Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by King Daniel Beyond, May 16, 2013.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    MASSIVE SPOILERS, m'kay? Watch the movie first. Alrighty then...

    Some random thoughts about the new movie and how it may or may not affect the novelverse. Feel free to add your own. Should the novels be influenced by the new movie? Or would you prefer it be ignored althogether?


    -Transwarp beaming (a technology from the primeverse's 2387) can teleport a person from Earth all the way to Kronos and possibly further, although as we saw in the last movie, not without risk. This has the potential to hugely affect the novelverse. At the very least, it means Scotty could rematerialize just about anywhere after beaming off the exploding USS Challenger in Indistinguishable From Magic. If it's ignored it would be a shame, IMO.

    -23rd century Earth! I'd buy a book that has Spock stuck in ground traffic on his way to a lecture at Starfleet Academy:D. It's not actually much different to the 23rd century Earth described in Star Trek Academy: Collision Course. More future-Earth based Treks, please!

    -We saw more of Kronos, although it appeared to be undergoing a post-Praxis apocalypse. They certainly build big in Martok's hometown! And we saw a few D-4 Birds of Prey.

    -In the film, communication throughout Federation space was instantaneous. Kirk phones Scotty (in a club in San Francisco) from the Klingon border. Since the novelverse is still going with the idea that space is vast and messages can take awhile to get from A to B, I expect this to be ignored.

    -Ditto the speed-of-plot travel around the galaxy. The novelverse has Vesta-class ships for that!

    -Section 31 seems to have taken on a far greater role following the Narada's arrival. They had a giant weapons R&D facility under the Kelvin memorial archive in London and along with Starfleet built a kilometer-and-a-half long deathship in orbit of Jupiter. Most likely totally irrelevant to the novelverse, unless Alex Marcus and the lower-key S31-prime crop up in a 23rd century novel.

    -It's worth pointing out that according to DC comics' "The Star Crossed" Carol Marcus served in Starfleet for a few years.

    -The movie seems to confirm a branching timeline in 2233. Care was taken to keep Khan's backstory consistent with canon (ethnicity aside, which was already wonky after Wrath of Khan), and there were models of the Phoenix, Ringship Enterprise, NX-Alpha and Enterprise NX-01 on a desk in Admiral Marcus' office.

    -Spock's mention that Khan's goals included "the extermination of all those not considered superior" (or words to that effect) sounded like a reference to Khan's plan to use the modified strep-A to exterminate all regular humans in Greg Cox's The Eugenics Wars, Volume Two.:)


    Anything else that may be of relevance to the novels?
     
  2. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Spock stated that Scotty-Prime created the Transwarp beaming equation. Since he didn't do this pre-Jenolin then it must have been after the TNG films but before Ambassador Spock went back in time.

    Therefore the Prime universe will invent Transwarp beaming around 2379-2387. Whether it was ever used or Spock was simply called in by Scotty to look over the finished equation is another matter.
     
  3. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Transwarp beaming is now canon in the prime universe so needs to be addressed in Treklit. It also needs to be 'managed' - there needs to be a good reason that it can't be regularly used or made safer, otherwise, ships become redundant.

    We also have to accept that everything we see in the JJverse looks the same in the prime universe unless there is proof in the earlier shows/films that it doesn't OR a plausible reason for the difference in the novel.
     
  4. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    The Scotty cliffhanger at the end of Indistinguishable From Magic is intended to be read as him testing out that potentiality (ISTR putting a line in, echoing the "if space itself is moving" from the movie)
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I've said before, there's already an interstellar transporter technology that was known to exist prior to 2370, the subspace transporter used in TNG: "Bloodlines." But as that episode explained, it's rarely used because of the immense power expenditure and risk involved. I don't see anything in the way transwarp beaming has been portrayed in the films that requires it to be a new technology rather than this very same one. In both of the cases we've seen it used, it's been an emergency use, a situation where the risk was seen as warranted. Its more advanced form in this movie could be a consequence of Khan's superintelligent weapons research on Section 31's behalf -- maybe he found a way to take it farther than scientists in the Primeverse did. Perhaps because he was less concerned about safety.

    So if you want to talk about the consequences of interstellar beaming to the novelverse, it should be a conversation about the ramifications of "Bloodlines." This has been a potential issue for 19 years now; it's just that nobody really opted to address the issue because "Bloodlines" wasn't all that memorable an episode.


    A lot of stuff does seem to be happening prematurely in the Abramsverse. The tech is more advanced, the dress uniforms resemble those seen in TMP (though I loved the costuming nod to the hat glimpsed in Pike's quarters in "The Cage"), and if you accept the comics (which I have some doubts about, as expressed in the relevant thread), then a lot of Kirk's missions are happening years sooner as well. Maybe the particular nature of the quantum entanglement created by the Red Matter is causing more bleedthrough of events from the original timeline than would usually be the case.

    EDIT: Although, come to think of it, maybe the Narada incident drove the Klingons to accelerate their fleet buildup and energy production, causing the Praxis disaster to occur sooner.


    Again, Abramsverse tech is clearly more advanced. The favored explanation suggested by Roberto Orci is that the Kelvin's scans of the Narada's future tech were retrieved by Starfleet (downloaded onto the escape shuttles, I assume) and this allowed them to advance their own technology substantially in the ensuing 25 years. So there's no reason why this should have any impact on the Prime-continuity novels. It's unique to the alternate reality.


    S31's enlarged role stands to reason, since they consider their mission brief to be defending the Federation in times of extreme threat. It's a natural response to the destruction of Vulcan -- and you're right that their fear of Romulan attack in the wake of the Narada's arrival probably provoked an increased security response as well.

    And we don't know if the Primeverse Alexander Marcus would be affiliated with S31 or would even be in Starfleet. The divergence happened 26 years before, after all, and a wealth of stuff has changed in the interval.


    Although that story is not in continuity with the novelverse, and other versions say she wasn't. I don't recall what Vanguard said about her past. But there's no reason why anything revealed here about Carol should have any impact on the novelverse. I mean, she's clearly had a very different life, since she was evidently raised in England.


    He was given a false identity, and as a major historical figure he had a recognizable face. It stands to reason his Caucasian appearance is the result of cosmetic surgery.


    I loved seeing the Ringship! My only quibble is that they put it before the Phoenix, which conflicts with what I posited about it in DTI: Watching the Clock. Maybe they were going by the old "Starliner" idea. Anyway, it's just a model on a desk, so its position isn't definitive.


    Good catch! I was afraid it conflicted with Greg's version. The line about them being sentenced to death as war criminals was problematical, but maybe they were tried in absentia.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  6. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It's worth noting that in Space Seed, even Marla McGivers, the historian he hooked up with in that was obsessed with him as a historical figure, didn't recognize him. While it is certainly plausible he had cosmetic surgery to hide, perhaps there is some sort of in universe explanation like his imagine being erased from historical records? Just a thought, because when I recently watched Space Seed I kept thinking how odd it was that no one recognized such a major figure.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Except they did show a photo of Khan on the briefing room viewscreen once they knew who he was. It's just one of those plot holes that show up in series TV sometimes because they don't have time to think through the ramifications of every detail. Like, how come nobody knew that Data was Noonien Soong's creation even though he looked exactly like Noonien Soong?
     
  8. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I just rewatched the episode and saw that. He's even wearing the same clothes.
     
  9. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I have to admit my memory of the Soong episodes is kind of vague ATM, but was it ever established if Soong was that well known? I always thought that perhaps nobody outside of the people that knew him personally were aware of him and his work with AIs. Or at least he wasn't well enough known that people would immediately recognize his likeness.
     
  10. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not just "Bloodlines" - we also saw Dukat make use of a subspace transporter to move Kira from Deep Space Nine to Empok Nor in "Covenant." I'm not sure if it was established to be Dominion technology or not there, but I know it was established as Dominion technology when it was re-used in Fearful Symmetry to transport Dukat and later Iliana from Letau to Harkoum. It therefore also stands to reason that it was the same technology that beamed Eris away in "The Jem'Hadar."

    .
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, but people knowledgeable in the AI field would've known of him or known him personally, and those same people would surely have studied Data once he was discovered. Besides, as I recall "Datalore," the away team recognized the name "Noonien Soong" the moment they heard it, so he can't have been that obscure.

    (The problem, of course, is that the producers originally had no intention of having Spiner play Soong. I mean, his name is Chinese in origin. They had cast Keye Luke to play the role in "Brothers," but he died soon thereafter and they had to recast. So when they decided to have it be Spiner in makeup, it created a retroactive continuity problem.)
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, I couldn't remember for sure how much they recognized him before hand.
    Perhaps some of the inconsistencies there come from Data's backstory changing after the series started?
     
  13. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And since Scotty had obviously then passed the data on to Spock, it looks very much like he survived !
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    While that is true, I think the ramifications of this long-distance beaming need to be explored. Even if it were just used for cargo, beaming it to the edge of a star system for local collection, it could virtually eliminate cargo ships and put people out of work. Trek lit has given Treknology a long-overdue nudge forward (working versions of the quantum slipstream drive and Romulan phasing cloak, for example). If it will redefine Trek, it'd be cool to explore that. If it won't, let's find out why not.
    About those TMP-style dress uniforms - I know it goes against traditional thinking, but I wonder if what we saw in TMP (or perhaps even ID) were the Earthside uniforms of the TOS era?
    I'm not sure it is much more advanced. Certainly moreso than is depicted in technical publications and writers guides, but I don't think anything happens in the movie, from long-distance calls to superfast warping to Kronos, that hasn't happened before in Trek's canon - they just based their version of Trek on the faster end of the previous examples. The rest (like the cool glass in the brig) I put down to seeing the 23rd century from the perspective of 2013 instead of 1966 or 79. Of course, YMMV.
    Oh, I knew the comic wasn't part of the current continuity. I was just suprised to come across it and see that Carol Marcus being in Starfleet wasn't a new idea.
    I've heard this theory a few times now. I'm not particularly fond of it, and prefer to see it as a simple retcon. After all, even if there is a strong resemblence, who in their right mind is going to think Khan Noonien Singh is alive and well in 2259? Arik Soong considered the S.S. Botany Bay to be a myth.

    IDW will be publishing a John Harrison backstory soon-ish. I'm curious how they deal with it (it at all)
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But the 24th-century Federation is a post-scarcity, moneyless economy. Nobody has to work for a living. Nobody's going to starve or be deprived of housing or education or medical care just because they lose a job. They work because they want to, because they find the work rewarding, and if one job goes away they can find a different one if they so desire.


    I've long felt that the intention of the designers in TMP was that what we were seeing was not a wholesale redesign in-universe, but just a more accurate portrayal of what it had looked like all along, which the TV series hadn't had the budget to get across. We know that's what Roddenberry intended with the Klingon redesign. And the Abrams films seem to be following a similar premise, that the technology and costume designs we saw in the movie era had been around sooner despite how it appeared in TOS.


    Sure, that's one way of looking at it. And for a production today to depict future technology no differently than a 1960s show did would be silly. But the "reverse engineered from the Narada" explanation is a handy justification for the change if you want it to be.



    The problem there is metatextual: It would be offensive and unacceptable to cast a white actor to play a Sikh in and of itself. There's far too much of a tendency in Hollywood already to cast white actors in roles that should be played by Asians -- The Last Airbender and Cloud Atlas have both drawn controversy for their choices in that regard. If we're supposed to believe that this is Khan's unaltered face, then that's just more racially insensitive casting, and Star Trek should be better than that. Assuming he got plastic surgery doesn't do much to make the casting more acceptable, but at least it's something.
     
  16. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Khan circa 1982

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1hMTJiB5h...h-star-trek-the-movies-13224001-1000-1265.jpg

    And this was the guy who played him in the 1960s.

    Um, also FYI Khan was said to maybe be an Indian Sikh in one episode back in the 1960s from an alternate 1990s where we had interstellar sleeper spaceships and parts of the Earth were ruled genetically engineered tyrants that was played by a man from Mexico.

    Plus its been pointed out that Khan has a bit of a cultural mishmash thing going on what with not having the complete Indian Sikh look and Khan being a Mongolian tittle. So I can't really muster the outrage on this one.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, of course, because it was a common practice in the 1960s to cast white actors as Asian characters, often with offensively caricatured makeup and accents. The point is that by this day and age, we should be more racially enlightened than our forebears half a century ago and recognize such practices as unacceptable. There are a ton of talented South Asian actors in Hollywood, the UK, and elsewhere, so there's no good reason not to cast one of them -- unless the character has been given a false identity with the distinctly English name "John Harrison," and a change in appearance to boot. (Although they could've just given him a more modest makeover and renamed him something like Mohinder Basra. But that might've been too much of a tipoff to the audience.)


    Alternate to us, perhaps, but you're forgetting that the Abrams timeline is meant to have diverged from the Prime timeline only in 2233. Everything before that year should be identical in both continuities.


    Actually it's a common surname throughout South and Central Asia, though I'll grant it's unusual as a Sikh given name. And "Noonien" is actually of Chinese origin. Even so, it doesn't make casting a white guy any less incongruous.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps in this case it's better to have a magnesium-flare white guy playing the murderous terrorist Khan, rather than a guy who looks indian or middle eastern? The latter has become an unfortunate stereotype.
     
  19. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Especially since he ends up trying to crash a starship into San Francisco at one point, because frankly a guy who looks indian or middle eastern attempting to reenact 9/11 turned up to eleven kind of comes off a pretty damned offensive.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yes, and that can be justified with the "John Harrison" secret identity, and the assumption that a changed face went along with it. That's all I'm saying -- that as long as there's a story reason for the "race lift," it isn't as objectionable.