COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by King Daniel Beyond, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, the "canonicity" of off-screen events is an open and shut case. The producers can say whatever they like; they don't own the show and ultimately that call belongs to the people who do - and then, only in the sense that they approve or don't approve scripts, etc. because the studio doesn't actually care whether something's "canon" per se. They care only about whether they believe something enhances or diminishes the value of their property.

    Canon is a fan obsession, nothing more or less. This is why it's been violated thousands of times on-screen.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm personally to the point where I hate the word 'canon'. People toss it around trying to make their opinion sound more important than the people around them.

    And if 'Love Instructors' from the TMP novelization isn't canon then nothing from non-film material is.
     
  3. Oso Blanco

    Oso Blanco Commodore Commodore

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    Like it or not, "canon" is a very important part of Star Trek. Why would I care for an episode or a movie, when everything that happened there will be ignored in the next episode/movie? Of course there have been some continuity errors over the years. But considering the amount of screentime Star Trek had, that's understandable.

    Star Trek has a relatively tight continuity, and that makes it a lot more interesting!
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Problem is that you have too many people who think Star Trek is about nothing but canon.

    Is continuity important? To a degree, yes. But the first thing I worry about is whether a story entertains me or not, not whether it lines up with other stories from other creators.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    If I may paraphrase myself from another thread...

    There's continuity between shows, but it's basically an illusion, and requires HUGE amounts of willing suspension of disbelief to hold together.

    Yeah, it's cool to think Admiral Janeway knew Picard who knew Sisko who met Kirk... but then, how did Kirk get from the rim of the galaxy to Earth and then to the centre (twice if you include the cartoons), when Voyager's galaxy-spanning journey on the fastest ship in Starfleet should have taken 75 years? Why does Deep Space Nine ignore all the cool things hand phasers can do? You have to kind of pretend all the other shows happened differently in the context of whichever one you're currently watching, otherwise episodes like "The Seige of AR-558" look incredibly dumb.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Even with creator involvement, though, the canon status of tie-ins is not something you can invest too much certainty in. Again, tie-ins are generally read by only 1-2% of a franchise's film or TV audience. If the makers of a new film or TV production had a great idea that required contradicting something in an earlier "canonical" novel or comic, they'd be crazy to abandon it just for the sake of consistency with that tie-in. After all, 99% of the viewers would be totally unaware of the tie-in anyway. This is why Lucasfilm is ignoring the Expanded Universe in its new Star Wars movie after decades of saying the EU was canon. It's a cinch that if Joss Whedon got to do new screen productions of the Buffy/Angel or Firefly/Serenity universe, he wouldn't be bound by the "canonical" comics he's overseen and written, because virtually all of his audience wouldn't care one way or the other.

    So any "canonical" tie-in is going to be at best a secondary level of canon -- something that's assumed to be effectively true until it isn't. Which, really, is the case with primary canon too, since even screen canon sometimes contradicts and ignores aspects of earlier installments.

    So canon isn't something you can trust or rely on. It's not an indicator of "truth" or consistency. It's just a broad pretense that's ultimately as imaginary and mutable as anything else in fiction. It's a veneer laid over a story rather than the foundation of a story.


    That doesn't make sense. Why should you care about one end-of-the-world movie or novel like When Worlds Collide when it's going to be contradicted by a different end-of-the-world story? Why should you care about a movie about one fictional US president when it's going to be ignored by a movie about a different fictional US president? You care because the value of a story is in the story itself. The world is full of stories that are meant to be entirely standalone, and they're no less enjoyable because of their inconsistency with other stories. Sure, the stories in a given series like Star Trek pretend to represent a consistent, continuous reality, but unless one is suffering from delusions, it should be self-evident that there is no reality to it, that it's all just a bunch of stories that different people are making up about a common set of characters and situations. Consistency between those stories is nice, sure, but it's not the only reason those stories exist.

    In fact, sometimes discontinuity can be a benefit to storytellers. Out-of-continuity tales let you explore possibilities that are untenable with in-continuity tales. This is why DC Comics has done so many "imaginary stories" and Elseworlds tales over the decades, and why Marvel published What If...? This is why so many SF franchises do alternate-universe stories. This is why movie and TV adaptations of comics create new continuities rather than just being set in the comics' continuity. Because both continuity and discontinuity have value. Each can produce interesting and worthwhile stories that the other cannot.

    Star Trek teaches that diversity in combination is a valuable thing -- that we're better off embracing diverse approaches and celebrating them all, rather than taking only one side and condemning or rejecting everything else. So we should appreciate the value of both approaches, continuity and discontinuity. Especially given that Trek tie-ins have been offering many different variations on continuity, suggesting different versions of specific events, for nearly four decades now. There have been some ongoing continuities in the tie-ins, like the current Pocket novelverse or the various comics continuities, but none of them has ever claimed to be exclusive; they've always coexisted with other interpretations. And given how the tie-ins have thrived for decades, I think that should be seen as a strength rather than a failing.
     
  7. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's a link to a very interesting and well-researched report on canon in "Star Trek", focusing on how it developed, "ownership" of it once it took off, and Roddenberry's interpretation and control over it. It's a bit of a long read, but it's the most thorough presentation of the topic I've ever found. Just two quick quotes about Roddenberry and canon or "Star Trek facts."

    First:
    Second:

    Here's the link to the entire report. It was written before ST09 but includes ENT.

    http://www.canonwars.com/STCanon.html#III-A
     
  8. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Like the original Twilight Zone, a better television series than Star Trek.

    I've watched and read a dozen versions of Superman's origin, every one of which conflicts with every other. I like 'em all.

    Hundreds of major ones.

    I don't find Star Trek interesting because of its continuity but because of the stories and characters. In TOS the characters forgot virtually everything that happened to them in previous weeks, and we were fine with that. TV was like that.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Thanks for finding that article. It's a good reminder that canon isn't some gospel carved in stone, it's just the current opinion of the current creators. And creators change their minds all the time. That's key to the creative process itself -- we write stories by testing out possibilities, by revising and refining them, by discarding and replacing the ones that don't work. And over time, we inevitably come to regret some of our earlier decisions and want to paper over our mistakes.

    So canon really doesn't mean all that much. Dwelling too much on what falls under that label just gets in the way of enjoying the stories being told.
     
  10. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Another reference in the comic: April's first officer had the last name "Marcus". No doubt Carol's father. If so, this could lend support to the April subplot ending up in the movie.
     
  11. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A look at April's Enterprise


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And a bit of a certain businesswoman

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I like the bridge, perfect blend of TOS and Abramsverse. Especially the captain's chair. Why are they all wearing the uniforms from the present, though? Twenty years yearlier, shouldn't they still be wearing the uniforms the Kelvin crew were wearing?
     
  14. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not digging the ship design (although that might just be artist confusion) and the uniform schenanigans, but the story seems interesting.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's a six year difference between the Kelvin and the events depicted on April's Enterprise. Likely a uniform change happened somewhere in that time period. :shrug:
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see where there's any artist confusion, it's basically a primitive variation of the Abramsprise.

    You want artist confusion, check out an issue of the Ongoing series in which the TMP-TUC Enterprise was used. Or how 24th century LCARS computer displays are constantly popping up.
     
  17. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The story in Countdown 2 is more or less this.
    20 years ago April and his Enterprise arrived on Phaedus on a routine survey mission. They encountered an iron-age level civilization and watched a genocide in progress. The Shadows, as April's calls them, were killing (sometimes eating too) members of their own species but of different color.
    At some point April had enough of watching and obeying the Prime Directive, took as many weapons as he could and beamed down to help. Alex Marcus, his first officer and best friend, agreed to declare him dead and hide the truth from Starfleet.

    But it appears there was someone else now helping the Shadows and supplying them with advanced weapons. So April is hiding with the last of his native army and wants Kirk to use the Enterprise and bombard the Shadows from orbit. Kirk doesn't agree and just wants to get Sulu and Cupcake back and leave. They are prisoners of the Shadows.

    The issue ends with Spock on his own. He's left Kirk without saying a word and is running towards an unknown destination.
     
  18. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The only thing primitive about it is the extra doodads they slapped on it and the wonky aztecking. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since they came up with an Abrams-ized NX that was basically rearranged Abramsprise parts, but I expected a little more originality than "the same ship, just with greebles to make it look primitive."
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Your asking alot for something that only appears in a couple of panels of a four-issue comic book.
     
  20. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Although April is apparently a more noble character than Tracey turned out to be, the story sounds a bit like a combination of "The Omega Glory" and "A Private Little War", especially if the Klingons are arming the other side.