Do we take "fanon" too literally?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lance, May 9, 2013.

  1. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2001
    The worst fanon items are those that are made up by the fans, promulgated for years without any support from the show, then rewritten by the show - exactly like the "Spock is the first Vulcan in Starfleet" example of Lance's.

    I was not around during the 1970s when Trek was only in reruns, and the fans had only their own ideas about character names and histories and "plot holes" that needed to be filled. I wasn't around when Franz Joseph was releasing blueprints for the Enterprise. I'm sure it was an exciting time, when the three seasons of TOS were the entire Trek universe, and fans were free to play in that universe to their heart's content. But to expect the producers to hold to fanon that developed in that void is unrealistic.
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 7, 2001
    On the run.
    What I mean is, "canon", as it gets thrown about in these here parts, is a largely fan-created/perpetuated thing. The creators rarely (if ever) bother to say "this part is real, this other part is made up"'s all as real as they decide it is on any given day. They declare a computer game or comic "official!" on one day, and ignore it completely the next. (Which I have no problem with.)
  3. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    the Frozen Wastes
    But it's never been a voluntary creative aim, not since the very first show. It just grows from all of the shows. Whatever the writers say is irrelevant since for the purposes of nailing what canon is (as opposed to fanon); it's whatever appeared on the screen. The only leeway is whether or not you include the movies. It's more amusing if we do since they tend to contradict themselves, the shows and other movies, as well as inventing lots of extra stuff which gets the fans tied in knots.
  4. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I don't take anything too literally. There is so much imagination exercised to explain the unexplained or to fill in story gaps, with some of it believable and a lot of it just personal preference. It's entertaining to see what people have to say, but I don't take it seriously to strive fervently to prove my point of view any more.

    Funny thing is, many episodes have mistakes and conflicting information. Either one of them is right, or they're all right under "interpreted circumstances." All too often people try to "fit" it all in... I prefer to chalk up obvious mistakes and just move on. The Star Trek universe is far from perfect, so why bother trying to make it so? It's imagination, not reality.
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    Pft, even the show's creators, producers and writers can't come to a consensus on what is canon. Is it any wonder that "fanon" is just as messed up?

    We're all people who can think for ourselves. If you want to accept fanon as part of our Star Trek experience do it. If you don't want to, fine don't. Regardless stop dickwaving if someone doesn't share the same opinion as you.
  6. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 28, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    I can't think of anything in Star Trek, but a good example would be the slayer line running through Faith rather than Buffy after her first death.
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    Still, there should be a little lee-way. Like on the Bolian issue, everything about them seems to imply they are Federation members, yet since it's never been explicitly stated on screen there are those who won't accept it. Although, admittedly it doesn't help matters that they originally weren't intended to be Federation members.

    And how far do we take this anyway? What about characters who are named in the scripts, but are never identified by name in the episode. Best example, Picard's Cardassian torturer in Chain of Command played by David Warner is well known as Gul Madred, but that name is never actually spoken in the episode. If we follow strict adherance to canon that only that which is on screen counts, then he's just Cardassian Interragator or something and Gul Madred is a fanon name.

    There comes a point where you do have to accept stuff as fact even if they're not established on screen.
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Jan 7, 2013
    New York State
    Regarding the latinum business, I'm in the camp that says you can replicate all the liquid latinum or gold-pressed latinum you want. No limits.

    The only thing is, replicators are not powered by fairy dust. They consume anti-matter. The whole reason latinum is used as a currency is that it costs more to replicate it than the resulting product is worth.
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I said out, dammit!
    While I agree it was unrealistic to expect that, it sure would have been nice. Would it have killed the producers of Enterprise to find a story adviser who had a good knowledge of the fanon that was developed during those years, and throw us a bone? Manny Coto did it in the last season. While Berman was in charge for the first 3 seasons, a lot of us kept going "What?! But that's not... Aw come oooonn!!" :lol:
  10. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    That makes a lot of sense.
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    Exactly. That Latinum can't be replicated or can only be replicated using extreme amounts of energy makes perfect sense. End of discussion.
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Here's some annoying fanon: "Kirk was born in Iowa."

    When what he said in The Voyage Home was "No, I'm from Iowa, I only work in outer space."
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    Well, wasn't Trek IV's line a nod to the people of Riverside who had already decided to publicly declare themselves Captain Kirk's birthplace?
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    I thought that came as a result of the line in The Voyage Home?

    Why, oh why, doesn't everyone simply accept my interpretation of the ST universe as the only valid one? :rofl:
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    That from the original Star Trek (TOS) writer's guide, the shows "bible."

    That Kirk is from Iowa is repeated in the 1968 book The Making of Star Trek.

    My personal "fanon" explanation is that the replicator can't make living organisms, so what latinum is is a living organism (maybe like a slime mold) that can only reproduce in a unusual biological environment on Ferengar. It lives inside it's gold container and very slowly feeds off of it.

    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    That's not fanon, though, just a reasonable conclusion from onscreen dialogue. There really was no reason for people to believe that Kirk wasn't born in Iowa. In fact, there's no reason to believe that still isn't the case for Kirk Prime who may not have been born until after the Kelvin came back to Earth in the original timeline.
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    Riverside declared themselves the birthplace of Captain Kirk in March 1985, over a year before Trek IV's release (November 1986). Read more on Memory Alpha.
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Feb 12, 2011
    Taking up space
    It's mentioned in TMoST, Chapter 4, page 215, of the 13th printing from 1974 (1968 edition).

    However, I can't find it mentioned in the Star Trek Writers/Directors Guide, third revision from April 17, 1967.

    Can you provide a citation in the writer's guide?
  19. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 26, 2013
    I think fanon is okay to a degree, like an author uses their own ideas of fanon in a fanwork.

    It can become something else entirely if said author tries to push that idea off into the fandom like they are right and anybody else who writes or draws otherwise is wrong.

    Sometimes a fanon "thing" ends up picked up by the entire fandom, and that's fine too. As long as nobody pushes their personal fanon in other peoples' faces like it's established fact, I don't mind it at all.
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    There was a TNG script mentioned in an interview that featured Mr Mot's barbershop conversation that would have revealed that the Bolians' homeworld wasn't a member of the UFP, but the scene was dropped, unfilmed, for time.

    Since then, of course, DS9 had made a Bolian the Commandant of Starfleet Academy.

    Correct. The line in ST IV was an in-joke callout to the Riverside campaigners.