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The Biggest Plot Holes In Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond is as close to a stand-alone spin-off as you can make without being a stand-alone spin-off. For the first time in the reboot series, producer J.J. Abrams conceded the director's chair to Justin Lin (Fast and Furious), while Scotty himself (Simon Pegg) wrote the script. That's a great recipe for action and laughs (both of which are in abundance), but their new spin on the iconic series takes the Enterprise far from anywhere we've ever been (both literally and conceptually). That means there might be a few more unanswered questions than normal, several of which we ponder below.

How does Krall know Kirk has the artifact?

In the opening scene of Star Trek Beyond, Kirk attempts to make peace with a race of tiny aliens by offering them a seemingly random, ancient artifact of no particular significance. But when the gift is refused, he takes it back to the Enterprise, which the enigmatic Krall soon attacks in order to find it. But why was this the gift Kirk chose, and what are the odds it turns out to be the missing piece of a bioweapon Krall's been scouring the universe to find for a very, very long time? It all seems pretty coincidental.

By the way, where's Krall's crew? Although he reveals his true identity as the evil swarm commander in the third act, we only ever see one henchman, a bunch of mechanical drones, and a few other aliens he forced to temporarily work for him.

Quite a convenient crash

When Krall unleashes his drones to violently rip the Enterprise apart, the high-speed battle takes place above a nearby planet. Uhura separates the ship's saucer section, allowing it to crash-land on the planet. Meanwhile, the other key members of the crew (all of whom, incredibly, survive) are split up in separate escape pods that scatter like debris. When they land, however, they all somehow end up in basically the same town. Scotty, in particular, winds up on the doorstep of Jaylah's home – which, luckily, turns out to be the wreckage of the USS Franklin, missing for nearly a century and super-vital to Krall's story. This is like skydiving from the Moon and landing in your backyard.

Scotty's cliffhanger

Of all the Enterprise crash survivors, Scotty winds up in the most precarious of landing spots. Woken from a deep cryo-sleep in his escape pod, he manages to instantly eject and fall rapidly onto treacherous cliffs, where he executes a crazy (and physically impossible) maneuver to hang onto the ledge. But that's not even the spectacle's biggest eyebrow-raiser — Once Scotty is dangling by just a few fingers, the movie cuts away. Next time we see him, he's walking around on solid ground, totally fine. While the alien Jaylah does save him from restless natives, that still doesn't explain how Scotty made it off the cliff.

Where is Starfleet?

One of the primary differences between Star Trek and Star Wars, is that Star Trek has always been far more rooted in bureaucracy. True, Kirk has been disobeying orders since the '60s, but there were always orders–or at least, a lot of video conference calls with higher-ups at the Federation. Beyond is set during the storied five-year mission to "boldly go where no man has gone before," and part of the action does take place on the massive Starbase Yorktown, but who really works there? The most important figure we meet is a new character–Commodore Paris (Shohreh Aghdashloo)–and she seems pretty hands-off. When the Enterprise crew attempt to halt the station's annihilation, she (and the presumably thousands of Starfleet members based there) are nowhere to be seen.

Plus, when Kirk asks her for a job as vice-admiral, she must not be interviewing a ton of candidates, because she all but hands him the incredibly important gig, on the spot. Meanwhile, crickets from everyone else we've ever met at Starfleet.


When Scott realizes that Jayrah's "house" is actually the 100 year-old, long-lost USS Franklin, the Enterprise engineer figures there's a chance he can put some of the archaic equipment to use. But the century of rust and decay must have been pretty easy to scrub away, because he's able to get just about everything he needs up, running, and online exactly when he and Kirk need it. Even more impressively, they get this giant ship back in the air with little more than a push.

The trouble with time travel

Trying to establish firm ground rules for time travel is like opening a can of wormholes. And things have certainly been messy with Spock's two alternate timelines ever since the first installment of the reboot, when the time-jumping older Spock (Leonard Nimoy) paid a visit to his younger self (Zachary Quinto). Elder Spock was supposed to be in Star Trek Beyond, but Nimoy tragically died during pre-production. To explain his absence, Young Spock learns that "Ambassador Spock" has died. Although the elder was always careful not to reveal too much information about the future (because it could alter the present), learning about his own demise didn't cause even the tiniest ripple in the space-time continuum. Although he was definitely bummed out, so there's that.

Explosions as transportation

Letting one explosion blow you to safety is one thing, but surviving several huge ones without a scratch (especially when they come at key moments in the storyline), is the definition of "plot hole." Kirk and Chekov (the late Anton Yelchin) somehow surf on white-hot waves of fire (that kill other characters), both on the crashing Enterprise and then again at Krall's base. At a certain point, you stop believing fire can even harm them — if anything, the explosions just help them get where they're going quicker than beaming ever could (and don't even get us started on how easy all that once-complicated teleporting seems to have become).

How bad WAS music in the 22nd century?

Kirk signed up for Starfleet as a young man in 2255, but the Beastie Boys seem bigger than ever. The rap trio's hit "Sabotage" is the song playing in a car when the kid version of Kirk steals it in Star Trek, and it plays a pivotal part in Beyond when Scotty finds a copy of the song (along with Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise") on the USS Franklin. Even if that ship has been missing 100 years, that still means the crew were listening to the Beasties' Ill Communication more than a century after its release. Sure, they refer to it as "classical" music, but don't you think the Franklin crew would've had any music from their time?

Spock is highly illogical

This one isn't so much a plot hole as it is a complete deviation from everything we know about Spock. While he's always struggled to balance the Vulcan and human halves of his DNA, the cold and logical Vulcan side usually dominated. But in Beyond, he's a straight-up drama queen. His reason for wanting to quit Starfleet is based entirely on his emotional reaction to learning about the death of his future self. Instead of communicating those thoughts to Kirk in his usual calm and calculated manner, he coyly tells Kirk he's got something to talk about "later," he definitely cries at least once, and he cracks more jokes than in the first two movies combined.

All that's not even considering the Wolverine-esque healing abilities he must possess to immediately recover from what was supposed to be a potentially fatal injury. Highly illogical, Justin Lin. Highly illogical.