# StarDate

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Kirk1701A, Oct 24, 2018.

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I'll take AirDate as the only thing Chronologically in order.

Everything else is up in the air.

2. ### HenochFleet CaptainPremium Member

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You can fudge stardates to mean any order you want, but you can't change the production order or airdate order. In-universe, production order and airdate are meaningless, and only stardate is meaningful...

3. ### dswynne1CommanderRed Shirt

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That's not what I heard. I heard that GR, when developing TNG, simply added an additional digit, and that everything else was justified after the fact.

4. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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Where did you hear that?

5. ### Kirk1701ALieutenant Junior GradeRed Shirt

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My calculator is finish a few weeks ago. Now it can calculate TOS and TNG stardate given by an valid earthtime. My Special Feature is that the calculator can calculate a valid earthtime given by TOS or TNG stardate.

6. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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You know it can’t. Converting to and from TOS stardates is out of the question, and the best a TNG “stardate calculator” can do is make a conversion according to an interpretation of Okuda’s 41xxx = 2364 conjecture, assuming you’re lucky enough that a writer bothers to follow it (eg., the Borg attack from FC was “recent” in an episode of DS9 that followed the film release, regardless of FC’s much later stardate).

JJ stardates have more reliable conversions, but even there we’re not really sure if the day of the year always follows the period, or whether it can also be the elapsed fraction of the year (as suggested by STB’s 226X.XX on a couple of screens, as well as canon stardates 2230.06, 2233.04 and 2263.02).

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Just for the Hell of it, here's the average TOS stardate, every 10 episodes. In Production Order. Counting "Where No Man Has Gone Before" as #1, "The Menagerie" twice, and "Turnabout Intruder" as #79. Episodes without Stardates are excluded. For no reason other than I just felt like it.

Ready for it? Here it goes...

Episodes 1-10: Average Stardate 1771.4
Episodes 11-20: Average Stardate 2860.8
Episodes 21-30: Average Stardate 3191.1
Episodes 31-40: Average Stardate 3567.7
Episodes 41-50: Average Stardate 4136.2
Episodes 51-60: Average Stardate 4736.3
Episodes 61-70: Average Stardate 5572.2
Episodes 71-79: Average Stardate 5793.3

I like the idea of the first digit standing for the year of the mission.

Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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8. ### HenochFleet CaptainPremium Member

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I used to think the same thing that it was a mission clock, then it occurred to me that this forces the stardate to be unique only to that individual ship mission, not a reference date across the Federation. In Court Martial, the Starbase 11 was using the same stardate as used on Enterprise. In the Doomsday Machine, the Constellation was on the same stardate. So, either both ships and the starbase started their missions on the same day, or they are using the same stardate system. I now lean toward stardates representing a standard Federation time system. I have also accepted stardates in the 0000.0 to 0999.9 range. This just means that Enterprise's 5YM just started around stardate 1000-ish; no big deal. The 5YR mission would end at stardate 6000. At stardate 9999.9, Starfleet rolled over the stardate clock back to 0000.0 (The rotary stardate chronometers didn't have the room for another digit.)

In the first year, we see evidence that Starfleet was first under United Earth, then transitioned to be under the Federation. In my head-canon, this is when the Federation adopted the United Earth stardate system. Prior to this, each member planet used their own time system which caused confusion throughout the Federation.

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9. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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We don’t know what stardate the FYM ended, probably one in the 6xxx or 7xxx ranges going by TAS. There is no evidence of a rollover to 0000, especially since Starfleet wasn’t using mechanical readouts that late and these older ones could always be extended or redefined as showing the last four digits.

The Enterprise could’ve been a United Earth ship just as the Intrepid was a Vulcan ship, both serving the Federation Starfleet. Each member planet and other alien planets probably continued to use local stardate schemes in places, because evidence is that anything can be a stardate, whether it is 2233.04 or 1312.6 (thus explaining the Xindi using stardates also).

There is probably a mathematical formula that adjusts any calendar scheme into a stardate (so that even May 6, 2151 can be one in Archer’s starlog, even though it looks like an Earth date), with the universal translator interpreting the various systems. Whether they’re counting days or years would be totally immaterial to the interstellar substance of a star- prefix.

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I said I like the idea not that I know. There's a difference.

And TAS Stardates carry about as much weight as Disco Stardates. Whereas I've shown that TOS Stardates aren't quite as random as some people think. They generally trended upwards.

Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
11. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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I was replying to Henoch’s suggestion that the FYM ends at 6000, which we can’t say for certain and the number is unlikely to be round. Also, anyone can see that TOS stardates generally trend upwards, unlike those on DSC, which seem to have been reset after S1, almost as if the writers read that “pick any combination of four numbers” line and ignored all precedent from TOS. I wish they’d sensibly used JJ stardates instead, since it couldn’t have been that hard to coordinate scripts in the comfortably short DSC seasons.

Still, unlike TAS, DSC is definitively canon and in detailed story continuity with TOS, despite the need to imagine certain elements differently when tying into one as opposed to the other. Stardates are just numbers, so we can easily imagine competing schemes interpreted by the UT, going back to the 2150s or even earlier in specialized use.

12. ### HenochFleet CaptainPremium Member

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I should have said 6000-ish to go with the start date of 1000-ish. But, if the mission started exactly on stardate 1000, then it would end exactly on 6000 if we assume that 1000 stardates is one Earth year. One reason to start exactly on 1000? A launch of a special event like a 5YR mission could be symbolically tied to an Starfleet/Federation anniversary date which resulted in enacting the universal stardate system now used by Starfleet.

13. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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But then the apparent average rate between TMP and TUC was only roughly 100 units a year or so, even if we exclude rollover hypotheses by looking at 8130–8454 (2285–2287).

14. ### HenochFleet CaptainPremium Member

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I generally use the stardate system for the TOS series (and TWOK is good). Yes, the TOS movies are a mixed bag with the biggest issues in TMP and TUC. The writers and script editors missed several instances of simple math. As Spock once told Saavik, "Nobody's perfect."

I try not pay any attention to the stardates from anything made after the TOS series. A "good" system that works is where one Earth year is 1000 stardates. Of the 79 episodes, 3 episodes (TGOT, ATCSL, and SB) have unfixable mistakes, or an accuracy rate of 76/79x100 = 96% which is not too bad. As a school grade, 96% is usually an "A".

For the six TOS movies (ST:GEN is TNG plus no stardate given for the Kirk part), Four of the six were okay-ish (I could have still done better), putting the accuracy rate at 66.7% or a school grade of a solid "D". I gave up after this.

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I always went with the idea that they slowed down stardates during the Movie Era. My head-canon was that eventually the Federation figured out that they shouldn't reset the stardates every 10 years, so came up with that as an alternative.

This theory was published online in 1997 and I immediately gravitated to it at the time when I saw that someone looked at the stardates the same way I do. I didn't agree with exactly everything he said, but it was close enough to my own thinking.

I'll cut-and-paste the relevant parts into quotes.

TOS Stardates
Movie Stardates
TNG Stardates
Pre-TOS Stardates (bear in mind this was written in 1997)

Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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16. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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I contributed slightly to that FAQ myself, but I prefer to look for a theory that fits all the little examples in the franchise as a whole, not just the primary methods from the shows and movies – even though we can never come up with the Holy Grail of actual conversion algorithms (which is the overriding concern in that FAQ, to find something that does the job well while deviating from the franchise in less visible places).

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I think they really screwed the pooch with Discovery Stardates by having them be so random. They could've shown a working Pre-TOS System, even if it was different from the Kelvin Films. One of the reasons I don't like the randomness is the same as what others have said before. TOS can be viewed in any order. Disco can't.

18. ### Boris SkrbicCaptainCaptain

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At least it did make a contribution by demonstrating that a system resembling TOS stardates was used not only in 2256–2258 but also as early as 2155, if we accept 0141.7 as not just a Mirror Universe stardate. Did that scheme compete with the one from the Kelvin Timeline for a century, or was the latter specific to that reality in either direction? Imagine one person saying 1234.5 and another hearing 2258.6, courtesy of the universal translator. Tuvok could’ve easily been born on 38774 according to the local Vulcan system (unless it was 3877.4 before a rollover around 2264).

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