Did Vulcan space have a name?

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by Gotham Central, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No more or greater than the contradiction that already existed between those first four series, or between TOS and the movies, or within any one series. Contradictions have always been a fact of life in Trek. If there had been fans in the 1960s as fixated on continuity details as fans today, imagine what we'd hear. "Those idiots! Kirk's middle initial is R, not T!" "What's all this 'Vulcan' crap? They're Vulcanians, morons!" "Hey, it wasn't Spock's father who married a human, it was one of his ancestors!" "Where'd this 'Federation' crap come from? They've been telling us for half a season that it's an Earth ship!" "Yeah, and it answers to Space Central or UESPA, not this Star Fleet thing!"

    And then there are the contradictions betwen TOS and the movies. In TMP, how come the Klingons changed appearance, not to mention every last piece of Starfleet technology and design? Why is Kirk saying he was only out in deep space for five years when he was in Starfleet for nearly a decade before the "five-year mission" began? And TWOK's contradictions are enormous. How did Khan's multiethnic band of followers turn into a bunch of blond Nordic types? Why are they in their mid-20s if they were stranded as adults 15 years earlier? Why do they have a movie-era medical console in their hovel, and why does Khan wear a movie-era Starfleet insignia around his neck? How does Khan know Chekov? How can Kirk say he's "never faced death" after losing Gary, Edith, Sam, Aurelan, Miramanee, and his unborn son?

    And so on. There's a whole series of YouTube videos cataloguing the inconsistencies among the various Trek shows -- I think KingDaniel's sig has a link to them. It's just that as the years pass, fandom gets used to those inconsistencies and learns to rationalize them or gloss them over -- so the equal inconsistencies in the newest incarnation seem unprecedented to them, and you get this stuff about "It's not real Trek because it isn't consistent." People said the same thing decades ago about the TOS movies and TNG. But they got over it. Well, most of them did. There have been a couple of posters on this BBS in recent years who still consider everything after TMP or thereabouts to be apocryphal.
     
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Canon is just another word for opinion. When the producers and creators can't even come up with a general consensus about what is and is not canon, I don't take the concept too seriously.

    If you don't want to read the books, that's fine... but it's quite petty to jump on the case of anyone who presumes to discuss them.... on a discussion board.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it has nothing to do with opinion. The biggest mistake people make in their interpretation of the word is thinking that it has anything to do with opinion or authority or rightness or realness. It just means the original, core body of work as distinct from derivative works by outside creators. It's not supposed to be a value judgment or a dictatorial command. It's not supposed to mean absolute consistency or inviolate truth, because any long-running canon contradicts itself plenty.

    The canon is just the main, ongoing story being told by the original creators or their direct inheritors -- a story that, like any work of fiction, is subject to error or intentional revisionism as it continues to be told. Sure, other stories by other creators won't necessarily be acknowledged by that core story, and might not be consistent with it in every respect, but so what? They're all just stories made up for our entertainment. And we can enjoy them as stories and be interested in the ideas they contain.
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So Gene Roddenberry's novelization of TMP or Jeri Taylor's novels are canon by that definition? Taylor has implied her novels are, others implied they weren't... and it goes on.

    So those creators and inheritors all have varying opinions on what is and isn't canon in Trek. So it comes back to opinion. Take what you want for your Trek experience or don't at your pleasure.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The owners have more power than "creators". Their's is the "opinion" that counts and informs the creators.

    The general consensus has been on screen= canon. Taylor's book was only (semi-) canon when she was producing.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I said the main ongoing story. The Motion Picture itself was the main story; the novelization was an interpretation of that story. Thus TMP was the canon and the novelization was secondary.

    As for Mosaic, Jeri Taylor did indeed intend it to be canonical while she was the showrunner, and she referenced it in "Coda." But her successors decided that her novels were not to be treated as canon. It's easy to define canon when only one creator is involved; for instance, Sherlock Holmes fiction by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is canonical, while that by other authors is apocryphal. The Del Rey Babylon 5 novels or the Buffy Season 8-9 comics are part of their series' canons because their creators personally oversee them and choose them as the medium for telling a continuation of the core story. But with Trek, it's more complicated because the responsibility passes from one hand to another.

    But as I said, canons are mutable. Fans are wrong to use "canon" to mean "right" or "real" or "consistent," because any long-running canon contradicts itself over time. A canon is a story being made up on the go, and that makes it subject to adjustment and revision. What is "real" in canon is whatever the current interpretation is. Think of it as successive approximations. If the storyteller is trying to approach some Platonic ideal of what the "real" story is, they may make mistakes early on but then home in on it better as they continue. See my above comments -- it took TOS the better part of a season to get such basic concepts as the Federation and Starfleet settled on. The later ideas superseded the earlier, rougher ones.
     
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh so canon is the -current- opinion then, until it mutates into someone else's? ;)
     
  8. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Very keen observation.

    Ah, I didn't get the reference. Pretty neat.

    Wasn't the name "Whole Vulcan" used in Spock's World? I have only a copy in Italian (where it's mentioned as the "Intero Vulcano"), but it's hard to decide if they are talking about the actual name or the political entity of just speaking in general terms: they say something like "on behalf of the Whole Vulcan etc", but capitalized words are used. Maybe it's clearer in the original English.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's the story. Why is that so hard to understand? The original, core story told by the original storytellers or their authorized successors is the canon. Stories told by other people are not. The opinions of fans are not. Fans can't decide what's canon and what isn't any more than I can decide whether or not Hawai'i is one of the continental United States. Different creators can decide what the canon contains, but the canon is still one entity and the apocrypha are others. Canon is a noun, not an adjective.
     
  10. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with everything you've said on this subject except for one point.

    Hawaii, as a group of islands, is not part of CONUS. It's a state, but not on the continent. No decision to be made, as it is self-evident.

    If you were being ironic, well...
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, that's exactly my point! There is no decision! Canon is not a value judgment, it is simply a category! Some things are canon, other things are not, period!

    Canon is very, very simple. It's trivial. But fans have got all these misunderstandings about what it means and twist it into all these overcomplicated assumptions and arguments and it's all such a damn waste of time.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Bottom line: Canon doesn't really matter.

    And it's the Confederacy of Vulcan.
     
  13. NeedsOfTheMany

    NeedsOfTheMany Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    There are way too many arcs in the story lines, parallel universe trips, alternate realities etc. to be focused on anything canon in Star Trek. Enjoy everything for what it is and live in the moment.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The story lines, parallel universe trips, alternate realities are the canon. They may not all be in continuity though.
     
  15. at Quark's

    at Quark's Captain Captain

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    Interesting remarks. I'm going to apply this line of reasoning to my views on the history of Christianity and let my subconscious chew on it for a few days... see what it comes up with. Thanks.

    (disclaimer: I'm not entirely serious. But partly, yes.)

    (oh, and apologies for making a totally off-topic remark)
     
  16. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did Vulcan space have a name?

    "The Inky Vulcy Darkness"
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Or then it did not. Quite possibly, the savage colonization period of Vulcan was over long before the local space age began - just like here on Earth (hopefully!).

    Spock would simply be saying that people of Vulcan stock would be capable of atrocities like savage colonization periods - therefore people of Vulcan stock encountered in space can be expected to be fully capable of space savagery. Seeing pointy ears and green blushes doesn't mean the opponent would be calm and logical and pacifist; rather, barring the remote possibility that those folks had their own Surak, anybody with those racial traits should be considered a potential berserker.

    As for the Confederacy of Vulcan thing, we could expect the name to reflect the makeup of the polity somehow. Is the Vulcan sphere of influence a politically organized whole? Or is it impossible to nail it down in terms any more formal than "Imperialist West" for the comparable sphere of US influence on Earth, due to the underhanded nature of Vulcan control over the players involved?

    On the other hand, it is a Star Trek tradition not to pay much attention to the (current) factual meaning of such terminology, or indeed to defy all reason just for fun. What is "unified" about the Cardassian Union? Who are the "allies" in the Ferengi Alliance? We have yet to hear of an Empire that would actually have a sovereign of any sort in command - has the word lost all of its Earth-history meaning by the time of Star Trek? Is "empire" merely another expression for "ambitious"?

    We never quite learn of any planet other than Vulcan itself that would be under factual Vulcan rule, now do we? There's the monastery on P'Jem, but even that could be some sort of a religious exception, a piece of Vulcan on uncontested Ufotarian soil.

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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