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Old September 28 2012, 06:41 PM   #131
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
CoveTom, I don't understand your reasoning at all. Are you saying that a set element that was created and stuck up on a wall has no more importance than a cameraman who pulled back too far in Errand of Mercy and showed the wood support on the bridge floor just because HD wasn't around then?
It's not about ranking absolute importance. It's about remembering that this isn't documentary evidence of some real universe that we have to "prove" something about, but a work of fiction created by many hands over the decades, with a lot of different ideas and decisions shaping it that have sometimes been contradicted by later decisions or were just flawed ideas to begin with. So some bits of dialogue or set decoration may be contradicted later on, while others won't be. It's a case-by-case matter, judging each element in the context of how it fits within the whole.

The thing about fiction is that it's all pretend anyway, so it isn't some heinous crime to pretend that parts of it weren't exactly what they seemed. Look at any long-running fictional series, especially one with multiple creators, and you'll see that details from earlier works get ignored, reinterpreted, retconned, or renounced all the time. So the very nature of "evidence" in fiction can't be treated as equivalent to real-world evidence. What you see onscreen doesn't "prove" what's true in the underlying reality, because there isn't one. It just shows you what the creators of that particular piece of fiction chose to portray in their interpretation of the imaginary world they were building. And later creators can choose to modify or disregard that interpretation, and so can audiences.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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