A quick reminder for Trekkies

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the legendary genetically superior super-bad-guy mastermind genius Khan is defeated by a plot hole.

Allow me to explain: Khan, on board the USS Reliant, is fighting the crew of the USS Enterprise and about to blast them into oblivion when Spock identifies that Khan’s strategic thinking is hampered by his twentieth-century roots. He is treating space like a two-dimensional battlefield. So, the Enterprise sneakily moves vertically relative to Khan’s ship, thus disappearing from Khan’s radar. Moments later, they pop back and obliterate the bad guy.

Okay, first of all, if Khan’s strategy was truly two-dimensional in nature and Starfleet is supposed to be at all effective as a spacefaring organization, then “engage standard battle plan alpha that they teach first-years at the Academy!” should have been sufficient to destroy him. Because any such basic plan will use three-dimensional movement. After all, these plans have been honed by years of war with the Klingons. So, yeah – Kirk ought to have beaten Khan by rote.

Second, the Reliant’s sensors ought to have given some indication that the Enterprise was moving vertically. And they ought to have given some indication of when the Enterprise was coming back into range. The Enterprise, apparently, was able to track Khan’s position while doing its little up-and-over maneuver. Why not the reverse?

Third, the Enterprise crew decides to pop back into the 2D plane before attacking, instead of doing a smarter Princess Leia-style surprise attack from above. Here’s how I think this would have played out in Khan’s mind: “WTF? Where’d they go? Look everywhere in 2D for the Enterp–oh, there they are. Open fire.”

Plus there are all the other weird devices in the story…the Genesis Device is really no better than red matter. We’re supposed to take it that out of all Kirk’s flings in the original mission, somehow he had the most special feelings for this woman we’ve only just met, and we’re only told about that past relationship. And what’s up with his son? My point: I’m not really sure why Wrath of Khan is the sacred cow it’s made out to be. (Personally, I’m more a fan of IV and VI.)

Incidentally, I liked Star Trek Into Darkness.

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