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Question about Star Trek IV

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Question about Star Trek IV

Old 01-13-11, 07:26 PM
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Question about Star Trek IV

I one question is when they time travel are they able to go to a fairly specfic time or is it all luck? My guess would be that they can pick a year and get pretty close to it. They were shooting for the last half of the 20th century and they seemingly landed in 1986.

Now, if they could go to such a specific time--specific being within 50 years, what was so special about the last half of the 20th century? Whales have been around for millions of years, so why not go back to a time period before modern humans were around so there would be no chance of capture or anybody seeing them? Or if they didn't want to go that far back in time why pick a populated area like San Francisco and why take whales that were in captivity? Humpback whales are in every ocean on the planet and when they migrate from Alaska to Hawaii I'd bet that for much of that migration they're hundreds and hundreds of miles from any land whatsoever. Why couldn't they just go out in the middle of the ocean and beem some whales aboard and not worry about dealing with the people of that time?

Obviously I know it's a movie, but what were the movie reasons for going to San Francisco in the 1980's? Being in San Francisco in the 1980's meant that they could acquire the nuclear material they needed to get their ship going again, but they had no idea that they'd end up needing to get their ship going again, so why did they pick a populated area in the 1980's to steal the whales from?
Old 01-13-11, 07:39 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by whoopdido View Post
Now, if they could go to such a specific time--specific being within 50 years, what was so special about the last half of the 20th century?
Humpback whales were still in existence. It makes sense that they would shoot for the latest possible stardate/time before they became extinct.
Old 01-13-11, 07:47 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

They knew Scotty would have to invent transparent aluminum for the make shift tank?
Old 01-13-11, 07:50 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Ahhhh, someone else is watching Syfy I see.
Old 01-13-11, 07:51 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Because the movie wouldn't have been as good if they went back to some pre-civilization time? And they knew it's fun for the fans to see their heroes in the world at the time the movie was made? And it wouldn't have been as fun if they went to some remote area? I don't know...just brainstorming here. Exactly how would your idea be better than what we got?
Old 01-13-11, 07:52 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by NORML54601 View Post
Ahhhh, someone else is watching Syfy I see.
Ha ha. For a little while at least.
Old 01-13-11, 08:52 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

It's all about the Nuuuclear Wessels.
Old 01-13-11, 08:53 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

it's the same reason that Emmett Brown can invent a time machine, a steam-powered fridge, and a gun that can shoot the ticks of a dog at 500 yards, but at the same time he's too stupid to know that the kerosine in his own blacksmith shop can be refined into gasoline.
Old 01-13-11, 09:05 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Well, they wanted to have a movie that did three things:

1. Star Trek crew travels to modern day
2. Environmental message
3. Spock acts wacky

#3 was easy, given the events of the previous movie. But everything else was just an excuse to get the plot points for #1 and #2 going.

But if you still demand an "in universe" answer, I suppose the reason is that they wanted to travel as close the extinction of the whales as possible, that way if they did have some difficulties with the ship they'd at least have access to some technology.
Old 01-13-11, 09:18 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
But if you still demand an "in universe" answer, I suppose the reason is that they wanted to travel as close the extinction of the whales as possible, that way if they did have some difficulties with the ship they'd at least have access to some technology.
This was always my thought. They could have gone to 1687 or 687, but if anything went wrong with an already old ship that was using foreign technology, they would want to be in a time where they could adapt existing technology for their own uses.

Also, going to a time when the human race was capable of tracking animals like humpback whales would be a benefit.
Old 01-13-11, 09:28 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

I don't know man. I can't imagine 200 year old technology would work anyway if something went wrong.

It would be like trying to find a plug in for your ipod if you went back in time to the early 1800's.

In reality, if anything went wrong they'd be screwed with no way to get back, so if that were the case I'd pick a time and place where the chances of being captured or spotted would be zero.

And yeah I know it's just a plot point, but I'm trying to figure out if there really was a reason to go to that specific time and place. I don't think picking a time closer to the extinction of whales would matter. Something tells me whales from the year 986 were pretty much identical to the whales from the year 1986
Old 01-13-11, 09:30 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

You're right, in reality, the space travelers in their alien spacecraft that can go faster than light and travel in time would totally be stranded.
Old 01-13-11, 09:38 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
You're right, in reality, the space travelers in their alien spacecraft that can go faster than light and travel in time would totally be stranded.
Or get burned up by the sun as they flew around it.
Old 01-13-11, 10:26 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

I think it's as mentioned, how close to their time could they go back to in order to adapt the technology. Like the whale tanks, which were actually plexiglass because they only gave the formula which the guys had no means of producing as a trade. Or that there were nuclear reactors to recharge their crystals.
Old 01-13-11, 10:57 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

These questions were answered in the dialogue:
SPOCK
Ready to engage computer, Admiral.

KIRK
What is our target in time?

SPOCK
The late 20th Century.

KIRK
Surely you can be more specific...

SPOCK
Not with this equipment. I have had
to program some of the variables
from memory.

KIRK
What are the variables...?

SPOCK
Availability of fuel components;
Mass of the vessel through a time
continuum, and the probable location
of Humpbacks, in this case, the
Pacific basin.


KIRK
You've programmed that from memory...?

SPOCK
I have.

BONES
(eyes to heaven)
Angels and ministers of grace,
defend us.

SPOCK
Hamlet, Act I scene 4.

KIRK
Mr. Spock... No doubts
about your memory.
Old 01-13-11, 10:57 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Although they didn't need to recharge their crystals until after they went back so that wouldn't be a reason to pick 1986. It just was a benefit that they could fix them once there.

I'm going with the real answer: More fun to watch the Star Trek crew run around on present day Earth.

What I never understood is how they had some sort of control to fly under the bridge. Shouldn't the power be 0? It should have been an out of control crash.

Also, during TNG, they mentioned they needed to keep the matter/antimatter containment going. Well if the power went out on all of Earth's ships, should't all of their m/am chambers have lost power, resulting in huge explosions?
Old 01-13-11, 10:58 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by gmanca View Post
I think it's as mentioned, how close to their time could they go back to in order to adapt the technology. Like the whale tanks, which were actually plexiglass because they only gave the formula which the guys had no means of producing as a trade. Or that there were nuclear reactors to recharge their crystals.
Yeah but they didn't know they would have to recharge their crystals. Kirk and Scotty were clueless until Spock had a brainstorm. I don't even think Kirk and Scotty knew what nuclear power was, let alone knew when and where to find nuclear material.
Old 01-13-11, 11:08 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Didn't they say in the beginning, when they were going back to Earth from Vulcan that the Bird Of Prey was low in energy reserves?
Old 01-13-11, 11:30 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by gmanca View Post
Didn't they say in the beginning, when they were going back to Earth from Vulcan that the Bird Of Prey was low in energy reserves?
Possibly, but when Scotty told Kirk the crystals were low and needed to be recharged, Kirk seemed dumbfounded and said something about coming this far only to be stopped by the crystals. It's like nobody even gave it a thought.
Old 01-13-11, 11:52 PM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

I believe they were surprised at how poor the Klingon crystals were versus the ones the Federation used.
Old 01-14-11, 12:00 AM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
I believe they were surprised at how poor the Klingon crystals were versus the ones the Federation used.
There we go. That answers that question. There are so many more though.

This movie is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded in mystery.
Old 01-14-11, 01:00 AM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by MBoyd View Post
They knew Scotty would have to invent transparent aluminum for the make shift tank?
Actually scotty traded the knowledge of transparent aluminum for regular 6" plexiglass to make the tank. You will recall the man says it will take years to develop. (turned out to me >20 IRL)

And all the sudden I feel like a loser.
Old 01-14-11, 01:12 AM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

It's cheaper to set a movie in present day
Old 01-14-11, 04:02 AM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
It's cheaper to set a movie in present day
Old 01-14-11, 04:37 AM
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Re: Question about Star Trek IV

If I remember right, they needed a male and female whale and they knew from history records exactly where they could pick up what they needed, hence 1980s SF.

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