What is "canon?"

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by dub, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    The Hornblower series has contradictions, and Horatio is portrayed differently at different points in the series.

    GR was just being true to his roots.
     
  2. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    It's "T", but Gary was referring to an old nickname he had for Kirk in school.

    It was a new "improved" cloak they wanted intelligence on in Enterprise Incident. The original one was easy to track.

    A mother IS an ancestor.

    Vulcan and Vulcanian are interchangeable. Vulcanian fell out of favor because Vulcan is shorter and easier to say. See also "Englishman" and "Brit."

    Allies.

    :D
     
  3. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Yes, and that is what makes it interesting for me as well. Not having to 'like' everything about the first nuTrek film, there still was plenty to like. I still am waiting on the edge of my seat for the next one - and that makes this old(er) guy feel pretty damn good.

    Re Canon - A life long Trekkie, while it bothered me at first, I no longer subscribe to any one definition of canon. Canon is whatever I want it to be. The screen may be official canon - but I look at all the books and comics as stories that my grandfathers told me - with a little misremembering in them. A bit of truth in them all - some more entertaining than others - but with me being unable to wait for the next story to come along.

    Don't sweat canon - Star Trek is too big to let it get you wrapped around the axle - just hop on and enjoy the ride.
     
  4. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    The infamous "c word" as it is applied to Star Trek is a joke.

    More to the point, it came about in the early 1980s and turned fan against fan. This practice is still going on today. Paramount in turn used it to exploit gullible geeks into buying (or Not buying) various publications.

    It goes something like this... GR first comes along and says that only the first two season of TOS are canon and the rest isn't. That includes TAS as not being canon.
    Then various TNG episodes and works obviously don't follow this, and why should they? It's all Star Trek. Then the geeks start to appear and begin asking questions about various books being canon. So some king geek invents new words such as Semi-Canon, Pseudo-Canon, and others. Or a Canon Scale. Fans keep arguing. After GR dies, Paramount starts issuing BS about old publications such as blueprints and manuals which were fully authorized by GR, but are now non-canon. This is because they weren't published by Pocket Books but by Bantam and Ballantine. Rival publishers. So in order to maximize their money, Paramount dictates that these are non-canon, despite their obvious influence on Trek films and even Appearance in films. Conversely, Paramount authorizes a few cutaway posters which sell for many times their worth as being Canon because they're making money on it. Their research is piss-poor as are simple spelling of words. But, you know, They're CANON because they're saying so. So fans buy the crud up in droves. Meanwhile a RPG company named FASA which was 100% Paramount licensed and enjoyed by many fans in the 1980s is later called Non-Canon by the same suits because FASA didn't want to pay the increased royalties and what not. So New RPGs are invented which are piss-poor researched and consist of lots of glossy photos and no substance but is called Canon by TPTB because they're licensed... This BS goes on and on, back and forth. Later episodes of spinoff Trek series start using info from TAS episodes--but is TAS canon? Not according to TPTB because of certain licensing issues like the use of Larry Niven's Kzinti who put them there from his own Known Space series into TAS himself but wants to be paid for so much as uttering their name. So TAS is a no-no despite virtually all TOS fans accepting it as a continuation of TOS, at least so far as the stories are concerned. Meanwhile some pipsqueaks who have Titles at Paramount Pictures Trek production offices like Michael Okuda and Rick Sternbach are The only people Authorized to publish anything Treknical for the fans, even if they take the material as half-jokes themselves and constantly contradict themselves because to them it's just a TV show. This automatically cuts out All of the more polished and professional Treknical experts who've published some really splendid works--Out of the Canon category.
    While all the above is going on, Pocket Books original Star Trek novels went through various phases of changes including a "disclaimer" section following the copyright about the novel being strictly the author's interpretation of the Trek universe and should not be taken as gospel, blah blah blah... These things change as often as cover artists and fonts, but that doesn't stop some fans from noticing it and thinking that These books are Less Canon than other novels. So a big firefight erupts over that. Taken all together we have fans fighting over fans over what is more "real" in Trek and what is less "real" in Trek. This affects the sales of books and merchandise and makes Star Trek fans look like total assholes.

    My take is that Canon is a kid's word and I avoid it like the plague. I take All of Star Trek in as a vast multiverse of Treks. Some things fit better than others. Those that fit the best I accept, even if it comes from some B novel written in the 1970s or some long-forgotten blueprint package or RPG. Even if someone new comes along which everyone is quick to accept, I will scrutinize it and see how well it fits into My own personal perspective of Trek, regardless of who or what came up with it. A good example is the atrocious publication called Star Trek Star Charts which contradicts a much older and more plausible Star Trek Maps, and is in fact a cheap rewrite of the former, shrinking UFP space down to fit the ridiculous demands of Star Trek: Enterprise. In it, Procyon is now the sun which Andor (or Andoria) orbits. For 40 years virtually every Treknical reference placed Andor in orbit of Epsilon Indii, but this new author had to be different or careless. I disregard the new and accept the old in this instance.
     
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Canon in Star Trek is basically an opinion. Even the creators/producers can't agree on what is and isn't canon. People from those said producers/creaters to directors, authors, writers, actors and other people affiliated with the series, will give you official sounding explanations of what is/isn't but the fact of the matter is none of it's consistent.

    So canon's what you want it to be. If you like that new Trek game and want to incorporate it in your universe, go for it. If you didn't like that new Trek movie and don't consider it part of it, go for it. People are intelligent enough to figure this out for themselves and don't need others to make official statements to define it when there's clearly no consensus among themselves anyways.
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Canon actually is the established elements in a narrative (or series of narratives) established by the property's license owner for official purposes. Canon can contain elements that contradict each other or don't exactly line up well, but it's the official record of things that happened.
     
  7. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lenny is confusing "official" and "liscensed" with canon. the first two only meant that the owner of a property (in this case, Star Trek) has authorized someone to sell a book, poster, etc. using the aspects of that property. Doesn't imply or confer any binding effect on the continuity of that property.

    Canon, on the other hand, is the collective body of work of that property. In the case of Star Trek this is generally accepted to mean the aired television episodes and movies.

    Edit to add: C.E. Evans beat me to it, didn't see his message.
     
  8. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

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    Canon is something Trek fans think is important, and argue over, while Trek writers think it is unimportant, and ignore it.
     
  9. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Official, Licensed, Canon = All the same bullshit...

    Or let's put it another way, Licensed only means TPTB are making money off of it's sale, which is in turn "Official" in that regard... Canon can mean any or all of the above...
    TPTB can say one thing is Canon today and tomorrow say it's Not Canon... And whatever you call it, it need not be Accurate... Remember the DS9 cutaway posters from years back? It had official stamped all over it, even some sheets were extra-official carrying autographs and what not... In big letters the station was called "Terek Nor"
    The correct spelling from day 1 was "TerOk Nor"... But because it was mispelled in a certain person's "official" encycopedia, Pocket Books kept churning out novel after novel with it spelled "TerEk Nor"... It wasn't until around the time of DS9's final season that someone managed to correct it... This is Not an uncommon case of the blind following the blind in Star Trek... In the 70s and 80s a certain dictator was named Khan NooniAn Singh... However, a certain person mispelled it as Khan NooniEn Singh in a certain "official" publication and it has remained mispelled that way to this very day... And then we have such things as the "hypospray" which fans of the 70s would tell you was called the Spray Hypo...

    Either way Canon is a stupid term which goes against the thinking mind (no surprise, really, since it comes from religion)... You'd be better off using a more accurate phrase like "more substantial" or "less substantial" which is at least more descriptive...
     
  10. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A little canon violation and its fun to try to figure it out. A little more and you over look it.


    Too much and you wonder if you can take the show seriously because it messes with your ability to suspend belief for a while.

    If you ever watched a cartoon or show from the 60's, 70's or 80's it would be easy to understand why.

    One example is the Klingons having smooth small foreheads in the 23rd century, then later have ridges. Its fun to imagine why.

    Another is from Voyager--- the Borg being known and studied by Federation scientists decades before first contact--though the Federation never heard of the Borg before in TNG.

    That one is hard to make sense of.
     
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    ^Not to mention human Borg who claim to have been assimilated at Wold 359 - by the cube that blew up over Earth? :wtf: :lol:
     
  12. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's entirely possible they sent a sphere back towards Borg space, but I'll be the first to admit that sounds like a weak rationalization being brought in after the fact.
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    They assimilated a couple of the Federation ships that were attacking, which then returned to the Delta Quadrant?
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You humans think in such three dimensional terms!

    It's a canon explanation!
     
  15. timmy84

    timmy84 Commodore Commodore

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    I could have sworn that a discussion here years ago about canon revealed that on startrek.com they actually define canon as being any onscreen (TV and movie) Trek and non canon is all other forms.

    Which makes sense. Perfect sense, but for example today the books are trying very hard to stay consistent with each other. So really right now we have four different universes for Star Trek. Well, maybe five but someone can correct me on the fifth. And this is my opinion of course. Not a fact.

    Old Universe (or Original Universe): This is Trek on TV and all the movies before the reboot. All Trek universes try to stay consistent to this universe when it can.

    New Universe (or NuTrek): This is the reboot universe that creates an alternate universe using time travel. Everything in the Old Universe had to happen to cause this one. I bet to many fans disappointment (not mine, but just saying), ENT occurs in both universes.

    Books (or BookVerse or BetaVerse): This is the current book continuity. The books that expand the original universe threw books. With no new content of the Old Universe this could be considered the continuation of that universe.

    Star Trek Online (or Star Trek Online.... I guess): Star Trek Online uses all three universes to create this forth one. For those who don't know, it takes place in the 25th century after Nero travels to the past. The Federation and Klingons are at war, and they are about to add the Romulan Republic as a third playable faction. The Republic is the remains of the Romulan people after the destruction of Romulas as shown in NuTrek. At the same time, some aspects of the BookVerse has been incorporated into Star Trek Online, but none of the universe changing events of the past couple years.

    Shatner's books (or the Shantnerverse): I've heard this term before to reference William Shatner's Star Trek books. I've read a few, and other then the fact Kirk is alive in the 24th century, the book universe almost entirely ignores these books.

    Just my opinion of course and I'm not telling all of you to accept it. Its just something I've thought about recently talking to a friend who is a huge Star Wars fan explaining to me the convoluted mess that is Star Wars canon.

    :borg:
     
  16. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, that one makes no sense. How can it be canon, when the situation is impossible?

    How did the Voyager script ever get past that obstacle? :lol:

    Its a fair explanation, but its too bad they didn't show that happening. All the scenes said the cube headed straight for earth.

    I always wondered if Voyager had lost it when they did the episodes with the assimilated humans--and Klingons....and Romulans...and Ferengi wtf? :lol:.

    Wasn't that an explanation of how she survived the first explosion? :lol:
     
  17. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    You have to make your own canon. Gene Roddenberry once stated that Klingons ALWAYS had ridges, they just could not depict it with the makeup available in the 1960s. That was good enough for me, and watching TOS I always imagined the ridges there. Then Trials and Tribble-ations comes along and challenges my personal canon. I simply chose to ingore Worf's comments about the lack of ridges, as I choose to ignore Enterprise's augment virus explanation.

    In my head the TOS uniforms are identical to the ST09 uniforms and Alternate Kirk is physically identical to a young Prime Kirk... there's just two different depictions of them. You have to keep in mind that you are not watching the events, you're watching a depiction of the events.

    The various Star Trek series and films do not contradict each other as much as some nitpickers seem to think, and when it does it's best just to ignore the little things like forehead ridges or Tuvok's rank pips, and go with your gut feeling on big things like the Eugenics Wars/WWIII.
     
  18. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  19. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Tantrums? What tantrums?
    I prefer to view them as wake-up calls...
    The main point I was making was that just because a product may claim to be or advertised as "official" does not make it official OR Accurate... Conversely, many "unofficial" products by fans, with limited distribution you could say (because they're not sold nor licensed through a big publisher like Pocket Books) tend to be far better researched, consistent, and plausible extensions of the Trek Universe than the "official" ones...
    And even with "official" products--just because they may be condemned Today because they are from defunct publishers or publishers Not Currently Licensed by Paramout--does not make them automatically invalid, as Some fans are quick to condemn them (often out of ignorance).
     
  20. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Star Wars "canon" is reasonable... That is, they take in Tons of stuff whenever and wherever they can and leave little to nothing behind... They actually treat continuity much the same way a certain late colleague of mine did: world-building, from lines mentioned in old novels on up...

    But I'm not here to talk Star Wars, it's the above paragraph that pisses me off, and is One reason why I have so little faith in Pocket Books current editors...
    Wherever you go there's this persistence of Shatner Hate that is unwarranted and now even extends to "his" books (yeah, they're really ghost-written by the Reeves-Stevens)... Yeah, I've always had Troubles with these novels for sure; they're classic examples of continuity porn, but they're well-polished, professionally written, and readable (IF you don't dissect them too closely, plotwise!). Overall though, when they are compared to some truly amateurish Trek novel entries, they're pretty interesting to say the least... But because it's "in' to hate and bash William Shatner, these novels are trashed by Pocket Books editors--which is really silly and stupid especially in light of these books not only being best-sellers but also Being Published By Pocket Books!
    OK, so Kirk's alive and well and living in the late 24th Century--you don't like this fact, and you're an author of another novel--all you do is Ignore It and carry on... No problem there! There's no reason to Segregate these books as though they're a part of a different continuity. No Sir...

    I've read much the same Bias in regards to the so-called Rihannsu novels because, of all stupid nitpicking things, mention is made of speeds warp 10 and above...which is Perfectly Allright on the Old TOS Warp Scale! And these books certainly are set in the TOS era... Or because Romulans call themselves Rihannsu instead of Romulans some sort of violation has occurred?! It's totally uncalled for, especially since the earliest novels were written During the period of the earliest TOS novels and build upon them... And Pocket Books' editors put a frigging Preface onto one or more of the later books explaining that they don't follow a certain continuity???!!
    These are the same brains who magically did away with the Borg, killed Janeway, and committed all sorts of other atrocities for no reason (and yes, that includes resurrecting Trip as a super hero who can telepathically communicate with T'Pol across light years!).