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Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Christopher A. Gray

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The attitude you are taking towards the JJ Treks can only be called one thing, and must only be called one thing: SNOBBERY. Total, utter, universal snobbery from people who love to armchair quarterback the professionals from the Internet!
Okay, reign in your indignation a bit.

One can still LIKE a film, yet be critical of a few bits. I could just as easily accuse you of being a fan boy, who attacks anyone who dares slag his beloved franchise, but I won't, because I don't have enough information about you to make that assumption (plus, that would be rude). Yet here you are calling me a snob.

STID was a good film. However, it was nowhere near as good as the first JJ effort.

The first film showed some restraint, the second introduced some Transformer-type over-the-top scenes, and had one or two too many homages to Wrath of Khan. They should have toned it down a bit (yes, in my OPINION).
 
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JNorris

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I could just as easily accuse you of being a fan boy, who attacks anyone who dares slag his beloved franchise.
Not too far from the truth, as a matter of fact. I suppose I'm being excessively passionate because Star Trek, since about the time Voyager appeared, had been steadily driven into the ground. The success of this film marks a major turning point, and I'm elated.

I apologize for my outburst.
 

Warren_Paul

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Don't fear, Brian, you're not the only one! :)

I enjoyed the references to Wrath of Khan as well. I thought the role-reversal of Kirk and Spock fantastic, and the conversation Spock had with Alt-Spock. And how they kept us guessing about Kahn's real identity until that moment he said his name where I was like, "oh damn, it is him!"

And I thought this one was better than the first, but I thought they were both great, both worth buying and watching multiple times. In fact, I just watched the first one again last night and really enjoyed it for the third time seeing it now. And with that, my memory is refreshed on certain topics and complaints.

If the story puts forward a Transporter which is limited to orbital distances and somebody suddenly uses it for interstellar travel without any explanation, that breaks the rules of the game. So does including things which manifestly make no sense within the context of the story.
Exactly. The author or scriptwriter of any SFF work can create a new set of rules for how their universe works. As long as they are presented plausibly,
that's fine by me. What they can't then do without destroying the credibility of
their work is to break their own rules without any explanation (if a moderately
plausible explanation is provided, that's OK).
No the transporter is just being finicky. They can't beam up, but they can beam down! lol.
Back on the topic of internal inconsistencies, at least in regards to the teleporters. An explanation was provided, it was in the first movie.

I'm afraid it's just lack of understanding by particular viewers. The teleporters were consistent with the same problems they faced in the first movie. If the source target is moving, they can't be teleported -- unless you can calculate the speed they are going and the direction and anything else that might affect the calculation, too many variables to consider making it all but impossible. But beaming down onto a moving target doesn't have the same limitations. It's the source target that is required to be stationary. Spock and Kahn were moving very fast. They had that limitation in the first movie, and they once again have it in the second one. That's the complete opposite of inconsistent.

And if you watch the first movie again, in the scene where we first meet Scotty, he mentions his design for teleporting between planets and how it was confiscated and him exiled to that far away station to keep it all under wraps and secret.

So, Scotty invents a way to teleport between planets prior to the first movie, he says it got taken off him in the first movie, and all the sudden somebody in the second movie -- who is secretly working with a hidden section of the government -- uses a teleporter to go from one planet to another.

Did they give an explanation? Yes. Did people pay attention to that explanation? Apparently not.



I'm not sure I really understand why people have a problem with a ship defying the planet's gravity. Isn't that normal, what they are supposed to do? How else would they launch into space and leave orbit?

Besides all that, people have to remember that this is an alternative reality where technology developed different. We can't compare anything on what we knew of technology and the way it worked in the old movies. The rules and limitations of the old movies no longer apply.

While we're picking holes, the idea that Scotty could fly a shuttle into a starship hold and berth there, without anyone on board the ship noticing or any alarms being set off, struck me at the time as being more than a little incredible. Given the level of tech involved in a starship, monitoring a volume of space around it in case of asteroids or just for shuttle traffic control would seem a basic requirement.
They could have probably worked out an explanation for how he did that, but by doing so they would have revealed the ship too early in the movie and ruined the surprise of him appearing onboard the ship later. And don't forget, Scotty is a bloody genius. If he wants to do something, he will find a way.



A Technical issue I do agree with, the shuttle being unable to go near the volcano due to heat while Spock's suit appeared impervious to the heat. Aren't shuttles designed to enter and exit atmospheres, where it would be very hot, hot enough to burn up metal? That doesn't make sense to me, but it's a minor nit pick in the overall picture of the story. Smoke and ash from the volcano fouling up the engines would have been a more logical plot device.
 
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Valko

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Personally, I loved the movie & I'm a huge Trek fan.
Unlike others on here, I can see this is Trek for a new generation. If you didn't like it, fine go back to your Trek & let the youngsters enjoy their version.
 

Christopher A. Gray

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Despite my minor quibbles about STID, it would make for a great sit-down trilogy to watch on Blu-Ray with fellow fans:

- Space Seed (TOS)
- STII: TWOK
- STID
 

Parson

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Besides all that, people have to remember that this is an alternative reality where technology developed different. We can't compare anything on what we knew of technology and the way it worked in the old movies. The rules and limitations of the old movies no longer apply.
This is the key point!! Any good SF'er would have to know about alternate realities/universes where things are subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) changed. Even the original Trek had that plot line occasionally. Not being a hard core trekkie I don't remember the title, but I remember an episode where Kirk, Uhurha, and ?? were transported onto the Enterprise in a different reality where captaincy was gained by assassination etc. and Kirk had a alien device which just snuffed people out remotely --- Like transporting into another dimension or something -- with no trace.
 

Gordian Knot

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I'm afraid it's just lack of understanding by particular viewers. The teleporters were consistent with the same problems they faced in the first movie. If the source target is moving, they can't be teleported -- unless you can calculate the speed they are going and the direction and anything else that might affect the calculation, too many variables to consider making it all but impossible. But beaming down onto a moving target doesn't have the same limitations. It's the source target that is required to be stationary. Spock and Kahn were moving very fast.
First a comment. This is a movie, and all this deep discussion back and forth about a movie is really kinda silly. I acknowledge that. It also happens to be fun! So with the understanding that this is all rather irrelevant, but an entertaining past time never the less.........

[Transporters] may be consistent with the first movie, but that doesn't mean it makes any sense. Why would it be necessary to have a stationary target in order to beam up, but that stationary target is not required for beaming down?

Secondly just what is a stationary target? The cargo transport Spock and Khan were on may have been moving fast, but that speed was pokey compared to how fast the planet itself is spinning on its axis not to mention the speed it is traveling in its orbit around the sun.


I'm not sure I really understand why people have a problem with a ship defying the planet's gravity. Isn't that normal, what they are supposed to do? How else would they launch into space and leave orbit?

Besides all that, people have to remember that this is an alternative reality where technology developed different. We can't compare anything on what we knew of technology and the way it worked in the old movies. The rules and limitations of the old movies no longer apply.
The problem with a ship defying gravity is not normal in any sense of physics. We know how much force is required to get something as tiny as a space shuttle into orbit. Now multiply that ten thousand fold (or more!) for a vessel roughly the size and weight of a modern nuclear aircraft carrier.

We know how a Starship works. It has warp engines for FTL, and some vaguely defined chemical engines for non warp speeds. No technology in the Star Trek universe can allow such a huge vessel to simply levitate into orbit, or in any way turn off gravity.

The rules and limitations of the old movies may not apply, but the physics of the universe are still the same. That is why all the earlier films, ships were built in orbit.

Is any of this really critical to watching the movie. That depends on how much suspension of disbelief one is willing to accept. Historically Star Wars was the SF/Fantasy films where you accepted that the physics of the universe did not apply. Star Trek historically made an attempt to remain relatively within the actual laws of the universe, with the science we cannot do now accepted as technology of this future time period.
 

Christopher A. Gray

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Star Trek historically made an attempt to remain relatively within the actual laws of the universe, with the science we cannot do now accepted as technology of this future time period.
Not only that, but TOS kept the technobabble to a minimum. Subsequent series invented new problems, words for problems, then invented solutions on the fly, often as a substitute for drama.

Remember when Lt. Riley shut off the impulse engines and Scotty had to apply the intermix formula? It resulted in fifteen minutes of high drama where you were on the edge of your seat. TNG and beyond would just invent a quick solution and be done with it (well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a key difference between the eras).
 

Warren_Paul

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[Transporters] may be consistent with the first movie, but that doesn't mean it makes any sense. Why would it be necessary to have a stationary target in order to beam up, but that stationary target is not required for beaming down?
They do have to stand still to beam down, that's why they stand still on the teleporter pads. If they stepped off them the teleport would be interrupted.

Secondly just what is a stationary target? The cargo transport Spock and Khan were on may have been moving fast, but that speed was pokey compared to how fast the planet itself is spinning on its axis not to mention the speed it is traveling in its orbit around the sun.
It's not just the transport that was interfering with targeting them, but the fact that they were fighting too and moving all over that transport. It's about random movement.

Chekov was able to beam up Kirk and Sulu in the first movie while they were falling because he used his mathematical skills to calculate the formula and predict their movement. In the same way no doubt the transporters are already programmed to compensate for the spinning of the planet and its orbit. What they aren't programmed for is when the person shifts from where they were expected to be standing, like what happened to Spock's mother in the first movie. She fell when the ground gave way and the computers lost their target on her because she was no longer standing where they expected her to be.


The problem with a ship defying gravity is not normal in any sense of physics. We know how much force is required to get something as tiny as a space shuttle into orbit. Now multiply that ten thousand fold (or more!) for a vessel roughly the size and weight of a modern nuclear aircraft carrier.

We know how a Starship works. It has warp engines for FTL, and some vaguely defined chemical engines for non warp speeds. No technology in the Star Trek universe can allow such a huge vessel to simply levitate into orbit, or in any way turn off gravity.

The rules and limitations of the old movies may not apply, but the physics of the universe are still the same. That is why all the earlier films, ships were built in orbit.
... Correction: YOU know how much force is required. Majority of other people would have no idea.

That is something only a tiny percentage of viewers would even think of and is really watching the movie with too much of a scientific mindset. You don't know what kind of technologies they have invented to counter the effects of gravity in sci-fi movies. It's possible in theory and the only argument to fall back on is that the older movies supposedly didn't have any technology to do so, which falls back on my previous comment about how that isn't relevant.

And then there is the case of Star Trek IV with the bird of prey they take back in time... So even the old movies had situations that defied the planet's gravity. How else do you think they got back to present time?

On a side note, apparently Gene Roddenberry's original intention was for the crew to land the starship on the planet, and only later was the idea of transporters used instead.

According to The Making of Star Trek, Star Trek creator Gene
Roddenberry's original plan did not include transporters, instead
calling for characters to land the starship itself. However, this would have
required unfeasible and unaffordable sets and model filming, as well as episode
running time spent while landing, taking off, etc. The shuttlecraft was the next
idea, but when filming began, the full-sized shooting model was not ready.
Transporters were devised as a less expensive alternative, achieved by a simple
fade-out/fade-in of the subject. Transporters first
appear in the original pilot episode "The Cage". The transporter special effect, before
being done using computer animation, was created by turning a
slow-motion camera upside down and photographing some backlit shiny grains of
aluminium powder that were dropped between the camera and a black
background.[1]
So if not for the limited budget constraints, starships would have been seen entering and leaving planet orbit in the original movies too. It had nothing to do with the scientific viability of the idea. JJ Abrams doesn't have those same limitations.
 
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Brian G Turner

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Re: gravity - it's presumed this is solved along with the other technical problems of interstellar travel. In ToS there was at least one episode where the Enterpise entered earth's atmosphere and had to face off with an American jet. I'm sure there have been more examples in the series (didn't they do this in Voyager one or more times as well?)

It's really no more unbelieavable than warp drive IMO.


Despite my minor quibbles about STID, it would make for a great sit-down trilogy to watch on Blu-Ray with fellow fans:

- Space Seed (TOS)
- STII: TWOK
- STID
Also watched not long watched Space Seed, will be watching Wrath of Khan shortly, then the first Abram's Star Trek - and then Into Darkness as soon as the blu-ray is released. :)
 

Gordian Knot

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Okay Warren, you're explanations of transporter technological workings is consistent when you explain it that way. So I will agree your supposition is plausible. Actually I'll go you one better, as I cannot ever remember a TOS episode when the crew were not standing still when they were beaming up! That isn't proof that they needed to be standing still, but it certainly lends credence to what you are saying.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

The gravity issue, no I'm afraid I still cannot accept that one. It's one thing to take an accepted piece of Star Trek tech and expand on how it works. It is another to suggest that there is some gravity neutralizing technology that has never once been mentioned or explained in either the original series or this one. You are now making stuff up to explain an incompatibility.

A slight correction about the Enterprise landing planet side. As I remember it, it was the saucer section that could detach and land. The warp drive section of the ship was orbital only. Which makes perfect sense when you think about that pesky gravity again. In space you can have this huge 11 deck saucer hanging on a slender pylon and that is all that is holding it up.

But on a planet of Earth like gravity that "neck" section between the saucer and the engineering hull would collapse in on itself trying to hold all that weight out in front of it. As would the warp drive pylons because there is not enough strength to hold the long heavy warp drive engines on a slender stick!

The slingshot maneuver around the sun to achieve time distortion is not really the same thing. Pretty sure this was based on some scientific theories at the time that moving fast enough and slingshotting around a huge gravity field like a sun, might possibly create a time rift. Not sure how this relates to landing on a planet. It is a different beast entirely.

Brian you are right about that one episode in Star Trek's first season. They repeated the procedure, this time on purpose in the second season to go back to study a critical moment in Earth's nuclear history (The famous Gary 7 episode). If you remember though the whole point of that plot line in the original episode was that the Enterprise was where it was never meant to be. They were within the upper atmosphere only because of the damage the ship took as a result of the time slip. Their primary concern, along with not being seen, was to get the ship back up into a stable orbit. The implication is strong that Star Ships do not belong within a planet's gravity well.

Voyager was capable of planet landing, and did so several times. It was also very much smaller than a Constitution class Star Ship. Same with the Klingon Bird of Prey.
 

JNorris

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The famous Gary 7 episode
"Assignment Earth," the Season 2 Finale.

It was intended as a pilot for a new series. Not only did Paramount not pick it up, but they cancelled Star Trek as well, at least until Bjo Trimble got basically everyone alive to write Paramount and beg them not to cancel it.

So they renewed it. The first episode of Season 3?

"Spock's Brain."

*Double face palm*
 

Brian G Turner

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The gravity issue, no I'm afraid I still cannot accept that one.
Whether it's accepted as being technically feasible or not, haven't you already agreed that it's consistent with the former Trek universe? Isn't that what the original argument was about - internal consistency?
 

Gordian Knot

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Not what I said. I said the transporter technology was consistent between the two. No where in TOS did we ever see the Enterprise, or anything else of significant size switch off gravity when it was convenient to the story.

JN, I had quite forgotten that Gary 7 and his catpanion was meant for a new series. Thanks for jogging the ol' leetle gray cells.
 

Warren_Paul

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You missed my point about Star Trek IV.

They landed the Bird of Prey on Earth, and then took off and flew back out into space. Same with Voyager as has been mentioned, and the saucer piece of Enterprise. But all three are still much, much larger than a space shuttle we have today, so going with your argument, and granted they aren't as big as the Enterprise, they would still be too large of mass to leave the planet based on your argument.

So why can it be accepted that Voyager and Klingon Birds of Prey are able to enter and leave the atmosphere yet it can't be accepted the reimagined Enterprise now can too?
 

Warren_Paul

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Did some digging on this, and there is so much conjecture about what a ship can or cannot do in regards to entering and leaving an atmosphere that in the end, nobody really knows whether it's truly possible or not, and probably most people won't care.

In the end, these arguments have all been formulated by fans, or maybe patched in by writers -- I don't know exactly where this argument came from -- to explain the reason Gene Roddenberry never had the ships land on a planet, when the real reason is because he couldn't afford it.

Although I saw references to occasions where the original Enterprise did actually enter the atmosphere of planets, but it didn't land. Will need to find out more about those details.

I can accept that in the new movies, JJ Abrams has gone against what the fans believed normally possible, but we saw the Enterprise being built on land in the first movie, so straight away he is telling us that the rule about the enterprise not being able to leave the atmosphere previously invented no longer applies. They gave a technobabble answer to explain it in an interview which pretty much comes down to "creative license".

TrekMovie.com: So what is your guys logic for setting it on land?

Roberto Orci: Besides the thematic stuff we discussed, which is to connect it to today and make it clear. Firstly, there is the notion that there is precedent in the novels, etc that components of the ship can be built on Earth and assembled here or there. And the second thing is that the Enterprise is not some flimsy yacht that has to be delicately treated and assembled. The idea that things have to be assembled in space has normally been associated with things that don’t have to be in any kind of pressure situation and don’t ever have to ever enter a gravity well. That is not the case with the Enterprise. The Enterprise actually has to sustain warp, which we know is not actually moving but more a warping of space around it. And we know that its decks essentially simulate Earth gravity and so its not the kind of gravity created by centrifugal force, it is not artificially created by spinning it. It is created by an artificial field and so it is very natural, instead of having to create a fake field in which you are going to have to calibrate everything, to just do it in the exact gravity well in which you are going to be simulating. And the final thing, in order to properly balance warp nacelles, they must be created in a gravity well.

TrekMovie.com: Where did that come from?

Roberto Orci: That comes from our creative license. No one can tell me that it is not possible that in order to create properly balanced warp nacelles they have to be constructed in a gravity well.


But all of that aside, ultimately, he's pretty much doing what Gene Roddenberry had originally wanted to do.
 
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JNorris

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I'll say the same thing here that I said over at Jammer's Reviews.

"It's a SONG, ya green-blooded...Vulcan! You sing it, the words aren't important, what's important is that you have a GOOD time SINGING!!"
 

Brian G Turner

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Just watched this again on blu-ray - and I'm sorry, but I still think it's brilliant. :)

It has plenty of character humour and interplay, it has real character development and emotional arcs.

The homages to Wrath of Khan are great, but it's especially interesting the dialogue between Kirk and Spock where they point out how their roles have reversed - when Spock took command of the Enterprise and negotiated with Khan, Spock tried to emulate Kirk - and how Kirk did what he knew Spock would have done.

Also very interesting to see how Kirk is manipulated into being bloody-minded and set on revenge, and diminishes his senior officers for their objections - but learns to trust and respect their judgement and goes with their decisions, so that the team works as a whole.

The action is incredible, Kirk and Khan teaming up against Admiral Marcus is a great piece of tension, and this film simply works better than most of the other Star Trek films. It is easily an improvement on the first Abram's Star Trek as well.

I also watched Wrath of Khan as well last night - I think it's lasted well, others tell me it's dated, but as it was always one of the most acclaimed and enjoyed Star Trek films I think we'll find Into Darkness takes a place of honour above it now.

I'm sure plenty of people complained about Wrath of Khan when it was released as well. :)
 

Dr Zoidberg

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I've added it to lovefilm for a second viewing but I may just buy it anyway.

I'm not so sure it will be seen as a classic the the same way that Wrath.. Or First Contact are but I thoroughly enjoyed it at the cinema. Plenty for hardcore fans to revel in or nitpick, but still nice and accessible to those who started with the reboot film.
 
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