What is "canon?"

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

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    About Star Wars canon, the official stance is that it all counts to some degree or other, but the truth of the matter is that they're exactly the same as the Trek novels. George Lucas only allowed SW novels in the first place if they followed the precident of Star Trek's!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Expanded_Universe

    That's according to Gene Roddenberry himself. The details of why are here: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=208597&page=8
    In short, he believed The Romulan Way to be a non-Trek novel which Diane Duane tacked McCoy sub-plot onto in order to make a quick buck.

    Many disagree, and the current novelverse Romulans are still heavily based on Duane's Rihannsu.
     
  2. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Personally, I don't care what Lucas or Roddenberry ended up saying about their particular universe... Let's face it, if Gene were alive and well today, he'd probably have despised ST V through XI! OK, maybe he didn't like them but they actually "happened" and as fans we have to at least acknowledge that one way or another... When I look back, ST V (The Final Frontier, not Voyager) doesn't look all that shabby and, in fact, comes a bit closer to the feel of TOS than the other films... Ultimately it's all about how fans accept them, and fans are by far more civil when it comes to continuity matters in Star Wars than in Star Trek... This is because the dreaded C word didn't make its way into SW and rip fan opinions apart until much later... If one novel called Chewie's laser crossbow a Bowcaster, it was accepted without argument and other authors and fans came along, and integrated that fact into their own contributions to continuity... If something like this happened in Star Trek, you'd have certain fundamentalist fans jumping up and down screaming "Non-Canon!" and refusing to accept something simply because TPTB (or GR or some production crew hotshot) didn't give the say-so on it...and eventually some other fans would come along and write something to contradict that entirely...

    This could explain why many fans of Trek have bailed in recent years, many actually becoming Wars fans (and that's in spite of the prequel trilogy!)...
     
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    All I know is what ever it is, it has nothing to do with what the fans think it is.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt Gene actively despised anything that made him money. :rofl:

    Who bailed exactly? No one I know has.
     
  5. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    Depends on which fan you ask... Some believed it was a marketing ploy interjected by Paramount to discredit older publications no longer licensed, so as to maximize their profits... I.E. FASA's TNG Officers Manual was "de-canonized" not because it wasn't accurate but because FASA backed out of paying for the copyright and the two couldn't come to a mutually beneficial price... When TPTB realized they could come up with their Own manual without losing a certain profit margin to the gaming company, they had their paid show crew put out the TNG Technical Manual... Rather than come out and say this, those sly dogs leaked out the story that the TNG Manual was so poorly researched and compiled it was Decanonized because TPTB "care" about continuity and therefore the book was "being pulled from the shelves" of bookstores! This in turn only Boosted sales of their manual and gave more credibility to Pocket Books actually Caring about continuity and the accuracy of their Trek books!


    I am, of course, speaking of how the word "canon" applies in regards to Star Trek not to anything else...
    It's handled much differently (and at times more precisely) when used within other genres...
     
  6. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Nope, all fans, no matter what their opinions of canon are, is probably wrong.

    By their own admission, even the powers that be/were think that even the "official" manuals aren't canon. They are in fact just away to make money for the owners and licensees of the property.

    Canon and continuity aren't the same thing.

    For Star Trek the owners decide what the canon is. And it's subject to change as new people are placed in charge.
     
  7. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    I can't say exactly... It's based on polls...

    And it's based upon counting the numbers of many long-time fans no longer being fans... Yeah, some die, some end up in nursing homes, and some just go along with the latest and greatest thing on the market... Others "jump ship" to Star Wars or Doctor Who or whatever...

    Personally I'd blame the attitude of Trek being a cash cow and fans being milked for all they're worth... Since TOS ended there's been a graduate decline in quality writing and character development in spinoff series and movies...

    It in turn extends to the novels and other publications...
    The attitude? Just put anything out that looks half decent, fans'll buy it up, no need to put any real work or effort into being consistent with earier books... You know, it's all fiction so who gives a tribble's shaved ass! So long as it Sells and makes money... Money is all that matters...

    Getting back to Star Wars vs. Star Trek there's something else I'd like to add... And that is Paramount's outlandish attitude towards fans being fans or doing their own zines and what not... It's gotten well out of hand within the past decade or more... Lawsuits, threats...they're gunning for fans at times! Paramount wants anything and everything Trek under its control and won't so much as let a penny slip out from under them... And talking Tech, I mean frigging wow--Only Two People are granted permission by Pocket Books to do anything Treknical in the 21st Century (OK, Three if you count Geoffrey Mandel)...

    I have to hand it to George Lucas for allowing fans far more leeway in the Star Wars universe... Making their own films and what not... This is what I mean about "jumping ship" and joining the Rebellion...
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Polls? Which polls and where? Who conducted these polls. What was their methodology? Why was I never polled?
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They do 'Treknical' stuff all the time over in Fan Art, there's the Starfleet Museum website. Not to mention numerous fan films that continue to get made without interference from CBS.

    As far as being a fan, I'm a fan because I like Star Trek, I'm not going to go be a fan of another franchise because I disagree with some of the decisions of CBS/Paramount. If people are that easily swayed, they likely weren't really fans to begin with.
     
  10. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Depends on what he means by "bailed." I still rewatch TOS, but I haven't cared for any of the spinoff series since TNG. The last Trek movie I bothered to watch was FC. And I'm not interested in Abram's Trek movies at all. So, here's at least one who's "bailed" by most definitions of the word.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    But you still watch TOS and haven't crossed the street to become a Star Wars fan because of dissatisfaction with Star Trek.
     
  12. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    There's a street to cross? Do I have to renounce one to like the other? Sounds like religion to me. And all this time I thought I was just watching TV and movies.
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Not really, but some folks seem to think so.
     
  14. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    I guess I just don't understand most of this thread.

    If you've read in several novels that Saavik is half-Romulan, then by all means, believe for yourself that she is half-Romulan. Just accept that a lot of fans have never picked up a Star Trek novel and the same is not true for them. What does it matter if it is "official" or not?

    The only Trek book I've ever read is the Star Charts. I refer to it from time to time to figure out where one planet or whatever is in relation to another. I couldn't give a flying fig whether or not it is "canon." It's real enough to me.
     
  15. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly, I don't get this talk of people "bailing" and becoming Star Wars fans or whatever, as if you can only be one or the other. I've been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember, a Star Wars fan since 1977 and a Doctor Who fan since around 1987. All at the same time. Does that make me some kind of heretic?
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Yes. ;) But you're in good company.
     
  17. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    If you were introduced to Star MAPS in 1980 instead of Star Charts, you'd have a different opinion of them!

    And this is coming from...an Andorian? That's Epsilon Indii VII, not a planet orbiting Procyon! See, it's these little things which hurt the most...
     
  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What I'd like to hear from people is not what they think canon is, but why it matters -to them-. So what if a novel they liked isn't "official". Does it matter?
     
  19. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Not to me. Its all make believe. It only matters what I like and what entertains me.
     
  20. Lenny Nurdbol

    Lenny Nurdbol Lieutenant Commander

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    As soon as Fan Art hits the printers and is sold at cons--Paramount's Death Soldiers will start marching! They Police this stuff, that's what happened to zine sales at cons...

    There's actually another breed of fan alive today, sparked By today's greedy attitudes... These are the humanoids who only think of buying Trek merchandise because it will go up in value and they'll be able to re-sell it and make a profit on it... Doesn't matter what it is, it's just $$$ to them... So it's no wonder that people will wait hours to Pay actors for their autographs if it means in turn making a profit... Not all Ferengi have big ears...



    And regarding this:

    "Canon is only important to certain people because they have to cling to their knowledge of the minutiae. Open your mind! Be a Star Trek fan and open your mind and say, 'Where does Star Trek want to take me now'." - Leonard Nimoy

    That sounds like a sales pitch for Abrams' movie/s!