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  • It bugs this troper that nobody knew that it probably wasn't a good idea to send Chekov, a Russian, hunting for "nuclear wessels" in America 1986. I've seen the explanation that they wouldn't have that information on a Klingon ship, but don't they teach history in the future? Somebody should've known this.
    • This movie runs on Rule of Funny. If they didn't send Chekov, it wouldn'tve worked.
    • Unless you're a history buff, how much do you know about a conflict from 200 years in the past? Plus, these people are from a time where, on Planet Earth, all races and cultures are respected, and where a North American can pass a Russian in the street and not bat an eyelash when he asks where something is. The Enterprise crew had little to no preparation for time spent in the 20th Century, save for Kirk's quick debriefing speech.
    • Well we can overlook some minor conflicts of the past, but something like a Cold War couldn't be forgotten completely. Even if they didn't know much about it, they should've known who were the main antagonists. And while they respect all cultures, they have rather exaggerated view of how "extremely primitive and paranoid culture" XX century is. If anything I'd expect them to overreact and don't even let Chekov to leave the ship.
    • Given the lack of knowledge that many have concerning large-scale conflicts such as World War I, which was less than 100 years ago, it's not entirely unbelievable that a conflict that produced very few comparative casualties would be overlooked in the history books, especially since it was more of a political pissing contest than a real war.
    • That seems to be the case: Picard later appears incredulous at the idea that a decades-long conflict could be caused by something as silly as rival economic systems, while Tom Paris, allegedly an expert on the twentieth century, believes that the KGB was still around in the 1990s.
    • Its also worth noting the Enterprise crew's perspective of 1986 is from the far side of a catastrophic nuclear war. Assuming that significant records weren't just flat-out destroyed in the process, its entirely possible that "contemporary" understanding of the Cold War is muddled at best.
  • What is with that weird scene where Kirk/the whole crew? have delusions/nightmares/dreams during the time warp? What's it supposed to mean?
    • It Was All Just A BLAM.
    • It was this troper's belief that the scene is Kirk (or one of the other crewmembers) Dreaming of Things to Come.
  • When they're watching the President's warning about the Probe, the President says that, along with all the other things occurring, the Probe is vaporizing the oceans. A few minutes later, during the discussion about who the Probe is trying to communicate with, Spock says "The President did say it was directed at Earth's oceans", which he didn't say and seems to require a bit of gymnastics to conclude considering the Probe's screwing up all of the planet.
    • Further, why does the Probe's attempts to communicate with ocean-dwelling lifeforms vaporize said oceans?
      • I can speak to that. The Probe was going to Earth to determine why it had lost contact with the whales. When its suspicion about the whales' extinction was confirmed, it started deliberately vaporizing the oceans to end all life on Earth, and eventually help it start anew. (So says the novelization). Spock, in the movie proper, does surmise that the Probe has come to determine why it lost contact.
        • When one has to resort to consulting a novelization to clarify plot details, that does not speak well of the film. If that is indeed the Probe's motivation, one is forced to wonder: is the presence of two humpback whales so much better than none?
          • That's addressed in the novelization too. The probe does decide that George and Gracie are better than nothing, but takes some convincing.
      • So Spock kinda dropped the ball on that one. He sees no evidence that their intentions are hostile, yet vaporizing the oceans isn't going to be doing anything good for life on Earth and the novelization explicitly states its intentions are hostile.
        • The probe doesn't view humans as intelligent life, so it's not being hostile per se. From its perspective, its merely wiping out a species of dangerous predators that have killed off a group that was trying to live their lives peacefully.
          • Then the Probe aliens are just deluded. Humans have starships and computers and Genesis Devices (in theory). While they may not consider humans intelligent life compared to them, there's absolutely no way they can reason that whales are intelligent beings but humans are not.
    • Novelisation aside, I always just assumed that it was automated and when it couldn't contact the whales it ramped up the power on the transmitter to full and kept looking, uncomprehending of the damage
  • So if the Whale Probe decides Humans Are Evil and is going to exterminate us (or at least the ones on Earth) for bringing about the extinction of humpback whales, why does it decide the best way to do that is to blot out the sun and thereby kill nearly everything else on the planet too? There are dolphins on the Enterprise-D so they surely existed in the 23rd century and they're roughly as intelligent as humpbacks. So what makes humpback whales so special that their extinction automatically forfeits the lives of every other creature at that intelligence level?
    • Perhaps aliens, who made that probe, are whales themselves. And they are speciesists. So, naturally whales are special... to them.
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