Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Stupidity: Reliant's prefix code is 16309. This code prevents an enemy ship from ordering a friendly ship to lower its shields or something similar. Five digits with no symbols. We know that symbols and letters aren't used since Spock uses a 10 digit set of switches to input the code. This is ludicrous. In 2016, a high powered server could crack a 6 digit password in approximately 0.0224 seconds (at 100 billion guesses/second). Any starship computer would have to far more processing power then a 2016 server. The prefix code protecting a starship from cyber attack would have to be insanely complex in order to be useful.

Grumpy Scot

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Suggested correction: Keep in mind the era that this movie was made in. This movie was made before PCs really existed. Computers at this time were typically huge devices or box like containers. Their data storage capacity was minuscule and there certainly wasn't any form of AI logic programs built to "hack" passwords. I know this movie is about space and set in the future but there's a lot of stuff in Star Trek movies that based on our technology or development currently, we would expect something bigger, smarter, etc. We still have problems today with people using archaic password structures like 1.2.3.4. or actually using the word password for/in their password. Back in '81-'82, I'm sure that most people would not have thought about codes being hacked. This is not to mention that in many movies, which I don't know if there is a specific reason for using 16309, codes, passwords, numbers for addresses/apt#/room#/etc and other info frequently come about as tribute, honoring, or coming from something in the lives of a film's director/producer/actor/etc! So sure with today's technology, which could have been accomplished more than 10 years ago as well, using a single string of numbers as security measures for anything is foolish and can be hack by a self running password-like cracker program... But they made this "code" back in the very early 80s when computer hacking was barely unconscionable (MAYBE) so unless these #s were a tribute or to honor something, I'm pretty sure no one was even thinking of hacking back then... We all aware of today... all about the hacking threats and YET we still have people using 1.2.3.4., the word password, or other horrible predictable password choices that can easily be broken by a password cracking program... And we know that there's a huge hacking threat requiring strong security measures but don't do so while back then, there was little awareness of the threats of hacking much less the concept of hacking altogether.

OR... in this future they have limited the number of password attempts to one a day and the ship automatically goes to red alert after a failed attempt until the right code is entered. That way it would take 7,327 years or so to try all the codes with the crew on notice and plenty of time to address the threat.

Plot hole: Why doesn't Reliant know that Khan is exiled here? The Federation is so terrified and opposed to genetic engineering that it's still illegal 300 years after Khan. So why is there no warning along with the data on the Ceti Alpha system? Kirk logged what happened with Khan and his solution of marooning him. Starships use nav data to navigate star systems. Ceti Alpha 6 exploded, yet the helmsman or computer never noticed that there is one less planet than there was when Kirk was there? There is no debris from the explosion? Ceti Alpha 5 is the exact same size and was conveniently blown into the exact same orbit as Ceti Alpha 6 used to have? So there is nothing whatsoever to make the crew even suspect that it's not 6? Enterprise would have to have scanned the planets in the system to know that one was habitable for Khan. Did Ceti Alpha 6's destruction somehow magically turn Ceti Alpha 5 into its exact duplicate? If Starfleet ships have been there to map after Ceti Alpha 6 exploded, none of them bothered to check on the exiles? Pretty callous for Starfleet, don't you think? With the technology and amounts of information available to Starfleet vessels, there is NO logical reason for the Reliant to think that this planet is Ceti Alpha 6. Finally, would the Federation be willing to test a device whose exact effects will be unknown on a planet so close to another inhabited one? (00:21:00)

Grumpy Scot

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Suggested correction: The answer is yes: against all known laws of science, the inexplicable explosion of Ceti Alpha VI led to Ceti Alpha V conveniently taking its orbit and making it easy to mistake for its former sister planet. A mistake would've been to give an explanation that can be debunked. By leaving it to "somehow" the movie leaves it open to a million possible rationalizations. You can even make a whole other story about the crazy circumstances that led to this incredible result.

TonyPH

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Saavik: You lied!
Spock: I exaggerated.

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Trivia: This movie is basically a retelling of another story. When the camera first pans the shelves of the Botany Bay it stops and centers on one book on the shelf in particular.....Moby Dick. That is what this movie is about. Khan is Ahab, The Enterprise is Moby Dick. At one point in the book the whale is circling Ahab's ship on the ocean. At one point in the movie the Enterprise is circling the Reliant (Khan's ship) in the Motara Nebula. Ahab had a scar up one entire side of his body given to him by an encounter with the Whale. At the end of the movie Khan has a burn mark/scar up one side of his body as well. Not to mention that Khan quotes from Moby Dick throughout the movie. The last quote he utters is one that Ahab uttered "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

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Question: This isn't technically a mistake per se, but it involves Spock's funeral. Several Enterprise crewmembers are killed during the battle with Khan, and yet only Spock gets a funeral. Perhaps there was a smaller memorial for the others, and Spock got a full funeral due to his status as captain, but why is Kirk only sending Spock's body to the Genesis planet? I imagine he sent only Spocks's body there since in ST3 there aren't dozens of little regenerated human babies crawling around down there.

Vader47000

Chosen answer: I imagine there was a memorial service for everyone killed. Starfleet's policy on corpses is probably to return them to Starfleet HQ where their families can collect them for whatever services or ceremonies they want unless the crewman had left instructions specifying otherwise. There's no telling why Kirk sent Spock's body to Genesis. Based on Sarek's reactions in ST3 he almost certainly went against Spock's wishes, unless of course, Spock left no recorded instructions and Kirk did what he thought would please Spock based on his being highest ranking officer and Spock's closest friend. It also seems very out of character for Spock to just assume that whoever he transferred his katra to would be able to handle it and carry out his wishes (McCoy certainly couldn't!). Ultimately it seems we have to chalk it up to a plot device to base the sequel on.

Grumpy Scot

According to the novelization, Kirk's intentions were to send Spock's remains into the Genesis sun. Lieutenant Saavik altered the trajectory of the torpedo beforehand, due to Spock's desire to see the Genesis effect for himself. The torpedo casing was expected to incinerate when entering the atmosphere. As pointed out by David Marcus in STIII when the pod was detected on the scanners, the gravitational fields were in flux at the time, and the pod had obviously soft-landed on the surface.

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