This Week In Star Trek: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Trek vs Wars + Lindelof Says Khan Secret ‘Mistake’ + New Trek Merch


While we wait for the first Star Trek Beyond teaser to drop, let’s take a look at what’s been going on in the world of Trek this week around the web.

Niel deGrasse Tyson Confirms it: The Enterprise would beat the Millennium Falcon in a fight
“There’s no question… no question!” exclaimed Dr. Tyson of Cosmos fame (and of just being an all around awesome scientist with a knack for science communication!). When asked who would win in a fight, Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise or Star Wars’s Millennium Falcon, Tyson confirmed what Trekkies already knew deep down: the Enterprise wins in a land slide.

The Enterprise has the benefit of being ‘real’ in the sense that there are scientists and real engineers on staff on the ship monitoring its engines, its warp drive, its photon torpedoes. And, so, it’s fake real, as opposed to the Millennium Falcon, which is just fake fake. [The Falcon] is part of a fantasy storytelling.

Not only that, the Enterprise — and I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I think what I’m about to say is correct — it is the first ever spaceship represented in storytelling that was not designed to go from one place to another. It was only designed to explore. Think about that.

Every movie, every show that preceded [Star Trek] built it to go to a destination. And they go, and they get out, and they pitch tent. They’re not completely living on the ship as an exploratory vehicle. That was revolutionary in terms of what we would think space would and should be about.

Plus, in a battle, the Enterprise would just wipe it’s ass with the Millennium Falcon [laughs]. I’m sorry!

Damon Lindelof admits keeping Khan a secret was a ‘mistake’
We all know of Bad Robot’s famous secrecy that shrouds every production to ever come from JJ Abrams’s powerhouse production company. But, this time, Damon Lindelof (screenwriter of Star Trek Into Darkness) admits that lying about whether the character of Khan was in the film was, in the end, a mistake.

“When we did Star Trek Into Darkness for example, we decided that we weren’t going to tell people that Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Khan” Lindelof told Variety. “And that was a mistake, because the audience was like, “We know he’s playing Khan.” That was why it was a mistake.”

The problem here, implied Lindelof, isn’t the overall secrecy. It’s the fact that the cat had been let out of its proverbial bag, and denying Khan’s presence in the film ended up coming across as a lie rather than a secret withheld for the audience’s surprise and enjoyment.

JJ Abrams made similar statements about the Khan fiasco back in 2013 saying, “The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront, ‘This is who it is’. It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given people more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was.”


New Trek merchandise in time for the holidays
It’s that time of year again, so start racking your brain to think up the perfect gift for the Trekkie that has everything. Both and ThinkGeek have got you covered this year (look for a more extensive holiday gift giving guide soon!), and we wanted to highlight one neat new piece of Trek tech on the market: the Star Trek Transporter Pad LED Coasters for $29.99.

This set of officially licensed Star Trek coasters (a ThinkGeek exclusive) is a pack of nicely designed drink holders made to look like the original series transporter pads. They even light up to give your cocktail the effect of being suspended mid-beamout (they also play (de)materialization sounds! Squee!). The noisy coaster set may get a little bothersome if used regularly, but wouldn’t they be a great addition to a Trek-themed party or marathon?



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Wasn’t the ship in Forbidden Planet used for exploring and not just for going from A to B?


Been a long time since I watched it, Harry, but I think the ship in FB was more military than anything else. Used to check up on faraway outposts… maybe? I don’t know. That was a universe that needed more stories told in it, I think. Guess Trek is the closest thing.


… except for that Pluto thing.

Harry — shhhh.

The problem with this Millennium Falcon vs. Enterprise comparison is that this is just going by firepower/technology alone. Solo and Chewie are just as crafty and clever with their ship as James T. Kirk is with his, so while I wouldn’t expect the Falcon to destroy the Enterprise, I would certainly expect the Falcon to survive the encounter in some fashion to fight another day.

@Harry Ballz

That’s a clearly really, really dumb statement by a dude who should know better. Tons of scifi “storytelling” via novels and stories from the Golden Age (decades before Trek in many cases) of SciFi had stories taking place on space exploration ships.

I agree with Neil, The Enterprise would destroy the Falcon. The Enterprise has shields, phasers, photon torpedoes and a crew of over 400 people. The Falcon has a set of blasters and a crew of 2 (Solo & Chewie). With Solo piloting the Falcon it only leaves Chewie to man the blasters. I’m sorry but with no shields or a real crew the Falcon gets destroyed ….

Hey, Han in the Falcon has outrun Imperial Starships, not the local cruisers, he’s talking about the big Corellian ships!

The Aldebaran whiskey in the coaster placement is a nice touch.

C’mon, guys, I was simply making an observation. Lighten up.


Sorry, $30 for coasters I’ll be slopping beer on is not what I want to be spending my money on. I want to be spending it on MORE BEER. LOL

I think the better question is Borg cube vs. Death Star?

12. I think the Death Star has it beat. A space station the size of a small moon with the ability to destroy a planet vs a small cube. Heck, one small Species 8472 ship was able to wipe out a Borg Cube 😆

@ Captain Ransom

It all depends on whether the Borg have assimilated someone with knowledge about the Death Star. If they have knowledge of the Death Star’s weaknesses, then their speed and maneuverability would let them easily win.

However, if the Borg don’t have information about the Death Star, Than the sheer power of the Death Star’s weapons would obliterate the Borg. Only being able to learn through assimilation is a real hindrance, and one of the few weaknesses of the Borg.

That said, Trek will always be the far superior of the two franchises.

Never should have used Khan to begin with. That totally pulled me out of the movie. I just wanted to get out of the theather, go home and watch The Wrath of Khan, and what’s with all the blasted dark starships. The u.s.s. vengeance should have had some color to it, we got that in nemesis, star trek o9….come on now. STAR TREK BEYOND better not give us another dark ship.

@13 (Al): Nothing wrong with dark ships. In fact, you should barely see any ship in deep space, except with the running lights on. But I do agree on the Khan thing, especially since they white-washed the character for “reasons”, and I blame Lindelof for THAT. If Khan was to be used, then we should have had a genuine Indian actor playing the role. That would have increased the box office returns, since India has a population of 1 Billion people.

Lindeloff just doesn’t get it. The secrecy of Khan wasn’t the problem. The fact that Cumberbatch was playing Khan, and that the character was so mis-handled, was the problem. The secrecy is a footnote in the film’s history–people judge the film on its own merits, not on what went on before the movie came out. And the criticism aimed at INTO DARKNESS is primarily about the white-washing of Khan, the magic blood, the ripping off of WRATH OF KHAN’s ending, and the fact that the writers simply didn’t understand Khan’s character.

15. BatlethInTheGroin

EXACTLY what you said!

Like a Batleth In Lideloff’s Groin!

@17. BatlethInTheGroin,

Well said.

The real mistake, Lindeloff, is that stupid hat. I really wish grown men would wake up to themselves and accept that it’s never going to look good. You’re not playing golf. Get some dignity and take that ridiculous hat off.

The problem with Khan was that he wasn’t Khan. He wasn’t anything close, not even an indoctrinated version of him. He was just an overqualified actor chewing very poor scenery in a very poor script. Lesson learned, here’s hoping Trek 3 dodges some of the huge mistakes of the first 2, while collecting some of the $$$ rewards.

Imperial Star Destroyer vs Enterprise would make more sense to me for a fair comparison.

17. BatlethInTheGroin – December 5, 2015

Yeah, it’s like STID was Crybaby Khan’s answer to Crybaby Spock in ST09, a contest to see which of those two iconic characters could be rewritten as the more sensitive crybaby. In ST09, Crybaby Spock is like Wahh, my mommy’s dead, but in STID Crybaby Khan is like Wahh, I thought Marcus killed my friends.

On those terms, I have to award the Most Sensitive Crybaby prize to STID’s Khan who comes off like an annoying whiny brat. And we’re supposed to believe that that sniveling whiner was a charismatic leader of men who ruled over one quarter of the Earth’s population.

#12. Captain Ransom – December 5, 2015, & 14. Total-Trekkie2 – December 5, 2015

” However, if the Borg don’t have information about the Death Star, Than the sheer power of the Death Star’s weapons would obliterate the Borg. ” — Total-Trekkie2

Come on now. If the Enterprise can take out another weapon of equivalent power, The Doomsday Machine, with an H-bomb, just how hard could it be to take out the Deathstar?

On the other hand, it would be interesting to see a flock of E Shuttlecraft try to take on the Deathstar.

Question: How many kamikaze Shuttlecraft would it take to render the Deathstar inert?

Falcon vs Enterprise isn’t exactly a fair fight. Wouldn’t a better comparison be Falcon vs Voyager’s Delta Flyer which are at least more alike size-wise?


In terms of Khan in STID, I didn’t, and still don’t, have a problem with Cumberbatch playing the character, particularly as the back-story to that is explained via the related IDW comics.

I do however agree that trying to hide the character’s identity and then setting it up for a big reveal mid movie was a poor decision, and one that just didn’t work. “My name.. is Khan” doesn’t have any meaning for Kirk in this timeline.

I also disagree that STID was just a poor copy of TWOK; yes it has its faults but I actually really enjoyed how they flipped the Kirk/Spock warp core scene (aside from Spock’s KHAAN scream which was out of place). That whole section of the movie from Scotty’s “The ship is dead, sir, she’s dead.” to Spock finding Kirk in the chamber was really quite emotive; seeing them all struggling, the bridge crew refusing to follow Spock’s abandon ship order, Kirk’s last-ditch effort to restart the core.

It wasn’t just that STID had a lot of nods to TWOK or that they lied about it; it’s that STID cheapened what happened in TWOK by co-opting it for the new movie. When Kirk and Spock had that emotional good-bye scene in TWOK, those two guys had EARNED that emotional good-bye, through 79 episodes of TOS and the first two movies. THAT Kirk and Spock had been through everything together, and their friendship was a big part of the show.

The reboot Kirk and Spock didn’t even like each other in the first movie and were angry with one another for most of STID. So for them to have that “touching” good-bye scene that echoed the one in TWOK, that felt like the makers of the movie were trying to give their movie an emotional resonance it hadn’t earned, didn’t deserve, and could only manage by stealing from the past.

And now I can’t watch TWOK without remembering the way the good-bye scene in it was stolen and misused in STID.

Cheapen TWOK, and hell yeah, Star Trek fans will be mad. And that’s without even getting into what STID did to Spock’s character.

Lindelof just doesn’t get it. It’s not keeping a secret when everybody knew it. It’s the denial that BC was Khan, holding out hope for fans being wrong, and making people all the more angry when it was revealed only when the film opened. Had they been upfront about it, all the debate about it could have been dealt with long before the film opened, and who knows … It might have had better box office.

He’s an odd duck, with a lot of strange ideas, and nobody will tell him no. That’s probably why Leftovers had the worst ratings ever this year. Lindelof seemingly is just doing whatever he wants, following whatever tangent turns him on at the moment, and nobody tells him no, then the train just runs off the rails. Sad really, because he seems to have some very good ideas in there …

Again, the whole thing with keeping Khan a secret was not flawed in concept, but in execution.

23. Disinvited – December 5, 2015

“Come on now. If the Enterprise can take out another weapon of equivalent power, The Doomsday Machine, with an H-bomb, just how hard could it be to take out the Deathstar?”

And that was the last that any of us heard from Disinvited.

I had heard rumblings but did not know conclusively up to the point that Kahn announced himself that Ben was Kahn. It was a great revaluation and and a somewhat disappointing later on when I asked myself “why did they have to rehash the WOK.

I think for all it’s power, the internet is a real bummer when people let important story lines out of the bag. Like right now, I limit my exposure to this page and will do so up until the next movie because I do cherish the boyish surprise at the cinema.

I don’t think “everybody’ knew Benedict Cumberbatch was Kahn. Therefore the secrecy worked for we Trekers that love to be surprised.

@ Cygnus

“Yeah, it’s like STID was Crybaby Khan’s answer to Crybaby Spock in ST09, a contest to see which of those two iconic characters could be rewritten as the more sensitive crybaby. In ST09, Crybaby Spock is like Wahh, my mommy’s dead, but in STID Crybaby Khan is like Wahh, I thought Marcus killed my friends.”

Well I will certainly defer to your expertise on this one — your are one of the top crybabies around, so I respect your analysis on this topic.


I saw STID in the theater on opening day, and I have not watched it since. You would think that people would have gone berserk when Cumby announced himself as Khan. But no, it was like *cough cough*. It is without a doubt the worst Star Trek movie ever. I would rather watch Star Trek V 1000 times in a row than watch any more JJ Trek.

@ Captain Ransom

Which of course explains why it sold I would estimate between four and five times as many tickets as Trek V, and of course also explains why Trek V is universally rated much, much lower on ALL of the movie review sites (e.g. IMDB: STID: 7.8, Trek V: 5.4).

WHOOPS!!! :-))


We knew it was Khan all along. It didn’t destroy my enjoyment of the film. I really loved the twist on the character. The plot may have been a little weird, but Cumberbatch was awesome. Perhaps the winks to TWOK was over the top. Maybe they should have concentrated more on developing an original story with Khan than trying to appease fans who felt the 2009 version wasn’t Trek enough.

My biggest criticism of the film was 1) sacrificing character development for action sequences. The first one was awesome because of the focus on characters. This one was more plot driven. 2) The science was bogus. The moon is not 20 ft. from the earth. To be fair, old trek had bogus science too..Genesis Device…but its the 21st century hire Neil de Grasse Tyson to look over the script.

I still enjoyed the film.

@32 – makes a lot of sense since how much a movie makes determines how good it is O.o

I wouldn’t expect you to understand since it’s clear you let everyone else tell you what to like.

@ 33

Of course you completely ignore the 2nd part of my argument that covered that basically every movie site you go to shows Trek V as rated, way, way, way below STID.

I have always enjoyed watching TFF. I think it may be the only TREK movie I’ve enjoyed right from the first day (even TWOK I had to see twice before I really really liked it, and it took years for me to see TMP’s virtues outweigh its enormous faults — either that or I finally started enjoying its flaws.) That’s as opposed to TVH, which was a great first viewing and pretty much all lousy ones for the last 29 years.

As to why so many people like the Abrams … well, they probably all love TITANIC and AVATAR too, and they are welcome to them. I just don’t expect those multitudes to do much of a job picking a president or anything else that matters.

While ID is by no means mega-awful on the level of 09, it still offended me on many levels, setting a terrible tone with the opening sequence, out of which I liked exactly … NOTHING. By comparison (but only by comparison), the Marcus part of the film is a masterpiece. I think they just didn’t know how to tell the story they should be telling, which is something people here (with the benefit of backseat driving, granted), actually HAVE done, with the notion that PIke be the one who dies saving the ship, and that more of a PLATOON/WALL STREET feel of good daddy/bad daddy for Kirk to settle between Marcus and Pike is the key to making what passes for a story work with an overreaching arc.

But feel free to keep posing links I’m not going to click, I’m sure they appeal to SOMEbody besides your choir …

The problem with Khan was, that they used him at all. The reveal of his real name didn’t have any weight at all, because Kirk and the rest of the crew had no history with him. We don’t even know, if they remembered him from history classes in school! He announced his name while in the Enterprise prison, like it means something special, but it really didn’t in the context of the new universe. It also meant nothing to new Star Trek viewers, who are not familiar with TOS and Star Trek II. They probably were just weird out and wondered, why this pasty looking Brit guy suddenly had a name in common with long dead Mongol Genghis.

@ 32. Prodigal Son,

“@ Captain Ransom

Which of course explains why it sold I would estimate between four and five times as many tickets as Trek V”

Movie distribution & marketing nowadays is nothing like 1989. You’re using false equivalence when you compare box office performance of two movies & completely disregard few facts such as the release dates (1989 & 2013), the number of theaters, ticket prices, movies budget & marketing & so on.

TFF budget was $53 million after inflation; released in 2,202 screens in US, very few international markets. Ticket price was $3.97 (No 3D or IMAX)!

STID budget was $193 million, released in 3,868 theaters in US, and in more theaters worldwide. General ticket price was $8.13, before you add 3D and/or IMAX.

I tend to agree it was a mistake to say no it was not Khan. The way they vehemently denied it made it coming out as a lie. All the Star Trek movies have had a great deal of secrecy surrounding them. That’s nothing new. But they did sort of cross the line with their absolute denial. There’s nothing wrong with some misdirection, just be careful how far you push it.

I never liked the idea of them bringing back Khan in the first place (esp. the questionable casting choice), but I’ve argued that point ad nauseum and will just let it go at this point.

Hopefully Beyond covers new ground. I’m certainly had my fill of revenge stories lifted from TWOK. 3 in a row from Nemesis to STID is quite enough revenge for one day.

# 40

I also hope the new movie has not another angry revengeful guy in it. I am bored of them. Ideally it shouldn’t have a typical villain at all.

Has anyone ever read the Star Trek book “The Rings of Tautee”? Something like this as a movie would be cool. The destruction of a whole solar system turned out to be a result of a tragic mistake and the Klingons in it, after first being kind of villainous, come around and are helpful. And there are also the obligatory action scenes in it and opportunity to impress with special effects.

But I fear that whoever Idris Elba is playing, is just another cliche villain and the movie is all about fighting him.

@26. Curious Cadet,

“He’s an odd duck, with a lot of strange ideas, and nobody will tell him no. That’s probably why Leftovers had the worst ratings ever this year. Lindelof seemingly is just doing whatever he wants, following whatever tangent turns him on at the moment, and nobody tells him no, then the train just runs off the rails.’

Lindelof is becoming the modern day Medusa, anything he looks at will turn into ashes!

His latest movie, Tomorrowland, tanked so badly at the box office that Disney was forced to cancel Tron 3.

‘Tron 3’ Cancelled at Disney as ‘Tomorrowland’ Flops

The good news that his IMDB page is devoid of any new projects, so perhaps someone is paying attention after all!


UAE Earns Rep as International Hub for Hi-Tech Productions

What do the latest “Star Wars,” “Fast and Furious” and “Star Trek,” installments have in common? They all recently shot in the United Arab Emirates, where a combination of incentives, security, transportation, state-of-the art studio space, a futuristic skyline and exotic desert ambiance are positioning Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the prime Middle East hub for different types of international productions.

In October, after three months in Vancouver, Canada, Paramount’s “Star Trek: Beyond” touched down in Dubai for a two-week shoot, brought by executive producer Jeffrey Chernov who in 2010 had come with “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” in which Tom Cruise famously rappels down from Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

At Dubai Studio City “Star Trek” occupied almost all of the largest soundstage in the Middle East — 50,000 square-feet, which can be split into two 25,000-sq.-ft. facilities, designed and built by California-based studio Bastien and Associates.

In Dubai, instead of offering a rebate, Al Sharif has finessed a system of incentives tailored to each shoot. It has an attractive logic. Massive discounts from government-owned Emirates airlines, several hotel chains and Dubai Studio City played “a big role in luring “Star Trek,” he says. To the point that “when you sum it up you find that you are receiving more than a 30% rebate in soft incentives.”

#28. Cygnus-X1 – December 5, 2015

I mean in RETURN OF THE JEDI, Deathstar 2.0 was new, improved and fully functional, its state of apparent incompletion a Millenium Falcolnesque ruse, and the rebels still took it out even though they weren’t prepared for it. So just how hard could it be for the wily crew of the Enterprise?

37. kmart – December 6, 2015

Pretty tough criticism there, though I agree with much of it.

This, however, got a laugh out of me:

But feel free to keep posing links I’m not going to click, I’m sure they appeal to SOMEbody besides your choir …

My post-mortem of STID at this point, which I’ve mentioned before, is that it was supposed to be a story about two men (Marcus and Kirk) who go Into Darkness after their enemies. One of them (Kirk) comes out of the darkness, and the other one (Marcus) remains in it, becoming (or maybe he was ever thus) as evil as his enemy (the Klingons) if not more so. If that’s not what STID was supposed to be, at least all of the pieces were there for it to have been that kind of story. This theme can be simply and clearly expressed: Two men go into darkness; only one of them comes out. The problem, of course, is that the story never explains how and why Kirk comes out of the darkness, and he comes out far too early in the plot for it to be the overarching theme of the story. Khan was pretty much irrelevant and unnecessary to telling this kind of story. Both Kirk and Marcus could have had the same enemy (Klingons) and the theme would have had the same potential for development. Instead, the Klingons, who are the impetus for Marcus’s whole scheme—and thereby the drivers of the plot—are relegated to little more than a cameo. And after that, we spend the rest of the movie with Khan, who has no thematic relevance to the story after Kirk inexplicably decides early on that he no long wants to take revenge on him.

When people describe STID as “a mess,” they really are making an accurate criticism. It’s an extremely disorganized piece of writing.

44. Disinvited – December 6, 2015

Deathstar…new, improved and fully functional…

That’s what Deathstar says in the local galactic bar at 3am to the drunk chick next to him that he’s been trying to pick up all night.

But, like the Millennium Falcon did, and the Enterprise would, the drunk chick blows Deathstar out of the sky—he crashes and burns on Endor. So sad, so lonely, such pathos. . . .

Who Mourns For Deathstar?


Unfortunately I tend to agree. Elba is already said to be the villain. There’s a chance this isn’t the normal revenge-villain storyline, but one thing about many Hollywood movies is they will keep going to the same well as long as the think it works. Nobody likes to take risks anymore.

I am an avid novel reader and their are many novels that would make great movies, or even TV shows. I always loved Gene DeWeese’s “Chain of Attack.” The Enterprise ends up in a distant galaxy (so no chance Earth is at risk again and completely original aliens) where there has been a war for centuries. It’s a bit eerie to start as the Enterprise passes planet after planet devastated by war until they finally come across the combatants and Kirk must somehow get the 2 sides to talk after so many years at war so they can secure safe passage while they try to get home. It was definitely a book I thought would make a great movie.

David Mack’s Destiny books would also make a great movie, where the Borg finally give up trying to assimilate humanity and instead turn to annihilating humanity. However, this would never happen as this would involve characters from TNG, Voy and DS9 (along with Titan under Captain Riker).

@ Ahmed

I don’t watch The Leftovers, but I save seen a lot of praise recently on Season 2…one example

“In its second season, The Leftovers transformed itself from a very good, very uneven series into one of the best shows on television. Without losing an ounce of the existential misery and grief that defined the first season, showrunner Damon Lindelof and his collaborators gently mixed humor, mystery, and even a little whimsy into their boiling pot of raw, human emotion. The result: A series that wallows in desperation and sadness that also, somehow, manages to be a ton of fun.”

Please don’t shoot the messenger here…I have no stake in this…

@ Ahmed

Nope, I made some rough adjustments for ticket price inflation and foreign box office, and 3D. Not claiming that it’s scientifically accurate, but it significantly reduced the comparison down from an even comparison where I could have just said 8 times as many people saw it versus just total box office, non-adjusted.

So, NO, I considered all that.

Obviously Neil isn’t up on his pre-Trek sci-fi.