Is The Cage canon?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Aike, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Aike

    Aike Commander Red Shirt

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    Is the first pilot of Star Trek "The Cage" canon or not?

    What are the reasons pro-canon? And what are the reasons against considering it canon?
     
  2. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, it's canon. Its inclusion in The Menagerie makes it so.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  3. jongredic

    jongredic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The endings for The Cage and The Menagerie are slightly different though - regarding the bit where Pike walks off into the sunset with Vina...

    Which one should be taken as the "true" ending? I assume The Menagerie?
     
  4. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Who is to say that both endings didn't happen? The ending in The Cage happened the first time the Enterprise visited Talos 4, and the second ending happened after Pike's accident and Spock's trial. They are not exclusionary of each other.
     
  5. jongredic

    jongredic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's very true. I didn't think of that.

    Lucky Vina, eh? ;)
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Moreover, both of the endings are illusions created by the Talosians, visually speaking. In "The Cage", the healthy looks of Vina were faked. In "The Menagerie", the healthy looks of both Vina and Pike are illusory.

    Since the Talosians are lazy, unimaginative bastards by self-admission, it only makes sense that they would produce the exact same illusion both times around...

    Of course, one wonders if Vina ever really existed. The Talosians could easily have faked her all the way through, going as far as creating the whole Columbia backstory out of nothing - assuming the "radio waves" that originally hit the Enterprise also contained either telepathic influence or a computer virus to create the false records of that vessel.

    OTOH, the Talosians might have faked Vina's damaged looks - the woman could have been healthy and good-looking (although not as young as she had previously been made to look), but her looks were telepathically perverted to those of a deformed cripple to arouse the sympathy of Pike.

    Certainly "The Menagerie" suggests that the Talosians would have had the necessary reach and cunning for these types of subterfuge, while "The Cage" originally portrays them as possessing lesser telepathic range and potentially genuine benevolence in the end.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^ Nah. I think they were telling the truth at the end. Vina would have come along if she wasn't so malformed (now there's an interesting social commentary) and at that point the Talosians no longer had any reason to lie. I mean, we could come up with a reason, but it doesn't make as much sense as them telling the truth. Plus that scene has always had a very earnest nature to me - the prisoners and jailers are finally on equal footing and all guards are coming down. The mutual understanding that comes about in that last scene would really be undermined, and destroy the episode IMO, if the Talosians were still deceiving.
     
  8. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, and, yes, it's canon.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, agreed that. But I'd think the Talosians would be fools to stop at that point, after all they had done, considering what was at stake. Like Pike sez, with Vina they can try again, and again, until they succeed...

    ...And with "The Menagerie", we see them succeed at last! Yet somehow, everybody now believes in their benevolent goals. Which is no wonder, considering they are masters of mental manipulation. :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed.
     
  11. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's canon!
     
  12. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, Vina could have been convinced by the Talosians that she was deformed when in fact she wasn't... thus, the supposed illusion of beauty was too attractive to her, something she couldn't give up.

    I do find it peculiar that out of the "thousand inmates" of the Talosian zoo, they couldn't find one species capable of doing the rebuilding of their world. And... well, if the illusions are powerful enough, a being could be convinced that they're doing some kind of recreation when in fact they're building something.

    If you watch the remastered version, you'll hear the lead Talosian describe the purpose of producing more humans. But ultimately, they recognize the human's unique hatred of captivity as too much of a problem for them to handle. Pike discovered the shield of hatred to dispel the effect of the illusions...

    Actually, I wonder--if Pike could keep the Talosians out of his head by focusing on images of hate and killing, then wouldn't he have seen Vina for who she really is?
     
  13. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think only the parts (which was most of it, I realize) that was actually broadcast is canon - and that includes the context. If all of it was shown (which I think it was), you still have to take the context into account to determine what is canon. So the altered ending from Menagerie with Pike and Vina walking off hand in hand into the sunset, metaphorically speaking, is canon...although as Timo has pointed out, everything is subject to interpretation.
     
  14. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. The original pilot is canon. Even Jose Tyler's line seeming to indicate that warp drive wasn't invented until after the Columbia's crash in 2236 has been skillfully reinterpreted to mean a major improvement in Starfleet warp technology that was made in the 18 years between the crash on Talos and the beginning of the episode, making post-2236 vessels much faster than the Columbia and her ilk.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always accepted it as canon, and tried to think of ways around its oddities. I take for granted that when Pike's Enterprise time-warped *ahem* it didn't actually phase partially out of view. Stylistic montage choice to avoid more effects shots, I'm sure. And the term 'time-warp' had just fallen into common parlance due to the recent warp innovations and the breaking of the 'Time Barrier' was just a slang term used to refer to that particular warp development obstacle. ;)

    But yeah, since we saw most of it in 'The Menagerie' anyway, what real reason is there to not consider it canon?
     
  16. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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  17. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's short for spacetime warp.:p

    I don't know what a spacetime barrier would mean, though. That jerk Einstein built it, probably.

    I guess the Cage has to be canon because of its inclusion in the Menagerie, but insofar as the broadcast was an in-universe production created by master illusionists but admittedly poor engineers and scientists, details like "time barrier" might have been incorrect.

    So perhaps we can say that the Cage is selectively canon, overruled in part and affirmed in part by later authority, so to speak. Pike was the captain of the Enterprise, his XO was Nurse Chapel, and Spock was his science officer--this is confirmed by the Menagerie. The time barrier might never have existed, because the Talosians are stupid. We just didn't see Kirk turn to the admiral and say, "the what?"
     
  18. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The episode and story are canon. You just have to selectively interpret random dialogue in a way that fits in with the 700+ other TV episodes and movies in the franchise and has the pilot make sense in context with the rest of the TREK universe.
     
  19. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral In Memoriam

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    The short answer is 'no', because there is currently no Star Trek canon in existance right now other than the new movie. 'Canon' is nothing more than the collection of works that franchise writers are allowed (or encouraged) to draw from, and since there's currently effectively no major aspect of the franchise other than the movie (and the novels and comics have never really been canon constrained)...

    The longer answer is, if you're going by the old rules for 'canon' as the applied for TNG, DS9, and VOY, then "The Cage" is not canon, but the parts which were included in "The Menagerie" are.

    ENT, for its own part, declareed itself freed from 'canon' and 'continuity' wht the series inception. Basically, "The Cage" could have happened, in a timeline that links somehow to ENT's timeline.

    Hope this helps...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  20. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^In what manner did ENT declare itself free? Simply by virtue of its continuity-defying antics (matter/antimatter propulsion, Xindi attack on Earth that no one bothers mentioning ever in the future, first contact with the Ferengi, first contact with the Borg, random Denobulan, jerk Vulcans, Kronos less than a light year from Earth)?