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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old February 4 2014, 05:24 AM   #1
PCz911
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Star fleet technical manual

Can someone explain the background on why franz Joseph 's technical manual isn't considered "canon"? Who decides such things? And why was this so labelled even though it was shown on the viewscreens of a few of the movies?
When I was a kid my parents got me this book and, in those Pre- Internet days, it was the most exciting thing just this side of the blueprints.
Just curious.
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Old February 4 2014, 05:46 AM   #2
Warped9
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

If you compare a lot of FJ's work, as nicely, done as it is, it doesn't match up with what we saw onscreen. He also speculated on a lot of things that were never seen onscreen and were subsequently ignored by later films and series.

For me the testament of FJ's work isn't so much what he did but how he did it and the scope of what he did.
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Old February 4 2014, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

PCz911 wrote: View Post
Can someone explain the background on why franz Joseph 's technical manual isn't considered "canon"? Who decides such things?
I'm not certain, but I suspect it may be these guys...





But seriously, I believe canon is just the official body of work, and for Trek, that is on-screen stuff only. However, something's "canoncity" (or whatever you want to call it) shouldn't have any impact on whether you enjoy that work or not.

(And I always find it enjoyable when the Trek novelists reference the Tech Manual in one of their stories! )
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Old February 4 2014, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

Material from the tech manual was also referenced in at least one of the early Bantam Books novels.
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Old February 4 2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

All the starships with sequential registry numbers except the two that were mentioned in various episodes? What are the odds that could be true?

The FJ work was somewhat useful as fan speculation but no more than that... it's certainly not canon, more like canon fodder.
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Old February 4 2014, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

The Blueprints and Manual were FJ's personal version of the Star Trek universe. They came along when I was 13 and I could not have loved them more.
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Old February 4 2014, 10:00 AM   #7
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

PCz911 wrote: View Post
Can someone explain the background on why franz Joseph 's technical manual isn't considered "canon"? Who decides such things? And why was this so labelled even though it was shown on the viewscreens of a few of the movies?
When I was a kid my parents got me this book and, in those Pre- Internet days, it was the most exciting thing just this side of the blueprints.
Just curious.
It's all covered in this interview with his daughter, Karen Dick: http://www.trekplace.com/fj-kdint01.html
A combination of legal issues (FJ had the right to the TM, not Paramount) and personal ones (a falling out between FJ and GR)

That both it and Shane Johnson's similarly ignored Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise were referenced in the new movies makes me a happy Trekkie.
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Old February 4 2014, 09:31 PM   #8
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
The Blueprints and Manual were FJ's personal version of the Star Trek universe. They came along when I was 13 and I could not have loved them more.
Agree. Me too.
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Old February 4 2014, 09:42 PM   #9
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

PCz911 wrote: View Post
Can someone explain the background on why franz Joseph 's technical manual isn't considered "canon"? Who decides such things?
Personally, I blame Vatican II. Honestly, couldn't they have just reverted to the Council of Chalcedon?
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Old February 5 2014, 12:11 AM   #10
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
I'm not certain, but I suspect it may be these guys...

The Nibblonian High Council? Why, that's adorable!
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Old February 5 2014, 12:53 AM   #11
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

As I understand it (through a third party who was in contact with former STAR TREK archivist and personal Roddenberry aide Richard Arnold), Franz Joseph's book and blueprints were never authorized by Gene Roddenberry, STAR TREK's creator and executive producer.

Franz Joesph Schnaubelt created the Tech Manual and blueprints in the mid-1970's, when TOS was out of production and the notion of a revival feature film was still in the future. At that time, TOS was gaining popularity in reruns but the future was still quite uncertain. I heard that, at some point, Paramount took over the rights to STAR TREK and authorized all kinds of stuff (including TAS?) that Roddenberry never approved of and never saw any money from. So Roddenberry re-asserted himself during TNG by "de-canonizing" lots of things. (I heard that Mr. Arnold's terminology, as of the late 1980s and early 1990s, for "canon" was "Star Trek fact".)

This de-canonization was institutionalized by Mr. Roddenberry (through Mr. Arnold) during the early years of TNG. As an example, this is (apparently) part of the reason the Warp 10 = Infinite Velocity rule was introduced; Roddenberry wanted to assert himself and to issue a blanket denial of double-digit warp factors.

Regarding the use of Tech Manual/blueprint imagery and background subspace radio chatter being derived from same, my contact never questioned Mr. Arnold about this. (This was still years before the internet was to be introduced into millions of homes; so real-time discussions like this were still a long way from taking on the scope and depth we all take for granted today.)

The man-handling of the FJ materials and the Warp 10 rule alone should make it clear that Mr. Roddenberry's decision-making process was more about politics and less about the consistency and harmony of the material itself. One thing is clear, though: to this day, FJ's works are not officially considered canon.
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Old February 5 2014, 02:27 AM   #12
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

From what I understand Richard Arnold isn't someone I'd put much credibility in what he says.
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Old February 5 2014, 02:58 AM   #13
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

^ Maybe not, but that was Mr. Arnold's position right up until Mr. Roddenberry's passing.
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Old February 5 2014, 03:27 AM   #14
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

Arnold was the one who claimed GR said TAS wasn't canon and there's no evidence GR made any such claim.

GR signed off on FJ's blueprints and so in extent (as far as I'm concerned) the tech manual. And elements of the tech manual and blueprints made it into the films.

That said, to me, that only says those things referenced onscreen could be considered canon while not necessarily the rest of the work. This would happen again later in the spin-off series making references to TAS.
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Old February 5 2014, 07:03 AM   #15
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Re: Star fleet technical manual

Weren't some of FJ's drawings shown on some of the bridge monitors in the first few movies? And, if I recall, some of the scout ships were called out in the first movie as some background "buzz"? So, if shown on screen they become canon?
I loved this as a kid. From the comments above it seems a pity that politics jumped into the situation.
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