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Important Space Burrito News

January 17, 2011

I re-watched Star Trek IV this weekend. For all of you born after 1986 a) I hate you and b) go watch it — it’s set in San Francisco and is legitimately amusing.

Anyway, a few Important Observations:

Does Sutro Tower still exist in the 23rd century? Inconclusive. There are precious few shots of the future skyline. Future Starfleet headquarters is supposed to be in Sausalito, but this shot is clearly from the Marin Headlands right above the bridge.

(How this ever will have gotten zoned I do not know. (Note also that this is the same angle as that ad with the chick sleeping in a bed. Outside. During the day.))

Anyway, this damn Starfleet Admiral insists on standing in front of Sutro’s most likely location, but there *is* some sort of tower above his left shoulder (well, really *his* right shoulder, but anyway).

Long Live Sutro Tower! I look forward to drinking on your observation deck one day.

TRAGIC UPDATE: reader Skitten reports: “So I went and checked, for that matte painting is still hanging on the wall at ILM, and can conclusively say that there is no Sutro Tower in the 23rd century.”

So the basic premise of our finely crafted movie is a big spaceship comes to earth to check up on our humpback whales. We have of course hunted them to extinction, and the interstellar craft’s songs causes it to rain and shut down the planetary power grid (insert 23rd century PG&E joke here).

Kirk & Co. go back in time to try to grab a couple of whales. I won’t bore you by repeating the tons of movie tidbits available online, but I discovered two extremely important points for our readership.

1) The hospital they take Chekov to is “Mercy Hospital” in “The Mission District”. (I bet you that’s right next to that “Mission District” cowboy bar in 48 Hours.)

2) The whale singing ship that attacks Earth is in fact A GIANT BURRITO:


I can now see the plot for Star Trek XII: a giant burrito comes to 23rd century earth to check if pollo asado still exists. They broadcast loud mariachi music planet-wide, listening for a response of songs with horns and “mi corazon” in the lyrics. Of course, in a Demolition Man plot twist, Chipotle is the only survivor of the restaurants wars. The ship immediately attempts destroys the earth, raining down petagallons of pico de gallo. Kirk and Co. travel back in time to 21st century San Francisco to steal an El Tonayense and a Buena Vista taco truck (so they can mate) along with a tanker full of Negra Modelo.

Best Twitter response goes to @boxcatninja: “now I’m hungry for a burrito wrapped in transparent aluminum.”

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2011 11:37 pm

    How does this compare to 2009’s “Star Trek,” in which all height limits have apparently been abolished? I blame the board’s new moderate majority.

  2. January 18, 2011 12:15 am

    Meanwhile, there is no sign of Sutro Tower that I can discern as San Francisco is being destroyed by a tsunami in the opening credits of Thundarr the Barbarian.

    • January 18, 2011 12:59 am

      I seriously want that Oakland Hills house with the pool, for both the view and the tsunami avoidance.

  3. January 18, 2011 12:23 am

    Ah yes. In the end, no self-respecting San Francisco history geek can escape a trip into the retrofuture vortex that is Star Trek IV.

    “Excuse me, sir! Can you direct us to the naval base in Alameda? It’s where they keep the nuclear wessels.”

    But if nothing else, the film serves to remind us of our civic duty to preserve the Presidio for future use as the location of Starfleet Academy.

    • January 19, 2011 12:10 am

      Apparently many of those being asked about the “nuclear wessels” scene weren’t actors, just people walking by.

  4. Skitten permalink
    January 18, 2011 9:09 pm

    So I went and checked, for that matte painting is still hanging on the wall at ILM, and can conclusively say that there is no Sutro Tower in the 23rd century.

    What you can see above his shoulder is the top of some weird tower sprouting out of the palace of fine arts. The USF complex on Parnassus has grown a bit too and sprouted all kinds of skybridges.

    • January 18, 2011 9:53 pm


  5. January 18, 2011 11:59 pm

    At the risk of making myself extremely homesick, I must investigate this film immediately! Thanks for the tip, you’ve made the other member of this household very pleased, although he’ll probably say that he’s been trying to get me to watch it for years…


  1. Sutro Tower at Mount Sutro
  2. Burrigible | Burrito Justice

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