In Star Trek (2009) Nero orders the captain's of USS Kelvin and Enterprise to come to his ship. He knows that the Federation ship's transporters won't work and therefore orders them to take a shuttle.

Why won't he beam them onboard of his ship?

We know he should have a working transporter as he was able to beam future Spock to Delta Vega.

While mindmelding with Kirk:

He spared my life, for one reason, so that I would know his pain. He beamed me here, so that I could observe his vengeance

  • 14
    Because bad writing. Also, I suspect that lens flare was also involved somehow.
    – Valorum
    Jan 17, 2015 at 22:52
  • 3
    Because part of being an effective bad guy is getting people to jump through unnecessarily elaborate hoops...sometimes literally.
    – geewhiz
    Jan 17, 2015 at 22:57
  • 1
    Nero wanted the Federation technology in the shuttles ... nah ... going back to what @Richard said. Jan 18, 2015 at 3:39

2 Answers 2


The film's official novelisation answers this question; The Romulans have intentionally disabled their own transporter systems to prevent their enemies from using them against them, presumably by hacking into their computers:

This time the vastness of the Narada worked to their advantage.

Only once did they encounter members of the crew. Having no reason to believe intruders might be aboard, and with their own transporter intentionally disabled to prevent any enemy from potentially making forcible use of it (there being no reason to suspect any Federation vessel in this time frame capable of transwarp beaming), Kirk and Spock managed to avoid being seen before continuing on their way.

There also seems to be a distinct psychological advantage to having the enemy's captain surrender himself in a small boat (to be impressed with the Narada's size and scale) but that seems to be a secondary benefit rather than the main reason.


With regards to Robau, Nero's transporter might have been damaged during his transition into the black hole.

When he intercepted Spock it was 25 years later (more than enough time to fix his transporter)

As for Pike, one of the other Starships of the armada (that arrived earlier than the Enterprise) might have temporarily damaged the Narada's transporter. I assume Nero beamed Spock before the Narada engaged the Starfleet armada.

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