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Star Trek Fans Poke Fun At The Franchise's Questionable (& Laughable) Physics

"Star Trek" has always been about wishful thinking — the promise of a better tomorrow heralded by human progress. But there's an argument to be made that the franchise is at its most optimistic and fanciful when it comes to the laws of physics. And while there are plenty of assaults on Newtonian sensibilities in Starfleet canon, ranging from sound traveling in space to how well William Shatner's body can ostensibly deflect a giant rock, there's one particular corner of "Star Trek" that fans in the r/StarTrek subreddit take issue with.

"The thing that I find the most annoying in [the] entire 'Star Trek' [universe] is when the star ships are hit by any kind of enemy fire in combat the whole ship shakes and people fall down and sparks shoot from random terminals," wrote u/itstheskylion before asking what we've all been wondering for years: "Why don't you provide your crew seats with seatbelt's [sic] and why the hell are sparks shooting from terminals."

"Star Trek" fans being a famously communal group, answers came pouring in. Most of those answers were not helpful, but they were answers, nonetheless.

Star Trek's many explosions sparked a debate among fans

"What a silly question!" u/bertraja replied with tongue firmly in cheek. "You can't have rocks falling from the ceiling without accompanying sparks shooting from the terminals. That's like basic science." That wasn't the end of the explanations, however. Redditor u/seanx40 reasoned that the pyrotechnics on display in any given "Star Trek" action scene are due to a lack of fatherly homeowning advice. "No surge protectors," they wrote.

Then there was u/DocFossil coming in with their headcanon, postulating, "Maybe the sparks are just special fireworks that alert you it's time to do an oil change or something?" It's a fun idea, especially when you consider that the Enterprise would have to stop at the outer space version of a skeevy state-line fireworks stand any time they want to resupply.

After nearly 60 years of "Star Trek," most fans have long since accepted that the sparks and shakes — dubious though they may be — are a signature characteristic of the franchise. After all, the more plausible alternative would be shots of people sitting down while lights flash around them, and that certainly does not make for very compelling television. No, Trekkies have learned to embrace all the unintentionally hilarious things in "Star Trek" and on the contrary, feel that anyone genuinely trying to make the physics of the show make sense can boldly go jump in a lake.