Spoilers ENT: Rise of the Federation: Live by the Code by Christopher L. Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 20, 2016.

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Rate Live by the Code

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  1. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Spock in Yesteryear's the first one to pop to mind for me. He wasn't there to go through the Guardian, which meant that retroactively he was never born. Storm Front too; Christopher pointed out earlier that the Na'khul were working in a timeline that only existed because of changes that they hadn't yet made, meaning that their future changes had already propagated back.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, yes, Spock was born in that other timeline, he just died as a child because his older self wasn't there to save him. And THAT was only because the Guardian "removed" older Spock from that point in the past (because Spock couldn't be in two pasts at once), so that's why Spock had to go back again.

    It wasn't "retroactive" as such.
     
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  3. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Oh, you're right, sorry. But your description of why it happened is conjectural, all the episode established was that he wasn't there to go back and time, so his younger self died. Nothing about the Guardian removing anyone.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Exactly. Pegg's statement means that, from now on, the people making the films won't hesitate to contradict anything pre-2233 in Prime, or to portray aspects of the universe in ways irreconcilable with Prime. They could, say, completely redesign the Borg as nonhumanoid CGI monsters, or replace Chekov with a version of Saavik played by a black actress, or do whatever they feel like without being restricted by what the previous incarnation did.


    You're getting the cause and effect of canon backward. Canon is not some pre-existing reality that imposes limits on what storytellers are able to do. Canon is just the set of stories invented by the creators of the franchise, or their officially chosen successors. And what those creators say becomes the canon.

    The only thing this really means, as I said, is that the filmmakers are now embracing the fact that they're creating a new version of Star Trek and can do whatever they want with it. Which is obviously the smart approach to take if you're reinventing a franchise with an alternate continuity. Now they'll be free of the baggage of 50 years of Prime continuity and have no restrictions on their own creativity. It's what they should've done all along, but the "Supreme Court" members were worried about alienating the fans and so they offered the pretense that this was just a branched-off variant of the universe we knew, resulting in a betwixt-and-between continuity that hobbled them and just raised more fan objections when things didn't fit. Now the new creative team (minus Lindelof, Kurtzman, and Orci, plus Pegg, Lin, and Jung) has committed wholly to being separate and new, and that is so clearly the superior choice from a creative standpoint that I can't believe they'd ever go back to the old model.


    Yes, obviously. That's what they were hired to do in the first place -- to change the franchise, to make it new for a new audience. Now they're finally free to do that without restraint.


    Ohh, you were so close, and then you lost it. They aren't "mistakes." They're alternative approaches to a fictional construct. It wasn't a mistake for Frank Miller's Batman to be darker than the one Adam West played. It wasn't a mistake for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man to date Mary Jane Watson before he met Gwen Stacy. It wasn't a mistake for Elementary to make Watson a Chinese-American woman. These were reinventions. The Kelvin Timeline is, and has always been, a reinvention of Star Trek. It tried to pretend to be a continuation while still reinterpreting things, and fans just complained about the bits that didn't fit. Now we can just accept it as the independent construct it always should've been.


    I couldn't care less how it's presented. The technobabble Pegg offered to explain the decision is beside the point. What matters is the decision itself, the choice of the filmmakers to give themselves carte blanche to make changes rather than arbitrarily limiting themselves. That's good for future filmmakers because it lets them focus on telling new stories, and it's good for us novelists because we don't have to panic if a new movie contradicts something about pre-2233 Trek history. I see nothing here to complain about -- nothing that actually matters, anyway.
     
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  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, really? In what way have they "committed" to anything? Is Simon Pegg retaining creative control over all future Trek films? No? Then whatever he may have said, becomes non-binding the first time somebody else writes one.

    What obligates future Trek screenwriters to hew to anything Pegg said? Sure, he played Scotty, and sure, he wrote STB. But that doesn't make him the one in control of the franchise.

    Actually, that is what was established. Kirk and Spock were using the Guardian to explore a particular point in the past (Orion?). At the same time, another team was also using the Guardian to view Vulcan history - which just happened to be the bit where Spock (as "Selek") saved his younger self. Spock could not be in both of those past "times" at once, so the Guardian must have been responsible for removing him from one of them.

    (Which arises a question, when Spock went back through the Guardian and became Selek, was he then removed from the period of Orion history which he and Kirk had originally been visiting? ;) )
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  6. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I meant this... (1:54 for the start of the relevant part)

     
  7. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Well, what they say in the actual production. Laser Beam and Weblurker are right in that Pegg's comments aren't canon unless they're actually included in the movie. Otherwise they're just side commentary with no more canon status than the TMP novelization or Mosaic.

    I like Pegg's interpretation, and I agree with it too, but it's not canon just because one of the creators said it unless it comes up in Beyond. :p
     
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  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We're blurring together two different things here -- the specific technobabble explanation Pegg gave, and what the statement reveals about the intention of the creators. I'm talking about the latter. Nothing that previous creators did can prevent Lin, Pegg, and Jung from tweaking the interpretation. After all, not only did they have the final creative say over this movie, but given the rave advance reviews we've been hearing, I'd say it's a safe bet they'll get to make the next movie too.

    Besides, this isn't even really a change. It doesn't contradict anything we saw onscreen in the previous movies. After all, there were some pre-2233 things that were hard to reconcile with Prime continuity -- things like the size of the Kelvin and Pike's age. These things could be glossed over, sure, but it was an awkward fit. So not only does the new theory not contradict the first two movies, it actually clarifies them. We no longer have to believe that Prime-universe Starfleet ship design went through a phase of gigantism that had completely disappeared by the 2260s. We no longer have to pretend that Hunter's Pike was older than he looked or Greenwood's was younger. We no longer have to assume that San Francisco went through a hyperactive growth spurt in less than 25 years (not impossible -- look at Singapore -- but a stretch).

    Honestly, I'm bewildered by the negativity. For seven years, fans have been complaining that a timeline diverging in 2233 couldn't explain all the changes we saw, that the "Abramsverse" had to be a separate reality from the start. Now we've been told that it is. The fans who complained were right all along. So why are they still complaining?

    I mean, look at me. For seven years, I've been defending the "it only diverged in 2233" model because I knew that was the filmmakers' intent. I recognized there were inconsistencies, but I chalked them up to artistic license. I wished they'd done a full-scale reboot, but I was aware that they hadn't. But now that I know the current creative team has refined the approach, I've changed my view in light of that new evidence. And I'm able to see that it works better this way.
     
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  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We already know they're not.

    It's only awkward for people who forgot how to use their imagination.
     
  10. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    C'mon, we're having a good discussion, do you really need to go to insults?
     
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  11. Jinn

    Jinn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As someone who loves to complain about everything, especially if it is related to the new movies I gotta say that I am happy that it was "oficially" stated that pre-2233 Kelvin-timeline ≠ pre-2233 Prime Timeline. I just feel that it was unnecessary to make the reason so "technobablly". Personally I would have preferred it if Pegg had stated that the Kelvin-timeline is actually the Kelvin-universe, as travel between universes is already established in earlier Trek. This would have been a retcon however and would slightly kill the point of the new movies being a sort of continuation. But, again, generall I'm pleased with this.
     
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  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm puzzled that everyone is fixating so much on that part of it. The way Pegg rationalized it is by far the least important aspect of the whole thing. It was nonsense, sure, but it was just a handwave in an interview. It's not something a character explained on-camera, so it doesn't count. All that matters, as I've been saying, is the underlying intent that his statement reveals: That the movies are now free to change whatever they want, past or future. The technicalities of why that's the case are irrelevant. After all, the folks on this board have already thought of at least two alternative theories that make more sense than Pegg's, so we can just go for one of those instead if we feel like it. It won't make any difference to the actual outcome of what we see onscreen.

    Exactly. He was trying to balance the original "Supreme Court" intention that Spock Prime is the same Spock we've followed since TOS, and that events in the Prime Timeline triggered the creation of the Kelvin Timeline, with the revised intention that details can be changed in the timeline's past as well as its present and future. Not repudiating the previous model, just adding a new element to it, namely retroactive change.
     
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  13. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Moderator

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    The most obvious one that comes to mind for me is the anomaly from "All Good Things...".

    This. So much this.

    Sure... exactly as the original explanations from Orci were. None of this background stuff was explicitly spelled out in the movie itself, so it's not like Pegg's comments are overriding any pre-existing canon, or anything like that.

    Maybe it's a different group complaining?

    I agree. Maybe it's just because this brings things closer to how I already thought about it, but I like this new interpretation.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Like I said, the main reason Pegg's comments made me so uneasy is that it could be construed as an intention to wipe out the existing Trek universe. To say that the incursions in ST09 changed the past, present AND future implies an intention, or at least a possibility, to eliminate the original timeline from existence. No one wants that, do they?

    (I mean, if nothing else, the fact that Bad Robot refuses to allow Kelvinverse novels to be written, yet still permits the "existing" novel series to continue, would seem to indicate a willingness to let the original timeline continue. It's just that Pegg's comments sound so....so FINAL. That's what worries me. :( )

    That's why I greatly prefer the theory that Nero and Spock Prime emerged into an already existing alternate universe. It minimizes the potential of harm to the prime timeline.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  15. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    I definitely didn't get any indication from Pegg that the original timeline was in any way effected by the reboot. I doubt they'd be allowed to do that.
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We can only hope.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
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  17. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Well, no, I don't want that. What was it in Pegg's comments that made you think this was a possibility, though? I certainly didn't get that. It's still an isolated timeline from the original, just one with effects propagating both forward and backward in time, rather than forward.

    Effectively, though, if there's no series* or movies taking place in Prime anyway, then I'm not sure what impact that would really have anyway. It would only be comics and books that could potentially be impacted, and the comics aren't really producing much in Prime lately anyway. But since the books aren't allowed to use KT, it's not like CBS is going to say, "yeah, don't publish anything". So I'm reasonably sure books set in Prime will continue.

    (* I say this not knowing if it's been confirmed what timeline/universe Trek 2017 takes place in...)
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just don't see how you could have both of those.

    We're all well aware of the method of time travel which branches off from a fixed point - the new branch continues, yet the original is left unaltered. Pegg's version sounds much more "comprehensive" than that. Remember how he said, and I quote, "MULTIDIMENSIONAL reality shift"? What other conclusion could you draw from something so...ominous?

    It's not simply a matter of not having any new material taking place in the new timeline. What happens to the shows and movies we have already seen? Sure, nobody is likely to break into your home and steal your BluRays or anything like that, but if that material has been eliminated from the timeline....what then?

    And before somebody inevitably says "It's all fiction, none of it ever happened" :rolleyes: - yes, I am aware of that, but IN-universe, it did... (cue Nero rant) ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  19. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Would a Doc Brown-esque chalkboard drawing help?

    [​IMG]

    Wait, no, all that proves is that my drawing abilities suck.

    I honestly don't know what to tell you. Other than I doubt Pegg had that intention in mind when he said what he said. Isn't he the biggest Trekkie in the cast? I doubt he'd want to see the Prime timeline "eliminated" any more than any of us here.

    Of course, I can't say for sure what he intended, because I'm not Simon Pegg. Or... am I? *checks* No. No I am not.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Of course no one wants that -- least of all uber-fans like Simon Pegg and Justin Lin. Their intent is exactly the opposite of that: To allow the filmmakers carte blanche to reinvent things however they want without having any effect on Prime at all. Before, if the movies established something about events pre-2233, we assumed that would be binding on our understanding of Prime (except among those fans who already assumed it had been separate from the start). Now we know that Prime continuity is independent of what the movies do next. The next movie could reveal that, say, Cardassia was a founding member of the Federation or Zefram Cochrane was a Chinese woman, and it wouldn't have any effect on Prime at all, because we now know that the Kelvin timeline is different from Prime throughout history, not just after 2233. This doesn't endanger Prime, it insulates Prime.

    Again: For seven years now, many fans have been insisting that the "Abramsverse" had to have been different from Prime all along. The tie-in comics were actually written with that assumption in mind. Now, Pegg has simply confirmed those suspicions to have been correct, while finding a way to reconcile them with the declared intention of his predecessors that the new timeline was created by Nero's incursion. That's actually quite a deft thing -- finding a way to bring both points of view together and allow them both to be right.


    I don't know where your fear is coming from. Pegg and Lin are passionate fans of Star Trek just as much as you are. They're on our side. And they have slightly modified the official party line about the universe -- that it was created by the red matter incident -- in a way that explains the discrepancies fans have been pointing out for years, and in a way that enormously simplifies the whole continuity debate by allowing the two timelines to be totally independent from now on. This is a good thing.


    There is never going to be "harm" to the Prime timeline. The Prime timeline is not an actual continuum of reality, it's a bunch of stories that people have been telling and loving for 50 years. Nobody is trying to destroy that. Nobody ever could, as long as the stories are there. And the people making this movie love those stories every bit as much as you do. But they also have a responsibility to tell new stories about this new timeline, and so they've made a creative decision that gives them more latitude in the future. Now those filmmakers don't have to be hampered by an inability to change anything pre-2233. If their stories need this universe's past to be significantly different than Prime's past, they're now free to tell those stories. That's the only thing that this decision means.

    Besides, the distinction you're drawing is functionally irrelevant now. The Kelvin timeline can now be as "alternate" as it needs to be, in both past and future. Whether those changes were caused retroactively by the red-matter event or were "there all along" in some cosmic sense is mere sophistry.
     
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