Barely-legible graphics canon?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Noddy, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    When it comes to information glimpsed briefly from a distance on things like display screens and the like on the various Trek shows, is what is written there considered canon?
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sure, why not? ;)


    I'll go with "Yes, unless contradicted elsewhere."
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I put them in the category of fun Easter eggs, nothing more.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That might get a bit tricky, particularly in TATV when Riker is looking over the computer file of one of his Pegasus crewmates. It actually says "I wonder if this can be read in HD? Need to come up with something long-winded to pad this out so it looks like an authentic computer file. Blah, blah, blah, blahdy-blah. Who the hell is this guy pictured anyway? Obviously someone Riker cares about..."
     
  5. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    That is the way I've always looked at it.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Canon" is not about individual details, but broad strokes. There are countless details in any long-running series that contradict each other, that are ignored by later installments, or that are simply mistakes. It's important not to forget that a canon is a work of fiction -- it's one author or a group of filmmakers and actors telling stories about an imaginary reality. The pretense is that there's a "real" world underlying it all, but the way the storytellers depict the details of that reality is subject to error, differences of interpretation, or changes of mind.

    Is it "canonical" that there's a giant rubber ducky somewhere inside the Enterprise-D, or that Yoyodyne Propulsion had a shop on the Promenade? You might as well ask if it's canonical that NCC-1701's nacelle struts blinked out of existence in that matte shot in one episode, or if it's canonical that Sylvia and Korob's true forms had wires puppeteering them, or if it's canonical that Saavik had extensive plastic surgery right after Spock's funeral, or whatever. Of course none of those are part of the imaginary underlying reality that we think of when we refer to the canon. They're part of the way that reality is interpreted by the creators of the fiction, and they can't be taken too literally. Think of it like how different comic-book artists draw the same character, or the way different actors play the same character. Different writers, directors, set designers, etc. also bring their own differences of interpretation to the work. When different people work on the same thing, there are bound to be inconsistencies in the details. But the audience is expected to suspend disbelief about the minor inconsistencies or errors and buy into the pretense that there's a consistent underlying reality. That's what canon is supposed to be -- a thing of the broad strokes, not the niggly details.

    So no, barely legible graphics are not "canon" any more than any other single detail is "canon." Canon is the overall aggregate that you see when you step back and look at the whole. An individual detail may be relevant to the whole or it may just be a joke, mistake, or inconsequential bit of scenery.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    What are you saying, that Buckaroo Banzai isn't a part of the Star Trek canon?:eek:
     
  8. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, like Starship Class.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given the number of references to "Yoyodyne" I would say that it safe to say they do in fact manufacture warp engines. Starships come to DS9 needing repairs in some episodes, it would make sense that there would be businesses to provide those services. Yoyodyne on the promenade? Sure.

    In the vampire series Angel, Yoyodyne was a client of the law firm of Wolfram and Hart.

    While there are some out and out goofy things in the graphics, my position is you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to the information presented on them, and the barely legible graphics are canon.

    :)
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    That seems like a sensible approach, especially if nobody involved ever intended them to be legible . . . .
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh yay... another canon debate. If you want it to be part of your Star Trek experience it is. If you don't, it's not. You really don't need anyone else to define your Trek experience for you.
     
  12. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A canon discussion.
     
  13. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Everything released to the public counts. All of it. Every episode, every movie, every comic, every novel. If the owner of Star Trek sees fit to put their stamp of approval on it then it counts.

    However, there are contradictions. How to handle those? Simple. Just watch Parallels. If an episode contradicts something that has been seen before then we're actually seeing Something from a very similar but different dimension.

    Gorn look different in Arena, IAMD and STIX? Different dimensions.

    Was Fermat's Last Theorem ever solved? The Royale says no yet Facets says yes. Different dimensions.

    Kirk's middle initial R or T? You get the drill.

    Don't let anyone tell you something doesn't fit or isn't canon or is wrong. It's all good.
     
  14. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If barely-legible graphics are canon, Jerry Maguire lived on DS9 ("Things Past").
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    It's all part of the canon. The real question should be, it is part of the continuity? :p

    As for the "stamp of approval". That can be removed on a whim. What's okay one day can be trash canned the next.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    :lol: Upon re-reading The Making of Star Trek I noticed that D.C. Fontana suggested to come up with names for the 12 ships of the "Starship Class".
    Bob Justman, in his subtle ways of a true gentleman, commented on the issue in a letter to Gene Roddenberry (Carbon Copy: D.C Fontana) and (added) "Enterprise Starship Class". The question is therefore whether "U.S.S. Enterprise - Starship Class" indicates in essence "Enterprise Starship Class" as the alternative would have been "U.S.S. Enterprise - Enterprise Starship Class". More in the current Trek Tech discussion regarding the Enterprise-A. ;)

    Bob
     
  17. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    Miranda class is canon, despite never being mentioned. And Archer was the UFP President and attended the opening ceremony of the first 1701 Enterprise, according to barely legible text.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The mistake is to use "canon" to mean "real and binding." The canon, however coherent or inclusive it may be, is still just a big elaborate story people told, so no part of it is any more "real" than a ghost story told around a campfire. It was invented, and so it can be reinvented, reinterpreted, retconned, or ignored.

    Any idea from a series canon may be useful for later storytellers to draw on if they so desire -- or it may be useful for them to ignore or contradict if that suits their needs better. But worrying about whether it's "real" is kind of pointless. It's part of the story, but stories can be adjusted and revised in ways that reality can't.
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That's not a mistake, it's a technique to ensure that subsequent ideas respect the intentions of those that came before in order to create a coherent vision. It's a framework to create something where the result is more than just the sum of its parts. Disrespect "canon" and you just end up with parts and fragments but not a bigger picture.

    So what are many of us doing here? Should we get lost?

    ...which is the classic excuse for anyone who is too lazy and/or lacks passion to do some accurate research, first, and/or is too incompetent to do so.
    Wait a minute, "canon" was "invented" for that? :wtf:

    And we have seen where this ends. Remember Dr. Carol Marcus from ST II, the ethical "I will not let harm come to a microbe?".
    In order to have a more dramatic and life-threatening setting the producers of ST III decided to have her have used "protomatter" for the Genesis Device. Oh wait, they shifted the blame to her son David, but as the supervisor of the Genesis Project, this made the Carol Marcus character look incompetent and stupid.

    "Improve" a story at the expense of absent actors and characters. :thumbdown: (wanted to use another finger but that Smilie was the only one available...)

    Hey, it's deja-vu. Didn't we have that debate already August last year? Looking forward to August 2014...

    Bob
     
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    The people who actually created Star Trek pretty much echo what Christopher said. They understood the medium they worked in and weren't above changing things, adding things and deleting things. In their minds none of it was written in stone. Hell most of them would probably laugh at the idea of "canon" and semi-religious "devotion" people have developed for it.