Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Visible crew/equipment: When the Enterprise is exploding, a Klingon is shown flying over the helm. When he lands, a person's arm can be seen on the right side of the screen, trying to grab his foot. (01:14:50)


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
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

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.


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.

More mistakes in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Captain Spock: My father says that you have been my friend. You came back for me.
Kirk: You would have done the same for me.
Captain Spock: Why would you do this?
Kirk: Because the needs of the one... Outweigh the needs of the many.
Captain Spock: [begins to remember] I have been and ever shall be your friend.
Kirk: Yes. Yes, Spock.
Captain Spock: The ship... Out of danger?
Kirk: You saved the ship. You saved us all. Don't you remember?
Captain Spock: Jim... Your name is Jim.
Kirk: Yes.

More quotes from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Trivia: During the bar sequence where McCoy tries to hire a ship, there is a cameo appearance by Tribbles, who appeared in the episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" from the original Star Trek TV series.

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Question: When Commander Morrow responds to Kirk's protests he says "Jim, the Enterprise is twenty years old. We feel her day's over." In ST: TMP, Decker said "This is an almost totally new Enterprise." If the Enterprise was, for all intents and purposes, totally rebuilt from the original, with more space, better engines, etc., how could it be twenty years old?

Movie Nut

Chosen answer: The Enterprise may have been extensively refurbished, but that does not mean it is entirely new. The ship is still 20 years old. Also, that was Decker's comment, and it may have been an over-exaggeration. Newer ships were being designed and built in the meantime, so even if the Enterprise was still mechanically sound, the technology may have advanced so much that it was not possible or it wasn't economically feasible to continually retrofit older vessels.

raywest Premium member
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