IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by serenitytrek1, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Given that the Nerada and Spock's ship arrived at different points in the timeline, theres nothing to say that something else didn't get sucked into the black hole and arrive at an earlier point than what we saw...so it's possible that ripple effects had already started much earlier as well.
     
  2. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I think this has been raised before I'm just not sure where, but since Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) are obviously different, then it must mean that "Tomorrow is Yesterday" as the original episode stands cannot have happened in the Abramsverse, right? 1968/2268 in the Abramsverse must have happened a different way.
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I like to think that if AU Kirk and co. went back to 1968, they'd bump into their TOS counterparts. I can't see that actually happening should the episode be adapted, but it would be fun.
     
  4. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I enjoyed this month's opener but if it's only going to be a 2-parter then there is going to be a lot of build-up for very little pay-off. The plot is a bit vague on how they managed to lose track of the crew's bio-signals (as seen when Robau beamed over on the Narada) and why they don't have a standard practice of trying to re-establish comms and then beaming down a standby rescue team as soon as the bio-data goes off-line.

    I like the notion that crewmen go on landing parties on a rota since it means that the writers can introduce new characters who have mission specific skills while also rotating which recurring characters get a bigger role to play in each story. However, in this instance they wasted quite a bit of dialogue on the concept before sending down the same recurring characters, none of whom were qualified in planetary surveying, unless and until they confirm that NuSulu still dabbles in botany...

    It is nice to see Zahra and Kai again but they are so generic they could be rotated out quite easily or split into the the second security team that otherwise consisted only of white human males, so while they are improving, they still need to keep a grip on how they feature supporting characters. Zahra is still pale and blonde sadly, which just makes me miss Janice. I hope Rand isn't being left out deliberately; she hasn't featured for a while now.

    So overall, like so many of the stories, it was an enjoyable start but I'm expecting a rather simplistic conclusion.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think so. Remember, the Abrams timeline and the Prime timeline coexist side by side. It's not a case of one "replacing" the other -- the timeline branches into two parallel tracks, like a fork in the road. (Well, many more than two, but only two concern us at the moment.) So if time travelers from either timeline go back to before the fork, they'll end up in the same original track -- at least until their actions in the past cause a different timeline to branch off from that earlier point.

    So the event of the Prime Enterprise going back to 1969 in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" (along with going back to 1968 in "Assignment: Earth," going back to 1930 in "City on the Edge," going back to 1986 in The Voyage Home, etc.) is still there as part of history. If the Abrams Enterprise went back to that exact same moment, they might run into their counterparts; but if they went back at all, odds are that they'd arrive at a different time and their differing actions would cause them to branch onto a different track.
     
  6. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    So you're saying that if Federation starship Enterprise-E and Commonwealth starship Enterprise both time travel to the Big Bang, then they could run into each other?
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, any starship traveling to the Big Bang would run into the entire universe, so I think they'd have bigger problems to worry about.
     
  8. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    DaiMon Bok did it.

    Maybe "Ferengi did it" can be the Trek verse's version of "The Simpsons Did It".
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's not quite correct. There is no 'fork' per se; the timelines are separate even if they appear to be exact so no, NuKirk cannot go back and meet TOS Kirk in 1930. He could, however, go back and meet a Kirk who up until that point has had an identical existence that TOS Kirk.

    Of course if you accept that premise then McCoy was not changing the past at all in the original episode but rather causing those in the vicinity of the Guardian to 'jump tracks' along with the person that has been sent back. In that respect the time traveller is changing the history of the observers by making them part of the alternate timeline.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You're stating a variant fan interpretation as though it were gospel fact. The intent of the filmmakers, as we know for a fact, was that the Abramsverse diverged from the Prime history as a result of the Narada's arrival in 2233. Prior to that moment, they were the same timeline. Certainly I've heard many people argue that it could have been a separate timeline to begin with, but that's just a supposition, not a proven fact. Therefore, I am sticking with the presumption intended by the filmmakers, until I'm given canonical evidence to the contrary. (The comics don't count.)


    I think you're making the mistake of assuming that alternate timelines are just near-identical parallels that have always coexisted alongside each other. That's not the way it works, quantum-mechanically speaking or fictionally speaking. They only run in parallel after the event that causes the divergence, not before it. So yes, there is a fork in the road.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then you drive to the Slausen Cutoff...
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, sort of. If the timelines were the same and there were an infinite number of alternate realities, in at least some of those realities, people would travel back in time to points before the divergence. When you have infinite possibilities of every split second, you would, as people are saying, end up with a massive, MASSIVE bottleneck. Think about it - every intelligent being that has ever existed will, in some realities, develop time time travel and in at least one reality, every one of those will travel back to the same point in time at the same location. As a theory I just think it's untenable.

    The other possibility is that the act of time travel automatically creates a divergence at the moment the time traveller arrives so the concept of pre-destination paradox goes out the window, which would be a shame i.e. Data could never find his head in a cave because when they went back in time they would create a fork and a new future.

    IMO if every possibility exists as a quantum probability then you've had multiple possible timelines running parallel since the birth of time with multiple copies of the most probable outcomes.

    Of course Trek writers have used every and all versions of time travel so none of us can be sure that there is a right answer. We also know that time exists everywhen all at once and it's only our perception of it that makes it seem like stuff has yet to happen so the concept of changing the past or the future seems incorrect. IMO this is consistent with the parallel track theory.

    And we're only talking about physics. For all intents and purposes the identical timelines ARE the same but travelling back in one of them does not change the future in every other or you end up with the temporal police and nobody wants that car crash of a concept.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I've said in other threads, I reject the whole "infinite universes" idea as an invalid explanation for alternate-timeline stories. If there were an infinite number of universes and some of them just randomly happened to duplicate ours, then the overwhelming majority of such random universes would be nothing like ours in any way, and the probability of finding the duplicates in an infinite set would be n over infinity = zero -- therefore any two coincidentally near-identical universes would never interact. So in any work of fiction that's about people from one timeline/universe actually travelling to or interacting with a different one, we must be dealing with a finite set of realities whose similarities are not the result of random chance but are instead due to a common origin.

    I know the comic series that this thread is about has embraced the "infinite alternates" model, but it just doesn't work.


    Okay, now you're conflating two contradictory assumptions. All this handwaving about "infinity" only applies if you're talking about separate, unconnected universes in an infinite multiverse, in which some would just randomly happen to be identical. But now you seem to talking about the alternative notion that parallel timelines all branch off from a common origin -- the actual Many-Worlds quantum-physics model in which timelines are superposed quantum states of a single physical universe. So if we're just talking about the possible particle states of our particular observable universe, then the total number of possible states is finite, because there's only a finite number of particles in the observable universe. Also, if you're going macroscopic and talking about the range of possible decisions that a given person could make, then that's even more finite, because our choices are a lot more constrained by circumstances than we like to think. For instance, if you're at an intersection and you turn left instead of right, that's because you have a reason to go left. A prior set of circumstances led you to that decision, so the odds are you'd go left in most parallel timelines. And even if there were some where you did turn right instead, there would be none where you went straight up into the air or straight down into the Earth. Your choices are constrained to a finite few by your history and circumstances. So even talking about "infinity" in a context like this is invalid.



    I'll never understand this argument -- this reflexive assumption that just because something can happen a certain way, that means it's required to happen that way. Yes, the laws of physics are consistent, but they have different results under different sets of initial conditions. A branch of a river may diverge away from the river, or it may meander back and rejoin the river, depending on the conditions at that particular point. So just because timelines can branch, that does not in any way prohibit a self-consistent loop. It's just a matter of the specific context in which the event occurs.


    That's true enough, but the point is that it does still allow for a single timeline to continue branching. And that's what we're talking about when we discuss time travel. As a rule, traveling back in time sends you into your own past. It doesn't spontaneously jump you to some alternate past. And if you then take some action in your own past that causes events to change, then you create a new branching off of your own timeline. This is the way it's almost always assumed to work in fiction, and certainly in Trek. And I can't think of anything in real theoretical physics that would invalidate it. Yes, other parallel branches already exist, but they aren't relevant here, any more than the other branches of a tree are relevant to whether a particular branch grows a new twig.


    What? Of course it doesn't change every other. Why would it? The whole point of parallel timelines is that they don't interact, as a rule -- no matter how similar they may be, they are unaffected by one another and behave as if they were completely separate, isolated universes. Only very unlikely, exotic physics would allow any exceptions to that rule.
     
  14. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If the NX-01 would travel into the future, would it be predictable which future it would arrive in? And if it travelled more than once, would it see the same future or randomly bounce between possible futures?

    To make the relevance to this thread more obvious: which NCC-1701 would be the one Archer encounters?

    (Maybe Enterprise could have a choice of futures? ;))
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Probably not. Generally in Trek, when we see people traveling to or getting glimpses of the future, it turns out that it was just "one possible future," because the writers don't want to limit future storylines. (Which was why they went right from making a series finale where the Enterprise-D survived decades in the future and had three nacelles to making a movie where the E-D was destroyed less than a year later.) Presumably it would be their most probable future, or one of them. Or, as is often the case in fiction, the future that will result from their current circumstances if they don't prevent something based on that future knowledge.


    If their knowledge of the future led them to do anything differently, then they'd end up in a different future, per the usual time-travel story rules. Archer moved into Daniels's future more than once (assuming it was the same Daniels every time, which may not be certain), but that was because Daniels brought him there.


    You mean, Prime or Abramsverse? I'd guess Prime, because that's the more probable/spontaneous timeline (more or less), while Abrams is an altered branch.


    No. That'd never happen. :D
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Any theory has to work off a set of assumptions that are not wholly consistent consistent with canon. It isn't possible to pin down a correct answer as a result.

    And just because one person in isolation has no reason to turn left does not mean that if some other person gives him a reason he will turn left. Butterfly Effect 101, with a near infinite number of variables throughout the universe. Attempting to limit that to a much smaller number is an arbitrary assumption. And we don't know for sure that there are a finite number of particles in existence once the multiverse is taken into account.

    And who or what decides what is consistent with one's own past to form a loop if the very act of going back changes one's past?

    We should all just follow Janeway's example and accept that temporal mechanics make no sense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You seem to be missing a quote tag somewhere.


    But that doesn't give you the freedom to arbitrarily ignore what canon has established, and that's always been built around the assumption that time travelers go into their own pasts and create new branchings therefrom.


    But even so, that doesn't mean they can turn up or down, just left or right. The number of options is still finite.

    It is nothing of the kind. "Arbitrary" means made without reason. I've explained the reasons why the variables are limited.


    You keep making the very sloppy mistake of treating two entirely separate premises as interchangeable. I'm not talking about the "infinite multiverse" idea here, because, as I've explained, that's a useless and inept model to apply to fiction about near-identical timelines actually interacting. I'm talking about the kind of timelines that emerge from Many-Worlds quantum theory -- different history states of the same single physical universe. So yes, we are absolutely talking about a finite ensemble of particles in that context. The observable universe is only 13.8 billion light-years in radius, a large but undoubtedly finite volume. And if we're talking about the ensemble of particles that actually interact to create the correlations that manifest as distinct timelines, then we're limited to a much smaller whole -- probably just the galaxy or the Local Group, effectively.


    Nobody "decides" anything. You're in the timeline you're in. Think of timelines as branching roads or tree limbs. If you go back in time, you will go backward along the same path you came from in the first place -- and since you're going in the direction opposite to the branchings, there's no way you can end up on a different branch unless you start going forward again and take (or create) a different fork in the road. Wherever you end up will be your own past, at least to begin with. If you then make changes, that will split off a different path. But if you act in a way that doesn't change anything, then you reinforce your own history. That's why some time travels create branches and others create loops.


    There's actually a lot of solid theoretical physics about time travel and alternate histories that makes plenty of mathematical sense, and that's what I use as my guide. It's counterintuitive, yes, and very different from everyday experience, but that doesn't make it nonsensical.
     
  18. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    So you're saying that it would not break any rules of Star Trek (novel) physics for a future work to have Lucsly and Dulmur forcibly granted some kind of longevity/immortality and be held hostage as they helplessly witness a Federation apocalypse in spite of all their experiences in Watching the Clock?
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Apologies. This site doesn't like my browser atm. I've tried to edit the post but it keeps freezing so I'll have to dispense with quotes for now. I love these temporal debates with Christopher. He's so dogmatic!

    However, it's only opinion to say that what canon has said is inept and so MUST be changed your your own personal theory. I will concede that it has been very inconsistent and inept mind you.

    Theoretical physics is still theoretical and different physicists still argue different temporal theories. Nobody can say that one is definitely right at this point. In terms of Trek, if you believe in branching then the act of going back in time plops something new in the pre-existing timeline. The timeline can't branch until you go back so it isn't possible to have a pre-destination paradox using branching theory as far as I can see. Once you have gone back, you can only move forward in the new timeline (like Sisko/Bell as opposed to Data's head). This is where I get confused because when the new timeline comes into existence and Nu-Data finds that head in HIS version of the cave, when HE goes back in time to the same point before the branch we get two Datas at the same time. I get how parallel realities deals with this but I just don't get how branching deals with this issue. It may be my own ignorance of temporal physics but it should at least explain based on the available canon evidence, why I prefer the latter theory. It doesn't really matter whether the number of alternate realities is finite or infinite unless you can quantify the statistical outcome. I think any number is going to be so large that we can't really quantify the outcome.

    Also, the way the characters characterise their experiences of 'branching' in dialogue need not automatically reflect what is actually going on. I think the temporal police have a branching diagram but if you want to stand behind that episode on your own head be it! ;P

    FYI. I prefer pre-destination paradoxes without any alternate realities but that's one horse that bolted looong ago.

    Edit I think I fixed the quote above.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Technically going by Christopher's system, it should be Data's head with all his memories up until season 6 of TNG which is sitting under San Francisco in 2259 of the AU. And that's probably one of the coolest things ever.