RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,066
Posts: 5,397,812
Members: 24,732
Currently online: 523
Newest member: phurren

TrekToday headlines

Two New Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Trek Actor Wins Emmy
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Trek Retro Watches
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

New DS9 eBook To Debut
By: T'Bonz on Aug 25

Trek Ice Cube Maker and Shot Glasses
By: T'Bonz on Aug 25

City on the Edge of Forever #3 Preview
By: T'Bonz on Aug 25

TV Alert: Shatner TNG Documentary
By: T'Bonz on Aug 25

Forbes Cast In Powers
By: T'Bonz on Aug 22

Dorn To Voice Firefly Character
By: T'Bonz on Aug 22

No ALS Ice Bucket For Saldana
By: T'Bonz on Aug 22


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 14 2012, 02:32 PM   #1
King Daniel Into Darkness
Admiral
 
King Daniel Into Darkness's Avatar
 
Location: England again
Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Star Trek not only recast the famous characters from The Original Series, but it essentially recast the look of Trek's 23rd century as well. The uniforms, the ships, the control consoles, phasers and other props, even the San Fransisco skyline, have been changed.

This isn't the first time Star Trek has done this - The Motion Picture handwaved an Enterprise refit while changing everything, and Star Trek: Enterprise was set a century prior to TOS. STXI's handwave is "alternate reality branching off in 2233", and although that covers changes in the story and some details, it's no more an excuse for the scope of visual changes than TMP's refit (an Enterprise refit of course explains the difference in Klingons between TOS and TMP!)

In my opinion, if a Gorn is "really" a fearsome and intelligent lizard monster when it's blatantly a man in a bad rubber suit, and if Chris Pine and William Shatner can both be James T. Kirk, then the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 is an advanced futuristic starship, whether it looks to us as it did in 1966 or 1979 or 2009. The exactitudes of it's design are irrelevent.

In other words, Trek's visual/technical continuity is mallable, and can be changed as easily as an actor is replaced. "It looks different/too advanced/It's all wrong" and similar arguments are as meaningless as complaints about the colour of Saavik's or Kirk's eyes. As long as the basics remain the same, the details doesn't matter.

Anyone agree?
__________________
Star Trek Imponderables, fun mashups of Trek's biggest continuity errors! Ep1, Ep2 and Ep3
King Daniel Into Darkness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14 2012, 03:17 PM   #2
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Not really. Go the comic book route with the multiple universes. TOS already established at least three universes where at least one of them you can alter the timeline without forcing a quantum-universe type branch. TNG adds even more alternate universes so with XI it's kinda old hat.

Now as Homer Simpson and Jack O'Neil would say, "Close enough."
blssdwlf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14 2012, 03:50 PM   #3
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

I agree completely with KingDaniel. It's silly to pretend that what we're seeing on the TV or movie screen is an exact, literal depiction of an actual future. All Trek productions are simulations of a hypothetical future made with present-day technology, executed by different creators and designers, etc. And so they're all going to differ in how they interpret that imaginary reality. Differences in set and technology design are no more "real" in universe than the change in Saavik's or Tora Ziyal's appearance and personality in consecutive appearances. They're just different artists' interpretations of the same conjectural thing.

Gene Roddenberry himself would have been the first to agree with this. In his preface to his ST:TMP novelization, he took on the voice of a 23rd-century producer who'd dramatized the "real" adventures of Kirk and crew, and he apologized for the exaggerations and inaccuracies in his fictionalized account. When Trek fans asked him why the Klingons had changed appearance in TMP, he told them that the Klingons had always looked that way, and TOS simply hadn't been able to depict them accurately. He never would've wanted the fans to take every last detail as immutable gospel. He wanted them to accept that what was onscreen was just the best approximation the producers had been able to manage, and was glad for the opportunity to replace an earlier, cruder approximation with a more sophisticated one.

If Roddenberry himself were still alive, if he had been the one in charge of rebooting TOS, he would've been just as open to a wholesale redesign of the sets, costumes, technology, etc. as J. J. Abrams was -- and he wouldn't have bothered to try to rationalize it as an alternate timeline, but would've just straight up changed things and told the fans "This is a truer version than what you saw before, so deal with it." In fact, that's essentially what he did in TMP -- made wholesale design changes without explanation and didn't feel he needed to justify why a big-budget tentpole motion picture had more elaborate sets, costumes, and makeup designs than a low-budget '60s TV series. As a producer, he was no doubt constantly frustrated by the budgetary, technological, and logistical limitations that forced him to make compromises in his depiction of the future in TOS. He didn't worship every button and light as immutable truth the way many modern Trek-tech fans do; he settled for them as the best he could manage with the limited time and money and technology at his disposal. And when he had better resources, he gladly started from scratch and came up with something that he felt came closer to what he'd wanted in the first place.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog

Last edited by Christopher; November 14 2012 at 06:11 PM.
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14 2012, 04:10 PM   #4
marksound
Fleet Captain
 
Location: Planet Carcazed
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Christopher wrote: View Post
I agree completely with KingDaniel. It's silly to pretend that what we're seeing on the TV or movie screen is an exact, literal depiction of an actual future. All Trek productions are simulations of a hypothetical future made with present-day technology, executed by different creators and designers, etc. And so they're all going to differ in how they interpret that imaginary reality. Differences in set and technology design are no more "real" in universe than the change in Saavik's or Tora Ziyal's appearance and personality in consecutive appearances. They're just different artists' interpretations of the same conjectural thing.

Gene Roddenberry himself would have been the first to agree with this. In his preface to his ST:TMP novelization, he took on the voice of a 23rd-century producer who'd dramatized the "real" adventures of Kirk and crew, and he apologized for the exaggerations and inaccuracies in his fictionalized account. When Trek fans asked him why the Klingons had changed appearance in TMP, he told them that the Klingons had always looked that way, and TOS simply hadn't been able to depict them accurately. He never would've wanted the fans to take every last detail as immutable gospel. He wanted them to accept that what was onscreen was just the best approximation the producers had been able to manage, and was glad for the opportunity to replace an earlier, cruder approximation with a more sophisticated one.

If Roddenberry himself were still alive, if he had been the one in charge of rebooting TOS, he would've been just as open to a wholesale redesign of the sets, costumes, technology, etc. as J. J. Abrams was -- and he wouldn't have bothered to try to rationalize it as an alternate timeline, but would've just straight up changed things and told the fans "This is a truer version than what you saw before, so deal with it." In fact, that's essentially what he did in TMP -- made wholesale design changes without explanation and didn't feel he needed to justify why a big-budget tentpole motion picture had more elaborate sets, costumes, and makeup designs than a low-budget '60s TV series. As a producer, he was no doubt constantly frustrated by the budgetary, technological, and logistical limitations that forced him to make compromises in his depiction of the future in TOS. He didn't worship every button and light as immutable truth the way modern Trek-tech fans do; he settled for them as the best he could manage with the limited time and money and technology at his disposal. And when he had better resources, he gladly started from scratch and came up with something that he felt came closer to what he'd wanted in the first place.
That's the way I've always looked at it.
marksound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14 2012, 08:52 PM   #5
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Sure, that is one way to view it from the technical side.

OTOH, I just like to know Kirk's fate, whether he died in "Generations", or lived to an old age in "Relics" or got resurrected in the novels or whatever new fate has in store for him in Abrams-verse.

Huh, that was pretty easy to use a new universe. Cool

Then again, I just treat them as different Kirks. If Roddenberry were alive, I suspect he'd monetize it as alternate universe and one-shot stories like how they do Superman. The Golden, Silver ages, All Star Superman, DCAU Superman, Live Action Superman....
blssdwlf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14 2012, 09:11 PM   #6
Patrickivan
Fleet Captain
 
Patrickivan's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

TMP was a soft restart to the series- not a re-imagining as JJ put his version. TMP and after continued an existing story line while making visual changes, explaining some, ignoring the reason in others (in the story- not reality).

To actually compare new trek to the rest is really not realistic. It is new. Elements taken from what JJ wanted, good and bad, plus adding new stuff, both good and bad. But they aren't the same. All he's done is rip off ideas, and characters.

NOW- before some of you go ape shit on me here, I am a fan of both the original universe and NEW. I really love it (except for the shit new enterprise design- just a horrible mash of crap) but I can seperate the two universes comfortably and not try to compare one to the other in order to JUSTIFY the changes. It's just what it is.

Plus this thread should be under general Trek discussion since it isn't tech and it transcends both new and old Trek.
__________________
http://patrickivan.wordpress.com/page/2/

40 Years and ticking. Damn, that's too old fashioned.
40 years and still processing!
Patrickivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14 2012, 11:17 PM   #7
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
TMP was a soft restart to the series- not a re-imagining as JJ put his version.
That's true -- but TNG, as Roddenberry saw it, was somewhere in between. Later producers married the TNG era more tightly to TOS/TAS continuity, but if Roddenberry had stayed in charge, it probably would've continued to disregard or diverge from TOS canon. And if, somehow, he were alive and fit today and asked to reinvent the original series with new actors and a new continuity, I really don't think he'd have a problem with that.

I think that as a rule, the creator of a given fictional universe will be less reluctant to see it changed or reimagined than its fans will. After all, the fans look back on the shows and movies they love and don't want to change a thing -- but when creators look back on our older creations, all we see are the flaws and the things we think we could do better now.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 15 2012, 09:06 PM   #8
Patrickivan
Fleet Captain
 
Patrickivan's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Christopher wrote: View Post
Patrickivan wrote: View Post
TMP was a soft restart to the series- not a re-imagining as JJ put his version.
That's true -- but TNG, as Roddenberry saw it, was somewhere in between. Later producers married the TNG era more tightly to TOS/TAS continuity, but if Roddenberry had stayed in charge, it probably would've continued to disregard or diverge from TOS canon. And if, somehow, he were alive and fit today and asked to reinvent the original series with new actors and a new continuity, I really don't think he'd have a problem with that.

I think that as a rule, the creator of a given fictional universe will be less reluctant to see it changed or reimagined than its fans will. After all, the fans look back on the shows and movies they love and don't want to change a thing -- but when creators look back on our older creations, all we see are the flaws and the things we think we could do better now.
Maybe he would have- or just created a new batch of characters in the same period- who knows? Changes would have been there without doubt. Continuity- maybe- maybe not. Again- who knows?

I don't disagree with creators of artistic works seeing ways to improve or add on to things as times and technologies change, but don't you find it interesting that it's more typical of a writer to make changes to past works (eg add things like King), while visual artists who use static mediums like paintings, while typically never satisfied, rarely will go back and change something? That and painters are finicky... I'm not saying that is an absolute, but it just seems to be more prominant.

Is it just easier as a writer to make those changes, or is there that thing in your head that is never truly happy with something? And I don't mean that as a negative, or an attack to writers. It's just more of an observation and a thought.

On the other hand, maybe it's the medium that makes it easier.
__________________
http://patrickivan.wordpress.com/page/2/

40 Years and ticking. Damn, that's too old fashioned.
40 years and still processing!
Patrickivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 15 2012, 09:59 PM   #9
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Patrickivan wrote: View Post
I don't disagree with creators of artistic works seeing ways to improve or add on to things as times and technologies change, but don't you find it interesting that it's more typical of a writer to make changes to past works (eg add things like King), while visual artists who use static mediums like paintings, while typically never satisfied, rarely will go back and change something? That and painters are finicky... I'm not saying that is an absolute, but it just seems to be more prominant.
Are you sure that's the case, though? I don't follow art much, but I have the impression there are at least some instances of an artist doing multiple versions of a given painting or sculpture, or making replicas of an earlier work. I imagine an art historian or expert could speak to whether they modified their brushstrokes, the details of the work, and so on.

After all, when writers go back and rewrite a novel or story, they're creating a new edition of the work, just like a painter or sculptor who creates a replica of the original. So it wouldn't be analogous to going back to the original portrait and painting over it, say. Even what George Lucas did with the Star Wars films is making a new, distinct edition, although he's tried to suppress the earlier editions.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16 2012, 05:31 PM   #10
Anduril
Captain
 
Anduril's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

I can understand where KingDaniel is coming from. I think of it in terms of "focus" for a lack of a better word. What did it for me was the long shot of the Narada and the Kelvin right before the battle starts. From that distance, it easily looks like a ship from the prime universe. We just get to see more detail than before; it was always there.
__________________
The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind. -- H.P. Lovecraft
Anduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17 2012, 06:58 AM   #11
Utopianvista
Fleet Captain
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Christopher wrote: View Post
Patrickivan wrote: View Post
TMP was a soft restart to the series- not a re-imagining as JJ put his version.
That's true -- but TNG, as Roddenberry saw it, was somewhere in between. Later producers married the TNG era more tightly to TOS/TAS continuity, but if Roddenberry had stayed in charge, it probably would've continued to disregard or diverge from TOS canon. And if, somehow, he were alive and fit today and asked to reinvent the original series with new actors and a new continuity, I really don't think he'd have a problem with that.
TNG's second episode was a direct reference to TOS. The first episode featured a direct cameo from TOS! TNG, when Roddenberry was at the helm, didn't diverge from TOS canon. (Unless you count the fan works and TAS.) If anything that just showed Roddenberry was more controlling about his work. You're projecting your own beliefs onto what you want to believe at this point.

For example, I don't know how you can say "I really don't think he'd have a problem" considering Roddenberry had a problem with a lot of modern Trek. He had major issues with Star Trek VI which was probably the last Trek thing he saw. You think he is going to enjoy seeing James Kirk the disrespectful annoying frat boy? There was absolutely nothing Utopian about the Abrams farce.
__________________
I'd rather watch Star Trek: V and Nemesis a thousand times than be subjected to Abrams Trek again.
Utopianvista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17 2012, 08:16 AM   #12
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Utopianvista wrote: View Post
TNG's second episode was a direct reference to TOS. The first episode featured a direct cameo from TOS! TNG, when Roddenberry was at the helm, didn't diverge from TOS canon. (Unless you count the fan works and TAS.) If anything that just showed Roddenberry was more controlling about his work. You're projecting your own beliefs onto what you want to believe at this point.
No, I'm repeating what's been reported by someone who actually knew Roddenberry at the time -- I believe it was Paula Block, formerly the Paramount licensing executive in charge of tie-ins. She revealed a few years back that Roddenberry considered much of TOS itself to be apocryphal. And that's the key word: much. I never said he rejected all of it. My whole point is that there are more ways of approaching continuity than absolute consistency or a wholesale restart. The tendency of fans these days to reduce it to those two extremes is ignoring a lot of alternatives. There are countless works of series fiction that selectively ignore or reinterpret aspects of their earlier continuity -- like the way it was explicitly 1962 when the 15-year-old Peter Parker got spider powers, yet he was in college when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out in 1979, and is still presented as being in his mid-20s today in 2012. Marvel and DC have routinely kept parts of their history while ignoring others. Many other works of series fiction have done the same. We know for a fact that Roddenberry wanted fans to accept that TOS had been an imperfect approximation of the Trek universe and that TMP superseded it on matters like the Klingons' appearance.

And that's the point. Fidelity to a fictional universe's continuity isn't about treating every last detail as unalterable gospel. The details are a matter of interpretation and they can be changed. What really matters is the core of the story and the characters. You can acknowledge that a previous event happened, but change the details or depiction of how it happened.


For example, I don't know how you can say "I really don't think he'd have a problem" considering Roddenberry had a problem with a lot of modern Trek.
You didn't read what I actually wrote. Roddenberry had a problem with the Trek that he didn't make, sure. But what I actually said was that if Roddenberry himself were the one to do it, if he were alive and well and personally given the task of producing a new Trek movie with a new cast, he would've been just as willing as Abrams to redesign the sets and costumes and special effects and props, just as willing to alter details of continuity to suit the new story, just as willing to recast the characters. Because those are just things that filmmakers do. He didn't consider every detail of ST as holy writ the way some obsessive fans do. They were just the best his team could cobble together with the time, budget, and resources they had. Given the chance to replace them with fancier, more modern designs, he wouldn't hesitate. And he wouldn't have felt the need to explain the "continuity change," because the only continuity that actually mattered was the stories, not the set design.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17 2012, 11:13 AM   #13
Dick Whitman
Fleet Captain
 
Location: Behind the mask of Donald Draper
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

It always amazes me how a significant segment of fandom expects a huge level of consistency in details. Visual details, facts, etc. They notice the perceived inconsistencies in new productions. Which shows they have an eye or ear for details. But if that is true, why are they so dismissive or ignoring of older inconsistencies?

As its been pointed out there have always been changes in design and detail with no explanation at all. I think for some people there is a point when they go from just excepting what is happening warts and all. Than change to really analyzing everything new that they would not have in the past. Most likely its age. Like how as kid there is a certain magic and wonder to things. But as we get older we become more aware of how things happen and that leads to cynicism. But often we see the past through rose colored glasses.
Dick Whitman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17 2012, 11:47 AM   #14
King Daniel Into Darkness
Admiral
 
King Daniel Into Darkness's Avatar
 
Location: England again
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Utopianvista wrote: View Post
TNG's second episode was a direct reference to TOS. The first episode featured a direct cameo from TOS! TNG, when Roddenberry was at the helm, didn't diverge from TOS canon. (Unless you count the fan works and TAS.) If anything that just showed Roddenberry was more controlling about his work. You're projecting your own beliefs onto what you want to believe at this point.
You may want to read Wikipedia's page on Star Trek canon, with revealing quotes from Gene Rodenberry, Richard Arnold and the ones Christopher mentioned by Paula Block: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_canon
For example, I don't know how you can say "I really don't think he'd have a problem" considering Roddenberry had a problem with a lot of modern Trek. He had major issues with Star Trek VI which was probably the last Trek thing he saw. You think he is going to enjoy seeing James Kirk the disrespectful annoying frat boy? There was absolutely nothing Utopian about the Abrams farce.
Rodenberry disiked the racism displayed in STVI, believing his future-humans were evolved beyond such things (more revisionism, since we saw racism quite blatantly in "Balance of Terror"). The only racism in STXI was from the Vulcans - and stems from scenarios described or shown in TOS/TAS.

Gene Rodenberry summed up his utopian Trek future to Jonathan Frakes as "a world where there is no hunger, no poverty and every child knows how to read" - which sounds perfectly consistant with JJ Abrams' version of Trek to me.
__________________
Star Trek Imponderables, fun mashups of Trek's biggest continuity errors! Ep1, Ep2 and Ep3
King Daniel Into Darkness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17 2012, 03:47 PM   #15
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Christopher wrote: View Post
There are countless works of series fiction that selectively ignore or reinterpret aspects of their earlier continuity -- like the way it was explicitly 1962 when the 15-year-old Peter Parker got spider powers, yet he was in college when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out in 1979, and is still presented as being in his mid-20s today in 2012. Marvel and DC have routinely kept parts of their history while ignoring others.
Which Marvel and DC spun off and expanded as Multiverses acknowledging and making money off of the differences.
blssdwlf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.