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Old November 17 2012, 08:16 AM   #12
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Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Utopianvista wrote: View Post
TNG's second episode was a direct reference to TOS. The first episode featured a direct cameo from TOS! TNG, when Roddenberry was at the helm, didn't diverge from TOS canon. (Unless you count the fan works and TAS.) If anything that just showed Roddenberry was more controlling about his work. You're projecting your own beliefs onto what you want to believe at this point.
No, I'm repeating what's been reported by someone who actually knew Roddenberry at the time -- I believe it was Paula Block, formerly the Paramount licensing executive in charge of tie-ins. She revealed a few years back that Roddenberry considered much of TOS itself to be apocryphal. And that's the key word: much. I never said he rejected all of it. My whole point is that there are more ways of approaching continuity than absolute consistency or a wholesale restart. The tendency of fans these days to reduce it to those two extremes is ignoring a lot of alternatives. There are countless works of series fiction that selectively ignore or reinterpret aspects of their earlier continuity -- like the way it was explicitly 1962 when the 15-year-old Peter Parker got spider powers, yet he was in college when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out in 1979, and is still presented as being in his mid-20s today in 2012. Marvel and DC have routinely kept parts of their history while ignoring others. Many other works of series fiction have done the same. We know for a fact that Roddenberry wanted fans to accept that TOS had been an imperfect approximation of the Trek universe and that TMP superseded it on matters like the Klingons' appearance.

And that's the point. Fidelity to a fictional universe's continuity isn't about treating every last detail as unalterable gospel. The details are a matter of interpretation and they can be changed. What really matters is the core of the story and the characters. You can acknowledge that a previous event happened, but change the details or depiction of how it happened.

For example, I don't know how you can say "I really don't think he'd have a problem" considering Roddenberry had a problem with a lot of modern Trek.
You didn't read what I actually wrote. Roddenberry had a problem with the Trek that he didn't make, sure. But what I actually said was that if Roddenberry himself were the one to do it, if he were alive and well and personally given the task of producing a new Trek movie with a new cast, he would've been just as willing as Abrams to redesign the sets and costumes and special effects and props, just as willing to alter details of continuity to suit the new story, just as willing to recast the characters. Because those are just things that filmmakers do. He didn't consider every detail of ST as holy writ the way some obsessive fans do. They were just the best his team could cobble together with the time, budget, and resources they had. Given the chance to replace them with fancier, more modern designs, he wouldn't hesitate. And he wouldn't have felt the need to explain the "continuity change," because the only continuity that actually mattered was the stories, not the set design.
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