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I've Solved One Of The Biggest Problems In The Star Trek Universe So You're Welcome, Pretend People

Illustration for article titled Ive Solved One Of The Biggest Problems In The iStar Trek/i Universe So Youre Welcome, Pretend People

I fully realize that this moment we’re in is a deeply Star Wars-centric moment, what with the new movie just out and the excellent Mandalorian series and all those baby Yodas and shit everywhere, which is why I feel like this is an ideal time to talk about something in the Star Trek universe that’s always bothered me. You know, just to be a jerk.

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As all you fellow dorks are aware, one of the key technological differences in the Star Wars and the Star Trek universes is that the Trek universe has transporter technology, where an object or organism can be broken down, atom by atom, and turned into a particle beam and re-assembled at another location.

While I’ve addressed my issues with the transporter/teleporter system before, this time let’s just accept how they work is just the way it is, and not get bogged down in the details.

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What’s bothering me is the way the characters seem to deal with people teleporting places, specifically in situations when enemies board spacecraft by beaming directly onto them, usually heavily armed, and then proceed to wreak havoc.

This happens with alarming regularity in Star Trek series and movies, including beaming directly onto the bridge of a starship to abduct its captain, as we can see happening right here:

Okay. We all know what I’m talking about, yeah? So here’s my question: why does everyone just freeze like idiots and watch as the enemy beings materialize, instead of doing something when they’re in this incredibly vulnerable semi-materialized state?

Watch that clip again—it takes those Borg a solid two seconds to materialize on the bridge, and even longer when they’re transporting off. Why doesn’t anyone, when they start to see them appear, you know, do something?

Really, it doesn’t have to be much; picture this scenario:

Borg or some other hostile beings are transporting onto the bridge of a starship. Nearby where one is materializing, a member of that starship’s maintenance staff happens to be standing, broom in hand. Sorry, space-broom in hand.

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What’s to stop that Starfleet janitor from just, you know, holding that broom handle right through the chest of the invading hostile before they’re fully materialized?

Want a visual to help? Here, like this:

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See? No more problem! And, really, it doesn’t have to be a broom handle— whatever’s handy will work! Shove a chair into them, or push a cart, if one is handy. Hold one of those PADD things through their neck. Or a clipboard. A frisbee. Hell, in a pinch, shove your hand through their chest! It’ll be pretty gross, but better the bad guy than you, right?

If you’re far away, throw some shit. Or, if you’re going to zap them with a phaser, why wait until they’re fully there? Shoot that beam through their still amorphous head until they materialize around it and, you know, die!

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Really, it’s that simple. If you find yourself in the Star Trek universe, and you’re on a starship when some enemies are attempting to board via transporter, if you see one materializing near you, just hold your shoe through where their face is appearing, or push a tea cart into where their abdomen is trying to go, or anything like that.

It’ll either kill them, or, if their transporter has some kind of error-correcting feedback, at least interrupt their ability to transport over to your ship. Either way, it’s better for you.

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I hope this helps. You’re welcome.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

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DISCUSSION

jackshaftoe
Jack Shaftoe

Depending on who you ask, it would either integrate the matter into their bodies, Brundlefly style, or cause a nuclear explosion as the laws of physics are all like “NOPE NOPE NOPE CAN’T BE IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE.”

I think a better question is why you can teleport into sensitive areas at all. Since they just make all this shit up anyway, why not have a “transporter signal diverter” that dumps any would-be hijackers right into the brig?