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Showing posts from February, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 080: Enroute to Laurent

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Kirk asks Spock Prime, "So you do feel?"  Spock Prime: "Yes." "Going back through time you changed all our lives..."
Spock Prime, bored by Kirk's inane repetition of the obvious,  decides their fireside male bonding time in the cave is over, (perhaps the lack of drums?) and it's time for action.  "Jim," he announces, "we must go. There is a Starfleet outpost not far from here."
That's another pretty amazing coincidence in a long string of them, isn't it?  Nero invests a quarter of a century by an entire ship and crew to capture this one Federation Ambassador he deemed  most responsible for a "genocide", then for revenge he puts Spock on a Federation planet, unsupervised, and right next to a Starfleet outpost?  Ridiculous!  It goes completely against Nero's own justification for decades of planning, waiting, and temporal mechanics calculations to exact revenge by forcing Spock t…

Star Trek by the Minute 079: Billions Died Because I Failed

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Spock continues his narration of the mind meld:
"He held me responsible for the loss of his world."  We see the Jellyfish docked aboard the Narada in a long shot, and Spock descends the ramp into a surrounding cordon of Romulans.  "He captured my vessel and spared my life for one reason; so that I would know his pain."  It has been argued that Nero was overcome with grief so his actions need not be rational.  Nevertheless, I don't buy the idea that simply any action can be justified via repeated appeals to the emotional insanity defense, as is used for Bones disabling Kirk, Spock stranding Kirk, and most of Kirk's nonsensical or even criminal actions.   To me, this is a pretty cheap gimmick for avoiding the real work it takes to create believable characters with whom we can identify. 
In this case, grief induced shock at the loss of his home and people leads, as this film so often does, to the desire to escalate.  All the main c…

Star Trek by the Minute 078: I Went Through the Black Hole

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STbtM Posts: First - Previous Spock’s mind meld continues: 
 “As I began my return trip I was intercepted. He called himself Nero, 'Last of The Romulan Empire.'"
In my attempt to escape, both of us were pulled into the black hole.”  Like the terribly incorrect supernova nonsense, this is similarly bad.  Black holes, from our perspective outside the gravity well, act like a suspended animation field which would take anything entering it into the future.  A clock would appear to slow down as we watched it fall into the black hole, and our view of the clock would red shift and dim progressively.  If there were any way to survive and then escape, (which there isn’t, and there isn’t either), then the clock would have essentially moved forward in time, not backward.

Also, we see a two-dimensional event horizon for the black hole which seems to be a rip-off of Stargate, but it is not the shape of a black hole event horizon, and even if we grant all of these impossibilities, …

Star Trek by the Minute 077: When the Unthinkable Happened

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STbtM Posts: First - Previous  In a nice, special effects zoom typical of the excellent external space shots in the film, we pass through bands of rock debris and dust to approach the soon to explode star.  Spock’s narration of the mind meld continues “The star went supernova destroying everything in its path.”
Here again the science is pretty far off: shock waves from supernova only travel at about 10% of the speed of light, meaning it would take hours for such a shock wave to travel from our own star to the earth.  If we sent something to our nearest stellar neighbor at .1c, today’s babies could easily be having great-grandchildren by the time it arrived, 42 years later.  Further, we might reasonably suspect that any red matter would need to be delivered at or near the center of the nova, (we will ignore problems of travelling into the supernova remnant and across a “galaxy threatening” shockwave), thus: travelling at the speed of light, the effect would need 4.6 more years to effect …

Star Trek by the Minute 076: Meld Begins

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Kirk rises from sitting by the campfire to declare "Ah…Sir, I appreciate what you did for me today, but if you were Spock you would know that we are not friends at all, you hate me, you marooned me here for mutiny."

Spock: "Mutiny?"

"Yes."

"You are not the Captain?"

"No, no, you are the Captain, Pike was taken hostage."

"By Nero…"

Kirk turns and asks: "What do you know about him?"

"He is a particularly troubled Romulan." Spock rises, extends his hand and approached Kirk saying: "Please, allow me - It will be easier."

"Whoa, whoa, what're you doin?"

Spock says "Our minds, one and together," and he touches his fingers to Kirks face, continuing: "129 years from now, a star will explode and threaten to destroy the galaxy."

This is one of those points where a critical plot element demonstrates astounding ignorance of scientific reality. Supernovas…

Star Trek by the Minute 075: I Am Spock

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After excruciating seconds go by with Kirk having no means to resist being eaten by this monster, he is shown kicking ineffectually off screen. The only possible thing his boot could hit would be the tongue with which he has been lassoed. Despite Kirk's complete lack of handholds, footholds or anything else that would prevent him from sliding directly down the creature's gullet, and despite that we have seen this animal break upward through solid ice to attack a polar bear sized predator, crush it in one bite, and fling it easily 100 m through the air, the creature is shown now to be completely stymied. This kind of helpless, senseless delay appears again and again such as in the Kelvin battle, (apparently to enable George Kirk's kamikaze run), the attack on the Enterprise, (apparently to keep our main characters alive), the drill platform fight, (same), Chekhov's attempt to beam out the Vulcan High Council, (yielding the unbelievable de…

Star Trek by the Minute 074: Miracle Cave

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As this segment opens, Kirk continues running (and falling) but this time it is away from the new, larger, and supposedly more dangerous monster. Kirk again is saved by a sheer luck as he falls off yet another cliff. After the cliffhanger and fall in Iowa, the cliffhanger and fall off the Romulan drill platform, and the cliffhanger and fall outside the Katric Ark on Vulcan, with this one we are averaging less than twenty minutes between each "cliff and fall" scene even if we do not count the artificial cliff-like equivalents paird with falling such as those aboard the Kelvin, the drop from the Enterprise shuttle, and Narada. 
The monster pursuing lunch runs to the edge of the level section and continues roaring for some reason, and then this large, presumably successful native predator falls off the cliff as well. Perhaps it's ill.
Meanwhile, Kirk comes to rest on what looks like a frozen lake and the bottom of a depression, in what can only b…

Star Trek by the Minute 073: Only the Delicious Run

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Kirk logs: "Acting Captain Spock has marooned me on Delta Vega." This matches the storyline so far only if we are willing to suspend disbelief about a great many things leading up to this point, and the fact that Vega's home in the constellation Lyra (right ascension 19h, declination +40) is somewhat on the opposite side of Earth from the constellation Eridanus, where Vulcan is placed. Dropping Kirk on Earth would have been quicker. In Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzmann's Trek, habitable planets are easier to stumble across than a Wall Drug billboard.

In a long shot, we see Kirk wandering through a desolate ice-scape, featuring a relatively flat glacial surface broken by large protrusions, somewhat reminiscent of the ship from Aliens, complete with precipitation obstructing our vision and howling windstorms that make hearing difficult, similar to the Nostromo crew's situation.

Kirk judges Spock's actions are "…in what I believe to …

Star Trek by the Minute 072: Glacier Trek

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Getting his bearings, Kirk taps the interface next to his couch and asks: "Computer, where am I?"

"Location: Delta Vega, Class M planet – unsafe. There is a Starfleet outpost 14km to the northwest. Remain in your pod until while I summon the authorities." I have to wonder if anyone else was concerned by a presumably non-sentient computer using the first person to express what she was planning to do. A re-entry within 14km would almost certainly be visible to anyone who was looking up, unless they had really bad eyesight, but this Federation outpost must not have much in the way of sensors.

"Oh, you gotta be kidding me," Kirk whines as he removes the bandages from his hands. Why he is removing this potential insulation from his hands after just waking up with his pod embedded in ice is unclear, but it doesn't seem very smart. He opens the hatch and exits the pod, climbing out of a deep ice hole with his bare hands. Anyone wh…