Connie - TOS canon nomenclature

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Wingsley, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Since Scotty says "journals" not "manuals" I would assume he is looking at new information about the phasers.

     
  2. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    My brother had a '68 Mustang convertible; it was about my favorite car ever. :)
     
  3. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This would assume that the phasers would be for an upgrade to the Constitution-class. Such a thing would be useful to an engineer on a Constitution-class starship, since he could later use that knowledge to tinker with his own ship's phasers when the captain wants more power.

    That or is was a specification for what would be the ship's refit in a half dozen years.
     
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, it was the one certain fan's interpretation of "canon" that was found to be anywhere from two-thirds to one third acceptable, depending on who was posting at the time.
    But you're right to correct me in that there is a little consensus - everyone considers the onscreen stuff to be OK. Phew! :whistle:

    I'm not quoting the whole passage due to the size, but I did want to add my appreciation for you bringing this sort of real world comparison with which to mirror the lifespan and developments of the E. It adds yet another level of depth to the old girl (as if more were needed!)
     
  5. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    :rommie::techman:
     
  6. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But that doesn't matter, because we as fans (either individually or in a group) do not set the Trek canon and never have. As I stated before, the ones who set the canon are the ones who currently are in charge of Trek, and the ones currently in charge have decreed that only what's shown on screen is canon. Period, end of debate. No amount of "first come, first served" nonsense or slavish devotion to what "the original creators intended" and which is printed in some old books has any bearing on this, despite what some people would like to believe.

    If CBS said tomorrow that Star Trek: Enterprise was no longer a part of canon Trek, guess what? It's not. And if they suddenly decreed that IDW's comics are canon, then guess what? They are. And if five years from now CBS decided to sell the rights to Trek to Netflix, Netflix can now say what they consider to be canon. It's not up to us.
     
  7. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    If that doesn't matter, then what has been going on for the last 13 pages? Or indeed, why does the TrekBBS exist. Clearly opinions matter, and different fans will have different interpretations of the canon material. But you'll get no argument from me on the basics:

    does not allow for statements like
    where everything onscreen exists whether we like it or not!
    The fun (or at least it should be fun) is working out how to reconcile the irreconcilable. It doesn't change the source material, but can lead to a wider understanding of it, to discover and appreciate different points of view. All it takes is a level of self awareness to realise that "my way is not the only way".
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Spoken like a true moderator. :techman:

    (should there ever be a vacancy and Mytran's name would show up on a vote list, I know whom I would give my vote).

    I think it's fair to say that we've gotten to the point and to bottom of the issue - which is about the proper methodology to determine canon. Since I’m not aware of a doctrine set in the rules of the Trek BBS, we are obviously debating the advantages and disadvantages of two competing methods. Certainly we can agree to disagree, but to mock one on behalf of the other and being vocal about it, still doesn’t mean it’s written in stone or has an objective and neutral authority – it then remains an issue of personal preference and/or belief.

    I apologize for my allusions to the Dark Ages and the Spanish Inquisition, because I assume the vocal fans here are enlighted beings but this still doesn’t authorize them to play and re-enact Comité de salut public.

    I’ll reply to the criticism of the methodology approach I presented yesterday:

    1. Accepting the onscreen information (in pictures and dialogue) and the conclusions we can draw from these.

    Apparently, Dennis never heard of ratiocination. Of course we can draw unbiased conclusions from the onscreen information available to us (which is one of the things I personally find most interesting in terms of treknological research and which is obviously the thing that gets me into trouble).

    “I've been reading up on starships, but they have one luxury not mentioned in the manuals.”
    Khan could have also said “I’ve read more than one starship manual”.
    It follows that one of these obviously contains a Constitution Starship Class LR (long-range?) phaser schematic.


    But which of these is the starship manual for the Enterprise? This remains inconclusive and that’s a fact. So we are looking at a couple of interpretations:
    • He did study a phaser schematic of the Enterprise (in the Enterprise’s and not the other starship’s manual)
    • He did study the phaser schematic of a previous starship class, to better understand the evolution (and working principle of this weapon)
    • He did study the phaser schematic of a different starship class to prepare himself what firepower he might be up against after his seizure of the Enterprise.
    Unless you decide to make this a question of preference and personal belief, in this particular case we can turn to the original sources and will read in The Making of Star Trek, published after the phaser schematic’s appearance (changed premise by the original creators?) “Enterprise [Starship] Class” mentioned twice in the book.
    Add to this that the Enterprise’s creator Matt Jefferies stated in an interview several decades later that the Enterprise was the first bird and the first in the construction series.

    And the conclusion can we draw from that…

    2. If in doubt regarding the proper conclusion, look up publically accessible materials from the original creators to determine their intentions in the particular context unless revised by their own premise change.

    …is that it is irrelevant? :wtf:

    So the minutiae from the creators that made it onto the screen is “canon” but the reasons and intentions behind it (i.e. the context) is considered non-existent, redundant and not worthy of examination? :rofl:

    Sorry, this is irrational, illogical and just plain absurd. :crazy:

    If we don’t have the necessary background information the theory that explains the apparent discrepancies best, is probably the one closest to the fictional "truth" (which doesn’t stop us from arguing which theory does it best).

    But if we do have background information to settle a debate, I’m unable to understand how anyone could seriously suggest that we should ignore it.

    “Ignorance is bliss” or what? If that's what's on your mind go ahead and take a couple more of those blue pills and believe whatever you want.

    3. Premise change by third / later parties should be solid and leave no room for doubt and/or should constitute an improvement the original creators could have approved.

    I’m clearly an advocate of a “first come, first served” canon finding philosophy. If in doubt, the original creators knew what they were doing, and if a premise is later changed by somebody other than the original creators, then it’s the revision that begs for explanation and not the original work that retroactively is in desperate need for an explanation or rationalization (especially since the original TOS creators are no longer among us to provide insight).

    Possibility is high that later creators didn’t care about accurate research, are biased regarding concepts of the original creators or, bluntly, just don’t give a shit (“It’s just a TV show”). If the premise change is not “solid”, probability is high that the original body of work remains unaltered (e.g. post-TWOK “Constitution Class” references in TNG and DS9).

    Put simply, the canon finding philosophy some of you guys are vocally advocating puts retroactive continuity above the original work, it’s a “revise, reboot and overwrite” philosophy in the best tradition of the dystopian world of 1984 which IMHO is absolutely incompatible with the ethical standards Star Trek promoted and is renowned for.

    If the hobby of canon finding methodology comes at the expense of real people, then it would be about time to stop it.
    The mockery directed at the original creators in this thread that hadn’t settled on the minutiae yet at the early beginnings (e.g. “James R. Kirk”) is disturbing. Sure, the later spin-offs had a foundation on which to be built and expectably didn’t have that many continuity issues, but they wouldn’t even fracking exist so you could talk about it, hadn’t it been for the original TOS creators. You don’t poop where you eat.

    Okay, I think I got it. Since Paramount Pictures holds the rights for the Star Trek movies we should prepare ourselves that the nuTrek movies are declared canon and the TOS and TNG films become apocrypha as the ultimate consequence (yes, I know that some look forward to that for certain films). :lol:

    Bob
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The Powers That Be have never treated Star Trek as a strict canon of right and wrong. To them it's always been a vast mythology (or as TVtropes calls it, Broad Strokes), to draw on what they like and forget what they don't. See: the complete revision of the Klingons in TMP.
     
  10. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wish someone at Paramount or CBS even knew/cared about what 'Star Trek canon' means.
    CBS and Paramount only care about making money so I doubt they're going to decanonise any money-making episodes or movies.

    Anyway wasn't GR the only person in power to ever talk about canon?
     
  11. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    It would be ridiculous for the studio to "decanonize" anything. It's a concept with no useful meaning, anyway, other than to observe that something either has or has not been established onscreen by the folks who own the property.
     
  12. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    I still wish Paramount would spend a bit of money to take out this atrocious bit from THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY:

    ''Uhuru................NICHELLE NICHOLS''
     
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No one's mocking anyone else. At least I'm not. I'm stating what the people in charge of Trek consider to be canon. What you think about it is your own outlook.

    Who ever said that it wasn't worthy of examination? Of course it is. It's just not to be used to justify an argument about canon if it's not on screen.

    Nobody ever said on screen that the NCC numbers are based in any sort of logic whatsoever. Jefferies' "12th ship of the 17th block" has NEVER been confirmed in canon. Therefore if one fan chooses to ignore it, he has every right to feel that way and another fan doesn't have the right to tell him he's wrong. But that second fan can feel all he wants that Jefferies' scheme is correct if he wants to. It's just that it's not canon and can't be used to prove that it is.

    Not at all. It's quite understandable.

    Because as I said, background information is irrelevant when discussing canon. I'm not saying that you shouldn't discuss it at all; just that you can't use it to justify something that wasn't proven on screen (I feel like a broken record at this point, Bob. If you're not getting this by now, then I'm getting tired of bringing it up).

    How's about you quit with the personal attacks just because I'm saying something you don't want to hear? I don't recall personally attacking you because of your beliefs.

    So at this point in the discussion it's quite clear to me that you've made up your mind that you're right and that you know better than the people who actually are in charge of the show, so I suppose there's nothing more to talk about here either.

    Tell that to Mike Okuda, Rick Sternbach, Doug Drexler, and all the other people who came after TOS, who clearly didn't give a shit about Trek :rolleyes:

    Perhaps you didn't actually see the nuTrek films (which are canon because, er, they appeared on screen). They clearly establish that the original timeline still exists and that nuTrek is a new, parallel timeline. The writers of the films did this because they wanted to respect what came before, which is exactly what you keep arguing about. So I'm not sure what your point is by bringing this up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  14. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Exactly so. Both oldTrek and nuTrek productions are part of the canon and would be even if they directly contradicted one another. Paramount has never publicly declared anything of consequence to be canon or non-canon; even the long argument over TAS was an unofficial one having largely to do with GR's personal desire to distance himself from it.
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    People confuse canon and continuity all the time around here.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    How about “canon” needs to serve continuity, continuity takes precedence over “canon”? Wherever possible both should be in sync. YMMV.

    Yes. Sure. Given the context of what transpired previously in this thread, it’s apparently not a harmless, innocent joke.

    “Meaningless” and “irrelevant” doesn’t equal “worthy of examination” (although I feel that the “meaningless” death of Tasha in “Redemption II” is worthy of examination, but that’s not the same thing and a different story ;)). And who decides that “it’s not to be used to justify an argument”? The vocal majority here at the Trek BBS?

    That depends on our different canon methodologies. You and some other guys are constantly telling me that the methodology I’m applying in general is wrong because it’s not compatible with yours, and you did and still do claim the the right to tell me I’m wrong (“it’s not to be used…” etc.).

    But the issue in this particular TOS thread was and still is whether The Making of Star Trek settles the uncertainty how to interpret the Constitution Class LR phaser schematic from “Space Seed”.

    After that we could or should discuss the Jefferies Nomenclature.

    Which personal attack? If “ignorance is bliss” were what’s on a man’s mind, then such a person will believe whatever he or she wants to believe. Is that correct or not? Please read before posting. Yes, I’m sure you don’t recall our encounters in previous threads, is that why you never replied to this post?

    Now that’s the ultimate spin! Dennis defames my respect for the original creators as “slavish deference” but then I “know better” than the people in charge of the show when I quote what they said or wrote. :rofl:

    Those were definitely not on my mind when I talked about “possibilities”, more like suits or J.J. Abrams who obviously didn’t give a shit whether the size of the nuTrek Enterprise could possibly, somehow be rationalized or not given the discrepancies between exterior and interior onscreen "canon" visuals (Apropos: Which are the "right" canon visuals that should lead?).

    The dedication plaque of the Defiant in “In A Mirror, Darkly” is obviously ambiguous. Whoever put “USS Defiant Constitution Class” there, either didn’t give a shit that the TOS dedication plaque for that kind of vessel did read “Starship Class” or it was a deliberate hint that the Defiant belonged to the Constitution Class while the Enterprise belonged to the [Enterprise] Starship Class. But since you should know by now that I give everybody the benefit of a doubt, I side with the latter interpretation until I (have to) learn differently (or should I consider instead to adopt Frank Zappa's first contact policy?).

    Now that’s a subject I gladly let others discuss, especially here in the TOS section. :)

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What does it matter? It is a different timeline with different events leading up to its construction.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I look at it much differently.

    Canon, in Star Trek, is the content of official movies and episodes. Continuity is a narrative that embodies as much as consistently possible of canon as well as backstory from the writers guide, production notes, and other sources.

    Changes in the content of releases notwithstanding, such as the new effects for TOS-R, or the odd missing scene or line here or there, canon simply is. Try as they might, the makers of the show could not create a body of work that was fully self-consistent in canon. Of course, they tried, because they judged (rightly, I think) that to some degree the viewers expected and thereby demanded it. But even the makers realized that, in aggregate, the viewers did not expect or demand perfect self-consistency, and as there are diminishing returns in these things, the makes did not waste the effort trying for perfect self-consistency in all the myriad details.

    Continuity, on the other hand, is the overarching consistent narrative. Debates about continuity are much more meaningful compared to debates about what is canonical. People can have different opinions on whether something off-screen "really" happened. Ultimately, however, issues of continuity that aren't directly addressed in canon can't be settled, because later official productions are free to contradict them, just as they are free to never settle them.

    Fans are free to create their own continuity, argue about it, go off and write their own fan fiction that follows it and so forth. But not all fans will agree, because most of us hardcore fans have our own personal continuities that we use to fill in the blanks or our suspicions for how we think such things "likely" go.
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Is it only me who thinks that Robert_Comsol and Dukhat are never going to agree on this, because they are arguing the case for two completely different things?

    Robert_Comsol has put together a detailed strategy for how to construct theories to gain a better undertstanding of the Trek universe. The structure of his technique is designed to produce a well reasoned case which can then more plausibly reflect the true intent and history of the filmed material, whilst never contradicting the material itself.

    Dukhat is reasserting the fact that only filmed material can be considered 100% official (yes, even when it seems to contradict itself, which I'm fine with BTW). This is pretty much repeated on the TrekTech FAQ, article 2, so I doubt anyone would find much fault with that basic statement.

    However, that does leave a rather dry playing field for debates. Fan theories (some of which agree with each other, others which don't) have been bouncing around since the 1960s and the majority use behind the scenes information to some degree or another.

    So, unless Robert_Comsol is going actually claim his theories as inviolate canon, equal to the series themselves - - - where's the problem?

    Eh, I'm probably missing something :confused:
     
  20. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Nope.

    He's put together a detailed strategy for how to fabricate a "Star Trek universe" that he likes.

    His approach tells us nothing about what's so and what's not, because it picks and chooses among fictional details of a fictional continuity based on premises that satisfy him.

    Since the entire thing is built from a work of fiction which is itself inconsistent, there is no truth to be discovered or "understood."

    Another viewer may simply dismiss all of his reasoning out of hand for no reason whatever and be just as "right" as he is.

    Not the same thing at all.