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Old September 1 2013, 01:14 AM   #27
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Re: Barely-legible graphics canon?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
That's not a mistake, it's a technique to ensure that subsequent ideas respect the intentions of those that came before in order to create a coherent vision.
Except the intention of viewscreen graphics meant to be glimpsed in the background for a fraction of a second was not to be an integral part of a story, but just to be something that looked vaguely like it meant something. Film is about illusion. It's about creating an impression, and the details of what's used to create that impression may actually spoil the illusion if you look too closely.

It's a framework to create something where the result is more than just the sum of its parts. Disrespect "canon" and you just end up with parts and fragments but not a bigger picture.
There's nothing to respect or disrespect. It's simply a matter of definition. Canon is the overall body of a work of fiction. It's not about every last obsessive detail, because the details are subordinate to the overall illusion or impression being created.

So what are many of us doing here? Should we get lost?
What we're doing is enjoying a work of entertainment. Which is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

...which is the classic excuse for anyone who is too lazy and/or lacks passion to do some accurate research, first, and/or is too incompetent to do so.
Anyone who knows me or my Trek novels at all knows that I'm an obsessive researcher who often builds elements of my stories around extremely obscure details. Heck, I was the first novelist to mention Admiral Robert Comsol in a Star Trek novel, something you should appreciate. But I also understand the difference between fiction and reality, and I understand the degree to which the former is mutable and built around illusion. I can be obsessive about detail when it suits my purposes, but here's the thing: I can turn it off.

And we have seen where this ends. Remember Dr. Carol Marcus from ST II, the ethical "I will not let harm come to a microbe?".
In order to have a more dramatic and life-threatening setting the producers of ST III decided to have her have used "protomatter" for the Genesis Device. Oh wait, they shifted the blame to her son David, but as the supervisor of the Genesis Project, this made the Carol Marcus character look incompetent and stupid.

"Improve" a story at the expense of absent actors and characters. (wanted to use another finger but that Smilie was the only one available...)
Except it doesn't make sense to treat an incidental detail like a bit of joke text a set decorator put onto a screen as being equal in importance to actual scripted characterization or dialogue. The core of the work is the story and the characterization. That's important. That's the stuff you want to keep consistent. Set decoration only exists to support that, to be in the background and not get in the way of it. Sometimes the set decorators can put loving care and detail into it, and sometimes they'll just type up a bunch of lorem ipsum, and 99 percent of the audience will never know the difference, because it's just supposed to be background texture. If they do their job right, the audience won't even give it a thought. What matters is the impression, the illusion, the work as a whole.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
The people who actually created Star Trek pretty much echo what Christopher said. They understood the medium they worked in and weren't above changing things, adding things and deleting things. In their minds none of it was written in stone. Hell most of them would probably laugh at the idea of "canon" and semi-religious "devotion" people have developed for it.
Right. Roddenberry was the one who redesigned the Klingons for TMP and asked audiences to accept that they'd always looked that way but TOS just hadn't had the budget to show them correctly. (I think he once proposed that the "transmissions from the future" were distorted.) He's also the one who, in his TMP novelization, treated TOS as a fictional 23rd-century series based on Kirk's real adventures and apologized for its inaccuracies and exaggerations.

As I've pointed out before, what ends up onscreen isn't exactly what the creators wanted; it's just the best compromise they could manage with the time, budget, and resources available. Creators are almost never satisfied with the final version of their work, and almost always wish they could've done some things better or differently. So treating every last tiny detail as the creators' pure and holy intent is just ridiculous, and the creators themselves would be the first to laugh out loud at such an assumption.
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