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Old June 3 2012, 05:52 AM   #41
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Re: new canon vs novelverse: worst case scenario

Timewalker wrote: View Post

Where in my latest posts do you see me disagreeing with you?!
You were comparing the status of "Threshold" to the status of "Alternative Factor," and you said the latter "is canon" as though that were somehow indicative of whether it "counted" or not. My point is that something can be part of a canon and disregarded at the same time. "Threshold" is part of the canon too, but it's equally ignored.

Part of the mistake people make about canon is thinking that it's written down in some official ledger somewhere -- that because Braga was embarrassed by "Threshold" and made a statement disowning it, that means there's some official piece of paperwork at Paramount declaring that as doctrine. That's not so. The people who actually make the shows don't bother to think much about canon, because what they make is automatically canon so it's a non-issue for them. And what they count as "real" -- as "canon" in the less precise sense of "what gets counted" -- is not a matter of official doctrine, but of the preference of whoever's running the franchise at the moment. There's no official file for "Threshold" with a "NOT CANON" stamp across it in red ink or something. There's just the guy who made the episode and produced the show deciding it was a stupid episode and he was going to ignore it, just like every Trek producer has ignored "The Alternative Factor" and just like DS9 and VGR ignored the 20-minute commute to the galactic center in TFF. Not official doctrine, just the everyday working choices of the people making the shows and films. So there's really no difference between the status of "The Alternative Factor" and the status of "Threshold." The only difference is that Braga publicly admitted that he was embarrassed by the latter episode.

I haven't read any of the "Shatnerverse" stuff, but doesn't it start off with Kirk getting un-killed/revived from his grave at the end of the "Generations" movie? How is Kirk being alive again consistent with anything?
It's compatible with any subsequent book that doesn't mention Kirk, which is most of them. For quite a while, it was theoretically possible to reconcile the Shatnerverse with the main novel continuity. But in the last trilogy, there were significant divergences between the two in their assumptions about the timing of certain events -- like Bajor not being a UFP member in the Shatnerverse years after it joined in the DS9 novels, Titan taking a year longer to end its Romulan relief mission and start exploring, and Janeway still being alive well after her death in Before Dishonor.

And don't be lazy about details. It's one thing to change a detail because it's vital to the story. But changing it because you just didn't bother to check? Lazy, and insulting to the audience.
Well, it's not entirely fair to assume that such mistakes can only be the result of laziness. If they are, that is shameful. But even careful, attentive, professional creators can still overlook the occasional detail, especially in a continuity as huge as Star Trek where it's virtually impossible to remember every little detail. You can work hard and be as careful as you can, but still overlook some little thing until it's too late to fix it. It happens all the time. Even with multiple sets of eyes going over something multiple times, it's possible for even a glaring error to get overlooked. Trust me, that's a truth every published writer has to live with.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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