On making references: For or Against

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Ketrick, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Ketrick

    Ketrick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Would you be for or against a new Trek series that is set in the future of the Prime Timeline to make an once in a while reference to something in the novels or Star Trek Online? For example, a Captain Mackenzie Calhoun is mentioned as having been Captain of two USS Excalibur s in the 2370's or Ezri Dax is mentioned as captain of an early slipstream drive starship.
     
  2. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nothing against references. But they need to make sense.

    Let's say it's 100 years after DS9. Why should anyone really care about the name of the Captain of the earliest slipstream drive ship? Unless she did something truly spectacular, regular joe wouldn't know her. And what requires her to be mentioned by name?

    But if it's done in a logical, natural fashion, they can make the references pour in all they want, as long as they want, as many as they want, as hard as they want.
     
  3. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I don't see a problem with Easter Eggs being thrown in, just make sure they aren't crucial enough to the plot that someone who doesn't catch them feels lost ad as JarodRussel says, it should make some kind of sense.
     
  4. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't mind, were it done carefully.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    As long as it's done well, I'd love it. Good examples IMO are the last two movies, where a great many scenes, sights and comments had a deeper meaning for Trekkies, while not leaving non-die hards feeling like they're missing out of something.

    I would say the worst examples of referencing would be Enterprise. Although some were subtle and well done (fleeing humans settling on Ceti Alpha V, for example), others were very, very bad - in "Dear Doctor", Archer's incredibly awkward Prime Directive speech:

    ARCHER: Someday my people are going to come up with some sort of a doctrine, something that tells us what we can and can't do out here, should and shouldn't do. But until somebody tells me that they've drafted that directive I'm going to have to remind myself every day that we didn't come out here to play God.

    ...it treated viewers like complete idiots who needed their hands held and to be told, "Look! He's talking about the Prime Directive!"

    Another cringe-worthy example was "The Augments", where Arik Soong jumps up and down waving a big sign marked "TNG REFERENCE HERE! HE'S TALKING ABOUT DATA!"

    SOONG: I've been thinking. Perfecting humanity may not be possible. Cybernetics. Artificial lifeforms.

    ARCHER: Good-bye, Doctor.

    SOONG: I doubt I'll finish the work myself. Might take a generation or two.
     
  6. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    I'm all for the next series referencing to previous series.
     
  7. Ketrick

    Ketrick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, since it seems we're generally agreed that references would be ok as long as they make sense and don't require knowing anything about where they came from for the plot or subplot to work, I'll ask this related question in addition to the opening question: So, what references to the novels, comics, or STO would y'all like to see in such a new series and what references or type of references would y'all never want to see?
     
  8. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Right here buddy.
    ^Ferengi laser whips.
     
  9. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, Into Darkness did a great job with references to the shows. Everything from Section 31 to Khan travelling to Martok's home province on Qo'nos was perfectly done. They held significance for hardcore fans without alienating casual viewers.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Blowing up Vulcan held significance for hardcore fans without alienating casual viewers too. :shifty:
     
  11. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    At least with novels there's no on-screen comparison. And re-using or re-introducing general ideas, aliens, conflicts, relationships, all of that is fine. But re-using or re-purposing specific lines or scenes from previous on-screen Trek is risky. To me it's okay when it's done in a moment (a brief moment) that's meant to be fun and not at a crucial time in the film or series. Quark quoting Picard's "this far, no farther" line comes to mind. That was meant to be a parody. As Ron Moore said about that line: "I take great glee at mocking my own work." On the other hand -- if it's overdone or placed in the show or film at the wrong time (a serious or crucial scene or scenes), quoting previous on-srceen Trek can become a parody for some viewers even if that is not the intent. And because of that, it can potentially ruin a show or film for some people. That's the risk.
     
  12. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Jeri Taylor referenced her own novels in Voyager. I have nothing against it, as long as it's done carefully and for a reason. If Shatner's novels get referenced I'll probably facepalm.

    Though it's safe to say any series set post Nemesis is probably gonna screw over a lot of novels.

    STO? It's a game loosely based on the novels and I don't even see it being relevant to comment on.
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think a general rule of thumb for any continuity reference is that it should be done sparingly, briefly, and only if there's some actual relevance to whatever is going on in the story. Namedropping just for the sake of namedropping (with no relevance to anything), really is more of a distraction to the story, IMO.
     
  14. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Try to watch films keeping an eye and ear out for every reference to a character's past. You will find plenty, even in totally original standalone films. Because that's what you do, you give a character a backstory that took place well before the events of the film.

    There is no difference to the audience between a reference to a completely imaginary event, and a reference to a previously filmed event in a TV episode. Also no difference to a real event. When someone references the Lincoln assassination, there will of course be people who don't know who Lincoln was. Should that be a reason to not make a reference when the story requires it?
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It really is detrimental to a story to have too many references to past events. It truly should be handled with a less is more approach. TNG, DS9, and VOY generally handled references pretty well, I think.
     
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm all for references being made so long as they make sense and aren't just there to squeeze continuity into a new shape. Any references however should be from what is canon, about the only thing I can think of that I'd want mentioned from the books is the Andorian sexes and the slow extinction of their species.

    The rest, meh.
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Since it's the novels that get to really flesh out the Trek universe, I'd like to see their species' backstories used. The Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons, Breen, Cardassians etc all have rich cultures which never come across on TV or film. If you're gonna make an offhand comment about them, you might as well take a detail from there.

    It's worth pointing out here that the new movies referenced old novels (Kirk's parents' names, Vulcan lore), current comics (the "Mudd incident" and the dead tribble) and the recent videogame (Gorn octuplets)
     
  18. Ketrick

    Ketrick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I definitely agree with you on that and you make a good point about the new movies. In fact, I kind of had what the new movies do on my mind when I made this thread. What I wasn't sure about was if many would like the idea of making canon a Captain Mackenzie Calhoun or elements of Vanguard or stuff like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  19. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No. That's horrible. It's an inorganic and awkward exposition dump. That is not how you do references.
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    If a TNG-era Trek had a tattooed, red skinned alien in the background it could be a Thallonian. If there's a display graphic listing nearby ships, it could have the USS Excalibur NCC-26517-A on it. If something's incredibly tough, someone could say, "That's tougher than a Brikar's hide."

    Those are the kind of New Frontier references that I think would work well. If the next movie mentioned "Vanguard station" in the same kind of way Regula One got a shout-out in STXI (when assignments were being called out in the academy hangar), that would work well, too. Little things that make fans' ears prick up and think, "I know that!", but not things shoved down our throats.