Towards the end of the movie Checkov claims there's no way to beam Khan aboard ship after Spock asks him to because "there is too much damage" and he "can't get a signal"... But after Spock and Khan fight he is not only able to beam Khan, but Spock and Uhura back aboard the ship... Like, huh? I thought there was too much damage. Made zero sense to me how all of a sudden he was able to beam them when he just claimed there was too much damage to retrieve a signal.

  • We don’t add “spoiler alert” to titles here, instead try and make the title not a spoiler and anything that is a spoiler you can hide with spoiler markdown in the question body I.e, >!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


The novelisation indicates that he's moving too fast and that the abundance of other life-signals in the area is making it impossible to track him long enough to beam him out (as well as moving through buildings laced with materials that make it difficult to get a lock).

Another pause, followed by a startled exclamation from Sulu. “Got something. One life-form.” He looked back at Spock. “Whoa—he just jumped thirty feet!”
“That’s him,” Spock declared with confidence. “Can we beam him up?”
Try as he might to make it possible, in the crowded confines of the compound and the city below, the effort required exceeded even Sulu’s exceptional skills.
“He’s moving too fast, and there are too many other people around.
I can’t get a lock on him.”


Chekov studied his instrumentation. “I think they’re on a transport of some kind. They keep moving too fast in and out of structural surroundings filled with people to still be on foot. I can’t get a lock on either of them.”

One assumes that they were beamed off once the hover-thingy reached its destination or once the driver realised that there were people having a climactic battle on his roof and slowed down.

  • My question is (and it's a little different than the other post you marked as duplicate): their ship was extremely damaged after they were attacked and falling into earth's gravitational pull in which checkov claims there is "too much damage to get a signal," so that makes it seem like he isn't able to beam anyone aboard ship, but he is able to beam them off. What you're saying is, and correct me if I'm wrong, he can't beam them because they're moving too quickly through buildings and other life forms to be able to lock on. Does "getting a signal" and "locking on" mean the same thing?
    – Duenuard
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 17:24
  • He just makes it seem like he can't actually use the teleporter because it is damaged, but then later he can. That's my query.
    – Duenuard
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 17:26
  • @Duenuard - In the film there's mention of the transporters being damaged as well. One assumes they were also in the process of being repaired.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 18:45
  • That does make sense. I shall assume it was being repaired in the process. Thank you!
    – Duenuard
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 18:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.