What bugs me the most about canon violations

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Ensign Ogahd Ahmganadai, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. ralfy

    ralfy Commander Red Shirt

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    It's understandable that for for-profit businesses, the main goal of producing works for franchises is to maximize profits. But one must also understand that several of these franchises flourished thanks to older fans.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Perhaps. Be we shouldn't assume that older fans are, by definition, inflexible and wedded to the past. I'm old enough to remember watching TOS on NBC, but I'm also open to new takes on on old favorites--and pragmatic enough to realize that modern shows and movies are not necessarily going to look or feel exactly like the older shows I grew up on. And that's not a bad thing.

    Let's not assume that all long-time fans automatically reject anything new or different. As I like to stress, you can like the old stuff AND the new stuff. You don't have to choose one over another . . . . and there doesn't have to be one "true," definitive version of anything.
     
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  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think inconsistencies are easier to ignore if you are enjoying what you are watching. Right now, the inconsistencies stick out more for me because Discovery simply hasn't hooked me.

    Though there's no way to make sense of what Discovery did with the D-7. :eek:
     
  4. ralfy

    ralfy Commander Red Shirt

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    Are there limits to what you will accept?
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It depends on whether it works on its own terms. I confess I gave up on THE NIGHT STALKER reboot after one ep, in part because it bore no resemblance to the classic original series, but also because it wasn't very good. If I had enjoyed the first episode, or if people I trusted told me "no, it's really getting good," I like to think I would have given it a chance to win me over as its own thing--as opposed to watching it warily, with a chip on my soldier, ever on the alert for "canon violations" and constantly comparing it to the previous movies and TV series.

    To bring things back to STAR TREK, I will overlook the blond, Aryan supermen in THE WRATH OF KHAN (which bear no resemblance to Khan's multi-ethnic crew in "Space Seed") because the movie is so good otherwise.

    It's a sliding scale. I'll forgive a lot of continuity glitches if the final product entertains me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    But can't writers be creative and imaginative whilst maintaing continuity? IN some respects might that mean they have to be creative and imaginitve?
     
  7. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Premium Member

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    I don't think that's how it really works in practice. The issue isn't writers sitting down and thinking, "How can we completely remake this series into something unrecognizable?" That's never the issue. The issue, as I see it, is more like a writer pitches a story or a concept and it happens to "violate" certain aspects of the canon. Do you throw out a good story just because it doesn't mesh perfectly with something that happened 50 years ago? I find that an inexcusable waste of artistic expression. Or consider the way Klingons look now, which quite frankly I don't find as radical a departure as the transition from TOS Klingons to TMP Klingons, but whatever. Do the creators sacrifice their creativity and vision on the altar of "Continuity"? Again, I think that does more harm than good because it makes writers beholden to other writers, which effectively makes them de facto ghostwriters and not independent artists. I'd much rather see writers write something they're passionate about, that inspires them, even if it violates canon, rather than make sure they check in with 50 years of content and throw out all their good canon-violating ideas.
     
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  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Bottom line: continuity is a virtue, but it's not the only virtue, or even the most important one.

    You can have a good ep that fudges the continuity. Or a bad ep that is 100% faithful to "canon." It's not the sole determiner of quality.

    Ideally, of course, you would aspire to both, but in the real world there are always going to be trade-offs and compromises when it comes to producing a weekly TV series on time and on budget.

    And an episode doesn't automatically become "bad" if it's not 100% true to "canon."
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  9. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    I stopped watching after the promo images showed the Akira-prise rather than the Ring ship that was clearly shown in TMP.

    This is the real reason ENT sucked. The continuity issues are just the icing on the cake. A cake I would not want to eat.

    But see that was the beauty of Star Trek. We had a single shared universe depicting a history spanning hundreds of years. And while it wasn't exactly perfect, we didn't need any of those crappy reboots or alternative universes like the comic books. That was one of the draws of Star Trek, that it was ONE THING.

    That's part of the reason I disregard ENT, DIS, and JJTrek. I don't want to see THEIR version of the Star Trek universe. I don't care about the way they want to show it. I want to see the ST->TNG->DSN->VOY Star Trek Universe and all the other sequels, prequels, and in-betweenquels that THAT universe has to tell. Who cares what Pine-kirk on the iNterprise, or Sam Beckeet on the Akiraprise, are doing? Who cares what's happening at the Disco while they're all on Shrooms? I certainly don't; and I'm going to disregard any iteration, with the Star Trek name slapped on it, unless it's depicting the Star Trek universe I want to see.

    Which is what Discovery should have done. Nobody was asking for a Star Trek clone. Just something that could reasonably look like, and have a narrative, that fit in the same time period. But you know, we can put a man on the moon, and we can instantaneously communicate around the planet; but we can't do this one simple thing. Because, it's too hard...I guess?


    Because, yah know, those are really the only two options aren't they? Violate continuity or throw out your story. No writer should ever have to revise their story based on any external factor, such as budget constraints, production limitations, etc. If my story can't be told my way, then it must go in the garbage!

    I just don't get why continuity "hindering" story telling is such a huge problem? I'd argue that continuity generates as many story telling possibilities as it hinders. What story is so amazing and perfect, that it can't possibly be revised to align with established continuity?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    We actually CAN'T put a man on the moon at this point.
    :(
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If the story is entertaining, I tend to give it a pass. If I'm bored, then the conflicts tend to stick out like a sore thumb.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, the more you are enjoying something e it a TV show/film/book etc the more you tend to overlook the flaws. The less you are enjoying it the more those flaws stick out.
     
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  13. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Commander Red Shirt

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    What I dislike about these talks about continuity is how polarised they tend to be: you have on one side the people for whom every single continuity violation is a personal stab on the back and then you have the "stop caring about continuity" guys.

    And quite frankly, these days I see a lot more of the latter group. There's a lot more complaining about complaining than there ever were original complaints about continuity.
    I mean, some continuity violations are trivial some less so. If we don't care about any of them, including the major ones, then what's the point of the show being called Star Trek, beside a marketting ploy?
     
  14. Mattadd

    Mattadd Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Exactly. If you want to make a show that in no way relates to continuity *cough* Discovery *cough* then that's ok, just call it something else. Calling it Star Trek is just a way to boost ratings.
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    There is some middle ground to be had however depening on the nature of the continuity error. Or perhaps it might be fairer to say how much plot revelence it has. The more a plot issue is made of something the more apparent the continuity error is when it is ignored a few episodes later. When a lot of these errors could have easily been explained away by a line drop with minimal impact to the episode itself for casual viewers but potentially adding something for the more ardent fans.
     
  16. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But Enterprise was actually not called Star Trek, at first, and critics were up in arms about it. There's no winning with some people. It's a zero-sum game.
     
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  17. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think continuity errors are most complained about, and specifically accused of being lazy, when the newer inconsistent episode also wasn't good in itself and feels lazy in general and/or like a retread.
    "Let's do a comical episode with aliens that hijack the ship" "Comical greedy aliens, that fits the Ferengi." "Yeah so let's have the Ferengi again!"
    "I wanna do the Romulans, they've always had cloaks, right?." "Of course, that's what makes them cool!"
    "We want the next villain to be a real badass-" "Khan's really popular, let's have him again! But to shake things up, have him working with an Evil Admiral!"

    Holodeck-gone-wrong episodes also came to be strongly criticized for there just being so many of them already.
     
  18. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't creative to use the Ferengi again rather than try to create, if they really want to do a greedy aliens comedy, a new even if similar set of aliens.

    In general if you want to reuse a character or aliens it's best to be consistent with how they've been depicted in the past, if not there's not much point to using them again and it's better to have something new.
     
  19. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Commander Red Shirt

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    I want to say someone mentioned somewhere on TrekBBS that they didn't think of Star Trek's continuity as a single throughline but like paralleling branches on a single tree; in other words, they all exist together, but rarely do they ever really touch back on each other. Each series is both its' own thing and yet part of a greater whole. They don't necessarily feed into one another as much as we tend to think.

    If you really think about, how often do the events of one series directly impact the events of another? TNG helps set up DS9, but that series fairly quickly goes off in its' own direction although the shows are semi-concurrent (even the Dominion war only gets a passing reference in the TNG movies). DS9 helps set up VOY, but then stops having any direct impact after Act 1 of the pilot (even then, it takes a few seasons for there to be another passing reference to the Dominion war).

    The more I've thought about it, the more this perspective on continuity makes sense. The series all have the same foundational basis, but each grows in its own direction, for good or for bad. If taken for that perspective, it makes it easier to explain away continuity snarls; how are the characters in-show supposed to know what happened in a different episode of another series? Sometimes, the shows would deal with that, but not always.

    The only ones who really know everything from that third-person perspective are the audience, not the characters. As for the writers/producers, they have other greater considerations to make than "Does this fit with that passing remark from episode whichever from Star Trek Whatever The Heck?"
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    In all seriousness, this is where I struggle. On the one hand, I want a series to move forward and prequels are hard to maintain continuity with (at times) and creating cohesive worldbuilding can be very daunting.

    Here's my thing though-this isn't a historical documentary or even a series based on a book. It was originally developed by a man who wanted to survive in an industry and make money. The fact that the series continued on for 50 years was just icing on the cake.

    Continuity is fine, but as @Greg Cox stated, it is a virtue but not the most important one. Star Trek is, first and foremost, an entertainment and business vehicle. You have creative people who want to put their own creative stamp on to it. CBS wants to create something that will generate interest and viewership.

    Star Trek didn't attract me because it was one cohesive unit but because my friends and I could have different likes in a series (I like TOS, while my friend dreamed about commanding a Sovereign class) and each one, while existing connected, still stood apart enough for that.

    I guess I feel like Star Trek isn't a single continuity, but offers the imaginative possibilities of multiple continuities. The possibilities are what keep me invested, not whether or not it exists in the "Prime Timeline" or the "Kelvin Timeline" or the "B" Timeline" or "Mirror Timeline."
     
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