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Old October 3 2012, 04:22 AM   #19
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Re: Why Enterprise and not Yorktown?

plynch wrote: View Post
2. If someone asked, "Why do you THINK GR changed the name..." then have at it, seriously. Discuss away. But I've run into this on this bbs when I really want to know an answer and then have to weed through many speculations. I can speculate myself, or seek some possibilities, but when you gotta know, you gotta KNOW; or find out that the answer is not known.
First off, you're not the one who started this thread, so who are you to judge? Second, I did say in my very first post that the real answer was probably unknown.

Besides, sometimes the right "answer" to a question is that the question itself needs to be reformulated, that it's based on an unexamined assumption that isn't necessarily valid. This particular question, about the reason for the name change, seems to be based on the assumption that there needed to be a reason, that Roddenberry was initially committed to Yorktown and something had to happen to make that change. But early ideas are often quite rough, or are simply placeholders until you can come up with something better. And understanding that broader principle can be useful not only for this question, but for other questions about the creative process.

Given how many possible names we know Roddenberry went through for the captain before settling on Christopher Pike just days before shooting the pilot, I would think it very likely that he had a similar list of multiple possible names for the starship. He probably just put Yorktown in the pitch document because he needed to put something there, or because that was the one he happened to be leaning toward on that particular day. And it wasn't the only name in that first proposal that was changed; others included Captain Robert April and navigator Josť Ortegas, not to mention the "telecommunicators" (and of course the line about how the ship "rarely lands on a planet"). Why did he change any of those things? Because that's what often happens to first-draft ideas. Because what he put in the pitch document wasn't a refined version of the series concept, but only a rough approximation, an early stage of a work in progress. And that's most likely the real answer to the question -- but it's an answer that requires some background discussion about how the process works.
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