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View Full Version : Hey! I just thought of a big plot hole in Star Trek 6


beowulff
01-17-2014, 12:25 PM
(Naked spoilers ahead)

I don’t know why I was thinking about this (probably prompted by the “worst TOS episode” thread), but I just thought of a pretty huge plot hole.
(and no, it’s not the obvious one regarding the mix-up of Sulu’s mission (“charting gaseous anomalies”) and the Enterprise’s).

OK, so the Klingons meet with the Enterprise. Gorkon and his crew (including Chang) are traveling together. Then, all hell breaks loose - the Klingon ship is fired upon, presumably by the Enterprise. Turns out, there’s another ship - a Klingon ship that can fire when cloaked. Later on, the cloaked ship and the Enterprise get into a battle.

Who’s commanding the cloaked Bird of Prey?
Chang.

OK - how did he get on that ship, and why didn’t any of the crew of the Ambassadors’s ship ask where he went?

Yodalicious
01-17-2014, 12:54 PM
Not really sure this a plot hole. However, I assume Chang got on the cloaked ship via a teleporter. As to what he told the crew of Ambassador's ship? Does it matter? He told them a lie and they believed it.

AncientHumanoid
01-17-2014, 12:56 PM
Pitch that for the next reboot movie

outlierrn
01-17-2014, 12:58 PM
Chang, the undiscovered Klingon.

simster
01-17-2014, 01:00 PM
There is no reason to believe that Chang needed to be on the inviso bird of prey during the first attack - and after that proved successful, there was plenty of opportunites for him to join that crew in time for the final assault.

not a plot hole or even inconvenience.

Dale Sams
01-17-2014, 01:10 PM
A bigger hole is, why are a bunch of geriatrics beamed down to stop the assassination of the Federation President?

Here's an actual one...what is the Klingon conspirators plan after the Accords break down? They NEED peace to happen. They are going to turn into the USSR if they can't reform.

And what if the assassin saw Kirk at the last second ("what the") and didn't fire? Leaving Kirk to tackle Kurtwood Smith and everyone from The Enterprise looking like idiots. Sulu beams down, sees what happened...promptly beams back up and starts writing his report to say:

"Uhhh...I saw the Enterprise in a fight and rushed to her aid. I didn't know we were destroying a priceless prototype that had been assigned to protect the conference."

The Klingons leave, the bad guys win. Way to break it heroes!

beowulff
01-17-2014, 01:31 PM
There is no reason to believe that Chang needed to be on the inviso bird of prey during the first attack - and after that proved successful, there was plenty of opportunites for him to join that crew in time for the final assault.

not a plot hole or even inconvenience.

If you believe that ALL the crew was disloyal to the Chancellor, than sure.

But, the movie seemed to imply that this was a limited conspiracy...

simster
01-17-2014, 01:43 PM
If you believe that ALL the crew was disloyal to the Chancellor, than sure.

But, the movie seemed to imply that this was a limited conspiracy...

They just had to be loyal to Chang - they may not have know the plot was to assassinate the Chancellor - they saw it as an opportunity to bring down Kirk and the Enterprise crew.

Elendil's Heir
01-17-2014, 02:48 PM
I guess I assumed Chang had beamed over to the cloaked warbird after the awkward dinner party, knowing what he did of the Chancellor's ship's defensive capabilities, and led the brief attack, then returned in time to confront and arrest Kirk and McCoy right after Gorkon's death. Or he needn't have left at all - an encrypted transmission of his orders to the cloaked ship would've sufficed.

A bigger plot hole for me (or just a headsmack moment, I guess) was how helpless all the Klingons seemed to be when the artificial gravity failed. These are Klingons! You don't think they train in zero-G combat eight ways from Sunday?

simster
01-17-2014, 02:52 PM
A bigger plot hole for me (or just a headsmack moment, I guess) was how helpless all the Klingons seemed to be when the artificial gravity failed. These are Klingons! You don't think they train in zero-G combat eight ways from Sunday?

It made them sick to their stomachs.

Intergalactic Gladiator
01-17-2014, 03:13 PM
Yeah, they must have all been sick. I remember seeing Pepto Bismo flying everywhere when the two assassins started shooting.

AncientHumanoid
01-17-2014, 03:29 PM
It was the foodpacks. Gave me a sour stomach.

Max Torque
01-17-2014, 04:45 PM
Chang actually rather clearly was not on the cloaked Bird of Prey during the initial attack. He hailed Enterprise from the ambassador's ship, remember? "We came to you in peace, and you blatantly defied that peace. And for that, I will blow you out of the stars." And the ambassador's ship turns and prepares to fire, right before Kirk's surrender.

Frylock
01-17-2014, 04:52 PM
(and no, it’s not the obvious one regarding the mix-up of Sulu’s mission (“charting gaseous anomalies”) and the Enterprise’s).


What was the mix-up?

beowulff
01-17-2014, 04:57 PM
What was the mix-up?

Oh -
At the beginning of the movie, Sulu is dictating his Captain’s log (he’s the captain of the Excelsior), and mentions that they are wrapping up their mission of mapping gaseous anomalies.

At the end of the film, Spock figures out a way to detect the cloaked Bird of Prey, by using a gas detector (inserted into a Photon Torpedo). Uhura suggests using the equipment they have onboard to catalog gaseous anomalies as a weapon since the bird of prey "has to have a tailpipe on it.”

Yeah, but she’s on the Enterprise!

mlees
01-17-2014, 05:09 PM
What was the mix-up?

From IMDB:

Plot holes Uhura points out that Enterprise has "all that equipment" for cataloging gaseous anomalies, some of which Spock and McCoy use to modify a torpedo to find Chang's cloaked ship. However, it was Excelsior that had been cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies in the Beta Quadrant, not Enterprise.

leahcim
01-17-2014, 06:18 PM
Here's an actual one...what is the Klingon conspirators plan after the Accords break down? They NEED peace to happen. They are going to turn into the USSR if they can't reform.

Chang was part of the Klingon military establishment who would stand to lose a whack of power if the constant need to defend Klingon interests against the Federation subsided. Overall , the Klingons end up better off with a peace treaty, but certain segments of the Klingon political sphere, including Chang, end up worse off.

terentii
01-17-2014, 06:36 PM
It was the foodpacks. Gave me a sour stomach.

Surely you had the fish? :dubious:

cochrane
01-17-2014, 06:41 PM
Surely you had the fish? :dubious:

No, I had lasagna. And don't call me Shirley!

Grumman
01-17-2014, 06:50 PM
A bigger plot hole for me (or just a headsmack moment, I guess) was how helpless all the Klingons seemed to be when the artificial gravity failed. These are Klingons! You don't think they train in zero-G combat eight ways from Sunday?
I'd still bet on the guy with the jetpack or mag boots over the guy without. Without either of these things, you can only move along predictable straight lines, giving the other guy a much easier time of shooting you.

simster
01-17-2014, 06:53 PM
Oh -
At the beginning of the movie, Sulu is dictating his Captain’s log (he’s the captain of the Excelsior), and mentions that they are wrapping up their mission of mapping gaseous anomalies.

At the end of the film, Spock figures out a way to detect the cloaked Bird of Prey, by using a gas detector (inserted into a Photon Torpedo). Uhura suggests using the equipment they have onboard to catalog gaseous anomalies as a weapon since the bird of prey "has to have a tailpipe on it.”

Yeah, but she’s on the Enterprise!

Why is it that the Enterprise couldn't have been on a similar mission? you think only one ship gets that kind of assignment?

beowulff
01-17-2014, 07:41 PM
Why is it that the Enterprise couldn't have been on a similar mission? you think only one ship gets that kind of assignment?

Oh, sure.
That's why Sulu made a point to describe his mission in the movie.
:smack:

simster
01-17-2014, 09:06 PM
Oh, sure.
That's why Sulu made a point to describe his mission in the movie.
:smack:

Well, it was his captain's log and what he was doing at that time - at no point after that scene is the Enterprise on it's normal mission, so there was no reason for it to be mentioned.

beowulff
01-17-2014, 09:26 PM
Well, it was his captain's log and what he was doing at that time - at no point after that scene is the Enterprise on it's normal mission, so there was no reason for it to be mentioned.

Two words:
Chekhov's gun. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov's_gun)

And, I don't mean Pavel.

simster
01-17-2014, 09:39 PM
Two words:
Chekhov's gun. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov's_gun)

And, I don't mean Pavel.

whatever - really - I don't see it as a plot hole or a mistake or even a good example of "Chekov's Gun" - since the item in question was no weapon, just a way of establishing something that would make sense later in the movie when recalled - and it would have still worked had Sulu's log never mentioned it.

There were obviously ships out doing that mission - when we first encounter the Excelsior and Sulu, it was more a statement of "just another day..." then Praxis exploded. We are not privvy to what the Enterprise and crew were doing at that time - but it's not unreasonable that they were doing similar studies since things were 'peaceful'.

You enjoy your view - I'll enjoy mine.

Miller
01-17-2014, 09:47 PM
"Chekov's Gun" doesn't have to refer specifically to a weapon.

simster
01-17-2014, 10:04 PM
"Chekov's Gun" doesn't have to refer specifically to a weapon.

I get that - I missed the edit window or I would have added that it - the reference to "mapping gaseuous anomolies" - did not refer to a specific item or anything - it was, IMHO, meant to establish that things were relatively peaceful such that mundane missions were being done.

For it to be an instance of Chekov's Gun - the later scene would have to completely rely on the first - and it doesn't - the log mention from sulu could have been left out and the comment by Uhura would have still made sense. (and no one would have complained about it being a plot hole, since again, we're not privvy to every mission the enterprise is sent on). Similarly, had Uhura said "don't we have equipment that can detect gaseous anomalies, thing has to have a tailpipe" - no one would have cared either.

Referring back to an event or time does not always equal 'Chekov's Gun' or even 'foreshadowing' -

Kirk's Glasses in ST 3 is a better reference to Chekov's Gun - and they were inserted into the narrative a whole movie before.

Elendil's Heir
01-17-2014, 11:05 PM
I'd still bet on the guy with the jetpack or mag boots over the guy without. Without either of these things, you can only move along predictable straight lines, giving the other guy a much easier time of shooting you.

But the Klingons we saw weren't even doing that. They were just floating helplessly around. Pitiful.

BigT
01-18-2014, 03:14 AM
You enjoy your view - I'll enjoy mine.

It's not a view thing. You are mentioning something that was not stated in the movie. You are fanwanking. That's fine, but you need to realize that you are covering up a plot hole, not resolving one.

In other words, you would have no reason to come up with an explanation if there wasn't a plot hole to begin with.

terentii
01-18-2014, 03:28 AM
NB: The name of the Russian playwright is spelled "Chekhov."

Chekov is a character on Star Trek. I started learning Russian when I was 16, and have never seen the name spelled this way anywhere else.

Lobohan
01-18-2014, 04:57 AM
It's not a view thing. You are mentioning something that was not stated in the movie. You are fanwanking. That's fine, but you need to realize that you are covering up a plot hole, not resolving one.

In other words, you would have no reason to come up with an explanation if there wasn't a plot hole to begin with.It's not a plot hole. If Sulu mentions a car jack that the Excelsior has in case it blows a tire, it's not a plot hole if Kirk uses the Enterprise's jack later in the film.

Grumman
01-18-2014, 05:36 AM
But the Klingons we saw weren't even doing that. They were just floating helplessly around. Pitiful.
That's my point. If you're floating helplessly, it doesn't matter how highly trained you are, unless you've got something to throw. You can't train to ignore the first law of motion.

Frylock
01-18-2014, 07:43 AM
What is a plot hole?

simster
01-18-2014, 08:02 AM
It's not a view thing. You are mentioning something that was not stated in the movie. You are fanwanking. That's fine, but you need to realize that you are covering up a plot hole, not resolving one.

In other words, you would have no reason to come up with an explanation if there wasn't a plot hole to begin with.

Why does _everything_ have to be stated ? The implication of Sulu's 'mission' is clear enough - that the Enterprise would have similar missions isn't a big stretch of the imagination.


It's not a plot hole. If Sulu mentions a car jack that the Excelsior has in case it blows a tire, it's not a plot hole if Kirk uses the Enterprise's jack later in the film.

Or really - exactly this .

AncientHumanoid
01-18-2014, 08:09 AM
What is a ... [raises eyebrow] plot hole? [spocked it up a bit]

I read that in a Spock from ST-IV:TVH voice and it worked surprisingly well.

AncientHumanoid
01-18-2014, 08:16 AM
Why does _everything_ have to be stated ? The implication of Sulu's 'mission' is clear enough - that the Enterprise would have similar missions isn't a big stretch of the imagination.




Or really - exactly this .

Esp since, in Roddenberry's vision at least, Starfleet is supposed to be primarily exploration, gunboating is just a sideline.

[Start a different thread to address this point. Trust me, we've spent decades on that question, and so many threads on it exist it could be its own forum]

BlakeTyner
01-18-2014, 09:12 AM
Yeah, I'm not so much seeing that as a plot hole either.

Take the same line of reasoning and make it about something else: the photon torpedo. At some point in TOS, the Enterprise fires one.

Is it then a "plot hole" when another ship from the same fleet shows up and also fires a photon torpedo?

There's the understanding that those things are standard issue fleetwide; and, during peacetime, Kirk's ship would very, very likely have the same standard issue equipment available to him.

In a sense, it is Chekhov's Gun, because we have mention of some equipment early on that will come into crucial play in Act III. But more than that, it seems like the screenwriter wanted to establish this detection equipment in Act I to avoid a deus ex machina ending in introducing a holy-moly-never-before-mentioned widget at the climax.

AncientHumanoid
01-18-2014, 01:57 PM
Yeah, look at it another way...

Star Trek (and thus, Starfleet) stars NCC-1701

But, other ships are supporting cast.


Hypothetical example: In a cop show, near the beginning, a supporting actor's character asks about the new guns being issued to everybody. In the climatic scene, the star's cop character uses a feature of the new weapon to vanquish his enemy.


.

Bryan Ekers
01-19-2014, 01:34 PM
Truith be told, I don't get why some people rate this movie highly, sometimes even higher than Wrath of Khan. It's sloppy with plot holes well beyond what the OP notes.

Plus the difficulty of a murder mystery is starkly reduced when among your characters who have dialog are six who couldn't possibly have done it (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Checkov, Scott and Uhura)and one newbie (Valeris). Duh, it's the newbie.

The rapey mindmeld is the only scene I found even slightly compelling.

dzeiger
01-19-2014, 09:36 PM
Truith be told, I don't get why some people rate this movie highly, sometimes even higher than Wrath of Khan. It's sloppy with plot holes well beyond what the OP notes.


Following "The Search for God" makes just about anything look better.

simster
01-19-2014, 10:38 PM
Following "The Search for God" makes just about anything look better.

The movie immediately preceding the undiscovered country was about searching for whales - not god.

Gretchion
01-19-2014, 10:45 PM
The movie immediately preceding the undiscovered country was about searching for whales - not god.

No, dzeiger was right. "The Search for God" preceded TUC, and was preceded by "The Search for Whales".

(Unless you were trying to suggest that ST:V doesn't actually exist, in which case I can wholeheartedly agree with you)

simster
01-19-2014, 11:07 PM
No, dzeiger was right. "The Search for God" preceded TUC, and was preceded by "The Search for Whales".

(Unless you were trying to suggest that ST:V doesn't actually exist, in which case I can wholeheartedly agree with you)

There was a rumor for a 'Star Trek V', but much like many things, it was never released.

Too bad, it would have been interesting to see what Shatner could do in a director's chair....

AncientHumanoid
01-19-2014, 11:09 PM
What does GOD need with a director's chair?

Elendil's Heir
01-19-2014, 11:43 PM
That's my point. If you're floating helplessly, it doesn't matter how highly trained you are, unless you've got something to throw. You can't train to ignore the first law of motion.
I would think these hotshot Klingon warriors would be trained to grab a stanchion, chair or table the moment they felt artificial gravity start to go. If they really were stuck in the middle of a room with nothing to push off of, couldn't they take a deep breath and blow?

lawoot
01-20-2014, 02:05 AM
My biggest problem with this movie is the 'Klingon translation' scene - they use a shit ton of dead tree books to translate Klingon, because the "the universal translator would be recognized." Fine - don't BROADCAST with the translator, but use it to translate and tell you what to say back. No wonder Uhura looks so pissed when she gets done sending the transmission.

Bryan Ekers
01-20-2014, 11:22 AM
My biggest problem with this movie is the 'Klingon translation' scene - they use a shit ton of dead tree books to translate Klingon, because the "the universal translator would be recognized." Fine - don't BROADCAST with the translator, but use it to translate and tell you what to say back. No wonder Uhura looks so pissed when she gets done sending the transmission.

Wasn't the line of dialogue explaining the need for that scene done in semi-voiceover, i.e. I think we hear Chekov saying it but we don't see him saying it, which even at the time suggested to me that the line was thrown in afterward to explain/exposit the scene and the screenwriter really did think that trying to communicate in Klingon (as opposed to the English everyone in the universe normally speaks) meant hastily flipping through actual Klingon/English dictionaries.

grude
01-20-2014, 11:43 AM
My biggest problem with this movie is the 'Klingon translation' scene - they use a shit ton of dead tree books to translate Klingon, because the "the universal translator would be recognized." Fine - don't BROADCAST with the translator, but use it to translate and tell you what to say back. No wonder Uhura looks so pissed when she gets done sending the transmission.

Why the hell do they have paper books?

Doesn't Uhura speak Klingon in TOS?

simster
01-20-2014, 12:38 PM
Why the hell do they have paper books?

Doesn't Uhura speak Klingon in TOS?

Uhura's linguistic talents were never properly explored in TOS - they are in the reboot.

The paper books are the more troublesome part - should have been easy enough for a screen to provide a suggested response ....

Elendil's Heir
01-20-2014, 03:50 PM
Yeah, that was cringeworthy.

TBG
01-20-2014, 07:37 PM
Why'd they have the books on the Enterprise anyway? Uhura's personal collection or something?

Zebra
01-23-2014, 02:24 AM
Chang is on the Chancellor's ship during the first attack. Kirk and McCoy beam over and that ship goes back to Klingon. So does the cloaked ship. After the trial, and the new peace conference is set up, Chang gets on the cloaked ship. The Chancellor's ship doesn't seem to be anywhere around during the last battle. The question is how did the the new Chancellor and her entourage get to the second conference? Why isn't that ship in orbit?

AncientHumanoid
01-23-2014, 08:04 AM
>how did the the new Chancellor and her entourage get to the second conference?


Long range warp transport.

A Heechee Gateway.

Hitched a ride with an Outsider.

Jaunted.

yellowjacketcoder
01-23-2014, 08:27 AM
She may have taken a transport that's unarmed (to show goodwill) which is wisely avoiding the battle. Her craft may have landed on the planet, and can't take off to join the fight. It's not really essential to the story, and would've just mucked things up to have it show up for the final fight.

The bigger question is: Given an orbital battle with three capital ships going on, why aren't the conference attendees being evacuated to a safe place in case of orbital bombardment? It's not like the planetary sensors wouldn't pick up two craft that aren't supposed to be there getting shot at by a ship they can't see.

Elendil's Heir
01-23-2014, 10:26 AM
Yes, the unscheduled approach of both the Enterprise and the Excelsior might've been expected to make the Klingon delegation a bit uneasy.

MaxTheVool
01-23-2014, 12:32 PM
Hypothetical example: In a cop show, near the beginning, a supporting actor's character asks about the new guns being issued to everybody. In the climatic scene, the star's cop character uses a feature of the new weapon to vanquish his enemy.
.

I disagree with your analogy, because there's at least some implication that when a new gun issued to one cop, it's issued to all the cops. It's more like if a supporting character mentions, for no particularly obvious reason, and with no implication at all that this is something that applies to anything other than him, that he recently was involved in a raid on a chemical factory, so he has a gas mask in his trunk. Then at the climax of the movie, the main character says "hey, remember how I was involved in a raid on a chemical factory? well, that means I have a gas mask in my trunk, which is fortunate...".

Sure it's plausible that the main character was also involved in that same raid, or a similar raid. But wouldn't it have been infinitely better just to have the main character be the one to mention it in the first place? The way it's presented is clearly as "remember that information you learned earlier in the movie? well, turns out it was relevant", a trope we're all used to, and there's no reason to think that ST6 is either trying to be Whedon-esquely clever by subverting that trope, or doing some kind of metacommentary or anything. And really, why on earth would a ST movie be doing anything of that sort? It absolutely feels like a goof, even if it's a goof that can be relatively plausibly explained away.

yellowjacketcoder
01-23-2014, 01:50 PM
It absolutely feels like a goof, even if it's a goof that can be relatively plausibly explained away.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

bolding mine.

It would be totally normal for the Enterprise to have a wide array of equipment, their state purpose is exploration. No way this is a goof, just a reminder of a starship's primary purpose.

BigT
01-23-2014, 02:03 PM
Why does _everything_ have to be stated ? The implication of Sulu's 'mission' is clear enough - that the Enterprise would have similar missions isn't a big stretch of the imagination.




Or really - exactly this .

I didn't say it had to be explicitly stated. I just said that, if you have to provide an external explanation, then you are acknowledging that there was a hole that you had to fill.

The question here is apparently not what I thought it was. Apparently, the question is whether the scene with Sulu's ship was set up in such a way that the equipment seemed special to that ship. If so, then there is no implication that the Enterprise would have the same equipment, and thus adding the information that the Enterprise could have been doing something similar (and thus needed similar equipment) is covering up a plot hole.

If it the equipment is not special, then your argument works, as showing it as regular equipment on one ship would mean it was very likely to be regular equipment on another ship. There would thus not be any plot hole, as all information comes directly from on screen information.

I personally don't remember the scene, and was just going by what others had said in this thread.

carnivorousplant
01-23-2014, 02:10 PM
Why is it that the Enterprise couldn't have been on a similar mission? you think only one ship gets that kind of assignment?

"Someone has to get the gaseous anomaly assignment."
"Give to Sulu, he's a loser. And I hate the way he pitches his voice low to sound like Toshiro Mifuni."

AncientHumanoid
01-23-2014, 02:59 PM
bolding mine.

It would be totally normal for the Enterprise to have a wide array of equipment, their state purpose is exploration. No way this is a goof, just a reminder of a starship's primary purpose.

See this post as well. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=17026210&postcount=36)

I don't see any reason not to accept that the Enterprise, as well as any other of SF's larger ships, not to have similar stuff available. The main point is, it WAS mentioned earlier in the movie.

If anything, it's a minor Nit Picker's Guild* nit-pick, not a plot hole.


*I was a member from almost the beginning.

MaxTheVool
01-23-2014, 04:46 PM
bolding mine.

It would be totally normal for the Enterprise to have a wide array of equipment, their state purpose is exploration.

Obvoiusly, in which case there would be absolutely no point in mentioning it either at the beginning (with Sulu) or at the end (before using said equipment). They should have just said "hey, we have a bunch of techno-babble equipment, let's use it to build the thing".


No way this is a goof, just a reminder of a starship's primary purpose.

So you're saying that if you had been an editor and had read the screenplay immediately before shooting began and had said to the writers and directors "hey, wtf? at the beginning it's one ship that has equipment for tracking gaseous anomalies, and at the end it's a different one" they would have said "wait, there's a CONNECTION between those two scenes? I mean, the one at the beginning is purely intended to show the flavor of the kind of thing Starfleet does, and the one at the end is just some technobabble"? That's ridiculous. I'd bet good money that some initial draft of the script started out with both of those scenes taking place on the same ship, at some point one of them got moved onto a different ship, and no one noticed until it was too late. There's no way that whoever wrote that movie was either weird of subtle or unlucky enough to insert identical and connected-seeming technobabble setting up a classic "here's some special equipment/talent we have... oh hey, it came in handy!" plotline, but with the wrong ship at the end, purely by accident.

I agree that there are plenty of in-universe explanations. But I'd give you huge odds that the out-of-universe explanation is a mistake.

Miller
01-23-2014, 05:29 PM
There's one major problem with the idea that the scanning equipment was standard issue, and not something special that Sulu had taken on board for that specific mission. If that sort of scanning equipment is standard on Federation starships, then the Klingon cloaking device, which is presented as a major military game-changer, was obsolete before it ever left the drawing board.

yellowjacketcoder
01-24-2014, 07:32 AM
Obvoiusly, in which case there would be absolutely no point in mentioning it either at the beginning (with Sulu) or at the end (before using said equipment). They should have just said "hey, we have a bunch of techno-babble equipment, let's use it to build the thing".

No, there's a point, it's to remind the audience that starships have that kind of equipment. Pulling technobabble out of your ass is bad writing.



So you're saying that if you had been an editor <snip>


That an incredibly poor reading of what I said. I'm going to assume it's not deliberate and just suggest you read it again.

There's one major problem with the idea that the scanning equipment was standard issue, and not something special that Sulu had taken on board for that specific mission. If that sort of scanning equipment is standard on Federation starships, then the Klingon cloaking device, which is presented as a major military game-changer, was obsolete before it ever left the drawing board.

You mean the same cloaking device that leaves a smudge in the starfield, so when a ship goes to cloak everyone stares at the screen to look for wavering stars? The cloaking device is as good or as bad as the plot calls for.

simster
01-24-2014, 07:44 AM
There's one major problem with the idea that the scanning equipment was standard issue, and not something special that Sulu had taken on board for that specific mission. If that sort of scanning equipment is standard on Federation starships, then the Klingon cloaking device, which is presented as a major military game-changer, was obsolete before it ever left the drawing board.

cloaked ships - prior to this one - really couldn't do much other than "not be seen" - in this case, this one could fire while cloaked making it much more dangerous.

IOW, they weren't as concerned with firing on cloaked ships in the past.

I'm willing to assume that now all torpedoes will have this guidance bit added to them.

(total fanwank of course)

MaxTheVool
01-24-2014, 04:10 PM
That an incredibly poor reading of what I said. I'm going to assume it's not deliberate and just suggest you read it again.


I'm not quite sure what you're saying, but I have clarified what I'm saying, so I'll try to express it again. Tell me where you disagree:
(1) It's very clear that ST6 contains two scenes which, taken together, are VERY SIMILAR to an extremely familiar story beat/trope... the "hey, here's a somewhat random mention of some skill or item I possess" and then many scenes later "wow, it's lucky that I possess that skill or item, as it will now save the day".
(2) In fact, it's so similar to that familiar trope that I suspect a fair number of people, upon seeing the movie initially, didn't even realize that the two scenes took place on different starships
(3) So the question is, why is that almost-but-not-quite trope there? I can think of several explanations:
(a) The writers intended for the trope to be complete and correct, but someone screwed up at some point between script and screen
(b) The writers didn't intend for there to be a trope at all, and just didn't notice that the line of dialog early in the movie and the line of dialog late in the movie would seem similar to people
(c) The writers intended the scenes to be as written, because to them it was adequately clear that Excelsior was not the ONLY ship that was studying gaseous anomalies
(d) The writers intended the scenes to be as written, because they were doing some kind of Whedon-esque lampshading of the whole trope
(e) The writers intended the scenes to be as written as a bit of a prank to see if anyone would notice

To me, (a) is just hugely the most likely. What are your thoughts?

AncientHumanoid
01-24-2014, 04:38 PM
I could see A or C, but for me, it's still only a nitpick, not a plot hole. Yeah, it could've been done better, but it's not outside what I (a hardcore, longterm Trek fan, to be sure) would see as a reasonable, but somewhat poorly done scene.

I guess, in the movies at least, some will have higher expectations. I can see your point, I'm just not going to say it's major. IOW, it doesn't detract from the movie, imho. A casual fan would probably not even notice. A hardcore fan, like all of us here, might go one way or the other.

AncientHumanoid
01-24-2014, 04:40 PM
I say Max gains some Trek Doper status points for a well presented case.

Bryan Ekers
01-24-2014, 05:33 PM
I say Max gains some Trek Doper status points for a well presented case.

Does that mean he gets to keep some of his lunch money?

AncientHumanoid
01-24-2014, 05:58 PM
No

Miller
01-24-2014, 06:01 PM
You mean the same cloaking device that leaves a smudge in the starfield, so when a ship goes to cloak everyone stares at the screen to look for wavering stars? The cloaking device is as good or as bad as the plot calls for.

Has there actually been a scene in Star Trek where someone spots a cloaked ship by looking for wavering stars on the main view screen? Even for Trek, that would be hilariously stupid.

But, in this instance, I'm not talking about how cloaking devices were handled throughout the whole Trek continuity, just the continuity of this specific movie. In this movie, the new cloaking device is presented as a major new threat. If the gear necessary to detect one is already standard issue on all Starfleet ships, the new cloaking device is useless, and the Klingons look stupid for wasting their time inventing it in the first place. And given that making Klingons look stupid and ineffectual was more TNG's bag that TOS, I don't think that was the intent.

MaxTheVool
01-24-2014, 06:07 PM
I could see A or C, but for me, it's still only a nitpick, not a plot hole.

It's a bit of a weird case, in that if we assume that the trope was meant to be complete (which as experienced consumers of fiction we pretty much have to) then it's effectively a MASSIVE continuity blunder. At the same time the actual in-universe implications are at least potentially minor (although Miller's point is a good one).

So if you imagine rating potential plot holes on one axis of how silly a mistake it seems for the writers to make and one axis of how hard it is to fanwank around the results in-universe, it's larger on the first axis than on the second, which is backwards from the way it usually is. (For instance, it's super-easy to see how George Lucas put in that line about the Kessel run and parsecs, but takes a reasonable bit of ingenuity to fanwank the error away, which is a more typical "plot hole".)

simster
01-24-2014, 06:08 PM
Has there actually been a scene in Star Trek where someone spots a cloaked ship by looking for wavering stars on the main view screen? Even for Trek, that would be hilariously stupid.

But, in this instance, I'm not talking about how cloaking devices were handled throughout the whole Trek continuity, just the continuity of this specific movie. In this movie, the new cloaking device is presented as a major new threat. If the gear necessary to detect one is already standard issue on all Starfleet ships, the new cloaking device is useless, and the Klingons look stupid for wasting their time inventing it in the first place. And given that making Klingons look stupid and ineffectual was more TNG's bag that TOS, I don't think that was the intent.

So - you're saying that the tail pipe is akin to an exhaust port?

and technically, it was the only prototype - I'm sure many a klingon engineer back on kronos did a collective headsmack and/or started complaining that managment had said it was ok to ship with that particular feature since it was an alpha release and they could fix it in later versions.

Gretchion
01-24-2014, 06:16 PM
"Someone has to get the gaseous anomaly assignment."
"Give to Sulu, he's a loser. And I hate the way he pitches his voice low to sound like Toshiro Mifuni."


SULU: Sweet, I finally made captain! And not only that, I get the newest, most badass ship in the fleet! Time to start my five year mission!

ADMIRAL: Er, well, it'll be three years, actually...

SULU: OK, that's cool. As long as I'll be exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life!

ADMIRAL: Well, uh, actually, we're just going to have you catalog gaseous anomalies.

SULU: So, um, my ship gets outfitted with some awesome unique equipment?

ADMIRAL: No, pretty much the same stuff as all the other ships get.

SULU: Oh my...

carnivorousplant
01-24-2014, 06:18 PM
SULU: Sweet, I finally made captain! And not only that, I get the newest, most badass ship in the fleet! Time to start my five year mission!



Scotty: That bucket a' bolts.

Miller
01-24-2014, 06:19 PM
So - you're saying that the tail pipe is akin to an exhaust port?

I... don't think so, but sure, I guess they're pretty much the same thing. :confused:

and technically, it was the only prototype - I'm sure many a klingon engineer back on kronos did a collective headsmack and/or started complaining that managment had said it was ok to ship with that particular feature since it was an alpha release and they could fix it in later versions.

Which is back to "Klingons are chumps," the deadly new Klingon Bird of Prey is a paper tiger, and most of the dramatic tension is gutted from the movie because the major threat is no threat at all.

Gretchion
01-24-2014, 06:23 PM
Scotty: That bucket a' bolts.

KIRK: Come come, Mr. Scott. Young minds, fresh ideas, be tolerant.

simster
01-24-2014, 06:35 PM
I... don't think so, but sure, I guess they're pretty much the same thing. :confused:



Twas a reference to the Empires greatest weapon being done in by a similar design flaw -


Which is back to "Klingons are chumps," the deadly new Klingon Bird of Prey is a paper tiger, and most of the dramatic tension is gutted from the movie because the major threat is no threat at all.

no argument - its just a design review meetings I'd like to be a fly on the wall for.

Miller
01-24-2014, 06:44 PM
Twas a reference to the Empires greatest weapon being done in by a similar design flaw -

Ah. There's something to that, but I think the fact that it required literal magic powers to exploit the design flaw somewhat forgives the Imperial engineers.

simster
01-24-2014, 06:51 PM
Ah. There's something to that, but I think the fact that it required literal magic powers to exploit the design flaw somewhat forgives the Imperial engineers.

yeah - if only the lead engineer or the person that gave approval to the design was familiar with the force....

Miller
01-24-2014, 06:52 PM
no argument - its just a design review meetings I'd like to be a fly on the wall for.

If you can find a copy of the comic anthology Star Wars Tales Vol. I, check out "A Death Star is Born." It's pretty much exactly that meeting, and it's hilarious.

terentii
01-24-2014, 08:32 PM
Has there actually been a scene in Star Trek where someone spots a cloaked ship by looking for wavering stars on the main view screen? Even for Trek, that would be hilariously stupid.

In Blish's adaptation of "Balance of Terror," someone (I think it was Scotty) said they could track the Romulans from their De Broglie waves as their ship moved through space. Since Blish was most likely working from an early draft script, it's quite possible this was actually considered at one point by the writer.

Bryan Ekers
01-25-2014, 04:37 PM
Has there actually been a scene in Star Trek where someone spots a cloaked ship by looking for wavering stars on the main view screen? Even for Trek, that would be hilariously stupid.

ST III: Search for Spock. I think the novelization tried to assert that a combination of Chekov's experience and pure luck let him spot the cloaked Bird of Prey, but in the movie it's more like "Hey, what's that distortion?"

The Tooth
01-25-2014, 05:03 PM
bolding mine.

It would be totally normal for the Enterprise to have a wide array of equipment, their state purpose is exploration. No way this is a goof, just a reminder of a starship's primary purpose.

It would, but if they'd said something about having such equipment for the mission they were prepping for before Praxis exploded, people wouldn't have said "But wasn't Excelsior on that mission?" an hour and a half later. And they should have had Kim Kattrall play Saavik even if Kirsty Alley wanted too much money. The Undiscovered Country's script needed one more once-over.

The Tooth
01-25-2014, 05:09 PM
As an aside, I've been watching the original series lately, and I have to wonder how many of those gaseous anomalies Sulu was investigating tried to possess Excelsior's crew and/or commandeer the ship.

carnivorousplant
01-25-2014, 09:00 PM
As an aside, I've been watching the original series lately, and I have to wonder how many of those gaseous anomalies Sulu was investigating tried to possess Excelsior's crew and/or commandeer the ship.

Toshiro Mifuni has already possessed Sulu, at least voice wise.

carnivorousplant
01-25-2014, 09:03 PM
ST III: Search for Spock. I think the novelization tried to assert that a combination of Chekov's experience and pure luck let him spot the cloaked Bird of Prey, but in the movie it's more like "Hey, what's that distortion?"

Aren't they the same thing, unless you are filming The Trial? :)

One can explain things better in a novel than a film.

Bryan Ekers
01-26-2014, 05:24 PM
True, but in the movie it looked like anybody could spot a cloaked ship just by looking at the main screen. In fact, a cloaked ship was downright obvious, you'd have to be blind not to see it.

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