2009-05-18

To Boldly Story Edit

Speaking of movies full of annoying mistakes, i saw the Star Trek reboot this week and enjoyed it thoroughly while i was watching it. However, the split second that the credits started to roll, i understood with perfect clarity that this was one of the stupidest films i’d ever seen in my life. The litany of flaws in this story — not trivial editing errors but enormous what-the-fuck-were-they-thinking logical gaffes of jaw-dropping proportion — are beyond comprehension, and include but aren’t limited to:

1) The Romulan ship was way too big. It’s an automated mining platform, so how many miners need to actually be there to push the buttons? A million? Ten million? And why does a mining platform need an endless supply of killer torpedoes capable of taking out an entire fleet of warships anyway? It’s like writing a script in which a fishing trawler is armed with triton missiles. (Though, to be fair, that would have made A Perfect Storm a lot more interesting.)

2) Falling into a black hole doesn’t let you travel through time. It only kills you.

3) How come neither Vulcan nor earth has any local ships capable of blasting the drilling platform? In the end, when Spock has to shoot it with his fancy future ship, he’s like a mile above Starfleet headquarters, and i’ve heard rumors that Starfleet is kind of in the ship business.

4) The coincidence factor of old Spock and Kirk being on the same planet/moon was touchy enough. Having them appear a hundred yards from each other was sloppy.

5) If that was a moon of Vulcan (as it would have to be in order for Spock to see the implosion at the scale he did), why is there a remote Federation outpost on it with that “Oooh, i’m a kazillion miles from civilization” vibe to it? Scotty should be shuttling down to Vulcan every weekend for the night life.

6) Setting aside the improbable physics of creating a singularity at such a local scale, there was no need to create the singularity within the core of Vulcan. Parking a black hole on the surface would have done the job just as well. (I’m half assuming that red matter needs incredible heat and pressure to catalyze its reaction, just as i’m assuming that the red-matter singularity disappears when its no longer fed by matter, in order to explain why the singularity formerly known as Vulcan doesn’t continue to suck down everything else in the star system. So how hard would it have been to work either of those ideas into a line of freaking dialogue?)

7) It makes no sense for Kirk to be the only one who recognizes the “lightning storm in space” effect. Pike should have (given his study of that battle), but at the very least, all previously seen space anomalies should be logged into a Starfleet database somewhere. Or maybe they’re using technology borrowed from the 20th-century FBI or something, where no office can share information with any other. (Given the insanely stupid appearance of human welders in the original teaser trailer, that might not be too far off the mark…)

8) How come the H-bomb was leaking radiation bad enough to burn the Others with even casual contact earlier in the season, but Sayid and Jack can work with/carry the warhead with no ill effects?

Sorry, wrong show. But most importantly:

8) Since Nero has gone back in time umpteen years and has a full supply of red matter, he can actually save his home planet by imploding that star now (in film time) before it ever threatens the galaxy, saving his wife and family, yada yada. At the very least, he could just get a message to Spock saying “In the future, when you go to deal with this supernova you don’t know about yet, try to arrive 20 minutes earlier.”

This is all ignoring the fact that a supernova wouldn’t actually have threatened the galaxy in the first place:


(There are lots more technical crap gaffes there, but i’m more of a story guy.)

I seriously want a law requiring people who want to write science fiction to be required to first pass some sort of written test.