Star Trek Movie Annotations
The new Star Trek movie has been blowing people away, providing an introduction for new fans and an alternate time line that allows for even old fans to be surprised.
Every article and review has mentioned how time travel is being used to explain/justify this reboot, this new take on things where old rules are broken or, at least, revised. And yet, it is clear that the writers involved have an affection for what came before, making many references to the canon old school fans know and love.
Thus, we have put together this list of references and nods to other Trek stories. BE WARNED, SPOILERS ABOUND BELOW. If you have not yet seen the new Star Trek film, DO NOT continue reading so you can fully enjoy the story later for yourself.
And while, we’re on the subject of Star Trek, for anyone interested: Today, May 12 at the Paley Center in New York (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), I will be part of a panel that is meeting to discuss how different leaders in sci-fi drama compare to James T. Kirk. There will be a discussion with the audience and trivia questions as well, so feel free to attend. The panel begins at 6:30, but if you come at 5 pm, there will be a big-screen viewing of the original Star Trek pilot “The Cage” featuring Captain Pike and a younger Spock. More information can be found at this link.
And now, your list of continuity references.
– The U.S.S. Kelvin is named after J.J. Abrams grandfather.
– Capt. Robau does not recognize Nero’s species as Romulan and so he asks where Nero and his crew came from. At this time in Star Trek history, the Romulans had faced the forces of Earth and the United Federation of Planets on many occasions but had never revealed their actual faces in the process, communicating with other ships only by radio. Thus, it’s understandable that Robau does not know who he’s talking to or where Nero and his crew come from. In the original history, it was actually Kirk’s crew who first discovered what Romulans looked like in the episode “Balance of Terror” and realized that they were an off-shoot of the Vulcan race who had chosen to embrace their highly volatile emotions and lust for combat rather than learn the ways of logic above all else.
– Nero mentions he is looking for “Ambassador Spock.” We learned in the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part episode “Unification” that Spock became a Federation ambassador after leaving Starfleet and that he eventually focused all of his efforts on trying to convince the people of Romulus to re-unite with Vulcan society, so that they too could learn the ways of logic and reason instead of continuing their lives of suspicion, duplicity and conquest. This quest of his was covered in more detail in the novel Crossover by Michael Jan Friedman.
– Romulan military normally wear dark, checkered uniforms, sometimes involving sashes, and have haircuts similar to most Vulcans. However, Nero and his crew are traditionally miners, as he explains, and have different outfits entirely. Their shaved heads and tattoos were an effort by Abrams to distinguish them further from the Vulcans, as he did not want to confuse new fans who were unfamiliar with Trek lore and might assume that Nero was an “evil Vulcan” rather than a member of a completely different culture and society.
– The tattoos of Nero and his crew are explained in the IDW comic book mini-series Star Trek: Countdown, which serves as a prequel to this movie. The comic (which was plotted by this film’s screenwriters Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman) that ancient Romulans who were in mourning would traditionally paint these symbols on their faces as signs of grief. The idea was that when the paint faded, it symbolized that they were ready to move past their grief and resume a normal life. Nero and his people, however, have tattooed rather than painted these symbols on, and Nero himself explains later in the film that he has no intention of letting go of his grief.
– The top part of Nero’s ear is missing. In the movie Chopper, Eric Bana played the title character who had a similar wound.
– Nero’s weapon is a teral’n. In the IDW comic book mini-series Countdown, it is explained that the teral’n is an ancient weapon believed to symbolize the strength of the Romulan Star Empire and that it is traditionally in possession of the Praetor.
– In the original series of Star Trek, we learned the name of Jim Kirk’s brother but not his parents. In the original series episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”, we learned that Kirk had an older brother named George Samuel Kirk. George (whom Jim always called “Sam”) was later seen during the episode “Operation: Annihilate”, along with his wife and his son Peter. Later novels said that Kirk’s father was named “George Samuel Kirk, Sr.” while the novel Enterprise: The First Adventure first established that his mother was named Winona. A more recent novel Collision Course, written by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeve-Stevens, stated that Kirk’s father was named “George Joseph Kirk” and that his mother was named “Winona.” In this movie, we are finally told that the parents are indeed named George and Winona, though George’s middle name is not clarified.
– In Star Trek: The Original Series, Captain Kirk often introduced himself as “James T. Kirk.” It was later established in the animated series that his middle name was Tiberius and this was confirmed in a live-action performance later in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This movie is the first time we learn the source of that middle name. In the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Roddenberry said that the middle name was in reference to how Jim’s grandfather was fascinated by the historical Tiberius.
– It was never established in the series or the previous films when Jim Kirk’s father died. However, several of the novels operated on the premise that Kirk’s father told him about Starfleet while the two looked up at the stars in the night sky, inspiring Kirk to later join the Academy himself. A similar story is told in a later scene of this film.
– Kirk stated in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home that he originally grew up in Iowa. Gene Rodenberry gave the town of Riverside, Iowa permission to consider itself the original future home of James T. Kirk (which it celebrates annually), hence we later see Kirk drive to the Riverside Shipping Yard in this movie. In the original series, we learned that at the age of thirteen Jim lived on the colony world of Tarsus IV. How long he lived there was never made explicit, but it was clear that he returned to Earth either during or before the year 2250 (when he was seventeen), since that is when he joined Starfleet Academy.
– The polic
e officer Kirk encounters has the number “924” stamped on his robot-like mask (possibly a badge number). TrekMovie.com has popularized the claim that “924” is the model number of the character Robocop. This is not true. Robocop’s model number was OCP-001 (thanks to Doug Ecks for pointing that out).
– The planet Vulcan is home to the Vulcans (sometimes called “Vulcanians”) who are scientists and mystics. The Vulcans were the first alien race to make public contact with the planet Earth (as revealed in the film First Contact) and the original series implied it was fairly close to Earth’s star system (relatively speaking). In 1968, the novelist James Blish suggested that Vulcan might be a planet orbiting the real-life star 40 Eridani, which exists 16 lightyears away from Earth and is close to the same age as our own sun. Years later, three astronomers studied 40 Eridani closely. These three were Sallie Baliunas, Robert Donahue and George Nassiopoulos and in 1991 they jointly published a letter wherein they stated that 40 Eridani could indeed support a planet with Earth-like life forms and that the distance between the star and an Earth-like world would likely make it a desert-like planet (if seen from the surface of an orbiting Earth-like planet, 40 Eridani would appear to be 30% larger than our own sun). Gene Roddenberry signed this letter, supporting the idea that 40 Eridani was the star that Vulcan orbited and years later, the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Home” stated that Vulcan was 16 lightyears away from Earth.
– As evidenced by these school children and by others later, Vulcans make it a way of life to suppress emotions. In the past, Vulcans were spurred on by primal emotions that were stronger than those of humans and engaged in many wars before nearly destroying themselves in a nuclear holocaust. In response to this and believing that their high emotions were too dangerous to leave unchecked, a Vulcan called Surak began teaching a way of life that focused on logic, honesty and reason above all else. Those who would not embrace Surak’s teachings and chose to continue violence and conquest left Vulcan and made their home on the planet Romulus, eventually building the militaristic Romulan Star Empire.
– Spock is the son of Amanda Grayson (a human school teacher) and Sarek, the Vulcan Ambassador to the Federation of United Planets. Spock is said to have been born in the year 2232. On the 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of the soundtrack to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Gene Roddenberry “interviewed” Sarek, who stated that Spock was not the first Vulcan-human hybrid to be born but was indeed the first to survive beyond the first days of his birth. This was confirmed during the last season of the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise.
– The Vulcan learning center and the way it educates its children is very similar to a scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in which we see Spock retraining his mind.
– In Star Trek: The Animated Series, an episode called “Yesteryear” showed that Spock occasionally got into fights with other children who deliberately tried to get him to show his emotions and that the young boy began learning martial arts and the Vulcan nerve pinch specifically to stop these bullies. In that same animated episode, Spock’s father Sarek gave a very similar lecture on how Vulcan logic offered his people a serenity unknown to humans. Sarek also mentions that Spock must choose his own path. In the original canon, as seen in “Yesteryear”, this occurred when he was seven-years-old and took the kahs-wan, a maturity test which ended with him deciding to embrace the ways of Surak and logic rather than a more human lifestyle.
– Sarek’s reference about his marriage to Amanda Grayson being “logical” is a nod to a small joke he made in the original series episode “Journey to Babel.”
– Vulcans have copper-based blood, making it green rather than red. The same is true of Romulans.
– Spock speaks to his mother Amanda about the Vulcan ritual of Kolinahr, meant to completely purge a Vulcan of his or her emotions. The ritual was first mentioned in the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The same movie showed that Spock, years after leaving Starfleet, did indeed eventually take the Kolinahr training but did not complete it and later realized he did not wish to purge his emotions, as he valued the friendship he felt towards Kirk and his other colleagues aboard the Enterprise. In the series Star Trek: Voyager, the character Tuvok was a Vulcan who had completed Kolinahr and, as a result, was a far colder and more aloof character than Spock.
– Spock tells his mother that “fine” is not an acceptable word to associate with him because it has many possible meanings. In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Spock tells his mother at the beginning that there is no logic in asking someone how they feel. By the end of the film, he realizes a balance between his Vulcan upbringing and his human emotions and symbolizes this by telling Amanda “I feel fine.”
– William Morgan Sheppard plays the head of the Vulcan Science Council. He also played a human scientist in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Schizoid Man”, a Klingon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the character Qatai in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Bliss.”
– Fans learned in the original series episode “Journey to Babel” that Spock turned down an invitation to the Vulcan Science Academy in order to attend Starfleet Academy instead. The same episode stated that this decision caused Sarek and Spock, who already disagreed on many things, to further strain their relationship and not speak to each other for years. Although Sarek was disappointed and disagreed with Spock’s decision, he later implied in “Journey to Babel” that he was nonetheless proud of Spock’s accomplishments as a Starfleet officer. In the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Sarek admitted that his previous belief that Spock should not have joined Starfleet “may have been in error.”
– Zoe Saldana, who plays Nyota Uhura, also played a trekkie in the movie The Terminal.
– Uhura orders a Slusho, a drink invented for the show Alias. She also orders a Cardassian sunrise. In the original continuity, Cardassians were a militaristic race often at odds with the Federation.
– Uhura’s unwillingness to share her first name is a joke on the fact that she was never given a first name during the original series or in the movies. Later in the film, it’s said her first name is Nyota. “Uhura” is from the word “uhuru”, which is Swahili for “freedom” (it was Nichelle Nichols’ idea for the character to have this name). Years ago, a fan suggested to Gene Roddenberry that it would be fitting for Uhura’s first name to be “Nyota” because that is the Swahili for “star.” Roddenberry left the decision up to Nichols, who enjoyed the idea of the character’s name meaning “Star of Freedom.” Both agreed to consider “Nyota” as Uhura’s official first name. The name began appearing in novels and comic books afterward, but this is the first time it has been spoken during a live-action Star Trek performance.
– In the original Star Trek series pilot episode “The Cage”, Captain Christopher Pike (played by Jeffrey Hunter) was featured commanding the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. Spock was introduced in the pilot as well, serving under Captain Pike. When a new pilot was to be filmed, Jeffrey
Hunter removed himself from the cast and William Shatner stepped in as the newly-created character Captain Jim Kirk. Spock was moved up in rank, now shown to be second-in-command and Science Officer, and the rest of the crew was now composed of completely different characters. In the first season two-part episode “The Menagerie”, it was stated that Pike had indeed been Captain of the Enterprise before Kirk and that Spock had served under him for “eleven years, four months and five days.” In that same story, Kirk said that he had only met Pike when the older man had been promoted to Fleet Captain and Kirk had been told he would be the new Captain of the Enterprise (in the year 2264).
– Pike mentions that Kirk’s father didn’t believe in no-win scenarios. This references Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where Kirk states the same belief. Pike’s comment that George Kirk would seemingly rush into danger mirrors Kirk’s own famous attitude and echoes a remark from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when Kirk described himself as a man who often ventured “where angels fear to tread.”
– In the animated series episode “The Counter-Clock Maneuver”, it was
stated that Pike himself had inherited the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from Captain
Robert April, who commanded the ship for its first trial runs and first few missions. Though it was never stated how long April spent as captain of the ship, it was said that he took command after its construction was completed in 2245, at which point Kirk would have been 12-years-old. Since this movie shows that the Enterprise NCC-1701 is still under construction in the year 2255 (when Kirk meets Pike in the bar), we might assume that this is another effect of history being altered, causing the ship to be built much later on. Then again, the original series held that the Enterprise was originally a much smaller ship when April and Pike had captained it and that it was rebuilt to hold a crew twice as large sometime before Kirk took charge. So perhaps the Enterprise has been around for a while and is now simply underoing a major refit while Pike temporarily acts as an Academy instructor.
– In previous films and television episodes, whenever a starship was shown being constructed it was seen in an orbital “dry dock” rather than being on Earth. However, there is nothing in the original television episodes or films that specifically states constructions begins in dry dock, just that it ends there. And although various tech manuals and novels have stated that the Enterprise began construction in San Francisco before it was completed in space, we have to remember that such tie-in materials are really only canon until a later film or episode decides otherwise. Sorry, that’s just the way the industry works. The screenwriters of this new film Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman stated their belief that initial construction of the Enterprise would begin on Earth in order to help in the construction of some basic machines such as the artificial gravity generators, which would be better calibrated if they were built and tested in the same gravity well that they were meant to simulate. As for why it’s being built in Iowa: why not? It’s a less crowded location than San Francisco and gives us a great scene of Kirk looking up at the ship, pondering the future.
– McCoy mentions a bitter divorce. In the animated series episode “The Survivor”, it was first established that he had been divorced and had a daughter named Joanna. The TV series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture both established that he was indeed a licensed doctor before he joined Starfleet.
– McCoy’s joke about his ex-wife leaving him only in possession of his bones is meant to be the origin of the nickname Kirk used for him throughout the original series, the animated series and his appearances in the live-action films. Originally, it was believed that the reason Kirk called McCoy “Bones” was simply in reference to him being a “sawbones”, an old slang term for a surgeon.
– The film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier established that McCoy sometimes carried a flask with him.
– The Kobayashi Maru test was first shown and explained in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The simulation was designed so that it could not actually be won, making it “a test of character” to see how cadets dealt with a no-win scenario. It was noted in that same movie that Kirk was the only person who ever beat the famous “no-win scenario”, succeeding in his third attempt. Spock mentioned that Kirk’s solution in his third attempt was “unique” and Kirk later admitted to others in the film that he had won by changing the conditions of the simulation. He added that he was not punished for this but got a commendation for “original thinking.”
– The green-skinned woman Gaila spending time with Kirk is from the planet Orion (the males of her species can be either blue or green). Orion women are known for having high sexual appetites and for their seduction skills, as they have highly potent pheromones which they can use to bring men into a near-hypnotic state if they wish. Most Orion women are traded and sold as slaves by the men of their species, but the screen-writers of the new Star Trek movie Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman have stated that Gaila is an escaped slave, hence her joining Starfleet Academy. Gaila (played by Rachel Nichols) is the first Orion woman we’ve seen who doesn’t black hair.
– Kirk is eating an apple as he defeats the Kobayashi Maru. He likewise held an apple in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, when he admitted that he had won the “no-win scenario” test years ago by cheating. When asked how he justified cheating, Kirk explained “I don’t believe
in the no-win scenario” and then took a bite out of the apple.
– In the Kobayashi Maru simulation, Kirk is attacked by “Klingon warbirds.” Klingon ships are normally called “birds of prey” and Romulan ships are normally called “warbirds.” However, the original series stated that during that era, the Klingons and Romulans did some trading concerning their ships and so it’s not unheard of that some Klingons at this time might possess warbirds. In fact, in the first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, a Klingon was seen flying a warbird.
– For the first time, we discover that Spock himself is responsible for programming the Kobayashi Maru test. This explains Spock’s statement from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan when he said he himself had never taken the test.
– At the disciplinary hearing, the dean is Admiral Richard Barnett. Another character, named Admiral Richard B. Barnett, was mentioned in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “In the Pale Moonlight.” This character was named after visual effects artist Richard Barnett.
– Sitting to Admiral Barnett’s left is Admiral James Komack. Admiral Komack is from the original Star Trek series. He was mentioned in the episodes “This Side of Paradise” and “The Alternative Factor” and he was seen in the episode “Amok Time.” In the original series episode “The Menagerie” Part 1, Kirk looks over a classified report that is signed by “Robert L. Comack”, a similar name for a different character.
– Spock lectures Kirk that he refuses to understand the experience of feeling fear in the face of death. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Kirk admits his belief that he had never truly faced death before the events of that film, that all he ever did was cleverly cheat it often and congratulate himself afterward.
– Uhura is initially assigned to the U.S.S. Farragut. In the original series, Kirk stated that he served aboard the Farragut as a lieutenant after graduating from Starfleet Academy, some time after serving aboard the U.S.S. Republic as an ensign.
– The voice of the Enterprise computer is Majel Barrett, the recently deceased wife of Gene Rodenberry who also played the voice of the computers in all Star Trek series (even two episodes of the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise) and films. Majel Barret also played “Number One” in the original Star Trek pilot “The Cage”, Nurse Christine Chapel in the original TV series, and made recurring appearances as Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
– Sulu introduces himself with the first name “Hikaru.” In fact, he was not given a first name until the last movie to feature the original Star Trek cast, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Before then, the first name of Hikaru had only appeared in various novels and comics, starting with the book The Entropy Effect.
– Although she is not seen, McCoy shouts for Nurse Chapel in the sickbay.
– Chekov has difficulty pronouncing the letter “V”, giving it a “W” sound instead. This is a joking reference to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, where Chekov spoke about the need to find “nuclear wessels.” His mispronunciation in that film became notorious and has been referenced in other shows such as Futurama.
– Sulu mentions being trained in fencing. This was established in the original series episode “The Naked Time.” In a later episode “Shore Leave”, it was also shown that he had a deep knowledge and fondness for Earth historical weaponry.
– Chief Engineer Olson is the first of the crew to die. Since he works in engineering, he has a red uniform. Security forces (who also wore red) and engineers were the most frequent casualties in the original series, leading to an ongoing joke that people who wore red shirts in Star Trek would probably die.
– In its zero-gravity environment, red matter looks like a large red ball. J.J. Abrams has used the image of a large red ball in other projects, such as the series Alias.
– Spock mentions that his parents, as well as the Vulcan elders, will be present in the “katric ark.” Vulcans refer to a person’s soul and consciousness as their “katra.” We first learned about this in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The same film also said that Vulcans, when death is near, use their telepathic abilities to transfer their own katra into a friend who will then bring it back to Vulcan to be stored so that their accumulated knowledge will not be lost. In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “The Awakening”, it was explained that “katric arks” were “poly-crystaline vessels” built by ancient Vulcans to preserve and transport katras. Later in this movie, Spock remarks that the “essence” of his planet’s culture now “resides” within the Vulcan elders, which must mean that these elders now possess the katras (or most of the katras) that were collected in the ark.
– Chekov displays a keen knowledge of math and science when he is able to manipulate the transporter beam better than the assigned technician and later when he calculates how best to intercept Nero’s ship. This is in keeping with his portrayal in the original series. Whenever Spock was forced to be absent, Chekov was assigned as his replacement at the science officer’s station (indicating a high scientific acumen) and was said to be incredibly thorough in his calculations and data analysis. In the episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?”, Dr. McCoy made a sarcastic remark about Chekov’s seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of energy fields and alien life forms.
– In the original series and films, Spock’s mother Amanda survived well into old age. What’s more, the planet Vulcan was still around a century later during the timeline of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Thus, we now have more major changes in history.
– The singularity Nero creates does not spread past Vulcan. Some fans have complained about this, stating it is impossible to contain a singularity. While this is true by today’s science, it should be noted that in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Face of the Enemy”, it was revealed that Romulan military ships were powered by quantum singularities that were created and contained by artificial means. Thus, it’s not unheard of that Nero, who hails from several years further in the future, would have technology available to him that would limit the singularity he unleashes upon the planet Vulcan.
– Spock and Uhura evidently have a romantic relationship. Although there was no evidence of this in the original series, it was implied in several episodes that they had a close kinship and affection for each other. Uhura occasionally flirted with Spock and was the only one on the ship who could make him genuinely smile and get away with teasing him. Spock also stated an admiration for Uhura’s skills on a few occasions. When off-duty, the two would occasionally perform together for the rest of the crew, with Spock playing a Vulcan instrument as Uhura sang. Actress Nichelle Nichols said that she considered Spock to have been Uhura’s teacher, that they were quite close and understood each other in many ways.
– This woul
d not be the first time Spock has been involved with a human woman. In the original series episode “This Side of Paradise”, it was stated that he had been romantically involved to some degree with a human botanist named Leila Kalomi (during his days of service with Captain Pike). And in the episode “All Our Yesterdays”, he had a romantic affair with a human woman named Zarabeth from the planet Sarpeidon.
– When Christopher Pike is being subjected to questioning, he is exposed to an insect that will affect his brain and make him more suggestible. A similar life form from the planet Ceti Alpha V was discovered and used in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
– Spock very quickly concludes that Nero is a time traveler and Uhura and the rest of the crew readily accepts his explanation of alternate realities. In the series Star Trek: Enterprise, which took place a century before Kirk became a captain, Earth’s original Starfleet explorers encountered a few enemies with time travel, as well as doubles from alternate timelines. So by the time of this film, such concepts would have been accepted by the general public as fact rather than mere hypothetical concepts. In the original series of Star Trek, the first two seasons alone involved two stories featuring parallel universes and four involving time travel to some degree.
– Spock states that Nero’s arrival and interference has created a new reality in its wake. However, even before Nero’s arrival, some of the U.S.S. Kelvin‘s technology seemed different from anything we’ve seen in the Star Trek shows and films before. It could be that this was a certain type of ship that we’ve simply never been exposed to since it existed between the adventures of Star Trek: Enterprise and the original TV series. It could be that some of the time travel adventures that occurred in Star Trek: Enterprise had already caused a few cosmetic changes to history. Or it could be that the black hole “lightning storm” didn’t transport Nero and Spock Prime into the past but actually sent them into a parallel universe, one that was already completely separate from their original “prime” timeline. The original series explored alternate realities in the episodes “The Alternative Factor” and “Mirror, Mirror” (introducing the famous bearded-version of Spock which influenced so many later “evil twins” in sci-fi to have facial hair) and all of the later spin-offs likewise encountered parallel universes and split-off timelines.
– McCoy states “I’m a doctor, not a physicist.” In the original series, McCoy often made similar complaints, such as “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer” or “I’m a surgeon, not a psychiatrist.”
– “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” This statement was originally made by Sherlock Holmes. Spock himself quoted this famous belief in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, stating that it had been spoken by an ancestor of his. Since Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe, Spock obviously meant that the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an ancestor of his. This revelation was also a small joke by Nicholas Meyer, who directed that movie and was famous for having written possibly the most popular Sherlock Holmes story not penned by the original author, The Seven Per-Cent Solution.
– Kirk is marooned on a planet called Delta Vega. The second pilot episode of Star Trek, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, featured Kirk attempting to maroon a former comrade on a different planet with the same name. Kirk being rescued from an ice planet by Spock echoes events in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
– Leonard Nimoy is referred to in the script as “Spock Prime” since he is from the original universe/timeline. This name is a reference to many science fiction writers often referring to the “real world” as “Earth-Prime”, a practice which began with DC Comics.
– Spock Prime’s words “I have been and always shall be your friend” is a reference to words he first spoke in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It is one of the character’s most famous lines.
– Spock Prime says he comes from 129 years in the future, meaning the year 2387. He thus comes from a time eight years after the previous film Star Trek: Nemesis, which took place (2379) and was the last film to chronicle events from the “Next Generation era” which began in 2363 (a full 70 years after Kirk’s final mission in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). The last time we saw Spock Prime was in the two-part Next Generation episode Unification, which took place in the year 2368. Coming from 2387, Spock Prime is now 155 years old. This is not an impossible age, as we saw in Star Trek: The Next Generation that humans could live as long 150 years (Dr. McCoy was said to be 137 the last time we saw him) and it was said in different episodes that healthy Vulcans had a typical lifespan of 200 years or so.
– Spock Prime informs young Kirk that he can replace the current Captain of the Enterprise if he can prove that the younger Spock has been emotionally compromised. Spock attempted a similar tactic against a superior officer in the original series episode “The Doomsday Machine.”
– When Spock Prime and Kirk find Scotty, there is a tribble sitting in a cage on his work table. Tribbles were first introduced in the original series episode “The Trouble with Tribbles” and quickly became among the most infamous species in all of Star Trek. Tribbles were known to rapidly reproduce if they had more than minuscule amounts of food, so it’s a good thing Scotty barely has any rations or he would be neck-deep in the little creatures already.
– Scotty mentions apparently vaporizing “Admiral Archer’s prize beagle” while testing trasnwarp beaming. Jonathan Archer was the captain in Star Trek: Enterprise and later became an admiral. During that series, he had a beagle named Porthos whom he dearly loved. Since this movie takes place 97 years after Archer ended his career as a captain, the dog Scotty vaporized cannot be Porthos and must have been a different beagle that Archer got later. In the original timeline, it was stated that Archer himself died the day after Robert April took command of the Enterprise in 2245. Either Archer survived for at least a few years longer in this new timeline or Scotty was punished by a relative (possibly a son) who also achieved the rank of Admiral. It is also funny that Archer’s dog would die in such a way, since in the very first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, it was stated that the man was so protective of his dog Porthos that he would not allow the pet to be submitted to a normal transporter beam.
– Spock Prime giving Scotty a formula years before its invented is similar to something Scotty did in the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
– In the previous film Star Trek: Nemesis, which took place in 2379, there was no indication that anyone had found a means to perform transwarp beaming. However, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Relics” we learned that strange circumstances led to Scotty being put into a form of suspended animation in 2294 and that he did not resume his life until 2369. Since this left the now-retired hero not only still alive but also relatively young in the “Next Generation era”, it’s not a great leap to believe he discovere
d this formula in the years between Nemesis and when Romulus was destroyed in 2387.
– Kirk provokes a reaction from Spock by calling him an emotionless computer and claiming he was incapable of feeling love for his own mother Amanda. The original series episode “This Side of Paradise” featured a similar scene where Kirk provoked Spock into attacking him by claiming that the Vulcan was a robot incapable of loving his human companion Leila.
– Sarek tells Spock he is thankful for his diverse state and his human emotions. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part episode “Unification”,
Sarek mentioned that although he had often lectured Spock on giving in
to human emotions, he had secretly been proud of his son’s defiant
spirit and inner strength.
– Scotty’s companion in the transporter room is Chris Doohan, son of James Doohan who was the first to play Scotty. Chris Doohan also did a cameo in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
– In Spock Prime’s jellyfish ship, the pilot’s seat against the large round window forms a triangle overlapping a circle. This is the symbol of IDIC, the Vulcan philosophy of “infinite diversity in infinite combination.” It first appeared in the original series episode “Is There No Beauty in Truth?” and was further explained in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “The Forge.” The pyramid shape is meant to emulate Mount Selaya, home to the priests and priesteses of Vulcan and the planet’s most important religious site, said to be where Surak died. Roddenberry explained that he designed the IDIC on the idea that two disimilar shapes could exist in harmony. The jewel that the triangle points to represents the beauty achieved by such unity.
– When Spock sees that the jellyfish ship recognizes his presence and commands, he remarks “fascinating.” Spock said this frequently in the original series, the animated series and the previous films he was featured in. In the original series episode “The Squire of Gothos”, Spock stated that he only used the word “fascinating” rather than “interesting” when something actually surprised him.
– Kirk says he thought Spock would appreciate a gesture of peace towards the Romulans. As stated before, Spock Prime was very concerned about establishing peace between Romulus and Vulcan, hoping to unify the cultures again, in the two-part episode “Unification.”
– Scotty screams “I’m giving her all she’s got!”, a statement he made several times during the original series and the previous films he was featured in.
– Pike is seen in a wheelchair due to his injuries during captivity. In the original series, two years after ending his career as Captain of the Enterprise, Pike suffered an accident that left him disfigured and completely unable to move his body. To function, he was placed in a high-tech wheelchair that could just barely interpret his brain signals, allowing him to move in basic directions and to communicate by making a light beep once for “yes” and twice for “no.” This special wheelchair became infamous and has been parodied in shows such as South Park and Futurama.
– The top half of Pike’s new admiral’s uniform resembles Kirk’s admiral’s uniform from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
– Spock is surprised that Spock Prime may have lied to young Kirk. It is a commonly held belief that “Vulcans never lie”, but Spock proved in the original series that he was able to lie on numerous occasions when he felt there was a logical reason to do so for the mission to succeed or if he knew that lives could be endangered by the revelation of the truth. When others asked him or teased him about his ability to lie, he would often justify it by saying he hadn’t lied but had “omitted” or “exaggerated.” In the series Star Trek: Enterprise, the Vulcan woman T’Pol would often play along with a lie or, at least, disguise her main intentions by speaking about unrelated matters in situations where she believed it was necessary for the safety of the crew.
– Spock is surprised by Spock Prime taking “a gamble.” In the original series, Spock stated it was not until the episode “Patterns of Force” that he understood the attraction for gambling. Spock Prime states that what he did was not a gamble but an act of faith. This, and his advice to his younger self to listen to his feelings, echoes statements he made to a student in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when he said that he had learned the value of having faith that “the universe will unfold as it should” and that “logic is the beginning of wisdom, it is not it’s end.”
– Spock Prime wishes his younger self “good luck”, which surprises the younger Spock. In the original series, Spock generally did not believe in chance or luck, but did admit in the episode “A Taste of Armageddon” that working with Captain Kirk made him “almost believe in luck.” Kirk smiled at this, responding that knowing Mr. Spock made him “almost believe in miracles.”
– Kirk officially becomes the Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 in the year 2258, three years after joining Starfleet Academy in 2255. In the original timeline, he was not given the Enterprise until 2265, 15 years after joining the Academy in 2250.
– At the end of the film, Leonard Nimoy narrates a version of the famous “Space, the final frontier” speech. The only other time he has done this was at the end of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Coincidentally, just as he has said with this film, Nimoy originally stated that Star Trek II would be his last appearance as Spock.
Well, folks, that about wraps it all up. Hope you enjoyed this. I’m gonna go let my brain sleep now.
Alan “Sizzler” Kistler thinks the real lesson of the Kobayashi Maru is that it’s okay to cheat if you really want to win. He has been recognized by Warner Bros. Pictures and mainstream media outlets as a comic book historian, and can be seen in the “Special Features” sections of the Adventures of Aquaman and Justice League: New Frontier DVDs. His personal website can be found at: http://KistlerUniverse.com. One of these days he’d love to write for DC, Marvel or Doctor Who.