The Enterprise underwater?
“I want the new Star Trek franchise to inspire the next generation of engineers and explorers. Instead it seems that JJ Abrams has taken the franchise into the Star Wars space fantasy direction, where characters misuse words like ‘parsecs’ and where basic physics are thrown out the window. … Star Trek should be scifi… and science is just as important as fiction in that portmanteau. ”
I was a bit taken aback by what I saw in the preview, too. I know Abram’s Enterprise was actually built on Earth and then flown into space, which made little sense at the time (like so many other things in the 2009 movie I overlooked). So, I’m willing to give up the idea that the Enterprise originally was not designed to travel in a planet’s atmosphere like say, Voyager was. Abram’s Enterprise can, and for some reason, it’s necessary to hide it underwater to prevent a non-warp-capable species from detecting it. Underwater. A species that look like they couldn’t detect something across a continent, let alone in orbit. The idea makes almost as much as sense as Scotty’s worry that the water—presumably saltwater—would damage the hull. Anyway, a smarter guy than me tells us why this is very odd.
More odd to me was why they were on the planet in the first place. A volcano is about to erupt and wipe out an entire species and the Enterprise crew intervenes to save them. This wouldn’t have happened in previous incarnations. TNG featured entire episodes about how the prime directive forbids interference with the natural development of a species, even if that natural development comes to a cataclysmic end. Yet, while very obviously violating the prime directive, Spock spouts off about the prime directive as a reason they can’t save him when he gets trapped in said volcano. Any rescue attempt, apparently bringing the Enterprise out of the water so the transporter can get a line of sight (what?), would risk revealing the ship to the planet’s inhabitants. Let’s forget for a moment that keeping the damn thing in freakin’ space probably would’ve solved all their issues, but why is it a challenge to beam someone out of a volcano? In the last movie, Vulcan was disintegrating yet they managed to get Spock, Sarek, Kirk and quite a few others off via the transporter with little drama. Suddenly a volcano is too hard? Maybe, and this is what I’m hoping, we’ll find out that the Enterprise somehow caused the eruption in the first place. That would make it okay for them to intervene and stop it.
I usually don’t do this. I’m usually the guy who loves to see old franchises, especially waning ones, reborn. I liked Prometheus, a lot, for example. I hate fanboys who are just never happy, no matter what a director or writer does. And I, after all, really did like the 2009 Star Trek, despite what I felt was a loose adherence to some of the technical standards that made Star Trek what it was for so many people (trans-warp beaming… across light years? Tubes of water in the engine room?). Those standards are why I can write a book like Treknology. I’m starting to wonder with these new movies, though, if we’ve got a bunch of guys who are playing in the wrong sandbox. They get Star Trek, but only up to a point. Either that, or they don’t have enough respect for what came before them. Neither is good.