Medium spoilers ahead.

It seems that the Franklin crashes and the crew was stranded for years with growing desperation and going insane accusing the Federation not to search and rescue them. In the end, they were three.

Later, one being (Jaylah) was able over the course of a couple of years, with the help of our heroes for a short time, to repair the Franklin at least to the point it could fly out of the nebula. Why were the Franklin's crew not able to do this earlier? Did Jaylah have some critical resources or parts (from later crash-landed ships) they lacked?

Also they later have access to thousands of bee ships, capable of leaving the swarm. We can only guess that they needed years to access them and at this point in time already gone insane.

Also we can deduct that Yorktown station was built much later and there was no Federation presence near the nebula. But we also know that the area was not uninhabited, because Yorktown was build as diplomatic station for young Federation members (surely not built at the outer rim of nowhere).

So my question is, why weren't they able to fly out of the nebula and communicate to someone (or even communicate to someone without leaving the nebula) and call for help?

  • 1
    They couldnt navigate through the nebula. That was the entire point of why the Enterprise had to go in.
    – Valorum
    Jun 2, 2017 at 11:03
  • I feel like I've seen this exact question before... Can't find it right now though.
    – Steve-O
    Jun 2, 2017 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


First of all, at the time USS Franklin NX-324 was lost, nobody even knew where the nebula was. It was 100 years before the movie's events, about a decade after the events of Star Trek: Enterprise. The fastest ship the Earth and then Federation Star Fleet possessed was still (I believe) the more advanced NX-class Enterprise and Columbia types (Warp 5 Engines), while Franklin and its generation were still Warp 4. Space is big.

Second of all, if Franklin had been displaced, as Scotty surmised, by a wormhole from the Gagarin Belt (a feature of the Loracus system, 90 light years from Sol), given how little the Federation understood about wormholes before the mid-to-late 24th Century, nobody would have had the slightest idea even what direction to start looking in.

Third of all, a damaged, crashed ship, whose engineering staff apparently did not survive probably could not successfully generate a signal that would penetrate the nebula, and would not have known in which direction to do so. Eventually they discovered and took over the drone work force the natives had left, and presumably figured out something about where they were and which direction they'd been displaced, but by then, the bitterness had presumably set in, along with their decision to work against the Federation. Given how long it would likely have taken to decipher the alien systems and language, it might have been quite a while before they had any idea where they were.

Eventually, the Federation began to send Magellan probes into the nebula, which they hijacked and used to boost signals out from the nebula, not to attract attention, but to hack into Federation data systems. From this, of course, they learned that Enterprise had the other half of Abronath and the rest is the story we saw.

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