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
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.

Bishop73

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)

Continuity mistake: When Savvik and David first encounter Spock's photon tube "casket", they open it to reveal the burial robe rather nicely folded with the Vulcan lettering shown. When David reaches in to retrieve it, the robe is very disheveled, lying more lengthwise, and the lettering not so clear.

More mistakes in 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.)

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.

Trivia: Robin Curtis replaced Kirstie Alley as Lt. Saavik in this film as Alley, who had starred as Saavik in "The Wrath of Khan", was offered less money to reprise her role so turned it down

More trivia for 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.

Kirk: You're suffering from a Vulcan mind-meld.
McCoy: That green blooded son-of-a-bitch! It's his revenge for all those arguments he lost!

[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


Question: Why does Scotty hate the Excelsior? (00:12:50)

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.

Question: The data for Genesis are transmitted to Kruge, however, later, he has one of his men murder David Marcus (Admiral Kirk's son) and demands Genesis from Kirk. He had already downloaded the data, so what additional information did Kruge want? (00:09:30)

Chosen answer: Kruge only had the proposal video that talked about what Genesis was. He didn't have any actual data on how Genesis works or how it could be created. Having footage of a nuclear blast doesn't give you knowledge about how to build a nuclear device.

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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