Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by King Daniel Beyond, May 16, 2013.

  1. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Premium Member

    Feb 24, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, in the novelization it is pretty clear he is revived because of the destruction of Vulcan:

    Reading those two lines, I'm pretty sure they were in the movie, so I must have just been remembering things incorrectly.
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^I remember the second line being in the film. Not sure about the first. But yeah, my impression was that S31 was prompted by Vulcan's destruction.
  3. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 15, 2006
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    Not to mention that Khan was planing on crashing the USS Vengeance into Starfleet Command.

    I mean am I the only who realizes what a man of Middle Eastern descent flying a starship into buildings looks like.

    Or he was kind of giving Section 31 a bit of legitimacy. I mean compare Marcus's explanation about Section 31 and Kirk and Spock's to the way it went when Slone explained who they were to Bashir or Harris explained who they were to Archer.

    In the case of Kirk and Spock didn't question the organization's existence and moved on in the conversation whereas in the case of Bashir and Archer that started questioning the existence and legality of the organization and in Bashir's case started trying to thwart it.

    I just figured Marcus was the first guy who figured the whole on their own mysterious organization thing was more trouble than it was worth because he wasn't a deluded idiot in the way Slone and Harris were. He was just a deluded idiot in an entirely other fashion by thinking he could control Khan.

    Thats what I remember Khan saying basically from when I saw it, but I seem to remember it being as a result of marcus having ships looking for potential new threats in light of the Narada coming out of nowhere.

    Makes me wonder if Marcus found any other threats from TOS while he guys were poking around to detect and deal with the next potential Nero.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    India is not the Middle East. It's South Asia. It's closer to China than it is to Iraq or Saudi Arabia.

    :lol: I like it.
  5. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 15, 2006
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
  6. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    From my perspective, Christopher, whenever I present an argument that calls for an interpretation of the new films in any way other than straight-forward that you argue against it, saying that we should just take the film’s story straight-forward and not try to twist it to fit our desires.

    Like my thoughts on how “Spock Prime” may not be from the novelverse and therefore the novelverse doesn’t have to blow up Romulus with the Hobus supernova by 2387 [which we have discussed before in different threads].
    Or my thoughts about how John Harrison may not have been Khan Noonien Singh but some other Khan.

    And yet, when I argue that the filmmakers have presented a straight-forward case that stable, regular long-distance “transwarp” transporters do work in the Prime universe, you take what appears to be the opposite track and try to argue away the repeated references in the films.

    You admit that the technology has been presented in the films as a significant, important technology.

    But, you continue to argue that it should not, therefore, necessarily be a significant technology in the novelverse. Instead coming up with reasons—that were not presented on screen by the filmmakers—that the technology should NOT be a big deal in the novelverse.

    Your argument tracks seem contradictory.
    Or self-serving.

    I understand the reluctance to embrace transwarp beaming into the novelverse. It just creates so many problems. But it seems like the new films are presenting such a clear case for it to exist in the Prime Universe by 2387. Or at least for Scotty to “invent” it and Spock to know about it. I think that this should be addressed eventually in the novels, just like the destruction of Romulus should be addressed eventually.

    And it is my hope that when these things are “addressed” they will be done so much better by our novel writers than they were by the film writers. I actually look forward to a well-written, credible explanation of how a supernova could “threaten the galaxy” or take out Romulus unexpectedly. Or a good explanation of how even though transwarp beaming is possible--and relatively easy and reliable as presented in the films--it does not irrevocable change the face of the galaxy and lead to Starfleet ships being mothballed as a wasted resource.

    I like my Star Trek with ships and not galaxy-hoping transporters.
    And I like my Star Trek with science and supernovas that make sense.

    I’ve seen what good authors like you, Christopher L. Bennett, can do when given a poorly-written situation within the Star Trek universe and a drive to “fix it”. Whether the editors tell you to do it or you found some story that justifies it to yourself to do it. And you do it well. Like how you took all the various crazy, contradictory time travel stories within Star Trek and sewed them together in the great story that is Watching the Clock. Or like how Kristen Beyer was told to bring back Janeway and she wrote the great story that is The Eternal Tide.

    Sometimes taking on challenges can lead to great art. Don’t think of long-range transporters as some stupid little plot point in the films that you can just ignore; think of it as a challenge to overcome. I have faith in you.
    [This being said, of course, but a person who couldn’t write himself out of a paper bag and doesn’t really understand how hard it can be to write to stupid requirements; I just enjoy reading the great work of others.]
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Exactly. I'm referring to how quickly the media and the general public start looking suspiciously at any swarthy individual when there is a terrorist action. It's been happening since 9/11.
  8. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005

    Thanks for your reply. But some of your responses just go back to my main gripe. I think some of this stuff could've been better explained. Sure this film is made with the mass audience in mind but it is also made with an eye towards the old fans as well. I don't think you have to sacrifice a movie that is true or respectful of canon in order to appease or appeal to new fans.

    As for Marcus's explanation of Section 31 to Kirk, he might very well have thought Kirk wouldn't live too long afterwards, but how could he know who Kirk might talk to before or during his mission to the Neutral Zone? Or that Kirk is resilient enough-I mean this is the guy who took on and beat the Narada-and then what kind of boat would Marcus have been in? (I didn't have a problem with Marcus's reveal of Section 31. I was just wondering why he was so open about it, when we had seen from ENT that it was a shadowy organization. Heck, in ENT it was so shadowy they just called it a section at first. I can't recall if they actually said Section 31).

    With Praxis, I actually missed it the first time I saw the film, but paid more attention due to some of the comments I read on this website. My issue there was that something major like that could've easily been worked into the dialogue. While Marcus is talking about the Klingon predations he could've said something along the lines of since Praxis was destroyed-either due to the kind of build up you described or a-ha, the Narada, the Klingons have become more desperate, been striking out, yadda, yadda, yadda, and war is inevitable if we don't send a message now or something. Or that Harrison has been helping them and he must be stopped before he helps them rebuild their military or whatever. The desperate state of the Klingons due to Praxis might also explain why they didn't show up to attack the Enterprise or the Vengeance later. Or heck Earth for all that matter since it seems that Earth is only a few hours away from the Neutral Zone now.

    As for Carol Marcus, I heard there had been a deleted scene that did explain it. I think this wouldn't bother the new fans but it would leave old fans' heads scratching. I don't get why they just didn't let Ms. Eve use an American accent. Or at least throw a line in there about her studying/living in England for a period. The film did a shoddy job anyway of putting her and Kirk together so maybe a little conversation and her talking about where she came from could've helped established that relationship onscreen.

    You can say they are definitely nitpicks. I still don't see them that way. I think they needlessly detracted from the story.

    I agree with your view about the ethnicity/nationality of Khan.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    A lot of the time, what I'm trying to do is simply to offer balance by saying there's more than one possible interpretation of the evidence. If one person, such as yourself, presents one possible interpretation, I may not necessarily be against that interpretation, but if I see other ways it could be interpreted, I'll put them out there for consideration, just so that all the possibilities are on the table.

    All I can say is that official policy is that tie-ins have to follow screen canon. You're perfectly welcome to believe in your own mind that Spock Prime isn't from the novelverse, or to write fanfiction to that effect, but Pocket Books does not have as much flexibility on that point as you do. That's not my opinion, that's just the way the business works.

    The only reason I can see why Pocket would not acknowledge the Hobus supernova once they got to 2387 is if, hypothetically, they didn't have a license to use concepts from the Abramsverse -- much as IDW doesn't have a license for VGR or ENT (or DS9 anymore). But in that case they'd more likely avoid mentioning it rather than contradict it outright. Tie-ins don't get to contradict canon, not on purpose.

    Which were based on an incorrect assumption that Khan could only be a title and not a given name. That's not a matter of opinion but a question of fact. It can be and is a given name (though usually a surname), and it was used as the character's given name rather than a title.

    Plus there's no problem with Cumberbatch's character being the same Khan. Several possible explanations have already been proposed. He could've gotten cosmetic surgery. Or he could've been light-skinned all along, since Sikhism is a religion and not an ethnic group, and there are white or mixed-race people living in India. There are simpler explanations than the one you're proposing. It's a matter of Occam's Razor.

    I don't think we know enough to conclude that that's what they've presented. Yes, they've established that Spock Prime is aware of the formula, but they've revealed nothing about its use or feasibility in the Prime universe. Any conclusion, either that it's commonplace there or that it's rare there, is equally speculative.

    I do not disagree with your premise that transwarp beaming might be a significant technology in the Prime universe as of 2387. I'm simply saying that it doesn't have to be, that there are other possibilities that also exist, and that the novelists thus have options about how they address the issue. Again, you've offered one side of the argument, and I'm offering the other side to balance it. It's good that both sides have been voiced for people to read and consider.

    Maybe it will be. But the convenient thing about my idea that it's the same technology from "Bloodlines" is that in that case, it already has been addressed. Again, it's an Occam's Razor thing. I prefer to believe that both forms of interstellar transporter technology are essentially the same thing, because it would be redundant to have two unrelated technologies that achieve exactly the same effect. And "Bloodlines" has already given us a handy explanation why such technology is not in standard use, so why bother inventing a separate one?

    I already have one in mind. Although it would only work if I were free to contradict Countdown's portrayal of the event.

    I still say that three successful uses are not remotely enough to demonstrate reliability. No government or oversight body would approve a transportation technology for regular public use if it had only had three successful test runs. What if it fails one out of every four times? Or two out of every five? Even one in a thousand failures would kill a huge number of people if it were put into regular, everyday use.

    I'm not ignoring anything. On the contrary, I'm wishing that people would stop ignoring the existence of a near-identical technology in "Bloodlines" -- and the handy explanation that episode already provides.

    But fans can dwell too much on canon. Roddenberry himself had no problem retconning the Klingons' appearance in TMP and asking fans to accept that they'd always looked that way. Canon is about the broad strokes, not the nitpicky details that are matters of individual interpretation.

    It was a private meeting in which Marcus assigned Kirk to a secret mission. I'd think it would be a given that the contents of their discussion were classified and that even a renegade like this version of Kirk wouldn't just go blabbing its contents to various and sundry.

    It's not inconsistent with how Sloan introduced Bashir to knowledge of S31 at the end of "Inquisition," or how Admiral Zweller spoke of it to Hawk (I think it was) when trying to recruit him in Section 31: Rogue. S31 hasn't been reticent to reveal its existence to those it's trying to recruit for its missions.

    I don't see how that's necessary. It's purely a bit of continuity patchwork that doesn't really serve the story. And often in film, you let the images themselves tell the story with no dialogue needed. It's often more about visceral impressions than facts and exposition. Fans who know about Praxis can use their imaginations, as I did, and extrapolate reasons for Praxis's earlier destruction, while everyone else can just go "Ooh, cool space pics!"

    I don't get why it's that puzzling. We saw that London was a major location in the film. We were told that it was connected to Section 31 and so was Admiral Marcus. It's not hard to put the pieces together and conclude that Carol grew up in London in this timeline.

    Movies shouldn't spoon-feed us every detail. There's merit in leaving some things for us to figure out for ourselves.

    According to an interview on, they talked about it, but went with the British accent because American audiences associate it with intellect.

    They wrote it, they filmed it -- and they cut it, because it was unnecessary. As with Praxis, it's about showing rather than telling. They don't need a line of dialogue saying "I grew up in London" because her accent says "I grew up in London." That information is already there.
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  10. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Are you implying that novel writers are currently not allowed to contradict the events of Countdown?

    I thought that ship had already sailed. I thought the novelverse already contradicts Countdown. Most significantly in that Data in the novel universe has not been resurrected in B-4's body as Countdown established, but is in a different body that looks different than the one established in Countdown.
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Certainly not, because they already have, as you say. I said "if" for the same reason anyone says "if" -- because it's a hypothetical. The whole subject is hypothetical, because at this point I know of no plans to write anything about the Hobus supernova, and I have no reason to expect I would be the one chosen to tell such a story.
  12. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Yet that happens all the time in Star Trek. Phasers and Disruptors. Transwarp corridors and tachyon eddies and Slipstream. Matter-antimatter warp drives in the Federation and singularity warp drives in the Romulan Empire. Etc.
    Why not both subspace beaming and transwarp beaming? We already have other transportation technologies that achieve the same effect but aren’t either of these. Like Iconian Gateways or dimensional shifting.

    Especially since we are seeing more and more that subspace beaming [unreliable and power-intensive] is different from transwarp beaming [less and less so as new movies come out contradicting that take on transwarp beaming].

    You continue to ignore the other uses of the technology. Like for cargo or as a weapon.
    Or in last-ditch efforts when you are probably about to die anyway, like when Scotty had to get off the ship in Indistinguishable from Magic.
    These still need to be addressed even if the technology isn’t ready for every-day use, IMO.

    I agree. People should address this outstanding issue. The fact that the tech hasn’t ever came up again in the 15+ years in universe in stories seems wrong to me.
    Doesn’t this type of technology seem right up the alley of the Typhon Pact, who continues to try and find advantages over the Federation’s slip stream technology.

    And, while the writer is at it explaining this, why not also explain the related tech of transwarp beaming and how Spock knows about it by 2387. After all, it’s at least similar and it is canon and can’t be denied.

    The novelverse found a way to “reinterpret” canon in order to have Trip not die as was at least heavily implied in canon, if not established.
    And I’m not even arguing for a “reinterpretation” for transwarp/subspace beaming. Just a better explanation of the effect on the universe of the tech that has already been established in canon--both “Bloodlines” and the new movies.
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Yes, of course, as I've said over and over, that is one possibility. I'm just saying it's not the only one. They could be different, but they could also be the same. Not have to be, just could be. Okay? This doesn't have to be an argument. Neither of us has to prove the other wrong. Can't we just put both possibilities on the table and leave them both there?

    We're not actually seeing that, though. As we've established, we've seen transwarp beaming used exactly three times in the movies. But the subspace transporter in "Bloodlines" was used at least six times: for Bok to beam onto and off of the Enterprise on two occasions, for Bok to beam Jason off the ship, and for Picard to beam to Bok's location. And even with twice as many successful transports, it was still characterized as too risky to use except in extreme circumstances. So as I've been trying to tell you, we don't yet have nearly enough evidence to make any reasonable conclusions about the safety of transwarp beaming.

    No, I'm just saying that as a general matter of reasoned analysis, you cannot use a mere three examples of anything as proof of a pattern. If you flip a coin and it comes up heads three times, that doesn't mean it's rigged, because that could easily happen by random chance. You'd need a much larger sample size before you could draw any conclusions. I'm not making a point about imaginary teleportation technology, I'm making a point about statistics and how we use it to assess knowledge.

    All I'm trying to do here is to establish what we don't know, what we can't and shouldn't assume we know for sure. We can't be certain that subspace beaming is different from transwarp beaming. We can't be certain that transwarp beaming is reliable. Maybe those things are true, but we just don't know for sure. There are still major uncertainties, and I'm just trying to define those areas of doubt.

    Heck, that's exactly the point I've been making -- that every instance we've seen of transwarp beaming in the movies has been in an extreme circumstance where its use would've been deemed worth the risk even if it wasn't reliable. Which is why I do not take anything we've seen in the movies as evidence that it is reliable. If we saw people using it in routine circumstances, for a daily commute to work or something, then I would agree with you that it had been shown to be reliable. But that's not what we've seen. We have insufficient evidence from which to draw that conclusion.

    While still acknowledging that what we saw in canon -- Will Riker watching a reconstruction that showed those events in a certain way -- did occur. That's hugely different from contradicting a canonical event outright, such as having the Hobus supernova never occur.
  14. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 30, 2011
    At star's end.
    What you are making is a straw-man.
    Three cases of a complex technology working flawlessly means:
    -it is highly likely the technology works
    -it is highly unlikely the technology does not work and you have won the lottery three times (a LOT of things have to happen just right for complex technology to work flawlessly even once)

    We can be sure transwarp beaming is at least moderately reliable. Subspace beaming as well (whether they are the same or different).
  15. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 21, 2011
    The Black Country, England
    Beaming very long distances will remain uncommon if Trek is to remain in the form that has served it well for several decades, which it will because that is a real world business decision.

    This will necessitate some in universe reason for its limitation - power, cost or unreliability seem the best options. In a cashless economy with virtually limitless energy, unreliability looks to be the favourite.

    I don't think there's much option.
  16. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

    Jun 4, 2009
    It is still possible to have transwarp beaming only within Federation space, while leaving the exploration of uncharted or unexplored territories to starships. That would give greater impetus to Star Trek's premise of "...boldly going where no one has gone before."

    Mind you, I'm with Christopher when it comes to the feasibility of every day transwarp beaming though.
  17. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 12, 2010
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Transwarp beaming may be interesting and could be developed. I thought there was a ST-TNG novel that discussed an orbital station or some such thing that beamed people interstellar distances but am not knowledgeable about television episodes.

    But what about the psychology of the surviving Vulcan? Could Vulcans experience many emotions simultaneously but control them all at once? Could they have multiple attitudes and multiple thoughts working in parallel? Perhaps I have missed the latest novels with more alien diversity. If an alien species controls their emotions, they can still, if necessary, but rarely, express emotions. This does not take away from the emotional control but enhances the rarity of expression.

    If emotions are really necessary to proper human neurological functioning, then aliens shall need something similar to label and prioritize signals and traces. A new look at Vulcan functioning can provide a new look at how telergistic phenomena might be constructed in a civilization. Perhaps diversity within alien stereotypes may become possible. Or, is that too much of a brave new world?
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  18. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I think that the TV series, never mind the novels, have established pretty conclusively that Vulcans do have emotions but simply manage them very tightly. The TNG episode "Sarek", which featured various Enterprise-D crewpeople including Picard, being affected by Sarek's inadvertant telepathic broadcasts proves the point, as does the relatively open display of emotion by Romulans who split from Vulcan just a couple of millennia ago.
  19. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 28, 2011
    I would like to jump in and point out some things. -> Khan as title
    There is already an existing precedent that a name can become a title, both in real life and in Star Trek:

    IRL: Octavian and Caesar - I understand that they were not first names, but some sort of nicknames (sorry my Latin is a bit rusty)
    ST: Seeds of Dissent and Debtors' Planet - alright nothing canon, but in Seeds of Dissent we have the "Khanate of Earth" ruled by "Khan Imperator" and in Debtors' Planet the "Great Khanate".

    Therefore, I do not believe that it is such a scratch that Khan Noonien Singh's first name became a general title, given that it symbolized a ruler.
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Umm, the point is that "Khan" was originally a title for Mongolian rulers going back nearly 2000 years. When Temujin took the title Genghis Khan and built the largest land-based empire in world history, he and his successors (who also used the title Khan) thus spread that title to other cultures and it came to be used in them as well, which is how Khan came to be a common surname in the Islamic world.

    The mistake being made above was the assumption that just because Khan originated as a title, it must have been a title in this case -- that the character was named Noonien Singh and simply used the title Khan. Which, as I pointed out, doesn't track, because then he would've introduced himself by saying "I am the Khan" rather than "I am Khan." He and others have always used it as his name, not his title.

    As for Caesar, it was originally the family name of Gaius Julius Caesar -- more specifically, the cognomen of the family Caesar within the clan Julius. As for how it became an imperial title, see here.