TAS: why not canon?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by PCz911, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I know the website didn't exist when Roddenberry was alive, but when the official "Star Trek" site was launched, it did not contain any TAS references whatsoever (except for the Okuda "Yesteryear" and April bits) - not even TAS episode synopses - and then suddenly it underwent a major encyclopedic upgrade, marking the supposed shift in canonicity of TAS. I recall fans at the time being surprised that the original website had been treated like just another franchisee. (Previously, pre-Internet digital resources, such as Usenet and GEnie, were not Paramount-generated.)
     
  2. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It is too bad those four or five years canned FASA's Roleplaying Game for Star Trek.
     
  3. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Proabaly because Paramount contracted out the assembly and maintenance of the original website, so it essentially was another franchisee.

    I have a buddy who made tons of money doing this twenty years ago by starting a company that put up websites for third parties.
     
  4. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    rec.arts.startrek.*

    That takes me back!...
     
  5. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, the way it broke down for Star Wars was generally like this: (according to an old Star Wars Encyclopedia I used to have)

    Canon:
    Theatrical movies, novels adapted from the movies, the Star Wars radio plays (ANH, ESB, RotJ), (and more recently) The Clone Wars CG animated series (and perhaps even the feature film "The Clone Wars" that was basically its pilot).

    Approved by Lucas/Lucasfilm but not canon:
    Novels, most video games, earlier tv series (Droids and Ewoks). (Generally, these are what comprised "Expanded Universe")

    Also recently, the video game "The Force Unleashed" was considered canon, but I think Disney may have revoked that status. I don't remember if TFU II got the same consideration for canon that the first game did.

    Things Lucas/Lucasfilm probably wished they'd never approved:
    The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks The Battle for Endor

    Things Lucas/Lucasfilm truly wish to sweep under the rug:
    The Star Wars Holiday Special.

    Since the time of the last Encyclopedic publication I had, Disney has changed the canon statuses of a lot of things in Star Wars....so some of my info is way out of date. :)
     
  6. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The current state of Star Wars allows some of the older things that were of various states of canon to become full canon via "Rebels" or full nods in the up coming films. I can almost see them doing a cross over with Rebels and Droids, plus putting in a lot of content from the old West End Games Roleplaying game (since several of the staff and writers used that as content or were the one who wrote them in the first place).
     
  7. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    God, how I miss the West End Games version of Star Wars the RPG. :)
     
  8. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    D6 is simple. Plus they give us a lot of stuff to play with prior to the prequel films and even before the novels started up again with "Heir to the Empire".

    Though D6 is not perfect. I had a bounty hunter character we were trying to kill off (the player had stopped playing), and we used two thermal detonators and some other small explosives on him at point blank range (that is something like 24D6 to a 4D6+2 character with armor and force points). He was incapacitated. (the 24D was almost all 1s and 2s, while the 4D + armor + force point was all 5s and 6s)

    I decided to go a Star Trek route at that point and has the blast open a hole in time and send him to the future. I them has a different gaming group with only one of the players from the other group there set some time in the future. During a hull breach, I had the bounty hunter come out of the rip in time and get blown out into space past that game's characters. Only one of them knew what that was and laughed.
     
  9. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    LOL! Sounded like a fun resolution.

    At one point in the West End version of Star Wars, they were working with scaling systems.

    Remember if someone had a heavy blaster pistol (5D damage), and they fired at a TIE fighter hull (perhaps 2D damage), folks wondered if they could blast a TIE out of the sky with just a pistol.

    There was a rules companion they released which offered up a scaling system with die caps. You would still roll your regular dice counts, but, if you had a die cap of 1 (player vs fighter scale ship), then no matter what you rolled, you could get no higher than a 1 one each die. So, in effect, at 5D damage, you would only be able to do 5 points of damage to a TIE's hull with a heavy blaster pistol.

    But yeah, for a bounty hunter to survive a thermal detonator blast at close range...wow...he either had some super tough armor, or super good luck. LOL!

    I loved the old D6 system. Yeah, it wasn't perfect, but it certainly introduced me to the role-playing world, and I was running a campaign just after quickly reviewing a couple of books.

    And I used to have tons of source books after that. How I miss them. :)
     
  10. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Too much of The Animated Series came off as very childish, to me. Like "Infinite Vulcan" with the Giant Spock for no apparent reason, or "Bem" with the alien whose animation cels were a part of the actual story, allowing him to seperate and float about in a most peculiar way. But when live-action references this series, particularly the show ENTERPRISE, I'm fine with it. I just never considered TAS to be anything else but a simple cartoon. That's it.
     
  11. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    I would almost prefer Bea Arthur singalongs to midi-chlorians and Greedo-shoots-first.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said, the so-called "official policy" excluding TAS ceased to apply a couple of decades ago. Fandom just never got the memo somehow.


    Probably in the TNG era, the late '80s and early '90s, when Roddenberry and Richard Arnold started defining boundaries between what was "real" Star Trek and what was not. I don't recall ever hearing the term used before then.
     
  13. GeorgeKirk

    GeorgeKirk Commodore Commodore

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    All these arguments over "canon" are silly. The only reason Gene Roddenberry ever instituted a "canon policy" in the first place was to reestablish his control over Star Trek after it was taken away from him when TMP failed to be a Star Wars killer. And as previous posters have mentioned, over time there have been other legal and political reasons for including and excluding other works from the official Star Trek canon.

    But I think that we, as fans, shouldn't let any of that stuff affect what we enjoy. So, do you like TAS? Great! Why should the failure of other TV shows, movies, and novels to reference it make your enjoyment less legitimate? Conversely, suppose someone is extolling the virtues of something you personally don't enjoy, like Diane Carey's novels or the old DC comic books. Do you feel compelled to chime in and say that novels and comics aren't "canon" and thus their enjoyment is stupid? Well, stop it! You're being a jerk! (Or Richard Arnold) (Not that the two are mutually exclusive)

    Now, if you're a writer for Pocket Books or the IDW comics or the movies then you have to abide by whatever editorial policy the people in charge of those things have put in place. But the 99.9999% of us who aren't professional writers working for Star Trek licensees have no real reason to care about what those editorial policies are. After all, Star Trek is a gigantically huge franchise. The film, novel, or comic that exactly reflects your personal view of which parts of that franchise are good and worthy and which should be ignored will never be made, unless you make your own fanfic or fan film.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except it has been referenced by all those things. Memory Alpha has a fair-sized list of TAS elements referenced in other canon, including Kirk's middle name, Amanda's last name, and a ton of stuff from "Yesteryear." The live-action TOS movies, TNG, DS9, ENT, TOS Remastered, and the Abramsverse have all directly referenced or employed ideas introduced in TAS. As for the novels, we've been incorporating TAS references for years and nobody's ever told us we couldn't.

    So the "failure" you're talking about here does not exist and never has. Even at the height of the supposed TAS ban, TNG's "Unification" explicitly referenced elements from "Yesteryear." The tie-ins may have been constrained from TAS references while Richard Arnold was overseeing them, but the actual creators of canon evidently didn't feel bound by that.


    Now, this is absolutely correct. There's no reason for fans to react to canon policy as if it were somehow binding on them. The only people it actually affects are tie-in writers like me -- because the actual producers can reinvent canon however they want, and because the fans can imagine the universe however they want.
     
  15. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    What if, like bishops at an early Church council, we went item by item and voted on whether it's part of an orthodox TrekBBS canon? I'm not kidding. There were various canons floated around early Christianity for like 400 years, right? And Catholicism and Protestantism differ even today about the books of the Apocrypha. So why don't we as a corporate entity determine our canon. At least that way there would be an answer when someone asks is X or Y canon? From posts above, people don't like the ambiguity from CBS/Paramount with no overseer (Pope) to rule on things.

    So when someone asked, we could at least answer, "Well, according to the TrekBBS canon a Giant Spock did actually exist for a time," or whatever.
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Tomorrow Never Knows Premium Member

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    The Bishops current reside at the See of Paramount and the See of Bad Robot. The Holy See of CBS has authority over both. We are simply members of the congregation and don't get a vote.
     
  18. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    No, it doesn't, because "canon" isn't a mark of quality, its just a mark of what the creator(s) of a series deem as officially part of the series.

    Personally, I don't see why it matters if TAS is canonical or not. It has no effect on how I enjoy the show. There are canonical series, episodes and movies I find unwatchable, so what difference could it possible make?
     
  19. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Your signature quote Eliyahu is quite appropriate for this discussion, and Nimoy speaks a lot of truth.

    Look, I do like canon. It's nice when things officially tie-up and you can watch/read/play something you know is a concrete part of the verse, however… there is *so* much great additional work in novels & such that to cast them off because they're not official is an incredible shame. Christopher I think made the point about people being free to imagine the universe for themselves and I think that's exactly what it should be - so if parts of TAS aren't officially canon, it doesn't matter. If they make sense to you & represent what you love about Trek, *make* them your canon.

    For me, like many, I'm counting TAS as TOS Year 4 & Year 5.
     
  20. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Well, perhaps we would be an apostate or heretical offshoot who views ourselves as determining the real truth uncorrupted by the wrongheaded [fill-in-the-blank]s . We could go live in the desert in trailers. I will hold everyone's money on your behalf to keep you pure. And of course no contact with relatives who will try to divert you from the True Trek. Who's with me?