Visual continuity/Same future, different eyes

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by King Daniel Beyond, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Please do not ascribe emotions to me that I do not feel.

    While I'm honored by your assessment of my views as part of a rich legacy of (hopefully thoughtful) criticism, still, I do not welcome your attack. Nor do I have any any serious problems with any Trek incarnation except for Nu-Trek.

    Yes. When you no longer are able to intelligently debate, call me names. I feel no hatred. If new fans are excited by the latest incarnation, I'm very pleased. Must we all be 100 percent for all that is Star Trek? We must all be toadying fans? Personally, I'm not a big fan of the phaser squirt guns from the defunct Las Vegas ST Experience, so I guess I am not a true fan. Love the ViewMaster reels, though.

    I ask again: Why is it so wrong to ask JPL or NASA to take a look at a script? Even give them a few bucks to do so? Apparently this is some great artistic sin?

    Or is this about your own novels and your own insecurity?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    What about Federation ships that split into three parts which can be remote-controlled? Or future-ships with Batmobile armour? Or Klingon ships with kewl but utterly pointless moving wings?
    You mean like when Romulan Neutral Zone was a tiny warp-hop from Earth in First Contact?
    It's fine not to like the new version, but I think you're looking at "old" Trek through a vasalene lens of scientific plausability and smooth continuity.
     
  3. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's spelled Vaseline (a trade name), and I entirely agree that every instance you cite is #&$#%, too.

    What's wrong with scientific plausability? I thought it was science fiction? I have no problems with fantasy. And again, a lot of current science has to be set aside just to get warp travel, besides other gadgetry.

    But I still don't get to resistance to actual science. What, Picard (if we ever see him again) may say, "Data, creationism is yet another theory, and it could be that fossils were placed upon earth by our creator to confound us even now"?

    I take back my calling it Nu-Trek. It's Tea Party Trek. Got a wacky vision divorced from all science? Plug it in! It's all good!
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Other than the fact that Star Trek has all the scientific plausibility of a comic book?

    Which, actually, is a pretty apt comparison. Peter Parker gets spider powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider; Reginald Barclay gets spider powers (and the entire crew "de-evolves") after being injected with a technobabble vaccine. Really, Star Trek is one cosmic ray storm or one homicidal demigod away from a Fantastic Four crossover.

    There's no RESISTANCE to it at all. Writers use science -- or at least, a reasonable facsimile -- as convenient plot devices and scene dressing. But Star Trek is not and has never been hard science fiction; its writers are not actual scientists, its background science is not remarkably (or in some cases even slightly) realistic.

    Is STXI in any way less realistic than, say, Wrath of Khan, with its inexplicable lighting storm/fogbank nebula and the McGuffin incarnate that IS the Genesis device? I don't think so, personally, and yet Wrath of Khan, along with STXI, is widely regarded as one of the best of all of the Trek movies.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The hero ship in Voyager having basically the same thing. If they needed to be up for warp, okay. Why ever put them down?

    :)
     
  6. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    They get tired.
     
  7. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Just like the fans in '79 who had no problem with any Trek except the new movie... or those who had no problem with any Trek except ST V... or those who loved every minute of Trek, but hated TNG.. or those who loved Trek except DS9, because it wasn't really Star Trek (it didn't have a Starship).. or... well, you get the point. Every time there is a new Trek, somebody thinks its not "real Trek" and/or has ruined the whole franchise. Nothing new here.

    Nothing wrong with it, but as Christopher pointed out, several times, just because a scientific advisor advises, nobody is required to heed such advice when it conflicts with the story they wish to tell. Trek has been scientifically inaccurate since day 1. So, if anything, the last Trek movie was holding with tradition.

    As a side note, Christopher's trek novels are ones that, more likely than not ,try to give the Trek universe a feel of scientific accuracy and/or retroactively explain some of those scientific errors (and some mere logical errors) in the past. Its one of the many reasons I love his Trek Lit.
     
  8. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the OP is basically correct...but I also think that the changes in the timeline went both ways (whould *have* to have gone both ways, if you stop and think about it.)

    So anyway...it's a bit of both.
     
  9. USS Einstein

    USS Einstein Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think a big part of the reason why on-screen evidence is taken as literal gospel in Star Trek, is that several publications, such as the 'Star Trek Encyclopedia' and 'Star Trek Chronology' advocated this strict interpretation of canon.

    [​IMG]

    People, like me, grew up reading those reference sources, and therefore, the idea of a strict visual canon became embedded in the community. Websites like Ex Astris Scientia further reinforce this, by using the same standards outlined.

    So blame the Okudas ;)
     
  10. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why do girls always ask that question? :mad:
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I was raised with those books too! But around the time of "Broken Bow", and seeing the modern look of Enterprise NX-01, the other ships, alien makeups and the subtle rewriting of Treks past etc. I realized such a strict interpretation was a waste, and would actually hinder my enjoyment of the shows.

    I'll never understand how some fans can happily accept William Shatner and Chris Pine both being James T. Kirk or any ofthe other recasting, BUT a slight difference in one of a ship or set designs constitutes a mistake. If different looking actors can play the same character, then everything else should be as mutable.

    I recently came across the trailer for the Phase II fan film episode "Origins", and saw that they've kind of got the right idea - here's a comparison of the Into Darkness dress uniform and Phase II's 1960's-style "de-imagined" version:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But those books often include things that don't visually match up, so that's hardly a case of a strict visual canon. If anything, the Okudas do point out when certain things are conjectural.
     
  13. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I have been watching Archengela's channel on YouTube. He described Star Trek as fantasy. And, according to him, there has to be consistency within that fantasy. I agree with him. There have been times when Star Trek wasn't consistent with itself. I find it frustrating that this is so. I wish the people in charge took the time to do research and work within what was established and expand upon what was established. Instead, they conveniently choose to ignore what came before in favor of telling a story. For me, one of the biggest inconsistencies was first contact between Humans and Klingons, as this was the A-plot of "Broken Bow". We have the version as given by Captain Picard in "First Contact". So, which version is to be believed?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They can both be true. Picard only said "Centuries ago, a disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war." He never actually specified that it was humanity's first contact with them.

    Consistency is a storytelling tool like any other, and with any tool there are times when it serves the story to use it and times when it serves the story to set it aside. The highest priority is telling a good story. Usually consistency supports that, but there are times when an excessive insistence upon it undermines the quality of a story. For instance, staying slavishly consistent with a mistake or an outdated notion from an earlier installment is not a great idea. And it's often possible to find a way to reinterpret something in a way that seems to conflict with how fans interpreted it but is still technically consistent with the letter of the statement, as with the Klingon first-contact bit here. Creativity is about flexibility, not rigidity.
     
  15. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's what they do, telling stories. That's their job description. The "Star Trek universe" is an accidental byproduct of these stories and mostly exists in the minds of the fans.
     
  16. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I feel the words, but I am not able to express my indignation at what I have read. If there is an expectation that the writers shouldn't have the same amount of care and devotion for their product as their fans, why should the fans be expected to give something of themselves to the product?

    This is the full quote from "First Contact":

     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I can't find the quote, but Dennis/My Name is Legion has said on this forum that he wrote that as a fun little tidbit, never expecting them to ever actually show us Klingon/Human first contact - and that he didn't mind at all that they did something different in "Broken Bow"

    When the guy who wrote "First Contact" doesn't mind... should we?
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, come on. It's got nothing to do with lack of care or devotion. It's got to do with recognizing that the kind of slavish rigidity you're advocating is not actually good writing. It takes more care and devotion to understand when to stay true to past continuity and when to be more flexible than it does to just mindlessly, mechanistically adhere to every last trivial detail, even the ones that get in the way of your story. You're not a writer. You don't know how it works, what it requires. So it's pretty damned arrogant of you to presume to judge the competency of people who are professional writers. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback. It's easy to condemn when you don't know what you're talking about. The people who actually are qualified to know about the needs of a given profession are far more aware of its nuances and ambiguities. They understand how to interpret the rules rather than just blindly following their letter.

    The thing is, no work springs complete from the creator's head like Athena out of Zeus. It's the end product of a lengthy process of development and evolution, with ideas being tested, discarded, modified, revised, reconsidered, rearranged, etc. So what the fan sees as a fixed, monolithic work is really just a cross-section of the entire process of creation that the writer perceives. The writer doesn't care any less about the work; the writer just sees it more as a fluid, evolving entity rather than a frozen image carved in stone. So a writer's willingness to revise a work is a continuation of the same process of revision and editing that led to its creation in the first place. One of the most important parts of the creative process is editing, cutting out the bits that don't serve the story. First drafts are usually rough; it's the editing that makes them good, or not. So removing or changing the parts that don't fit is part of what makes the story work in the first place -- like bonsai. From a creator's standpoint, disregarding or retconning some old bit of continuity isn't neglect or contempt for the work -- it's just editing after the fact. It's trimming the bonsai.
     
  19. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    Christopher, please define continuity and answer this question, does this show have continuity? Make it short and stupid for this layperson. When I see wall of text, my eyes roll and I am like, "TL; DR".
     
  20. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Hear hear!!! I've written a bunch of little things over the years... just a hobby mind you, nothing professional. I've decided to actually buckle down and write a novel and now that I'm doing it, I can totally see the truth of this!

    @Throwback... Does it have continuity? I'd say yes in the larger sense it does. The sweeping arc of all five shows do add up to a collected whole, but to muck it all down for the sake of not bumping into an extremely minor throw away statement.. usually involving a not-so-well-thought-out figure to begin with is sort of sacrificing the story for the silly side bits.

    That said, even with all the internal contradictions, Star Trek still holds as much or more water as a fictional setting than do many "based a true story" films and biopics which really do have homework to do. Even those writers usually chose to cherry pick the facts in service of the story they want to tell. This is just how it's done...

    --Alex
     

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