Could stardates make some sense?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Robert Comsol, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    "Vernal" refers to a previously unexplored part of our galaxy. I told my secretary to write "vernal part of our galaxy" but unfortunately she screwed up. :p

    Please also note that the recommendation not to ever visit Talos IV again was limited to "humans". Unfortunately Commander Spock had apparently forgotten that he was half-human. Hence my successors decided to be lenient toward him after his "stunt" at Stardate 3012.4...;)

    Bob
     
  2. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    I assumed it meant to the outer reaches of this galaxy, which would fit. Then again, first season, not much pinned down, could have been either.

    But I could have sworn there was a stardate on it, just my memory getting worse.

    But then it brings up the idea of galactic "time zones" with gradations as one moves out from the galactic core, making Earth roughly halfway out (a space meridian) where stardates differ slightly in each?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There is no reason why "vernal" would mean that. It literally means "pertaining to spring," or can figuratively mean youthful or new. It would be oddly poetic and metaphorical to use it as a synonym for "uncharted"; one would think that official military orders would require more clarity.

    Bottom line, most laypeople don't understand what "galaxy" means, and TV writers are generally no exception. Lots of TV shows and movies have had spaceships traveling casually between "galaxies" without any regard to whether it made astronomical sense. The original Battlestar Galactica had the fleet traveling through several galaxies in the course of a year -- at sublight speeds. The "Vernal Galaxy" thing was a goof, like so very, very many other SFTV goofs.
     
  4. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Or an area of one of the spiral arms that is relatively new in terms of the overall age of the Milky Way, and given that name because of it.

    And to my knowledge the original Galactica left their home galaxy to cross over to the Milky Way, one hop, and that they sped the ship up for the voyage, not to FTL speeds that they were aware of. But that there was something unusual and mostly unstated about it.

    Then again, they never explained what Tylium was, or what their home "galaxy" was, it could have been one of the Magellanic Clouds and they found a streamer of some sort that sped the journey on.
     
  5. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

  6. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    The amount of xenophobia towards Spock in the series is alarming at times.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No such thing. Or rather, all the spiral arms are the regions where new star formation is taking place -- that's basically what they are, pressure waves passing through the galactic disk, compressing the interstellar medium enough to trigger star formation. So no arm is going to be any "younger" than any other arm -- and any arm is still going to have older stars in it as well as newer ones, so the arm as a whole isn't going to be "younger" any more than a city with a higher birth rate is going to be "younger."

    It's clearly a mistake. They meant "Vernal Galaxy" to mean some entire galaxy called "Vernal" because they didn't know what the hell they were talking about. Not to mention that it's a bit of set dressing that was never meant to be legible on camera so it wasn't really thought through very carefully.


    No, they passed through several galaxies in the course of the series. In one early episode, they were said to be leaving their home galaxy and passing into another -- and the two "galaxies" were right next to each other with no space between them. They didn't reach our galaxy until the final episode, "The Hand of God" -- which portrayed our galaxy as somehow tiny enough that there was only one route into it so they couldn't sneak past the Cylon outpost on the rim.


    No, the writers just didn't know what the hell they were talking about.
     
  8. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    I think we're drifting off topic at this point.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But there is no "actual" age for either character.

    Those files do list an "age" for the characters, but that doesn't seem to correspond much to the ages of the characters (in terms of looks) at the time of the episode. Nor should they, as files of that sort ITRW never would have "age" in the sense of "birthdate". It's probably when they took the PSI exam instead...

    And in that case they could be of the same age, give or take a day or ten, and Kirk is simply a few months younger (in the 1000 SD = 365 d model) or, more probably, a few months less than a decade older.

    Which is probably vital information when dealing with a telepathic threat. :vulcan:

    A somewhat more probable genesis would be in general astronomical terminology. In "vernal equinox", the word indicates a direction, after a fashion: it divides the universe in two for the observer. Similarly, our galaxy could be divided in vernal and autumnal halves for the observer, and the writer may have thought that this was the case, or then harmlessly postulated that this would be the case, this being technobabble-with-verisimilitude just as much as "quadrotriticale" or "synchronic meter" is.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    That reminds me of the original Star Blazers cartoon, the English-dubbed version of the Japanese Yamato series. In one of the early episodes, the Argo crew engage their FTL drive in order to begin the long journey to a distant star system. They fire up the FTL, and make it all the way... to Mars. It takes them about half the series to get past Pluto, whereupon they zip all the way to another galaxy. In addition, the show's writers (or, more likely, the English translators) use "solar system" and "galaxy" interchangeably, and it's never quite clear which term they mean.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Not quite the same thing, but I just watched Airplane II: The Sequel, and they pass through an asteroid field between Earth and the Sun, and somehow when they're nearing the Sun, they pass out of radio range of Earth and into range of the Moon. Granted, it probably wasn't supposed to make sense, but the problem is that plenty of more serious space shows/movies have been just as incoherent.

    I still remember this art book I found once at a used-book store, basically an assortment of SF art with a loose text narrative added to try to string it together, and there was a part where the narrator reflected that her ship was two light-years from Earth, only a few galaxies away. :brickwall::scream:
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly! Please also notice that it does not read "Vernal Galaxy" but "...of vernal galaxy" (!!!)

    Why? Let's please remember that the series was produced during the Space Age with plenty of euphoria and excitement to explore the wonders of space.

    This is one of the columns Star Trek was built on, not military structures and human beings that behave and function like trained machines. Hopefully we rediscover this sense of wonder and curiousity, and it would do our space programs some good if they were more poetic and metaphorical to recapture this sense of wonder which many people, I'm afraid, have lost.

    Pike was in his prime when he went to the vernal (part of our) galaxy. I like the sound of it. :)

    But we're talking about the TV writers for Star Trek and the producers wanted the series to be scientifically as accurate as possible, The Making of Star Trek is a great testament to that.

    An independent "Vernal Galaxy" does not exist and the Talos IV report doesn't say "Andromeda Galaxy" or something that would have revealed this as an obvious screw-up. Please give the producers the benefit of a doubt.

    Bob

    P.S. I'll get back to the topic of stardates shortly as this horse doesn't appear as dead as I thought a couple of posts ago...
     
  13. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Wasn't Pike born somewhere in the Ford Galaxy?
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Maybe in *a* Ford Galaxy...
     
  15. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Given the odd regularity that one member of a Federation starship at least must be obsessed by the 20th century, antique cars from that era or both, possibly. :lol:
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Conceived in the backseat, actually.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Hey! You stole my joke! #ihasasad
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Well in those days, it was a Ford Galaxie. I had a '64 Galaxie XL 500 (or 500 XL, can never remember) as my first car after high school.
     
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    The producers and writers ignored a lot of what the Kellam de Forest Research Company told them was wrong.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^And as I've said, the text we're discussing was never meant to be legible. It was on camera for a few seconds, and they didn't have HDTV and home video recorders back then. It was never intended to be something the audience could decipher in detail, just something that would give a passing impression of being official Starfleet orders and then never be seen or thought about again. Kellam de Forest consulted on the scripts, but I doubt they consulted on every random prop or set dressing. And that's all this was. The producers didn't put that much effort into figuring it out, and neither should we. It belongs in the same category as all the TNG signage with Dirty Pair and Buckaroo Banzai in-jokes, or the Enterprise-D master systems display with the race car and the rubber ducky.