IS the okuda timeline canon?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by sariel2005, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    similar discussion occured in the TOS thread. I have been watching TNG a lot lately and IMO the book is a bit flawed with its dating ( which in fairness it seems to admit) anyone got any thoughts on how it is and isn't correct?
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well given that ST is 47 years old some contradictions will have crept in. But it basically comes down to if it's not mentioned in a TV episode or film it conjecture.
     
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The cookie cutter answer is that books are never canon, only what's on screen is. That said, I think everyone is mature enough to decide for themselves what they consider to be part of their Trek experience. Having never read the book, I can't comment on the dating, but it isn't as if the on screen stuff has never contradicted itself.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I have the 1993 edition of the Star Trek Chronology. They did try to make it as accurate as they could, with additional notes on how they arrived at conjectures. It's interesting looking at it 20 years later, and seeing how ENT was slipped into a short period of time where there are no previously established or estimated dates.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    This disclaimer on page viii sums it up:

    We hope this chronology will make it easier for Star Trek writers to remain consistant with what's been established to date and for fans to keep track of Star Trek's elaborate back story. We do not, however, want this to intimidate our writer friends or to inhibit the imaginations of fans who may have differing interpretations of the Star Trek timeline. As such, we encourage both fans and writers to take this material with a grain of salt and to enjoy it in the spirit it was intended, as a fun way to explore the Star Trek universe.

    As First Contact and Star Trek: Enterprise showed, writers were more than happy to rewrite the chronology and disregard the conjectural dates within. It's still a fun book and an excellent resource.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    Can't word a disclaimer better than that.
     
  7. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    The Star Trek Chronology and Encyclopedia are my two favorite Trek books to just pick up and browse.
     
  8. Lego Thrawn

    Lego Thrawn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    For me it's the TNG Technical Manual... I love reading the few pages that detail the design and construction of the 1701-D.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I like the books put out in the mid-90's and use them as a baseline whenever I have questions about on-screen Trek produced in that era. But I know that any live-action writer will never be bound by them when working on a story.

    Canon is fluid.
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Both Kirk and Khan, humans of Earth, stated audibly in ST II / TWOK that they hadn't seen each other for 15 years. (IIRC there was still another reference in the longer version of the film).

    Unfortunately these "15 years" were not reflected in the "Okuda Timeline" so the time figures of Kirk's era became debatable and unreliable. :thumbdown:

    Bob
     
  11. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Absolutely. This is by far the biggest credibility killer in the Chronology, but it isn't the only one.

    As for the OP, I'd question whether the Okuda timeline was ever canon. AFAIC, the fact that the Okudas both worked on the production team was not proof that the Chronology was canon. The Okudas themselves more or less stated as such in the book (and the second edition was quite pleased to point out that First Contact flatly contradicted their own version of the first warp flight as theorized in the first edition), and with virtually every entry prefaced with the word 'Conjecture', I think it's fair to say that the 'canonicity of the Okuda timeline', if any, is up the individual reader.

    I loved the Chronology and would welcome a third edition that covers the entire prime timeline now that it's more or less a closed book (for now). But I'd never have ever called it a "go to" text for canon. :)
     
  12. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know (or care) about "cannon", but I enjoy the book, and use it for dating and other reference purposes simply because I know of no other source.
     
  13. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    ^ I think in terms of being a resource it's an excellent text. But it carries no clear 'weight' (IMO) over anything else. The Okudas' "conjecture" is more or less the same as any one of us here on the TrekBBS coming up with elaborate explanations for events. In real terms unless it gets said on television then it didn't really happen.

    I guess what I'm saying is the Chronology is basically just 'fanon' which has come to be accepted because there is no true alternative. You know, for monumental events in the mythology like the birthdates of major characters in TOS there is no canon information, so most of us accept the 'fanon' put forward by the likes of the Okudas as a viable alternative. The Okudas tended to solve this problem by (unless otherwise stated) assuming the character is simply the same age as the actor, but again it isnt a perfect solution by any means. It works, but it isn't elegant.
     
  14. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Commander Red Shirt

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    More like canon-in-waiting. We must be careful about contradicting its conjectures, because of Mike Okuda's easy access to the canon. On the other hand, Ron Moore says he asked Okuda if 2063 is OK for the date of First Contact, and MO reportedly didn't correct him with the conjectural 2061. Still, let's not forget that Orci canonized Okuda's 2233 and almost 2230 as well, so we're likely to see more in the future.
     
  15. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    2061 vs. 2063 for Cochrane's flight isn't too big a deal, IMO. There are a couple of things that have shifted a couple of years one way or the other since the Okudachron was published, and that was probably to be expected.

    For the most part, the book seems to hold up as published. I don't agree with a couple of things, like the dating for TWoK vs. Space Seed. But there is more that is correct than not in the book, IMO.

    Would love to see an updated version that includes ENT and the Trek movies we've seen since the last edition was published.

    And to answer the OP: No. In fact the authors say as much in the book itself.
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    A far more troubling question opens up from the Okudas' insistence on including a period of time for the conjectural 'Phase II' adventures following TMP. Sure, it's clear that a lot of things were changed between TMP and TWOK, and the Okudas wanted to reflect that it appears to have been quite a substantial amount of time between those movies in-universe. But it's this that opens up the biggest can of worms, because in terms of a realistic time-frame in regards to time since the events of "Space Seed", TWOK can't be too far from TMP. Virtually the entire TOS movie series is kind of bumped along in time to take into account Kirk's (conjectural) second five year mission in the refit Enterprise, and that's what causes most of the headaches until TNG restabilizes things again with it's firm setting.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    The large gap of time between TMP and TWOK is because onscreen, TMP was said to take place about 2 1/2 years after the 5-year mission, while TWOK took place about 15 years after a specific year of the same mission. The conjectural 5-year mission after TMP is just a way of partially filling the gap that the movies themselves had established...and it's in the spirit of the closing scene of TMP.
     
  18. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well if we accept that Space Seed occurs in 2267, and that TWoK takes place 15 years later as stated on-screen, which would be 2282, and that TMP takes place in 2273 (per VGR); that still gives us about nine years between TMP and TWoK to play with uniforms and additional 5-year missions, or whatever.
     
  19. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

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    Another vote for a new edition. But with all the timeline changes from ENT, not to mention NuTrek, I sure wouldn't want to try to write it.
     
  20. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, ENT didn't change a whole lot. It added four seasons worth of stuff, though.

    As for "nuTrek", I would put it in an appendix at the end of the book since it is a seperate parallel/alternate timeline just like the "Mirror" universe.