Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bob Orci on Fate in Star Trek '09

In the interest of fairness, I wanted to post Bob Orci's response to the criticism of blind fate in Star Trek '09. This is actually a fascinating answer and something that had crossed my mind the other day.

Bob Orci: For all those decrying fate, there is actually a quantum mechanical basis for the “fate function” in this film that we have discussed previously. In a multiverse where, as Data once said “anything that can happen, does happen, in a parallel universe…” there is a probability (a number) associated with each possible configuration. Those events that are most probable are theorized to occur more often in more similar universes. Thus, the idea that Kirk and Spock and Bones come together is merely an indication that the probability assigned to such an event is very high in the multiverse. Some may mistake this for blind fate.

I can live with this explanation. If current ideas of quantum mechanics are on the right track, then events in the multiverse would also follow notions of probability.

Here is another exchange with Bob Orci about the timeline.

GaryS: Was the timeline that Nero visited the original past up to the point that George Kirk is killed? Or was it always an alternate timeline because Nero was destined to travel there?

Bob Orci: We think of it is as identical to the original until Nero arrives.

This leads me to wonder a few other things. In the episode "Relativity", Seven of Nine says that the involvement of Picard and the Enterprise E in the events of First Contact was a Predestination Paradox. That is to say, Cochrane's warp flight and First Contact would have not happened without Picard and his crew. So if everything is the same before and different after Nero arrives, how does First Contact ever happen? Clearly the past cannot be the same. Unless, the incursion of the Borg into the Alpha Quadrant and the time travel of the Enterprise E were also highly probable events. Personally, I would prefer to think in the new universe Zefram Cochrane would be able to handle things on his own. The Mirror Universe Cochrane clearly did since the Alpha Quadrant was ruled by the Klingon/Cardassian Alliance by the 24th century. There was ne Terran Empire Enterprise E for Picard to take back in time. Hell, in the Mirror Universe the Borg are probably nice guys who wouldn't want to stop First Contact!

The other time issue I wonder about is, since the past remains the same, Humpback Whales still go extinct in the 21st century. That means the probe is still going to come to Earth looking for them. At some point in the future someone is going to have to find a way to stop it.

Random thoughts about the new timeline . . .

Will the original Gabriel Bell live to become a hero since Sisko may not go back in time?

What do Gary Seven and Q think about all these changes?

Does the Guardian of Forever only have the ability to send people through time in the primary universe?

Won't V'Ger still come to Earth looking for its creator?

Since Enterprise heavily references the events of Star Trek: First Contact, does that mean the events of Archer's life are also different in the new timeline?

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