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Old February 23 2013, 12:30 AM   #263
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Franklin wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
King Daniel wrote: View Post
It's worth pointing out that the 2245 launch date for the Primeverse Enterprise is conjecture originally from the TNG Technical Manual. AFAIK, it's never been said on-screen. So despite how it was drawn in the comic (and IMO these ship designs can be recast as easily as actors), April's Enterprise and the ship we see in TOS may be one and the same.
2245 is in the Defiant's database as the Enterprise's launch date, and besides, even if April's and the ship in TOS are the same, why is the Abramsprise 1701?
True. But when push comes to shove, why should anyone be limited by that date and registry numbers when it's all made up, anyway?

[soap box] This is a bit of a rant, but frankly, what really fries my fish is when REAL history is drastically distorted in a movie (ususally under the guise of "artistic license"). "Lincoln" is a great movie that's pretty true to history, but there's one particular moment that taints the movie for me because it's so wrong. So very wrong that I have pointed it out to my students as (in my opinion) going beyond the artistic license you have to allow in these movies sometimes for brevity and drama.

In the movie, using true artistic license, the voting on the 13th Amendment in the House was done alphabetically by state, even though in reality, the vote was done alphabeticaly by member name. The big deal (overuse of "artistic license") to me was that in the movie, the entire Connecticut delegation votes "no" on the amendment, even though in reality those CT members were abolitionists who supported Lincoln openly and all of them voted FOR the amendment. The makers said they did it the other way to simplify things. Connecticut, starting with "C," is one of the first states to vote, and having them all vote "no" heightened the dramatic tension of the vote.

If real and important historical events in a movie, one that's even trying pretty hard to be as accurate as possible, can be deliberately and drastically distorted for dramatic effect, then what the hell's wrong with retconnnig the date of the construction of a fictional starship in order to tell a story? [/soap box]

Again, sorry for the rant.
Your rant piqued my curiosity as I did my graduate work on historical feature films and the way they influence the general public's perception of history. Among the things I examined were, of course, the juxtaposition of dramatic emphasis with historical distortions (and the extent to which such distortions pose problems). In the literature, I found two broad points of view on this matter--one where indignation was the norm and one where allowances were made for the format of film that would not be made for more traditional forms of presentation. I began my research with leanings toward the former position but concluded (and have become ever more convinced) the latter position is the way to go.

Now, as to the specific point of the Connecticut vote in Lincoln, I have no serious qualms about the choice (as the dramatic tension was heightened by the choice--even though I knew before viewing the film about Connecticut's actual vote, it did not stand out in the scene as the drama was compelling enough). However, I might have chosen a different tack by not showing Connecticut's vote at all (and omitting a couple of other ones). This would have avoided the factual error and maintained the drama (though others would no doubt have complained that a particular state's vote had been ignored). A similar situation is found in Argo. The dramatically effective action in the airport in the closing act of the film bears little resemblance to reality. Reality, though, would have been rather boring. Dramatic license in service of a commercial feature film was an appropriate option there (as it was in Lincoln).

In my work, I concluded that rather than gleefully nitpick historical feature films for flaws and factual errors (as many historians do--and in so doing come to resemble some of the more strident Trek purists), using such deviations from the historical record as starting points for discussions, and having students analyze why such deviations are there, make for a more fruitful exercise. So while a horrible history film like The Patriot can easily be dismissed as full of nonsense, that's too easy a path to follow (and it is a hollow discussion). I've found it to be an effective lesson in how popular cultural representations of historical events often reveal a great deal about the present, even as they distort (more or less heavily) the past.

Ok. Probably too much off topic. So, what was the topic again?

Oh yeah--April's Enterprise? Don't really care how it is depicted in a comic book. Is that the right answer?
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