Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Nit Picking: Star Trek 2009

We (the P.I.T.s and I) enjoy Star Trek.  That said, we found a few things in the new Star Trek movie that just jumped out at us.  Now mind you we’re big on Trek trivia so some of these are only caught if you’re up on your Trek trivia. 

There’s a lot of non-mistakes because this movie takes place in a different quantum reality.  However some things just jumped out at us.  Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed the heck out of this movie…

Not a problem #1 – Scotty refers to transporting Admiral Archer’s beagle.  Advanced age for humans in the 23rd century is established in the TNG pilot.  McCoy is still around well into Picard’s time.  Archer would be 140 or so but it’s possible he’s still around.

Not a problem #2 – The Federation was aware of Romulans long before Nero arrives on the scene.  However, the crew of the Kelvin should have been surprised because they look like Vulcans.

Major complaint #1 – I don’t know where in the entire state of Iowa a canyon exists like the one Kirk drives the Corvette into.  OK so this is the future, one could’ve been dug by that time.  However, Iowa has a LOT of topsoil.  You have to dig down pretty far to get to the bedrock.   This also does not explain the mountain range visible behind Kirk when he goes to see the Enterprise and join Starfleet.

Major complaint #2 – Scotty just happens to be marooned.. er posted on the same planetoid that Spock-prime is dumped on and Kirk crashes on.  This planetoid, Delta Vega is positioned near the edge of the galaxy according to TOS episode “Where No Man has Gone Before”.  Now it is in orbit of Vulcan.

Major complaint #3 – Spock is surprised that Kirk is not Captain of the Enterprise.  He should realize that Kirk is too young to be the Captain.  In the Prime universe Spock is still serving with Captain Pike.

Nitpick #1 – When Kirk is making out with the Orion cadet in her room, some of her green make-up clearly rubs off on Kirk.

Nitpick #2 – Spock-prime and Spock are not the same height.

Nitpick #3 – Zachary Quinto’s Spock arches his left eyebrow, Leonard Nimoy’s Spock arches his right.

Nitpick #4 – The female Vulcan Minister is smiling when she stands up at Spock’s hearing for entering the Science Academy.

Nitpick #5 – During the awards ceremony, several flags can be seen in the background, including what appears to be the state flag of California. Towards the end of the sequence, the point of view shifts to Spock Prime watching from a balcony, and the flags are changed to Federation and Starfleet flags.

Nitpick #6 – The Starfleet logo, the distinctive “arrow-head” was originally the assignment patch for crew on the Enterprise only.  Different ships used of different patches.  Using the arrowhead insignia on the Kelvin is a continuity error since the histories of the two time lines are supposed to be identical up to that point.

Nitpick #7 – When Spock is beamed away from Spock Prime’s ship at the end of the movie he is in a sitting position, but when he materializes on the transporter pad he is in a standing position.  Though to be fair this happens a lot on the various series.

Nitpick #8 – When Kirk and crew are devising their plan, Spock says he can board the Narada and “steal back” the black hole device.  When did Kirk tell anyone that the device had been stolen.

Nitpick #9 –  When Captain Robau of the Kelvin says “Polarize the view screen” you can see he is wearing a Starfleet badge.  As he turns and sits down in the captains chair, it has disappeared, but returns again in the next scene.

Nitpick #10 –  During the high altitude parachute jump, Olsen’s altitude call-outs are “fifteen hundred meters” then “twelve thousand meters.”  

Nitpick #11 – When Kirk and Spock beam aboard the Romulan vessel Spock leans down to perform a mind meld on one of the fallen Romulans. Notice the deep scratch on Spock’s right hand, revealing the blood is red instead of green.

Nitpick #12 – When Uhura walks in on Kirk and her roommate, she says, “I’ve been working on solar systems.”  Only one star system is a solar system, the one that orbits the star Sol, our sun. Normal Star Trek terminology they would be called star systems.

Nitpick #13 – Captain Pike says that Kirk’s father saved over 800 people’s lives.  Kirk’s Enterprise in the prime universe held 400 crew.  So the USS Kelvin is twice the size of the Constitution Class ships?  It sure looks smaller.

Nitpick #14 – When Captain Pike is talking to Kirk in the bar, he says “You understand what the Federation is, don’t you? It’s important. It’s a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada.” Umm that would be Starfleet.  The Federation is the government, Starfleet is the armada.

Nitpick #15 – During the battle between the USS Kelvin and the Narada, the engineer of the Kelvin reports that the weapons are offline, yet in the next barrage of torpedoes from the Romulan vessel, the Kelvin’s phasers are seen firing again.  So Phasers aren’t weapons?

These are what we caught. Did you catch any others?

May 5, 2010 - Posted by | Movies, Nit-picking, Star Trek | , , , ,


  1. Interesting nitpicks. I always enjoyed the unique crew insignia on the original episodes. I know why they stopped doing it ($$$), but it added just so much more life texture to the universe.

    Regarding the Iowa ‘canyon’, it’s supposed to be a quarry. The idea was that the gigantic city towers seen way off on the horizon in some shots had to get their raw materials from somewhere. If you look at the walls, there are right angle cuts where the blocks were cut. But mountains? Maybe giant piles of waste material from building the arcologies? 😉

    I was thrown by the idea of Spock Prime being able to see Vulcan’s destruction from any planet, whatever the repurposed name might be. It would have to be very close (lunar scale) for him to do so. Just seemed wierd.

    All the ships seemed to be about double the scale of the original series ships, on a par with Picard era vessels. But bigger = better seems to be a rule in today’s Hollywood.

    Comment by Leo Knight | May 5, 2010

  2. By the way, I hope you feel better soon!

    Comment by Leo Knight | May 5, 2010

  3. The only way Spock seeing Vulcan’s destruction works for me is imagining that what we see is a psychological metaphor for something similar to what happened in the original series–wherein Spock felt an entire crew of Vulcans “cry and in terror, and…suddenly silenced”).

    Also, to get really, really picayune, there are a few episodes of TOS where non-Enterprise personnel are wearing tunics with the Enterprise patch. Eh.

    The new film was a lot less subtle, yes. But I liken it to the way myths change as new generations take up the telling of them. 🙂

    Comment by Chawunky | May 5, 2010

  4. The love I bear for thee can afford no other name. Steve, thou art a trekkie.


    Comment by Gary Weller | May 5, 2010

  5. @Leo – Yeah it could be a quarry, but you’d have to dig through a lot of topsoil in Iowa to get to bedrock. I’ll pass along the wishes to the Mrs.

    @Chawunky – I appreciated the fact that although this is a re-imagining of the Trek universe it left the original universe alone.

    @Gary – Trekker 8)

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | May 6, 2010

  6. Some of these things, “solar system” and “armada” can be attributed to natural human fuzziness. People are imprecise.

    When I see things like this in books, I see the author as more skilled for having been able to convey that “fuzziness” – something that isn’t easy to do. It’s hard to not put the “right word” in every time.

    Comment by viricordova | May 7, 2010

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