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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old August 14 2013, 08:35 PM   #1
sariel2005
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IS the okuda timeline canon?

similar discussion occured in the TOS thread. I have been watching TNG a lot lately and IMO the book is a bit flawed with its dating ( which in fairness it seems to admit) anyone got any thoughts on how it is and isn't correct?
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Old August 14 2013, 08:38 PM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

Well given that ST is 47 years old some contradictions will have crept in. But it basically comes down to if it's not mentioned in a TV episode or film it conjecture.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:40 PM   #3
R. Star
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

The cookie cutter answer is that books are never canon, only what's on screen is. That said, I think everyone is mature enough to decide for themselves what they consider to be part of their Trek experience. Having never read the book, I can't comment on the dating, but it isn't as if the on screen stuff has never contradicted itself.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:50 PM   #4
Melakon
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

I have the 1993 edition of the Star Trek Chronology. They did try to make it as accurate as they could, with additional notes on how they arrived at conjectures. It's interesting looking at it 20 years later, and seeing how ENT was slipped into a short period of time where there are no previously established or estimated dates.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:58 PM   #5
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

This disclaimer on page viii sums it up:

We hope this chronology will make it easier for Star Trek writers to remain consistant with what's been established to date and for fans to keep track of Star Trek's elaborate back story. We do not, however, want this to intimidate our writer friends or to inhibit the imaginations of fans who may have differing interpretations of the Star Trek timeline. As such, we encourage both fans and writers to take this material with a grain of salt and to enjoy it in the spirit it was intended, as a fun way to explore the Star Trek universe.

As First Contact and Star Trek: Enterprise showed, writers were more than happy to rewrite the chronology and disregard the conjectural dates within. It's still a fun book and an excellent resource.
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Old August 14 2013, 09:15 PM   #6
R. Star
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

^
Can't word a disclaimer better than that.
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Old August 14 2013, 09:20 PM   #7
Gojira
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

The Star Trek Chronology and Encyclopedia are my two favorite Trek books to just pick up and browse.
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Old August 15 2013, 08:08 AM   #8
Lego Thrawn
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

For me it's the TNG Technical Manual... I love reading the few pages that detail the design and construction of the 1701-D.
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Old August 15 2013, 04:42 PM   #9
BillJ
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

I like the books put out in the mid-90's and use them as a baseline whenever I have questions about on-screen Trek produced in that era. But I know that any live-action writer will never be bound by them when working on a story.

Canon is fluid.
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Old August 19 2013, 04:17 PM   #10
Robert Comsol
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

Both Kirk and Khan, humans of Earth, stated audibly in ST II / TWOK that they hadn't seen each other for 15 years. (IIRC there was still another reference in the longer version of the film).

Unfortunately these "15 years" were not reflected in the "Okuda Timeline" so the time figures of Kirk's era became debatable and unreliable.

Bob
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Old August 19 2013, 04:59 PM   #11
Lance
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Both Kirk and Khan, humans of Earth, stated audibly in ST II / TWOK that they hadn't seen each other for 15 years. (IIRC there was still another reference in the longer version of the film).

Unfortunately these "15 years" were not reflected in the "Okuda Timeline" so the time figures of Kirk's era

Bob
Absolutely. This is by far the biggest credibility killer in the Chronology, but it isn't the only one.

As for the OP, I'd question whether the Okuda timeline was ever canon. AFAIC, the fact that the Okudas both worked on the production team was not proof that the Chronology was canon. The Okudas themselves more or less stated as such in the book (and the second edition was quite pleased to point out that First Contact flatly contradicted their own version of the first warp flight as theorized in the first edition), and with virtually every entry prefaced with the word 'Conjecture', I think it's fair to say that the 'canonicity of the Okuda timeline', if any, is up the individual reader.

I loved the Chronology and would welcome a third edition that covers the entire prime timeline now that it's more or less a closed book (for now). But I'd never have ever called it a "go to" text for canon.
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Old August 19 2013, 05:16 PM   #12
RandyS
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

I don't know (or care) about "cannon", but I enjoy the book, and use it for dating and other reference purposes simply because I know of no other source.
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Old August 19 2013, 05:43 PM   #13
Lance
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

^ I think in terms of being a resource it's an excellent text. But it carries no clear 'weight' (IMO) over anything else. The Okudas' "conjecture" is more or less the same as any one of us here on the TrekBBS coming up with elaborate explanations for events. In real terms unless it gets said on television then it didn't really happen.

I guess what I'm saying is the Chronology is basically just 'fanon' which has come to be accepted because there is no true alternative. You know, for monumental events in the mythology like the birthdates of major characters in TOS there is no canon information, so most of us accept the 'fanon' put forward by the likes of the Okudas as a viable alternative. The Okudas tended to solve this problem by (unless otherwise stated) assuming the character is simply the same age as the actor, but again it isnt a perfect solution by any means. It works, but it isn't elegant.
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Old August 19 2013, 06:00 PM   #14
Boris Skrbic
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

More like canon-in-waiting. We must be careful about contradicting its conjectures, because of Mike Okuda's easy access to the canon. On the other hand, Ron Moore says he asked Okuda if 2063 is OK for the date of First Contact, and MO reportedly didn't correct him with the conjectural 2061. Still, let's not forget that Orci canonized Okuda's 2233 and almost 2230 as well, so we're likely to see more in the future.
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Old August 19 2013, 06:06 PM   #15
Mysterion
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Re: IS the okuda timeline canon?

Boris wrote: View Post
More like canon-in-waiting. We must be careful about contradicting its conjectures, because of Mike Okuda's easy access to the canon. On the other hand, Ron Moore says he asked Okuda if 2063 is OK for the date of First Contact, and MO reportedly didn't correct him with the conjectural 2061.
2061 vs. 2063 for Cochrane's flight isn't too big a deal, IMO. There are a couple of things that have shifted a couple of years one way or the other since the Okudachron was published, and that was probably to be expected.

For the most part, the book seems to hold up as published. I don't agree with a couple of things, like the dating for TWoK vs. Space Seed. But there is more that is correct than not in the book, IMO.

Would love to see an updated version that includes ENT and the Trek movies we've seen since the last edition was published.

And to answer the OP: No. In fact the authors say as much in the book itself.
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