NEW ONGOING STAR TREK SERIES FROM IDW!!!

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Trek Survivor, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Fer

    Fer Commander Red Shirt

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    Getting back to the Tribbles...

    This issue is a great follow-up to their take on "Return of the Archons." As Allyn Gibson said, this isn't "The Trouble with Tribbles," this is an entirely new Tribble story, and it's great! I especially loved
    getting to see the natural Tribble predator, and getting to see the Tribble homeworld which had a very TAS feel to me.

    The series got off to a shaky start with its first two stories being so close to the originals, but from "Operation: Annihilate!" forward I feel they've just gotten better and better.
     
  2. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Probably more dangerous than you think, in this circumstance. He's beaming them onto the Enterprise, but it's not laid out anything like HIS Enterprise...
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it would've had to be a different beagle, because a beagle's life expectancy is 13-15 years. If Trekverse geriatric science were advanced enough to let a dog live over 107 years, then humans would already have life expectancies in the thousands.

    Second, it's not like it's unusual for pet preferences to be passed down from generation to generation. After all, children grow up with the pets their parents keep. So the beagle reinforces that it would be someone in Archer's family, yes, but not Jonathan himself, not when he would have to be 146 years old, which would break all canonically established records of natural human longevity. The probability of Jonathan Archer being the oldest human in recorded history is vanishingly low, while the probability of Jonathan Archer having descendants who followed him into Starfleet and inherited his love of beagles is extremely high. There's only one reasonable interpretation here.

    Oh, and another thing: According to Archer's bio in "In a Mirror, Darkly," he retired from Starfleet in 2169 to become ambassador to Andoria, then became a Federation councillor, then the President of the UFP. Granted, that wasn't stated in dialogue so it isn't strictly canonical, but if you accept it, then nobody is going to refer to a former president as "Admiral Archer" instead of "President Archer." So it would have to be someone else.


    We saw a McCoy who was nine years younger than Archer would've had to be, and he was portrayed as exceptionally ancient. And that was with the benefit of geriatric science more than a century beyond what Archer would've had available. By analogy, it would be far more reasonable to postulate a character from a present-day series living to age 100 than it would be for a character from a Western.



    But Stargates were limited by needing a receiving station.


    You could beam probes there. The reason for sending live explorers out in ships is because you need sentient beings on the scene in case something goes wrong, and then you need large crews to support the social and psychological requirements of those beings on long journeys. With interstellar transporters, you could just send probes everywhere, and just beam experts to the scene if there were a particular need for it.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Abrams/his Cohorts did say Admiral Archer was meant to be Jonathan Archer. And Archer's file in IAMD did say he was eventually promoted to Admiral, and even lived until 2245. Of course, that would mean Scotty's been on Delta Vega over a decade.

    But even if we ignore this, Admiral Archer must have been someone prominent in Starfleet, if even his dog is well known to a cadet. Therefore, my point stands that Scotty wouldn't have taken the celebrity pet of a well-known Starfleet admiral and used him in his transporter experiment unless he was 100% confident it would work.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If it's not onscreen, it's not canon. Lots of creators have had intentions that were later contradicted, and this is an intention that, as I've explained, is vanishingly improbable. Heck, Mike Sussman's intention in the IaMD bio was that Archer died in 2245, so the two extracanonical intentions pretty much cancel each other out. It's arbitrary to take one as gospel and ignore the contradictory one. So we should disregard intentions and go by the actual evidence and probabilities.


    And, again, that he later became president, and nobody is going to refer to a former president as "Admiral." So if you accept the IaMD bio as evidence, it's compelling evidence against the admiral in question being Jonathan Archer.

    As for his date of death, that could of course be different in the timeline that diverged in 2233, but as I've explained, the demographics are profoundly against it. Living to 133 in that era? An extraordinary feat, but not entirely out of the question. Living to 146, longer than any established human being in Trek other than Flint? With each added year, his continued survival gets more and more unlikely.


    Yes, thank you, that's what I'm trying to say. It stands to reason that Jonathan Archer had heirs, descendants. There could be a lot of Archers in Starfleet service. (It's even possible that the Valerie Archer impersonated by a member of Species 8472 in VGR: "In the Flesh" was based on a real person.) The idea that Archer left such a vibrant, living legacy in Starfleet is a very appealing one, and I don't understand why so few people even imagine the possibility.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    FWIW, here's what Mike Sussman himself had to say, when I brought the subject up in the Enterprise forum last year:

     
  7. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    And according to Mem Alpha.
     
  8. Fer

    Fer Commander Red Shirt

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    :guffaw::guffaw:
     
  9. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Using your criteria then we don;t know for sure that it was McCoy we saw in Encounter at Farpoint. We know that the person was saw was an admiral in Starfleet. That he had a certain affection for ships named Enterprise and he was familiar with Vulcans. He's never referred to by name. He was played by DeForest Kelly but many actors have played multiple roles. At best we can say that it's possible, even likely, that it was McCoy but we don't know for sure.

    BTW, Dwight Eisenhower was and is often referred to as General Eisenhower as well as President Eisenhower.He wouldn't be referred to formally as General while he was president but quite often and informally he was referred to as General after his presidential tenure was over.
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Excellent point, it is universally accepted that that is Leonard McCoy in Farpoint even though on screen dialogue only refers to him as "the Admiral." Hell, even the end credits just say "Special Appearance by DeForest Kelley" with no mention of his character's name. Granted the guy hates the transporter and makes snide comments about Vulcans, but really there is as much canon evidence that "the Admiral" is meant to be McCoy as there is that "Admiral Archer" is Jonathan Archer.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    At least in that case, we saw his face. No, canonically we don't know for certain that it's McCoy, but given the evidence we have -- his appearance, his dialogue -- the hypothesis that it is Leonard McCoy has a very high probability. Conversely, we have no canonical evidence to suggest that Jonathan Archer living to a record-breaking age is more probable than Jonathan Archer having heirs who also went into Starfleet and liked beagles. The latter is far more likely to be true.

    This is how you decide between different possibilities. Very few things in life are matters of absolute certainty. There's always room for doubt, and there are a lot of things that you can't know directly and have to deduce from limited evidence. So the thing to do is to think about the options in terms of probability. You pick the interpretation that's most likely, that's the best fit to the available evidence and to your understanding of the world in general. And you don't favor a far less probable option over a far more probable one unless you have solid evidence to back it up. As Carl Sagan said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. They're the ones that the burden of proof lies on. So I'm not going to believe an extraordinary claim like Jonathan Archer living that long unless I'm presented with proof.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The thing is, you assume Archer must have lived all those intervening years and actually be 150. He did more time travel than anyone else for starters. Then there are a million other possibilities - like Columbia's relativistic journey in Destiny, dozens of temporal phenomena we've seen over the years etc etc. Bizarre is the norm for Star Trek characters.

    It's not real life, it's fiction. I see a cool crossover story waiting to be told one day (one deliberately hinted at in the movie, no less), not a mistake to be grossed over and rewritten.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^No, I'm not assuming that. The whole point is that I refuse to assume anything. I'm assessing probabilities based on the available evidence, like any scientist or scholar would do. I'm not insisting that anything is a "fact" or a certainty, I'm just weighing the relative likelihood of the hypotheses. I'm pointing out that we have no actual proof one way or the other so nothing should be assumed -- particularly not a premise that's incredibly unlikely and would require extraordinary circumstances to be true. Why is that so hard to understand?

    I'm not saying it can't possibly have been Jonathan Archer -- sure, extraordinary and ridiculous circumstances can and do happen in Trek. I'm just puzzled that everyone seems to assume it was him, when there's another possible interpretation that's a lot simpler and more believable. I'm puzzled that it never even seems to occur to anyone that he could have had descendants, or that someone who's been president would not be called "Admiral."
     
  14. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It is worth noting that people in the 1800s (and earlier) did live to be 100, though it wasn't exactly common. The last surviving Union soldier from the American Civil War was 108 when he died in 1956. Have we seen anything on screen that says people don't live to be 150 in the 23rd century? Did they say McCoy being so old was rare? It isn't hard for me to suspend disbelief that Archer survived to 147+ years old in a world where faster than light travel, transporters, and telepathy exist.

    This can be explained as well. If he was at Starfleet Academy, one could think after he retired from the Presidency he reassociated himself with Starfleet in some way, perhaps he became an instructor or advisor. Knowing how little he thought of politics (based on various jabs he makes about politicians in Star Trek: Enterprise) and how enthusiastic he was about Starfleet perhaps he preferred people refer to him as Admiral rather than President.

    As to why people assume it is Jonathan Archer, I think the answer is simple, why not have it be Jonathan Archer? People want to believe he is still alive at that point in the timeline, and while a stretch, it's not too bad of one.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, that's the point. It's not about absolute possibility or impossibility. It's about probability. Living that long was far more unlikely back then than it is today, so having a character live that long would be more believable in a present-day story.

    The dialogue seemed to imply it was fairly remarkable. And we had later episodes like "Too Short a Season" that portrayed a man in his 80s as decrepit and near death, and nobody there said he was far too young to be in that condition. In DS9, Dax once assured O'Brien that she expected him to die peacefully in bed at 140, implying that was seen as an above-average life expectancy, near the top of the curve (since if that were just an average or low life expectancy, it would hardly have been as optimistic a prediction as she intended).

    Sure, in the absence of evidence, it would be reasonable to assume that. But that's just it -- I'm trained to base my conclusions on the evidence, and the evidence canon presents, while not conclusive, implies that living to 140 is a best-case scenario in the 24th century, while also suggesting that 24th-century medicine is significantly more advanced than 22nd- or 23rd-century medicine. Thus it seems unlikely that someone born in 2122 could be expected to live to the age of 146.


    Doesn't work that way. The highest title always takes precedence. Anyone who referred to a former president as "Admiral" instead of "President" would be committing a serious breach of respect and protocol. So there's no way that would become an accepted practice in Starfleet. Sure, it's possible Scotty was misspeaking, but it's unlikely. When was the last time you heard someone refer to President Eisenhower as "General Eisenhower," except when talking about his accomplishments before the presidency?


    I think I've presented many reasons "why not." You don't say "why not" about an incredibly unlikely interpretation when there's a far simpler and more probable interpretation.

    And why wouldn't people want to believe that he left a legacy? That he had children and grandchildren who carried on his tradition of Starfleet service (and loving beagles)? I think that's a far more heartwarming and desirable interpretation than just "He lived to be incredibly old and dropped dead right after the movie."
     
  16. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You are assuming the practice and protocols of modern day real world military carry forward to Starfleet with the same rigidity. But as Gene Roddenberry loved to point out, Starfleet isn't military. I could easily see someone with a long service record preferring to be called Admiral instead of President, despite what protocol says while involved in Starfleet related tasks. If he was a professor and would correct his students when they called him President, than the habit could spread. If the former President of the Federation wants to be called Admiral while he teaches at Starfleet Academy, using his Starfleet title, than who would a cadet be to argue?

    Sure I do, I say that about lots of things in Star Trek. If I say it about McCoy showing up and wandering around in Ecounter at Farpoint, I have precedent for saying it about Archer. The dialogue in that episode led me to believe 137 was old, but not any different than how 80 is old now. Sure, we haven't seen a lot of guys 140 years old in Star Trek, but that's because most of what we see is on star ships or bases where retired people are less likely to frequent. There was an Enterprise episode that said the average lifespan was 100, perhaps by TOS the average lifespan was 120 and living to 150 was uncommon but not unheard of. I haven't seen anything or read anything that would contradict that.

    Nothing says he can't live to 146 and have a legacy.

    The writers said they intended it to be Jonathan Archer. Is that canon? Nope, but neither is the concept of his decedents. I doubt canon will ever say one way or the other.
     
  17. Admiral James Kirk

    Admiral James Kirk Writer Admiral

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    I say it's Archer. We all know who it was intended to be. The writers say outright who it's intended to be. Scott Bakula himself got the joke. Let's not let something so silly as real world life spans and Christopher's need for empirical evidence ruin the cute little Easter egg they planted there for us.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, the whole point is that you shouldn't assume. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You're the one making the claim in opposition to established evidence and precedent, so the burden of proof lies on you. This is fundamental reasoning and argument.

    Besides, we're not talking about the military. We're talking about the presidency, which is a civilian post in the UFP as well as the USA. It's a custom of both military and civilian protocol that the highest former rank or title earned by an individual supersedes all lower ranks when addressing or referring to them. You wouldn't refer to President Obama as Senator Obama or President Carter as Governor Carter any more than you'd refer to President Eisenhower as General Eisenhower or President Kennedy as Lieutenant Kennedy.


    Which was BS, because it's obviously military in its forms and structure. No, it isn't warlike, but it clearly uses naval forms and traditions and discipline -- something Roddenberry embraced and incorporated willingly when he created TOS, since he was a veteran of both the military and the police. It was only later, in the TNG era when he'd bought into the myth of himself as a visionary philosopher, that he began to treat that military aspect as a bad thing. Yet he still didn't erase the fact that Starfleet followed military forms and protocols.


    So if you were on a jury and they showed you surveillance footage of the defendant robbing a bank, and the defense claim was that he was possessed by ghosts and made to do it against his will, would you say "why not?" and vote for acquittal? This is basic reasoning. In the absence of certain knowledge, the more likely interpretation is favored over the less likely one. That's what "likely" means!


    I've already explained the difference between those two situations. The available evidence strongly supports it being McCoy. We have no actual canonical evidence that the admiral is Jonathan Archer instead of his daughter or grandson or something. It's simply a matter of following the evidence. If there were any real evidence that it was Jonathan rather than a different Archer, then I'd accept that, just as I accept that the guy who looks and talks and acts like McCoy is almost certainly McCoy. But since there is no conclusive evidence for that, and since it's so unlikely, I remain skeptical.


    But that's for someone born in the era in question. Someone born in 2122 with a life expectancy of a hundred can be expected to make it into the 23rd century, but their life expectancy doesn't suddenly increase once they get there, not statistically speaking, since they haven't had the benefit of 23rd-century medicine their whole lives the way someone born in 2233 would. So sure, Christopher Pike might have a life expectancy of 120 or better, but that doesn't mean Jonathan Archer would, even if their lifespans did overlap.


    *sigh* Which is exactly the point I've been trying to make all along -- that you don't make assumptions without evidence. Sure, maybe there's a remote chance that it could be Jonathan Archer, but I get so sick of everyone assuming that it is and never even considering that there's room for doubt, that there's a simpler, more likely interpretation that shouldn't be rejected out of hand.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    One mans "cute" is another mans "dumb" much like the Delta Vega Easter Egg. I thought from day one they were referring to one of Archer's descendants.

    How would Scott even get at someone like Archer who was a one-time Federation president?
     
  20. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that the main reason why people assume that Admiral Archer is Jonathan Archer is because they want him to be the same person.
     

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