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Old 10-22-2009, 06:07 PM
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Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf is offline
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Default The Great Experiment.

Transwarp. Anyone know why it was decided it would be a failure? Some parts of the experiment were successful but overall the Federations first attempt at transwarp didn't work out. But outside of Trek, why was it decided it wouldn't work? Would it have made the galaxy "too small"? Did the concept cause a myriad of problems later on that weren't accounted for by the creative team? I was gonna listen to the ST:III commentary and see if anything was said about it but this may be more interesting.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:45 PM
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Gene Roddenberry wasn't too fond of the budgeted feature films that followed ST:TMP, and didn't bother to research them too closely when building the TNG series bible.

Concepts like the Genesis Device or transwarp drive either simply fell through the cracks, or were jettisoned in favor of the (somewhat) more scientifically-accurate rebooted ST universe Roddenberry was trying to create with TNG.

That's what happened.

(Feel free to make up whatever in-universe explanation you see fit. If you acknowledge STV, then perhaps transwarp was found to be non-compatable with current issue Starfleet technology, resulting in inexplicable systemwide failures: everything from transporters and turbolift doors to log recorders? Who knows. Myself, I don't bother)
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:37 PM
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Kinda strange that Paramount would care what Roddenberry thought at least as far as the movies after kicking him to the curb as a consultant.
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:41 AM
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I don't think that they really thought about it being a failure from a story perspective.

My own take is that, as an extension of the themes of obsolesence carried over from TWOK, the Excelsior and Transwarp technology is simply there to show us that the Enterprise herself is now approaching obsolesence in Starfleet's technological eyes. It's like - 'look, here's the shiny new future of the fleet, the Enterprise was once that, but now isn't'.

So, both Kirk and his beloved ship are coming to the end of their (supposedly) useful Starfleet lives, both to be replaced by new ships and new captains going out there on new voyages with super new technology - transwarp!

They then go on to prove that 'new-ness' is no substitute for age and experience when Scotty cripples the shiny new ship while the old Enterprise gets away from the whippersnapper Excelsior!

So it could be seen as just a component of the two film's central metaphor's about ageing, usefulness (being obsolete) and ability.

or

It was also a technological failure for a reason other than the crew becoming newts - which I'm pretty sure would have been in Voyager's records if that had happened the first time with the Excelsior crew!

(unless Starfleet kept that slightly secret!)
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howlin' Wolf View Post
Kinda strange that Paramount would care what Roddenberry thought at least as far as the movies after kicking him to the curb as a consultant.
The part that allways gets me is that Paramount practially begged him to produce TNG after dumping him pre TWOK.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:11 AM
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I thought the change from OCU to MCU came with transwarp...
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
The part that allways gets me is that Paramount practially begged him to produce TNG after dumping him pre TWOK.
I think we got the best of both worlds, personally. The TOS films would most likely have died out like the Superman movies had they not been reimagined on a smaller scale. Meanwhile Roddenberry had a lot more freedom to redefine Star Trek when he jumped ahead 80 years and jettisoned the original characters.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:42 AM
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In the pre-internet days, it was believed that transwarp allowed speeds of up to warp 20 and beyond on the original warp scale. When TNG came about, Roddenberry wanted to simplify the warp scale to (A) keep the Galaxy a big place and (B) avoid cumbersome warp speeds like warp 47 or warp 109. He reestablished warp 10 as being an absolute value (i.e., unattainable) and had TNG technical ddvisor and production illustrator Rick Sternbach redraw the warp scale down from there.

It was Rick Sternbach in the TNG Technical Manual that suggested that Starfleet's original transwarp drive program was a failure, but that the lessons learned from that resulted in faster warp engines in the 24th-Century. Otherwise, there really is no canonical evidence that the Excelsior's transwarp drive was a failure, but neither any evidence that it was a success either until the VOY episode "Threshold" established Tom Paris as the first person to break the transwarp barrier...
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