Friday, October 21, 2005

Life Imitates Star Trek

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Also known as "the whale one."

For those of you not versed enough in your Star Trek knowledge, the synopsis is this:

A probe approaches earth. It emits such strong electromagnetic signals that starships in its path get knocked out--dead in space, no power. When the probe gets to earth it sends a signal into the oceans; unfortunately this signal begins to vaporize the oceans. Earth is doomed; the Federation President authorizes a planetary distress signal.

Well, on his way to Earth in an "appropriated" Klingon ship is Kirk and cohort. They hear about what's going on and analyze the probe's signal--it's the sound of humpback whales, a species extinct on earth for a couple centuries. Using a "slingshot effect" around the sun, Kirk and team go back in time to late 20th century Earth to find some humpback whales. The plan: bring the humpbacks into their century, hope the whales communicate with the probe, and then maybe the probe will go away.

One of the sticking points is how they'll hold the whales inside the Klingon ship. Scotty goes to a manufacturer and shows him the chemical formula for "transparent aluminum", which would be lightweight enough to use to create a tank inside the ship.

Blah blah blah, several adventures later, there's two whales inside the ship, Kirk and gang head back to their own century and release the whales into the San Francisco Bay, the probe hears what it wants to hear, and off it goes. Earth is saved.

Life now imitates Star Trek. This article tells us that the army is experimenting with "transparent armor made with aluminum." And this one talks about directed energy weapons, similar to phasers.

2 comments:

KimJ said...

Best Star Trek movie EVER!

Darren said...

The Voyage Home was pretty good, although there are parts of "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" that are pretty amazing. Come on, the battle in the Mutara Nebula alone was worth the price of admission. I love watching The Voyage Home, though, and seeing all the scenes of San Francisco.

For best Trek movie ever, though, I'm going to have to go with Nemesis.