Spoilers Does moving the Eugenics Wars into the 21st century fundamentally change things?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Citiprime, May 7, 2022.


Do you prefer...

  1. Moving the Eugenics Wars to fit within a possible version of our timeline?

    15 vote(s)
  2. Or keeping it in the 1990s and just accepting that as Trek's version of the 1990s?

    31 vote(s)
  1. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Dec 19, 2021
    Picard and Strange New Worlds moving the Eugenics Wars into the 21st century creates some things that just do NOT fit at all with TOS and The Wrath of Khan (e.g., Spock specifically says Khan was absolute ruler of 1/4 of Earth from 1992 to 1996 in "Space Seed", Chekov states Khan is a product of "20th century genetic engineering" when confronted by him on Ceti Alpha V).

    Thinking about it, I just wonder how much of the change is that for some people's it's important to see Trek as being set in a future iteration of "our" world.

    Would it change things for Star Trek to go with things being set in a universe where the 1990s and the 2020s go very differently and you just have to go with that? All of the episodes and movies told their tales, and you just have to go with it, whether its Apollo and the Greek Gods being real aliens or dinosaurs escaped Earth to live in the Delta Quadrant.

    Or should Trek canon change to fit within our timeline, and always be about a speculative future just over the horizon in order for people to accept things as maybe happening at some point in our future, and let writers create new aspects off of the ideas?
    Last edited: May 7, 2022
  2. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Commodore Commodore

    Jan 16, 2019
    Kyana Prime
    Well, when a TV franchise lasts this many decades, time catches up with those plotlines, and some adjustments seem necessary. Just think if Star Trek is still airing in a few hundred years when almost ALL of these plotlines will catch up to it. ;)
    Kor, danellis, JonnyQuest037 and 6 others like this.
  3. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 7, 2011
    Aug 10, 1999
    Doesn't change anything. As long as you have Khan, you have "Space Seed", then TWOK, then the TOS Movies that came after it. As long as you have Khan, you still have the ban on Eugenics, and you still have Bashir having to hide his genetic manipulation. And, as long as you have Khan, you still have that Augment three-parter from ENT and the Klingon Forehead Two-Parter.

    So changing the date from the 1990s to 20XX is the easiest change to make. Doesn't matter when it happens. As long as it happens.
    danellis, Greg Cox, XCV330 and 4 others like this.
  4. Dar70

    Dar70 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 12, 2001
    I dont remember Picard or Strange New Worlds changing the year. Why must a fictional tv shows past line up exactly with ours???
    Janeway went into the mid 90's and no mention of the Eugenics wars. But that doesnt mean they didnt/werent happening...
    Nyotarules, BillJ, Tosk and 1 other person like this.
  5. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2017
    They didn't move it. It still ended in 1996
    Mr. Laser Beam likes this.
  6. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    In Star Trek's universe, the dates given are when their issues took place. Their universe isn't ours even if the TV writers are influenced by and extrapolate upon ours. It's not taking place in our universe, but it wants us to suspend disbelief and explore theirs, and the more their world has a flair of authenticity is what counts.
    Nyotarules likes this.
  7. Dar70

    Dar70 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 12, 2001
    That is great. I would not want them to change it.
  8. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Dec 19, 2021
    From Trekmovie:

    According to showrunners, Spock was wrong and that Eugenics Wars happened much later during 21st century. Terry Matalas stated, “We discussed endlessly. We came to the conclusion that in WW3 there were several EMP bursts that kicked everyone back decades. Records of that 75 year period, the 90s on were sketchy. Maybe Spock was wrong? No easy way to do it if you want the past to look and feel like today.[…] Maybe because in 1967 they didn’t anticipate the show still going for another 6 decades.” Aaron J. Waltke added, "There’s also the ripples of the Temporal Cold War shifting the Prime Timeline in Star Trek: Enterprise — at least until the Temporal Accords put an end to that wibbly wobbliness."

    Per Memory Alpha:

    The Second Civil War, later known as the Eugenics War and finally escalating into World War III, was a conflict that occurred on Earth circa 2026; it might possibly be better described as the beginning of a conflict that eventually came to be known as the Third World War.
    Last edited: May 7, 2022
  9. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    From Memory Alpha:



    They say Memory Alpha is the definitive site, especially with it trying to stitch together all of the shows and comics and books and audios and other things with the name "Star Trek" stamped on it. Of course, if any ol' site can wave a magic wand and make anything canonical on a whim...

    Also, "wibbly wobbly" sounds like something Elmo on Sesame Street would say. Why did modern day Doctor Who toddlerize itself? Sigh...
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 11, 2014
    That's my expectation of Trek. I thought we had a thread on this?
    NewHeavensNewEarth likes this.
  11. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2017
    I think memory alpha jumped the gun there. They haven’t changed anything as far as I’m aware.
  12. Disposable_Ensign

    Disposable_Ensign Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 26, 2021
    My personal/headcanon theory is that, like our Old Style/New Style dates, the date system in the future is a touch off from the Gregorian reckoning and/or conversion from stardate to year is faulty.
    Ralphis likes this.
  13. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2010
    Sunny California
    What's your thoughts on the matter and does these alterations changes things for you?
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 12, 2011
    astral plane
    This has to be a spoiler discussion for currently streaming shows.
  15. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Dec 19, 2021
    It depends on what they do with a change and how well it plays.

    By having Khan connected to a fictional version of the 1990s, I would argue the aspects of his story in the original TOS iteration connected to fundamental core elements of the Trek mythos, especially Roddenberry's ideas about secular humanism. A core tenet of Star Trek is a belief in humanity to grow into a better place naturally where we cast aside the selfishness of the present to create a better future together with others. Khan, and what he represents, is a direct Nietzsche/Rand-ian distortion of humanity where the perversion of what it means to be human creates something where "better" becomes destructive.

    If you now say we're going to move all that to the 2020s in order to tie all of this to ...
    Adam Soong being upset about his inability to covet his test tube daughter, the Soong family's megalomania, and the current political divisions in the United States
    ... I'm not sure that makes things better or expounds on those original ideas in an interesting way.
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I'm not convinced they moved the Eugenics Wars. If you look at the language used in "Strange New Worlds," it's very vague; what Pike actually establishes as concrete fact is that a series of conflicts preceded the nuclear attacks which were subsequently known as part of World War III, and that those prior conflicts had multiple names including the Eugenics Wars and the Second American Civil War. That's it.

    Meanwhile, PIC "Farewell" establishes that something called Project Khan occurred between 1992 and 1996 -- the same dates TOS "Space Seed" established for Khan's reign on Earth.

    To me, this strikes me as strategic ambiguity. To casual viewers or casual fans who don't know every piece of Trek trivia or who might be turned off by the idea of a big divergence from real history in the 1990s, the language implies but does not state outright that the Eugenics Wars might have happened in the mid-21st Century and/or have been the same thing as World War III. To continuity sticklers who don't like the idea of a retcon, the language is vague enough that it does not preclude interpreting a 1992-1996 Eugenics War as eventually leading to a second U.S. Civil War which itself eventually bleeds into World War III.

    The language is vague enough that you can interpret the Eugenics Wars as happening whenever you want, really.
    Sakonna and Turtletrekker like this.
  17. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Stolen from Jorg on twitter:
    Unless SNW established more, it seems Adam Soong is looking at old classified reports written in 1996 about "project Khan". The report is an after-the-point review of what occured, and I took it as a subtle-as-a-sledgehammer nod at the ENT Augment arc, which has it's own very unsubtle nod at the creation of Data at the end.
    danellis and Mr. Laser Beam like this.
  18. captainmkb

    captainmkb Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    well said.

    Project Khan folder
    indicates we still have Eugenics occurring with familiar dates 1992-1996. the way
    Pike mentions them as part of the other conflicts
    means that something else happened later on. We're having our cake and eating it too on this one. All told it changes nothing bc we still (presumably) have a Botany Bay, frozen Augments, an eventual showdown at Mutara and of course an Augment ban, no matter what year range we attribute to the beginning of these events
    danellis likes this.
  19. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

    Mar 10, 2021
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    It's in the 'Star Trek' 1990s.

    It's really the easiest way to deal with it. As quick as a snap of Q's fingers.
    XCV330 likes this.
  20. 1001001

    1001001 Do You Really Wanna Taste It? Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    Zoo Station
    Yeah, I just saw this. Best I can do now is add the tag.

    PLEASE do not post ANY spoilers for SNW here without spoiler tags.

    Even better, discuss SNW in the SNW forum.