Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Factual error: According to "The Doomsday Machine", full impulse drive is one-quarter the speed of light. In the first two movies, Enterprise used thrusters as opposed to impulse drive to leave Spacedock, confirming the notion that impulse drive is far too fast to leave such a (comparatively) small structure. Styles, however, orders Excelsior to one-quarter impulse, which is 18,750 km/s. In one second, she will travel half again Earth's diameter. From the time he gives the order to the time we see Excelsior clear spacedock's doors is approximately 40 seconds. Even allowing 30 seconds to go from rest to one quarter impulse, spacedock must be 13-15 times bigger than Earth! That's some serious engineering. (00:23:45)

Grumpy Scot

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Suggested correction: The warp scale has been adjusted several times, so it is impossible to say precisely how fast this fictional technology is, and by extension, how fast impulse is.

Impulse drive speed on starships have been consistent. Although sometimes quarter impulse on a shuttle refers to quarter power and not speed. Even if the speed of quarter impulse is 10 times slower than suggested (and used in the series), spacedock would still be 1.3-1.5 times bigger than Earth, which it wasn't. "It's fictional technology" is usually only a valid correction if the technology isn't explained in-universe. However, when certain parameters regarding fictional technology are established (even if they set wide parameters such as warp speed velocities) violations or contradictions (through bad script writing or whatnot) are valid mistakes.

Bishop73

Suggested correction: I reckon the writers always refer to levels of "impulse power" precisely so they don't have to worry too much about particular speeds (personally I always thought of it as roughly analogous to gears on a vehicle, but your mileage may vary). They use impulse to leave dock in both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (it's implied to be unusual in both cases, for what it's worth). If all of that contradicts an earlier episode, I think we're looking at more of a retcon situation than a mistake.

TonyPH Premium member

Revealing mistake: When Kirk and Kruge are fighting, a piece of the cliff breaks away and wiggles down the side of the cliff rather than falling like a rock. (01:22:55)

More mistakes in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

[The crew watches the Enterprise burn up in the Genesis planet's atmosphere.]
Kirk: Dear God Bones, what have I done?
McCoy: What you had to do, what you've always done, turned death into a fighting chance to live.

More quotes from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Trivia: At the beginning of the movie Kirk rescues McCoy from a jail of some sort. Before leaving Kirk asks McCoy how many fingers he's holding up and does the Vulcan hand thing. However, Shatner had severe difficulties putting his fingers into place, they just wouldn't hold into position. So the crew wound up wrapping fishing line around Shatner's fingers, he would put them into position out of the camera and the shot quickly jumped while his fingers where still in place. If you look closely you see the line around his fingers. (Note that this problem occurred several times during Star Trek, actually, Nimoy and Leonard seem to be the only people doing this without a problem.)

More trivia for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Chosen answer: Scotty spent the best years of his career as the chief engineer of the flagship of the Federation: the Enterprise. His time has passed, however and the Federation is rumored to be planning on the Excelsior becoming the new flagship. It is a larger ship with a new, experimental warp drive. Scotty hates the Excelsior primarily due to his pride in the Enterprise but also because he is unimpressed by the design of the Excelsior. The trans-warp drive is easily sabotaged.

More questions & answers from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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