Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Welcome to Part 3 regarding various problems with Star Trek Into Darkness. Here's my disclaimer to all those that liked the film: good for you. I didn't. 

Continuing with the never-ending list of Into Darkness's WTF moments, we'll look at an early plot point in the film: saving the primitive alien race from the volcano going "boom" in their backyard. To save said race, Spock is lowered into the maw of the deadly volcano wearing a special suit that will protect him from the splashing magma and severe 3000 degree plus heat (insert your own "Spock vs. the Volcano" joke here). Why? Because he's carrying a device that will somehow neutralize the volcano and stop its apocalyptic eruption. That device's name? The Cold Fusion Device! Why? Because apparently it makes the hot magma cold and fuses it solid! Get it?

Spock screams for better writing.
Yeah, me neither.

Cold fusion is actually a theoretical nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near, room temperature instead at temperatures found, say, inside the sun. So while it's not actually cold, it's relatively not as hot as the sun, hence, "cold fusion". What it is NOT is a theory about a process that would turn hot things cold. It's like saying a hydrogen bomb would use water because, hey – water has hydrogen!


Look, I know Star Trek has always had a love/hate relationship with actual science. That whole "sound in space" thing is one of the great conceits that Star Trek uses in every incarnation. Then there's that time in Next Gen where they encountered "cosmic strings" that looked like – you got it – stringy bits of energy. What should they actually have looked like? Nothing! You can't see them! If they actually exist, that is/ And they would interfere with the ship because – oh, never mind. Or that whole "Great Barrier" thing that was at the edge of the galaxy ("Where No Man Has Gone Before"). Or was it at the center of the galaxy (Star Trek V: Let's Find God)? Either way, there's no edge to the galaxy. It just kind of fades away.

But for the most part, Star Trek has always tried to at least give lip service to science and use it in "it will be possible in the future" kinds of ways that didn't throw facts out the window. I can't think of another single instance when any Star Trek borrowed the name of a scientific theory and then dumbed it down to mean something totally different like Cold Fusion.

It's worth noting that Into Darkness was made by the same fine folks that brought us the 2009 Star Trek film that featured things like:

Red Matter – an all-purpose McGuffin that can apparently fill any plot hole!

Romulus was destroyed by a supernova that was not in its solar system – so the Romulans would have had at least several years to get away from it!

The Magic Transporter (see earlier story!)

Ejecting the warp core to escape a Black Hole. NOTHING escapes a Black Hole!

Brrrrr. I need some Hot Fusion.



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