Jerry Nixon @Work: Star Trek into Darkness plot holes

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek into Darkness plot holes


I would like to take a second and compliment the latest Star Trek movie: Star Trek into Darkness. The reprise of the new-timeline series brings back their solid cast to fight a classic enemy. The Enterprise refit is beautiful, the uniforms are stellar, and the effects intoxicating. The movie unforgivably kills my favorite character, but the pace of the movie quells my lament as I struggled to take in the fire hose of plot details, lens flair, and classic canon nods. I’ll need to see it a few more times.

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My wife and I hit the town for the late night, premier sneak-peek showing. Surrounded by other Star Trek enthusiasts in uniforms and fan apparel, we fit right in. There’s nothing like the opening night of any movie, especially one with engaged fans like Star Trek. There’s so much energy, so much laughing, and a terrific chance to just play along, have a good time, and escape for a few hours.

Some of the plot holes I would like answers to:

  1. Wasn’t Spock already breaking the Prime Directive screwing around with the volcano? Why did he report Kirk’s violation of the Prime Directive and not get in trouble himself?
  2. Aren’t starships created to withstand outward pressure, not inward pressure? Space is a vacuum, putting the Enterprise underwater reverses the pressure, doesn’t it?
  3. Assuming you don’t vaporize from the heat inside a volcano, what are the odds that it can erupt (and spew lava onto a nearby village), but not a drop touches Spock’s suit?
  4. Isn’t the Enterprise big? After Kirk and Bones survive an impossibly high jump into the ocean, how deep do they swim to reach the side hatch? Don’t they need to decompress?
  5. Is Kirk just stupid? Why does he always anticipate a commendation when he is about to be court marshaled? Was Spock’s report secret? Surely he could have read it in advance.
  6. If the most important people in Starfleet are getting together for the purpose of fighting terrorism, why would they do it in an unsafe location, subject to sneak attack?
  7. Aren’t there sensors on Earth? We can detect life on a planet from orbit but we can’t find a specific escape ship flying around? Not even as it is approaching Starfleet HQ?
  8. Forget how Kahn got his hands on the interstellar transport formula, why did he go to Qo’noS? It was clear that he didn’t have friends there. Maybe he was baiting Admiral Marcus.
  9. That escape craft had some serious fire power. But Kirk wrecked it by very-accurately throwing something into the turbine intake. What? Combustion fuels in the future?
  10. Nobody’s bitter? So if we cross into the Klingon neutral zone and kill several scores of warriors and leave – they don’t get a little mad about the treaty violation? What gives?
  11. On a ship the size of Enterprise there’s no backup for the Chief of Engineering? We have to turn to the seventeen year old head of tactical? But there’s a backup for tactical? What?
  12. Admiral Marcus gives Kirk special missiles. Cool. But 72 of them? Seriously, Kirk needed 72 missiles to kill a single man? Would he have really used all 72? And, why not 47 instead?
  13. Okay, so Kahn is a good shot and really strong. But with that many Klingons around nobody shoots back at him while he is shooting at them? Why don’t they think to do that?
  14. It was cool to see Urhura speak Klingon, but what was her plan? To appeal to their honor so they would forgive their violation of the neutral zone? How could that ever work?
  15. If Starfleet were to construct a super weapon, wouldn’t they have some security around it? How can Scotty sneak up, let alone sneak in to a facility like that? Is nobody awake?
  16. If the USS Vengeance is so high tech, they why can’t they detect a communicator talking to the Enterprise from inside her won belly? Again, is nobody awake at the controls?
  17. That shipyard scene was cool, but it made one thing clear: there are lots of ships around Earth. How is it possible that Enterprise is all alone over Earth, fighting for Starfleet?
  18. When Kahn hits debris and vanishes, how could he possible reaccelerate enough to catch up with Kirk and “guide him” into that little bity airlock? They jets appeared only lateral.
  19. I happen to know that the Enterprise’s artificial gravity pulls down, not up. When she is in a free fall, why is Kirk running along the walls with Scotty? Shouldn’t he float?
  20. If Kahn was hiding people in torpedoes, would he really pack them with explosives, too? How did Spock manage to “arm” one as to not be detected during transport?
  21. After the crash on earth, considering how large the Enterprise is versus the “twice as large” Vengeance, Kahn’s slide down her shattered hull would be like sliding down two Empire State buildings. Shouldn’t the friction alone have melted his boots and his feet?
  22. The “energizers”, “star drive” or “warp core” of a starship is pretty freaking powerful, if you think about it. If you were stand next to it, unshielded, and it suddenly ignited sufficient to power the Enterprise, wouldn’t you probably be vaporized? Kirk?
  23. Now that we have Kahn’s blood (rather Bone’s recreation of it), wouldn’t Starfleet bring everybody back to life? Like Captain Pike; arguably, the best character in the movie. Doesn’t this make it so nobody in Star Trek ever has to die again?


Don’t get me wrong. I love it. Really do.