In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the Vulcan Sybok creates a hostage situation on Nimbus III as part of a plan to capture a ship. It is successful, partly because the Enterprise-A is in disrepair and the transporter doesn't work, so they have to take a shuttle.

But what if a working ship was dispatched instead?* Did Sybok have any means of preventing them from beaming out the hostages? That seems like a way that would have ended the conflict pretty quickly.

* Or to address a plot hole: what Starfleet just put Kirk on another ship around Earth. You know, the headquarters of the Federation! Or is the Excelsior, sabotaged in Star Trek III the only other ship they have?

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    I would normally come up with some elaborate rationalization to answer you; however, this question relates almost entirely to Star Trek V. That way lies madness.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


Aside from the planet's sand-filled atmosphere (which apparently makes it somewhat problematic to get a solid lock) Sybok had no way of preventing the hostages from being beamed up, however the whole

"I've taken hostages"

plot was simply a ruse for him to gain access to a high quality starship.

Assuming the Enterprise (or a Klingon ship or a Romulan ship) had arrived in orbit with a functional transporter, they would have immediately beamed up the ambassadors, all of whom were under Sybok's mind control and they would have then helped him to take control of the ship, presumably by ordering the Captain of the vessel to beam Sybok up to the ship for interrogation.

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