I have to admit, I didn’t want to like this, as my inner nerd-child is having an absolute fit. (No TWOK?) Thematically though, it works so much better, given the initial set up of Kirk and Spock at the beginning of the movie.
So, a grudging nod of approval. Well done!
Given that TMP ends with the Federation absorbing all the knowledge of a nigh-omnipotent machine civilization, it is has to be the last Star Trek story—after this the human adventure is incomprehensible to our puny twentieth-century brains.
Does the novelization explain why Vger cannot create a copy of a person without destroying the original?
Hell, people are still arguing over whether the transporter kills you and makes a copy of you that thinks it’s you, somewhere else. TNG didn’t help at all, with two transporter-centric stories that each went one of the two ways.
However, you do bring up a way that we can have the ending toward which Mark Farinas seems to be working and still have the rest of the movies.
And it never occurred to me until just now to ask: What happened to V’ger or Vejur or whatever after TMP? Some sort of omnipotent God-probe running around the galaxy ought to make its presence felt in future stories of an interstellar civilization.
Instead we get the whale probe, Q and the Borg. You think they would have run into each other.
(“Nah, don’t bother with Earth. No more whales there. And, hey, you clowns over there in the cube: I’ll show you what assimilation is.”)
When were they able to download Vejur’s data?
How Vejur learns to digitize things is only touched on a little in the novel. Vejur is attacked early on its way back to Earty by a ship a little bigger than the Enterprise and is severely injured. When it heals it gets stronger and digitizes the entire planet the ship came from. That was the spark of its self awareness.
You’re right, I wasn’t paying attention. Vejur’s self-sabotage prevented the intended transmission, then if it sublimes and becomes inaccessible to Federation view it takes its data with it. So its mission was a failure after all…
I always assumed Vejur transmitted its data to the creator directly: Decker. The earth was meaningless, as was everyone else. Decker inputted the code, Decker alone gets the knowledge. The two of then streak off to another dimension using that knowledge and Decker’s sense of imagination.
The script of “In Thy Image” has the real Ilia stepping out from behind some scenery, after the Ilia Probe’s internal light bee burns out (the original form of V’ger’s probe that first invaded the bridge). So anything digitized by V’ger can be returned, well up until the whole vessel digitizes and shoots off with Decker. Decker also was slated to return, at the start of whichever of the 13 scripts was chosen to be Episode 2 of “Phase II”. Both Khambatta and Gautreaux (Xon) were on five-year contracts (as would be whichever actor was cast as Decker in “Phase II”).
The novelization does not specify what happens to all the digitized things. Spock originally says that all the images are digital copies of V’ger’s discoveries along its journey. Like Ilia, replicated in every detail. Possibly the Klingon ships and Epsilon Nine (and their crews) were the first objects actually digitized for data storage, not just copied.
The novel suggests Vejur developed digitization as a defense mechanism. It was attacked by a ship early in its journey back to earth and was wounded. Afterward it decided it needed to protect itself and digitized the home planet of the attacker.
Well, Kirk got what he always wanted. To explore the galaxy and become a god. Spock also got what HE wanted. To stick it to the Vulcan Science Academy.
Hm… All a setup for something else (I mean, we haven’t even seen a title card yet) or was the novelization really different?
Or is it this: “Mixing what we saw on screen with concepts from Roddenberry’s novelization of the film, I’m attempting to create an ending for The Motion Picture that I think makes more dramatic sense.”
Regardless, Kirk looks stoned in panel 2.
Would love to see a continuation of the reality being experienced by Kirk’s & Spock’s point of view as part(ner)s of Vejur. They’d be an unstoppable troika in exploration, peace-keeping, and problem-solving!
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