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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old February 20 2013, 02:44 PM   #181
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Actually, the "canonicity" of off-screen events is an open and shut case. The producers can say whatever they like; they don't own the show and ultimately that call belongs to the people who do - and then, only in the sense that they approve or don't approve scripts, etc. because the studio doesn't actually care whether something's "canon" per se. They care only about whether they believe something enhances or diminishes the value of their property.

Canon is a fan obsession, nothing more or less. This is why it's been violated thousands of times on-screen.
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Old February 20 2013, 03:00 PM   #182
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post

Canon is a fan obsession, nothing more or less. This is why it's been violated thousands of times on-screen.
I'm personally to the point where I hate the word 'canon'. People toss it around trying to make their opinion sound more important than the people around them.

And if 'Love Instructors' from the TMP novelization isn't canon then nothing from non-film material is.
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Old February 20 2013, 03:22 PM   #183
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Like it or not, "canon" is a very important part of Star Trek. Why would I care for an episode or a movie, when everything that happened there will be ignored in the next episode/movie? Of course there have been some continuity errors over the years. But considering the amount of screentime Star Trek had, that's understandable.

Star Trek has a relatively tight continuity, and that makes it a lot more interesting!
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Old February 20 2013, 03:29 PM   #184
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Oso Blanco wrote: View Post
Like it or not, "canon" is a very important part of Star Trek. Why would I care for an episode or a movie, when everything that happened there will be ignored in the next episode/movie? Of course there have been some continuity errors over the years. But considering the amount of screentime Star Trek had, that's understandable.

Star Trek has a relatively tight continuity, and that makes it a lot more interesting!
Problem is that you have too many people who think Star Trek is about nothing but canon.

Is continuity important? To a degree, yes. But the first thing I worry about is whether a story entertains me or not, not whether it lines up with other stories from other creators.
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Old February 20 2013, 03:31 PM   #185
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

If I may paraphrase myself from another thread...

There's continuity between shows, but it's basically an illusion, and requires HUGE amounts of willing suspension of disbelief to hold together.

Yeah, it's cool to think Admiral Janeway knew Picard who knew Sisko who met Kirk... but then, how did Kirk get from the rim of the galaxy to Earth and then to the centre (twice if you include the cartoons), when Voyager's galaxy-spanning journey on the fastest ship in Starfleet should have taken 75 years? Why does Deep Space Nine ignore all the cool things hand phasers can do? You have to kind of pretend all the other shows happened differently in the context of whichever one you're currently watching, otherwise episodes like "The Seige of AR-558" look incredibly dumb.
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Old February 20 2013, 03:57 PM   #186
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Ketrick wrote: View Post
I would also point out that there is a far better argument for making these comics canon than any others by creators in the past. For one thing, there has never been this consistent involvement of creators before in Trek literature, not even Jeri Taylor. For another, it can be argued that the creation of the alternate reality makes it necessary to consider changing the normal practice of only what is on film is canon for that reality because it's quite possible that only three movies and perhaps an animated series will take place in it and simply that the AR is a new and mostly separate unit and thus the old policy need not necessarily apply in this instance.
Even with creator involvement, though, the canon status of tie-ins is not something you can invest too much certainty in. Again, tie-ins are generally read by only 1-2% of a franchise's film or TV audience. If the makers of a new film or TV production had a great idea that required contradicting something in an earlier "canonical" novel or comic, they'd be crazy to abandon it just for the sake of consistency with that tie-in. After all, 99% of the viewers would be totally unaware of the tie-in anyway. This is why Lucasfilm is ignoring the Expanded Universe in its new Star Wars movie after decades of saying the EU was canon. It's a cinch that if Joss Whedon got to do new screen productions of the Buffy/Angel or Firefly/Serenity universe, he wouldn't be bound by the "canonical" comics he's overseen and written, because virtually all of his audience wouldn't care one way or the other.

So any "canonical" tie-in is going to be at best a secondary level of canon -- something that's assumed to be effectively true until it isn't. Which, really, is the case with primary canon too, since even screen canon sometimes contradicts and ignores aspects of earlier installments.

So canon isn't something you can trust or rely on. It's not an indicator of "truth" or consistency. It's just a broad pretense that's ultimately as imaginary and mutable as anything else in fiction. It's a veneer laid over a story rather than the foundation of a story.


Oso Blanco wrote: View Post
Like it or not, "canon" is a very important part of Star Trek. Why would I care for an episode or a movie, when everything that happened there will be ignored in the next episode/movie?
That doesn't make sense. Why should you care about one end-of-the-world movie or novel like When Worlds Collide when it's going to be contradicted by a different end-of-the-world story? Why should you care about a movie about one fictional US president when it's going to be ignored by a movie about a different fictional US president? You care because the value of a story is in the story itself. The world is full of stories that are meant to be entirely standalone, and they're no less enjoyable because of their inconsistency with other stories. Sure, the stories in a given series like Star Trek pretend to represent a consistent, continuous reality, but unless one is suffering from delusions, it should be self-evident that there is no reality to it, that it's all just a bunch of stories that different people are making up about a common set of characters and situations. Consistency between those stories is nice, sure, but it's not the only reason those stories exist.

In fact, sometimes discontinuity can be a benefit to storytellers. Out-of-continuity tales let you explore possibilities that are untenable with in-continuity tales. This is why DC Comics has done so many "imaginary stories" and Elseworlds tales over the decades, and why Marvel published What If...? This is why so many SF franchises do alternate-universe stories. This is why movie and TV adaptations of comics create new continuities rather than just being set in the comics' continuity. Because both continuity and discontinuity have value. Each can produce interesting and worthwhile stories that the other cannot.

Star Trek teaches that diversity in combination is a valuable thing -- that we're better off embracing diverse approaches and celebrating them all, rather than taking only one side and condemning or rejecting everything else. So we should appreciate the value of both approaches, continuity and discontinuity. Especially given that Trek tie-ins have been offering many different variations on continuity, suggesting different versions of specific events, for nearly four decades now. There have been some ongoing continuities in the tie-ins, like the current Pocket novelverse or the various comics continuities, but none of them has ever claimed to be exclusive; they've always coexisted with other interpretations. And given how the tie-ins have thrived for decades, I think that should be seen as a strength rather than a failing.
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Old February 20 2013, 04:41 PM   #187
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Here's a link to a very interesting and well-researched report on canon in "Star Trek", focusing on how it developed, "ownership" of it once it took off, and Roddenberry's interpretation and control over it. It's a bit of a long read, but it's the most thorough presentation of the topic I've ever found. Just two quick quotes about Roddenberry and canon or "Star Trek facts."

First:
In 1991, Richard Arnold was asked if all of TOS was actually canon, since the questioner had heard it was just the first two seasons. Arnold responded: "There are some things we just can't explain, especially when it comes from the third season. So, _yes_, third season is canon up to the point of contradiction, or where it's just so bad...you know, we kind of cringe when people ask us, "well, what happened in 'Plato's Stepchildren,' and 'And the Children Shall Lead,' and 'Spock's Brain,' and so on--it's like, please, he wasn't even producing it at that point. But, generally, it's the original series, not really the animated, the first movie to a certain extent, the rest of the films in certain aspects but not in all...I know that it's very difficult to understand. It literally is point by point. I sometimes do not know how he's going to answer a question when I go into his office, I really do not always know, and--and I know it better probably than anybody, what it is that Gene likes and doesn't like."
Second:

According to Paula Block of Viacom Consumer Products: "Another thing that makes canon a little confusing. Gene R. himself had a habit of decanonizing things. He didn't like the way the animated series turned out, so he proclaimed that it was NOT CANON. He also didn't like a lot of the movies. So he didn't much consider them canon either. And--okay, I'm really going to scare you with this one--after he got TNG going, he...well...he sort of decided that some of the Original Series wasn't canon either. I had a discussion with him once, where I cited a couple things that were very clearly canon in the Original Series, and he told me he didn't think that way anymore, and that he now thought of TNG as canon wherever there was conflict between the two. He admitted it was revisionist thinking, but so be it."
Here's the link to the entire report. It was written before ST09 but includes ENT.

http://www.canonwars.com/STCanon.html#III-A
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Old February 20 2013, 04:45 PM   #188
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Oso Blanco wrote: View Post
Like it or not, "canon" is a very important part of Star Trek. Why would I care for an episode or a movie, when everything that happened there will be ignored in the next episode/movie?
Like the original Twilight Zone, a better television series than Star Trek.

I've watched and read a dozen versions of Superman's origin, every one of which conflicts with every other. I like 'em all.

Of course there have been some continuity errors over the years.
Hundreds of major ones.

I don't find Star Trek interesting because of its continuity but because of the stories and characters. In TOS the characters forgot virtually everything that happened to them in previous weeks, and we were fine with that. TV was like that.
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Old February 20 2013, 04:51 PM   #189
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Franklin wrote: View Post
According to Paula Block of Viacom Consumer Products: "Another thing that makes canon a little confusing. Gene R. himself had a habit of decanonizing things. He didn't like the way the animated series turned out, so he proclaimed that it was NOT CANON. He also didn't like a lot of the movies. So he didn't much consider them canon either. And--okay, I'm really going to scare you with this one--after he got TNG going, he...well...he sort of decided that some of the Original Series wasn't canon either. I had a discussion with him once, where I cited a couple things that were very clearly canon in the Original Series, and he told me he didn't think that way anymore, and that he now thought of TNG as canon wherever there was conflict between the two. He admitted it was revisionist thinking, but so be it."
Here's the link to the entire report. It was written before ST09 but includes ENT.

http://www.canonwars.com/STCanon.html#III-A
Thanks for finding that article. It's a good reminder that canon isn't some gospel carved in stone, it's just the current opinion of the current creators. And creators change their minds all the time. That's key to the creative process itself -- we write stories by testing out possibilities, by revising and refining them, by discarding and replacing the ones that don't work. And over time, we inevitably come to regret some of our earlier decisions and want to paper over our mistakes.

So canon really doesn't mean all that much. Dwelling too much on what falls under that label just gets in the way of enjoying the stories being told.
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Old February 20 2013, 05:17 PM   #190
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Another reference in the comic: April's first officer had the last name "Marcus". No doubt Carol's father. If so, this could lend support to the April subplot ending up in the movie.
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Old February 20 2013, 05:54 PM   #191
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

A look at April's Enterprise


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Old February 20 2013, 06:02 PM   #192
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

And a bit of a certain businesswoman

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Old February 20 2013, 06:04 PM   #193
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

I like the bridge, perfect blend of TOS and Abramsverse. Especially the captain's chair. Why are they all wearing the uniforms from the present, though? Twenty years yearlier, shouldn't they still be wearing the uniforms the Kelvin crew were wearing?
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Old February 20 2013, 06:23 PM   #194
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Not digging the ship design (although that might just be artist confusion) and the uniform schenanigans, but the story seems interesting.
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Old February 20 2013, 06:29 PM   #195
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I like the bridge, perfect blend of TOS and Abramsverse. Especially the captain's chair. Why are they all wearing the uniforms from the present, though? Twenty years yearlier, shouldn't they still be wearing the uniforms the Kelvin crew were wearing?
There's a six year difference between the Kelvin and the events depicted on April's Enterprise. Likely a uniform change happened somewhere in that time period.
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