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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old September 19 2013, 09:40 PM   #1
Ketrick
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Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between the Alternate Reality and the Odyssey saga of the Shatnerverse books? I'm a bit surprised no one to my knowledge has mentioned some of the striking similarities between the two continuities. In The Return, Starfleet Intelligence has secret starships that are colored black and in Star Trek Into Darkness the USS Vengeance is a black starship that is presumably secret and was made by Section 31. In The Ashes of Eden, the new C-in-C of Starfleet turns out to be a part of the Khitomer Conspiracy and is involved in black ops projects having formerly been head of Starfleet Intelligence not unlike how Admiral Marcus in Into Darkness is head of Starfleet and head of Section 31 as well. Also, Shatner's The Return connects V'ger to the Borg as does Star Trek: Nero.
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Old September 19 2013, 09:41 PM   #2
Christopher
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Given how pervasive conspiracy-theory stories are, including stories about government conspiracies using black vehicles, I'm sure the similarities are coincidental.
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Old September 19 2013, 09:46 PM   #3
Ketrick
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Christopher wrote: View Post
Given how pervasive conspiracy-theory stories are, including stories about government conspiracies using black vehicles, I'm sure the similarities are coincidental.
Good point, but what about the same type of Borg connection in both continuities? I suppose they also could be coincidental, though that seems a bit less likely than the conspiracy-theory stories thing. Anyway, I wanna make clear I'm not necessarily saying the Shatnerverse books are being drawn on by The Supreme Court. I'm just pointing out the similarities between the two realities.
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Old September 19 2013, 09:46 PM   #4
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

I'd say Into Darkness is a far closer match to Dreadnought! - swap out Admiral Rittenhouse for Admiral Marcus and USS Star Empire for USS Vengeance, sprinkle in some Khan...
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Old September 19 2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Ketrick wrote: View Post
Good point, but what about the same type of Borg connection in both continuities? I suppose they also could be coincidental, though that seems a bit less likely than the conspiracy-theory stories thing.
Not at all. It's a common fan impulse to hypothesize connections between characters or species that vaguely resemble each other. I've seen many variations on "The Borg created V'Ger" or "V'Ger created the Borg" bandied about online over the years, even though neither makes one damn bit of sense. (V'Ger didn't even know that organic beings were living things. How could it be the creation, or creator, of a race of cybernetic-organic hybrids? Not to mention that V'Ger's technology was so advanced it made Borg tech look like horse-drawn carriages. Even The Return admitted that V'Ger and the Borg have practically nothing in common and had to concoct an immensely convoluted excuse for how they could be connected after all.)


Anyway, I wanna make clear I'm not necessarily saying the Shatnerverse books are being drawn on by The Supreme Court. I'm just pointing out the similarities between the two realities.
The fact is, different creators independently coming up with similar ideas is something that happens all the time. It's a routine fact of life for just about any writer -- one of the main reasons stories or script pitches get rejected is because the publisher or TV series is already doing something similar.
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Old September 20 2013, 12:26 AM   #6
Ketrick
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Christopher wrote: View Post
Not at all. It's a common fan impulse to hypothesize connections between characters or species that vaguely resemble each other. I've seen many variations on "The Borg created V'Ger" or "V'Ger created the Borg" bandied about online over the years, even though neither makes one damn bit of sense. (V'Ger didn't even know that organic beings were living things. How could it be the creation, or creator, of a race of cybernetic-organic hybrids? Not to mention that V'Ger's technology was so advanced it made Borg tech look like horse-drawn carriages. Even The Return admitted that V'Ger and the Borg have practically nothing in common and had to concoct an immensely convoluted excuse for how they could be connected after all.)
Another good point. In The Return's defense, I would point out that it was written before Star Trek: First Contact changed the way the Borg were presented so back then a connection between the Borg and V'ger wouldn't have been as far-fetched, especially since The Return made the connection through a different branch of the Borg that assimilated through using energy patterns. (Not that you're criticizing The Return, Christopher, I realize you aren't. I just want to make that point since not everyone realizes that when The Return was written the Borg weren't portrayed as being all about assimilation like they were from First Contact on.)




The fact is, different creators independently coming up with similar ideas is something that happens all the time. It's a routine fact of life for just about any writer -- one of the main reasons stories or script pitches get rejected is because the publisher or TV series is already doing something similar.
I realize this. I just find it interesting that these two realities have such similarities, but you're right it really shouldn't be that surprising to me.
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Old September 20 2013, 12:41 AM   #7
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Ketrick wrote: View Post
In The Return's defense, I would point out that it was written before Star Trek: First Contact changed the way the Borg were presented so back then a connection between the Borg and V'ger wouldn't have been as far-fetched, especially since The Return made the connection through a different branch of the Borg that assimilated through using energy patterns.
No, it was exactly as far-fetched from the beginning. Both the points I made -- V'Ger being uninterested in organic life and its technology being immensely beyond the Borg's -- are just as applicable to the pre-FC Borg. Indeed, the technology point is even more applicable to the pre-FC Borg, which hadn't yet been retconned as using nanotechology and whose tech looked even cruder and clunkier than it did later on.

And the whole "different branch of the Borg" thing is basically a tacit admission that they don't really resemble each other at all and that it's an enormous reach to connect them. Honestly, I don't know why The Return even bothered to refer to V'Ger at all. I don't see what it added to the story.
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Old September 20 2013, 02:31 AM   #8
Ketrick
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Christopher wrote: View Post
No, it was exactly as far-fetched from the beginning. Both the points I made -- V'Ger being uninterested in organic life and its technology being immensely beyond the Borg's -- are just as applicable to the pre-FC Borg. Indeed, the technology point is even more applicable to the pre-FC Borg, which hadn't yet been retconned as using nanotechology and whose tech looked even cruder and clunkier than it did later on.

And the whole "different branch of the Borg" thing is basically a tacit admission that they don't really resemble each other at all and that it's an enormous reach to connect them. Honestly, I don't know why The Return even bothered to refer to V'Ger at all. I don't see what it added to the story.
You have a good point about the pre-FC Borg being clunkier. However, the pre-FC Borg interest in assimilating life forms seemed more a means to gain the technology of life forms than as an end in itself like it began to seem (to me, at least) with the post-FC Borg. Also, assimilation didn't seem to be the pre-FC Borg's main goal in the same way assimilation seemed to be the post-FC Borg's goal. As far as why The Return referred to V'ger, it was to connect Spock to the Borg and explain how he could be "the mole/traitor".
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Old September 20 2013, 03:21 AM   #9
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Ketrick wrote: View Post
However, the pre-FC Borg interest in assimilating life forms seemed more a means to gain the technology of life forms than as an end in itself like it began to seem (to me, at least) with the post-FC Borg. Also, assimilation didn't seem to be the pre-FC Borg's main goal in the same way assimilation seemed to be the post-FC Borg's goal.
Assimilation is beside the point. The point is that the Borg are themselves half-organic. They are humanoids with mechanical parts grafted on. Their name is short for "cyborg." Their own consciousness consists of organic, living brains interfaced with technology. Therefore, they are aware that carbon-based organisms -- specifically themselves -- are life forms. That's got nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not they assimilate other species. It's about their own nature as a part-biological species.
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Old September 20 2013, 05:37 AM   #10
Ketrick
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Christopher wrote: View Post
Ketrick wrote: View Post
However, the pre-FC Borg interest in assimilating life forms seemed more a means to gain the technology of life forms than as an end in itself like it began to seem (to me, at least) with the post-FC Borg. Also, assimilation didn't seem to be the pre-FC Borg's main goal in the same way assimilation seemed to be the post-FC Borg's goal.
Assimilation is beside the point. The point is that the Borg are themselves half-organic. They are humanoids with mechanical parts grafted on. Their name is short for "cyborg." Their own consciousness consists of organic, living brains interfaced with technology. Therefore, they are aware that carbon-based organisms -- specifically themselves -- are life forms. That's got nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not they assimilate other species. It's about their own nature as a part-biological species.
I disagree. The whole "carbon-based infestation are not life forms" idea of V'ger may not have had anything to do with the beliefs of the Machine Planet inhabitants. It may have been something V'ger itself came up with on its journey back. I mean it wouldn't necessarily be an illogical conclusion for V'ger to come to believe that only artificial life such as itself is real life. In fact, it would be quite logical. A simple malfunction in the assimilation process could explain why V'ger wouldn't accept the Borg as real life forms. Actually, V'ger would probably accept the cybernetic half of the Borg's nature. Of course, there's still the difference in V'ger's tech and the Borg's tech that would have to be explained. But, I don't really believe that V'ger was assimilated by the Borg, anyway. I just don't think the idea is as far-fetched as you do. Personally, I think it's more likely that the Borg, the Machine Planet, and V'ger could somehow be related but not necessarily directly connected.
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Old September 20 2013, 07:28 AM   #11
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Personally I hate the notion that V'ger has anything to do with the Borg. Always have.

Especially since V'ger had apparently achieved knowledge of 'the universe.' Which is beyond what the Borg have done, or at least been implied to have done.

"I am seeing images of planets, moons, stars, whole galaxies all stored in here, recorded. It could be a record of V'Ger's entire journey." - Spock.
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Old September 20 2013, 08:43 AM   #12
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

^Right. V'Ger is as advanced as it's possible for a consciousness to get without transcending this plane of existence altogether. It's immensely beyond the Borg.

And no, I don't buy the "Well, they could be" argument. That's just small-universe syndrome. Given the immensity of the cosmos, the odds that two similar entities -- or, in this case, two slightly sorta similar but mostly completely dissimilar entities -- are unrelated to each other vastly outweighs the odds that they are related to each other.

Besides, it's ethnocentric -- biocentric? -- to lump a cyborg race and a machine race into the same category. A machine race has no more in common with a cyborg race than an organic race does, because a cyborg race includes both aspects. So by that standard, any given humanoid species is at least as likely (meaning vanishingly unlikely) to be related to the Borg as V'Ger is. The only reason we see a similarity is because we lump them both into the category "not like us."
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Old September 20 2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

Where did that "V´Ger and the Borg are somehow connected"-notion originate anyway?

I´m not sure I remember this correctly...but was it brought up for the first time in a DVD commentary? Something Roddenberry said?
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Old September 20 2013, 02:46 PM   #14
Ketrick
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

FreddyE wrote: View Post
Where did that "V´Ger and the Borg are somehow connected"-notion originate anyway?

I´m not sure I remember this correctly...but was it brought up for the first time in a DVD commentary? Something Roddenberry said?
Roddenberry did make a comment about V'ger being the origin of the Borg. Though, his comment may have been a joke. I believe that's the origin of the idea, but it's possible the speculation may have started before he made the comment.
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Old September 20 2013, 02:50 PM   #15
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Re: Abrams' Alternate Reality/Shatnerverse similarities

FreddyE wrote: View Post
Where did that "V´Ger and the Borg are somehow connected"-notion originate anyway?
I'm sure plenty of people came up with the idea independently. Like I said, lots of fans try to find patterns or connections. It's human nature to look for underlying connections between things, and to manufacture imagined connections based on arbitrary similarity or coincidence. That's what leads us to see constellations in the sky or a man in the Moon or to concoct conspiracy theories about malevolent forces controlling our lives. It's what leads fans to want to see crossovers between Star Trek and Aliens or DC and Marvel.

V'Ger is Trek's biggest AI antagonist, and the Borg are Trek's biggest cyborg antagonist. So it's natural that a lot of people would lump them into adjacent mental cubbyholes, or into the same one, and thus be inclined to wonder if they're connected. Just as many fans have imagined that Trelane is a Q (even though his tricks were explicitly technological and the only similarity was attitude), or that Section 31 is behind every bad thing Starfleet ever did, or that Number One is related to Chapel or Lwaxana, or whatever. I once encountered an online fan who was absolutely convinced that the Prophets and the Q were one and the same, even though they have nothing in common besides falling into the enormously broad category of "powerful incorporeal beings."
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