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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old January 14 2014, 07:58 AM   #1
BobtheGunslinge
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What is your Personal Canon?

We all have some movies or episodes we wish didn't exist. Sometimes, there are single aspects of otherwise great series that we could do without. With the new reboot and the Trek Lit dueling timelines version of canon, Star Trek is a very easy series in which to have a canon cafeteria, where one can take what one likes and leave the rest. Do you have a preferred Personal Canon? If so, what is in it? What makes you keep what is in your Personal Canon? Or what do you throw out and why?



For my own version of canon, I tend to be a bit OCD about inclusiveness, yet I'm a natural born hater, so I have probably put a sad amount of time into thinking about this.

For the TV shows, I tend to think of TOS as its own series when I'm in a TOS mood, or as an 'inspired by real events' fictionalized history when I'm in a TNG mood, which is more often the case. I also consider Voyager to be highly embellished so I can keep some of the elements I like such as the ship itself and the EMH, possibly a few episodes not about the Borg. Enterprise either never happened or it's in the altered Abrams timeline (which is fun but not 'real' Star Trek for me, either), barring a few elements that carry over into some of the novel I might include in my canon. TNG and DS9 are pretty much what I consider to be the real and best Star Trek (unless I'm in a TOS mood), and I consider 95% of them to be canon for me, except for some of the really stupid stuff and first season episodes.

For the movies, 5 is a dream, Insurrection is a poorly-written propaganda piece by Pakled dissidents (or something...it's just so bad) and Nemesis is just a starship fight. For me, Data is still alive, Kirk never met Picard, the Borg Queen is not as portrayed, the Baku planet doesn't exist, and Remans are just a race of Romulan...if they exist.

For the novels, I tend to include a lot of them that don't involve the TV show characters during the run of the shows. SCE is in. Vendetta, not so much.
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Old January 14 2014, 08:07 AM   #2
teacake
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

I'm a canon literalist, if it's on screen it's canon. I like trying to fit in the glitches with in world explanations.

I have yet to fail. CANON BABY.
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Old January 14 2014, 08:34 AM   #3
Cookies and Cake
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

I hate to be that guy, but I'm going to be that guy. A clear discussion really can't occur without someone being that guy. Best to get it over with.

What the OP is talking about is continuity, not canon.

Every aired episode and theatrically released film is canon. Also canon is the first pilot. Both original and remastered visual effects are canon. Arguably, different official edits of films, especially such as TMP, are also all canon.

What episodes and which versions go into personal continuity is the real question. I get even more fine-grained than that!

I'm not going to give an exhaustive answer to the question, because that would take too long. In the broad strokes, every episode, including all of TAS, is in my personal continuity. In most cases, the original effects and edits are the ones that I prefer. However, where there are conflicts in the details, that's when there are issues that require decisions to be made. Although I admit the broad strokes, I don't admit all the details into personal continuity, because that leads to contradictions, although I'm often willing to leave things ambiguous. The same thing can be said for exceedingly dumb episodes such as "Spock's Brain": the broad strokes are generally OK, but in the details things can get quite stupid.

Just as one example, "A Taste of Armageddon" is a great TOS episode, but it has an internal conflict with respect to just how people manage to beam down with the shields up or without the Enterprise getting destroyed. I have no preferred way of resolving the conflict, although I know it exists. Something canonical in the episode can't be held to literal truth in my personal continuity, but push hasn't come to shove, so I don't really know (or care) what it is. There are numerous such examples throughout Star Trek canon.

As a second example, in the "Court Martial" in my personal continuity, Kirk doesn't really say, "By installing a booster, we can increase that capability on the order of one to the fourth power." That's mathematical nonsense which means that there is no increase in capability at all. I don't know what he says in personal continuity, but it's not that. He says something that actually means that the capability is increased by some impressive amount, that is sufficient to achieve the effect that they require.
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Old January 14 2014, 08:48 AM   #4
teacake
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I hate to be that guy, but I'm going to be that guy. A clear discussion really can't occur without someone being that guy. Best to get it over with.

What the OP is talking about is continuity, not canon.
But.. I love that guy!

You have saved ST:V
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Old January 14 2014, 09:07 AM   #5
SantaSpock
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

I don't see how TNG and DS9 are so much better or realistic than the rest of Trek when the fantastic elements such as Transporters, Warp Drive, Universal Translators, Aliens, Artificial Gravity, Hybrids Aliens etc are common to all series.

I don't see how the Crystalline Entity, the raised foreheads, the Prophets, the holodeck, betazoid telepathy, travelling between galaxies (with the Traveller), 24th century Klingons, the Q are any more realistic than elements in TOS or VOY or ENT even. I admit VOY used a lot of technobabble and dubious science but it was Geordi who invented technobabble.

I'm afraid everything on screen (including TAS) is canon to me. Like teacake I'm a slave to the rules.
I would like to remove GEN, "That Which Survives", "The Cloud Minders", "Spock's Brain" but they exist so I'll just ignore them.
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Old January 14 2014, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

Canon in D.
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Old January 14 2014, 09:40 AM   #7
bountifulboxesjeg
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

I like to include some of the video games personally. Several used writers and voice actors from the show and they purposely fit them within the continuity (I think Voyager referenced to a video game once and DS9 featured ships that were in games first IIRC).

Anyone remember Star Trek: Borg?

http://youtu.be/UjQJKfG_p2o
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Old January 14 2014, 09:53 AM   #8
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

I don't have a personal canon.

If I had, it probably were a Smith & Wesson.
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Old January 14 2014, 09:56 AM   #9
bountifulboxesjeg
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

A computer screen is a screen, am I right?

Last edited by bountifulboxesjeg; January 14 2014 at 11:12 AM.
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Old January 14 2014, 10:23 AM   #10
Captain Rob
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
I don't have a personal canon.

If I had, it probably were a Smith & Wesson.
When I saw the thread title I thought "My personal canon is my two 9 MM semi-automatic pistols. However, I resist shooting them 'Tomb Raider' style."

I tend to go along with the "Everything seen on screen or in theatres" line. Except there may have been errors in transmission or editing to account for some issues. We can't see everything that happens aboard a starship. Now if we had a series like Star Trek 24. Where we see everything in real time.
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Old January 14 2014, 11:21 AM   #11
F. King Daniel
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

Everything in VERY broad strokes, varying a lot depending on what I'm watching or reading at the time. It kind of amuses me when fans consider the spin-off series' to be the "true" Star Trek and not the original - and then complain that the new films, based on that original, are inconsistent with the version of the universe that we saw in their favourite spin-off.

It's something I love about Trek, how the additions and changes made in new iterations alter our perceptions of the old. It's fiction and it's meant to be fun, but too often fandom gets lost in "Nooooo, that's not like my preconception!"
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Old January 14 2014, 11:27 AM   #12
bountifulboxesjeg
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

Personally, I put NuTrek in the same ballpark as the Mirror Universe. Part of the Prime timeline in their way.
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Old January 14 2014, 11:29 AM   #13
Botany Bay
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

No ENT
Capt. April and NCC1701
Capt. Pike commands for about 10yrs
Kirk 5YM inc. TAS
Kirk promoted to Admiral
TMP then another 5YM
Enterprise becomes training vessel and TWOK thru TUC. Many years between TFF and TUC.
No GENERATIONS, TOS crew retire.
TNG seasons 1-7, DS9 and VOY but no TNG films except FC.
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Old January 14 2014, 11:33 AM   #14
C.E. Evans
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I hate to be that guy, but I'm going to be that guy. A clear discussion really can't occur without someone being that guy. Best to get it over with.

What the OP is talking about is continuity, not canon.

Every aired episode and theatrically released film is canon.
In a nutshell. Canon exists mostly for licensing and merchandising purposes.

As far as personal continuity goes, though, I simply go with all the TV shows and movies.
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Old January 14 2014, 11:58 AM   #15
USS Triumphant
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Re: What is your Personal Canon?

All of filmed Trek, except anything that contradicts Diane Duane's Vulcan/Romulan novels, which I take as a higher authority. Also, "Threshold" was the result of Q messing with the Voyager crew, and "Spock's Brain" was a tall tale being told by McCoy or Kirk as a joke, probably to someone while they were on shore leave in a bar somewhere.

I consider material from the other novels, and from the games, to be correct unless or until flatly contradicted by something shown on screen.

My continuity tracks run from TOS - VOY, and then from the events of FC up through ENT and on to the new movies. Until proven otherwise, I consider FC to be the point of divergence between the two timelines.
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