Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

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

  1. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Whereas I'm willing to write it off this time because really only people who have actually seen Space Seed would be aware of it and they used MAYBE in that one episode and said description was from Marla "How the hell did she even graduate Starfleet Academy let alone get assigned to the Enterprise?" McGivers, so its not really an incontrovertible fact here it was speculation.

    Besides the Space Seed 1990s had all sorts of major differences with the regular 1990s, so who else knows what other differences they had.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't know what you're referring to here. Spock Prime named him in the film as Khan Noonien Singh. So that's not a reference to "Space Seed." The character's full name, with a Sikh surname, is something that was established within the film itself.

    Again: the difference between Trek continuity and reality is irrelevant to the question of how two different branches of fictional Trek continuity relate to each other. We know for a fact that the Primeverse and the Abramsverse diverged from each other as a result of Nero's incursion. That is the whole underlying assumption of the movie continuity: that it's the same universe as Prime until 2233. This was reaffirmed in the scene in the film where we saw models of a number of previously established canonical ships, including the ringship Enterprise, the Phoenix, and NX-01, on Admiral Marcus's desk.

    So we know this Khan has to be the same individual we met in "Space Seed," and that he lived exactly the same life prior to his exile. The only difference is that in the new timeline, the Botany Bay was found a decade earlier by Section 31.
     
  3. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Another explanation for the STiD Khan looking so different that the TOS Khan: they are two different people.


    The film never actually stated that this John Harrison character was Noonien Singh. The character only refers to himself as "Khan", never "Noonien" or "Singh". The only character who refers to him as Noonien Singh in the film is Spock Prime, and Spock Prime was really only talking about the Khan that he knew from his timeline, not having any details about this particular Khan. Remember, "Khan" is a title.


    Perhaps this particular superman was just on the Botany Bay, but wasn't actually Noonien Singh. He could have been another of Singh's followers who just took the title because Singh was no longer alive or active to hold the title. The problem with this theory, of course, is the numbers. "Space Seed" established that there were 85 supermen on the Botany Bay originally, but 12 cryogenic chambers failed, leaving 73 (including Khan Noonien Singh), with Singh being the first to revive. So in the JJverse alternate timeline it would again make sense for Singh to be the one reanimated first, with the other 72 staying in cryo. And that is apparently the backstory of this movie.
    But there are ways around that. For instance, the Botany Bay was found over 5 years earlier in this timeline than in the Prime one. Perhaps one less cryo unit had failed in that time, meaning 74 were still active when the Botany Bay is found. Singh awakes first, but is killed by Section 31 agents for some reason. [Or Singh dies upon reanimation; remember that almost happen in “Space Seed” and only didn’t happen because McCoy and Kirk were there to help.] Or maybe Section 31 put Singh back in cryo because he was hard to control. Then Section 31 reanimates a different superman, maybe one they thought would be easier to control. This new superman learns that Singh is dead and takes on the leadership role of "Khan" for the 72 still stuck in cryo.


    Anyway, all this just means that the new movie version of Khan doesn’t have to have any connection or correlation with the Khan we’ve seen in prior Trek or the novelverse.
     
  4. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I understand why many novel writers don’t want to have to deal with long-range/transwarp beaming. [Christopher L. Bennett has made many good arguments about how it can be ignored as previously-established tech, etc.] Because a safe, reliable long-range transportation tech would be a big game changer. As we’ve talked about before. Even if it wasn’t safe for personnel movement, it could certainly be used for cargo—or more significantly, bombs in a war.
    But I just don’t think we can/should continue ignoring it. And I think the main arguments for being able to ignore it have been weakened yet again by STiD.
    The 2 main arguments for being able to ignore long-range beaming and not bring it up in the novels are:
    (1) It’s dangerous. The new movie give us yet another example of a successful transport. Just adding to all the other successful transports that we’ve already seen. Against not a single un-successful transport seen. [Scotty beaming into the warp core in ST09 was not a failure of the transport tech, just the coordinates that were being used.] It’s becoming more-and-more difficult to say long-range beaming is significantly risky.
    (2) It takes a lot of power. This argument was based on Data and La Forge’s description of subspace beaming in “Bloodlines”. But we see in STiD that not much power is really necessary. John Harrison’s ship had no warp drive. And the long-range transporter device that allowed him to go all the way to Qo’noS was small enough to be carried by hand. The amount of power necessary seems a very reasonably small amount—certainly well within the abilities of a normal starship to produce.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It can be a title. That doesn't mean it can't be a given name. There are certainly people whose first names are also titles, like the musician Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson), actor Judge Reinhold, director King Vidor, actor Baron Vaughn, etc.

    Besides, if Khan had just been KNS's title rather than part of his name, then he wouldn't have been referred to as "Khan," but as "the Khan." It was consistently used throughout all three of his appearances as a name.


    Over 8 years, in fact. "Space Seed" was in 2267, and this film mostly takes place in early 2259 judging from the stardate. And Khan was definitely found some months before that.

    Which rather defeats the purpose of the filmmakers, doesn't it?


    We've seen it used exactly twice -- that's not nearly enough to establish a baseline for its reliability. Even if it failed only one time out of three or four, or even one time out of a hundred, that would hardly be considered a sufficient survival rate to justify putting it into everyday use.

    And I would submit that the coordinate error that endangered Scotty was an inseparable part of what makes it dangerous. The greater the distance you have to transport, the more any margin of error is magnified. If you have to beam someone 20,000 kilometers and the position error is one in a hundred billion, then their position will only be off by a fifth of a millimeter, unlikely to be enough to matter. But if you're beaming someone 20 light-years with the identical margin of positional error, then they could arrive anywhere within a volume 95 kilometers in radius! It's the sheer distance that magnifies the risk. The technology would have to be incredibly accurate and glitch-free, given the enormous cost of even the tiniest error.

    (We've seen this in other franchises. In the reboot Battlestar Galactica, we hear about it not being safe to use the hyperspace jump drive beyond the "red line" distance, and the reason for that is that the margin of error increases with distance -- the same percentage error in a much larger number translates to a much larger and more dangerous uncertainty of position.)


    Or it could've been a single-shot unit that poured all its power into one use.

    Certainly you have a point that transwarp beaming shows the likelihood of becoming a major technology in the Abramsverse pretty soon. But I'm perfectly happy to attribute that to the combined brilliance of Spock Prime and Khan and assume they enabled some additional insight that nobody in the Prime universe has had yet. Sure, if someone wanted to introduce it into the Primeverse novels, it could be justified (as long as the risk were reasonably addressed), but I'm perfectly content to let that breakthrough remain unmade for the foreseeable future.
     
  6. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Roberto Orci, in discussion on trekmovie.com has stated that the entire character arch of “John Harrison” was developed way before the idea came up to make him Khan. It was just a little added bonus that their “John Harrison” character back-story could be easily changed to incorporate the idea of getting “Khan” into the movie. So, apparently, their whole purpose was to just get the shock-and-awe of name recognition added to the pre-existing Harrison character. I think that can be served without this character ultimately having to be Khan Noonien Singh.

    Actually, this particular version of transwarp beaming was used twice in Star Trek 2009 [once to get Scotty and Kirk aboard Enterprise and once to get Kirk and Spock aboard the Nerada] and once in STiD.
    Plus, I was really referring to all types of long-range transporters, so you also have to add in TOS "Assignment: Earth”, TOS “The Gamesters of Triskelion”, TNG “Bloodlines”, DS9 “The Jem’Hadar”, DS9 “Covenant”. All these uses and never a failure.

    I’ve never said it had to be put into everyday use. I just think it should be addressed/developed in the novelverse. Maybe it is still a little too unreliable for people. But that doesn’t mean some people wouldn’t be willing to use it anyway—like criminals, like Bok in “Bloodlines”. And it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be used as a viable delivery method for weapons, goods, etc.


    Coordinate error would be an inseparable part of what makes long-range transport dangerous—if that was caused by the tech itself. But all the evidence says otherwise. In every situation where long-range transporters were used with good coordinates inputted into the system (see the long list above) it works well. In STiD the system was good enough to keep inaccuracies low even during a transport from Earth to Qo’noS.
    The only reason there was “coordinate error” in that one transport of Scotty in Star Trek ’09 was because Spock Prime was guessing about the coordinates. He didn’t actually know where the Enterprise was at the time. If he had had better coordinates to enter into the transport it would have worked fine. The transport system itself did work fine. According to the evidence, there is nothing wrong/dangerous/risky about the system, just the coordinates that Spock Prime had entered.

    Except that we know that someone did have that insight in the Prime universe. Scotty had it. And Spock knew about it. At least by 2387. That was established in the 2009 film.

    And I understand your reluctance. I’m just arguing that it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. Not if you want to be consistent with canon.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Even so, there are just too many ad hoc assumptions required to justify it. It's far, far simpler to conclude it's the same man who got cosmetic surgery, which is perfectly consistent with what we already know about him being given a false identity.


    Two times, three times -- statistically speaking, the difference is irrelevant. You'd need thousands of trials to say anything remotely responsible about its reliability.


    But those are separate inventions of very different civilizations, all more advanced than the 24th-century Federation. Yes, they demonstrate that it is theoretically possible to achieve the necessary precision, but they do not demonstrate that this particular technology is sufficiently near that point to be put into practice. It is far from compulsory for the novelverse to incorporate the movies' transwarp beaming into the 2380s timeframe. For all we know it could be another century before the technology becomes reliable enough to use.


    It could be, but I do not agree with "should." It depends on whether the story justifies it.


    Well, partly that's because highly improbable things always work in fiction. But the problem is intrinsic to the technology itself, just as the problem of fatal collisions is intrinsic to the technology of automobiles or the problem of falling out of the sky is intrinsic to the technology of aircraft. Once the technology becomes advanced enough, the risk can be minimized, but that doesn't mean the risk isn't intrinsic to the technology. Aegis, Triskelion, and Dominion tech are reliable enough because they've been around long enough to be perfected. But transwarp beaming is still a relative novelty, so it stands to reason that it's not perfected yet, and thus it's perfectly justifiable not to start using it in next year's novels.



    No, they had enough knowledge to make it possible but risky. What I'm proposing is that Khan may have come up with some further insight that allowed the development of the portable unit seen in the film, taking it beyond what the Prime universe has figured out yet. Again, it's about the relative level of advancement of the technology. You're arguing as if the only two options are "doesn't exist at all" and "works perfectly." That's not the way progress works. There are a lot of stages between the initial, unreliable form of a technology and its eventual, mature form.


    And I don't agree at all, for the reasons presented above.
     
  8. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm talking about McGiver's description of Khan when they found him as based on him MAYBE being from Northern India.

    And lets be honest his full name doesn't tell us much.

    I'm just using it to point out how a white guy who is the product of genetic engineering which mixed different ethnic groups could be named Khan Noonien Singh and possibly be considered an Indian Sikh especially since its a religion not an ethnic group.

    And I'm not seeing a problem with Khan being the same guy I looked up his Memory Alpha article they didn't bronze Montalban up that much, at best it looks like he got a tan.

    Yeah and I'm kind of seeing a resemblance between Montalban and Cumberbatch especially if you shorten Khan Prime's long hair and have him lose the tan it's kind of close enough, so I don't think they need to explain this one.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, I suppose you have a point. Still, I would've been happier if they'd found a South Asian actor to play the role. Not for in-story reasons, but for reasons of real-world fairness.
     
  10. Chris McCarver

    Chris McCarver Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think what made that scene where Kirk called Scotty on Earth from Klingon space offputting for some was that they were doing it with handheld communicators. Many has been the time we've seen on TNG and DS9 Picard, Sisko, or whomever speak with someone from Starfleet Command on their desktop monitors, so it may have seemed less credible that they're using handheld comms devices to make an interstellar phone call than the ship's more powerful communications systems. It's conceivable Kirk had Uhura patch his communicator into the ship's comms systems to speak to Scotty.

    Something I've noticed: Abrams has pretty much dismissed intercoms and desktop communications terminals in favor of using the handheld communicators for pretty much all person-to-person communications purposes. Guess it makes sense since eventually the TNG-era shows effused the shipboard intercom system in favor of just using the commbadges for that sort of thing.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And it probably reflects the modern usage of cell phones.

    That said, there were instances in TOS where characters used communicators for intraship contact -- starting with the very first appearance of a communicator ever, in Pike's quarters in "The Cage."
     
  12. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Didn't Pike ask Chekov to begin ship-wide mission broadcast, and the message was broadcast on screens (Kirk views it on a screen) in ST09? And again the intercom was used by Kirk when Spock stepped down after becoming emotionally compromised.

    And in STiD, Kirk used the ship-wide intercom. So, maybe there would be a movement toward using combadges, but intercoms haven't been dismissed by Abrams. At least, not yet.
     
  13. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    They're broadcasts though. As said before, I think Abrams has made the Communicators futuristic cell phones. You can still have the screen for video calls, but just need voice and the handhelds do the job.
     
  14. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Well, we'll know for sure only when non-Starfleet personnel on board ship need to contact someone. Even in TNG, I remember an episode (IIRC, "The Neutral Zone") where a greedy but anxious businessman who was in his quarters contacted Picard who was on the bridge through a one-to-one intercom.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, the designers of cell phones made them modern communicators. The whole reason so many cell phones over the years have had flip-open designs is because their designers wanted to play Star Trek. So if the influence is now going the other way, that's hardly inappropriate.
     
  16. Chris McCarver

    Chris McCarver Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Right, but, and I probably should have italicized that part for emphasis, I'd posted that person-to-person communication in and of itself was being wholly handled by the handhelds. Yeah, if they needed to speak to the whole crew at once they used the intership, but whereas in previous productions they only used the handhelds when off-ship, now their use is more widespread.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Usually, but as I already said, not exclusively. "The Cage" is one exception. I can't think of other examples offhand, but I'm pretty sure it's not unheard of. (I'm not counting "Mirror, Mirror," since the characters were using their communicators for privacy rather than use the mirror ship's intercoms.)
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I did smile when Pike was texted to report to Daystrom while in the bar with Kirk. Life imitates art imitates life.
     
  19. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    Oh absolutely. I was just talking about the context of the film. It's not a problem as I see it. If it really bugs anyone the ship was a giant transceiver, and because the Enterprise is nearby is why Kirk can make that call. Also throw the Narada explanation in there just for good measure.
     
  20. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

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    a completely way these new films have affected how i read the older TOS books, is i'm now i hearing/picturing Pine, Quinto etc in the roles, and the JJPrise in the books. I'm in the middle of reading "Yesterday''s Son" and my brain just keeps picturing the new crew. They are Kirk, Spock, etc.
     

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