Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
And in the end, saying it's a "different work of fiction" is no less a handwave than the alternate-universe theory. It's exactly the same thing, come to think of it.
Huh? But... it is
a work of fiction. That's not something you add to the truth to try to rationalize or justify something, it's simply the pure, unvarnished reality. How in the hell can that be a handwave?
It would be a handwave to say that, say, Saavik got injured shortly after The Wrath of Khan
and had to get plastic surgery that changed her face and voice. It would not be a handwave to say that Kirstie Alley left and was replaced by Robin Curtis. It would just be the truth.