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

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

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Do you prefer...

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

    15 vote(s)
    32.6%
  2. Or keeping it in the 1990s and just accepting that as Trek's version of the 1990s?

    31 vote(s)
    67.4%
  1. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but I will say that I do genuinely love the writing when it’s able to weave continuity together in satisfying ways. When all of the pieces fit together, and more than just an Easter egg name drop kind of way, it is satisfying.

    And I respect it when Trek just acknowledges and accepts the crazy things that Roddenberry and the production staff did in the 1960s, with “yeah we’re just gonna go with it.” I love an episode like “Trials and Tribbleations” where they just lean in to the miniskirts, Klingons with some brown makeup, and 1960s production design. I think that works better than “re-imagining” everything for modern sensibilities.

    For example, I really think that if they just dropped a high quality HD version of the original Matt Jefferies TOS Enterprise into Strange New Worlds it would work. The audience would embrace it and love it. And sometimes the people who make the new shows should trust the audience instead of thinking they need to put a new spin on everything in order for it to be believable.
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "The audience" does not consist solely of people who were already fans. The whole point of creating new series is to attract a new audience, because the old audience inevitably dwindles over time and you need to welcome in new people to keep the series alive. TNG did its best to stay as far away from TOS as possible, to move forward and add new things to the universe rather than rehash the past, and TNG was probably the most successful Trek series of all time.

    Besides, I am a member of the TOS audience, and you absolutely do not speak for me here. I love Jefferies's designs as much as anyone, but merely copying them does not honor them. Most artists would rather see their successors expand on their work, move it foward and refine it further, rather than slavishly, unimaginatively duplicate it. All artists draw on earlier artists for inspiration, but unless they bring their own style and fresh ideas to it, it's not creation, just tracing. John Romita's Spider-Man art didn't become iconic until he stopped copying Steve Ditko and made the characters his own. Ron Jones was mentored by Lalo Schifrin, got his start as an assistant to Mike Post & Pete Carpenter, and was strongly influenced by Jerry Goldsmith, but he incorporated all those influences into his own distinctive musical style.

    Mere imitation is the crudest, shallowest form of artistic expression. The real way to pay tribute to the past is to incorporate its influence into something new, something that moves it forward into the future. Star Trek especially should be about advancing into the future, learning from the past but not being frozen in it.
     
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  3. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You can expand on art without changing what came before it. And, honestly, if you don't want to rehash the past and do "tracing" then why are you retreading the same ground with the same characters and settings using the same intellectual property to draw in a fan base with certain expectations for what Star Trek is to then change it.

    I'd argue you end up with the worst of all worlds when you do that, since it's the illusion of adding creativity to someone else's work. Did the Discovery version of the Klingons expand or move anything in an interesting direction by turning them into fish head aliens in elaborate spiky garb? Or did it just confuse the hell out of people?
     
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  4. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Why are we expecting a TV show in universe history to line up with real world history? Did anyone disappear during the Marvel Snap?
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Art is change. That's the whole point. Talking about change as if it were an evil to be lamented is missing the entire message of Star Trek, and of life in general.

    None of what we're seeing in SNW is retreading. It's doing new things with existing characters, taking them places they weren't taken before. That's how creativity works. It's not about pulling things out of thin air. It's about taking what already exists and transforming it, finding new potentials in it.


    It's so ridiculous to hear people complaining about Discovery redesigning the Klingons as if it had never happened before. They've been redesigning the Klingons since 1979. And some fans whined about it in the exact same way, but the redesign ended up being embraced by fandom and creators and the people who were "confused" got over it. Franchises evolve, because fandom evolves. Your tastes are only your own. The series that thrive are the ones that appeal to a wide audience with a wide range of different tastes, since obviously a larger audience is better.
     
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  6. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Was anyone confused by the Disco Klingons? They changed the makeup, big deal. You like it or you don't.
     
  7. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I find the switch from TNG style Klingons to DSC Klingons to be far less jarring than the switch from TOS Klingons to TMP Klingons.

    Fucking Klingons. Always making trouble.
     
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  8. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    They redesigned the Klingons in the past as they moved the story forward. What they didn't do was set something in the TOS era and just totally re-imagine what a Klingon is and say to the audience that it was still in the same continuity as what we had seen before.

    And the TNG-era didn't feel the need to totally rethink the aesthetics of the Klingons, after the movie-era, as they expanded on their society and what a Klingon honor-based society would mean, because they knew that to do that misses the point. Because why call them Klingons if you're going to change everything?
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed.

    Berman era did the Klingons no favors. They created this massive interstellar power with one culture? As far as unbelievable nonsense the monoculture of the Klingons is more unbelievable than even warp drive or transporter.
     
  10. dswynne1

    dswynne1 Captain Captain

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    I chose option "B", since I believe that when you "world build", a franchise's timeline should be maintained as is, regardless of real-world events. However, if you are going to shift things a bit, do it within the constraints of continuity, like using "time travel" as the means to do so. Or, just simply state that the modern franchise is now on a different timeline track, as established by the TNG episode "Parallels".
     
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  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, the whole idea of Klingons having an "honor based society" is entirely a TNG idea. At no point in TOS or its movies were Klingons into honor. Indeed, in TOS, honor was more a Romulan trait while Klingons were the ones known for being devious and treacherous.

    Curious you're not upset at TNG for swapping Klingon and Romulan traits with each other.
     
  12. dswynne1

    dswynne1 Captain Captain

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    Maybe it's because the Klingons were modeled after the Mongols, after the fact? They did manage to conquer vast territory within a lifetime. But, I know that originally, the Klingons were suppose to be modeled after the Soviets, back in the days of TOS. Still, wasn't the events of ST6 the result of the empire being too stretched thin, resource-wise, and that they were on the verge of collapse? Just wondering...
     
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  13. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    It’s not that I didn’t notice they were different, but they were easily recognisable as Klingons. No confusion occurred in the Ta household. Same Klingon bastards.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, technically that started with The Search for Spock, which was scripted to feature Romulans and then swapped them for Klingons without changing anything else in the script, so suddenly the Klingons had cloaked Birds-of-Prey and were talking about honor. TNG just picked up on the reference to honor because they wanted the Klingons to be good guys now, and a standard way to paint a "warrior culture" in a positive light is to make them "honorable warriors," as if a code of behavior somehow makes it okay to go around killing people.


    No, the Klingons were always intended to be "space Mongols" from the start. That was the basis of their original makeup design, essentially a stock makeup for making white actors appear Asian but with a greenish-brown skin tone for alienness. James Blish's novelization of "Errand of Mercy," based on the script, explicitly described them as "Oriental" in appearance. And of course, one of the most prominent Klingons in TOS was given an actual Chinese/Korean name, Kang. That's pretty much a dead givewaway. There was a degree of Cold War allegory, of course, but I think it was as much about Communist China as the USSR.

    Really, that's the underlying reason for the difference The Wormhole mentioned between the Romulans and Klingons. The Romulans were based on the Roman Empire, i.e. Europeans, and thus got to be noble and admirable, while the Klingons were based on Fu Manchu stereotypes and were thus presumed to be devious and treacherous by nature.

    The reason Berman-era Klingons were a monoculture is because most alien civilizations in Trek, and indeed in SF in general, are monocultures. It's easy to fall into the habit of stereotyping aliens in fiction, and they tend to be allegories for Earth subcultures a lot of the time anyway, so they tend to have one trait each that defines them.
     
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  15. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly this. Klingons have honour. Vulcans have logic. Romulans are sneaky. Ferengi love money.
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Romulans have duty.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I know how you feel. I'll cop to being MUCH more aggravated by continuity glitches when I was a teenager back in the seventies, particularly where comic books were concerned. "But . . . but how can the Thermodynamic Man have his powers back, without explanation, in the latest issue of GIANT-SIZED DEFENDERS when he lost them in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #65 only six months ago? Are the editors asleep at the wheel?"

    But then DC pretty much threw its continuity into chaos after "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and, you know what, their comics were suddenly more interesting than they'd been in years. You had all this great stuff like the rebooted WONDER WOMAN and HAWKWORLD. Did it fit in perfectly with the Silver and Bronze Age continuity I'd grown up on? Not a bit. Were the new comics fun and entertaining in their own right? Absolutely.

    Looking back, I think that's when I first started to realize that, yes, a decent respect for continuity is a virtue, but it's not the only virtue nor even the most important.

    Continuity is just another tool in the toolbox, IMO. And should not be treated with undue reverence.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
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  18. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    You're talking about the exterior, not the interior right?
     
  19. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Moving the Eugenics Wars in modern Trek doesn't bother me too much, but whenever I'm watching "Space Seed", I just assume that they still took place from 1992-1996. Yeah, it's doublethink, but what are you going to do? Nobody working on TOS thought that Star Trek would still be producing new episodes 50-60 years later.
    From Futurama's "Where No Fan Has Gone Before":

    FRY: The world needs Star Trek to give people hope for the future!
    LEELA: But it's set 800 years in the past!
    I kind of love this idea. :techman:

    And once again I'll note that it's a weird double standard that most fans have no problem discounting Data saying in "Encounter at Farpoint" that he graduated in '78 but him saying that Admiral McCoy is 137 years old in the exact same episode is somehow sacrosanct. Either keep both numbers or throw them both out.
    "The stars" according to FF #1. Check out page 9 from the first issue. The idea of them traveling to the moon was itself a retcon.
    Well, no one posting here could possibly have Blipped, as none of those people will be back until October 2023. ;)
    As David Gerrold wrote in one of his books about TOS, Klingons fart in airlocks. :)
    The trouble only began when DC editorial decided to re-introduce Wonder Woman, Hawkman, and Hawkwoman into the present day DC Universe instead of years in its past, the way Batman: Year One and Man of Steel did with Batman and Superman. DC writer/editor Mark Waid has said that the original Hawkworld mini could've been made to jibe with the Silver Age Hawkman continuity with the addition of one caption that read "Ten years ago..." in issue #1. Issue #3 of the miniseries ends with Byth fleeing to Earth and Katar Hol and Shayera Thal ready to pursue him there, which is almost exactly where The Brave and the Bold #34 begins. Hawkworld creator Tim Truman originally conceived a lot of the backstory for the miniseries with Silver Age Hawkman writer Gardner Fox. Truman later moved in a different direction after Fox passed away in December of 1986.

    But hey, hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to say when past creators zigged where they should have zagged. Bob Greenberger could give even more detail on this stuff, I'm sure, as he was an editor at DC at the time.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The thing is, the "fan base" is not monolithic, especially nowadays, when STAR TREK consists of ten series and thirteen movies made by divers hands over the course of more than half a century. Different fans have different expectations and priorities, and fandom has NEVER spoken with one voice -- as this board proves every day.

    Some fans may indeed expect, say, that the Klingons always look like they did in in Berman era, whereas some of us, who grew up watching TOS-era Klingons, long ago got used to the idea that there's no such thing as a "real" Klingon, that the makeups and costumes are going to get refreshed every generation or so -- and that's just the way it works.

    Short version: the "fan base" doesn't all have the same expectations.

    Indeed, as this thread demonstrates, some of us put a higher priority on preserving the sacred "canon" than others. And none of us can claim to speak for all of fandom.
     
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