The 3 problems with Star Trek

I normally don’t like to write about movies and include spoilers about them unless they are long out of the theaters. But with everyone on such a lovefest with the new Star Trek movie, I have to get the 3 problems that I had with it off of my chest.

2 are science-oriented, 1 is Trekkie oriented.

So be warned, This blog entry will contain spoilers.



OK, so here’s what I noticed that I assume the majority of Americans did not.

1) Black Holes: So, Spock intended to save Romulus from a star going supernova with a device that essentially opens a temporary black hole. The black hole, from what I gather, was supposed to suck in the explosion and keep Romulus safe from the blast.

EXCEPT, that wouldn’t work.

OK, here’s the thing — let’s say Spock was successful, and that everything went off without a hitch. Black hole opened, blast sucked in, black hole goes away. What does that leave us? ROMULUS HAS NO FREAKIN’ SUN. No sun equals no warmth, so it would have been frozen over in seconds. No sun equals no gravity to keep it in orbit, so it would have gone drifting along its merry way until it got captured by something (another star, maybe a gas giant, who knows?).

Romulus was FREAKIN DOOMED from the get go, with NO CHANCE of saving it, ever. Your sun goes supernova, it’s game over from your world. Go colonize another. That whole backstory? Shot to fuck. Nero’s whole revenge plot? Fucking retarded.

2) Vulcans: OK, Abrams did the alternate universe angle, which was created when Nero came back and killed Kirk’s dad. So how does that explain the handling of emotions in Vulcans? Vulcans are driven by logic, and only express emotions like rage, jealousy, love, etc. when they are in the “pon farr” — think of it like Vulcans in heat, which happens every 7 years. And when they are in it, they are all kinds of distracted and want to be on their homeworld where they can deal with it (ie, bang hot Vulcan chicks).

Uhura, you whore!

Uhura, you whore! That's my Vulcan!

Now, granted, Spock is half human. But he never would embrace and kiss Uhura unless he was in pon farr, or express that level of emotion. In the original series, there was always a little something-something going onbetween him and Yeoman Janice, but if he went after her, you KNEW something wasn’t right. In the old series, Spock’s mother and father would “hold hands” by pressing two fingers together. (Vulcans are a very “tactile” race, as Star Trek lore holds.) That’s about as far as Vulcans go with their outward expression of love.

So, Spock embracing and kissing Uhura was an annoying gaff — alternate universe or not — because Vulcans were that way BEFORE Nero came back.

3) Black Hole 2.0: OK, so the Enterprise has fucked up Nero’s shit, and his ship is sinking into a black hole. Now, Vulcan was destroyed in seconds by 1 drop of red matter. You have a whole freakin’ load of it go up around Nero’s ship, and it takes MINUTES to suck it down. Then, on top of that, the Enterprise gets caught in the black hole’s gravity well, so they eject their power supply to create an explosion to get them out.

Now, remember in the first problem, a black hole created with 1 drop was enough to suck down the rage of a supernova, right? That’s A LOT of freakin energy. I mean, that’s so much energy that its mind boggling. For example, if our sun goes supernova, everything to Jupiter is gone. The gamma radiation emitted alone could cook worlds by mangling their magnetic fields in nearby galaxies.

Galaxies, folks. Not the outer planets in the star’s solar system. IN DIFFERENT GALAXIES.

That’s a fuckload of energy.

And black holes have such a strong gravity that not even light can escape them. The speed of light is roughly 670,616,629.4 mph, kids.

So, if this logic is correct, the Enterprise’s power source, which apparently uses water turbines and nuclear energy, can expend MORE ENERGY than a SUPERNOVA.

Are you shitting me? ROFLMAO. And don’t give me that “Well, they were on the fringe of the black whole” argument. Remember, 1 drop of red matter sucked down an entire supernova blast.

I’m sorry, I’m not buying it. I can suspend my belief in the laws of physics/nature only so far.

So please, stop telling me that this is such a fantastic movie. It’s fun. It’s funny. It’s a nifty roller coaster ride. But it isn’t the bee’s knees. In fact, I’m thinking Terminator Salvation is going to kick its ass in sci-fi terms.

(And yes, I’m a nerd. I know I’m a nerd. But I’d rather be a nerd with independent thinking ability than a drone in the J.J. Abrams collective.)


11 Responses to “The 3 problems with Star Trek”

  1. 1 Doug B
    May 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Just saw Star Trek today. It’s a fun movie, with lots of excitement and cool special effects, and I can even accept that the trek universe has changed in immeasurable ways with Vulcan destroyed in the time that Kirk becomes captain of the enterprise, etc., etc. However, I agree with you on these three points, and your earlier blog. But the movie is not without it’s flaws, and these three items are biggies. Another not so huge issue – would there really have been people on the drill to attack Kirk and Sulu? Come on – it’s not like they could have come down in that chain thing it was hanging on. So they were just inside the head of the drill all along? Oh, and you can drill a massive hole to the core of a planet without any sort of eruption of matter back through the drill hole? Yeah. I don’t think so.

  2. 2 Mike
    May 10, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Wow. Sorry these plot holes ruined it for you. It’s not the first space/action movie with questionable physics. Won’t be the last.

  3. 3 Three
    May 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    “Ruined” would be too strong of a word — I did say I enjoyed it, and I would own it for my personal DVD collection. However, I’m saying these were the parts that took it down a few notches in my book, thereby making it not “so incredibly epic” that a lot of people are claiming it is.

    Hell, I like “Independence Day” BECAUSE of the laughable physics/unbelievable stuff in it — but would never say that I think it’s a “good” flick … know what I mean?

  4. 4 Mike
    May 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Got ya. For whatever reason, the plot holes didn’t bother me. I loved the characters, the effects, the humor, etc. Just thought is was a lot of fun. Of course, I have a history of enjoying J.J. Abrams’ stuff (except Cloverfield), so maybe that explains it. Later!

  5. May 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I enjoyed the movie, but let’s just say it wasn’t a Star Trek movie, really. I mean, the physics alone were way too off to fit in with the Star Trek tradition.

    I agree that the whole black hole solution to an exploding star wouldn’t have saved the stupid Romulan planet. Unless Spock thought he could just put *a little* red stuff in there to contain the supernova and put the Romulan sun back in order. But I’m grasping at straws here.

    My husband made a good point that the Alias dudes who produced and wrote totally borrowed from the whole Rimbaldi story line from Alias (red matter? come on!)

    As a stand-alone movie it was totally enjoyable, but as a Star Trek fan, I’m in agreement with you, Three. The physics standards, let alone the story lore, were not anywhere near what I’m used to with Star Trek. Granted, the action was way better, but that’s about it.

  6. 6 Mark Borok
    May 17, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I don’t recall if the star going supernova was actually Romulus’ star, or if it was another one in the vicinity. Regardless, preventing its explosion would have given the Federation enough time to evacuate Romulus.

    I think more to the point is that the Romulans were supposed to have an empire and would have been scattered across many worlds, so the loss of their homeworld would have been less of a big deal.

  7. 7 Ian
    May 26, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Finally saw it this weekend. I see your points. They were not enough for me to be unhappy with the movie. I really liked it. I just wonder what will happen, now that there is a black hole in our solar system…

  8. May 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

    A couple of quick corrections for you.

    Spock and Nurse Chapel had a thing going on, not Janice Rand. The Enterprise’s warp drive uses a matter/anti-matter reaction. (No idea why they had the nuclear tri-foil symbols on it in the movie. Maybe there was some sort of radiation involved in the reaction?)

    Otherwise, all good points.

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