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Old May 11 2009, 06:05 PM   #24
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Location: Indiana, USA
Re: So, just what IS canon?

foxmulder710 wrote: View Post
Ah, but then to argue at all about canon is to presume that a fan has the right to decide for themselves. I agree with the Paramount canon because I actually like the tension which inconsistencies create in a work of art. Just as when with Christian-Scripture-study (I used to be intensely Catholic) I enjoyed the creativity of the mental gymnastics I had to make to cause it all to hang together non-contradictorily, so also do I find it fun to try to make the, say, "Admiral Archer" comment or Spock Prime recognizing Chris Pine as if he truly were a young William Shatner (which he isn't) all fit with what I already know about Star Trek.

One could argue that, like all myths, the stories change but there's a kernel which stays the same. In this case, it happens to be the crew, not the actors; the general story, not the specifics.

As far as a "recognizable Trek universe," to me that's a stylistic question more than anything else. I like variability as much as general consistency. For example, throughout the films and shows, the transporter has been a main feature. But look at the differences between the TOS transporter effect and the new movie: I find that interesting.

Where a stickler for "continuity" would be upset at the change, I see the (ostensibly, change-in-art-director) as a reason for investing more meaning into the show for myself, like, "How, within the Trek universe as it presents itself, could transporter technology exist in such-and-such a way NOW when it existed there in that way?" Not that those are necessarily questions worth asking, but I find asking them pleasant and fun.

Same with the ship designs.
Oh, sure - I enjoy such discussions myself, and I also enjoy coming up with in-universe explanations for any inconsistences I find. I personally, however, just can't reject a chunk of Trek simply because of those inconsistences. On the other hand, if the Federation ceased to be the Federation that I know, love and am occassionally irritated by - you know, basically the Good Guys in White Hats who mean well, but who are also more than a bit bland and oftentimes smug - well, I don't think I could accept that. There are things that make Trek unique, and one of them is that humanity and many of its neighbors in the Alpha and Beta quadrants manage to live in peace with one another, work together for the common good, and fight against common enemies. If the franchise goes all nililistic and grimdark, I would lose interest and retreat into my Trek past. But it hasn't done that yet, so yay!
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