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Old May 11 2009, 04:29 PM   #16
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: the problem with canon

I've never heard someone say "Wow the movie was so entertaining, so thought provoking, the acting and dialogue were just incredible.... but i hate it because canon was violated! This sucks!!!".

Generally, getting pissed about canon tends to be a bit of geekish "stand-in" for being upset that you didn't enjoy it period.
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Old May 11 2009, 04:30 PM   #17
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: the problem with canon

Geckothan wrote: View Post
Canon gives the universe consistency and substance.
No, because canon contradicts itself and there's nothing in the definition of canon that denotes consistency.
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Old May 11 2009, 04:31 PM   #18
foxmulder710
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Re: So, just what IS canon?

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
While it is a fun question, it is not in any way an important one.

The answer is canon is whatever works for you.

For instance...

canon is TOS, TNG S1-6, DS9, Star Trek movies 1-4, 6, FC, and then this Abrams Trek.

WOw, amazing! Star Trek canon is more or less batting 100% in terms of being at least "good and entertaining"
LOL, I notice glaring absences: TNG S-7, ENT, ST:V, and so many TNG films.

Better question, now: if you understand that, say First Contact operates within the universe created by Generations, and you accept the universe of First Contact as canon, does that not make you implicitly accept Generations as canon also? I mean, there's a *cough* reason why the Enterprise-E exists, isn't there?
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Old May 11 2009, 04:43 PM   #19
foxmulder710
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Re: So, just what IS canon?

JustKate wrote: View Post
According to Paramount, canon is anything live-action that appeared on screen in a movie or a regular broadcast. So TAS would not be canon under this definition, but all the series and the movies are, including the latest one.

As for the purpose of canon...well, I have to back up. What's important to me about canon isn't minutia about how this thing occured on star date ____, so how could event X have happened only a month later? Or about uniform colors...or even details of the early life of various characters. I can overlook all those little inconsistences, and I can even overlook some fairly important inconsistencies.

What's important to me is that any movie or series marketed under the name Star Trek needs to fit into the recognizable Trek universe. So that, for me, is the reason for worrying about canon.

Yes, I'd like everything new to fit in with what's come before, but I know that realistically that's just not possible. You can't make 40-some years of TV shows and movies, all written and produced by different people, all made under vastly different circumstances and during vastly different times and all trying to appeal to newer audiences, fit together. So long as they kind of fit together, that's the best I can hope for. And I'm OK with that.

So that is to me what canon is for: To keep it recognizably Trekkish.
Ah, but then to argue at all about canon is to presume that a fan has the right to decide for themselves. I agree with the Paramount canon because I actually like the tension which inconsistencies create in a work of art. Just as when with Christian-Scripture-study (I used to be intensely Catholic) I enjoyed the creativity of the mental gymnastics I had to make to cause it all to hang together non-contradictorily, so also do I find it fun to try to make the, say, "Admiral Archer" comment or Spock Prime recognizing Chris Pine as if he truly were a young William Shatner (which he isn't) all fit with what I already know about Star Trek.

One could argue that, like all myths, the stories change but there's a kernel which stays the same. In this case, it happens to be the crew, not the actors; the general story, not the specifics.

As far as a "recognizable Trek universe," to me that's a stylistic question more than anything else. I like variability as much as general consistency. For example, throughout the films and shows, the transporter has been a main feature. But look at the differences between the TOS transporter effect and the new movie: I find that interesting.

Where a stickler for "continuity" would be upset at the change, I see the (ostensibly, change-in-art-director) as a reason for investing more meaning into the show for myself, like, "How, within the Trek universe as it presents itself, could transporter technology exist in such-and-such a way NOW when it existed there in that way?" Not that those are necessarily questions worth asking, but I find asking them pleasant and fun.

Same with the ship designs.
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Old May 11 2009, 04:52 PM   #20
Misfit Toy
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Re: So, just what IS canon?

foxmulder710 wrote: View Post
Mods, I realize this forum would perhaps better be served if I'd simply posted in the canon thread which was already there (which in my eagerness to post, I'd neglected to notice; apologies). If you close this on that account, please could you move this post there?
No problem. I'll merge the two threads.
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Old May 11 2009, 04:56 PM   #21
foxmulder710
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Re: the problem with canon

Thanks, Misfit Toy.
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Old May 11 2009, 04:59 PM   #22
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: So, just what IS canon?

foxmulder710 wrote: View Post
Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
While it is a fun question, it is not in any way an important one.

The answer is canon is whatever works for you.

For instance...

canon is TOS, TNG S1-6, DS9, Star Trek movies 1-4, 6, FC, and then this Abrams Trek.

WOw, amazing! Star Trek canon is more or less batting 100% in terms of being at least "good and entertaining"
LOL, I notice glaring absences: TNG S-7, ENT, ST:V, and so many TNG films.

Better question, now: if you understand that, say First Contact operates within the universe created by Generations, and you accept the universe of First Contact as canon, does that not make you implicitly accept Generations as canon also? I mean, there's a *cough* reason why the Enterprise-E exists, isn't there?
*shrugs* Enterprise D was old and probably decommissioned at some point between the end of TNG Season 6 and First Contact.
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Old May 11 2009, 05:00 PM   #23
EliyahuQeoni
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Re: the problem with canon

Dennis wrote: View Post
Geckothan wrote: View Post
Canon gives the universe consistency and substance.
No, because canon contradicts itself and there's nothing in the definition of canon that denotes consistency.
You actually expect people to know the definition of a word before they start arguing about it? Next you'll be telling me that they should know how to spell it too....
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Old May 11 2009, 05:05 PM   #24
JustKate
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Re: So, just what IS canon?

foxmulder710 wrote: View Post
Ah, but then to argue at all about canon is to presume that a fan has the right to decide for themselves. I agree with the Paramount canon because I actually like the tension which inconsistencies create in a work of art. Just as when with Christian-Scripture-study (I used to be intensely Catholic) I enjoyed the creativity of the mental gymnastics I had to make to cause it all to hang together non-contradictorily, so also do I find it fun to try to make the, say, "Admiral Archer" comment or Spock Prime recognizing Chris Pine as if he truly were a young William Shatner (which he isn't) all fit with what I already know about Star Trek.

One could argue that, like all myths, the stories change but there's a kernel which stays the same. In this case, it happens to be the crew, not the actors; the general story, not the specifics.

As far as a "recognizable Trek universe," to me that's a stylistic question more than anything else. I like variability as much as general consistency. For example, throughout the films and shows, the transporter has been a main feature. But look at the differences between the TOS transporter effect and the new movie: I find that interesting.

Where a stickler for "continuity" would be upset at the change, I see the (ostensibly, change-in-art-director) as a reason for investing more meaning into the show for myself, like, "How, within the Trek universe as it presents itself, could transporter technology exist in such-and-such a way NOW when it existed there in that way?" Not that those are necessarily questions worth asking, but I find asking them pleasant and fun.

Same with the ship designs.
Oh, sure - I enjoy such discussions myself, and I also enjoy coming up with in-universe explanations for any inconsistences I find. I personally, however, just can't reject a chunk of Trek simply because of those inconsistences. On the other hand, if the Federation ceased to be the Federation that I know, love and am occassionally irritated by - you know, basically the Good Guys in White Hats who mean well, but who are also more than a bit bland and oftentimes smug - well, I don't think I could accept that. There are things that make Trek unique, and one of them is that humanity and many of its neighbors in the Alpha and Beta quadrants manage to live in peace with one another, work together for the common good, and fight against common enemies. If the franchise goes all nililistic and grimdark, I would lose interest and retreat into my Trek past. But it hasn't done that yet, so yay!
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Old May 12 2009, 02:26 AM   #25
cwl
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Re: the problem with canon

oh look what i started
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Old May 12 2009, 04:24 AM   #26
Temis the Vorta
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Re: the problem with canon

I'll just reiterate the attitude I've had for many many years now.

If writers violate canon, they better have a good reason.

To make a better story = perfectly good reason.

Because they're lazy and can't be bothered to check whether they are violating canon = not a good reason.

and there's insanity (writing an episode to justify why the Enterprise-D fired phasers out of its photon torpedo tube in a previous episode, or the Klingon forehead deal)... and sometimes I've felt the writers went overly far in that regard.
The Klingon Forehead Explanation episode was surprisingly good. I didn't need an explanation but who cares where an idea for a good episode comes from, anyway?
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Old May 12 2009, 07:46 AM   #27
EliyahuQeoni
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Re: the problem with canon

[QUOTE=Temis the Vorta;2941658I didn't need an explanation but who cares where an idea for a good episode comes from, anyway?[/QUOTE]

"good" is subjective. I found it to be barely watchable fanwank.
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Old May 12 2009, 07:55 AM   #28
Zeppster
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Re: the problem with canon

Canon died in Star Trek when it started production as a series in the 60s. And hasn't really been followed since then.
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Old May 12 2009, 03:27 PM   #29
barnaclelapse
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Re: the problem with canon

Canon is good to have as a means to rein in such a large universe of characters, worlds, philosophies and the like. I do think there's a tendency to take it a little too far with some fans.

Me, I like it, and I like to see it followed through in reference to larger storytelling elements. But with little tiny technical details and the like, I honestly very rarely notice that stuff.
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Old May 13 2009, 12:47 AM   #30
Praetor
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: the problem with canon

"The problem with canon" to me is that some people seem to see any apparent deviation from canon as sacrilege or heresy and some people seem to see any direct reference to another series as fanwank.
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