Questions for Bring Back Janeway Panel

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by Kirsten Beyer, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    This was a result of the state of Voyager literature during a period of time when there was a great deal of crossover of characters in many of the novels, as well as the creation of a very large story arc that culminated in the Destiny novels and whose impact continues to be felt.

    Voyager had four novels released shortly after the series ended, all written by Christie Golden. Over the next couple of years, the choice was made to focus on Voyager's 10 year anniversary by releasing a trilogy, set during the run of the series, and an anthology of short stories. That was the "String Theory" trilogy, and Distant Shores.

    While those projects were in the works, however, the other series were continuing on and particularly in TNG books, Titan books, and some notable stand-alone novels like Articles of the Federation, Voyager characters like Janeway, Tuvok, Seven, and the Doctor were featured. They were interesting characters who were available, as there were no other stories in the works to contradict these appearances, so editors and authors decided to make use of them.

    Once the 10 year anniversary projects were done and it became time to again look at moving Voyager's story forward in the present timeline, the larger Borg arc, beginning in the TNG book Resistance and continuing through to the Destiny Trilogy was in the works. Margaret Clark, the editor in charge of the TNG part of this made the choice to kill Janeway in Before Dishonor. While I know it might seem wonky from the outside looking in, at the time, it was hardly an unprecedented thought. Janeway's death was seen as a part of a much larger Trek story involving the ultimate transformation of the Borg. And in the years right before Before Dishonor, Janeway and other Voyager characters were all over the Trek landscape, so Margaret was essentially continuing with the status quo at the time.

    It is common practice for editors of Trek who work in one series to respect the work of others. So when Marco was tasked with taking Voyager forward post-Destiny, it was normal for him to take what Margaret had done in Before Dishonor and build upon it rather than ignore it or try to change it. Margaret's idea was embraced because in addition, it created an opportunity for us to tell a story that had never been told before...how would one of our crew's react to the death of their beloved captain?

    Yes, other important characters in Trek had died before, but I don't remember any stories written around those deaths that dealt with their impact in the same way the Voyager relaunch has done.

    So, I guess the short answe that everyone hates is that Janeway's death created an opportunity for us to tell the most compelling and interesting story imaginable, given all the choices that were before us at the time. That it happened in a TNG novel, rather than a Voyager novel might be disconcerting, but is hopefully easier to understand when you see the decision in the context of everything else that was happening at the time.

    KB
     
  2. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :bolian:

    I fully expected this line to get offers to name children after Kirsten, if she writes "the return".

    :rommie:
     
  3. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How about if I sponsor an endangered zoo animal in her name, will that be good enough?
     
  4. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for nice reply and for creating this opportunity for interaction between author and fans.

    And yes, I do respect your opinions in this case even if I don't agree on everything. :)
     
  5. froot

    froot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree; thank you for your responses. :) It was interesting, especially, to hear why things happened they way they did in a TNG novel.

    Also, count another for the Janeway/Lady Q love train. Oh, yeah.
     
  6. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Well, I can't imagine doing anything the same way, or even in a similar way to anything we've seen before because I always try to steer clear of such things. As to what I would envision doing...that will have to wait until such time, if ever, that I actually were in a position to do it.

    Again...I can't say much about this, but I would imagine that if Janeway did come back and found the Borg gone forever she'd be awfully pleased...assuming she had absolute confirmation that it was true.

    I can't imagine writing a story that brought Janeway back that didn't make all that has happened up to this point both to her, and all of the characters, very meaningful. Again...everyone's experiences up to this point are still there...Janeway's return would only add a new complication to the equation.

    At this point, any story that featured Janeway's return would by definition have to be pretty epic. I'm trying to imagine a bigger deal and failing miserably to come up with one. But I can't really see a Mosaic style book where all of the other characters were only briefly seen...I mean...what is the return without seeing how it affects those who loved her most and have suffered her loss?

    You are most welcome.

    KB
     
  7. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    I completely agree that the sense of family was one of Voyager's defining points. And if anything, I feel we've continued to focus on that, while expanding it, in the newer novels. As to the core cast being split up...I'm a little confused. Apart from the Doctor, who is serving on the Galen, and Neelix, who remains on New Talax but has already been seen interacting with his old "family" a couple of times and likely will continue to be seen...I think the rest of the gang is still on Voyager.

    I don't think Janeway's return would necessitate changing that, but I also think of the Voyager Fleet as one big family...Chakotay even has this realization in Children of the Storm when he is contemplating the loss of three of the fleet's ships. Even though the other crews aren't his direct responsibility, he feels that they are and is willing to risk anything necessary to ensure their safety.

    Bottom line, for me, the sense of family is still very much intact in the Voyager fleet. It's just a much bigger family now. As to whether or not that family will ever again include Janeway...it's not a question of can...but should she return...and only when the story demands it.

    KB
     
  8. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    I'm not going to speak for the rest of the series, but in Voyager's case, I think we are closer now to the show the series was based on than we have been at any point in the relaunch, apart from Janeway and Tuvok's absence.

    The series' major arc was getting the ship home. We saw that happen on screen. So the challenge, post series, is to reintegrate Voyager into the wider Trek storyline while still giving them a unique place in the mythos..telling stories that only Voyager can tell.

    As the Federation vessel with the greatest knowledge of the Delta Quadrant, and with Starfleet's need to know that the force of nature..the Borg..that almost decimated them, is truly gone, Voyager becomes essential again by allowing them to use their expertise again in the DQ. By eliminating the worry of "will they ever get home" through the use of slipstream technology we allow them a certain freedom to explore that had to be minimized to a degree when they were first trying to get home. Yes, they seemed to stop and smell the flowers a little more often along the way that first time out than might have seemed prudent, but now, they can go deeper and further in their explorations than they could before. It feels like the best of all possible worlds to me.

    We are not simply retreading old ground here. But things are similar enough, and there are enough of the main series characters prominently featured in the stories that I do think a casual fan would find these book interesting, even if they have to play a bit of catch-up with some of the new characters. I don't think we want history to just repeat itself in these stories. But because this is tie-in fiction, and what we are tying it to is 170+ episodes of television, like Twain said of history...it doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme.

    That's my sense of the new stories. They aren't exactly what we saw before. But they are similar enough that fans should feel comfortable in the new stories while still waiting on the edge of their seats to see what will happen next because they also know that the rules of the game have changed enough that anything can happen. I have also tried, very consciously to maintain many of the thematic elements to the series, both overall (the importance of family and "found' family, the passion and wonder of exploration) and in the individual character arcs. I am trying to allow all of the characters we know so well to continue to grow, but not in ways that are in any way untrue to what was established on screen. I don't think any of them, despite what they have been through most recently, would strike a casual reader as incredibly different from what we already know about them. Hopefully, just deeper.

    KB
     
  9. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Get comfy. :)

    Tomorrow I'll be moving on to the questions that were submitted via email.

    Best,
    Kirsten Beyer
     
  10. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heck, even "I'M" afraid to answer Guy's questions! :eek:
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, Kirsten. You're really going above and beyond.

    And although I see your points and mostly agree with them, there's still the problem of getting casual fans to do more than read the blurb, go "Who's Captain Eden? Who's Dr Cambridge? This isn't Voyager!" and put it back on the shelf.

    I used to be the same way as a kid reading old DC comics. Spock as captain of the USS Surak? Kirk commanding Excelsior? The big changes put me off back then, although revisiting now, they were awesome, true to Trek and the best Trek comics of them all.
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If you think about it, the Look Who's Talking Trilogy is about Saavik before she's reincarnated to one day be the Vulcan/Romulan Hybrid wife of Spock.

    Talking Starfleet baby? CHECK!
     
  13. AuntKate

    AuntKate Commodore Commodore

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    Why not bring her back in a different timeline? Perhaps one where Voyager takes the "back to the DQ" option in "Endgame"?
     
  14. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For those of us who can't stomach C/7... "that's" not exactly a great choice. ;)
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'd like see how Voyager got home the first time.

    But I'm not sure Janeway lovers will like her gradual descent into the bitter, twisted Admiral Janeway of "Endgame". And NOBODY ANYWHERE EVER wants to see Chakotay/Seven:barf:
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why do you say that the Admiral was bitter and twisted?

    Or even that Captain Janeway was a barrel of monkeys?

    Apart from the grey rinse, they were exactly the same woman.
     
  17. AuntKate

    AuntKate Commodore Commodore

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    Easily fixed, because the admiral's return would change the crew dynamics.
     
  18. forrie

    forrie Ensign Newbie

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    Kirsten,

    First of all, I want to compliment you on your superb writing skills. These rich stories and characters can only live on through talent like yours. And you've done an incredible job.

    I posted a message on Amazon.com, running on without first consulting this forum (oops). However, I feel my essential points are still applicable.

    Kathryn Janeway has been the essential "glue" that brought Voyager's characters together -- Kate Mulgrew's portrayal of her was legendary; it made such a strong impression. The expectation/anticipation of that presence lingers in my mind when reading the Voyager novels. I was surprised and somewhat disappointed at the apparent lack of fanfare in which Janeway was killed off. When I read the prologue, my stomach sank -- so I braced myself for all the details, only to read brief second hand accounts of what had happened, that lacked detail. I feel Janeway is far too important to the story to be let go in that fashion - she deserved more.

    I then began to imagine the impending end to the Voyager novels without Janeway (as I really have no idea how you and the editors decide the fate of these stories). It's a thought I have a difficult time imagining, as I have such a fondness for Voyager and the characters.

    Though I have no doubt you could pull it off, being such a fantastic writer, I simply cannot accept a Voyager series long-term without Janeway. Eventually, she's going to get old and die, as will most of the characters -- but that's a ways off. I feel very strongly that she still has a significant role to play here, and into the future. In short, I implore you and the powers that be to please bring Janeway back.

    I read a brief idea about Q having something to do with her return. It's clever, and I think it would actually work if it were written with a lot of substance (again, that's your forte!), it could be both workable and believable. The Caeliar may have something to do with this, too.

    Q is fickle and still relatively mysterious (to me) as I don't really understand his (their) ulterior motives. It could be that, in spite of his arrogance, he has a genuine fondness (even envy) of the human race and specific persons, which he may not ever admit up front... if he didn't, he wouldn't be bouncing in and out of their lives as he had.

    In the end, I feel very strongly that keeping Janeway out of the Voyager timeline risks marginalizing the story. At least for me, it does.

    I have to laugh sometimes at my utter emotional attachment to fictitious characters, but it is what it is. It's because of your talent that I continue to keep those sparks alive.

    In the mean time, I'm hopeful that the editors and powers that be will see the sensibility in our collective request for the return of Kathryn Janeway.

    Keep up the great work that you do!



    My best,

    Forrest
     
  19. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Here begin the answers to the questions that were sent to me via email. If anyone knows these folks and can alert them to the fact that these answers are here, I'd really appreciate it.

    Yes. Even without the Q angle, there are many ways it could be done. And yes, she could still be a key person despite her rank.

    The question is not can she, but should she...and I guess...will she...but you know I can't answer that right now.

    KB
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's the problem with Kathryn Janeway.

    Every time she comes to a crossroads she is going to meet herself literally.

    She's an addict.

    Just like Annorax.

    She can't accept responsibility for dooming anything even a little bit.

    What are her choices every time she meets a new older version of herself from a bad timeline informing her that "their" choices are poop?

    Argument, murder or concession.

    How many times is she going to be confronted by Kathryn Janeways who all insist they know better and that she should submit before their superior foreknowledge and life experience before the lady has to admit that is the queen of awful choices?

    6?

    7?

    15?
     

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