Trek: A Military Analysis
But over at Danger Room, we find the take of a genuine military analyst.
* The villainous Romulan ship pulverizes Federation vessels with volleys of torpedoes. Yet no Federation warship employs electronic jammers, decoys or point defense phasers. Very depressing. Two hundred years later, missile defense still doesn’t work.
* But why does the Romulan ship need torpedoes? If its energy drill can bore holes through planets, then it can slice a starship like a phaser through butter. Future humans must still learn to master dual-use technology.
* Speaking of phasers: The ones in the movie fire bolts of energy, like in Star Wars. What happened to the Marvin-the-Martian-style disintegrator beams from the original Star Trek? Perhaps someone realized that disintegrating bulkheads in a pressurized starship in deep space isn’t the safest way to fight.
* There is only one scene in the movie where phasers are ordered to be set on stun. Otherwise, everyone cheerfully uses lethal force. The classic Star Trek rules of engagement are out the window.
* Kirk and his team are dropped from the Enterprise orbiting above Vulcan, and then deploy parachutes once they’re in the atmosphere. I can see not swatting Kirk with torpedoes or the energy drill. But again, some point defense phasers on the Romulan ship might have swatted them. At least Heinlein’s Starship Troopers had self-contained, individual jump capsules for its troops.
* No one loves the Department of Homeland Security. But just look what happens when DHS isn’t around! Poor Vulcan had no evacuation plans or Code Orange threat warnings.
* BTW, where the heck are Vulcan’s orbital defenses? Wouldn’t logic demand some planetary protection? The Federation receives a report that an alien vessel destroyed 47 Klingon warships. That vessel next appears at Vulcan, and Starfleet only sends seven ships against it? Kirk isn’t the only one with an inflated ego.
* Vulcan must have relied on the Federation, whose main fleet happened to be cruising in a different part of the galaxy. Seems like the Federation is a little big to be covered by one fleet. Want to bet that the head of Federation strategic planning is named Rumsfeld?