays the starving Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, steals every scene he’s in, so perhaps it’s good that he wasn’t in too many. I wasn’t sure how Pegg would pull off this beloved character, but he does it — and does it well. Scotty spin-off movie, I say “Aye”!

Honorable Mentions

Leonard Nimoy
I know, I don’t even have to mention Leonard Nimoy because it’s a given that if he’s in a Star Trek film, he’s the biggest asset. I had chills down my arms and legs every time Nimoy was on the screen, not to mention the teary eyes. His presence elevated this new movie to a level that any Trek fan should be proud of.

Bruce Greenwood
Bruce Greenwood‘s Captain Christopher Pike served well as the mentor for the new cadets aboard the Enterprise. His promotion to Admiral at the end of the film was quite fitting.

Ben Cross
As Spock’s father Sarek, Ben Cross reminded us of why we just love Vulcans so damn much. Yeah, he shows no emotions, but does he need to? The love and caring for his son is obvious even without emotions and we can see why Spock’s human mother Amanda would fall in love with this man.

Chris Hemsworth and Jennifer Morrison
While there scenes were short, Chris Hemsworth and Jennifer Morrison opened the film as Jim Kirk’s parents George and Winona Kirk aboard the USS Kelvin, which was under attack by Nero as a very pregnant Winona went into labor with Jim. After this opening sequence, you wish so badly that these are the parents Jim Kirk had been raised with. Thought his father was killed, his mother survived the attack and the birth of her son, but it’s not clear why then Jim was raised in Iowa by his Uncle in this version if his mother was still alive. (You hear the Uncle telling Jim that his mother is “off planet.”) Either way, both actors did a great job using what little time they had on-screen to make us endeared to them instantly.

DisHonorable Mentions

Unfortunately, while I love Eric Bana, I don’t think his Romulan character or his performance in the new film were anything special. As Nero, Bana had to play the over-the-top villain who’s crazed out of his mind where he’d rather die than live without achieving his revenge, similar to Khan in Wrath of Khan. But his performance was far from Khan. The true stand-out Romulan in the film is Nero’s first mate (can’t remember his name in the movie) — he was way more badass and frightening because he maintained his wits about him. Another disappointment — Winona Ryder as Spock’s human mother. I’m not sure if it was the poor quality of her “aging” make-up or if she just will always sound like she’s her character from Heathers, but I felt that she brought nothing unique to this role. Not that she ruined it, but I just don’t see why it was so important for them to get her for the role, especially since she’s not old enough to be Spock’s mom and they had to age her on-screen.

Well, that’s it for this edition of Spoiler Talk, at least on my end. Now it’s time for you guys to offer up your explanations and comments about the new film, its possible plotholes, and/or what you loved/hated about it. I welcome all of your comments … except the ones that call me stupid and stuff.

42 Comments »

  1. What about Faran Tahir? That guy stole the whole show as Robau. True badass.

    Comment by urbandk — May 11, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

  2. Spock Prime and Nero go through the time warp in their relative ships. Nero goes through first and he’s there for 25 years before Spock Prime comes through. When Spock Prime comes through, only minutes have passed. Huh? I’m quite confused about the time-traveling part with these two characters, so feel free to explain it to me.

    think of the black hole as a doorway, on either side of that doorway are two different times, but the doorway itself is 25years wide.

    time isn’t any different on either side, but the act of passing through the doorway takes 25 years.

    best i can do.

    Comment by mo — May 11, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  3. Loved your article! I thought the movie was surprisingly good, and in response to your article I would like to contribute a video I made, commemorating the torch passing between old Star Trek TV series and the new Star Trek film. I think you’ll like it.
    (be sure to click the HQ button)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FAynFz5SYw

    Thanks.
    Have a great day!

    Paul Sibbald

    Comment by paul sibbald — May 11, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  4. I don’t have any problem believing that Kirk would go from cadet to Captain so quickly. It wouldn’t work in the Next Generation era because everything seemed much more strict by then, but Kirk’s time has been shown to be a little looser with the rules. Kirk stole a ship in the original movies and as punishment they gave him a new Enterprise. Him skipping all those ranks is just another case of Starfleet realizing what a badass Kirk is.

    Comment by [email protected] — May 11, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

  5. Dropping Kirk on the Ice Planet Delta Vega was convenient, yet logical for the writers. (hehe.)

    If the pacing of this film wasn’t so good I might have noticed it more prominently.

    Comment by TechGOnzo — May 11, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  6. I also disagree entirely about Eric Bana’s portrayal of Nero. I didn’t even realize who I was watching until the credits rolled.

    Comment by TechGOnzo — May 11, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

  7. TechGOnzo:
    Oh, I agree that you do NOT think you are watching Eric Bana. I just thought the way he said most of the dialogue was so childish. I wasn’t really afraid of him — I was more afraid of his second in command, for sure.

    I love Eric Bana and I really want to like him in this film, I just don’t feel like his character was fleshed out enough. Perhaps had we got to see his time in prison, which was cut out, it would have been better. I read the prequel comic, so I already knew his back story, but you shouldn’t have to read supplemental material to understand the movie.

    Comment by Empress Eve — May 11, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

  8. If Nero went through the time warp into the “past” why didnt Nero just go to his planet that was “still there”? Save everyone knowing already what would happen to the planet in the future?

    Comment by Julia — May 11, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  9. i actually like Nero as a different antistereotypical villain. he’s angry for the loss of his wife and only wants people to suffer and he doesn’t dilly-dally with long winded speeches and threats. when contacting a federation ship he simply says ‘Helooo’ or ‘Hi’ and orders the captain to surrender. i perceive that casualness and playfulness more menacing when you witness what he’s capable of

    Comment by argus — May 11, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

  10. The worm hole thing with Nero and Spock (old)
    Nero and his men enter the the worm hole at the same time as Spock. They both go back in time, however Neros group goes 25 years further in time than Spocks (this is where the movie starts as Nero and crew enter from a worm hole and kill Kirk’s dad who was only captain for 12 minutes). Later on, approximatly 25 years later – Spock comes out of the same hole and gets captured. So why does Spock say that only minutes had passed for him? Well, it took both people just minutes to go through the black hole, however because Nero went through 25 years eariler, he had to wait 25 years for Spock who was in the black hole for just minutes.
    the part that doesn’t make sense to me is, why doesn’t Nero get any older from where we see him in the first scene to when we see him 25 years later?

    Comment by jhg566g — May 11, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  11. I had no problems with this film at all.
    It is a wonderful film.

    Comment by Jerry — May 11, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  12. Nice article; I think that some people are picking holes just to pick holes.

    The ‘Uncle’ you mentioned was actually his stepdad (at least that’s the vibe I got and the ‘official’ explanation) – and the voice belonged to Greg Grunberg!

    Comment by Rich — May 11, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  13. *SPOLIERS* I love the supposed coincidences in the movie, not least Kirk, Spock Prime and Scotty convening on Delta Vega. It’s as if time is trying to fix itself. Bones is not the chief medical officer at first but is promoted after Nero’s ship takes out whatever deck the actual chief medical officer is on. Uhura isn’t supposed to be on the the bridge but follows Kirk up and gets promoted due to her skills in Romulan dialect. Sulu isn’t supposed to be helmsman on the day the Enterprise launches and if it wasn’t for “lung worms(?)” the scheduled helmsman would not have forgotten to switch off the dampers and catapulted the ship into certain destruction, whether Kirk realized the danger or not. There are lots of these little coincidences woven into the story and dramatically they work really nicely. It’s like fate is intervening to put things right.

    Comment by Walter Beck — May 11, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

  14. Sulu was terrible. It’s bad enough he’ll always be Harold, but now he’s some crappy hybrid between Harold and the nervous freak from House. Star Trek was full of TV Sitcom actors, which makes it even sadder that he stood out as a poor actor.

    I thought Scotty was over the top too much. He was funniest when he was using his inside voice. “So you’re from the future. Do they still have sandwiches?” He was relegated to verbal/physical comedy (Glimli style) in an attempt to ignore his personality and leave him for pure comedy relief. A waste.

    Was an ok movie. Average Trek movie (they tend to be hit or miss, this was kinda good)

    Comment by Jack9 — May 11, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  15. Very good analysis – I like everything you’ve said here (especially the shout-outs to Nimoy, Urban and Pegg). My big question about the film was WTF was Winona Kirk doing giving birth on a starship? Was she also in the fleet and she accidentally got pregnant? Family ships didn’t come about until ST:TNG, if I’m not mistaken, so it seems to me that if a crew member had become pregnant, she would have been transferred off the ship asap.

    Comment by Trektat — May 11, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

  16. I loved the movie, and like you, was wrapped up enough in the fun of it to ignore any plot holes. My biggest problem with the film was not from a plot stand point, but I hated all the needless lens flares they used. And Bana could have been better villain, but he wasn’t given that much to do, he was just there to set the plot in motion. He’s certainly no Khan.

    As for the black hole/time difference, who are we to say what happened. Maybe they entered the hole at different angles and that threw off their trajectories through the time stream enough for them to come out in different periods. This is just me spit balling a possible explanation. I’m no scientition.

    Comment by Hnechman 21 — May 11, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

  17. Re: The Black Hole. This is just a relativity issue. Nero passed through the Blackhole in minutes, arriving in year 0 (for simplicity sake). Spock, relative to himself, travels through the Blackhole in minutes, just like Nero. Because of time dilation (objects in a Blackhole are experiencing time much differently) it the 5 minutes in the Blackhole seemingly take 25 years outside of it. In a Blackhole, time is screwed up and you feel like you’re moving normally, but around you time is going by very quickly. Its a complicated thing.

    As for Kirk becoming Captain, it’s not that much of a stretch. Pike promoted him to First Officer in the very beginning. Pike knows Kirk is talented and wants him close to the bridge. First Officer is next in line to become Captain. Later, he assumes the role of Captain, comes up with a complicated last minute plan, saves the Earth, removes the threat, destroys Nero, and saves the Enterprise. Upon Pike’s recommendation there is no reason he wouldn’t be promoted. (Though considering the Enterprise was Pike’s ship it would quite possibly be a new flagship, and the odds of Kirk taking over that would be slim. But again, as Admiral, whatever Pike says will carry a lot of weight.)

    Comment by Robert — May 11, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

  18. #9 “I canna change the laws of physics”
    This one always cracks me up, basically thats what warp drive is, using power to bend space and travel faster than light.
    so technically, scotty CAN change the laws of physics, everytime he pulls off some new trick! or at the very least discovers new laws while disproving the old one.

    Time travel does not have to be linear, the second or two more that spock prime took to enter the singularity could have caused all the difference, a single molecule or two changes can have drastic effects.
    yes, i know, im not a quantum mechanist or theorist, but I have seen a lot of tv and movies on time travel ;)

    Comment by Joe — May 11, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  19. Kirk’s sudden jump from Cadet to Captain does seem problematic on the surface. It has been pointed out that this is a “looser” time period than NextGen. It should also be remembered that during the Original Series, Kirk was best known for being the youngest Star Fleet Officer to achieve the rank of Captain.

    To best understand the jump in rank, we must consider Kirk’s literary and historical antecedents: Admiral Lord Nelson, Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, and the like. In Admiral Nelson’s Royal Navy, as in Star Fleet, the commanding officer of any vessel, regardless of actual rank, is referred to as “Captain”; the first officer was his Lieutenant, sometimes a 2nd Lieutenant would also be aboard, or more. a lieutenant by rank in command of a vessel was promoted Master and Commander of that ship, and entitled to be addressed as Captain of her, and to wear a single epaulette on the left shoulder; however further promotion was still at the whim of fate and politics. the dream of every master and commander is to be “made
    Post”, that is, promoted to the rank of Post Captain, assured of continued advancement to Admiral based solely on the seniority lists.

    We can assume that all crew below the rank of Ensign–the lowest ranking commissioned officer in star fleet, and technically the lowest rank to serve on a constitution class vessel–that is, all the cadets, were technically considered “acting ensigns” once assigned to Enterprise, and we can further assume that by being made first officer, this was equivalent to a field promotion to lieutenant. when he is forced to assume command, he became Acting Captain. When he is promoted to the rank of captain at the end of the film Star Fleet Command would have debriefed Pike and the crew, deliberated in closed council, and decided to confirm the field promotions awarded.

    as far as nero not aging visibly, i believe it’s been established that vulcans have a FAR longer lifespan than humans; and having originated on vulcan–being the descendants of those vulcans who rejected surak’s teachings that logic must take precedence over emotion–it is safe to assume that romulans have a similarly long lifespanb and therefore WOULDNT age visibly in such a sort time.

    Comment by coppo — May 11, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

  20. As any native Russian speaker could tell you, the problem with the accent that Chekov/Koenig had was that it wasn’t really Russian. It was a sort of Eastern European hybrid. Speakers of the Ruski izik have no problem with Vs — ’cause heck, how would they order vodka? It’s actually the reverse problem: they can’t pronounce the “W” sound– instead (as in German) it’s pronounced as a “V.” Koenig’s pronunciation had more in common with Polish, which does have a “W”-like phoneme (Å‚).

    Apparently Tony Yelchin understood this, and crafted a slightly more Russified accent than Koenig managed. One theory holds that it’s an attempt at “hypercorrection” — which sounds pretty Star Treky.

    Comment by Simon — May 11, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

  21. Watching sycophantic fans of this dreadful movie twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain the absurd plot is quite comical.

    The actors and characters are all great. Too bad there wasn’t a story worth telling.

    The story, situations, plot illogic, and errors of basic science made this tripe feel like it was written by Ed Wood.

    Well at least with all the money being made for Paramount, all their top execs will be able to pay their coke and hooker bills. Very important in Hollywood.

    Comment by Logan — May 12, 2009 @ 3:29 am

  22. Re: #2 – Spock Prime being conveniently placed on Delta Vega.

    He was placed there by Nero so he could witness the death of his planet, whilst he watched helplessly, just as Nero had suffered the same fate with Romulus. The Jellyfish ship Spock was in had been captured by Nero. And don’t forget, he has about a million years of Starfleet experience (and survival training!) so he could have lasted for a while on the surface of Delta Vega. Why he didn’t make contact with the Starfleet station any earlier I don’t know, but he knew it was there.

    Comment by Dave P — May 12, 2009 @ 5:57 am

  23. Winona Ryder was supposed to appear de-aged in scenes with baby Spock which were cut out.

    Comment by MIke P — May 12, 2009 @ 6:39 am

  24. Ok, what do you mean that Anton Belchin IS russian?????? ok, maybe so, but did you listen to a single interview that the guy gave????? The dude sounds like he grew up in the San Fernando next to some skate park. I think he’d be a lot more at ease talking about his latest grind and olly then his GRAND YOUTH growning up behind the iron curtain. Russian? Please! More like, Yakov Smirnoff.

    Comment by shawnshine — May 12, 2009 @ 7:17 am

  25. I can answer most of these with the same answer… IT’S A MOVIE!!!
    This is why I’m not a fan of Star Trek. Too much fluffing chest feathers over little details while never actually getting a decent story out of it. Abrams did the ‘logical’ thing when the fans couldn’t find a story through the many ships blueprints they own. Ron D. Moore once answered a question regarding the first episode of BSG season 1 (33) when a fan put to him the improbability of a 33 minute FTL drive spin-up and coordinate lock-down, that he could give any random, made up Sci-Fi answer but the truth was it made for a building tension and the episode was 33 minutes long.

    7: Is redundant just like most of these (not Geeks of Doom’s fault BTW). Pike actiually tells Kirk that he can be CAPTAIN of his own ship in 4 years giving him a year to do it once graduated. Kirk tells him 3. Uhura was not already there as Pike clearly states that the shuttle is full of NEW RECRUITS. 3 years is the normal time. Kirk isn’t special there other than the fact that he hasn’t picked up his uniform and gets to be cool and wear a leather jacket to class, a theme that continues throughout the film (sans leather jacket) to set Kirk apart from his peers.

    All of these are choices a film maker has to choose to make the best use of time in a movie. None of these things are impossible scenario’s given the subject matter. A movie only has to be possible not probable.

    Comment by Ben Simkins — May 12, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  26. You forgot one- Female room mates don’t generally hang out in their lingerie together or undress in front of each other. Oh, did that only bother me?

    Comment by natalie — May 12, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  27. They don’t make ’em like they used to;

    I don’t remember the Enterprise (or that earlier overgunned vessel of which I don’t remember the name) having Point-Defense weaponry. That was my pet peeve, but ultimately I could let it slide. I think that had more firepower than the Enterprise D.

    Comment by Marq — May 12, 2009 @ 11:50 am

  28. Uh, didn’t Pike tell Kirk, Sulu and Olsen that they would have to shut the drill off first (because I inferred its energy output was interfering with the t-lock)?

    Comment by Brian Matthews — May 12, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  29. […] of Doom tackles some Explanations For 10 Gripes People Have About The New ‘Star Trek’ Film (which I enjoyed Friday night). HUGE spoilers! Avert your eyes if you haven’t seen it! And […]

    Pingback by weapons of massdistraction › World Without End — May 12, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

  30. My gripe is “Red Matter”. That is not Star Trek Technobabble. That’s more like something Lois Lane would fetch to help Superman overcome the effects of Green Kryptonite. They could have, with a little more effort, come up with some plausible sounding Star Trek type dialogue that would have accomplished the same thing without coming across as sounding comic book. And while the special effects were interesting, with it looking like a big ball of red blood, it still wasn’t Star Trek. Some dialogue about collapsing warp bubbles and some flickering of anti-matter containment fields would have had the same effect without sounding ridiculous. That was a WTF moment for me.

    Comment by lisa — May 12, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  31. First, loved the film. Ranks #3 out or the 11.

    But…. Two HUGE problems.
    1. Spock Prime watching Vulcan implode from the surface of Delta Vega????? Even accepting the universal geography change for the sake of the movie, how close is Delta Vega to Vulcan? Earth’s moon doesn’t even look that big in our sky! Was it some kind of Vulcan telepathy? Like in “The Immunity Syndrome”?
    2. OK, Scotty can beam onto a ship at warp. Fine. But the way I saw it, the E had been warping away from DV for hours at minimum. They would certainly be out or range of any planet side transporter by then. So not only does Scotty invent beaming at warp, but he finds a way to extend the range of a transporter far beyond the limits from those in TNG! Alternate time line or not, that just doesn’t compute.

    Comment by Martin — May 12, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

  32. I totally agree about spock
    Zachary Quinto was born to play it, and Sylar and enrich all of our lives. Quinto is a gift from the heavens. :)

    Comment by Sierra — May 12, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  33. Here’s one gripe-worthy plot weakness you didn’t list: Nero, having traveled to the past, proceeds to spend all his time seeking revenge against Spock, Vulcan & the Federation for the future destruction of Romulus, and death of his wife. But, since he’s now in the past, why not simply warn Romulus, make plans to evacuate the planet prior to the supernova, and thus prevent the death of his people and future-born wife? I guess he wasn’t thinking straight that day… Love the film anyway.

    Comment by Brian — May 12, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  34. My bigest problem was with the enemy spaceship, why would a mining ship be so heavily armed? this was too much even for Romulans.

    Comment by MikeL — May 12, 2009 @ 11:04 pm

  35. The voice of Greg Grunberg in the car at the beginning wasn’t Kirk’s Uncle, it was his Step-father. This was the general vibe I got, plus he’s listed that was on IMDB.

    Comment by Finn — May 13, 2009 @ 2:15 am

  36. One other dishonorable mention – Tyler Perry stuck out like sore thumb even worse than Winona Ryder did. He was really the only guy who pulled me out of the movie as I thought “What the hell is Madea doing in this movie?”

    “You saved the world, Kirk! Howyadiirrn?”

    Comment by Jason — May 13, 2009 @ 3:41 am

  37. Wow.

    Y’all are running the whole gambit up there. I didn’t address all of these gripes in my own article, but I’m here to reply to one or two of these comments.

    I’ll start with Brian objecting to Nero’s plan. Pike challenges Nero with just that sort of logic, but Nero counters that his intention is to eliminate all of Romulus’ enemies –he wants it ‘free of the Federation.’ Eric Bana was brilliant BTW.

    As far as the transporter beam reaching the Enterprise at Warp, I have to assume that those equations were invented by Scott much, much later in his life –in fact it could have even been during the run of TNG if you want to count that episode (shudder).

    Does it really matter how awesome the Kelvin was? It was very obvious to everyone that Nero owned that ship for days. Lord knows if TNG had had the budget and the imagination, the D would have figured out a way to be cooler ;)

    Pike said 8 years to be Captain, graduate in 4 years.

    Everything else seems to be covered, except for Winona Kirk being on the Kelvin. In the previous movies and canon, there’s nothing to suggest to me that there weren’t ships with families in Kirk’s time –just not the Enterprise. I think it’s fairly possible that families might exist depending on a ship’s given
    mission. I get the idea that the Kelvin thought it was relatively safe where it was and Nero surprised the heck out of them.

    Girls don’t change in front of each other? Welcome to the 23rd century =)

    Comment by heystartrek! — May 13, 2009 @ 7:13 am

  38. Fine, Nero wants the galaxy “free of the Federation,” so go and destroy Federation planets, but you would think the first thing he would do is find the star that is someday going to turn supernova, send some red matter into it, causing it to implode into nothingness, and thus prevent the entire crisis before it ever happens. Of course, if there was no supernova threatening Romulus, Spock Prime would never have needed to create a black hole in the 24th century, the Narada would never have traveled back in time to begin with, and would not be in a position to destroy the star before it went nova… A conundrum…

    Comment by Brian — May 14, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

  39. Its a movie but it must make sense to itself.

    The Romulans didn’t know their own sun is going nova.
    The Vulcan’s or the Federation couldn’t contact the Romulans there sun is going nova.
    If a sun goes nova it usually takes a very long time.
    The artificial black hole that was supposed to snuff out the Romulans sun but it wouldn’t of frozen it?
    The black hole would of sucked in the sun but also can be used for time travel.
    Romulan mining ships look like warships and equally armed with a staff that are highly trained in ship to ship warfare.
    The ships computer couldn’t figure out that Chekov is Chekov.
    Dresses are common for women in the 24 century even if they are in the military.
    The Vulcan’s didn’t have any form of Planetary defense to stop the drill.
    The Vulcan ship’s computer didn’t’ have a problem with identifying a young Spock with the senior Spock.
    Ice planets have drift wood to burn.
    Ice planets with breathable atmosphere.
    Spock and Kirk landed in walking distance and if Spock knew of the station why didn’t he go their directly after landing.
    Earth did have any form of defense not even a shuttle that would of disabled the drill.
    in the 24 century ships engines look like a beer fermentation vats.
    In the 24 century ship construction uses rivets and steel I Beams
    It is possible to be transported in the ships cooling system and not be burned to death.

    Whatever

    Comment by Jonathan — May 18, 2009 @ 1:37 am

  40. I enjoyed it as a space western. My two WTF moments to add to the list:
    1)What actually does the Federation Ship’s shield supposed to do? Raising it didn’t appear to stop anything (Also, interesting that the crew was not surprised that the shields did nothing! It must have been a 24th Century inside joke among scientists and spacefarers.). Yes they were fighting a foe with weapons from the future (see my next WTF) but what about containing explosions and leaks and such after sustaining damages?
    2)How did 24th Century hand weapons so easily overcame 25th Century weapons and presumably personal-defenses on the decks of the Nero’s ship?

    Explain away…

    Comment by KasMD — May 18, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

  41. I want to say something about how Kirk & Spock are able to overcome Nero’s men on Nero’s ship. I *can’t* say why Nero’s crew doesn’t have better phasers, but I can say that since they’re civilians (miners), Kirk & Spock should be way better at firing and aiming and taking cover. In fact, Nero’s crew shouldn’t even really have hand weapons. Even military vessels only issue hand weapons for particular contingencies. (This unarmed status is the norm in the original series.) Yes, you could say Nero’s crew was at war, but their ship was so kicking the ass of everyone they met that I think they’d be surprised to encounter boarding parties.

    Comment by a — May 26, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

  42. 5) Chekov’s Russian accent => Mr. Chekov is part of the supporting cast of co-stars. Depending on the series, it can be very important for the co-stars to be just as memorable and important to the viewers as the leading actors they play to. Therefore character developement is key. One way a writer or producer can establish instant presence for one of his supporting cast characters, is to write him with a strong accent. Perhaps no other attribute has as much power to create “instant character trait” for a minor co-star than a heavy accent. Some accents are better than others for having the power to quickly endear the character to the viewers, by lending themselves well to comedic nuances by way of pronounciation and diction, thus cementing the actor’s role within the ring of co-stars. Pair up the accent with the right face, or look and VOILA…success

    Comment by Ingrid Kantor — January 13, 2015 @ 4:51 am

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