Star Trek III question

So I caught part of Star Trek III the other day, and something was bugging me. Do they explain why everyone in star fleet was ignorant of what to do with dead vulcans? It’s safe to assume that plenty of vulcans died in the past while serving in star fleet, if it’s so important to get their bodies and spirits/minds back to mount whatchamacallit, shouldn’t they have had some regulation about it? I guess Spock didn’t have a will, but there were other vulcans on the ship, why didn’t they say anything before Kirk gave Spock that badass but apparently soul dooming funeral service in Wrath of Khan?

They had to get Spock back to Mount Whatchamacallit because Spock had stashed his mind in McCoy’s brain. Therefore it was possible to restore him. Normally when a Vulcan dies he’s just dead.

The passing along of the katra is not standard practice.

The Vulcans don’t have any way to resurrect dead bodies. Sarek was after Spock’s katra, not his corpse. The fal-tor-pan ceremony on Mt. Seleya was normally used to transfer the katras of deceased Vulcans from the last person they melded with into a katric ark or one of the priests. Since Spock’s body had regenerated on the Genesis planet the priestess did the logical thing and transfered his katra from McCoy back into his regenerated body instead of into an ark or another priest. Fal-tor-pan wasn’t part of normal Vulcan funeral rites either; it was an extremely rare thing done only to the most prominent Vulcans.

Vulcans are also private, often outright secretive about themselves and their practices. Look at the whole incident with Spock and pon farr.

I’m still a little confused. If they didn’t need Spock’s body, why did Kirk and gang immediately go back to the Genesis planet, why didn’t they just take McCoy right to Vulcan? When they steal the Enterprise, and when McCoy is trying to charter a flight, they didn’t know yet that Spock’s body had been reborn.

dammit now I can never watch Star Trek III again

never tell anyone this

Recall also that in TOS the Vulcans apparently served mainly on predominantly-Vulcan crews, such as the USS Intrepid (cf. “The Immunity Syndrome”). So no one was familiar with Vulcan death practices, because they weren’t familiar with being around Vulcans.

Wouldn’t Saavik have known? She was there.

Is it just a plot hole then? I figured I must have missed the part where they explained it.

Okay, y’all have just missed what went on. The normal practice is that you bring back the person’s katra (which is always given out if you think you are going to die), and their dead body, and there’s some sort of ceremony. What was different in this case is that Spock’s body happened to still be alive, so they could try an ancient ceremony to put the katra back in.

As for the burial ceremony, I agree that it isn’t covered, and is thus a plot hole, but I always assumed that Kirk didn’t know about Vulcan practices due to the secrecy mentioned above, and that Saavik assumed he’d rather have a Human than a Vulcan burial or that she didn’t want to divulge the secret ceremony to outsiders. She did go back to Genesis herself, remember.

Nobody knew Spock had installed his katra in McCoy’s brain, so Saavik wouldn’t have any reason to protest the loss of his body. Also, it may not have been her place to question Captain Kirk on the funeral arrangements of his first officer.

That works, too.

Wasn’t Saavik a Romulan spy in Star Trek VI?

No, evidently McCoy was somehow feeling the presence of Spock. Presumably the Vulcan’s psychic powers were calling out to his own mind.

They didn’t know about Spock’s katra being in McCoy’s head until Kirk’s conversation with Sarek – he was the first to be in a position to put two and two (the business of preserving a Vulcan’s katra and McCoy’s odd behavior) together.

That’s Lieutenant Valeris, played by the Sex in the City actress. Kim Cattrall.

Apparently, the original plan was to have Saavik the spy but decided to go with a new character for Cattrall to play.

Yeah I get that, but I suppose my real question then is why did they immediately head to the Genesis planet, instead of just taking McCoy to Vulcan? When they leave Earth, they didn’t know that Spock’s body had been rejuvenated, when they arrive at Genesis, everyone is damn surprised to learn that Spock’s body had been rejuvenated.

Because Sarek told Kirk that he “must bring them both to” Vulcan. Sarek did not intend to perform the fal-tor-pan or anything, but he did say that was the only way for Spock and McCoy to “find peace.” Presumably, the body needed to be present for the ceremony to take the katra from McCoy, but since Spock had been rejuvenated and the body could just be reunited with the katra, we never find out in the film what the other ceremony would have been.