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The Enterprise Self-Destruct in Star Trek III


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Report this Mar. 28 2013, 4:35 am

G'day Everyone!!!

I've been viewing posts here for a long time but this is my first. 


I was watching The Search For Spock the other night and was still in awe when the Enterprise explodes. So epic even 30 years later! But then I started thinking...


Why did the bridge explode, taking out a large chunk of the saucer section, thus causing the ship to fall into the atmosphere? I'm no Starship Engineer, but if you were going to blow one up wouldn't you just overload the Warp Core? I know the ship was damaged before the battle with the Klingons but I neve got why the Enterprise destructs like this. Anybody have any theories?


Cheers Matt.


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Report this Mar. 28 2013, 6:00 am

It's interesting to note that the trasporter
was the first area to explode, followed by
the bridge. Denying the crew egress that way,
seems like a very strange idea, on its own ...
designed only to follow the movie's own plot.

Blowing up the bridge ensures most functions
on the ship are inaccessible and unavailable.
But, like the transporter, seems to imply the
intention for blowing up the ship would mostly
be because of a hostile invasion or takeover.


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Report this Mar. 29 2013, 9:31 pm

I think it just looks better that way for the cinema.


It's one of my favorite movie moments.


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Report this Apr. 04 2013, 8:49 pm

I had the theory that the Bridge explodes to destroy the computer core and preserve any sensitive intelligence or data from falling in to enemy hands. The theory might also be that once it crashes the core will breach and destroy the rest.

But, the computer core is much more critical to be destroyed.


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Report this Apr. 10 2013, 8:38 am

I don't know if it's canon or not, but the ancient book Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise states there are two different destruct options.  "0-0-0-destruct-0", used in ST3, is for use inside a solar system.  It detonates standard explosive scuttling charges throughout the hull.  The warp core is ejected a moment before the charges detonate.

"0-0-0-destruct-1" destroys the ship by dropping magnetic containment on the warp core.  This is for use in deep space as the resulting explosion could seriously damage planetary bodies.  Of course, in Generations the core goes critical about 1km from the saucer section, and only just throws it off course, so whatever.

The scence in ST3 was awesome. I was in middle school when it came out, and was just flabbergasted they would destroy the Enterprise. I think the detonation charge placement is pretty suspect, though.  The torpedo deck and the entire secondary hull were left intact.  If there isn't a handy planet nearby to crash into, that leaves an awful lot of salvageable tech behind.


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Report this Apr. 10 2013, 5:37 pm

I'm thinking there are several ways to destroy the ship. And the reason Kirk chose the method that he did is that a warp core breach self destruct option would have probably been detectable by the Klingons, and they wouldn't have beamed aboard.

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