Toward the end of Into Darkness, there's a big ol' ship-to-ship slugfest near the Moon.

One would imagine that military-grade weapons firing that close to Earth would set off all sorts of alarms - especially given recent Klingon war posturing - and yet no in-system defense forces show up to say boo and figure out why things are exploding.

What gives? Was the Earth's defense force asleep or something?

  • 6
    Clearly they had already used all of the plot-onium, meaning that there was no way anyone could detect them.
    – John O
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 19:12
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    I always thought Federation/Starfleet security alarm checks, were for foreign ships. Since both ships in the encounter were federation/Starfleet, then it wouldn't have set off alarm bells, regardless of them firing weapons.
    – Jared
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 21:30
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    @Jared - that would be a truly atrocious security system, but given the events of the film (specifically the attack on the gathering of captains), I can believe that Starfleet security are just that incompetent. Make that comment an answer and you'll have my upvote.
    – evilsoup
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 21:49
  • @evilsoup - thanks, but I have no evidence to support this of course. I quite liked your answer and gave you an upvote as it seems the most plausible :).
    – Jared
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 21:54
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    Yet another example of horrible writing, plot holes and inconsistencies in the new Star Trek movie, which does not deserve the name Star Trek. Of COURSE there'd be a defense perimeter around Earth! It's the capital planet of the Federation! Commented May 24, 2013 at 0:30

2 Answers 2


The real answer is 'shoddy writing', but

given that Admiral Marcus was one of the most senior officers in the Federation, it's possible that he deliberately sabotaged Earth's sensors or disabled the alarms in order to cover up his highly-illegal secret mission.

  • That's probably the most reasonable answer we'll have until the inevitable novel tie-ins come out. I'm not even going to ask how he knew to go through that effort when as far as he knew all of the fighting was going to take place far away from Earth.
    – Tacroy
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 15:49

One thing that occurred to me when Kirk and the main antagonist are having a conversation:

Khan says that Admiral Marcus needed his "savagery", or words to that effect, to realize his vision of a militarized Starfleet. Of course, in the original timeline, Starfleet already is very much a military organization, so there's something different here.

Not only is Starfleet unready for a war with the Klingons, Marcus believes they're to some extent incapable of getting ready without assistance from more war-like people. Given that the Starfleet of this timeline is primarily a peaceful space-exploration organization, maybe there really aren't any early-warning systems, as such.

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